Sati1 wrote:1) Does anybody have suggestions on how to get rid of the craving for bliss? I know that it is an impediment to meditation, but am finding it hard to get rid of it,
Keeping the Breath in Mind by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo wrote:Release is a mind that doesn't cling to low causes and low effects — i.e., stress and its cause; or to high causes and high effects — the disbanding of stress and the path to its disbanding.
Sati1 wrote:2) When bliss arises, should one try to maintain awareness on the tip of the nose, or should awareness be shifted elsewhere, such as to the sensation of bliss or to the body?
Keeping the Breath in Mind by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo wrote:The first jhana has five factors.
(a) Directed thought (vitakka): Think of the breath until you can keep it in mind without getting distracted.
(b) Singleness of preoccupation (ekaggatarammana): Keep the mind with the breath. Don't let it stray after other concepts or preoccupations. Watch over your thoughts so that they deal only with the breath to the point where the breath becomes comfortable. (The mind becomes one, at rest with the breath.)
(c) Evaluation (vicara): Gain a sense of how to let this comfortable breath sensation spread and connect with the other breath sensations in the body. Let these breath sensations spread until they're interconnected all over the body. Once the body has been soothed by the breath, feelings of pain will grow calm. The body will be filled with good breath energy. (The mind is focused exclusively on issues connected with the breath.)
These three qualities must be brought together to bear on the same stream of breathing for the first jhana to arise. This stream of breathing can then take you all the way to the fourth jhana.
Directed thought, singleness of preoccupation, and evaluation act as the causes. When the causes are fully ripe, results will appear —
(d) rapture (piti), a compelling sense of fullness and refreshment for body and mind, going straight to the heart, independent of all else;
(e) pleasure (sukha), physical ease arising from the body's being still and unperturbed (kaya-passaddhi); mental contentment arising from the mind's being at ease on its own, undistracted, unperturbed, serene, and exultant (citta-passaddhi).
Rapture and pleasure are the results. The factors of the first jhana thus come down simply to two sorts: causes and results.
Keeping the Breath in Mind by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo wrote:Breath meditation — keeping the breath steadily in mind — is the best method the Buddha taught for wiping out these Hindrances. We use directed thought to focus on the breath, and evaluation to adjust it. Directed thought is like a plow; evaluation, like a harrow. If we keep plowing and harrowing our field, weeds won't have a chance to grow, and our crops are sure to prosper and bear abundant fruit.
The field here is our body. If we put a lot of thought and evaluation into our breathing, the four properties of the body will be balanced and at peace. The body will be healthy and strong, the mind relaxed and wide open, free from Hindrances.
When you've got your field cleared and leveled like this, the crops of your mind — the qualities of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha — are sure to prosper. As soon as you bring the mind to the breath, you'll feel a sense of rapture and refreshment.
AN 11.2: Cetana Sutta wrote:For a person free from remorse, there is no need for an act of will, 'May joy arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.
For a joyful person, there is no need for an act of will, 'May rapture arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that rapture arises in a joyful person.
fivebells wrote:Does this craving for bliss constitute the hindrance of sensual desire? (It's never been a problem for me.)
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