Samadhi Chronicles -
Maya Gaia - Evolution Involution
MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP Page Update 08 24 07
Note:My Anthropic Trilogy web-book, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.
Exploring Contrasting States of Mind Among Jnana and Bhakti Meditative Practices and Shamanic Transcendent Journeying.
In regards to imagining the state of mind that arises in Primordial Rhythm Meditation - if we contrast jnana and bhakti meditative traditions - the former tends to involve various forms of mental concentration, disciplines or pursuit of intellectual knowledge (as in Vipassana Buddhism) and PRM identifies with the latter that tends to "let go" of the mind (as in the variations of "no mind", "no thought", "freeing the mind". "thoughtlessness", "mindlessness" forms of meditation.
In PRM, The notion to "follow the voice of the water" evoked by our drumming various tempos over the range of our human heart beat - is a device to allow our mind to involve back to the embryonic state of "no thought" - where our non-cognitive brain's only sensory input was from our mother's heart beat, organs and fluids.
Nataraja Dancing Animated GIF - Copyright 2018, Isabella Ava email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Idea of Secular Meditation is a Dangerous Chimera by member StillJustJames (2018) - There is huge interest in the benefits of meditation today that is being catered to by an ever-expanding community of visionaries, proselytizers, teachers and coaches, as well as practitioners, and that response is both industrial in scale and commercial in packaging. In parallel with this, there is an ever-growing interest within certain circles in "scientifically proving" (or disproving) the effectiveness of meditation. Here's where I see dangers abounding that can and will hurt all of those that practice meditation and those that could benefit from doing so. The thinking appears to be that the explanatory spiritual doctrines that usually accompany traditional meditation practices are of no importance, and thus they can be jettisoned in favor of defining a completely secular technique for meditators to use without all the woo-woo mumbo-jumbo. See also: Does Meditation Work? by Ute Kreplin, lecturer in psychology at Massey University in New Zealand (2018)
Mindfulness, Mindfulness Meditation and Vedic Meditation The Blog (2013 - Updated 2016) What Are The Differences Between Mindfulness, Mindfulness Meditation and Vedic Meditation? by Ira Israel...we can parse another subtle distinction between Classical Hindu-based or Vedic Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation. From what I learned about Hinduism - particularly from Advaita Vedanta - the purpose of meditation is to go to "the other side" of thoughts - "MindLESSness", in fact - in order to realize one's essential divinity, which gets masked and obfuscated by maya. Maya is best translated as "illusory" because it also has an ephemeral quality seeing as everything that we perceive through our five senses is transitory, constantly shifting.
Mindfulness (Wikipedia) Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term "mindfulness" is a translation of the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of some Buddhist traditions. The recent popularity of mindfulness in the West is generally considered to have been initiated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Mindfulness and Mindlessness In Early Chan by Robert Sharf, University of California, Berkeley, 2014 (youtube video) Chan Mindlessness - There are a number of eighth-century Chan manuscripts (Ox-head works) that are relentless in their critiques of "maintaining mind," "viewing mind", and indeed of "mindfulness" itself. In direct opposition to the injunction to "maintain mind",these texts speak of "no mind" instead of "to discern mind", we find "cut off discernment" rather than "mindfulness", we find "no mindfulness". It is no easy task, however, to determine if this was mere rhetoric aimed at mitigating the reification of mind that attends notions of "mindfulness", The Treatise on No Mind insists that "mind" is a mere fiction that must be abandoned.
Jnana Yoga (Wikipedia) Jnana yoga or Jnanamarga refers to the "path of knowledge", also known as the "path of self realization" in Hinduism. It is one of the three classical paths (margas) or types of yoga for the liberation of the Atman (self, soul). The jnanamarga ideas are discussed in ancient and medieval era Hindu scriptures and texts such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. The jnana yoga is self-liberation through the pursuit of intellectual knowledge. The other two are karma yoga (path of action, karmamarga) and bhakti yoga (path of loving devotion, bhaktimarga).
Meditation in Buddhist traditions While there are some similar meditative practices - such as breath meditation and various recollections (anussati) - that are used across Buddhist schools, there is also significant diversity. In the Theravada tradition alone, there are over fifty methods for developing mindfulness and forty for developing concentration, while in the Tibetan tradition there are thousands of visualization meditations. Most classical and contemporary Buddhist meditation guides are school specific. Only a few teachers attempt to synthesize, crystallize and categorize practices from multiple Buddhist traditions.
Vipassana Meditation What Exactly is Vipassana Meditation? Vipassana or insight meditation is a clear awareness of exactly what is happening as it happens. By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana The distinction between Vipassana meditation and other styles of meditation is crucial and needs to be fully understood. Buddhism addresses two major types of meditation. They are different mental skills, modes of functioning or qualities of consciousness. In Pali, the original language of Theravada literature, they are called Vipassana and Samatha. Mindfulness is a "directed-focus" style of meditation, in which you're focusing on or counting your breath, doing a walking meditation or a guided visualization, or focusing on a flame.
Mindfulness vs Concentration More about Vipassana Meditation. mindfulness vs concentration
Mayayana from Theravada Distinguishing major schools of Buddhism.
More on Vipassana Vipassana can be translated as "Insight", a clear awareness of exactly what is happening as it happens. Samatha can be translated as "concentration" or "tranquility." It is a state in which the mind is brought to rest, focused only on one item and not allowed to wander.
Osho No Mind Meditation About the course on Gibberish: In that first hour of the Multiversity course, we have the perfect opportunity to throw out the gibberish of the mind. As Osho explains, "Gibberish is one of the most scientific ways to clean your mind". And also that: "To be in the mind is to be out of yourself. To be out of the mind is to be in your own being. Just go inwards and it is not thousands of miles away. It is only thousands of thoughts away. So it is only a question of reducing the thoughts and the mileage is reduced. If you don't have any thoughts, you are in it. You are it. You don't have to go anywhere; you have to simply go on throwing your thoughts. That is the purpose of our gibberish before the meditation."
Do it totally, with great enthusiasm - Be authentic, honest - You have to be total. Don't act or do it automatically like a robot. Be sincere - make it a reality - So don't be partial, don't be middle-class. Be a first-rate crazy man! Just go crazy without any fear. Don't spare anything. Don't sit there like a Buddha; that stage comes later. Remember, the first step in meditation is to forget the whole world and just bring out all your craziness in rubbish, gibberish sounds, gestures - As you throw it out you will find yourself becoming light, becoming more alive. But be total because once you are freed of it, then there is a possibility of going deeper into silence than you have ever gone.
As Osho describes it: "It is one of the most ecstatic meditations ever. As you go into it, get more and more ecstatic with it. If your body starts moving, your hands start moving, gestures happen and you feel like standing up or jumping or dancing, allow it. Let your whole body and being say it. And get deeper and deeper into it - be possessed by it. "Out of this will arise the second part, a great silence in which you have to close your eyes and freeze your body, all its movements, gather your energy within yourself. You are the buddha - your ultimate potential, the very Everest of consciousness. Great is the splendor of this moment". [Source: Osho]
Overview of Popular Meditation Practices There are literally hundreds - if not thousands - of types of meditation, so here I will explore only the most popular ones. Mindfulness Meditation. Jon Kabat Zinn is considered the founder of Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness Meditation is an adaptation from traditional Buddhist meditation practices, especially Vipassana, but also having strong influence from other lineages (such as the Vietnamese Zen Buddhism from Thich Nhat Hanh). "Mindfulness" is the common western translation for the Buddhist term sati. Anapanasati, "mindfulness of breathing", is part of the Buddhist practice of Vipassana or insight meditation, and other Buddhist meditational practices, such as zazen. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment, accepting and non-judgmentally paying attention to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise. For the "formal practice" time, sit on a cushion on the floor, or on a chair, with straight and unsupported back. Pay close attention to the movement of your breath. When you breath in, be aware that you are breathing in, and how it feels. When you breath out, be aware you are breathing out. Do like this for the length of your meditation practice, constantly redirecting the attention to the breath. Or you can move on to be paying attention to the sensations, thoughts and feelings that arise. The effort is to not intentionally add anything to our present moment experience, but to be aware of what is going on, without losing ourselves in anything that arises. If your focus is a deeper transformation and spiritual development, however, then mindfulness meditation may be just an initial step for you. From here you can then move into Vipassana, Zazen, or other types of meditation.
Zen Buddhist VS Hindu Meditation What is the primary difference between Zen Buddhist meditation and Hindu meditation? by Sid Kemp Zen practioner since 1980.
Before the Buddha, advanced mental states, such as the jhanas, were already known. Meditation - mentally - wise, what is it that the Buddha did differently from all the meditation masters of the time that made him a Buddha?
At the time of the Buddha, many types of meditation, including all of the types of meditation that the Buddha taught, were known in the Indian culture of the era, which we might call Brahminism or Hinduism. Yet none of them was a Buddha. What is the difference?
The difference is in the purpose of the Buddha's life, in why he meditated. And once he found the Way, he chose a sequence of meditations that supported the goal he shared with all of us.
The Buddha sought an end to all human suffering, or at least the elimination and prevention of all suffering that could be eliminated or prevented. He came to see that there is pain in being born, in getting sick, in growing old, in the body dying, in losing those we love, and being confronted with hurtful and frightening situations. But he saw that most suffering was not those, it was, rather the anxiety and fear we have because the mind wants to make things different, wants to be safe from all harm, wants to control what happens.
The Buddha mastered two different schools of yogic meditation well enough that the aging teachers of those traditions asked him to be the teacher for the school for the next generation. The Buddha asked each of these teachers if he knew how to end suffering. They did not. He walked away from these schools and turned within, sitting in deep meditation, seeking the Way. In short, he broke through and found it. He set aside all issues of religion. He came to see the goal of most Hindu meditation - Divine Union - as a trap. Where most yogic traditions see Samadhi - deep concentration with a stopped mind - and Divine Union with Bliss as end goals, the Buddha saw them as a step on the way. But if we stop at that step, although we no longer suffer, we do not help others to stop suffering. So our freedom (Moksha) becomes a trap. Instead, he taught us to see freedom as sovereign freedom with responsibility to use our lives to make a difference in the suffering world (Vasika).
One key difference is that many schools of meditation want people to meditate a long time, but only some of the time. The Buddha taught that one meditative state, sati, or mindfulness, should be mastered and used every waking minute and should, indeed change our sleeping mind, as well.
Of the dozens of types of meditation and meditative states that the Buddha knew, he focused on three, primarily: sati (mindfulness); shamata or samadhi, also called dhyan and Zen (deep wordless concentration); and metta (lovingkindness). Here's why: If we see things as they are by dwelling in sati at all times; if we intend only the good for all beings, including ourselves; and if we concentrate deeply to see the roots of suffering so we can cut them off, then we can use our hearts, minds, and bodies in ways that are always and only harmlessly loving for all, and thus cut off suffering and increase healthy vitality, joy, and peace in all that we do.
Empty Mind Meditation Applying Deeksha (energy transmitted from guru to acyolight) to provide "empty mind. Shaktipat is another energy that brings very rapid change. It's a direct connection to the Universal Soul that often brings a spontaneous Kundalini awakening. Many report experiencing high states, including Emptiness, after receiving Shaktipat.
More on Mindfulness Meditation When you practice being aware of what's going on in and around you, in the present moment, you're being mindful. Mindfulness = 'paying attention to your attention'. So, when you combine awareness and concentration, that's mindfulness meditation. When you purposefully set aside time in everyday tasks, you're also doing mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness is a "directed-focus" style of meditation, in which you're focusing on or counting your breath, doing a walking meditation or a guided visualization, or focusing on a flame. Learning from Zen teachers Thich Nhat Hanh and Seungsahn, Jon Kabat Zinn founded Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This is why MBSR texts often feature quotes by Thich. Later, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was developed. Specifically for people who suffer from cycles of depression.
Shamanic Healing An Interview of Michael Harner by Bonnie Horrigan 1997 In about 90% of the world, the altered states of consciousness used in shamanism are attained through consciousness-changing techniques involving a monotonous percussion sound, most typically done with a drum, but also with sticks, rattles, and other instruments. In perhaps 10% of the cultures, shamans use psychedelic drugs to change their state of consciousness.
The Role of Altered States of Consciousness in Native American Healing The practice of spirit travel (or soul journeys) by the healer while in an altered state of consciousness distinguishes shamans in the rest of the world from most Native American medicine people. However, there is not necessarily a clear demarcation between shamans and Native American healers, since Native American healers also use rituals and ceremonies that invoke a spiritual realm and utilize altered states of consciousness. Salish Spirit Dancing As an Example of Altered States in Healing Both hypnotic trance and possession trance are altered states of consciousness involving mental dissociation. Meditation can induce trance, as can focusing on one's breathing or chanting a mantra or other words. Hypnotists use a steady, measured tone of voice to induce hypnosis. Almost all methods of inducing trance involve rhythm, which, like music and dancing, is a function of the mammalian brain, the limbic-hypothalamic system, rather than the cerebral cortex. It may be that synchronizing brainwaves with external stimuli such as music or light is fundamental to all altered states of consciousness (Waterfield, 2002). Thus, both hypnosis and ritual healing use rhythm to increase suggestibility.
Gnosticism (Wikipedia) Ancient Greek was capable of discerning between several different forms of knowing. These different forms may be described in English as being propositional knowledge, indicative of knowledge acquired indirectly through the reports of others or otherwise by inference and empirical knowledge acquired by direct participation or acquaintance. Gnosis refers to knowledge of the second kind. Therefore, in a religious context, to be "Gnostic" should be understood as being reliant not on knowledge in a general sense, but as being specially receptive to mystical or esoteric experiences of direct participation with the divine. Indeed, in most Gnostic systems the sufficient cause of salvation is this "knowledge of" ("acquaintance with") the divine. This is commonly identified with a process of inward "knowing" or self-exploration [viz: gnostic meditation]. This is what helps separate Gnosticism from proto-orthodox views, where the orthodox views are considered to be superficial. The inadequate take then requires a correct form of interpretation. With "gnosis" comes a fuller insight that is considered to be more spiritual.
Gnostic Meeditation This spiritual practice, Developing Contact with the Your Self, assists in developing one's relationship with the Inner Divine Being. Do not forget that while meditation serves us in becoming more peaceful and better people, the ultimate goal of our spiritual practices is to encounter our Inner Being and then to realize our oneness with that Source; the actual Source of Our Existence. If you have been experiencing Light in meditation, on a regular basis, you might find that the desire to go to Source of this Light is becoming a natural inclination. Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment - non-judgmentally.
Disputing No Thought Meditation Disputes the concept that the most effective meditation frees the mind from thoughts (viz: advanced mystics, like Power of Now author Eckhart Tolle, say they experience states of completely thought-free bliss sometimes lasting up to three or four hours at a time. But unless you're living in a Himalayan cave (or, like Tolle, spending years sitting quietly on a park bench), the movement of your mind probably isn't going to come to a full and complete stop anytime soon).
Christine Stevens MSW, MT-BC, MA holds masters degrees in both social work and music therapy. She is author of Music Medicine, The Healing Drum Kit and The Art and Heart of Drum Circles. The founder of UpBeat Drum Circles, she has appeared on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and is a featured speaker in the DVD Discover the Gift. She has trained facilitators from more than twenty-five countries in the evidence-based REMO group drumming HealthRHYTHMS program. Christine has worked with many Fortune 500 companies, survivors of Katrina, students at Ground Zero and most recently, led the first drum circle training in a war-zone in northern Iraq.
Non-dual Kashmir Shaivism - The Science of Ultimate Reality (Part III) by Maria Syldona, Ph.D Institute for Human Psychospiritual Delvelopment Ridgway, Colorado - It is to perceive something as a whole, and not in distinct parts - that seeing which is without thought. This is a 'direct perception' and seeing at the level of Pasyanti-vak. "A baby experiences in the nirvikalpa state, without thought. As the baby grows up, their experiences are both nirvikalpa and savikalpa (with thought), (and) later in life, only savikalpa. To regain that Supremeness you have to gain the nirvikalpa state in this savikalpa state. It is only then that the nirvikalpa state will remain permanently" (Lakshman Joo, 2003)...free from the tyranny of the mind.
Meditation as Medicine Neurology Now: August-september 2012 Scientific evidence from well-designed studies shows that meditation can increase attention span, sharpen focus, improve memory, and dull the perception of pain. ...meditation produces measurable changes in the brain, say experts. For example, in a 2011 study published in the medical journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, researchers found that people who participated in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program experienced increased density in brain regions associated with memory, one's sense of self, empathy, and stress response. Meditation may even buffer the aging brain. When researchers compared the brains of normal aging adults and same-age serious meditators, they found that the brains of the meditators did not shrink. What we accept as a normal process- the shrinking of the brain as you get older- may not be necessarily normal.
Comparison and Contention Over Lotus Sutra
Slandering the Buddha and decent into hell.
Overview of Chinese Schools and Sects Dr. Robert Eno of Indiana University wrote: "Buddhism in China grew into a variety of powerful schools. These schools were distinguished by significantly different interpretations of Buddhism's basic message, different forms of meditational practices by monks and nuns, and different ceremonies of devotional practice by lay believers. Several schools continue to have influence in East Asia today. These include Tiantai (Japanese: Tendai) Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and Chan (Japanese: Zen) Buddhism." [Source: Robert Eno, Indiana University indiana.edu] Schools and sects in China generally fall into one of three categories: 1) classical schools, which are based on a particular sutra and trace their origin back to India; 2) catholic sects, based on different sutras, often ones oriented toward reaching enlightenment selected by the founder of the sect; and 3) exclusive sects, which advocate a single path and select the systems and sutra to suit that purpose. The two exclusive sects are: 1) Pure Land and 2) Cha'an. The four principal classical schools are :1) the Kola School, based on doctrines from India translated by Xuanzang (Hsuan Tsang); 2) the Satyasiddho School, based on Kumarajiva's translation of the Satyasiddhi sutra; 3) the San-Lun (Three Treatises) School; 4) the Fa-hsiang School, founded by Xuanzang. The three primary Chinese Buddhist sects are: 1) Tien-tai (T'ien-t'a), founded by Chih-I (A.D. 538-97) and oriented around the Lotus sutra and a system of meditative exercises; 2) Hua-yen, founded by Tu-Shan (A.D. 557-640), refined by Fa-tsang (643-712) and based on the Avatamsaka (Hua-yen) sutra; and 3) Chen-yen (True Word), introduced by Indian missionaries about A.D. 720.
Mystical Experience (Wikipedia) Since the 19th century, mystical experience has evolved as a distinctive concept. It is closely related to "mysticism" but lays sole emphasis on the experiential aspect, be it spontaneous or induced by human behavior, whereas mysticism encompasses a broad range of practices aiming at a transformation of the person, not just inducing mystical experiences. Perennialists regard various mystical traditions as pointing to one universal transcendental reality, for which those experiences offer the proof. The perennial position is "largely dismissed by scholars" but "has lost none of its popularity". Instead, a constructionist approach became dominant during the 1970s, which states that mystical experiences are mediated by pre-existing frames of reference, while the attribution approach focuses on the (religious) meaning that is attributed to specific events. Neurological research reveals which areas in the brain are involved in so-called "mystical experience" both spontaneous and behavioral induced. Especially the brain's temporal lobe seems to have a significant role here. In mystical and contemplative traditions, mystical experiences are not a goal in themselves, but part of a larger path of self-transformation.
No Mind Meditation Poem format - No Mind Meditation - become mindless
Ram S.Ramanathan After a serious six year spiritual pursuit, during which he taught yogic meditation around the world to a few thousand people and wrote thirty books on Hindu spirituality, Ram trained to be a professional ICF credentialed PCC coach. His company blends eastern spirituality with western psychology to work seamlessly in the corporate environment, runs ICF approved leadership training programs for individuals and companies, and coaches senior managers and C suite managers of over a dozen multinationals.
Whenever mentor coach Ram Ramanathan talks about being mindless, people like to correct him, 'you mean mindful, don't you?' No, he doesn't - and without any apology! Read on to get the real message of the Buddha's teaching for coaches everywhere. Over the years, knowingly or unknowingly, the no mind concept of Buddha, called the void and sunya in Sanskrit, has been re-interpreted as mindfulness. Buddha talked about sunya as the disengaged state of mind beyond desires. It linked to his prime concept that desire bred sorrow. In Zen this became the cornerstone of the no mind zazen meditation practice. In another powerful meditation practice known as vipassana the journey is towards the no mind or mindlessness.
The concept of mindlessness is as old as the 5000-year-old Hindu Upanishad scriptures. To my knowledge, these are the only scriptures considered holy by any religious group that contain no mention of the word god. Upanishads talk only about a universal energy as the ultimate truth and source of all creation.
One of these Upanishads, Mandukya, talks of four states of human awareness, starting with the first state of the being awake but still in illusory perception, the second state of subconscious dreaming, the third state of unconscious deep sleep, and finally one that it simply calls the Fourth state. This Fourth State is the final desired state in any true yoga practice, also called Samadhi. Both mean the same, the state of a disengaged witnessing mind, non judgmental, non evaluative, not seeking, just accepting, just being, the mindless state. Ramanathan Coaching
The Way of the Explorer Perhaps the most thorough and detailed mapping of inner experience comes from the Buddhist and Hindu mystics. The Tibetan Buddhist monks in particular have approached the subject with scholarly intent and precision for centuries. The most exalted state of awareness is described in the mystical literature as the nirvikalpa samadhi, a name derived from the ancient Sanskrit. This is a state of awareness in which there is only Self; that is to say, only the transcendent observing entity. There are no thoughts or objects in mind. Indeed, Self expands and merges into the entire field of mind so that pure awareness is all that appears to exist. The state is accompanied by an ecstasy that seems to permeate every cell of one's body, and results in a feeling of certainty about the eternal nature of Self. Beyond this simple description, the state is ineffable, which is to say the description falls short, and doesn't assist others in attaining it (though it does help one recognize the experience when and if it occurs). The state must be experienced to capture its complete essence, however.
Non Duality America Emptiness Teachings by Greg Goode - The emptiness teachings are nondual, but not by establishing everything as a singularity such as consciousness or awareness. According to Nagarjuna's emptiness teachings, emptiness is not a synonym for awareness. The teachings don't go that way. Instead, the teachings are nondual by avoiding the dualistic extremes of existence and non-existence, of essentialism and nihilism, subject and object, substance and attribute, good and bad, life and death. This is the Middle Way, on the razor's edge between extremes.
Madeleine Castro, Ph.D
Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Discourse Analysis, Emotion, Social Psychology Chapter: Spontaneous Transcendent and Transformative Experiences in Everyday Life 2015 - Article: The Paranormal is (Still) Normal: The Sociological Implications of a Survey of Paranormal Experiences in Great Britain 2014 - Article: Talking of transcendence: A discursive exploration into how people make sense of their extraordinary experiences 2010 - Article: Attempting to rationalise the irrational and explain the unexplainable.
Lori Pinnell Transformational Life Coach - My Story: On March 21, 2001 I had an intense, non-ordinary and spontaneous spiritual transcendent experience. This irrevocably altered my beliefs, perceptions and my life. I began a personal and spiritual journey of change, growth, and a dismantling of all the aspects of my life in service of evolving my consciousness and bringing me, the authentic me, closer to understanding and living my purpose on earth.
Third Eye Meditation Utterly arbitrary & contrived "explanations" by the author of this website - for an infinity of "inner eye" visions described in postings by followers of this "Third Eye" cult. One questioner asks for the meaning of a tiny white star arising during his meditation to which the 'Third Eye guru' says - just ignore it as it has no meaning. (So happens I've been using various configurations of the dynamic 'tiny white star(s)' that arise in my 'pre-sleep meditations' as a sleep aid to quite my mind and accept that it's an epiphenomenon whose meaning is inexplicable but still useful.
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