Dan74 wrote: Just sitting is very simple, but can you "just sit"?
mikenz66 wrote:I've been working my way through Patrick Kearney's retreat talks which used to be here:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/Bodhi% ... _2011.html
[unfortunately only the introductory talk is now there.]
Bodhi Tree 2011
Talks given at the Bodhi Tree Meditation Centre, September 2011
Among various other interesting things [followers of this thread: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=13538 may be interested to hear how many times he reminds the retreatants that sati involves memory...], he make some remarks about the connection between Burmese Vipassana (he teaches basically Mahasi style) and Shikantaza (he started in Zen a long time ago).
As some Mahasi practitioners will recall, as one gets more adept with following rising-falling of the abdomen, etc, and builds up some concentration there tend to be gaps visible between in and out breaths. And the usual instruction is to note "sitting" and/or "touching" in that space. And sometimes just the "sitting" and/or the "touching".
Now "sitting" from the Mahasi POV means observing wind element (which is what is holding the body up), but one can also think of it as a kind of whole-body-awareness. And this is the parallel Patrick draws with Shikantaza - sitting very aware of the posture (and keeping the exactly correct posture). As others have suggested on the various Zen/Theravada meditation threads, and as Patrick notes, Shikantaza would be a rather advanced practice from the Mahasi POV. Without the preparatory work of following objects such as rising-falling, which builds up mindfulness and concentration, "just sitting" and paying attention to the posture is quite difficult.
[This discussion, and other remarks about how various Burmese schools teach paying attention to the whole body also suggests that the Mahasi and Goenka/U Ban Kihn approaches that happen to have become well-known elsewhere are just part of a whole spectrum of approaches, and are therefore not as separate as one might think from just examining the beginners instructions of both approaches.]
Dan74 wrote:My understanding is that in Vipassana tradition, the focus is important to take the meditation deeper and not slacken off. While shikantaza is done when the meditator has sufficient momentum from the deep glimpse of emptiness/anatta and it is more about cultivating this radiant emptiness, dissolving all conditioning and extending the unconditioned into every aspect of the practitioner's life.
Dan74 wrote:The danger is perhaps that the Vipassana practitioner stays too focused on the object until the mind manufactures objects to keep the practitioner occupied.
Dan74 wrote:And that the shikantaza practitioner sinks into a stupor-like objectless state and gets stuck there. Leaves, branches, trees and the whole forest - it's all essential and we should not lose sight of any part of it in favour of another.
Dan74 wrote:As for jhanas vs shikantaza, I think there is a lot of evidence to show that shikantaza is an advanced practice and the practitioner would have reached a level of maturity before practicing silent illumination.
Dan74 wrote:What is silent illumination? It's when formations have already been silenced to a great extent, so that awareness is spacious and luminous and as Honzhi taught formations and old habits can be seen and swept away.
While you maintain the sitting posture, you should also try to establish the “silent” state of the mind. Eventually you reach a point where the mind does not move and yet is very clear.
When we meditate or work, we may fall into a worldly samadhi state and feel that time passes very quickly. In an ordinary state we may feel that time passes quickly or slowly. However, in the mind of wisdom there is no such thing as slow or hurried time. If we can say there is thought in the mind of wisdom, it is an endless thought which never changes. This unchanging thought is no longer thought as we usually understand it. It is the unmoving mind of wisdom.
johnny wrote:i don't know what he meant, but i think he left many statements like that open and he often wrote in vague and ethereal speech.
johnny wrote:in the pali canon it says that one may go into the forth jhana and then up too the fourth of the formless realms and develop insight into reality
jhana is required according too the buddha. it is indispensable. so if you decide not too develop the jhanas, you may be missing out, at least according too theravada.
johnny wrote:that's why it matters which one you practice. many zen masters will say you don't need jhana, most theravada say you do.
i'm positive it is a "thing" in zen that jhana is not often taught or recommended.
most part. other traditions may practice it by default, but they generally don't use the theravada systematized explanation and progression.
BuddhaSoup wrote:The Roshi even stated once that doing insight meditation "aggravated' him.
etc.Attention needs not be practised at all!
If you practise it you already become inattentive...
Are you following all this?..
So when you are attentive and your mind wanders off, which indicates that it is inattentive, let it wander off and know that it is attent-inattentive, and the very awareness of that inattention is attention...
Don't battle with inattention. Don't say "I must be attentive", which entails this. Know that you are inattentive.
Be aware choicelessly that you are inattentive. What of it?..
But the moment in this inattention there is action - be aware of that action.
chang zhao wrote:BuddhaSoup wrote:The Roshi even stated once that doing insight meditation "aggravated' him.
People are really different... I love insight - as exploration... But I had some hard time trying to practise tranquility. Especially at the beginning, when it seemed like hundreds of ants crawled over my body...
Might the cause with the Roshi be that efforts to concentrate on insight just made it harder? And for some people that can work more, than for the others?
wildfox7 wrote:the jhana teachers that I know of insist and argue that jhana practice excludes 'insight' practice. This is an important technical argument that I decline to speak about, as people are so intractable and take offense at disagreement.
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