Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

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Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:44 am

Greetings,

Are there any satipatthana/vipassana courses that give prominence to dhammànupassana?

When there is "I-making", I do it in relation to things like consciousness and nama, not so much in relation to this body. Therefore, if I'm going to uproot the deepest perceptions of self, I'm concerned that observation via body/feeling contemplations may miss the mark slightly.

I'm keen to go on a meditation retreat soon, but want to do whatever meditation is likely to yield the best results. Knowing myself, I think dhammànupassana may be more likely to hit the spot.

So, yes... recommendations on suitable retreats would be appreciated, and if you think my line of thinking is wrong and that I shouldn't be so focused on dhammànupassana retreat content, feel free to let me know your reasons too.

Metta,
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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:20 am

Hi Retro,

How about one of Patrick Kearney's retreats? I believe Chris has done a couple of those. You can listen to the talks from a recent retreat here: http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/Audio.php ((note they are listed backwards...) and see if it is agreeable to you. I haven't listened to that particular set (must do that!), but I've listened to talks from two previous retreats, and I was impressed by them. Of course, that's not surprising, since he teaches the Mahasi style that I am familiar with.

I doubt you'd find someone teaching just mind and mind objects. I think that for most of us it would be difficult to build enough concentration and mindfulness without using some physical contemplations.

As you can see from the link, Mahasi teachers (and anyone else teaching insight practises that I'm been exposed to) will start with the body and then move on to other objects. As I see it, you need something to build up concentration, as Tilt often says, "dry insight" is not always dry.... As you know, on the Goenka retreats you use the breath for about three days to build concentration. The Mahasi approach is to use motion (walking and rising-falling of the abdomen) to build and maintain concentration, and deals with the other satipatthanas as they arise.

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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:07 am

Greetings Mike,

Good idea re: Patrick Kearney... actually, I've got a CDR of MP3s of meditation course retreat instructions of his... so it would seem a perfect way to see whether it fits requirements.

I've been reading a little more on the Mahasi and Goenka approaches lately, which has been useful too. I'd be happy to attend either, and ultimately probably will... I was mainly trying to see what else was out there to make sure I wasn't overlooking valid alternatives.

Thanks.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:08 am

retrofuturist wrote: I was mainly trying to see what else was out there to make sure I wasn't overlooking valid alternatives.

I'm sure there are many alternatives, many teachers with many different approaches.

For example Bhante Mahinda
http://www.buddhistdoor.com/meditation/Mahinda.html
started the Aloka Mediation Centre in NSW:
http://www.aloka.info/med_aboutabm.html
I met him in Hong Kong in early 2008, where he gave several talks and a one day workshop.
He teaches a sort of bare awareness approach, having practised Mahasi and Goenka approaches.

Continuing from my previous comments about building up through the satipatthanas, when I did a three day retreat a couple of years ago with Ajahn Tiradhammo (an Ajahn Chah student) we did one day of body (breath and walking), one day with an emphasis on looking at feelings, and one day with an emphasis on looking at mind states (but of course based on also watching the walking or breathing). He joked at the end that we'd have to come back for the 4 day version if we wanted the mind objects... That approach was quite effective in seeing a progression from sense impression to the feeling they generated to the state of mind the feelings generated.

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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:12 am

Greetings Mike,

Yes, I think a retreat which progressed sequentially through the four satipatthanas would be absolutely what I'm looking for. I will have a look into these other suggestions too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby Moggalana » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:36 am

Sayadaw U Tejaniya is focusing on Cittanupassana but I don't know if he also teaches Dhammanupassana. http://sayadawutejaniya.org
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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:45 am

The four foundations of mindfulness are interrelated, I don't see how one can practise one without it leading to an awareness of the others.

Most teachers emphasis mindfulness of the body as a starting point as this is a sure solid obvious place to start, but it all leads to an understanding of feelings, then the mind, then the dhammas, the each build on each other. All teachers I've sat with encourage one to reflect on what one is experiencing in the body, the feelings, and the mind in terms of what this is revealing about nature of reality and ones relationship with it, this is the fourth foundation.

Trying to skip or gloss over the first 3 and go on to the 4th seems to me a bit like trying to learn to swim without getting wet.
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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:47 pm

The Four foundations are interrelated but there is much to be said for developing each in their own right and not as a sub category of mindfulness of body.

I think Retro would benefit from cittanupassana- if you want to get rid of the sense of I then focus on the mind and begin to note when the use of I arises in the thought stream. Get rid of it as in the vitakkasantana sutta as a start. I suspect cittanupassaana in a retreat setting can only be done over a very prolonged period of time.

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Re: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby bodom » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:29 pm

In an article by Goenka entitled "Sensation the Key to Satipatthana" pg. 22 note 16: In this article Goenka proposes that

"Since the "body" is to be experienced via "feelings", which at the same time are related to the "mind" by being "mental objects" , by observing bodily sensations one can cover all four satipatthanas.


: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: Meditation courses dedicated to Mental objects

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:43 am

rowyourboat wrote:The Four foundations are interrelated but there is much to be said for developing each in their own right and not as a sub category of mindfulness of body.

I think this comes from a misunderstanding of what teachers are teaching. They aren't teaching mindfulness of the body because the body has all the answers they are teaching mindfulness of the body because it leads to an understanding of the mind, feelings, and dhammas. Beginning students might think it's all about the breath or the body because the instructions seem to focus on that, but meanwhile giving attention to the body is what's giving a good solid foundation from which to realise the nature odf mind.

rowyourboat wrote:I suspect cittanupassaana in a retreat setting can only be done over a very prolonged period of time.


In my experience the advantage of cittanupassana, at least as Syadaw U Teginaya teaches it, is that it's a practice that is very easy to integrate into day to day activities much more than other techniques.

Even though it may put emphasis on one of the foundations of mindfulness I find all four are being developed in unison.
"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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