Bit of a Quandary

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Bit of a Quandary

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:36 pm

...not a huge issue but one on my mind anyway:

I practice Satipatthana as a rule... I was recently introduced to a wonderful DVD about Korean Zen nuns...there was a passage quoted in it (like to know where from if anyone knows)...its left a lasting impression on me that seems to be interupting my practice:

"There is a thing so bright and divine,
Never Born,
Never Dying,
Without name
Or Form...

...What is this? "

They used the question "What is this?" as a sort of Koan - I find it incredibly seductive and it crops up in my practice!

Do you think this is a problem?

Thanks in advance

BB
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby Nicro » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:41 pm

Is it the DVD where they are staying up for a couple days meditating? I've been wanting to see that myself.

I'm not sure where it is from though. I don't think it is a problem either. Just see it and acknowledge it no matter how many times it comes it.
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby daverupa » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:51 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:I practice Satipatthana as a rule... - I find {what is it} incredibly seductive and it crops up in my practice!

Do you think this is a problem?


It's not satipatthana if the thought is pursued. It's a bit discursive, and it would only have relevance for the third tetrad, but in that case it seems appropriate to calm that citta, instead of pursuing that agitating ("incredibly seductive") citta...

This may not be an approach considered under the Vipassana rubric, however. Other practitioners will have to chime in on any labeling, et al tools to be used here.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby kirk5a » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:13 pm

Beautiful Breath wrote:They used the question "What is this?" as a sort of Koan - I find it incredibly seductive and it crops up in my practice!

Do you think this is a problem?

Thanks in advance

BB

You should probably decide whether you are going to pursue that as a practice like those Zen nuns do. In which case, you'll probably want to find a teacher in that tradition.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby chownah » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:14 am

I don't think it's a problem...I think it's an opportunity.
My advise on this is highly questionable so please do not accept it without questioning (hahahha as if).
1. concentrate the mind
2. contemplate the koan until the mind is deeply involved and has become "comfortable" or "familiar" with the koan
3. become mindful of the activity of contemplating the koan

This involves shifting the minds focus twice; once from concentration to contemplation and once from contemplation to mindfulness.....difficult but possible. If you don't get it right the first time (you should be so lucky) then keep trying...eventually it should happen even if by accident. The second shift will probably be the difficult one and perhaps (maybe...not sure) a good strategy to do this one is that if you let the mind contemplate the koan long enough the mind will eventually stop (on its own?) and at that time instead of just shifting back to concentration (as some people do) shift to mindfulness taking the last hints of the koan contemplation as the content of the mind......
This might not work....but then it doesn't cost anything to try and it shouldn't take long to give it a trial.....I guess.....do you think that trying this could be harmful?????? :jawdrop:
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby Ben » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:52 am

Greetings Beautiful Breath ,

Follow the instructions as per the methodology you are practicing and be careful not to get sidetracked by mental detritus.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:50 am

Beautiful Breath wrote:."There is a thing so bright and divine,
Never Born,
Never Dying,
Without name
Or Form...

...What is this? "
Nothing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Bit of a Quandary

Postby santa100 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:37 pm

There are many meditation methods by different school: vipassana, samatha (Theravada), Buddha-name-recitation (PureLand), Koan/Hoatau (Zen), etc.. I think you should try to find the one that fits you the best and then stick with just that method for a while. Just so that you can fully focus/dedicate all your energy onto 1 method instead of scattering it on multiple ones. It'd be more effective that way in my opinion. Good luck..
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