Know impermanence through this technique of meditation
In this article I want to mention again one technique of meditation that can completely transform your life. I had covered this concept in one of my earlier articles. But this technique of meditation is so powerful and beneficial that it bears repetition.
A great king once asked a Sufi mystic for some lesson in writing which would help him in any and all situations in life – in success or failure, wealth or poverty, illness, disease or death. The Sufi gave him a ring with a diamond and said – “When you are in real need open the ring and take out the diamond. My message is written underneath”.
Some time later the king was defeated in battle by his enemies and was running for his life. He was wounded and enemy soldiers were pursuing him. He reached the end of a cliff and there was no place else to go. He could not turn back as the soldiers were approaching. In this situation he opened up the ring and read the Sufi mystic’s message.
The Sufi had written – “This too will pass.” A great calmness descended upon the king and he determined to meet his fate in captivity as bravely as he could. But the enemy soldiers passed him by as they took the wrong route. The king then escaped, reorganized his armies and was able to defeat his enemies. He regained his kingdom and a great celebration was prepared. At that time of the feasting the king was feeling happy and proud of his successes.
But again he reminded himself of the Sufi mystic’s message “This too will pass.” The king thus reached a powerful insight. Success and failure, happiness and sorrow, life and death – all are momentary. If we grow attached to any situation we will suffer when it passes away. The mind is such that it naturally reflects and reacts to what goes on outside. When faced with the prospect of wealth it develops greed. When you see a beautiful woman you develop lust. This is the situation we find ourselves in when we are identified with the mind.
This simple message, this simple technique of meditation – “This too will pass” - has the power to break our habit of identifying closely with our passions. We will then see through the outward enticements and temptations. Our mind will react passionately but remembering this important message we will not take the antics of the mind seriously. We will be able to dis-identify with the mind, be a witness to the storms generated within.
When we put ourselves in the position of a witness we will then experience the transient nature of all that occurs within. Our anger is momentary, our greed is momentary, our lust is momentary. Just watch a little and you will be surprised, it comes and goes. And you are remaining there unaffected cool, calm.
In the immortal words of Rudyard Kipling
“If you can meet with Triumph and disaster,
And treat those two imposters just the same”.
Practicing being a witness will put us in a position where we are able to do that.
I have just room enough in this article to describe to you an effective technique of meditation. It is this – Breathe consciously. Osho Rajneesh said that awareness of the breath is such a powerful technique of meditation that the Buddha attained enlightenment through practicing it. Osho says that breathing is something that we do all the time – all we need to do is to be aware of each in breath and out breath. Concentrate on the sensations at the tip of your nostrils. Unless you have a blocked nose you can readily experience the sensations of the air entering and leaving the body. Do this without conceptualizations of any kind – just experience the sensations.
If storms arise in the mind while you are practicing this method, welcome the storm, be a witness to it. “This too will pass”
Osho says that as we maintain awareness of the breath, in due course, our thoughts will naturally subside. We will then experience a state of no-mind, of pure and aware consciousness. Osho says that it is impossible to his breath and think (or be identified with the mind) at the same time.
And just as we learn to be a witness to our breathing, we can learn to be a witness to our thoughts and feelings as well. This is Vipassana – or the insight technique of meditation. I hope you enjoyed this article and that it will be useful to you.