Anatta takes out metta

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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby barcsimalsi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:23 am

Aloka wrote:I think the purpose of practice, isn't to block out thoughts, but to understand them and gently let them go again if they're negative - and to maintain awareness, clarity and a relaxed and peaceful mind. Some additional metta practice can help with the development of this relaxation and tranquilty.

We still need some kind of thinking process to accomplish everyday tasks however, and to be kind and considerate towards other sentient beings with whom we share our planet. A more peaceful mind helps one to be more successful in dealing with situations in general, as they arise.

Agreed. It appears to me that concern to the world is a distracting thought and i had been responding to it by excluding the metta practice all along. Although restlessness is overcome, compassion isn't there.

I tried the metta instruction by A Jayasaro and B Thanissaro, it is still hard for me to not see the aggregates when imagine the form of cute puppy or children or even loved ones. Besides that, the intention of generating meta-karuna to lovely and cute forms tend to become lost in sensual affection most of the time. But when mindfulness is regained, the reflection of not-self aggregates is back to stop me from wishing. So i was like going back and forth.

The reflection of not-self aggregates seems to tail-gate my mindfulness, i don't even feel necessary to wish myself good luck. There's also a deep impression in my thought that the more i wish the more i'm not content. How to deal with this?
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby reflection » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:27 am

Hi,

By the nature of the path, more insight leads to more peace, more metta, more compassion. I think it is very important to look at those indicators to judge our path. If our insights or ideas don't lead to this, they are not helpful, most likely not right. As it seems to me, your reflection of the aggregates may not be correct or not based upon the right experiences. Otherwise it would naturally lead to metta. Because if you have (part of) a founded understanding of anatta, you can let go more easily. Metta and compassion arise by themselves through this letting go (of ill will/anger). You wouldn't even really need a specific object. So as I suggested before, see if you can put aside the way you see anatta, at the very least when doing metta meditation. And/or try more samatha practice instead of insight focused reflections. I think it'll work.

Metta,
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:23 am

It seems to me Buddhism is a graded path, and developing Metta and compassion would normally come first, before tackling non self. The teaching of non self is just one stage on the path, not the end all that makes everything else fall into line IMHO, though it doesn't hurt the rest of our practise, at least it shouldn't.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby barcsimalsi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:44 am

reflection wrote:Hi,

By the nature of the path, more insight leads to more peace, more metta, more compassion. I think it is very important to look at those indicators to judge our path. If our insights or ideas don't lead to this, they are not helpful, most likely not right. As it seems to me, your reflection of the aggregates may not be correct or not based upon the right experiences. Otherwise it would naturally lead to metta. Because if you have (part of) a founded understanding of anatta, you can let go more easily. Metta and compassion arise by themselves through this letting go (of ill will/anger). You wouldn't even really need a specific object.

This is where i'm puzzle, reflection of anatta had helped me being peaceful through letting go of all stress and also developed toleration. At the same time, most worldly concerns seem less worthy to my attention.


reflection wrote:So as I suggested before, see if you can put aside the way you see anatta, at the very least when doing metta meditation. And/or try more samatha practice instead of insight focused reflections. I think it'll work.
Metta,
Reflection

Sadly at the moment, i don't know how to separate samatha from vipassana. In my daily anapanasati practice, i would first focus on the breath but when restless thoughts emerged i still need to contemplate on anatta-annica-dukkha towads the aggregates in order to let go of distracting thoughts. Even in doing metta meditation, restlessness still appears so what can i do stop them other than anatta reflection?

Thanks for the support.
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby barcsimalsi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:51 am

lyndon taylor wrote:It seems to me Buddhism is a graded path, and developing Metta and compassion would normally come first, before tackling non self. The teaching of non self is just one stage on the path, not the end all that makes everything else fall into line IMHO, though it doesn't hurt the rest of our practise, at least it shouldn't.

Before getting to know anatta, i thought i use to have lots of compassion so i was bold enough to skip the metta practice. :tongue:
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby reflection » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:04 pm

Hi,

I understand your problem a bit more now. I agree there is not so much difference between samatha and vipassana and one leads to the other and vice versa. But for me, anatta is not so much a reflection, contemplation or idea. In meditation it's more like a position I'm in. Or not in, as it's a position of 'me' not being there, me not involving in the meditation. If you have a sense of 'you' doing the meditation, 'you' contemplating anatta, you may miss this. As I said earlier, it is not like you decide to see things as anatta from one point on.

There can be more ways to remove restlessness, but for me they come down to the same thing. In a way it is accepting whatever is, which is also an aspect of metta. I'd say just accept restlessness, don't try to counter it with some contemplation if that contemplation blocks you somewhere else. If you can just embrace things as they are, there metta and peacefulness arise together. Ajahn Brahm calls it 'kindfulness'. :rofl:

But I don't know for how long you have this obstacle. As you said, it started recently. I wouldn't worry about it too much because I don't think it will last long. The mind will find a way around it. A greater obstacle to generating metta is being a bit angry at yourself because you can't do it. I'd watch out for that one.

As for metta and compassion, try to find the most easy subject for you and make a sharp mental image of it before wishing it well. This works for me. It may also help to do some more kind acts in real life, remembering that the path is not only meditation. If you're stuck, meditation is not always the factor that's holding you back. For example, upholding the precepts fully is important as well.

Don't want to sound like a teacher or anything, so the above is just my experience and take what you think is helpful, leave the rest.

:anjali:
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby barcsimalsi » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:41 pm

reflection wrote: But for me, anatta is not so much a reflection, contemplation or idea. In meditation it's more like a position I'm in. Or not in, as it's a position of 'me' not being there, me not involving in the meditation. If you have a sense of 'you' doing the meditation, 'you' contemplating anatta, you may miss this. As I said earlier, it is not like you decide to see things as anatta from one point on.

Yes it looks like how i view anatta is totally differrent from what you imply.

reflection wrote:There can be more ways to remove restlessness, but for me they come down to the same thing. In a way it is accepting whatever is, which is also an aspect of metta. I'd say just accept restlessness, don't try to counter it with some contemplation if that contemplation blocks you somewhere else. If you can just embrace things as they are, there metta and peacefulness arise together. Ajahn Brahm calls it 'kindfulness'. :rofl:

This isn't quite coherent with my understanding of right effort but nevermind as i need to revise my practice after all.

reflection wrote:But I don't know for how long you have this obstacle. As you said, it started recently. I wouldn't worry about it too much because I don't think it will last long. The mind will find a way around it. A greater obstacle to generating metta is being a bit angry at yourself because you can't do it. I'd watch out for that one.

Some of the distrating thoughts i had also include self frustration and this i managed to overcome with anatta. Anatta is like an Angel to me... :heart:

reflection wrote:As for metta and compassion, try to find the most easy subject for you and make a sharp mental image of it before wishing it well. This works for me. It may also help to do some more kind acts in real life, remembering that the path is not only meditation. If you're stuck, meditation is not always the factor that's holding you back. For example, upholding the precepts fully is important as well.

You are right on this, i think i shall do more dana to cultivate metta instead of keep wrestling with metta meditation.

Thanks again everyone.
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby Gaoxing » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:02 pm

Sunnata is Anatta is Metta. Wrong metta? Wrong Anatta? A cup of coffee can also make you feel good but coffee is off track.
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby SarathW » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:34 am

Is this any help?
:)
-------------------
“Taken together, these two similes set the stage for the remainder of the discourse, which focuses on the teaching of not-self. This is one of the most easily misapprehended teachings in the Canon largely because it is possible to draw the wrong inferences from it.”
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Anatta takes out metta

Postby barcsimalsi » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:53 am

SarathW wrote:Is this any help?
:)
-------------------
“Taken together, these two similes set the stage for the remainder of the discourse, which focuses on the teaching of not-self. This is one of the most easily misapprehended teachings in the Canon largely because it is possible to draw the wrong inferences from it.”
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Thanks SarathW, the sutta will help strengthen my understanding of anatta.
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