You Yogis, you are always preparing to meditate.

“You Yogis, you are always preparing to meditate.”
– from a personal dialogue with a former Abbot of Chithurst Buddhist Monastery (Cittaviveka) circa 1985

0 thoughts on “You Yogis, you are always preparing to meditate.

    • Hi Fay
      Surely, though by implication this must imply that most ‘yogis’ are not preparing to meditate?
      From the perspective of the Abbot’s tongue in cheek comment I am inclined to agree, why, because most folks talk about Yoga and Meditation rather than Yoga as Meditation, plus are also stuck on the sticky in terms of saying ‘I am going to do Yoga’, when in fact they mean Āsana and little else.
      Furthermore what do most Āsana practices lead to? Usually a lying chill out.
      Finally a quote from TKV comes to mind:
      “All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrvāṅga,
      in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.”
      – TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988 in seminar on ‘Models for Meditation According to Indian Tradition’.
      Regards Paul

  1. Hmmm, in which case most of the buddhism practicioners I’ve come across are just ‘preparing to meditate’ too! 😉

    The “yogis” are doing postures with their mind elsewhere and then having a chill out. The “buddhists” are just sitting around with their mind elsewhere, usually a trip of the imagination, and then having a chill out. 🙂

    Its not about yoga or buddhism it’s about having the will to really prepare. 🙂

    • Quite possibly but at least ‘they’ are preparing to meditate via the mind rather than just performing postures via the body.

      This is what my Abbot friend was alluding to with his quip.

      For me its about the intention and even if the Buddhist Practitioners you say you have come across have their minds elsewhere, as you surmise, at least they have their bums on mats rather than bodies on stickies and a Saṃkalpa, albeit mixed with Vikalpa in the early days, towards Dhyānam.

      As Patañjali says, our first attempts at meditation are always mixture of mental words, memories, fantasy, etc.

      From there its down to the teachers intentions and the students determinations.

      That’s often more than we can say for Yoga (aka Āsana) Practitioners in terms of the teachers intentions and the students determinations around tackling the realities of the obstacles to Meditation.

      PS You may like t check out this quote from TKV and image added by me on obstacles to Meditation

      • 🙂 I do understand the point both you and the abott are making about “yoga”, I’m just sticking up for yoga without the ” “. 🙂

        Dhyaana can happen in any aasana, if you stay in a posture a long time and visualise being in that posture perfectly can you not become one with the posture? 🙂

        • Personally I feel its not “Yoga” we need to stick up for. Its “Yogis” we need to re-mind away from getting stuck on the sticky.
          Yoga is fine, its the modern interpretation of it as the be all and end all that is not.
          Such as seeing Āsana as the font of everything and nothing else needs to be done.
          According to Yoga (and Buddhism), Dhyānam requires a Dhyānāsana that is conducive to the refinement of Dhyānam rather than say the refinement of our egoic view of our body such as by visualising becoming one with an Āsana.
          Hence you will find no support for that argument from the teachings of TK and TKV nor in any of the texts.
          Mark Singleton does also talk about it as a modern phenomena linked to specific teachers in his book Yoga Body and I agree with his opinion around this.
          Otherwise according to all I have been taught and all the textual teachings support this, any Āsana will not do, especially not one where you are visualising being in that posture perfectly.
          Sounds more like a Vikalpa in both contexts and as TKV says the biggest obstacle to Meditation is Vikalpa.
          I would add both about Meditation as well as when we think we are in Meditation.
          Meanwhile a good start towards Dhyānam, according to both my teachers and Patañjali, is Prāṇāyāma.

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