facilitating meditation on foulness

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby layfollower » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:53 pm

Greetings everyone, through my own searching I have failed to resolve a question regarding meditation on foulness so I thought I might post it here. I am an intensely visual person and so lustful for form. It occurred to me that my capacity for visualization might work equally well against lust if I could use it to retain the imagery prescribed by the Buddha as an antidote for lust.

I have found that actual images (photographs, video, or actual witnessing) seem to have an extremely powerful influence on me, but in our modern society it is not acceptable to seek out such things because of the widespread misunderstanding of how they are used in Buddhist practice. I am confident that embedding such imagery in my mind will facilitate proper meditation on foulness (right now my mind lacks the muscle to conjure up and retain such imagery by itself).

I considered seeking out medical books, which might be an acceptable venue for this kind of material, but it was harder than I thought to find the right images. Another technique I've used and highly recommend is time-lapse video of decay, but again, the material appropriate for my purpose is sort of hard to come by. Of course this approach is not meant to supplant unprompted meditation on foulness, but simply aid a beginning meditator. Does anyone have an opinion on the following?

1) Do you think the Buddha would have approved of this method for those whose concentration is still extremely weak? Given that monks were often advised to visit charnel grounds I am inclined to think this modern approach might be a good start.
2) Are there Buddhists today already integrating video and photography into their practice for this purpose?
3) Do you have any advice on what approach I might take?

Thank you kindly for your thoughts on my question.
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby befriend » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:00 pm

i have heard that concentrating on the foulness of the body without a kalyanamitta (teacher) is dangerous and can cause suicide. so get a teacher. buddhism is not like some do it yourself self help. maybe focusing on the impermanence of your pleasant eye objects. pretty girls cant be in your sight all day long. let go practice some charity not sure but i think virtuous deeds helps curb lust.
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby bodom » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:02 pm

layfollower wrote:3) Do you have any advice on what approach I might take?

Thank you kindly for your thoughts on my question.


This meditation is best done under a qualified teacher. Please seek one out if at all possible.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:25 pm

Hello layfollower, all,

Bearing in mind the caution to have access to experienced meditators or a Teacher, this may be of assistance:

CHAPTER VI FOULNESS as a Meditation Subject (Asubha-kammaþþhána-niddesa)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/68862430/36/F ... ON-SUBJECT

Maranasati (Mindfulness of Death/Charnel Ground Reflection)
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8058&p=126979&hilit=foulness#p126979

MEDITATION ON FOULNESS
http://www.arrowriver.ca/dhamma/protmed.html

The Implications of Foulness of the Body
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/116698

with metta
Chris
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby layfollower » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:50 am

Thank you for your responses. I believe you are all correct. Many of the meditation subjects are not to be practiced haphazardly or undertaken without proper guidance. I will keep in mind your advice to seek a qualified teacher.
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby ground » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:12 am

Nurses or physicians may not be in need of teachers.


kind regards
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:17 am

TMingyur wrote:Nurses or physicians may not be in need of teachers.


kind regards
They are not doing meditations on foulness.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby ground » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Nurses or physicians may not be in need of teachers.


kind regards
They are not doing meditations on foulness.


It has not been asserted that they are doing meditation on foulness. It has been said that they may not be in need of teachers (if they would make up their minds to meditate on foulness).
Why? Simply because they are familiar with the body through seeing and studying.

Kind regards
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:37 am

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:Nurses or physicians may not be in need of teachers.


kind regards
They are not doing meditations on foulness.


It has not been asserted that they are doing meditation on foulness. It has been said that they may not be in need of teachers (if they would make up their minds to meditate on foulness).
Why? Simply because they are familiar with the body through seeing and studying.

Kind regards
Being familiar with the body is a considerably different from foulness meditation.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby ground » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:Being familiar with the body is a considerably different from foulness meditation.


Non-difference of this familiarity and that meditation has neither been asserted nor suggested.

Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:09 am

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Being familiar with the body is a considerably different from foulness meditation.


Non-difference of this familiarity and that meditation has not been asserted.

Kind regards
I have no idea of what you are talking about.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby ground » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:11 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Being familiar with the body is a considerably different from foulness meditation.


Non-difference of this familiarity and that meditation has not been asserted.

Kind regards
I have no idea of what you are talking about.


I have been referring to the alleged danger of "meditation on foulness" suggested above if done without guidance.
For whom could there be danger if he is familiar with the body?

Kind regards
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:14 am

TMingyur wrote:For whom could there be danger if there is familiarity with the body?
Those who do foulness practice without appropriate guidance.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby ground » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:17 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:For whom could there be danger if there is familiarity with the body?
Those who do foulness practice without appropriate guidance.

okay if this is meant to be a general assertion then here is where we disagree.

Kind regards
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Re: facilitating meditation on foulness

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:20 am

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:For whom could there be danger if there is familiarity with the body?
Those who do foulness practice without appropriate guidance.

okay if this is meant to be a general assertion then here is where we disagree.

Kind regards
Familiarity with the body is not likely, in and of itself, to bring about, for most people, the results that a sustained contemplative practice of foulness of the body is supposed to bring.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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