Poll

Should experiences like jhana, or paths and fruits, etc. be shared?

agree
13 (68.4%)
disagree
0 (0%)
only with teacher
3 (15.8%)
other (describe)
3 (15.8%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Author Topic: Sharing Experiences  (Read 14577 times)

Morning Dew

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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2010, 08:43:44 AM »
So the way I see it after reading all this is that Jhana can be a sweet escape from suffering if one gets cought up in it.

Don't you think that all this meditation stuff is way too intelectualised, way too much put into words and ideas and methods. What works for me might not necesserily work for you and vice versa. We believe there is a formula to something we call enlightment, not having a slight clue what enlightment is.

Writen by Krishnamurti;
Quote
In the space which thought creates around itself there is no love. This space divides man from man, and in it is all the becoming, the battle of life, the agony and fear. Meditation is the ending of this space, the ending of the me. Then relationship has quite a different meaning, for in that space which is not made by thought, the other does not exist, for you do not exist. Meditation then is not the pursuit of some vision, however sanctified by tradition. Rather it is the endless space where thought cannot enter.

Too many thoughts in me in you in all of us here, dividing us.

Matthew

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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2010, 09:42:07 AM »
So the way I see it after reading all this is that Jhana can be a sweet escape from suffering if one gets cought up in it.

That is a definite danger and draws a halt to progress on the path.

Don't you think that all this meditation stuff is way too intelectualised, way too much put into words and ideas and methods. What works for me might not necesserily work for you and vice versa. We believe there is a formula to something we call enlightment, not having a slight clue what enlightment is.

Yes ... and no ...

On the whole there is too much talking, reading and writing on meditation and not enough meditation for many people. On the other hand without some of the talking, reading and writing those who had never met the Dhamma would never meet it.

Also the Buddha's last words were "Strive diligently for your own salvation". Each person has to work out their own way down the path - even if some of the landscape and milestones along the way are the same for us all.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2010, 07:40:49 PM »
I am puzzled a bit how come that Jhananda after all these years of meditating still gets so easily hurt by people's comments (emotional) and runs away.

And I am asking all who joined this thread, Do you feel you did the right thing by going so hard on Jhananda? Even if he wasn't right (being stuck in Jhanas) don't you think you could take it with Loving Kindness to make him question him self rather than pushing so directly everything into his mouth. What happened with patience? A cat bit it's tail off  :)

Remain relaxed  :)




Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2010, 08:00:45 PM »
Morning Dew,

One's reactions to other people's criticisms is a reflection of one's own self. Jhananda left because he chose to, not because some one kicked him out.

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

soma

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2010, 08:22:25 PM »
A quote from 'Book of the Law' comes to mind, 'There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well!'.

Matthew

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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2010, 08:53:24 PM »
.... while a philandering, alcoholic, sex-addict, such as Chogyam Trungpa, is lionized

Not by me.

... I have serious misgivings about Shambhala, Trungpa Rinpoche (deceased)...

Just for the record.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

convivium

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2010, 09:26:34 AM »
if your attainments are true, and people doubt you, and so on, then people will allegedly create unwholesome kamma...

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2010, 10:45:40 AM »
I invested  so much time into My web page about responsible aquarium fish-keeping. So many projects and writen pages. I thought how I would feel if I would Delete that whole web page, all My Work.

On that thought I would feel some sort of uneasy nervousness in my belly, some sort of killing My Self, my identety (or part of it).

I wonder how would Jhananda feel if he would press that Delete button on his web page and delete all His Work, all his written experiance gone in an instant. Deleting all those tryings to make things Right, to make people Understand, all those Wanting to share, all those explaining how corupted Buddhism is, etc ...

He might feel a Big relef, he might feel free from all this responsability of making things Right and Offering people the Right teaching.

Can Jhananda say good bye to what he sees as "My Work" and simply Be Alone With One Self. Can I delete all "My Work" and say good bye to idetifying my self with, with the me?

Remain relaxed

Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2010, 11:08:16 AM »
Krishnamurti;
Quote
Audience: Why do we insist on separating the perceiver from
the perception, the rememberer from the memory? Is this not at the
root of our trouble?
Krishnamurti: We separate it because the rememberer, the
experiencer, the thinker, becomes permanent by separation.
Memories are obviously fleeting; so the rememberer, the
experiencer, the mind, separates itself because it wants
permanency. The mind that is making an effort, that is striving, that
is choosing, that is disciplined, obviously cannot find the real;
because, as we said, through that very effort it projects itself and
sustains the thinker. Now, how to free the thinker from his
thoughts? This is what we are discussing. Because, whatever he
thinks must be the result of the past, and therefore he creates god,
truth, out of memory, which is obviously not real. In other words,
the mind is constantly moving from the known to the known.
When memory functions, the mind can move only in the field of
the known; and when it moves within the field of the known, it can
never know the unknown. So, our problem is, how to free the mind
from the known. To free ourselves from the known, any effort is
detrimental, because effort is still of the known. So, all effort must
cease. Have you ever tried to be without effort?

convivium

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2010, 10:19:45 AM »
food for thot:
Quote
From the diamond sutra:

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does a stream enterer think, "I have attained the fruit of stream entry"?

Subhuti replied, "No, World Honored One. Why? Stream enterer means to enter the stream, but in fact there is no stream to enter. One does not enter a stream that is form, nor a stream that is sound, smell, taste, touch, or object of mind. That is what we mean when we say entering a stream."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does a Non returner think like this, "I have attained the fruit of no return?"

Subhuti replied, "No, World Honored One. Why? No return means not to return to this world, but in fact there can not be any non-returning. That is what we mean by a non-returner."

"What do you think, Subhuti? Does an Arhat think like this, "I have attained the fruit of Arhatship."?

Subhuti replied, "No, World Honored One. Why? Tere is no separately existing thing that can be called Arhat. If an Arhat gives rise to the thought that he has attained the fruit of Arhatship, then he is caught up in the idea of a self, a person, a living being, and a life span. Wrold Honored One you have often said that I have attained the concentration of peaceful abiding and that in the community, I am the Arhat who has most transformed need and desire. World Honored One, if I were to think I had attained the fruit of Arhatship, you certainly would not have said that I love to dwell in the concentration of peaceful abiding."

puppybunny1

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2010, 02:49:45 AM »
I think that it is important to share "real experiences" and not made up ones.
I recently had an experience of expansion outward.  After that my expansion is deeper down. 

Here is some background.
I have been practicing for 2 years.  I don't really have a teacher.   I had a strange experience of going to the library without thinking of picking up a religious book.  I cam home with a book on Buddhism.  I read some more books and then was interested in meditating.  I learned how to meditate through books from the library.  Now I got started on reading Mantras in Pali and Sankrit.  One monk said that I must have a tathagata flowering.  Another monk said that I must have done it before.  I must have had experiences with the Theravaddan tradition.   

Without a teacher, it is really scary.  I don't know what these "consciousness expansion" means.  I have heard lots of "Dhamma talks".  I wanted to educate myself on the Buddha's teachings.  In a strange way, I understand them.  I tried to listen to the Mahayanna tradition, Theravadan tradition, and Tibetan tradition.  All of their major suttras seemed to talk about the "soul/consciousness." 

Can someone help?
Metta/Karuna,
puppybunny1

puppybunny1

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #36 on: June 16, 2010, 06:02:28 PM »
IF Jhanada wants to teach through this forum, then let he do it.  "Freedom of speech" is part of the US Constitution.  If you don't agree, then you don't need to be mean.  Sowing bad seeds for future fruition would not be a good way to clean out the "kamma/karma". With meditation one gains insight.  What insight does one gain from sowing bad seeds and continuing on with meditation? The fire of anger will wash out all of the good kamma one tries to create in meditation. 

With that said, there are lots of vagueness in meditation and its progress.  Getting another perspective and input are very helpful.  If Jhanada's "intent" is to teach, then leave him alone. 

My 2 cents....

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2010, 06:49:00 PM »
Jhananda does not want to teach through this forum. He left in disgust at being asked to justify something he said that he knew he could not justify. He was not asked to leave, he chose to.

Warm regards,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2010, 07:01:40 PM »
puppybunny1,

Firstly welcome to the forums.

....Now I got started on reading Mantras in Pali and Sankrit.  One monk said that I must have a tathagata flowering.  Another monk said that I must have done it before.  I must have had experiences with the Theravaddan tradition.
   

Do you understand Pali and Sanskrit? If not then reading Mantras in them is 100% useless - really, you may as well be singing the Cantonese version of Michael Jackson songs.

Without a teacher, it is really scary.  I don't know what these "consciousness expansion" means.  I have heard lots of "Dhamma talks".  I wanted to educate myself on the Buddha's teachings.  In a strange way, I understand them.  I tried to listen to the Mahayanna tradition, Theravadan tradition, and Tibetan tradition.  All of their major suttras seemed to talk about the "soul/consciousness." 

Can someone help?

In Buddhist teachings the soul is explicitly denied. This is the doctrine of "Anatman". Atman means "soul" and with "An" appended on the front this is the same as Latin - a negation - so Anatman means "no soul".

Consciousness is something different and does not imply a soul.

If you really want to learn about the Buddha's teachings most of that learning will not come from books. It will come from your meditation practice.

The first things one works on are to develop a calm, awake yet relaxed body and mind. If you have done this groundwork right then things are much less scary, however, meditation changes you - and some parts of your being will resist change - they will throw all kinds of fears, desires and other obstacles in your way.

That is why the calming and concentration stages early in the path are very important. If you skip them or try to rush towards goals you can release seemingly scary demons from your mind before you are ready. If you relax into an awake awareness in all your practice this will not be a problem. The balance between the "awake" and the "relax" part can be a bit tricky.

Don't cling to anything - goals, views, practices. Just "be". That is the heart of meditation. Acceptance and equanimity towards all arisings. Compassion for yourself and others. These fruits flow from good meditation practice.

Expanded consciousness is not at all scary when it builds naturally on a stable base.

Warm regards,

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

puppybunny1

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2010, 03:19:43 AM »
Thank you Matthew for the reply...
This may sound funny, but I actually feel more at ease with Pali and Sankrit than other languages.  I do understand the Mantras. They seemed familiar to me.

I don't have a teacher.  So this has been an interesting journey. 

I did go through the "personal issues/scary demon" state.  At first I was not sure what was going on. I understand it now.

I wanted a roadmap of the meditation progress.  Of course nothing exists.  Our spiritual path is related to our kamma/karma.  I guess that I must have expected some kind of Big Bang Theory.  By this I mean something big like an exploding star.  I never guessed that the path leads to "nothing".  I do understand now that everything is interrelated and there is nothing.  I must be stuck with Asukha ca Adukkha - no pleasure & no pain.  I have to practice more on the letting go/upeka.

My meditation practice had changed me.  I woke up from this dream called "life".  I am more aware of the sufferings and constraints of human life. 

Metta/Karuna..

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2010, 11:51:52 AM »
puppybunny1,

There is a good roadmap in the Sutta's. I recommend reading the main meditation Sutta's (1, 2) at "Access to Insight". It's often good to read more than one translation where you find there is more than one available. Also wherever people discuss focussing on the nose or mouth in these translations it needs to be noted this is due to a mistranslation from the Pali. The expression meant is "fully facing" the object of meditation so reading them with this in mind is beneficial to understanding.

At the end of the day the path is one of letting go and many mistake it as one of gaining or winning milestones. Each milestone gained must be let go of or it just holds you back. Holding on is ego work.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

soma

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2010, 04:28:51 PM »
Also wherever people discuss focussing on the nose or mouth in these translations it needs to be noted this is due to a mistranslation from the Pali. The expression meant is "fully facing" the object of meditation so reading them with this in mind is beneficial to understanding.


This is so very frustrating, Matthew - I have just been reading 'Practicing the Jhanas' by Steven Snyder and Tina Rasmusen and 'Beyond Mindfulness' by Bhante Gunaratana and they are very specific about breathing at the 'anapana spot' and so are many others. Can they all be so wrong ?
This has been a 'problem' for me since I started meditating - all the different wiews and everybody are equally convinced they are right and have the right translation/understanding of the suttas and warn against others methods. Of course it must be up to me in the end to find this out for myself but why is it that something so absolutely fundamental as where to focus on your breath can be such a controvercy when we have been doing this for over 2500 years ?
My guess is you can focus on the breath in a great many ways and still come out right in the end and it is perhaps a matter of personal taste.
I just assume, Matthew, that you experience Jhana when you meditate and obviously Bhante and Steven and Tina and Shaila and all the others do as well while focusing on the breath in different ways. I have tried both whole body breathing and anapana and both lead to basically the same results for me and I really dont think I hypnotise myself with anapana. I have experienced hypnosis many many times in a therapy context and it is not what I am experiencing when I meditate.
I still have not really decided what method to stick with and it has now been six months and thats why I get so frustrated when seasoned   
meditators have so conflicting wiews on fundamental stuff.
Is there a way to reach a consensus on this issue - it is disempowering with all this doubt.
I know that you have explained your reasons for not focusing at the nostrils many times but could you please explain why others are sucsessfull with the anapana and say it is so important for really strong concentration ?

Thank you

puppybunny1

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2010, 10:38:43 PM »
Hello there,
I have meditated on focusing on the tummy and the tip of the nose.  Another way to meditate is to focus on a word "om".  These all lead me to enter the jhana.

Does anyone here feel like you are being sucked into a black hole of nothingness really fast?  It is like having a vacuum cleaner on a strong level like 3.   

Another mediator told me to go from Samadhi to Vipassana.  It is like 2 sides of the same coin.  When I followed this advice, the sucking motion has slowed down a little.  It is like being sucked at level 2. 

Metta/Karuna...

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2010, 01:22:42 AM »
Haven't forgotten you Soma. Please forgive me - have about 5 minutes a day right now but by the end of this week I have a few quiet days. Have really just been checking in to see we don't have spammers and answer simple questions.

M
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

soma

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2010, 04:49:07 AM »
Thank you Matthew, there is no rush, I know you are very busy.
After the frustration there is now 'accsess patience' .  :)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 05:04:26 AM by soma »

puppybunny1

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2010, 05:34:10 AM »
Soma,
You can also try to focus on a word.  For example, "om" or a mantra.  This will also help you to get into the Jhana.  Whichever way that you use, it is only a "convenient way" to obtain concentration.  This is how the "Pureland" sect followers reach concentration.  The members chant "Nammo Amitabha".  Instead of focusing on the breathe, members focus on those 2 words. 

soma

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2010, 08:21:01 PM »
Hello poppybunny1 !

I am sceptical about using mantras and other 'fabrications' and want to keep the technique as simple and 'pure' as possible but have recently found that counting the breath for just a few minutes is actually very helpful.
I have also found that 10 -15 minutes of metta meditation is surprisingly powerful and effective in opening up and letting go/surendering and is a great catalyst for strong concentration.

Mantras put me in more of a trance state rather than awake alertness and probably counting the breath could too if done for more than a few minutes.

Whatever works, right  :)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2010, 06:03:56 PM »
Dear Soma,

Also wherever people discuss focussing on the nose or mouth in these translations it needs to be noted this is due to a mistranslation from the Pali. The expression meant is "fully facing" the object of meditation so reading them with this in mind is beneficial to understanding.

This is so very frustrating, Matthew - I have just been reading 'Practicing the Jhanas' by Steven Snyder and Tina Rasmusen and 'Beyond Mindfulness' by Bhante Gunaratana and they are very specific about breathing at the 'anapana spot' and so are many others. Can they all be so wrong ?

Yes. Everyone knew once that if you sailed too far you would fall off the edge of the world. They were all wrong.

This has been a 'problem' for me since I started meditating - all the different wiews and everybody are equally convinced they are right and have the right translation/understanding of the suttas and warn against others methods. Of course it must be up to me in the end to find this out for myself but why is it that something so absolutely fundamental as where to focus on your breath can be such a controvercy when we have been doing this for over 2500 years ?

"Strive diligently for your own salvation" - Buddha's last words. He knew controversy would arise. Much of this is because in the Mahayana traditions there is a great deal of intellectualising about the Buddha's teachings - and all this amounts to is a vast body of "thinking" - ego activity.

Embodying the Buddha's teaching does not take a great deal of intellectualising. It takes a great deal of insight developed through practice of meditation.

My guess is you can focus on the breath in a great many ways and still come out right in the end and it is perhaps a matter of personal taste.

I disagree with this. The mistranslation of "Paramuk" to mean "around the mouth" is a major problem. There is nowhere the Buddha indicates the object to be around the mouth ... there is no "Anapana spot", physically, but when you use the correct translation the "Anapana spot" as a STATE OF MIND becomes obvious, clear and profound:

The correct translation is to "FULLY FACE" anything which comes up in meditation. This is very important and makes etymological sense with the rest of the Buddha's teaching and ties in with Sutta whereas the idea of a magical Anapana spot does not.

To go beyond any obstacle in meditation you must "fully face" that obstacle. To develop insight to it's culmination you must "fully face" your own habitual thinking (i.e. ignorance), as well as your busy mind (greed).

I just assume, Matthew, that you experience Jhana when you meditate and obviously Bhante and Steven and Tina and Shaila and all the others do as well while focusing on the breath in different ways.

Assumption is the mother of being an ass ... Don't assume and don't rely on others experience. One man's Jhana is another man's self-hypnosis. You have to work out for yourself where you are on this scale by "fully facing" yourself on the cushion, by developing total self honesty.

I have tried both whole body breathing and anapana and both lead to basically the same results for me and I really dont think I hypnotise myself with anapana.

Just to be clear Anapana means "mindfulness of breathing" - it has nothing, NOTHING, to do with noses.

Yes, you can be mindful of breathing at the nose but this is not the way the Buddha taught meditation and it is not consistent with other teachings.

The Skhanda teachings always put Rupa, body FIRST. This is because the deepest layers of the sub-conscious mind are deeply tied up with physical processes in the body - including the retention and suppression of memory. Memory is highly correlated with the conditioning one is trying to undo with Buddhist practice and to skip "fully facing" bodily sensations in developing concentration one is almost certainly maintaining the subconscious suppression of certain aspects of this thing we call Self: "I, me or mine". Hence what I refer to as hypnosis: skipping a step. It will always lead to getting stuck somewhere further down the line.

I have experienced hypnosis many many times in a therapy context and it is not what I am experiencing when I meditate.

Indeed you are correct. The hypnosis I refer to is more like the hypnosis induced when watching a movie, for example. Meditators spend hours paying close attention to their nose, ignoring something else by suppressing other sensory input - and particularly bodily input through failure to fully activate the Vagus nerve. They may get laser-like concentration on their noses but if they have not calmed bodily fabrications (i.e. the subconscious held in the body) the practice will fall apart when they try to work with whole body awareness, if they ever do.

I still have not really decided what method to stick with and it has now been six months and thats why I get so frustrated when seasoned   
meditators have so conflicting wiews on fundamental stuff.

This is why your own insight is so important.

Is there a way to reach a consensus on this issue - it is disempowering with all this doubt.

Yes ... become the next Buddha.

I know that you have explained your reasons for not focusing at the nostrils many times but could you please explain why others are sucsessfull with the anapana and say it is so important for really strong concentration ?

Because they are mistaken.

Firstly what they are calling Anapana is not Anapana - it is a perverted version of it.

Secondly they are chasing fruits of practice in the wrong order and not letting them emerge naturally: ever deeper calm, concentration and insight emerge from starting at the beginning: the body and the breath.

The Buddha always puts body first when talking of the personality factors. By concentrating on the mouth area and activating the Trigeminal nerve instead of the Vagus nerve you disembody yourself, skip a lot of important information and fail to send the correct neurotransmitter messages from the body to the brain. These messages are very important and allow true insight or Vipassana to emerge as you practice.

Sorry it took me so long. And sorry if this does not add clarity to these issues for you. If the Buddha wanted people to pay attention to their noses he would have said so. He didn't, he said "breathe in sensitive to the whole body".

All the nose breathing stuff comes after he is dead from people who probably were having a strong reaction to whole body focussed meditation and failed to "fully face" themselves - thus needed an escape which their ego's of course jumped in to provide: "Let's have a lot of intellectual debate about this". This is called "Abhidharma" and it started about 300 years after the Buddha died, as more and more splits in the Sangha emerged and the Dhamma as a living teaching weakened.

Warm regards, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2010, 06:09:34 PM »
I am sceptical about using mantras and other 'fabrications' and want to keep the technique as simple and 'pure' as possible but have recently found that counting the breath for just a few minutes is actually very helpful.

At the start of a practice session this can be helpful. Generally speaking I would expect someone who has been practicing more than a few week or months to have no further need for this fabrication. It is a useful stepping stone for some however who have trouble with fully facing their bodily sensations at the beginning of practice.

M
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

soma

  • Guest
Re: Sharing Experiences
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2010, 12:11:49 PM »
Dear Matthew,

Thank you for a thorough response to my questions.
Of course some new questions and objections arose but I will wait a week or so to see if they are still there.

I am sceptical about using mantras and other 'fabrications' and want to keep the technique as simple and 'pure' as possible but have recently found that counting the breath for just a few minutes is actually very helpful.

At the start of a practice session this can be helpful. Generally speaking I would expect someone who has been practicing more than a few week or months to have no further need for this fabrication. It is a useful stepping stone for some however who have trouble with fully facing their bodily sensations at the beginning of practice.

M


When concentration, in periods,  is a mess I find it better to use this sort of fabrication than 'rolling up the mat and leave'.
Better than counting would probably be to observe the concentration being a mess and stay with that but sometimes it is almost unbearable to stay on the cushion for even ten minutes, very much like Morning Dew described in his 'log' recently.


With Metta,

soma