beautiful breath wrote:Hmm, see I cannot help but think that there is no substitue for silent meditation (for want of a better description). Mantra, Yantra, Bells and Mudras seem to give me more to think abut rather than the opportunity to experience my mind. It feels a little like putting more furniture in the prison cell....thoughts?
In general, meditation can be categorized as either (1) shamatha/calming and focusing the mind or (2) vipashyana/cultivating insight. If you practice developing stability of focus and mindfulness on any object--be it an external object, your breath, a visualized object, or the meaning of the prayers/mantras you're reciting--without getting distracted, this is shamatha. Whether or not you're still is irrelevant aside from the fact that in the beginning stillness will probably be helpful because it's easier. But consider that you can't be still your whole life. If having to get up and go about your daily activities and responsibilities will always disrupt your shamatha, then what use is it?
Similarly, cultivating insight into the emptiness of self and other--vipashyana--can be achieved no matter what the object is and whether one is still or in motion. Stillness is just very helpful in the beginning until one makes some progress.
You may think you're emptying your mind and laying it bare when you meditate in stillness, but it's really still on an object: stillness or some idea of "nowness" or the notion or sense that you're mind is empty. So it's still quite full haha! In that case, it doesn't matter if what it's full of is "stillness/emptiness/now" or elaborate deities, mandalas, the recitation of mantras and prayers, and the motion of your body during mudras or yantra. In fact, if you can remain undistracted during the latter while simultaneously being aware of the emptiness of true existence of it all, that is much more thorough training to equip you to approach post-meditative life with the same mindfulness and insight.