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Use of the imagination/fabrication - Dhamma Wheel

Use of the imagination/fabrication

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

Postby Coyote » Sat May 05, 2012 2:54 pm

I have been listening to Dhamma talks by Ajahn Thanissaro and reading the written work of his teachers teacher Ajahn Lee ( the book keeping the breath in mind) , and I notice that they seem to use what seems to me to be the "imagination" in their meditations. For example, using the breath and "breathing it through" certain parts of the body as a way of dealing with pain, or spreading the breath sensations throughout the body. Breathing through the forehead or heart, or breathing through pores.
Even certain experiences, such as experience of the body as light or malleable would seem to have no basis in reality unless one has developed mental powers to that extent. So why is this used so much? My only guess is that it can break down out perceptions of things, or allows us to see things from a different angle.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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alan
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby alan » Sat May 05, 2012 4:15 pm

I think it has to do with the fact that rote ideas, relentlessly repeated, rarely result in real understanding. You have to use your own skills. Developing them requires imagination.

befriend
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby befriend » Sat May 05, 2012 4:30 pm

in my experience when i have insights, i can sense them. before i get a little knot in my back and then i crack it, my minds eye involuntarily visualizes energy coming up the spine, or there is spiraling energy around my shoulder, and after i get that visualzation i can feel new energy coming into my shoulder. so what im saying is a lot of insights in my experience come from like sensing things or getting visualizations in the minds eye. this is just my experience.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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manas
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby manas » Sat May 05, 2012 8:43 pm

Hi Coyote,

it just occurred to me that for most of us, asubha is just a visualization, rather than direct seeing, at this stage - thus it is a fabrication / volitional formation. But it works in overcoming arisen lust in the mind. So maybe, while working at cleansing the other hindrances from the mind, we could also skilfully fabricate things, so long as we don't attach to any of them as 'self' or as 'belonging to self', and let go of them once their purpose has been fulfilled? (Just my idea, but maybe ask Ven. Thanissaro himself for clarification!)

:anjali:
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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mikenz66
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:02 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby daverupa » Sat May 05, 2012 9:25 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 05, 2012 9:40 pm

Nice quote, Dave.

I think that there is sometimes a confusion that arises from instructions from teachers such as "just be with the object", "accept what is arising", and so on. Those are good advice, because if one is not able to see what is arising clearly, pushes it away, or grasps at it, one is simply continuing with delusion, aversion, or craving.

However, that's just part of the process. One also has to exert effort, build concentration and mindfulness, and so on. The eight-fold path is fabricated... (I'm sure there is a nice quote on that somewhere... In the MN I think...).

:anjali:
Mike

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Goofaholix
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby Goofaholix » Sat May 05, 2012 9:43 pm

I don't beleive they are asking you to use imagination at all.

They are asking you to feel(not imagine) the vibrations and rhythems throughout the body. The problem is when we are given an instruction like observe the breath our habit is to isolate the breath in one part of the body and ignore the rest of the body, sometimes you need to do this to establish concentration. However the next step is to feel the whole body breathing, the whole body vibrates and changes with each breath you just have to feel it, and to do this we have to un-blank out the rest of the body so conciously looking at each part can help you do this.

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reflection
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby reflection » Sun May 06, 2012 1:19 am

I don't know those specific teachings, but I do know that imagination is a sharp tool in the mind. In my experience it can be useful when dealing with coarse hindrances, for example to imagine breathing out the worries, breathing in peace. I can guess what the teachers are pointing to is somehow the same.

Coyote
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby Coyote » Sun May 06, 2012 11:09 am

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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befriend
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby befriend » Sun May 06, 2012 12:27 pm

actually breathing through the pores of the skin happens, when the mind is very tranquil and the respitory breathing stops.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

Coyote
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby Coyote » Mon May 07, 2012 8:19 am

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

Uilium
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby Uilium » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:23 pm

The meditation described sounds like samatha meditation. Samatha uses concepts so it's not based on ultimate reality and imagination is used in samatha like loving kindness meditation, meditating on the Buddha and breathing out your pores for example. You don't get to be very creative or use imagination with vipassana meditation...If imagination or creativity is used with Vipassana, I'd like to know how :)

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DAWN
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Re: Use of the imagination/fabrication

Postby DAWN » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:42 pm

I think that this similies about breathing trough ona part of body, or body of light is just similies to discribe fenomena.

I dont know if it's the same fenomena, but body of light is not some mental fabrication, or imagination, it's true that your body not shine, but when you feel it, you cant discribe it by other way that "body of light". With breathing i'am sure is the same.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...


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