Author Topic: Curious statement regarding samadhi?  (Read 381 times)

wolf

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Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« on: February 06, 2021, 08:41:21 AM »
Hello!

I was just reading ajahn chah's teachings regarding samadhi and came across the following:

'Once the mind is concentrated and one pointed, no mind object will be able to penetrate or disturb it, and you will be able to sit like this for as long as you want. You enter and leave it witout any problems. If you genuinely have samadhi like this, it means that sitting meditation and entering samadhi for just 30 minutes or an hour will enable you to remain cool and peaceful for many days afterwards'.

My question lies in him saying that one remains cool and peaceful for many days afterwards. Because he then proceeds to say this a little while after:

'The buddha was able to attain a high level of absorption samadhi but when he came out of that samadhi his old thinking came up and he would attach to it just as before. The buddha then proceeded and attained an even higher state of samadhi but when he came out of that he still had lust and desire.'

So this latter statement seems to be in contradiction with the former. I am not really trying to dispute that one can feel peaceful to a degree after attaining high levels of samadhi for a short or perhaps even long periods of time after formal meditation is over but it is not necessarily a given like he almost seems to suggest and later appears to contradict. Of course the point being made in the latter according to his own words is that the defilements have not been uprooted but merely suppressed so ultimately it's a bit odd he would phrase it in the way that he did.

I have a feeling I am just attaching too much weight to the translation here and that he simply means that samadhi can have 'carry over effects' after formal meditation is done for a period of time.

Still curious to hear what you guys make of this. Thanks!

stillpointdancer

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 11:44:49 AM »
I remember going on retreat with a guy who told me afterwards about his car journey back home. His wish to remain calm and cool didn't last beyond the first few miles. The only advice I give people is to give themselves a few minutes to come round properly after a meditation so they can be a bit safer when out and about. A bit like waiting until you are fully awake of a morning before doing things. There are consequences to meditating, but they are long-term gradual changes which can take years to become visible in terms of differences in you people can be aware of, much less you being aware of them yourself.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

dharma bum

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 03:20:00 PM »
If you think of meditation in terms of changes it makes to the brain it becomes obvious that sudden permanent changes are not likely.
Mostly ignorant

Guillaume

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 07:40:36 PM »
To me these statements are like our states of mind: sometimes we wake up in the morning very fresh and with no need to meditate, no random thoughts, no anger about the world or people, just wide awake to enjoy life, eager to bite our breakfast. Meditation is great and super easy in this case.
And other times we get stuck in a restless monkey mind with plenty of desires, plans, anger etc ... These times, meditating can be super hard, and even if we can get calmer, it can come back right after it.

So it's not contradictory I think, it's very like our minds and the impermanence of life.
Sometimes we're good before meditation, great during, and cool after for a long time.
Sometimes we're bad before, forget everything during, and come back bad just after. That's life!

Matthew

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2021, 10:18:34 PM »
One pointed mind or "Cittass'ekaggatā" is a very refined state of concentration and meditative absorption that precedes the jhanas. It excludes any external or internal intrusion.

Samadhi you must always remember is the eighth fold of the path. Most confusions arise from not paying heed to the others.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Middleway

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2021, 08:26:00 PM »
Hello!

I was just reading ajahn chah's teachings regarding samadhi and came across the following:

'Once the mind is concentrated and one pointed, no mind object will be able to penetrate or disturb it, and you will be able to sit like this for as long as you want. You enter and leave it witout any problems. If you genuinely have samadhi like this, it means that sitting meditation and entering samadhi for just 30 minutes or an hour will enable you to remain cool and peaceful for many days afterwards'.

My question lies in him saying that one remains cool and peaceful for many days afterwards. Because he then proceeds to say this a little while after:

'The buddha was able to attain a high level of absorption samadhi but when he came out of that samadhi his old thinking came up and he would attach to it just as before. The buddha then proceeded and attained an even higher state of samadhi but when he came out of that he still had lust and desire.'

So this latter statement seems to be in contradiction with the former. I am not really trying to dispute that one can feel peaceful to a degree after attaining high levels of samadhi for a short or perhaps even long periods of time after formal meditation is over but it is not necessarily a given like he almost seems to suggest and later appears to contradict. Of course the point being made in the latter according to his own words is that the defilements have not been uprooted but merely suppressed so ultimately it's a bit odd he would phrase it in the way that he did.

I have a feeling I am just attaching too much weight to the translation here and that he simply means that samadhi can have 'carry over effects' after formal meditation is done for a period of time.

Still curious to hear what you guys make of this. Thanks!

I remember listening to this Dhamma talk on podcast I referenced earlier in another post. I don’t see contradiction. The first statement applies to us beginners whose samadhi is still rudimentary. Our normal consciousness is very agitated that even some calm would feel very peaceful. As my mind calmed down, I began to notice finer agitations that were previously drowned out by grosser sensations. Just like you cannot hear whispers when a plane flies over your residence.

The second statement is referring to Buddha’s consciousness which is very calm compared to ours. Buddha can notice very minutest of agitations in the consciousness where we feel super peaceful.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Nicky

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 09:21:28 AM »
'The buddha was able to attain a high level of absorption samadhi but when he came out of that samadhi his old thinking came up and he would attach to it just as before. The buddha then proceeded and attained an even higher state of samadhi but when he came out of that he still had lust and desire.'

Really? Where do the scriptures say the above? Thanks

stillpointdancer

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2021, 11:10:06 AM »
'The buddha was able to attain a high level of absorption samadhi but when he came out of that samadhi his old thinking came up and he would attach to it just as before. The buddha then proceeded and attained an even higher state of samadhi but when he came out of that he still had lust and desire.'

Really? Where do the scriptures say the above? Thanks
I'm guessing that the excerpt then goes on to say that the Buddha eventually found the middle way when he sat under the Bodhi tree
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Middleway

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Re: Curious statement regarding samadhi?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 12:39:51 AM »
'The buddha was able to attain a high level of absorption samadhi but when he came out of that samadhi his old thinking came up and he would attach to it just as before. The buddha then proceeded and attained an even higher state of samadhi but when he came out of that he still had lust and desire.'

Really? Where do the scriptures say the above? Thanks

Scriptures provide teachings of the Buddha. Not what he has gone through. Ajahn Chah is a Buddha and can relate to what Gautama Buddha has gone through. Ajahn Chah is actually describing his own experience and the path he took to attain nibbana. He is humble and simply using Buddha’s name to get his point across.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

 

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