using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Winter 2014
winter 2 0 1 4 buddhadharma: the Practitioner’s quarterly 71 you will have an insight into how the mind has co- opted the meditation period for comfort and relax- ation. However, the deepest insights occur during samadhi. All too often, just coasting impedes sama- dhi and lets the mind stay in control. Meditation then becomes a script directed by the mind. getting Your PrActice BAck on trAck If you find you are just coasting in your practice, there are things you can do to get back on track. First, reflect on your meditation practice and deepen your intention. Turn your mind toward enlight- enment, the extinguishing of all suffering. If we resolve to meditate in order to realize nirvana, our meditation practice will naturally deepen. We can do this very simply each time we sit by stating our intention as follows: “I undertake this meditation to realize nirvana in order to end suffering for me and all living creatures.” By doing this, we alert the unconscious and conscious aspects of our mind that we are intent on liberation. It is best to do this as sincerely and intentionally as possible. It should not become a rote exercise but rather be a genuine aspi- ration for freedom. Second, there are meditation techniques that can help you improve your concentration. You can develop a relationship to the jhanas, a spe- cial state of consciousness in which the attention is very focused. In the Theravada teachings there are eight or nine jhana states, depending on the tradition. The first four jhanas have analogies to the brahmaviharas, or the divine abodes: loving- kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. There are four fine material jhanas as well: infinite mind, infinite space, emptiness, and neither perception nor not perception. In these states, the mind becomes still. Depending on how deep the concentration is, your attention may cease to be aware of arising phenomena. Ultimately, because the subjective self ceases to be present, duality ceases as well. During these states, one experiences a deep rest and also a profound purgation of hindrances and other distractions. There are many resources and teachers for undertaking training the mind to use jhana concentration. For me, Buddhaghosa’s famous Visuddhimagga was an excellent guide. Third, when you are dealing with significant interior resistance to establishing a quiet mind, you may need to undertake a retreat. During this period, you will have the opportunity to spend hours doing sitting and walking meditation. If you are doing a retreat under the guidance of a dharma teacher, she or he can help address your specific needs and challenges. Lastly, in some cases therapeutic intervention may be necessary to become unstuck from just coasting in your meditation practice, particularly if you are using it to mask or soothe unresolved issues. FOR THOSE OF US who are committed to a life- long practice of meditation, it is crucial that our practice be able to address our actual liberation. Enlightenment is not chimerical. It is a real possibil- ity for any practitioner who makes it an intention of his or her practice. There is no better way to address the suffering in this world than to see the world as it actually is. With a clear insight into the causes of suffering, both personal and social, our action will be guided by true compassion. May your practice touch this liberation and free all living crea- tures from suffering. The dharma is not a palliative for relieving daily stress. Its purpose is enlightenment.