Jhana: The Buddhist Search For Focused Equanimity.

‘The physical material of the universal itself is not necessarily morally corrupt as it exists, but rather is made so by a mind projecting a distorted meaning onto, and into it. However, as the karmic fruits of an individual actually ‘pull’ a physical world into place, even morally inert matter is designed, through circumstance, to create experiences relevant to the karmic root actions themselves. Early Buddhism envisages 31 such states of existence that are only transcended through the experience of enlightenment at the point of the death of the last karmically inspired physical existence. Until that time, the mind appears to ‘burn’ with sensation and obsessive thought patterns that inspire actions that inevitably lead to further effects. This mechanism that sees the mind fabric intimately entwined with the physical world, has to be prevent from functioning in an unquestioned manner. The power of habit moves in one perpetuating direction, as like a piece of metal drawn to a strong magnet. Habitual tendencies appear ‘normal’ because they are familiar. Delusion is a comfortable state that ‘hurts’ those residing within it. The pain of delusion is never associated with the ‘delusion’ itself. The human will (cetana) is the Buddha’s key to suffering and its over-coming.’

Karma: Buddhist Action Defined.

‘The Buddha ascribes a special status to in the human realm (this realm is number 5 of the 31 – which occurs as a karmic stage within the broad category of ‘kama loka’, and is known as the ‘manussa loka’ – with ‘manussa’ meaning ‘human), and in so doing automatically elevates this karmic formation as being superior in potential to all other realms, or types of re-birth. It is true, of course, that as long as an ordinary human remains with a mind driven by craving (tanha), no progress can be made and the individual, as a collection of habitual tendencies will bob around on the karmic seas for innumerable ages, experiencing the painful fruits (vipaka) of karma. However, despite this immense image of futile suffering, the Buddha teaches that salvation is possible on the human plane through the understanding and practicing of the noble eightfold path – which is contained within the teachings of the four noble truths.’

Anapanasati: Breath-Mindfulness.

‘Bare attention contains the breath in the cultivated stage. In the uncultivated, ordinary stage, the breath appears as a separate object outside of the awareness itself. Awareness and breath in the latter stage are not obviously connected or entwined in any usable sense. The two entities happen to exist in a single body, with no integrated common aim. Breath meditation is the means to unite these aspects and focus them toward the goal of mind development.’

Mindfulness: The Effectiveness of Attention Relocation.

‘Satipatthana – the establishing of mindfulness – is the prime Buddhist method of observing phenomena originating from both within and without the body and mind. It is the quality of mind that clearly perceives without error, and does not tire over-time. It is the practice of a continuous, non-judgemental awareness, that nevertheless, precisely distinguished between phenomena that are in nature pleasurable, neutral and full of suffering. This practice is one of a clear discernment that does not lapse for a single second.’

The Zoo Of Dogs-The Anatomy of the Gong-an (公案) Device As Used in Ch’an Buddhism.

‘What might be called a continuous effort in one direction, is ultimately doomed to failure, as the type of ‘hyper-knowledge’; and the legitimacy such a knowledge bestows, is based upon a core irrationality – that of knowledge existing ‘free’ of its organic root. This inconsistency lies at the heart of all accumulation of knowledge, and is the essence of the human condition that strives to rise out of the state of ignorance, and into the state of enlightenment. ‘

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