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Re: [Meditation Society of America] Digest Number 68

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  • Ramon Sender
    I like your suggestion, Tony. I would also add something else: for years I ve been frustrated by the lack of an adequate language to define a depth scale for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2002
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      I like your suggestion, Tony. I would also add something else:
      for years I've been frustrated by the lack of an adequate language
      to define a 'depth scale' for meditative states. John Curtis Gowan
      in his remarkable book 'Trance, Art and Creativity' attempted a
      table correlating various states of consciousness across the major
      religious traditions. I attempted to add a few more than the ones
      he used, but it's merely intuitive guesswork.

      Imagine how helpful it could be, in Tony's journal format,, to
      be able to write: 'By fixing my gaze without blinking for two
      minutes I was able to achieve a level -1 Jhana. On Gowan's
      chart (my editing included) this would correspond to Sri
      Aurobindo's 'Overmind' level, Patanjali's 'meditation with no
      distractions,' the Catholic 'Prayer of Quiet,' St. Francis De Sales'
      Contemplation (total attention on loved object), St. Theresa's
      Orison of Quiet, and what others might describe as an 'Oceanic
      Peak Experience.' Gowan's chart also continues: Affectve
      thrill: ECSTASY; Cognition knowledge YES; Self-purification
      YES, Illumination N/A. My revised list postulates nine higher
      levels above this level.

      I've tried to make this chart into a text file with no success,
      but will be glad to place it as a .jpeg somewhere (here? or
      in the articles area for this list on Yahoo?) or even e-mail it
      to anyone willing to work on it further.


      > If we set up a good process I believe that in a year we can review thousands
      > of insights - the potential is tremendous.
      > A sample format: Hypothetical
      > Journal Entry
      > Name: xman (some pen name)
      > Type: Focus on breath (the type of meditation you performed)
      > Variation: 4 second pause on out breath (the variation of the primary
      > meditation)
      > Time: 6:30 a.m. (the time you meditated)
      > Duration: 20 minutes (the duration of your meditation)
      > Posture: Sitting on a chair (your meditation position)
      > Condition: Dark room. Candles. Incense. Bell. (the accoutrements)
      > Experience: Good session. Gentle rocking to heart beat. Distracting thoughts
      > brought session to an end. (any new or unique experiences)
      > Insights: Out breath discharged distracting thoughts. Switching focus from
      > heart beat to breath allowed deeper meditation. (this would be the key
      > entry - what insights can you share with the group)
      > Questions: How can I improve the technique of discharging distracting
      > thoughts with the out breath? (I would encourage at least one question not
      > just for the responses but also for the effect of asking questions on the
      > questioner - it develops curiosity and the potential for insights)
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