Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

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m0rl0ck
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Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:41 pm

I have some experience doing various samatha and other concentrative meditation practices (koan, huatou), have gotten some interesting results doing these and my concentration is probably pretty good. Lately tho i have been feeling that i wanted to expand my meditative horizons. So today i tried some anapanasati with instructions i got from two youtube videos by Bhante Vimalaramsi. A method that he says is directly from the suttas rather than from commentary or particular tradition.
I have to say that just on one sit using this method i feel i got some good results.

My questions are:

1. Anyone else here with similar experience to mine, that is, coming from huatou or koan practice or other samatha practice to the method above? Any advice?

2. What is the consensus on Bhante Vimalaramsi anapanasati methods as compared to others?

Thank you :bow:
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:57 pm

I didnt know anything about Bhante Vimalaramsi Morlock, so I had a wee google.
His approach to anapanasati appears to be traditional and solid.

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Aloka
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Aloka » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:54 pm

.

Hi M0rl0ck,

Although I haven't tried them myself,I've heard positive things about Bhante Vimalaramsi's teaching methods.


Kind regards,

Aloka

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Moggalana » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:02 pm

Aloka wrote:.

Hi M0rl0ck,

Although I haven't tried them myself,I've heard positive things about Bhante Vimalaramsi's teaching methods.


Kind regards,

Aloka

Yes, mostly. But there are also some critics. As always. http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/crit ... itique.htm This critic might be biased, however. But I don't know these people. See and think for yourself ;)
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Modus.Ponens » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:40 pm

Moggalana wrote:Yes, mostly. But there are also some critics. As always. http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/crit ... itique.htm This critic might be biased, however. But I don't know these people. See and think for yourself ;)


Hello Moggalana

I don't know if you're aware, but the link you provided is from Jhanananda. Jhanananda is a self ordained person called Jeffrey Brooks, and thus is in the Sangha by theft. His criticisms of Bhante Vimalaramsi are unreliable.

Metta
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Moggalana » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:45 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:
Moggalana wrote:Yes, mostly. But there are also some critics. As always. http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/crit ... itique.htm This critic might be biased, however. But I don't know these people. See and think for yourself ;)


Hello Moggalana

I don't know if you're aware, but the link you provided is from Jhanananda. Jhanananda is a self ordained person called Jeffrey Brooks, and thus is in the Sangha by theft. His criticisms of Bhante Vimalaramsi are unreliable.

Metta

Hi,

I didn't know this, but after reading on this site, I became suspicious. That's why I added the bit with the bias. Thanks for letting me know :) However, I have also read a similar critique of Bhante Vimalaramsi on a german blog. Some people seem to find his approach a bit dogmatic. But the same goes for Ajahn Brahm and others. It's probably more a matter of "my teacher is better than yours". There are many ways, and if you can learn something from him, that's good.
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:40 am

i was going to go on retreat with Bhante Vimalaramsi, but i'm now not able to.
there are some things about him though i'm not so sure about, like he claims to be able to cure aids..
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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby bodom » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:57 am

jcsuperstar wrote:there are some things about him though i'm not so sure about, like he claims to be able to cure aids..


Wow thats crazy. Do you have a link to the source by any chance?

:anjali:
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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:44 am

i think it's on a dvd i have but i''ll check to see if it's online as well
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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:04 am

it's mentioned here

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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:23 pm

Just wanted to thank everyone for their input. On the subject of Jeffery Brooks, it seems to me from reading some of his stuff and belonging to his mailing list for a while, that he and his followers are more interested in pursuing extreme mental states than anything else.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:42 pm

I'm running out of steam with anapanasati. I have gone back to huatou practice which seems alot more robust to me. This tells me that im probably doing something wrong with anapanasati.

Using a huatou as a method i feel i get pretty powerfully concentrated. With the huatou, there is no real tactile object thats the subject of concentration.

With anapanasati, i waffle around a bit, i think because there is so much tactile input involved. I would still like to investigate anapanasati, but unless i can find a way to narrow the tactile input and field of concentration, i fear my experience with huatou wont translate that well to anapanasati. Anyone have advice on narrowing the field of concentration in anapanasati and still remain true to the method as outlined in the suttas?
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:49 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:Anyone have advice on narrowing the field of concentration in anapanasati and still remain true to the method as outlined in the suttas?


I have no clue what huatou is. :shrug: Where are you watching the breath? Nostrils? Chest? Abdomen? In my own experience watching the breath at the nose tip has produced the best results and is good for "narrowing" the field of experience.

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Kenshou » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:54 pm

It sounds like to me that, and I could be wrong, since you're talking about a large amount of tactile input, that you've been doing anapanasati as a method to develop mindfulness of the body. Using anapanasati to develop the 4 frames of reference is something that I think works very nicely.

How far do you waffle, though? I think a little wiggling is inevitable because of all the things that you're trying to keep in focus, but as long as the wiggling takes place within the confines of where you want the mind to be, then I don't think it's a problem. If you waffle completely off subject, then, that's just a matter of practice, I'm afraid.

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:59 pm

A huatou is a question one asks oneself, similar to a koan. Im using the "not locating the breath any particular place" method.
Maybe i will try the nostril method. I rejected that at first because it seemed artificial and not in line with the suttas.
My focus usually goes to the sensation of the air going in and out of the nose, but the pauses between in and out breath are there. Its alot tricker than i would have first thought, not really an object with constancy, even tho its a tactile sensation unlike a huatou, which in practice seems to resolve itself to a subverbal constant.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:05 pm

Kenshou wrote:It sounds like to me that, and I could be wrong, since you're talking about a large amount of tactile input, that you've been doing anapanasati as a method to develop mindfulness of the body. Using anapanasati to develop the 4 frames of reference is something that I think works very nicely.


In the sutta tho the buddha seems to be talking about developing whole body awareness as a samatha method:
"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'2 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'3 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' "

Kenshou wrote:How far do you waffle, though? I think a little wiggling is inevitable because of all the things that you're trying to keep in focus, but as long as the wiggling takes place within the confines of where you want the mind to be, then I don't think it's a problem. If you waffle completely off subject, then, that's just a matter of practice, I'm afraid.


I waffle to the point that sensations in the body draw me away from the breath, i guess. Maybe it is just a matter of practice and i thot that experience with another method would translate better to anapanasati.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:07 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:A huatou is a question one asks oneself, similar to a koan. Im using the "not locating the breath any particular place" method.
Maybe i will try the nostril method. I rejected that at first because it seemed artificial and not in line with the suttas.
My focus usually goes to the sensation of the air going in and out of the nose, but the pauses between in and out breath are there. Its alot tricker than i would have first thought, not really an object with constancy, even tho its a tactile sensation unlike a huatou, which in practice seems to resolve itself to a subverbal constant.


Huatou was not taught in the Anapanasati sutta. Im not sure why you would reject the nose tip method but not this "koan" meditation which the Buddha did not teach and is not in the suttas. The two are incompatible in my opinion.

:anjali:
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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:11 pm

There is much debate whether "whole body" or "entire body" in the third and fourth section refer to the physical body or breath body. Of course bodily sensations will pull you away from the breath. Notice and return.

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby PeterB » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:13 pm

Morlock I would urge you, and I mean urge, you to talk to a good teacher of anapanasati.
An experienced teacher can make tailor- made suggestions that can make a huge difference.
Its not a guru type thing. Its just receiving instruction from someone that knows this particular subject better than we do.

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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:17 pm

bodom wrote:
Huatou was not taught in the Anapanasati sutta.

:anjali:


I know that. I guess i thot the concentration developed with the huatou would be more help.

Im not sure why you would reject the nose tip method but not this "koan" meditation which the Buddha did not teach and is not in the suttas. The two are incompatible in my opinion.


Huatou is a method of its own with its own tradition, i didnt look for verification in the suttas with that method. The idea with a huatou is that you go for direct insight into the nature of mind and consciousness without intervening steps. I rejected the nose tip method at first because it wasnt mentioned anywhere that breath meditation instructions appear in the suttas. My interest in anapanasati stems from a desire to sample the genuine article, as it appears in the suttas. To get some of that old time religion :) Thanks for your help :)
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html


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