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Unread July 23rd, 2006, 11:05 PM
Chate Sivasomboon Chate Sivasomboon is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy

Hi Healer and all

Practicing of Samadhi into a deep state, and experiencing separation of awareness from an object of awareness, like fear, pain or seeing our body as if it is another object equal to the surrounding objects, is definitely taught in Buddhism, especially in the Forest monk tradition of Thailand. One monk says “as if there are two minds or two cittas”, while the other says “see our own feelings with a sense of separation like that of oil and water.”

When I first experienced separation of awareness from fear, I didn’t know what it was until I read a book by one of the masters of the Forest tradition. But I didn’t continue practicing deep Samadhi, since I am not endowed with this ability. I got it serendipitously. Like you say, this special ability is endowed to some people only, like that of a great violinist or a champion tennis player. The Buddhist commentary texts written a thousand years ago acknowledged this point. That is why there must be the other way for people who can’t cultivate deep Samadhi, that is the way of direct Mindfulness.

“ I do not practice the Buddhist technique. I actually find it emotionally painful, and not because of its exposure element.” : I think you mean that you do not practice the direct mindfulness method of Buddhism. “I actually find it emotionally painful.”: Well this direct mindfulness method is usually mentioned as a parched and dry method, especially by Samadhi-first schools. The main problem of this direct Mindfulness method is that the real mindfulness state is difficult to establish, making practitioners fixedly entangle into various emotional states, absorbing into emotional states and struggling against them. This is a wrong practice. Those with Samadhi power can rise above an emotional state much more easily. Mindfulness when practice well, generates a sense of well-being.

But in reverse, Mindfulness, when practice well can also lead into a deep Samadhi. Usually most cultivate Samadhi in a forward fashion. The mindfulness-led Samadhi is a kind of backward method. In Buddhism, Samadhi can be sustained when its various opposing mind states do not appear. Mindfulness can make you discern or identify a mind state which is a Samadhi nemesis, and drop it away, then the mind will enter Samadhi by itself.

A moment of separation can also occur to those who practice direct Mindfulness. I have attested to this. Many years after my first separation, I experienced another separation when I was talking to someone and I recognized that I felt uneasy, suddenly the mind separated into stillness, and amazingly, all the spoken words flowed through me without attached meanings. They were just only sounds and I could choose to comprehend them or not. A monk whom I heard of recently, after practicing mindfulness, his mind is always flipped into stillness, brightness and well-being all the time when mindfulness occurs, (but this is considered a hindrance in Vipassana.)

In Buddhism, who will do which method of meditation, depends on one's own predilection which was described in the ancient commentary texts but I don’t know if it was accurate. Not every one can do Samadhi, and not every one can do direct Mindfulness. I hope one day, Psychology of Spirituality can elucidate these individual differences and can prescribe a particular method of practice or treatment for each person, like that of gene therapy in Medicine.

Healer, I like you comments; you are a great practioner and a great obeserver. You hit at the right point when questioning about the Mindfulness practice earlier in you posts. I try to explain to others what it is and how it works, since many will go this way. I hope one day you will reach the state of sustained mental separation in dalily life, with a free-floating and bright awareness, detached from all perceptions.

Happiness to all.

Last edited by Chate Sivasomboon; July 25th, 2006 at 11:28 PM.
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