About Meditation: Learning Wonder of “Buddha’s Meditation” (1)

New York, N.Y. After my big injury last October, I have decided to double the daily meditation time Then, I have noticed something.

First of all it is about how to eliminate pain. When meditating, usually I concentrate my mind to various parts of the body, but when I reach the painful place, I will observe the pain prudently while imagining its size, depth, color and so on. Then, I after about 1 to 2 minutes, I Move the concentration of my mind to another place. Then the pain that was there before I notice disappears. I would like to mention this is the important advantages of meditation for me. Key benefits from meditation are as follows my experience

  1.  Sleep time is shortened. 1 hour of meditation is equivalent to 3 hours of deep sleeping time. 
  2.  The flashing of intuition will occur more easily. Intuition becomes sharp. 
  3. Sometimes one will be able to see something otherwise invisible. 
  4. The answer to the matters or questions sometimes comes quickly. There are times when an answer comes out when you meditate. Also times suddenly comes.
  5. Pain and suffering, whether physically or spiritually, are reduced. Also, sickness may improve, but this is not the purpose of meditation. 

When I was the busiest periods of  with my work in the 1980s, I heard often from a number of people  that There is a meditation teaching that Buddha himself taught, The Meditation technique that Buddha himself taught.   At that time I had been “meditating” for many years, but too many people talked about this: “meditation of Buddha’s, so I thought that something has meant to try at this time of my life.  I heard at the Dojyo, teaching camp, one cannot read books, cannot write notes, of course no greetings and conversations, one cannot interact with people. It is a ten-day course of silence retreat for attendees who keep meditating for 12 hours a day while as if living alone,  talking to no one only within himself under the skin of himself. All meals, accommodations, teachings are completely free. I wanted to go right away, but my obligations kept me away. One day suddenly the desire got so strong, I abandoned all the work and went. The dojo was in Berkshire, Massachusetts. Everyone sits for 12 hours every day from 4 o’clock in the morning (45 minutes meditation and 15 minutes break). Eve for me who was a meditator for a long time, it was very hard and painful. When the third day came, my body hurt so much and evil spirit came in to myself and stab me all over my back. I wanted to run away. But I did endure. The fourth day was amazing! just revelation! I LEARNED that day the splendor of this meditation. Then, on the ninth day, we were able to BREAK a “holy silence” and talked with people for the first time. Everyone was crying that day. I talked with the roommate for the first time.

I THANKED TO MYSELF THAT I DID NOT RUN AWAY. 

After that, I participated in this 10 – day meditation course 4 times. This is THE meditation called Vipassana, a method of observing breath, observing the body, bringing to your full mind concentration with your own breath. 

In the capital city of Burma (now Myanmar), Yangon. In the old meditation center there, There was a recorded documents that the ALL names of the person who had studied and taught AFTER THE Buddha’s passing. This teaching continued there for thousands of years, handing down from teachers to students, AS IS, the method taught by Shakamuni Buhdda himself before 2500 years ago. The Hindu missionary Satya Narayan Goenka (Gwenka) spread this “Vipassana meditation” to the world. 

Professor Goenka was suffering from a headache and he went anywhere in the world but no doctor was not able to heal him. One day, walking in the back road of Yangon, Mr. Goenka notices an old sign called a meditation dojo and he went in. There was a direct descendent of the Buddha’s teaching, called U Ba Kin (became later Minister of Finance of Burma) who was teaching this meditation. Mr. Goenka entered as his disciples and studied for over 30 years. When Mr. Goenka’s mother felt in sick in Bombay, Mr. Goenka went back to Bombay to teach this meditation method and taught her mother and friends ten days as in the dojo. Ten days later, they all said, “Please teach us again this wonderful teaching. We never had before, we will take care of all new students, their food and lodging as well”. And then again Mr. Goenka taught the meditation ten days, the same thing happened, teaching the 10th days again and again. Repeated many times. The students expanded, and by 1970s they were over 1000. American hippies who studied there this meditation at the time brought this teaching to USA and to the West. As his Mother and friend did the first time, “Vipassana meditation” has a tradition that the former students take care of new students in any of the dojos in the world.  And it is still operated all free in the world. In this way, “Vipassana meditation” was spread to the world. Even now, even after Professor Goenka died (September 29, 2013), there are dojo in more than 70 countries around the world and are operated as the same way as the first time in Bombay with his mother. In Japan, there are centers in Kyoto prefecture and Chiba prefecture. (Following next issue March 24 issue)

Originally published as Vol. 18 in Weekly Biz, March 17, 2018; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz

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