Personality View(object meditation) leading into calmness?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Personality View(object meditation) leading into calmness?

Postby K.Dhamma » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:54 am

So, tonight I tried just something a little different. I have been using anapanasati meditation using "Buddho" exclusively for a few months now. It does help, tremendously. However tonight I just felt compelled to try something different. So I instead did some "investigation exercises.

I did buddho to calm down, then went into meditation on the 5 meditation objects: kesa, loma, nakha, danta, and taco(heehee). I became absolutely astonished at how quickly I was able to focus and become calm with these meditation objects. First time with these objects has gotten me within 75% of using "Buddho" for 2-3 months.

My question has a few parts. Just as a warning I am asking this because I am trying to remain mindful about this but want some "outside" input on this phenomena.

1. Is it normal for some people to be able to calm the mind using these objects for meditation vs anapanasati style? (I am still being mindful of breath, I think it's pretty much ingrained into my thought processes, but I did not do "buddho")

2. I feel like this is something I should investigate, but I do feel somewhat "elated" at how well it worked so I am also hesitant as I might be grabbing onto something unskillful.

3. I understand that mindfulness is kind of tied into these objects, so should I only hold onto them as long as I need until they are no longer a hindrance then return back to the breath? (i am not sure if that makes sense the way it sounds, let me know)

as I type this I feel like maybe I am confusing myself. please any help is much appreciated.

Ty and metta in advance.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Personality View(object meditation) leading into calmnes

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:16 am

Hi K.Dhamma,

Those are classic objects, directly from the Suttas. There's no reason to think they are less useful for mindfulness and insight than the other objects mentioned in the suttas, such as anapanasati, or objects such as "buddho". Different approaches will suit different people. Those objects are traditionally the first things taught to monks...

And further, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hairs down, thinking thus: "There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine."

Just as if there were a double-mouthed provision bag full of various kinds of grain such as hill paddy, paddy, green gram, cow-peas, sesamum, and husked rice, and a man with sound eyes, having opened that bag, were to take stock of the contents thus: "This is hill paddy, this is paddy, this is green gram, this is cow-pea, this is sesamum, this is husked rice." Just so, monks, a monk reflects on this very body enveloped by the skin and full of manifold impurity, from the soles up, and from the top of the head-hairs down, thinking thus: "There are in this body hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidney, heart, liver, midriff, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, saliva, nasal mucus, synovial fluid, urine."

Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nysa.html


If you want some instruction on how you might develop the contemplation, you might read:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... tment.html
This is why stillness is so essential. We have to get the mind to gain strength from stillness and then let it contemplate the body in and of itself in terms of its 32 parts. You can choose any one of the parts, focusing on it until it's clear. Or you can focus on the parts in sets of five. When you reach the liquid parts, you can focus on them in sets of six, for there are 12 of them in all. You can contemplate them back and forth — if your mindfulness hasn't yet been exercised to the point were it's firm, contemplate these things back and forth just as a preceptor teaches a new ordinand: kesa, loma, nakha, danta, taco (hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin), and then turning them around to taco, danta, nakha, loma, kesa. Then you can go onto the next set of five — mansam, nharu, atthi, atthimiñjam, vakkam (muscle, tendons, bones, bone marrow, spleen). This is called contemplating them in sets of five.

This is how we start out exercising mindfulness. If, while you're practicing mindfulness in this way, a visual image of any of these five parts appears, catch hold of it and contemplate it so that it grows deeper and more refined. Contemplate it until you can divide the body into its parts, seeing that each part is just like this. Get so that you know the body inside and out, realizing that other living beings are just like this, too. If you're looking to see what's unclean, you'll find it here. If you're looking to see what's not-self, you'll find it here. Turn these things over in your mind and question yourself as to whether they're constant. What kind of pleasure is there in these things? Is it worthwhile or not? Focus on these issues often, look at them often until you're adept, and the mind will finally be willing to accept the truth, changing from its old wrong ways of seeing things, and seeing them instead in line with the Dhamma as taught by the Buddha.
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Re: Personality View(object meditation) leading into calmnes

Postby pegembara » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:20 am

It is one of the first meditation objects to be given by his preceptor when a monk newly ordains and seems to work well in your case.

"Furthermore, the monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.' Just as if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain — wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice — and a man with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, 'This is wheat. This is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. This is husked rice'; in the same way, the monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.' And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Personality View(object meditation) leading into calmnes

Postby K.Dhamma » Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:36 am

Ahh but can it be used in context of developing samadhi or in the processes of samatha meditation to attain jhana?
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Personality View(object meditation) leading into calmnes

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:22 am

See pegembara's sutta link, and the links I posted.

:anjali:
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