In recent years “meditation” has joined the list of those unfortunate words whose meaning have been damaged.
When a word is constantly used and is emotively charged by the importance of what is being communicated, it often becomes overcharged, and, paradoxically, its communicative value diminishes. It is weakened, and its meaning loses flavour and intensity. Many words have suffered this fate, above all those which define important existential concepts. Words such as „love”, „happiness”, „consciousness”, „understanding”, „feeling”, „spirit”, and „soul” have such a wide spectrum of interpretations that it is hard to use them without feeling the constant need to redefine them. It is almost as if the emotional charge and the need to express it lead to over-use and to the progressive distortion of the original meaning and values of the most important words.
In recent years „meditation” has joined the list of those unfortunate words whose meaning have been damaged, both because mistaken idealisations, and because of ideological preconceptions that have obscured there meaning and weighed them down 1)↓…
When the word begins to be disorienting and to cause confusion instead of clarifying, it can be useful to look at its etymology. The term „meditation” derives from the Latin meditari which means „reflect to cure”, coming from the same root med from which „mode”, „measure”, and „medicine” derive. It is significant here that in antiquity, the magus, the priest or priestess, and the healer were often the same person. This etymological meaning of meditation reflects well the practice of Sumarah, wherein meditation is considered as way of being, an instrument of life and for life, and not as an end in itself. It is like a means of transport, and, like any means of transport, meditation is there to take us to where we want to go; once we get there, we get off…
Meditation, therefore, as a practice and as an instrument of life involves all planes of existence, both exterior and interior. As regards inner life, meditation is an instrument of reflection, and of discovery of those spaces where reason and analysis do nor reach. It is the way of Self. Through meditation we reach new dimensions, we learn to develop a new „vocabulary” that in turn opens up a new kind of understanding: a new territory and a new way of travelling. On the level of external life, meditation implies a way of relating to what (or who) is other from us, whether it meets our expectations and fulfils our desires or not, whether it is a source of joy or pain.
Thus for Sumarah, meditation is a vehicle for moving through the world and for using opportunity of life in the best possible way. Constant and deep attention to the hearts of other people and to all experience as a daily meditative practice brings us closer to (and in unity with) our own hearts. Slowly we learn to understand reality, we learn to discover, in the sense of unveiling, what lies on the other side of appearances, and we realise that nothing is ever (just) what is seems.
Laura Romano from „Sumarah – Spiritual wisdom from Java”
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|1.||↑||see about the word „God” – the second Pak Wondo session|