Kalu Rinpoche: When we are trying to meditate, many of us, we try to gaze on some sort of Buddha statue, or paintings, or something like that. And I think, the first step, when you are trying to meditate, try to keep your object, whichever the object that you may be concentrating to, try to keep that object as simple as possible, and that is very important. Don’t try to go to the direction of visualization meditation right away, try to meditate to the rigid object first.
A very simple object. It can be a piece of stone, it can be a small Tara statue, or Buddha statue, or Avalokiteshvara statue, or whichever the statue may be. Having that kind of a simplified object. And then simply, your mind focusing on that. Nothing beyond, nothing before, simply that. If your mind is thinking beyond that, or before that. Your mind is distracted.
There’s two different kinds of distraction.
There’s ordinary distraction, where you hear the sound of the door closing, the sound of the bird making on your window. The sound of your coffee machine, or the tea, or the hot water boiling in your apartment. These are the ordinary distractions that we can interact very easily, we can notice very easily.
Then there’s a second layer of distraction, which we call it in Tibetan practice, Tibetan Buddhist practice, or the Lord Buddha’s teaching practice, doesn’t matter. We call it “the undercurrent”. The undercurrent is much more subtle, and that becomes the main obstacle throughout the spiritual journey.
So when you are so called “trying to meditate”, whether your path is mindfulness or whether your path is spiritual seeking or being a Buddhist practitioner, doesn’t matter. You have to recognize these two different kinds of distraction. The ordinary distraction, and the undercurrent distraction.
If you don’t recognize these two, whatever you may have developed in these last 30 minutes, or last 45 minutes, in that particular session, may develop into egoistic attitude over time. Where you tell other people, saying “look at me, I did this much of meditation, look at me I did so much great. Look at me, I’m doing much better than before, or longer than before”. Then it becomes an ego trip. Ego trip, and then also a self centered attitude. It develops over time into that kind of reality over time.
So therefore it’s very important to recognize this ordinary distraction and the undercurrent distraction. If you recognize these two, then at least there’s a higher percentage that you can go in the right direction. So that is very very important.
To be continued…