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What do you think mindfulness has in common with mysticism and theism?

lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

From another thread ...

What do you think mindfulness has in common with mysticism and theism? One of my closest friends on the spiritual path is Muslim, and I love to think that despite the huge differences in presentation and symbolism in our traditions, we’re both climbing to the same summit.

Great question, be interested in others response. o:)

Being mindful/attentive/aware is independent of god/theism and spirituality ... or it can be ... B)

Mystical Islam is Love or heart based. Exoteric Islam is a form based on remembering God/Being up to six mindful times a day. In the heights we talk of awareness not in terms of remembering Self/Allah/Spaghetti Monster but forgetting and negating our separating/dual mind. :)

We can not kill Allah or Zeniths but we can pay attention to the lack of Peace(ease) until we are in the Presence of Buddallah or Know-Christ or similar ...

To put it another way, The Form is Emptiness and Emptiness Form.

<3

Kerome

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Psalm 46:10
    "Be still and know that I am God."

    God seems to be encouraging calm, restraint, peacefulness and reticence. He seems to be advising against being provoked, aggression, defensiveness and resistance.

    In order to 'Be Still' as he recommends, it's necessary to be Mindful; aware, conscious and present.

    Form = God. Emptiness = stillness.

    Stillness is God, and God is stillness.

    adamcrossleylobsterFosdick
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited September 23

    It’s interesting. Certainly I think that mindfulness has a lot to do with the ‘ground of being’, which prayerful traditions also connect to, but with a tradition like Islam you have to do a lot of forgetting of the content of the holy book, before you end up in a pure space. And the tradition does its best to not let you forget it, by promising you a paradise with rivers of wine and many virgins...

    Then beyond forgetting of holy books, one should move onto the forgetting of the self.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What do you think mindfulness has in common with mysticism and theism?

    Nothing :)

    Dimmesdale
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Psalm 46:10
    "Be still and know that I am God."

    Exodus 3:14

    I AM
    just sitting

    Exodus 3:14
    And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

    FinnTheHuman
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    What do you think mindfulness has in common with mysticism and theism?

    Nothing :)

    On the other hand, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a whole book about it, Living Buddha, Living Christ.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Personally....Mindfulness is mindfulness=present mindedness...it is what it is ...there is nothing mystical or theistical about it....

    Mindfulness is more in common with everyday activities....like washing up. cooking dinner, going for a walk, riding a bike...there's nothing mystical or theistical about these actives...they are what they are nothing special....

    lobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited September 24

    But is the mind itself irrespective of contents mystical or everyday? What about glimpses into the dharma? How do those appear? Feeling contrarian today I guess.

    Is it a mystical world with textures of ordinary or is it an ordinary world with textures of mystical? And so on here we go.

    pommesetorangesperson
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited September 25

    Not really ... however, mystical & or theistical is perhaps how some may choose to see things, (adding a bit of mystery & spice to life's flow)... but as far as so-called reality goes ...the ordinary is extraordinary and the extraordinary is ordinary...nothing special as far as the mindfulness scheme of things go....

    From what I gather "Mindfulness" is just the mind minus any accumulative space junk...

    it's where things/phenomena come (in through the revolving sense doors) and go (out through the revolving sense doors)... :)

    However, these doors have a habit of becoming stuck :)

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited September 25

    But then is mindfulness a part of life or all of it? I agree that it is said Nirvana is peace and looking for that as being a part of a teaching I quasi follow.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    But then is mindfulness a part of life or all of it? I agree that it is said Nirvana is peace and looking for that as being a part of a teaching I quasi follow.

    I guess when we stop looking (trying) is when the truth makes its presence felt…the truth is in/out there biding its time...

    Mindfulness is from what I gather just the “awareness” of what “is” without any attachments… and life ‘is’ flux, constantly changing evolving moment to moment…

    So yes mindfulness is, in a sense (pun intended) part & parcel of the flux…seen/experienced through the revolving sense doors of this psycho-physical phenomenon called the self….

    As I say… some may choose to see mindfulness as somewhat special (separate) ie, mystical and or theistical ….but it is what it is….nothing special…just awareness being aware of flux (psycho-physical phenomenon AKA life) being flux…

    Well at this present moment in time & space that is...

    Again this is my personal experiential understanding and "I" have been known to be wrong...... on more than one occasion :)

    Jeffrey
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    @lobster commented

    To put it another way, The Form is Emptiness and Emptiness Form.

    Theism - as it appears to me at the moment - represents an attempt to invent a structure for emptiness, then to grasp and cling to it. Frankly, I've never been convinced that I understand what mysticism is, so I probably shouldn't comment on it - but at least it does not appear to be forcing a superfluous structural concept onto emptiness.

    Mindfulness can apprehend emptiness without thinking about emptiness - the best path, in my present view, because thinking invariably warps and distorts that which is thought about.

    There's an elephant in the room, and a bunch of blind people clamoring to describe it. The wisest of them merely sit and smell the elephant, feel it's heat, it's presence, and say nothing.

    ShoshinlobsterKeromeDimmesdale
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Frankly, I've never been convinced that I understand what mysticism is ...

    How mysterious ... 😉

    It is the unquantifiable, the personification of the ineffable, a bit like how the Buddha Nature is our Mother. Or perhaps how the quantum realm is true ... but makes no sense. As @Shoshin, atheist Buddha and the Guru With No Name mention, it is the nonsense Made Real ...

    In the words of Gaia Greata Thunberg
    You have stolen my dreams, my childhood with your empty words.

    How mysterious ...😌

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    So mysticism involves personification of the ineffable, but not nearly to the degree that theism does, and mindfulness simply experiences the ineffable while not personifying or structuring it except, perhaps, by accident?

    Could we look at theism as basically a teaching method, a finger pointing at the moon, but one which carries a greater than average risk of being mistaken for the moon itself ?

    JeffreyShoshinadamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I think that makes sense @Fosdick [if I can put it like that].

    Was The Buddha a Gnostic? I think so.
    The dangers of believing/or identifying with internal processes is very real, as you mention. The finger is as much open to a mooning cult as is ass worship.

    We kill the gods, buddhas, chop off fingers etc ...
    BUT we do so in stillness and emptying not in the accumulation of more spaghetti monsters ...

    @Fosdick said:
    Mindfulness can apprehend emptiness without thinking about emptiness - the best path, in my present view, because thinking invariably warps and distorts that which is thought about.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    Rephrasing it in my head like "Could Buddhas mindfulness manifest in mystics and theists?" helps me digest the question.

    I think the answer is that mindfulness could be hindered as the mystic or theist turns their awareness towards conjecture.

    There are simply too many variables to think we have it all sewn up in its entirety. Even Buddha said he was only offering a handful from the forest floor.

    For some reason this outs me to mind of the other day when I heard the question "Can there be meaning without God?"

    The first thought through my head was "Of course, we are here after all". The next was "maybe a better question is could there be gods without meaning?"

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @David

    I feel you are making dharma path sense. <3

    Some gods/cods and theistic fallacies are based on fantasy reality as befuddlement. Crazy, stupid, useless deities as you mention ... B)

    I worship wisdom, compassion, virtue, gaia and great path walkers who have transcended their meandering ... o:)

    I love the crazy zeniths of dharma, the tantric excesses and successes of visualisation. I would even kick the Buddha off his ass ... I iz very bad example :o

    but ... and it is the proverbial big butt ... I would kick the legs off those still standing up for nonsense straight on to their cushioned ass's ... the least I can do ... o:)

    “There seem to be only two kinds of people: Those who think that metaphors are facts, and those who know that they are not facts. Those who know they are not facts are what we call "atheists," and those who think they are facts are "religious." Which group really gets the message?”
    ― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

    David
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited September 26

    @lobster said:
    @David

    I feel you are making dharma path sense. <3

    Thank you. If so, it would partially be the fault of everyone here. Yourself obviously included. I am glad I found you guys on my path.

    However, there could be just a small bit of a misunderstanding concerning what I said or meant to say and what you seem to think I said.

    Some gods/cods and theistic fallacies are based on fantasy reality as befuddlement. Crazy, stupid, useless deities as you mention ... B)

    I didn't call anybody crazy, stupid or useless, lol. It is not the gods at fault for being attended any more than we are at fault for being ignorant before we see.

    Some say gods don't exist at all but then many of the same people say the same thing about you and me so not too much weight to carry around, know what I mean?

    I have many gods I pay homage to without putting them out of reach or being averse. I have asked for guidance in certain matters and I would return the favor gladly if asked. Any answers come from within but that's fine. Thoughts are tools and nothing to identify with.

    Heck, some gods are there just to take flak if I'm going to be honest. I can shake my fist at the on time bus gods or thank the gods of tomatoes that some are fresh today.

    These are just conditions coming together and information being shared just like anything else but we should have fun while we are here.

    That said, my shrine has a few buddhas and deities with Buddha center. Ganesha and Krishna are there, the Trimurti is represented... I may even get a little Obi Wan Kenobi to represent Jesus.

    I can't say I worship any gods or ideals they may represent but I do have compassion for gods and will weigh the ideals as I would weigh the ideals borne of a simple conversation between you and me.

    I worship wisdom, compassion, virtue, gaia and great path walkers who have transcended their meandering ... o:)

    I love the crazy zeniths of dharma, the tantric excesses and successes of visualisation. I would even kick the Buddha off his ass ... I iz very bad example :o

    but ... and it is the proverbial big butt ... I would kick the legs off those still standing up for nonsense straight on to their cushioned ass's ... the least I can do ... o:)

    I have a feeling I would agree with your definition of nonsense here but if not, the nonsense would have to be hurting somebody for me to feel that way these days.

    Well, that rambled on for longer than I thought it would.

    lobsterVastmind
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Then Buddha gave an analogy of a fisherman who used a fine-meshed net to catch the fish in the pond. The fish represent the ascetics who cling to their beliefs. They will rise and sink in the pond, but in the end will unavoidably be caught in the net. Whereas the Buddha, who stand outside the net has found the truth and has transcended the cycle of suffering.
    http://www.suttas.com/dn-1-brahmajala-sutta.html

    The 62 wrong views are examples of the Buddhas contemporaries and answers for them. Some of them may appear peculiar to a particular situation.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I think there are commonalities among many religious traditions in terms of experience but different perceptual and linguistic frameworks. And I believe that mindfulness is key to having these experiences. While not strictly addressing mindfulness, I try to lay out some of the similarities I see between Buddhism, Christianity, and a bit of Sufi Islam here: https://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/529455/#Comment_529455

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    That said, my shrine has a few buddhas and deities with Buddha center. Ganesha and Krishna are there, the Trimurti is represented... I may even get a little Obi Wan Kenobi to represent Jesus.

    How wonderful (eh ma ho) o:)

    Great post. <3

    Jesus ‘O Be One’ Christ and his Light Sword ... one of my super heroes. A sort of Manjushri ... B)

  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Explorer Illinois Explorer

    "Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect" - Jesus

    This I take to mean, be sincere and goal-minded, alert and awake, fulfilling dharma to the best of your ability, in a way that is conscious, because doing that is imitating your Father, who is consciousness, the Ground of your son-ship.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I find some dharma being updated or rediscovered or coming from other sources. Is it useful/skilful?

    On the whole for most of us theism and mysticism is something we are transitioning away from ... We might say theism and mysticism not required in Buddhism as has been suggested elsewhere ...
    https://www.lionsroar.com/mindfulness-the-power-of-awareness/

    ShoshinpersonDavid
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I think there is still room from some mysticism, preferably a little more grounded in science by my tastes. For most people practicing mindfulness they will still be leading busy, engaged daily lives so the deeper, more sustained practices involved with mystical experiences will be out of reach. Some people will still want to explore the deeper end of the pool and the rest of us will be better off for it.

    I've long held the position that mindfulness should be secularized and popularized so more people can benefit. That we should see it as a funnel where it will be wide and shallow at one end and deeper and narrower as it goes. I've made a point to argue against calling some of the shallower forms of mindfulness Buddhism though, as Buddhism entails so much more. I do see more and more people using mindfulness towards their own preferred ends, which again is fine, but I also see those same people often claiming what they're doing as the new and improved way of doing things or that older Buddhist philosophical teachings don't really apply any more. I disapprove of this as it confuses and weakens the Buddhist teachings. Just call it something else and don't teach it in a Buddhist context.

    lobsterKerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I think there is always room for mysticism, the whole process of turning within and discovering what is ours, what we have some control over, is an invaluable first step on the path. Mindfulness is the thin wedge leading into that process, where people get to be confronted with their inner impulses.

    lobster
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited October 6

    Mysticism is basically the idea of attaining a unifying or enlightening experience, being one with the whole or experiencing a knowledge that's not derived from the intellect or rational thinking, i.e., it's a path of direct perception and religious experience (ehi passiko). In this sense, Buddhism most certain has room for mysticism in the form of the jhanas and the experience of nibbana. These things don't come about via rational thinking, but through the cessation of rational thought and clinging, and a letting go of selfhood, much the same as Christian and other contemplatives describe re: their own experiences of theosis, etc. In many ways, I see mysticism as the antithesis of fundamentalism and its strict adherence to dogma and orthodoxy. Reading something like the Cloud of Unknowing is much like reading a meditation manual from the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah, who once said that the only book one truly needs to read is the heart.

    lobsterfedericaNerida
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    It was Buddhism that helped me understand the Christian mystics. Not everyone needs them. Just as very healthy humanist 'spirituality' based on kindness and friendship has no need for religion. The cloud of unknowing and other mystical texts are the shared experience of contemplatives.

    Gentle stilling. Iz plain.

    FinnTheHuman
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Veteran Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited October 8

    Saint Symeon knew mindfulness as watchfulness.

    "Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and walk in the ways of your heart, blameless, expelling anger from your heart; and if the spirit of the ruler rises up against you do not desert your place," 'place' meaning your heart.

    Similarly our Lord also says, "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts", and "do not be distracted". And again, "straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life". Elsewhere He also says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit"; that is to say, blessed are those who are destitute of every worldly thought. Saint Peter says likewise, "Be watchful, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". [...] In short, if you do not guard your intellect you cannot attain purity of heart, and so to be counted worthy to see God. Without such watchfulness you cannot become poor in spirit, or grieve, or hunger and thirst after righteousness, or be truly merciful, or pure in heart, or a peacemaker, or be persecuted for the sake of justice. To speak generally, it is impossible to acquire all the other virtues except through watchfulness. For this reason you must pursue it more diligently than anything else, so as to learn from experience these things, unknown to others, that I am speaking to you about. Now if you would like to learn also about the method of prayer [...] I will tell you about this too, in so far as I can.

    Above all else you should strive to acquire three things, and so begin to attain what you seek. The first is freedom from anxiety with respect to everything, whether reasonable or senseless - in other words, you should be dead to everything. Secondly, you should strive to preserve a pure conscience, so that it has nothing to reproach you with. Thirdly, you should be completely detached, so that your thoughts incline towards nothing worldly, not even your own body.

    Then, sit down in a quiet cell, in a corner by yourself, and do what I tell you. Close the door, and withdraw your intellect from everything worthless and transient. [...] Restrain the drawing-in of breath through your nostrils, so as not to breathe easily, and search inside yourself with your intellect so as to find the place of the heart, where all the powers of the soul reside.

    To start with you will find there darkness and an impenetrable density. Later, when you persist and practice this day and night, you will find, as though miraculously, an unceasing joy. For as soon as the intellect attains the place of the heart, at once it sees things of which is previously knew nothing. It sees the open space within the heart and it beholds itself entirely luminous and full of discrimination. From then on, from whatever side a distractive thought may appear, before it has come to completion and assumed a form, the intellect immidiately drives it away and destroys it with the invocation of Jesus Christ.

    (Philokalia)

    lobsterJasonperson
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Or to coin a phrase: The Mind/Heart is a good servant but a poor Master!

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @lobster said:
    It was Buddhism that helped me understand the Christian mystics. Not everyone needs them. Just as very healthy humanist 'spirituality' based on kindness and friendship has no need for religion. The cloud of unknowing and other mystical texts are the shared experience of contemplatives.

    Gentle stilling. Iz plain.

    But in a way it is the theists who must find the way to mindfulness, not the other way around. If someone who knows mindfulness is taking on the forms of theism, then there is very little enrichment, instead they stand a chance of being lost in papanca.

    When a theist on the other hand finds mindfulness on the path to god, then there is a gentle stilling as you say.

    lobster
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited October 8

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Saint Symeon knew mindfulness as watchfulness.

    "Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and walk in the ways of your heart, blameless, expelling anger from your heart; and if the spirit of the ruler rises up against you do not desert your place," 'place' meaning your heart.

    Similarly our Lord also says, "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts", and "do not be distracted". And again, "straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life". Elsewhere He also says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit"; that is to say, blessed are those who are destitute of every worldly thought. Saint Peter says likewise, "Be watchful, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". [...] In short, if you do not guard your intellect you cannot attain purity of heart, and so to be counted worthy to see God. Without such watchfulness you cannot become poor in spirit, or grieve, or hunger and thirst after righteousness, or be truly merciful, or pure in heart, or a peacemaker, or be persecuted for the sake of justice. To speak generally, it is impossible to acquire all the other virtues except through watchfulness. For this reason you must pursue it more diligently than anything else, so as to learn from experience these things, unknown to others, that I am speaking to you about. Now if you would like to learn also about the method of prayer [...] I will tell you about this too, in so far as I can.

    Above all else you should strive to acquire three things, and so begin to attain what you seek. The first is freedom from anxiety with respect to everything, whether reasonable or senseless - in other words, you should be dead to everything. Secondly, you should strive to preserve a pure conscience, so that it has nothing to reproach you with. Thirdly, you should be completely detached, so that your thoughts incline towards nothing worldly, not even your own body.

    Then, sit down in a quiet cell, in a corner by yourself, and do what I tell you. Close the door, and withdraw your intellect from everything worthless and transient. [...] Restrain the drawing-in of breath through your nostrils, so as not to breathe easily, and search inside yourself with your intellect so as to find the place of the heart, where all the powers of the soul reside.

    To start with you will find there darkness and an impenetrable density. Later, when you persist and practice this day and night, you will find, as though miraculously, an unceasing joy. For as soon as the intellect attains the place of the heart, at once it sees things of which is previously knew nothing. It sees the open space within the heart and it beholds itself entirely luminous and full of discrimination. From then on, from whatever side a distractive thought may appear, before it has come to completion and assumed a form, the intellect immidiately drives it away and destroys it with the invocation of Jesus Christ.

    (Philokalia)

    I very much enjoy the Philokalia. Much of what I've read reminds me of things in the Pali Canon or written by Thai Forest meditation masters, especially passages of St. Theodoros the Great Ascetic. For example:

    "He who gives himself to desires and sensual pleasures and lives according to the world's way will quickly be caught in the nets of sin [compare this to the snares of Mara, which are equated to sense pleasures]. And sin, when once committed, is like a fire put to straw, a stone rolling downhill or a torrent eating away at its banks. Such pleasures, then, bring complete perdition on him who embraces them."

    And:

    "Self-control together with humility withers passionate desire, love calms inflamed anger [recalls metta as an antidote for anger], and intense prayer together with mindfulness of God concentrates distracted thoughts [jhana?]. Thus the tripartite soul is purified. It was to this end that the apostle said: 'Pursue peace with all men and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord' (Heb. 12:14)."

    federicaVimalajāti
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    If someone who knows mindfulness is taking on the forms of theism, then there is very little enrichment, instead they stand a chance of being lost in papanca.

    Perhaps.

    It may vary. Even though I will not be studying the Philokalia, I find it of great interest and potential for those wishing to augment/integrate/understand any Christian alignment. Genuine contemplatives provide depth to shallow dogma and faith based religionists/doctrinated brain washings ...

    A crass Buddhist repetition may just repeat emptiness or deepen emptying.

    “If you think that we humans have some special faculty of creativity or consciousness or sentience then I disagree ... We are meme machines … and without any consciousness, free will, or other spooky power that might enable to leap outside the system.”
    Professor Susan Blackmore

    Tee hee. Enlightenment is the 'spooky power' - the leap outside the system ...

    OM PANI MEME HUM 🙊🤦🏼‍♀️◼️🙏🏽

    VimalajātiKeromeFinnTheHuman
  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Veteran Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited October 9

    @lobster said:
    I will not be studying the Philokalia, I find it of great interest and potential for those wishing to augment/integrate/understand any Christian alignment.

    What a striking use of italics, Lobster!

    Never say never. The most surprising person you've never met could always turn out to be yourself! Maybe there's a monotheist hiding somewhere inside that non-kosher exoskeleton.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited October 9

    @lobster said:
    “We are meme machines … and without any consciousness, free will, or other spooky power that might enable to leap outside the system.”
    Professor Susan Blackmore

    I don’t entirely believe Professor Blackmore either, if humans were just meme machines without the capacity to invent or extend then there would be no science or progress. And I think that in terms of the content of the mind there is some useful material that comes out of cross-pollination. It is not a waste of time to listen to Terence McKenna talk about the dissolution of the ego during a DMT trip.

    But in terms of the no-mind, the mindful concentration on walking, a flower, washing the dishes, then maybe proliferation of thoughts in the mind might be less than useful. It’s a question of what you have need of in your life, skilful means need to be applied.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Never say never. The most surprising person you've never met could always turn out to be yourself! Maybe there's a monotheist hiding somewhere inside that non-kosher exoskeleton.

    To be realistic, you have to believe in miracles.
    ~ David Ben-Gurion

  • NeridaNerida Explorer Denmark Explorer

    @Kerome said:
    But in a way it is the theists who must find the way to mindfulness, not the other way around. If someone who knows mindfulness is taking on the forms of theism, then there is very little enrichment, instead they stand a chance of being lost in papanca.

    When a theist on the other hand finds mindfulness on the path to god, then there is a gentle stilling as you say.

    That’s a very particular comment. I first experienced Mindfulness as a young teenager when praying the Rosary. The repetition of prayer, the chanting and the trancelike state you enter when doing so. It was a slight shift in my awareness of who I was and how I fit into the world. It also led me to question why I believed what I did, what the teachings of Catholicism truly meant as opposed to how they were taught to me. I don’t see that as “very little enrichment” or a bad thing.

    Perhaps you had a bad experience, or detest theists in general? But I find your comment alien to what I and many other theists I know have experienced.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, I have had some mixed experiences with theists, but it wouldn’t be right to say I detest them. And I’ve seen mindfulness be useful to theists, that is certainly true.

    Nerida
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer
    edited October 20

    Everything.
    If you strip it down, which is what the mystics do, beyond the image and symbolism. Every single path is an approach to the ground of being. Al Junayd- 'The colour of water is the colour of the container'
    The language of the different traditions are different cultural and societal attempts to articulate the mysterious ground of being.
    Heart of mysticism- Don't know, mystery. God is just a word we use to describe that ultimate mystery.
    Meister Eckhart- 'There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.” It is only in the eternal now that we find ourselves one with God. And what is mindfulness other than being present in the here and now.

    Obviously religion when it has become institutionalised, and if you read the books literally, they then become aggressive and dogmatic. But in terms of the mystical traditions they are the same but with different words to express. And alot of the spiritual teachers say don't get caught in the forms of religion, and go beyond to the formless. For Meister Eckhart, one must become empty of all forms and images, including those of God. So that the individual can be free, simple and empty just as God is free simple and empty. If you look at Kyoto school of Zen philosophy, they all say that Meister Eckhart's philosophy is basically Buddhist, just with the language of theism.
    Do not get caught up on the language, whether it be Christianity, Islam, or even Buddhism. Don't mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.

    The mystical union is the overcoming of duality, in the same sense in which mindfulness is in overcoming of duality by simply being present.

    lobsterNerida
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer

    I would say that Buddhism is more 'pure' in a sense because it doesn't speak about God, but its not like it itself doesn't get caught up in symbols and forms. In the end for the mystics anyway God is not a something out there, rather it is a ground of reality which we are connected to by being in it in ourselves. We experience ourselves as being one with God. Or, in terms that are much better here, and which KEji Nishitani uses, it is as an experience and a welling up of reality itself, an experience of pure reality as it is. No time, space, just as it is

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Zen is everyday things, nothing mystical/special about it...and when a label is attached eg, mystical or theistical.....it's no longer Zen ... :)

    Before enlightenment, chop wood fetch water
    After enlightenment, chop wood fetch water

    Nothing is being hidden away, it's all in the open....

    Thus have I heard/read ...well according to D.T Suzuki :)

    FinnTheHumanlobster
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Explorer England Explorer
    edited October 20

    Mystical is only what we call it because we believe that there is just a mundane level. But in truth the world simply is that way. In The Way of Zen, Alan Watts highlights how Christian mystics are more likely to make a big song and dance about the experience, whereas Zen are more likely to say its simply doing the dishes or whatever. Its just reality the way it is.

    Nerida
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    I would say that Buddhism is more 'pure' in a sense because it doesn't speak about God, but its not like it itself doesn't get caught up in symbols and forms.

    Yes.
    Many brought-up-as-Buddhists seem to have an idea that Shakyamuni became Godlike. This is not very useful ... maybe in the next life for the casual approach.
    A better word for pure might be skilful. Buddhism can be very deep and skilful but can be as naive and unrealistic as any path used inappropriately/unskilfully ...
    Because of the emphasis and popularity of meditation, we are closer to Gnosis/knowing/potential awakening.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    In the broadest sense, mindfulness is just a method which can be used for a variety of purposes - it depends what assumptions you make. The same is true of meditation.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @FinnTheHuman said:
    Mystical is only what we call it because we believe that there is just a mundane level. But in truth the world simply is that way. In The Way of Zen, Alan Watts highlights how Christian mystics are more likely to make a big song and dance about the experience, whereas Zen are more likely to say its simply doing the dishes or whatever. Its just reality the way it is.

    Yes, they're making different assumptions about the experiences they have. There IS some mysticism in Buddhism, but probably less than other traditions.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited November 10

    @lobster said:
    Many brought-up-as-Buddhists seem to have an idea that Shakyamuni became Godlike. This is not very useful ... maybe in the next life for the casual approach.

    There do seem to be a lot of customs such as “stick the gold leaf on the Buddha for good luck”, as if one, the Buddha can be bribed, and two, the Buddha has supernatural influence.

    Because of the emphasis and popularity of meditation, we are closer to Gnosis / knowing / potential awakening.

    True mystics are rare though, as in those aiming at union with the absolute by turning within. The goals of Buddhism, as in reaching nibbana or cessation through a path of personal transformation, is similar but not the same.

    Its interesting, it may be that by embarking upon the proces of turning within, that one cannot avoid becoming a mystic. So it really depends how much Ramana Maharshi you mix in with your Buddhism, for example.

    adamcrossley
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