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Translated teachings of Master Patana

What is Meditation? Most people do not know.

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The realm of meditation is a sanctuary you enter when all forms of activity—physical, mental, or otherwise—cease to occupy your being .In this haven of stillness, you find yourself enveloped in the unadulterated essence of mere existence, devoid of any striving or yearning. It’s as if time and space lose their grip on you, allowing you to bask in the tranquility of your own being.

Embarking on the journey of meditation is akin to undertaking the most meaningful expedition your soul can aspire to. It’s not merely an act but a state of elevated awareness, a heightened sense of being that transcends the limitations of thought, emotion, and action. You’re not just doing something; you’re becoming something—something purer, more authentic, more yourself.

In this elevated state, you’re not bound by the usual constraints that govern your daily life. You’re free, not just from external obligations, but from the internal tumult of thoughts and emotions that often cloud your true essence. It’s a realm where you’re neither doing nor seeking to do; you’re simply being in the most profound sense.

Understanding meditation is not about mastering a technique or following a set practice; it’s about coming to a realization. It’s about grasping that this state of pure awareness is not something you can force or fabricate. It’s a level of consciousness that you arrive at, not through effort but through understanding. You don’t practice meditation; you live it, you breathe it, you become one with it.

It has nothing to do with focus, attention or even introspection. Meditation is a state of being where every actions, thoughts and feelings cease.

Understand that even the act of thinking constitutes doing; so does focusing your mind in concentration, or engaging in deep contemplation. These, too, are forms of activity that keep you from the core of your being. If you can manage to pause, even for the briefest of moments, and retreat to the sanctuary of your inner self—completely at ease and devoid of any tension—that is the sublime state of meditation. It’s a moment where you’re not just physically still, but your soul finds its stillness too. You’re not empty; you’re full of a peace that surpasses all understanding. This is not mere idleness; it’s the most profound form of activity, a rendezvous with the essence of your existence.

If you can find even a fleeting moment to cease all activity and simply be, centered and utterly at ease, you’ve touched the essence of meditation. It’s like discovering a secret switch within you that, once flipped, allows you to maintain this state of profound tranquility for as long as you desire.

Once you’ve mastered this art of inner stillness, the next phase of your meditative journey begins. You learn to carry this serene awareness into your daily activities. It’s a two-step dance—first, you learn the art of pure existence, of just being. Then, you learn to extend this state into your actions, whether they’re as straightforward as making a cup of tea or as intricate as assembling a puzzle.

Visualize cooking a meal, but with your inner self remaining as steady as a well-calibrated clock. Or consider yourself participating in a lively discussion, yet your inner core is as stable as a sturdy oak tree. This is the evolved form of meditation, where you can maintain your inner calm not just in stillness but also in motion.

In meditation, you transition from being the doer to becoming the watcher. This shift in perspective is the cornerstone of meditation. While activities, whether mundane like folding laundry or complex like solving a mathematical equation, continue at their own pace, the key is to maintain your role as the watcher.

Think of it like being the director behind the camera during the filming of a movie. The scenes unfold, the actors play their parts, and the script progresses, but your primary role is to observe and ensure everything aligns with the vision. Your centering, your core of watchfulness, should remain unshaken and crystal clear, regardless of the actions taking place on set.

The beauty of this meditative approach is that it doesn’t ask you to step away from your responsibilities or daily tasks. Rather, it allows you to engage in them more fully, bringing the quality of watchfulness into everything you do. Whether you’re engaged in small tasks or tackling larger projects, the essential requirement is that your inner watcher remains vigilant, undisturbed, and unclouded.

Meditation is synonymous with the act of watching, of being a vigilant observer. It doesn’t matter what captures your attention—be it the rustling leaves, or even the ever-changing patterns of clouds. The focus is not on what you’re watching, but on the quality of your watchfulness, the attentiveness you bring to the moment.

Think of it as being the curator of an art gallery. The paintings and sculptures may vary, but what remains constant is your discerning eye, your awareness of the space and how each piece fits into the larger tapestry. Meditation is that quality of heightened awareness, that keen observation which you can bring into any action, transforming the mundane into the extraordinary.

Whether you’re walking down the street or sitting in a quiet room, the activity itself is secondary to the awareness you infuse into it. Walking becomes a meditative act when done with full alertness, each step a conscious movement. Sitting transforms into a meditative posture when you’re fully present, aware of each breath you take. Even listening to the chirping of birds or the subtle thoughts that flit through your mind can become acts of meditation when approached with a watchful, alert mind.

Meditation is not confined to a specific action; it’s a quality, a state of heightened awareness that you bring to your everyday activities. It’s the alertness, the watchfulness that turns any action into a meditative experience.

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