Feb 18, 2019

Aphorisms for meditation

Epistemic status: straight Buddhism

I've been enjoying learning about meditation & Zen with David Weinberg. (Here's Critch blurbing David's stress reduction course (a).)

Yesterday I attended a one-day retreat, during which David said a bunch of interesting things.

On the four bodhisattva vows (my paraphrase):

  1. Vow to awaken with & respond to all beings
  2. Vow to see through all delusions
  3. Vow to enter all dharma gates (i.e. take up all opportunities for practice)
  4. Vow to fully embody Buddha's way

Here's a Tricycle article (a) with more about the vows.

David's commentary on the vows (my paraphrase):

Among other things, they are a way of being sane in the world.

They feature a combination of open-heartedness & fierce resolve. This is quite a lot to balance, but we can do it.

Also, some aphorisms for meditation practice, derived from David's study of & Reb Anderson's commentary on the samdhinirmocana sutra:

"Am I putting labels on feelings & thoughts? Am I spinning a story about these feelings & thoughts?"

"Am I imagining that this person actually is what I'm imagining them to be?"

"Am I thinking that whatever I'm thinking about is actually what I think it is?"

I like how they drive a wedge between the map & the territory.