YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Need Some Advice - Dhamma Wheel

Need Some Advice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:39 am

We are told to focus on the breath, but I find this harder than focusing on awareness. When I focus on breath, I use my mind, to focus. But I find it easier and more relaxing to 'just be aware'. That's when I get a good meditational experience.

It isn't that I actively force thoughts out to experience this 'nothing/awareness', rather, I recognize I've been thinking, and then simply adjust to experiencing awareness. That's probably a much better way of putting it actually: I don't literally focus on nothing, I merely shift to experience the awareness. Reagrdless of if I'm amidst a noisy scenario or dead silent, I'm just aware. And I don't mean 'actively aware', like 'Bird song...tap/faucet runnin...dog barking...child laughing...car enging...'. I'm just sort of all aware yet nothing is focused.

So for me, breath focus seems a little more involved mentally than merely being aware of being aware. But the trouble is Budda said focus on the breath. Is this the only way? I do focus on the breath to start my meditation, but then once I feel I'm at that certain level, I let it go and just become aware.

Hope I made sense.

Am I doing this wrong?

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Ben » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:50 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:41 pm

Thanks for the link.

When I say I find breath focus more involved, I mean it simply in contrast to not having to breath focus. And I find it difficult because I cannot for the life of me feel anything in my stomach area, and almost nothing in my nose/tip of nose/nostrils.

I meditate now mainly to relax, I find everything falls into place as a result. If anything else transpires, great, if not, great. I'm happy with the blissful feelings.

And it's great for lowering high blood pressure too :)

Moggalana
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Germany

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Moggalana » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:13 pm

Hi Collective,

do you know Ajahn Brahm's instructions for ? His first two stages may be similiar to what your are doing. He teaches Sustained attention on the present moment and Silent awareness of the present moment as a preparation or preliminary practice for the actual mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati). Maybe this is helpful?
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:20 pm


Moggalana
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Germany

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Moggalana » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:40 pm

Well, if you are drawn to this awareness of awareness or shamatha without object stuff, you will probably have to look outside of Theravadin meditation. Alan Wallace's book, The Attention Revolution, might be a good starting point as he teaches the traditional theravada method of anapanasati as well as two other techniques belonging to tibetan buddhism. However, this is probably not the correct subforum for delving more deeply into this matter.
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:01 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

User avatar
salmon
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:55 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby salmon » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:13 am

Hi Collective,

Ananpanasati is only one of the meditation tools prescribed by the Buddha (as already mentioned by Ben). Perhaps you can read the teachings of some forest masters like Ajahn Dune Atulo. The do have teachings on how to focus on the mind (or awareness) instead of other objects like the breath or the stomach. Instead, they practice focusing the "mind on the mind".

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... _Atulo.htm

:smile:
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:30 pm


User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:15 pm

I've been thinking, maybe if I clarified exactly what I want out of meditation.

First and foremost, I simply want to relax my mind and body, and be free from stress and anxiety. I find this occurs when my mind is still. This for me comes about from 2 exercises. Observing in a detached way, the breath, and more so when observing in a detached way, the mind. Personally, I find when I watch the mind, observe it, I get no thoughts. And as a result, I feel relaxed. Whereas if I watch the breath, I get distracted by the mind. It's analogous to watching a naughty child so they behave themselves.

I am not my mind?

So all I want is that blissful relaxed feelling, and anything else, insight etc, is a bonus but not a primary goal. Relaxation however, is.

Please, any advice, is there a name for this type of meditation, wherein the mind not the breath is observed?

Thank you :)

User avatar
Goofaholix
Posts: 2928
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:38 pm

Sayadaw U Tejaniya teaches this style of meditation, see http://sayadawutejaniya.org/ if you want more teaching on it.

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1684
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby acinteyyo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:12 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

User avatar
baratgab
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Hungary
Contact:

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby baratgab » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:14 am

"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Dan74 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:57 am

Many of us in this day and age are really caught up in our heads and meditating on a physical sensation does wonders to restore a big chunk of reality (physical reality) to its rightful place.

If someone (like me) who spends a great deal of time in thoughts practices a kind of meditation that is unconcerned with the physical perception, it's a recipe for disaster IMO - you just go deeper and deeper into fantasy.

If the actual sensation of the breath is too subtle (which is an indication of a kind of a numbness to the physical) then perhaps the movement of the breath can be the object. I am not sure if this is in the Pali Canon so excuse me if it isn't, but it is something I've heard taught by a number of teachers.

So basically meditation that grounds us in the physical reality here and now is the way to go. For someone already pretty grounded there maybe other techniques, but for those of us who are still floating somewhere in headspace, it's a God-send (sorry Buddha-send).

_/|\_
_/|\_

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:26 pm

Thank you all for the advice and links.

Certain aspects seem a contradiction to me.

Is 'breath' meditation the same thing as 'awareness' meditation?
Can 'breath' meditation bring about insight (however that may be described) like 'awareness' meditation does?
My point is; if I focus on my breath, surely I'm not as aware as when I focus on awareness. A bit like, if I'm looking up I can't be looking down at the same time?

The movemtnt of breath sounds interesting and may have been something I've been trying to put into words for a long time now. I find it difficult trying to centre my awareness on the tip, or nostrils because the sensation is that subtle as to be almost non existent. So I tend to become aware of my breathing in general. The concept of breath in breath out rather than the more central focused physicality of the breathing mechanics.

In short then, what (if any) are the differences between breath meditation and awareness (which I think is anapanasati?) meditation. If indeed they are different.

Thanks again

User avatar
baratgab
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Hungary
Contact:

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby baratgab » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:00 pm

"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:20 pm

Very interesting, and good avice.

So, to me it seems to be a case of staying focused on the breath and awareness at the same time?

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Collective » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:19 am


User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 17855
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:34 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Freawaru
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Need Some Advice

Postby Freawaru » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:31 pm



Return to “General Theravāda Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 30 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine