Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

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: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:40 pm


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manas
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby manas » Thu May 31, 2012 12:28 am

EDITED: In retrospect - although like others here, I only meant well - my post (that was here), would have been better left unsaid, in this instance.

metta.
Last edited by manas on Thu May 31, 2012 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Alobha
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Alobha » Thu May 31, 2012 12:47 am


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Dan74
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Dan74 » Thu May 31, 2012 3:34 am

There are many angles on meditation, RS, but one is that it is not apart from reality, it is rather very much to do with reality because in meditation we find out how we deal with reality, how we filter it, skew it to fit our preconceived notions and twist it according to our conditioning. So but letting all of this go we in fact get much closer to reality - we learn to see things how they are.

And that starts with ourselves. learning about our minds, restless, wanting, persistent, impatient, etc etc. Observe the mind gently, learn about it, learn to work with it, rather than being led about blindly. I think this is very much about reality.

I recall my first retreat, thinking what good could all this pain do? Why continue with it? My teacher, as if reading my mind, said at that moment, that the pain is mostly mental, it is what we add to the sensation, that can make it unbearable, turn it into suffering.

How much can we learn by observing our pain? We can learn discipline and compassion, patience and perseverance. And we can take all that into every aspect of our lives.

But it doesn't happen overnight. Look around - we are no arahats here. But just like with anything else, if you work on it, you see results.
_/|\_

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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby hanzze_ » Thu May 31, 2012 3:41 am


Yana
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Yana » Thu May 31, 2012 6:57 am

hi,

I think that we don't practice meditation to replace reality with something else.I think when we meditate we practice seeing reality as it IS.When you encounter something that makes you feel sad.That's reality..When you encounter something that makes you happy ..That's Reality..When it changes..That's Reality.When you dig deeper and see the cause of why your happy or sad or changing..and see that it is just cause and effect reaction..you will become detached from these experiences.Causing you to not be affected by them.So when you meditate with a midset that you are going to experience this and that results in 1 year or three years or ten years,i think it isn't very skilfull.

You Not Experiencing Anything At All IS reality.Even boredom is reality.We practice meditation to see life as it is..Life Right now..in all it's boredom and occasional hapiness and sadness and more boredom.

We practice meditation to see life as it is In ANY condition/state Right Now.Being able to see it clearly will detach us from it.And when we are detached from something we won't be affected by it.

I hope this helps. :namaste:
Life is preparing for Death

pegembara
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby pegembara » Thu May 31, 2012 7:53 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby RatherSkeptic » Thu May 31, 2012 8:50 am


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hanzze_
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby hanzze_ » Thu May 31, 2012 8:53 am

Dear RatherSkeptic,

What propose does the martial art have? What do you like to control and for what propose?
How does martial arts fits with right intention?

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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 31, 2012 9:11 am


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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu May 31, 2012 9:36 am


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Travis
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Travis » Thu May 31, 2012 7:06 pm

Hi RS,

This might be a bit of an over-simplification, but maybe it would help to think of it like this:
Cause = unpleasant situation + unpleasant emotions --> Effect = suffering.

Unpleasant emotions are inseperable from unpleasant situations. The situation is unpleasant because of the unpleasant emotions and conversely the emotions are unpleasant because of the unpleasant situations. So if there is one there will be a mutual-arising of the other. Do you have to suffer from unpleasant situations/emotions? No. Suffering (as has already been pointed out) is something added on to an unpleasant situation, an absolute rejection of an experience as unacceptable. Job interviews aren't inherently unpleasant or anxiety inducing. For those that have anxiety it is usually manageable, in other words, they recognize it as "being anxious," and leave it at that. For some the anxiety is unmanageable, and the stress is suffering. There are various ways for a person to move from suffering anxiety, to managing anxiety:
1. understanding that the situation will pass, that the emotions will pass
2. understanding that neither the situation nor the emotions are "You" or "Yours" just unpleasant "happenings"
3. understanding that the situation/emotions are, by nature of their impermanence and insubstantiality, unsatisfying & stressful.

Unpleasant situations exist, they can't be avoided only managed in a skillful (with equanimity) way. Unpleasant emotions are a result of "ignorance" (or nescience, literally "not knowing.") Suffering is the effect. In this makeshift equation the only variable is nescience. If nescience can be turned to wisdom then suffering can be taken up by its root, and pleasant, unpleasant, neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant judgements of experience loose their footing.

How is ignorance transformed into wisdom?
1. A calm mind is less reactive (in the sense of less feedback and the resultant backlash of emotions).
2. A concentrated mind is able to see "things as they are" instead of being tinted by desire, aversion, indifference.
3. Seeing "things as they are" produces "insight" or experience of "things as they are," which equates with wisdom.

How does one gain a calm mind?
1. Virtue/Morality = restraint from causing harm in action, speech, thought, intention, livelihood = a mind unburdened from guilt, anger, greed, etc.
2. Samatha-bhavana (meditation) = Cultivation of calm/tranquility through concentration. This temporarily unburdens the mind and gives rise to joy, clarity, and energy.

How does one gain wisdom?
1. (Conceptual) Understanding of "the way things are" aka dhamma.
*Note: This is where one has to initially have "faith" in the Buddha Dhamma, or the Buddha's insight into "the way things are," by taking the time to understand what he is talking about. But have no fear Skeptic, you verify this by:
2. Vipassana-bhavana (meditation) = using the calm concentrated mind to observe what is happening in light of what the Buddha has described, essentially insight into the anicca (impermanent), dukkha (suffering/no lasting satisfaction if nothing lasts), anatta (impermanent self) nature of "things as they are."

I don't think there is anything non-secular about any of these statements. There is a bit of "faith" involved, but no more than accepting that the world is round, or that gravity caused an apple to fall to the earth. Like science the "Dhamma Theory" has been tested and proven by monks and lay persons alike for 2500 years, but unlike science the evidence (nibbana) is not easily demonstrable, so you have to perform the experiments and verify their outcomes on your own using the notes of all those that have done so before you. Fortunately there are signposts and benefits along the way.

Two last pieces of advice:
1. Don't let your expectations get in the way of what is actually happening.
2. Don't get hung up on labels and notions of being "scientific" and "secular" or "mystical" and "spiritual." "Buddhism," as such, simply is what it is. The more you are custom-tailoring it to suit your preferences, the less likely you are to make progress. Be skillful not picky, or you will waste a lot of time making the Dhamma into a personal justification.

With metta,
Travis

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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby RatherSkeptic » Thu May 31, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks for all of your advices.

So it is said you should not judge situations, even if they are unpleasant, right?
Well, I think that the two examples about unpleasant situations (job interviews and thirst) were a bit clumsy choosen by me . It's just first-world-pains. Maybe I should try it with another, much more severe example of an unpleasant situation:

Look at the world. Look - in this current time - at Syria. So much death. So many massacres. It's just horrible, itsn't it? At this point, a meditator should actually restrain from any judgements, but how could you justify a non-judgemental attitude towards things that are so OBVIOUSLY bad? Wouldn't I feel like betrayer to myself if I would not judge any of these events, even those that are clearly, in a very rational-understandable way, horrible?

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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Travis » Thu May 31, 2012 9:09 pm


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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu May 31, 2012 9:38 pm


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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu May 31, 2012 9:48 pm

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


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manas
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby manas » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:20 am

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."

pegembara
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby pegembara » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:14 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Yana
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Re: Can Meditation stand against the forces of reality?

Postby Yana » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:56 am

Life is preparing for Death


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