The 4th paramita, translated as “exertion, effort, energy and perseverance.”
From where do we summon the ‘energy’ to override our habit of wanting of doing what is familiar and comfortable? We know it takes more energy to do our behaviour differently – In this case interrupt our personalities momnentum.
How do we activate or engage with enough life force that we can overcome the resistance we may have to sitting down with ourselves?
- Then we need a context in which to focus the energy to work with the resistance that may arise once we are sitting down.
- Is it correct to think that it takes exertion, effort and energy to turn inward and examine our patterns of thinking?
- Ritual creates a container for that effort.
- Ritual is preparing our biology to notice the distinctions that matter in the situation we are engaging in.
- The ritual of sitting with mindfulness suspends our personalities habitual was of relating to the situation.
Meditation in this context is a ritual……
the 5th paramita – meditation.
How do you define meditation? – if someone asks you what do you say?
Here are some ideas that found:
Prayer is when you speak…Meditation is when you listen
Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s definition:
Bring the mind into the present by focusing it on the breath, and then make a calm, mindful analysis of the processes of the mind as they present themselves directly to immediate awareness
Finally, a definition that I love, is this of Zen master Dogen (13th century). Although he said it of enlightenment, it can be applied equally to meditation:
Meditation is to be intimate with all things.