Religious Practice

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Meditation

  • What is Meditation?
  • anything and everything
  • in west meditation is a particlar seated position thinking deeply about religious matters
  • Zen argues anything can be meditation if correct attitude is adopted.
  • Meditation in Theravada Buddhism
  • important practice; makes up three aspects of the eightfold path essential for nibbana
  • done under guidance to make sure it fits individuals needs
  • achievement of jhanas by buddha under the bodhi tree
  • aim to see world as it really is
  • samatha and vipassana two main types samatha precedes vipassana; practiced in conjunction
  • Samatha
  • calm meditation; develop control of mind
  • metta meditation is a form of samatha; extended into three further forms of love
  • samatha begins by encouraging the practitioner to become aware of their body through breathing exercises or meditations of walking - awareness of emotional and mental states. this calms the indicidual
  • Finally, meditator able to detach themselves from ordinary concerns and cares of the world of samsara and sense desire, enter world of pure form.
  • hierarchy of achievement jhanas
  • first jhana - clarity, ability to examine and detach oneself from the world of sense desire
  • second jhana - happiness, joy as mind is calmed
  • third jhana - joy, equanimity, composed as the rapture at one's earlier joy fades
  • fourth jhana - equanimity, clear, calm peaceful, a state of pure consciousness
  • further four described as infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness and neither perception nor non perception. Debate whether these form higher levels

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