Meditation advice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Meditation advice

Postby Coyote » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:27 pm

I'd like some advice on my meditation practice. At the moment I have not had any formal training but plan to get in contact with local meditation groups and monasteries so that I can get some more formal guidance. As there are so many different practices and techniques available on the web, I think I need a nudge in the right direction.
I currently sit for around 15 minutes to half an hour a day alternating three different practices throughout the week: Metta, a meditation where I note the in and out breaths around the stomach area and any intruding thoughts and feelings, sounds ect., and where I concentrate on the breath around the tip of the nose and try to breathe "with the whole body". I think this last one is Anapanasati.
My problem is that I am not entirely sure what I am supposed to be looking for, or what I am supposed to "achieve", if anything. I have the feeling that if am not sure what direction I should be going in in terms of goals then I may get lost or stuck in a rut.
On a similar note I have been listening to talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and he recommends trying to attain at least the first Jhana in order that one won't crave sense pleasure - what do members think of this?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Meditation advice

Postby bodom » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:54 pm

Coyote wrote:At the moment I have not had any formal training but plan to get in contact with local meditation groups and monasteries so that I can get some more formal guidance.


Hi Coyote

This is your best bet. If you are able to contact a qualified meditation teacher then I urge you to do so. If you are unable to find one then your next best bet would be to read an introductory book on the subject such as this:

Mindfulness In Plain English
http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

:namaste:
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: Meditation advice

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:45 pm

Be patient and don't be afraid of uncertainty. Finding a sangha didn't necessarily help me understand meditation the way you can understand baking a cake, but it did give me the ability to move forward with confidence.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Meditation advice

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:26 am

Greetings,

See:

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

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Meditation advice

Postby santa100 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:45 am

Also check out this great link from Ajahn Brahm..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTWDEzbRza4
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Re: Meditation advice

Postby Coyote » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:36 pm

My thanks to all.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Meditation advice

Postby carlosm » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:34 pm

I'm really new into meditation, but for me the THanissaru meditation texts have been really helpful, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tions.html

also the basics talks http://dhammatalks.org/mp3_collections_index.html

metta
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Re: Meditation advice

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:45 pm

bodom wrote: If you are able to contact a qualified meditation teacher then I urge you to do so.


This is good advice. Also you may want to consider visiting a local Buddhist group or centre, this link might be helpful:

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/

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Re: Meditation advice

Postby befriend » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:03 am

dhammasukha.org there is a monk nun and senior students that can answer your questions.
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