Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Buddhist Meditation: To See Things As They Are

     “… Buddhism has literally dozens of meditation practices, and each meditation may develop through several distinct states and stages. A Buddhist practitioner may therefore cultivate scores of ASCs (Altered States of Consciousness) during training. 
     … the classical contemplation of Buddhism, which is called Vipassana or insight meditation, is an awareness practice. … Vipassana meditation cultivates fluid attention to all objects. All stimuli, both inner and outer, are examined precisely and minutely. The aim is to investigate the workings of the mind and thereby cut through the distortions and misunderstandings that usually cloud awareness. ‘To see things as they are’ is the motto of this practice, and the seeing can become very sensitive indeed. 
     … According to both classical and recent research, Buddhist insight meditators can cultivate perceptual sensitivity to remarkable levels. 
     … attention moves fluidly between objects. … insight meditators gradually develop greater calm. 
     … the Buddhist meditator’s microscopic awareness becomes so sensitive that it dissects the sense of self into its components. Thus the meditator perceives not a solid unchanging ego but rather a flux of thoughts and images that compose that ego (transcending ‘personal symbolic consciousness’). This is the classic Buddhist insight of ‘no self,’ which sees through the illusion of egoity and thereby frees the meditator from egocentricity. 
     … awareness becomes so sensitive that all experiences are eventually broken down into their components, and the meditator perceives a ceaseless flux of microscopic images that arise and pass away with extreme rapidity. 

     ... contrary to many claims, shamanic, schizophrenic, Buddhist, and yogic states are clearly distinguishable.”

       Roger Walsh. “The World of Shamanism. New Views of an Ancient Tradition.” Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, Minnesota, 2007. 

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