Monday, 12 February 2007

Dreams, ghosts & meditation

You wake at 3.30 in the morning and the events you have experienced in your dream seem so real. The dream was inhabited by characters from your past, people you have not thought about for ten, twenty even thirty years. Yet there they are so real talking to you. They are characters from different stages of your life who have never met, but there they are interacting. It all seems so factual, but it can’t be, the events are too bizarre the location weird. You are awake, you know it was just a dream, yet the feelings induced linger on - fear, hate, love, anger, etc. You lie restlessly in our bed, the ghosts of the dream still inhabiting your mind, finally you fall asleep. You wake four hours later and the ghosts still remain.

People who have experienced traumatic events talk about “it took years for me to come to terms with my memories”. Ghosts of the mind are so real. Whose mind? Your mind. My mind. My mind? I call it my mind, but realise I have as much control over it as I have on the growth of my little toe nail. Buddhist meditation techniques teach methods of observing the mind and through that learning about its true nature. The first thing you learn is you have no control over it.

Take two minutes now to perform a simple exercise. Just concentrate on your breath, watch the in breath and out breath. Just do that for two minutes, don’t think of anything else. Within seconds thoughts will arise, and you realise that you are no longer concentrating on the breath but chasing after your thoughts. Its called Monkey Mind. Like a monkey who cannot sit content on one branch, but jumps from branch to branch; so too the mind cannot remain contentedly focused on one object but jumps from thought to thought.

I call it My mind, yet I have no control over it, it is only my mind because it influences all of my actions. Those ghosts influence me, they cause action or reaction. Even though I know they are unreal, and not based on fact they still influence. Trying to use the mind to control the mind, is as feasible as using your right hand to cut your right hands fingernails.

There is only one way of dealing with mind ghosts, not by control but by observation. Just sitting and watching, avoiding the temptation to react. This is not easy when the ghost shouts do this, and there is a reaction which says no don’t listen its only the ghost shouting. Which is the true voice of My mind? The truth is they are both voices generated in the mind as are the reactions to those voices, and the reactions to those reactions. So do nothing but watch, see the thoughts arise and pass away. The mind is transitory with no substance. As people who have had traumatic experiences state “it takes years to come to terms with memories”. It happens when their energy is used up.


Underdome said...

That's the deepest thing I've ever heard you post, YesBut. I used to be into Buddhist meditation many years ago and practiced it daily. I'm starting to think it could be a positive influence in my life again. It might help me with the withdrawal symptoms from Jezza's Exiles. Where is it tonight ??? Gotta have my fix !

Henry Leong said...

I had been mediating for a lots of years