When you reach a psychological, social, spiritual impasse or bottleneck, you’re usually short of time and likely want to push forward or give up completely. That’s precisely the moment to take a little time to listen to the sound of silence, to the internal voice or higher power. Setting aside the problems for a little while allows you to hear possible creative solutions. Read More..
Listening by contemplating on the source of the ear organ is the recommended practice for this era because only sound can be heard through walls and all around. You can practice all hours of the day; even while you’re asleep or deep in a dream, you can hear sounds, including the sound of silence. The sound of silence is a sound with a source in you who hear. You first notice sounds in movement and stillness, then you realize that the object of sound neither comes into being nor ceases. Instead of listening to the wisdom of others, why not listen to that which listens? Contemplate: who is it that listens? Listen until even listening ceases. Read More..
Once upon a time, the wisest soul around lovingly gathered his top students. All beings who became enlightened through 25 practices circled around the Buddha one balmy evening. The Buddha Shakyamuni knew that his students have valuable lessons to share with those of the present and future, so he asked each: “Tell me how you entered meditative absorption and actualized your potentiality for wisdom and compassion.” Read More..
Why supplement the practice of listening with a practice around the Shurangama mantra? In general, some spiritual humps are difficult to overcome on your own. The Shurangama mantra is the lever that bounces you right over any obstacle. You can memorize this long mantra and recite it regularly, you can… Read More..
The Shurangama mantra in Chinese and Sanskrit, then in Chinese and English transliteration of a version extant in Chinese. Read about the benefits of the Shurangama mantra here. … Read More..
If you expect to evolve spiritually, you must exert yourself. If you expect miracle to strike simply because you willed it, it’s not likely to happen. You must cultivate the terra firma of your soul so it flowers fruits. You must cleanse the vessel that carries the messages of wisdom and compassion. You must polish the instrument that ignites and channels the transcendental. According to the Shurangama Sutra, a Mahayana Buddhist text that is revered for its teachings on meditation a long and powerful Buddhist mantra, here are four ways to dig deep into the soil of your soul, to bath your messenger, and to make your physical instrument for practice shine. Read More..
Where is the divine Source? If the Source is a father figure God in the sky for you, you may resolutely proclaim that God is UP there. If you’ve been meditating to the point that you’re just blissed out and could careless about the world, you may lift your gaze from your navel and slowly utter the words, “In here.” If you’re a nature lover who is fond of hiking, the whistles of the leaves, and the sounds of the birds, you may claim that the Source is everywhere in nature, in creatures large and small. What’s the right answer? Is there a right answer? Well, let me recount seven incorrect answers for you first. Read More..
What types of sounds do you tend to notice? Pleasant sounds or unpleasant sounds? Music or noise? Loud sounds or white noise? A preeminent Chinese Buddhist teacher, Master Jiaoguang, developed some illuminating and useful categories of sounds for people who practice listening as a meditation. Check and see if you… Read More..
1. Listen for the sounds around you now: people’s voices, TV, music, cars, chirps, breeze. . . Stop what you’re doing. For three seconds, still yourself and hear what’s around you. 2. Listen for the sound of silence. Turn off any noise in your control. At a time when all’s… Read More..
Part IV of Meditating on Sounds: Listening Your Way to Enlightenment An excerpt from Master Jiaoguang’s treatise on The Shurangama Sutra: As for the times when there is only stillness and silence, the nature of hearing feels even more boundless. Listening makes evident the entity that can hear. When we can… Read More..