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Mark Foote

Post title:  Meditation is a living process- Jinzang, on Hardcore Zen Blog

(Mar 31 2012 at 07:58 PM)



I appreciate your remarks.

I had the great pleasure of having a professor who was delighted with mathematics, Gerhard Ringel Sr., who has one of the important theorems in combinatorics named after him. What I got from him was that he was an appreciator of natural beauty, first and foremost, and mathematics to him was a way to come to know a particular aspect of the beauty of nature. I guess I've heard Monet described as a painter of light, a similar fascination with a particular aspect of the beauty of nature.

What I've read in the Pali Canon is not so different, to me. The man is describing a particular aspect of the beauty of nature, having to do with the human experience. He intended his descriptions to be repeated, examined, tested, and verified; he tells us so. He made mistakes, as when he taught the meditation on the unlovely to monks who then committed suicide.

Gautama said that whatever a person might think the meditative trance state was, it was something other. I would assume that's what you're driving at when you say "meditation is a living process". Yet I think we can say things in modern language that people can use to discover the natural beauty of the human experience for themselves.

That's a lot of what spiritual teachers do, they offer folks a glimpse of the natural beauty that they have come to see in the human experience, in each aspect of the human experience. Is it possible to describe how a person can do absolutely nothing, and yet they sit upright, or they stand and walk? I think if we can do that in way that people can understand, it's only a matter of time before people begin to experience what they already had, when they weren't thinking too much about it.

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