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A Fresh Start - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

A Fresh Start

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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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:47 am


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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:48 am


Sanghamitta
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:03 am

Both Vipassana and Samatha are ways to Enlightement. To some degree its a matter of choice. Buddhism is intensly practical, its about doing it, trying it. If one is anxious and speedy many teachers recommend Samatha, which is not simply a a means of relaxation, but is a complete path in itself. If Samatha is taught at the centre you mention then try it and see if it suits you.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:46 am

I was advised to stay well away from the centre near me as their teachings are controversial:

What is the difference in technique between Samatha and Vipassana meditation?

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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:53 am

The controversy about that Buddhist group has no relevance outside of some Vajrayana circles. If they have people who can teach basic vipassana or samatha then I would recommend ignoring the other stuff.
If you have toothache then whether a dentist is a Methodist or Roman Catholic need not concern us. You dont have to sign up to the whole shebang in order to learn basic meditation.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:38 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.

Sanghamitta
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:13 pm

My understanding Manapa was that this group is controversial because it is said to worship an " evil spirit" which threatens the life of the Dalai Lama. Which frankly sounds delusional on all sides.
I know two people who leaned basic Samatha from the Kadampa, and said that they received a good basic intro. As to the other stuff I dont believe for a moment that Avalokitesvara literally exists or that he/she incarnates as a human being . Or that little children are the literal incarnation of previous lamas, I dont think that the Buddha taught any such thing. So beyond basic teachings I would not recommend ANY Vajrayana group. However many Tibetan centres offer basic Samatha lessons. And if the only practical source of such teaching is a Tibetan group, then so be it. Bees and nectar and all that.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:47 pm

Good news, I had the book all the while.

Mindfulness by Bhante Gunaratana.

Says ion the beginning it focuses on vipassana :)

What do you use as a timer when meditationg? Assuming you use one, and is it a free download?

Thank you

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jcsuperstar
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:10 pm



has some you can download. they also have online courses and tons of guided meditations.

i'm taking the next course they offer (starting in march)
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:11 pm

Thanks jc.

I've found an interesting one, it's for 20 minutes, but it also has a little bell sound every 5 minutes.

Is this recommended, or not?

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Butrfly_Nirvana
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:34 pm

Just as an update to my 1st lesson in the workbook:

It explains a lot of what you are asking about. But in the end you just need to pick a book (if, like me, a 'live' teacher isn't available) and set your focus on that one thing. After investing time in it if you seek further knowledge, go to the next book. The thing I've learned so far is that you can not expect to achieve great insight immediately, and that you need to take your time. So it seems that beginners step 1 would be focus on just sitting and breathing. Then move on to the next step. It takes a very long time to reach different levels in your meditation, so be sure that you are accomplishing each step, no matter how small, in its entirety before moving on to something new. To quote the workbook I'm using, Insight Meditation Step-by-Step, "If you are new to practice it's important to realize that simply to sit on that cushion for fifteen minutes is a victory." -Charlotte Joko Beck.

Also, here is link that you can read--I just read it this morning and it was very good.


Good luck with your practice!

PS: In regards to how does it work, I don't think that is really important to know for the practice, and also, I think the "how" is going to probably vary from person to person b/c we all deal with different struggles within ourselves. So for one person it might have been achieved by realizing and being able to let go of anger towards something someone did, and for another it may be in realizing the universal love they have for animals....so I think the "how" is going to be a very personal and individual thing... Just my thoughts anyways!
Namaste,
*~Nichole~*


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Cittasanto
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:45 pm

Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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.

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retrofuturist
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:00 pm

Greetings,

I think that detour into Vajrayana politics was sufficient... now let's get...

:focus:

Thank you.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"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

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:37 pm


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retrofuturist
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:34 pm

"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

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zavk
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby zavk » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:40 pm

Hi Collective

You seem to be quite concerned about the idea of achieving insight or wisdom. It is definitely important that insight arise if we are to awaken. But if I may share my understanding of insight/wisdom.

In my experience, insight doesn't arise as a set of clearly formulate thought. Rather, insight manifests through my everyday experience. I find that over time--as I sit regularly, study Dhamma texts, listen to Dhamma talk, cultivate sila, etc--I gradually begin to feel a sense lightness or ease in my daily activities. I find that I no longer lose my patience as easily as before, I find that I no longer stay upset when things go round, I find that I'm relating to people with more friendliness and kindness.

To me, this is the expression of insight/wisdom. There could very well be more profound expressions of insight, but I can't say I've experienced them. But the improvements I've experienced in my life has encouraged me to stick with the practice I have chosen.
With metta,
zavk

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jcsuperstar
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:26 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:53 am

I've found an interesting timer, it's 20 minutes long but has a little bell sound every 5 minutes.

Is this recommended, or not?

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:08 am

I have a timer on my computer, no bell sound, but if I need to have a set maximum duration then it is useful!

having a tone at a reasonable length may be useful if you are tired help keep you alert.

I have the capability to create tracks of any length if you, or anyone else wants a particular length MP3 for lunch breaks at work or another situation, I have created one for when I go back to work for lunch breaks of 20 mins, with a chime at the beginning and three at the end, so if anyone wants one send me a 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
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Postby Collective » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:28 am

As for using the timer, I'd like to share my experiences with you. It is 20 minutes long, with a small sounding bell every 5 minutes.

Have to say this was fantastic for me. I was worried at first that it may distract my focus, if anything it aided it. Each bell served to remind me of why I was sitting, and it also told me (obviously) how long I had sat for. Not that I clock watch. This wasn't so much in respect of 'great - only 5 minutes left', but it was more a case of helping me mentally adjust and again, refocus for the run in as it were. It was like I subconsciously made an extra effort for the 'run in' to coin a phrase.

In short, I found it helped me focus more, and the minutes shot by. I sat for 15 minutes, and for me that's an achievement. I think I could easily have done 20 minutes too. And that's unthinkable.

Ideally, I think I'll ditch it when I'm comfortable doing 20 minutes. But for now it's great.


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