Design: Meditating Silhouette by Waterfall

Meditating Silhouette by Waterfall by Seas Reflecting Starlight

Meditation by a waterfall is not only a peaceful and picturesque way to meditate, but the sound of the water itself is one traditional way to enter Samādhi.  It is a powerful way to still the mind.  The most renown figure to enter Samādhi through this method, and therein gain the ability to “hear the cries of the world,” is Guanyin (观音).  The Śūraṅgama Sūtra describes how she disassociates herself from the sense of hearing, and thus gains mastery over it.

“I began with a practice based on the enlightenment nature of hearing.  First I redirected my hearing inward in order to enter the current of the sages.  Then external sounds disappeared.  With the direction of my hearing reversed and with sounds stilled, both sounds and silence cease to arise . . . . Coming into being and ceasing to be themselves ceased to be.  Then the ultimate stillness was revealed . . . . All of a sudden I transcended the worlds of ordinary beings, and I also transcended the worlds of beings who have transcended the ordinary worlds.  Everything in the ten directions was fully illuminated, and . . . . I was then able to go to all lands and appear in thirty-two forms that respond to what beings require.”

~ Guanyin, The Śūraṅgama Sūtra: A New Translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society, pages 234-235

Many other Buddhists have followed this example throughout the centuries, particularly within Chan Buddhism / Zen Buddhism (禅).  This video clip shows one example at Dharma Drum Mountain (法鼓山), a monastery in Taiwan, and their connection to the nearby streams.  Look for a mention of Guanyin / Avalokiteśvara around 13 minutes in:

Do you meditate?  What kinds of meditation practices do you like to do?

~~

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2 thoughts on “Design: Meditating Silhouette by Waterfall

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