Meditation Metaphor #1

January 19, 2016

One of the common metaphors given for the mind, for meditation or things like that, is that of like a lake, or a large body of water, or pool of water. And the idea behind is that, the water is calm, naturally. It’s calm and clear and you can see to the bottom. And that at the bottom, there is a treasure. And from the Vedic perspective, that treasure at the bottom is like the intuitive nature. It’s the intuitive mind.

Now what happens is, you know, this mind is exposed to the elements, you know, it’s exposed to its environment. There is wind, you know, some kids throw stones in it, the rain comes, all of these things come.

So anytime the wind blows across the water, anytime stones are thrown in in the water, anytime rain comes down, it’s going to create disturbances in that pool of water. And those disturbances create ripples. And those ripples that form, these are the thoughts that arise. The thoughts arise from the mind as a result of all of these external disturbances.

So use that metaphor, that pool of water, and your mind is already calm. And when you go out into the world, when you interact with other human beings, those are all of the external disturbances and that’s going to create ripples in your mind.

So using that Vedic frameworks: these disturbances occur when we’re not in alignment with our own personal dharma. In Sanskrit this is known as svadharma, OK? So our own personal dharma. And these ripples prevent us from seeing that treasure at the bottom. It prevents us from seeing the divine nature of our true self. It prevents us from seeing our intuitive nature.

And this is what causes confusion in our minds. So the process of meditation; this allows us to prevent the ripples. OK? And thus when we stop the ripples, when we stop those external disturbances, we become aware of our mind OK? Or even the thinking mind; we become aware of the thinking mind. And so in the beginning, before we actually understand the process of meditation, we might take a lots of action to still the water. So, you know, for example, we might set up borders; of like, you know, physical barriers that prevent the water from being disturbed and all of that.

What this is doing is it’s fortifying and giving weight to those external disturbances. So it’s- it strengthens those things externally to us. We make those external things real to us. So just like that, you know, when we strengthen our mind to be strong and like a fortress against external disturbances, we become cold and we don’t allow those natural, environmental interactions with other human beings to actually take process.

So the idea is that when we step back, when we remove all of these barriers, when we reflect and notice, that’s when the pool of water, all by itself, actually become still again.