Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

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: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

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

PeterB wrote: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.


:thumbsup:

: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 m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:20 pm

PeterB wrote: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.


Thats a good suggestion. All i can find locally are vipasanna groups. Still looking tho.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Kenshou » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:23 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:In the sutta tho the buddha seems to be talking about developing whole body awareness as a samatha method:...


I agree, and this is how I practice. I use anapanasati as a method for developing concentration and whole body-mindfulness, as well as the other frames of reference, and utilize the resulting concentration for working on insight.

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.


Okay, here's the thing: I don't think you need to be quite so strict about it. If you're attempting to develop mindfulness of the body, it's okay if you're attention drifts to it. In fact I think in proper proportions it's beneficial. Personally, I use the breath contact-point as what you might say a "perch" for the mind, a place for it to stand on so that it doesn't wander off into too much discursive thought. So the mind stays on that focal point, however, that isn't the sole object of awareness. Attention to the body is also there, as well as to the mind. The focal point is on the breath to prevent too much drifting, but the rest of the mental load goes into mindfulness of everything else.

Then, at a certain point, which I consider the second jhana, when concentration has matured and is quite locked in, the breath can be lost as the focal point and attention shifts to the body as a whole as the primary object. Where the breath was the focal point and the body was being watched in the background, now the body is in full focus and the breath is allowed to be in the background.

Of course, this is all opinion. Point is, I don't believe that ultra-strict focus upon only the breath is necessary. In fact after a certain point it ought to be dropped. However if your mindfulness is in general sort of weak, practicing mindfulness of just the breath is probably a good way to go in developing it. I don't know how long you've been at it, but it does take work. It took me several months to get good at this, but I've found it to be very beneficial.

This section of a work by Thanissaro details pretty much exactly how I've found my practice to work: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#pre Give it a read, maybe?

These are of course merely opinions and suggestions, you know what's best for you more than someone on the internet will.
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:26 pm

Kenshou wrote:
Okay, here's the thing: I don't think you need to be quite so strict about it. If you're attempting to develop mindfulness of the body, it's okay if you're attention drifts to it. In fact I think in proper proportions it's beneficial. Personally, I use the breath contact-point as what you might say a "perch" for the mind, a place for it to stand on so that it doesn't wander off into too much discursive thought. So the mind stays on that focal point, however, that isn't the sole object of awareness. Attention to the body is also there, as well as to the mind. The focal point is on the breath to prevent too much drifting, but the rest of the mental load goes into mindfulness of everything else.

Then, at a certain point, which I consider the second jhana, when concentration has matured and is quite locked in, the breath can be lost as the focal point and attention shifts to the body as a whole as the primary object. Where the breath was the focal point and the body was being watched in the background, now the body is in full focus and the breath is allowed to be in the background.

Of course, this is all opinion. Point is, I don't believe that ultra-strict focus upon only the breath is necessary. In fact after a certain point it ought to be dropped. However if your mindfulness is in general sort of weak, practicing mindfulness of just the breath is probably a good way to go in developing it. I don't know how long you've been at it, but it does take work. It took me several months to get good at this, but I've found it to be very beneficial.

This section of a work by Thanissaro details pretty much exactly how I've found my practice to work: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#pre Give it a read, maybe?

These are of course merely opinions and suggestions, you know what's best for you more than someone on the internet will.


This is helpful, thank you :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one 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 6:34 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
PeterB wrote: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.


Thats a good suggestion. All i can find locally are vipasanna groups. Still looking tho.


Out curiousity, what kind of group are you holding out for? I would say a vipassana group would be as good a place as any to learn anapanasati.

: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 PeterB » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:06 pm

So would I.
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Brizzy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:47 am

m0rl0ck wrote: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:


I think Bhante Vimalaramsi & Thanissaro Bhikkhu give the best online, detailed analysis of anapanasati. They both seem to speak from experience and both teach the suttas in a practical & accessible way. I have found the downloadable talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu extremely helpful.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/

:smile:
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby Brizzy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:55 am

jcsuperstar wrote:it's mentioned here



It is a rather strange thing to say. It is said as an aside, and not followed up on. I still think that there is sufficient merit in his teachings for people to listen to him.

I hope that at some stage this comment is followed up.

:smile:
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby christopher::: » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:57 pm

Brizzy wrote:
I think Bhante Vimalaramsi & Thanissaro Bhikkhu give the best online, detailed analysis of anapanasati. They both seem to speak from experience and both teach the suttas in a practical & accessible way. I have found the downloadable talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu extremely helpful.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/

:smile:


Thanks, Brizzy.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby kukuripa » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:33 pm

Bhante Vimalaramsi emphasizes Metta,not anapanasati
you might check ajahn brahm,buddhadasa bikku,ayya khema,gil fronsdal, larry rosenberg,....
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Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:09 pm

kukuripa wrote:Bhante Vimalaramsi emphasizes Metta,not anapanasati
you might check ajahn brahm,buddhadasa bikku,ayya khema,gil fronsdal, larry rosenberg,....

really? take a look at this please The Anapanasati Sutta - A practical Guide to Mindfulness of Breathing - Bhante Vimalaramsi

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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