Thursday, October 19, 2006

Essence of Buddha's Teaching

Essence of Buddha's Teaching

The Buddha emphasized that the middle path is the most desirable path. To have pure conduct one must avoid both of the extreme paths: intense austerities and sensual pleasures. The Buddha condemned violent acts such as animal sacrifices. He also spoke out against needless rituals, self-claimed superiority of the pundits (priest class) and Brahmans, and the inequity of the caste system. He advocated a path that was pure, simple and based on the principles of moral conduct. By treading this path, humans can attain freedom and be rid of the cycle of birth and death.

Buddhism teaches a path based on the four noble truths:

1. In this world there is suffering.
2. This suffering has a cause.
3. There is a way (cure) to become free from suffering.
4. The eightfold path is prescribed to attain freedom.

In order to escape the cycle of death and birth and the suffering of the world a human should follow the eight fold path. This eightfold path is as follows:

1. Right view
2. Right intent
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right vigilance (Mindfulness)
8. Right Samadhi (Concentration)

The essence of Buddha's teaching is as follows:

1. Do not criticize others. Do not speak ill of others.
2. Do not commit any kind of violence.
3. Control yourself by choosing right moral conduct.
4. Eat in moderation.
5. Live in solitude.
6. Yoke the mind to meditation (Yoga).

-- Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj,
The Harmony of All Religions

Inner Sound Meditation in Buddhism

Absence of sound is not the end of hearing,
And sound when present is not its beginning.
The faculty of hearing, beyond creation
And annihilation, truly is permanent.
Even when isolated thoughts in a dream arise,
Though the thinking process stops, hearing does not end,
for the faculty of hearing is beyond
All thought, beyond both mind and body.....

Ananda and all you who listen here
Should inward turn your faculty
Of hearing to hear your own nature
Which alone achieves Supreme Bodhi.
That is how enlightenment is won.
Buddhas as many as the Ganges' sand
Entered this one gateway to Nirvana.
(The Surangama Sutra: Selections from the
Upasaka Lu K'uan Yu Translation,
Published by Rider and Company, London)

How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara [Quan Yin]! Is is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid. (Surangama Sutra, A Buddhist Bible, Dwight Goddard, Beacon Press)

As you calm down, you can experience the Sound of Silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency Sound, a ringing Sound that's always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you begin to hear that Sound of Silence, it's a sign of emptiness — of silence of the mind. It's something you can always turn to. As you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful and blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over another.

This process of putting one condition on top of another is what is meant by making 'kamma'. For example, if you're feeling angry, then you start thinking of something else to get away from the anger. You don't like what is going on over here, so you look over there, you just run away. But if you have a way of turning from conditioned phenomena to the unconditioned, then there is no kind of kamma being made, and the conditioned habits can fade away and cease. It's like a 'safety hatch' in the mind, the way out, so your kammic formations, "sankharas", have an exit, a way of flowing away instead of recreating themselves.

One problem with meditation is that many people find it boring. People get bored with emptiness. They want to fill up emptiness with something. So recognize that even when the mind is quite empty, the desires and habits are still there, and they will come and want to do something interesting. You have to be patient, willing to turn away from boredom and from the desire to do something interesting and be content with the emptiness of the Sound of Silence..................You can turn to the emptiness of the mind-- to the Sound of Silence. This gives the conditions like anger a way out to cessation; you let it go away.

-- The Sound Of Silence -- by Ajahn Sumedho:

Surangama Sutra, from Kirpal Singh's book, Naam Or Word:

QuanYin, Extract from the "Surangama Sutra":

The secret meditation - technique of the "Golden Ears":