Drukama RadioTM Episode 23 – Concentration and Insight Meditation

Today Daishi speaks with Ahavi on the subject of concentration and insight meditation. How do these forms of meditation allow one to move along the path? Why is it important to use both concentration and insight, instead of an insight-only path?

Concentration and Insight Meditation - Drukama Radio™ Ep 23 - Drukama Teachings™

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Episode 23 Extract

Concentration and Insight Meditation

“Daishi – My personal opinion on the path is that at some point, it has to go farther than just being aware of thoughts. There is more to the path than just being aware of awareness. So, having cognition aimed at everything happening in the body, we have to also learn to go deeper, understand deeper and penetrate thoroughly. We have to absolutely penetrate the matter at hand and in order to do that, just being contemplative, just being aware of thoughts and just watching thoughts come and go is not enough.

There are traditions that say hey, just to that, don’t worry about anything else and eventually you will reach the height of self-awareness, self-realisation. And I think that, that idea is true in that, if you continue to do that, deeper insights of the path and deeper esoteric aspects of the path will present themselves and you would then take those deeper esoteric aspects of the path and make them achievable for you. So you would inevitably be on that deeper path anyway through insight, but it is a slower process.

So, I think if you are just to look and become contemplative and just watch and be present and watch your thoughts and just hold that view in your waking daily life, a much slower path but, I wouldn’t say that it’s a path that wouldn’t lead you anywhere beneficial, for sure. It would definitely lead to a beneficial place. My point is that at some time you would need to delve deeper and deeper as the more esoteric aspects of the path present themselves and at that point you would need to understand okay, now that I am beyond thoughts for example, now that I am beyond thought-stream, mind-stream and I am deep into the mental aggregates themselves, what do I do with these? And now that I am beyond thought and I’ve penetrated into the subtle body itself, or various visual indicators of different kinds of phenomenon happening within the subtle body, what do I do with this? So, there would be a need for deeper, more esoteric teaching at that point and it would move way beyond just simple contemplation.

And I don’t think that, whether you are in the Kabbalistic tradition, the Sufi tradition, or all the way out into the Tantric tradition, or any of the eastern traditions, that anybody would disagree with that. I think that general teachings suggest to general masses, just do contemplation for now when you get deeper, then find a teacher and you can go on to that aspect later.

I think that there’s a beginner’s path, I think that there’s an intermediary path and there’s an advanced path and it depends where you are in your spiritual maturation to which apply to you at this time, right.”

~ Daishi Nagiyah

Drukama™ podcast extract – EP23

Full Transcript of this Episode

Ahavi: Hello everyone and welcome to Drukama Radio. I am Ahavi and I will be your co-host today. We’re very grateful and honoured to have Daishi with us today. How are you Daishi?

Daishi: I am doing very good. Thank you for having me. I look forward to talking to you. This will be a lot of fun, I am sure.

Ahavi: Yes, excellent! Let’s begin.

So today we’re going to be talking about a really interesting topic: Concentration and Insight Meditation. So, to start off with, can you tell us a bit about what those terms refer to and how they relate to the path?

Daishi: So, those two terms, typically relates to a kind of seated meditation and also to a kind of waking meditation; there are ways to apply those types of practices in our waking state as well, but mostly they refer to a seated meditation, where they are trying to accomplish different goals in terms of the tools needed for the more advanced aspects of the path.

So, to begin with in the most basic form, insight meditation is a process where we are going to watch, observe and contemplate things that are going on within us and in the waking version of that we are going to contemplate, observe and watch things that are going on outside of us, or the macrocosm.

Concentration meditation is specifically where we’re going to focus on one anchored object and we’re going to make that anchored object our single pointed focus for the sake of increasing the strength of Will, or increasing our ability to maintain that single pointed focus and strengthen it for more advance practices later on. Of course, that can also be applied externally in the waking state as well.

Ahavi: Alright, excellent!

So, what is the point of concentration and what are we trying to gain insight into?

Daishi: That’s the real big question and that’s a great question.

The two basic ideas of these two preliminary exercises and like all preliminary meditative exercises, we’re trying to build tools so that we can more deeply investigate the nature of our subtle body, our subtle energies, of the subtle existence and understand it better.

Once we have the tools sharpened — for lack of a better word — to a certain degree, esoteric accomplishments on the path like self-realisation and parts of dream work and parts of building certain kinds of bodies per se and using certain channels and certain kinds of energies within the body and so on and so forth. So in the beginning, insight is typically described as a kind of meditation where you would watch — and there are several versions depending on what tradition and culture you go to — but typically you would watch the rising or the birthing of a thought, the idea or concept of the thought living as it’s living and then watch it dying, and in that, several things could occur.

You could learn that thoughts are transient and temporal. You could learn that the ideas intertwined in the thought themselves are also transient and temporal and therefore let go of a lot of the mental aggregates or the selfing mechanism that happens to cause reaction within the body and also it helps us later on, sort of look into the deeper aspects of our process and contemplate and understand through direct experience, how those processes work.

So, contemplation in the beginning is used for those purposes. Later, contemplation becomes a much different kind of process. It’s still called… Vipassana I guess is probably the most familiar term for people who are heavy meditators, but that contemplation practice goes into something that’s much deeper that involves the energy channels and it involves the winds of the body or the energies of the body, the dews, the drops, the ‘Shakti’, ‘Tummo’, ‘Chandali’, ‘Kundalini’, fires of the body that help to burn and remove karmas and so on and so forth.

And then on the other side, Concentration is obviously a major tool that needs to be used and sometimes referred to or known better as ‘Samatha’. And that practice is where we are getting our perview, our focused Will to be so precise, that the intention of that awareness can be more productive, in other words if I am shooting a bow and I am trying to aim it towards a target, the steadier my aim, the more accurate that bow will do its job of hitting the target.

So on one hand, you could say that Samatha, or concentration exercises or practices is my preparation of aiming. And the Samatha or insight practices are my intention; the bow, the arrow and my actual intention to shoot and hit the target. So they work together that way and they are both very important on the path both on the preliminary side, when we are just building them up and on the later very deep esoteric side when we utilising them for great changes.

Ahavi: Wonderful! Alright, so out in the spiritual communities, there some schools that just teach mindfulness, like Vipassana, like you mentioned.

So, you’re saying that you need both concentration and insight? Isn’t enough to just be aware and then you can go the whole way?

Daishi: My personal opinion on the path is that at some point, it has to go farther than just being aware of thoughts. There is more to the path than just being aware of awareness. So, having cognition aimed at everything happening in the body, we have to also learn to go deeper, understand deeper and penetrate thoroughly. We have to absolutely penetrate the matter at hand and in order to do that, just being contemplative, just being aware of thoughts and just watching thoughts come and go is not enough.

There are traditions that say hey, just to that, don’t worry about anything else and eventually you will reach the height of self-awareness, self-realisation. And I think that, that idea is true in that, if you continue to do that, deeper insights of the path and deeper esoteric aspects of the path will present themselves and you would then take those deeper esoteric aspects of the path and make them achievable for you. So you would inevitably be on that deeper path anyway through insight, but it is a slower process.

So, I think if you are just to look and become contemplative and just watch and be present and watch your thoughts and just hold that view in your waking daily life, a much slower path but, I wouldn’t say that it’s a path that wouldn’t lead you anywhere beneficial. For sure, if would definitely lead to a beneficial place.

My point is that at some time you would need to delve deeper and deeper as the more esoteric aspects of the path present themselves and at that point you would need to understand ‘okay, now that I am beyond thoughts’, for example, ‘now that I am beyond thought-stream, mind-stream and I am deep into the mental aggregates themselves, what do I do with these? And now that I am beyond thought and I’ve penetrated into the subtle body itself, or various visual indicators of different kinds of phenomenon happening within the subtle body, what do I do with this?’

So, there would be a need for deeper, more esoteric teaching at that point and it would move way beyond just simple contemplation.

And I don’t think that, whether you are in the Kabbalistic tradition, the Sufi tradition, or all the way out into the Tantric tradition, or any of the eastern traditions, that anybody would disagree with that. I think that general teachings suggest to general masses, just do contemplation for now and when you get deeper, then find a teacher and you can go on to that aspect later.

I think that there’s a beginners path, I think that there’s an intermediary path and there’s an advanced path and it depends where you are in your spiritual maturation to which apply to you at this time, right.

Ahavi: That makes a lot of sense. So, you mentioned that when you get deep into concentration and contemplation, you start awakening this subtle body and then the last podcast you spoke about this inner fire.

So, is there a connection between this inner fire or this illusionary Kundalini energy and the different stages of concentration?

Daishi: Absolutely! The idea here is that one aspect is to reduce the neurosis of the brain; I always like to refer to it as the neurotic state, because its actually natural, but it’s sort of the way we live today and the neurosis. But, as that neurotic state relaxes and the brain opens up, it then reveals to us deeper states of subtlety and that deeper state of subtle nature, or the subtle energies, then give us access to those energies and then we can utilise those energies to actually work on the esoteric path.

So, as the mind relaxes and the incessant nature of the neurotic mind and the mind-stream and the egoic selfing networks of the mind start to relax, it slowly opens up and ripens and blooms to reveal more of the deeper underlying aspects of the subtle reality and it can get so subtle that we can actually put ourselves into a sleep state and then go off and have dream adventures, right.

So everybody has dreams and everybody can relate with that. So, one side is to reduce the flurry of vibrations in the mind so that it opens up, blooms and relaxes down deeply enough, so that we gain access to the subtle nature of reality. And then the other is to be sharpened enough, to take action and have intention on how we want to utilise those subtle aspects.

In the same way that, for example, if I am hungry in my gross physical body and my body is hungry, it’s not going to feed itself. It’s going to need me to make the decision to go get an apple and bite into the apple and chew the apple and then the body will handle the digestion and so on and I can continue to live. So I am utilising the physical body because the physical mind is in a physical vibration and everything is concurring together; I am physically reaching a physical apple, I am eating the physical apple, I am digesting the physical apple etc etc… and I am doing all these things in response to the vehicle. The vehicle needs something, I then make the cognitive decision to grab an apple, eat it and then feed it and so on and so forth.

As we reduce our brainwave activity and go deeper, we have access to the subtler body and then we also have the ability to feed — for lack of a better word — or work within that subtle body and that becomes the tool of concentration and several other points as well. But the point is that, if I don’t have the concentrativeness and I just have the contemplativeness, in other words I can get low but I am not sure that I can handle staying awake or aware or penetrative in that state, then I am not going to be able to do much.

So, I likened this to saying: you’re hungry in your physical body, but I don’t really know how to use my arm very well. So, I am thrashing it about the counter and I am knocking the apple off the counter and I can’t really grab an apple to eat. It’s not very effective and I finally die of starvation. So in that example, that extreme ‘rare example’, as we get lower in our mental vibration, we open up the subtle realms of reality, we have to have a very fine-tuned concentrative nature so that we can go in and then make modifications to what I call the ‘buttons’ in the body. And inside of the body, there are various winds and channels and centres and spaces that can be modified, manipulated and worked with in order to generate certain conditions that are conducive to our perception, our evolution and the way that we live our lives.

Ahavi: Maybe some of our listeners are wondering like ‘maybe have I hit some concentration state or have I opened any of these centres’?

So, are there like specific indicators that show that maybe you have actually reached a certain level of concentration?

Daishi: There are many indicators actually and in our particular practice we know exactly when those indicators come up once the preliminary stages are accomplished.

So once a practitioner gets through that instrument sharpening or that instrument enhancing process where you’ve gotten pretty concentrative and pretty contemplative and all of the other aspects the inner chi channels are cleaned and clear, we begin to work with an inner energy sometimes referred to as ‘kundalini’ or ‘prana shakti’ or ‘chandali’ or ‘tummo’. And we begin to work with that energy in order to have the ability to influence other aspects of the subtle body and all of those practices have very defined indicators to let you know exactly where you are and exactly what you should expect to see and experience as you go down that process.

For example, you know we have a red solar channel, a blue central channel and white lunar channel and these channels function from the navel and the outside. Red and white channels go up to the nostrils and them flip over to the other side of the brain and they kind of criss cross and then from there down, the central channel goes and splits in the front and the back becoming black and yellow that flow out to the sexual organ and the anus and so on and so forth.

So, all these channels exist in the body. We want to get low enough to start having access to these channels and understanding that within these channels various energies reside and move in what we call certain directions — south, south east, south west. Some energies that move from the heart upwards, some energies that move from the heart downwards, some energies that revolve around the entire body, and so on and so forth.

And there are also dews within the subtle body that we work with and collect and burn and drop and they happen to be located in certain parts of the body like the sexual centres and the tummy area and the heart area and the head area; and how we work with those small beads or dews influences how our entire physiological body functions. What it does is that it changes the nature by which we have control over the physical body and that’s really the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to take back control of the vehicle itself. So, if I want to feel calm and relaxed then I just simply flip some switches rather that just hope that some external stimuli will create it for me.

If I want to feel blissful, ecstasy, then I don’t need and external source; I don’t have to hunt outside of me to find and external source for that. If I want to find deep sleep, then I can easily accomplish that. If I want to achieve a very intense and wakeful dream state, I can achieve that and so on and so forth. And these modifications are really important. So, if I’m feeling especially emotional and I’m feeling like maybe that I am at a state where I have an imbalance in my emotions, we call them ‘rhythms’, then I can just offset my elements a little bit and overcome it very easily and the make the correction that needs to be made so that I don’t have to create unnecessary and unwanted karma which is just the reaction-action that comes back and forth into our life and replays itself over and over again.

So, the ultimate goal is to reduce and remove that karmic action by understanding how to utilise the vehicle and that process goes in two parts. One is the preliminary part, like I said earlier, the ‘getting the instruments ready’ and the other side is, quite honestly the easier more fun esoteric side, where we are using those instruments to explore and express and understand how to make the vehicle run the way we want it to run not just in this world but all the worlds.

Ahavi: Wow! That sounds amazing! It sounds like something that everybody would want — ultimate freedom. For our listeners, how do you start this process?

Daishi: You have to find help. And so, we offer it ourselves at drukama.com — d-r-u-k-a-m-a. It’s just a week or so away from launching and we are excited about that. But if you don’t find help through us and you are looking for it yourself, find somebody who has attained or accomplished these degrees and understands them very well. And they’ll be able to help you and you’ll know that you have somebody worthwhile because they’ll love you like a son or daughter and they’ll definitely be overflowing with your accomplishments and have very little regard for their own needs. And if you find someone like that, then you are very blessed and fortunate. Run to that person and learn from them. Because once you understand the process of this vehicle, because it’s really what the problem is in all of humanity is that we just don’t understand the vehicle, what’s going on within me.

So, instead of trying to figure out how do I work with this thing that I’m within that I’m inside of, this body-brain, we try to chase outside into the world and make changes there like there are errors there that I have to fix, there are problems there that I have to fix. And if I could only fix those problems, then everything would be great. But that never works; it never has worked. It never will work. We have to understand our own vehicle and once we do that, we could make ‘peaceful-contented-joy’ a regular state, ‘compassion-and-understanding’ a regular state. And that state would reign regardless of what outside influences were trying to influence me. And that we would have a very good human being at that point because that person would be unshakable regardless of the macrocosmic events that are happening. They would able to just simply be in the state they wish to be in and no one could influence or affect that; that would be very high level of control. And that’s what we need each human to have — a high level of control with wisdom married to compassion and if we have that then the world instantly becomes the place we all want it to be. But if we keep seeking outside trying to fix each other and trying to fix everything we see wrong out there, our biased filters will continue to create more karma and that will continue to create more suffering because that’s the wrong direction. And that’s not going to help us heal what we really need to heal within.

Ahavi: Truly wonderful! Thank you so much for joining us today. Daishi, it was really amazing information and I hope our listeners out there take a chance to join us at drukama.com for this really clear and delineated process of how to obtain these amazing levels of conscious clarity.

Daishi: Thank you Ahavi for having me on and I appreciate. I hope you come and I look forward to seeing you in a couple months in the EU retreat there.Ahavi: Yeah, I look forward to seeing you too. Thank you so much.

If you have any questions or comments about the show, please send us an email at radio@drukama.com and thanks for joining us for today’s show, we look forward to seeing you next time.