‘Against Belief’: Mindfulness Meditation (satipatthana bhavana) as Empirical Method
Posted on August 5th, 2014

Sugunasiri, Suwanda H.J

Establishing of Mindfulness (satipaññhàna ) is the methodology specifically developed by the Buddha towards Nibbàna. Taking the very small opening segment – Mindfulness of Breathing, of this Discourse, this paper explores its methodology, not however as a spiritual activity but as a scientific method to arrive at knowledge empirically. The opening descriptive, and critical study, is followed by a discussion of a few related theoretical and practical issues. As part of the former is introduced the concept of ‘psycheme’, and regarding the latter, a few thoughts regarding the usefulness of the method for the western scientist – both at the professional and the personal levels, are introduced. The paper proposes that Science and a proposed Buddhianscience engage in a ‘Spiritual Interaction’, by way of bringing together Buddhologists and Scientists in a formal way.

Full Article http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items12/against%20belief.pdf

6 Responses to “‘Against Belief’: Mindfulness Meditation (satipatthana bhavana) as Empirical Method”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Zen Buddhism is resurging in the Western world. There was an article in the DRUDGE Report some months ago of a cover story on Newsweek. The cover of that edition was “Mindfulness” . The article starts as follows and I paraphrase:

    A person picks a raisin and holds it with her fingertips. She looks at the raisin and studies it. She closes her eyes and concentrates on the texture of that raisin as she roles it around her fingers. Gently she places it in her mouth. She moves the raisin in her mouth feeling and tasting the raisin. She becomes aware it has a stem. she realizes it was once a grape. She gently bites into the raisin while fully concentrating only on that act. She slowly breathes in and out as she tastes the raisin and fully appreciates its flavor and texture. All other thoughts are blocked out in her mindful concentration of this single act. She swallows the raisin while maintaining her controlled breathing. She opens her eyes.

    I took this little example and applied to my daily life. I noticed how busy my mind is and often completely removed from what I am doing. But when I practiced this version of mindfulness, or to be in the present and aware of the act one is doing the emotional baggage of my busy mind melted away. I found that whatever I did I did well and in full completion.

    Later on I gave it thought and realized there is a middle ground. One cannot be so concentrated on what one is doing that one is unaware that the house in on fire. I had to reach a balance of being mindful of my actions while being aware of what is happening around me. I then noticed that I am more in the present than anytime before. The most important aspect of mindfulness is the control of breath.

  2. AnuD Says:

    People who are not spiritually advanced can practice telepathy too even though it may be not that advanced as an advanced meditator would do. There are lot of places in the West, search in the computer and see, which teaches how to achieve telepathic ability. In that they ask us to practice breathing meditation and there after to practice chiththanu Passana and scan your around your world. That is among your relatives friends etc.

    When this article says that less advanced Elder Sangha member Anuruddha explaining the stages Buddha’s passing away, what I understand is that minds of each other can be be super imposed to read the other’s mind. This ability was the highest in Lord Buddha while Arahant monks had that the ability stronger than the that of others.

    In Science we learn that the brain, eye and the object (mental or physical) – all three are needed for creating a thought. That argument can be elaborated and could say that for one who developed the mind exponentially such a Samyak Sambuddha, the whole universe could be seen as one “thought”.

  3. AnuD Says:

    Scientific method and null hypothesis etc are useless in some scientific discoveries. In theoretical physics it is the mathematics, which is related only to probabilities, are used to predict things and those things are tested later when the world is technologically advanced. Probabilities are simply hypothetical. Thought experiments are one such example.

    Meditation should be the method to understand things that can not be understood through technological advancement.

  4. Nanda Says:

    Modern medical science is run by pharmaceutical mafia. They simply want to sell drugs.
    For example, what is the “normal” sugar level for diabetes ? Did they research a population of at least 1 million healthy people more than that level to disprove that they are not healthy ?
    It is the same when it comes to cancer causes and other complication causes. They simply hide the facts.
    Even other sciences are getting corrupted.
    Whole world is run by corruption, Rajapakses are 200% honest people when compared to corruption in science.

  5. Nanda Says:

    Mindfulness when practiced properly alerts you when defilements arise, if you have the right view. If you kill mindfully, you will at least make sure it is not cruel since your right view always act in the opposite way. People without right view kill mercilessly even when they are mindful. For example, Jihadist suicide attackers are mindful but their wrong view put them in a huge misery after death than seven virgins they wish. Their mindfulness is born out of desire and blind faith to a book. Their Halal method of killing is mindful but so cruel.
    So, “against belief” slogan shall be changed to “against wrong belief”.

  6. douglas Says:

    With due respect to your exhaustive analysis of this Buddha’s teaching of “Satipatthana”, I must tell you how this was taught to me by my grand -mother:’

    She used to tell me: ” Karana hema wedakma, sihyen, buddhiyen karapan; Umbata kawara dakawat waradinne nehe”

    So I practice it in anything I do and so far, thanks to her(now dead and gone) everything turns out to be good for me and others.

    Of course, later I knew that is what Buddha had taught; ” BE MINDFUL AND ALSO AT THE SAME TIME USE YOUR WISDOM (GAANA)”. That is my “SATIPATTHANA”.

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