Jhanas in lying meditation

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.
pescador
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Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby pescador » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:32 pm

Do you know if is it possible to achive jhanas doing only lying meditation on a bed? Is it possible to achieve them only doing walking meditation?

Do any of you practice lying or walking meditation daily?

Thank you and sorry for the typos.

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:29 am

pescador wrote:Do you know if is it possible to achive jhanas doing only lying meditation on a bed?
pescador,

I've had the same question myself recently. I don't see any reason why lying meditation should prevent the attainment of jhanas provided you can maintain concentration and not fall asleep.
Is it possible to achieve them only doing walking meditation?
Please understand that I'm still quite new, but I don't see how the jhanas are able to be attained in walking meditation since there is such a "distancing" from the senses. I'll be very interested in seeing how more experienced persons answer.

Do any of you practice lying or walking meditation daily?
Walking, yes. Lying, almost. Just this morning I awoke before my alarm and had the thought I should experiment a little. I may try to put some emphasis on that in the near future. As it was, this morning I ended up going back to sleep after a few minutes.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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mikenz66
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:57 am

Hi pescador,
pescador wrote:Do any of you practice lying or walking meditation daily?

My normal practise is to do 30 minutes walking then 30 minutes sitting.

I try to be mindful while falling asleep lying down.

Certainly one can do anything lying that one can do sitting, but there is often a problem with sleepiness when trying to meditate lying down.

Mike

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby pt1 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:03 am

pescador wrote:Do any of you practice lying or walking meditation daily?


Hi, I do while lying. As mentioned, sleepiness might be the problem, though usually only in the beginning (at least in my case). One way to get around sleepiness is to assume lion's posture, as it's called in the suttas (also called "sleeping Buddha" position nowadays I think) - lying on your right side, legs fully straight, left leg exactly on top of the right, left hand straight down resting on top of the hip, right hand bent under the head.

The benefit of that posture is that it requires a very very delicate balance, so the moment you start falling asleep (or even just getting drowsy), the body tips over to the side, and you wake up. It's really hard to fall asleep in that posture - basically, the more you pull your legs apart or bend them, the more stability you get and the easier it becomes to fall asleep. But if your legs are exactly on top of each other and fully straight, like advised for that posture, there's only like one spot that is in perfect balance, everything else will cause tipping over.

In my case, it was also useful initially to have a specific posture for sleeping, and another one for meditating, so that the mind doesn't get confused (sometimes I wanted to sleep, but would end up meditating, and the other way around). But these problems also go away with time (unless I meditate right before sleeping - in that case it's still hard to go from meditation straight into sleeping without a break in between).

Best wishes

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Guy » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:10 am

Hi Pescador,

pescador wrote:Do you know if is it possible to achive jhanas doing only lying meditation on a bed? Is it possible to achieve them only doing walking meditation?


I have heard that there is a monk in Thailand who can get into Jhanas while on the walking path. If this is true, he might be the only person in the world who can achieve Jhana while walking. Unfortunately he ends up with scratches on his face sometimes since he walks into trees.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

pescador
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby pescador » Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:05 pm

Thank you, guys.

I'm curious about the monk who achive jhanas doing walking meditation, so if any of you can confirm his existence, I'd like to hear about him.

(There're really interesting people living in monasteries. I wonder why films directors don't make documentaries about them).

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Kare » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:35 pm

pescador wrote:
Do any of you practice lying ... daily?



Hmmm ... I try not to ... but ... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Guy
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Guy » Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:35 am

Hi Pescador,

pescador wrote:Thank you, guys.

I'm curious about the monk who achive jhanas doing walking meditation, so if any of you can confirm his existence, I'd like to hear about him.

(There're really interesting people living in monasteries. I wonder why films directors don't make documentaries about them).


I heard about the monk who can enter Jhana while walking from Ajahn Brahm, he didn't mention the name of the monk in question.

I think the main reason monastery life isn't part of too many films is because most people want to see films involving action, drama or romance.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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suriyopama
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby suriyopama » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:18 am

pt1 wrote:Hi, I do while lying. As mentioned, sleepiness might be the problem, though usually only in the beginning (at least in my case). One way to get around sleepiness is to assume lion's posture, as it's called in the suttas (also called "sleeping Buddha" position nowadays I think) - lying on your right side, legs fully straight, left leg exactly on top of the right, left hand straight down resting on top of the hip, right hand bent under the head.

The benefit of that posture is that it requires a very very delicate balance, so the moment you start falling asleep (or even just getting drowsy), the body tips over to the side, and you wake up. It's really hard to fall asleep in that posture - basically, the more you pull your legs apart or bend them, the more stability you get and the easier it becomes to fall asleep. But if your legs are exactly on top of each other and fully straight, like advised for that posture, there's only like one spot that is in perfect balance, everything else will cause tipping over.

In my case, it was also useful initially to have a specific posture for sleeping, and another one for meditating, so that the mind doesn't get confused (sometimes I wanted to sleep, but would end up meditating, and the other way around). But these problems also go away with time (unless I meditate right before sleeping - in that case it's still hard to go from meditation straight into sleeping without a break in between).


Thank you very much for the tip pt1. Since I recently can't sleep very well, I spend many hours every night in the middle ground in between awarenes and sleepiness. I am going to try it, to draw a line in between this two states.

Last year I used to practice sitting meditation before going to bed, and when I tried to sleep I couldn't stop my mindfulness. I could even see how the dreams arise and pass away very fast, like wathing TV ads. After 3 or 4 days I was so tired that I couldn't even go to work. I exposed my problem at E-Sangha and Dhammanando Bhikku did recomend me to be aware only of my position when going to sleep, nothing else. After one week following his advice I could sleep normally again

:zzz:

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Laurens
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:03 am

I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to attain jhana whilst lying down, although for the umteenth I shall mention the sleepiness issue, the trouble is we associate laying down with going to sleep, so this makes it easier for us to fall asleep in this posture.

I would say if you can't sit upright on a cushion, sit on a chair, if you can't do a chair, then consider lying down, I wouldn't say it was the ideal posture to use as one's main meditation posture.

I don't think it's possible to attain jhana it walking meditation because one's is up and moving, eyes open, and this, I understand makes it quite impossible to attain jhana.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby catmoon » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:09 am

Laurens wrote:
I don't think it's possible to attain jhana it walking meditation because one's is up and moving, eyes open, and this, I understand makes it quite impossible to attain jhana.


I see it as a possibility. There are people who have mastered jhana to the extent of being able to enter it at will. It would not surprise me to learn that such a person could take jhana off the cushion and into walking meditation.

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:15 am

catmoon wrote:
Laurens wrote:
I don't think it's possible to attain jhana it walking meditation because one's is up and moving, eyes open, and this, I understand makes it quite impossible to attain jhana.


I see it as a possibility. There are people who have mastered jhana to the extent of being able to enter it at will. It would not surprise me to learn that such a person could take jhana off the cushion and into walking meditation.


I understood that a requisite for jhana was the shutting off of the senses, but in walking meditation you need to keep your eyes open. I always understood that this ruled out jhana.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan

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suriyopama
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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby suriyopama » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:22 am

Remember Ananda: he was neither lying, walking, sitting or standing when he attained something much higher than a transitory Jahna. He attained Nibbana while he was in movement, going to lay down after walking.
:namaste:

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:11 am

Laurens wrote:
catmoon wrote:
Laurens wrote:
I don't think it's possible to attain jhana it walking meditation because one's is up and moving, eyes open, and this, I understand makes it quite impossible to attain jhana.


I see it as a possibility. There are people who have mastered jhana to the extent of being able to enter it at will. It would not surprise me to learn that such a person could take jhana off the cushion and into walking meditation.


I understood that a requisite for jhana was the shutting off of the senses, but in walking meditation you need to keep your eyes open. I always understood that this ruled out jhana.


In the "sutta jhanas" the senses are not shutted off. It is in the "comentarial jhanas" that the senses are shutted off. As far as I know, the "vipassana jhanas" (of the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition) do not have the senses shutted down _ and thus are similar to the "sutta jhanas" _ and can be attained walking.

Metta
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby pt1 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:21 am

suriyopama wrote:Dhammanando Bhikku did recomend me to be aware only of my position when going to sleep, nothing else. After one week following his advice I could sleep normally again


Good advice. Another simple thing that helps with sleeplessness is to have a firm sleeping routine - going to bed and waking up every day at the same times. It usually takes the body a few days to get into the new routine, but once it does, falling asleep and waking up become automatic. Another helpful thing is to get completely off caffeine, nicotine, tea, etc. That was really helpful in my case. A little metta before sleep can also help.

As for meditating just before sleeping, I find it depends and varies over time - currently, if meditation session is more than 90 mins, there's no way I can fall asleep afterwards (so I usually meditate in the morning). But I heard that with practice this problem also disappears and that one can fall asleep with a simple determination like "go to sleep" or similar. If there's interest in developing jhana, then practicing determinations might be useful (e.g. "I'll meditate for 63 minutes and 27 seconds"), and this can be taken further for falling asleep/waking up (e.g. "I'll wake up exactly at 5:59am).

Another thing to observe is how much sleep is really needed - in certain periods, meditation tends to reduce the need for sleep, so the sleeping hours routine needs to be altered accordingly rather than trying to force oneself to sleep which just leads to tossing and turning. But this relationship between sleep time and mediation time keeps changing, so it's important to observe what's going on so as not to cut too much sleep time. Another thing, it seem that it's more restful sleeping earlier (10pm-4 am) than later (2am-8am), so accordingly it's easier to fall asleep and wake up. But, this might depend on people and other things, so again it's important to observe what's really going on.

As for jhanas while walking, I remember reading about Ven Sariputta that he would go all the way from first jhana to cessation of perception and feeling and then back through the jhanas, all that in the few moments when a housholder was putting food into his almsbowl so that the merit acquired by the householder would be the greatest. So, I guess that with mastery of jhanas, one can go through them very quickly in whatever posture, but for beginners, it's probably the best to choose the easiest posture, whichever that may be.

Best wishes

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Re: Jhanas in lying meditation

Postby Laurens » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:15 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:In the "sutta jhanas" the senses are not shutted off. It is in the "comentarial jhanas" that the senses are shutted off. As far as I know, the "vipassana jhanas" (of the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition) do not have the senses shutted down _ and thus are similar to the "sutta jhanas" _ and can be attained walking.

Metta


Ah I see :smile: thanks for informing me

Best wishes
Laurens
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Carl Sagan


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