...Buddhism for Urban America
Urban Dharma Newsletter... May 20, 2003
3. Anapanasati, Samatha or Vipassana Meditation
4. Tranquility and Insight Meditation
Temple/Center/Website- of the Week: The Integral Institute
6. Book Review: A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision
for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality ...Ken
7. Peace Quote...
2. DANA - Generosity
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3. Anapanasati, Samatha or Vipassana Meditation
...Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation
respiration meditation is mentioned in the Visuddhimagga
as Samatha Meditation. In the Visuddhimagga there
are 40 subjects of Samatha Meditation. They are 10 Kasina,
10 Asubha, 10 Anussati, 4 Brahma Vihara,
4 Formless Spheres, Perception of the Loathsomeness of
Food and Analysis of the Four Elements. Anapanasati is
one of them.
means entirely or whole. In other words, when a Kasina
is an object of meditation you have to focus the whole circle
of Kasina in your mind; but with the eyes initially.
One can use these Kasina as an object of Samatha
Meditation; pavathi kasina, earth; apo kasina,
water; tejo kasina, fire; vayo kasina, wind or
air; aloka kasina, light; lohita kasina, red;
nila kasina, blue; pita kasina, yellow; odata
kasina, white; akasa kasina, space. There are also
10 Asubha: meditation on impurity; meditation on swollen
corpse, discoloured corpse, dismembered corpse, skeleton and
so on. Then there are 10 kinds of recollecting meditation. We
call it Anussati. The objects are: Buddhanussati,
recollection of the attributes of the Buddha; Dhammanussati,
recollection of the attributes of the Dhamma; Sanghanussati,
recollections of the attributes of the Sangha; Silanussati,
recollection of the attributes of the precepts you are observing;
Caganussati, recollection of the attributes and benefits
of charity or offering you have done; Devatanussati,
recollection of heavenly beings; Maranasati, mindfulness
of death; Kayagatasati, mindfulness of the body; Anapanasati,
mindfulness of breathing; and Upasamanussati, recollection
Anapanasati, recollection or mindfulness of breathing
is one of the 10 recollections meditations, Anussati.
According to Visuddhimagga, we take Anapanasati,
mindfulness of breathing to be a Samatha Meditation.
But in the Maha Satipatthana Sutta, the Discourse on
the Four Foundations of the Mindfulness, Anapanasati
is mentioned as an object of Vipassana Meditation also.
The Maha Satipatthana Sutta begins with Anapanasati
as the object of Vipassana Meditation. So some scholars
get puzzled about this meditation, whether it is Samatha
or Vipassana Meditation because in Visuddhimagga
it is mentioned as Samatha and Maha Satipatthana Sutta
mentioned it as Vipassana. In Maha Satipatthana Sutta
the Buddha teaches us how to practise Anapanasati,
mindfulness of respiration. He mentioned how a meditator sees
the appearance and disappearance of the respiration and realize
impermanence of respiration. So it is mentioned in Maha Satipatthana
Sutta as Vipassana.
we should know is that the object of Samatha Meditation
can either be pannatti or paramattha. Pannatti
means concept, paramattha means absolute or ultimate
reality. The object of Samatha Meditation may be concept
or ultimate reality. When we take Kasina as the object
of Samatha Meditation, the object is just concept, not
absolute reality. How?
if we make a red kasina as the object of Kasina
Meditation, then you have to draw a red circle about the size
of a plate on a wall or tree, about two feet from the floor
so that your eyes can look at it easily. That red must be pure
red without mixing with any colour. When you focus your mind
on the red circle, you have to focus on the whole red circle,
not half or quarter of the circle. So it is called Kasina.
Why? Because you want to concentrate your mind on the form of
the circle. You need not know the red, the colour. You need
not know the texture. What you should do is to concentrate on
the form of the circle very well, very deeply. You have to look
at the whole circle and focus your mind on it.
when your concentration is good enough, though you close your
eyes you could see that red circle in your mind, that is the
form of the circle. You concentrate on that red circle you see
in your mind. That circle you see in your mind is called Patibhaga
Nimitta. It means the nimitta which is similar to
the circle on the wall. Some scholars translate it as counterpart
sign. The meditation is Samatha Meditation, so you need
not realize any physical or material processes of the circle.
What you need is to concentrate your mind on the whole circle
and absorb the mind in it. That is why you see the red circle
in your mind when your concentration is good enough. The red
circle is a form, it's just a concept. The form is just concept,
not ultimate reality. The circle you see in your mind is not
absolute reality. It's just the thing which is created by your
mind; so it's just a concept. In this case the object of Samatha
Meditation is just concept, not ultimate reality.
you practise Buddhanussati, it is recollection of the
chief attributes of the Buddha such as Araham, Sammasambuddho,
Vijjacarana sampanno, Sugato, Lokavidu, Anuttaro purisa damma
sarathi, Sattha deva manussanam, Buddho, Bhavaga. Here the
object is reality, paramattha. Say you reflect on the
attribute, 'Araham'. It means the Buddha is worthy of
honour because he has totally destroyed all mental defilements.
So to destroy these mental defilements he has the fourth stage
of enlightenment, Arahatta Magga and Sabbannuta,
that is Omniscience. Then you have to concentrate on those qualities
of the Buddha which destroy all mental defilements. These qualities
are enlightenment and omniscience; so they are absolute reality,
not concept. If you repeatedly concentrate on these attributes,
whenever the mind goes out you bring it back and reflect on
these attributes. Then gradually you get concentrated. In this
case, absolute reality, paramattha is the object of Samatha
in Vipassana Meditation every object of meditation must
be absolute reality, ultimate reality, paramattha. In
Vipassana Meditation no concept can be the object of
meditation. Concept cannot be the object of Vipassana
Meditation because Vipassana meditators need to realize
the specific characteristics and general characteristics of
mental and physical phenomena which is absolute reality. So
the object must be either mental or physical processes which
are ultimate reality. If concept is the object of Vipassana
Meditation, Vipassana meditators can't realize any characteristics
of mental and physical processes because you can't find any
real characteristics in concepts. Concepts are made up by the
your name is Pannananda. Though you have died, if I memorize
your name in my mind as Pannananda, the name is there
in my mind. (Actually Pannananda has gone.) Why? Because
my mind memorizes it, creates it to exist. It means name is
just a concept because it is created, memorized or made up by
the mind. So every concept is not reality. They are things which
are made up by the mind. So they don't have any characteristic
if the red circle is the object of meditation, we see the form
of the circle in our mind and concentrate on it. Gradually our
mind becomes more and more concentrated on the red circle we
see in our mind. When the mind is totally absorbed in that circle,
then we say we have attained Jhana. But you see that
red circle is not reality but the mind makes the object; so
it's just concept. It hasn't any characteristics to realize.
Even though you concentrate your mind on it for say one hundred
years continuously, you can't realize any characteristics; because
it is not an absolute reality, it's a mind-made thing. Just
as to respiration meditation (Anapanasati), in Visuddhimagga
it is mentioned as Samatha Meditation, Concentration
Meditation. In Maha Satipatthana Sutta it is mentioned
as Vipassana Meditation. Then how can we distinguish
it between the Vipassana aspect of respiration and the
Samatha aspect of respiration? If we are mindful of the
absolute reality of respiration, that will be Vipassana
Meditation. If we are mindful of the concept regarding respiration,
then it will be Samatha Meditation.
in Visuddhimagga it mentions the method of concentration
on the touching sensation whenever you breathe in and breathe
out. When you concentrate your mind on the coming in and going
out of the breath, then it is Samatha Meditation because
you have to concentrate on the coming in and going out, not
on the wind or air. When it is coming in your note 'in'; when
it is going out you note, 'out'. 'In, out, in, out'. Your mind
is not on the breathing air but on the 'coming-in' and the 'going-out'.
'Coming-in' and 'going-out' is not ultimate reality.
you come into the room through the door and go out of the room
through the door. What is (this) coming in and going out, we
may ask the question? It's neither you, not a person. It's just
'coming in' and 'going out'. It's just concept. In the same
way when you concentrate your mind on the coming in and going
out of the breath, it's just a concept. So the concept is the
object of meditation in this case. So it's Samatha Meditation.
You can't realize any specific characteristics or general characteristics
of coming-in and going-out because it's not reality. It's just
concept, so that's Samatha Meditation.
when you focus your mind on the touching point at the nostril
whenever your breath comes in or goes out, it touches the nostrils.
When you observe this touching sensation and be mindful of it,
then it's (ultimate) reality. That touching point is composed
of the four primary material elements. Here Pathavi dhatu:
hard and soft: here Apo dhatu: liquidity, cohesion; here
Tejo dhatu: hot or cold; here Vayo dhatu: movement,
motion. These four elements are there whenever you focus your
mind on the touching sensation. So the object is absolute reality,
what can we call it, Samatha or Vipassana Meditation?
is what the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw wrote about between the
Samatha aspect and Vipassana aspect of respiration.
I appreciate it very much. So then we can say respiration meditation
is Vipassana Meditation in accordance with Maha Satipatthana
Sutta. And we can say respiration is Samatha Meditation
in accordance with Visuddhimagga. Too subtle and too
deep to differentiate between the two aspects of respiration
meditation. I think those who have practised meditation very
well can differentiate between these two aspects.
we have to concentrate on the coming in and going out of the
breath as the object of meditation when the mind is too distracted;
when we have a lot of thoughts. The Buddha said that when you
have a lot of distractions and lots of thoughts, you should
practise respiration meditation as the Samatha Meditation
because respiration or breathing is, so to say, ever present
so long as you are alive. So it's easy for you to concentrate
on it. That's why the Buddha teaches us to practise the respiration
meditation as Samatha Meditation when there are many
through my experience, Buddhanusati and Metta
Meditations are the best ones for my meditators to concentrate
on when they have a lot of thoughts. So I teach them either
Buddhanusati or Metta Bhavana. Buddhanusati
is somewhat difficult for those who have no knowledge of the
Buddha's attributes. Metta Meditation is very easy; every
meditator can do it. When they can concentrate by Metta,
their mind becomes calm and tranquil. Then very easily they
can switch to Vipassana Meditation.
how you can differentiate between the two aspects of respiration
meditation. May all of you be able to differentiate between
the two aspects of respiration meditation and practise your
meditation accordingly and achieve the goal.
4. Tranquility and Insight Meditation ...by His Eminence
Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche
teaching concerns the two main stages of meditation: (1) Shiney;
tranquility meditation which develops concentration, and (2)
Lhatong; the meditation which develops supreme insight.
must first engender precious Bodhicitta before listening to
this dharma teaching. Bodhicitta is the motivation to achieve
enlightenment so that one can benefit all sentient beings.
Basis and View to be developed before Meditation
beginning and progressing through the stages of meditation,
one must maintain good ethics and steadfast discipline. A practitioner
should listen to, study, contemplate and put into practice the
authentic dharma teachings. It is with good discipline as the
foundation that a practitioner can achieve the fruit of meditation
practice. Without pure discipline and without properly studying
the dharma, the practitioner cannot reach the fruition of meditation.
Without pure discipline, one is missing the most important foundation
of the dharma path.
practitioner should likewise contemplate that Samsara, our worldly
state of confusion, is conditioned existence. Samsara arises
due to the coming together of causes and conditions. In order
to attain enlightenment, one must be unattached to worldly existence
and not chase after worldly desires; a practitioner should break
away from samsaric confusion.
one practices in this way, enlightenment is possible!
develop real understanding about the delusive state of samsara,
the practitioner should deeply reflect upon the impermanence
of all phenomena. Also, one should develop a deep understanding
about the suffering which sentient beings endure.
samsara, no happiness we experience is ever-lasting and forever
real. As they say, whatever goes up must come down! Whether
it be our body which was created by our parents or a tree which
grows from a seed in the ground, all appearances will "come
down" and dissolve. All appearances will end at some point.
Every moment, every step we take, we get closer and close to
this ending point.
due to people's perception about death, some become frustrated
with this impermanence topic. They confront death with a frightened
and terrified attitude. But, it is senseless to be so paranoid
and so attached to the physical body.
are so concerned about their age and youthfulness. They develop
a tragic attachment that is so strong; they are blinded by it.
We must not fail to recognize that we are dying every moment.
the moment of birth until death, each moment we die little by
little; it is a long process. The elements and conditions which
make up our body become less and less vital throughout our life.
At the time of death, they diminish totally.
this process is happening all the time, why are we so attached
and worried over it? Unfortunately some individuals die from
a gradual painful illness, or from a sudden malady such as heart
attack. Even though there is suffering involved with these illness,
it is the natural potential of the body to become ill. As long
as there is a body, the potential is there. Take, for example,
a vase with four living snakes inside of it. Usually the snakes
sleep, but when it gets warm the snakes wake up and begin moving
or fighting, shaking the vase back and forth.
body works in the same manner. We have the elements of Earth,
Water, Air, Fire and Space. As long as they are in harmony,
one does not have illness. But, the potential danger to become
ill is always there. It is only a question of time until the
illness breaks out. Through this understanding a practitioner
can lessen attachment to the body and worldly existence.
to recognize the above truths, those who wander in samsara's
confusion are distracted and afflicted by the experiences that
their senses take in. They search for delicious tastes, pleasant
sounds, good feelings, and so forth. But in reality these "sense-pleasures"
have no sense and meaning!
dharma practitioner must understand that the desire for worldly
happiness leads only to distraction and further conditioned
existence. For example, someone who is sentenced to death cannot
enjoy the delicious food offered a day before the execution.
This is because he is aware that death is imminent.
practitioners do not want to become discouraged or feel worthless
in this sort of manner! But, like the man to be executed, practitioners
should see that death can happen. We must understand that constantly
being attached to everything does not result in happiness being
can never satisfy the mind through using the five senses; the
very opposite is the case! The more one feeds the senses, the
more one wants! The more energy one puts into satisfying the
mind, the more is needed to maintain that happiness. If you
eat delicious food today, you will want delicious food tomorrow;
otherwise one is not satisfied.
into our senses and desires (in order to achieve happiness)
is like going to a phony doctor. This doctor diagnoses the patient
with the wrong illness and then treats him or her with the wrong
medicine. The more medicine taken, the more sick and ill the
is the same result with searching for happiness through sensual
mind only becomes more and more unsatisfied by craving for things
which appear beautiful or pleasing. A practitioner can prevent
this by using a remedy called "closing the sense doors."
This means one does not chase after, or run away from, appearances.
Through practicing in this way, a peaceful state of mind will
good discipline while guarding our sense doors is also a necessary
part of our practice. One should not engage in negative behavior,
because it is negative behavior which is used to satisfy our
gradually reducing fixation and our uncontrolled senses, we
can then begin to learn and practice the path of enlightenment.
practitioner then respectfully attends dharma teachings and
becomes aware that existence has suffering. By analyzing these
teachings, genuine trust can develop. Now a practitioner must
integrate what has been learned into daily life and meditation.
Buddha said that a practitioner should not just “believe”
in his teachings, especially not blindly. He told us to analyze,
develop trust in, and then put into practice his teachings.
With such genuine trust, one can practice meditation and learn
about the different methods used during meditation.
Mind in Meditation
is mental activity and contemplation. We work with the mind
because it is the basis for all of samsara and nirvana. Whatever
appears, it is the mind's own activity.
which are supposedly outside of the mind itself are truly not
different from the mind; it is the mind which perceives and
classifies phenomena. According to the Mahayana, no phenomena
which arises is ultimately “outside” of the mind's
Buddha taught that ignorance causes conditioned existence (our
existence, which is condition by karma and other factors). From
the mind’s ignorance arises the Twelve Links of Interdependent
Origination. This causes us to experience samsara.
is when the perceiver believes that the objects he or she sees
are ultimately independent of the mind’s experience. Therefore,
the perceiver is attached to external objects, believing their
existence to be separate from the mind’s own individualized
perception. This tendency, and attachment to external phenomena,
keeps growing stronger everyday. It has been growing this way
since beginningless time.
if there is a perceiver can form be seen and sounds be heard.
Through this understanding we know that everything comes from
the mind’s own perception and experience.
must be an awareness, a mind, to perceive objects. For example,
if there is a blue object in a room and everyone gathered in
that room is talking about it, the perception and awareness
must exist. Otherwise, there is no blue object and no one to
talk about it with.
also exists only due to the condition of this perception. If
there is something causing suffering and someone to perceive
it, then the suffering exists. If there is nothing which can
perceive the suffering, then the suffering is considered not
there, not existing by perception.
can be experienced outside of the mind’s awareness.
described in the Buddha's teachings, the true nature of the
mind is beyond relative words and extremes, it is beyond existence
and nonexistence. The mind has no form and no color. There are
different terms for this true nature (such as Buddhanature,
Dharmadhatu, Tathagatagarbha), yet they all refer to the essence
of the mind.
nature of the mind is beyond words, it is different from common
awareness or consciousness which experiences samsara. The great
master Saraha of India said that the mind's nature is beyond
words, just like vast space is beyond conceptual understanding.
No matter how long one thinks about it, no solid conclusion
will be there. The mind's nature must be realized, it cannot
just be talked about.
this view about the mind as the basis, the practitioner can
meditate and samadhi (state of deep concentration) will arise.
By entering into samadhi, a practitioner will directly see that
all experiences manifest directly from the mind and are illusory
major conditions are needed before one learns to practice Shiney
and Lhatong meditation. First, the practitioner should study
the dharma and know where authentic teachings are given. Second,
the practitioner must meditate where one is not distracted;
having enough food, being healthy, not being around people and
objects who one has strong attachment too, are all necessary
conditions so that distraction does not arise.
these conditions are fulfilled and distraction is not there,
the practitioner must know what obstacles, or veils, arise while
meditating. One should know these emotional tendencies during
meditation before they arise and hinder practice.
veils are in general are (1) Agitation and distraction of the
mind with many thoughts. The mind is stirred up and follows
after these thoughts, thinking about them, such as what is beautiful
and what is not. (2) Regret and doubt arises when the practitioner
starts to contemplate about what happened in the past, letting
the mind wander. (3) Heaviness of the mind causes meditation
experience to be unclear. The true nature of the mind cannot
be seen and one cannot even concentrate one-pointedly. (4) Dullness
of the mind is when one foolishly cannot even go into or stay
practitioner should gradually learn what are the causes for
these veils to arise, and how to get rid of them. For example,
the mind gets stirred up due to thinking about beautiful forms,
good food, friends, desires and other objects. One gets distracted
sometimes by eating too much or too little, or due to sleeping
a lot or not sleeping enough. Mental tendencies of dullness
or agitation arise due to food and sleep conditions. The mind
can become unclear and dull if our stomach is full of food,
or agitated if we do not eat.
Shiney and Lhatong
there are many different methods of meditation, all are contained
within Shiney (Tranquility) and Lhatong (Supreme Insight) meditations.
meditation is when one develops one-pointed concentration. The
mind becomes calm and still. Lhatong meditation is when the
practitioner sees the nature of the mind.
practitioner can only see clearly the mind’s nature only
if Shiney and Lhatong meditation are practiced together. This
way, recognizing the mind’s true nature is like a bright
flame which does not move.
the flame does not move it is clear and illuminates all darkness
with its light. But if the wind is moving, the flame then will
not be clear and darkness will remain. So, without Shiney meditation,
Lhatong will not arise. Without Shiney, meditation will not
be stable and one-pointed. And, without Lhatong meditation,
the practitioner will not gain wisdom.
the practitioner can begin Shiney meditation. One starts concentrating
on one object. There are both pure and impure forms in which
one can concentrate the mind on. Visualizing or concentrating
on a solid form of the Buddha is the best method, it is a pure
form which the mind can settle it's concentration with.
especially at the beginning, people have the tendency to not
concentrate on a pure form like the Buddha. So then an impure
form such a stone, piece of wood, or anything else is placed
in front of oneself. The mind’s concentration is then
guided to this impure object and one trains the mind to remain
without unwavering on that object. One can placed the object
in the shadow of the sun and moon, and watch as it changes.
One can also concentrate on the breath and watch it go in and
meditation uses the senses and our mind’s awareness. The
eyes are the sense which distracts us the most, therefore forms
are used to slowly aid one in concentrating single-pointedly.
Distraction through sound, smell, taste and touch are not always
as dominant as distraction through sight during meditation.
the practitioner will adapt to the calm mind and learn to use
other meditations. After one learns to concentrate on a stone,
then one can next visualize a ball of light between one’s
eyebrows or above the head. The color of this sphere of light
is not important. It is more important that one sticks with
this meditation for a long time and trains the mind with it.
the practitioner can begin visualizing the Buddha and other
deities, and take these pure forms as the objects of our meditation.
First one should visualize the Buddha without much detail. Gradually
the eyes, cloths, nose and details are included in the visualization.
must balance meditation practice by not concentrating too much
or too little. This is like what should be done when someone
tries to spin a cord. If he does it too fast and strong, the
cord will get cut. And, if he spins it too loosely, the cord
will end up being a ball of intertwined, loose strings. So,
with meditation, a balance needs to be maintained. Too loose
and too tight are both unsuitable for meditation.
meditation is not meant as a method to become unaware or to
develop a blank mind. While meditating, if your mind becomes
very unaware and too quiet, then take a short break. Pause and
then begin the meditation afterward. Stop the meditation for
a short period if one is tired or the meditation isn’t
working well. Otherwise, if one continues, you will not want
to meditate again that day or become frustrated.
can be understood through the example of us doing manual, physical
work. If you do some work and then take a short break, you will
be happy to return to the work. But if you continue to work
until you are tired, you will not want to work again. Likewise,
you meet a friend and have a good time; you both want to see
each other again when the time is right. But, if you and your
friend spend a very long time together, you will get tired of
seeing him and will not be interested to meet him again in the
short yet frequent periods of meditation is what beginning practitioners
must do. Slowly one learns to meditate longer and develop concentration.
practicing this way, one will reach the results of Shiney quickly.
The mind will naturally be able to remain in a state of concentration.
Even the body will learn to relax and be able to sit in meditation
for longer periods of time. In time, even meditating for one
week or more will not be painful.
in this way is connected with the Hinayana, the vehicle of the
Listeners who aim at liberating only themselves from suffering.
In in the Hinayana, one begins to meditate in this manner.
Shiney practices in the Hinayana include meditating upon the
impermanence of the body; one sees how the body consists of
many organs and then dies. The process of death is meditated
upon, such as how the body becomes darker and more ugly, until
only a skeleton is left. This is not done as a morbid practice,
but instead so the practitioner will recognize the reality of
impermanence and death. People sometimes do not wish to think
about death, they feel it is a sad topic. But if we are so against
it now, when the time of death comes the individual will face
much more agony and resentment. So by thinking about death now,
we will suffer less later on.
are also different methods used to meditate upon the breath.
Meditating upon one's breath cuts off our constant thought flow
and the stir of mental activity. The practitioner breaths in
and out, doing so for twenty-one times. The breath is relaxed
and natural. Forcing the breath is not proper here. This breathing
technique is repeated for as long as is possible, and also based
upon what level the practitioner is at.
one particular breath practice, the student follows the exhaled
breath mentally until it is sixteen finger-lengths in front
of the nose, and likewise follows the inhaled breath until it
reaches down into one's body.
method used with breathing is to imagine colors with the breath,
such as blue, yellow and red. One can also visualize the breath
as a jewel necklace circulating as one breaths in and out.
during Shiney Meditation
regards to the various obstacles that arise in meditation, there
are two types of antidotes: one is changing the meditation method
and the second is through behavior/external changes. If neither
of these antidotes work, it generally means that there is a
karmic cause for the mind's dullness or distraction.
too many thoughts arise, make sure that one is wearing warm
cloths, the gaze is looking slightly downward and that one is
not hungry. During meditation, visualizing a dark blue buddha
like Akshobhya or the Medicine Buddha is beneficial. Likewise,
contemplating the truths of impermanence, suffering and death
will calm the mind's excitement.
karmic cause for an active and overly excited mind is generally
desire and attachment. Having greed and jealousy in previous
lifetimes can cause this habit. To lessen this karmic cause,
shunning attachment and greed should be practiced.
the mind is dull and too relaxed, do not eat too much, wear
less clothing and gaze slightly upward. It is useful to make
the mind happy when dullness arises. Contemplating on the qualities
of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is beneficial here. Recalling
that one has a precious existence and a wonderful opportunity
to practice the dharma is also an excellent antidote. Meditating
on white colored buddhas bring positive results.
karmic cause for a dull and unclear mind is having wrong views,
meaning one might have disrespected the Three Jewels, whether
it be not standing in their presence or even slandering them.
To lessen this karmic cause, praising the Three Jewels, whether
it be the Bodhisattvas or the authenticity of the the Four Noble
Truths, will bring positive results.
meditating, it is necessary to assume the proper position, which
is called the Seven Points of Vairochana. By sitting in these
seven points, the energy channels in the body flow properly.
Otherwise, if the body and its energy are imbalanced or in an
awkward position, this can cause the mind to wander or become
legs should be placed in either the full lotus position or half
hands should be placed below the navel, resting on the lap,
with the right hand placed on top of the left hand. The thumbs
should touch each other right below the navel.
shoulders should be pulled back slightly and broadened
chin should be tucked in only slightly, closing the back of
gaze should be focused into the space in front, about sixteen
finger-lengths in front of the nose.
tongue should gently touch the top palate of the mouth and the
lips not be too open or tightly closed.
back should be straight, but naturally bend at the bottom
is important that the practitioner learns to sit in this meditative
position. This is because, the position of our body affects
our physical and mental state of well-being.
inside our body, we have different energy channels (winds).
Our posture during meditation affects these energy winds. The
legs control the downward energy winds, which control excreation.
The hands control the energy wind of digestion. The back holds
the energy wind that controls physical strength. The shoulders
control the energy wind which stabilize our lifeforce. The position
of the mouth and chin control the upward winds. So, our body
position during meditation can protect against illnesses and
aid one's physical well-being.
the way our body leans can affect our mental state. Leaning
towards the right causes more aggression to arise while leaning
towards the left causes desire to become stronger. Ignorance
and dullness arise when one leans forward, and as one leans
back pride arises. When the gaze is improper, more thoughts
tend to distract the one's concentration.
Shiney meditation, the goal of practice is to learn how to control
these distractions and negative emotions, even though the practitioner
has not fully cut these obstacles from their root yet.
Continued @ http://www.simhas.org/teaching33.html
5. The Integral Institute
the summer of 1997, a group of philanthropists approached Ken
Wilber with an offer of substantial funds to start an organization
that would advance more comprehensive and integrated approaches
to the world's increasingly complex problems. Wilber invited
some 400 of the world's leading integral thinkers to gather
together for a series of meetings at his home in Boulder, Colorado.
Joe Firmage, who was invited to several of these meetings, announced
that "there is nothing anywhere in the world that is doing
what Integral Institute is doing," and then promptly donated
a million dollars in cash. With that donation, Integral
Institute was formally launched. It was incorporated as
a nonprofit 501(c) in 1998.
Institute has gone through three major phases since its inception.
The first was launch and exploration, consisting of almost two
years of meetings with over 400 of the world’s leading
integral theorists. The second was oriented around the
creation of core teams, which is still a central activity of
I-I. The third (set for the summer of 2003) is the launch
of the web-based Multiplex, the world’s first Integral
Learning Community, and its preview website, Integral
Wilber is generally regarded as the world's most influential
integral thinker. He is the first psychologist-philosopher
in history to have his Collected Works published while
still alive (he's 54), and with his 22 books translated in up
to 30 foreign languages, Ken is perhaps the most highly translated
academic writer in America.
means "comprehensive, inclusive, covering all the bases"—or
at least trying to. A comprehensive, integral, or inclusive
approach is, almost by definition, a little bit hard to grasp
at the beginning. However, as its general features become
familiar, the integral approach to various problems actually
becomes fairly simple to understand and easy to apply.
Ken is clearly a central figure in Integral Institute, its many
members, friends, and associates are a crucial part of I-I and
its work in the world. Please see below for some of Integral
Institute's Founding Members, and see the Letter from
the President and Present Activities for some of I-I's ongoing
work and service in the world.
Institute is dedicated to the proposition that partial and piecemeal
approaches to complex problems are ineffective. Whether
addressing individual and personal issues of meaning and transformation,
or increasingly complex social problems such as war, hunger,
disease, over-population, housing, ecology, and education, partial
and fragmented approaches need to be replaced by solutions that
are more comprehensive, systematic, encompassing—and integral.
there are four main goals for the Institute:
Integrate the largest amount of research from the largest
number of disciplines—including the natural sciences (physics,
chemistry, biology, neurology, ecology), art, ethics, religion,
psychology, politics, business, sociology, and spirituality.
Develop practical products and services from this research—which
can be used by individuals in their own development, or by groups,
businesses, national and international organizations.
Apply this integrated knowledge and method of problem
solving to critical and urgent issues—especially the
serious political, health, educational, business, and environmental
problems facing humanity. This integral approach to problem
solving is employed by the Institute’s own members; by
forming alliances with other organizations; and by training
organizational leaders, managers, and change agents in the Integral
Create the world’s first Integral Learning Community—at
first online (through the Multiplex), and increasingly
in national and international communities of Integral Practice.
Institute functions as the world’s premier site for integral
research and applications; as a generator of consulting services,
seminars, and conferences; as a network of the most influential
integral theorists from around the world; and as an open organization
for disseminating and applying integral methods to complex problems
in a wide variety of fields, personal to professional.
mission of the Institute is to assist people and organizations
along integral, comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable lines
in order to dramatically improve the quality of life on this
planet. Integral Institute’s founding belief is
that by helping individuals, companies, organizations, governments,
NGOs, and communities to become integrally informed,
they can more effectively chart their courses and make wiser
and saner decisions today and in the future; develop successful,
breakthrough strategies to help solve their problems; and more
successfully mobilize their resources to implement desired solutions
consonant with integral sustainability.
Integral Institute specializes in integral operating systems
(IOS) that can help any organization reorient itself in a more
balanced and comprehensive fashion, I-I serves as an “organization
for other organizations,” helping them with operating
systems that touch bases with previously neglected potentials
in individuals and organizations.
Institute is also pioneering the world’s first Integral
Learning Community, previews of which are presented in Integral
Naked (going live in May 2003), but the more complete form
of which can be found in the launching of the online Multiplex
planned for the summer of 2003.
assisting people in various settings to become more balanced
and comprehensive in their decisions, Integral Institute
believes that it can assist a collective increase in wisdom
and basic sanity for the planet and future generations.
6. A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business,
Politics, Science and Spirituality
The spiritual intellectual Ken Wilber takes on the hottest theory
in modern physics, known as the "M Theory," or the
"The Theory of Everything." As Wilber explains, it
is "a model that would unite all the known laws of the
universe into one all-embracing theory that would literally
explain everything in existence." Of course this new "M
Theory" opens up a can of wormy, slippery questions, which
Wilber addresses: "What does 'everything' actually mean?
Would this new theory in physics explain, say, the meaning of
human poetry? Or how economics work? Or the stages of psychosexual
Ken Wilber, he couldn't resist answering these questions by
folding the "Theory of Everything" into some of his
own personal visions and theories. This overlay is presented
in his signature straightforward, clearly written style. The
upshot is that common readers can easily follow Wilber on a
quantum journey and wind up with a lasting souvenir--a scientific
and spiritual understanding of how the mind, body, soul, and
universe all work together like a never-ending symphony. And
that's just in the first four chapters. From there he shows
readers the practical applications of this vision--explaining
how it could lead to more integrative styles of business, education,
medicine, ecology, and even how we address world conflicts.
Wilber admits that this "holistic quest is an ever-receding
dream, a horizon that constantly retreats as we approach it."
Nonetheless, he can still take readers on an incredible journey--one
that's well worth the price of the ticket. --Gail Hudson
Reviewer: G. Merritt from Phoenix, Arizona... Read
this book. It provides a thought-provoking introduction to Ken
Wilber's "integral vision," a theory that attempts
to integrate all things--science, religion, art, morals, physics,
politics, medicine, education, ecology, sociology and business.
Wilber observes that approximately 20 percent of the population
is poised for "second-tier" integral transformation
(p. 33), and that we are at "a branch point:" we can
continue travelling the road of scientific materialism, fragmented
pluralism, and deconstructive postmodernism, or we can pursue
a more integral, more embracing, more inclusive path to travel
(p. xiii). The book's first four chapters introduce us to Wilber's
"Theory of Everything," and the last three demonstrate
the theory's "real world" relevance. In the final
chapter, Wilber reduces his theory to a personal level of "integral
transformative practice." Throughout the book, Wilber's
prose is conversational in tone.
me, reading this book has sparked a fascination with Wilber's
philosophy, and as a brief introduction to his writings, this
book left me eager to read Wilber's other books to hopefully
obtain a deeper understanding of his integral vision.
7. Peace Quote...
you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have
it even more fully in your heart. - St. Francis of Assisi
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