The inviting atmosphere in the Nalanda Shrine Hall saw another huge turnout for the second group meditation of the Gimhana Retreat. Guided by Bro. H S Tan, yogis sat with gladdened minds, full of gratitude and appreciation for this opportunity to practise.
Before we began, Bro. Tan recalled the teachings from last week and reminded us to affirm our faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. With full devotion and respect for the Three Jewels, we will be motivated to keep our virtues (sīla) intact. Good conduct supports our meditation practice as less mental obstruction can potentially arise.
With a vision in mind, thoughts in check and our posture adjusted, we are ready to begin watching the ‘inflow and outflow’ of our breath. “When we breathe in long, we know we breathe in long. When we breathe in short, we know we breathe in short.” Observing like a third party with no need to control the breath, we realised that watching our breath can be done anytime, anywhere! This makes the practice of meditation ‘portable’, and can be done simply at any moment.
Bro. Tan encouraged us to meditate daily for our own well-being. Despite our ‘bad days’ when we slacken in practice, we must always urge ourselves to persevere. As the saying goes “practice makes perfect”; we too will eventually improve spiritually if we were to persist in our meditation.
After the 40-minute meditation session, Bro. Tan shared his experiences, inspiring Nalandians to form a new habit of ‘non-grasping’.
Like a worn recorder-player, many of us repeat thoughts in our heads. We continue holding on to our past, thus impeding our own progress. By constantly revisiting the past, we inhibit ourselves from moving on and improving.
Having understood the nature of this hindering habit, we are encouraged to begin cultivating a new positive habit of ‘non-grasping’. With regular practice, we can discern wholesome thoughts from unwholesome ones. We can also cultivate wisdom to skilfully uproot unwholesome weeds such as anger and selfish desires.
There are 2 types of tension that can be discerned :-
To free yourself from suffering is to free yourself from grasping. To free yourself from grasping is to be free from unwholesome habits. To free yourself from unwholesome habits, begin the cultivation of wholesome habits NOW.
Do come and join us for the teaching by Bro. Tan this Sunday, 10 June 2012, from 9am – 12pm. All are welcome!