how important is meditation?

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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby Babadhari » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:21 pm

ajahn brahm wrote:

When you ask what Buddhism really is, it's a hard question to answer in a few words. You have to come back to this process of meditation because there is the crux, the fulcrum of Buddhism, the heart of Buddhism. .........

The Buddha taught that it is attachment that causes suffering and letting go is the cause for happiness and the way to enlightenment. Letting go! So often people have asked how do you let go? What they really mean is, why do you let go? It's a difficult question to answer and it will never be answered in words. Instead I answer that question by saying "Now is the time to meditate, cross your legs, be in the present moment," because this is teaching people what letting go is all about. Moreover, the final moments of the meditation are the most important. Please always remember this. In the last few minutes ask yourself, "How do I feel?" "What is this like and why?" "How did this come about?"

People meditate because it’s fun, it's enjoyable. They don't meditate to "get something out of it," even though when you meditate there are a lot of good benefits to be had such as health benefits or reducing stress in your life. Through meditation you become less intolerant, less angry. But there is something more to it than that - it's just the sheer fun of it!

When I was a young monk that's what made me become a Buddhist. It was inspiring to read the books but that was not good enough. It was when I meditated and became peaceful, very peaceful, incredibly peaceful, that something told me that this was the most profound experience of my life. I wanted to experience this again. I wanted to investigate it more. Why? Because one deep experience of meditation is worth a thousand talks, or arguments, or books, or theories.

The things you read in books are other people's experiences, they are not your own. They're words and they might inspire, but the actual experience itself is truly moving. It's truly earth shattering because it shatters that which you’ve rested on for such a long time. By inclining along this path of meditation you’re actually learning what letting go really is.


For those of you who have difficulty meditating, it's because you haven’t learned to let go yet in the meditation. Why can't we let go of simple things like past and future? Why are we so concerned with what someone else did to us or said to us today? The more you think about it, the more stupid it is. You know the old saying, "When someone calls you an idiot, the more times you remember it, the more times they've called you an idiot!" If you let it go immediately, you will never think about it again. They only called you an idiot at most once. It's gone! It's finished. You're free.

Why is it that we imprison ourselves with our past? Why can't we even let that go? Do you really want to be free? Then acknowledge, forgive and let go, what I call in Australia the "AFL Code" [2] - Acknowledge, forgive, and let go of whatever has hurt you, whether it's something that somebody has done or said, or whether it's what life has done. For instance, someone has died in your family and you argue with yourself that they shouldn't have died. Or you've lost your job and you think without stop that that shouldn't have happened. Or simply something has gone wrong and you are obsessed that it's not fair. You can crucify yourself on a cross of your own making for the rest of your life if you want to; but no one is forcing you to. Instead you can acknowledge forgive and learn in the forgiving. The letting go is in the learning. The letting go gives the future a freedom to flow easily, unchained to the past
http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... 0Brahm.htm



the rest of this discourse is definitely worth reading, very insightful and actually amusing.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby purple planet » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:07 pm

just about the walking - in the mahasi method which i practice we do the walking before the sitting not after - im not sure exactly why it might be to prevent sleepiness in the sitting - just telling this so you might check it out - ok so :focus:

( late edit : it probably has some other really good reason for it being before the sitting - so i think its better to do it before and not after until being sure what the reason is )
Last edited by purple planet on Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby Babadhari » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:35 pm

thanks for the info Purple Planet, definitely helps to warm the body up before sitting.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:16 am

kitztack wrote: i think i will try adding a walking meditation practice after sitting meditation to see if it helps in establishing mindfullnes through out the day.


You might also find it helpful to explore aids to maintaining mindfulness during the day. For example I find that simple labelling can be quite helpful eg "walking", "feeling", "thinking". Other people return to the breath at regular intervals or use particular activities or events as a prompt - and so on.
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby binocular » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:16 pm

Mkoll wrote:That's not to say one has to meditate to be a Buddhist lay follower. The only requirement for that is that one goes for refuge in the Triple Gem. But to expect to attain the stages of enlightenment without meditation seems foolhardy at best.

I used to be a hardcore tough-love meditator. And then this backfired, to the point that I couldn't meditate at all anymore (and that wasn't even remotely the only bad consequence). I realized I need a lot more feeling for my life as a whole and do many other things first.

Unfortunately, when I talk about this, some people jump to the conclusion that I am against formal meditation, or that I'm missing out on the core of the Buddha's teachings and such. Which couldn't be further from the truth.

I simply see that there are dangers in being an ivory tower meditator.

Oh well. Some people seem to prefer the school of hard knocks ...
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby Babadhari » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:47 pm

hi binocular

sorry to hear about your hard experiences. what do you mean by 'a hardcoretough love meditator' and 'ivory tower meditator'?
ive never heard these expressions before.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby Aloka » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:02 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
kitztack wrote: i think i will try adding a walking meditation practice after sitting meditation to see if it helps in establishing mindfullnes through out the day.


You might also find it helpful to explore aids to maintaining mindfulness during the day. For example I find that simple labelling can be quite helpful eg "walking", "feeling", "thinking". Other people return to the breath at regular intervals or use particular activities or events as a prompt - and so on.


Yes, I think if time permits, a variety of methods can be useful, including short sitting meditation sessions .When I first went to a meditation class we were told to start with just 5 -10 minutes morning and evening at home.

Anyone struggling with meditation might find this little book helpful "Finding the Missing Peace- a primer of Buddhist meditation" by Ajahn Amaro.

http://www.amaravati.org/downloads/pdf/finding_the_missing_peace.pdf

:anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby binocular » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:19 pm

kitztack wrote:sorry to hear about your hard experiences.

As years pass, I've actually become to value them because there's a lot I can learn from them and from the mistakes that led to them.

what do you mean by 'a hardcoretough love meditator' and 'ivory tower meditator'?
ive never heard these expressions before.

I think they are clear enough, I've made them ad hoc.

An "ivory tower meditator", as the term "ivory tower" suggests, is someone who seems to be very good at formal meditation, but otherwise tends to be unable to arrange his or her daily life according to the Dhamma, or is unable, or unwilling to relate to people who have, let's say, "lowly" problems.

The "hardcore tough love" is referring to the sort of "Just do it!", "Bite the bullet", "No pain, no gain" kind of attitude.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu often talks about how one needs to have a wide range of tools and attitudes in one's arsenal. To have a sense of whether to talk to oneself with force, or whether very very gently, and everything inbetween, etc. etc. As opposed to having just a one-size-fits-all hammer or hoping to deal with everything with a gentle feather touch.
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby ES06 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:50 pm

seeker242 wrote:
kitztack wrote:how important is meditation to following the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha?
for all a persons study and intellectual knowledge can we really understand dukkha, anicca and annata without meditating?


"To understand Anatta, you have to meditate. If you only intellectualize, your head will explode.

Once my practice once became just studying and thinking Dhamma. What happened? It all became confusing and seemed pointless. I gave up Buddhism. Last year I returned to meditation without special plan to return to Buddhism. However, I started to lean back Buddhist practices and principles naturally and Buddhism felt again right.

To me meditation is vital part of Buddhist practice. Just wanted to share this experience.
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Re: how important is meditation?

Postby Babadhari » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:31 pm

ES06 wrote:
Once my practice once became just studying and thinking Dhamma. What happened? It all became confusing and seemed pointless. I gave up Buddhism. Last year I returned to meditation without special plan to return to Buddhism. However, I started to lean back Buddhist practices and principles naturally and Buddhism felt again right.

To me meditation is vital part of Buddhist practice. Just wanted to share this experience.


33. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow shaft, even so the discerning man straightens his mind — so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.

34. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind agitated. Hence should one abandon the realm of Mara.

35. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

36. Let the discerning man guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.

DhpIII
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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