Author Topic: Yogacara  (Read 2883 times)

Offline lowonthetotem

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Re: Yogacara
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2010, 09:56:28 am »
Thanks, PR.  I should have said that earlier.  That makes much more sense to me.

I have just finished the questions of Maitreya, which revolve around meditation and lay down the ground work for Samatha and Vipasyana.  I found the descriptions very pertinent concerning integration of the Dharma in a full sense to my own practice.  However, after reading the entire chapter/dialogue, I still cannot define either Samatha or Vipasyana in a couple of sentences, aside from simply calling them meditation.  Throughout the dialogue one Samatha seems to be the preparation for Vipasyana, although the difference between the two seems subtle.  I wonder if someone could provide a simple way to describe each.  This should be an easy one for your guys.

Offline lowonthetotem

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Re: Yogacara
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2010, 07:50:37 am »
Okay, so Samatha (Samantha) is generally described as a quieting of the mind, while Vipasyana is generally described as insight meditation.  Nothing new or exciting.  I am just wondering about the interplay between the two.  If everything is cognition, what "insights" can be worthwhile?  Samatha is described as having non-conceptual objects as a focus while Vipasyana is described as having conceptual objects as focus.  If all is cognition, what can really be non-conceptual.

Other points that come up in the chapter/dialogue are non-integrated, integrated, and highly-integrated meditation; meditation on doctrine as opposed to meditation of things like "rotting corpses;" the different levels or stages of meditation that arise, which I think is later codified into the Jhanas.

I suppose this is pretty uninteresting stuff for most folks or maybe old hat.  Still, I think that so much of what we find in Chan, Zen, Tien, and the other schools that take there names from the practice described in sanskrit (? not much on the languages) as Dhyana is based on the foundation that Yogacara formed that it is good to review what we may often take for granted.  It is my personal opinion that a lack of understanding about the approach of Yogacara leads to misunderstandings about things like "sudden" and "gradual" approaches to Buddhism.  I've found it pretty valuable in gaining a more circumspect understanding of my own experiences with meditation over time.  I understand that meditation is usually viewed as deeply personal, but I find it very engaging that so much of what I have experienced to be reflected in this rather codified explanation from so many centuries in the past.  It really offers an impression of connection.

 


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