Middle Way Meditation
Dhammakaya Meditation was revived in Thailand almost 100 years ago by the Great Master "Phramongkolthepmuni", famously known as Luangpor Wat Paknam. It is one of the most popular meditation techniques practiced by Buddhists and non-Buddhists around the world. The method is simple, easy, and effective. Everyone can learn how to do it and can achieve inner peace and happiness that you may never have known existed.
“Dhammakaya” is a Pali word, which means “Body of Enlightenment”. The term appears in many places in the Buddhist scriptures of Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana (Tibetan) schools. The uniqueness of the Dhammakaya meditation is that it teaches about the center of the body as the natural home of the human mind as well as the inner gateway to enlightenment.
The stiller the mind is at its natural home, the deeper the happiness one experiences. Dhammakaya meditation also has a moral impact on the mind. A person who meditates regularly will become gentler, kinder, and more peaceful.
CENTER OF THE BODY
There are several techniques which can be used by the meditation practitioners in focusing the attention on the center of the body. Practitioners may visualize a mental image at the center of the body–characteristically, a crystal ball, the full moon, the midday sun, a shining star or the object the practitioners get familiar with. Seattle Meditation Center often use crystal balls in meditation teaching, to the extent that the crystal ball has become a sacred symbol of the meditation tradition. Practitioners then visualize this image in front of themselves, and then move the mental image inwards through seven bases of the mind, that is:
the corner of the eye,
the center of the head,
the roof of the mouth,
the center of the throat,
the middle of the stomach at the level of the navel and
two fingerbreadths above the previous point, where they keep their attention.
In this context, the center of the body is often called the "seventh base". Having practiced this approach at least once, until the practitioner has familiarized themselves with the position of the seventh point, they can then move on to one the other methods that start at the seventh base.
Visualization of a meditation object is one of the most classic and effective techniques of Dhammakaya meditation. If the meditator prefers to make use of a visual object within the meditation, they can imagine a crystal ball (classically) or any other picture such as the sun, full moon, or shining star (choose only one thing) at the center of the body, without needing to move the object through the first six bases of mind. No matter what visual image you start with, later it will become bright, clear and transparent as the mind become subtle. If the initial image is clear to start with, it takes less time to achieve clarity and transparency in a subsequent state of concentration
For this technique of meditation, the meditator silently repeats the sound of a mantra to themselves. A mantra means any short, memorable word or phrase which is meaningful to you. The default mantra original to the Dhammakaya tradition is ‘Samma-Araham’ (which means ‘a pure state of mind achieved in the proper way’). A more universal alternative mantra might be the phrase ‘brighter and brighter, clearer and clearer’. It should be imagined that the sound of the mantra comes from the center of the body, rather than via your larynx or your ears. This practice can be used in combination with visualizing method. The mantra is repeated until the thoughts are reduced to a manageable level. Beyond this point, the thoughts can merely be ignored without returning to the mantra. This approach is particularly necessary for those who have a lot of thoughts on their mind – possibly to the extent thoughts keep them awake at night or leave them vulnerable to panic attacks.
Learn how to meditate
The sitting posture, which has been found to be the most conducive for meditation, is the half-lotus position. Sit upright with your back straight, cross-legged with your right leg over the left one. You can sit on a cushion or pillow to make your position more comfortable. Nothing should impede your breathing or circulation. Your hands should rest palms-up on your lap, and the tip of your right index finger should touch your left thumb. Feel as if you are one with the ground on which you sit. Feel that you could sit happily for as long as you like.
Softly close your eyes as if you are about to fall asleep. Relax every part of your body, beginning with the muscles in your face, then relax your face, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, trunk and legs. Make sure there are no signs of tension on your forehead or across your shoulders.
Close your eyes gently but not completely. Stop thinking about any worldly things. Feel as if you were sitting alone; around you is nothing and no one. Create a feeling of happiness and spaciousness in your mind.
Feel that your body is an empty space, without organs, muscles or tissues. Gently and contentedly rest your attention at a point near the seventh base of the mind at the center of the body. Whatever experience arises in the mind, simply observe without attempting to interfere with it. This way, your mind will become gradually purer and inner experience will unfold.
If you find that you cannot dissuade the mind from wandering, then your mind needs an inner object as a focus of attention. Gently imagine that a bright, clear, crystal sphere, about the size of the tip of your little finger, is located inside at the center of the body. Maybe, you cannot imagine anything, but later, you’ll be able to see a crystal ball with increasing clarity. Allow your mind to come to rest at the center of the crystal ball. Use the subtlest of effort and you’ll find that the crystal ball becomes brighter and clearer.
If you find that your mind still wanders from the crystal ball, you can bring the mind back to a standstill by repeating the mantra, “Samma-arahang” silently, as if the sound of the mantra is coming from the center of the crystal ball. Repeat the mantra over and over again without counting.
Don’t entertain thoughts in your mind. Don’t analyze what’s going on in the meditation. Allow the mind to come to a standstill. That is all that you need to do. If you find that you cannot imagine anything, repeat the mantra “Samma-arahang”, silently and continuously in the mind. If you are not sure about the location of the center of the body, just know that anywhere in the area of your abdomen will do. Don’t be disappointed if you find your mind wandering. It is only natural for beginners. Make effort continuously, keep your mind bright, clear and pure, and in the end, you will achieve success.
Keep repeating the mantra. Eventually, the sound of the mantra will fade away. At that point a new bright, clear, crystal sphere will arise of its own accord. This stage is called “pathama magga” (primary path). At this stage the shining crystal sphere is connected firmly to the mind and is seated at the center of the body. You will experience a great happiness that you have never known before. With a perfectly still mind focused at the center of the crystal sphere, it will give way to a succession of increasingly purer transcendental inner bodies, until it reaches the “Body of Enlightenment” known as “Dhammakaya”.
SEATTLE MEDITATION CENTER
Seattle Meditation Center is located at 21910 44th Avenue West, Mountlake Terrace, Washington, U.S.A. 98043
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