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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

What is Meditation?

In his book, “The Path to Enlightenment” the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet insists that every lama is his own sect. I shall, therefore, do my best to explain what meditation is from my perspective of the teachings of both the Buddha and Lao Tzu (who gave us the Tao Te Ching).

The founders of both Taoism and Buddhism agree that there is no shortage of stress and that our controlling tendencies and primal survival drives tend to exacerbate our stressors quite a bit. They both taught that the peace, happiness, and fulfillment we experience is directly proportional to the degree to which we have let go of our controlling tendencies as well as primal drives and, instead, lovingly flow from centered spontaneity. The various techniques of contemplation and meditation ARE the tools that help us to master either the three treasures of the Tao, or the Buddha’s eight-fold path. From this perspective meditation is NOT merely something that merely makes us feel spaced out or relaxed.

A great meditation teacher is an awful lot like Qui Gon Jinn whereas a bad meditation teacher is more like Mace Windu. Sadly there are far more meditation teachers of Mace Windu’s ilk than there are with the gentle genius of Qui Gon Jinn.

May you have the very good fortune to work with a teacher of whom both Lao Tzu and the Buddha would give an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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