Excerpts from the Introduction to: “Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond,” by Ajahn Brahm
During meditation we should not develop a mind that accumulates and holds on to things. Instead, we should develop a mind that is willing to let go, to give up all the burdens we carry like so many heavy suitcases. In meditation unload as much baggage as you can. Think of duties and achievements as heavy weights pressing upon you. Abandon them freely without looking back. This attitude of mind that inclines to giving up will lead you into deep meditation.
Meditators are like birds that soar through the sky and rise to the peaks. It is on such summits of perception that meditators will understand, from their own direct experience, what we call “mind” and the nature of what we call “self,’ “God,” “the world,” “the universe,” the whole lot. It’s there that they become enlightened – not in the realms of thought, but on the soaring summits of silence within their mind.
“Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond” is a guided tour through the world of timeless Buddhist rapture. It describes how meditation literally implodes into the supreme bliss of the jhānas and how such states of letting go lift the veil of our fives senses, to reveal the awesome world of the mind, the magic inner garden where enlightenment is reached.
In the Mahāsaccaka sutta (MN 36) the Buddha relates, “I considered:… ‘Could that [jhāna] be the path to enlightenment?’ Then following on that memory, came the realization, ‘That is the path to enlightenment.’”
Image: detail of a photo by Simon Berger (Unsplash)
Oh, to have a blank mind!!! So many worries right now. I am tempted to buy “Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond”– is it something easy to read because I will be very occupied this week. Thank you for posting. Beautiful post card. Maybe one day a painting will appear!
Hi Ellen, sorry to hear you’re so stressed, a ‘blank’ mind seems impossible (remember the space between thoughts) and I’d say, for you, right now, the book is not an easy read except that there are many moments of insight in the introduction and early pages – you need immediate release. Yes, the colour relationships in the photo image using that pale yellow/orange as a starting point are an inspiration.
Well, right now reading The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thay. Since he is the only one that calms me down enough to breath properly, maybe I should stick with him and make him “my guy”. Thanks for your feedback and concern.
I just read parts of a summary of The Miracle of Mindfulness on Amazon, there’s certainly something about Thay’s presence… the quality of quietude
He was totally at peace and full of love even coming a country with the Vietnam War. I feel him with me when I meditate. I got involved with him right before he died. He feels closer to me now than before. Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace prize. But he lived with higher prizes than that. He exuded peace and reverence. Yes, the quality of quietude.
Thanks for bringing this to mind… I hadn’t realized something about Thay until right now and our online dialogue; it’s a loving presence in the background, always there. I looked in Google and found this quote:
“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died.”
Yes, I can hear him say that.