After seeing Bhikkhu Bodhi describe the Buddha’s daily routine and mentioning him continuing daily meditation I can’t help but wonder what its purpose was at that point. I’ve always though meditation was an action aimed at achieving nibbana. What did the Buddha gain from doing it after already achieving nibbana?
“A pleasant abiding here and now”.
Is what the suttas say, if you have a choice between sitting in a state of perfect bliss or, i dunno, what? Doing the sanghas taxes? Scrolling facebook? What would you do?
I think it is very interesting that a perfectly enlightened one’s everyday moments are not quite the same as those they would experience in meditation. My assumption was that the Buddha’s every experience was as perfectly peaceful as possible, so the implication that specific attention on the perfected mind is still superior to every other moment is actually kind of mindblowing in itself.
I think thats the point, sitting in deep jhana is simply more perfectly peaceful than explaining the way to the toilets can be.
Advantages to the arahant:
“Those monks who are learners, who have yet to attain their hearts’ aspiration, who stay resolved on the unexcelled security from bondage: When the concentration of mindfulness of breathing is developed & pursued by them, it leads to the ending of the effluents.
“Those monks who are arahants, whose effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: When the concentration of mindfulness of breathing is developed & pursued by them, it leads to a pleasant abiding here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness.
“For whatever one rightly speaking would call, ‘a noble dwelling,’ ‘a brahmā dwelling,’ ‘a Tathāgata dwelling,’ it would be the concentration of mindfulness of breathing that he, speaking rightly, would call, ‘a noble dwelling,’ ‘a brahmā dwelling,’ ‘a Tathāgata dwelling.’”—Samyutta Nikaya 54.11
Everything the Buddha did was a Form of Meditation on what the Purpose of His Enlightenment Is.
Such and such a thought, action, deed, mantra, or Teaching would only come in the Form of a Meditation behind it. And as the Buddha destroyed the fetters of the Saha World’s grasp on Him, Expediently, He Returned as an Emanation, as what is deemed Flesh Come in Meditation by those who study why He was still here with us, Teaching, after Achieving Enlightenment and Beyond.
I read somewhere that the Buddha suffered from severe back pain during his later years so getting into a deep meditation state would surely be a relief from that pain.
After the final transcending of self, what is not meditation?