How Not to Meditate – A Story

A young friend of mine asked me: What is Meditation? I said: It is difficult to tell what is meditation since there are as many schools of meditation as there are Swamijis. But then I offered to tell him what is NOT meditation with the help of  a funny story that I read recently.

This is the story of a dhobie living at the outskirts of a village all by himself. He was a very sincere and hard-working guy. He had a donkey, which was equally hard-working and quite loyal to its master. In turn, the dhobi was also very attached to the donkey. One day, to his dismay, the dhobie found his donkey missing. He searched all over the village and was  frustrated as he could not trace his companion. He was so overwhelmed by sadness that he closed his eyes as if in a meditative pose for hours on end. The villagers slowly gathered around him and thought the guy was in deep meditation. Hours & days passed and there was no sign of the dhobie opening his eyes. Some villagers concluded that he had become a holy man and attained a state of  ‘samadhi’. So they began offering him flowers  and fruits as a mark of their respect. Some villagers were eagerly waiting for the dhobie to open his eyes so that they could listen to his words of wisdom. One day, at last, he opened his eyes. Everyone thought  he would be delivering a sermon. However, to everybody’s amusement, as soon as he opened his eyes, his very first question was: WHERE IS MY DONKEY?

Doesn’t the story reflect the state of our minds trying to do meditation? We set out to do meditation while our minds are still filled with mundane issues and problems. What can one expect from such an unclean mind, at the end of  a meditation, except to inquire about our missing donkeys?

So, my message to my young friend was: Meditation is only for the mentally disciplined people who have managed to purify & still their minds.

Published in: on June 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

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