View Full Version : Looking within/Looking without

8th July 2000, 21:12
I've been doing a little thinking about the nature of meditation - how it can seem somewhat paradoxical that some systems stress looking within, to delve within the deepest regions of the mind, whilst others stress extending yourself outwards, to fully engage with the world around you..
I was curious how others dealt with this apparently dichotomous view of meditation - or whether you see there being a difference at all?
I have my own views on this, but I'd like to hear those of others before I start putting forth myself ;)

8th July 2000, 23:38
Meditation is included in the curriculum of many martial as a yin/in/um to balance the yang/yo of training.

The Headless Horseman
23rd July 2000, 09:15
Dear DJM,
I see it as an inward journey but it is not a cerebral activity. I think one finds peace within because the repetition of a mantra allows you to take your mind away from the (external) cares and distractions & things going on around. I wish I could do it more than Ihave time to!
I see it as taking your mind away from silly day to day things that might fill one's life so that when your being is in complete silence then your maker or the universe or whatever can be engaged. I think that means going on an inward journey to touch that (what might seem external)experience! (If that made any sense!)

Just to share a story with everyone: A woman on a retreat couldn't get the hang of meditation so a priest told her the story of the pole; It is the story of a man who worshipped a God devoutly and the God said to him "You have been so loyal to me I shall reward you with a servant" . The man was happy as he was able to use the servant to create a comfortable lifestyle. The servant was able to perform any task. The day came when the man had finished building everything and had everything organised, so he just wanted to relax and enjoy his surroundings. He quickly noticed two things about the servant. 1. He needed more jobs to do and 2. He couldn't be sent away. Each day the servant was pestering the man for more jobs and the man was trying to look for things for him to do. The roles were now reversed; the man became the servant and the servant became the master. The man went back to the God and asked of what he could do. The God said "chop down a tree, strip it and erect it in your courtyard. Tie a rope to the top of it and just ask the servant to run up and down the trunk until you have another job". The man did this and then he was happy and the servant was happy.
As it turns out. The tree trunk represents the straight spine from posture during meditation. The climbing up & down of the servant represents the mantra and the rope is the breath! Just a thought incase anyone is trying to deal with a restless servant of a mind!

Kind Regards,
Bernie Accola.

4th August 2000, 08:27
This is an interesting question.

To meditate (meditating being an incorrect, but unavoidable translation and usage of word Dhyana), means to simply be in the moment. We're not trying to find answers. We're simply letting them appear. On the flip side, we're not letting the mind wander aimlessly (thus attaching itself to (insert thought here) ). It's that whole neutrality/middle ground thing.

Moving along- this process, of just simply being, brings out what's inside us, which in turn, "engages" more deeply with the world around us. So "looking within" creates a more indepth connection with the world around us.

For example, how could we truly understand the workings of the universe, if we didn't understand the workings of our own planet?

Through this view, it makes sense that by throwing oneself into the world around them (like the Yamabushi and their near death training), they can reach a better understanding of oneself also. Just as through study of the universe, we can learn more about how Earth's ecosystems work. Paradoxal? Yeah, maybe. But isn't a paradox a logical contridiction? Personally, I feel this is near/on point, but I've always been the first to admit when I'm mistaken, so I'll leave that open ended.

In the end, regardless of the method, the goal is reached, which is the very process in and of itself.

just some feelings on the matter :)