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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Jungle Retreat: Theravada Vs Tantra
My pal is
into Theravada Buddhism, and he goes into the forest quite often for his
extended meditation practices. Sometimes I will accompany him as I also need to
meditate and as a means to quit blog writing. It is dangerous to go into the Tropic
forest alone to tell you the truth, there are just too many details need to
take care of. Besides the wild animals and insects such as elephants, tigers
and hornets, one must also be careful of the treacherous terrain of the forest.
we had chosen a small cave for our meditational retreat in the Northern part of
Peninsula. When we arrived at our destination, my pal had taken a place in the
cave. As I would be moving about in the vicinity of the area looking for spirits
and herbs, so I rather stay at the cave entrance in the hope not to disturb him
when I move in and out.
will keep this type of setting between us after we have set up. None of us are
good talkers. So we go about our own business until the 3rd day. My
pal approached me and he surprised me with his lethargic look, just not his
normal self. So I asked him about his meditation experience while passing him a
bottle of mineral water.
to him, he was generating metta (compassion heart) all the while until he find
difficult to meditate. It is his practice to extend his compassion heart to any
spirits comes to him during meditation. The problem with this practice is that
the more my pal generated compassion, the more spirits come to him… and there
are many spirits in the jungle. No wonders he looked so tired.
As we still
have 4 more good days to go, none of us want to have an early retreat. After
fallen into dead silent for quite a while, he finally broke silence. He asked
me if I have any ways to move the spirits away since I was into tantric and
magic rituals. In normal circumstances I wouldn’t dare to suggest as he said I
will corrupt his mind J.
he never asked. So I took out my fire puja ladle and do a Tantric fire offering
with some biscuits and herbs collected nearby. It is indeed to our surprise,
right after the fire ceremony, no more disturbances for the next days until we
left the cave.I suggested performing a
closing fire ceremony for the spirits before our departure, my pal didn’t
object this time.
dare not say which method is more effective. You are the cleaver one; I best
ask your opinion on this.