It is possible to reach a "heavenly" state, literally a celestial world, in an hour of meditation. There are, of course, the Brahma Viharas. However, these peaceful states are like heaven (i.e., the Brahma lokas). It is possible to literally ascend -- even bodily -- to deva and brahma worlds. Serenity meditation is the key.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Heaven in an Hour
Therefore, there is no need for "faith" (blind allegiance) in the existence of these other worlds. By personal experience one comes to develop a deep reservoir of conviction that they really exist. The only "faith" (in Buddhist terms, saddha) one needs is just enough to investigate, to inquire, to implement the practice that leads to this experience.
These worlds are not as most religions explain them. They are in no way perfect, nor is the morality there completely skillful, nor is it bliss 24/7. It would be more accurate to understand the lower deva worlds as the ancient Greeks understood them, and the brahma worlds to some extent as the ancient Hindus explained them. Most significantly, though life on these planes is extremely long by human standards, it in no way approaches immortality, infinity, or in most cases even the lapse of a single great eon (maha-kalpa).
While there is no need to believe in anything one cannot see, literally seeing is possible. Whether the correct effort is made to do so depends on oneself. Ultimately, "no one can save another." Others can help, but no one can do it for someone else. Others can even pull one out of a woeful state (a hell). But ultimate liberation depends on a yin yang of two things -- the balance of effort and allowing. The Dharma only points the way.
1. an earthly spa (AP)
2. up to heaven (slog.thestranger.com)
3. new heaven new earth (andrewcorbett.com)