Discernment

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

Discernment

Postby K.Dhamma » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:29 am

Ok, so I have a question. Today I sat down for a long sit and a question arose in me. Where is my discernment? What is discernment in relation to my meditation? I can discern my breath, and I can discern my thoughts when they arise. But what about discernment of where my meditation is supposed to be going. I know it is a bit of a weird question, and any help would be appreciated. I feel like I am almost lost in where I should be going/should be doing at times.

Just for the record I do practice a lot on the basis of anapanasati.
"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: Discernment

Postby Mkoll » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:08 am

Dear K.Dhamma,

From my understanding, the goal of meditation is the cultivation of calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā). Calm involves developing one-pointedness of mind by attending to a single object with the eventual goal of entering and abiding in jhana. Insight involves seeing phenomena as they are: impermanent, suffering, and not-self. Some teachers teach that you develop just one or the other at a time and some teach concurrent development.

I have a similar feeling that you describe sometimes. It's disheartening but I remind myself that this is a long path that requires lots of patience.

I hope that helps.

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: Discernment

Postby santa100 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:53 am

K.Dhamma wrote: Ok, so I have a question. Today I sat down for a long sit and a question arose in me. Where is my discernment? What is discernment in relation to my meditation? I can discern my breath, and I can discern my thoughts when they arise. But what about discernment of where my meditation is supposed to be going. I know it is a bit of a weird question, and any help would be appreciated. I feel like I am almost lost in where I should be going/should be doing at times.

Maybe the issue lies in the highlighted parts above. Next time try to remove them and see if it helps. There should be just discernment, not my discernment; just the breath, not my breath, just thoughts, not my thoughts, not "I", "mine", nor "myself", etc..
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Re: Discernment

Postby SarathW » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:15 am

For me the disernment means achieving my goals the way I expected.
Say I learn that I may be happier if I do not take alcohol or my concentration improves when I do not take alcohol.
So I give up alcohol and learned that I am happier and my concentration improves.
That knowledge, I call the discernment.

Thorough discernment you destroy your latent tendencies.
:)
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Re: Discernment

Postby kirk5a » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:05 pm

Can you discern your own mind?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Discernment

Postby pulga » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:12 pm

kirk5a wrote:Can you discern your own mind?


Can you see your own eye?

The six bases in oneself can be termed an empty village; for whether a wise man investigates them as to the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind, they appear alike hollow, empty, and void. The six external bases can be termed village-raiding robbers; for the eye is harassed among agreeable and disagreeable forms, the ear among such sounds, the nose among such odours, the tongue among such flavours, the body among such tangibles, and the mind among such mental objects. (SN 35:197)
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Re: Discernment

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:20 pm

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Re: Discernment

Postby kirk5a » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:59 am

pulga wrote:
kirk5a wrote:Can you discern your own mind?


Can you see your own eye?

The six bases in oneself can be termed an empty village; for whether a wise man investigates them as to the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind, they appear alike hollow, empty, and void. The six external bases can be termed village-raiding robbers; for the eye is harassed among agreeable and disagreeable forms, the ear among such sounds, the nose among such odours, the tongue among such flavours, the body among such tangibles, and the mind among such mental objects. (SN 35:197)

And how would one go about investigating in this manner if it was not discernible?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Discernment

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:27 am

It seems to me that this sutta (in common with many others) says that you can investigate the sense bases and objects http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... 4%81yatana (which include the mind base, mano, and mind objects, dhammas), but that they are all empty (of self). And the third satipattana http://suttacentral.net/mn10/en is cittānupassanā (investigation of the state of mind), the fourth dhammānupassanā (investigation of mind-objects). (e.g. http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_s.htm#satipatth%C4%81na).

:anjali:
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