THE CONTINUING SAGA: Part III...or is it II?



the Wanderling


If the quote below, in an email sent to me by a person now indentified as B.F., is an accurate assessment of Muzika's interpretation of Ramana's Self-Inquiry as so stated, most assuredly for a fully positive outcome to be manifested, much more constructive avenues should be considered.


"Also, Muzika's interpretation of Sri Ramana's Self-Inquiry is incorrect with his suggestion to focus on a certain part of the body. That's BS again. It is, how David Godman explained it so candidly in one of his interviews (with Maalok), 'cargo-cult Self-Inquiry' which will absolutely not lead to Self-realization."

FROM B.F., IN AN EMAIL TO THE WANDERLING


Agreeing with the direction immersed in the content as presented by B.F., being it having been extolled or practiced by either Ramana or Muzika or not, below is presented a view that is much different than one focusing on certain body parts and why in doing so is an effort on a path that otherwise should be reconsidered.

Without entering the need to remake the Dharma wheel or passing into areas of copyright infringement or plagiarism, what is presented below is from a page at onetime personally selected by me for inclusion in the now no longer active college level online Dharma course Awakening 101. The page the two paragraphs are extrapolated from is titled VIPASSANA & JHANA: What The Masters Say, a compilation of a variety of masters selected by the Venerable Visuddhacara. Now, B.F. is not a fan of quotes, stating quotes no matter by whom don't cut it, they are just talk. While it is true words are inherently empty of their own nature requiring a never ending string of other words to describe their meaning eventually circling back on themselves to substantiate themselves, if pulled from the pile and strung together in a coherent pattern in order to exemplify or impart a given process and thus then received in an understood and perceived manner as such by an equally coherent recipient, often that which is conveyed in such a manner becomes much more in aggregate than what the individual words are expressed to impart within themselves.

The Venerable Visuddhacara is a Theravadan Buddhist monk of Malaysian nationality born in 1953 on the island of Penang in Malaysia. He has been practising Vipassana (Insight) meditation and studying and following the Buddha's teachings since 1982. He took a year's leave from his job as a journalist to become a novice monk in 1983 under the guidance of Venerable Sujiva in Kota Tinggi, Malaysia.

Later he resigned his journalist position and traveled to Burma where he was ordained by Sayadaw U Pandita at the Mahasi Meditation Center, Rangoon, in 1987. He was trained in Vipassana and Samatha meditation by Sayadaw U Pandita together with Sayadaw U Lakkhana and Sayadaw U Jatila. He returned to Penang in 1991 where he continued his study and practice of Dhamma and meditation.

For those of you who follow my works you may recall that I did study-practice under some rather interesting conditions I've given title to as Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery. The monastery so mentioned, operating almost independent of time and far removed from the influences of the western world is perched precariously high on the side of a steep Chinese mountain situated somewhere along the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. So said, you may also know that upon my return from the monastery through Burma I too took Vipassana (Insight) meditation at the Mahasi Meditation Center in Rangoon, as has, since I was there, the Venerable Visuddhacara --- and one of the reasons why I feel highly towards what he has selected to present in his compilation. To wit the following from his selection by Achaan Dhammadaro:


There are three kinds of concentration developed in meditation. Two of them are developed on the path to absorption (jhana) and these are access and full absorption concentration. Each of these is developed by fixing the mind one-pointedly on a single meditation object. Such meditations include visualization of fixed forms or colors, or concentrating the mind on one particular feeling like loving-kindness. When access and absorption concentration are developed, bliss and tranquillity arise, the meditator is fully absorbed in the object, and no hindrances can disturb him. This provisional eradication of defilementsa state free from desire, aversion and confusion lasts only so long as the meditator keeps the mind on the meditation object. As soon as the mind leaves its absorption in the object, bliss disappears and the mind is again beset by the flow of defilements. There is additionally a danger of this fixed concentration. Since it does not generate wisdom it can lead to clinging to bliss or even misuse of the powers of concentration, thereby actually increasing defilements.

The third kind of concentration is what is referred to in the Eightfold Path as Right Concentration or perfect concentration. This is concentration developed on a moment-to-moment basis in insight meditation. Only moment-to-moment concentration following the path of mindfulness leads to the destruction of defilements. This concentration is not developed by fixing the mind motionless to one object, but by being mindful of the changing bodily sensations, feelings, consciousness, and mind objects. When properly established in the inner body and mind, moment-to-moment concentration leads to the destruction of the rounds of rebirth. Through this concentration, we develop the ability to see clearly the five aggregates form, feeling, volition and consciousness which make up what we conventionally call men and women.

ACHAAN DHAMMADARO


VIPASSANA & JHANA: What The Masters Say


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