Buddhist Meditation – Part 2
There is an essential difference, then, between Buddhist meditation and concentration and that practiced in other systems.
Buddhist Meditation embarking on a course of meditation does well to recognize this difference and to establish in his own conscious mind a clear idea of what it is he is trying to do. 17 rayon
The root-cause of rebirth and suffering is avijja conjoined with and reacting upon tanha. These two causes form a vicious circle; on the one hand, concepts, the result of ignorance, and on the other hand, desire arising from concepts. The world of phenomena has no meaning beyond the meaning given to it by our own interpretation. Clothing for Buddhist 02
When that interpretation is conditioned by avijja, we are subject to the state known as vipallasa, or hallucination. Sañña-vipallasa, hallucination of perception; citta-vipallasa, hallucination of consciousness, and ditthi-vipallasa, hallucination of views, cause us to regard that which is impermanent (anicca) as permanent, that which is painful (dukkha) as a source of pleasure, and that which is unreal (anatta), or literally without any self existence, as being a real, self-existing entity. 20 Polyester_rayon Consequently, we place a false interpretation on all the sensory experiences we gain through the six channels of cognition, that is, the eye, ear, nose, tongue, sense of touch and mind cakkhu, sota, ghana, jivha, kaya and mano (ayatana). Physics, by showing that the realm of phenomena we know through these channels of cognition does not really correspond to the physical world known to science, has confirmed this Buddhist truth. We are deluded by our own senses. Pursuing what we imagine to be desirable, an object of pleasure, we are in reality only following a shadow, trying to grasp a mirage. It is anicca, dukkha, anatta — impermanent, associated with suffering, an insubstantial. Being so, it can only be the cause of impermanence, suffering and insubstantiality, since like begets like; and we ourselves, who chase the illusion, are also impermanent, subject to suffering and without any persistent ego-principle. It is a case of a shadow pursuing a shadow. Long Robes- Haiqing
The purpose of Buddhist meditation, therefore, is to gain more than an intellectual understanding of this truth, to liberate ourselves from the delusion and thereby put an end to both ignorance and craving. If the meditation does not produce results tending to this consummation — results which are observable in the character and the whole attitude to life — it is clear that there is something wrong either with the system or with the method of employing it. It is not enough to see lights, to have visions or to experience ecstasy. These phenomena are too common to be impressive to the Buddhist who really understands the purpose of Buddhist meditation. There are actual dangers in them which are apparent to one who is also a student of psychopathology. Adult Apparel 01
In the Buddha’s great discourse on the practice of mindfulness, the Maha-satipatthana Sutta, both the object and the means of attaining it are clearly set forth. Attentiveness to the movements of the body, to the ever-changing states of the mind, is to be cultivated in order that their real nature should be known. Instead of identifying these physical and mental phenomena with the false concept of “self,” we are to see them as they really are: movements of a physical body, an aggregate of the four elements, (mahabhutas) subject to physical laws of causality on the one hand, and on the other, a flux of successive phases of consciousness arising and passing away in response to external stimuli. They are to be viewed objectively, as though they were processes not associated with ourselves but belonging to another order of phenomena. Alb for man
From what can selfishness and egotism proceed if not from the concept of “self” (sakkayaditthi)? If the practice of any form of meditation leaves selfishness or egotism unabated, it has not been successful. A tree is judged by its fruits and a man by his actions; there is no other criterion. Particularly is this true in buddhist meditation, because the man is his actions. In the truest sense they, or the continuity of kamma and vipaka which they represent, are the only claim he can make to any persistent identity, not only through the different phases of this life but also from one life to another. Attentiveness with regard to body and mind serves to break down the illusion of self; and not only that, it also cuts off craving and attachment to external objects, so that ultimately there is neither the “self” that craves nor any object of craving. It is a long and arduous discipline, and one that can only be undertaken in retirement from the world and its cares.
Yet even a temporary retirement, a temporary course of this discipline, can bear good results in that it establishes an attitude of mind which can be applied to some degree in the ordinary situations of life. Detachment, objectivity, is an invaluable aid to clear thinking; it enables a man to sum up a given situation without bias, personal or otherwise, and to act in that situation with courage and discretion. Another gift it bestows is that of concentration — the ability to focus the mind and keep it steadily fixed on a single point (ekaggata, or one-pointedness), and this is the great secret of success in any undertaking. The mind is hard to tame; it roams here and there restlessly as the wind, or like an untamed horse, but when it is fully under control, it is the most powerful instrument in the whole universe. He who has mastered his own mind is indeed master of the Three Worlds.