It has sometimes been said that meditation is important, that it improves one’s health, that it eliminates stress and anxiety. It is also said that meditation helps us to find enlightenment. That state which, while nobody knows what it is, many people would like to reach because they believe that it is the end of pain and the solution to everything in their life. Based on all of this, the fashion for meditating, like that for many other positive things, has become established in our society. However, very few people practise with honesty. They believe that appearing to do so is sufficient, but the truth is that this only serves to harm us.
If you want to meditate, you must ask yourself whether you have been called to do so in this life. In any case, you will always be called to love and to recognise the love within you.
Some people believe that meditation is a path that we should all embrace, and this may be true to a certain extent, but we are not all called upon to meditate for many hours, and much less to become enlightened. That does not mean that our life has no meaning. If you have not been called in this life, perhaps you will be called in the next. What you need to be clear about is that there is something to which we have all been called and that is to recognise our inner light; to realise that there is a supreme intelligence located in our breast which steers our life towards the path to love. Anything that veers from this is a mistake that sooner or later will cause us some kind of suffering, be it physical, emotional, or of another type.
Meditation is not a path that removes pain one hundred per cent, nor by which we will cease to feel the things we like less, but the path to unite us with what is good and to bring us closer to our creator.
If you want to meditate because you believe that it is your path, the first thing you must do is to ask yourself whether you really want to do good on earth, to yourself, to those around you. If you are not sure, then it is better not to meditate until this is clear. Many people who meditate think that with this they will obtain enlightenment and that when they do so they will be happy forever, and that they will never again feel any annoyance, or pain, or anger, or fear, or sadness. They are mistaken, the purpose of enlightenment is not this, but to be closer to God, the Universe, or whatever you call that force that transcends and has created us. Now, if you think that meditating will eliminate pain, you are mistaken. The idea is that with it you can do good to another who will also be enlightened, so that we will all be closer to our creator, and thereby learn to take better decisions and not become easily upset with the difficulties of life which, at the end of the day, although it does not appear that way to us, are all illusory, and of course impermanent, just as all that exists in the world is impermanent, because everything has been called on to be born, to last a certain time and to die. Only God remains for ever, everything else is perishable.
Enlightenment helps us to face life better, with more equanimity, but it does not free us from the trials or difficult circumstances that we must experience.
If you would one day like to be enlightened by practice you must take into account that first it is necessary for you to know yourself. To be more aware of your feelings, of your mechanisms, of how you sometimes react automatically in certain situations or when you simply hear certain words, or the way you play tricks to avoid certain changes in your life. You must know yourself in such depth as to know whether your heart really yearns to love, or whether you only seek to free yourself from pain to feel better on earth. I must tell you that enlightenment does not free you from pain, it merely helps you to feel better with yourself, and to relativise some things that previously caused you extreme concern or filled you with an irrational mental fear.
Thanks to enlightenment we obtain more resources to face the pain of the world and we acquire the skill to love our neighbour more without thinking that this makes us better.
If you want to be enlightened you need to know that with this you are not going to solve all your problems forever, not by a long way, rather they will continue to come, and the trials may now be much more difficult than before, but you will also have more resources with which to face them, and you will never wish to die however difficult the adversity. Instead, you will wish to overcome it all, and to continue to love with your heart wide open. Many people think that to love is to enjoy. There is a degree of pain implicit in love. If your loved-one suffers, you will feel that pain, from not knowing how to prevent their suffering. If someone dies of an overdose, if somebody is abused, if the world is torn apart by pain, you will feel pain upon seeing all of this. Enlightenment does not mean desensitisation from anything. On the contrary, you will feel everything more, but at the same time you will usually remain equanimous in the light of it all.
Enlightenment helps us to live life with coherence, but it does not deliver us from difficulties, and it does not invite us to feel superior. Perhaps you can feel that you are just another person among many ordinary people.
If you wish for enlightenment you must prioritise above all the idea that you can do things while thinking about doing good to others, always, even when your selfish interests may be damaged. I know of cases of practising people who suffer the pride of the practitioner. They believe themselves to be better than others because they have been on the path for longer, but the reality is that nobody knows who has been on the path for longer, because nobody knows how many lives we have lived and how we got on in them, whether we have really taken vows of love, or the opposite. All of these are things you must think of before feeling superior. A person with a high level never feels superior to anybody. On the contrary, they may tend to feel inferior. You will see that this may be more common than you think. That, being enlightened, in reality one feels like just another person, who must also fight with life like any other normal person, and in that process one will encounter difficulties, like everybody, and also difficult trials, and with many difficulties that are unimaginable for ordinary people.
If you think that enlightenment is conserving everything you have, you are mistaken. Sometimes it implies sacrifice with a view to loving better. And the difficulties are always greater than those faced by ordinary people.
Now, in spite of all of this you may tell me that you really want to be enlightened. That is perfect, but first, you must think about whether you are really willing to make sacrifices for love. Most people do not wish to make any sacrifice, they grasp, they cling, they defend the things that they falsely believe are theirs and snatch entitlements from others. That is not love, but selfishness. It is not a question of renouncing what you are entitled to, but that which you know is wrong. We all know what is bad and good, what is correct and what is not, and if you have doubts about it, you should consult a wise, trustworthy person, perhaps someone who is enlightened, because enlightenment gives the person more wisdom. But you must also be careful with whom you share your most private things, because not all who appear enlightened really are, and not all the ordinary people who you believe to be unenlightened are lacking enlightenment. There are ordinary people who nobody knows are enlightened and who are wise. I believe that the cochayuyo fisherman has experienced some kind of awakening, to talk as he does. I attach his video. I do not know him, and I can confirm nothing, but his words and the way he says them are signs that inspire my trust.
On the path a teacher is always necessary with whom you can talk from time to time to determine matters that are not one hundred per cent clear. In the absence of a teacher, a humanist or transpersonal psychotherapist may also be able to help you on some issues.
When you approach somebody, you should observe how they live, how they make their living, how they eat, how they behave, the lifestyle they lead. It is not easy to interpret straight away whether or not the person is really enlightened. Furthermore, there are many degrees of enlightenment. An enlightened person is not always the most appropriate to help you if they are passing through a difficult period. In these cases the best thing is to visit an experienced professional psychotherapist within the humanist or transpersonal model, since behaviourism which is based solely on changing behaviour is very deficient in many issues, and psychoanalysis is too complex to venture into, especially if it is Freudian. In short, you will sometimes need somebody who will really help you to find clarification if you have doubts about whether you are doing the right thing. Based on this, you will know whether, to continue correctly, you must make some sacrifice that is painful for you with the aim of positioning yourself to do what is good, what is ethical, what would be loving better.
If you are not willing to make sacrifices to do good, this means that the path of meditation is not for you. Instead you should solve your issues with other more simple routes such as sport, psychotherapy, volunteering and many other things.
Therefore, if you are not willing to make sacrifices, do not enter the path of meditation or you will merely harm yourself. It is better for you to begin your path by doing other types of things, such as learning to eat better, becoming sensitive to the things that happen in the world so as to do your bit to improve them, attending psychotherapy, going to group therapy. In short, any path that does not imply an immersion within yourself. In those cases it is better to use sport to reduce your stress or simply work a bit less even if you earn less. In short, thousands of simple and easy solutions that do not involve setting out on a path to enlightenment.
Using meditation to try to gain powers is the worst thing that can happen to you, you can lose your soul in the attempt. If that is your motivation you should not practise meditation or it will be very dangerous for you.
If what you want is to have powers when you become enlightened, you must know that it will end badly. You may achieve it, but you will also lose your soul and you will enter a black hole from which it will be very difficult to emerge. In the first place, the powers provided by enlightenment should not be boasted of, they should be maintained in the most absolute privacy. Second, they should be used to do good, and not to obtain things for yourself. Third, you should not use them so that people cease to suffer, but to teach them to do this themselves if they are prepared to embark on that path. I know that these things cause you to doubt, but if that is so, you are not prepared to begin a path to enlightenment. It could be very dangerous for you, especially if you focus on powers, because these will come, but they are not the target of enlightenment, otherwise, you would obtain that, but without enlightenment, and then you would have another type of awakening that would take you to evil.
If you believe you have an experience of enlightenment at any level, you should talk about it to a teacher, who will position you where you really are. If not, wait, it will come. Meanwhile, do good or join with others to do it until you know whether you will have your own or a shared project.
When you have or believe you have an enlightenment, the first thing you should do is talk to a teacher who belongs to a serious lineage, who offers you guarantees, and explain to him or her in depth what you feel, and this way he or she will be able to tell you whether you have really achieved a degree of enlightenment and exactly where you are. If the teacher sees a great heart in you, he or she may invite you to train as a teacher, since one does not receive training for this anywhere, it must be given by another teacher. If you do not receive individual training, it is better for you not to be a teacher and to do good on your own until that teacher arrives. Nobody can learn to be a teacher alone, and if they try they could do a lot of damage to their disciples. They must simply continue to do good. Not all those who are enlightened are called to be teachers, but to do good in their own projects or those of others, especially if you chose to come to earth with that sole aim, as is the case of indigo children. Finding them is wonderful. Their gaze is transparent, they are people full of sublime love and deeply committed to good. It is always a pleasure to look at them, because they are simply beautiful, whatever their race.
A teacher distinguishes the best way to love the other. What is clear is that to be loved you have to love. In the ultimate experience of enlightenment one perceives that this love unites everything with everything, to this end you must understand it experientially and not cognitively.
To receive love, as you know, you must first learn to give it. I know people who receive it but are not capable of corresponding. Those people need to be taught to give their love, therefore it is not appropriate to give them so much. A teacher is well aware of these things. People do not know how to give love. They distinguish love when they receive it, but they do not know how to love. That is why the aim of enlightenment is to teach others to love themselves and everything around them better, since everything is full of God, not only people, but also animals, plants and even inert objects. Everything is full of the divine spark, without it they could not exist in this dimension. When you discover this deeply and not merely intuitively, that is when you will have reached a greater enlightenment. But knowing this means understanding it not cognitively, but experientially. If you do not yet have this experience you are not prepared to be a teacher or to help anybody, even if you have had another type of awakening or enlightenment.
To know where you are in reality, whether it is plain and simple goodness or love, you must ask for help to consult on it. Of course, being good is wonderful and must be maintained, but that alone is not love.
If you want to be a teacher, first examine your life, it must be upright in doing and being. There are many practitioners who persevere in the life of doing and who comply correctly with everything by doing good but without love. It is bad if you sometimes believe that your do-gooding is love, since being good is a fine thing, but it is not love, it is doing good, yes, and that is very positive and you must maintain it, but it is not love. Life will then place you in situations where you must make sacrifices in the name of love, and you will see that if you are only doing good you will find it very difficult to make these sacrifices, you will believe that you are entitled to have things that perhaps are not really for you, and only a very wise person will be able to clarify whether they are or not, or whether, instead of connecting with your inner light to guide you, you connect with the desire of your ego which is interested and cold. Look at what the people around you are telling you, the consequences brought about by your behaviour. Look at what happens without sacrificing. It is not easy to see certain subtleties when you believe that you are very advanced on the path and the reality is otherwise. In these cases, you must speak with honesty and transparency about all your feelings and actions with a wise and neutral person, either a psychotherapist or a teacher. What could be better than consulting both?
To practise meditation, if you have decided to begin, you must know that practice is not merely sitting in a chair or on the floor. One also practises in life and it is in the latter where our own traps appear for us to resolve.
In short, what I want to say is that the path to enlightenment is not for everybody, but it may be the time to begin to follow it, even if you do not achieve it in this life. You must wait, but you must not be discouraged or give up. A great deal of practice is required, and not only in the chair but especially in life. We do not all have the same vocation, but what is clear is that it is necessary to know how to sit in the chair and in life. If you think that you will achieve it by practising without making changes in your life, you are mistaken. First, you need to know yourself very well, with all the ways you lay traps for yourself, with all your mechanisms, and then, yes, you will be able to open yourself to other states. Therefore, the place to begin is a path to honest self-development, where you are willing to see your own errors, because if your pride prevents you from seeing them and expressing them to the right people, that will mean that you are far from reaching enlightenment in this life.
If your path is not that of enlightenment it does not matter, you can always live a full and happy life experiencing true Love in your life towards your near and dear ones.
If you want to live intensely without having enlightenment, it is really very easy. I have done it and I have had a one hundred per cent full life. It is sufficient to love authentically all the people around you, of all kinds, whether you know them well or slightly. That is all you need. If enlightenment then arrives one day, it will be welcome, but meanwhile your life is full of meaning and enjoyment, because loving, it is true, causes pain sometimes, but most of the time it gives great pleasure. You just need to allow yourself to be embraced by inner love and from there you can send it outwards. If you do not know how to do so, just think that you want to surrender yourself. Few people surrender in a hug. Very often, they want to love you by squeezing you harder, but love is not a matter of strength, although sometimes there is strength. If you want to love, learn to hug. And if you are not a touchy-feely person, learn to give without touching, it can also be done. I know a zen teacher who does it very well without touching, and she really loves you one hundred per cent. Her name is Ana Maria Schlüter, and she is on the path of zen. She in turn has named other teachers who will also be able to help you. But you must choose the teacher carefully, it is not trivial, you must ensure that their personality suits your own.
If your path is that of enlightenment, you must begin as soon as possible seeking a serious path and a teacher with lineage both of which are good. I practise vipassana and Tao, but there are other ways such as zen.
Choosing the path and the teacher is not easy, and if you are clear about wanting to meditate, this is where you must start. At this point in time, I do not recommend a teacher, but I do recommend paths. For example, in Tao, in Vipassana, in Zen, you can find serious paths to learn practices located in goodness with the aim of enlightening you. As for the names of the teachers I know, in this article I prefer to keep them to myself, and I will speak of them to you at a later date if you wish to contact them to begin the path. I mentioned one in the previous paragraph because I believed that I should acknowledge publicly what she has given me, but at this moment in time I do not recommend her or anybody else. You must seek in your heart. Later, I trust that I will be able to recommend renowned teachers in Spain. At present, as I say, I do not recommend anybody in particular. Although I invite you to search the internet and begin to make your own enquiries. There are some very good teachers in Spain. We are very lucky to have them among us. I hope to be able to give you some names later.
When you choose a way, practise it rigorously for at least a year. This will help you to find out whether the way and the teacher suit your personality in order to enter states of nothingness. It is important to bear in mind that you must seek only one teacher to instruct you as a teacher, although you may be close to several during the course of your life.
It is not appropriate to set out along a path if you have not sampled both it and the teacher a little. You must practise it faithfully for at least a year. Some people say three months. I believe that a year is sufficient. When you enter you will see what the teacher is like, how they live, what they say, what they do, and then later you can see whether you also like the type of practice and you can stay with it peacefully. For example, I very much like silence, and practices with a lot of guidance sometimes confuse me. I have liked them, but I increasingly like silence. You must analyse where you are in time, and see which practice you find most comfortable to gain peace. At present, I practise both Tao and vipassana, but it is advisable for you to select just one way. Nobody can be a master of two different paths. You must choose one. You can also have various teachers, but to be one yourself in my opinion you must select just one, and not mix the teachings of different teachers. Once on the way, with practice and experience, you can enrich the path, but at the beginning it is necessary to be one hundred per cent faithful to the teacher.
The personality of the teacher must be in harmony with yours, for love to flow with no hard edges or fears, so that you can communicate openly with him. All of this is important when selecting a teacher. I am still seeking mine.
The personality of the teacher is also important. Some people like stricter teachers. Others, such as myself for example, are damaged by personalities of that type, because mine is excessively flexible. I need a teacher who is also flexible and who will help me to place my flexibility in the service of God and for the good of the earth. We all need to discover ourselves a little before delving deeper, and see whether the teacher is the one for us. I have been with several teachers, but that does not mean that I want them to be mine, even though I respect them. I am still searching for a teacher, because I do not yet have one, although I have followed several one way or another, but when I have felt prepared to choose one, he or she was not available at that time and I still do not know whether to embrace the one who likes me. It is difficult to choose a teacher, because a conjunction of both things is necessary, that they like you and that you like them, that your personalities are similar and at the same time complementary, that love flows freely between you both with no hard edges or fears of any kind, and that you are ready to follow him or her exclusively knowing that perhaps there will be involuntary errors arising from his or her own humanity. There are many factors to consider when selecting a teacher. I am still seeking mine and that is why I do not dare to recommend anybody in particular. Of course I practise vipassana and Tao with teachers, but I do not consider at present that any of them is really my teacher with whom I would like to train to be a teacher, if one day any of them should see in me the level to be instructed for this.
It is recommendable that the teacher should come from an ancestral lineage that provides guarantees, somebody positioned one hundred per cent in goodness, and in whom you must trust, without criticising because, being human like you, he or she has already overcome more trials than you.
Now, if you are already lucky enough to have a teacher, so much the better, that will greatly facilitate things for you, because it will be sufficient to let yourself be guided by him for everything to turn out well. You must ask him about his lineage. Who named him a teacher, how he reached that point. He or she may tell you these things without being asked. Do not worry. That is the way things are, if you are on the correct path you will know. Do not change your path only because of a small conflict with the teacher. You must persevere and be patient until you see things clearly. Do not criticise the teacher. If he or she has become one and has been recognised by another teacher, it is because he or she has really overcome many trials and knows much more than you. Never question them. Your ego is sure to invite you to do so, do not give way to that temptation.
If your teacher accidentally fails, do not judge him, you do not know how that error came about. Even if he has made mistakes with you, forgive him and help him with love, if you are able, to lead him back to good. What kind of disciple leads a teacher back to goodness without falling into vanity?
Of course, the teacher has failings, he is a normal person who has advanced further. He is a very special human being, but human. Sometimes he may accidentally make mistakes, even with you. You must be patient and wait for time and the circumstances of life to clarify things. There have been teachers who have temporarily abandoned their vows and they must be helped to return to them whenever this is possible and with much love, understanding and compassion in the Buddhist sense of the word. We cannot help them with criticism. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, say the sacred writings of Christianity. A teacher loves us. The teacher always loves his pupils or disciples, even if he makes mistakes, he truly loves them. Do not allow evil to make you criticise him. You must open your heart to his errors and continue to love him, forgive him and help him return to goodness. What kind of pupil or disciple can help his teacher return to goodness if he has left it? The best disciple that teacher could have, and of course, if vanity arises for this reason in the disciple, it will be a sign that it is the latter who has fallen, and it is the teacher who will help him. The teacher and the disciple help each other to walk the path with love.
For the path to be fruitful, it is necessary to live your life in the service of others. If your work allows this, so much the better, if not, life is sure to provide you with situations to help the people near you and do your work ethically. That will help to bring you closer to enlightenment if it is not done with that aim or any other interest.
For your path to be fruitful and to bring you ever closer to enlightenment, it is not sufficient to live an upright life, you must be attentive to helping those around you in order to win points in God’s eyes, but be careful, you must always do so from a vocation free from selfish desire, with total gratitude, without expecting anything in exchange, even enlightenment, although you are sure to receive many good things in return. Helping other people to be happy is the greatest happiness to which one can aspire, and if that helps you on your way, do it without thinking twice. This ingredient together with that of an exemplary life in every respect which includes eating and acting well, will be, together with the practice of goodness and love, both in the chair and in life, the keys to success on your path.
I am not the one who should tell you which is the truth that you must follow, you must be the one to discover what you must do on the path of your life. Make sure you can talk about certain things with the right people positioned in goodness.
Now you will tell me that perhaps I know something about this, or perhaps I know nothing. I will tell you that I am inspired by my inner light to write this, and it will be a teacher who will determine whether or not what I am saying is correct. I invite you to search for your teacher if you truly want to begin the path, but do not believe anything I say, at the end of the day these are my experiences, and I am not one hundred per cent sure that it is correct to publish all of this, which I have a feeling is somewhat private. I do so to help you, to tell you that to begin on the path you must be one hundred per cent good and learn to love with the sacrifices that this entails, and that, if you are not willing to follow an ethical and upright life, it is better not to start, and that if you are seeking powers, even less so, otherwise sooner or later you will fall into evil. I wish you enlightenment so that between us all we can build a better planet on which we can be happy. Thank you for reading and for being here.