Dedicated to sharing the metaphysics of 108, and the 108 meditation.
108, The Most Profound Number, The Simplest Meditation Instruction.
Be 1 with the breath, let 0 thoughts coalesce,
tap into the infinite, 8.
The Quality of 108
108 is considered the most valuable number in numerology, metaphysics and symbolism. The quantity of 108 is compelling, but what is the energetic quality of 108?
Among Eastern theologies, there is said to be 108 emotions, 36 of the present, 36 of the past and 36 of the future. In Hinduism there are 108 names for every god. In Buddhism there are considered to be 108 paths to god, and in contrast, 108 defilements or sins. Mantras are chanted 108 times, and 108 sun salutations are performed by Yogis on solstices and equinoxes. In Sanskrit there are 54 letters, each with a masculine and feminine form, making 108 characters. 108 represents the divine trinity of time: 1 symbolizes the singularity of the present, 0 the nothingness of the past, and 8 the infinity of the future. And as a meditative tool, 108 describes a simple path to a meditative state, as our awareness moves from 1 (the present), to 0 (nothingness) to 8 (the infinite whole).
But these celebrations of 108 are just the tip of the metaphysical iceberg.
The celestial orchestration of Earth, the Sun and our Moon is based on the divine proportional ratio of 108 — something that was appreciated by the ancients long before modern astronomers did the math. For instance, the diameter of the Earth at the equator is 7926 miles while the diameter of the Sun is about 108 times that: about 865,000. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the Sun’s diameter: 93,020,000 miles. The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 238,800 miles, about 108 times the Moon’s diameter: 2180 miles. Through this astronomical, divine and miraculous positioning, 108 is symbolic of celestial order and perfection.
Importantly, as a metaphysical symbol, 108 also represents the three main types of energy and movement in Yoga, meditative movement, Tai Chi and martial arts. In Chinese martial arts, acupressure, as well as Indian fighting techniques, there 108 main pressure points, and numerous forms of Tai Chi have 108 movements. In fact, one of the first yoga systems to be brought to the west, The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation, contains 108 breath coordinated movements.
108 Represents The Flow of Energy
108 symbolizes the form and flow of meditative movement, in yoga and tai chi. 1 symbolizes linear movement, 0 symbolizes circular movement, and 8 symbolizes spiraling movement. There are circumstances in which one energy or another is more suitable, but in general the spiraling energy is the most powerful. Spiral movement is a combination of the masculine straight energy and the feminine circular energy. The combination of the two creates spiraling flow.
Most often, most people move in a linear fashion; we humans are very linear and upright beings. Imagine moving more relaxed and less extended and less linear, to integrate circular flow and remove the skips and stops that are sometimes present in linear movement. When we practice movement mindfully, in a slow manner, like in Tai Chi, we can relax and flow more easily without the stopping points that linear movement tends to result in. The smoothness of continuing circular movement has no stopping points, and thus allow our energy to flow through our movements. Circular movements are normally much more effective, and are certainly less likely to cause injuries when we get in our own way, and hurt ourselves by overextending.
The combination of straight and circular flow results in spiraling movements and energy. Spiraling energy is the highest form of energy in martial art because it tends to overwhelm opposition. Linear movements function in one direction. Circular movements can incorporate two planes of energy, or energy from two directions, or two planes. But a spiral is a combination of linear and circular energy and can act on three directional planes of the opposition, and is thus the most powerful and overwhelming to the sense of balance to the opposition. Spiraling energy integrates force that interacts with the plane we are facing as well as applying force to the vertical and horizon planes. The more circular and spiral potential we integrate into martial art, the more we are able to deal with force that would otherwise cause imbalance.
The three forms of energy — linear, circular and spiraling — are recognized in martial arts, but this understanding is certainly not limited to the application of force through martial arts. The idea that there is linear, circular, and spiraling movements is less theoretical and more vibrational. For instance, bacteria, which are subject to the same vibrations, form in the same manner as this aspect of 108. Bacteria can be found in three shapes; rod, (linear) cocci, (round) and spirillum (spiraling). The worst of the little nasties for we humans to deal with tends to be spirillum: the spiralling energy.
Along with linear, circular, and spiral movement and energy, there is also an unsaid fourth aspect; that of stillness. Tai Chi may be the practice of flow and moving dynamically, but one of the most potent practices of Tai Chi and Chi Gung is stillness. This is most frequently done in The Universal Pillar meditation position. Twenty minutes of stillness is as profoundly empowering as twenty minutes of dynamic movement.
To take advantage of this practice, apply the Tai Chi principles of relaxation, posturing and unlocked joints, mindfulness of knees being above the feet, standing still and relaxing as the tension is released. Hold your hands in front of you, palms facing you at about heart height in a relaxed position. Such dynamic stillness can be endlessly refined however in the beginning, we can note to relax shoulders, tuck the tailbone, and maintain knee alignment over the feet, not past the toes. Breathe in a relaxed manner and imagine smooth circulation of internal energy.
Twenty minutes or even two minutes of stillness is as profoundly empowering as twenty minutes of dynamic movement. And perhaps, in the same way that when we integrate a comprehension of stillness as well as the linear, circular and spiraling flow of energy into our physical movement, we can better deal with obvious oppositional forces — be it our opponents in martial arts or the imbalances that cause us injury in physical activity — we might also apply this concept to better deal with less obvious, near-invisible adversaries. If we integrate 108, stillness, and linear, circular and spiraling movement potentials into our daily lives, we can better deal not just with adversarial encounters but with whatever is thrown at us — be it intellectual, emotional, or metaphysical.
What’s in a number? Only what we project and apply to that number, some would say. I would argue that numbers provide windows for comparative understanding of relationships or similarities, at least.
The number 108, its symbolism and its origin, is of metaphysical intuition. In Buddhism there are 108 paths to god, and in contrast 108 defilements or sins. But these theological celebrations of 108 are just the tip of the spiritual iceberg.
The Esoteric Value of 108
Buddha is known to have pointed to 4 aspects or stages of love related to The Four Immeasurables; Love of self is the first aspect, love of others is the second, love for the happiness of others is third and love of all things in equanimity is the fourth.
Each stage of the following stage requires the preceding stage of love to be put forth. The Golden Rule is one element; love results from loving others as you would be loved. Just contemplate love for yourself, for others, for the happiness of others so they can find enlightenment/dharma — and all things can change for you and your surroundings.
See the divinity in the relationship between the Sun, Moon and Earth in the ratio of 108. The diameter of the Earth at the equator is 7926 miles. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times that: about 865,000. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the sun’s diameter: 93,020,000 miles. The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 238,800 miles, about 108 times the moons diameter: 2180.
See the divinity of yourself with all of humanity and all living beings, with the entirety of the planet as equally and divinely balanced. The relationship of the Sun, Earth and Moon provide for all life and moreover all consciousness on Earth. And the size and distance between the familiar celestial objects are all in the divine proportion of 108. Through this astronomical, divine and miraculous positioning, 108 is symbolic of celestial order and perfection, our microcosmic position in the macrocosm.
108 can be seen as illustrating love; 1 for unification and acceptance, 0 representing that nothing matters compared to love and 8 representing eternal, immutable compassionate love, no matter what. 108 is the key to metaphysical intuition. 108 links the micro and macro further in its representation of time: 1 for the present, 0 for the past and 8 for the infinite future.
Buddha’s dharma lessons are said to be the antidote to the corruptions, in the same way compassionate love counters confrontation. It’s said that Buddha revealed 84,000 lessons in dharma, or 82,000 lessons and that 2,000 more were later added for a total of 84,000 dharmas or meditations — antidotes to what are called the 84,000 corruptions. His teachings are divided into four parts; 21,000 teachings on each of the three baskets of teaching (Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma) and their combination, which counter and cure the gross corruptions of this plane.
There are four types of corruptions; 21,000 of passion, 21,000 of hatred, 21,000 of ignorance and 21,000 of a combination of the three equally. Buddha taught that the way out of suffering is not to cause suffering and that the way to happiness is to choose happiness; to cease allowing passion, hatred and ignorance to rule one’s consciousness. Question yourself and others acting in these states. These states of consciousness are reflected in the center of an ancient mandala of reincarnation, and in the cycle of Samsara (the birth/death cycle) as the passion of the pig, the hatred of the snake and ignorance of the rooster. They are depicted in a cycle, or reaction, chasing each other’s tails. The lesson? Instead of chasing tails, be compassionate for all, as 1, exclude 0 living beings from your compassion, and be accepting of infinite (8) alternative compassionate form and function: 108.
The Meditative Value of 108
84,000 Divided by 108 = 777.7777777777777…
7, 777 and sevens in multitude are symbolic of angelic being, ascension and transmutation of self into a spiritual being with heightened awareness. And perchance, 7+7+7=21.
There are 84,000 loving ways to counter 84,000 corruptions; 84,000 compassionate forms to choose from, instead of 84,000 causes for suffering. There is always a way to respond lovingly, in angelic being, rather than to react hatefully, in a trained reaction, in accordance to the scripting of another’s corrupt play. There is always a way to respond rather than react.
The number 84,000 is more of a metaphor than a specific count of course. It is a metaphor expressed in its angelic numerical relationships perhaps, but more importantly, it is reflective of the near limitless corruptions on this gross plane and that, for each one, there is a dharma lesson. For every problem and for every corruption there is a compassionate, caring, wise solution.
One of the most popular figures in Tibetan Buddhism is the Green Tara . Known as the Buddha of “enlightened activity”, Tara is a female Bodhisattva and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. Tara has 21 aspects, Green Tara being the most frequently praised, and represents the ultimate feminine compassionate energy.
Tara is a meditation deity whose practice is used to develop certain inner qualities, and to understand outer and inner teachings of compassion and emptiness. There are many ways to connect with Green Tara. One meditation I learned, with accompanying ritual, reveals two main mantras to connect with Green Tara; the heart mantra and the activating mantra. It is said when the heart mantra is repeated 700,000 times, and for each thousand that the activating mantra is also said three hundred times, one can call on Green Tara with ease and obtain her assistance for compassionate acts.
300 multiplied by 700 is 210,000, giving a total of 910,000 mantra repetitions. 910,000 divided by 84,000 equals 10.83333333333333…. another fascinating result which, despite the decimal point, depicts 108 before the following neat sequence of repeated threes. The Activating Green Tara mantra is commonly used on its own: Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Swa Ha.
Be 1 with the breath
Let 0 thoughts Coalesce
Access the infinite 8
Simplest primal Meditation Instruction, 108
There are numerous benefits of meditation. The reason it is so beneficial in so many different ways is because 108, there is 0 nothing in between the 1 individual and the 8 infinite universal.
Be 1 with the breath, let 0 thoughts coalesce, tap into the infinite, 8.
Be 1 with the breath, let 0 thoughts coalesce, tap into the infinite, 8.
There are some things you simply cannot project or make up. For instance the diameter of the Earth at the equator is 7926 miles. The diameter of the Sun is 108 times that: about 865,000. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the sun’s diameter: 93,020,000 miles. The average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 238,800 miles, about 108 times the moons diameter: 2180.
The relationship of the Sun, Earth and Moon provide for all life and moreover all consciousness on Earth. And the size and distance between the familiar celestial objects are all in the divine proportion of 108. Through this astronomical, divine and miraculous positioning, 108 is symbolic of celestial order and perfection, our microcosmic position in the macrocosm.
The long forms of most tai chi chuan styles contains 108 movements, and one of the first yoga systems to be brought to the west, The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation contains 108 breath coordinated movements when done in the recommended 21 repetitions and including 3 movements of the sixth rite. The celestial orchestration of Earth, the Sun and our moon is based on a balance ratio of 108, and a reflection of this is the utilization of 108 in some of the most celebrated meditative movements. Most serious practitioners repeat mantras 108 times often using mala beads with 108 beads. 108 links the micro and macro further in its representation of time: 1 for the present, 0 for the past and 8 for the infinite future.
Among Eastern theology there is said to be 108 emotions, 36 of the present, 36 of the past and 36 of the future. Whether or not there might be more or less emotions than presented is unimportant to the point, that just like our physical bodies can only be well or express disease in so many ways, our emotional bodies express ourselves the same. When we are emotionally disturbed we behave in disturbed ways. We lose our connection to the present. And when we are not present, we are more easily destabilized and tricked into behaving in disturbed ways.
Being emotionally present is extremely difficult the longer one has been emotionally in the past or future. Many people, no matter if they appear to be happy or sad, are simply not emotionally present. In fact much of the mediated entertainment available through commercial media is made to keep one in the past or the future. For example, television is based on taking one outside oneself, away from being present, into say a story about the past or the potential future, combined with commercials that take one away from the present by presenting problems and the ‘solutions’ they sell for the those problems – problems one has faced in the past or may face in the future. Most all entertainment is designed to take us away from the present.
Being emotionally present leads to peaceful stability. Being emotionally caught up in the past or the future, upset by what happened or expectant of what might happen, puts us in a mind state that is easily swayed by nefarious manipulators to operate and perpetuate a ‘war world’. Even war itself is based on some idea concerning a past event or some future potential.
One of the best ways to be present is to practice meditation. If you have never meditated or if your ego has convinced you that you cannot meditate, simply contemplate 108. The point of meditation is mindlessness. Meditation is mindfulness, but fullness of mind of the present.
Think of 1 thing; the breath. Allow the thoughts that arise, as distractions from the ego, to come and go like traffic. Be mindfully calm of the breath. Mindfulness of breath enables one to relax, to be present with each breath and, if only for a moment, to think of nothing. This in turn opens up our consciousness so we are capable of thinking of infinity: 1, 0, 8.
Be present and meditate for, if you’re not training, you’re being trained. And in the war world, if we’re not training to be mindful people, we’re generally trained for mindless war – for a war world mentality.
Consider the following, so as to decrease your likelihood of being tricked.
Great doubt, great awakening. Little doubt, little awakening. No doubt, no awakening ~ Zen saying
“There are three, but where is the fourth?”– Carl Jung
What’s in a number? Only what we project and apply to that number some would say. I would argue that numbers provide windows for comparative understanding of relationships or similarities, at least. 108, its symbolism and its origin, is of metaphysical intuition. 108 became a celebrated number through intuition or divination. In Hinduism there are 108 names for every god. And in Buddhism there are 108 paths to god, and in contrast 108 defilements or sins. But these theological celebrations of 108 are just the tip of the theological iceberg. Further, in Sanskrit there are 54 letters each with a masculine and feminine making 108. In Chinese martial arts, acupressure as well as Indian fighting techniques there 108 main pressure points and numerous forms of tai chi have 108 movements. The number is intrinsic in many traditions to the point the roots of its celebration are mysterious and too ancient to trace.
The divinity of 108 was never argued and its significance was adopted and transmuted or realized by all who came into its understanding. More than likely 108 is rooted in India. The ancient Hindu astrological system is based on lunar and solar cycles. The lunar and solar cycles hold 108 as central, only through different calculations of time. Astrology and astronomy are similar in that they look to space, but they are different subjects altogether. Only the ancient Hindu astrological system correlates with modern astronomical observation.
The most amazing aspect of the number has only recently been scientifically revealed, directly correlating astrology with astronomy and suggesting intuitive understanding. Its meaning was made scientifically wondrous validating the metaphysical number in theological, individual, astrological and celestial concepts.
We are flowing in an ecosystem flowing in solar system flowing in the universal system. Individual life on Earth and the goddess of Mother Earth as the collective Gaia we are a part of all exists thanks to a unique relationship between our wet rock and the Sun and the Moon. The relationship of the Sun, Earth and Moon provide for all life and moreover all consciousness on Earth. And the size and distance between the familiar celestial objects are all in the divine proportion of about 108. Through this astronomical, divine and miraculous positioning 108 is symbolic for celestial order and perfection.
The celestial relationship between the Sun, Moon and Earth of which we as individuals are a part of is balanced in a ratio of around 108, the exact distances fluctuate during our spherical revolution. So even though the Sun is about 400 times bigger than the Moon they appear the same size from here because of the ratio of 108. And yet this knowledge was only specifically understood in totality recently during the 20th century. But 108 was a celebrated number long before any specific knowledge of its cosmic astrological divinity was established beyond intuitive recognition astrological theory.
In 108 there is everything, just about. It represents the divine trinity of time. 1 symbolizes the singularity of the present, 0 the nothingness of the past and 8 the infinity of the future. This numerical symbolism alone is enough to make it interesting. Whenever I see a set of three, I think of what fourth part it may suggest and what fourth part may be lacking, having written the Matrix of Four, the Philosophy of The Duality of Polarity, I know there are many such trinities. Yet the trinity of time in 108, the present, past and future, appears complete, at least on initial inspection.
Yet the intuitive roots of 108, the intuitive recognition of 108 as a divine number before its scientific validation suggests the fourth part that the number suggests as well. The fourth part is likely unsaid because it’s difficult to explain and was traditionally left unsaid for to speak it was to make it untrue or somehow taint it. The fourth unsaid aspect is the aspect of intuition, the fourth unsaid of 108, of the present, past, future, is that of timelessness. The fourth aspect of time is timelessness and leads to intuition and intuitive understanding. The fourth aspect of time is like the Akashic Field where all is revealed including the significance of 108.
108 is divine and originated in divination. Through 108 our most powerful capability is suggested and revealed. Being in the fourth state of timelessness, tapping into the Akashic Field or being in The Zone, lends us intuitive consciousness. However tapping into the Akashic field and being in The Zone requires preparation and practice; hence tai chi, chi gung and yoga. All of which simply attune and balance one for the ultimate preparation to glimpse timelessness; meditation.
Peace on Earth! For more on 108 read 108 Steps To Be In The Zone.
Leave your email for occasional Ethan Indigo ideas.