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Meditation on Gender, Western and Eastern Cultures, and Psychotherapy

May everyone be at peace with themselves.
May everyone progress in their spiritual journey.
May everyone endeavor to perfect their minds.
With peaceful heart, may this one walk the path
towards the moment of putting out the fire,
and thus passing onto a higher plane.

Analysis of meditation

"Be at peace" implies a peaceful heart.

"Progress" accepts that not all people who desire a perfect mind have a perfect body.
However, with more effort the dedicated practitioner achieves more peace and calm.

"Endeavor" implies that all one needs to do is act to perfect your mind. Perfection of a mind implies that one learn to meditate. It does not happen right now; yet even after the first week, meditation will lead one to a perfect mind.

With peace comes satisfaction. This is a given. In walking the path, this one encounter less obstacle to reach the goal all Buddhists desire: Nirvana. This desire is not tainted by desire for fame or gain, because that desire corrupts the mind.

Thus one needs to put out the fire of desire, so that one may pass onto a higher plane of existence. This higher plane does not make the earnest practitioner above it all. Rather, she sees no difference between herself and another person with regard to the mind.

A Meditation on gender

For the only difference between man and woman is physical. Our description about the human condition is gender neutral. Likewise, gender is actually unimportant.

In denying women access to the tools of Buddhism such as meditation and the breathing exercises, the Theravada form is sexist to Westerners whose culture is highly sensitive to women's rights. Yet the Theravada form is fostered in a culture where sensitivity to women's rights is fine in politics, but not in religion.

Thus, the apparent sexism is designed to help women understand their place in that culture, which is called Eastern.

Eastern and Western Cultures

Were I to blend the two cultures, it is possible to have a broader understanding of both cultures so that Westerners may understand Eastern culture.

As well, to criticize Theravada Buddhism effectively, the practitioner needs to understand his culture and its effect on Buddhism.

For why is it that Zen is favored over other forms of Buddhism. Shingon Buddhism may
look like a mix of mysticism and symbolism, but it works for a Shingon practitioner.

Psychotherapy and Buddhism

Yet Buddhism is practical for anyone to use, and the breathing exercises of meditation have been incorporated in cognitive behavior therapy.

Thus a psychotherapy that incorporates meditation as its therapeutic tool only uses it to achieve a calm mind. By separating the spiritual part of meditation from the physical part of breathing and posture, such a psychotherapy is devoid of spiritual development.

In this way, anyone can use such therapy to reduce the effects of stress so that one can do anything. Yet there are few statistics on how meditation relieves stress.

Final Meditation

May all who read this know that this person who wrote these words that the spiritual journey is a sacred one, yet it is also a personal journey of self-discovery.

May all know that "self" in context of the spiritual journey is not the ego, that part of a person's psyché that motivates one to seek comfort and satisfaction.

For the "self" this person speaks of is the higher self on that higher spiritual plane which few people achieve except for the greatest of practitioners.

May all also know that "this person" refers to the author of this meditation.

May all who read this discover happiness to be not a goal but a state of mind that is fleeting.

May all who achieve this state of mind of happiness be satisfied with their lot.

For to desire happiness is unwise; it would be better to enjoy the moment.

May all who achieve happiness know that meditation is more fun when you are happy.

May all who realize how fun meditation is, focus on their breath.

This person respects Amida Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light of loving-kindness and also the Buddha of Infinite Life of compassion.
The above is an example of how I explore Buddhist meditation. I don't just sit on my ass gazing at my navel.

Since meditation helps me to think even though my body is tired, it is in my best interest to use the tools before me to put my thought down.

My mind requires self expression, yet in this blog entry, that expression is done so that the gentle reader may understand where I am coming from.

As well, there is a minor catharsis occurring when I express myself. Even though my writing is not sophisticated and tempered by academic training, its topic at the moment is religion but not the religion most people are adverse to.

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