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The secret to a successful meditation session - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

The secret to a successful meditation session

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
PeterB
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby PeterB » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:19 am

Given that those Pavlovian factors exist tsuzumi, and they certainly do, I think it behoves us to utilise them to positive ends rather than simply regarding them as irrelevant or even somehow dangerous. The problem comes when the conditioned response is seen as explaining a range of functions that are clearly not a result of simple operant conditioning. But yes, in my case I also have a mug of tea to hand, but it is strong Yorkshire tea at room temperature. Retros remark about for Si Lankans its always tea time is also true of Brits. I light incense also and arrange my cushions, to send a message to my discursive mind that its meditation time, dont bother me for a while.

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imagemarie
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby imagemarie » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:03 am



:juggling: :broke: :woohoo: :popcorn: :woohoo: :broke: :juggling: :thinking: :popcorn: :smile:

rowyourboat
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:16 am

Hi Retro
Interesting question!

After having a think about it, for me any 'unit of practice' be it meditation or something else (dana, listening to dhamma, keeping precepts) would be a success if
it led to a change in myself
temporary or permanent
towards reducing craving, aversion or delusion.

I think it is important to know what craving, aversion and delusion is, then know what it feels like in the mind (and it's manifestations in speech and actions) and be able to determine whether the practice is having a beneficial effect. Otherwise without this internal appraisal you might as well be pouring water into barrel without a bottom. So in that sense I think it is important to know whether a unit of practice is 'successful' ie leading to where you want it to go- but that does not mean clinging to the results. IMO however it would be better to cling to the results ('caga'- it gives rise to effort) rather that practising not know what you are practising for.

with metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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effort
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby effort » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:38 pm

i think The secret to a successful meditation session is ....

to let it go...

ps: i heard it somewhere i think!!

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Guy
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby Guy » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:02 am

Hi All,

I just got back from my first weekend meditation retreat led by Ajahn Cittapalo. I think one of the most important thing I learned there was that "there is no way to peace, peace is the way". In other words, it doesn't matter what you experience in meditation so much, just make peace with it (call it metta and uppekha if you like), that way you are creating good meditation kamma and avoiding creating bad meditation kamma. Even if thoughts and feelings based on the defilements arise it is better, in my opinion, to just be aware of them in terms of anatta and anicca rather than to identify with them and think "oh no I am a failure at meditation, I still have strong cravings, I still have lots of ill-will". Even when mindfulness isn't all that strong, just make peace with dull-mindedness.

Still nothing original to add to the topic, but for me it seems to be an important point that can't be over-stated.

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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Ben
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:00 am

Nice post, Guy!
“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]..

Freawaru
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby Freawaru » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:18 pm


meindzai
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby meindzai » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:02 pm

I don't think there is anything wrong in trying to set up certain conditions for a meditation session to be more "successful," however you are defining success. In fact this is what Sila is all about, isn't it?

If I'm judging meditative success based on the factors like tranquility, etc. sila is probably the main thing. Also proper moderation in exercise, food, caffeine, sleep, television, radio, and having a clean house. I'm not a huge advocate of feng shui but it does at least seem that having a messy house reflects somehow internally, and if one is messy the other will be messy. Props like incense, etc. are helpful pavlovian sort of devices, but the trick is not to get too attached to them. I do use incense and a candle on my altar as it just kind of establishes "this is the time for meditation and not for other activities."

-M

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RayfieldNeel
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby RayfieldNeel » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:04 pm

I've never had a "pre-meditative" ritual, but as a result of this thread I've begun experimenting with doing a brief metta prior to sitting. First impressions are that I start in a "clearer" place, if that makes any sense.

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Guy
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Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby Guy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:31 pm

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

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

Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby Freawaru » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:32 pm


meindzai
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby meindzai » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:16 pm


nathan
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:44 am

...is the session before that, etc..

:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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catmoon
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby catmoon » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:27 pm


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BlackBird
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby BlackBird » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:16 pm

I think the very fact that you've sat down to meditate is a success unto itself.

metta
Jack
"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." -

nathan
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:20 pm

But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Spiny Norman
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:36 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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salmon
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Re: The secret to a successful meditation session

Postby salmon » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:47 am

1. Maintain a clear conscience (ie. keep your precepts ALL THE TIME). A clear sila means that nothing can shake/shock/shame you when you are sitting.

2. When the mind is at a calm, comfortable state, regardless of whether or not I am in a meditation room, just make use of that 5 minutes to meditate. It's akin to a power nap. More effective than a "forced sitting".


This may not work for everyone, but it works for me :smile:
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~


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