Meditation object

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
tesator12
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Meditation object

Postby tesator12 » Sat May 26, 2012 8:31 am

Hi

I have decided to spend some time bringing my practise back to working on Anapanasati. A problem I have discovered is that I am taking the sensation or the physical location I feel the breath to be my meditation object, which is leading to some problems. I'm working through this and it would help me if someone could clarify how they make the breath the meditation object so I could see it from their perspective.

Coming back to the Buddha's initial instructions, I read it as, when breathing in the meditator is to know they are breathing in, when breathing out, the meditator is to know they are breathing out. Discerning the in and out breaths. Does this mean that mentally I am to just be aware, "this is the in breath" (I don't mean noting, just as in being aware of it as the in the breath), and then the same for the out breath? A problem I seem to have is that I begin like this, over the area I feel the breath, but seem to at some point end up in a state where I am being aware that "This point here, this is my in breath", and the area of sensation takes over as object. I am trying to somehow find the middle ground whereby I use the sensation to discern the breathing, but to not take that sensation as the object.

Another question, more a curiosity. If the concept of breath is the mediation object and not the sensation. Does this mean the breath is a mind object?

:anjali:

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mikenz66
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Re: Meditation object

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 26, 2012 8:54 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Meditation object

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 26, 2012 8:59 am

PS, the first few chapters of Ajahn Brahm's book, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, can be downloaded here:
http://www.holybooks.com/mindfulness-bl ... -handbook/
That PDF used to be on the BSWA website, but I can't find it there any more. There is more detail in those chapters than the link I gave above.

:anjali:
Mike

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hanzze_
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Re: Meditation object

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 9:08 am


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Ben
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Re: Meditation object

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 9:18 am

Looks like Mike beat me to it...

From your post, T, it isn't clear who you have been practicing under and what the difficulty is that you are experiencing.
In my experience of using anapana-sati to develop samadhi, its normal to go through difficulties. The object itself is as slippery as an eel, hindrances manifest, aches & pains and then once one feels oneself getting a handle on the object - it disappears!
The method that I have used for anapana involves placing one's attention in the area below the nostrils and observing the sensation of the in-breath and out-breath. No counting, no 'bud-dho' mantra, no conceptualization. Just awareness of the touch of the breath.
kind regards,

Ben
“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]..

tesator12
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Re: Meditation object

Postby tesator12 » Sat May 26, 2012 10:09 am


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Ben
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Re: Meditation object

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 10:20 am

Yeah, if you are observing the 'touch' feeling of the air against the skin as the breath goes in and comes out, then yes, you are observing the sensation of breathing at that spot.

You know, it might be worthwhile for you to get advice from a more advanced student of Pa Auk Sayadaw to help you with your current difficulties. Keep in mind that all meditation objects/techniques present similar or different difficulties. Don't be too eager to change horses unless you've spent a long time with the one approach.
kind regards

Ben
“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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retrofuturist
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Re: Meditation object

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2012 10:47 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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Ben
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Re: Meditation object

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 10:59 am

Hi Retro,
Can you explain how what I said is the opposite of what the Buddha said?
Thanks

Ben
“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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hanzze_
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Re: Meditation object

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 11:08 am

"agreeable & disagreeable sensory impression" is the key, we easy create a perception of breath. Like in this sutta as well as in the essay of Bhikkhu Thansissaro it seems to be oppostite to the idea of "Don't be too eager to change horses unless you've spent a long time with the one approach." It seems, maybe just misunderstood.

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Ben
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Re: Meditation object

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 11:09 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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hanzze_
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Re: Meditation object

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 11:16 am

Yes, my fault, sorry.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Meditation object

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2012 11:21 am

Greetings Ben,

Maybe "opposite" wasn't quite the right word.

I meant that in response to the question on how to cultivate with respect to one mental object (i.e. the breath), the Buddha actually broadened the question beyond Rahula's stated intention to in fact teach a plenitude of "meditation objects", and by doing so, suggesting to Rahula that he shouldn't be confined and restricted in terms of the specific mode of cultivation or technique. To use the simile Genkaku used to use, it is openly allowing for the digging of many holes.

Whereas on the other hand, you seem to suggest (as many do) that digging a single deep hole is the way to go, and not until that hole is deep should other holes be considered.

There's no right or wrong here... I just find the different emphasis and perspectives of interest.

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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Ben
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Re: Meditation object

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 11:40 am

Hi Retro,
For sure.
That sutta is actually one of my favourites - not that makes me any more qualified than the next person to interpret it.

A clarification...
I think anyone who practices meditation has a number of meditative practices that they rely on a regular and semi-regular basis. My own primary practice is vedanapassana and I incorporate metta bhavana into every sitting and from time to time - anapana-sati to develop samadhi. And sometimes I practice the ten recollections. My advice to T is, as someone who appears to be setting off on his meditative 'career' to give the particular approach he is using, ie: the instructions given by Pa Auk Sayadaw, a fair go and to also seek guidance for his present difficulties from an experienced practitioner within the Pa Auk Sayadaw 'tradition'.
Anyway, I hope I've made myself a little clearer.
And I apologize for Hanzze for being brusque.
kind regards,

Ben
“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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retrofuturist
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Re: Meditation object

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2012 11:42 am

Greetings Ben,

Thanks for the additional context.

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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hanzze_
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Re: Meditation object

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 11:48 am

What to do to get the mind object Hanzze depercepted? My faults are mine, no need to apologize or feel responsible Ben.

Much mudita that you find a solutio/agreement on base of the sutta.

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Dmytro
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Re: Meditation object

Postby Dmytro » Sat May 26, 2012 11:56 am

Hi Tesator,

The best clarification I know is given in the book "In This Life Itself" by Ven. Dhammajiva, on pages 23-25:

http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/dha ... 10-p2f.swf
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/dha ... /index.php

:namaste:


tesator12
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Re: Meditation object

Postby tesator12 » Sat May 26, 2012 12:11 pm


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hanzze_
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Re: Meditation object

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 12:31 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Meditation object

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 26, 2012 9:01 pm



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