Meditation, as a word is defined as: ‘to contemplate’, in Latin the word means ‘to reflect’ and in ancient Greek meditation means ‘to commune’ – to commune with what or who?
Other common, non-religious, meanings of Meditation means – ‘To focus’, ‘to concentrate’ and ‘ponder’ as in deep thinking.
Generally, there are two types of meditation – Guided and Serene meditation.
Guided meditation is also know as Prayer. This is commonly seen in churches all around the world, where an officiant will lead a congregation in a Prayer, often though the use of words. Other forms of guided meditations may be though music, visual display, or even though smells and touch.
Guided meditations can also be as motions, such as prostrations, offerings, and recitation of literature.
In India and Tibet, guided meditations are called ‘Pujas’, and in the west we call them ‘Ceremonies’
Guided meditation is the most common form of mediation, and is found in all religions without exception.
Guided meditations are often inspirational, to build faith and courage to relinquish your everyday things for a greater glory.
And, just what is the greater glory?
Serene meditation also known as ‘contemplative prayer’ is to simply turn your mind-focus inward to see and hold the ‘light of your mind, or also known as ‘your soul’. This practice is known as ‘gnosis’ in Greek or as the ‘Zazen’ in Japanese.
When one is ‘soul gazing’, this is where one receives knowledge of the spiritual mysteries. It is here where the GODS speak, where spiritual wisdom is gained, where enlightenment occurs, and understanding take place.
The very essence of Zen is the meditation practice, and in zen it is considered a holy practice. Without the meditation practice and its holy implications, then Zen only becomes nothing more than a metaphysical construction for lofty debates and intellectual amusement.
Zen says to the seeker of spiritual mysteries, ‘Come see for yourself’ and not just blindly believe.
The seeker is instructed to focus on the breath, and for a while that may be soothing and calming, but then the seeker is asked to focus on what is prior to the breathing in and breathing out. The seeker is asked to let thoughts, dreams and visions come and go, without making any fuss about them, but then the seeker is asked to look to what is prior to those thoughts, the dreams and visions.
The seeker then ‘sees, and holds’ for themselves the very light, the soul, that the Buddha of over 2500 years speaks about.
It is this holy practice, this ‘Zazen’, this ‘Gnosis’, this ‘serene prayer’ is the wellspring of spiritual knowledge. It is only in this position can the seeker gain wisdom, be reborn, and know the truth – Your True Self.
For what the light illuminates is NOT your True Self, for your True self is the emanation of that light, eternal, undying and unborn.
The light of the soul is what creates the universe. The soul, liken to a candle flame, illuminates the mind with spiritual light that hold it, that comes to it. When the mind is illuminated by the light of the soul, all the many of thousands of things ever known, thought, and felt is illuminated.
When the mind relinquishes all the many of thousands of things that the soul light illuminates, and that could take a lifetime of work to do that, all that is left is the soul, and that is when the greatest mystery of all is revield.
Zen is a transformative path when properly understood, for this transformation may indeed influence culture and style for generations to come, however it is a mistake to assume then that any particular culture or style is the Zen transformation itself.
The Path of Zen is a lifetime commitment, for when one ‘sees and holds’ the light of their mind, their own soul, one needs to relinquish the deeply held fantasies, delusions, opinions that have built up over a lifetime, as liken to wiping mud off a lens of a lamp, we have to clean our mind. Only when we have cleaned the ‘lens’ of our mind, we can then know and speak wisdom, help others, and not be tempted to fall back to delusions.
Directly pointing to the light of your own mind,
Seeing and holding ones true nature,
Thus realizing Buddhahood,
The holy transmission completed,
The confusion of the scriptures is transcended.