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Center Of Meditation SAMATHA-VIPASSANA, S. Andrea of Assignment and Lucca.
THE 7 FACTORS OF THE AWAKENING: sati: awareness 2) dhamma vicaya: analysis of the phenomenons 3) viriya: energy 4) piiti: joy 5) passaddhi: calm 6) samadhi: meditative absorption 7) upekkhaa: equanimity.
'ALL THE CONDITIONED PHENOMENONS HAVE FOR NATURE TO DECAY: Untiringly practice ' (Mahaaparinibbaana Sutta).

The internal smile

Every year I make a number of this Newsletter devoted to the meditation of the internal smile. Also this year we have come to you.

Recently we have made a day of meditation devoted to the Brahmavihaaras or "divine abodes" ,that is: the fond gentleness, the compassion, the altruistic joy and the equanimity. It treats really of different gradations of the same energy. The first three of these meditations can be reassumed in two words: internal smile, a smile that comes from  " picking up" the feeling experimented toward a person that has done us some good, the feeling of compassionate rush experimented toward some being that suffers the joy felt in happy occasions. These three feelings must be elaborated and recalled to the mind, soffusing with them the body and the mind and then we can go from there  to radiate to the outside. For this they are called "divine abodes", we become pure irradiation, as exactly a divinity.
How does this meditation of the smile develop ? I will explain the simplest way that is also, at the same time, the most advanced.
It deals with taking a quiet seat , even after waking up , and to slightly focus ourselves on the contact of the two lips and on the feeling of the smile. Relaxing ourselves,  the smile will be felt  going down to every part of the body and to increase the relaxation. We will observe the breath as the rhytmic center  of the same smile. Little by little we will perceive that the smile is overcoming the bodily barrier. We will extend it how much we want, also to the endless one, thinking about winding  all the living beings.
It is probable that the first time we will feel a certain tension: let's remember then us that the main point is to relax,  to leave to go,  the light contact of the lips. End.
It's the simplest meditation of the world. It's also, to my opinion, one of the most advanced because you can stay  for a long time in the smile only if there is an observant awareness. Therefore we can see the rise of physical feelings, perceptions, thoughts in a detached way, calm and relaxed. In front of the rising of these feelings, perceptions, thoughts, we have to make back as a footstep, to be the spectators of this film.
This way doing we are near adjoining of the Liberation-gates: the Vacuity, the no-sign and the absence of direction or desire. This way doing we don't look for the illumination: we are already illuminated. There is not more something that we want to become, there is already what we want becoming. We allow to let go and we leave only this thin irradiation that quietly participates  in the world. What is this if not a Buddha, an Illuminated, a Waked up again? A Buddha is only after all a continuous and  effortless awareness  of feelings, perceptions, thoughts, a looking to the things as they are and to accept them. "And you can still hold to mind, Ananda, this extraordinary and marvelous quality of the Perfect one. Consciously they are born in the Perfect one the feelings, consciously they continue, consciously they fade away. Consciously they are born in the Perfect one the perceptions, consciously they continue, consciously they fade away. Consciously they are born in the Perfect one the thoughts, consciously they continue, consciously they fade away. This ,still, is given, Ananda as a marvelous and extraordinary quality of the Perfect one." Naturally to be a Awakened is  something more: it is to be free from corruptions, it is to be without a self. But while so we practise, this is, at least momentarily, our condition. Practising therefore always…

Due to causes and conditions the things aree really and entirely as they have to be. To see this is to see the Ultimate reality. That is the causality (causes and effects) it is the ultimate reality. There is not other to be looked for, all the things they happen for causes and conditions, it is this that we have to see.
Curious, no? Would the whole spiritual search resolve in to see then and to accept the things as they are?
At times the poets see more in than the others. T. S. Eliot (Four Quartets)  wrote:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein also writes: "The place where  I really have to arrive it is a place where I am now really already". And the famous Zen teacher  Dogen seems to give a conclusion to this discourse: "When we find this place, this action is inevitably realized as the universe. When we find this way, this action is inevitably the universe [same] realized" (Shobogenzo: Genjo-koan). Dogen points out here with this the reality here and now. Naagaarjuna uses the term "co-production in dependence [from causes and conditions] to point out this reality. What both Dogen and Naagaarjunas seem to point out it is a tear in the difficulty of spiritual realization, a tear that makes us see the free sky behind the clouds.

If the things are as they are (as they are already, we could say) I am where we want to arrive, simply we have to accept it (Wittgenstein, On Certainty: "My life consists in the happy being to accept a lot of things"), if, as Nagaarjuna says, there is no limit between the world as it is and the Nirvaana, to accept is what I have to do. You
 could also say: a simple way of living  and simply to live. You could also say: to smile. The smiling ineffability of whom sees and accepts. To smile = Buddhity?
Therefore practising the smile we have to be aware of to be practising the Awakening that is us the Buddha that we are already. If the things as they are = Ultimate Reality , it is enough then to fully be present in the moment (enough: so easy, so difficult). We look for therefore to practise not as  Buddhists, but as some Buddhas. There is a true history to clarify, I have read it. A practictioner declared that her parents strongly opposed her to the fact that she was become Buddhist. The wise answer was: not declare yourself a Buddhist, be a Buddha. Being a Buddha meant not to go to against her own parents on things of little account as  to be or not to be Buddhists but in the complete acceptance, loving and disinterested of their being, in to wind them in the internal smile of whom sees,  understands and  practises the equanimity, that is the acceptance of the fact that each is heir of his/her own actions (and above all intentions). Therefore we smile. In reality instead we are too much serious since we oppose  to the things as they are, we make continuous opposition. For this we are not  Buddhas. But we can also see this and to accept it. Will we be  Buddhas then?

Notices of the Center of S. Andrea:
1) Every Saturday, meditation, times 15,30, V. Torre 9.
2) Domenica 7 Dec. Practice from the 9 at 16,30 o'clock.
3) January, seclusion from Jan. 2 ( 9 o' clock) to  Jan. 6 (end 12 0'clock). Who wants to participate should be booking.