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What Is Meditation? ............................................... 36 Oliver Chang ............................................................... 38 .......................... 38 ..................................... .......... 40 ............................... 46 ....................................... 46 ........................................ ............................................................... ............................................................... .......................... ....................................

Publisher: Editor:

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Ven. Jan Hai and Ven. Hung I Dharma Garden Editing Committee

Long Plan Printing

Dharma Garden (USPS 019-577) is published bi-monthly by Texas Buddhist Association, Inc., 6969 Westbranch Drive, Houston, Texas 77072, Tel:(281) 498-1616, Fax:(281) 498-8133. Issue 151, January 2007. This is a non-profit venture solely supported by contributions from members of the Texas Buddhist Association and the readership. Postmaster: send address changes to the above address. Website:www.jadebuddha.org Email: jadebuddhatemple@gmail.com


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Ku$inagaar

Ku$inagaar

Malla

Gorakhpur

Kasia

Matha Kunwar

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Gandak p<v< Cunda

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PSAT SAT SAT

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AP CollegeBoard

AP 2007 5

AP

AP

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Pema Chodron When Things Fall Apart 24


Pay it forward

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Let's help each other!

"Hello" "How are you"

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"Let's help each other!" "Let's help each other!"

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What Is Meditation? What is meditation? Meditation is Whatever happens, Good or bad, Relaxing, accepting and watching it.

By Oliver Chang Meditation is a skill; that acquire from the practice of mental training. Learning and developing this skill guides the practitioner to use the mind as a powerful instrument to probe and to watch. Meditation is a tool of mental training, a mental exercise that conditions the mind, and enables one to be mind's master instead of its slave. Moreover, the mind is the forerunner to our deeds, be it bodily action, verbal speech, or thoughts. The untrained mind can be refined and purified, transforming it from a chaotic mass of impulsive actions and knee-jerk reactions, to a balanced, harmonized instrument that is clearly aware, under control and in command. What is meditation? From the above subheading, meditation sounds very simple, doesn't it? In reality, however, it is easier said than done. This is one of the many catch-22s' to confront in the practice of meditation. Furthermore, the mental training acquired from disciplined practice totally conflicts with our habit of forming attachments. Throughout the course of our daily lives we are constantly thinking and making judgments, thereby reinforcing our habit to cling. These unskillful mental habits took many years to accumulate and establish themselves. Naturally, it will take years of patient practice to change these habits so that we can learn to let go of attachments. Keeping this in mind, we must then approach our practice with an attitude of no thinking, no judgment and no expectation! Just relax, watch, and 36

accept whatever comes. Patience and consistency are the keys to meaningful success. We must always be mindful that the practice of meditation is a slow process of mental conditioning. It takes time, effort, and a lifetime commitment. By this path we will eventually change our mental habits and lifestyles and ultimately discover that we have experienced a total life transformation! What Is Meditation? Being aware from moment to moment; paying attention to what's happening in a total way. There is nothing mystical about it. It is so simple, direct and straightforward, but it takes doing. This is what meditation is all about. Let's take a deeper look into several important aspects of meditation. 1. The word meditation, in Pali, is called Bhavana, which means cultivation or development. This cultivation develops the mind in two ways. On one side, it gradually develops the skillful, wholesome mental states, such as the five mental faculties. Simultaneously, on the other side, it subdues the unwholesome mind from the effects of hindrances and defilements. The wholesome and unwholesome minds are mutually exclusive, and not compatible in any given moment. Enhancing one of these states of mind suppresses the other. 2. The practice of meditation develops a spiritual awakening, an awareness that results from the


practice of mindfulness. It is like a morning wake up call, inviting one on a new journey of discovery and exploration into our minds to learn who and what we are. Meditation deepens through the continuity of awareness. Insight, or awareness, is learned from realization as being a sudden, wordless understanding. This kind of intuition has a certainty about it because it is not the product of some thought or image, but rather a sudden clear perception of how things are. This is one quality of mind that is the basis and foundation of spiritual discovery. Awareness draws from the direct experience of Dharma (or natural phenomena), by the knowing of consciousness and seeing of the mind's eye. This direct experience reveals new levels of insight wisdom far beyond the imagination, deepening from gross to subtle. This deepening occurs by sense via the five body sense organs that connect to the brain at the thinking and conceptual level. Further development deepens by feel of the intuitive sixth sense at the mind-door. The awareness by feel lies in the level of 'bare awareness' that is merely a mental activity, which is a direct reflection of knowing and seeing without concepts and beyond words. Ultimately, we become totally aware in knowing and seeing things as the way they really are. We come to understand the reality of nature - hearing is hearing, body is body - nothing less, nothing more, no need to add salt to it. 3. Guard six sensors in the body. To practice meditation, the big issue becomes how to understand ourselves and our relationship to the outside world. Six sensors are the area where defilements and hindrances arise, and is where one should work the hardest in order to gain sensitivity and insight. This is the way to practice meditation. In other words, pay attention to the six sensors in the body; they separate the inner universe from the outside world. Learning how to condition and guard these six sensors has become top priority in managing and coping with the stresses of daily life, as well as guide us along the path of well being and happiness from being released from the bondage of

suffering. Restraint and control of the five body senses (Sila), affect our morality in action and speech. Developed mental training for restraint and control at the mind-door leads to Tranquility and Wisdom. To quote the Buddha in an analogy from a sutra in AN: "There are six holes in a termite mound, and inside of it a lizard pops its head up out of any one of those six holes frequently and at random. How to catch the lizard easily? Simply close off five of the holes, leaving only one hole left to focus on." From this analogy, we can say that the six termite holes refer to the six body senses, and the lizard symbolizes defilements. To dissect this analogy further, during meditation, one must enter into Samadhi level to temporarily disconnect the five body senses from the mind-door, allowing the mind to do its work. To put it simply, use the mind as a direct reflection of the sixth sense in bare awareness instead of using the brain at the thinking level. 4. The practice of Dharma directly applies to the mind doctrine as outlined in the Buddha's Dharma teaching. The Dharma--the reality, truth or natural phenomena--cannot be seen by the physical eyes, nor can it be known by our thinking brain. This is why the Dharma is so profound. Wisdom, or insight knowledge, is not the same as the knowledge gained from reading a book, sutra, or listening to a Dharma talk. Directly experiencing the Dharma by dedicated meditation practice is vastly different--worlds apart--from merely studying and hearing the Dharma teaching. Practice is essential. Buddha's enlightenment solved his problem; it did not solve ours, with the exception that his teaching points out the way to individual liberation. There is no one else who can do it for us. We each must do it for ourselves. It is up to us to be doers, and undertake the necessary action to successfully initiate and maintain continuous meditation practice. There is no magic that will release us from suffering. Each of us has to purify our own minds, for it is the attachment in our minds that keeps us bound. 37


Ross Carrie

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(281)498-1616 (Wed-Sat 10:00AM-5:00PM) 43


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Northwoods Presbyterian Church (3320 FM 1960 West at Terrace Oaks) (713) 837-9477

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ϜҢъ 3118 ѐ 2 ͡ă3 ͡‫߿ົڱ‬જ! 日期 1月6日(週六) 1月7日(週日)

1月14日(週日)

1月21日(週日) 1月27日(週六) 1月28日(週日) 2月3日(週六) 2月4日(週日)

2月11日(週日)

時間 9:30a –12:00p 10:00a - 10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p 10:00a - 10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p 10:00a - 10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p 9:00a - 4:00p 10:00a - 10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p 9:30a –12:00p 10:00a - 10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p 10:00a –10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p

內容 禮拜《大悲懺》 第一節:生日法會、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 念 佛 會 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 禮拜《大悲懺》 第一節:生日法會、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地

+3͡28͟)ฉ̱*! ! :;41q! –!2;11b ੵ́ă೼ҢăΣᛗᖃҢ! +3͡29͟)ฉ͟*! 2月24日(週六) 2月25日(週日)

定期活動 日期 每週日 每週二 每週四 每月第二週六 每月第三週六

21;11b!ů!23;11q 2;41q!ů!4;41q 9:00a - 4:00p 10:00a –10:45a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p

時間 9:00a - 11:30a 12:30p - 3:00p 3:00p - 4:30p 9:00a - 11:30a 9:00a - 11:30a 7:00p - 8:30p 2:00p - 4:00p 10:30a - 2:00p

淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:夫妻相處之道 融通法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:多欲與知足 修 智 師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 修 慧 師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:有病怎麼辦 淨海法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:個性與人生 宏意法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:如何化敵為友 融通法師 諸位法師

ϜҢъྺፌາߋဥ޵! ϒ଱ˬ࠲! 念 佛 會 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地

活動內容 靜坐/英語佛法 菩提合唱團練唱 佛學研討班 佛學研討班 靜坐 靜坐 粵語佛學班 放生、郊遊、素食野餐

主持人與講題

淨海法師:福至心靈 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:為什麼要說話 修 智 師

主持人/地點 宏意法師、弘法處(觀音殿) 菩提合唱團(大雄寶殿) 弘法處(會議室) 弘法處(會議室) 修智師 宏意法師(青年活動中心) 慈善組



[註:如有更改,將另行公布或通知。]

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Dharma Garden 151 (2007-01)  

Texas Buddhist Association - Dharma Garden 151 (2007-01)

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