Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna and Meditation

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The Way
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Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna and Meditation

Postby The Way » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:11 am

Greetings everyone!

I have been a member at dhammawheel for sometime now, and just came over here to Dharma Wheel very recently. My reasoning for this is an increased interest in the emptiness teachings of Nagarjuna. They are greatly resonating with me currently - I have yet to find another teaching that so eloquently takes one to the middle point between eternalism and nihilism. Nor have I found, that in any way does this teaching really clash with the Theravada. (The relatedness of Nirvana and Samsara might in some opinions, but not at least the DO of Nagarjuna taken at face value.)

My question though, is primarily about meditation and Nagarjuna's opinion of it. The contemplation of emptiness as meditation, is this what Nagarjuna was supposedly doing? IS there anywhere where he speaks of the importance of a jhana style meditation? I enjoy these teachings so far, but I feel that if I want to go deeper I have to drop the books at some point and go to direct experience. Hence, the question on how to actually go about meditation in this way.


Any links online or personal advice would be really appreciated. Looking forward to enjoying the forum!

Kind regards,

Ben

smcj
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Re: Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna and Meditation

Postby smcj » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:38 am

My question though, is primarily about meditation and Nagarjuna's opinion of it. The contemplation of emptiness as meditation, is this what Nagarjuna was supposedly doing? IS there anywhere where he speaks of the importance of a jhana style meditation? I enjoy these teachings so far, but I feel that if I want to go deeper I have to drop the books at some point and go to direct experience. Hence, the question on how to actually go about meditation in this way.

The jhana style meditation/application most closely associated with those ideas generally is considered to be Mahamudra. It's a big subject. You'll need a teacher. The Gelug, Sakya, Kagyu, and even Nyingma schools teach it.

Good luck. If you master that practice, you're home free!
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Re: Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna and Meditation

Postby Ayu » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:01 am

The Way wrote:... I enjoy these teachings so far, but I feel that if I want to go deeper I have to drop the books at some point and go to direct experience. Hence, the question on how to actually go about meditation in this way.
...


As far as I'm informed, you have the right approach here. :smile:
The technique for meditation is Shamata & Vipassana in combination.
- First the mind gets settled to peace by training of Shamata.
- If Shamata is established the way is going on to analyse certain topics in Vipassana-meditation:
Analysing the substance of the feeling of self. Finding Anatta. Transfering this insight on the not-selfbeing of all phenomena. Analysing the Depending Arrising.
- If one found a valid insight, one stopps analysing, shifts back to Shamata and meditates quietly in this newly found realm.

It is a long process of exercise and i agree to "smcj": you'll probably need a good teacher.
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By this constructive act, may we quickly actualize ourselves as Guru-Buddhas
and thereafter lead to that state all wandering beings, not neglecting even one.

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Re: Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna and Meditation

Postby Astus » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:32 pm

Samatha meditation in Mahayana is not much different from what you find in Theravada (but no kasinas) and other Agama schools. A good meditation manual related to Madhyamaka is Kamalasila's Bhavanakrama. You may also use Zhiyi's teachings on samatha-vipasyana (this and this), or from the Tibetan side the lamrim and lojong teachings of various schools. From the Tibetan side, this is a superb summary of both theory and practice in Madhyamaka: The Center of the Sunlit Sky, and this one is also OK: Realizing Emptiness, and its pair: Calming the Mind.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"


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