A man asked Gautama Buddha – I want happiness

A man asked Gautama Buddha, “I want happiness.” Buddha said, “First remove “I,” that’s Ego, then remove “want,” that’s Desire. See now you are left with only “Happiness.”

A man asked Gautama Buddha, "I want happiness."

 

Desire is very common to all. Some desires are quite healthy, useful, and appropriate; some are not. One function of meditation practice is to help us distinguish between these. And differentiating helps support the beautiful aspiration for liberation and compassion.

Your ego is your conscious mind, the part of your identity that you consider your “self.”  When we engage in ego-driven activity, we’re trying to reinforce this sense of self. The sense-of-self  is not a thing, instead it is a process. Enlightenment occurs when the usually automatized reflexivity of consciousness ceases, which is experienced as a letting-go and falling into the emptiness and being wiped out of existence.  Stop trying to grab onto anything and the enlightenment will occur.

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50 Great Meditation Quotes

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ~ Voltaire

Delight in mediation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker. ~ Buddha

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth… This is the real message of love.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ~ Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation

“I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” ~ T.S. Eliot

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you.” ~ Amit Ray

Meditation brings wisdom – lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. ~ Buddha

 “The soil in which the meditative mind can begin is the soil of everyday life, the strife, the pain, and the fleeting joy. It must begin there, and bring order, and from there move endlessly. But if you are concerned only with making order, then that very order will bring about its own limitation, and the mind will be its prisoner. In all this movement you must somehow begin from the other end, from the other shore, and not always be concerned with this shore or how to cross the river. You must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, what the end is.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature.” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

“The act of meditation is being spacious.” ~ Sogyal Rinpoche

“Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great scale player or drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser, The Seeker’s Guide

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day” ~ Deepack Chopra

“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”  ~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

 “Meditation needs no results. Meditation can have itself as an end, I meditate without words and on nothingness. What tangles my life is writing.” ~ Hélène Cixous, Coming to Writing and Other Essays

 Meditation is a tool to shake yourself awake. A way to discover what you love. A practice to return yourself to your body when the mind medleys threaten to usurp your sanity.” ~ Geneen Roth, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

 “When even one virtue becomes our nature, the mind becomes clean and tranquil. Then there is no need to practice meditation; we will automatically be meditating always. (151)”  ~ Swami Satchidananda, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home.”  ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

 “Meditation is an essential travel partner on your journey of personal transformation. Meditation connects you with your soul,and this connection gives you access to your intuition, your heartfelt desires, your integrity, and the inspiration to create a life you love.” ~ Sarah McLean

 “Every soul innately yearns for stillness, for a space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest, and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe. Silence is not an absence but a presence. Not an emptiness but repletion A filling up.” ~ Anne Leclaire

 “The art of meditation is a way of getting into touch with reality, and the reason for it is that most civilized people are out of touch with reality because they confuse the world as it with the world as they think about it and talk about it and describe it. For on the one hand there is the real world and on the other there is a whole system of symbols about that world which we have in our minds. These are very very useful symbols, all civilization depends on them, but like all good things they have their disadvantages, and the principle disadvantage of symbols is that we confuse them with reality, just as we confuse money with actual wealth.” ~ Alan Wilson Watts

 “Because the development of inner calm & energy happens completely within & isn’t dependent on another person or a particular situation, we begin to feel a resourcefulness and independence that is quite beautiful—and a huge relief.” ~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

 “Meditation is a microcosm, a model, a mirror. The skills we practice when we sit are transferable to the rest of our lives.” ~ Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

“The difference between magic and meditation methods is the difference between drugs and diet—medicines will do swiftly what diet can only effect slowly, and in critical cases there is no time to wait for the slow processes of dietetics, so it must be either medicines or nothing. Nevertheless, drugs are no substitute for right diet and wholesome regime, and although magic enables a speedy and potent result to be attained, is is only by means of right understanding and right ethics that the position which has been won can be held.” ~ Dion Fortune, Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate

“Meditation is a powerful and full study as can effectually taste and employ themselves.” ~ Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“The seeker after stillness should be told that the stillness is always there. Indeed it is in every man. But he has to learn, first, to let it in and, second, how to do so. The first beginning of this is to remember. The second is to recognize the inward pull. For the rest, the stillness itself will guide and lead him to itself.” ~ Paul Brunton, The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

“Suffering is due to our disconnection with the inner soul. Meditation is establishing that connection.” ~ Amit Ray

“Meditation is like going to the bottom of the sea, where everything is calm and tranquil. On the surface of the sea there may be a multitude of waves but the sea is not affected below. In its deepest depths, the sea is all silence. When we start meditating, first we try to reach our own inner existence, our true existence- that is to say, the bottom of the sea. Then when the waves come from the outside world, we are not affected. Fear, doubt, worry and all the earthly turmoils just wash away, because inside us is solid peace. Thoughts cannot touch us, because our mind is all peace, all silence, all oneness. Like fish in the sea, they jump and swim but leave no mark. When we are in our highest meditation, we feel that we are the sea, and the animals in the sea cannot affect us. We feel that we are the sky, and all the birds flying past cannot affect us. Our mind is the sky and our heart is the infinite sea. This is meditation.” ~ Sri Chinmoy

“Meditation is a mysterious method of self-restoration. It involves “shutting” out the outside world, and by that means sensing the universal “presence” which is, incidentally, absolute perfect peace. It is basically an existential “time-out”—a way to “come up for a breath of air” out of the noisy clutter of the world. But don’t be afraid, there is nothing arcane or supernatural or creepy about the notion of taking a time-out. Ball players do it. Kids do it, when prompted by their parents. Heck, even your computer does it (and sometimes not when you want it to). So, why not you? A meditation can be as simple as taking a series of easy breaths, and slowly, gently counting to ten in your mind.” ~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

“We must experience the Truth in a direct, practical and real way; this is only possible in the stillness and silence of the mind, and this is achieved by means of meditation.” ~ Samael Aun Weor, The Revolution of the Dialectic: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Psychology and Meditation

“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” ~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.
~ Buddha

Each human being was given two possibilities: action and contemplation. Both lead to the same place. ~ Paulo Coelho

If we want to save the world, we must have a plan. But no plan will work unless we meditate. ~ Dalai Lama

Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It is meditation. ~ Jonathan Haidt

Meditation is to be aware of what is going on in your body, in your feelings, in your mind, and in the world. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Here is my wish for you and every other child, woman, and man on the face of the earth: Spend one week saying only kind, caring things to yourself. Say thank you at least ten times an hour, direct five toward yourself and five to the world at large. Compliment yourself (and others) each time an effort is made. Notice all the wonderful qualities and characteristics about yourself and those around you. One week. You will never go back. And your whole life will be a glorious meditation. ~ Cheri Huber

When you have the constant focus of going within and then acting, your life will unfold in magical ways.  ~ Elizabeth Joy

 Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely the path that is your life. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

 Meditation is the action of silence. ~ Krishnamurti

 In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. ~ Lao Tzu

Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God. ~ Diana Robinson

The kind of spirituality I value is one in which you get great joy out of contributing to life, not just sitting and meditating, although meditation is certainly valuable. But from meditation, from the resulting consciousness, I would like to see people in action creating the world they want to live in. ~ Marshall Rosenberg

 If I do not go within, I go without. ~ Neale Donald Walsch

 Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. ~ Alan Watts

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Top Ten Yoga Quotes

Best Yoga Posture

I’m experiencing the benefits yoga every day. The practice helps me to expand my consciousness. It helps me stay grounded and strong. Here is a list of my ten favorite quotes of the great masters.

#1: “Yoga is the practice of undisturbed calmness of mind. It is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked. ” ~ Patanjali

#2: “When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves a healthy and long life. Therefore, one should learn to understand the quality of the breath.” ~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika

#3: “Yoga is not possible, for the one who eats too much, or who does not eat at all; who sleeps too much, or who keeps awake. ” ~ Krishna in Bhagavad Gita

4#: ”The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar

5#: “Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul. Yoga is more about the exploration and discovery of the subtle energies of life.” ~ Amit Ray

6#: “Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.” ~ Krishnamacharya

7#: “Yoga is essentially a practice for your soul, working through the medium of your body.” ~Tara Fraser

8#: “Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” – Jason Crandell

9# “Under the bright sun, many of us are gathered together with different languages, different styles of dress, even different faiths. However, all of us are the same in being humans, and we all uniquely have the thought of “I,” and we´re all the same in wanting happines.” ~ Dalai Lama

10#: “Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.” ~ Buddha

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Eight Stages of Anapanasati Meditation

Vipassana meditation is part of Ananpanasati Meditation. Use of the breath is the central to Ananpanasati Meditation. Observing freely where the mind wanders is vipassana. Developing focus on breath is ananpanasati. The word derives from a verb, sarati, meaning “to remember” – remember your breath.

Ananpanasati was originally taught by Gautama Buddha. A smaller area of awareness = greater resistance to our minds and sharper awareness into the subtler realities.

Sri Amit Ray expressed that developing inner peace and inner beauty is the first step of Ananpanasati Meditation. Inner beauty comes from love and compassion and inner peace comes from  let go, positive thoughts and by activating the awareness muscles of the mind.

ananpana sati

Eight Stages of Anapanasati Meditation

There are eight stages of meditation through which a meditator usually progresses, more or less in order, though it is quite possible to sometimes fall back to an earlier stage.

[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’

[2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out short.’

[3] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing all bodies.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing all bodies.’

[4] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the body fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the body fabricator.’

[5] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing rapture.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing rapture.’

[6] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing pleasure.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing pleasure.’

[7] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in experiencing the mind fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out experiencing the mind fabricator.’

[8] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming the mind fabricator.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming the mind fabricator.

Here, ‘experiencing all bodies’ (sabba kaya), simply means experiencing both the breath & the (internal) physical (external) body together.

Here,  ‘bodily fabrications’ means any ‘tension’ felt anywhere in the body subtle or gross.

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Essence of Yoga and Vipassana

The concepts and methods of harmonizing body, mind, and spirit introduced centuries ago by Patanjali have been adopted by scientists, religious and spiritual leaders, and experts in the field of physical and mental health, as well as by the public at large. The concept of observing the breath and the tingling sensations of the body have been adopted by Gautam Buddha. Kriya yoga and vipassana are the two wings of a spiritual journey. If one is weak you cannot fly comfortably. God realization and stillness of mind both are important.

Buddha said “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. “ Vipassana is the art of conquering yourself.

Essence of Vipassana
Essence of Vipassana

Paramahansa Yoganandanin the writer of the spiritual classic,“Autobiography of a Yogi”, said “Meditation is the science of God‑realization. It is the most practical science in the world. Most people would want to meditate if they understood its value and experienced its beneficial effects. The ultimate object of meditation is to attain conscious awareness of God, and the soul’s eternal oneness with Him. “

 

In the teachings of the Zen masters we observed “What we call the body and mind in the Buddha Way is grass, trees and wall rubble; it is wind, rain, water and fire.”

 

Himalayan spiritual master Amit Ray of Uttarkashi in his book,  Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style”  said “There are three aspects in yoga, the first one is keeping the body and mind in harmony and healthy. The second one is stilling the mind and the third one is realising the inner sprit. Yoga deals with the first aspect of life. Vipassan is more about the stilling the mind and for the third one you need your own inner grace.”

Ramana Maharshi the master of yoga through self-inquiry mentioned that “self-inquiry is certainly not an empty formula and it is more than the repetition of any mantra. If the inquiry `Who am I?’ were a mere mental Questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of self-inquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not, therefore, a case of one `I’ searching for another `I’. Much less is self-inquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure Self-awareness.” Self inquiry is the art of knowing yourself.

Sri Aurobindo tried to amalgamate the older religions and said “Eevolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Super-mind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.”

Great yogi Ramakrishna Paramhansa taught ceaselessly for fifteen years the basic truths of all religion through parables, metaphors, songs and by his own life. He said “There are pearls in the deep sea, but you must hazard all perils to get them. If you fail to get at them by a single dive, do not conclude that the sea is without them. Dive again and again, and you are sure to be rewarded in the end. So also in the quest for the Lord, if your first attempt to see Him proves fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in the attempt, and you are sure to realize Him at last.”

Essence of Religion
Essence of Religion

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Vipassana meditation

About 2500 years back, Lord Buddha re-established the Vipassana meditation techniques. Vipassana meditation helps effective utilization of mental energy and life force. It brings calmness, happiness and harmony in life. The life energy is not wasted or escaped in the continuous waves of thoughts. True Vipassana meditation provides enough energy to tackle all the problems of our everyday life. In the book Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Lifestyle, the Himalayan meditation master Sri Amit Ray of Uttarkashi, explained Vipassana meditation is an ongoing creative purification process. Observation of the moment-to-moment experience cleanses the mental layers, one after another. Vipassana is searching deeply within, the deeper realities of all experiences. …. Vipassana arises as you pay awareness to the inner and outer experience unfolding at the present moment. Vipassana is not associated with any rigid formula or methods. Whenever you are aware of your mental or physical feelings like tension in the muscles, movement of limbs, stiffness, heat or cold, you have begun to develop special understanding of realities.”

Benefits of Vipassana meditation:

The rewards of meditation of Vipassana are many. It develops patience and liberates from all secondary and the dependences. The achievements of Vipassana can be felt to even the very first meeting. In the Pali language Vipassana means looking from the other side of the river.  In Vipassana, you have to think beyond ten-day Vipassana retreat. Objective of Vipassan is to go beyond suffering, beyond the cycle of birth and death.

When you are aware of tension, movement, tautness, heat or cold, you have begun to develop special close understanding. Vipassana meditation strengthens digestion and keeps us free from toxins that clog the body’s channels and prevent the flow of vital energy in the body.

Hindrances in Vipassana Meditations:

There are five hindrances. First is sensual desire, it is the greatest hindrance to Vipassana, practice. Aversion or anger is the second hindrance. Sloth and torpor is the third hindrance. restlessness and worry is the forth hindrance. Skeptical doubt and criticism is the fifth and the last hindrance.

Rapture in Vipassana Meditations:

Mystical bliss, joy and rapture is part of integrated yoga and vipassana. When the mind is concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable and steadies this positive joy arises.

Vipassana Beyond Suffering:

If you practice Vipassana from a true master, you will never feel pain during the practice and after the practice. You will be always filled with joy and exhilaration. Your body will always feel cool, calm, and comfortable. You will always feel great love in the heart region. You will be at extreme mental balance and finally mind itself will come to a complete stop.

Vipassana meditation
Vipassana meditation

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