BENGALURU: In meditation there is involved many things. First, the whole concept of concentration. I hope you are interested in this, if you are not, tant pis, I can’t help it. Because it is one of the most essential things. 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.
You may have all the things of the world — good health, good bathrooms, good food, good cars, but without an inward life, not the second-hand inward life of another, but the inward life of your own which you have discovered, which you have cherished, which you are living, which is meditation. Without that we will not only have wars, more wars, more destruction and more misery. So meditation, whether you like it or not, is important for every human being, whether he is highly sophisticated or a simple person by the wayside. So I hope we can together, this afternoon, enter, take this journey together.
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. That is generally what is meant by concentration. 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.
So here begins the whole problem: that is, to attend completely both intellectually, emotionally, with your eyes, with all the response, awakened response, and being aware of those responses, from which comes freedom. It is only a mind that is completely free that can attend. And that is not so difficult, don’t give it an extraordinary meaning, it is very simple. If you listen to something attentively, whether it is to music, or when the coyotes of an evening call to each other, with that weird cry, or when you listen to a bird, or when you listen to the voice of your wife or husband, to give attention to it. And you do when the challenge is very great, immediate. Then you listen most extraordinarily. You listen when it is profitable, when it is painful, when you are going to get something out of it, but when there is a reward in that listening there is always the fear of losing.