How We Present
The Buddha's Meditation
by Evan Finkelstein, PhD
ElephantJournal.com Translate This Article
1 July 2011
An article by Dr Evan Finkelstein, faculty member at Maharishi University of Management, has been published in Elephant Journal. Dr Finkelstein's essay, 'The Buddha's Meditation', begins by asking, 'What kind of meditation did the Buddha teach?' It goes on to explore both ancient texts of Buddhism and modern forms of meditation to determine what would fulfil the Buddha's criteria for an effective method--one that allows the conscious mind to experience the bliss of Nirvana, the highest happiness, and develop 'tranquility and insight'.
Dr Finkelstein discusses 'the two most popular forms of Buddhist meditation taught today', which are called Samatha and Vipassana/Mindfulness meditation, in relation to the purpose of bringing the mind to a highly concentrated state, and that of developing true insight into the ultimate reality of life. He also discusses the Transcendental Meditation technique as an effortless, 'natural process of turning around the ''mechanism for hearing'' ' referred to in the Shurangama Sutra.
'The right method of meditation,' Dr Finkelstein concludes, 'would be one that is capable of bringing us beyond all the impermanent, ever-changing, conditioned states of existence to the state of Nirvana. It would be a method that is capable of completely transcending its own process and leaving us at one with the Absolute, freed from the illusion of a limited and separate self-existence.
'Then, through its regular effortless practice, this method would allow us to fully integrate and stabilize this unwavering, Absolute state of Nirvana into all activities and experiences of daily life allowing us to achieve the goal of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas—a world without suffering.'
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Dr Finkelstein is professor of Comparative Religion and Maharishi Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management. He has written articles that identify the common ground inherent in many of the ancient wisdom traditions. He has taught numerous courses on the universal principles that can be located in Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
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