15177Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Meditation Advice
- Jan 13, 2007I feel sad, sad that meditation is struggling to be understood in the west. The spiritual path is not some Keith Caradine (sp?) script. Just talking jibberish about "nonduality" and mysterious definitions of emptiness will not "produce", but they might aid in removing...Suffering is a fact of unenlightened existence. All that is produced will cease. Everything that is produced will change...moving toward its own demise. So what! So what does that have to do with everyday life? You sit, quiet the mind, think no thoughts...so the glorious Buddha's greatest accomplishment was not much different than a coma? Have your friend hit you over the head with a shovel really, really hard!! Enlightenment can come that quick, right? Oy.If enlightenment is total bliss, then it is the total removal of the mental afflictive emotions in their entirety upon individual analysis. Emptiness is the PROMISE and FACT that things do not possess any self-nature of their own. If something is changing, moment by moment, which moment then is the "thing?" It is never the same thing twice. The CONCEPT of what that thing is is what we impose upon it...even the parts under scrutiny get the same labeling...and you come to a point where there is nothing left- without consciousness.So, here's the problem - how does that knowledge do ANYTHING for ANYONE here? It doesn't. You still have to feel like crap when you get sick, you still have to feel pain under the dentist's drill, you still have to eat food and poop...suffering. You can philosophize about it all you want to. But, unless you see the other side of the coin, you can't change a thing!If your thoughts can create suffering, and your thoughts can bring manifest all the terrible illnesses to your body, couldn't thought then, TOO, create a paradise? Couldn't your own thoughts manifest a body of light, shift your perceptions to see yourself in a land of total bliss? Couldn't you use the knowledge of emptiness to make these changes? And wouldn't they come to you faster because you see yourself give all things to others? Of course it would. It's the exact same logic as the philosophical "suffering, suffering, suffering..." Learn it and get over it. Study suffering so you get sick of it and can identify it in its less obvious forms - but then be determined to ELIMINATE IT!! For yourself and all other beings and then everything can change!Now, the real kick in the trousers is that you can't just "decide" to change your perceptions. You can't just talk about emptiness and think that's it! You have to EXPERIENCE it directly! You have to sit still long enough with that "object" in mind, (which here would be the ABSENCE of a self-existing thing), long enough to have no other movement of mind ...complete unity and total samadhi. That's it! Plain and simple...or not so simple, rare.Before you can understand what emptiness is, you have to understand what a self-existent, thing with self-nature is! You need to know what that thing would possess if it actually did exist. (There are 6 flavors of emptiness, I'll expand on that in another post; needless to say, they're not ALL emptiness. In fact, there is only ONE correct definition for emptiness...or as close as words can come to describing it. And the reason that this is true is that it is the only method that works!! It's the one that gets you enlightened!)The result of meditation is :"It eliminates the manifest form of the thought that objects and the subject states of mind which perceive them are of a separate substance; and this is the case because one has grasped the fact that the state of mind that perceives a disparity is mistaken."Meditation isn't just about sitting still and doing nothing, focused on nothing. Emptiness is a characteristic of all things. Things HAVE emptiness, things are NOT emptiness. When you understand that emptiness is a characteristic of all things, it makes it soooo much easier to understand that you can change the misery in your life, you can make beautiful things in your life, you can shift your perceptions from being a suffering human being to becoming a pleasure-filled angel...or a Buddha.Mistakes in understanding emptiness can lead beings to a belief that nothing exists, that lying to your mother has no consequences. That may be true on an ULTIMATE level, but on the day-to-day level, it will bring about it's consequences. Don't mistake that something you do right now MUST bring about a result the moment after. That's a mistake in perception.SonamAs long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva
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