BE AT PEACE
All forms of goodwill welcome
also see Apophatic Mysticism website
Relevant to this subject: Coming soon, a page on Chinese wisdom and language resources, which will be a community project. A link to that page will appear here.
Here is the first paragraph of a chapter I have done on apophatic mysticism.
It will appear along with a collection of other writers in a book by Michael Saso.
"We usually can’t bear to undergo a full dose of unembellished immediacy, one of those thoughtless moments which light up our entire being. The undiluted moment of visceral awareness can rattle us. Transfixed by the astonishing potency and sufficiency of the immediate, we simultaneously endure an unnerving sense of our own vulnerability; in a clear mirror we face the irresolvable ambiguity of our individual existence.
"The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religion."
Einstein One of the benefits of mystical practice is the realization of non-contingency, what the Buddhists call "the wish-fulfilling jewel." This is also seen in the daoism of Zhuangzi:
"Although you can fit a small thing placed within a big thing, it still can be lost there. But were you to keep the entire world stored within your world, there could be no loss. This not-lose-able is the immutable attribute that is found within all (transient) things; it is their transcendent quality (da qing)."
Closely related to non-contingency (also called "sovereign contentment) is the notion that so-called "negative" events can be usefully exploited.
An approach to mysticism:
My interest is the encounter with the entity/dynamic by which all-embracing love is realized. Any belief or disbelief that enables that encounter is useful to me.
"Well I love chocolate, but guess that leaves quite a bit more to work on." Rawley Creed
More on sovereign contentment: the wish-fulfilling jewel
from the Dzogs-chen tradition, part of a story called Rig-pa rang-shar, translated by Herbert Guenther
(I added the parts in parentheses. A Wiki system is an example of autopoiesis.)
"Most briefly, mysticism is the recovery of immediacy."
Margaret Lewis Furse
Kindly Bent to Ease Us (Longchenpa: from the Dzogchen teachings of the Nyingma school) translated by Herbert V. Guenther
Let it be, like one who has finished his work and knows so for certain, Spontaneously present, without expectations or fears.
This is a holistic experience, pure it itself; In it inner calm and wider perspective are united. By stating in the range that is unborn, there is inner calm; By being free from propositions (about its) lucency openness, there is wider perspective. Their indivisibility is their unity by virtue of their being one fact.
Since at this time, mind profound, calm, not harboring any proposition, Sees the meaning (of Being) defying all attempts at verbalization, This dawning of pristine cognition, is utterly without dividing concepts, Is sheer lucency, termed the transcending function of appreciative discrimination.
By seeing this very lucency mind becomes very calm, And the desire to affirm or to negate the without or the within grows less.
Out of this open range an impartial compassion arises, And the person is urged onto and engages in what is wholesome both for himself and others. He delights in solitude and cares little for excitement and haste. Even in his dreams he engages in what is wholesome. Thereby he has taken hold of the way to deliverance.
"According to the Dao’s view
- Nothing is noble nor mean.
According to each being’s view,
- Itself is noble and others are mean."
(And indeed we cannot survive without pretending distinctions.)
Vipassana : The Path of HappinessEdit
If end of suffering (or unconditional happiness) is the goal, Vipassana Meditation is the path to be taken.
It is a well-defined, well-detailed, do-able by you and me, and logical path, and is the teaching of Lord Gautama Buddha. As we know, Buddha had a similar task at hand - understanding and eradicating suffering.
There are three parts of Vipassana
1) Sila : One becomes a noble person in speech and deeds
2) Samadhi : Concentration : One takes control over the mind and has the capacity to focus it entirely on a chosen object.
3) Panna : Wisdom : One gets experiential wisdom of the mind-body process. This is different from heard or intellectual wisdom, which is typically somebody else's wisdom inherited by one. It shatters so many conditioning, mis-concepts, pre-judices etc.
Vipassana is essentially the Noble Eight Fold path discovered by Lord Buddha. It has three sub-parts : sila, samadhi and panna.
Pointers for Intellectual Wisdom
1) A book titled "The art of living" by William Hart (Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka) Publisher : Vipassana Research Institute. (The Hindi books "Dharma : Jeevan Jeene ki kalaa" and "Nirmal Dhara Dharam ki" are also enlightening books)
2) The starting article http://www.dhamma.org/art.htm
4) A wonderful FAQ : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/general/question.html
5)Lot of articles : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/archives/index.html (Do away lot of false/ignorant conditioning of the mind)
6) VRI Publications : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/publications/publist.html
7) Links on Anapana (which is very effective for children and students)
8) Links about Vipassana and Anapana : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Why_Vipassana/links
Pointers for Experiential Wisdom
One needs to attend a 10 day concept+practice course offered by S.N. Goenka and his teachers, in many locations World-wide.
Some facts about Vipassana
1) Vipassana is not for any sect, religion or isms : A christian will become a good christian. A Buddhist will become a good Budhhist. A Hindu will become a good Hindu. A XYZ will become a good XYZ
2) Vipassana says nothing good or bad about any religion, be it Buddhism, Hindu-ism, Sikh-ism, XYZ-ism
3) Vipassana neither says that God exists, nor denies it. It says nothing in this concern. It is universally applicable, for believers-in-God, and for non-believers-in-God. It is for rich, poor, educated, illiterate, all colors, all castes, all humans.
4) Vipassana is based on truth, on the reality. It requires no belief. Come and Experience and See for yourself, inside yourself. The reality, we live in, is apperant reality. Ultimate reality is very different, and need not be told/read. It can be experienced, if you practice.
5) Benefits are here-and-now. At each step, you get a reward.
6) You do not have to sacrifice the worldly life at all. A family person becomes a good family person. An Employee become a good employee. A citizen becomes a good citizen. A human becomes a good human.
7) Do not try to do the Meditation after reading a book, or hearing from another student. The first experience of Vipassana must be in the 10-day course. This is because, there is only one correct way to do a thing right, while there are ten thousands ways of doing a thing wrong. Ofcourse, at intellectual level, you can read/discuss to any depth. But, do remember that it is experiential wisdom which helps finally. Intellectual wisdom acts just like an inspiration (and is very important in that sense. Most of the people fail, because they never take the first step, due to conditioning/ignorance/...)
8) Many methods exist to clean the conscious mind. But the sub-conscious mind does not think. It just feels, reacts and creates defilements/impurities. Vipassana goes to the depth of sub-conscious mind too, and cleans the entire mind. Cleaning the conscious mind at intellectual level, and keeping the sub-conscious mind is like sitting on a sleeping Volcano.
For More Details
1) You can contact any Vipassana Center
2) You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments,suggestions, clarification-requests are welcome.
Wishing You a Happy and Brilliant Mind,
Vikas Nagpal (email@example.com)
Idea for building a Happy World (using Anapana) :: Edit
Anapana (awareness of breathing) is the first step of Vipassana Meditation, which results in a concentrated and peaceful mind. This exercise can even be done by kids of 8 years.
I feel that Anapana should be integrated with school education. It can impart moral values to children at an early age very effectively. It also helps students become more intelligent and sharp. So, it is extremely valuable for students.
If we integrate Anapana with education, I am sure we will have much better world citizens, who will build a happy world. This integration is very easy. Anapana exercise will just require 10 to 20 minutes per day!
Anapana has tremendous potential and results in making the mind very concentrated, happy, and creative. Anapana results in betterment of the mind. Mind is the root of all actions and achievements. Hence, Anapana achieves improvements in all spheres of life. Some specific advantages of Anapana are given below
1) Concentration of mind increases
2) Awareness and Alertness of the mind improves
3) Mastery over the mind improves
4) Memory becomes very sharp
5) Decision-making power improves
6) Self-confidence increases
7) Agitation, fear, tension, nervousness and stress decreases
8) Capacity to work increases
9) Better performance in studies, sports and extra-curricular activities
10) Ability to understand and express increases
11) Mind becomes healthy, wholesome and strong
12) One becomes full of good wishes for others
More and more schools have already started imparting training of Anapana to students. Vipassana centres around the globe offer such courses for individual children and schools. Kindly refer the links http://www.vri.dhamma.org/anapana/index.html and http://www.vri.dhamma.org/anapana/school.html
I am listing some more links which shed more light on what Anapana can do for children/students.
http://www.vri.dhamma.org/research/94sem/edu1.html http://www.vri.dhamma.org/research/94sem/child.html http://www.vri.dhamma.org/research/94sem/child2.html
Kindly feel free to contact me for any clarifications/comments/suggestions/criticism.
Wishing You a Happy and Noble World,
Vikas Nagpal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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