how many different ways did the buddha explain 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.

Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:31 pm

bodom wrote:Also keep in mind the Buddha gave many meditation subjects because of the different temperaments and capacities of those he was instructing.

The Pali commentaries further provide guidelines for suggesting meditation subjects based on ones general temperament:

Greedy: the ten foulness meditations; or, body contemplation.

Hating: the four brahma-viharas; or, the four color kasinas.

Deluded: mindfulness of breath.

Faithful: the first six recollections.

Intelligent: recollection of death or peace; the perception of disgust of food; or, the analysis of the four elements.

Speculative: mindfulness of breath.

The six non-color kasinas and the four formless states are suitable for all temperaments.

Bhante Gunaratana - The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation


:anjali:


good point bodom, i read this somewhere before. so i guess technically one could say that there might only be one method of meditation for one person. although that might be an overstatement.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:32 pm

Kenshou wrote:
zac wrote:that's kind of what i thought. hopefully someone could give at least a brief summary...


Well they all come down to the end purpose of allowing the mind to understand clearly the fact that all phenomena are dependently originated, unreliable and impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless, so that everything can be let go, unclung from, and so dukkha can be ended.

Every meditation or contemplation comes down to either developing wholesome mental qualities for the sake of a lucid mind (jhana, metta, other brahmaviharas), preventing unwholesome qualities detrimental to mental development (parts of the body, corpse contemplation), or, a scheme for dividing up one's experience to provide a systematic framework for analysis. (five aggregates, satipatthana, four elements)

Every meditation practice is directly linked to the realizing of the same final goal, or complementary to it's realization. There's a pretty big toolbox given to us, but with these things in mind it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what is meant for what.

ok, thanx.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:38 pm

Hello zac,

Many people expect to find a quick way of meditation , an easy way, or a way filled with good feelings and exciting happenings.

Meditation, in the beginning, can be hard boring work requiring perseverance and a regular effort.

Here is a 90 day on-line course I did some years ago. I strongly recommend it.
http://www.vipassana.com/course/

Next Course is September 2010 (September 11th - December 9th) - applications now being accepted

Read the comments of those who did the course.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:43 pm

cooran wrote:Hello zac,

Many people expect to find a quick way of meditation , an easy way, or a way filled with good feelings and exciting happenings.

Meditation, in the beginning, can be hard boring work requiring perseverance and a regular effort.

Here is a 90 day on-line course I did some years ago. I strongly recommend it.
http://www.vipassana.com/course/

Next Course is September 2010 (September 11th - December 9th) - applications now being accepted

Read the comments of those who did the course.

with metta
Chris


i've been meditating since i was seventeen (now 26) and have had maaaaaany benefits. i never expected a quick way of meditation or a way filled with good feelings and exciting happenings. i'm just curious to know if i should be doing more than just mindfulness of breathing. thanx though :) didn't mean to imply i was a newbie, in fact i should probably edit my original statement to make that clear. thanx chris.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:48 pm

zac wrote:I'm just curious to know if i should be doing more than just mindfulness of breathing.


Ajaan Fuang Jotiko one of the great Thai Forest Ajahn's said "The breath can take you all the way to nibbana, you know."

: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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:52 pm

bodom wrote:Ajaan Fuang Jotiko one of the great Thai Forest Ajahn's said "The breath can take you all the way to nibbana, you know."

:anjali:


bodom we are on the same thought link! i was reading this:
"The next anussati is concentration on breathing (pp. 227-258). It
is a particularly useful meditation, being the only one the Buddha
described which can lead to both mindfulness and insight. This is the
only meditation which can lead a practitioner from begining practice
all the way to enlightenment. "

on buddha net and when i clicked back here you had just posted your statement!
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:55 pm

Right on. :toast:

: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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:55 pm

Hi Zac,
zac wrote:
bodom wrote:
zac wrote:so these are things he said to meditate on? i've never learned anything about meditating on anything but the breath... does he explain these techniques ever?


You will need to read the Visuddhimagga for an explanation of how these 40 subjects are to be used as meditation subjects.

:anjali:


ARRRG! CAN'T BUY MORE DHARMA BOOKS!!!

we'll see how long this decision lasts :lol:

I recall you said you had "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi. There is a whole chapter there on Suttas to do with meditation:
VIII. Mastering the Mind
Introduction 257
1. The Mind Is the Key (AN 1: iii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10) 267
2. Developing a Pair of Skills
(1) Serenity and Insight (AN 2: iii, 10) 267
(2) Four Ways to Arahantship (AN 4:170) 268
(3) Four Kinds of Persons (AN 4:94) 269
3. The Hindrances to Mental Development (SN 46:55, abridged) 270
4. The Refinement of the Mind (AN 3:100 §§1–10) 273
5. The Removal of Distracting Thoughts (MN 20) 275
6. The Mind of Loving-Kindness (from MN 21) 278
7. The Six Recollections (AN 6:10) 279
8. The Four Establishments of Mindfulness (MN 10) 281
9. Mindfulness of Breathing (SN 54:13) 290
10. The Achievement of Mastery (SN 28:1–9, combined) 296


Mike
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:56 pm

i wrote:
gah! so frustrating because i'm learning from a chan monk who says that there is just the one type of meditation. so who do i see to teach me the other types??? recommend any books on the topics?


to be clear i don't think that he doesn't know about any other methods but that this is all he teaches.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:00 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Zac,
I recall you said you had "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi. There is a whole chapter there on Suttas to do with meditation:
VIII. Mastering the Mind
Introduction 257
1. The Mind Is the Key (AN 1: iii, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10) 267
2. Developing a Pair of Skills
(1) Serenity and Insight (AN 2: iii, 10) 267
(2) Four Ways to Arahantship (AN 4:170) 268
(3) Four Kinds of Persons (AN 4:94) 269
3. The Hindrances to Mental Development (SN 46:55, abridged) 270
4. The Refinement of the Mind (AN 3:100 §§1–10) 273
5. The Removal of Distracting Thoughts (MN 20) 275
6. The Mind of Loving-Kindness (from MN 21) 278
7. The Six Recollections (AN 6:10) 279
8. The Four Establishments of Mindfulness (MN 10) 281
9. Mindfulness of Breathing (SN 54:13) 290
10. The Achievement of Mastery (SN 28:1–9, combined) 296


Mike


:rofl: good point mike!!! i read those years ago and could answer my own questions if i take it back off the shelf! in fact now that i think of it that's why a lot of what people are telling me sounds familiar!
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby cooran » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:13 am

zac wrote:
cooran wrote:Chris
i've been meditating since i was seventeen (now 26) and have had maaaaaany benefits. i never expected a quick way of meditation or a way filled with good feelings and exciting happenings. i'm just curious to know if i should be doing more than just mindfulness of breathing. thanx though :) didn't mean to imply i was a newbie, in fact i should probably edit my original statement to make that clear. thanx chris.



No worries zac. My misunderstanding of your experience in meditation is a very good thing. :twothumbsup: I have been meditating since the late 90's but I am having difficulties myself at this moment, and, in order to respond to your question I thought (for the first time in about ten years) about this course run by Andrew Quernmore.
So .... I have enrolled in it myself. :rofl:

with laughing metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:16 am

zac wrote: :rofl: good point mike!!! i read those years ago and could answer my own questions if i take it back off the shelf! in fact now that i think of it that's why a lot of what people are telling me sounds familiar!

Since the book was first published in 2005, it's can't be very many years since you read it... :reading:

Mike
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby bodom » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:16 am

cooran wrote:
zac wrote:
cooran wrote:Chris
i've been meditating since i was seventeen (now 26) and have had maaaaaany benefits. i never expected a quick way of meditation or a way filled with good feelings and exciting happenings. i'm just curious to know if i should be doing more than just mindfulness of breathing. thanx though :) didn't mean to imply i was a newbie, in fact i should probably edit my original statement to make that clear. thanx chris.



No worries zac. My misunderstanding of your experience in meditation is a very good thing. :twothumbsup: I have been meditating since the late 90's but I am having difficulties myself at this moment, and, in order to respond to your question I thought (for the first time in about ten years) about this course run by Andrew Quernmore.
So .... I have enrolled in it myself. :rofl:

with laughing metta
Chris


I think its always good to go back to the basics.

: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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:44 am

cooran wrote:
zac wrote:
cooran wrote:Chris
i've been meditating since i was seventeen (now 26) and have had maaaaaany benefits. i never expected a quick way of meditation or a way filled with good feelings and exciting happenings. i'm just curious to know if i should be doing more than just mindfulness of breathing. thanx though :) didn't mean to imply i was a newbie, in fact i should probably edit my original statement to make that clear. thanx chris.



No worries zac. My misunderstanding of your experience in meditation is a very good thing. :twothumbsup: I have been meditating since the late 90's but I am having difficulties myself at this moment, and, in order to respond to your question I thought (for the first time in about ten years) about this course run by Andrew Quernmore.
So .... I have enrolled in it myself. :rofl:

with laughing metta
Chris


oh right on, maybe i'll give it a shot as well,
thanx again:)
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:
zac wrote: :rofl: good point mike!!! i read those years ago and could answer my own questions if i take it back off the shelf! in fact now that i think of it that's why a lot of what people are telling me sounds familiar!

Since the book was first published in 2005, it's can't be very many years since you read it... :reading:

Mike


five years is enough to forget something you read once but didn't practice ;)
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:04 am

zac wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
zac wrote: :rofl: good point mike!!! i read those years ago and could answer my own questions if i take it back off the shelf! in fact now that i think of it that's why a lot of what people are telling me sounds familiar!

Since the book was first published in 2005, it's can't be very many years since you read it... :reading:

Mike


five years is enough to forget something you read once but didn't practice ;)

Hmm, if you can't recall what's in that book, I would suggest reading the whole thing again... :reading:

Mike
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:27 am

Mike

five years is enough to forget something you read once but didn't practice ;)

Hmm, if you can't recall what's in that book, I would suggest reading the whole thing again... :reading:

Mike


you must have a legendary memory! you can read a chapter of a book, one time, not think of it again or practice it's meaning, and remember it crystal clear after five years? i'm impressed! :bow:
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:05 am

Hi Zac,
zac wrote:you must have a legendary memory! you can read a chapter of a book, one time, not think of it again or practice it's meaning, and remember it crystal clear after five years? i'm impressed! :bow:

No, I said "recall what's in that book", not "recall that book...". There is a big difference... :reading:

I don't remember details very well, but I have studied In the Buddha's Words quite a lot, so I have a fair idea of what is in it, and so it is easy to find it. And I know from my other reading that the selection that Bhikkhu Bodhi made is wide and careful enough so that there is something on almost every topic that arises in the Suttas.

Consequently, when someone asks a question about what the Buddha taught on some topic, I often just look at the detailed contents pages (which are available as a PDF here: http://wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104) to find some relevant Suttas. For me that approach is a lot faster than searching through the full NIkaya volumes, or the on-line translations, looking for something...

Mike
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:17 am

from my readings of suttas which it appears that the Buddha spent a lot of time doing walking meditation, maybe it would be helpful to you if you followed in his footsteps :tongue: 555...
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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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Zac,
zac wrote:you must have a legendary memory! you can read a chapter of a book, one time, not think of it again or practice it's meaning, and remember it crystal clear after five years? i'm impressed! :bow:

No, I said "recall what's in that book", not "recall that book...". There is a big difference... :reading:

I don't remember details very well, but I have studied In the Buddha's Words quite a lot, so I have a fair idea of what is in it, and so it is easy to find it. And I know from my other reading that the selection that Bhikkhu Bodhi made is wide and careful enough so that there is something on almost every topic that arises in the Suttas.

Consequently, when someone asks a question about what the Buddha taught on some topic, I often just look at the detailed contents pages (which are available as a PDF here: http://wisdompubs.org/Pages/display.lasso?-KeyValue=104) to find some relevant Suttas. For me that approach is a lot faster than searching through the full NIkaya volumes, or the on-line translations, looking for something...

Mike


gotcha. well i remember what's IN that book in general, some parts better than others and certainly enough that i don't feel the need to re-read the entire thing. i will re-read the sections you mentioned though as they are clearly of interest to me right now. i didn't recall that section except for the mindfulness of breathing part. the rest of the section on mastering the mind i vaguely recall and as i read people's replies on here i knew i had read them somewhere and then you mentioned that book and it clicked. thanx.
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