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Only way out...? - Dhamma Wheel

Only way out...?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
ashtanga
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Only way out...?

Postby ashtanga » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:08 am

Hi everyone,

Hope you're all well and happy.

I paid a visit recently to see a friend who is ordained in the Tibetan Tradition. We discussed pretty much everything from music, traditions to the Dalai Lama (hmmmm that was interesting)! :thinking:

Regarding practice, I told him that I have been erring on the side of the Theravada for some months now. He was naturally concerned that I may be leaving the tradition that I was initially introduced to, but more concerned as to how I was practicing.

His stance regarding practices like Anapanasati was that they may well lead to some extremely sublime states of mind but he was doubtful if they can lead to a non-conceptual experience of Emptiness - I think an agreed goal for all traditions though not always described in the same way as the Prasangika's do.

His contention was that we can only achieve insight into the illusory nature of 'self' through a steadfast analysis of how 'I' appears to our mind.

Thoughts...?

Regards,

Tony...

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retrofuturist
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:13 am

Greetings Tony,

I dare guess that your friend has not read...

MN 118: Anapanasati Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

For what it's worth, I believe it is said that the Buddha was practicing anapanasati when he became the Buddha... if that's any indication of its potential for enlightening.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:38 am

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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baratgab
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby baratgab » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:39 am

"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

ashtanga
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby ashtanga » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:00 pm

Hi, I guess i am not clear as to how meditation on the breath can bring about a knowledge of anything other than the breath - meditation on the 'self' and its illusory nature would surely familiarise my mind with this ultimately helping me gain a realisation of this, hence liberation? I can see his point that to understand and experience we have to analyse, break it down to understand it doesn't exist in the way it appears...

What do you think?

Tony...

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retrofuturist
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:11 pm

Greetings ashtanga,

Did you read the above sutta?

It wasn't just "breathe in, breathe out... concentrate just on that"

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

rowyourboat
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Location: London, UK

Re: Only way out...?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 20, 2010 8:23 am

I think I can relate to some of Ashtangas concerns. It is very difficult to someone to get rid of the self view (IMO and experience) using just the breath. We hardly relate to ourselves as the breath. So how would seeing the breath help- considering that the self view is very strong and that the symbolic nature of the breath as representing everything else may be difficult to perceive.

In my experience and knowledge people get rid of the self view (through meditation) commonly in these instances:
1) seeing that there is no self while doing walking meditation (no doer)
2) while doing 'foulness of the body' contemplation
3) while seeing that existence consists of packets of impermanent phenomena- bare awareness (ie- how can there by a continuous thing as a self)
4) when seeing that those packets of sensory stimuli are causally arisen and have no substance in themselves. for example the eye and the visual object give rise to the thought perceiving it, without the eye and the visual object there would be no such thought- hence everything that we consider the mind arise from something else prior to it)- hence no independantly existing 'self'

There are vipassana techniques aimed just at this in the Theravada tradition. I respect Anapanasati but I suspect that it is a good technique for those who are quite intelligent to see the parallels and have good samadhi and good sati to determine fine details while breathing. Different strokes for different folks. We dont have to be attached to any particular method- just do what gets the job done. Theravadin vipassana methods can get into non-conceptual emptiness just as well :tongue:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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appicchato
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:13 am


PeterB
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Re: Only way out...?

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:42 am



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