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Hypnos and Jakarta

On the upside of things, I've been managing to meditate for ten or twenty minutes a night before going to bed, and to attend a regular, one-hour practice at the Shambhala Center on Wednesday evenings. I've also tried to make a point of flipping through a page or two Visuddhimagga before Hypnos makes his rounds, following the old satyr's admonishment that the wise one sees to putting their psyché in order before sleep.

The Visuddhimagga still strikes me as being the most mindbogglingly thorough of texts on meditative practice imaginable. To wit: last night saw me reading through three pages of the section on meditating on the Four Divine Abidings, specifically, the abiding of metta (loving-kindness). That entire section was comprised of a summary of carefully chosen jataka stories, which were chosen to provide the reader with positive paradigms of patience and forbearance recounted from the historical Buddha's transmigrations. The point to that was to provide the practitioner with a reservoir of images to call from memory during practice in order to help settle destructive emotions which would block meditation on the object of loving-kindness. The careful buttressing of logical exposition and explanation with images and story would probably be rather familiar to anyone acquainted with the Platonic complementation of logos with mythos.

Reading week is now upon us. I'll be sticking around Ottawa for the duration. I will also make the attempt to a second paper written for the I.R. core-course, and to finish division one of B&T (little chance of that happening at this rate!). I've also given-up on waiting from my award check from University, and have ordered a Kindle on credit; I've enough surplus cash to cover it, and I can justify the expense. For one, the hundreds of pages of printing that I've needed to do this semester are going to wear-out my toner-cartridge sooner or later, thereby generating a similar expense. For another, its a bloody pain in the arse to carry around a five-kilo binder full of Jstor articles.

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