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We don't meditate to see heaven, but to end suffering.- Luang Por Chah, Thai Forest Tradition
"When Trungpa Rinpoche came to the West and was teaching in the early days in Vermont at what used to be called Tail of the Tiger (now Karme Choling), he used to tell the students: "Just sit and let your mind open and rest— let yourself be completely open with an open mind, and whenever you get distracted and find yourself thinking— in other words when you are no longer fully in the present and are carried away— simply just come back again to resting your mind in an open state."- Pema Chodron, Shambhala
Question: Could you say something about effort? Isn't a great deal of effort necessary?DL: Effort is crucial in the beginning for generating a strong will. We all have the Buddha nature and thus already have within us the substances through which, when we meet with the proper conditions, we can turn into a fully enlightened being having all beneficial attributes and devoid of all faults. The very root of failure in our lives is to think, "Oh, how useless and powerless I am!" It is important to have a strong force of mind thinking, "I can do it," this not being mixed with pride or any other afflictive emotions.Moderate effort over a long period of time is important, no matter what you are trying to do. One brings failure on oneself by working extremely hard at the beginning, attempting to do too much and then giving it all up after a short time. A constant stream of moderate effort is needed. Similarly, when meditating, you need to be skillful by having frequent, short sessions; it is more important that the session be good quality than it be long.When you have such effort, you have the necessary "substances" for developing concentration. Concentration is a matter channelizing this mind which is presently distracted in a great many directions. A scattered mind does not have much power. When channelized, no matter what the object of observation is, the mind is very powerful.There is no external way to channelize the mind, as by a surgical operation; it must be done by withdrawing it inside. Withdrawal of the mind also occurs in deep sleep in which the factor of alertness has become unclear; therefore, here the withdrawal of the mind is to be accompanied by very strong clarity of alertness. In brief, the mind must have stability staying firmly on its object, great clarity of the object, and alert, clear, sharp tautness.His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
The goal of buddhist meditation is Nibbana. We incline towards the peace of Nibbana and away from the complexities of the sensual realm, the endless cycles of habit. Nibbana is a goal that can be realized in this lifetime. We don’t have to wait until we die to know if it’s real.http://www.buddhanet.net/nowknow3.htm
"There are so many stories about meditation around of wonderful experiences but also of horrible ones. Some people think that meditation is very difficult and that they are not ready for it. They doubt their ability to do it.But Ajahn Chah always referred to it (meditation) as ‘a holiday of the heart’.I remember when I first heard him say that, I thought, ‘Holiday? I am not having a holiday!’ It was hard work. My attitude then was very much that it involved very wilful and intense practices. My whole psychological mechanism was always goal oriented – achieving; proving myself; getting something; getting somewhere. With meditation, all these attitudes of ‘go for it’, ‘get it’, ‘conquer the defilements (kilesa)’, ’work hard and get good results with all this willfulness’ do not help. I had plenty of will power in those days and I could make myself do all kinds of things but the result was never very peaceful and certainly not liberating in any way.Ajahn Chah’s reflection ‘holiday of the heart’ implied that being a holiday, you can rest your heart. You don’t have to try and prove yourself when having a holiday of the heart or the mind (citta). Just contemplate that and notice your own attitudes about Buddhist meditation, whatever they might be ‑ whether you think you can do it and are expectant, or you think it’s hard work and you can’t do it and are therefore filled with dread. Whatever you think, my advice is just be the Buddho, the observer. Buddho is being at ease and accepting everything."