Yoga & Dhyana


Yoga and Dhyāna Practice

I was raised Buddhist. Now I know that any person from any faith tradition
can practice Buddhism. What is most intriguing about Buddhism is its clear-
cut instructions on Dhyana meditation. Dhyana means stages of mental
development. A person needs to have good conduct (sīla or virtue), and
balance of mind (samādhi), and cultivate wisdom (paññā) in order to reach
to the goal of Buddhism. Below are some exerts from the Buddha’s
teachings.

Virtue
Virtue consists of— abandoning the taking of life — a person abstains from
the taking of life. A person lives with compassionate for the welfare of all
living beings.
A person abstains from stealing, and become a protector of other’s wealth.
"Abandoning uncelibacy, a person lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining from
the sexual act.
"Abandoning false speech, a person abstains from false speech. A person
speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the
world.
"Abandoning divisive speech a person abstains from divisive speech. What a
person has a personard a personre a person does not tell there. Thus
reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united,
a person loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things
that create concord.
"Abandoning abusive speech, a person abstains from abusive speech. A
person speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that
are polite, appealing and pleasing to people at large.
"Abandoning idle chatter, a person abstains from idle chatter. A person
speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the
goal. A person speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable,
circumscribed, connected with the goal.
"A person abstains from damaging seed and plant life.

"A person eats only once a day, refraining from the evening meal and from
food at the wrong time of day.
"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, a person is inwardly sensitive
to the pleasure of being blameless.
Sense Restraint
"On seeing a form with the eye, a person does not grasp at any theme or
details by which — if a person were to dwell without restraint over the
faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might
assail him. On a hearing a sound with the ear… On smelling an odor with
the nose… On tasting a flavor with the tongue… On touching a tactile
sensation with the body… On cognizing an idea with the intellect, a person
does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if a person were to dwell
without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities
such as greed or distress might assail him. Endowed with this noble restraint
over the sense faculties, a person is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of
being blameless.

Mindfulness & Alertness
"a person acts with alertness when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep,
waking up, talking, and remaining silent, a person acts with alertness.
Abandoning the Hindrances
"Endowed with this noble aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the
sense faculties, this noble mindfulness & alertness, a person seeks out a
secluded dwelling: a wilderness, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a
hillside cave, a charnel ground, a forest grove, the open air, a heap of straw.
After his meal, returning from his alms round, a person sits down, crosses
his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.
"Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, a person dwells with an
awareness devoid of covetousness. A person cleanses his mind of
covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, a person dwells with an
awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings.
A person cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth and
drowsiness, a person dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth and
drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. A person cleanses his mind of
sloth and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, a person dwells
undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. A person cleanses his mind of

restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, a person dwells having
crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental
qualities. A person cleanses his mind of doubts.
The Four Jhanas
"Having abandoned these five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that
weaken discernment — then, quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures,
withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, a person enters and remains in
the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by
directed thought and evaluation.
"Then, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, a person enters
and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure,
one-pointedness of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation —
internal assurance.
"Then, with the fading of rapture, a person remains equanimous, mindful, &
alert, and senses pleasure with the body. A person enters & remains in the
third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, a
person has a pleasant abiding.'
"Then, with the abandoning of pleasure and pain — as with the earlier
disappearance of elation and distress — a person enters and remains in the
fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-
pain.

Super Knowledges
"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free
from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, a
person directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. A
person recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births, three
births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand,
one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of
cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion,
[recollecting,] 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such
an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and
pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there.
There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an
appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain,
such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose a there.'
Thus a person recollects his manifold past lives in their modes and details.

"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free
from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he
directs and inclines it to knowledge of the passing away and re-appearance
of beings. He sees — by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing
the human — beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how
they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate
in accordance with their kamma: 'These beings — who were endowed with
bad conduct of body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held
wrong views and undertook actions under the influence of wrong views —
with the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the plane of
deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. But these beings
— who were endowed with good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did
not revile the noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under
the influence of right views — with the break-up of the body, after death,
have re-appeared in the good destinations, in the heavenly world.' Thus —
by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — he sees
beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior
and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance
with their kamma.
"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free
from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, the
monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental
defilements. He discerns, as it has come to be, that 'This is stress… This is
the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way
leading to the cessation of stress… These are mental defilements… This is
the origination of defilements… This is the cessation of defilements… This is
the way leading to the cessation of defilements.'
"His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the defilement of
sensuality, the defilement of becoming, the defilement of ignorance. With
release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended,
the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
He has attained Nibbāna – the un-bonding.
These are excerpts from the Buddha’s teaching called Elephant Foot Print
Simile. I hope you learn this and steady your wisdom practice.
Wishing you peace and well being,
Jayalath S Jananranjana

Facebook Comments