Friday, April 6, 2018

What is Buddhist "serenity" meditation?

Ananda M., Dhr. Seven, Mooney (DMI), Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit
The Los Angeles Dharma Meditation Initiative trains for mass meditation and disclosure.
Dharma Wheel.svg
Serenity (Pāli samatha, Sanskrit शमथ or śhamatha, Chinese or zhǐ) is a Buddhist meditation practice (bhāvanā भावन).

It is concerned with calming the mind/heart (citta चित्त) and its formations (saṅkhāra सम्स्कार) as preparation for liberating insight-practices.
This is done by practicing single-pointed focus, collectedness, coherence, concentration on an object. It is common to begin with the breath, using mindfulness of in-and-out breathing.
Samatha is foundational and common to many Buddhist traditions. It may be accomplished by concentration on a meditation-object.
I want to gain calm, poise, and samadhi.
In the semantic field of Sanskrit, shama (Tibetan shi) is "pacification," "cooling or slowing down," "rest" -- akin to the English shush.

The semantic field of Tibetan is "to abide or remain" and this is cognate or equivalent with the final syllable of the Sanskrit, thā.
The Tibetan term for samatha or "serenity" is shyiné (zhi-gnas).

According to Jamgon Kongtrul, the terms refer to "peace" and "pacification" of the mind and the thoughts.
Theravāda Buddhism (the oldest teachings)
The "Wisdom Quarterly American Meditation Technique" is best done in a hot spring: Sink into a warm, chlorine-free tub that is free of all synthetic fragrances and chemicals (such as artificial soaps). Focus intently on the natural (uncontrolled, unosbtructed) breath.
Theravada (the "Teaching of the Elders," the elders being the very first enlightened students of the historical Buddha) Buddhism teaches that enlightenment and liberation from samsara (the wheel of suffering and rebirth) is attained by insight (vipassanā).

That insight is into the transitory, unsatisfactory, and impersonal nature of ALL phenomena, particularly the Five Aggregates Clung to as a Self.
This is accomplished by establishing mindfulness, which is then used for practices to gain insight. This is done by making inquiries into the nature of objects, resulting in wisdom.
According to the Theravada tradition, samatha refers to meditation techniques that assist in calming the mind. Samatha is thought to be developed by samadhi ("coherence" or states of being "concentrated"), the ability to rest attention on a single object of perception.
One of the principal techniques for this purpose is mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānasati). Although the first four absorptions (jhanas) involve expanded, intensified, heightened awareness, serenity meditation and jhana are often considered synonymous in the Theravada tradition.
Yoga, falun gong, other practices help serenity.
Serenity is practiced as a prelude to and in conjunction with wisdom practices. It sets up the foundation necessary for insight to be possible.
Mindfulness of breathing leads a practitioner to coherence of mind (dhyāna), the domain of experience wherein sense distractions are pacified. The mind abides in uninterrupted awareness on a meditation object (the breath) until one is absorbed into the object (samādhi).
It is the condition for insight (vipassanā) and subsequently the development of liberating-wisdom (prajnā).
In Theravada Buddhism virtue (śīla) is the stable foundation upon which to attain serenity, and serenity is the stable foundation upon which to attain insight.
Serenity and insight form an integral part of the Noble Eightfold Path (which is "noble" or arya in the sense that it is "ennobling" = leading to "enlightenment") as described by the Buddha in the core Buddhist teachings called the Four Noble or Ennobling Truths. (The eight-factored path is the fourth noble truth).
Through the development of calm abiding by the progressive meditative absorptions, one is able to suppress the Five Hindrances to meditation/absorption:
  1. sensual craving
  2. ill-will
  3. lassitude/sleepiness
  4. restlessness/flurry
  5. skeptical doubt/uncertainty.
  6. With the temporary suppression of these hindrances, the meditative development of insight yields permanent liberating wisdom. More

No comments: