Dear Friend on the Noble Path,
The Study being announced in the attached pages is about the 'Subtleties in the Observances of Mindfulness' as practised and taught by the Himalayan Yogis: in Buddha's own words and of his commentators; The Sutra on Mindfulness and the Commentary by Buddhaghosa.
in the Foothills of the Himalayas by the Holy River Ganges,
at Sadhaka Grama Ashram.
Swami Veda Bharati Dr. Litt. Is a renowned scholar and meditation guide in the Himalayan tradition is one of the rare speakers of Pali (the language that the Buddha spoke), Sanskrit and Vedic. He has access to literatures in seventeen languages. He has been teaching world wide now for nearly sixty years. He is also the founder of the Meditation Center, Minneapolis.
Also, about the teacher, please visit
Swami Veda Bharati
Servant of the Servants of the Masters
At Sadhaka Grama
For the serious student and aspirant
February 11-28, 2004 in Rishikesh, India
The practice of mindfulness is enshrined as the foundation in all meditative systems. In the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali it is referred to as smrty-upasthana, unfortunately ignored by most commentators on Yoga Sutras.
In the Pali language, in which the Buddha taught, it is called sati-patthana. The Sati-patthana-sutta, the Sutra on Mindfulness, is one of the few centralmost teachings of the Buddha (6th century B.C.). The commentary by Buddhaghosa (4th-5th century A.D.) on this sutra, incorporated in his comprehensive meditation manual Visuddhi-magga, the Path of Purification, is really a masterful one.
Swami Veda Bharati speaks and writes the Pali language (as he does the Sanskrit and the Vedic) and has direct access to the text as well as to the personal initiatory experience of this teaching.
Study the original first, before you go on to other interpretators' explanations. Swami Veda Bharati, assisted by Anne Glazier (who is retired as a teacher of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, an initiate of the Himalayan Tradition) will teach the text in his usual lucid style together with a personal experience of various levels of mindfulness.
While unraveling the hidden secrets of the text, emphasis will also be placed on actual practices, for example the practice of the Walking Mindfulness, or the mindfulness of one's personal emotions.
The course will also form part of the Teachers Training Program of the International Himalayan Yoga Teachers Association as well as of the First Year Curriculum of the Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam.
SUBTLETIES IN MINDFULNESS
There are six paths in pure Mindfulness (anussati in Pali, anu-smrti in Sanskrit) and four categories of practices (anussati-kamma-tthanas). In our first lecture we shall give a brief summary of these ten aspects of mindfulness, before proceeding to the study of the Sutra on the Mindfulness of Breathing.
Buddhaghosa goes into the deep subtleties of the practices. These are still taught by the rare few monks in Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand and by the Himalayan Yogis (this last fact is not commonly known). At our Ashram we teach it as it is passed on in the Himalayan lineage.
For example, there are 16 observances, divided into four quartets of four principles each, detailed by the Buddha and explained by Buddhaghosa. These go on simultaneously together with the mindfulness of breathing. We shall practice these in our teaching, based on any previous training and the capacity of the students.
It is taught in five stages detailed in Buddha's own pedagogic system; it leads to manasi-kara, assimilating the experience of the practice into the mind (till that also may be renounced) till it ceases to be a practice and becomes the aspirant's personal nature. There are eight parts to this 'assimilation into the mind', using Pali terms :
Anu-bandhana : continuation without interruption
Phusana : feeling the place where the breath is touching
Thapana : settling the mind to stay there
Sal-lakkhana : observation (vippassana)
vi-vattana : path of the practice
pari-suddhi : fruition
pati-passana : awareness of the entirety (19 levels)
It is all explained in the text by way of parables and examples. Here are a few glimpses:
When a person who has not conquered physical pains sits on the meditation stool, the stool makes a sound (if woven soft, it) bends (or forms a hollow). The sheet on it gets wrinkled. However, one who has conquered the physical pains does not cause the stool to make a sound or to bend, nor does his sheet gets wrinkled. Why? Because one who has gained strength (virya) through previous practice, feels as though his body is light. His mind is light and he feels like he is jumping in space.
(The experience of subtlety develops like) a person who may hit a bronze plate very hard, and hear its gross and loud sound. But s/he maintains his concentration and continues to listen keenly. Then he hears the finer sound, as it becomes subtler and subtler. So it is with going into the subtlety of the practice.
As the needle for sewing a silk cloth needs to be a slim one, yet strong, so the awareness in practicing the subtler levels of mindfulness needs to become slim and strong.
These are just a few examples of how deep and yet how interesting this teaching is.
(1) Meditation and Its Practice by Swami Rama of the Himalayas
(2) Superconscious Meditation by Swami Veda Bharati
(3) Cassettes on "Buddhist Meditation" by Swami Veda Bharati
(4) Thich Nhat Hahn, The Miracle of Mindfulness:
An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
(5) "Contemplative Walking" by Swami Veda Bharati
(6) Thich Nhat Hahn, Breathe! You Are Alive:
Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing
Feb. 11-13 : The Fire Ceremonies by the Tibetan monks of the Sakya School (tentatively scheduled), at Sadhaka Grama.
Feb.13 : Installation of the Buddha Statue at Sadhaka Grama by His Holiness Sakya Trizin, the Head of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Feb. 14-28 Study of the Mindfulness Chapter of Visudhhi-magga, the most important meditation manual of the Theravada Buddhism, the practices of which also form the fundamentals of Tibetan meditation system in the Central Himalayas.
Feb. 18 : annual Shiva-ratri celebrations (Swami Veda Bharati chants all night)
March 1-4 : Insightseeing-1, tour of holy shrines from Rishikesh.
March 5 -15 : Ten days silence retreat (arrive on 4th, depart 16th but it is recommended to arrive earlier and get over the jet lag before starting the retreat).
Application of Yoga-nidra for (a) self-healing (b) memory recall (c) inspiration and revelation will be taught and practised.
March 16 : Personal guided meditation and study retreats.
February 10 - March 27, 2004 and April 6 - 20, 2004.
For more information, please phone or mail the below form or information to the contact information listed at the footer of this document.
Yes, please send me more information about registering for the "Original Texts on Mindfulness" course.
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Phone (please include country code, area code, etc):
Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Virpur Khurd, Virbhadra Rd., P.O. Pashulok, Rishikesh (UA) 249203, India
Tel: 91-135-431485, 431693, 450093; Fax: 91-135-431582
MY LAST DREAM FOR THIS LIFE, by Swami Veda
SWAMI RAMA INSTITUTE OF MEDITATION
Copyright 2003 West-Art, Prometheus 89/2003