The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

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

Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Guy » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:22 am

BlackBird wrote:I've got the next two days off work, and I'm intend to do a semi-self retreat in my bedroom.
Wednesday - 6 hours meditation, 2 hours study.
Thursday - 5 hours meditation, 2 hours study + 45 minute group sit.

It's probably quite a lofty desire which looks good on paper. But if I can do 50% of the above goal, I'll be a happy chappy.


Cool, let us know how you go. :meditate:
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Vardali » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:25 pm

Ben wrote:Good luck Vardali!
If it gets tough going, try and exert some adhitthana! (strong determination) It will be helpful in overcomng your hindrances.
metta

Ben


Thank you, Ben. I am trying :) With limited success, though; Saturday, my meditation stance was virtually non-existant (despite or in spite of actually looking forward to use the day), but Sunday went well.

Been lapsing yesterday though, due to too much workload in the office (had to pull an all-nighter), and I suspect I will be to tired for that reason to effectively meditate.

Still, off I go now and do my best for tonight :sage:

Wishing you all good progress and a peaceful mind :bow:

:buddha2:
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:35 pm

Hey Everyone,

Wishing you all well and may your meditation challenges bear great fruit. Metta! :hug:
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby zavk » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:18 am

Hi friends

I dawned upon me the other day that I have been quite complacent. I have never visited a Dhamma Centre regularly. For various logistical reasons, it simply wasn't convenient for me to do so. But in this past year, I have acquired the means to do so. There is a Dhamma Centre that is only about 15 minute drive from my home. It turns out that Ajahn Ariyasilo is staying at the centre till early next year. So I shall set myself a challenge by trying to attend the weekly group sits/Dhamma talks from now on.
With metta,
zavk
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:28 am

Hi zavk,

Sound great. Is this where you mean?
http://www.bsv.net.au/

Metta
Mike
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby zavk » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:30 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi zavk,

Sound great. Is this where you mean?
http://www.bsv.net.au/

Metta
Mike


Hi Mike

Yes this is the place I was telling you about. This was where I was introduced to the Mahasi style of meditation when I first started. A Sayadaw U Pandita (who coincidentally has the same name as the late U Pandita) leads a group sit every Thursday. Every so often they would invite teachers to take residence. Ajahn Ariyasilo is staying there now. There's an upcoming retreat with Ajahn Sucitto but unfortunately I won't be able to attend that. But I'm looking forward to Ajahn Sumedho's visit.
With metta,
zavk
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:50 am

zavk wrote:A Sayadaw U Pandita (who coincidentally has the same name as the late U Pandita) leads a group sit every Thursday.

Hmm, I thought U Pandita was still alive... Mahasi Sayadaw died in 1982...

Metta
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby zavk » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:00 am

Yes my mistake.... I meant to say the 'elder U Pandita'.
With metta,
zavk
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby BlackBird » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:56 pm

Good on ya Zavk :anjali:

Guy wrote:Cool, let us know how you go. :meditate:


Went pretty well, probably managed 4 hours on the first day and 5 hours on the second day. One of the things that would put an end to a sit was when it started to get physically uncomfortable.

Ajahn Jayasaro made a very good point in a talk I listened to recently - That this is the nature of our existence, if you're going to sit still for any length of time there will be an element of physical discomfort, that's just how it works. Our lives are so concerned with hunting pleasure and avoiding pain and stress that whenever discomfort arises we habitually try to get away from it. So we can never sit still...

This is quite interesting because I feel it may be just another element of Dukkha, our reaction to physical pain. It's 'unable to satisfy' and through all the dualities, we're just creating the very thing we're trying to get away from.

So we've always gotta be doing something else, it's never good enough and wouldn't it be great if things we're just a little different. Dukkha all over again.

Just as if they were to shoot a man with an arrow and, right afterward, were to shoot him with another one, so that he would feel the pains of two arrows; in the same way, when touched with a feeling of pain, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught. So he feels two pains, physical & mental.

- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .html#shot

I stubbed my toe last night, and I just sat there and became aware of it rather than hopping around swearing and wishing it wasn't so like usual, and to my utter suprise, it wasn't all that bad! It was quite endurable, I noticed that the wanting was perhaps the most painful part.

I've got another weekend coming up in 2 days time, and I think I'll do a repeat of last weekend.

How's everyone else getting on?

:group:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby shjohnk » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:01 am

Good to read other people's experiences: You provide excellent inspiration :anjali:
I'm not meeting my goal, but I'm close. Recently my mind has been full of trivia every time I sit, so I have tried to focus more on noticing these stray thoughts and using them as a source for insight meditation. I am also still bothered by my nose being habitually blocked, but that's a good lesson in the unsatisfactory nature of the body :D Off topic but I have been gaining a great deal from listening to talks on www.dharmaseed.org Thanks so much DW friends for suggesting this wonderful site :clap: Check it out if you haven't already!
I wish everyone success with their meditation in the coming week!!! Stay well.
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Guy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:33 am

Hello Jack and All,

BlackBird wrote:Ajahn Jayasaro made a very good point in a talk I listened to recently - That this is the nature of our existence, if you're going to sit still for any length of time there will be an element of physical discomfort, that's just how it works. Our lives are so concerned with hunting pleasure and avoiding pain and stress that whenever discomfort arises we habitually try to get away from it. So we can never sit still...

This is quite interesting because I feel it may be just another element of Dukkha, our reaction to physical pain. It's 'unable to satisfy' and through all the dualities, we're just creating the very thing we're trying to get away from.


Good point indeed! :sage:

I stubbed my toe last night, and I just sat there and became aware of it rather than hopping around swearing and wishing it wasn't so like usual, and to my utter suprise, it wasn't all that bad! It was quite endurable, I noticed that the wanting was perhaps the most painful part.


A very useful insight, keep it up!

How's everyone else getting on?


I practiced quite a lot of formal meditation, more that most months in the past, but didn't end up sticking to the 1 hour sitting/1 hour walking as intended. I think that I could have easily done so but I allowed laziness and excuses to prevent me from doing so. I naively believed thoughts such as "This is boring to be so regimented" or "If I keep doing it like this I will take all the enjoyment out of meditation" etc. instead of just noticing these thoughts for what they are: impermanent, unsatisfactory, not-self. Also, like Jack, I have been discovering the difference between physical suffering and mental suffering and realized how much of the latter type I have been causing myself even while meditating.

So for the month of December I am going to be even more regimented to torture the defilements. :twisted:

This month I aim to wake up early every day, sit for 75 minutes and walk 45 minutes in the morning, sit for 45 minutes in the afternoon and 45 minutes at night. Also I will keep the 8 precepts on the 2nd and the 31st of December.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:18 am

You chaps are Olympic athletes compared to me. :(

I would be happy if I could train myself to just sit each evening or morning in this cramped, noisy place.

So ... I don't have any time targets ~ my goal is to just begin a sit.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby phil » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:24 am

Nice thread starter, Ben.

I do a 30 minute sitting every morning, but spend most of it falling in and out of sleep. Actually, it's not bad, because there's a good impulse to concentration and mindfulness every time I come back to it, and the mind seems to get brighter and brighter so that by the end of the meditation I feel quite lit up for the day. I don't know if it is proper meditation, but I think it conditions a kind of bright default mind state I can return to easily during the day when things are stressful. (So if there are any people like me for whom the sloth and torpor hindrance seems particularly powerful, don't despair, I think there is still value in sitting through all that nodding off and waking up again and again and again. And possibly the brightening of the mind that can be experienced every time you wake back up has something to do with the perception of light antidote for drowsiness recommended by the Buddha...possibly.)

I started commuting by bicycle recently, an hour ride into the heart of Tokyo, and for safety's sake have to pay very close attention to what is going on. Since I have been prone to cyclist road rage outbursts in the past, I have taken to wishing well ("be well") to everyone I see, and it has become a pretty constant habit when I'm walking around as well. I consider it my metta meditation for the day, very effective I think, and I'd recommend cyclists give it a try. I think of protecting the other drivers instead of myself, if they hit me, they'll have bad kamma etc...

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:35 am

I have continued to sit about 30 minutes in the evening and 45 ish in the morning. The quality varies, by which I mean that my constant tendency is to find myself rushing and forcing, I then relax by focusing on the breath..I find "Buddho" an effective way to centre ...We have a corridor long enough to do walking practice and I want to do that, I have not done it at home before. I will wait until my sitting is more flowing before adding anything however, thats what an Ajahn suggested..I find that these things go in cycles, I have had periods of great peacefulness in practice and that too passed, as will my current relative restlessness.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Dhammabodhi » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:00 pm

May I take this opportunity just to say that all you guys inspire me and therefore have a direct impact on changing my life.

With great reverence and humility, :bow:
Dhammabodhi
-Samāhitam cittam yathābhutam pajānāti.

समाहितं चित्तं यथाभूतं पजानाती |

A concentrated mind sees things as they really are.

-Ujuko nāma so maggo, abhayā nāma sā disā.

उजुको नाम सो माग्गो, अभया नाम सा दिसा |

'Straight' is this path, fearlessness is its way.
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:29 pm

Dear all,

As i have come to the understanding that I can not "do" meditation, instead it just happens, as a result of right understanding and right attitude. So what constitues my daily practice now is first to make a suggestion to the mind to be aware as much as possible of what ever object comes, and in particular the activities of the mind, i.e its different states, the way it functions, or simply its thought process. Of course, we are naturally aware to a certain degree of all our activities, aren't we ? What it's added here is the understanding that what is being aware of is just objects, not me, I etc..., in other words, right view.

The good thing with this way of practice is 1. I can practice any where, at any time so may be more often than formal walking and sitting; 2. much understanding can be generated even in the midst of hassle.
The difficulties are: 1. to keep awareness continuous, not lost in thoughts 2. the tendency to slips from bare awareness (and subsequent understanding) to intellectualization.

I have faith, though, that with time and practice , the mind will become more skillful at recognizing its dark shadows, and continuity of awareness will happen more often.

I used to practice walking and sitting intensively before, but this has changed over the time, as I see less and less the difference between the awareness (from vipassana pov) while in front of a computer or or talking to my friend and the one sitting on a cushion, providing right view is present. What varies is objects, not awareness. Well may be there's more calmness on a cushion, to be fair , so I try to sit 1 hour in the morning (when i can) for stillness but don't stick to it. In certain circumstances, (when being alone and not having to think, or before sleeping) the attention goes to the bodily postures or the elements.

That said, I am still on the testing period of this new way of practice. I have no doubt of the way, nevertheless, much adjustments need to be done, that means much understandings to occur so that it can become more smooth and actually yield result (more & more free from difelements I guess, but that's also a wanting to be aware of !!)

So the challenge for me is a reasonable amount of periods of continuous awareness through out the waking time (or may be sleeping time too :roll: ) and a balance between intellectual understanding and direct insight.

D.F.
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Guy » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:04 pm

Hi Dhamma Follower,

Welcome aboard.

I have had similar experiences in meditation and have come to similar conclusions. This way of practice is useful in a busy household environment (I live with 5 other people who often enjoy lively discussions, music and television) but I'd reeaaallly like to go on a nine day retreat to develop the Right Samadhi aspect of the path. The next retreat run by Ajahn Brahm in Perth is in April next year, hopefully I can keep it together until then. :tantrum:

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby BlackBird » Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:20 pm

I've been thinking about noisy environments a little, it seems to be a common problem we face as lay practitioners.

Noisy environments could very well be helpful for developing mindfulness, you've got lots cropping up through the ear, so lots of stuff to note, you need a bit of effort, but much like pain, frequent and diverse noise could actually be used as a sharpening tool.

Ārāvasati

There ya go.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:54 pm

Hi BlackBird,
BlackBird wrote:Noisy environments could very well be helpful for developing mindfulness, you've got lots cropping up through the ear, so lots of stuff to note, you need a bit of effort, but much like pain, frequent and diverse noise could actually be used as a sharpening tool.

That has been my experience, especially on retreats. Too much noise (like someone driving the ride-on mower around my kuti) is a distraction, because it requires too much "processing", but once I am past the "annoyance" stage with noise, a little random background noise often reminds me to stay concentrated.

Metta
Mike
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Meditation Challenge

Postby Northernbuck » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:08 am

I'm coming in late on this one. I aim for a half hour each night. I think I'm the only Buddhist in town, so I get most of my dhamma talks from iTunes and the Youtube. Learning meditation, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB_STm4vaVU&feature=related
But if this neutral feeling that has arisen is conditioned by the body which is impermanent, compounded and dependently arisen, how could such a neutral feeling be permanent? - SN 36.7
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