Some guidance if you can please?

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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Beautiful Breath
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Some guidance if you can please?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:06 pm

Hi,

I will try and keep this as brief as possible.

Having been through the Tibetan traditions and flirted with other Meditation practices I eventually settled sometime ago into the Theravada tradition opting for its (on the surface) simple approach to practice and the relatively simple practices in comparison to the Tibetan Vajrayana practices I was weaned on! I like the way, certainly from the teachings of Ajhan Cha, there seems to be a "...if it works do it..." attitude.

In the light of this and following through my apparent subconscious wish to simplify my practice I came across the Chan practice of Silent Illumination as taught by Hongzhi. I have had some really quite deep moments of clarity and quiet using this method-less method.

You have been really patient!!! So, my question; does this practice 'fit in' with Theravadin methods or is it too 'Zen'. I only ask as the Theravada tradition is more accessible to me than any other but I'd feel uncomfortable doing a Chinese Zen practice whilst reading the works of Ajhan Cha...like eating custard and curry together....both great in themselves.

I gues this also throws up issues about reading per se...ie Can/Do/Should theravadins read the Diamond Sutra (for example) or does this effectively make them mutate into a Mahayanist.... :shrug:

Does that make any sense at all...???

Thanks for listening!

BB...

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:26 pm

Hi BB,

Flirt to your heart's content. There's no authority with a big stick who will beat you into submission if you don't tow the party line. I have been able to practice within differing Buddhist traditions because I have a firm grounding in the Theravada and I take the Pali Canon and the teachings of the Theravada as the foremost authority. In other words, although I can practice Korean Soen or Soto Zen in terms of form, my understanding of the meaning of those practices is informed by the Theravada. I hope this makes sense and it's only my own, very personal take on the situation. Mettaya!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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daverupa
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby daverupa » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:33 pm

Is it possible to hold the instructions you're interested in alongside those found in other sources you consider trustworthy? I use the Nikayas in this sense, and I feel free to set aside those methods which don't seem to strike a chord there.

One could, allegedly, attain a useful level of concentration by doing the Jesus mantra with some beads, but while the concentration builds there's a whole lot of baggage coming along for the ride. Most meditation methods seem to do this to one extent or another - I try to make the baggage as Dhamma-laden as possible, which to my mind does tend to bar much of what Mahayana wants to convey.

Pulling useful snippets out of things like the Lotus Sutra feels, to me, akin to pulling useful snippets out of the writings of the Desert Fathers. There's some interesting stuff there, but it's all wrapped around a distracting & baroque structure I haven't got any use for.

But my practice is something of a statistical outlier, it seems, so be forwarned.

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:56 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Goofaholix
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:37 am

I don't know anything about silent illumination but if it is like cittanupassana as morlock suggests I take that an an endorsement.

How long did this process of exploring different approaches take? To learn and practise properly all the approaches you've described should take decades of intensive practise. Perhaps it's a case of too much theory and not enough practise, just sit and watch the mind without worrying too much about the theory, continue and repeat and learn as you go.

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Beautiful Breath
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:37 am

Thanks everyone. I guess its down to s subtle sense of the immediacy of things. I want to settle into a practice that's an effective method for seeing the inherent Emptiness of phenomena. So far as my mind is concerned a practice like Mahamudra, looking directly and analytically at the nature of the mind seems logical. But then I also appreciate the criticisms of such practices as potentially cluttering up the mind.

Confusing!

BB...

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:35 pm

If you're looking for a practice that focuses on Emptiness as such you will definitely want to stick with TIbetan Buddhist practice lineages as they make much of it in a way that Theravada does not (at least in my limited experience). I wish you wel and much success whatever path(s) you take! :heart:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Dallas
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:06 am

Do what works. Worrying overmuch about Mahayana versus Theravada won't achieve anything but a divide. If clarity is your goal, do what brings clarity. After all, when you are sitting in meditation, are you really concerned with such labels as Theravada or Zen or Mahayana? Ultimately, these are as much constructs as your thoughts. If the path you are on is leading you where you want to go, then follow that path.
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

Postby daverupa » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:00 pm


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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

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Kim OHara
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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

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Re: Some guidance if you can please?

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