A Glimmer of Light

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

A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:15 am

Have to share this with you.

I was meditating this morning, when it suddenly dawned on me - nothing is permanent.

Sure I'd heard the 'phrase' with my hearing, and it had settled there in my mind, and I knew what they were talking about in general, but this morning, it hit me. 'Nothing' is permanent. Pain, steel, suns, relationships, fear, love, laughter, anger - none of this lasts - not even this typing :) The phrase 'Annica' suddenly came to life and I understood deeply, on another level what it was telling me.

So from that, came the natural progressin to the realisation 'so why get attached to this life/car/relationship/fear/love/anger?

Which in turn had a knock on effect: So live life to the full.

And through meditation, and vipassana (in particular?), we learn to do this - to live this life to the full. To expereince and appreciate every second/moment like it's your last. Because for definite, at some point, it will be.

It's like the door of understanding just became unlocked, now I have to keep looking beyond it.

I know this seems very obvious to some of you, but for me it really was a bit of insight. It was like I had this jigsaw puzzle lying at my feet, I even had the box cover showing me the completed picture - but I hadn't put the pieces together myself until this morning. Something clicked.

What do you think?
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Freawaru » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:28 am

Collective wrote:Have to share this with you.

I was meditating this morning, when it suddenly dawned on me - nothing is permanent.

Sure I'd heard the 'phrase' with my hearing, and it had settled there in my mind, and I knew what they were talking about in general, but this morning, it hit me. 'Nothing' is permanent. Pain, steel, suns, relationships, fear, love, laughter, anger - none of this lasts - not even this typing :) The phrase 'Annica' suddenly came to life and I understood deeply, on another level what it was telling me.

So from that, came the natural progressin to the realisation 'so why get attached to this life/car/relationship/fear/love/anger?

Which in turn had a knock on effect: So live life to the full.

And through meditation, and vipassana (in particular?), we learn to do this - to live this life to the full. To expereince and appreciate every second/moment like it's your last. Because for definite, at some point, it will be.

It's like the door of understanding just became unlocked, now I have to keep looking beyond it.

I know this seems very obvious to some of you, but for me it really was a bit of insight. It was like I had this jigsaw puzzle lying at my feet, I even had the box cover showing me the completed picture - but I hadn't put the pieces together myself until this morning. Something clicked.

What do you think?



Good click !

Often, people think that how they feel now is how they will always feel and how they always felt. When they want something they completely forget that they had not even heard about it a year ago or it will be uncool next year. To know that how I am now will change, I will be different next year, have different ideals, intentions, motives, wishes - because last year I had different ideals, intentions, motives, wishes.... yes, that is really, truly important. How I am now - it will never the same again. What else is there but enjoying it. :D
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:59 am

Well done, Collective! I hope it gives you inspiration and confidence to keep going!
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:56 pm

Oh it felt good. But you know what? Later through the day, I started losing this 'insight', this relisation. The more I tried to remember exactly how I felt, the more insubstantial it became. I've almost reverted back to the point I was before meditating this morning. But that's not so bad because now I know this meditation thing works, and that it can bring little insights now and then. I just have to keep watching the breath and hope that one day, it all sticks.

Thanks all :)
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:11 pm

All things are anicca, including insights into anicca. Damnit, eh?
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby catmoon » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:01 pm

Kenshou wrote:All things are anicca, including insights into anicca. Damnit, eh?



Wait up a sec. If all things are anicca... that would include space, time, consciousness, Buddha, Dharma and Nirvana. Are these all impermanent?
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:20 pm

Collective wrote:Oh it felt good. But you know what? Later through the day, I started losing this 'insight', this relisation. The more I tried to remember exactly how I felt, the more insubstantial it became. I've almost reverted back to the point I was before meditating this morning. But that's not so bad because now I know this meditation thing works, and that it can bring little insights now and then. I just have to keep watching the breath and hope that one day, it all sticks.

Thanks all :)


sabbe dhamma anicca!
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby baratgab » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:43 pm

Collective wrote:Oh it felt good. But you know what? Later through the day, I started losing this 'insight', this relisation. The more I tried to remember exactly how I felt, the more insubstantial it became. I've almost reverted back to the point I was before meditating this morning. But that's not so bad because now I know this meditation thing works, and that it can bring little insights now and then. I just have to keep watching the breath and hope that one day, it all sticks.

Thanks all :)


Yes, these experiences tend to wear off. I heard several stories about monks who thought that they are enlightened because of the exalted mind-states, and then get really disappointed when they started to become grumpy, angry and frustrated again. :) Once, after abiding without the five senses of the body, I too thought that I am now permanently beyond all bodily suffering. I contemplated on the most "horrific" ways of death, and they just felt genuinely ridiculous... for one hour or two. These things can be very disappointing, if the ego sticks to them. :(

So it is good to be careful about these experiences. I like to keep them to just myself, and I think it is equally important not to make a big deal out of them even in our mind. The "rule of the thumb" attitude is: Just more things to let go of... :|

:anjali:
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:46 pm

catmoon wrote:
Kenshou wrote:All things are anicca, including insights into anicca. Damnit, eh?



Wait up a sec. If all things are anicca... that would include space, time, consciousness, Buddha, Dharma and Nirvana. Are these all impermanent?

the buddha said all conditioned things are impermanent, not self and suffering. nibbana is the unconditioned, all else is free game i'd suppose...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:09 am

Ben wrote:sabbe dhamma anicca!

All compound things are transient, also translated as All constituents of being are impermanent?
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:10 am

baratgab wrote:
Collective wrote:Oh it felt good. But you know what? Later through the day, I started losing this 'insight', this relisation. The more I tried to remember exactly how I felt, the more insubstantial it became. I've almost reverted back to the point I was before meditating this morning. But that's not so bad because now I know this meditation thing works, and that it can bring little insights now and then. I just have to keep watching the breath and hope that one day, it all sticks.

Thanks all :)


Yes, these experiences tend to wear off. I heard several stories about monks who thought that they are enlightened because of the exalted mind-states, and then get really disappointed when they started to become grumpy, angry and frustrated again. :) Once, after abiding without the five senses of the body, I too thought that I am now permanently beyond all bodily suffering. I contemplated on the most "horrific" ways of death, and they just felt genuinely ridiculous... for one hour or two. These things can be very disappointing, if the ego sticks to them. :(

So it is good to be careful about these experiences. I like to keep them to just myself, and I think it is equally important not to make a big deal out of them even in our mind. The "rule of the thumb" attitude is: Just more things to let go of... :|

:anjali:

For sure. The more important lesson was the realisation that even insight (in this instance) was transient. But the fact I experienced anything at all gives me some inspiration for the future. It's a proof of sorts that we aren't wasting our time.
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Ben » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:20 am

Collective wrote:
Ben wrote:sabbe dhamma anicca!

All compound things are transient, also translated as All constituents of being are impermanent?


Hi Collective

Sabbe dhamma anicca (all phenomena are impermanent)
Phenomena: the mental and physical constituents of nama and rupa (mind and body).

It was in response to your earlier post remarking how your insight was fading. My comment was just to highlight that all phenomena, including your insight, are impermanent.
I think you're doing well. Keep going!!!
metta

Ben
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- Hereclitus


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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:59 am

Ben wrote:
Collective wrote:
Ben wrote:sabbe dhamma anicca!

All compound things are transient, also translated as All constituents of being are impermanent?


Hi Collective

Sabbe dhamma anicca (all phenomena are impermanent)
Phenomena: the mental and physical constituents of nama and rupa (mind and body).

It was in response to your earlier post remarking how your insight was fading. My comment was just to highlight that all phenomena, including your insight, are impermanent.
I think you're doing well. Keep going!!!
metta

Ben

Thanks Ben, I thought that's what you were saying :)

Only problem I have is, if these 'states of mind', these 'insights' are fleeting, how are we to gain any kind of long term benefits? Aren't we supposed to realise all this 'bad stuff' is wrong, and that it's all this 'right 'stuff' we should be trying to attain? It's difficult to explain because however I word it it seems like I'm grasping.

It's like, Nibbana cannot be attained because it's fleeting? You'll never get permanent insight because that is fleeting.
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby baratgab » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:57 am

Collective wrote:Only problem I have is, if these 'states of mind', these 'insights' are fleeting, how are we to gain any kind of long term benefits? Aren't we supposed to realise all this 'bad stuff' is wrong, and that it's all this 'right 'stuff' we should be trying to attain? It's difficult to explain because however I word it it seems like I'm grasping. It's like, Nibbana cannot be attained because it's fleeting? You'll never get permanent insight because that is fleeting.


This was not a reply to me, but I thought that maybe you could accept my answer too. :smile:

Basically, you would want to maintain and refine the state of mind that gives rise to these insights. This is where we can start to talk about precepts and sense-restraint, and this is where it becomes a little bit tricky to reconcile the "normal" lay life with the ideal development. If one aspires great insights and at the same wants to keep the habit of relaxing in pubs with the friends, going to dancing, cheering teams at football matches, watching television all day and so on, that probably won't work. Even the not-that-worldly activities can be rather harmful to the refined states, especially if we are just learning them.

To draw a parallel, consider morals. Being moral is not like doing two or three good acts, and then going to thieving, harassing and raping. :smile: Being moral is about maintaining a consistently moral conduct, excluding immoral conduct, during the everyday life. And if one is truly moral, there is not much difficulty in this; it is just a natural thing to do. The same is true about mindfulness and the meditation practice in general. One has to maintain a consistently meditative attitude that can serve as a strong base to the sitting meditation; this is mainly about paying attention to what we do, but it includes for some degree the full exclusion of grossly detrimental activities.

Regarding the attainment of nibbana... It seems logical to assume that a sort of critical mass can be reached in our inclinations, after which the mind so strongly inclines towards the goal that it can't be detached from it. Though, I don't really know, since I'm not quite there yet, I guess. :?
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:26 pm

Hi Collective
At this point, don't focus too heavily on Nibbana or attaining this or that insight. Certainly, they are good focal point as the proverbial light on the hill. The goal. The day-to-day work of maintaining our precepts, developing samadhi and panna, will improve the quality of your life. The cultivation of vipassana in meditative practice means that it directly erodes the mental defilements which are the active seeds of our continued suffering. And as our mind becomes slowly freed from their influence, our life is characterised by the slow eradication of craving, aversion and ignorance in its manifold variations and our blind habitual mental and behavioural patterns. Having said that, the cultivation of vipassana is dependent on both the maintenance of sila and samadhi. As one develops in one's progress and erodes those defilements, insights also develop. When those insights occur, we have to remember to also let them go.
metta

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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:22 pm

Our ignorance is as thick as concrete. Insight need 'working into' the mind for there to be progress along the stages of insight. Or to put it in another way, anicca needs to be repeatedly, continuously seen for minutes, hours, days. It helps to choose a meditation object which changes quite a lot and be mindful of it. It becomes symbolic of everything in existence -impermanance. Stay focused on it's impermanant nature- not anything else like it's colour, sound or duration. You could use the breath or do bare awareness (stimuli from all 6 sense bases one after the other). I find the latter more helpful in striking anicca home as it show anicca in everything we could possibly be attached to. This work is not easy, but the Buddha found the way to freedom through something which normal humans wouldn't want to even look at.

Don't forget precepts and samadhi.

Best of luck with your practice!
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:37 am

Thanks all

After I finish my meditation kit on vipassana, I would like to read a book on Samhadi, the meditation that nurtures states of jhana. Not vipassana. Just so I can make the distinction between the 2 - and find which works best for me. Could someone please suggest a good book on jhana?

Thank you :namaste:
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby DorjePhurba » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:05 pm

Collective, I'd recommend you read Focused and Fearless by Shaila Catherine. It's the best book I've read on jhana and I've gone through the most popular. Just remember that not everything is 100 percent the way the author says it is. There is some room for interpretation, so just keep that in mind. I would definetly suggest you try some jhana practice as jhana is what the Buddha called right concentration and it makes the development of wisdom. I respect those who do vipassana, but I think jhana is undervalued, which I believe is largely due to some traditions reliance on certain texts. Anyhow, if you are interested in a fantastic overview of the Buddhas path to awakening then check out "the wings to awakening" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Hope this helps my friend.

With metta,
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Re: A Glimmer of Light

Postby bodom » Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:19 pm

Collective wrote:Thanks all

After I finish my meditation kit on vipassana, I would like to read a book on Samhadi, the meditation that nurtures states of jhana. Not vipassana. Just so I can make the distinction between the 2 - and find which works best for me. Could someone please suggest a good book on jhana?

Thank you :namaste:


Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory Guide to Deeper States of Meditation Bhante Henepola Gunaratana,
http://www.wisdompubs.org/Pages/display ... n=&image=1

:anjali:
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: A Glimmer of Light

Postby Collective » Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:43 pm

Would this be any good: MB&B

Thanks all
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