Being and Doing

In Meditation we are seeking to develop internal qualities, and then to express them externally. The process of meditation will naturally bring about this change i.e. we will naturally develop those internal qualities and they will naturally start to extend outwards. The very practice of meditation will make this happen. However by focussing internally this process is assisted. As in every aspect of life, by giving it attention the process will be improved and speeded up. Whether or not we give attention to it is a choice and a question of priority i.e. is it important to us.

The internal qualities that we are developing in meditation are numerous and can be listed and described in many ways. They can be thought of as the qualities we would ascribe to a Monk, nun, yogi or a Buddha e.g. humility, wisdom, compassion, peacefulness. These qualities develop through meditation and it is possible to each individually or to the overall meditative state. More simply we can concentrate on the three main areas of experience at the tan tien, heart and third eye. If we focus on these areas then the qualities that result will flow from these sources of experience.

It should be understood that these internal qualities are open to misunderstanding and misinterpretation because we consider them from a mental, human, individual perspective rather than an holistic, spiritual, universal perspective. Yet this is the nature of human existence and it is a valid starting point for the process. The more we work with the qualities our understanding and experience of the qualities will change.

The three areas on which we concentrate correspond to three areas of the body; below the navel, the heart and the eyes. In these three areas we can observe and feel sensations which will assist us in deepening the experience and provide us with a point of focus for meditation.

The navel is associated with power, physical vitality and energy. It is connected with the energy of the earth and is nurturing, supportive and motherly. This is the basis of physical existence.

The heart is associated with love and compassion. It is the combines the physical and the spiritual together. It is from here that we can energetically interact with others in a loving, compassionate way.

The eyes are associated with wisdom, light, connection and peacefulness. It is connected with the energy of heaven which is loving, wise and fatherly. It is associated with a feeling of being loved unconditionally.

While we view the energy of earth and heaven separately they are only one energy in different forms. They can be seen as separate, as yin and yang, but they are really one.

By focussing on these areas we can assist the development of the qualities we desire. Yet the opposite is also true i.e we cannot develop these qualities at all. While it feels that we are developing the qualities and the experience of the qualities grows, it is not because we are developing them but because we are removing blockages to their presence. For example we do not through meditation become more peaceful, but we reduce the disturbances which constrain our peacefulness. What we are achieving through meditation is a natural inheritance.

There are therefore different types of meditation practice which we can use. The first is a doing meditation where we come into a meditative state and then focus our attention on something. This might be a feeling or experience, contemplating a quality, or dealing wih something which disturbs us.

The second is a being meditation where we come into a meditative state and then just stay there, with what is. We do not try to do anything, just sit. In this way we are just being, to the extent that we are able to realise it, our natural inheritance. Yes we will also still experience the opposite, but we sit with what is.

This is the yin and yang of meditation practice, both are helpful and valid. One focuses on the balance between our human and spiritual experience, the other on where we are. One is moving towards wholeness, the other is being whole.