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Buddhist Meditation in the Southern School

Buddhist Meditation in the Southern School
$21.00
Item Code: NAV304
Author: G. Constant Lounsbery and W.Y..Evans Wentz
Publisher: Cosmo Publications, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9788129203472
Pages: 168
Cover: PAPERBACK
Other Details: 8.00 X 5.00 inch
About the Book

" Most treatises on Meditation and Yoga so far published in the Occident are chiefly expository, in a philosophical or historical way, rather than practical. But here, within these covers, we have, at last, a treatise which presents the essential technique and methods of meditation in its Buddhistic form so dearly and simply that any person of average intelligence desirous of practising such meditation can do so without difficulty, without danger, and without recourse to a guru. In Hindu and other systems of meditation and Yoga, on the contrary, particularly where certain breathing-exercises are prescribed, a guru is not only necessary to teach and to direct, but also to safeguard the yogin.

In commending this unique contribution to the advancement of learning made by Miss G. Constant Lounsbery, President of Les Amis du Bouddhisme, Paris, I can do no better than to employ as my text the words of the Enlightened One, the Master of Meditation, the Buddha Gotama: "Without Knowledge there is no Meditation; without Meditation there is no Knowledge; and he who hath both Knowledge and Meditation is near to Reality."

Foreword

Most treatises on Meditation and Yoga so far published in the Occident are chiefly expository, in a philosophical or historical way, rather than practical. But here, within these covers, we have, at last, a treatise which presents the essential technique and methods of meditation in its Buddhistic form so dearly and simply that any person of average intelligence desirous of practising such meditation can do so without difficulty, without danger, and without recourse to a guru. In Hindu and other systems of meditation and Yoga, on the contrary, particularly where certain breathing-exercises are prescribed, a guru is not only necessary to teach and to direct, but also to safeguard the yogin.

In commending this unique contribution to the advancement of learning made by Miss G. Constant Lounsbery, President of Les Amis du Bouddhisme, Paris, Ican do no better than to employ as my text the words of the Enlightened One, the Master of Meditation, the Buddha Gotama: "Without Knowledge there is no Meditation; without Meditation there is no Knowledge; and he who hath both Knowledge and Meditation is near to Reality."

In order to comprehend the significance of these words of the Buddha, it is necessary, first of all, to take into account some of the more outstanding views concerning man and the Universe which are in large measure peculiar to Buddhism.

Firstly, Buddhism, unlike the three Semitic faiths, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, teaches that the sorrow of the world, being the direct karmic outcome of man’s own actions, can be overcome only by man himself and not through the intervention of a Su-preme Deity. In other words, man, having made himself and his worldly environment precisely what they are, must himself remake and then transcend them, by treading the Path of the

Higher Evolution, which has been trodden and demarcated by those, like the Buddhas, who have gone ahead and become the Guides of Humanity.

Secondly, Buddhism emphasizes that the realization of Truth is incomparably more important than belief in Truth; that religious faith and devotion, being merely the first steps on the Path, are of themselves not enough, that if Truth is to be realized, there must be Right Belief, Right Intentions, Right Speech, Right Actions, Right Means of Livelihood, Right Endeavouring, Right Mindfulness, Right Meditation.

Thirdly, Buddhism distinguishes a higher or supra- mundane Wisdom, which differs fundamentally from Dogmatic Theology, And it is in virtue of having arrived at this Wisdom, or Right Knowledge, that the devotee transcends the lowly human state of existence and attains Emancipation from Sorrow and Complete Enlightenment.

According to Bhikkhu Parawahera Vajiraaana There, of the Theravadin school, the Buddha realized Reality, attained Final Release (known in Pali as Nibbana. and in, Sanskrit as Nirvana), by means of Right Meditation; and by Right Meditation there is produced that purity and mastery of mind which lead to inner illumination.

In the Pali Canon, Buddhist Meditation is called Bhavana; and this is the term to describe it which is most popular in the Theravadin, or Southern school. Of Bhavarnta., which implies systematic training of the mind, there are two stages: namely, Samadhi-Bhavana (which is preliminary), and Vipassana-Bhavansa, In the former, the meditator attains mental fixity, or one-pomtedness of mind; is unaffected by the stimuli born of sensuous objects; and enjoys internal quiescence. In the latter, he attains intuitive vision of Reality. It is by these two meth- ods that one arrives at Right Understanding and Right Knowledge.

As Miss Lounsbery’s treatise on Buddhist meditation sets forth, there are forty objects for use in practising Bhavana; when adequate progress has been made, there is no longer dependence upon external objects in arriving at mental concentration, and the meditation becames wholly subjective. Then, the mind having become thor- oughly purified and dis-. ciplined and all sensuousness having been transcended, there dawn the Four Ecstatic States, which Buddhism calls the Four Jhanas.

The Four Jhanas correspond to four stages progressively reached as a result of success in the practice of Samadhi-Bhavana. In the fourth or highest stage, one ex- periences transcendental blissful and complete tranquil- lity of body and mind. In that condition one is able to exercise the Five Abhiririas, which are profound intellec- tual attainments synonymous with the Siddhi of the Yogins. These are classified as (1) miraculous (or supernormal) accomplishments (or powers), (2) divine vision (or clairvoyance), (3) divine hearing (or clairaudienee), (4) memory of previous births, and (5) insight into the men- tal processes, or thoughts, of others.

Preface

The growth of interest in Buddhism must be obvious to any keen observer of the trend of thought

The Orient is taking stock of the treasures of the Teaching and clearing it of those racial superstitions which have obscured the Essential Ideas of the doctrine. These racial or local superstitions are the result of the triumphal march of Buddhism across Asia through Ceylon, Burma, Siam, China, Japan, and Tibet. But the survival, through the centuries, of the Teaching seems to be due to the fact that it imposes no dogma.

The true Buddhist is a free thinker, a pioneer in search of truth, a compassionate, tolerant pioneer who seeks to disarm the one enemy: Ignorance. He is self-dependent, his own free intelligence must lead him toward his recompense —Supreme Knowledge and Insight, which is the fruit of meditation. For it is only through meditation that the Dhamma (the Doctrine) is understood thoroughly.

Free spiritual research is the one great adventure for all who are discouraged by the failure of materialism and the burden of imposed dogmas.

Many excellent books upon Buddhism arc available, but the simple instructions that are given in the East by Guru to Chela, teaching him the necessary physical and mental approach to meditation (according to Buddhist tradition), are difficult to come upon.

A method of mind-training is necessary, and this method must be adapted to the mentality of modern men; moreover, it must avoid the pitfalls and dangers of certain Occult practices.

When experience has been gained, the student will no longer need to follow preliminary instructions and practice-plans; he will be able to practise the purely Buddhist meditations that are given in the latter part of the book.

Profound gratitude is tendered to all the Bhikkhus, and lay authorities upon meditation, who, in Ceylon and in Europe, have graciously offered advice and instruction.

The writings of the Bhikkhus Nyanatiloka Thero, Narada Thero, Parawahera Vajiranana Thero, and Bhikkhu Silacara are frequently quoted in these pages.

The Samana Mahinda, a hermit meditating in the forests of Ceylon ("a forest-dweller"), contributed the plan of the Meditation upon Peace, especially de signed for Western students.

Special thanks are due to Dr. Casslus Pereira for his practical instructions included in the chapter on Concentration, and also for his explanation of the Meditation upon Breath Anapana Sati).

I have availed myself of Dr. B. E. Fernando's study of the Four Fundamentals of Attentiveness. The Hon. Secretary of Les Amis du Bouddhisme, Mme M. La Fuente, has been of the greatest help in compiling this boob and in controlling the numerous quotations and references.

Several of the most important subjects of meditation, scattered here and there through the Pali Suttas, have been included in Part II. It is hoped that the explanations in the text will permit any serious student to understand the practice of concentration.

Meditation, the highest and the most important step upon the Path, must be practised very seriously; it was never meant for intellectual delectation. Its benefits are manifold —" One becomes that which one meditates."

**Contents and Sample Pages**











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