42. Meditators who are uncertain

At present, many people who are interested in meditation practice are extremely confused and doubtful about the correct way to practice. This is especially true of people just beginning to get interested, because meditation teachers often give conflicting advice on how to practice. What’s worse, instead of explaining things in a fair and objective way, these teachers seem reluctant to admit that other teachers or methods of practice might also be correct. There are not a few who show actual disdain for other methods.

Because many people with these sorts of doubts would often come to ask Luang Pu’s advice, I frequently heard him explain things in this way:

“When you start practicing meditation, you can begin with any method at all, because they all lead to the same results. The reason there are so many methods is because people have different tendencies. This is why there have to be different images to focus on or words to repeat—such as “buddho” or “arahang”—as means of giving the mind a point around which to gather and settle down as the first step. When the mind has gathered and is still, the meditation word will fall away on its own, and that’s where every method falls into the same track, with the same flavor. In other words, it has discernment as its surpassing state, and release as its essence.”