"Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

"Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby danieLion » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:01 am

Quotes from this talk on Skillfulness by Gil Fronsdal

Has anyone heard it? I'd like to discuss it.

If you haven't heard it, you probably won't regret listening to it.

Downloadable
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby marc108 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:10 pm

i only listened to about 20 minutes of the talk, but he says is a 'faster way of de-stressing' not 'better'... unless i missed something later in the talk?
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
User avatar
marc108
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:48 pm

Hi Marc,

That's how I understood it. Talking about the most appropriate tool for the job. If you want to relieve stress, then Yoga, or some other exercise, may well be a better choice than meditation.

The subtext of much of the talk could be put more bluntly: Stress relief (or blissing out, which he also discusses in the talk) has little, if anything, to do with Buddhist practice.

Of course, he's too skilful to be that blunt with his audience, many of whom may be seeking exactly that...

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10284
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby David2 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:07 pm

I think a certain degree of calmness of the body is very conducive for meditation.

That's why walking meditation was "invented". The Buddha recommended walking meditation. The Buddha basically said: "Sometimes walking meditation is better, sometimes sitting meditation is better."

Yoga or any other exercise for the body is not so much different from walking meditation (especially if done with some mindfulness) - they all calm the body.
Gil Fronsdal said: "Sometimes yoga is better, sometimes meditation is better." This is not much different from what the Buddha said.
David2
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:18 am

You're all right, he does qualify "yoga is better" with "sometimes" (I just wanted an attention grabber title).

My pain condition doesn't allow me to do (hatha) yoga because I'm hyper-flexible (that's the consensus of me and my phyisical therapists). Stretching always causes me more pain. I prefer Active Qigong, aerobics and weight training which all can be done mindfully.

Mike wrote:The subtext of much of the talk could be put more bluntly: Stress relief (or blissing out, which he also discusses in the talk) has little, if anything, to do with Buddhist practice.


I don't know about that. John Kabat-Zinn in his Full Catastrophe Living says, "Yoga is meditation" (that's not necessarily an endorsement). And if stress is a form of dukkha, and you use blissing out to relieve stress, that's acceptable as long as you don't stop at just blissing out but use the stress relief as a tool for insight. How vipassana and samatha relate is the basic subtext, IMO. And as Revs. Sujato and Brahm contend (again, that's not necessarily an endorsement) vipassana creates it's own bliss/stress-relief/samatha.

I think we modern Theravadins are way too quick to judge, "this is Buddhist practice, that's not Buddhist practice" as if those opinion based distinctions are valid enough to withstand the scrutiny of practice in real life.

David wrote:I think a certain degree of calmness of the body is very conducive for meditation.

If we are to take anapansati seriously, this is a requirement. So if I calm my body using hatha yoga, or Active Qigong, or calm my body and mind with chakra meditation or embryonic (Qigong) breathing am I doing anapanasati? Am I even doing "Buddhist practice" anymore?

David wrote:Gil Fronsdal said: "Sometimes yoga is better, sometimes meditation is better." This is not much different from what the Buddha said.
Except yoga post-dates the Buddha, which the more provincial, narrow-minded, sectarian Theravadins will point out.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:29 am

danieLion wrote:I think we modern Theravadins are way too quick to judge, "this is Buddhist practice, that's not Buddhist practice" as if those opinion based distinctions are valid enough to withstand the scrutiny of practice in real life.

I perhaps should rephrase it more accurately as:
Stress relief (or blissing out) is not awakening.


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10284
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby marc108 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:15 am

danieLion wrote:If we are to take anapansati seriously, this is a requirement. So if I calm my body using hatha yoga, or Active Qigong, or calm my body and mind with chakra meditation or embryonic (Qigong) breathing am I doing anapanasati? Am I even doing "Buddhist practice" anymore?


great post. this has been on my mind a lot lately. my personal opinion is that they can absolutely be considered valid if practiced correctly. i think i mentioned to you that prior to my introduction to the Dhamma, my main practice was traditional Yoga. I eventually realized the Buddhas approach was superior, but I still found the Yoga practices useful and powerful & it took me a while to reconcile the two being that on the outside they were so different. I think, the principles of the Buddhas approach to meditation are really what's important and not so much the specifics of the technique itself. Even within more narrow ranges, re: the Thai Forrest Tradition, you have DRASTIC variance in technique... Ven's Thanissaro, Brahm, Sucitto, Sumedho all have very different approaches to meditation and I think to say they are wrong or unBuddhist would be silly.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
User avatar
marc108
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby suttametta » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:30 am

Yoga is better than meditation? LOL. He must be doing it wrong.
suttametta
 
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:
danieLion wrote:I think we modern Theravadins are way too quick to judge, "this is Buddhist practice, that's not Buddhist practice" as if those opinion based distinctions are valid enough to withstand the scrutiny of practice in real life.

I perhaps should rephrase it more accurately as:
Stress relief (or blissing out) is not awakening.


:anjali:
Mike

Works for me.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby danieLion » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 am

marc108 wrote:
danieLion wrote:If we are to take anapansati seriously, this is a requirement. So if I calm my body using hatha yoga, or Active Qigong, or calm my body and mind with chakra meditation or embryonic (Qigong) breathing am I doing anapanasati? Am I even doing "Buddhist practice" anymore?


great post. this has been on my mind a lot lately. my personal opinion is that they can absolutely be considered valid if practiced correctly. i think i mentioned to you that prior to my introduction to the Dhamma, my main practice was traditional Yoga. I eventually realized the Buddhas approach was superior, but I still found the Yoga practices useful and powerful & it took me a while to reconcile the two being that on the outside they were so different. I think, the principles of the Buddhas approach to meditation are really what's important and not so much the specifics of the technique itself. Even within more narrow ranges, re: the Thai Forrest Tradition, you have DRASTIC variance in technique... Ven's Thanissaro, Brahm, Sucitto, Sumedho all have very different approaches to meditation and I think to say they are wrong or unBuddhist would be silly.

I used to do pranayama a lot when I was younger and have only in the past few years looked at chakra techniques (and Qigong) and added them to my arsenal of pain reduction and body calming techniques. But they serve my purposes as a Buddhist, not the other way around; that is, I'm a Buddhist. not a Hindu.

Rev. Sucitto uses Qigong quite a bit and I find it a nice fit with Rev. Geoff's, Rev. Fuang's and Rev. Lee's takes on anapanasati.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby mynameisadahn » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:01 pm

Hello all,

Just wanted to agree with the general sentiment here. I have been doing a bit more yoga lately for stress relief and find it very helpful.

I might take it one step further, actually. I have a tendency to do a lot of striving in my sitting, trying to immediately obtain calm from the breath. I have a job that is quite demanding somtimes. I think so far that yoga is better for just getting out the work-day stresses, and then I can have a more relaxed and productive, if shorter, sitting session afterwards. Then, I am not forcing my breath around as much and constantly striving/desiring when trying to do vipassana.

At least, this seems to be the best for me, as a busy layperson and parent, for now. My goal is to eventually bring more focused awareness, noting, or metta phrases into the yoga practice, but I am still working on learning the yoga asanas, for now.
mynameisadahn
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:35 pm

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby danieLion » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:16 am

mynameisadahn wrote:At least, this seems to be the best for me, as a busy layperson and parent, for now. My goal is to eventually bring more focused awareness, noting, or metta phrases into the yoga practice, but I am still working on learning the yoga asanas, for now.

For an Yoga Is Meditation perspective check out John Kabat-Zinn's book Full Catastrophe Living.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: "Yoga is better than meditation. Be your own teacher."

Postby mynameisadahn » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:44 pm

I will have to re-read that book, thanks for the recommendation. I read some of it a year ago, but could review portions.
mynameisadahn
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:35 pm


Return to Insight Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests