Meditation in buddhism. Key points
"When I came back after three years retreat, my friends asked what had I achieved there, on my mountain. I did not achieve something special. I did not learn to fly or make miracles. But I became wiser".
Geshe Jampa Tinley
Meditation is the state in which External and Internal worlds incorporate into the Emptiness. And this state, this practice transcends all religious dogmas. And at the same time it is the essence of all religions.
This practice allows to contact with our true identity. To receive the answer for the question "Who are you?" if this question is.
There are two main types of Buddhist meditation: Samatha and Vipassana.
The translation fr om Tibetan:
shi peace, pacification, the slowing down, rest
ne to abide or remain
shyine meditation of calm abiding
lhag higher, superior, greater
thong view, to see deeply
lhagthong superior seeing, great vision, supreme wisdom
insight into the true nature of reality
Body and Mind
There is a connection between the position of body and the state of mind. Right physical posture helps to direst mind in a special way. Looking any thangkas, statues of Buddha and other deities, we see their bodies often shown in lotos pose, Padmasana. Such ancient Buddhist art is "encrypted" technique for practice. It is a visual guide.
From "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche:
"The most essential point of this posture is to keep the back
straight, like 'an arrow' or 'a pile of golden coins.' The 'inner
energy' or prana will then flow easily through the subtle channels of
the body, and your mind will find its true state of rest."
Geshe Jampa Tinley:
"The central channel, Avadhuti, must be straight. If its a little bit curved, additional wind energies will appear in these places, and they for sure will distort the meditation process."
1) Your body might be not ready for sitting in meditative pose for a long time. All kinds of physical discomfort can appear and get attention. While the real new "insights" are able to happen only when you forget about the physical body. And of course hatha yoga is excellent tool to prepare for inside practices. However, you ought to find such posture with straight back, which let you be more free of suffering legs and eventually not to notice your body.
2) Even when our body can sit long time without discomfort, the mind can find other distractions. For example, noise. Hearing any noise - we should not make an emotional reaction. We think: these sounds disturb me, I cant meditate in such a noisy place. The reason is not loud nature of visible reality around. The only one reason is We how we are. Our reaction. Our dual judgment.
We can try to stop usual dual perceptions inside the head: " I like this. I dont like that. This disturbs my spiritual practise". All this reality is a type of mirror of your mind. So, Just feel the right now moment. And explore the mind. Watch it like spectator not involved in the emotional game.
3) While we practise meditation we get any spiritual result, kind of insight - we of course may feel happy with this. New experience will be joy, gift, something unique. It is important not to "fall in love" with you insight. Not to be attached emotionally. Otherwise as with any pleasant think we might have create a wish to repeat it. And next time when we start meditate - our mind will be bizi with waiting for the moment which happened last time. And this is already unnecessary effort. For let insight happen with you - you need to let go of any expectations.
Samatha is the single-pointed meditation. Best object of focus is Tathāgata.
From "Samatha. Fundamentals of Tibetan meditation." by Geshe Jampa Tinley:
"There are many focus objects for shamatha meditation. And the great masters, from the viewpoint of sutra, offer Buddha as a mental image of attention in meditation. Tantra teachers sometimes recommend to focus on the letter A or the Clear Light.
The object of meditation, Buddha image should be small, about the size of a thumb. Gold color. And you should feel how rays emanate from it. In this case, you do not have to visualize it as a statue. You have to visualize live, real Buddha. It can be located somewh ere at arm's length. In addition, it is recommended to visualize the Buddha not too high and not too low - at the level of the forehead.
Why we visualize Buddha image so small ? It has a reason, too. There are no random details in visualization. We make it small for improve our concentration. If we visualize big mental Buddha image, the attention will be distracted. So, this is the focus object.
It is very good to have a statuette near you for the first time. To make the process of meditation easier. You look at this statuette from time to time. And then try to repeat it while visualization. When you mind will get used to the form, it will be easier and easier to visualize.
Probably no one will meet difficulties to imagine a friend whom you know well and remember. Your mind is familiar with him. The same is here: the more your mind will get used to the image of statuette, the easier it is to visualize it. Therefore its recommended to use the statue. "
"When you visualize, relying first on a picture or statue, the image should not appear as a draw or as a statue in your mind. It should be manifested in the form of alive Buddha, which is not painted, not made of gold, silver or clay. It's a real body of the Buddha, the rainbow body. From which the rays of light go. This body is made not from ordinary flesh. It is really the body of the Buddha. "
Holding the body image of the Buddha, the Tathagata - a way to connect with this "phenomenon." The more we practice, the clearer becomes the image. There is buddhistic view: the one who made connection with a divinity, has a special opportunity. In the moment of death a human directs thoughts to divinity and it helps to transport in his reality, "pure land".
We can treat to this idea differently. But if we allow, that it does exist pure consciousness, so pure, that we even dont have analogues in the material reality. And after death of a physical body this consciousness enters in the Bardo.
This is an intermediate state, after which the consciousness has the ability to appear again: for example, in Human World. At the moment of male and female parts connection - the consciousness moves to the point from which it begins to shape in the future human being.
A place of reborn depends on so-called "karmic wind". Here we can talk about karma, about how righteously had we lived and so on, but essentially the direction which spirit goes, depends on a body "heaviness".
The word body in this case, means not physical level, but spiritual one. It is made not from materia, and depends on the level of consciousness. If rude emotions and ideas visit a human, his spiritual body has heavy vibration. More pure and light - it can go to high world, "pure land".
Sometimes people say, that they feel a connection with some spirit or god.
When somebody read about or see the image of Milarepa, Tara or Padmasambhava - he can feel huge joy, rise. Something about what we may say "native". Than, concentration on that divine - its possible to transport the mind from material world around to more high level.
So, a god is a type of teleport.
Appears a question: what is that "more high level"? Is it called Absolute ?
What is the Emptiness ?
In different we name the same thing with different words. Prime materia from which everything exists. In Dzogchen they call it Rigpa, in buddhism: Śūnyatā.
The words can be different, they all are just the shape.
There is a thing, which difficult explain on any language. It is possible only to Experience.
People give a symbol, a verbal form to Infinite. But we cant know it with Mind, reading or explaining. This is the experience which can happen only by itself.
If you didnt feel it - nobody can explain. Our mind has no analogues.
All comparisons are limited.
And it is something without any limits.
Here are no answers, because here are already no questions.