I’ve been quite impressed by the power of diligence. It is inspiring to see the transformation in students who have been returning year after year for our annual jhana retreat. Some have travelled across many state lines, or simply preserved the time in their local schedule to spend these ten days doing intensive samadhi practice.
Concentration practice requires tremendous diligence. The instructions are not exotic or exciting, and the endeavor to direct and sustain the attention on the meditation object must be continuous enough to attain a genuine absorption. But the diligent effort pays off when students experience a profound stillness, absorption, and unification of consciousness through the meditation. The happiness is staggering, and lingers long after the retreat.
Today several students described wonderous experiences of deeper concentration than they had ever known was possible. What a fabulous realization to know that your own mind is capable of abiding in deep peace, exquisite contentment, and stunning clarity. What a great joy it is to see the purity that is possible when we sit quietly and apply ourselves to develop the mind. I bow to those who are diligent in their meditation. I know it is not easy to sustain the effort, but it a worthy endeavor; it is a respectable use of our time.