Thursday, June 01, 2006

Some Recent Thoughts on Buddhism

Many of the core principles of my DBT group therapy are derived from Eastern and Buddhist meditation and mindfulness practices adapted specifically to help people with borderline personality disorders. So, in addition to the specific things I've been doing for my therapy, I have been getting back into my meditation practices and reading/studying Buddhism. I'm currently reading Awakening to the Sacred by Lama Surya Das, my favorite Buddhist writer. So far, he's written many times about mystical experiences, both in Buddhist oral/written tradition and that he and followers around him have experienced. While he brings these stories up in relation to both individuals having mystical experiences while meditating and experiences had in the presence of people who are supposably the reincarnation of famous Lamas. While he never gives a very concrete answer about the latter, he does write about the former that all his teachers told him to just keep meditating without trying to really examine or recreate or getting stuck in that experience. Ok, I understand that is how one is supposed to deal with that experience. But my question is "Is it real?" Or is it just mass delusion? Or a result of long periods of meditation? Or maybe fasting? Is it real or just a delusion?

(Yes, I am well aware that his answer is meant to discourage this kind of questioning, but I still question. Sue me.)

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