Author Topic: The problem of meditation  (Read 5730 times)

Lokuttara

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The problem of meditation
« on: September 03, 2010, 03:45:03 PM »
Krishnamurti talking to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche:

Krishnamurti with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, part 1 of 5

A very good video to watch, with some interesting questions about meditation and the dangers of strengthening the "me".
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

Morning Dew

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 09:54:45 PM »
Tough subject to be put into words which get easily interpreted in million different ways, depending on who and how is listening.
I diggwhat JK is saying but there must be some kind of starting point. Or should i just find my own way like Buddha did his.
When he sais rituals are bad, he probably means if cling to them. Becoming rigid is the wors that can happen but then again one can use this state to be mindful off. As he said observe the disorder without desiering the order just observe as it is.

Thanks for the vids


rideforever

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 07:23:36 PM »
Very important conversation.  Very important.

Also there is a book by Trungpa "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" - that deals in detail with how the mind replaces worldly objects by  'spiritualism' as an object of desire.  IE the tremendous effort of self-deception by the mind.

For instance.  You eat ice-cream, the you stop eating ... now the mind runs through that experience of eating you just had 'wasn't it nice', 'humm that was good' ... etc... trying to prolong the experience and keeping you away from the present.

Or how you can collect experiences and spiritual paths, to replay and savour at a later moment.

And how you need a watcher, and a watcher for the watcher, and a watcher for the watcher of the watcher etc... 'what is required is to give up the initial urge' etc....

Tremendous book.

rideforever

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 07:32:28 PM »
Hmm ...
When he sais rituals are bad, he probably means if cling to them.

It's taken me quite some time to realise that you can take this kind of statement (rituals are bad) literally.  It has felt difficult to take statements like this (or like 'God is In You') literally, as it is 'expected' in society to interpret/manipulate/metaphorise anything that anyone says to you - the language used in society masks a complete lack of presence.  But with JK talks, perhaps we can take it literally - to the letter.

I was thinking that a ritual - the facets of 'ritual' - is of a formula created by another person ... so if you undergo a 'ritual' it is not your own thing ... and Krishnamurti's teaching (my understanding) is to implore you to cast of all formula, all external meaning, and plunge into your own. 

Without mercy ...

I still feel a tendency to hesitate and pause, weigh things up etc..., but I think what is actually needed - or perhaps what grows inside you - is the realisation that any hesitate/pause is a mind game.

Lokuttara

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 01:43:07 AM »
Yes, and I think it is impossible to find liberation if one is attached to rites or rituals.

Has anyone heard of Krishnamurti Vipassana meditation? Here are some details:
http://meditasi-mengenal-diri.org/krishnamurti_vipassana_intro.html

This part is quite interesting:

Quote
In the “traditional” vipassana meditation, various techniques are taught which has to be performed by the meditator in order to achieve what is promised as its goal. For instance, in the Mahasi Sayadaw vipassana meditation, the following techniques are emphazised:

    * to concentrate on a “main object” for an extended period of time;
    * to note or label everything that is noticed during meditation (at least during the “early phases” of the practice);
    * to practice sitting and walking meditation alternately in a formal meditation session;
    * to slow down every movement of the body in order to be able to concentrate on it fully.

All these techniques are performed with “maximal effort” (viriya), with the intention to develop a strong concetration, to enable the arising of the expected various “insights” (nyanas), and eventually to attain liberation (nibbana).

On the other hand, in MMD:

    * there is no concentration on a “main object” at all - since awareness, when developed passively, will by itself also develop strong mindfulness, but not concentration; rather than concentrating on a narrow object, awareness is kept naturally as broad as possible, encompassing all the senses and the mind itself (as the door for the emergence of memories of the past);
    * every phenomenon arising in the body & the mind is noticed passively, without any effort to note or label it, which is of course another thinking process;
    * the state of mind in awareness & mindfulness could be maintained in all postures and activities: sitting, standing, walking, lying down, and while performing all personal daily activities, without distinguishing & separating formal meditation sessions from daily activities—thus the same meditative state of mind will develop in a natural way and is maintained at all times when the me & thinking are not needed (for survival);
    * all bodily movements in daily activities need not be slowed down deliberately—when the mindfulness is strong, bodily movements will slow down on their own accord; the slowing down of bodily movements is not developed deliberately as a meditation technique.

In short, in MMD there is no meditation technique at all. Moreover, in MMD there is no “effort” (viriya); to be here & now does not require any effort at all.

Looks to me like the Goenka style may be closest to what is described above. Although we still need to do go through precepts, and there is some deal of philosophy and the assumption of a long path leading to a final goal, which occurs at some point in the future. This, in my opinion, is what makes meditation dangerous for those who take everything very literally (and a lot of meditation students appear to). One has added meditation to the list of problems to solve, or hurdles to overcome. Meditation is not a game, deep spiritual experience is not some prize to be won. It is the stopping of the "me", it is a rest break from the endless running. Is is the watching of a stream... a stream that is constantly changing. And perhaps gently (without repeating what others have said, but experientially) one will realise that is it not "me" or "self", but just an ongoing phenomenon that is impersonal.
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

Morning Dew

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 08:07:39 AM »
Hi Lokuttara thanks for the link :)

It makes total sense to me. The only thingy i dont get is why this MMD organises retreats if mindfulness meditation is to be done in the Now, while walking, working, sitting, socialising ... in short while living, moment to moment?

Matthew

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 08:33:30 AM »
Yes, and I think it is impossible to find liberation if one is attached to rites or rituals

......


"On the other hand, in MMD:

    * there is no concentration on a “main object” at all - since awareness, when developed passively, will by itself also develop strong mindfulness, but not concentration; rather than concentrating on a narrow object, awareness is kept naturally as broad as possible, encompassing all the senses and the mind itself (as the door for the emergence of memories of the past);
    * every phenomenon arising in the body & the mind is noticed passively, without any effort to note or label it, which is of course another thinking process;
    * the state of mind in awareness & mindfulness could be maintained in all postures and activities: sitting, standing, walking, lying down, and while performing all personal daily activities, without distinguishing & separating formal meditation sessions from daily activities—thus the same meditative state of mind will develop in a natural way and is maintained at all times when the me & thinking are not needed (for survival);
    * all bodily movements in daily activities need not be slowed down deliberately—when the mindfulness is strong, bodily movements will slow down on their own accord; the slowing down of bodily movements is not developed deliberately as a meditation technique."

.....

Looks to me like the Goenka style may be closest to what is described above. Although we still need to do go through precepts, and there is some deal of philosophy and the assumption of a long path leading to a final goal, which occurs at some point in the future. This, in my opinion, is what makes meditation dangerous for those who take everything very literally (and a lot of meditation students appear to). One has added meditation to the list of problems to solve, or hurdles to overcome. Meditation is not a game, deep spiritual experience is not some prize to be won. It is the stopping of the "me", it is a rest break from the endless running. Is is the watching of a stream... a stream that is constantly changing. And perhaps gently (without repeating what others have said, but experientially) one will realise that is it not "me" or "self", but just an ongoing phenomenon that is impersonal.

A couple of thoughts:

1) It is not just clinging or attachment to rituals that is a negative factor on the path. Taking part in rituals you do not understand or for reasons you do not fully understand is deleterious to cutting the roots of ignorance and desire.

2) Not just Goenka ... about 99 percent of Buddhism fits the above description. That is why, like Alan Watts, I would describe myself as "temperamentally not a 'joiner of things'" - by which he meant he wasn't really Buddhist or Toaist or Zen or any of the other stuff that was part of his researches and path, because these things are not about what is happening now, though they may help you live in the now if you are lucky enough to meet one of the rare people who really gets it.

3) The meditation I teach and encourage others to explore begins with a whole-body breathing and acceptance of all that arises in the body and moves quickly from there to a whole field of experience acceptance. This is absolutely essential for remembering the past and "Sati" or mindfulness is synonymous with "remembering" in the Buddha's teachings.

We develop the state of mindfulness - being aware of what is going on - when we "practice" meditation. Meditation when established fully is a state of mind one arrives in as permanently as one wishes, mindful sitting, walking, washing, talking, going to the toilet, shopping, etc. However, it is notoriously difficult to maintain this state of mind in the "real" world - because of all the distractions. Thus the Buddha taught "the Monk having taken himself to a secluded place ..".

In the Dhamma,

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

Matthew

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 08:34:58 AM »
Hi Lokuttara thanks for the link :)

It makes total sense to me. The only thingy i dont get is why this MMD organises retreats if mindfulness meditation is to be done in the Now, while walking, working, sitting, socialising ... in short while living, moment to moment?


Because you can't get from every day living to comprehension of this. You do need to "practice" - despite Krishnamurti's insistence you don't - in order to taste mindfulness and carry it into your every activity.

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: The problem of meditation
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 08:41:22 AM »
Osho does a better job on explaining this than most:

OSHO: Meditation Is a Very Simple Phenomenon
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

rideforever

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 10:04:33 AM »
However, it is notoriously difficult to maintain this state of mind in the "real" world - because of all the distractions. Thus the Buddha taught "the Monk having taken himself to a secluded place ..".

I Love OSHO !!!!!!!!


I was wondering why it is so difficult to maintain this state of mind in the external world ?  I am about to start an IT job and very worried of losing all connection with myself as I sit at my desk - which I find very upsetting.

But why ?  Is it that if you truly allowed yourself to be present, fully, then you would have to submit to any decisions you made - like 'actually I don't like this job, I am leaving' ... and you are not prepared to do that because your belief systems are strong and force you into the job and you don't want to look at it.

And if you are truly present then you would have to give up all your holding on to your job, money, culture, everything that you have known and cling on to (whilst you do your 1 hour of meditation a day).  And this is because of the deep level of conditioning ... and the lack of connection with the deep self.

And really it is like a prisoner who has never seen the outside world, just he heard rumours of it, and even when he looks he doesn't know what he is seeing exactly - what is that.

I could say that it's because you are not 'serious' ... but that lacks compassion.  So what to do ?


Matthew

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2010, 10:57:18 AM »
However, it is notoriously difficult to maintain this state of mind in the "real" world - because of all the distractions. Thus the Buddha taught "the Monk having taken himself to a secluded place ..".

I Love OSHO !!!!!!!!


I was wondering why it is so difficult to maintain this state of mind in the external world ?  I am about to start an IT job and very worried of losing all connection with myself as I sit at my desk - which I find very upsetting.

It is difficult because it does take the self discipline to remember ("Sati" or "mindfulness") when you are assailed by external crap.

Do toilet meditation if you want to keep more aware and awake at work and bring meditation to the office.

But why ?  Is it that if you truly allowed yourself to be present, fully, then you would have to submit to any decisions you made - like 'actually I don't like this job, I am leaving' ... and you are not prepared to do that because your belief systems are strong and force you into the job and you don't want to look at it.

Yes.

And if you are truly present then you would have to give up all your holding on to your job, money, culture, everything that you have known and cling on to (whilst you do your 1 hour of meditation a day).  And this is because of the deep level of conditioning ... and the lack of connection with the deep self.

Yes.

And really it is like a prisoner who has never seen the outside world, just he heard rumours of it, and even when he looks he doesn't know what he is seeing exactly - what is that.

Yes.

I could say that it's because you are not 'serious' ... but that lacks compassion.  So what to do ?

Only you can answer that question yet above you have accurately described the condition you are in. Osho describes how it arises in the video in this post: http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,889.msg7432.html#msg7432

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 10:59:37 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

rideforever

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 11:41:22 AM »
me likey ...

or 'holy shit' ... ok ... i agree with Osho ... and then ... what to do ... feel like stopping down anything at all ... nothing
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 11:45:22 AM by rideforever »

Lokuttara

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 10:47:04 PM »
I didn't watch the video with Osho yet but... rideforever, try not to jump to much into the future. Slow down, let the thought processes slow down.

Start where you are right now. Don't "do" anything. Don't try not to do anything. Don't try and give up anything. Don't try and give up work, car, etc. simply because it seems like you should do in order this to reach some form of higher consciousness - this is all thinking, and conclusions you have arrived at because of thought. Or because we have told you this is how it should be. Or because K said so, or Osho, or whoever. Don't create any more problems for yourself, or more conflicts, or more cravings. Which is what will happen if you try and arrive at a higher stage through thinking.

So continue you on where you are, but stay alert and open. And be. Let things flower naturally.

By the way, not too long ago I read Krishnamirti saying something along the lines of "sit down and meditate". May seem like a paradox, but he *does* believe in real meditation. It's just that most of the time, for the audience he's dealing with, he needs to negate everything (all traditional meditation) in order to start afresh and find out what real meditation is from the very beginning. After establishing that, he is an advocate of serious meditation from what I can tell.
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

Morning Dew

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2010, 07:11:49 AM »
 I Would say Lokuttara is right.
Here is what Krishnamurti said;
Quote
First of all sit absolutely still. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, sit absolutely still, close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eyes from moving. You understand? Your eye balls are apt to move, keep them completely quiet, for fun. Then, as you sit very quietly, find out what your thought is doing. Watch it as you watched the lizard. Watch thought, the way it runs, one thought after another. So you begin to learn, to observe.
by Krishnamurti -Pg 22, 36 K on education
MD

Lokuttara

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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 12:42:50 PM »
Thanks for the info MorningDew.

An interesting study, which includes the K piece you quoted:
http://www.buddhanet.net/bvk_study/bvk207.htm
"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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Re: The problem of meditation
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2010, 01:46:31 PM »
By the way, not too long ago I read Krishnamirti saying something along the lines of "sit down and meditate". May seem like a paradox, but he *does* believe in real meditation. It's just that most of the time, for the audience he's dealing with, he needs to negate everything (all traditional meditation) in order to start afresh and find out what real meditation is from the very beginning. After establishing that, he is an advocate of serious meditation from what I can tell.

Lokuttara,

You make the point well. What he throws out is guruism and being bound by conceptual ideas of meditation. His words are like bombs that blow up the existing thought-landscape. Then come in other words that lay down a garden of truth in the space left.

He emphasises again and again the DIY nature of the path and self-reliance as the guide. In this I sincerely applaud his skilful means and the message - it is one I have oft repeated here and why I sincerely believe in the value of this Sangha. An empirical, practice based approach and the help of each other can be as valuable as any "real Sangha" - and also to be of excellent benefit to those who have no access to Sangha other than online.

Additionally, the space between us may not divide us, but join us more deeply in Dhamma - through encouraging the very self-reliance at the heart of practice.

Warmly,

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

 

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