Is Anapanasati Enough

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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No_Mind
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Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby No_Mind » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:46 am

I am doing anapanasati (watching the breath) for 30 - 50 minutes daily (20 minutes twice a day or little more). As I have explained elsewhere, I have no teacher.

Vipassana instructions seem very confusing to me .. the labeling part .. hearing, hearing, thinking, thinking. I need a teacher to learn it and no teacher is at hand.

A car is always honking or someone in another house bangs a door .. so it is almost fully hearing, hearing for 30 mins .. very frustrating. No vipassana can be practiced without reasonable silence. I can never find complete silence and always labeling hearing, hearing !!

I have poor eyesight but superb hearing. At 1 AM I can hear a television 6 houses down or a car honking a mile away. Short of being in middle of nowhere I will always be labeling hearing, hearing.

I just bring my thoughts gently back to breath every time thoughts arise; again and again and again and again. I have even developed the ability to do this when I am not meditating (to return to my breath for a minute in middle of something)

In absence of doing vipassana am I losing out (I know the words losing or winning do not apply to meditation).

I do not wish to be a meditation master. I will never be able to attend a 10 day meditation retreat (maybe one in every half decade at most). I have a busy life and all I want is calmness and tranquility so that I do not run after every wretched thought that crosses my mind.

Is anapanasati enough? Is anapanasati a form of meditation by itself?

Ten minutes into the meditation my breathing becomes very shallow, my mind extremely quiet. Two days back a funny off white globe appeared with pale blue and green pattern on it and disappeared after few seconds. Is this normal?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. When it comes to meditation I have no one to ask help from but you folks. I am completely clueless.

:anjali:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

culaavuso
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby culaavuso » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:12 am



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Goofaholix
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:19 am

It doesn't matter what technique you practice as long as you develop the ability to stay present with whatever is occuring, equanimity, and the sensitivity to notice what you wouldn't normally.

Vipassana is not a meditation technique it's the insight that arises from the meditation technique. If you want to open it up more to vipassana while still keeping it simple then just keep observing the breath as you are doing but as the mind gets settled allow your awareness to be open to notice more than just the breath, whatever is occuring in your field of awareness, without necessarily leaving the breath either. Notice change, notice processes, rather than allowing attention to become fixed.

SarathW
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby SarathW » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:44 am

Probably I mention this to you before.
Do not try to hold the bird too hard and you will kill it.
If you can hear cars far distance mean that you are developing concentration. (Nimitta = sign)
Do not develop attachment or aversion and just think noise (loud, soft etc)
Just be patient.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Mkoll
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby Mkoll » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:48 am

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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No_Mind
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby No_Mind » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:03 am

I know one thing: that I know nothing

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No_Mind
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby No_Mind » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:13 am

I know one thing: that I know nothing

pegembara
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby pegembara » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:16 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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mikenz66
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:36 am

Hi No Mind

As has already been said, the details of the approach are not so significant. Most approaches that are oriented towards development if vipassana use a "grounding" or "primary" object such as breath, walking, metta, etc to build concentration and then advocate paying close attention to other object that arise, such as hearing. Tecniques like noting are just an aid, not the point.

On the other hand, if you want to build absorption-level concen you simply return to the grounding object.

Perhaps that puts it in perspective.

Mike

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Mkoll
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby Mkoll » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:32 am

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:46 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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martinfrank
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby martinfrank » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:13 pm

The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.

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No_Mind
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby No_Mind » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:22 pm

Pegembara, I will read those suttas in full and try and understand the road ahead.

Mike, yes it does put it in perspective. In spite of having read much material, I have the notion that mindfulness is an activity (like thinking). It is not an activity and it is not inactivity. What exactly is being mindful, I cannot understand yet.

It is defined as "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something". I am aware that I am writing to you. I r-e-a-l-l-y concentrated on typing the keys now. I noted each key, the texture, the printing of the letter, the sound, my fingers moving. I was aware of every activity that went into typing "really". Is this mindfulness for those 20 seconds or concentration? I would say I was concentrating on being aware. The overlap between concentration of being aware and aware confuses me.

I was meditating an hour or so back - after I was calm (I term it absorption), I tried to expand my awareness as Goofaholix said .. I could feel breeze from the fan .. I consciously felt every body part the wind blew over .. arms, arms, shoulder, shoulder, left temple, left temple and back to breath slowly without pushing .. I heard a motorcycle outside .. hearing, hearing and back to breath slowly

Hopefully I am doing it correctly. This labeling puts little strain on me. I like the calmness of absorption but that is I guess another form of clinging.

Mkoll and MartinFrank thanks for the encouragement. As you can see last few weeks I have been speaking very little here and practicing much :smile:

:anjali:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

santa100
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby santa100 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:59 pm


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martinfrank
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby martinfrank » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:06 pm

The Noble Eightfold Path: Proposed to all, imposed on none.

SarathW
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby SarathW » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:58 pm

The objective of mindfulness is to see the things as they are in terms of impermanence, stress and Anatta.
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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No_Mind
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby No_Mind » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:04 am

Santa100, I just label it hearing, hearing. Had to write the "I" as part of sentence construction.

I am quite amazed at the peace and tranquility I feel. Last Thursday, I knew was going to be a very difficult and stressful day. I woke up at 4 AM and put in solid 40 minutes of meditation and was amazingly calm though the day. Every time I worried during the day I would just return to observing my breath in a micro break of 1 minute.

At 7 PM after the day was over I felt worn out but it had about 10% of the physical impact that similar days have had on me in past. In a nutshell my mind seems to have more space in it. Previously worry or happiness or some other emotion would fill it. Now it has expanded. When I feel happy, sad, worried, I return to breath for a minute or two.

I have done one thing not in any Buddhist teaching on mindfulness because there arose a need to do so from inside me. I have made mistakes in past and there was anger, resentment, regret floating inside me. I revisited mentally each of those incidents and associated thoughts of shame, guilt, anger and silently said "I let you go from my mind; you were useful in teaching me a lesson but now I want to be free of you". At end I visualized a huge fire to which each of these memories walked up and extinguished themselves.

I realize I might have veered away from the path somewhat but the need to do this came to me in meditation; so I gather my mind wanted it to be done. Feeling "cleaner" now.

Sarath for me as a beginner to see things in terms of impermanence (intellectually I understand things are impermanent but realization of same in meditation) is quite some time way. My biggest challenge is that I do not quit practicing due to lethargy but establish a six month old routine of meditation daily. I need at least 200 hours on the cushion first. Then I can think of using meditation as a way to discover impermanence and Anatta.

:anjali:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:48 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

meindzai
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby meindzai » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:06 pm

Anapanasati will get you all the way there (Jhana) so it is right concentration.

The sutta itself is kind of a skeleton of instruction. It helps to have some resources to "unpack" (as Cooran says) some of the details.

I have had great success with the following:
Ebook by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: with each and every breath (http://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html) Scroll down a bit
Larry Rosenberg "Breath by Breath" http://www.amazon.com/Breath-Liberating ... 1590301366 Essentially a commentary on the Anapanasati sutta with lots of anectdotal stuff as well.

Here is a VERY thorough talk and discussion by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
http://www.audiodharma.org/series/16/talk/1843/

Listen to these until you're blue in the face:
http://www.dhammatalks.org/mp3_collections_index.html

-Dave K

pegembara
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Re: Is Anapanasati Enough

Postby pegembara » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:48 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.


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