Madhyamaka, Nagarjuna and Meditation

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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
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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.
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
From 10th of 37 Bodhisattva Practices
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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.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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