Introduction to buddhism meditation

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<ul><li><p> 1 </p><p>Introduction to Buddhism </p><p>Historical Background Buddhism was born in northeastern </p><p>India in the year 588 BC founded by Siddhattha Gautama </p><p>Buddha. He was born on the full moon day of the sixth lunar </p><p>month 623 years before Christ at beautiful Lumbini Garden, </p><p>located between Kapilavatthu and Devadaha City south west of </p><p>the country known as Nepal today. His father was King </p><p>Suddhodana and his mother was Queen Sirimahamaya or </p><p>Queen Maya. He married Princes Yasodhara when he was </p><p>sixteen years old and became a monk at the age of 29. He lived </p><p>a luxurious life during his 29 years in me palace. After he left </p><p>me palace, he studied and practiced meditation with the very popular gurus of his time, Arala </p><p>and Utaka, passing many levels of concentration or tranquil meditation. When he completed </p><p>the causes of study from those teachers, he left them to find the way known as Atthanggika </p><p>Magga or Middle Eightfold Path, and he attained enlightenment in the sixth year of his </p><p>monkshood. His mind became free from all the ten fetters: </p><p>1. Personality-belief (sakkaya-ditthi), </p><p>2. Sceptical doubt (vicikiccha), 3. Clinging to mere rules and ritual (silabbatapramasa; </p><p>upadana), 4. Sensual craving (kama-raga), 5. Ill-will (vyapada), 6. Craving for fine </p><p>materiel existence (rupa-raga), 7. Craving for immaterial existence (arupa-raga), 8. </p><p>Vanity (mana), 9. Restlessness (uddhacca), 10. Ignorance (avijja). </p><p>His mind filled with clear understanding, rationality, understanding of cause and effect, </p><p>understanding of cause and effect of sensual craving and how to let go of craving. His mind </p><p>filled with acceptance of the way things really are, and with loving-kindness and compassion, </p><p>clear comprehension of born visible and invisible mental objects, the value of a simple and </p><p>humble way of life, and he shined with the light of right understanding. He became known as </p><p>The Buddha, the Awakened One. </p><p>What the Buddha Taught </p><p>The Buddha taught us the Four Noble Truths, the truth of all beings with and without </p><p>consciousness. They are: </p><p>1. Noble Truth of Dissatisfactoriness or hardship of maintenance (Dukkha). </p><p>2. Noble Truth of Cause of Dissatisfactoriness (samudaya). </p><p>3. Noble Truth of Cessation of Dissatisfactoriness (nirodha). </p><p>4. Noble Truth of Path leading to the Cessation of Cause of Dissatisfactoriness (magga). </p><p>Dukkha: The Noble Truth of Dissatisfaction or Suffering. Buddhism did not view anything in </p><p>an optimistic nor pessimistic manner, but Buddhism views everything in a realistic way. When </p><p>Buddhism talks about Dukkha or suffering or Dissatisfactoriness it means the hardship of </p><p>maintenance and the problems in daily life, such as birth, old age, diseases, death, sorrow and </p><p>frustrations of every kind. What is undesirable is painful, so too is not getting something </p><p>desired. All problems are unwanted but although people try their best to avoid trouble and to </p><p>be free from suffering, they cannot protect themselves from it The truth Buddha taught solves </p><p>the problems and problematic situations which, when observed and comprehended by self-</p><p>investigation, helps us learn for ourselves whether the teaching is true. With careful </p><p>observation of life, we can see mat all life is unstable, decaying and subject to change. </p></li><li><p> 2 </p><p>Samudaya: The Noble Truth of Origin of Dissatisfaction (dukkhosamudaya-ariyasacca); The </p><p>origin (origins) of dissatisfaction are many, depending upon the conditions. Every kind of </p><p>dissatisfaction has its origins in craving (tanha) or selfish desire, which is the result of </p><p>ignorance (avijja) or delusion, resulting in hatred, destruction, violence and suffering in </p><p>society in the past, today and in the future. Craving produces re-existence and re-becoming </p><p>(ponobbavika), and is bound up with passionate greed (nandiragasahagata), finding fresh </p><p>delight now here and now there (tatratatrabhinandini), namely 1. Craving for sense-pleasures </p><p>(kama-tanha), 2. Craving for existence and becoming (bhava-tanha) and, 3. Craving for non-</p><p>existence or self-annihilation (vibhava-tanha). It is this craving, desire, greed, manifesting </p><p>itself in various ways, that gives rise to all forms of suffering and continuity of beings. It </p><p>should not be taken as the first cause, for there is no first cause possible as, according to </p><p>Buddhism, everything is relative and hater-dependent </p><p>Nirodha: The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering (dukkhanirodha-ariyosacea), which is </p><p>Nibbana or Nirvana in Sanskrit To uproot the suffering, the Buddha introduced the Path </p><p>(magga) leading to the cessation of suffering. It is the cessation of craving, cessation of hatred, </p><p>cessation of illusion or ignorance. There are great details in the suttas about the way to practice </p><p>to put an end to these mental defilements. </p><p>Magga: The Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering. Dukkhanirodhagaminipatipada-</p><p>ariyasacca). This is known as The Middle Way (majjhima-patipada), because it avoids two </p><p>extremes; one extreme is to search for happiness through the pleasures of the senses which is </p><p>low, common, unprofitable and the way of the ordinary people; the other method is the search </p><p>for happiness through self-mortification in different forms of asceticism, which is painful, </p><p>unworthy and unprofitable. The Buddha himself tried these two extremes and having found </p><p>them to be useless, the Buddha discovered through personal experience. The Middle Path, </p><p>which gives vision and knowledge and leads to experiencing Calm, Insight, Enlightenment, </p><p>Nibbana. This Path is known hi Pali as Ariya-Atthangika-Magga because it is composed of </p><p>eight categories, namely: </p><p>Wisdom level </p><p>1. Right Understanding (Samma-ditthi) </p><p>2. Right Thought (Samma-sankappa) </p><p>Moral level </p><p>3. Right Speech (Samma-vaca) </p><p>4. Right Action (Samma-kammanta) </p><p>5. Right Livelihood (Samma-ajiva) </p><p>Samadhi level </p><p>6. Right Effort (Samma-vayama) </p><p>7. Right Mindfulness (Samma-sati) </p><p>8. Right Concentration (Samma-samadhi) </p><p>The whole teaching of the Buddha, to which he devoted himself for 45 years, deals with this </p><p>Path. Buddha explained the Dhamma in different ways with different words to different </p><p>people, according to the stage of their development and their capacity to understand and </p><p>follow him, but the essence of those many thousand discourses scattered hi the Buddhist </p><p>Scriptures are found hi the Noble Eightfold Path and summarized hi the Threefold Doctrines </p><p>namely; </p><p>1. Not to do bad </p><p>2. To do good, and </p><p>3. To purify the mind from its impurities or mental defilement </p><p>The eight categories of the Path should not be followed and practiced one after the other in the </p></li><li><p> 3 </p><p>numerical order as given the list above, but they are to be developed more or less </p><p>simultaneously, as far as possible according to the capacity of each individual. The eight </p><p>factors aim at promoting and perfecting the three essentials of the Buddhist training and </p><p>discipline: </p><p>1. Moral Conduct (Sila), </p><p>2. Mental Discipline (Samadhi), </p><p>3. Wisdom (Panna). </p><p>Moral Conduct: </p><p>Moral conduct is the basic principle of Buddhism for the training and developing of an </p><p>ordinary person to become a perfect human being. It consists of commitment to (1) avoid </p><p>killing and harming living beings while trying to develop loving-kindness and compassion; (2) </p><p>avoid taking what is not given while trying to develop sincerity and respect for ownership and </p><p>the possessions of others; (3) avoid sexual misconduct while trying to develop honesty and </p><p>respect toward the opposite sex; (4) avoid false speech while trying to develop truthfulness and </p><p>sincerity; (5) avoid taking intoxicating drink and harmful drugs while trying to develop </p><p>mindfulness and awareness in daily life. </p><p>Mental Discipline: </p><p>When we develop moral conduct, we are certain to have peaceful family and peaceful </p><p>society, and then we are ready to go for meditation practice for more training in mental </p><p>culture. Mental culture develops the human mind to become a noble being and finally to </p><p>become a perfect noble one through wisdom training. There are two lands of mental culture, </p><p>namely; Concentration meditation (Samatha Bhavna) and Insight meditation (Vipassana </p><p>Bhavna). The details of meditation practice cannot be given here but those who want more </p><p>information about meditation practice may contact Wat Thai,D.C. at the mailing address </p><p>provided below. </p><p>Wisdom Training: </p><p>Wisdom is the way to see the ultimate truth of reality. When the mind of the meditation </p><p>practitioner becomes calm, dear and peaceful, he or she may apply peaceful mind to look at </p><p>the ways of all thing visible and invisible as they really are. Their ways are as follows; </p><p>1. Impermanence (Aniccam) </p><p>2. Hard to maintain (Dukkham) </p><p>3. Out of control (Anatta) </p><p>When the mind understands the way of everything as it really is, the mind does not </p><p>cling and does not attach to anything, the meditation practitioner will see and view all things </p><p>with a realistic approach. At that level of meditation the mind becomes free from all kinds of </p><p>mental defilement, becoming a mind that can be called free mind, independent mind, perfect </p><p>mind or enlightened mind. The person who lives with this mind will always live his or her life </p><p>in peace and happiness here and now, not waiting until after death. This is what the Buddha </p><p>taught and the goal of Buddhism. </p><p>What is the Goal of Buddhism? </p><p>The Awakened One, the Buddha, classified people into two groups and set goals for </p><p>both to help them according to their capabilities, namely; </p><p>1. Goal for the householders, and </p><p>2. Goal for those who life monastic life or monks. </p></li><li><p> 4 </p><p>Goal for householders is to live their life in a happy way by following at least three of the </p><p>precepts of the Eightfold Path namely; right action, right speech and right livelihood in moral </p><p>training. This includes the administration and governmental affairs, as the Buddha introduced </p><p>10 virtues* of rulers or administrators to carry out duties and responsibilities in righteous </p><p>ways. </p><p>Goal far the monks or those who live monastic life is Nibbana,enlightenment or perfect </p><p>freedom of the mind by following me Eightfold Path as above mentioned. The monks have to </p><p>strictly observe moral conduct (Sila Visuddhi) and clarification of their moral disciplines set </p><p>out by the Buddha, proved by the Sangha. Monks must train themselves in meditation practice </p><p>(Samadhi-Vipassana Bhavna) to cultivate wisdom to be able to purify their minds from mental </p><p>impurities or delusion. </p><p>Meditation Instruction </p><p>And Practice </p><p>What is Meditation? </p><p> In Buddhism the word Meditation is translated </p><p>from the Pali language. The Pali word is Bhavana, which </p><p>means to develop, to improve, to cultivate mindfulness and </p><p>awareness, so the mind becomes healthy and strong. </p><p>Meditation is the way to cultivate the mind so it becomes </p><p>calm, clear, peaceful, stable, bright, light and pure. </p><p> A concentrated mind can focus clearly on a </p><p>particular object. Such a developed mind can be purified </p><p>when defiling mental obstructions such as hatred, greed, carving, delusion, unwholesome </p><p>thoughts, ignorance, etc. are removed. A controlled and disciplined mind, free from </p><p>impurities, is released from tension, worry and stress. </p><p> Meditation is the way to psychologically train the mind to develop the tool of insight, </p><p>or Vipassana enabling meditators to realize Enlightenment, the highest wisdom for ordinary </p><p>persons to become complete human beings so that human beings can become noble ones, or </p><p>ariya puggala (Pali). </p><p> The oldest form of Vipassana (insight) meditation is taught in the Theravada tradition </p><p>of Southeast Asia. The devilment of mindfulness and awareness is the heart of Buddhist </p><p>meditation. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness (The Satipatthana Sutta) were </p><p>emphasized by the historical Buddha, as follows: There is one way, O monks, for the </p><p>purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow, and lamentation, for the disappearance of </p><p>suffering, grief and pain, for the winning the noble path, for realizing Enlightenment, Nibbana, </p><p>that is to say, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. (Details will be given in later chapters </p><p>regarding meditation objects.) </p><p> Meditation can be practiced in many ways to develop the mind to have the mind relax </p><p>and become clam. We see in the West today many people who practice meditation by </p><p>themselves through reading books, without supervisors, teachers, guides or experienced </p><p>friends to help them. </p></li><li><p> 5 </p><p> Meditation can be applied for different purposes. Some apply meditation in the wrong </p><p>way and for negative purposes, such as mundane magical power, and so on. In short, </p><p>meditation is the way to purify the mind from hatred, (Pali:dosa) greed, (Pali: lobpa) and </p><p>ignorance, (Pali: moha) so we can cultivate mindfulness and awareness to see things as they </p><p>really are. The ways things are impermanent (Pali: aniccam) hard to maintain or suffering </p><p>(Pali: dukkham) and out of control, non-self or selflessness (Pali: anatta.) </p><p> It is very useful and wonderful to learn, study and practice meditation because living </p><p>without meditation is very dangerous: it like driving a car without a road map and with no </p><p>directions. Living with meditation is just the opposite, providing all the tools you need to get </p><p>to your destination. </p><p>Why should we train our minds? </p><p> The mind is of primary importance, the most important element in human life. All </p><p>deeds, wholesome or unwholesome, are the result of mental processes. In the Dhammapada, </p><p>the Buddha said, Mind is the forerunner of all action, mind is chief; mind made are they. If </p><p>one speaks or acts with an evil mind, suffering follows him/her, even as the wheel of the cart </p><p>follows the ox that draws the cart. Mind is the forerunner of all actions, mind is chief, mind-</p><p>made are they. If one speaks or acts with a wholesome mind, happiness follows him (her), </p><p>even as his (her) own shadow. </p><p>(Pali: Manopubbam gama dhamma, manasettha manomaya, mansa ce padutthena, bhasati </p><p>va karoti va, tato nam dukkhamannaveti, cakkam va vahato padam manasa ce </p><p>pasannena pasati va karoti va tato nam sukkhamanveti chayava anapayini.) </p><p>Why should we meditate? </p><p> Mind is by nature originally pure. Great extensive spiritual power is all complete </p><p>within the mind. You may ask yourself what you want to have in your life. The answer is </p><p>likely be peace and real happiness because what the mind want is peace and real happiness. </p><p> How can we reach that stage where we will have a peaceful mind and happiness? The </p><p>answer is through the practice of meditation. This is the tool that helps us train our mind to be </p><p>peaceful and pure. With a peaceful and pure mind we will be able to experience real </p><p>happiness and the highest wisdom in life. </p><p> Meditation is a spiritual training in all the worlds religions. Many people talk about peace and happiness in their daily gatherings and meetings. In other...</p></li></ul>