Formal sitting meditation is not a good time to reflect on the day’s events or who was right or wrong about something that happened earlier. If we enter into another kind of inner dialogue when we should be learning concentration or other states of mind, we are doing it wrong. That is because it arouses negative states of mind when we should be cultivating positive states.
For example: Let us say that, unfortunately, you have a big woodchuck asleep on your lap while trying to meditate. You know, alert and awake woodchucks will bite you, as they can be fairly vicious creatures if they are aroused, but right now, luckily it is asleep. This is like your primary delusion, for example, anger, which is not activated while meditating correctly. Now all you have to do is meditate without waking the woodchuck causing it to start biting you all over! Meditate carefully, especially while the woodchuck remains with you. Meanwhile, work on that problem such as anger, at other times to reduce its presence, because you really should not have to meditate with the woodchuck.
However, do not wait to be free of all obstacles and delusions before beginning a meditation practice because life is short. Living beings are waiting for you to become competent so that you can help them because, for one reason, you are karmically connected to them. Therefore, the woodchuck must remain asleep; not come alert and rush about causing havoc! Further, do not stimulate delusions while you meditate by blaming others or yourself or create mentally constructed situations where you need to make judgments about ordinary life issues.
Student: I think I missed something. Why am I vulnerable while meditating to this woodchuck on my lap?
Rinpoche: You have a habit. You thought that meditation was another kind of ordinary activity when it is not.
Student: So it is because of my view of what meditation is?
Rinpoche: Many people feel that meditation is a good time to sit quietly and think about things. That is not the time.
Another student: All these mental task files are mixed together, and so while you are meditating, for example, doing mantra, all the files are together so everything else also gets stimulated. We have been taught this in order to access information quickly, so neurologically, we get things done quickly. We are also teaching children to do that, to stimulate all at the same time, and now we are trying to unglue that and say to our self when we become distracted, "I know you are stimulated, but we are not going to do that right now," so it is an unlearning of your nervous system literally.
Another student: Yes, we are taught to multitask, so when we go into school studies or business, that is a very strong and favorable skill.
Rinpoche: While meditating, you need to develop the skill to practice carefully without stimulating other mental factors by relaxing more inside while remaining alert to the inner dynamics indicated in the specific meditation. It is also by design that I say that your woodchuck is asleep on your lap because your root chakra is where many of the delusions like to live or hibernate.
Once your root chakra becomes over stimulated, there are other remedies to deal with that such as lifting the mind with altruistic ideas or thinking about space. Once things have become more clear and comfortable, there will still be appropriate root chakra activity. We should try not stimulating that while the delusions are strong, like still having that woodchuck right there, because it is just going to bite others as well as us! Yuck! To be continued….