We had a nice, clear, cool sitting despite severe weather at the end of the year. Yesterday I watched an NHK Educational TV program on “Man and AI, the Future at Hand Now.” Raymond Kurzweil mentioned connecting human brains with computers to expand their intelligence. Hawking talked about emigrating to another planet. How about the costs and complications of those things, while we have a lot of hungry and angry people here now?
Aren’t they boxed-in, karma-caught thinking patterns – egocentric speculation? All humans have the problems of the Four Sufferings (birth, sickness, aging, death) and Eight Sufferings (the previous four plus not acquiring the desired, parting from the beloved, meeting with the hated, and in short the five aggregates rampant). Actually the last noted includes all sufferings as one and its world is conditioned by the five aggregates.
The Buddha said that we cannot reach the end of the world by walking. Only by stopping, sitting, and stilling karma, can we reach, reorient, renounce it, thus reaching nirvana and bodhi (awakening) there. Nirvana was often equated with nirodha (cessation), which can be a-nimitta, markless, a-panihita, desireless, or suňňa, emptiness. So, nirvana can be markless, desireless, or emptiness as we witness in samādhi or samāpatti.
We have the Holy Eightfold Path, Seven Awakening Limbs, and Six Perfections as practice paths, all of which can be put into the Three Learnings, whose essential part is the Samādhi Limb of striving, mindfulness, and samādhi, or the One Practice of the Buddha Dharma or Buddha Seal, i.e, sitting meditation, by which the Buddha attained unsurpassed awakening in unconditioned peace, awakening all, and attained Parinirvana, Complete Peace.
Note 1: Samādhi is concentration (single-pointedness of mind with forms: rūpa-jhāna), which can be of four different stages and quality as in the following:
2: Samāpatt(absorption without forms: arūpa- jhāna ) is usually listed as follows:
5th jhāna: infinite space (Pali ākāsānaňcāyatana,Skt.ākāśānantyāyatana)
6th jhāna: infinite consciousness (viňňāṇaňcāyatana, vijňānāntyāyatana)
7th jhāna: no possession (ākiňcaňňāyatana, ākiṃcanyātana)
8th jhāna: neither ideation nor non-ideation (nevasaňňānāsaňňāyatana,