Friday, 9 August 2013
Getting Serious About Meditation
Two kinds of thoughts come up during zazen:
unimportant, superficial, trivial, fleeting;
Maybe both kinds are equally serious but we don't realize it?
Deeper problems need to be addressed only when they arise. They are addressed only by sitting with them until they pass, not by thinking about them.
I must accept responsibility for my actions but must also differentiate between the self that acted in the past and the self that is aware now. Total identification with a past self impedes present awareness.
The word "I" connects present awareness to a set of memories but does not refer to any permanent entity. There is a different "I" in each organism. Organisms change and end. I do not think that consciousness continues after an organism dies any more than that the message in a letter continues after the letter has been burned. A letter can be photocopied but what evidence is there that memories are copied either in a psychic medium or in later organisms? - and, even if they were, later bearers of the memories would not be identical with the original.
There may be some evidence but it is outside my experience. The Buddha taught that:
karmic consequences affect later organisms (yes);
such consequences can include memories (?);
the later bearers of the consequences are not the originals (yes).
Thus, I accept teachings 1 and 3 but question 2.
Was his rebirth teaching based on his experience or merely on his reinterpretation of the reincarnation teaching?
Was reincarnation teaching based on any experience other than that the psyche seems to leave the body temporarily in sleep, therefore is inferred to leave it permanently at death?
It is easier to say, "That was not me," when remembering the actions of a young child. It was not the present "I" - it was an earlier cross-section of the same world-line or an earlier event in the same causal sequence. A character in a Maigret TV episode said, "A child with my name did it."
Eternally present awareness receives memories from the temporal past but needs to let them go.