Get e-book Deepen Your Practice 17 - Cessation, Observation and Samadhi: Cessation, Observation and Samadhi

Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online Deepen Your Practice 17 - Cessation, Observation and Samadhi: Cessation, Observation and Samadhi file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with Deepen Your Practice 17 - Cessation, Observation and Samadhi: Cessation, Observation and Samadhi book. Happy reading Deepen Your Practice 17 - Cessation, Observation and Samadhi: Cessation, Observation and Samadhi Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF Deepen Your Practice 17 - Cessation, Observation and Samadhi: Cessation, Observation and Samadhi at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF Deepen Your Practice 17 - Cessation, Observation and Samadhi: Cessation, Observation and Samadhi Pocket Guide.

Sustained attention on awareness itself eventually dissolves into Pure Awareness, the Seer. Yoga is healing making whole the self sense suffering from confusion and misunderstanding. Yoga is integration, the natural process of the nervous system when in a healthy environment. Why do we suffer? And by suffering, its important to carefully differentiate physical and physiological pain from psychological and emotional pain.

A tooth ache or a broken bone, influenza or any of a number of unpleasant diseases and conditions are painful, miserable experiences. Experiencing the death of a loved one, or recognizing the amazing amount of suffering humans inflict upon each other can be heart-breakingly painful. Intelligent living and life style choices can eliminate some types of pain see Yoga Sutras, Chapter II , but various types of pain and disease are an inevitable aspect of the human condition.

However, thoughts also have an amazing capacity to inflict pain and suffering and this is the realm addressed in these sutras. How do some thoughts come to be self destructive, or dysfunctional? Why do some people seem immune to mental anguish while other seem totally imprisoned by it. Most of us lie somewhere in between, moving in and out of suffering like the sun moving in and out of the clouds. The Sanskrit word for suffering is dukha and literally means to be stuck. It comes from the root kha meaning axle and refers to a wheel that is either no longer turning, or wobbling and off center giving a bumpy unpleasant ride.

  1. Description:.
  2. Samadhi: The Numinous And Cessative in Indo-tibetan Yoga (S U N Y Series in Religious Studies).
  3. Sahaja Nirbikalpa Samadhi - Discussion -

It complements the Sanskrit word sukha which means free or flowing, or easy as a well greased, well centered wheel flows smoothly over the road. When the mental suffering becomes great enough there is often the incentive to take action. Yoga practice can be seen as helping the healthy, integrated components of mind learn how to heal and integrate the dysfunctional ones. These interconnections take the form synaptic linkages structurally, and create a form of coordination and balance functionally. But as we all know, we are all a work in progress, with more than a few regions of dysfunctionality floating around in our mind fields.

Sutras I-6 — I offer further elaboration on these five categories. I-6 pramana, viparyaya, vikalpa.

Patanjali classifies all vrttis into five possible categories further unfolded in the next few sutras. I-7 pratyaksha anumaanaagamah pramaanaani correct or valid knowledge arises through direct perception, inference, and testimony. How do we know something is true, is correct? What really happened? There is a perception, an interpretation and a correct conclusion drawn. This is a neuro-biologically complex process, not a simple one, where at least these three layers are involved.

Patanjali includes three variations on this process. In direct perception an object is perceived and correctly recognized. I see the apple. I hear a Beatles song. I smell the coffee brewing. In inference , there is no direct perception. I see smoke rising in the distance. Although I do not see fire, I can infer its existence from the smoke. I see foot prints in the sand. Although I do not see a dog, I can infer that a dog was walking here. Good trackers are masters of subtle inference. My son told me about seeing a rabbit in the back yard.

I did not see it, cannot infer this from any evidence, but trust his word. Reliable testimony is the third form of uncovering correct knowledge. Our judicial system is quite dependent upon this form of knowing. I-8 viparyayah mithyajnanam atadrupa pratistham wrong understanding arises through misperception, misconception, or some combination of both. As in I-7, there is a perception, interpretation and a conclusion.

But here, the conclusion is wrong or false.

Seeing through the eyes of the Buddha

We make a mistake. The form perceived is misinterpreted, but the truth of the form is available to correct. I see a coil of rope in a corner, but mistake it for a snake. In better light, I recognize the rope. Sometimes our senses fail us. There are times when we do not hear clearly, etc. This can be a very positive and creative process, neutral, or a very dysfunctional process. Here Patanjali is referring to the dreamlessness of deep sleep. In dream sleep, there is mental activity, with cognitions, but the outer world plays a minimal role.

This is a form of imagination. In deep sleep, the mind continues to operate in the background, but in the foreground is emptiness, the absence of activity normally associated with being alive and present in the world. The body also holds memory, like the ability to tie ones shoes, or to play a piece of music. In our neuroscience section, we will look at memory in a bit more detail. The next 4 sutras discuss the first two upayas or spiritual practices that are used to reduce the dysfunctional mind states and increase integration.

They are the alpha and omega, the yin and yang foundational practices of samadhi. Patanjali now introduces the two fundamental practices of life that lead to greater health, well-being and deeper spiritual awakening. Do not be intimidated by the Sanskrit words, as abhyasa and vairagyam are very familiar experiences involving the two basic choices we make in all of our life activities; what do we choose to encourage and nurture, and what do we choose to drop or let go.

Abhyasa , practice, involves the choices we make in how we invest our vital energies, in thought, word and deed. We are asked to consciously choose behaviors and actions that create, sustain, and stabilize a grounded, compassionate and wise state of being. This creates specific neuronal pathways of action and perception that become deeply wired into the brain.

This is not a simple process, as sutra I explains further. Vairagya can be conversely seen as a state of consciously choosing to let go of thoughts, habits and patterns of behavior that perpetuate suffering, in ourselves and others. From a neuroscience perspective, we are inhibiting specific neuronal pathways through our use of will power, in refusing to react to the habits and patterns that are perpetuating fear, anxiety and confusion. Craving, and constantly responding to this, is a classic category here. Vairagya also has levels of depth. As Patanjali introduces these practices in the Samadhi Pada, he is referring to the advanced level of their expression, but even as beginners on the spiritual path, we can see them as expressions of growing maturity.

Behaviors that may have seemed cool as an adolescent are naturally dropped as we become adults. We somehow decide that it would be wise to try yoga or meditation and become invested in growing our practice. Patanjali takes these choices and dives into the moment to moment unfolding our our minds to give birth to a new spiritual being, ourselves. I sa tu dirgha-kala-nairantarya-satkarasevito drdha-bhumih Stability of mind requires continuous practice, over a long period of time, without interruption, and with an attitude of devotion and love. Deeply ingrained habits do not go away overnight, whether in an individual or a society.

The neuronal connections and cultural fields can be strongly wired, especially if they have been repeated over and over. To lay down new neural pathways and weaken the old ones takes time and patience. Devotion and love are required to make sure the new pathways are healthy and not dysfunctional. It is quite easy to react to an unhealthy pattern by creating another unhealthy one. Learning to gently and compassionately see the thought and recognize it for what it is requires discipline and patience.

Meditation practice allows us to see these thought and behavior patterns from a distance, as a witness to them, which is the first step in transforming them. What we pay attention to receives our energy.

Samadhi - Mouni Sadhu

By choosing to not react to our thoughts, but just let them come and go, we are withdrawing from them. We are letting them go. This is vairagyam, described in the next sutra. There are many vrttis floating about the mind field that are triggers for suffering, and they keep returning, even if we let them go, if they have strong roots. That is why patience and persistence are the two key supports. Vairagyam is sustaining a healthy and alert immune system for the mind. I drshtanushravika-vishaya-vitrshnasya vashikara-sanjna vairagyam The control over craving after any experience, whether sensual, psychological or spiritual, is known as dispassion.

These are emotional or limbic responses, that evoke a threat to our existence.

To a self-sense that feels inadequate, there is always something that is threatening, that needs changing. Craving, as we soon find out in life, is a self-perpetuating path of inadequacy and subsequent suffering. Life is what it is happening moment by moment and true happiness is not dependent upon the constantly changing circumstances of life. If I believe that my happiness depends upon this moment being different from what it actually is, I will suffer. Seeing through this delusion is a crucial component of yoga.

The true nature of the Self, the unchanging limitless existence and consciousness, sat — chit — ananda is undisturbed by any and all possibilities life throws our way. With the discipline of vairagya we stop believing the craving thoughts, even if they keep arising. No, my happiness is actually not dependent upon getting rid of Donald Trump! This eventually leads to dispassion towards most craving. The subtle forms are dealt with in the next sutra. The neuroscientific perspective on inhibition offers tremendous insight for yoga students. There is not the inhibiting of the emotional activation which manifests as physiological sensation, but rather inhibiting the next level of neural activity, the story I tell myself that perpetuates the suffering.

Repressing emotional content is not healthy on any level, but recognizing it as it arises, positive, negative or neutral, awakens a meta level of awareness. Then I can use skillful means to help the emotional energies move to a more integrated state. Important note! Vairagyam is not the absence of passion! An integrated self is highly passionate, just not insecure and needy.

My mind may generate wants, needs and desires, but I can see their origin and not turn them into issues of survival. I may want an ice cream cone, but getting one, or not getting one is not a big deal in the overall scheme of things. Or, I have been diagnosed with cancer, which is the last thing I want, and the mind wants to rebel.

At some point in time, I will face the reality of this and do whatever I can, in the world of form to help heal. But in any case, I recognize the undying Nature of the Self, and take refuge there.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Samadhi)

In I, Now that we have abhyasa and vairagyam in out tool box, and this being the Samadhi Pada, Patanjali introduces us to more details on refining our capacity to pay attention to what is arising, using the Sanskrit term samadhi. Samadhi is a flowing and focused mind state balancing alertness and relaxation, abhyasa and vairagyam.

In I — 18, seedless samadhi is introduced where awareness no longer needs anything, any form, to sustain itself.

  • Navigation menu.
  • Godliness from Head to Toe;
  • On the Fly: A Hockey Fans View from the Peg?
  • Crimson Snow: The Last Desperate Days of Imperial Russia (The Serge Series Book 1).
  • « Highlights »?
  • Espai de ioga Girona - Yoga Sutras of Patañjali Chapter 1 and 2- Notes!
  • Archive for the ‘samadhi’ Category.
  • The first stage of the samadhi with support requires attention on the gross or most tangible aspect of the world of form or prakriti. In hatha yoga we use the felt sense of weight, through bone, fluids and gravity to access this level. Confusion here is directly felt as tension in the muscles, connective tissues and joints. Asana practice begins here. The second stage, the subtle body, that is, the breath and all energetic interactions of aliveness can be used for support.

    Included are the physiological processes, lower mind activity such as perception and memory, and higher cognitive functioning such as abstract thought and analysis. Confusion here begins as physiological tension, restricted breathing, digestive tension, and can soon be seen as psychological, in the form of fear, anxiety or anger. Even more subtle forms arise as belief systems and wrong assumptions about life and the nature of the world around us.

    Emotional harmony is fundamental to mental health and well being.

    Yoga Sutras of Patañjali Chapter 1 and 2- Notes

    Pranayama practice begins here. The third level steps back from specific aspects of mind activity all together and explores the pure vibration of the atoms, molecules and cells and the larger organizing principles of the cosmos such as gravity and electro-magnetism. There is a natural harmony in the fundamental functioning of the universe here experienced as pure pleasure or bliss. The samadhi scanner seeks out such confusion and brings vairgayam to help in the resolution. Finally, in the 4th level, the I-am-ness itself is explored.

    In the Samkhya model of creation, this realm is the intelligence underlying the universe, mahat or the higher buddhi, and thus is more subtle, more primal than even the vibration of the bliss level. The samadhi uses this as its last support before finally resolving the need for any support. This leads to the seedless samadhi of I — Here the I-am-ness has resolved and what remains is the radical emptiness of the quantum field, where time, space, and creation appear and disappear instantaneously.

    I bhava-pratyayo videha-prakrti-layaanaam Samadhi can occur spontaneously at rebirth to those who have in previous lives been practicing samadhi at death. Here Patanjali offers a brief acknowledgement of incarnation and the developmental nature of spiritual practice. Thus some may move right into the state of samadhi seemingly without having done the preliminary work.

    The work just happened to be done in previous lives. Or it may arise in adolesence, seemingly out of nowhere, like the experience of Ramana Maharshi. These are attitudes of mind that create a state conducive for awakening. Shraddha, loosely translated as faith, is the full clarity and pleasantness of the mind field. Like a benevolent mother, she protects the yogi, says Vyassa. It is an inner confidence that it is in fact possible to awaken and move out of suffering and confusion.

    Spending time in the company of those who radiate love, compassion and wisdom nurtures this. It builds enthusiasm which leads to virya. Virya, strength, energy, vitality, accumulates with the inner confidence of shraddha and the results of practice. Virya can also be seen as creativity, the power to create, and has traditionally been associated with celibacy. The tantrikas have a different point of view about this. Smrti or memory, mentioned previously in I-6 and I, is recalling states of deep inner peace and clarity as a way to re-stimulate the neuronal circuitry associated with these states and strengthen them.

    The practice of samadhi deepens and further wires the circuitry of the samadhi state. The more time spent here, the easier it becomes to sustain as a natural state. Prajna or wisdom arises through samadhi practice and reinforces our capacity to make intelligent decisions as we go through our daily activities. Intelligent decisions do not lead to negative mind states and further suffering. I tiivra-samvegaanaam aasannah Awakening is near for those whose practice and desire for liberation is intense.

    Abhyasa is mentioned again as intense practice. When accompanied by passion, focused emotional energy, the being is ripe and ready to pop open like a flower bud about to bloom. The emotional energies available for practice vary from student to student. Balance is always a smart path. Now Patanjali introduces the practice of direct experience of the Divine as a means to samadhi.

    This the divine as an alambana or support is seen as the seed of sabija samadhi of sutra I It is complicated, trying to evoke the infinite while still defining something to grasp. I ishvara pranidhaanaad va or by practicing the presence of God. Isvara pranidhana will show up again as one of the three practices of Kriya Yoga in sutra II-1, and as one of the niyamas of the eight limb ashtanga yoga.

    In sutra II — 45 Patanjali repeats that surrender to God leads to perfection in samadhi. The fact that there are six sutras devoted to Ishvara right here in the Samadhi pada indicates how important this is as an aspect of yoga practice. This is the practice known as bhakti or devotional yoga. Samkhya gets a bit convoluted here as the term purusha now has another connotation. Here pursusha refers the divine aspect of an ordinary individual, a person. Thus, from the Sankhya perspective, there are multiple purushas, some enlightened, some not.

    But Ishvara is a special purusha, Divinity in form, without the limitations usually associated with the world of form. I tatra nir-atishayam sarvajna-biijam In him, the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed. I puurveshaam api gurah kaalena an- avachchedaat Ishvara is also the teacher of the ancients, because he is unlimited by time. Ishvara is unlimited in time as well as in knowledge. Patanjali is building the case for the infinite. I tasya vaachakah pranavah He is designated by Om.

    Pranavah means the sacred mantra Om, the sound that contains all sounds, the form that contains all forms. The practice of japa, silently repeating a mantra, in this case Om, is introduced as a way to develop powers of concentration and to help transform distracted and dull mental states into samadhi states of deep clarity and wisdom. The main types of distracted states are described next.

    They are distractions to the mind. Patanjali lists 9 fundamental obstacles to the state of relaxed focal awareness we call samadhi. Here he describes the psychological and physical aspects. In I he will add the emotional piece. But for the beginner doubt prevents a commitment to serious practice. Who knows? Sraddha, faith, given in I is the antidote to doubt.

    Once one has tasted awakening, it requires a powerful sustained effort to sustain. It is easy to feel that one has already accomplished something and thus slack off, distracted by the trivia of daily life. Not today. A physical and mental heaviness. Vairagyam, introduced in I and I, addresses ways to address this obstacle. In sutra II-4 when Patanjali introduces the kleshas, or impediments, we will find raga — attachment, and dvesha — aversion, variations on this theme.

    Unlike in doubt, there is no oscillation. As this relates to yoga practice, it involves wrong notions about practice. There are many more. The harder you try, the worse it gets. In the beginning, samadhi is often neurologically unstable. Abhyasa and vairagya, as mentioned in I — , and Ishvara Pranidhana, are the practices to stabilize the wisdom. Also, in the Vibhuti Pada, Patanjali recognizes this challenge and describes how dharana and dhyana are accompanying practices to samadhi, in what is called samyama.

    Samadhi pada

    I duhkha-daurmanasyaangamejayatva-shvaasa-prashvaasaa vikshepa-saha-bhuvaha Suffering, sour-mindedness, unsteadiness, incorrect inhalation and incorrect exhalation acompany the distractions. How do we recognize the distracted state? Patanjali now lists the emotional components, the energetic expressions, of distraction. Duhkha , suffering , is a very useful Sanskrit word. A well drilled axle hole gives you a smooth ride, sukha. Duhkha has come to mean suffering and all Buddhist teachings begin here. Not gliding through life effortlessly, but being tossed and turned and banged around emotionally. The word sukha will appear when Patanjali describes the nature of a yogic posture in II — I love this word, probably because this state is very familiar to me. Unfulfilled desires, large and small can lead to this pissy, whiny feeling.

    Wiggly limbs : the body expresses mental restlessness by fidgeting. This will definitely interfere with seated meditation. I tat-pratishedhaartham eka-tattvaabhyaasah Constantly creating one-point attention will eliminate these disturbances. Patanjali again uses the term abhyasa , sutras I — I , to indicate long dedicated uninterrupted practice of eka-tattva , one pointedness of mind. Vyasa discusses ekagra citta in his commentary to sutra I Patanjali returns to this again in III as ekagrata parinama.

    The mind becomes purified by friendliness, compassion, joy, and indifference equanimity respectively towards those who are successful, suffering, virtuous and unvirtuous. Patanjali continue the discussion of eliminating the distractions to samadhi consciousness by addressing the emotions. Because the emotions are so crucial to bringing stability to the mind, this is one of the most important sutras. This sutra also is recapitulated in sutra II where pratipaksha bhavanam , cultivating the opposite mind state, is reintroduced as a means to overcoming negative emotions.

    These are practices of the heart and are very important in the Buddhist teachings as well. Friendliness is the easiest and most natural positive emotion to cultivate. We all know what it is like to have a friend, to feel the warmth and openness that comes when we are with a friend. Compassion goes right to the heart. When we see others suffering we may either turn away to avoid the depths of feeling, or perhaps take some cruel delight if it happens to be an enemy that is suffering.

    Choosing to remain compassionate karuna in the face of suffering keeps us in our hearts and grounded in being. Being compassionate towards ourselves is also an important and challenging practice. Virtuous people may make us feel inadequate, less than worthy, insecure in our selves, if we are prone to engage in comparison. Expressing joy or delight mudita in their virtuousness allows us to touch our own joy, our own virtue and thus strengthen our own joyful, open-hearted self sense.

    Seeing injustice can easily evoke anger and fear. The Sanskrit word upeksha literally means indifference. Here, indifference to injustice does not mean inactivity See Bhagavad Gita but a state of non reactivity so that anger and fear do not arise to disturb the mind field with a torrent of negative emotional energy. The Buddhists translate upeksha upekka in Pali as equanimity. Again the point is to be present to injustice without falling into emotional turmoil. Then appropriate action dharma can be taken with a clear mind and open heart.

    I pracchhardana-vidhaaranaabhyaam vaa praanasya Or by sustaining the state experienced during soft relaxed exhalation and the natural pause after exhalation has finished. Patanjali is discussing ways to stabilize and relax the mind and he lists several options. In I, the breath is used.

    There are two natural pauses in the breathing cycle; one after inbreath and before outbreath, and one after outbreath and before inbreath. These may or may not be conscious and relaxed. Opening and releasing the exhalation relaxes the mind and after a relaxed exhalation, the following pause is also relaxed and open.

    This is directly tied in with the emotions as they determine the flow of the breath. See I above. I vishayavatii vaa pravrttir utpannaa manasah sthiti-nibandhanii Or, focusing on a subtle sensation brings steadiness of the mind. Patanjali uses the term manas rather than citta as manas is where the information from the senses first appears.

    Modern neurobiology recognizes that differing regions of the brain and sets of neural circuits govern different types of brain function and Patanjali concurs. Manas refers to the part of the brain that is always comparing, contrasting, labeling and thus it can get very busy.

    To notice subtlety requires slowing down, quieting down, allowing space. To attend at this level of sensitivity requires patience and persistence and thus naturally cultivates a relaxed, one pointed mind state. Notice the root stha , stable or steady, is used again, as sthiti. I vishokaa vaa jyotishmatii Or, by focusing on the sorrowless luminous sattvic qualities of mind. It is described as joyful and luminous. It is the beginning of recognizing the realm of light, more subtle than that of fluid flow. I- 38 svapna-nidraa-jnaanaalambanam vaa Or the mind acquires stability by taking support from knowlege arising in sleep and dreams.

    As sensitivity awakens, information from the higher planes of consciousness begin to appear in the dreams. As the cells become energized by practice, their capacity to communicate often first emerges in the dream state and thus clues to deepen the practice appear here. I yathaabhimata-dhyaanaad vaa Or the mind acquires stability by meditating on anything that works for you. Vocal and Mental Function. Honen stated in the Senchakushu , "The recitation of Nembutsu is foremost among practices for birth in the Pure Land. Nembutsu is superior, and other practices are inferior.

    This is because into the Name flow all of Amida's countless virtues. That is to say, in the Name are contained all the merits and virtues of Amida's inner enlightenment, such as the four kinds of wisdom, the three bodies, the ten powers, and the four kinds of fearlessness. Also contained in His name are all the merits and virtues of His external attributes, such as major and minor physical characteristics, the emanation of light, preaching of the Dharma, and the benefit He brings to sentient beings.

    For these reasons, the merits of His name are incomparably 'superior. For this reason they are called 'inferior. This may be likened to an ordinary house. The name, 'house,' includes all of its constituent elements; the ridgepoles, the beams, the rafters, the pillars -- but the parts themselves -- 'ridge pole,' 'beam,' 'rafters,' and 'pillars' -- do not denote the total 'house. It must be for this reason that Amida Buddha cast aside the inferior and embraced the superior in establishing the practice corresponding to His Original Vow.

    The superiority of the recitation of Nembutsu is validated not only by the fact that the name of Amida Buddha encompasses all virtues, but that the name and the person of Amida Buddha are one and the same, and that the recitation of his name means "to possess and receive all merits. In A Reply to Taro Sanehide in Ogo 10 Honen stated, "We must not reflect on the amount of our evil passions; do not think about our sins, just recite Namu Amida Butsu out loud, and believe that in accordance with our voices we will be born in the Pure Land without fail.

    Question : Some practitioners of Nembutsu daily recite the Name audibly, while others repeat it in their hearts while counting its numbers. Which is preferable? The Meditation Sutra states, " The recitation of Nembutsu means to speak aloud the name of Amida Buddha, and if the voice is audible, it is deemed "reciting the Nembutsu in a loud voice. Both "Nembutsu with the Three Devotional Hearts sanjin " and " anjin the Steadfast Heart and kigyo practice; the recitation of Nembutsu " are usually regarded as if they were two wheels of a vehicle, but here they do not imply that one is prepared with the Steadfast Heart prior to the vocalization of Nembutsu.

    The recitation of Nembutsu espoused by Honen, while not negating Nembutsu with the Three Devotional Hearts, implies that the "voice" in Nembutsu results in cultivation of the "mind or heart. When Honen stated, " It can be said that the essence of the recitation of Nembutsu is described as vocalization resulting in the cultivation of the mind. That having been said, it is clearly not a denial of the fact that the sincere recitation of Nembutsu is the practice of the Original Vow of Amida Buddha. It means not to vocalize Nembutsu because one possesses the Devoted Heart meditation on Amida Buddha , but to attain the Devoted Heart as a result of vocalization of the name of Amida Buddha, which results in the cultivation of unshakable faith in Birth.

    It need not be said that the practice of the recitation of Nembutsu espoused by Honen is elaborated and based on the premise that meditative practice and the recitation of Nembutsu are one and the same,12 as was commented on by Honen in the Senchakushu. The Nembutsu taught by Honen is the vocal practice of Nembutsu. However, according to the Daigo Version of the Biography of Honen Shonin , it is known that Honen himself attained the state of samadhi through the recitation of Nembutsu.

    Seishibo has transmitted this fact.


    To have attained the Recitation Samadhi means that Honen did not personally and aggressively pursue this goal, but that the continual recitation of Nembutsu resulted in the natural realization of samadhi without conscious intent. Through the attainment of the Recitation Samadhi, Honen saw both Amida Buddha and the adornments of the Pure Land, as taught in the section of the Meditation Sutra describing the thirteen types of meditation with the Focused Mind.

    It is crucial that Honen was able to attain visualization of these objects, deepening the meaning of Nembutsu recitation in the absence of meditation. Question : If the Meditation Samadhi is to be called samadhi , it is samadhi. Recitation by an unfocused mind is not samadhi. Why the name, Recitation Samadhi? Answer : There are two meanings in the recitation of Nembutsu. Even if it were mere recitation, to enter a meditation hall of practice, to hope to visualize Amida Buddha, to rid oneself of illusory thoughts, and to practice the recitation of Nembutsu with heroic effort -- all have the significance of samadhi.

    There is justice for samadhi in the recitation of Nembutsu. There is also justice in not entering a meditation hall of practice; if recitation is practiced with concentration, one naturally attains non-thought samadhi. With the accumulation of merit and virtue, one will attain the visualization of Amida Buddha naturally. At this moment one's samadhi is awakened, and this state is called the Nembutsu Samadhi. Leaving the issue of Meditation Samadhi aside, it is on record that whether or not it is possible to attain samadhi through the recitation of Nembutsu while one's mind is distracted is open to question.

    The answer lies in the fact that there are two points of significance in the Recitation Samadhi -- within the meditation hall of practice and outside of the hall of practice -- both are ways of attaining samadhi and visualizing Amida Buddha. The period in which one concentrates on the recitation of Nembutsu causes one to attain non-thought samadhi.

    This is truly the Recitation Samadhi through the Nembutsu Recitation. The writer assumes that it is valid to consider the contents of the attainment of such a holy state to be within the context of the profundity of Nembutsu recitation. However, the late Koshiro Tamaki stated,16 " It is an analysis rich in suggestion. However, although this analysis may be appropriate in reference to the deep religious experience of Honen, it would not be appropriate as an analysis of Honen's thought or practice.

    This is because the religious experience of Honen's Recitation Samadhi cannot cover his entire teachings of Nembutsu. Honen did not emphasize the profundity of the Nembutsu Recitation. Honen compiled the Senchakushu at the behest of the former chief minister of State, Fujiwara Kanezane, systematizing his personal practice of Nembutsu thought. It is said that the compilation of the Senchakushu was achieved in the state of samadhi.