Hi, need to submit a 500 words paper on the topic Section 2 Reading. 12 September Section 2 Reading What is your personal interpretation of the opening ment by Plotinus? People have the power and authority to change his own perception, give different meaning to things, and come up with alternative or innovative approaches to their decisions and actions. Though, only few realize this authority that we have and most people often end up getting constrained within the limits of his mind.
2. Ram Dass comments that “we are prisoners of our own mind. This realization is the first step on the journey to freedom.” How are you a prisoner of your own mind and what steps can you take towards freedom?
Every individual has their own beliefs and ideology which may, at times, limit the persons perspective on reality to match his or her own way of thinking. This can be realized when we observe how each person address problems differently, which is also based on their background and experience.
Most of often than not, people do not realize that they are becoming prisoners of their own mind because we tend to justify our actions based on our own beliefs and ideology. However, if we become aware of this innate limitation that we have, it would be possible for us to have a change in mentality towards our decisions and actions.
By changing my state of mind, I will be able to open myself to other possibilities and opportunity and not be clouded by my current beliefs and ideology.
3. Please refer to the bottom of page 49 and describe the three components of emotional transformation. After briefly describing them, which component would be hardest for you and why?
First is the reduction of destructive emotions such as fear and anger, the goal here is to allow the person to have a clear awareness of the emotions rather than suppressing it. Second is the cultivation of positive emotions such as love, joy, and compassion. Lastly, the concept of equanimity which refers to the balance of mentality. This concept allows an individual to offer unconditional and unwavering forms of love.
I think the most difficult component for me is the reduction of destructive emotions. Being faced with a very dynamic environment, it would be really hard to always maintain a god temperament.
4. Briefly explain the 7 factors of enlightenment and your personal reactions to Kornfield’s proposal?
The seven factors of enlightenment are the following: mindfulness, investigation of dhammas, energy, ecstacy, tranquility, concentration, and equanimity. First, is the mindfulness factor of enlightenment, commonly known as sati-sambojjhanga, which talks about spiritual dominion, spiritual capability, and right view of mindfulness. Investigation of dhammas factor of enlightenment (dhamma-vicaya) discusses about the ways of attaining psychic capabilities, as well as concepts of wisdom. Next is the energy factor of enlightenment (viriya) that covers concepts of the four right exertions and attaining psychic powers through energy. Thrills of non-sensual forms of ecstasy constitute the ecstasy factor of enlightenment. This refers to feelings, such as instantaneous ecstasy, that can result in rising body hairs and transportation of ecstasy leading to the lifting of the body through the air. The tranquility factor (passadhi) refers to two kinds, namely tranquility of the body, which refers to mentality, and the tranquility of the mind or consciousness. Spiritual dominion, spiritual capacity, and right consciousness are the names of the consciousness factor (samadhi). Lastly, equanimity factor (upekkha) refers to a tenfold concept which develops a balance between the mind and the mental qualities of an individual. This also refers to the concept of not having physical and mental attachment to other people or things.
5. On the top of page 61 please read and respond to the first paragraph regarding the psychological effects of meditation. Respond with your own experience of meditation.
I think that meditation is a very powerful and effective practice that offers several advantages to those who are able to develop the skill. Meditation has allowed me to get rid of stress, know more about myself, and strengthen my mental qualities.
6. In paragraph 3 on page 67 Kornfield directs us that meditation works only when we are able to give attention to every area of our suffering. What areas of suffering do you experience and try to avert your attention from?
I would say that the areas of suffering hat I am experiencing are my frustrations in the past that are still, somehow, haunting me until now. I would always tend to steer away from having those experiences in my thoughts. I find it fundamentally true that every time I would do meditation, the frustrations that I had would suddenly break my concentration.
I believe that the only way for meditation to work for me is to free myself from my frustrations and try to resolve it by learning more about my sufferings and learn it.
7. What does Kornfield believe about combining meditation and psychotherapy? What do you think?
Kornfield supports the idea of a cross-disciplinary concept between meditation and psychotherapy. Clinical and scientific studies on the effects of meditation in psychology have significantly increased within the last two decade. These researches have also resulted to significant results that supports the claims of meditation communities who have practicing it for a long time already.
I would say that I agree with Kornfields point of view due to the societal acceptance of the practice and the recent developments on the scientific validation of meditation.
Walsh, Robert and Frances Vaughan. Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision. New York: archer/Perigee. 1993. Print.