When Practice Merges with Every Moment

Buddha Meditation Pose
While there are all sorts of meditation techniques out there, the Ecstatic Buddhist understands that one is not really “meditating” until the “signs of absorption” have been engaged, such that one is able to drop all techniques and rest in bliss, joy and ecstasy.

My contemplative brother, Jeffrey Brooks, puts it this way:

One of the other things people do not seem to get is the technique is just meant to get one to the calm and still mind of the second jhana. Once one is there, then one must learn how to sustain that calm and still mind without the technique. Once one learns how to just maintain the calm and still mind without the technique, then one just dives ever deeper into the Samadhi states. This is of course without the technique.

So, friends, I do not promote meditation techniques of any kind, because I know techniques are just for beginners. There is no, “powerful technique.” Those who sell “powerful techniques” never seem to know what Samadhi is or what it is about. So, forget the techniques. Just meditate to the calm and still mind without the technique, and sustain that, then dive ever deeper into the Samadhi.

The “Factors of Absorption” gradually consume our being, such that we “become meditated” throughout every moment of every day and night.

The Ecstatic Buddhist meditates upwards of three hours each day, as though all of life is a meditation retreat.  We meditate into the night hours, in fact, as lucidity provides opportunity to experience the non-material planes.  The idea is to become completely saturated in absorption.  It may take a year, two years, three years or more… but the persistent immersion in meditative absorption transforms the contemplative from a “normal” state of neurosis to one of tranquility and equanimity.

At a certain point, the Ecstatic Buddhist looks back on his or her practice, and there is the direct realization that practice has merged with life. It has become automatic, like breathing. The “jhana nimittas” that once led us into ever-deepening states of absorption have become the prime filter through which we perceive this existence.

When we accept that our life has irretrievably transformed in line with long-term saturation in meditative absorption, we see clearly that we must re-learn how to get along in the world. It is almost like learning how to walk again, how to talk again, how to keep ourselves clean and odor-free. Habitual expressions (for instance) of fear, anger and judgment are called into constant question, and we are challenged to let go of these painful behaviors in exchange for something more calm and restful.

Again, learning how to engage the world from the perspective of Samadhi-saturation is not something that happens overnight.

In fact, it may take the rest of one’s life to burn off the accumulated karma that brought us to begin our practice in the first place. We no longer need those defensive survival strategies, but they are not so easy to release.

The good new is, saturation in meditative absorption makes it an automatic release process — we literally have no choice but to engage a program of behavioral change designed to best support the psychological, emotional and physical transformation initiated by saturation in Samadhi.

As we are all different beings with different backgrounds, different genetic combinations, different beliefs and different personalities, there is no set path to follow here. All we need to know is, the bliss, joy and ecstasy of meditative absorption offer perfect guidance in every circumstance. It may look ugly in the moment — or it may look sublime — but in the long run, this “inner guru” never lets us down, never abandons us, never abuses us.

We just need to stick with our practice each day, allow the years to roll by, wake up to the fact of our irrevocable transformation, learn how to live with it… then, when it is time, share with others from this place.

That is the beginning and end of it.

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5 responses to “When Practice Merges with Every Moment

  1. Hello Michael, and thank-you for writing yet another excellent discourse on Ecstatic Buddhism. This blog reminds me of how few people write today on this very important subject of mysticism. Do you think that you and I and a few other members of the JSG might just be the only mystics alive today? It is starting to look like that.

    Love to all, Jhananda

  2. My belief (for what it’s worth!), Jeffrey, is that there are genuine mystics in the world… but they are not interested in talking about it, either due to some “code of silence” or just a lack of motivation. My reason for this belief is that there must be others like me who gave rise to absorption almost by accident — people who may have had previous lives as contemplatives, who had early-life awakenings and are now experiencing spontaneous jhana nimittas, possibly through some sort of consciousness practice that is not known for leading to deeper states of absorption — and they are just living their lives somewhere, hopefully without pathologizing their “condition” and ending up on psychotropic drugs or in a padded room.

    I am finding, however, that it is very difficult for those who have a meditation practice to give up the trappings of their given tradition, such that that are able to fully embrace the ecstatic without being frightened by the usual dire warnings against it. We’re up against a structure that has been in place for thousands of years.

    Blessings,
    Michael

  3. Pingback: Practice: Like Breathing « AntiSniveler

  4. Nice Site! Buddhism teaches us every things!

  5. Yes, Michael, there are many mystics alive today, but it seems none of them are empowered in any contemplative tradition, or otherwise they would be writing and teach about a path that leads to bliss, joy and ecstasy. I also agree that some of these people could go a lot deeper if they were willing to consider that their religion, and/or contemplative tradition and/or teacher was the very obstacle to greater depth.

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