Guide to Meditation

Guide to Meditation (An excerpt from Bhante Kusala’s book: Dhamma in Plain English). ‘I am busy’, I have no time for meditation: “If you are not a busy person, you should meditate one hour a day, if you are a busy person you must meditate two hours a day”. This is one of my favorite quotes about meditation. It applies to any person who does not meditate saying that they are busy. The busy mantra usually makes a good excuse for people to procrastinate “doing” the actual work. Western types of lives are usually busy lives. Their lives are bound with work so people who live outside the western world say that westerners are workaholics. This means that they are very much oriented toward building their work life. While there is nothing wrong in it, the issue is that this kind of life style hardly ever gives an opportunity to engage in spiritual cultivation. Therefore, I find it very much a necessity to teach the value of spiritual practice for the westerners. In other words, spiritual practice means cultivating healthy habits for mental and physical well being.

Work is meditation, meditation is work Returning to the busy lives of westerners, everybody complains that they have no time for meditation. Don’t you complain like that? I know you do.. Haha… When you are at work, no matter what kind of activities you are dealing with, you can always be mindful on what your mind is doing while you are doing what you are doing. Having a pasanna citta, ‘a pleasant mind’ is key in this process. If you can decorate your lips with a gentle smile, you will develop a pleasant attitude about everything happening around you. Even if emotions like anger were to arise in your mind, you will be able to cope with it easily with the pleasant conditioning of your thoughts. The Buddha says that acting on negative emotions bring you suffering. When you are angry you will speak and act in such a way you cause pain to yourself and to others. If you act and speak with positive energy like mindfulness, there is only happiness follows you, said the Buddha.