What is meaning of “the Middle Way”


Middle Way can be explained in three meanings.

 

First meaning

Comfort

Word “Middle Way” comes from Pali language “Majjhima Patipada” which means middle path or path of the middle or path at the middle. This term existed in Buddhist text from the beginning. The Buddha mentioned this word to guide monks and laypeople to not follow satisfaction which come with pleasure which is not support to be enlighten. Also not for the way to suffer oneself. “Middle Way” means middle by not too luxurious, comfortable and not too tough, strict. To be with the “Middle Way” by this meaning, we learn to observe comfortable feeling. During meditation, if you feel comfortable physically and mentally which means you enjoy your sitting position, atmosphere around you and also feeling inside, you are ready with the “Middle Way”.

 

Second meaning

Center of the body ดวงแก้ว_12

Centre of the body is another meaning of the Middle. When we focus our mind at the center, we are going into the way inside. When mind become more and more still at center of the body, it will be more pure, clear and bright. At a right moment still center can transform itself to be a way. Experience of falling from the sky, going through a bright light or seeing bright sphere or body is coming from this principle that mind is moving into a path which exists at the center of our body.

 

Third meaning

Relaxation – concentration balance.

To still our mind, there are two important steps. Firstly, we learn to look to inside. We have habit to look always outside because every day after wake up, our eyes open then start to see and live with the world around us. Interaction between us and environment happens all the time. Thinking is a process to analyze and react between individual and environment. We meditate to slow down our thinking. It can start first by looking into oneself. Secondly, we have to know to reduce mind activity during closing our eyes. Five minutes can be too long when people close their eyes and don’t know how to do with their monkey mind. “Middle Way” of this meaning is to tune body and mind to be middle or balanced between relaxation and concentration. Body relaxation should be maximum during meditation. You should feel relaxed as much as you can. But you still be mindful. Mindfulness of mental concentration need to maintain for minimum level which could not be zero. That why we ask participants to visualize something, recite mantra or keep feeling the center. It just to maintain simply our mind with something. Anyone who can tune body to be maximum relaxed at the same time with minimum concentration of mind, stillness will be forming inside that person.