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Buddhist Ascetism

In order to attain to the unconditioned state, to extinguish the suffering, illusory life in

favor of the one that leads to nirvana, Buddha employed yogic techniques.  The prelim-

inaries of Buddhist asceticism and meditation are similar to those recommended by Pa-

tanjali's Sutras.  The ascetic should choose a secluded place - in a forest, at the foot of

a tree, in a cave, in a cemetary -  adopt the lotus position, and meditate.   The distin-

tion lies in the lack of any ethical meaning during Buddhist meditation.  "Its aim is

to purge the ascetic's consciousness (the states of consciousness referred to earlier), to

prepare it for loftier spiritual experiences.  Yogic meditation, as it is construed by Bud-

dha in certain passages of the Dighanikaya has as its specific purpose to 'remake' the as-

cetic's consciousness..." (Eliade)


The Buddhist bikkhu (monk), has, as one of the aforementioned preliminaries, the anni-

hilation of the illusions created by a false conception of the 'soul'.  He should under-

mindedness when the dualism caused by thought has ceased to ruffle the surface of the ocean of Truth.  In it, the distinction between the mind, the object and their relationship is transcended.  Samma Samadhi is the last step on the Noble Eightfold Path and a prelude to Nirvana.  But the final step is a large one, from duality to Non-Duality.} Nevertheless, there are further spiritual exercises, called samapattis (attainments).  "Venerable monks, acheive the samapatti that consists in the cessation of all conscious perception.  The bikkhu who has learned this has nothing further to do."  (Ciksasamuccaya, by Santideva)


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