Buddha’s Noble Eight-Fold Path – Part 4
The power of sustained concentration, itself required as
the support for insight-wisdom.
Wisdom is the primary tool for deliverance,
but the penetrating vision it yields can only open up
when the mind has been composed and collected.
Right concentration brings the requisite stillness to the mind
by unifying it with undistracted focus on a suitable object.
To do so, however,
the factor of concentration needs the aid of
effort and mindfulness.
Right effort provides the energy demanded by the task,
right mindfulness the steadying points for awareness.
‘Step up the plate’ and get ‘er dun with ‘Right Effort’.
The right effort will be required for both personal growth
and the integration and teamwork of all others
The wisdoms of Life cannot be fully learned by information.
It is not enough merely to accept it on faith,
to believe it on the authority of books or a teacher,
or to think it out through deductions and inferences.
It must be known by insight,
grasped and absorbed by a kind of knowing
which is also an immediate seeing.
~ ~ ~
Mindfulness is presence of mind, attentiveness or awareness.
Yet the kind of awareness involved in mindfulness differs profoundly
from the kind of awareness at work in our usual mode of consciousness.
The Buddha begins his exposition of the body
with contemplation of the mindfulness of breathing – Anapanasati,
the foundation for the entire course of contemplation.
praising it as:
“peaceful and sublime, an unadulterated blissful abiding,
which banishes at once and stills evil unwholesome thoughts
as soon as they arise”.
What it does to turn this process into a basis for meditation
is simply to bring it into the range of awareness
by making the breath an object of observation.
The meditation requires no special intellectual sophistication,
only awareness of the breath.
One merely breathes naturally through the nostrils
keeping the breath in mind at the contact point around the nostrils or upper lip,
where the sensation of breath can be felt as the air moves in and out.
There should be no attempt to control the breath
or to force it into predetermined rhythms,
only a mindful contemplation of the natural process of breathing in and out.
The awareness of breath cuts through the complexities of discursive thinking,
rescues us from pointless wandering in the labyrinth of vain imaginings,
and grounds us solidly in the present.
For whenever we become aware of breathing, really aware of it,
we can be aware of it only in the present, never in the past or the future.
~ ~ ~
Once we immerse ourselves in the depths of pure focused oneness of meditation,
Concentrating on our inner stillness, silence and boundless spaciousness….
We begin to arrive at the non-duel state of just the experience itself,
Without the sense of the subject “I” and the objects of thought.
Irrelevant flights of thought, imagination, and emotion subside,
mindfulness becomes clearer, the mind remains intently aware,
watching its own process of becoming.
At times there might appear to be a persisting observer behind the process,
but with continued practice even this apparent observer disappears.
When one gets to this point of meditative contemplation,
we enter into the deeper concepts of Anatta,
the self-realization that there truly is no eternal individual ‘self’.
There is only consciousness.
Not a collection of individual souls or ‘self’s’,
but a collective consciousness of being at one with it all.
Being at one with it all
leaves no place for a ‘you’ or ‘me’, ‘us’ and ‘them’…
There is just Unity of all that “Is”.
There is no ‘one’ as a subject, to experience the object of experience.
There is just the ‘non-duel’ awareness of whatever arises in experience.
With roughly 50,000 stray thoughts a day jumping through our thoughts,
Right concentration will allow one to focus on the task at hand.
Whether that studying or taking a test,
Or practicing a deep and relaxing meditation.
The benefits are much more than two-fold,
For Right Concentration is the pre-emanate cornerstone towards
the fulfillment of your creative Being.
With the deepening of focused meditation there are five levels:
initial application of mind (vitakka),
sustained application of mind (vicara),
and one-pointedness (ekaggata).
This is the ‘non-duel’ perception which is the corner stone of
Tibetan Bon Buddhist practice of abiding in “Rigpa”,
the clear light of awareness… Our True Nature.
The Eternal True Nature of what “we” really are…
Unborn, Undying, unchanging and eternal…