Lucid Insanity

The word vipashyana is often translated as insight, although it has a host of other meanings. Importantly, it refers to the flash of liberating intuitive understanding that marks the culmination of Buddhist meditation practice. In the Pali discourses of the Buddha ‘Siddhartha Gautam’ vipashyana also refers to the mind’s ability to witness clearly as events unfold in the present moment. The aforesaid events are linked to a continuous chain of history happening in the ongoing moment. In this sense it is a skill that a meditative soul develops using a broad arsenal of meditative tools and techniques, such as katha, or kriya. With practice, this skill can bring the meditative soul to the threshold of liberating insight.

The experience of such insight is an ecstatic end in itself, but not the end of ends. This experience is commonly known to lead good people to humility, non-violence, blissful state of mind, righteousness and wisdom. The Buddha used to say that this is the only way to Perfection, just as the upholders of Advaita lay stress on kundalini-arousal as the only way the feminine can reunite with the masculine, and just as Jesus proclaimed that the path to salvation (where the Son becomes the Father, and the father, the son) is narrow. In this way the plurality of the opinion makers converges on a single truth in a dimension that is beyond normal sight. Hence, vipashyana.

One of the popular techniques that has become popular is the system that has developed out of the Buddha’s Satupasthana Sutra. It is considered to be the Buddha’s how-to-guide on insightful meditation. It helps one to develop mindfulness as to the clinging of thoughts to body, or being attacked by Mara and Brahma, and how to stay lucid in a state of confusion. Thus, it is also to be understood that although all Buddha-folk are arihant-folk, but not all arihant-folk are Buddha-folk. The Sutra is given below in a marvelous rendition by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:

At the end of the day, vipashyana is vi+pashyana, which means beyond seeing. This is the state that I understand and define as as lucid insanity.

Narayan Kavach

Narayan Kavach


~ by Bombadil on August 31, 2010.

One Response to “Lucid Insanity”

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