Who doesn’t remember that episode when Aang tried to open his chakras to reach and control the state Avatar? Well for the mental disturbances, fears and love towards Katara could not specify that state of control and mindfulness, which would allow him to have the absolute power of the four elements and of himself.
The same happens with him nirvana -in Buddhism- , which is the state of a mind free from afflictions and disturbances; that is, as if you were living in an earthly paradise. At least that’s how the clinical psychologist interprets it, Gino Escobar, coordinator of the Municipal Emotional Health Unit of Guayaquil, who adds that nirvana is an expression of the maximum state of detachment from all that suffering that the human being carries throughout his life, and reaching it is like reaching the highest part of spiritual development. Also, it says to describe the feeling of nirvana “It’s like each person’s orgasm.”
However, the opposite of that enlightenment and fullness is known as samsara, where thought is full of confusion, conflict. ignorance and suffering, since “our modern life is oriented towards material objectives with a totally extrospective look”.
Milena Pietrobelli, Anthropological researcher and Documentalist at the Center for Buddhist Studies in Buenos Aires (Argentina), mentions that there are various schools of Buddhism that understand nirvana in different ways, but generally agree that not a place but a state of mind that we can achieve.
“This state is beyond space, time and definition. It can only be experienced,” he says.
The also specialist in areas of the anthropology of the body, rituality and Latin American religiosity indicates to EXTRA that there is quite a significant difference between the presentations of the “vehicles” Hinayana (liberated beings) and Mahayana (enlightened beings) in order to reach the state of nirvana. Notably, these drivers are spiritual focuses, one smaller than the other, but the goal is in free yourself from mental suffering. Pietrobelli adds that the motivations to reach fulfillment must be “totally altruistic” in order to benefit others.
Get rid of mental ‘poison’
We all agree that we experience suffering or discomfort! The expert comments that in order to eliminate something you need to know what do we want to undo, what are its causes and how they originate. “I cannot pretend to eliminate suffering, if I do not know how it arises and why,” he questions.
The main causes of suffering (physical and mental), the anthropologist points out, are the mental afflictions. Mainly the ignorance of how phenomena, people, things and our own existence exist. “This ignorance fundamental of not knowing who we really are will give rise to a self-centered vision, what we call clinging to the self. An exaggerated clinging to this notion of who we are and what I consider to be ‘my things, my family and my friends’ “, he explains, since when the notion of an ‘I’ and a ‘Mine’ arises, we give rise to two prevailing afflictions: attachment and aversion.
From these three afflictive emotions all the others will be triggered as jealousy, envy, pride, fear, etc; with which we cause many problems and conflicts which generates suffering to other beings.
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“On the other hand, due to our solid and concrete fixation on phenomena, people and things, we also suffer when these change. Because we give the quality of permanent to that which is subject to change and when something that we believe is permanent changes state, we suffer, “he says.
But “there is a way out”, and it is thanks to the fourth noble truth that exposes Buddhism: awakening, where you can see reality as it is, free from mental obscurations, afflictions, and conditioning.
THE SECRET FOR PEACE OF MIND
According to Escobar, there is no secret to achieving peace of mind, since “if it were a secret, there would be no Buddhism.” Rather, he says, the source of enlightenment is the detachment and the success is in the permanent practice of that. But Pietrobelli points out that we do not have to look for peace or well-being in external circumstances, If not, it must be established in the own mind.
The understood, quoting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, details some steps to achieve peace of mind: cultivating ‘ahimsa’ y ‘karuna’, non-violence and compassion.
If you do not develop compassion and a good heart, there will be no rest for your mind, even if you take vacations, go to a beach. If there is no compassion in your mind, and instead there is anger, anger or resentment, we cannot guarantee lasting well-being.
“We need a method that does not help to identify the emotions that disturb us in order to reduce them and better still, eliminate them. And increase the qualities and positive emotions that go towards the well-being that we are looking for”.Milena Pietrobelli / Argentine Anthropological Researcher and Documentalist
He adds that mental training, thought transformation, contemplative meditation are necessary in our search for genuine peace and happiness.
Meditation, as the basis for finding happiness
For Escobar, who has been practicing Buddhism for 26 years, he tells EXTRA that meditation is a spiritual act – mental and physical – in order to focus our attention and then begin to disaggregate and clear ourselves of what causes us suffering.
“For this there must be willingness, diligence and permanence”; Add. Furthermore, in western practice meditation becomes a bit more complex because “we have vices of inappropriate habits and we have a lot of ingrained beliefs. ”
Pietrobelli highlights that to purify our negative actions from the past, it is necessary to practice virtue and avoid harming others. The reason? Because all our actions and those we do with the body, the word and the mind, will imply a virtuous effect and result or not, he mentions.
The essence of Buddhism, as Escobar sees it, is balance because according to his knowledge, excesses are what “lead us to suffering.” “The suggestion of how to achieve enlightenment or nirvana is through the middle path or balance” and you have to cease the source of your desires.
“Meditating is a way of taking charge of our source of suffering that is our scattered and vague thoughts”, Gino Escobar, clinical psychologist.
However, one of the purposes of Buddhism is to find lasting well-being, genuine happiness, that does not depend on pleasant or unpleasant situations that arise, maintains Pietrobellii, since mindfulness meditation is important and necessary to observe and notice what kinds of thoughts and emotions arise in our mind. And in this way “to be able to stop in time any disturbing emotion that appears”.
“When we meditate, we are familiarizing ourselves with a new habit. We become acquainted with a more virtuous habit. Instead of meditating or familiarizing ourselves with anger or fear, we give the mind something virtuous to do, “he says.
So, and according to the experts consulted by this newspaper, all sentient beings have the buddhic potential; but it remains to be seen if we are willing to have that infinite peace. “Buddhism suggests, does not oblige. But if you keep your source of attachment very scarcely you will be able to awaken full consciousness “, concludes Escobar.
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