A few months ago I came across a remarkable writer from Zimbabwe. She found me through twitter and directed me to her site, https://hamamaoko.wordpress.com/, specifically her poem, Cherish the Present Moment, which concludes with these lines, wonderfully expressing a major part of the Buddha’s teachings:
The present moment;
Gives you all.
It orders everything sweetly;
Showering material and hallowed gifts over your head.
Sadly, man is full of wishes, plans and expectations.
Cherish the Present Moment!
Until another cycle emerges.
Wishes are fleeting
No one knows the next moment;
By the present sign or situation;
There is only one true moment:
The Present moment
Cherish the present moment
Your only visible moment!
The past must be thoughtfully examined and the future planned for, but such activities can (and for some, all too often do) drive one out of balance into frenetic dissatisfaction with everything. The author is Debra Chimuka, a Zimbabwean author who has more recently approached me for some help with a book project. The book is Meditation in High Definition, and Debra is looking for some help to get it launched in Botswana, where she is at the moment. If you are interested in helping out, please comment here with some contact info for Debra or reach out to her via her twitter account.
When she contacted me about this project, I told her that the best thing I could probably do is somehow reach out to my readers who can be a thoughtful and generous lot, to see that she gets the support she deserves. In return, I hoped to get some bits of insight about her book, her journey into meditation, and life in Zimbabwe.
Can you tell us about your background in meditation?
Backed by a Christian faith – meditation is a concept and a practice that I encountered in the Holy Bible during my primary years. Joshua 1 verse 6-8 is the source text that was used to introduce meditation and its essence to me. Joshua is instructed by God (prescribed in the Holy Bible) to meditate, that is to consider biblical laws to secure direction and order. So I grew up knowing that meditation is about considering the highest moral option. Practice involved being constantly, or meditatively aware of biblical precepts so that they would lead my choices.
And how did you get involved in meditation in Zimbabwe?
What got you started and interested in making this a major part of your life?
Every religion has a branch of meditation. It upholds its own opinion and definition of meditation. In 2006 I linked myself to a Buddhist Center in Harare (Zimbabwe). At the Buddhist center I was exposed to another branch of meditation. I learned the art of observing thoughts registering in my mind without engaging in their stories or judging. The ultimate discipline I concluded was observing and disengaging. Disengaging created space between a thought and its stories allowing my thoughts to settle. And the end result calm reigned. So I learnt disengaging as a form of non-judgmental awareness. This allowed me to accept anything understood or not understood (without covering what it is). And many more lessons.
My education in meditation is not based on one particular background. It is a result of different teachings from different angles. So I didn’t start anything I just carried on. Another aspect of meditation made my tree to have two collaborating branches.
Buddhism and Christianity, I take it. How did the book project come about?
A modernised approach to meditation inspired me to introduce a holistic approach to meditation. A non-dual approach to meditation is only raising awareness to the movement and erratic nature of thoughts, without considering reconciliation through the Inward Spiritual Mind. This increases the rift between the conscious mind and the Inward Spiritual Mind. Meditation is not a characteristic of a mind and a body isolated from the Spirit (Inward Spiritual Mind).
What is the aim or goal of the book?
Meditation in High Definition (MHD) is incorporating the Spirit (Inward Spiritual Mind), a neglected faculty of human consciousness (within current models for meditation). It honors an open holistic approach based on the threefold being of man (Spirit, Soul and Body) within an environment. The participation of the Inward Spiritual Mind allows meaningful observations and context for managing thoughts.Each person is free to meditate within the compass of his/her religious doctrine. However the threefold being of man (Spirit, Soul and Body) is the ultimate theory, for a balanced framework for meditation.
Who is the audience, who will benefit from it?
Meditation is practiced by men, women and children with different thought processes, personalities and beliefs. My book presents meditation as a basic human need. Meditation is a Thought Management tool for everyone.
If this book is a great success, as we hope it will be, what are your plans for the future?
Meditation in High Definition is the first volume making my Tranquil World Series. Once the book finds favour for a review, I will release the second book defining the Observed and the Observer in meditation, followed by the third book on behavioural meditation focusing on Mindfulness Practice in attitudes, behaviour and conduct. And the rest of the books (6) making the series will keep coming.
About Debra Chimuka
Debra Chimuka is a developing author of Meditation in High Definition. She is a full time writer unsupported. She lives in Harare Zimbabwe. She hopes the practice of meditation will be given a public status on various platforms.