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'Rapturous joy transcending any other'
by Craig Pearson, Ph.D.
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24 March 2013
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Craig Pearson, PhD, contributes another in a series of insightful essays on great historical figures in world culture whose life and works have expressed a deep familiarity with the transcendental field of life. In this new essay Dr Pearson writes about the Buddha. Following are excerpts:
c. 563 – c. 483 BCE ∙ Nepal and India
He was born Siddhartha Gautama in present-day Nepal, a prince who lived an opulent life, shielded by his father, the king, from the world's travails. At 29 he traveled out from the palace and encountered old age for the first time. He left the palace, renouncing wealth and family, and became a wandering monk, seeking a path to end suffering. At 35, meditating beneath a bodhi tree, he awoke to the true nature of reality, Nirvana. He became known as the Buddha, the ''one who has awakened.''
In various Buddhist texts attributed to the Buddha, we find him urging people to turn their attention inward, where they will experience their true self, pure and unbounded:
If you realize the self in your inmost consciousness, it will appear in its purity. This is the womb of wonder, which is not the realm of those who live only by reason.
Pure in its own nature and free from the categories of finite and infinite, Universal Mind is the undefiled wonder, which is wrongly apprehended by many.1 — Lankavatara Sutra
The Buddhist literature has given this ''inmost consciousness'' a rich variety of names: the harbor of refuge, the cool cave, the island amidst the floods, the place of bliss, emancipation, liberation, safety, the supreme, the transcendent, the uncreated, the tranquil, the home of peace, the calm, the end of suffering, . . . . 2 It also furnishes many descriptions of how, when the mind becomes still, this inner field opens to one's experience, for example:
The one who has entered a solitary place,
Whose mind is calm and who sees the way,
To that one comes insight and truth
And rapturous joy transcending any other.3 — Dhammapada
(The complete essay by Dr Pearson comments on a number of other beautiful passages from texts attributed to the Buddha.)
The Buddha is talking about the same thing we find expressed in traditions worldwide—the summons to look within, to discover the inner treasure we each carry within us—waiting to be experienced, awakened, lived in our daily lives.
How can we do this? Dr Pearson writes that in the mid-1950s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came out of the Himalayas and began teaching a simple, natural effortless meditation technique that had been handed down through the millennia in the world's oldest continuous tradition of knowledge, India's Vedic tradition. This was the Transcendental Meditation technique, designed to enable every human being effortlessly to dive within and experience the ocean of unbounded bliss deep within. Since then, millions of people around the world have learned this simple procedure and have enjoyed its benefits, documented in more than 350 peer-reviewed studies.
The Buddha gave to the world a profound vision of the full potential of human life, centered in awakening the unbounded potential within. Maharishi has given us the gift of a simple, effortless procedure for doing exactly this.
Enjoy the full article on the Excellence in Action page.
1. The Buddha Speaks, ed. Anne Bancroft (Boston: Shambhala, 2000), 92.
2. Thomas William Rhys Davids, Early Buddhism (London: Archibald Constable, 1908), 72-73.
3. The Buddha Speaks, 91.
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