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The Purpose of Buddhist Meditation Is to Be Real

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  • medit8ionsociety
    By Lewis Richman 9/26/11 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/meditation-and-discovering-reality_b_969021.html I often say when I teach meditation, We
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2011
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      By Lewis Richman 9/26/11
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/meditation-and-discovering-reality_b_969021.html

      I often say when I teach meditation, "We meditate
      not just to be calm, but to be real."

      Meditation has become quite popular in the West,
      and Buddhist teachers abound, but I wonder if we
      have yet learned this profound lesson well enough.
      The Buddha himself, beginning his spiritual
      pilgrimage, studied with many meditation teachers.
      For the most part, these teachers taught a type
      of meditation designed to induce calm, even
      trance. The young Siddhartha mastered all these
      techniques. He was so good that some of his
      teachers urged him to teach with them, but he
      was not satisfied. He had an intuition that
      these meditation practices, while deep, were
      but a temporary respite from the primal suffering
      of human existence, and that once one emerged
      from trance the suffering was still there.
      He left these teachers and vowed to look deeper.

      As meditation is finding its way in the West
      and looking for authentic cultural roots, we
      are bound to re-enact Siddhartha's own search,
      re-discover his own disappointments and illuminations.
      As Kalu Rinpoche, one of the young Tibetan teachers
      (he is in his early 20s) said recently in a public
      gathering, "Dharma is reality." I thought this was
      quite profound, especially coming from one so young.
      He went on to explain that most religion, including
      Buddhism, offers an escape from reality, rather than
      a transforming insight about it. But Dharma is not
      like that. It is about what is true and real. Buddhist
      meditation is ultimately a way to discover that truth.

      Once a student said to Suzuki Roshi, "My meditation
      is no good; I'm thinking all the time." o which Suzuki replied, "What's wrong with thinking?"

      Suzuki meant it as a deep question. What is wrong
      with thinking? Is all thinking wrong, or just some
      thinking? Is thinking during meditation a bad thing?
      The sixth ancestor of Zen, Hui Neng, specifically
      taught that to empty the mind of all thoughts during
      meditation is not a Buddhist practice. Thrangu Rinpoche,
      a living Mahamudra master, once said (in the book
      "Pointing Out the Dharmakaya"), "sometimes you have
      a really bad thought when you meditate." And to stress
      the point he added, "No I mean a really bad thought!"

      When the laughter subsided he went on to say, "No problem.
      Just keep meditating."

      There is nothing wrong with meditating in order to
      calm the mind. All of us can use more calmness in the
      midst of a busy life. In fact, without some calmness
      in meditation it is impossible to see anything clearly
      or distinguish what is real from what is illusion.
      Once we have attained a stable, calm mind, we can
      then go deeper. We can, as Zen Master Dogen famously
      said, "study the self." Who is this person that is
      meditating? Where do these thoughts and feelings that
      rise and fall originate, and where do they go when
      they subside? Why do I suffer? Why do other people
      suffer? What is the cause of that woe? How can it
      be convincingly assuaged?

      These are the questions that Siddhartha asked as he
      continued his spiritual quest, continuing to probe
      deeper, until he was satisfied that he had gotten
      to the bottom of his inquiry. That is the real treasure
      that Buddhism has to offer, and it may take us a long
      time in the West to bring this treasure to full fruition.

      It is possible. The Buddha was not a god or a
      super-being, but an ordinary human being just
      like us. If he could do it, we can do it. People
      in every generation have the same opportunity as
      the Buddha had to see behind the curtain of illusion
      to the reality beneath.

      Each of us can be Buddha, which means being awake
      to what is real.
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      Fair Use Notice: This document may contain
      copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically
      authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that
      this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web
      constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material
      (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law).
      If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes
      of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain
      permission from the copyright owner.
    • dan330033
      Being awake *as* the real, *is* the real. This being aware has no purpose, and is not a goal that is reached, nor can be aimed at. If one has the purpose to be
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 28, 2011
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        Being awake *as* the real, *is* the real.

        This being aware has no purpose, and is not a goal that is reached, nor can be aimed at.

        If one has the purpose to be real, one is putting energy into unreality.

        For the mythical and imaginary figure "the Buddha," there was a falling away of false intentions and aims, a falling away of one-sided self-serving aims ... although people misconceive this as a goal that a human being reached.

        Rather, it is the undoing of the sense of self, the undoing of self-serving perceptual formats, undoing of the clinging to identity that says "I am this existing and continuing human being," or "I am this quality in this location."

        A self wants a purpose and goal it can maintain, which maintains a "self," a continuity.

        A self does not want to be undone, cannot want this. Its very "wanting" is undone.

        - D -

        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > By Lewis Richman 9/26/11
        > http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lewis-richmond/meditation-and-discovering-reality_b_969021.html
        >
        > I often say when I teach meditation, "We meditate
        > not just to be calm, but to be real."
        >
        > Meditation has become quite popular in the West,
        > and Buddhist teachers abound, but I wonder if we
        > have yet learned this profound lesson well enough.
        > The Buddha himself, beginning his spiritual
        > pilgrimage, studied with many meditation teachers.
        > For the most part, these teachers taught a type
        > of meditation designed to induce calm, even
        > trance. The young Siddhartha mastered all these
        > techniques. He was so good that some of his
        > teachers urged him to teach with them, but he
        > was not satisfied. He had an intuition that
        > these meditation practices, while deep, were
        > but a temporary respite from the primal suffering
        > of human existence, and that once one emerged
        > from trance the suffering was still there.
        > He left these teachers and vowed to look deeper.
        >
        > As meditation is finding its way in the West
        > and looking for authentic cultural roots, we
        > are bound to re-enact Siddhartha's own search,
        > re-discover his own disappointments and illuminations.
        > As Kalu Rinpoche, one of the young Tibetan teachers
        > (he is in his early 20s) said recently in a public
        > gathering, "Dharma is reality." I thought this was
        > quite profound, especially coming from one so young.
        > He went on to explain that most religion, including
        > Buddhism, offers an escape from reality, rather than
        > a transforming insight about it. But Dharma is not
        > like that. It is about what is true and real. Buddhist
        > meditation is ultimately a way to discover that truth.
        >
        > Once a student said to Suzuki Roshi, "My meditation
        > is no good; I'm thinking all the time." o which Suzuki replied, "What's wrong with thinking?"
        >
        > Suzuki meant it as a deep question. What is wrong
        > with thinking? Is all thinking wrong, or just some
        > thinking? Is thinking during meditation a bad thing?
        > The sixth ancestor of Zen, Hui Neng, specifically
        > taught that to empty the mind of all thoughts during
        > meditation is not a Buddhist practice. Thrangu Rinpoche,
        > a living Mahamudra master, once said (in the book
        > "Pointing Out the Dharmakaya"), "sometimes you have
        > a really bad thought when you meditate." And to stress
        > the point he added, "No I mean a really bad thought!"
        >
        > When the laughter subsided he went on to say, "No problem.
        > Just keep meditating."
        >
        > There is nothing wrong with meditating in order to
        > calm the mind. All of us can use more calmness in the
        > midst of a busy life. In fact, without some calmness
        > in meditation it is impossible to see anything clearly
        > or distinguish what is real from what is illusion.
        > Once we have attained a stable, calm mind, we can
        > then go deeper. We can, as Zen Master Dogen famously
        > said, "study the self." Who is this person that is
        > meditating? Where do these thoughts and feelings that
        > rise and fall originate, and where do they go when
        > they subside? Why do I suffer? Why do other people
        > suffer? What is the cause of that woe? How can it
        > be convincingly assuaged?
        >
        > These are the questions that Siddhartha asked as he
        > continued his spiritual quest, continuing to probe
        > deeper, until he was satisfied that he had gotten
        > to the bottom of his inquiry. That is the real treasure
        > that Buddhism has to offer, and it may take us a long
        > time in the West to bring this treasure to full fruition.
        >
        > It is possible. The Buddha was not a god or a
        > super-being, but an ordinary human being just
        > like us. If he could do it, we can do it. People
        > in every generation have the same opportunity as
        > the Buddha had to see behind the curtain of illusion
        > to the reality beneath.
        >
        > Each of us can be Buddha, which means being awake
        > to what is real.
        > --------------------------------------------------------------
        > Fair Use Notice: This document may contain
        > copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically
        > authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that
        > this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web
        > constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material
        > (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law).
        > If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes
        > of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain
        > permission from the copyright owner.
        >
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