There are MANY different types of meditation - three of the main ones are:
Calm Abiding Meditation (Samatha
) - this is where you focus on an object to enter concentration
(breath, heartbeat, visual image, etc...).
Special Insight Meditation (Vipassana
) - this is where you basically focus on thinking to
develop focused thoughts that can understand reality better.
Single-Pointed Meditation (Jhana
) - this is a combination of Calm Abiding and Special
Insight Meditation and is the Ultimate goal in Buddhism.
The goal is to first develop Calm Abiding, and then start adding Special Insight bit by bit until it all comes together into Single-Pointedness. This
can be broken down as follows:
First you achieve Calm Abiding (peaceful sitting and mind firmly concentrated on it's object).
Next you develop Mental Pliability (a pleasant heaviness in the mind with conscious center moving up in your forehead).
Then comes the Physical Pliability (a pleasurable body buzz/vibration that eventually paralyses/numbs your whole body).
Followed by Special Insight (a state where you can think while still maintaining concentration on your object)
Finally you will achieve Single-Pointedness (congrats - you have achieved the first Jhana!).
You can go deeper from here (look at the Jhana descriptions in Buddhist literature).
Calm Abiding alone is not able to destroy the fetters of the mind - it will just temporarily allow you to be free (your fetters return once you come
back from Calm Abiding). The legend of Udrak and how he got angry at the rats for eating his hair after returning from years-long Calm Abiding is a
good example of this. This is why you need both Special Insight and Calm Abiding - the Calm Abiding concentrates the mind's processing power, which
allows Special Insight thoughts to have much more power than usual (which lets you destroy the delusions/fetters of the mind). Once you have achieved
Single-Pointedness, everything starts moving very quickly on your path, and much becomes clear. It's at this stage that you can explore OOBEs, or any
other phenomena you choose without impediment. It is my opinion (developed through meditation) that OOBEs are simply the direct experience of a
thought - these places you go in an OOBE trip are actually what thoughts really look like (you are only hearing the voices of these entities in your
head when you think in your day-to-day life). The Buddha found a method of exploring thoughts with Meditation mixed with OOBEs. In the
- the Buddha said:
"Monks, before my awakening, when being a Bodhisattva, I was not completely enlightened, I conceived meditational manifestations but did not see
meditational forms. Monks, it occurred to me, 'If I were to conceive meditational manifestations and to see meditational forms, knowledge and vision
would be better purified in me'."
He was basically going as deep as possible into a "Non-Affirming Negative" state using Jhana Meditation (emptiness perceiving emptiness) instead of an
"Affirming Negative" (looking at emptiness as an object), and then he went into an OOBE state to actually see his thoughts to make sure that his mind
was actually in a Non-Affirming Negative (the only way to perceive subtle thoughts accurately).
That's all I have for now, but I would enjoy reading some descriptions of your own Views! I don't want any fighting or arguing in this thread about
who's View is right or wrong - please don't be so attached! The concept of Ultimate Reality helps me stay grounded and realize that no ideas are
actual reality. I find that a good way to avoid getting so serious about being right!
edit on 1/25/2018 by philosopheroftruth because: (no