Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Thanisaro85 on December 13, 2019, 02:47:00 AM

Title: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on December 13, 2019, 02:47:00 AM




Watch 15.51 onward...

https://youtu.be/zJsqTtM9rvQ

Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: stillpointdancer on December 13, 2019, 03:04:12 PM
Now that's how to explain the path to enlightenment. Use the whole variety of meditation techniques in the knowledge of how they work together to come to terms with body and mind, to allow insight experiences to arise in the unforced way necessary for these things to work. Many thanks for the video, Thanisaro85
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Ben on December 13, 2019, 06:38:54 PM
That analogy about ice-cream and children is really good. Simple, yet convincing.

Since I am here, I think I might have another, smaller unresolved issue about meditation - one that fits with the video above, about how the breath should be pleasant to watch:

In short, should the breath be watched as a physical feeling, as it is simply felt? Like, for example, the air breezing at the nosetips, the change of temperature within the nose during in- and exhaling, the belly expanding and contracting.

Or should it be watched as concept? Examples here are: Noting "in" while inhaling, noting "out" while exhaling, but also counting to ten with every breath and then counting back to one. Or counting to hundred instead.

Or doesn't it matter at all? Even a meditation teacher I asked said both would work.

Or is one method better for samatha and the other one better for vipassana? Sorry for not watching the whole video, I lack patience, but find it utterly fascinating that breath could be as enjoyable as ice-cream to children.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Dharmic Tui on December 13, 2019, 08:06:40 PM
Generally the breath is a focal point away from thinking as it is always present. The specifics of how you watch isn't so critical. You don't want to be trying to breathe in a certain way though, just breathe normally.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: dharma bum on December 14, 2019, 02:55:24 PM
I found it very encouraging that he said

1. you can end suffering in this lifetime.
2. mindfulness in daily life is very important. This is aligned with my own experience.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on December 15, 2019, 03:43:23 AM
That analogy about ice-cream and children is really good. Simple, yet convincing.

Since I am here, I think I might have another, smaller unresolved issue about meditation - one that fits with the video above, about how the breath should be pleasant to watch:

In short, should the breath be watched as a physical feeling, as it is simply felt? Like, for example, the air breezing at the nosetips, the change of temperature within the nose during in- and exhaling, the belly expanding and contracting.

Or should it be watched as concept? Examples here are: Noting "in" while inhaling, noting "out" while exhaling, but also counting to ten with every breath and then counting back to one. Or counting to hundred instead.

Or doesn't it matter at all? Even a meditation teacher I asked said both would work.

Or is one method better for samatha and the other one better for vipassana?

Take a deep breath now, u know it right? That's it.
The same for watching your breathe in and out, only thing is that you focus slightly more, that is focusing only at one point(nostril for instance)instead of the whole chest, if the breathe is longer, shorter, deeper, aware of it. The whole purpose of breathing observing, also known as anapanasati. Is to anchor the mind which run non stop, this can be use for training the mind to stay focus on one thing rather than restless.

Anapanasati can be use to strengthen the focusing, while to develeop vipassana, got to watch the 3 characteristics of the body and mind phenomenon, rising, passing and impermanence.


Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on December 15, 2019, 03:47:43 AM
Now that's how to explain the path to enlightenment. Use the whole variety of meditation techniques in the knowledge of how they work together to come to terms with body and mind, to allow insight experiences to arise in the unforced way necessary for these things to work. Many thanks for the video, Thanisaro85

Am glad that members watch it, hope our members can get enlightened in this life with these fine tuning tips.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Siddharth on December 16, 2019, 02:57:01 PM
he really hit it home. I needed this. Thanks middleway!

Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Middleway on December 16, 2019, 11:18:16 PM
Yes, this is a keeper. Thanks to Thanisaro85.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: mobius on December 16, 2019, 11:38:32 PM
really nice! Indeed he explain things very well; simple and direct.

Out of curiosity; where is this and what language is he speaking?
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Martinba on April 03, 2020, 09:55:44 PM




Watch 15.51 onward...



Most of the time, one's mind finds joy while focusing on compensation. For example: images of winning a prize or receiving attention. Will that also work for Samatha practice? Are thoughts  or memories also a good method for samatha practice or should we focus only in something physical as breathing?
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on April 04, 2020, 04:27:02 PM

[/quote]

Most of the time, one's mind finds joy while focusing on compensation. For example: images of winning a prize or receiving attention. Will that also work for Samatha practice? Are thoughts  or memories also a good method for samatha practice or should we focus only in something physical as breathing?
[/quote]

Sometimes i have these experiences, during sitting meditation session, when thoughts of certain good thing arises, i can fall into a state of calmness, i am aware that the feeling is cool but at the same time i am aware but just observing the thoughts, not lost in in it,  and with the total calmness i would return to focus on breathing. I would think that using happy thoughts can be used for anchoring the unsettling mind, but one need to be very mindful to prevent the mind get carry away with thoughts and lost in it, then it is against the principle of samatha for concentration. There are differences between the peacefulness arised from focusing on breathing vs the happiness arised from happy thoughts.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Martinba on April 04, 2020, 04:33:50 PM
While practicing Vipassana, we focus on our breath and contemplate our mind and body, we contemplate pain. To me, an important question would be: during contemplation, how important is the content of the mind? For example, emotional pain can be felt as tension or a strong physical sensation but that tension includes a voice (sometimes screaming), includes images, includes thoughts... to summarize. What elements should be included on our contemplation? Will thoughts distract us from our breath? Are our thoughts necessary for the contemplation of our mind or should we stick with the observing of the tension as a physical sensation?

Thanks in advance for your support.
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on April 04, 2020, 05:07:06 PM
While practicing Vipassana, we focus on our breath and contemplate our mind and body, we contemplate pain. To me, an important question would be: during contemplation, how important is the content of the mind? For example, emotional pain can be felt as tension or a strong physical sensation but that tension includes a voice (sometimes screaming), includes images, includes thoughts... to summarize. What elements should be included on our contemplation? Will thoughts distract us from our breath? Are our thoughts necessary for the contemplation of our mind or should we stick with the observing of the tension as a physical sensation?

Thanks in advance for your support.

When we know that pain or other sensation arised, the mind may/can zoom to the area of pain, during this moment, the mind will lost track on the breathing(momentarily)which is normal. We simply stick with the observing of the pain/sensation arising and falling away without any thoughts, seeing it arised and fall away in every bit( that's it). Is like sitting at a corner sit watching F1 car racing , the car( any sensations,feeling) appear, zoom pass and vanished into the curve, without any thoughts.
Once the sensation/pain is gone, return to focus on breathing.

Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Martinba on April 06, 2020, 10:44:47 PM
What happens when the relaxation zone where we are supposed to focus doesnt exist? Sometimes meditation feels like rubbing sandpaper on a wound. In video its clearly stated that neditation should be a relaxing practice but thats impossible sometimes. What do you think?
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on April 07, 2020, 01:53:23 AM
What happens when the relaxation zone where we are supposed to focus doesnt exist? Sometimes meditation feels like rubbing sandpaper on a wound. In video its clearly stated that neditation should be a relaxing practice but thats impossible sometimes. What do you think?

Could you expand a little bit more or elaborate with examples?
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Martinba on April 15, 2020, 09:56:37 PM
Ive been practicing vipassana as I thought and been told it was the contemplation of body sensations and thoughts using breath as the object of attention. But Ive seen this post in dhamma.org where they say vipassana is mostly a body scan meditation and they dont mention observing thoughts al all. Im a bit confused.
Does any one here has any book or something I can use as a definitive guide? Thanks in advance.

Extract from: https://www.dhamma.org/en/osguide
"Vipassana
Move your attention systematically from head to feet and from feet to head, observing in order each and every part of the body by feeling all the sensations that you come across. Observe objectively; that is, remain equanimous with all the sensations that you experience, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, by appreciating their impermanent nature. Keep your attention moving. Never stay for more than a few minutes at any one place. Do not allow the practice to become mechanical."
Title: Re: Is this how you do Samatha and Vipassana? It should not be stressful
Post by: Thanisaro85 on April 16, 2020, 02:31:19 AM




Here is a write up from Matthew which I find quite comprehensive, do take a look.

https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?page=2

And this is a book recommendation written by Venerable.father pramote. Same lineage with Ajarn Jayasaro, forest monks( ajarn chah, ajarn mun.)

https://www.dhamma.com/download/luangpor-dhamma-books/

There are many books written by both monks and laymen on  vipassana, and meditators and scholars have been debating for long which is the correct methods. I guess One had to testify for himself to know which one bring results of experiencing the 3 characteristics( non-self, non satisfactory, impermanence)

Experiencing/clinging the 5 aggregates( skandas) is the cause of suffering, and sensation is only 1 one of the 5. Since I had not try doing a full duration of body scanning( but i did use it for a quick concentration when the session starts), I do not know where it will lead me to. I can't comment much.