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9.3: Chapter Summary

  • Page ID
    37110
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    As a Buddhist example of the way of mystical quest, the excerpt presents a straightforward prescription for a course of satipatthana meditation as taught in a Theravada meditation center in Rangoon, Burma. Very concrete and specific as it is, it is nevertheless presented as one of the most direct paths to enlightenment: liberation from all that binds one to the suffering of samsara and at-onement with that transcendent mysterious state known as nirvana/nibbana. Stepby-step it covers attitude, posture, breathing, mindful awareness of all that is going on within oneself, focus of attention, how distractions should be handled, and so forth. Little is said of what one is to experience as a result; mostly the emphasis is on mindful attention of what is concretely going on here and now in one's present psychophysical, samsaric state-namely, the state from which one is supposed ultimately to become liberated.

    The Christian example of the way of mystical quest is an account of the Prayer of the Heart from the Eastern Orthodox tradition of spirituality known as hesychasm. Much less a step-by-step prescription than the Buddhist example, this account characterizes the course of meditation as an entry into a dynamic rapport of one's heart with God, focused by means of the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner." Here too some attention is given to attitude, posture, breathing, mindful awareness of all that is going on within oneself, focus of attention, how distractions should be handled, and so forth. Little is said of what one is leaving behind, but much is said of what is anticipated to be the transformation (theosis) of oneself as the Jesus Prayer by divine grace comes to pray itself, and one is said to be taken up into the very presence and life of God/


    This page titled 9.3: Chapter Summary is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Dale Cannon (Independent) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.