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STAGES OF BUDDHIST MEDITATION



BUDDHIST MEDITATION:
Stages of Mindfulness and Aborsption


PATH OF MINDFULNESS LEADING TO INSIGHT

Begin with bottom of list "A," and work up:

B. INSIGHT: Mindfulness ripens into insight, which is the clear seeing that the mind, and experience generally, is "unsatisfactory," momentary, and devoid of self or substance. Vipassana meditation gradually dissolves the sense of being a permanent self and reveals, with ever finer discrimination, that consciousness is an open dynamic field of spontaneously arising experiences. Insight meditation progresses through several stages leading ultimately to the experience of pure dynamic emptiness or nirvana.

A. MINDFULNESS: Unlike concentrative meditation, which focuses awareness on a specific object, mindfulness is the practice of open, noninterfering alertness or pure, fully present attention. The meditator gives alert attention to experience without conceptualizing, judging, or controlling experience, allowing sensations, feelings, and thoughts to arise and disappear without being followed or resisted in any way. Such noninterfering attention allows the meditator to be fully present in the experience of the moment.

According to the Satipatthana Sutra, there are four major types of things of which we should be mindful: the body, feelings, the mind, and mental objects. These are not objects on which to concentrate but rather regions of experience of which to be mindful.


NOTE: Mindfulness (sati, smriti) grows into insight (vipassana, vipashyana), and leads ultimately to wisdom (panna, prajna) and Enlightenment (bodhi). Whereas Concentration Leading to Absorption is said to lead to the arrestment or suppression of samsaric conditionality, mindfulness-insight is said to lead to the transcendence of conditionality, and therefore to nirvana.


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