Science has proved that meditation can improve quality of life: Buddhist master
by Seethalakshmi, TNN, Apr 16, 2017
BENGALURU, India -- He believes that it's up to us to live with a problem/situation in life or fight it. As an 8-year-old, Tibetan meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche suffered from anxiety disorder. But he conquered it through meditation. The millionaire monk, who founded the Tergar Meditation Centres across the globe, was in Bengaluru to lead a session at the Srishti School of Design and Technology.
He spoke to STOI about mind control, modern science and buddhism. Excerpts.
You have said the mind is like a crazy monkey... like stock market... uncontrollable with ups and downs every minute. But abandoning negativity is probably the toughest challenge in the times we live in. As a meditation master, what's your advice to people to stay positive?
It's all in the mind, isn't it? Everything is created there and ends there. When you look at the waves in the ocean, it's up to you---whether you can see the monsters or any other form. It's created in the mind. I know it's not easy to shut anxiety and emotions away. It took me five years to gain control through meditation. At the core of the Tergar meditation is the joy of living --- living with awareness. It's free and pure. It feels like space. Emotion is like a cloud. So meditating helps you connect with space and clear the cloud.
Neuro scientists have said brain function can be altered with continuous meditation. Can you explain?
You have said there's not much difference between modern science and Buddhism...
Science is looking for truth and reality, and so is Buddhism. But the difference is, after discovering that, they don't know what to do with their discovery. But Buddhism has answers even after the discovery. One of them is meditation. Scientists today say time, atom and space. .. are all impermanent. We said that 2,500 years ago.
Tell us about the most unique experience you had during your wandering retreat.
I had no plan. I just left the Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, India, one day. I wanted to train myself to leave behind all my connections. But the days were not easy. I thought I would die. For three days, I just sat in a railway station before I went to Kushinagar; I was becoming sick and my body was giving up. I was feeling paralyzed. On the fifth day, after I left Bodhgaya, I just sat for five hours and meditated. I cannot explain the awareness I got during those hours. My mind had opened. There was new awareness in me. I felt so good. That was the most wonderful experience.
Do you see more people leaning towards spirituality and meditation today than probably what it was, say 10 or 15 years ago?
Yes, there are more people today than before due to many reasons. Science has also helped us achieve this. Science has proved that meditation and spirituality will go a long way in bringing inner peace and improve your quality of life.
Switch off mind for 5 minutes every day
Rinpoche says it's not easy to shut the mind off and meditate. "We can't do that and we need to accept it. It is best to start with a five-minute shutdown every day. Do it for 30 days. You will slowly start gaining control over the mind. The urge to go and pick up that mobile phone will slowly go."