Samatha Meditation

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Slartibartfast
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Samatha Meditation

Postby Slartibartfast » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm

http://www.samatha.org/meditation/index.html

Does anyone else use this method? As you will know from posts on otehr forums I have very recently started training in this method. I think It is a little early to comment yet but I do feel a little more aware of things in the present. I have quite a journey ahead of me.

I am at the third stage, or third week and have had something new added each week, with an understanding that some practice should be done at home.

Stage 1 Longest Breath. Breathe in gently counting 1-9 and breathe out gently counting 9-1.
Stage 2 Longer Breath. Breathe in gently counting 1-6 and breathe out gently counting 6-1
Stage 3 Short breath. Breathe in gently counting 1-3, andbreathe out gently counting 3-1.

Always leave the meditation as you entered it, so move from 1-2-3-2-1. Acknowledge distractions mindfully and gently bring the concentration back to the breath.

Does anyone else have experience of this? It is a fairly basic technique, but then I think this is a good thing, because an overcomplication, certainly at this stage, would confuse and detract from teh meditation.
He who formerly was wreckless and afterwards became sober
brightens this world, like the moon when freed from clouds

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bodom
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby bodom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:43 pm

I dont practice this particular technique but i do practice samatha/vipassana.

:namaste:
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

Element

Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Element » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi Slartibartfast

What you described is an extremely common preliminary method in Theravada.

Kind regards,

Element

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Cittasanto
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:20 pm

Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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bodom
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby bodom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:35 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?


Kinda looks that way dont it? I would think counting 1-9 - 9-1 on each breath would be a little tiring for me personally. Maybe just the first few to get a "feel" for the breath.

:namaste:
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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Cittasanto
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:53 pm

bodom_bad_boy wrote:
Manapa wrote:Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?


Kinda looks that way dont it? I would think counting 1-9 - 9-1 on each breath would be a little tiring for me personally. Maybe just the first few to get a "feel" for the breath.

:namaste:


It does!
I have come across similar methods and used a similar methods (see my link to a book in what method do you use), but this discription seams different!
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

Slartibartfast
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:15 am

Manapa wrote:Hi Slartibartfast
I asked this on the other thread but as you have started this one which is more relevant to ask in I'll ask here also.
are you controling the breathing in this method?


I hope people don't mind me repeating myself.

Yes, we do control the breath during this meditation. I think, however, at this stage the counting is just trying to get us used to the breathing technique. the breath is slow and gentle, even on the shortest breath but they vary in length according to the count. At the same time we don't over-inhale or over-exhale. We control the breath in a relaxed way.
He who formerly was wreckless and afterwards became sober
brightens this world, like the moon when freed from clouds

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Cittasanto
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:37 am

I have never heard of controlling the breath in this techneque but I suppose it is the same idea as taking some deep breaths before starting?
keep us uptodate with the progress in the stages.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

Slartibartfast
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:27 pm
Location: Portaferry, Northern Ireland
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:45 am

It could be a mis understanding in my part of course, we haven't be directly instructed to control breathing however the counting suggests the length of breath to me, and it is not so controlled that we lose focus.
He who formerly was wreckless and afterwards became sober
brightens this world, like the moon when freed from clouds

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Dhammanando
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:00 pm

Hi Slartibartfast,

Slartibartfast wrote:It could be a mis understanding in my part of course, we haven't be directly instructed to control breathing however the counting suggests the length of breath to me, and it is not so controlled that we lose focus.


No, you haven't misunderstood. In Nai Boonman's method one begins with controlled breathing, then the controlling is later dropped.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    Yathā bubbuḷakaṃ passe, yathā passe marīcikaṃ,
    Evaṃ lokaṃ avekkhantaṃ, maccurājā na passati.

    One should see it as a bubble;
    One should see it as a mirage.
    Who regards the world thus
    The King of Death sees him not.
    (Dhammapada 170)


    ผู้ที่มองเห็นโลก ว่าไม่จีรังและหาสาระอะไรมิได้
    เช่นเดียวกับคนมองฟองน้ำและพยับแดด
    คนเช่นนี้พญามารย่อมตามหาไม่พบ ฯ
    (ธรรมบท ๑๗๐)

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Samatha Meditation

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:07 pm

Greetings Slartibartfast,

I use a similar count method I learned from an audio dharma talk as my "warm-up". It's essentially a pyramid count: 1-10, 10-1, 1-9, 9-1, 1-8, 8-1...1-2, 2-1, 1. It seems to take just less than 10 minutes on average and, while I'm doing the "warm-up", I really cut myself some slack and don't worry too much about being distracted, fidgeting, etc. The original talk said you should restart from the beginning if you lose your place, but I don't feel that's necessary for my purposes. When the warm-up is over, the attitude changes and I try to really focus.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai


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