The practice of meditation is the observation of our mind and body. We practise so that we may know our real mind and body and stop them from being subject to likes or dislikes. When we are not subject to them, then we are free from being the slave of our feelings.
To practise, we have to observe our internal six senses; eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind, when they have contact with the external six sense-objects; to know your mind and body, observe them as they really are;
When an eye makes contact with a visible object, note what happens.
When an ear makes contact with a sound, note what happens.
When a nose makes contact with a smell, note what happens.
When a tongue makes contact with a flavour, note what happens.
When a body makes contact with a tangible object, note what happens.
All happenings, pleasant or unpleasant, we just observe them as the way things are, and do not form any opinion about them.
Some meditators may worry about whether their practice is correct, and if they are following the right path. Some just wait for the teacher to tell them what is right or wrong. In fact there is no need to have an interview. We can learn the right way, and correct our practice, by ourselves as Ajahn Chah said, “Here I teach disciples to examine their own mind-state, to interview themselves. Maybe a monk (meditation practitioner) is angry today. I don’t know it, but he should. He doesn’t have to come and ask me about it, does he?”
The Buddha said that there were three right practices. There are as follows;
1. Observation of the senses; the meditators have the duty to observe their own senses, not those of others.
2. Moderation in eating; we have to know moderation in eating, not taking too much and too little. The important thing is that what we have eaten should not support our desire.
3. The practice of mindfulness; we have to perceive clearly, distinctly and completely the nature of things and all that exists. It is wisdom that knows things as they are, without confusion, and distortion. In all situations, we have to be mindful, not only in the meditation room but also everywhere. We must cultivate the effort in our mind, not to be careless. Yes, we sleep or take a rest when we are tired, but we must have the awakening mind. Do not make an excuse it is early, very cold, it’s raining now, not to practise meditation. When the bell rings to stop meditation, it doesn’t mean that we should stop meditating, it is just the signal that this is the time to do eating meditation or private meditation.
Anything that is done, the meditators must do with mindfulness. We know our daily duty now, it is to observe ourselves as much as possible. By developing wisdom we will know that the main purpose of meditation is to develop concentration, true understanding and liberation or freedom from all kinds of dissatisfaction or suffering. Just as, when we build a house, we need to build scaffolding along with the house: but when the building is finished, we remove the scaffolding and not the house.