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Unformatted text preview: The practice of meditation is a fundamental aspect in regards to Buddhist thought, and is a necessary step in the path that a Buddhist takes to reach Nibbana . The early traditions regarding Buddhist practice, including meditation, have been preserved throughout the years by nik ā ya or Mah ā y ā na schools . However, many sects of Buddhism have created distinct and unique recommendations as to which practices will yield the most success in the attainment of liberation (Gómez 525). In this particular essay I will be discussing only mainstream Buddhist thought, and will be touching upon thought in Therav ā da tradition. In this regard, I will explain how meditation reFects the common Buddhist thoughts and theories, namely, the three marks of existence, Sams ā ra, the ¡our Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path. In the Therav ā da tradition, there are two interdependent theories of Buddhist meditation practice. Calm ( samatha) meditation leads to tranquil states, and causes a deep calm and concentration within the practitioner. This method provides a basic structure that allows the practitioner to undergo a cognitive transformation called insight ( vipa ś yan ā ), where they become mindful and develop the ability to discern the real from the unreal (Gómez, 520). The ¢rst theory allows the mind to temporarily escape ‘the sphere of the senses’ in order to clear the mind and enter the ‘sphere of pure form’, where the four dhy ā nas are comprised (Gethin, 176-177). When one attains the the fourth dhy ā na, the meditator has successfully achieved a mind which is completely stilled, and only then can they wholly focus on vipa ś yan ā meditation. Insight meditation aims at understanding the three marks of existence, meditation....
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course RLG 206Y1 taught by Professor Professorb.wood during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.
- Fall '10