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Thread: Meditation - Is it a tool still not fully understood

  1. #1
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    June 2010
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    Meditation - Is it a tool still not fully understood


    Best wishes to all.

    I have been thinking of the concept of meditation. Different people different groups have defined and used the meditation for different purposes.

    Some for making the mind space empty of any thoughts / vibrations. Some to analyse - a part of mananam. Some to find out answers to intractable problems or queries. Some dive deeper to find out the truth of life and creation. Some go into samadhi.

    So what is meditation ? Why did our ancient forefathers promoted this method for seeking truth ?

    What is the basic assumption or the theory behind it ?

    Interesting topic for discussion.

    Love to all
    Love and best wishes:hug:

  2. #2

    Re: Meditation - Is it a tool still not fully understood


    What is meditation, in sanskrit there are many words associated with the word meditation, so it's a very complex in its explanation , but the experience is quite simple.

    I have revisited some of my studies in Theravadin Tradition and Pali Cannons. Jhana pali, Dhyana sanskrit is the same thing. It gets translated as meditation, concentration trance, mental absorption. In one sense we are always in a trance, mentally absorbed but the direction of that absorption is usually misdirected. So dhyana and jhana mean something different and the result is specific.

    So what is dhyana meditation. I am no expert and am only sharing some initial insights. Meditation is when concentration of mind or consciousness is focused and not scattered or moved by distraction and attachment to the senses and ordinary movements of the mind. It begins to find a power and force of its own, although it needs directing initially-vitarka. When the mind finds its own grove or flow on the initial application there is vichara from this comes priti or happiness and then a mental absorption, this is the first experience of meditation where reality is experienced more subtle or without the normal attachments to passing thoughts and feelings.

    When jhana is devloped it supresses and and finally uproots the kileshas and all of the modifications of the mind and one then see's reality as it is, and one becomes more complete, understands more, has better balance and is of benefit to others. This is why the sages and enlightened share and activley promote the cultivation of meditation.

    Some say that meditation develops naturally and any effort is detrimental. This is true, but only at a certain point when upekka upeksa equanimity has been attained via the four psychophysical sadhana's have been perfected. This in itself can be a lifetime of work and effort and comes with its own deep science of life. When this is perfected one then enters naturally the meditative states that are beyond the psychophysical reality. In abhidamma these are divided into Rupa jhana or form meditations which has a variety of sadhana's and if they are perfected one then enters naturally the arupa jhanas or the formless meditations, formless being consciousness beyond psychophysical world's.

    The basic assumption or theory as you put it on what's behind the cultivation of dhyana is the full on assualt via upaya skillful means towards dukkha, the complete eradication of suffering and discomfort of all sentient beings, this includes our self and all others, beyond the sentient world's there is less dukkha and by association with these states beyond mind and body ones internal joy is increased and it's accompanied by knowing of reality and the path leading to it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Meditation - Is it a tool still not fully understood


    Best wishes to all.

    Thanks Markandeya. The post was meaningful and insightful.

    I would like to know more. Say how did our ancestors know about the things like some special twin stars, which cannot be seen, the truth about creation, life, destruction, deep knowledge about a certain subject - so deep that even now there are no parallels.

    If you have followed Khursed Baltiwala on Youtube, he also sees meditation as a tool to knowledge. I think once we know the nuances of meditation, the present education system which is more dependent on the outward looking senses and less on mind might get reversed.

    Anyway this reversal is inevitable in case we need to move from Gross to Subtle.

    Now the point is that though all the knowledge is also available outside, why do we need to look inside for the answers.

    Love and best wishes
    Love and best wishes:hug:

  4. #4

    Re: Meditation - Is it a tool still not fully understood

    Namaste Kallol ji,

    I have listened to bits here and there from Khursed Baltiwala, he says some interesting things.

    I don't know much about the twin stars systems. It's is however interesting what the past seer's saw that the ordinary person could not. As one goes from gross to more subtle one see's that gross is a product of the subtle, so what is out there has a subtle cause. We tend not to see the subtle due to not having the right instruments. We can't see an atom, we can't see wifi etc with the normal senses so we need to include some instrument to detect them.

    The subtle reality that the see's saw was with finely tuned instruments of consciousness that has risen above gross attachments. When the mind is with attachment to the gross senses then our vision becomes limited. The more refined the mind is and detached from senses then one gets to know more the vision is broadened, the weight is being lifted and that freedom of consciousness can see more than when it was just focused on what appears only to the senses. That is why there is so much importance given to the early sadhans to bring the mind and senses to the stage of equlibrium, this will free consciousness up to discover more.

    Life, creation and all the answers lie in the subtle, this is true both for the physical sciences and the dharma marg.

    Your very right about the modern education systems, they teach and train only to use the normal faculties or the outward going senses and seeks to gratify them and life becomes a matter or survival.

    How much the truth is available outside I am not to sure. For example surya dev is illuminating and once one experiences surya it brings light into ones consciousness. We see the external sun everyday and it brings light, but the nature of that light is not the same as surya. Also we may intellectually learn about the shastra and knowledge from outside or external sources but that is not enough, so the outside understanding still depends on the inside or subtle. I'm using subtle for inside and gross for outside. In fact in one sense there is no inside or outside, it's just the ability of mind to notice gross and subtle and the advanced yogis see that they are not seperate and the cause of the gross or the outside is within or more subtle.

    I have been extending my understanding on something in the pali abhidamma as kasina. I would invite those with interest to know what they are if this is new to them. This is one method to go from gross to subtle and has some nice parellels with both Samkhya as a meditation practice.

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