Chasing Experience

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

Chasing Experience

Postby Myotai » Mon May 12, 2014 10:54 am

Hi,

I have become more aware when sitting that there is a large part of me waiting for an expereince, or even seeking out an experience. I hasten to add this is very very subtle and not something that is on my agenda!

Does seeking Access Concentration, Jhana, Insight, embelish the ego?

Tony...
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon May 12, 2014 11:43 am

Seeking anything does that...
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby Myotai » Mon May 12, 2014 12:43 pm

TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:Seeking anything does that...


Yup I get that....but specifically meditation that has as its goal 'experience'. It's not like we're sitting with no immediate agenda, 'I/we' are constantly looking for signs that we have deepened our concentration, jhana and so on...
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby bodom » Mon May 12, 2014 1:14 pm

In a world passing through my fingers, I still chase the wind...

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby SamKR » Mon May 12, 2014 1:20 pm

Myotai wrote:
TheNoBSBuddhist wrote:Seeking anything does that...


Yup I get that....but specifically meditation that has as its goal 'experience'. It's not like we're sitting with no immediate agenda, 'I/we' are constantly looking for signs that we have deepened our concentration, jhana and so on...


The goal is not any 'experience' in the future. The goal is at present: to simply remain in the non-seeking mode in the precise present. When you are with the present arising (which you cannot control at all, and therefore seeking/craving is futile), the goal is already achieved, and hence there is no seeking. This non-seeking or non-craving mode will automatically and effortlessly lead to the deepening of meditation and 'experiences'. This understanding is what I think is useful in my practice.

Myotai wrote:Does seeking Access Concentration, Jhana, Insight, embelish the ego?

I think so. It may strengthen the delusion of a seeker.
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby Myotai » Mon May 12, 2014 1:45 pm

I think so. It may strengthen the delusion of a seeker


Ah, so the Zennies are right? This is a part of the whole Soto/Dogen thing I have never been able to get my head around.

I.e. No seeker, nothing to find...etc...etc...! Ultimately there is no seeker, no eye, no ear and so on - again I get that. But conventionally there is suffering that is experienced and a wish to have no more suffering.

If we sit with an aim of aleviating suffering either for ourselves or others doe this not re-affirm the existence of the very self we're hoping to see through?

:juggling:
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby SamKR » Mon May 12, 2014 1:59 pm

I said:
It may strengthen the delusion of a seeker.

If the teaching of no-self is not understood and applied skillfully, then it will surely strengthen the delusion of a seeker. If it is applied skillfully, then even if there is desire to reach the goal (to be free of desire and seeking), it can not strengthen the delusion of a seeker.
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 12, 2014 8:00 pm

Myotai wrote:Yup I get that....but specifically meditation that has as its goal 'experience'. It's not like we're sitting with no immediate agenda, 'I/we' are constantly looking for signs that we have deepened our concentration, jhana and so on...


Just be aware of that subtle craving for experience and don't feed it, try to let go of it. Being aware in the present moment is it's own reward, one doesn't need the promise of some future experience in order to be motivated to practice.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby fraaJad » Mon May 12, 2014 10:39 pm

Myotai wrote:Hi,

I have become more aware when sitting that there is a large part of me waiting for an expereince, or even seeking out an experience. I hasten to add this is very very subtle and not something that is on my agenda!


hi Tony,
great! Once you are aware of that "waiting," you can let it go. What works for me is looking for the physical manifestations of that waiting, and relaxing them. It is often a very slight tension in the head, chest, spine... look for how the mind is leaning out of the present moment, and relax that. It's often accompanied by a very slight physical leaning or tension as well.
After relaxing, come back to your object of meditation. Do that a million times, and boom. ;-)

metta,
fj
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby Dan74 » Mon May 12, 2014 11:32 pm

The goal in meditation (meaning the mental state during the mediation) is not to achieve states (this is going to lead to even more attachment and selfishness) but to do the practice. So if I do anapanasati, I bring my energy to the mindfulness of the breath, so that the breath fills he mind, the breath is all there is. After a while the breath may fade and the attentive quality remains without a focus.

This is just an example, but as far as I can make out, worrying about attainments, states or any kinds of 'meta-thinking' just gets in the way of doing the actual practice. It's like a tightrope walker - if she worries, she falls, if she thinks of anything but the next step, she falls. Well, we are hopefully kinder to ourselves than that, but the fact remains - to do the practice properly, just do the practice.

Sometimes our goals get confused with the attitude while we are achieving these goals. The goal may well be liberation, but while meditating we don't think about liberation but just do the practice.
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby barcsimalsi » Tue May 13, 2014 3:07 am

It depends on where you are, referring to mn137; craving for attainment is not all bad if you notice you tend to be more disenchanted towards worldly things lately but to progress further there’s more to do and undo.

"And what are the six kinds of renunciation distress? The distress coming from the longing that arises in one who is filled with longing for the unexcelled liberations when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, fading, & cessation — he sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change and he is filled with this longing: 'O when will I enter & remain in the dimension that the noble ones now enter & remain in?' This is called renunciation distress. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)


"Here, by depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation joy, abandon & transcend the six kinds of household joy. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation distress, abandon & transcend the six kinds of household distress. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation equanimity, abandon & transcend the six kinds of household equanimity. Such is their abandoning, such their transcending.

"By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation joy, abandon & transcend the six kinds of renunciation distress. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation equanimity, abandon & transcend the six kinds of renunciation joy. Such is their abandoning, such their transcending.



Like what other members have advice, perhaps now you need to focus more on this:
"And what are the six kinds of renunciation joy? The joy that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, fading, & cessation — one sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is called renunciation joy. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)
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Re: Chasing Experience

Postby pegembara » Tue May 13, 2014 4:58 am

"'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.' The thought occurs to him, 'I hope that I, too, will — through the ending of the fermentations — enter & remain in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for myself in the here & now.' Then he eventually abandons craving, having relied on craving. 'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.' The thought occurs to him, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now. Then why not me?' Then he eventually abandons conceit, having relied on conceit. 'This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

There is craving(tanha), conceit(mana) and view(ditthi). Right view needs to be established first lest the craving and conceit becomes wrong.
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: Chasing Experience

Postby Ananda26 » Sat May 24, 2014 3:30 pm

Myotai wrote:Hi,

I have become more aware when sitting that there is a large part of me waiting for an expereince, or even seeking out an experience. I hasten to add this is very very subtle and not something that is on my agenda!

Does seeking Access Concentration, Jhana, Insight, embelish the ego?

Tony...


Insight leads to the understanding that the 5 aggregates: form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness are not fit to be regarded as self.

This understanding helps to abandon the fetter of personality view and the fetter of conceit.

If you have a good agenda such as the 9 successive attainements: 4 jhanas, 4 formless jhanas, and cessation of perception and feeling, it will tend to be very helpful with the practice.

At the point of attaining the base of neither perception nor non perception you may notice that this is more subtle than the base of nothingness.
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