Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Buddhism and Psychology (video)

Douglas Burns (Buddhist Meditation and Depth Psychology, BPS, ATI); Ven. Nyanaponika (; Soothing Sounds Meditation; Ashley Wells, Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly 
(Soothing Sounds Meditation) "Buddhist Meditation for Beginners." This video facilitates a 20 min. session. Ascend to higher levels of consciousness. The secret is coming back every day to practice. Add whatever helps establish a habit - incense, cushion, timer, headphones, tea, etc.

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation
Mistakenly, Buddhist meditation is sometimes confused with yogic meditation.

These often includes physical contortions, auto-hypnosis, quests for occult magic powers [siddhis], and an attempted union with God.

None of these are concerns or practices of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path.

There are in Buddhism no drugs or stimulants [except tea perhaps], no secret teachings, and no mystical formulae. Buddhist meditation deals exclusively with the everyday phenomena of human consciousness.

In the words of the renowned Western Buddhist scholar-monk Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, p. 82):
In its spirit of self-reliance, [the practice of the setting up of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness or] satipatthana does not require any elaborate technique or external devices. 
The daily life is its working material. It has nothing to do with any exotic cults or rites nor does it confer "initiations" or "esoteric knowledge" in any way other than by self-enlightenment.
Using just the conditions of life it finds, satipatthana does not [even] require complete seclusion or monastic life, though in some who undertake the practice, the desire and need for these may grow.
Lest the reader suspect that some peculiarity of the "Western mind" precludes Occidentals [whites] from the successful practice of Buddhist meditation, we should also note the words of British naval officer Rear Admiral E.H. Shattock (An Experiment in Mindfulness, pp. 17, 19), who spent three weeks of diligent meditation practice in a Theravada Buddhist monastery near Rangoon, Burma:
Meditation, therefore, is a really practical occupation: it is in no sense necessarily a religious one, though it is usually thought of as such. It is itself basically academic, practical, and profitable. It is, I think, necessary to emphasize this point, because so many only associate meditation with holy or saintly people, and regard it as an advanced form of the pious life... This is not the tale of a conversion, but of an attempt to test the reaction of a well-tried Eastern system on a typical Western mind.
Reading about meditation is like reading about swimming: only by getting into the water does the aspiring swimmer begin to progress.

So it is with meditation and Buddhism in general. The Dharma must be lived, not merely thought. Study and contemplation are valuable tools, but life itself is the training ground.
The following passages are attempts to put into words what must be experienced within oneself. Or in the words of The Dhammapada:

"Each must work out one's own salvation with diligence. Buddhas only point the way." Meditation is a personal experience, a subjective experience, and consequently each of us must tread his or her own path towards the summit of enlightenment.

By words we can instruct and encourage but words are only symbols for reality. More

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