THE SCIENCE OF MEDITATION
We have not yet developed our own meditation technique in the West. This is largely due to the fact that without corresponding culturally anchored practice, we can not develop any understanding or language that is capable of recognizing the non-material areas of this discipline, in particular, the “undivided thought-free consciousness” (lucid awareness) which has to be clearly distinguished from the thinking consciousness (the mind).
There is no western meditation technique that can be equated with the Eastern methods in depth and transformation.
That’s because we have made no serious efforts to explore the spiritual non-material dimensions
with the same scientific methods as the East. (Project Meditation)
We must abandon our consumptionist attitude when we want to understand meditation. In Western society, the spiritual dimension has been pushed back into the background by the domination of capitalism and consumption. That is why it takes extraordinary and decisive efforts to achieve the necessary discipline in a society as a whole and individually in order to achieve real spiritual progress. The turn to spirituality at the beginning of the twentieth century, initiated by the Theosophists with the first “New Age”, has now developed into a consumer product or service in the wellness area, and has thus stuck in its wake and has largely returned to materialism. This can not be the purpose of our search for knowledge and certainty.
It is amazing what is presented to us under the title “meditation”. Of course, there are plenty of branches in the West for all the teachings from the East: Hatha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Hinduism, Hare Krishna, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Tibetan Tantra, Tao Yoga, Chan Buddhism. Their teachers and gurus offer us traditional meditation techniques for traditional succession. The Asian martial arts also relate their philosophy from the knowledge and application of the respective meditation tradition of their origin. They all have developed their own profound meditation technique that transforms the whole human being and makes them whole.
Neurosciences, brain research, medicine and biology, offer little help to explore meditation. It is true that the effects on the material body can be attributed to the results of long-term medications. The subtle body can be made physically visible by Kirlian photography, but it has not yet been proven for medical research. The subtle spirit makes it even more difficult. We are able to measure brain waves in their quality, and thus demonstrate alertness and relaxation states of the brain. But measurement results to prove health benefits are not yet research of our spirit. For this purpose, we must give up our material worldview:
In the West, we need the clear proof that there is a consciousness, that exists independently of the physical body.
In the Western scientific and psychoanalytic context the understanding of the lucid states of consciousness is still missing.
Further research in collaboration with the spiritual sciences starts at this point. (Project Meditation)
It concerns nothing less than developing our own Western meditation culture and tradition. This is the only way to develop a deeper understanding of this method, which is also of central importance to our survival, which enables us to free our mind from its own thoughts. I see an interesting opportunity in interdisciplinary Congresses on meditation and consciousness research, as they have been held every two years in Berlin since 2010: http://meditation-wissenschaft.org
Today’s approaches to a deeper understanding of classical meditation texts can be found in numerous translations of the eastern writings of the Sinologist Thomas Cleary and especially in his new translation of the classical meditation guide of Taoism »The Secret of the Golden Flower«. There are also many further helpful insights in the explanations of the basic text by Jürgen Scheibe (free download) on http://www.ottonamenlos.de/.
The study of classical texts:
Another important Western approach is the understanding of what the Swiss sinologist Jean François Billeter defined as the “distinction between the two completely different forms of our consciousness” in his ‘Four lectures on the Zhuangzi’ – „How things work“. He translates the well-known Laotse sentence (who knows, does not speak, who speaks, does not know) into: “If one perceives, one does not speak when one speaks, one does not perceive” and confronts with the quotation from Valery “What I think disrupts what I see, and vice versa” and the same statement of Wittgenstein “While I see an object, I can not imagine it“. A «Holistic Perception» corresponds to the “Lucid Spirit” and contrasts with the «focus on a part of the whole», «the thinking principle of our mental mind.» We should examine these states closer.
The exploration of our consciousness:
Since the Renaissance, the goal of human perfection has fallen into disrepute and no longer in the West have been pursued. Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung and many other great minds in the last century have created new foundations out of them we can continue to establish in the West an equally comprehensive wholeness, Jung called it »Individuation«, as known in the Far East for more than two thousand years.
The well-known Chilean neurobiologist »Francisco Varela« as a leading figure in the field of cognitive science, has established an interdisciplinary collaboration »Mind and Life«, together with H.H. the Dalai Lama, which has begun the outstanding dialogue between East and West in consciousness research. One focus of Varela’s work was to create a bridge as a link between the knowledge of the mind in science and the knowledge of the mind in the experience. In the exchange with the Eastern monks and masters, he also examined the states of consciousness during sleep and the lucid dream.
The work on our self as perfection and individuation:
A classic approach, which today has found a strong resonance in the West through Jungian analyst Arnold Mindell and his work with Aboriginals in “24 hours lucid dream”, offers us the Tibetan Bön tradition, that uses the Lucid Dream (clear dream) as a starting point for their method of meditation and exercises with the clear dream the awareness for a holistic perception, which combines everyday consciousness, sleeping dream and lucid dream. Read the current lecture by Chongtul Rinpoche: «Lucid Dreams as a Bridge Between Realities» / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duIVULueBc8.
Background and Cause of these Websites:
I have written these pages from my vocation to transform the classic traditions into understandable, contemporary instructions to enable everyone to develop themselves into a spiritual and holistic human being. There is no secret, these wisdoms have long been known. However, our attempts at adaptation have so far failed in cultural and linguistic difficulties. These meditation methods can only be understood and successfully practised in a corresponding cultural context.
For these reasons I am committed to co-create a new “Western Meditation Technique” with my »study program«, incorporating the ancient traditions of the East, which allows us to go our own way, which we have to complete and develop it further with our own spiritual qualities, and shape and accomplish it as a Western Meditation Method, our own masterpiece in the West. Since I have not found a more appropriate name for it, it seems legitimate to me to use the name of this ancient handbook »Golden Flower« to offer my instructions, because this name as image accurately illustrates the criteria of a successful meditation.
Background of these web pages is my effort to reshape the classical tradition into understandable contemporary instructions to enable anyone to develop itself into a spiritual and holistic human being. There is no secret, this wisdom has long been known. However, our attempts at adaptation have so far failed because of cultural and linguistic difficulties. These methods can only be understood and practised successfully in an appropriate cultural context.
Every intellectual experience and development include diligence, endurance, patience, discipline and effort. Even when consuming addictive drugs (used by human beings since time immemorial to get in touch with God), spiritual alignment and consistent mental preparation is the necessary prerequisite for profitable, constructive and beautiful experiences. It is therefore self-evident that the learning of meditation requires a commitment and decision for a spiritual life with spiritual quality.
Do not let discourage you from a lot of information to »contact« me, finding out in personal exchange how far and in what form you want to participate in this project or in my »Study Program«. Simplicity can be harder than complexity. But Complexity transformed into »Simplicity«, can move mountains.
I hereby would like to cordially invite you to get in »touch« with me, regardless of tradition and religion to which you belong. The classic meditation as a neutral technique and method results for each person to a deeper knowledge of his own origins and divinity, and thus promotes peace and harmony of all beings.
I am pleased and excited about every encounter, and I will always take time for this.