Looking for text on image of Buddha

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Looking for text on image of Buddha

Postby Pondera » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:40 pm

Is there any literature on the image of the Buddha arising during meditation?

I'm physically beat up right now. I was kicking my own butt at the 'skate-park' the last two days. I should know by now, there isn't any reason why a guy my age would skate - but anyhow.

The pain is around my neck and through my legs. This isn't really the point; but I was trying to get a bunch of chores done this morning when I just gave up and laid down. So I got to breathing very shallow. This reminded me of the first distinction made in the anapanasati sutta; the discernment between a short breath and a long breath.

These breaths were short. I was inhaling only a tiny amount of oxygen each time. So, it happened that a sizable amount of pressure built on my chest; which wasn't discomforting - only soothing in a strange way.

Then something I've seen before popped up.

We know that history is full of 'iconic figures'. Cleopatra, Athena, & so forth. And the reason we call them 'iconic' is because through history their lives have left an indelible mark on the collective conscious of man-kind. But they are not just 'cultural icons'; they are also 'icons' in the true sense of the word - i.e. a visual reminder that points towards the recognition of the person's immortal mark on history.

Now when I was breathing very shallow breaths, and this pressure was building up on my chest, the 'icon' of the Buddha appeared in my visual field. He was a little ways off in my visual field and was looking about the same as one might expect to see an icon looking in a Thai gift shop near the airport. The 'icon' was living; somehow 'stone-like'. he owned a subtle smile on his face which was altogether assuring.

Has anyone ever come across this?

I know it may sound crazy, but I am sure that this 'apparition' is entirely suited to a 'Recollection of the Buddha'. The 'iconic' appearance of the figure builds confidence, assurance, a sense of guidance, a sense of security in the clever grin, and a mystical feeling that comes with his 'stone-like' presence.

So, if anyone can help; I'm searching for textual information on the image of the Buddha in meditation. Google searches don't amount to much. I was hoping someone could direct me to some references either in the tipitaka or in abhidhamma literature. I know there's meditation practices where people push themselves to visualize the Buddha by looking at an iconic figure before hand. But the kind of information I am looking for would involve his appearance coming, unexpectedly - during the course of meditation... and in this case breath-meditation.

Thank you ahead of time,

Pondera
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Re: Looking for text on image of Buddha

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:40 am

Greetings Pondera,

Perhaps you might find the following pertinent:

"Enough, Vakkali! What is there to see in this vile body? He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma. Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma."

-- SN22.87 Vakkali Sutta: Vakkali


All the best,

Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

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Re: Looking for text on image of Buddha

Postby SamKR » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:55 am

"Enough, Vakkali! What is there to see in this vile body? He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma. Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma."

-- SN22.87 Vakkali Sutta: Vakkali


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