Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
VEDANTA IN ACTION.
This is the title of a publication from CM which, whilst it of course has items by Gurudev, also includes selections of writing from other well-esteemed Gurus from the Vedantic tradition as well as leading businessmen. Its focus is the working life. We shall be exploring these essays for the next few weeks on Workings-day as, clearly, they pertain directly to the premise of this section of AVBlog! As ever, you are encouraged to read back over previous posts, to ensure full benefit.
3: Actionless Action.
Meditation in Action (Swami Ajaya)
It is important to understand how meditation relates to our daily activities, for most of us have only a short time to devote to meditation each day, but we spend many hours in outward activities. We have many obligations and things to take care of throughout the day. Work. Family. We are busy providing for ourselves and there are the needs of others to be met. For meditation to be of real value it should have some carry-over and it should provide purpose, direction and a sense of peace and harmony throughout the day. This is accomplished through meditation in action. Learning to apply the theory and techniques of meditation while we are active allows us to turn our entire day into a meditational experience. Instead of withdrawing from the world to meditate for only a half hour or so, our entire sixteen or eighteen waking hours can be transformed into a meditative practice.
You may find that there are times during the day when you are alert and centred. You feel a sense of peace and calm despite being active. Then there are other times when you become restless, worried, distraught or emotional. You daydream, or become distracted, thinking about what is going to happen in the future or fretting about what has gone before. There is a sense of imbalance. As you watch yourself through the day, you may notice these two states of mind. Some of us fluctuate between the two throughout a single day; others may be in only one state or the other. It is possible to cultivate that experience of calmness and centredness if we patiently follow the techniques of the meditation in action.
Some of us would like to leave the restlessness and confusion of the world behind. We would like to go on permanent holiday, run to the mountains or the country, where we can enjoy peace and tranquillity. We think, "If only I were in a more serene environment, then I could work on myself…" but we don't realise that our most intimate environment is our own mind and that we take this with us wherever we go. We have to learn to relate to this internal environment and once this is achieved we can be comfortable in any surroundings.
We can tend toward extremes of outward activity. Some move about anxiously running hither tither, with little ability to find a centre within ourselves. We are like a cork bouncing on the restless sea, the world of instability. Some of us withdraw to a quiet atmosphere, fearful of confronting the pushes and pulls of the world. The practice of meditation in action is meant to lead us to an integration of these two extremes. It allows us to develop internal stability and to be able to operate in a turbulent world, where we can continue to refine, test and improve ourselves and our practice.
When we apply what we learn about controlling our mind in meditation to our life in the world, we find our experiences becoming transformed. Every action will become part of our meditational experience. There will be little difference between sitting down in a closed room to meditate, and interacting with family, friends, or whist working. We can learn how to be meditative whilst active.
You might say these seem like two very different things. When you meditate you are quiet, there is little coming through the senses to disturb you. When you are active and the mind is not withdrawn, you have much stimulus. How is it possible that the two can come together?