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Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness? - Dhamma Wheel

Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Goob
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Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Goob » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:46 pm

Yes, the title says it all I guess. We all know about the differences of interpretation among teachers regarding how the different steps in the Anapanasati sutta (and others) should be interpreted and how they influence their conception of Jhana. For purely intellectual reasons I'm interested in what teachers you are aware of (Sri Lankan, Western, Thai, Burmese and otherwise) who treats the "awareness of the whole body"-step as an all-encompassing, global awareness of the physical body. I know Ajahn Thanissaro (following Ajahns Lee & Fuang) teaches this as opposed to, say, Ajahn Brahm's intensely narrowly focused nimitta-Jhana (no critique intended).

Thanks, and be well.

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marc108
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby marc108 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:53 pm

According to the wiki article on mn118: Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ajahn Buddhadasa, Goenka, Larry Rosenberg, and Thich Naht Hanh.

I think saying Ajahn Geoff is talking about the flesh body is a bit misleading, If I'm understanding correctly he is referring to the breath as an energetic body experienced within the physical body. Bhante G and Ajahn Sucitto also teach this way. Ajahn Sucittos meditation manual has a very clear and lucid description of this that is worth reading if you're into practicing this way.
"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."

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polarbear101
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby polarbear101 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:57 pm

I would maybe throw Richard Shankman in that lot as well since he states that he thinks the suttas are talking about whole body awareness in jhana.

@ Mark: I would say that Thanissaro teaches both the energy body and the physical body awareness. One uses the breath and energy in order to sense the whole physical body while breathing. So I wouldn't say it's misleading to say Thanissaro teaches awareness of the flesh body, just that it's not the whole picture.
"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."

Goob
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Goob » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:40 pm

Thanks Marc and Polarbuddha! I will look into the teachers you mention, interesting stuff. I just read Ajahn Thanissaro's new book on breath meditation and he does make it clear that he's not exactly talking about the physical body but the subtle energies found within, but you know, it's kinda the same in my book. I wasn't aware that Ven. Gunaratana taught this way. Has he changed his opinion on this lately or did I just never read his stuff carefully enought maybe?

danieLion
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:40 am


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marc108
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby marc108 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:41 am

"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."

Sylvester
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Sylvester » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:51 am


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polarbear101
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby polarbear101 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:48 am

"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."

Goob
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Goob » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:30 am

Sylvester: Haha, no, I'm definately not him! I just got his book though, seems promising. I was speaking idiomatically. I only meant that even if Ven. Thanissaro speaks of the energy body it's still a whole body awareness and I don't think they differ that much.

DanielLion: I'm not sure what I meant by that, maybe as a implied disclaimer to prevent a debate over the correct meaning from happening. Does it matter?

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marc108
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby marc108 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:04 pm

"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."

danieLion
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:52 pm


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marc108
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby marc108 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:59 pm

I was listening to Joseph Goldstiens 'Abiding in Mindfulness' CD on Mindfulness of the Body, and he is quoting Ajahn Sucitto heavily and talking about Samadhi as embodied awareness.

I've also heard Richard Shankman talk about bringing the nimitta (if it arises) into the body rather than merging the mind into the nimitta.
"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."

Samma
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Samma » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:34 am


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convivium
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:58 am

these teachers think it's problematic to stay in one spot (e.g. webu sayadaw).
i'm not saying that i disagree in a certain sense. but i haven't had much success with their methods (e.g. ajahn lee method 2) coming from the goenka tradition. right now staying in one spot is the only thing that i can handle with my attention span (while keeping silent for long enough)...
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

Goob
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Goob » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:21 pm

Well, I feel that the Goenka tradition's emphasis on whole-body vedana sensations - after the anapana-sati period in the retreats - could be correlated with the methods of focusing on the whole body breathing taught by others, but that they are explained (and understood) in different ways.

My personal preference and understanding is that "whole body" refers to the entire physical body and that doign that causes certain beneficial results in concentration and well-being in meditation.

danieLion
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:12 pm


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convivium
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:24 am

it's not an idea, it's a sensation.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

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convivium
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:26 am

or rather it's a point or range of sensations that you can focus on potentially to the exclusion of other sensations. but knowing what is sensation and what is idea is a point of insight (nama rupa). but then i don't know exactly what "idea" means to you.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

danieLion
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:18 am


Nyana
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Nyana » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:40 am



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