By J. L Benson
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Additional resources for A Problem in Orientalizing Cretan Birds: Mycenaean or Philistine Prototypes?
In whom there are both meditation and wisdom: he is, indeed, close to nibbana. When a monk has gone into an empty place, and has calmed his mind, experiences a delight that transcends that of men, seeing the dhamma truly. Whenever he reflects upon the rise and fall of the aggregates, he obtains joy and gladness. To those who know, that is the deathless. (Dhp 371–4) Starting meditation This famous text emphasizes some basic points regarded to this day as essential prerequisites for anyone wishing to practise meditation, in any tradition.
Early Buddhist discourses on meditation are routinely introduced with the address bhikkhave; the meditator is described throughout in the masculine form as a monk. But the use of the word bhikkhu does not exclude others, male or 13 INTRODUCTION female, and seems to be a formal generic term based upon the most usual kind of practitioner. In one sutta the nun Dhammadinna is questioned closely by the layman Visakha, who had once been her husband. Throughout this debate on meditation, even when discussing the state of cessation (nirodha samapatti), she employs the usual bhikkhu (see M I 299–305).
If, for as much as the lasting of a finger-snap, monks, a monk develops a mind with loving-kindness: such a man is to be called a monk. His meditation is not empty of result . . What should I then say of someone who makes much of this! If, for as much as the lasting of a finger-snap, monks, a monk gives full attention to the mind of loving-kindness: such a man is to be called a monk. His meditation is not empty of result . . What should I then say of someone who makes much of this! Whatever states, monks, are unskilful, have a part in unskilfulness, are on the side of unskilfulness: all these have mind as their forerunner.