Author Topic: Ajahn Brahm  (Read 2270 times)

Obol

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    • whatever works
Ajahn Brahm
« on: November 30, 2014, 01:24:50 PM »
Hi all,

I have just had excellent success with Ajahn Brahm's method.

I'd been listening to Thanissaro Bhikkhu's dhamma talks and following his method of body awareness and trying to make the breath comfortable, and spreading awareness throughout the body.

That method had been leading me to try to force a comfortable feeling, to force awareness and focus,' which, of course, was not successful. It has been quite disheartening for a few months, because no matter how much I tried to make things comfortable, it didn't work. Evidently because I had an underlying assumption that the present moment was not sufficient, and that I had to MAKE things comfortable and calm.

Ajahn Brahm's method (based on the Youtube lectures Ive been listening to), centres on acceptance of the present moment - what he calls 'making peace with the present moment'. Whenever a thought, or feeling, or sensation comes up, you just welcome it, and allow the mind to do whatever it needs to do, without restriction. This sounds totally contradictory, because surely if you just let the mind do whatever, it goes off and runs around?

What I found is that as soon as you really allow yourself to be free of any self imposed restriction, free of what you're 'supposed to be doing', its much easier to just relax, and look at the breath, rather than always trying to force a certain state of mind, and then feeling tense, and trying to escape your own self imposed forcing.

None of this is to say that Thanissaro's method is bad - I just feel that it is actually a very advanced method, more suitable for those of us who have already developed a sufficiently accepting attitude and strong, non judgemental mindfulness. Thanissaro's method calls for a much more active role, and if (like me) you tend to try to force things to go right, its very easy to interpret his method as being in line with that, and end up seeing the present situation as inadequate, because its not as calm and clear as it 'should' be.

If you constantly put  a lot of effort into your meditation, and often get frustrated that it doesnt go as well as you hoped, I strongly suggest you listen to Ajahn Brahm's lectures here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLm_tdwbTCqQYXOzmdsn5RKtb8M8n_Q3iW


Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 09:47:16 AM »
Helpful post Obol, especially for some beginners. It seems you discovered the importance of a relaxed state being the foundation for meditative practice: any goal takes away from that.
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