my goals and ways of practice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:46 pm

You're all very nice people, but I'm disapointed at this forum for these reasons: as the main Theravada forum on the web, our group should be able to give pratical advice on meditation. But every time anybody makes some claim of this or that attainment, they are looked on with suspicion instead of a healthy, grown-up analysis. When jhana is spoken as an experience, there's imediatly somebody begining a what-is-jhana debate. People with meditation experience, instead of welcome, are treated as unwelcome. We just lost another person who has meditation experience. And it's not the first.

This forum is good for theoretical discussions and learning buddhist tenets, but its weak point is discussion of practice, which is the most important part of buddhism. :?

:soap:
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:59 pm

Greetings MP,

I understand the sentiment, but I also see the other side. Some experienced meditators have seen other meditators who have cultivated Wrong Samadhi, for whatever reason, and they just want to ensure that the person they're speaking to is diligent enough to cultivate Right Samadhi, and sometimes that difference won't be through lack of effort, dedication of sincerity on the part of the meditator, it might just be that on the path to Right Samadhi there's a lot of potential dead-ends - which may be dangerous (at worst) or an entertaining waste of time and effort (at best). Instructions from A Teacher is one way to avoid the dead-ends.

As I alluded to above, the "bhavana" part of my practice is more focused on Right Effort and Right Attention than it is Right Samadhi, so I've not come face to face with these dead-ends, but I respect that others might claim there to be dead ends worth looking out for. Even when I read about certain meditation practices, I sometimes question whether they are in fact aiding the cultivation of Right View or really just reinforcing Wrong View. So in terms of the avoidance of dead-ends, I may recommend someone check out the teachings of The Teacher. 8-)

:buddha2:

I think however people speak on the subject, they should do so:

- Mindful of their intention
- Mindful of the audience
- And reflect on it afterwards

... and thereby conform to the Buddha's instruction to Rahula... http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"While you are doing a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both... you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not... you may continue with it.

"Having done a verbal action, you should reflect on it: 'This verbal action I have done — did it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Was it an unskillful verbal action, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful verbal action with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful verbal action with pleasant consequences, pleasant results, then you should stay mentally refreshed & joyful, training day & night in skillful mental qualities.

:soap:

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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:10 am

Greetings MP,

I disagree with your assessment. The OP came looking for advice on meditative experiences and I believe good advice was given and it was given compassionately with the OP in mind. Perhaps it wasn't what the OP was looking for but if we are sincere as practitioners then we will give what is needed.

I wish the OP every success on the path. It is a long path and it is filled with many difficulties. And my advice to Ohnofabrications is no different to any person who may believe they have experienced this or that attainment. Seek a teacher in whom one has confidence, practice diligently under their guidance and focus instead on walking the path rather than exotic experiences.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby ohnofabrications » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:10 am

reflection - a goal oriented approach is very much suggested by the buddha, 'practice like your hair is on fire' for example. he talks about how the tears you have cried are more than the water in the ocean, what could the intention of these statements be if not creating desire in the listeners for a release from suffering?

true, in the end letting go is of everything, fabricating nothing is the solution to suffering, but in the meantime, the path is fabricated, the jhanas are created through directed thought and evaluation, right effort, right intention, right resolve... i would prefer not to debate this, but it is important to consider that things are not nearly as simple as you have implied. the advice of letting go is only one part of one of the 4 noble truths, it's what you do when you only when you fully understand the cause of suffering... i doubt you will make practice in concentration or the path with the attitude that you have taken.

we would like to hear the advice that the path is all letting go and not trying, but the habits of suffering are deeply ingrained in us and we really do need effort to understand these processes and change them.

when i say all this, i don't mean to imply that you ever, ever put effort into aversion, pushing things away is never the answer, but effort is needed to discern the causes of suffering, at which point you can do all the letting go you'd like. since you used that quote from ajahn chah - here is another.

I'll give you a simple comparison. Suppose you've bought a banana or a coconut in the market and you walk along carrying it. Someone asks you, "Why did you buy the banana?"

"I bought it to eat it."

"But do you have to eat the peel, too?"

"No."

"I don't believe you. If you're not going to eat the peel, why are you carrying it too?"

Or suppose you're carrying a coconut:

"Why are you carrying the coconut?"

"I'm carrying it home to make a curry."

"And you're going to curry the husk too?"

"No."

"Then why are you carrying it?"

So. How are you going to answer his question?

Through desire. If there's no desire, you can't give rise to ingenuity, to discernment.

That's the way it is as we make an effort in our meditation. Even though we do this through letting go, it's like the banana or the coconut: Why are you carrying the peel or the husk? Because the time hasn't come yet to throw it away. It's still protecting the inner flesh. The time hasn't come yet to throw it away, so you hold onto it for the time being.

The same with our practice: Suppositions and release have to be mixed together, just as the coconut has a husk mixed together with a shell and the flesh, so you carry them all together. If they accuse us of eating the coconut husk, so what? We know what we're doing.


On this board i see alot of talk about how non-goal oriented everyone is, rarely does anyone offer up their own explanation, favoring to drop in quick one-liners which would imply an unstated vast understanding. Is this merely a group charade? If no one puts forth their understanding, rather simply telling others that the understanding they have put forth is misguided, then eventually no one is willing to explain their views, because they know that they are entering into a very one-sided form of communication.

Perhaps people justify this with the tradition of silence about attainment, but you might notice that the world of the suttas was ABSOLUTELY NOT a culture of silence about understanding. The monks would constantly talk to one another, sincerely and openly sharing their understanding in the hopes that they could come to the end of suffering, something so much more valuable than the status as wise and accomplished.

I see little evidence that the participants here have a real interest in the unconditional happiness of nibbana or even a belief that such a thing is attainable. Nibbana is not a joke, i mentioned earlier that i had an experience which i hypothesized could be what the end of suffering was like. This was a functional experience, i was walking around after having sat, and if i know that this experience was the result of a *lack* of something rather than the intentional presence of something, which means it could be made permanent. Regardless of whether this was the end of suffering, i doubt that it was (its the closest i've come at least), i would literally give up everything in my life to attain it, this stuff is no joke guys, this stuff is way beyond praise and blame.

I will continue with my 'goal-oriented' practice down the dangerous road of jhana or at least concentration desiring the end of suffering, sincerely sharing my experiences (elsewhere) in the hopes that i can learn something. Other forum participants might continue to simply act in ways which they know are based in conceit and desire for status, and they may continue to inwardly deny these intentions so completely that they will never come to terms with them. In my practice my strongest asset has been samvega, it took alot of suffering and ignorance to build that force up, in the end i suppose it is up to you whether you wait for more or less samvega before you really start taking a walk down this path, fully committing to it and actually plunging in. There really can't be any holding back if you wish to make progress.

Sometimes the beneficial things are far from what we'd like to hear. I know that my mind is filthy with defilement, and I am likely at very near the same level of defilement and ignorance as of those who i am speaking to, but without the courage to admit that defilement existence you can't even begin to comprehend the first noble truth, and you will never move to the third, and this will continue until enough suffering drives you bat shit crazy and you desire the end of suffering - imagine that.

edit: ben - the reason i didn't appreciate your advice as compassionate and beneficial is that for me it wasn't. the teacher who's teachings i follow lives in California (thanissaro bhikkhu) and I live across the U.S. from him and I have nothing close to the financial means to go to California and talk with him in person. I would visit with a local teacher, but it seems that alot of buddhism in the U.S. at least is focused on developing a equanimous 'watcher' of experience, one dissociated and apart from experience, what they teach simply does not lead to the end of suffering, i actually did go to one of these teachers once, but they taught me all they could teach (they were convinced that they taught the end of suffering, and that I had achieved it) but what so much of the teachings here teach is something far from the end of suffering.

edit2: ben you said:
practice diligently under their guidance and focus instead on walking the path rather than exotic experiences.

what exactly are you practicing if jhana does not qualify as being part of the path?
Last edited by ohnofabrications on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:25 am

Hi ohnofabrications, Modus.Ponens,

Certainly discussing personal meditative experience and getting good advice can be problematical on a forum such as this. Such advice is much easier to communicate in live situation, where one knows the other people, and it is much easier to assess where people are by their body language and so on. In fact, one of the teachers I've had one said he didn't really need to talk to me, just watch me walk into the room...

I am generally wary about saying too much about my detailed experience on forums such as this, but I did get some useful feedback in this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11240
I think one of the important things to keep in mind is that if you ask for feedback you may well get feedback you don't expect, or that seems completely off-base. This may be due to a number of things, including the difficulties I alluded to above of others understanding where you really are from words alone...

:anjali:
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby ohnofabrications » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:32 am

Certainly discussing personal meditative experience and getting good advice can be problematical on a forum such as this. Such advice is much easier to communicate in live situation, where one knows the other people, and it is much easier to assess where people are by their body language and so on. In fact, one of the teachers I've had one said he didn't really need to talk to me, just watch me walk into the room...


this is true, real life is better than virtual, a stream-winner is better than some random dude, an arahant is better than a stream-winner, the buddha is better than an arahant.

but he's dead, and i don't accept the teachings of most teachers.

edit: sorry i will not be responding or checking this thread any more, hindrances are arising, i see little chance that someone will respond in a way that will help me move forward in a more effective way, and i don't think that i can help anyone else understand the dhamma in this environment, so my remaining here will benefit no one... and there is work to be done. thank you to anyone who was sincerely interested in the wellbeing of others in this conversation, whether or not i recognized it and whether or not the wellbeing in question was positively affected.

i don't know what anjati means but
:anjali:
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:40 am

ohnofabrications wrote:and i don't accept the teachings of most teachers.


I suspected as much, so why entertain the notion that an internet forum will be any kind of substitute?

ohnofabrications wrote:edit: sorry i will not be responding or checking this thread any more, hindrances are arising, i see little chance that someone will respond in a way that will help me move forward in a more effective way, and i don't think that i can help anyone else understand the dhamma in this environment, so my remaining here will benefit no one... and there is work to be done. thank you to anyone who was sincerely interested in the wellbeing of others in this conversation, whether or not i recognized it and whether or not the wellbeing in question was positively affected.


Many of those who came to see me have a high standing in the community. Among them are merchants, college graduates, teachers, and government officials. Their minds are filled with opinions about things. They are too clever to listen to others. It is like a cup of water. If a cup is filled with stale, dirty water, it is useless. Only after the old water has been thrown out can the cup become useful again. You must empty your minds of opinions, then you will see. Our practice goes beyond cleverness and stupidity. If you think that you are clever, wealthy, important, or an expert in Buddhism, you cover up the truth of non-self - I and mine. But Buddhism is letting go of self. Those who are too clever will never learn. They must first get rid of their cleverness, first empty their "cup". - Ajahn Chah
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby manas » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:You're all very nice people, but I'm disapointed at this forum for these reasons: as the main Theravada forum on the web, our group should be able to give pratical advice on meditation. But every time anybody makes some claim of this or that attainment, they are looked on with suspicion instead of a healthy, grown-up analysis. When jhana is spoken as an experience, there's imediatly somebody begining a what-is-jhana debate. People with meditation experience, instead of welcome, are treated as unwelcome. We just lost another person who has meditation experience. And it's not the first.

This forum is good for theoretical discussions and learning buddhist tenets, but its weak point is discussion of practice, which is the most important part of buddhism. :?

:soap:


MP, I say this whilst having affection and gratitude for DW, but - you do have a point.

:meditate:
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:16 am

manas wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:You're all very nice people, but I'm disapointed at this forum for these reasons: as the main Theravada forum on the web, our group should be able to give pratical advice on meditation. But every time anybody makes some claim of this or that attainment, they are looked on with suspicion instead of a healthy, grown-up analysis. When jhana is spoken as an experience, there's imediatly somebody begining a what-is-jhana debate. People with meditation experience, instead of welcome, are treated as unwelcome. We just lost another person who has meditation experience. And it's not the first.

This forum is good for theoretical discussions and learning buddhist tenets, but its weak point is discussion of practice, which is the most important part of buddhism. :?

:soap:


MP, I say this with affection and gratitude for DW, but - you do have a point.

:meditate:
The problem, however, with MP's complaint is that the OP was, indeed, given good advice and direct responses to his claims of "experience." The OP simply did not like what he/she heard. As pointed out forums such as this are not really conducive for talking about these things, especially when they are so highly idiosyncratic as the OP postings. There is no easy answer to this question of discussing one's personal experiences in a public forum, but if one puts it out there, it is open for comment and the opinions are going to vary greatly. Quite frankly working with an experienced teacher is ideal, but in the mean time one's meditative experince, no matter how "profound," is just stuff of which to let go.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby manas » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:34 am

tiltbillings wrote:The problem, however, with MP's complaint is that the OP was, indeed, given good advice and direct responses to his claims of "experience." The OP simply did not like what he/she heard. As pointed out forums such as this are not really conducive for talking about these things, especially when they are so highly idiosyncratic as the OP postings. There is no easy answer to this question discussing one's personal experiences in a public forum, but if one puts it out there, it is open for comment and the opinions are going to vary greatly. Quite frankly working with an experienced teacher is ideal, but in the mean time one's meditative experince, no matter how "profound," is just stuff of which to let go.


Many people, for reasons of physical distance but also personal issues, might not be able to gain direct access to a teacher. For some of us, the Internet, and places such as Access to Insight, Buddhanet, forums like this one, etc, are pretty much all we've got, and we just make the best of it. Furthermore, as MP was pointing out, we do seem to 'lose' some people rather quickly - they come here, feel uncomfortable in some way, then leave - and while I am also not blaming anyone here (I know people are trying to help), I just agree that there is room for improvement in how we handle such new people. (Maybe we need to brainstorm that issue, come up with some ideas?)...

:anjali:
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:45 am

manas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem, however, with MP's complaint is that the OP was, indeed, given good advice and direct responses to his claims of "experience." The OP simply did not like what he/she heard. As pointed out forums such as this are not really conducive for talking about these things, especially when they are so highly idiosyncratic as the OP postings. There is no easy answer to this question discussing one's personal experiences in a public forum, but if one puts it out there, it is open for comment and the opinions are going to vary greatly. Quite frankly working with an experienced teacher is ideal, but in the mean time one's meditative experience, no matter how "profound," is just stuff of which to let go.


Many people, for reasons of physical distance but also personal issues, might not be able to gain direct access to a teacher.
Of course, and one comes on to a forum where there are a fair number of highly experienced, long term meditation practitioners, and one puts his/her experience out there and then does not like what he/she hears. What does that tell you?

Anyway, as MP was pointing out, we do seem to 'lose' some people rather quickly - they come here, feel uncomfortable in some way, then leave - and while I am also not blaming anyone here (I know people are trying to help), I just agree that there is room for improvement in how we handle such new people. (Maybe we need to brainstorm that issue, come up with some ideas?)...
Always room for improvement, but forums such as this, for very obvious reasons, are limited as to what they can provide in terms of advice concerning meditation practice, especially when something as highly idiosyncratic as the OP is presented.
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.
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:35 am

ohnofabrications wrote:edit: ben - the reason i didn't appreciate your advice as compassionate and beneficial is that for me it wasn't.

I am sorry you didn't appreciate it.

ohnofabrications wrote:the teacher who's teachings i follow lives in California (thanissaro bhikkhu) and I live across the U.S. from him and I have nothing close to the financial means to go to California and talk with him in person.

That's great that you consider Ajahn Thanissaro your teacher. Just practice the instructions he teaches. If you cannot go and see him in person then I hope there is a means for you to communicate with him. I haven't seen my teacher face-to-face since 1990. Yet, I continue to practice what he teaches.

ohnofabrications wrote:I would visit with a local teacher, but it seems that alot of buddhism in the U.S. at least is focused on developing a equanimous 'watcher' of experience, one dissociated and apart from experience, what they teach simply does not lead to the end of suffering,

If you find no other method apart from Ajahn Thanissaro's teachings to your liking then continue to practice his methodology.

ohnofabrications wrote:i actually did go to one of these teachers once, but they taught me all they could teach (they were convinced that they taught the end of suffering, and that I had achieved it) but what so much of the teachings here teach is something far from the end of suffering.

I would caution you to take another person's diagnosis of your experience as evidentiary of jhana or one of the ariyan fruition states with a grain of salt. Unless the person knows you very well and the person making the diagnosis is very highly regarded - it maybe prone to error.

ohnofabrications wrote:edit2: ben you said:
practice diligently under their guidance and focus instead on walking the path rather than exotic experiences.

what exactly are you practicing if jhana does not qualify as being part of the path?


I didn't say jhana was not part of the path. My advice is to abandon the desire to attain this or that exotic experience and instead merely walk the path. We walk the path by continuous effort, everyday, by developing sila (five precepts), developing samadhi (concentration), and the development of panna (wisdom) and more precisely bhavana-maya-panna that arises from direct penetrative insight into the nature of nama and rupa. Experiences come and go, but the real benefit of walking the path is the positive change it makes to your life and those around you.

If you are focusing your meditative practice on samatha-bhavana - you need to think about why. Samatha-bhavana when developed to states of absorption can be extremely seductive and many people do get stuck there, believing that this or that jhanic experience is nibbana. Jhana can either be a tool for the rapid development of insight or a guilded prison. That is why some teachers focus on developing preliminary concentration before vipassana. Gaining proficiency and depth of experience with vipassana before developing the jhanas.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby ignobleone » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:34 am

I don't mean to start (or continue) a what-is-jhana debate, I just want to address a few very important points regarding jhana validation which are forgotten or unnoticed by many but they are right there in the suttas.
The OP shouldn't think about 2nd jhana and above until s/he has attained the real 1st jhana. Based on what s/he has posted, we need more information before making any judgement.
These three points are for the 1st jhana to arise:
1. Kamasanna ceases: one doesn't perceive things based on the six sense doors respectively.
2. Vaci sankhara ceases. It can be described like this: normally when we perceive something, e.g. by means of our ears we hear a sound, then verbal fabrication arises in the form of inner conversation in our head such as: "a nice music!", "what a noisy truck!", etc. In the 1st jhana since the sensual perception ceases, verbal fabrication should ceases as well.
3. Pitisukha has to be born from the cessation/seclusion/withdrawal. Any pleasant sensation/feeling which arises prior to the cessations is not pitisukha.
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:40 am

manas wrote:I just agree that there is room for improvement in how we handle such new people. (Maybe we need to brainstorm that issue, come up with some ideas?)...

well here is one reason, for example this thread, who knows him?

The visudhimagga and the cannon show a personal connection with a teacher or those you are talking to is the preffered way, the OP's frustration now and in the past was based upon impatience to get to know people, in these situation the group is blind about the person, and no one knows them except for what they say (as in this case and others) with their introduction/first post.

I am not going to risk giving specific advise to someone I do not know in any way, particularly when they seam in a hurry.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"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: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:33 am

Cittasanto wrote:The visudhimagga and the cannon show a personal connection with a teacher or those you are talking to is the preffered way, the OP's frustration now and in the past was based upon impatience to get to know people, in these situation the group is blind about the person, and no one knows them except for what they say (as in this case and others) with their introduction/first post.

I am not going to risk giving specific advise to someone I do not know in any way, particularly when they seam in a hurry.


You're right, it's the get in... get my spiritual attainments validated... and then get out type attitude that is sometimes obvious on the first post. Sure staying a while, making friends, and talking over and over about metaphysics etc is not everyone's cup of tea, and everyone tries to be helpful but we're not here to be used.
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"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby manas » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:59 am

Hi Ben,
I cannot answer on behalf of the OP, but I do feel the need to respectfully respond to a few things you said

If you are focusing your meditative practice on samatha-bhavana - you need to think about why.


We could categorize the jhanas as 'samatha bhavana', but doing so might inadvertantly lead some persons to misconstrue jhana as just a means to calm & pacify the mind, when it is much more than just that. Plus it's 'limb number eight' of the Noble Path - why not practice it, if the Buddha has instructed us to?

In other words, maybe he is attempting to practice jhana because, simply, it is part of the Buddha's Path to enlightenment - just that.

Samatha-bhavana when developed to states of absorption can be extremely seductive and many people do get stuck there, believing that this or that jhanic experience is nibbana. Jhana can either be a tool for the rapid development of insight or a guilded prison.


I cannot see how jhana, if practiced in accordance with the Buddha's instructions, could be anything other than conducive to liberation. Where you would be correct is in cases of what Bhante Gunaratana calls 'wrong concentration' (as opposed to 'right concentration'). But then again, wrong concentration isn't jhana in any case, because the Buddha defines right concentration as the four jhanas.

On another note, I just noticed how patient you were in that answer (to the OP) - and in general on DW. I know this is a tad off-topic, but I wished to add it because in voicing some slight differences in perspective, I want it to be understood that they are voiced in goodwill alone.

with metta,

:anjali: .
Primum non nocere: "first, do no harm."
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:45 pm

manas wrote:I cannot see how jhana, if practiced in accordance with the Buddha's instructions, could be anything other than conducive to liberation.


Because the jhanas cannot take you to liberation. We can read the account of the Bodhisatta's noble search where he learns the 7th and 8th jhanas from his teachers Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, masters the 7th and 8th jhanas and still finds it wanting in liberating one from samsara.

MN 26 Ariyapariyesana Sutta:
"I thought: 'Not only did Rama have conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, & discernment. I, too, have conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, & discernment. What if I were to endeavor to realize for myself the Dhamma that Rama declared he entered & dwelled in, having realized it for himself through direct knowledge.' So it was not long before I quickly entered & dwelled in that Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge. I went to Uddaka and said, 'Friend Uddaka, is this the extent to which Rama entered & dwelled in this Dhamma, having realized it for himself through direct knowledge?'

"'Yes, my friend...'

"'This, friend, is the extent to which I, too, have entered & dwell in this Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge.'

"'It is a gain for us, my friend, a great gain for us, that we have such a companion in the holy life. So the Dhamma Rama declared he entered & dwelled in, having realized it for himself through direct knowledge, is the Dhamma you declare you have entered & dwell in, having realized it for yourself through direct knowledge. And the Dhamma you declare you have entered & dwell in, having realized it for yourself through direct knowledge, is the Dhamma Rama declared he entered & dwelled in, having realized it for himself through direct knowledge. The Dhamma he knew is the Dhamma you know; the Dhamma you know is the Dhamma he knew. As he was, so are you; as you are, so was he. Come friend, lead this community.'

"In this way did Uddaka Ramaputta, my companion in the holy life, place me in the position of teacher and pay me great honor. But the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma leads not to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to Awakening, nor to Unbinding, but only to reappearance in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.' So, dissatisfied with that Dhamma, I left.

kind regards,

Ben
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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:18 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:The visudhimagga and the cannon show a personal connection with a teacher or those you are talking to is the preffered way, the OP's frustration now and in the past was based upon impatience to get to know people, in these situation the group is blind about the person, and no one knows them except for what they say (as in this case and others) with their introduction/first post.

I am not going to risk giving specific advise to someone I do not know in any way, particularly when they seam in a hurry.


You're right, it's the get in... get my spiritual attainments validated... and then get out type attitude that is sometimes obvious on the first post. Sure staying a while, making friends, and talking over and over about metaphysics etc is not everyone's cup of tea, and everyone tries to be helpful but we're not here to be used.

Just to clarify one point I think may be taken wrongly (underlined) in the post you are replying to (but not connected to what you have said) is I was refering to other previous new members who have come and gone.

but to respond to your reply Goof,
there are several basis of talk, sila being one and samadhi another of the 10 recommended, and then there is the sutta study section, providing offerings of what one thinks a particular text means, asking questions about it... there are several ways for new members to become familiar with the group here without going into metaphysical debate.
it is just a matter of providing the time to get to know people and in this situation with regard to this thread, I think it is incredibly unwise to act in any other way for no other reason than we can not have what is refereed to in the texts as cordial talk (seen in the texts when people didn't know each other,) other than the introduction and what they post.

sure in an ideal world everyone would have access to the perfect teacher for them, but this is not an ideal world, and we have to work with what we have.
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: my goals and ways of practice

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:51 pm

Greetings,

Ben wrote:Because the jhanas cannot take you to liberation.

In the absence of Right View, that is true. Jhana alone cannot take you to liberation.

Similarly, deep jhanas are not necessary for liberation and that sutta give examples of arahants who had varying levels of jhanic experience, the minimum (from memory) being the first jhana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: my goals and ways of practice

Postby reflection » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:34 am

Ohno,

Since you won't be reading this response anymore, all that's left for me is to wish you a lot of nice meditation once again in the hope that you might still read this.

Metta,
Reflection
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