Free Buddhism Essay Example
The word Buddha means “awake” and this peaceful alertness is associated with the activity of meditation. My experience with Buddhism, founded by Gautama Buddha, is meditation related. He is not considered as a god, but as a man who has utilised all the possibilities of a human to gain strength, courage, wisdom and generosity.
Meditation is the mental exercise followed by all religions. All types of meditations, whether it uses a prayer silently or by chanting aloud is a way to silent the mind and make it more receptive for the visions and sounds received in that semi-trance state. The hidden powers of the human minds can be explored in this way which helps to identify our mental powers and mental clarification and direct perception processes, which are the objects of Buddhist mental concentration. The mystics from different religions have different visions during meditation, objectifying the ideas in their subconscious minds. The practiced hypnotic subjects can connect the mental state of compliance as and when he wants to induce those kinds of experiences he is willing to undergo. But all forms of meditation practiced in Buddhism are different from these.
Meditative practice lies at the heart of Buddhist tradition. When I state about my experience with Buddhist meditations I can say objectively that it teaches the subjects about mindfulness. This mindfulness transforms the mind improving concentration, developing clarity and positivity, which help to understand the true nature of emotions, things and life. One’s mental habits and patterns get revealed by this process of self - hypnosis and this practice helps to develop new, more optimistic ways of one’s being. Regular trial and patient approach help to nourish these positive mental states into deeper states of mind full of energy and peace. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life. This experience changed my attitude towards the religion and life as a whole.
All the experiences as in other ways of meditation can be undergone in Buddhist way of meditation too, but they are not the final goals in Buddhism. They are the by-products, which are the impediments to get over. A Buddhist realise that he has become capable of only objectifying a concept in his own mind, but the goal to be achieved will be crystal clear in his mind. Ignorance leads to concepts and this in turn, along with desire arising from concepts, lead to re-birth and suffering, according to Buddhism. It teaches that perceptions through the sensory organs are unreal. Chasing something based on senses is like going after shadows or mirage to catch them. Such a process leads to suffering, infirmity and impermanence. Buddhist meditation, aims to free ourselves from the different worldly delusions with more than an intellectual understanding of this truth. It helps the practitioner put an end to both craving and ignorance. Buddhist meditation can produce observable results in the character and the attitude towards life.
As per Buddha’s discourse on mindfulness, both the object and the means of attaining it are clearly explained. Physical laws of causality produce physical movements in the body, eternal stimuli produces different phases of consciousness, which arise and move out in a flux. These are to be objectively viewed without thinking about the false concept of “self”, but thinking them as events of a different order. Attentiveness to these physical and mental phenomena is to be cultivated to attain the knowledge of their real nature. This shows the most enigmatic teaching of Buddha, that is, anatta or ‘egolessness’. A man is judged by his actions as a tree is evaluated based on its fruits. These actions give him a permanent identity in this life and other lives. Attentiveness to the mental and physical phenomena bug out the ego. It is a tough process that may take considerable time which makes withdrawal from the world a must. Good results can be obtained even by a temporary retirement from the worldly ways, which makes it possible to apply the benefits in the day-to-day situations. Objectivity and detachment are invaluable aids to clear thinking. They help to analyse a particular situation without any type of bias or set. This enables the individual to use his discretionary powers and act courageously in that situation.
Concentration is another benefit which is the process of focussing and fixing the mind fixed on a single point, ’one-pointedness’, which helps anyone to succeed in any undertaking. Taming the restless mind is a herculean task, if any one succeeds in that he becomes the most powerful individual in the entire universe. Making the mind and body attached to the “self" generates fear consequently any harm to either is considered to be harm done to oneself. But an individual who has good understanding that these are manifestations of cause and effect, does not fear death, diseases, suffering or misfortune. He views success and failure equally and is not influenced by praise or blame. The only thing that can harm such an individual is his self and the only fear he might carry is about guilty action. But as his detachment increases, his tendency to commit demeritorious deeds gets reduced too. Unwholesome mind leads to unwholesome actions. As the mind becomes purified, bad kaama stops to collect and the minds disorders get healed. Such an individual get infinite happiness by indulging in deeds those are generous, benevolent and wise.
Buddhist meditation changed my attitude by providing the knowledge about the working of the mind; the need for training the mind; and ultimately releasing the mind, free. Generally all are ignorant about what motivates them in life and how emotions and thoughts are born. Knowledge includes noticing the behaviours, emotions and body changes. This knowledge has the backup of stillness which helps it to observe the mind with clarity, without judging or critiquing. This knowing aspect of mindfulness is deliberate and conscious without making any attempt to change anything. This observation can bring radical change and peace.
Training the chaotic, dynamic mind can be started in kindness and compassion. The conflicts with ourselves and others are to be understood and forgiven. Staying at ease without being analytical even about minute developments helps in training the mind. With meditation, generosity, courage, and the capacity to release clinging can be encouraged along with concentration and stability.
Letting go of clinging is the central aspect of Buddhism. All clinging restrict freedom and relief of mind. Meditation frees the mind leaving nothing to restrict the freedom of the heart. Such a process requires knowledge and training. With more knowledge we can train the mind more. The more our minds are trained, the easier it is to free the mind embracing strength and wisdom. And the more we let go, the more we can understand ourselves. Buddhist ways of caring for the mind makes the religion the closest to my heart.
Shaw, Sarah. Buddhist Meditation: An Anthology of Texts from the Pali Canon. New York : Routledge, 2006. Print.
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