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.

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Goob » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:52 pm

And yet is it assumed that this name & form relationship is fundamentally the same for everyone?
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:32 pm

thoughts and dream-like experience or hallucinations (nimittas), and distinctions or mappings can be discerned from bodily sensations (vedana) by using the bodily sensations as a frame of reference with enough samadhi.
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:06 pm

feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention.

i guess i had a naive conception of nama rupa based on the experience i described. i don't see how e.g. contact is categorized as nama. i wasn't familiar with this list. edit: i think it's a very interesting list.
Last edited by convivium on Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:10 pm

i appreciate the wittgenstein reference in a buddhist forum and will have to read your post more carefully when i can. one knee jerk response is that theravada works with fabrications and distinctions to get beyond distinctions and fabrications. crowley was a black magician and a drug addict and RAW was a new age hippy stoner so i am going to be biased towards anything you have to say :tongue:
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:06 pm

Ñāṇa wrote::goodpost:

Also, Ven. Ñāṇananda, Nibbāna Sermon 01:

    Even though he is able to recognize objects by their conventional names, for the purpose of comprehending name-and-form, a meditator makes use of those factors that are included under 'name': feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. All these have a specific value to each individual and that is why the Dhamma has to be understood each one by himself -- paccattaṃ veditabbo. This Dhamma has to be realized by oneself. One has to understand one's own world of name-and-form by oneself. No one else can do it for him. Nor can it be defined or denoted by technical terms. [Emphasis added.]

The "Heretic" Buddhist fascinates me lately. Thanks for this.
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby Mr Man » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:27 pm

danieLion wrote:The "Heretic" Buddhist fascinates me lately. Thanks for this.


o/t unfortunately the website which had a good interview with Ven. Ñāṇananda no longer seems to be there.
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46 pm

he's a heretic?
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:55 pm

i'd like to know the context and background of the quote if you consider the guy a heretic. i'm interested in his classification of nama rupa and how it relates to the suttas... or if you would contextualize it with mahayana thought whether e.g. yogacara or madhyamaka
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:43 am

convivium wrote:he's a heretic?

I don't think so, but it makes a catchy headline...

As Mr Man says, the interview seems to have disappeared from the particular links here:
http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2010/10 ... etic-sage/
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7338

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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:49 am

OK, thanks!

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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:45 am

Even if we agree that we experience our spot sensationally via nama-rupa, we are still dealing with private mental constructs. I might select the earth elements present in my spot via intention, attention, feeling, contact and perception while you might select the water elements present in you spot via mentality. Your spot may seem warm, mine cold; yours motionless, mine moving. So we cannot even clearly distinguish an idea from a sensation, for "sensation" is an ideation too.

Even the term "body" is an idea. For yogis, the import of "whole-body" awareness--like all ideas--is purely pragmatic. If there was a consensus about "body" or "whole-body" topics like this wouldn't be necessary. So we are playing a language game. When we accept an instruction from our teacher about focusing on the "whole-body" we are not agreeing on an ultimate definition but a conventional meaning that serves our practical purposes for the moment--in this case for the purpose of being aware of an object of samadhi. But we still have to test this privately. When we cannot verify it personally, we return to our language games with our teacher or fellow practitioners for clarification ang go back and forth like this until we are satisified with knowing for ourselves the value of the experience, at which point we have no need to rely on convention. Knowing for ourselves implies we are not knowing for others, so their ideations about spots, or nama rupa, or body become irrelevant.


this first paragraph seems all fine and obvious enough. i don't see how it follows, however, to say that sensation is an ideation. i think it's certainly a product of the nervous system, but i think the nervous system has different aspects and functions. one is ideation, one is tactile sensation. nothing in my experience leads me to nihilize this distinction (while i think sensation and thought are intimately and perhaps inexorably linked). there is a difference between ultimate and common definitions; i think we commonly know well enough what "the entire body" refers to, as opposed "a single point of the body". i agree that we should ultimately find out for ourselves (by practice, and experience) why this difference in instruction exists between respectable teachers. as far as ultimate meaning goes, that seems like another issue to me. let me know if i'm missing your deep point.
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby convivium » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:15 am

thanissaro says it's ultimately problematic to remain at one point of focus in doing anapanasati. however, if we meditate on one point long enough then full body awareness naturally arises. it might not be the most efficient method (i think it is commentary inspired when teachers strongly suggest staying at one point). thanissaro doesn't think we should adhere to techniques rigidly, but rather explore and see how different approaches work for us. once one has facility in mindfulness of sensations, i think using one point serves as a sort of anchor and doesn't necessarily lead to the exclusion of the other sensations. even thanissaro's full-body techniques pass over or try to relieve unpleasant sensations (so that we can have full body ease pleasure as a gateway to deeper samadhi). method 2 is what is taught to new people at wat metta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html. but sometimes we just need to drill the mind in with easier objects (e.g. buddho, or one point).
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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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:17 am

convivium wrote:i don't see how it follows, however, to say that sensation is an ideation. i think it's certainly a product of the nervous system, but i think the nervous system has different aspects and functions. one is ideation, one is tactile sensation....


"Nervous system" and "tactile sensations" are words. Words are ideas or mental constructs--linguistic approximations of observations. As Korzybkski, following Wittgenstein ("Don't think. Look!"), pointed out, "Words are not things;" or, "Words are symbols for things but not the things the symbols represent." He also pointed out how languages, like English, based upon erroneous Aristotelian logic and ontology are particularly pernicious in leading us to conflate symbols and things.

The Buddha was of a similar mind when he said things like, "In the seen, let there be only the seen."

See what I mean? ;)
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:18 am

convivium wrote:thanissaro says it's ultimately problematic to remain at one point of focus in doing anapanasati. however, if we meditate on one point long enough then full body awareness naturally arises. it might not be the most efficient method (i think it is commentary inspired when teachers strongly suggest staying at one point). thanissaro doesn't think we should adhere to techniques rigidly, but rather explore and see how different approaches work for us. once one has facility in mindfulness of sensations, i think using one point serves as a sort of anchor and doesn't necessarily lead to the exclusion of the other sensations. even thanissaro's full-body techniques pass over or try to relieve unpleasant sensations (so that we can have full body ease pleasure as a gateway to deeper samadhi). method 2 is what is taught to new people at wat metta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html. but sometimes we just need to drill the mind in with easier objects (e.g. buddho, or one point).

I agree with Thanissaro and this is in accord with my other posts here.
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:19 am

Mr Man wrote:
danieLion wrote:The "Heretic" Buddhist fascinates me lately. Thanks for this.


o/t unfortunately the website which had a good interview with Ven. Ñāṇananda no longer seems to be there.

The Wikepedia entry and link on the bottom seem to be current.
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:22 am

richard_rca wrote:And yet is it assumed that this name & form relationship is fundamentally the same for everyone?

Are you asking me? I guess it's assumed by some. Not by me though. Plus, I'm not sure what you mean by "fundamentally."
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:24 am

Hi Daniel,
danieLion wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
danieLion wrote:The "Heretic" Buddhist fascinates me lately. Thanks for this.


o/t unfortunately the website which had a good interview with Ven. Ñāṇananda no longer seems to be there.

The Wikepedia entry and link on the bottom seem to be current.

Do you mean this one?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurund ... References
Interviews with Ven. Nyanananda Thera:
http://nidahas.com/featured/#heretic
I get an error message from that.

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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:42 am

convivium wrote:crowley was a black magician and a drug addict and RAW was a new age hippy stoner so i am going to be biased towards anything you have to say :tongue:


I don't know if your'e serious, or what you think a "black magician" is, but if you mean by it what Crowley meant by it, then, no, he was definitely not a black magician. And I don't know what you mean by "new age," "stoner," or "hippy", but if you want to label RAW you'd better start by noting that he's on record saying more than once, "I don't believe in anything" (and he never identified with The New Age but rather wrote famous rants against it's silliness.) To supplement this, you might also read his play, "Reality Is What You Can Get Away With".

Is it really fair to stick a label on someone and then dismiss them merely because we believe the label is accurate? This goes to the Wittgenstein references and the "whole-body" awareness issue. Just like words are not things, people cannot be reduced to stereotypes, or accurately identified with things like "bodies." Are you just your body? No. But for samadhi purposes, you may effectively for now let awareness dwell there to cultivate the jhana factors. But nothing in that should mislead you into saying, "I am my body". That would be wrong view and involves the same mistake as saying, "Bob's just a stoner," or "All hippies are deluded."
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby danieLion » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:44 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Do you mean this one?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katukurund ... References
Interviews with Ven. Nyanananda Thera:
http://nidahas.com/featured/#heretic
I get an error message from that.

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No. Scroll up to the Published Work section.
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Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:46 am

Hi Daniel,

Where is the "Heretic Sage" interview to be found in that section? Am I missing something?

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