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Book: Nikāya Buddhism and Early Chan

Chapter: Meditation as an Extension of a Specific Way of Life

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.44354


Chapter 6 considers the possibility that mental calm and intense spiritual feelings characterizing altered meditative states arise as a result of a specific lifestyle and mindset and are not produced by meditation itself. It points out that various forms of mental movement are a result of psychological adaptive mechanisms which drive human behaviour. The chapter argues that the Buddhist renunciate way of life can lead to the attenuation of these mechanisms, thus removing important sources of mental movement. The final part of the chapter focuses on the significance of renunciate livelihood and right speech for removing the psychological roots of verbal thinking and mental monologue.

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