|Eyes of Wisdom, Bouddhanath stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal (dreamynomad/flickr.com)|
- [Pa Auk Sayadaw, a famous enlightened Burmese meditation master who has taught jhana and vipassana (meditative absorption and systematic contemplation) to tens of thousands of students -- monks, nuns, lay people of all traditions and levels of ability -- has never, not a single time, run into a case where a meditator got "stuck" in the bliss, rapture, joy, and happiness of deep samadhi, with the possible exception that one time while teaching Leigh Brasington in Barre, Mass., Leigh was reluctant to get off the effervescent rapture and move onto the more sublime states of equanimity -- reluctant but not "stuck" -- which he had become accustomed to having learned jhana meditation from the German Buddhist nun in Sri Lanka, Ayya Khema, who we are certain did not teach him to stay in the shallows of the full-body blissing out rather than moving progressively forward through the eight jhanas to more and more stillness and purity.]
Jhana means "meditation"
|The Buddha mountainside, Nokogiri Yama Buddha, Japan (Naren.K/Colorsimake/flickr)|
- being aware of long breathing,
- being aware of short breathing,
- being aware of the whole body as we breathe in and out,
- and then calming [allowing it to settle] the breath within the body.
- [There is no need whatsoever to berate it for having wandered off, which it has been in the habit of doing forever. Like a wild and unruly baby elephant brought out of the forest into a clearing and fastened to a post, the mind will pull and pull, trying to go back to wandering around in the brush. But eventually it will learn to hold still. Then it is ready to be trained, made useful, turned into a royal treasure capable of much useful work. We may prefer to let it run wild forever, but harnessing its power to useful work is a precious thing. The Buddha stated that he was aware of nothing so useful as a tractable mind.]
- craving/desire, 2. ill will/annoyance, 3. sleepiness/lassitude, 4. restlessness/worry, 5. skeptical doubt
|Free your mind. Enlightenment will follow.|
|Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal.|
|Mind, sometimes you really p' me off.|