What is Meditation?
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Ven. Songdam’s Dharma Talk
“What is Meditation?”
Looked for, it cannot be seen. Listened for, it cannot be heard. Felt for, it cannot be felt. This thing is the truth to be realized. Once we have an experience of the truth, on that basis we can practice. Meditation is the path for one to realized oneself. Through the path, we can arrive at the destination. Although there may be a destination, only by knowing the right path and diligently pursuing the path—can we arrive at the destination. Although we may have an aspiration to be free from birth and death, to become a Buddha that all beings and I would be happy forever—if we do not know the correct method of practice, we will not be able to accomplish this aspiration. Although we may have find the right path, if we do not practice diligently without rest or break—we cannot realize the way.
Around 3000 years ago, Lord Buddha appeared into the world and taught the Dharma. However, before that and before the appearance of the universe, the “true self” has existed. We don’t know what Buddhism is. We don’t know what meditation is. What is this life? What is this self? Where do we come from? Where do we go after living our emotion-filled lives? The more we think about it, we cannot actually know what life really is. This is why the sages of the world have spent their energies on this inquiry.
The solution to this inquiry cannot be taught through words, nor can it be resolved through hearing with our ears. No matter how hard we try to solve with reason—we will never resolve it with reason. We can only realize through the meditation process. The answer we find through reason is not the answer. The answer found through meditation is the realization. There’s a difference between realization and understanding. Understanding arrived by scholars can only produce knowledge. This will not free us from birth and death.