The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

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

The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby whitewedding » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:56 pm

Hey guys...

OK - so this isn't like the usual way of getting to boundless space which is through samatha but it's definiately boundless and space (not black or anything - just spacial awareness). The suttas say that sariputta attains boundless space by discerning all objects and finding there causes and hence discovering the way out which agrees with this approach.

So here's how I do it (well - done it - you don't need to do the initial stages after you've found the later)...

Firstly I label everything - as many new pieces of sensory information as possible like normal vipassana.
Now - it's natural for when labeling for the mind to label one object, drop out as it passes and label the next. However, I stick with reality as the object passes and follow the movement of focus onto the next object - labelling this.
As you label the flow of focus in between more then the mind detaches from it. It is a wave of focus which contains spacial awareness. It also may contain little nimmita which correspond to the sense (like proto-sense).
Now I switch concentration more and more to the flow of focus and less to the objects it rushes to. I do this until I am continually with the flow of focus (but I still am with the senses).
Now I specify my labelling to just the spacial movement and posistion of the focus. So my labelling is like: "round there", "through there", "over there" etc. etc. This has the effect of switching your attention purely to the focus and and not to nimmita or sense. This allows the focus to escape the senses and as it does so it starts to shoot out miles away. I also label these - like "out there" etc.
You can then do it more sammtha stlye and drop the momentary concentration into a continuous flow or go into a concentration on a point "lightyears" away (hard though - the space needs to be pretty pure to do this.)

With metta,
Steve :-)
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby whitewedding » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:11 pm

OK - I've found a good way to purify space now...
Above I said that "as the waves of focus shoot out miles" I would note "out there". Well (although I don't actually verbally note it) now I only note this - so I am no longer aware of the flow of focus to the destination point in space - only aware of the point of space that it reaches.

I am absolutely certain now that this is boundless space - for 3 reasons:

i) pure spacial perception is pure spacial perception - there isn't "another type" of spacial perception - if it's spacial perception it's the only spacial perception.

ii) Currently this only occurs in the space nearby me but space becomes "full" - it's like it "glows" (not with light or anything - "full" is a better description but "glows" is the 1st thing you'd say). So I figured that the stuff that makes space glow is "consciousness". I have checked this up and "boundless consciousness" is in fact when "boundless space" glows (but with the glow filling up the entire universe - which is beyond me atm (man that would be good - boundless space is lovely and pure and everything - but when it glows it's beautiful - infinitely better)).

iii) Also after checking it up I find that boundless space is not "being aware of the entire universe" - it's having unlimited perceptional range of space - which is what the experience of this is. (NB - these "quotes"/"check ups" come from "Mastering the core teachings of the buddha" on the section under boundless space/consciousness).


Boundless space might seem way off but it might actually not be. I'd been aware of these waves of focus for the past few weeks (as I said - all that is required for that is to hold concentration after the dissolution of a momentary object) but as soon as I decided to switch attention entirely to them I very quickly (in the space of maybe 10 - 30 minutes) gained unlimited perceptional range. It wasn't that pure then - I've been gradually purifying it (by the above method) during the last week and it has now become very pure. So yeah - It might not actually take that long to get there if you use this method.

This meditation has good after-effects to - It causes you 2 live (to a certain extent) in the space around your thoughts/feelings etc. and not inside them (your still with them - but more outside them).

Best of luck,
With metta,
Steve :-)
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:21 pm

Goodness; more stuff of which to let go.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby whitewedding » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:31 pm

I also have another way of purifying space which comes after the above way.
In this one I have the last technique - so all I'm doing is noting points in space. Except this time - after I note a point I go and refind the point (i.e. I instruct my mind to keep doing this - I don't actually do it - the waves of focus do - you can't try and do it - that creates headfuk) and hold a small samatha meditation on it (for - I dunno - 1/4 second to a second maybe). I make sure I know that some wave is gonna knock me off before it actually comes and leave the point and note the next one (otherwise I would be slightly knocked back down into sense ("matter")).
This is probably the best way of purifying the space that I've found so far - it makes the space experience much more continuous and trains greater concentration and mental control. I guess the ""little samathas are good practice for eventually doing the closed focus meditation on the "base of boundless space" as well.

Metta,
Steve.
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby Hoo » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:41 pm

Hi Whitewedding,

...The suttas say that sariputta attains boundless space by discerning all objects and finding there causes and hence discovering the way out which agrees with this approach....


Feel free to ignore my post since I'm relatively new to Buddhism and a rank amateur in Buddhist meditation :) If I may, the process you describe sounds something similar to one I did years ago, before coming to Buddhism. I believe Tilt is alluding to how Buddhist practices would see it - he didn't give enough information for me to be sure. Maybe one of the others could give clearer comparison because I shouldn't be teaching - you'd be listening to an amateur.

I can feel free to comment on what I once did, however. In my pre-Buddhist experience, I encountered a spacious mind that sounds similar. For me, the noting of each thing, then spacious "element" felt like an alternate reality. I decided that this was the phenominal flux that is described by some philosophers, shamen, etc. "Things," and "points in space," became only reference points after a while. I decided that one could experience the flux directly and it was a rather pleasant experience. It felt like an alternate reality.

Over time, though I began to question whether I had "found something" or whether I was creating the state. Kind of like a guided meditation or a guided imagery can be generated, had I generated something I called a different reality, or different glimpse of reality at least. That's the kind of question I think any seeker asks his/her self from time to time. Am I finding what I'm looking for? Or am I on a side path? IMHO everyone makes that decision each moment. They do what they believe, or are trying to study. I ended up here, which tells you I am still looking for something.

So in a Theravadin forum, I expect some views to be far away from mine, some close to mine, but they are all views. Views are like noses, everybody's got one. Other body parts get you in trouble on a public forum ;)

OK (drum roll).....my take on Sariputta :) After doing something similar to what we did (naturally), he saw that it wasn't a method for attaining - it was a wisdom to be learned and experienced. All things are like "this."

All comments are welcome that are designed to share and educate. Ones that just build up ego can be checked at the door :)

Hoo, student of Theravada and some Chan.
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:39 am

I recommend that you spend some time with a teacher.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby PeterB » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:53 am

Seconded. Although I suspect that whitewedding may have issues that will be difficult for a teacher to deal with.
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Re: The way that I found into boundless space - vipassana

Postby Hoo » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:37 am

Goofaholix wrote:I recommend that you spend some time with a teacher.


"Just know what is happening in your mind - not happy or sad about it, not attached. If you suffer see it, know it, and be empty. It's like a letter - you have to open it before you can know what's in it. - Ajahn Chah
How does the dhamma teach the proper way of life? It shows us how to live. It has many ways of showing it - on roots or trees or just in front of you. It is a teaching but not in words. So still the mind, the heart, and learn to watch. You'll find the whole dhamma revealing itself here and now. At what other time and place are you going to look? - Ajahn Chah"

Another second for time with a teacher, but the OP may suffer from the same problem I do. The nearest of any variety is 100 miles round trip. The next go up to almost 200 round trip. One is Theravada, the other is Chan fortunately - for his understanding of Theravada.

The reason I also quoted your tagline is that I found the Books by Ajahn Chah to be a good introduction to the practice, instead of focusing on knowedge. So if a teacher isn't a workable option, what other books might you recommend to the OP (and me :) ) that lean more toward overall practice and the place of meditation.

I found Chah's "Being Dharma" to be most helpful to me so far.
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