Meditation Style

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Meditation Style

Postby DhammaDoug » Tue May 08, 2012 3:14 am

I am a new meditator and have just finished Yuttadhammos YouTube series of instructional videos. I have tried noting thoughts when I breathe (sayin Rising, Falling). When I get lost in thought I try to note it when I realize I've lost focus (saying Thinking, or Doubting, etc). Is this the correct manner to start? How do you recommend a new meditator develop a regular schedule?
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Re: Meditation Style

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue May 08, 2012 4:09 am

Welcome to the forum!

Yes though, that's a great starting point. Remember, however, that Yuttadhammo teaches only one of many different approaches to meditation. Another great book-length examination of Vipassana is Mindfulness in Plain English:

http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/mindfuln ... nglish.pdf

Here's another great resource:

http://www.vipassanadhura.com/howto.htm

As for a schedule, try for two times a day, even if those two times are pretty short. Even 20 minutes twice a day can do wonders!

Here's a collection of timers to use if it helps:

http://audiodharma.org/series/213/talk/2908/

Good luck DhammaDoug!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Meditation Style

Postby DhammaDoug » Tue May 08, 2012 3:46 pm

Very excellent resources, thank you! I watched (rather, I am watching) the video from the second link and it is very clear. I am confident I am doing a fairly accurate job in my meditations. I have a loose intellectual understanding of what/why I'm doing this, but if somebody really pressed me on what will come of regular practice I'm not sure I deeply understand. How is it that making these observations I will 'advance'? I don't mean to trivialize, I am convinced it's the right thing to do and very much enjoy it--but I'm trying to understand more deeply if possible. Do you know of a resource that can really explain what is gained through regular practice, and perhaps regular stages of advancement?
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Re: Meditation Style

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue May 08, 2012 4:53 pm

DhammaDoug wrote:Very excellent resources, thank you! I watched (rather, I am watching) the video from the second link and it is very clear. I am confident I am doing a fairly accurate job in my meditations. I have a loose intellectual understanding of what/why I'm doing this, but if somebody really pressed me on what will come of regular practice I'm not sure I deeply understand. How is it that making these observations I will 'advance'? I don't mean to trivialize, I am convinced it's the right thing to do and very much enjoy it--but I'm trying to understand more deeply if possible. Do you know of a resource that can really explain what is gained through regular practice, and perhaps regular stages of advancement?

In Buddhist thought, all existent things bear the three marks, which are impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and lack of essential self. We suffer because we cling to these impermanent, unsatisfactory, selfless things as though they were permanent, satisfying, and imbued with self. Our possessions, our ideas, our bodies, our very selves, we think "this is permanent and satisfactory and me" and because of this delusion, we suffer terribly when the truth asserts itself. Any time we cling to something or run from something, we suffer. If we cling to a new car we just bought, we suffer horribly when it inevitably breaks down. If we say "I need my health to be happy," then we suffer terribly when our health inevitably fails. In the same way, when we react with aversion to pain, we suffer terribly when it inevitably arrives. If we say, "I cannot be happy with a loss in my life," then we suffer terribly when that loss inevitably arises.

The root of all of this is delusion; we interact with the world on a conceptual level, seeing things are permanent and satisfying and imbued with self and we cling because we are not looking at their true nature. Vipassana is a tool to do that. It helps us to see clearly the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and lack of essential self that manifests in literally every single thing we encounter, from the mountains and streams to our possessions to our very bodies and thoughts. As we mindfully observe our body, our sensations, our mind, and our mental objects, we can begin to realize that, because these things are not permanent or satisfying or "us," there is no need to cling. We can begin to purify our minds in this way. Soon, as our mindfulness develops, we can begin to not generate sankharas (the volitional mental actions of clinging or aversion that we generate through ignorance) when we interact with the world around us. This leads to detachment, peace, happiness, and eventually, the destruction of all greed, hatred, and aversion, which is nibbana.

So basically, the short-term goal of meditation is that it allows us to be more peaceful and to better understand the nature of the world around us. The long term goal is the elimination of our craving and aversion through the destruction of ignorance.

This is at least how I understand it. Feel free to correct me if there are any mistakes in there, I hope I'm not misleading anyone.

Remember, however, that it is far more important to sit in meditation than it is to examine these things intellectually past even the most basic point. Buddhism isn't about intellectual games; it's about direct experience.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Meditation Style

Postby DhammaDoug » Tue May 08, 2012 4:56 pm

Thank you.
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Re: Meditation Style

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue May 08, 2012 5:16 pm

Of course.

One of the members here, Bhikku Pesala, has a website that contains many writings by Mahasi Sayadaw, who is the progenitor of the tradition that Yuttadhammo practices in. If you're interested in learning more, check out:

http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pra ... tical.html

Also I'm sure Bhante Pesala would not mind a private message if you ever have questions about the technique.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
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Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Meditation Style

Postby Kamran » Sun May 13, 2012 2:22 am

Make sure to check out Thanissaro Bikhu's informative and inspiring 15 min talks.

http://dhammatalks.org/

I have tried a few methods including Mahasi, but its the Ajahn Lee method as taught by Thanissaro Bikhu that I have had the most success. Its basically breath meditation(any part you feel it) combined with whole body awareness to maintain mindfulness throughout the day.

Whole body awareness is the only method that I have been successful with in maintaining mindfulness when I am working at the computer all day.

The whole body is easier to hold your attention to and it feels good. My attention is split between computer screen and the body, and if I focus more on the body I can even feel blissful states while at work :twothumbsup:

For me, it was a real breakthrough to discover a method that allows me to meditate all the time.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: Meditation Style

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 13, 2012 10:41 am

as you are new to meditation try to stick to one teachers instructions.
Venerable Yuttadhammo is contactable if you have any questions.

Pick a time you think you can keep to meditation each day, be it in the early morning, afternoon, or evening, and every day keep to that time, or their about, for starting formal meditation.

Having to many methods at the beginning can confuse the practise, and as you already have started using one teachers instructions stick with them for a while.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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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