What is Meditation?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

What is Meditation?

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 23, 2011 9:38 am

Go head and beat me up because I will sound like an asshole...so many practice a form of meditation called Shamatha. This is good. But remember the purpose of meditation (any forms) is to detach from delusion or the 3 karma of body, speech, and mind (mental activities of greed, anger, and ignorance). So if we use a deluded mind of the 3 karma to approach meditation, then what we get is a relaxed session, but the suffering will not decrease. We will not get Shamatha or peace.

Some say that through practice, our attachments and habits will decrease. Yes because our intention is to detach from suffering to arrive at peace. If suffering is what we really want to abandon, then we have to take a good look at the 3 karma of body, speech, and mind. Can you arrive at peace while holding to attachments or delusion? This is definitely a conflict of interests.

We have to understand why we practice meditation, cannot be deluded about it and expect to gain more from it. Yes, cultivation is wholesome and it is in everyday's life through ethical living and such. So now you know meditation is not about sitting in one place but about taking in every teaching of Buddha and live it. Everyday we want to keep a right mind (opposite of a deluded mind) in our interaction with people and the environment. So meditation is in everyday's life.

Thanks for reading
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Re: What is Meditation?

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue May 24, 2011 12:25 am

Most in Tibetan Buddhism use a method of both calm abiding and insight meditation to establish spiritual progression.
Neither one nor the other solely is considered enough to sustain a spiritual practice.
There are times for employement perhaps solely one or the other but in the end both must be entertained.
One compliments the other, as far as formal meditational practices in most of Tibetan buddhism.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: What is Meditation?

Postby LastLegend » Tue May 24, 2011 2:50 am

Ron,

Meditation includes Chan, Pure Land, Tantra, TienTai, etc. Why? All lead to concentration if practice properly and correctly.
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Re: What is Meditation?

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue May 24, 2011 3:29 am

In tibetan buddhism calm mind meditation provides a very peaceful presence. One however if employing this item solely and not at some point accompanied by insight quickly regresses to a defiled state upon cessation of the meditative session or upon presentation with stressful circumstances.

AS this is a general forum I mention this. This statement is not to infer any one particular form of buddhism is superior to another.
But that is as it is. Historical examples of those that relied upon sole use of calm meditative method to bad end is able to be found in tibetan buddhist texts. One for years in such a state is said upon awakening from that state finding his hair having been eaten by rats readily succumed to anger as consequence. Once one has attained a fairly advanced state. even then it is stated, calm abiding meditation may still be utilized on occasion as a necessary spiritual adjunt.

The debate historically seems to extend to choice of spiritual vehicle in tibet. A debate of sorts being held once between a completely contemplative form of buddhism and a form of buddhism that was greater than that. The greater than that side is thought to have won and as result the king of the day incited the specific direction of buddhism in tibet towards that aim.

So there is much to this and it is not a new issue by any extant.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: What is Meditation?

Postby LastLegend » Tue May 24, 2011 5:44 am

Ron,

In addition to methods of Pure Land, Chan, Tantra, TienTai, etc, there is meditation in everyday's life. What is meditation in everyday's life? To keep your mind and body right and that is to not engage in 3 karma of body,speech,and mind (greed, anger, and ignorance). Pure Land, Chan, Tantra, TienTai, etc all are meditation just different methods. Meditation is also in everything we do in everyday's life? Why? Because we want to keep our mind right in everything we do, and to keep our mind right is meditation. Yes, you have to practice both if you really want to generate results.

Thanks for reading
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Re: What is Meditation?

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue May 24, 2011 8:08 pm

Those meditations are described as formal meditative sessions, insight and calm abiding.

IN Tibetan Buddhism when one has advanced significantly one than may use the stability granted from such and insight granted from such formal sessions to endeavor the practice of Mahamudra. Which uses virtually every experience of life as a meditatiive means, sickness joy fear happiness solitude in groups and even death itself.

Again not to advocate for one type of buddhism or one form as superior to any other nor for mahamudra to be seen as superior to other forms of spiritual practice.
A Mahamudra practitioner may in fact do very little in the way of formal sitting practice(or they may do a lot depending upon the type of mahamudra engaged) but the everyday forms the basis of practice nevertheless.
Hence statements as may be found in my moniker.....terrrorizing places such as high mountains perhaps being haunted and threatened by fall and great storm....these type places are engaged so one may learn from fear and utilize it to learn the mind. Group gathering in cities is also necessary however to learn that aspect of mind as well. So all is used.

I am making no claim on my personal practice however as I am but a uneducated layperson doing what such may be done by one as I am. But it is what it is.

The thought processes of mind are simply the closest thing to us we may study to learn of mind and our reality. So that is watched in every fashion to include the dying process.

If your intent is to state a meditative flavor can be found in ordinary activities, I then, as stated, agree. There do exist however formal and informal meditative practices. The informal in tibetan buddhism cannot generally be engaged with any expectation of great spiritual sucess, unless one has already mastered the formal sitting practice. Nothing wrong with engageing in such... probably a good thing. But without the grounding in mastery of insight and calm abiding it is thought success at the spiritual in this manner will not be sustained. The result would be spotty or without real force for maintance of spiritual progress.

So if one is very serious about mahamudra one must first master calm abiding and insight. Then one can use those qualities gained in the study of mind and circumstance itself to advance the spiritual. That may be described as a meditative process but it is not a formal meditative session or sitting.

To my knowledge as a uneducated layperson. Though I have not a bit of realization nor accomplishment and read and practice as a child, just basically imitiating real mahamudra practitioners(I would never consider myself one)....mahamudra is my chosen field of study, and tool. So I am not speaking as someone with no knowledge of this thing at all, though very slight knowledge it is.

Certainly educated peoples to this thing may correct my inadequacies of fact or speaking if they read this thing here. I don't evern necessarily consider myself a buddhist, but do meditate and have and as this is a general forum have added my personal opinion. Not to state it is more than that as well, I have no authority to speak for any form of buddhism, that where my tool is found or other.
So this is but personal opinion.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: What is Meditation?

Postby LastLegend » Wed May 25, 2011 2:24 am

:bow:
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