The Great Protectors
Well rested, well fed, sitting up, relax while maintaining attention. Apply attention to the breath, which is always happening right now.
But something happens. The world comes in. JUST watch. We need not get involved. We need not resist.
A cloud passes overhead. Let it pass.
A thought passes in the head. Let it pass.
Happiness starts to well up. Let it rise like a pond fed by an underground source, no inlets, no outlets, but cool, clean, and refreshing.Sink into it. But keep witnessing without judging. This is "mindfulness," simple naked awareness that we do not clothe with interpretation, imputation, or discerning. Discerning is for later.
First, we are calm, cool, and collected, gathering the mind into samadhi.
- samādhi: the final limb or factor of Eightfold Yoga (Ashtanga) derived from sam (together) + ā (completely) + dhā (to hold).
So samādhi means "to hold together completely," Baba Hari Dass explains (Ashtanga Yoga Primer).
Yoga distinguishes dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (superconsciousness), as if samadhi were the point of the Quest, of spiritual striving. It may be the goal for yoga, Brahmanism, or Hinduism.
But the goal of Buddhism is to go beyond that to the perfection of wisdom:
Samādhi is the launchpad. Liberating-insight is the goal. The Buddha defined "right concentration" (samma-samādhi) in the Noble Eightfold Path as the first four jhanas (dhyanas or absorptions).
Even if we worry, let go. Even if we want something, let go. Even if we "should" or "must" or are about to "die," let go. Just for this moment. We can do it for this moment.
And relaxing like that, a natural thing happens. Expectations stand in the way. It's to be experienced, not to be conceptualized and judged. We're conceptualizing and judging all the time anyway. Give it a rest, and get a rest. And all the rest, just let it go.