Describing the meditative state is a pointless audacity. It is an experience, not a theory or a philosophy.
Still, when asked, in a futile effort I often describe it as an Orgasm. Sounds provocative. I don’t intend to be, but I’m honest and raw – without filters of any kind.
To have a female orgasm, our being requires a lot of relaxation and calmness. Our brain «feels» as if it were empty and in a standstill. It’s an absolute present moment experience, like when you laugh out loud and your belly hurts. But all that remains on the mere surface of what the meditative experience is. Regardless, it can give you a notion of the well-being that it comprises.
In the book of the Art of Living, Goenka describes it more eloquently than I do; whatever we observe within – whether blood and bone, solid, liquid or gas, ugly or beautiful, is perceived as an undifferentiated mass of vibration.
The process of drawing distinctions and assigning labels ceases. We experience within the framework of our bodies, the absolute truth about matter; which is in constant flow, arising and passing away.
Equanimity is not apathy, negative indifference, nor passivity. It is not the blind acquisition of apathy of one who seeks to escape his/her life problems – who tries to hide his/her head under the sand. The real mental balance is grounded in full consciousness. Full attention. Awareness at all levels of this reality.
Holy indifference is equanimity. A dynamic quality. An expression of mental purity. Holy indifference is inversely related to attachment, and therefore to equanimity.
Goenka says, “If you are thirsty, drink water.”
Now, if you can’t find the water, smile and try to look again – to do it differently. If you get the water, enjoy it, drink it, without clinging. If you don’t get the water, don’t give up, keep looking.
The same goes for expectations, plans, the future. It is fine and necessary in many cases to make and have plans, but if they do not work out, nothing happens. Try it again differently. Without craving, especially craving for freedom.
Make of the present something good and then the future will be good.
Our nature is not kind or cruel. Nature only helps the quality of the seed to manifest itself.
We plant apple trees and we want almonds. And we begin to cry, kick, curse, explode, pray and wait for the almond trees to bloom. It doesn’t work. If you have planted apple trees, you will have apples and you will never see an almond.
How can we really work without attachment? For example, how will parents take care of their children if there is no attachment? How to love your partner without attachment?
Detachment does not mean indifference but holy indifference. Attachment to some extent and being aware of it – accepting its existence and place, I would say is neither good nor bad. It is a tool to keep us connected. Recognizing that attachment is not clinging.
“You love without clinging. Not devoid of action or reaction, but positive action with a balanced mind.” Goenka says.
In other Buddhist texts they talk of reaction and response. Our brain is programmed for millennia to re-act as quickly as possible. Rebuilding or deconstructing that reaction is very difficult and requires a lot of effort. When you cultivate presence, effort is less and reaction too.
It is when you learn to respond. Maybe, in some cases you act the same way you were going to when you reacted, but now there is a previous intention and detachment from the result.
And so it is the only way to love, love unconditionally, love truly, or simply LOVE without last names.
It’s about letting go. It doesn’t mean stop caring, paying attention or giving. No, now you give, you give yourself, you care, but now you do it without expectation or conditioning.
So the holy indifference is the result of the cultivation of presence. All this to tell you that meditation has no equal.
Whether we somewhat like it, meditation has an unparalleled physical, energetic and spiritual effect.
So yes, sit in your silence, whatever it is, sit down. Stop. Love yourself, listen, observe.
And you will see.
Magic will happen.