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My two initial questions about meditation

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  • Andy
    Hi and thank you for welcoming me to the meditation society. I would like to start my involvement in this group by asking y all these two questions i ve had
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 25, 2003
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      Hi and thank you for welcoming me to the meditation
      society. I would like to start my involvement in this
      group by asking y'all these two questions i've had for
      a while now about meditation.

      Hello Roberto ~

      The first is this: do you produce your own thoughts or
      do they just appear in your head by themselves?
       
      Interestingly enough,  this is the precise question that years ago initiated the "search" for me!
       
      That journey ended with an examination of  whether or not any thoughts were actually "mine."
       
      Engaging in insight meditation, just watching, may provide you with a sense of the coming and going of thought.

      The second: I learned from a catholic nun that there
      is a difference between happiness and joy. That
      happiness is not promised by God but that joy is, and
      that happiness means feeling well and joy means
      knowing that you are well. Similarly, the Buddha said:
      "I achieved absolutely nothing with supreme
      enlightenment, and that is why it is called supreme
      enlightenment" (not an exact quote, but i read that
      somewhere).
       
      There is nothing to get.
      Period.
      There may, however, be stuff to get rid of, stuff which appears to block the arising of joy and equanimity.
       
      I relate this to a buddhist story about a
      student who achieved nirvana, who, when asked how he
      felt, he said: "as miserable as always". Am I right to
      conclude that nirvana is not happiness but joy?
       
      Nirvana is always present.  It is not achieved (as in something which one does not have and requires a "getting").  
       
      It's like being a visually blind person standing in the middle of a room.  You can't see a thing.  Then, groping along the wall, your elbow hits a light switch.  The light comes on and you now see the room in its entirety.
       
      Ahhh....you conclude....I wasn't blind; it was just that the lights were out.  It was a misunderstanding.
       
      Missing the presence of Nirvana is like thinking you are blind when, in fact, the light is just not turned on.  You can, in fact, see.  You are, in fact, NOT blind.  But the light is not on.
       
      What turns the light on?

      Also, you may want to consider this:  nirvana is not a state where one always feels "good."  Rather, it is a state in which there is acceptance of whatever is coming up, good, bad, or just plain boring.


      I am eager to read a response to these questions and
      an elaboration on these subjects, since i am intrigued
      by them very much. Thank you.

      If the passion to explore this persists...I wonder where you will end up!

      ~andy


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