Sunday, March 23, 2014

What is 三昧境 (삼매경)?

三昧境 (삼매경) literally translates as "the three (三) dawns (昧) state (境) [of body and mind]," but the 三昧 portion is supposedly the Chinese pronunciation for the Sanskrit word "Samadhi," which is a Zen state of mind that is so focused that your body and mind seem to separate from everything else. The 境 is short for 境地 (경지), which means "a state" or "a condition."

I am not into Buddhism or meditation and know very little about the subjects, but I once experienced something that might have been a form of Samadhi.

I was about 28 years old and living in Seoul, Korea. I had just returned from somewhere to my second-floor room in a house I shared with a Korean couple and was lying on my bed, not because I was sleepy but because I was trying to cool off. It was a warm, sunny day, and there was a gentle breeze blowing into my room through my unscreened window, causing the sheer white curtains over my window to silently and gently float up and down above me. Looking up from my bed all I could see out the window was a clear, blue sky. All I could hear was children laughing and playing somewhere in the distance.

I had cooled down and felt extremely relaxed as I watched the white curtains float in the air on the cool breeze above my head and seemed to get more and more relaxed as I lay there and focused on my curtains. My arms were at my sides and my body was perfectly still. My arms and legs seemed heavy, and then I seemed to lose the ability to move them and my head. It was as if I was paralyzed and no longer had any control of my body. Then I started feeling my body slowly being lifted into the air up off my mattress until I seemed to be floating a few inches above my bed. Again, instead of simply floating up into air; my body seemed to have been lifted up into the air. My body still seemed to have weight, but like the curtain, seemed to have been lifted up on a cushion of air.

The feeling was so blissful that I soon started thinking about how I could continue the experience. However, my very thoughts of how to continue the experience seemed to be weighing me down, so I tried to stop thinking and empty my head, again, but the thought of trying to empty my head is itself a thought, so I continued to sink back down into my bed until the bliss I had felt was gone. If only I had stayed focused on the floating curtain in the room, maybe the bliss could have lasted longer.

As far as I know, I did not fall asleep; I did not wake up; I did not dream. I just seemed to fall into a state of relaxation so intense that my body became as light as the white curtain floating above me and my bed. Everything seemed to take place within a five to ten minute period, with the floating lasting about twenty seconds. I think my eyes were closed while I was floating. That was the only time something like that has ever happened to me.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

What does 매치매치바 mean?

매치 매치바 means "Match Match (candy) bar," a Korean candy bar from the 1980s.

I just woke up from a dream about this candy bar, a candy bar I ate almost everyday in Korea in the early '80s. The jingle from the TV and radio commercials will probably be in my head for the rest of my life:  "못생겨도 맛은 좋아 ("Even though it's ugly, it tastes good.")

This candy bar reminds me of the song in the post immediately below:

"You ask me if there'll come a time when I grow tired of you. Never, my love; never, my love."