CHENNAI : We are concerned with life, with the living of that life of every day — the struggle, the pain, the fleeting pleasures, the fears, the despair, the sorrow, the loneliness, the utter absence of love, the crude and subtle forms of selfishness; and of course there is the ultimate fear of death. The quality of meditation is important. The word itself means to ponder over, think over, enter deeply into the issue.
So meditation then is not what to do, or how to think, or how to control the mind so that it is quiet, silent, but rather in the very understanding of all these problems, the beauty of silence comes into being. For without beauty in life — not the beauty in those mountains, in those trees, in the light on the water, or in the bird on the wing, but the beauty in living — to come upon that in daily life, whether it is in the office, or at home, or when you are walking by yourself, communing with nature and with the world, if there is no beauty then life, the very living has no significance whatsoever.
So if you will, we will together go into this question, not only objectively, outwardly, and also inwardly. The outward movement is the inward movement, the two are not separate. The outgoing tide and the incoming tide. To understand both, not separate, not divided, is the whole question of meditation. The complete harmony, the complete balance, the total way of living in which there is no contradiction is the way of meditation, is the meditative mind.
In meditation there is involved many things. First, the whole concept of concentration. If a mind doesn’t know how to meditate, if you do not know how to live — and you consider living is just going to the office, having a car, leading a superficial life, spending an evening drinking cocktails, or going to a cinema, or being entertained — if that is all life then your life is very shallow, empty, dull. And unfortunately modern civilisation, specially in this country, is becoming even more standardised, superficial. So meditation is important for every human being, whether he is highly sophisticated or a simple person by the wayside.
Meditation involves concentration. And concentration, as one observes, is a way of exclusion. That is, concentration implies forcing thought in one particular directed direction, excluding all else. To concentrate upon, to direct, to focus your mind. And in doing that you exclude, you put a barrier, build a wall so that no other element, thought, influence enters. And in doing that there is a dualistic process at work, a division, a contradiction, which is fairly obvious, into which we need not go, because our time is very limited and we have to deal, in this hour, a great deal.
So meditation is something other than concentration, though concentration is necessary, meditation involves much more than concentration, or control of thought. And it involves attention, not concentration: to attend. That means to give your mind, your heart, your body passionately to attend to something. In that attention, if you observe very carefully, there is neither the thinker nor the thought, neither the observer nor the observed, but only a state of attention. And to attend so completely, so fully, there must be freedom.