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Currently I have been focusing my meditation on the Brahamaviharas and trying to gain a good grasp of the Heart Sutras.
And I keep getting a little stuck on wraping my mind around the concept of the formless realm (if form = desire, and the formless is negation of desire, then isn't that a form in itself?) which I understand boils down to an understanding of dependant origination, right?
The quote below (which seems representative of most Buddhist thought), to me, creates a sort of duality.
When I read these things, I think for a second "Oh I get it" and then a second later, I'm like "What?!"
If all is pure consciousness, then how can form not be a part of it?
I guess I am still trying to reconcile my own understanding/beliefs in a universal consciousness which has a flavor of advaita vedanta - in the nonduality sense. I am not sure anymore if I am coming from a Mahayana, Therevada or Hindu perspective. All kind of seem to make sense to me - amd not at all at the same time.
I am sure this question has been brought up a million times - so perhaps you know of a dharma talk or such that can help explain this to my sun-bleached Californian brain?
i am sure I am making this more complicated than it needs to be - the issues with duality/nonduality has always been a tough one for me.
"Attachment in the formless realm: When wrong view with its concomitant grasping no longer contaminates the realm of desire and the realm of form, rebirth in the formless realm follows. That sphere is free from form (body); there is only the knowing consciousness and, therefore, we speak of clinging to the formless realm. Denizens of that realm are no longer preoccupied with matter or material. The Dhyanas and the Dharma are their repast and their bliss.
The formless realm is divided into attainment in meditation on the void; attainment in meditation on consciousness; attainment in meditation on nothingness; and attainment leading to a state of neither perception nor non-perception. Consider for a moment the difference between Dharma talk offered by an Arhat, as compared with that given by someone of lower attainment. The attachment to formless realm still manifests."http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/heartl04.htm