Author Topic: Samatha meditation  (Read 7709 times)

mathanga

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Samatha meditation
« on: February 04, 2010, 08:52:31 AM »
Is this breath meditation ?

we have 6 doors, body is the one of them.

when we do breath meditation, we sence the air contact of the "body" door.

shut 5 doors, specially mind door by opening body door to sence the breath?

Is this correct?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 09:42:44 AM by mathanga »

Matthew

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 09:57:47 AM »
mathanga,

This is Shamatha:

Find a secluded place or quiet time. Sit comfortably without using a back support - on some cushions or rolled blankets on the floor, or a dining chair (not using the back for support) or on the toilet in the office 5 minutes an hour if your day is busy. Breath in aware of breathing in the body, breathe out aware of breathing in your body, breath in calming the body, breath out calming the body. When thoughts arise, feelings or sensations let them be. Do not attach or reject them. All sense doors are open, basing awareness in the breath whilst calming and relaxing the body, neither attaching to nor rejecting thoughts, not judging them, not following trains of thought, not becoming overwhelmed by thought, mindfulness always to the fore on the breathing process of the body. Thoughts, feelings and perceptions will arise and fall. Fabricate nothing. Do not force silence on your mind nor shut any sense door. Establish your mind in calm through awareness of the breath and no reaction to other arisings.

This is Vipassana Meditation, practiced after a lot of Shamatha, if you wish to change yourself deeply:

As thoughts arise and fall, when you have your consciousness anchored firmly in the breathing process of the body one can shift more attention to thoughts, examine them, follow them, see where they come from and go to. The mind will have quieted greatly through sheer boredom in the process of Shamatha which can take a long time to bring to fruition yet there will be residual thinking taking place. Examining in closer detail this thinking whilst remaining in the quiet abode of inner peace/bliss established in Shamatha will start to lead to deep change.

Shutting doors is fabrication and to be avoided. Paying them no heed and developing concentration on the breath is simpler and more directly leads to realisation.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 09:58:28 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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mathanga

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 10:18:48 AM »
Matthew,
I value your reply very much.

Also, one thing triggered by your reply.

I am not good at samatha but I think I have been doing vipassana in wrong way, over 10- 15 years.

I analyse thoughts - in me and in others, throughout the day - to grater extent. I can see them verry clearly. but imagine the terrible pain and negativity i experience when I see all bad things in me and in others. specially when living in the society. not in a monastary.

So I think I need to get rid of this thinking, ie wrong vipassana like thoughts first.

May be Samatha is the tool to do that.

Can you give some idea?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 10:22:35 AM by mathanga »

Matthew

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 10:26:38 AM »
May be Samatha is the tool to do that.

Can you give some idea?

I did - up there ^ - the technique for good Shamatha is described in full for the time being.

:)

Now you have to sit.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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mik1e

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 02:43:36 PM »
mathanga,

If you really can see thoughts of other people, you are an advanced practitioner. In this case it is very strange that you cannot see all qualities of people -- including good ones. Every common person has some mixture of good and bad, and if you see only bad sides, that means that your ego is still very strong. In this case you have to analyze the roots of your "perception shift" and get rid of remains of ego.

But if you only think that you can see thoughts in other people (i.e. just interpret their facial expression), then you have to return to basics and start from the very beginning, since you've spent 10-15 years not in vipassana practice, but in playing with ego.

When I visited Tinlay Rimpoche's lecture on Shamatha, he said that the "middle" of the practice is when you are able to sit 4-5 hours being focused on single object. Only then one may shift to Vipassana. I'd advise you to keep this "professional" criterion in mind to measure your progress.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 02:38:47 PM by mik1e »

mathanga

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2010, 12:06:17 PM »
I think I should start with Samatha, as all of you suggested.

I am not doing Vipassana anyway, only I was mindful about how me and people think, how react etc. I never name it as vipassana as described in buddhism.

I will give you 2 classic examples for what I did,

1. Just started work at office, coleague came and asked "Are u ready to go to the site?. I replied yes. After few minuted again asked "are u ready to go?. I said "yes yes". Again some time later, asked Are u ready to go? My temper was at the roof level. But all buddhist thoughts came. I calmly said "yes". then he said, OK, I will take my tea and come.

I didnt speak a single word over 3 hours with him while sitting next to him in the car. My head was aching.


2. All 5 of us sharing 1 shower in the  shared company accomadation, but one guy use it 1 hour in the morning. My temper is at maximum always. To avoide any inpleasent incident, I getup very early in the morning or just use the bathroom for 5 minute. I am really depressed by reacting this way.

Is this the part of the life and our practice? Is it because of my ego or something ? I am ready to accept anything. Your help is much appriciated.

mik1e

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 08:41:37 PM »
mathanga,

You have described classic situations of working with ego.

You have to understand that working with ego absolutely does not mean becoming weak and yielding to everybody whose ego is greater than yours (i.e. almost everybody). But it means that you use every situation of confronting with somebody's ego to destroy some part of your own ego, i.e. you use an ego carrier just as a hummer or screwdriver to repair yourself. You main goal in this work not to make other person to get rid of his/her ego (very, very common mistake), but to get rid of your own ego at any cost. What will happen after that, does not matter. Even if you lose something, which was very important for you in material world, you actually only gain: the freedom, which you obtain, will bring you everything you really need.

E.g., you can use the annoying person for making yourself more "transparent" to somebody's stupidity and annoyance. You can try to investigate the roots of the sensations which arise in you, and discover a lot of information about your subconscious mind and previous lives. And when you clean yourself from all this garbage, you will find that you have become much stronger, and the same actions of the same person do not annoy you anymore. Instead of becoming anger you just smile. I say this based on my own experience.

So, my answer: yes, this the part of the life and our practice.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 08:42:22 PM by mik1e »

Crystal Palace

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 06:37:29 AM »
And therefore every situation in life is an oppurtunity to get rid of craving, aversion and ignorance - the root causes of all our misery.

I particularly like Shantideva's approach in this regard wherein he states our enemy is actually our greatest good-doer for had there been not an enemy how would an oppurunity to practice tolerance ever arise? Thus our enemy is a very important 'friend' in our journey on the path.

An excerpt:

Those who cause me suffering
Are like Buddhas bestowing their blessings.
Since they lead me to liberating paths
Why should I get angry with them?

"Don't they obstruct your virtuous practice?"
No! There is no virtuous practice greater than patience;
Therefore I will never get angry
With those who cause me suffering.

If, because of my own shortcomings,
I do not practice patience with my enemy
It is not he, but I, who prevents me from practicing patience



So mathanga, when the guy in the bathroom does not get out for over an hour smile and laugh and give him metta, for he is giving you practical tests in patience...much more beneficial than the guy whou would use the bathroom for only 5 minutes. Of course, at the same time, also try to solve the problem by either talking to him, or getting up early or by other means.

Best  :)
Crystal Palace
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 07:03:51 AM by Crystal Palace »
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Matthew

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 02:34:15 PM »
“When you want to move or want to talk, first examine your mind. And then, with firmness, act in the proper way. When you feel desire or hatred in your mind do not act or speak but remain like a log.” - Shantideva

Like Crystal Palace, advice from Shantideva sprang to my mind. As Mik1e says working with ego does not mean "becoming weak". For example - with the guy who uses the shower for one hour. You are doing the right thing by refraining from raising this issue whilst you feel desire or hatred. If you can reach a point where you accept things as they are you will probably be doing so by repressing feelings.

There is a time and way to say things. When you have a calm mind about this matter you can approach the person concerned and raise the issue with them in a skilful way. Point out the behaviour and that if you were all to do the same you would need to rise 6 hours before work to get a shower in.

Point out that it is not possible for this person to continue in the way they have but that perhaps they were not aware of how their behaviour is impacting the rest of you - and that a more considerate approach is needed, that this person needs to consider his behaviour and it's impact on others.

Warmly,

Matthew
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MountainKing

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 11:41:38 PM »
mathanga,

When I visited Tinlay Rimpoche's lecture on Shamatha, he said that the "middle" of the practice is when you are able to sit 4-5 hours being focused on single object. Only then one may shift to Vipassana. I'd advise you to keep this "professional" criterion in mind to measure your progress.

In Goenka's scheme of things, one first does anapana to attain shamatha for 10-15 minutes at maximum before moving into vipassana. In light of what you say, this means Goenka's courses are hurrying people into Vipassana?

Stefan

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Re: Samatha meditation
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2012, 09:36:26 AM »
mathanga,

When I visited Tinlay Rimpoche's lecture on Shamatha, he said that the "middle" of the practice is when you are able to sit 4-5 hours being focused on single object. Only then one may shift to Vipassana. I'd advise you to keep this "professional" criterion in mind to measure your progress.

In Goenka's scheme of things, one first does anapana to attain shamatha for 10-15 minutes at maximum before moving into vipassana. In light of what you say, this means Goenka's courses are hurrying people into Vipassana?

no, it just means a different use for the same word. As I understood it, Rimpoche refers to the state of mind which is indeed hard to achieve, while Goenka refers to the given name of his bodyscanning technique. Both is called "Vipassana" ...
And then, Shamatha is not Anapana  ;)

Hence Goenkas warning about mixing techniques, because also the descriptions of techniques use words in a different way, and that is, as you found out now, quite irritating.
anicca