Samatha Meditation

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Samatha Meditation

Postby Slartibartfast » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm

http://www.samatha.org/meditation/index.html

Does anyone else use this method? As you will know from posts on otehr forums I have very recently started training in this method. I think It is a little early to comment yet but I do feel a little more aware of things in the present. I have quite a journey ahead of me.

I am at the third stage, or third week and have had something new added each week, with an understanding that some practice should be done at home.

Stage 1 Longest Breath. Breathe in gently counting 1-9 and breathe out gently counting 9-1.
Stage 2 Longer Breath. Breathe in gently counting 1-6 and breathe out gently counting 6-1
Stage 3 Short breath. Breathe in gently counting 1-3, andbreathe out gently counting 3-1.

Always leave the meditation as you entered it, so move from 1-2-3-2-1. Acknowledge distractions mindfully and gently bring the concentration back to the breath.

Does anyone else have experience of this? It is a fairly basic technique, but then I think this is a good thing, because an overcomplication, certainly at this stage, would confuse and detract from teh meditation.
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby bodom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:43 pm

I dont practice this particular technique but i do practice samatha/vipassana.

:namaste:
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: Samatha Meditation

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi Slartibartfast

What you described is an extremely common preliminary method in Theravada.

Kind regards,

Element
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:20 pm

Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby bodom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:35 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?


Kinda looks that way dont it? I would think counting 1-9 - 9-1 on each breath would be a little tiring for me personally. Maybe just the first few to get a "feel" for the breath.

:namaste:
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: Samatha Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:53 pm

bodom_bad_boy wrote:
Manapa wrote:Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?


Kinda looks that way dont it? I would think counting 1-9 - 9-1 on each breath would be a little tiring for me personally. Maybe just the first few to get a "feel" for the breath.

:namaste:


It does!
I have come across similar methods and used a similar methods (see my link to a book in what method do you use), but this discription seams different!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:15 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?


I hope people don't mind me repeating myself.

Yes, we do control the breath during this meditation. I think, however, at this stage the counting is just trying to get us used to the breathing technique. the breath is slow and gentle, even on the shortest breath but they vary in length according to the count. At the same time we don't over-inhale or over-exhale. We control the breath in a relaxed way.
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brightens this world, like the moon when freed from clouds
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:37 am

I have never heard of controlling the breath in this techneque but I suppose it is the same idea as taking some deep breaths before starting?
keep us uptodate with the progress in the stages.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:45 am

It could be a mis understanding in my part of course, we haven't be directly instructed to control breathing however the counting suggests the length of breath to me, and it is not so controlled that we lose focus.
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:00 pm

Hi Slartibartfast,

Slartibartfast wrote:It could be a mis understanding in my part of course, we haven't be directly instructed to control breathing however the counting suggests the length of breath to me, and it is not so controlled that we lose focus.


No, you haven't misunderstood. In Nai Boonman's method one begins with controlled breathing, then the controlling is later dropped.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:07 pm

Greetings Slartibartfast,

I use a similar count method I learned from an audio dharma talk as my "warm-up". It's essentially a pyramid count: 1-10, 10-1, 1-9, 9-1, 1-8, 8-1...1-2, 2-1, 1. It seems to take just less than 10 minutes on average and, while I'm doing the "warm-up", I really cut myself some slack and don't worry too much about being distracted, fidgeting, etc. The original talk said you should restart from the beginning if you lose your place, but I don't feel that's necessary for my purposes. When the warm-up is over, the attitude changes and I try to really focus.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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