The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

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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IanAnd
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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby IanAnd » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:49 am

BlackBird wrote:
IanAnd wrote:
BlackBird wrote: Furthermore as far as the suttas are concerned, a faith follower - A Saddhanusari is one who has attained to the path but not the fruit of stream entry. Merely having strong faith in the Buddha does not necessitate the attainment of the path.

I do not disagree with this. But, can you not make the leap of association. . . ? Or is the mind still too hardened in its views and not yet pliant? (Once more, rhetorical questions, meant for reflection.)

Ah, well perhaps we do not disagree as much as I imagined when it comes to dependent co arising and indeed nama rupa. As to the latter point, such discussions could go further in private.

Not necessarily. It just depends upon whether one can accept a general definition of faith follower rather than an orthodox Theravadin definition. In other words, someone who follows something on sheer faith until he is able to do the work necessary for realization and direct corroboration. I had in mind a general definition rather than a "Buddhist" specific definition.

If you go back and read my comment in light of that, you may see that it was made in that spirit.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Viscid » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:25 pm

IanAnd wrote:Not necessarily. It just depends upon whether one can accept a general definition of faith follower rather than an orthodox Theravadin definition. In other words, someone who follows something on sheer faith until he is able to do the work necessary for realization and direct corroboration. I had in mind a general definition rather than a "Buddhist" specific definition.

If you go back and read my comment in light of that, you may see that it was made in that spirit.


Though it's a little beside the topic: I wonder if we can define the point in which one transitions from being a 'faith follower,' that is, someone who operates exclusively from within the Buddhist religious framework, to someone who is able to 'do the work' for realization and direct corroboration. I imagine this transition is not as sudden as the bounds of the category suggest, and in reality the degree to which one is a 'faith follower' is variable. As one gains understanding of the causes and conditions of things, they become progressively founded on their intuitive, experiential understanding, rather than what they've merely heard or read-- and such intuitive understanding is considered a 'greater truth.' Consequently, appeals to texts as the ultimate source of what is true are therefrom not particularly satisfying.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Zenainder
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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Zenainder » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:27 pm

I've contemplated this (with a more open view) and I can see how recollecting the Buddha prior to meditation can give rise to inspiration and devotion for the practice giving it perceived value. Although I do not practice this directly, I do have a small shrine of the Buddha in my den and it does at the very least give rise to further inspiration, like a friendly reminder, to my practice whenever I look or glance at it. I think the "value" is completely conditioned based and it is useful, but not necessary. I do not think its a practice / tradition to become overly attached to. The truth comes from within, after all. :)

I am and have been enjoying this dialogue. Thanks to those who have and continue to contribute.

Metta,

Zen

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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Viscid » Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:01 pm

Zenainder wrote:I think the "value" is completely conditioned based and it is useful, but not necessary. I do not think its a practice / tradition to become overly attached to. The truth comes from within, after all.


Such practices absolutely do have value as means, as tools, to condition yourself toward aspired ideals. However, it seems as though people regard practices (such as using a shrine, or prostration, or visualization) as either an obligation demanded by their religious identity, or as an irrational attachment to ritual, depending on how religious or opposed to religion they are... each extreme a consequence of being closed and inflexible. There should be no religious identity, and every practice should be seen and understood by the way they exert influence on the practitioner.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Ben » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:16 pm

To be respectful
to be humble
to be content
to be grateful
to listen to Dhamma at appropriate times
--these are the Highest Welfares

Verse 7 Mangala Sutta
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

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Zenainder
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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Zenainder » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:53 pm

Viscid wrote:
Zenainder wrote:I think the "value" is completely conditioned based and it is useful, but not necessary. I do not think its a practice / tradition to become overly attached to. The truth comes from within, after all.


Such practices absolutely do have value as means, as tools, to condition yourself toward aspired ideals. However, it seems as though people regard practices (such as using a shrine, or prostration, or visualization) as either an obligation demanded by their religious identity, or as an irrational attachment to ritual, depending on how religious or opposed to religion they are... each extreme a consequence of being closed and inflexible. There should be no religious identity, and every practice should be seen and understood by the way they exert influence on the practitioner.


I can't say that I disagree. "Different strokes for different folks", as they say. I never said it wasn't valuable, surely ANY inspiration regardless of its origin is valuable. I think we are on the same page, if my post has been perceived as derogatory know that it was not within my intention. If this is something you practice then please continue! :D

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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Viscid » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:58 am

Zenainder wrote:I can't say that I disagree. "Different strokes for different folks", as they say. I never said it wasn't valuable, surely ANY inspiration regardless of its origin is valuable. I think we are on the same page, if my post has been perceived as derogatory know that it was not within my intention. If this is something you practice then please continue! :D


I was agreeing with you, and just rambling.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: The value of recollecting the Buddha before meditation

Postby Javi » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:43 am

I used to have much aversion to stuff like this, coming from very anti-theistic views I was attached to in the past. But recently I've been doing this daily in the past few weeks, recollecting the nine virtues, along with the triple gem and the five daily recollections. I must say it has lit a fire under my butt, It really does help and I also get pretty strong feelings of joy and happiness while doing it. I used to just think about my practice from a very stripped down point of view, but I can't say I would do it any other way now. Doing this has really made me think about my practice is a more holistic way than before.
Non qui parum habet sed qui plus cupit pauper est.
It's not he who has little, but he who craves more, that is poor. - Seneca


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