manas wrote: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!)
This seem to make a lot of sense. Actually, in my own meditation, I have found these types of fabrications helpful in calming down the mind and the breath, and getting the mind more concentrated.
Goofaholix wrote: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.
I don't doubt that there is more to the experience of breathing than most of us usually allow ourselves to experience, but that doesn't change the fact we don't breathe through our pores, forhead or any other part of the body aside from our nose and mouth, do we?
From Keeping the Breath in mind: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ml#method1
Then slowly bring your attention inward, focusing it on the various aspects of the breath... These elements come from the bases of the breath. The First Base: Center the mind on the tip of the nose and then slowly move it to the middle of the forehead, The Second Base. Keep your awareness broad. Let the mind rest for a moment at the forehead and then bring it back to the nose. Keep moving it back and forth between the nose and the forehead — like a person climbing up and down a mountain — seven times. Then let it settle at the forehead. Don't let it go back to the nose.
From here, let it move to The Third Base, the middle of the top of the head, and let it settle there for a moment. Keep your awareness broad. Inhale the breath at that spot, let it spread throughout the head for a moment, and then return the mind to the middle of the forehead. Move the mind back and forth between the forehead and the top of the head seven times, finally letting it rest on the top of the head.
Then bring it into The Fourth Base, the middle of the brain. Let it be still for a moment and then bring it back out to the top of the head. Keep moving it back and forth between these two spots, finally letting it settle in the middle of the brain. Keep your awareness broad. Let the refined breath in the brain spread to the lower parts of the body.
I guess I don't understand why we are focusing concentration on a fabricated object in the mind, rather than a "real" one, e.g the feeling of the breath. These kinds of meditations are found all over the Visiddhimagga though, the Kasinas are all fabricated objects in the mind. It seems confusing to use concentration on a fabricated object in a path which has the aim of seeing reality as it truly is, without fabrications.
Is there any place in the Suttas where the Buddha talks in any length about this skillful use of fabrications, or any of the canonical kasinas?
If I misrepresent the Dhamma, please point it out. I am here to learn