We must get used to practising meditation in an orderly manner always. There is no point in doing it simply because others are doing it. If so we become a group of people who refuse a big gain for ourselves and make the world also lose. If we do it in an orderly manner we can acquire the results that can be obtained from meditating.
Why do we say so? The Buddha says that this Dhamma is not sterile. The Dhamma is alive. The Dhamma has the quality of “Akalika” (not belonging to time). We think of that characteristic, we accept that characteristic and make this statement. If we accept this Dhamma we get the ability to practise meditation carefully. We become people who can do it in an orderly manner.
That cannot be built up mechanically. Doing it in an orderly manner cannot be done mechanically. It is something that has to arise within oneself. There are some things that can be done mechanically. We can instruct a laborer to bring a brick every minute. He will bring one brick every minute. He does it in an orderly manner.
That is mechanical. There is a machine which produces something every minute. That happens in an orderly manner. That is mechanical.
But meditating cannot be done mechanically. An individual may try to do so. But after a few days he will give up saying “This cannot be done”. Such things do not happen? He may try to do little by little. After some time he will abandon it saying “This won’t do. This is impossible”. Why? Because he has no conviction that it has to be done in an orderly manner. Carries out for a short while and abandons it. Why? He has doubts. No confidence.
If there is confidence we practise Dhamma and meditating in an orderly manner. If one is aware of the existence of gems, if he is confident about it he will select the appropriate soil leaving out the useless parts, wash it, leave out the pebbles and select the precious stones. One who has no confidence, one who has no knowledge of the technology cannot do it.
Therefore we must realise that we have to have a strong belief that the path to Nibbana exists in this Dhamma. One who has that confidence meditates carefully. Does it in an orderly manner. This requires some time. It does not happen in a day or two. Not in a week, in a month or two or in a year or two. We cannot restrict it to a short period.
Because it cannot be completed in a limited time we have to dedicate our entire life for it. It takes a long time to do something carefully and in an orderly manner. It is not reasonable to think of ending an extremely long Samsara in one or two weeks. If we say in ordinary language we have to say that it is unfair. This is a Samsaric journey which takes a very long time. We have to travel a journey the end of which is not visible to us.
So is it fitting to think of finishing it in an hour or two? It is not realistic. But we should think of putting an end to this Samsaric journey even after dedicating our entire life for it. That is why we thought of highlighting the relevant preaching and explaining what have to be practised, how they have to be practised.
Therefore accept these Dhammas. Believe in them. Have confidence in them. Then you become calmed down persons on your own. The hurry gets left out. Wakefulness arises in you. Wakefulness does not arise spontaneously. It cannot be built up mechanically. You become awakened only by accepting this Dhamma. That is a reality. It cannot be forced by anyone.
Therefore if you want to stay in an awakened state believe in this Dhamma. We must arrive at the state where we feel that this Dhamma is a truth and that if practised it gives results. Then we will remain awakened. Then one can do this without being prompted by someone. One can do it without being forced by someone. There is no need for someone to ask “Do this. Have you done it today?” One does it willingly. If there is any problem we get it explained and carry on.
After sometime results of what one practises start surfacing. Then what he believed becomes a certainty. As what he believed becomes more and more certain his journey gets accelerated. If there is someone looking for the road he will explain it to that person. As he continues to see the road signs his belief gets enhanced. As the belief gets enhanced he accelerates his journey.
Because he practised slowly at the beginning will he proceed slowly at the end also? No. One has to start slowly at the beginning. Why? He has to get things cleared up. Until things get cleared up one has to go slowly.
That is one thing meant by saying that it is done in an orderly manner. So if you also place confidence in this Dhamma it will be possible to practise Dhamma and meditation in an orderly manner and make our life successful.
If that does not happen we may get into a hurry and close this opportunity that has come our way. Therefore if we are to get results from a meditation we should have a good confidence and a good impression in Dhamma. These are mentioned at the beginning because they have to be formed at the beginning itself. If not we cannot do so later.
An individual may proceed with the practice of Dhamma and meditation in a hurry without forming a confidence in the Dhamma. Finally confusion sets in.
Then where does he put the blame? He doubts the Dhamma. When one doubts the Dhamma he will never be able to get help from Dhamma. Then what does he doubt? He doubts the person who explained the Dhamma. Then it becomes impossible for him to do anything. He loses whatever little he had.
Therefore as a person who is practicing Dhamma and meditation what one has to do at the beginning is to repel all doubts about the Dhamma. Therefore read these preachings well. Read them and develop confidence in the understanding of Buddha.
Then you will become people who are in a state of wakefulness. You will start doing it in an orderly manner. We therefore bless all of you to be fortunate to develop in your minds a strong confidence in the path to Nibbana explained by the Buddha.
By Dr Padmaka Silva, Compiled with instructions by Ven Ariyawansa Thero.
This article has been taken from Daily News online edition.