posture as foundation of mindfulness

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four foundations of mindfulness

Postby befriend » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:38 am

kind of confused on how to be aware of my posture. is the awareness supposed to be a constant stready stream, do i feel with my minds eye the feelings inside my body, or do i just understand that i am standing. metta, befriend
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:40 am

Greetings,

Basically you discern your present moment experience as it actually is, without appropriating it as "I" or "mine".

Discerning physicality by means of feeling or body is equally valid ~ the key is to not appropriate the experience.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Basically you discern your present moment experience as it actually is, without appropriating it as "I" or "mine".
But actually, one cannot not appropriate it as 'as "I" or "mine" until a fair degree of insight is experienced, until then there is no reason to worry about it. It is simply a matter of paying attention to rises and falls.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:32 am

befriend wrote:kind of confused on how to be aware of my posture. is the awareness supposed to be a constant stready stream, do i feel with my minds eye the feelings inside my body, or do i just understand that i am standing. metta, befriend


The way I read the sutta is that instead of going off and thinking about breakfast when you wake up, immediately point your mind to the fact that you are lying down. Just notice that you're lying down and be aware of sitting up, getting out of bed and try not to think any thoughts about the past or the future, just be totally aware and alert of what your body is doing in the present moment and if you get distracted remind yourself to return to just being alert of what is going on right now. Next time you're on the john, really pay attention to the sheer act of defecating or urinating, just notice that it is going on without thinking about what's in the newspaper or whether there's any coffee left in the house. If you manage to do this and avoid getting all caught up in thought worlds then you'll start to experience reality with less and less mental fabrications running through and distorting it by concocting senses of self and constancy or by just plain distracting you from what is really going on all around you in your field of experience. So, the short answer is do both. Just plain old understand that you are standing and try to remain perpetually aware of all the sensations you're experiencing at the same time. This practice will contribute a great deal to the clarity and acuity of your mind.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Basically you discern your present moment experience as it actually is, without appropriating it as "I" or "mine".
But actually, one cannot not appropriate it as 'as "I" or "mine" until a fair degree of insight is experienced, until then there is no reason to worry about it. It is simply a matter of paying attention to rises and falls.


Yes, not appropriating seems to be a result of practice rather than a practice.
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby DAWN » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:59 pm

When you see how it arise and falls, when you know that it's conditioned you naturaly see automatism of this systhem which is samsara, its anatta, not i, not mine, not my self etc.

If the one is awere, he can see that it's not he who write the message on the forum, he have no even the time to think : "should i write it or not" its just writen, and only when it's finished the one can take dessision to change or not, and even this changing is conditioned by the past, and so - anatta, not i, not mine, not what i am.

Autonomous. Free.

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Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:05 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:But actually, one cannot not appropriate it as 'as "I" or "mine" until a fair degree of insight is experienced, until then there is no reason to worry about it.

... or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,' to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and appropriates naught in the world. Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.

tiltbillings wrote:It is simply a matter of paying attention to rises and falls.

Yes, that's in parts of the sutta on the four foundations of mindfulness, though it's not mentioned as mandatory in the context of the modes of deportment.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:10 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:But actually, one cannot not appropriate it as 'as "I" or "mine" until a fair degree of insight is experienced, until then there is no reason to worry about it.

... or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,' to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and appropriates naught in the world. Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body.
One could, I suppose, use conceptual thinking that way, but then it is conceptual thinking. Better, it would seem, to pay attention, to be mindful.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:28 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:One could, I suppose, use conceptual thinking that way, but then it is conceptual thinking. Better, it would seem, to pay attention, to be mindful.

Of course you're welcome to your preferences and perspectives Tilt, but degrading the instructions of the sutta as "conceptual thinking" and saying that there are "better" ways to do it... I dunno, it doesn't sit too well for me personally ~ you'll have to excuse my inclination to defer to the Buddha over Tiltbillings.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:One could, I suppose, use conceptual thinking that way, but then it is conceptual thinking. Better, it would seem, to pay attention, to be mindful.

Of course you're welcome to your preferences and perspectives Tilt, but degrading the instructions of the sutta as "conceptual thinking" and saying that there are "better" ways to do it... I dunno, it doesn't sit too well for me personally ~ you'll have to excuse my inclination to defer to the Buddha over Tiltbillings.
Of course, that is assuming that your interpretation is THE interpretation of how the text must be understood. Simply, I responded to what you presented: " . . . mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists . . . . " The "establishment" "with a thought" is important for determining the direction, as it were, of the attention, but that "thought" in and of itself is not going to free one of 'appropriating it as "I" or "mine".' It is the insight that comes with the seeing of anicca in the rise and fall that frees one of the "appropriation" of sense of self, with seeing the sense of self -- "I" or "mine" -- as being an empty part of the process. And for most of us, I would guess, that comes with repeated practice, with the cultivation of mindfulness and concentration. The sutta points to what the result of the repeated cultivation of mindfulness and concentration of that "established" direction of practice will be. This gives something of an idea of what I am pointing to:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4956&p=76894&p76894#p76894
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:56 am

I suspect that the translations:
Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

are better than:
Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists,"


Various notes to this passage are:
Bhikkhu Bodhi Quoting MA:
For the sake of a wider and wider and higher and higher measure of knowledge and mindfulness.

Nyanasatta Thera commenting on the "The body exists" translation.
That is, only impersonal bodily processes exist, without a self, soul, spirit or abiding essence or substance. The corresponding phrase in the following contemplations should be understood accordingly.


Commentary: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #breathing
Atthi kayoti va panassa sati paccupatthita hoti = "Or, indeed, his mindfulness is established, with the thought: 'The body exists.'" Mindfulness is established for the yogi through careful scrutiny. He thinks: There is the body, but there is no being, no person, no woman, no man, no soul, nothing pertaining to a soul, no "I," nothing that is mine, no one, and nothing belonging to anyone [kayoti ca attli, na satto, na puggalo, na itthi, na puriso, na atta, na attaniyam naham, na mama, na koci, na kassaciti evam assa sati paccupatthita hoti].


It seems to me (from the progression in the Sutta, from the Commentary, and from experience) that this passage is talking about a yogi who has had quite a lot of practice, and has developed some insight. Not how a beginner is likely to be able to approach it.

:anjali:
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby DAWN » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:38 am

There is a state beyond thoughts, so the mind can still calm, untuched, smouth, slear, bright even in presence of thoughts.

Actualy, thoughts, in my opinion, is the most easy to be detached from, so, perharps, this method of association of thought with the body can help the one who is alredy free from thoughts to attach the body on this thought, and by this association be detached from both.

Also, i think, that, perharps, the method with thought like 'this body exist' is more effective with opened eyes. And the second, detachement by feeling of brightness of body, without thoughts, is more effective with closed eyes.
:thinking:

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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:26 am

mikenz66 wrote:I suspect that the translations:
Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

are better than:
Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists,"



Yes, and I'm struggling with the idea of establishing mindfulness with a thought.
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby daverupa » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:11 pm

porpoise wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I suspect that the translations:
Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

are better than:
Or his mindfulness is established with the thought: "The body exists,"



Yes, and I'm struggling with the idea of establishing mindfulness with a thought.


One does it with vitakka-vicara at first, certainly.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:37 pm

daverupa wrote:
porpoise wrote:
Yes, and I'm struggling with the idea of establishing mindfulness with a thought.


One does it with vitakka-vicara at first, certainly.
And then with lots and lots of repeated attempts at cultivating attention and concentration.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:02 pm

Greetings,

porpoise wrote:Yes, and I'm struggling with the idea of establishing mindfulness with a thought.

daverupa wrote:One does it with vitakka-vicara at first, certainly.

Yes. The vitakka-vicara may be quite active at first...

"And further, O bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it."

... but when the mental activity itself becomes a hindrance to bhavana as the mind is naturally calmed (or if it is already calm), the "as his body is disposed so he understands it" perception can be streamlined/simplified...

"Or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,'"

We see from the sutta that in relation to the postures, the dynamic to be obtained/experienced is that of "knowledge and remembrance, and... liv[ing] independent and appropriat[ing] naught in the world."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:42 am

Hi Retro,

Does the above argument still work if we use the Bodhi/Thanissaro translations?
Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.

"... mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,'" seems to me to be a rather odd expression. Perhaps some of our Pali scholars could comment (I gave the Pali above, I think).

:anjali:
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:50 am

Greetings Mike,

I would think so, as they're all vitakka-vicara.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:27 am

Hi Retro,

I'd be interested in some technical comments on the Pali:
Atthi kayoti va panassa sati paccupatthita hoti


The way I understand the translations:
Or else mindfulness that ‘there is a body’ is simply established in him to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and mindfulness.

is that it is not about conceptual thought, but mindfulness based on a general awareness of the body, as opposed to the more specific:
Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.'

and so on...

:anjali:
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Re: four foundations of mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:32 am

mikenz66 wrote:I'd be interested in some technical comments on the Pali:
Atthi kayoti va panassa sati paccupatthita hoti


atthi there is
kāyo ti body ti (iti) ends quoatation
or, used to link two sentences
pan'assa (pana + assa) further his
sati mindfulness
paccupat.t.hita established, present
hoti is
(and to continue with this sentence)
yāvad eva at least, as far as
ñān.a-mattāya
ñān.a understanding mattāya dat singular 'for the purpose of'
pat.ssati-mattāya
pat.ssati mindfulness, recollection

'Or his mindfulness that "there is a body" is established in him to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness.' -- Ven Nyanaponika

"... mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,'" is not supported by the Pali.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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