Conventional meditation advocates the stilling of the mind by focusing on a single thought to displace the multiple mental distractions. The use of foci includes breathing control, chanting a mantra, or counting of beads in a rosary. It is the use of a single thought to keep away a thousand thoughts.
Another form of meditation is to let the mind runs wild with the multiple thoughts unrestrained. The meditator just sits back, becomes unattached to those wanton thoughts as if he is as detached as watching a movie.
I remember the famous story about a monk who could not sit still and meditate. He spends most of his time wandering the streets, looking at people and whatever the happenings before his eyes. Surprisingly, he attains a higher level in meditation and gains awareness ahead of his cohort of monks who assiduously sit still and meditate the whole day.
There is one form of meditation that I also practice. I go for a walk in the park, cast my senses outward to enjoy the whispering of the wind, the rustling of fallen leaves, the fragrance of the flowers, and the smell of the earth. It is as if I lose myself amid experiencing the sensation of the surrounding.
That reminds me of another story. An American white gentleman brought his native Indian friend into New York City. Amidst the chattering crowd, and the heavy traffic movements, the Indian surprised his friend telling him he could hear a cricket sound from a roadside shrub. This is a high level of awareness of the trained mind.
By Anthony Leong