We all search for peace and happiness; however where can we find it? This is exactly what we miss. Nowadays, most of us, have unprecedented levels of comfort and material facilities, however this is frequently just a mask of dissatisfaction, depression and anxiety feelings. Sometimes it seems that when more material wealth is available worldwide, the satisfaction and happiness experienced by individuals vanishes.
We look arduously for satisfaction and harmony, which seems to not be present, however we generally just find agitation, irritation and unbalanced. When hit by those afflictive emotions we redirect these to the others, even to our beloved ones, affecting them. This is the atmosphere of someone influenced by these mental states.
There is no doubt that all of us, without exception, aim to live in peace and harmony, sharing it with those around us. We strive to have good and functional personal, family, professional and/or social relations. But, how can we find this tranquility? How to live it and spread it around us?
Shamata and Vipassana meditation is the discovery of the real happiness which already exists within us. It is the finding of that fulfill feeling that we generally seek outside us when this is our primordial nature. Sadly, we are so focused and familiarized on seeking happiness on the outside success that commonly we don’t know how to gain access to this inner treasure.
Even if all of us, without any exception, have this inner source of happiness, independent form external circumstances, we don’t know how to discover it. Reading or talking about this internal source happiness is not enough to gain it. We need practical methods, able to reveal our real nature, allowing us to go beyond the cultural, social and even religious limitations which state that we are incomplete, insufficient and limited beings.
We can change our mental states and deplete habitual tendencies through Shamata and Vipassana meditations. We can acknowledge the natural states of the mind, of lucid tranquility and wisdom, dissolving all the afflictions, to allow the flourishment of the original and natural purity of the mind. Like this we change our verbal and physical expression changing the experience of the mind. Once we managed to lead the mind, the speech and the body to the state of peace and tranquility, we can achieve the final goal of the practice: Liberation and full realization for the benefit of all beings.
The correct Samatha and Vipassana meditation can be practiced by any person, we all face the problem of suffering, it is a universal affliction.
When we suffer due to our afflictive emotions, those emotions don’t originate on the East or the West. The suffering doesn’t have any religion, creed or faction. The basic feeling of anger, for example, or aggression doesn’t have any religion; there is no Buddhist anger, Islamic anger, Christian anger or Hindu anger. Anger and aggression are just anger and aggression. The suffering resulting for oneself and the others, the experience of pain and instability are also universal, beyond any label. Therefore, the solution should be also universal, free from any belief.
Furthermore, if the suffering doesn’t depend on any beliefs, or the lack of it, the solution doesn’t depend on them.
The method is the Shamata and Vipasana meditation. Nobody with common sense, will object to know their own peaceful and harmonious nature. Nobody will object the depletion of the suffering causes and the experience of a mind free from negativity. Nobody will have nothing against a path of benefits for all beings. We can say that this is a Universal Path..
After all, what is meditation?
Meditation is the art of presence or tamed attention (Shamata) and the understanding (Vipassana). It can be used as a practical method to dissolve emotional destructive patterns, develop positive qualities with wisdom and compassion, and unveil the fundamental nature of the mind, of pure consciousness.
There are two main meditation techniques: presence (Shamata) and insight (Vispassana). The Shamata Meditation is used to discover the natural calm state of the mind and improve stability. Without running away from our lives, the Shamata Meditation allows us to fully experience the present moment. Using our thoughts, we feel and experience a way of discovering, a pleasant stable feeling of peace and serenity, not dependent from external conditionings.
Some Shamata practices imply focusing or counting our respirations, keep the attention on a visual object or repeating sacred sounds. The presence can also be cultivated focusing the mind to our thoughts, emotions or even resting naturally in an open presence state, without focusing at all on something internal or external. All those techniques have the goal of increase the meditator’s capacity to consciously stabilize the mind on a given object.
The Vipassana Meditation, or understanding, dissolve our own illusory ideas, patterns adopted which are the cause of suffering, resulting on the blossom and flourishment of the inner wisdom. Once the mind is stabilized through the Shamata Meditation, the attention can be directed to the mind functioning and to the natural world. This experimental observation, Vipassana Meditation, allows us to see how the feelings and thoughts originate and shape the perception, and how our own wrong ideas create the suffering; discovering our fundamental good and pure basic nature. Therefore, with the Vipassana Meditation, we will be able to see things as they are, and not through the distorted perception shaped by our preconceived ideas and concepts. This discernment of the real nature, disentangles the causes of suffering and allows us to experience our original goodness.