Question on meditation techniques

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

Postby ihrjordan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:44 pm

Hi I have two questions first why do some people choose one meditation method over another for example Mahasi over Anapanasati over Goenka over whatever etc. etc.? and how could one switch between the Mahasi method to say "Normal meditation" :quote: of just being in the moment and not noting, just noticing? I've noticed it's now hard to do the ladder kind of meditation as my mind has developed the habit of noting everything lol
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Question on meditation techniques

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:53 pm

People gravitate towards what appeals to them.

In the Mahāsi method, the mental noting will drop away by itself when concentration is deep enough.

The two jhāna factors of initial application (vitakka), and sustained application (vicāra), are present in the first jhāna. The mental noting performs the function of applying the mind to the object to be noted (vitakka). At the later stages, the mind is aware of the objects almost automatically without any special effort. However, don't try to run before you can walk. Do note any and every mental and physical phenomenon arising throughout the entire day without missing any at all. This is how to develop deeper concentration. With progressive practice, the internal dialogue will diminish.

See Reaching the Higher Vipassanā Jhānas for details.
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ihrjordan
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Re: Question on meditation techniques

Postby ihrjordan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:01 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:People gravitate towards what appeals to them.

In the Mahāsi method, the mental noting will drop away by itself when concentration is deep enough.

The two jhāna factors of initial application (vitakka), and sustained application (vicāra), are present in the first jhāna. The mental noting performs the function of applying the mind to the object to be noted (vitakka). At the later stages, the mind is aware of the objects almost automatically without any special effort. However, don't try to run before you can walk. Do note any and every mental and physical phenomenon arising throughout the entire day without missing any at all. This is how to develop deeper concentration. With progressive practice, the internal dialogue will diminish.

See Reaching the Higher Vipassanā Jhānas for details.

Well the main problem I'm having with the Mahasi method is controlling my breath especially during meditation and when noting words that start with the letter "H" when I do control it I note "Controlling, Controlling.." and it MIGHT go away for little but it will usually come back and I will be miserable.
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"

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Goofaholix
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Re: Question on meditation techniques

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:11 pm

ihrjordan wrote:just being in the moment and not noting, just noticing?


Noting is just noticing, when needed it can have the addition of labeling but ideally when the mind is aware and balanced it shouldn't be needed.
"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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mikenz66
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Re: Question on meditation techniques

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:30 pm

ihrjordan wrote:Hi I have two questions first why do some people choose one meditation method over another...

For me the important issue is availability of local teachers. My local Wat used Mahasi style, so it makes sense to be doing that, and I find it works fine for me.

I think noting is a small part of the approach (and some kind of awareness has to, of course, be part of any approach), but unfortunately it becomes inflated to "the key feature". The approach is to having a grounding/primary object to build concentration, and being aware of as much as possible that arises at all times. Actually, that's not so different from what most people teach, except that for more concentration you return to the primary object as quickly as possible.

If you don't have a teacher, I recommend listening to one of Patrick Kearney's retreat series of talks:
http://dharmasalon.net/Audio/audio.html which include a lot of Q&A about technique.

:anjali:
Mike

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mikenz66
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Re: Question on meditation techniques

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:42 pm

And see, also, these resources: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... =341#p6695

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Question on meditation techniques

Postby rgb1 » Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:34 am



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