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Why Meditate? - Page 8 - Dhamma Wheel

Why Meditate?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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mikenz66
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:18 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 21, 2012 11:31 am

Greetings Mike,

I have no hesitation whatsoever in agreeing with all your four points.

I think they're on the money, and the reason being is that they're all good advice on how to construct your path. They are all instances of the proverbial "grass, twigs, branches, & leaves" that can be "bound ... together to make a raft".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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kirk5a
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 21, 2012 12:59 pm

"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

Ron Crouch
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Mon May 21, 2012 4:14 pm

retro - what I'm teaching is right down the middle Visuddhimagga and Mahasi Sayadaw style buddhism - which I have never heard any claim isn't buddha-dhamma, buddhism, or theravadin. You are literally the first person I have ever even heard of making that claim. Maybe you're more buddhist than buddhist. An uber-buddhist. Cool. Please let go of that too. That is the self at work.

What concerns me more than the mischaracterization of me or what I teach though, is the almost fanatical attention to semantics and language. This is a tremendous distraction that teachers in almost every awakening tradition warn against. It has the potential to really get newbies way off track - and that is what concerns me here. Rather than actually practice and sort out whether this stuff works or not, they'll fly off into angel-on-the-head-of-a-pin territory and try to be a "good buddhist" rather than trying to see that as an illusion too.

I say all this not to try and turn you around retro - I just don't think that will happen in this setting or format. But rather for the lurkers who are just reading this and trying to understand. Buddhism is not about having an identity as a "buddhist". It is about doing the practice (a lot) and getting insight into the three characteristics via the insight knowledges (in the way I teach).

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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Buckwheat » Mon May 21, 2012 4:32 pm

Sorry that I earlier gave the impression I thought Ron is "muddling" things. I don't know enough about Ron to make such claims. I think we can all agree there are people out there that do muddle the dhamma, and Ron seemed rather dismissive of that idea. My point was to say, there is muddling, and we should all be careful not to become one of those people. That applies to Retro, Ron, me, and everybody else that claims to have even the slightest knowledge of Buddhism.

Careful attention to semantics is a balancing act. If we give semantics too much attention, one will get lost in the sea of details. If we ignore it, we will not be able to tell the sea from a small pond. For this reason, I am a strong believer that one should refrain from teaching and proclaiming until his peers honor him with a request to teach. Only a very wise, experienced practitioner can understand when one should transcend semantics, and when one should dig into their messy details, based on the knowledge and experience of the student. And that understanding must be built on many years of practice with times of ignoring semantics and times of digging into the messy details. And there must be careful attention to the source: this practice is based on the words of the Nagarjuna, that practice is based on the words of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the other practice is based on the words of Ananda.

The teacher must be aware of fine distinctions, even if he does not drag the student into them. Just my opinion here.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 21, 2012 6:45 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 21, 2012 7:08 pm


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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 21, 2012 8:29 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 21, 2012 8:46 pm


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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 21, 2012 9:20 pm


Buckwheat
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Buckwheat » Mon May 21, 2012 11:54 pm

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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Ben
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ben » Tue May 22, 2012 12:05 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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mikenz66
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 22, 2012 12:45 am


vinasp
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby vinasp » Tue May 22, 2012 1:22 am

Hi everyone,

In AN Book of Fours, chapter XVII, there is a group of eight suttas which
explain the "four modes of progress".

1. The painful mode of progress with sluggish intuition.
2. The painful mode with swift intuition.
3. The pleasant mode of progress with sluggish intuition.
4. The pleasant mode with swift intuition. [AN 4.161]

Extract from AN 4.162:

"And of what sort, monks, is the mode of progress that is painful with
sluggish intuition?
In this case a certain one is by nature passionately lustful; he experiences
the perpetual pain and dejection that are born of lust. Likewise he is by
nature passionately malicious; he experiences the perpetual pain and dejection
that are born of malice. Likewise he is by nature passionately infatuated; he
experiences the perpetual pain and dejection that are born of delusion."

[ PTS Gradual Sayings, Vol II, page 153, translated by F.L.Woodward.]

My understanding, from reading these discourses, is that for some people
progress is slow and painful for the entire path, from start to finish.
For others, it it painful but progress is faster. For the lucky ones, progress
is pleasant.

These are not yet available on ATI, perhaps they can be found on another site?

Regards, Vincent.

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manas
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby manas » Tue May 22, 2012 1:25 am

Hi Ron, all,

I wonder if some who 'take what is useful, and leave out what seems obscure or outdated' from the Buddha's teachings on meditation realize that samma vayama, samma sati and samma samadhi are only three aspects of an eight-limbed Path. Meditation isn't meant to be practised in isolation from right view, right resolve, right speech, and the rest... So I guess I wanted to ask Ron, where would you stand regarding this? Because I suspect that many of the problems that potential students might have had in the past could be due to thinking that meditation alone could somehow bring us to enlightenment, when the actual precription is much more extensive. (And regarding Virtue and the keeping of precepts, one would expect that these become integral to one's lifestyle over the long-term, and not just for the length of time one is on retreat; a change of heart, rather than just a temporary restraint which can be dispensed with once the work has been done...?)

with metta; and I am only asking because I seek your view on this, I'm not implying that you actually have such a view

: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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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 1:59 am

Last edited by retrofuturist on Tue May 22, 2012 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed grammar
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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retrofuturist
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 2:03 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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tiltbillings
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 22, 2012 2:03 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 22, 2012 2:05 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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tiltbillings
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 22, 2012 2:10 am



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