What is meditation?

Watch this video on YouTube.


Watch this video on YouTube.

Unedited transcript

Welcome everyone. Why do we need to meditate? Maybe you might think: Oh my life is wonderful now, I don’t need to meditate. Meditation is only for those people who have problem. Maybe problem in your mind, mental problem. Or material problem. Problem with your relationship with your husband or wife, or in your life, at work. Or you lost your job, you are unhappy, depressed. Then you should learn to meditate and to make your mind calm and peaceful. Otherwise, no need to meditate. But of course meditation is good for when you have problem, to make your mind calm, peaceful, joyful. But also even you have no problem, if you meditate it is good for you. You can do more. Your mind become more peaceful more open. It is good for you to allow to manifest your own basic goodness, what we call basic goodness. You have love, compassion, you have wisdom, you have joy, you have capability and power already exist within you. By meditation, it is good to allow you to manifest your basic goodness. And that way your mind naturally becomes calm, peaceful and what we call pliable, workable. It means normally our mind is like crazy monkey. Bla bala bala. And you cannot control your mind. Mind controlling you. The monkey mind controlling you. But by meditation you have the control, that is why your mind becomes calm and peaceful. And of course meditation is good for when you have problem. Problem become your friend.

Okay let me tell you my own experience. I will tell you one special story. No no, not very special. Maybe you already know this story. When I was young, I had panic disorder. Also my parents are wonderful, I have very kind mother and father. I was born in northern part of Nepal, right in the middle of Himalayas. In fact I have one of the highest mountain, snow mountains, glaciers, very nice, beautiful. In the morning, sun radiate to the mountains and the glaciers mountains become like golden color, so nice. But although I have nice family, nice environment, but panic follow me like a shadow. And I was looking for some solution. My grandfather was also very good meditator, when I look at him is mediating peacefully, calm, very nice. I inspired by him. Near by my house there are lot of caves. I think you know in the Himalayas there is lot of caves. And sometimes I ran from my house to the cave pretending there to meditate. I just sit there what should i do, what should I do. And maybe fall little bit asleep. And one day I thought what should I do. Maybe I should say something in my mind. Say some words, what we call mental recitation, mental recitation. And did that, feels nice. Feels like I did something, also I don’t know what I did. When I was nine years old I asked my father to teach me meditation. My father was great meditation teacher. But I am shy to ask him directly, I approached my mother to ask to my father to teach me meditation. And my father accepted, I was so happy, but first I ask question. Saying some words in your mind, is that meditation or not. He said yes. I was so happy. Then I learned many meditation techniques. How open your mind, open, present, open awareness. And how to use panic, not only the panic, any other circumstances as support for meditation, make friends with the problem. And how to bring your mind calm and peaceful , become pliable and workable. I learned a lot and I was so happy, but I am lazy boy. And I love the idea of meditation but I don’t like the practice of meditation. That is why I still suffer by panic. I fell fear for strangers, fear for natural disasters like snow storm, earthquake. And sometimes there is fear without reason. Just I get dizzy and my heart beat raise and sweat sometimes without reason. Then when I was eleven years old I moved to India, place called Sherab Ling. And I learned lot of meditations from many other teachers. But again I am lazy. But when I was thirteen years old there traditional three year retreat going to start. I thought, oh I should join in retreat but I am little bit afraid that maybe they will not accept me because I am to young. But I asked through my father to ask His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche who is head of the monastery. And he kindly accept and I can join in three year retreat. But first year of three year retreat, my panic get worth. And special, when we in the group prayers, sometimes we use some music instruments. This noise drives me crazy and I have to go out of the prayer session. I cannot join. But most of the time we are meditating alone in the room, that is why I feel happy about it. But I am not really applying meditation techniques. Then one day I ask question, one day I ask myself a question, which is: I have still two more years to go, that is why I thought, do you really want to apply meditation technique or not. Or do you just want to spend like this unhappy with two more years. Then I decide to apply meditation technique with my panic, I set in my room for three days using my panic as support for my meditation. My panic was gone.

What I found out there are two ways to make problem. One, you say yes Sir. Second, you say: Hey get out. That’s why, Yes Sir or hey get out, these two are the problems. Do you want to learn yes Sir and hey get out? I will teach you.

Okay what it is the meaning of yes Sir. Any message from panic or what I call crazy monkey mind, I don’t mean in a bad way, monkeys are nice, I am not insulting the monkeys. I love monkeys. But they are very very active. That’s why, mind is active a lot, going around, and mind tell you bad message: Oh they are dangerous, they are fearful, there is a problem. And you say: Yes Sir. Whatever you say is true Sir. I believe you Sir. There is a problem, then panic becomes your boss. Oh you say: Hey, get out. Panic, I don’t like you. Then panic becomes your enemy. Maybe I will show you a little bit. The boss is like this. Bala bala yes Sir yes Sir. For twenty four hours. That’s kind of tiering. And second: Hey get out. What you are talking about? Leave me alone. And then they become enemy. That is why I make little drama that you understand.

Okay now what I did is, bala bala, I said: Hello. Good morning. Good evening. Panic says: Hello. Nice. That is why now panic becomes support for your meditation. Not only with the panic, any other situation, depression, low self esteem, anger, shame., guilt. Panic of panic. Fear of fear. Resistance of anger. This is what I call booster of emotion. Anything you can use as support for your meditation. Not only the problems, even form, sound, smell, taste, sensation. Just normal thought and normal emotion. Everything become cause of meditation. Everything become source of joyful experience. And you can be happy all the time, everywhere, under any circumstances. Okay. This is why meditation is very important. Without meditation, maybe I cannot be here. Maybe I am still hiding in the cave somewhere in the Himalaya mountains. Because of meditation I am here, I am giving you this talk. Because of my meditation. I made friends with my panic. And i wrote two books, because of the experience of meditation. To make friends with my panic and problems. And your mind becomes stable. What I call the goal of meditation is develop your inner joy, inner peaceful experience. There is wisdom, there is love and compassion, and there is kind of a strength or power within you. And this joy, this peaceful experience no need depend on outside circumstances. This is what I call inner joy. And this joy is not like stock market, up and down. It is stable. Why? No need depend on outside circumstances. Even any problem become cause of develop the inner joy. That is why it is good for you, good for your life. Good for your health, good for your body.

Now let me tell you more about science, because I am not saying, not only me here saying about this benefit, or my teachers. Even scientists. I was joining in some experiments. Like university of Wisconsin. And Berkley university. University of Harvard. And special in the university of Wisconsin, they test my brain, they put me in big machine called FMRI, shape of white coffin. And this comes some sort of tongue, tongue coming out, and I have to lie down on that. And they tied my head, here, here. And they put me big earphone here and they put me inside the machine, the machine is like tunnel. Dark, cold, very noisy. And then I have to meditate on three meditation techniques. Open present, first. Second, concentration. Third, loving kindness and compassion. And the scientists are in the next room giving me instruction. Okay now you have to meditate on compassion for ninety seconds. Stop compassion. Compassion. Stop compassion. Compassion. Which is nice. And they having fun drinking tea or coffee, sometimes eat some hamburgers maybe. And then the result of this, what they told me is, I am totally crazy. I was disappointed. No no I am joking. Not only me, the also studied with other meditators. There are sixteen or something. And what they see is, there are very big change in your brain. And special left frontal lobe. Left frontal lobe this activity increase enormously. What I learned with scientists, three important things. First, what they call neuroplasticity, it means has capability of change. Maybe thirteen or fifteen years before neuroscientists they don’t believe that. Your brain has capability of change. If you are born with unhappy, rest of your life will be unhappy. But nowadays no, you can change. Even if you are born with unhappy, you can change to happy person. That is why there is hope. And second. One of the best way to change is apply daily meditation. They also make experiment with novice, the beginner, the university student. They don’t have any idea about meditation, they test, they give meditation instruction for them, and they apply every day one hour. After eight weeks later they develop left frontal lope between ten to fifteen percent. That is why only for eight weeks. Third. That positive change in your brain is good for your physical body, immune system. There are many other studies also, on going studies. The other university they talk about good for your heart, good for your blood circulation, diabetes, ??? infection. And stress deduction. Many other benefits. So now I want to add one more, this is from my laboratory. No no I am joking. My own is, good for your life. Why? Happy mind, healthy body, of course it is good for your life. This is why your life becomes wonderful, joyful. That is the benefit from meditation. Okay. Thank you.