“Why must I meditate in order to achieve enlightenment?” demanded the prince of his teacher. “I can study. I can pray. I can think about issues clearly. Why this silly emptying of the mind?”

“I will show you,” said the teacher, taking a bucket of water into the garden under the full moon. “Now I stir the surface and what do you see?”

“Ribbons of light,” answered the prince.

“Now wait,” said the teacher, setting the bucket down.

Both teacher and boy watched the calming surface of the water in the bamboo bucket for many minutes.

“Now what do you see?” asked the teacher.

“The moon,” replied the prince.

“So, too, young master, the only way to grasp enlightenment is through a calm and settled mind.”

Emptying Of The Mind

The question of Prince shows that he is confined with the mind. For him the mind is the master. With the mind he thinks that – I can study. I can pray. I can think about issues clearly. Why this silly emptying of the mind?

Yes you can do all these things without emptying the mind but which is of no use. Unless you empty your mind your prayer is just ritual it is not prayer. Your thinking will be of wrong knowledge. Enlightenment is not only for your inner growth but it shows you the direction how you can live in this world with joy and peace.

As the teacher has shown to Prince when the water was stirred he can see only ribbons of light but when the water is calm down on the surface he could see the moon. So enlightenment is necessary to see the whole.

Enlightenment is a simple realization that everything is as it should be.

That is the definition of enlightenment: everything is as it should be, everything is utterly perfect as it is. That feeling…and you are suddenly at home. Nothing is being missed. You are part, an organic part of this tremendous, beautiful whole. You are – relaxed in it, surrendered in it. You don’t exist separately – all separation has disappeared.

A great rejoicing happens, because with the ego disappearing there is no worry left, with the ego disappearing there is no anguish left, with the ego disappearing there is no possibility of death any more. This is what enlightenment is. It is the understanding that all is good, that all is beautiful – and it is beautiful as it is. Everything is in tremendous harmony, in accord.

Nothing changes in the world, remember. When you go in, nothing changes in the world. Just you change, your attitude changes, your vision changes. The world remains the same, it goes on the same. Rivers go on flowing, the birds go on singing, flowers go on blooming… the world continues the same. But you are no longer the same.


When the Prince says that – I can study. I can pray. I can think about issues clearly. Why this silly emptying of the mind?

According to all enlightened people, whatsoever meaning we give to life, we give it to life. And the Buddha says, if you want to know the real meaning of life, then you have to drop, giving all meanings to it. Then life opens its mysterious doors. You stop giving meaning to it – your desires are giving meaning to it; they are defining the undefinable. And if you remain clouded with your desires, whatsoever you know is nothing but your own dreaming. That’s why we say in India that this life, this so-called life lived through desires, is maya, it is a magical thing. You create it, you are the magician. It is your maya, your magic.

Learning from the story A Calm And Settled Mind: Emptying Of The Mind

Experience Learning

Health Benefits of Emptying the Mind: Rediscovering Meditation

Emptying, cleansing, and replenishing are processes applied to many devices to keep them in good working condition. We drain and replace the oil in our cars and have regular inspections to ensure good working order. Some have suggested that we take better care of our cars than our bodies. With respect to the body, some believe that periodic fasting enhances health and healing, giving the body a rest from the processes of digestion and, at least theoretically, eliminating toxins.

What of the emptying of the mind? Meditation is the process of “emptying and replenishing” the mind to enhance mental health and reduce stress. I have been a regular meditator for at least 30 years. My practice is to sit in the same, overstuffed chair in the corner of my bedroom and let the thoughts just flow through my head without paying attention to their content or directing them in any way. I listen to my own breathing, which over the years has become more and more diaphragmatic in character with my lower abdomen expanding during inspiration and contracting during expiration. For me, 15 or 20 minutes of meditation is like a couple hours of sleep. The constant pattern of thoughts slows, drifts, and eventually disappears as a sense of calm and relaxation envelops me and remains for some time after the meditation has ended. Benson,1 a physician who studied the physiology of meditation in the 1970s, referred to the meditative state as the relaxation response.

Daniel Bor, neuroscientist and author of The Ravenous Brain, defines meditation as the attempt to “be as aware as you can of as little as possible.” He cites research demonstrating the effectiveness of meditation in helping any person dealing with a psychiatric condition or just managing the everyday stresses and strains of life. Changes in the brain as a function of meditation are the exact opposite of brain changes caused by mental illness and stress, increasing activity in the prefrontal parietal network and the prefrontal cortex. After years of practicing meditation, I experience that long-term meditation improves memory, spatial processing, alertness, and performance on tasks that require focus and attention.

There are hundreds of types of meditation, and many health care institutions are providing training to staff in the processes of mindfulness meditation. This surprisingly simple and elegant modality is akin to building the mind’s immunity since it helps stave off depression and anxiety and can also be an effective tool in pain management. Try this-the next time you are having a bad day, slip away to a private place for just 10 minutes, 20 minutes if at all possible. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and let the thoughts drift through your mind, but pay as little attention to them as possible, and focus on the sound of your breadth and the movement of your abdomen. Emptying your mind is just as important as emptying and replenishing other body systems or even your car and the benefits will bring a new calm and enhanced awareness of life and living.


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