On 7/23/12, MarshaV <valkyr@att....> wrote:
> Buddhism is spreading throughout the West; emptiness can be explained in
> degrees. I found its implications painful before freeing.
I am not sure what you mean. As far as I understand it, Emptiness can
not be explained. That is why it is called emptiness, at least that
is my interpretation (probably wrong). Like I said previously, I am
not sure if emptiness is the best word. How about, "without ground on
which to stand"?
Once there is no place to stand, one is free. When I suddenly became
in tune with Quality, I found it to be very dizzying. Once I combined
it with the one thing that I know absolutely to be true, it felt like
it must feel when an astronaught is weighless. It was kind of a
wonderous floating sensation.
> I learned my meditation through Raja yoga techniques, and as I understand it
> Zen Buddhism offers but one technique: zazen. I think of meditation as a
> sitting technique, and it might include concentration. Mindfulness, for me,
> is more awareness in action without any verbal narration. Washing dishes or
> weeding garden or driving without words - without a narrative running
> through our minds; being fully present in place and activity. But "objects"
> - dishes & dish towel & garden tools & weeds & steering wheel & road - are
> recognized. It is not an undifferentiated experience. I also think it
> possible to have fully aware, unpatterened, undifferentiated experiences. -
> But my mediation practices have not been systematic with the guidance of a
> qualified meditation instructor. There are many traditions offering
> meditation techniques and I am not talking with any authority or precision.
I consider meditation to be the same as contemplation. There are
techniques which teach how to contemplate the mind and view it as an
instrument. In such a way, one is no longer one's thoughts, but
simply observing them. This is termed "thinking without thinking".
Or another way to see this is to "let your brain do the thinking, and
pay attention to it like you are reading a book". The ego is heavily
dependent on the notion that we are our thoughts, it is a form of
bewitchment. Meditation is used to show this happening from an
observation point, which then releases one from its spell. There is
nothing wrong with thinking by the way. It's what the brain does.
Just like there is nothing wrong with a fire feeling hot, for that is
what our sensory nerves do. However, one does not always have to be
in the fire.
It is impossible to control one's thoughts since this would require a
controller. And such controler is just another thought. It's like
"who watches the watchmen?" There is no central command that controls
our thoughts. They just appear. What we can control is our attitude
towards those thoughts. Such "attitude" is not a thought, but a
manner of being. A single thought can go in different directions
depending on one's attitude. For example if one is fearful, then
"thinking one heard a noise" can lead to paranoia. However is one is
expecting someone, then "thinking one heard a noise" has a different
outcome. It all depends on what one's intentions are. Intentions are
not thoughts, but thoughts can progress through them.
It is hard to explain.
I believe that there is a lot of teaching that goes on in Zen
Buddhism. Certainly meditation can be part of Zen Buddhism, but does
not need to be. Just like when I go out to my lawn, I can lay on my
hammock, but I do not need to do that. So, if the Zen Buddhist wants
to meditate, that is fine, but not necessary to be a Zen Buddhist.
> Some of us introverts have a more private and reserved relationship with
> words. I think that needs to be respected too. It's not just that we are
> holding back.
Yes, words can also be insidious viruses (See books by William
Burroughs). The best thing is to not let them control you. Each of
us can control what words mean to us. Sticks and stones...
Unfortunately with the advent of the internet, words dominate. This
is really a shame since words are so insufficient. When I have a cup
of coffee with somebody, words are only part of the interaction. You
are probably a good person to spend some Quality quiet time with.