I very often hear people complaining that they are simply unable to relax enough to meditate, let alone get into deep states of meditation.
The reason they cannot relax into meditation is because their minds are not at peace. The reason their minds are not at peace is because they do all these things, or just a few of them:
- Thinking wrong thoughts
- Using wrong speech
- Taking wrong action
- Having wrong intentions
- Having wrong livelihood
As you might have already guessed, this is a Buddhist explanation of why people cannot meditate, and I have to absolutely agree with it. Let me explain these listed points more in detail.
Thinking wrong thoughts – if you think thoughts that involve in any way harming other beings, your mind will not be at peace and therefore it won’t relax into meditation. Thoughts that are harmful to other beings can be: wishing them ill, thinking in any way negative about them, having feelings of aversion towards them.
If you think negative thoughts about someone, this is actually black magic. I talk about how Christian black magic weakened my immune system in the video on the mystic union with the Higher Self.
Our thoughts are very powerful and they have the ability to hurt other living beings. Since we are all connected (not in a new-age way but we all are interdependent), even one evil thought affects others negatively and then the evil is returned to its sender (which is called “karma”).
Using wrong speech – speech can cut as painfully as a sword. Because of unthoughtful, cold-hearted words it’s possible to drive someone to commit suicide. The mind cannot be at peace if out of one’s mouth comes foul and hurtful words.
Taking wrong action – it should be quite obvious why the mind would be disturbed by the action that hurts other living beings. If one is used to taking such action (like killing animals or even insects), he or she might become desensitized to the cry of conscience. When such hurtful actions are abandoned, the mind will become peaceful and deep states of meditation will become a reality.
Also, it’s not only about killing other beings that constitutes taking wrong action. Wrong action is any unthoughtful action that hurts others in any way. For example, listening to loud music when you have neighbors is a wrong action, since it probably creates misery for people who don’t share the same music taste or like quietude.
Another example of taking wrong action is smoking in public, when there might be people around who don’t smoke and thus don’t appreciate the poison that they are forced to breathe as a result of someone’s addiction.
Displaying your wealth when in a poor community is another form or wrong action; this may create a sense of sadness or even anger in people who can hardly afford to keep the roof over their heads.
Having wrong intentions – if you take actions, though seemingly good, as a result of wrong intentions, again your mind won’t be at peace and thus you won’t be able to meditate. Taking actions from wrong intentions, for example, is when you donate money so that people think you to be generous; another example is helping someone not because you see a person in need, but because you expect some benefit out of your action.
Having wrong livelihood – if you sell intoxicants, or you trade in living beings or meat, these are forms of wrong livelihood that will keep your mind out of balance. Therefore, it won’t be able to focus or relax. Thus, meditation won’t be possible.
According to Buddhism, the reason people are unable to meditate or get into deep states of meditation is because their minds are not at peace. The reason why their minds are not at peace is because they may think wrong thoughts, use wrong speech, take wrong actions, have wrong intentions or have wrong livelihood.
When these causes are eradicated, the mind becomes peaceful and it can easily relax into meditation. Also, when it comes to forms of meditation such as focusing on your breath, the mind dwelling in peace will have no difficulty focusing on such an object for a long time.
When a person engages in actions, words and speech that are respectful towards other living beings, it becomes happy. When the mind is happy, it relaxes and is also capable of concentrating. These two ingredients – relaxation and focus – produce deep states of meditation.