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Old texts and meditations

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

So following on from the Dagpo Rinpoche's visit, I was reading the text that his talk was based on, The Comfortable Path to Enlightenment by Lobsang Chökyi Gyaltsen. Now Lobsang was the 4th Panchen Lama and lived between 1570 and 1662, and he wrote over 300 books. This particular text is a lamrim text which was translated into Dutch from the Tibetan with the aid of the book The Pearl Garland, An Anthology of Lamrims published by the Institute Guépèle and several other sources.

Reading this text, even though it's a modern translation, it becomes clear that many of the meditations are in an older style. They contain visualisations and long paragraphs that are to be recited while holding certain visualisations in mind. The kind of meditations that I heard and read the more modern teachers espouse are vipassāna and mindfulness, much closer to zazen then these more elaborate workings.

So I was wondering what people's thoughts are on meditations from older texts, and what are your experiences?

Comments

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I used to do a lot of visualisation in Tibetan schools and really struggled with it, perhaps because I didn't really understand what it was for. Probably useful to have contact with a teacher if you're going to explore this.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 27

    Here is how visulization/imagination is used in Tantra
    https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-studies/vajrayana/tantra-theory/visualization-practice-in-tantra

    I find this sort of training easy, being very visually orientated in my thinking.
    (other people are orientated/suited to other systems)

    Walter Burke Barbe and colleagues proposed three learning modalities (often identified by the acronym VAK)

    Visualising modality
    Auditory modality
    Kinesthetic modality

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    The main problem I've had with visualisations is that they seem to last a very short time... I call to mind a certain image, and it fades over the course of about 3-5 seconds. So to visualise a single image and keep it in mind for the period of time that it takes to recite a paragraph is a challenge. Is this something that lengthens with practice?

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    The main problem I've had with visualisations is that they seem to last a very short time... I call to mind a certain image, and it fades over the course of about 3-5 seconds. So to visualise a single image and keep it in mind for the period of time that it takes to recite a paragraph is a challenge. Is this something that lengthens with practice?

    Yes. Concentration is one of the six perfections and can be developed with practice.

    lobster
  • Exactly so @Bunks

    Statues, pics of yidams to focus on, their mantras, their posse entourage, shrine, prostrations to etc. Concentration is not a strain or hardening, it is a softening into attention ...

    BunksKerome
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