We are always searching outside of ourselves for an adventure, something new and exciting, thrilling, perhaps dangerous, and definitely stimulating. But the greatest adventure in life is not outside of us, but in the recesses of our own mind in meditation. Most of what we think of as adventure is born out of sensual or material interaction with the objective world. It is sense-bound, hence, limited and transient. Though very exciting to begin with, it always ends and then we keep searching for another new bit of excitement, for physical life is transient, unpredictable, and inevitably moving toward the next cycle of what next, what next!
Meditation is a new adventure for the mind. What we are seeking is the opposite of the traditional definition of adventure. Instead of excitement we are seeking relaxation, calmness and peace within. We don’t get into this stilled calmness in the very beginning of our meditation practice. We need to persevere for a long consistent time before we can expect our mind to cooperate with us on the mind’s new adventure.
To the mind that is filled with all the garbage of the past this whole concept of meditation is madness. Our mind is conditioned to believe that in order to be successful in life we need to do, do, do, to have constant stimulation, and a list of accomplishments. So we must first prove to our mind that we mean business of a different sort. We need to regularly practice the art of meditation and then instead of talking about how many mountains we climbed or cliffs we scaled, we will be able to talk about some success in this field of meditation, too.
Going inside during meditation can be a bit daunting at times because of all the commotion and noise inside our minds. When the negative thoughts come, don’t start feeling frustrated, because it is only when we are judgmental that we feel miserable. We just watch our thoughts like we are sitting in the window seat of a plane and seeing through the clouds floating past us outside the window. We are not the clouds. We just watch the clouds. So also we just watch our thoughts. If we don’t start getting involved with them, if we don’t fuel them with our commentary as to how bad they are, they will gradually die a natural death.
As we become more and more conscious of our thoughts, emotions, and physical acts in meditation, we gradually are able to purge or detoxify our inner dross. As the mind works from the plane of calm (instead of restlessness or always looking for the next adventure) it develops the power to discriminate, to discern, to distill, and strain the unwanted and only focus on those thoughts, emotions, acts which will make a person truly happy.
As such the very act of observation of the thoughts and emotions gives a different dimension to the thoughts, for observation is an act of consciousness. When we are observing, we are bringing the consciousness to our thoughts in a mindful way that makes a huge difference in the very quality of thoughts; that is the way to move in the adventurous path of self discovery. There is no greater adventure and no risky path in this path of adventure, for each person walks his or her own path, and the path is made by walking, as Buddha said.
Let us all keep in mind that only those who enjoy the journey reach the ultimate. Hence, let us not only weave dreams of the future and the successes that will come through this adventurous journey to the land of the unknowable, but also remember the walking, the very failures and very pitfalls, all of them are as glorious as the peaks and bursts of light!