Friday, July 29, 2011

What Is Really Meditation Part-4

In both classifications, the first level of consciousness is that which is, predominantly, that of the ordinary unenlightened, the man who does not even try to grow spiritually. And in both cases, the fourth level of consciousness is that of the waking man.

We can now begin to see what is essentially the spiritual life - that is to say the higher evolution. We can say that it consists of a continuum of states of being and consciousness lowest to highest, the highest ever: the world of sensory experience to that of the mental and spiritual form, the mental and spiritual world to the world without shape to Nirvana, or enlightenment, or the sensory awareness to consciousness of self, self-awareness to Transcendental Consciousness, and the transcendental consciousness absolute consciousness.

We can now begin to see what is really meditation. We shall see more clearly that we spent some time on these basic definitions. There is however one more thing that we must consider. We said that the spiritual life consisted of a development of consciousness, and Buddhism, Dharma, the Buddha's teaching, was all that support this development. But there are two ways to develop awareness, or at least two different ways to approach it. We call the method subjective and objective method or the direct method and indirect method. Having recognized this distinction, we finally have the basis to see what is really meditation. Meditation is the subjective method or direct allows us to raise the level of our consciousness, working directly on the mind itself.

However, I must first say something of the methods 'objective' or indirect used to raise the level of consciousness. Some seem to think that meditation is the only way to raise the level of consciousness, called and consciousness can be raised by working directly on the mind. These people identify so meditation with spiritual life and spiritual life only with meditation. They say you can not have a spiritual life if you do not meditate. They sometimes combine the spiritual life to a specific method of meditation, or a particular concentration technique. But it is a much too narrow. It makes us forget the true meaning of spiritual life - that is to say raising the level of consciousness - and we sometimes forget what really meditation. It is true of course that is at least as important to raise consciousness by direct methods than to do it by indirect methods, we could even say that it may be more important. But we must not forget that there are other methods: if we forget, our approach is too partial, and if we do that we tend to make the spiritual life itself, in part, or to exclude some people , for example those with a particular character, or who are perhaps not interested in meditation. Let us consider briefly some of these indirect methods, not meditation, that help raise the level of consciousness.

There is first the change of environment. We use it quite consciously as an indirect means to change and, hopefully, raise our level of consciousness, when we retire - maybe in the country, a retreat center. We spend a few days or even weeks, in an environment more pleasant, more enjoyable, by doing the same may be nothing special. This often helps more than is realized, and suggests that the environment in which we live and work normally is not particularly good for us - does not help us to raise the level of our consciousness. It seems that in most cases, a positive change of environment leads naturally to a rise in level of consciousness - even without any extra effort.

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