Introduction to Nirvana

Nirvana is the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha (liberation). The word literally means “blown out” (as in a candle) and refers, in the Buddhist context, to the self-controlled stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished.

Buddhist_MeditationIt is a state of transcendence where the subjective experience is released from a prior state of bondage. It is achieved after a lengthy process of mind-body transformation during which the uprooting and final dissolution of the sanskaras (or sankharas) takes place. According to the Buddha, during the course of many repeated incarnations these deeply buried structures (also referred to as karmic ‘seeds’; Sanskrit: bija) are either strengthened by indulgence in worldly activities or weakened by following the path of the Enlightened Ones. The sanskaras are the ultimate cause for the material incarnation of sentient beings.

With the experience of nirvana the mind (Buddhism) or spirit (Hinduism) has ended its identity with material phenomena and experiences a great sense of peace and a unique form of awareness.

In Buddhism, it is the state of being free from suffering (dukkha).

In Hinduism, it is union with Brahman (Supreme Being).

Freedom from Views

Nirvana can be translated as freedom, freedom from views. And in Buddhism, all views are wrong views. When you get in touch with reality, you no longer have views. You have wisdom. You have a direct encounter with reality. And that is no longer called views.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

When you hold certain views on the world – you begin to create your own perceptions. A false understanding of the world.

While speaking to others, we often interpret what is being said based on the filters of our own perceptions. Certain aspects of the world become either right or wrong. Communication between two people switches from one dialog to two monologs. A fundamental cause of conflict in this world.

To understand others, we must trancend our own perceptions and let go of personal views. A mind free of perceptions understands reality. This is true understanding. This is true freedom.

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