Overcoming drowsiness - Buddha advice to Moggallana

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

Overcoming drowsiness - Buddha advice to Moggallana

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:31 pm

Friends,

What the Blessed One mean in the #6 statement with the perception of light? Can someone clarify it?

"If all that, too, does not help, then he may recall the inner light of which many mystics speak and which arises in the meditations of a purified mind that has turned away from the world. Then, in his practice, he will be unconcerned about day or night, because an inner light is shining within him. Then, with his self-radiant mind, he will be able to leave behind, like a Brahma-deity, the whole realm of days and nights as perceived by the senses. This indicated that Moggallana had experienced such states before, so that the Buddha could refer to them as something known to Moggallana. This "Perception of (inner) Light" (aloka-sañña) is mentioned in the 33rd Discourse of the Digha Nikaya, as one of four ways of developing samadhi and as leading to "Knowledge and Vision" (ñanadassana)."

"Are you nodding, Moggallana, are you nodding?" — "Yes. Lord." —
1. "Well then, Moggallana, at whatever thought drowsiness befalls you, to that thought you should not give attention and not dwell on that thought. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

2. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, then you should reflect upon the Teaching as you have heard and learned it, you should ponder over it and examine it closely in your mind. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

3. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, then you should repeat in full detail the Teaching as you have heard and learned it. Then, by doing so, it is possible that drowsiness will vanish.

4. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, then you should pull both ear-lobes and rub your limbs with your hand. Then, by doing so, it is possible that drowsiness will vanish.

5. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, you should get up from your seat and, after washing your eyes with water, you should look around in all directions and upwards to the stars and constellations. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

6. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, you should give attention to the perception of light, to the perception of day (-light): as by day so by night, as by night so by day. Thus, with your mind clear and unclouded, you should cultivate a mind that is full of brightness. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

7. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, then, with your senses turned inward and your mind not straying outward, you should take to walking up and down, being aware of going to and fro. Then, by doing so, it is possible that your drowsiness will vanish.

8. "But if, by doing so, drowsiness does not vanish, you may, mindfully and clearly aware, lie down, lion-like, on your right side, placing foot on foot, keeping in mind the thought of rising; and on awakening, you should quickly get up, thinking 'I must not indulge in the comfort of resting and reclining, in the pleasure of sleeping.'

"Thus, Moggallana, should you train yourself."

— Anguttara Nikaya VII, 58
User avatar
Goedert
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 9:24 pm
Location: SC, Brazil

Re: Overcoming drowsiness - Buddha advice to Moggallana

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:39 pm

Some meditation teachers take it to mean mental visualization of bright light while others take it to mean sitting with open eyes or looking at actual light, sun, lamp, overhead light etc. until drowsiness fades and then resume sitting. I find the second interpretation works well for me.

: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
User avatar
bodom
 
Posts: 4605
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Overcoming drowsiness - Buddha advice to Moggallana

Postby Goedert » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:22 pm

bodom wrote:Some meditation teachers take it to mean mental visualization of bright light while others take it to mean sitting with open eyes or looking at actual light, sun, lamp, overhead light etc. until drowsiness fades and then resume sitting. I find the second interpretation works well for me.

:anjali:


So, this mean that Moggallana was already experienced in using kasina of light? But Kasina is to concentration techinique

I do not understand how kasina would work as devoloping Perception Inner Bright Light.

Can one help?
User avatar
Goedert
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 9:24 pm
Location: SC, Brazil

Re: Overcoming drowsiness - Buddha advice to Moggallana

Postby Zom » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:28 pm

I think that light here is the bright mind of jhana. Lumious mind, free from defilements. See MN 128.
User avatar
Zom
 
Posts: 819
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

Re: Overcoming drowsiness - Buddha advice to Moggallana

Postby Kenshou » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:28 pm

Eh, that seems like a bit of a stretch.

Funny how this "perception of light" thingie never really gets thoroughly explained in the suttas anywhere. Probably isn't that important, I guess.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN


Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests