ānāpānasati & samatha

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

Postby Zenainder » Thu May 23, 2013 6:11 pm

Hello!

In my personal practice I did not realize (when I started) that there were different practices of meditation. I do not wish to get lost in the semantics of watching in breath and out breath either via the nostrils or the rise / falling of the abdomen. I have two questions:

1. Do I choose one over the other based upon my temperment?
2. Based upon my practice now, assuming my understanding is accurate, I fall into the samatha practice (observing breath at nostrils; tranquility). Are both or only one of these a path to jhanas?

I ask as I have a specific, unexplainable, interests in the jhanas. If I need to be guided in the other direction, please do as I am leaving myself open. In the end, as I understand it, both practices have the ultimate goal of nibbana.

Thanks in advance for answers!

:anjali:
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dxm_dxm
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby dxm_dxm » Thu May 23, 2013 6:21 pm

I'm probably not the one you will find the most reliable givin my dxm topic lol but the theory goes like this:

You first need to develop concentration meditation in order to be able to advance in insight meditation, witch is the one that will get you to enlightment. I have read that therevadian westerners like these on this forum have difficulty advancing at vipassana because the way teaching goes in the west is based on the burma tradition where they seem to jump a little over the samatha because people there are way more advanced at concenration than westerners. The very complex and speedy way of life in the west makes westerners bad at concentration.

The Budha thaught both methods and said that you should atain the first 4 jhanas to be able to advance till the end at insight meditation (witch has 16 nanas). The descriptions of the jhanas/nanas are not perfect because the map is not the same as the path but they are usetfull and pretty acurate.

You will be guided to vipassana meditation on this forum because it is therevada. Probably it is recomanded to practice both styles every day in 2 meditation sessions one for each one. I would like to hear from somebody advanced too.

As a side thing... the "interesting stuff" that motivates a little all of us beginers whether we admit it or not (because you say oh it works, it finally works)(advanced meditators avoing talking about this to not make you deluded but I think any beginer needs this as a little extra motivation beside the horible implications of not escaping samsara) happens in samatha meditation but the arising and passing away event witch is the most powerfull experience a person can feel in his life (in terms of oh my god, oh my god) althow been just the 4th nana happens in insight meditation. Also enlightment happens in insight meditation and althow not having pleasant effects like jhana little "revelations" about the nature of things witch change you not just for the moment also happen there.

edit: maby this guy helps viewtopic.php?f=41&t=17253
Last edited by dxm_dxm on Thu May 23, 2013 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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acinteyyo
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby acinteyyo » Thu May 23, 2013 6:47 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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reflection
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby reflection » Thu May 23, 2013 6:55 pm

I'm with acinteyyo.

In my view in the suttas there is no clear difference between types of practice "insight" and "tranquility". Sure they talk about these as results, but not as separate practices. The practice itself entails both. To gain samadhi, one needs insight into how the mind works - it's not just something one can do untrained. And deeper insight is not a thing you can decide upon, it comes by itself when the mind is clear.

And even if there was a difference in practice (again, which I don't think and experience there to be), then why would the difference be the spot you place your attention? That'd be silly. In my experience the place where you focus on breath is not important.

dxm_dxm
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby dxm_dxm » Thu May 23, 2013 7:05 pm


EmptyShadow
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby EmptyShadow » Thu May 23, 2013 7:17 pm

From my understanding watching the breath at the nostrils is usually taught as a way to reach anapana jhanas. After that you use this jhanas to practice insight.
And whatching the rise and fall of the abdoment is usually taught as a vipassana method that aim to develop concentration(not to the level of jhana) and insight in the same time.

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Zenainder
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby Zenainder » Thu May 23, 2013 7:27 pm

My blog:

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mikenz66
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 23, 2013 7:32 pm


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daverupa
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby daverupa » Thu May 23, 2013 8:15 pm


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fivebells
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby fivebells » Thu May 23, 2013 8:43 pm

Zenainder, I strongly recommend . It is focused on the development of jhana via anapanasati.

With regard to your question about where to focus attention, it suggests scanning the body for the place where the breath feels most pleasant/comfortable and settling down there. (p. 28 onwards.)

EmptyShadow
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby EmptyShadow » Thu May 23, 2013 8:53 pm


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badscooter
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Re: ānāpānasati & samatha

Postby badscooter » Fri May 24, 2013 10:41 am

"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"


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