Newbie questions about samadhi

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Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby faraway » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:32 am

1. If one want to practice successful samadhi, does he/she really need to be in quiet environment? Can one succeed doing samadhi in noisy environment?

2. If part of my body feel itchy/pain or there is mosquito keep torturing me or my throat got phlegm, etc, what should I do? Should I give up the samadhi for the moment and take care of the body problem or just endure them during the samadhi?

3. How to do samadhi with walking posture? What object I need to concentrate? Can I use breath for the object?


Thanks before,

:anjali:
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby chownah » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:36 pm

For walking meditation it depends on what you are wanting to accomplish and your level of experience.
If you are just using walking meditation as a way to extend your sitting practice to walking because you can't sit long enough then I suggest using the same object that you use when sitting if you are steady enough in your concentration to do that....if not yet steady enough then I suggest the breath if you are steady enough to do that....if not yet steady enough to do that then I suggest using the sensations in the feet and probably the change of pressure at the bottom of the feet is the easiest object to follow when walking.
If you are using walking meditation to develop concentration, mindfulness, and insight while walking then I suggest develop a relaxed Thai Chi Chuan style (I recommend the Yang style done slowly) of walking and the method of developing concentration initially is to focus on learning all of the movements with reduced stress throughout the various parts of the body and as you advance to continue to sense the more subtle stresses and to refine the movements to reduce them still....keep at it for a couple years or more and it is possible that you will be able to walk and perform normal life tasks and be sensitive to the entire body and that you will realize that the body can be fully animated without the need for a self to guide it.....I guess.....
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:13 pm

faraway wrote:1. If one want to practice successful samadhi, does he/she really need to be in quiet environment? Can one succeed doing samadhi in noisy environment?
Ideally. More importantly you need a strong foundation of sila (moral conduct).

2. If part of my body feel itchy/pain or there is mosquito keep torturing me or my throat got phlegm, etc, what should I do? Should I give up the samadhi for the moment and take care of the body problem or just endure them during the samadhi?
As far as possible do what you can to ensure that you are not disturbed by external things like mosquitos. The process of developing samadhi does cause some bodily and mental distubances to manifest. Those physical disturbances can be aches and pains. As much as possible - attend to the meditation object for longer and longer periods without a break.

3. How to do samadhi with walking posture? What object I need to concentrate? Can I use breath for the object?
the observation of the in-breath and out-breath is excellent for the development of samatha and I recommend it. However, as the mind becomes concentrated the breath becomes increasingly subtle and difficult to discern so it may not be ideal for walking meditation. Walking meditation is usually used to develop vipassana
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby bodom » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:50 pm

faraway wrote:3. How to do samadhi with walking posture? What object I need to concentrate? Can I use breath for the object?


In Analayo's Satipatthana sutta commentary he cites sutta (A.3.30) which says that samadhi can be developed through walking meditation but not to the point of absorption. I have found this to be true from my own experience of walking meditaion.

Here is the method of walking meditation that I use that combines breath awareness with walking:

Walking Meditation

Our everyday existence is full of motion and activity. Sitting utterly motionless for hours on end is nearly the opposite of normal experience. Those states of clarity and tranquility we foster in the midst of absolute stillness tend to dissolve as soon as we move. We need some transitional exercise that will teach us the skill of remaining calm and aware in the midst of motion. Walking meditation helps us make that transition from static repose to everyday life. It's meditation in motion, and it is often used as an alternative to sitting. Walking is especially good for those times when you are extremely restless. An hour of walking meditation will often get you through that restless energy and still yield considerable quantities of clarity. You can then go on to the seated meditation with greater profit.

Standard Buddhist practice advocates frequent retreats to complement your daily sitting practice. A retreat is a relatively long period of time devoted exclusively to meditation. One or two day retreats are common for lay people. Seasoned meditators in a monastic situation may spend months at a time doing nothing else. Such practice is rigorous, and it makes sizable demands on both mind and body. Unless you have been at it for several years, there is a limit to how long you can sit and profit. Ten solid hours of the seated posture will produce in most beginners a state of agony that far exceeds their concentration powers. A profitable retreat must therefore be conducted with some change of posture and some movement. The usual pattern is to intersperse blocks of sitting with blocks of walking meditation. An hour of each with short breaks between is common.

To do the walking meditation, you need a private place with enough space for at least five to ten paces in a straight line. You are going to be walking back and forth very slowly, and to the eyes of most Westerners, you'll look curious and disconnected from everyday life. This is not the sort of exercise you want to perform on the front lawn where you'll attract unnecessary attention. Choose a private place.

The physical directions are simple. Select an unobstructed area and start at one end. Stand for a minute in an attentive position. Your arms can be held in any way that is comfortable, in front, in back, or at your sides. Then while breathing in, lift the heel of one foot. While breathing out, rest that foot on its toes. Again while breathing in, lift that foot, carry it forward and while breathing out, bring the foot down and touch the floor. Repeat this for the other foot. Walk very slowly to the opposite end, stand for one minute, then turn around very slowly, and stand there for another minute before you walk back. Then repeat the process. Keep you head up and you neck relaxed. Keep your eyes open to maintain balance, but don't look at anything in particular. Walk naturally. Maintain the slowest pace that is comfortable, and pay no attention to your surroundings. Watch out for tensions building up in the body, and release them as soon as you spot them. Don't make any particular attempt to be graceful. Don't try to look pretty. This is not an athletic exercise, or a dance. It is an exercise in awareness. Your objective is to attain total alertness, heightened sensitivity and a full, unblocked experience of the motion of walking. Put all of your attention on the sensations coming from the feet and legs. Try to register as much information as possible about each foot as it moves. Dive into the pure sensation of walking, and notice every subtle nuance of the movement. Feel each individual muscle as it moves. Experience every tiny change in tactile sensation as the feet press against the floor and then lift again.

Notice the way these apparently smooth motions are composed of complex series of tiny jerks. Try to miss nothing. In order to heighten your sensitivity, you can break the movement down into distinct components. Each foot goes through a lift, a swing; and then a down tread. Each of these components has a beginning, middle, and end. In order to tune yourself in to this series of motions, you can start by making explicit mental notes of each stage.

Make a mental note of "lifting, swinging, coming down, touching floor, pressing" and so on. This is a training procedure to familiarize you with the sequence of motions and to make sure that you don't miss any. As you become more aware of the myriad subtle events going on, you won't have time for words. You will find yourself immersed in a fluid, unbroken awareness of motion. The feet will become your whole universe. If your mind wanders, note the distraction in the usual way, then return your attention to walking. Don't look at your feet while you are doing all of this, and don't walk back and forth watching a mental picture of your feet and legs. Don't think, just feel. You don't need the concept of feet and you don't need pictures. Just register the sensations as they flow. In the beginning, you will probably have some difficulties with balance. You are using the leg muscles in a new way, and a learning period is natural. If frustration arises, just note that and let it go.

The Vipassana walking technique is designed to flood your consciousness with simple sensations, and to do it so thoroughly that all else is pushed aside. There is no room for thought and no room for emotion. There is no time for grasping, and none for freezing the activity into a series of concepts. There is no need for a sense of self. There is only the sweep of tactile and kinesthetic sensation, an endless and ever-changing flood of raw experience. We are learning here to escape into reality, rather than from it. Whatever insights we gain are directly applicable to the rest of our notion-filled lives.


http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe15.html

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
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby faraway » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:11 pm

Thanks friends for the answers :anjali:

Friends, when sitting/standing inside the bus which is on the way, is it possible to do a meditation there? If so, what kind of meditation is the best?

Btw, could earplug be helpful in samadhi? which for restraining ear faculty :tongue:
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby chownah » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:48 pm

You wouldn't want to miss your stop so I doubt that meditation on neither perception nor non-perception would be advised!!!
Different people have different needs and different abilities....ultimately you will need to find out what is best for you......try different things on the bus.....even the bad ones will provide some benefit even if it is only that they don't work and my guess is that even the bad ones have potential to provide more than that.....My view is that the benefits of meditative techniques applied to daily living are much greater than most people realize.....It is my view that the benefits from this daily life meditative development do not become apparent until one has diligently applied them for years....but to get to the point where the benefits are felt you must first start and continue for some time with very little reward or perhaps only sporadic reward.....but on the other hand many people report getting to heightened awareness throughout daily life by mostly just sitting while meditating....and usually that takes a number of years too........I recommend doing both as often and as long as you can every day....it's all good.....I think.....
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby manas » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:15 am

Hi faraway,

maybe while on the bus, you could use that opportunity to develop other aspects of awareness. Sometimes, when I am in that situation, I just observe my mind, as in where is it at? Keeping your eyes open and senses alert (that way you won't miss your stop), just observe whatever enters and leaves your consciousness; the movement of the bus, people entering and leaving, your inner reactions to the people around you, the passing scenery...and, of course, the breath if you like, but really when on the bus it's better to practise a form of awareness that keeps you alert to what the current task is. The one thing I watch out for is daydreaming. If we just get bored and daydream, then we really are wasting time. But if we somehow remain alert, even just to our state of mind or the passing thoughts in the mind, then we have cultivated awareness, even if just a little it all adds up over time. You could even daydream mindfully, where you observe yourself drifting from thought to thought. It's all good - so long as you reaming awake and alert!

all just my personal opinion and based on experience. not gospel.

:)
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:08 am

manasikara wrote:maybe while on the bus...


While sitting on the bus today I practiced sending loving thoughts to each and every passenger. I find metta a good practice when in public places, sending loving thoughts to each and everyone who passes you by. The mind can become very calm while practicing metta in any situation or surroundings and does not need ideal conditions to do so.

: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: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby faraway » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:04 pm

chownah wrote:You wouldn't want to miss your stop so I doubt that meditation on neither perception nor non-perception would be advised!!!
...
chownah

If I can attain neither perception nor non-perception state, I probably would fly than taking a bus :tongue:


manasikara wrote:Hi faraway,
...
If we just get bored and daydream, then we really are wasting time.
...
:)

I admit It's very hard not to daydreaming. Inside bus is noisy and shaky, so would you say mindfulness meditation is better than concentration meditation when inside bus?


bodom wrote:
manasikara wrote:maybe while on the bus...


While sitting on the bus today I practiced sending loving thoughts to each and every passenger. I find metta a good practice when in public places, sending loving thoughts to each and everyone who passes you by. The mind can become very calm while practicing metta in any situation or surroundings and does not need ideal conditions to do so.

:namaste:

How to send loving thought? Should I visualize I'm doing loving-kindness action to people or keep reciting "may 'all living beings'/you/I be happy" in mind?


Thanks for the responses, friends.

:anjali:
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:15 pm

faraway wrote:How to send loving thought? Should I visualize I'm doing loving-kindness action to people or keep reciting "may 'all living beings'/you/I be happy" in mind?


Yes, use your inner speech or intentional thinking, the way you normally talk to yourself inside your head, to send metta to everyone. Theres no need to close your eyes or visualise. For example if you are walking through the mall or supermarket, as each person passes you by you can give a smile and think to yourself "May s/he be happy, peaceful, free from suffering." Use your own words and phrases that are meaningful to you. It may feel a little forced and artificial at first, but once you instill this mental habit in your mind it can change your life. Everywhere you go and any situation you are in will become a "Divine Abode" when you are radiating the Brahmaviharas of loving friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimty.

: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: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:33 pm

bodom wrote:
Walking Meditation
...
To do the walking meditation, you need a private place with enough space for at least five to ten paces in a straight line. You are going to be walking back and forth very slowly, and to the eyes of most Westerners, you'll look curious and disconnected from everyday life. This is not the sort of exercise you want to perform on the front lawn where you'll attract unnecessary attention. Choose a private place.


Clearly doing it on the front lawn would attract attention. On the other hand, if you choose a relatively normal-looking posture it is quite easy to do some slow pacing around when waiting for a bus, train, or plane, and not look particularly out of place. A lot of people do that anyway for non-meditative reasons...

Image

:anjali:
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Clearly doing it on the front lawn would attract attention. On the other hand, if you choose a relatively normal-looking posture it is quite easy to do some slow pacing around when waiting for a bus, train, or plane, and not look particularly out of place. A lot of people do that anyway for non-meditative reasons...


Indeed. Taking long slow mindful walks is one of my favorite activities.

: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
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Re: Newbie questions about samadhi

Postby chownah » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:36 am

One type of meditation I do on bus trips sometimes is to stand up with head erect, eyes straight forward, chest relaxed, breathing from the abdomen, knees slightly bend, with a moderately wide stance (feet NOT right next to each other, one foot a little ahead and to the side of the other....you want a good solid base footing for this)....and then let the legs act like shock absorbers so that when the bus goes over a bump your upper body barely moves and all the bumpiness is absorbed in the feet and legs...if you get good at this you can stand up without holding on to anything and stay solid as a rock even in a very bumpy ride!!!......it's fun!!!.....and it develops concentraton and body awareness.....once you get the feel for it you can even extend that concentrated awareness beyond the feet and legs...in fact to be able to stand without holding on requires pretty much concentraed awareness of the entire body and even of the visual field so that you can see when the bus is going to turn so you will know how to respond without holding on!!......I remember one ride through the mountains of northern Laos on a poorly maintained dirt road...wow!..........extreme bus riding!!!!
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