Old merit - new accumulation

To attain Samadhi is similar to a child learning how to walk. He keeps on falling down and getting up again. We must not stand still and become attached to previous states of calm and happiness. We must go further. Some people get stuck at such a level. Once they have enjoyed the calmness and serenity of one-pointed mind, they wish to repeat the same experience again whenever they practice. In fact, that peace has gone. We must know our present state of mind whether it is peaceful or not.

When we are meditating in the present moment, we must not reflect on the past because it will make us hesitant and indecisive, and the mind will be in a state of turmoil. If we understand this principle, we will overcome this hindrance. Do not think of the past. Pay no attention to it and persevere without raising the hope of having peace and tranquility or of reaching the goal.

Do not reflect, "How peaceful that day was!" and wish for an action replay. If we adopt such an attitude, we will never again attain Samadhi because of our clinging to the past. We must make progress. Those days have gone forever and they will never be the same again. Nevertheless, they may be better if we do not cling to our past experiences.

Therefore the way to develop Samadhi is to abandon past experiences. If we follow any method which helps us to attain calm, we should not become attached to that calm, but notice how it was achieved: for example, we fixed our attention at the tip of our nostrils and our breathing became softer. Then thoughts stopped altogether. The mind became clear, cool, still and our concentration deepened. It will thus be obvious that this was the right form of Samadhi for us. Or perhaps when we recited some sacred words, our minds emptied of concepts, thoughts, past experiences; when our mind had space, we would then let go of everything and would gain Samadhi. So if this method is effective, we should stick to it.

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