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By Ajahn Sujan

Varapunya Meditation Centre, Aberdeen, Scotland

In Buddhism, there are two kinds of meditation. One is called Concentration meditation and another one is Inside meditation. ‘Concentration meditation’ is paying attention to a particular object. So basically, having one object, and then be with that one object for a certain period of time. You are giving full attention to it and disconnecting from all the distractions. This kind of practice that’s what is seeking to achieve normally; that’s what most of us are looking for to achieve calm and peaceful mind. Another kind of practice is ‘Inside meditation’ that basically means opening your senses, allowing to know what is taking place and what is happening, knowing it in its true nature and letting it be without having any comments or opinions on it.  I call the practice "Being Rude".

Do you know what happens when you be rude to someone? The result is they do not want to associate with you. They will go far away from you. So, in the practice of meditation we choose an object to pay attention for the development of concentration. Distractions will choose us. We have to react to all the distractions in a way being rude to them. Do not welcome or do not make any judgements over it at all. The very moment when we welcome those distractions within a short while we will be a part of it. We began to engage and entertain with them forming into this or that.

So, the first practice is to realise that mind is distracted. We have to realize those distractions. That this is coming to invade me and this is hindering my practice. As soon as distraction takes mind away with a clear and concentrated mind, one has to realise that state of mind. Realisation is the first thing that one has to understand in the practice. Once we have fully realised that distraction with wisdom remaining work becomes easy. In that moment, rather than going into telling stories out of it simply bring that mind back to the moment, uniting the mind with the body of primary object. One has to work ardently with clear awareness unite the mind and connect with body, get ready, bringing that mind back to within ourselves.  Imagine that you are training a puppy dog. You have to be very gentle with it and you have to treat it very kind and with love. If you show even a small anger or hate it would run away. You have to treat this mind in a similar way. Speaking with carefulness and bring it back to the moment. Initially, it was disconnected from given object and wandered off to something else. When we gently bring that mind to the moment, it disconnects from distracted object. So, in that way, we become detached to it.

We are not discussing about this distraction at home. We are not questioning why did you leave an object, where have you been etc. It's not a moment of think of what had been. We don’t care those. Simply, I don't care. Whatever you are saying, whatever I am saying. It's okay. I don't care. I am home. So, being one who is fully detached from it. Once we are detached from those distractions, there is no need to worry or thinking about it. Enjoy the moment that you have or you are. Why worry? Enjoy within ourselves, enjoying this body, enjoying this mind, enjoying my life. Not letting those distractions invade and causing you troubles.

In general, where the mind distracted, two things normally happens. One way is to get rid of these distractions by ignoring or changing object from one to another. So, simply paying attention to the "Breath" or anything that you feel comfortable to pay attention to will assist to move away from the distraction. Once moved attention to breath or any other object and be with that object at all the time. One can use image of something or a word verbalizing; it's called call "Mantra" or just a sound, a beautiful sound. Just pay attention to that and simply paying attention to that, we disconnect from all the distractions. This way of practice may help one to disconnect or come away from distracted mind to our intended object, it is not a true path for the realisation of truth pertaining to the nature.

As soon as one comes back to the normal life, those situations will come back again. Every day one has to face with various things, people and environment. It would not be ideal to leave everything and live an isolated independent life. We are social beings. Thus, a human being is because there is another being. As soon as one goes back to daily routine of worldly life, that person is bound to face distraction and becomes unhappy. One would doubt their practice.

‘I have been meditating for long time. Why I can't be happy? This meditation does not work. This meditation is not working to me.’

These doubts will hinder your practice. So, you want to give up your continuity of practice meditating. One has to change their attitude to the practice. It’s not desiring to achieve something or replacing one to another. It is an art of realisation the reality as pertaining to itself at the very moment when it happens. The practice is simply to realise it, uniting ourselves, detaching from it and enjoy the moment. So, is not that simple and easy to be happy. Isn't it? So, to achieve this state of mind, to be happy, that’s why uniting ourselves, we have to develop our own place to pay attention. Building our one object of attention. It is like building an anchor for a boat at the bank of a sea.


So, basically, concentrating on an intended object with complete undivided attention and building up our focus or concentration. That is what we call it ‘a primary object of concentration’.  So, when we have the primary object of concentration, we work with it to establish on that and gradually our mind begins to establishes on it. As the mind become one with the object, it becomes calm and tranquil. Our mind will become stronger and sharper, whenever you want to pay attention to it, we can do it without any trouble. Similarly, whenever we want to leave the object, we could do it easily. Once we are skilled enough to understand this primary object and able to work with it achieving calm and tranquil state of mind, rather than just being with the object, open our senses. It is as the boat is anchored yet floating around without any resistance with anything. Similarly, allowing things to happen no matter what happens, let it come. Simply Realise as it takes place. Unite the mind with full of awareness and clarity, no engagement with whatever arises but keeping disconnect and keep the mind in a detached position. There is no interference with whatsoever. Just be and Enjoy the moment of being aware. This is a part of practicing mindfulness meditation for happy living and wellbeing.

In order to cultivate the skills of being rude, first one has to develop calm and sharp mind, and secondly ability to use that calm and steady mind to realise things as they truly are with wise reflection on things. Therefore, first of all, in order to develop such calm mind, one has to be free from any sorts of burdens or disturbances. Allowing oneself to be free at least of during intended period of time. A practitioner has to relax body and keep the mind calm. Once bodily fully relaxed and attempted to keep the mind on the intended object, where do you think the mind will go? So, one has to pay attention to that mental activity. The mind normally goes either in the past or the future. Thinking of the past memories of what has been done.  In particularly, the intention to run towards things that is very exciting, things that emotionally attached to us. When it is a thought of excitement, we think of happiness. When we think of the emotions, we think of something that upsets us. It is really upset and holding on to that story for long time. These activities are the main root cause of our stress, which also causes one to suffering other physical and mental problems.

One afternoon, a lady come to visit the centre. I was not feeling well due to headache. Nevertheless, since she came for spiritual help, I was happy to be there with her in the shrine room and expecting her to leave soon. Never expect but expect unexpected things. Then what happened was, my mind was talking to me out loud. Thought of when she's going to leave and I can have rest. There was no sign of her departure. After an hour later, I could not bear so told her that I am having a terrible headache, so I need a rest. I thought that she will leave me in peace but it did not happen like that.

She looked sad and began to tell her stories as though she did not hear what I just had said. She began to pour her past emotional engagement that was causing her lots of burden. She was very emotional and was not ready to listen anything and certainly anyone else. So, I could not tell her anything. Apart from physically being there listening her stories. Often, I replied back with a word ‘okay,’ and occasionally I closed my eyes to reflect on her stories. I paid attention to the sensation, pains and worries that she was going through. I felt sorry for her yet I felt sorry to bare her with such pain in my head. I observed my mind and tried not to generate any negativity towards her for not leaving and then any negativity towards me. So, I meditated on her stories as well as tried to be within the moment. Occasionally, responding to her stories. After over an hour later, I realized that she had been suffering from it for long time. She was holding on to that emotional dissatisfaction and was hurting her significantly yet couldn't open that to anybody else. It was almost 20 years; she was suffering from holding that emotional pain. Finally, she managed to open it. My headache was still there. I told her that it was good that she realised that emotional attachment that is hurting her. She began to cry. That was a good sign. That was a good sign of letting out what she was holding in her life for a long time. She brought that all out and I was listening and then gradually, I talked to her, and guide her to be aware of her thought. Whenever those thoughts come back simply realise it and learn to keep the mind at uniting with the body. This simple act will help her to detach from those thoughts. Once the mind fully disconnected from the thought simply enjoy the moment that you have been able to conquer it. No more suffering. She listened to me carefully and shakes her head as though understood what I was saying. I led her to practice short breathing meditation and gave a traditional blessing for the good and happy life ahead.

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The emotional things that we normally hold on are experiences in the past. So, the practice of mindfulness meditation is to see that mental state of dwelling into the past, seeing the mental activities of past memories that is hurting us and then letting it go by not holding it. It does not matter what is taking place. All things are happening in the present moment. Even the thought of the past is taking place here and now.

The second thought is worrying about the future. We think of the future. We love to plan for the future. We always forget the message of this component’s molecule of body that we always holding on and carrying everywhere. How often do we really know of ourselves? This body? We go to the bathroom, have a shower, look at the mirror. Do we really look at the mirror? Do we look at ourselves at the mirror? "How beautiful I am? Normally, look at the mirror to for makeup; just put some makeups on, and that makes me better. So, putting a mask on face making us feeling better. How possible is that? Normally, we have to take the mask out to see the clear nature of ourselves. In normal life, we put the mask on to feel better. We put on different kinds of clothes to feel better. We look at the mirror and make remarks; aww this clothe fits, suits and beautiful. Like that. We are not looking at the real body. we are not looking at our true selves. This body always in the present, never in the past nor in the future at the very moment. Can you feel your body of the past? Can you see your body of the future? It is always here in the present moment. So, that's why the practice of mindfulness meditation always begins with this body; nothing else. Knowing this body brings us a joy, brings us happiness, brings us appreciation of this "me". Although ultimate goal of Buddhism is not to have this "me" but at first, we have to realize, this is me, appreciating of this body, knowing this body, understanding this body. So, knowing this body, appreciating of this body. The practice of meditation is to feel the body, connecting mind with the body. In a simple way, ‘I love my body and myself’, which you can practice it in your daily life; when you look at the mirror rather than just looking at the outer shell tell yourself with full of smile on your face; "Aww.. you are beautiful." or smiling to ourselves ‘darling I love you’. Have you ever done said to yourself yet? Smiling to yourselves and saying it to yourself ‘you are smart’. Telling yourself in this way, you’re bringing happiness and joy from inside to yourself. You have known yourself and then through that, you will also understand others. As I love myself, they also love themselves.

Therefore, the first practice is connecting with your body and knowing the body. When we connect to our body, whatever sensation that comes, acknowledge them truly, observe its true nature and noticed it clearly with mindfulness and clear awareness. Paying attention to those sensations our relationship with it. Sometimes feeling of pleasurable, another day unpleasurable. Understanding it wisely. Is it pleasurable? Is it unpleasurable? Sometimes, I am not sure what kind of sensation is it. Okay, that’s it. Like that knowing it. Through that gradually we see how much my mind travels? How much my mind generates? Engages into the sensual pleasure, into to your world, that world, into different sorts of thoughts. Simply realising the state of the mind and observing it and let's see how does it works.

Such attitude towards the mental activities brings us happiness, the inner happiness that we are looking for. Normally, we think of happiness through accumulating the material things having a big 3D latest television at home and watching movies on it or, having a latest smartphone. We constantly looking something to have to feel the fulfillment in our life, but it never finishes, always need something, always need something to replace with new things. So, having lots of material things doesn’t give us happiness at all. Understanding from inside, it will give us pure happiness, and that pure happiness comes from ability to realise, unite, detach and enjoy. A practice to learn to be "being rude".  Let's be rude to those distractions that hinders our practice.

Whatever arise simply realise that arises. Rather than lost into thoughts proliferating unite the mind with the body and disconnect from that object and enjoy being fully connected in here and now. Any stories coming in, thoughts coming in, building a castle on air, go away. Through that we will get the inner happiness, and that's simply being able to understand the things that they truly are, and through that, we have no attachment, we have no greed, there is no hate towards anything. Simply be here and enjoy the life being happy. So, let's begin the practice. In the practice of meditation, we sit in a comfortable position, relaxing yourself, and to do that find your own comfortable place to pay attention to and enjoy.

May you be happy and peace.

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