While many people want to learn Buddhist meditation,
they are often very skeptical and uneasy about
the philosophies and religious elements that go
with it. Is this true for you?
Many think that
Buddhist practices and meditative experiences
can be easily separated from belief systems within
which they are embedded. Do you?
Many have the idea that
belief systems, especially religious belief systems,
are dangerous and regard anyone who is a "believer" as
a dogmatic person. They think that those who subscribe
to a religious belief system have completely shut
their minds off from new ideas and remain mere
prisoners of tradition. Does this describe you?
How is this true for you?
In order to make sense of meditation practice, we have to draw on certain Buddhist concepts.
For example, to do meditation we have to believe that there
is such a thing as spiritual liberation and that ignorance and
the defilements of the mind inhibit us from realizing that goal.
What beliefs do you bring to your Buddhist practice?
To your meditation practice?
Do you come to meditation practice believing that
there is such a thing as liberation, that ignorance
is the cause of suffering, and that the conflicting
emotions of the mind restrict your ability to
realize your goal?
we have no philosophical orientation we will have
no idea what we are trying to achieve.
While it is true that people can be opinionated and fundamentalist
in the way that they cherish their beliefs, this does
not mean that we can embark on a spiritual path without believing
in certain essential elements of
spirituality. Although it has been said that we should learn
to dispense with our beliefs, if we have no philosophical orientation
we will have no idea what we are trying to achieve, where we
are trying to go, or what sort of personal predicaments or psychological
and spiritual conflicts we are trying to understand.
Do you have a view of where you are trying to
go, what you are trying to understand?