Dhyana Paramita. Meditation

Dear Friends,

When beginning the study of the paramitas, I was curious about why dhyana paramita, meditation, was number five. In my experience, meditation was what drew me into the path of buddhism. I experienced meditation as the threshold to, and the constant of, the path to liberation from suffering. So why number five? 

The practice and realization of each paramita is integral to the practice and realization of the other five. In a real sense there are no boundaries between the paramitas; there is no center point or periphery and as a result no order of attainment as such. But when I take a more microscopic look at the history of this life’s path of practice, I can see how that without the selflessness of generosity even in microdoses, the longing for the harmlessness that inspires moral discipline, the experience of peace that came with little patiences, or the effortlessness that sometimes peeked through with diligence, I may have never considered or been able to sit still  on a cushion in silence that first time, while my mind was bucking like a wild mustang corralled. 

So as we consider dhayana paramita over the next several weeks, perhaps there will be opportunities to see how meditation is the natural outcome of the practices of the other paramitas or how the other paramitas might be affected by the practice of meditation. In order to do that it might be good to know the current assumptions that we make about meditation. So this week, take a look at what concepts are held or have been held in the past about meditation. Reflect on desired outcomes, fixed ideas about approaches, value judgments about how we or others meditate. In general, what do we think about meditation and if we practice it, why? i.e. contemplate on meditation.

Please share your insights on the website post or in an email to me. If the latter, let me know if you are willing to share them with the broader community. Your experience and insights always contribute to the awakening of the whole to the reality of true nature.
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With these words I pay homage to all buddhas, bodhisattvas, sentient beings, and the totality. May these words not confuse, bring doubt, or harm, but bring ease and warmth and an end to suffering for all beings throughout all times and in all directions.

-William

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Practice

Practicing in sangha, even virtually, supports the practice of meditation differently than practicing solitarily. The members of the Sangha of the Pandemic, invite you to practice with us. No experience is required. There is no cost. Everyone is welcome. 

 We practice on ZOOM:

Mornings

  • Mondays – Calm abiding and insight meditation. 6:30 AM Pacific Time
  • Tuesdays – Body awareness. 6:30 AM Pacific Time 
  • Thursdays – Tonglen, 6:30 AM Pacific Time 
  • Sundays – The Six Paramitas. 7 AM Pacific Time 

ZOOM Link:   https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89989680789 

Please feel free to reach out with questions or insights. Please also feel free to forward this post and invite others to join the sangha. You may find more reflections, poetry, art at sanghaofthepandemic.org . If you would like to comment or offer feedback and insight you may do so in the comment section on the website or by email to wrgentner@gmail.com 

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Check-In

If you have questions about meditation practice, or would like to have a conversation about the practice or anything else, you can check in with William by making an appointment. Go to “Check In Appts.” 

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