March 23, 2023

The Philosopher in Meditation

philosopher in meditation

The Philosopher in Meditation

As you may know, meditation has been around for a long time and it has been used in many different ways and cultures throughout its history. It is easy to get caught up in the modern version of the practice but it can be helpful to take a step back and explore its roots.

Origins of Meditation

The earliest known forms of meditation can be traced to Hindu traditions in India, Vendatism and other forms within Taoist China. Buddhism, however, has a much longer history of meditation. In fact, some of the earliest Buddhist texts, such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, mention meditation as one of the techniques for attaining spiritual enlightenment.

Yoga & Meditation

In India, the ancient tradition of Yoga teaches a number of techniques for meditation to aid in the quest for spiritual enlightenment. These include bhavana (mental development) and dhyana (mental calmness).

Samkhya Philosophy

A major aspect of Indian philosophy is samkhya, a cosmology that centers on the dynamic tension between activity and witnessing. It involves a wide range of purifications that, when undertaken with discipline, diminish negative karma and bring about states of equanimity.

Materialism and Consciousness

The philosopher in this painting is not a Buddhist, but Flanagan argues that his approach to understanding consciousness is materialistic. He uses ideas and theories from cognitive science and neuroscience to explain what is happening in the mind, arguing that it is a product of brain function. But, as anyone who has studied contemporary philosophical debates on consciousness and philosophy of mind knows, such a view is not a natural fit for Buddhist thought or teaching.


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