I’m going to speak of meditation. I’m going to go through aspects of the meditation that I have taught since my first tape in 1983, ‘Start Meditating Now’.
Now meditation is supposed to make you more intelligent. It is supposed to give you greater and greater discernment, the ability to see the truth behind existence. To be able to see straight and see what the truth is.
We find that up in Tibet and other places, Buddhist monks meditate all their lives. Well, if you have to meditate all your life you've got the wrong method. Because meditation, being a process and not an end, is to make you more intelligent. Intelligence is to be more and more able to see straight, to see causes rather than just effects. And you do that by being able to focus on something that’s real or true.
Meditation is a gradual process that takes you further and further, eventually into a state called ‘being’. And most people, when they reach a state of being, think that that’s the end. And it’s not the end at all. Being is not the end, because there is another state.
Now the point is that all methods, or all focuses, require a deepening intelligence. A deepening intelligence means you are swifter and swifter intelligence, an intelligence more able to see swiftly the fact of things. Now when you can see the fact of things there’s a possibility you can see the truth of things.
Most people can’t see the fact of their love life. They’re emotional about it and can’t see straight, because emotion can never see straight. Emotion always goes around in circles. And what about the work life? What about the frustrations? Whenever you’re frustrated, you’re emotional and you can’t see straight. So you won’t even be able to see the fact, let alone the truth.
In my meditation tape, ‘Start Meditating Now’, which I commend to you, to listen to again and again, I help you to start to be intelligent by freeing your prisoners.
Freeing Your Prisoners
Have you, the intelligence in that body, released your prisoners? Inside most people there is a bamboo cage, let’s say. Locked up behind that cage are the emotional images of all the people who you, in the past, thought caused you unhappiness. You hold your prisoners in your chest. All prisoners - frustration, resentment, hate of people - are emotions, very intense, as the attachment to those people and those past events. Even if the people have died, the emotion continues in the chest.
If you have any prisoners in your chest you’re going to get emotional as soon as you have a thought about them or the event. How can you ever hope to be intelligent while you keep prisoners? While you’re vulnerable to someone mentioning their name or running into them in the street?
The only way to be intelligent and free of these prisoners is to free the lot – now! How dare you be resentful of someone or of what someone did to you? How dare you be so unintelligent? How dare you hate someone? Were you born with hate in you? You were born intelligent! You were born with a pure and beautiful intelligence. Aren’t you supposed to be responsible for your life? Or do you want to say that the person next to you is responsible for your life? Do you want to make Jesus responsible for your life, or Buddha?
It’s because you try to make yourself special that you hold on to these prisoners. Nothing that’s happened to you hasn’t happened to millions of other people. You want to personalise everything, and the person is unintelligent. But am I speaking the truth? Is it the truth?
And you know, those prisoners are so used to being in your chest in prison, that they want to come back. So you’ve got to keep your gate open. You have to be innocent. What is innocence? Innocence is to hold nothing against anyone. You do what you do, you do what you have to do, but you mustn’t hold hate or resentment inside of you, for that is not innocence.
Now, there are my books, ‘Meditation A Foundation Course’, a wonderful book, and ‘Stillness Is The Way’, a wonderful, wonderful transcription of a whole three days on meditation. These books, as well as the ‘Start Meditating Now’ tape introduce the area of pure sensation.
Every body has pure sensation. That means that the fingers are pulsing with sensation, the legs have got the same sensation, the toes, the head, the nose, every part of the body is sensating. So the thing is to focus the intelligence, the attention, on the pure sensation in the body. Have you got it? Have you got it now?
Now to do this you have to have a certain intelligence. The object now is as much as possible to get the whole pure sensation together. You have to practise this as often as you can, until eventually the pure sensation, instead of just being in your hands and your legs, comes together as one sensation. You then have the source of the human body, because the human body comes out of this pure sensation.
Why do I use the word ‘pure’? Because there’s no thought in it, there’s no emotion in it, there’s no mind in it. It’s just pure intelligent focus on the fact of your body, because your body begins with pure sensation. There it is. It’s always there and will never fail you. In meditation you have to focus on something that is natural and pure, that never varies. And there it is in your beautiful little body – pure sensation. What a wonderful gift we’ve got.
But of course if you’re thinking, if you’re worrying, you haven’t got the intelligence to focus on your pure sensation have you? Or if you’ve got some prisoners in there and you’re concerned about them, you won’t be intelligent enough to focus on your pure sensation. You’ll be distracted. You’ll be manipulated by your emotions and your mind.
This pure sensation is always here, always there. It’s made by God. It’s natural. Made by that which is behind everything, behind your body, wonderful. It will never leave you. It is you.
Now, this is one way to get into the state of being. So if you do this often enough, you will enter what you will know to be a state of being, which is a state of no problems.
But the thing is to hold it, isn’t it, when you get out into the world and you have to go and deal with your mother and father, your children, your job and everything else. The thing is to hold it then, isn’t it? Well you can’t hold this meditation out there, when you’re dealing with these difficult situations. But if you’re more intelligent as a result of meditating, you will be able to handle those difficulties much more easily. So it’s not a matter of trying to meditate when you’re disturbed, it’s a matter of meditating rightly when you’re not disturbed, by focusing on the areas that I’ve mentioned.
The Solar Plexus
The next thing is to focus on the solar plexus. The solar plexus is the region just under the niche in the breast-bone, where if you got a poke when you were a child, you lost your breath immediately. Now - focus on that point. There’s nothing there, you see? There might be sensation there to start with, but the sensation quickly goes, if you focus on it. There is nothing there.
Now you must be careful that your emotions and mind don’t mislead you. All the emotions that you hold on to in your chest move down, and the emotions in the stomach rise up, so the solar plexus tends to be covered with emotions, emotional vibration rather than pure sensation. So it’s very important to clear out most of your prisoners, to increase your discernment so that you can focus on the solar plexus, not on what’s come down from the chest or what’s come up from the belly – emotions. As you meditate successfully those both reduce. The belly emotions can’t come up so much and there are less chest emotions to come down. So your solar plexus starts to open up to your intelligent gaze or intelligent attention.
Focus as much as you can on the solar plexus, which is the opening. It is called ‘solar plexus’, which means a centre, a centre of the sun, and the sun is the sun-system in which our planet exists. The solar plexus is the way of breaking through into vast freedom, represented by the solar system. And then it’s just got to happen for you. Like a door has got to open before you can go through it. It’s just got to be done for you, which it will, if you focus on it.
You can’t try. You must not use any force in this. You must be relaxed and easy. The mind is used to using force and trying. You can’t do that. You can’t take anything that is real by force. You have to be relaxed. And you are intelligent. You have got far more intelligence than you think.
You just have to become stiller and stiller. Then you won’t slide off it. It’s a sort of guardian of the threshold, the emotions or whatever it is, over the solar plexus. You can’t go through there, you just cannot go through there, unless the intelligence, which is your attention, is as fine as it. And when you do go through there, it doesn’t last. You don’t stay there. It just gives you a knowledge, a self-knowledge, which is what we’re concerned with here, self-knowledge.
The next practise is to meditate or focus the intelligence on the wellbeing in your body. Now every living body on earth has wellbeing in it. It is a gift from the great God that’s behind everything. This wellbeing is a psycho-spiritual quality or state. You have to be very still to stay with it. But stillness is the way. Stillness is intelligence. There it is. The more you discover your wellbeing, and the more often you focus on it, when you’re walking around doing anything, the more you’ll smile. Your body will smile because it is your body that smiles, you see? And your body enjoys the wellbeing in it. It’s nourishment to it - the more you smile and be light. Because when the body is heavy it’s not so easy to find the wellbeing is it?
Do you hear me? You are alive. That means there is life in your body. This life is nourishing your body every moment. The wellbeing in the body is the wonder of the life in it. When you focus on it, something powerful happens inside your subconscious, where it is not accessible to the mind. Something powerful happens. It just happens.
I didn’t say it was easy, I said it was simple
I didn’t say it was easy, I said it was simple. You see the human mind is complicated. Unless something is complicated we find it very difficult to understand. Truth is not complicated. It is in your body. It is what you are. It is your intelligence in your body. It is yours. It is wondrous that you have it all, in that body. But it’s simple.
Barry Long - Extract from a Gold Coast Talk, June 2002
Together, the following books and tapes form a clear, comprehensive, practical and direct approach to meditation, recommended for both beginners and practiced meditators:
Meditating Now’ - Audio - two-tape set, including,
‘How To Stop Thinking’
© The Barry Long Trust