Buddhist Meditation (2/2)

As one’s meditation develops progressively, the mental concentration intensifies. With the progressive intensification of mental concentration, scattered thoughts are being reduced and the mind becomes more and more concentrated and less dispersive. It is not necessary for a yogi or mediator to develop a high level of mental concentration before he participates in the Insight meditation. Insight meditation is the core of Buddhist meditation of realizing the Truth of Impermanence (Anicca), Suffering (Dukkha) and Non-self (Anatt?) with respect to dependently co-arisen Unity or Non-duality (Pa?iccasamupp?da). It should be regarded as the quintessence of Buddhist meditation. When one is engaged in the meditation of Four Establishments of Mindfulness (Catt?ro Satipa??h?na) without grasping upon any sense experience, one is said to participate in the Insight meditation of self-awareness of detachment from obsessive impingement of the multiplicity.

Strictly speaking, Insight meditation is the true or genuine Buddhist meditation. Serenity meditation alone is incomplete Buddhist meditation. It is only the foundation to Insight meditation. Insight meditation is the mental device by which the ultimate Truth of the Absolute Reality of Dependently co-arisen Unity or Non-duality is discerned intuitively. The sole agenda of discovery the Truth is to completely annihilates the self-centric ego that causes grasping of abiding discriminatively on all phenomena. In the Insight meditation, it is not the self-centric ego or ‘I’ concept’ that directs and empowers all the six sense activities. It is Non-self (Anatt?) or Unity of five aggregates that directs and empowers the six-sense activities. The tool of detachment of non-abiding is the Anatt? strategy.

The Insight meditation is the crucial state and the final station of Buddhist meditation of wayfaring. It is the stage during which the Three Universal Characteristics of Existence (Ti-lakkkhana-s) are intuitively contemplated upon until they are intuitively discerned. The Three Universal Characteristics are Impermanence (Anicca), Suffering (Dukkha) and Insubstantaility or Non-self (Anatt?). Without insightful apprehension of the interrelationship between these Three Universal Characteristics, the wisdom of intuitive discernment of Dependent Co-arisen Unity of Existence of the five aggregates of form, feelings, perceptions, volitions and consciousness will not be developed.

Without development of insightful wisdom of Dependent Co-arising, a Buddhist will not be liberated from suffering of the commission of evils and kammic bondage. Without the Wisdom of Insight, the complete annihilation of self-centric ego that engenders attachment and aversion will not be actualized. Right mindfulness or self-awareness of Impermanence, Suffering and Non-self strictly refers to the intuitive self-awareness of the Three Universal Characteristics of the five aggregates in relation to the Law of dependently co-arisen Unity of five aggregates.

Therefore, initially, tranquility meditation conditions concentration. Subsequently, concentration conditions Insight meditation. Finally, Insight meditation produces the knowledge of emancipation (vimutti). Knowledge of emancipation completely obliterates the self-centric ego (att? or aham?k?ra) or eliminates totally the ‘I’ concept. The complete annihilation of self-centric ego or the total elimination of ‘I’ concept results in the cessation of grasping upon the five aggregates (pañcakkhandh?).

Cessation of grasping conditions the cessation of object reification. Appeasement of objects eliminates conceptualization due to false imagination of the unreal. The elimination of conceptualization destroys mental obsessions (papañca). The destruction of mental obsession leads to the arising of Nibb?na. Nibb?na is the perfect state of human wisdom and virtue as greed (lobha), hatred (dosa) and delusion (moha) are totally eradicated. The highest fruit of Buddhist meditation is wisdom producing Nibb?na. Wisdom produces perfect virtue rooted in wisdom dispelling ignorance. Perfect virtue produces non-discriminative goodness towards others in terms of four sublime virtues of boundless loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity.

Editor’s Note:

There are highly witted Monks, Nuns or lay Buddhists who are instantaneously or suddenly enlightened without undertaking the gradual, progressive development and self-cultivation of the tranquility, concentration and insight meditations. Gotama Buddha explained that those who are suddenly enlightened without any formal meditation in the present life had undertaken it in the previous lives. Sudden enlightenment must be preceded by gradual development and self-cultivation before the sudden Gnosis occurs. A tree grows gradually before it bears fruits.

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