The deeper states of Meditation – Silas Day – Ep. 11

“You can do these things, and come to the same or similar conclusion.”

The deeper states of meditation

Silas Day is an author, writer, meditation teacher, and dharma student. He writes books, posts, lectures on dharma topics and creates guided meditations to help those who want to better themselves. He lives with his wonderful wife and cat (Miko). Silas has somewhere around 11,000 hours of meditation under his belt and 15280 plays of his guided meditations on Insight Timer.
When creating his meditations, he uses the questions and ideas from his students to create a framework to teach from. His creativity lies in teaching others those ancient methods and techniques in a direct and clear way.
In this episode, we talk about his personal journey and the deeper states of meditation; Samadhi and the Jhanas.

“If anything, one should be a skeptic.”

The journey

Silas started to meditate around the age of 12. The only thing he knew was how to cross his legs and close his eyes and focus on his breathe.
Around the age of 14 he decided to start a serious practice and studied Soto Zen and Chan. He practiced Zazen until he was 19 years old and worked together with the Everyday Zen community. After this he began to look into the Theravada tradition and learned a lot about the base meditative states. Further in his journey he found a connection in Vajrayana Buddhism, specifically Dgozchen and Mahamudra. We talk about his current practice which is mostly Tibetan but not in a sectarian way.

“I find the teachings from most mystical traditions to have some merit or value.”

Samatha & the Jhanas

Silas explains what the practice of Samatha entails. What you are doing through Samatha is attuning and training your concentration practice, through observing the mind for what it is.”
He talks about the states of Samatha Jhanas, which can be experienced through the deeper states of this practice. Way before the Buddha existed, these states were experienced and explored. These things seem far away for someone just starting on their path of meditation and mindfulness. We talk about how much of what we hear today about meditation seems to be directed for enhancing our life a bit, but not that much about these deeper states of meditation. How do you get from an introductory lesson and the excitement of starting with meditation to these deeper states? Just keep doing it, keep doing it every day.

“Meditation is my microscope to consciousness.”

Witness the Fitness

Meditation in a way is like lifting weights. You keep doing it over and over again until you are able to keep a certain amount of focus, of concentration and experience deeper meditation states. Silas is an avid fitness fan and we talk a bit about the comparison between lifting weights and watching the breath.

“A certain amount of doubt and skepticism be the seeds that sow the tree of faith.”

We talk about having faith or having trust in teachings. Should we blindly believe what we are told or keep an observant and skeptic eye towards it? For Silas doubt and skepticism is very central to learning. It is about questioning and discovering these things for ourselves.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to know more about Silas Day, take a look at his website: https://silasday.com/
You can listen to his guided meditations here:
https://insighttimer.com/Nanzenji

If you’d like to talk about this podcast or have comments and ideas, please let me know by joining our community here https://discord.gg/FKWFeYq
Simply use @christiaan or send me a DM! I would love to hear from you.

With warm regards,

Christiaan Neeteson

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Christiaan Neeteson
Christiaan Neeteson
Christiaan is passionate about building communities. With over 6 years of experience in social work, emphasis on the more severe personality disorders, his interest for the workings of the mind is apparent. Driven to understand human behavior, he is currently studying Psychology and practices Chan/Zen in the lineage of Sheng Yen. As an avid music and audio producer, he hosts the podcast and produces meditative music.

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