how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

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how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:38 pm

i know there is the ananapanisati sutta in the samyutta nikaya but where else did he explain it? and if there are more than one, how do they differ?

i've been doing mindfulness of breathing meditation for around eight years and have had much benefit and am pretty happy with it. i just have always heard about other techniques and was wondering if maybe i should be doing some of them.
Last edited by dhammastudier on Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:58 pm

There are 40 canonical subjects of meditation

Ten Kasinas:

(1) earth, (2) water, (3) fire, (4) air, wind, (5) blue, green, (6) yellow, (7) red, (8) white, (9) enclosed space, (10) bright light.

ten are objects of repulsion:

(1) swollen corpse, (2) discolored, bluish, corpse, (3) festering corpse, (4) fissured corpse, (5) gnawed corpse, (6,7) dismembered, or hacked and scattered, corpse, (8) bleeding corpse, (9) worm-eaten corpse, (10) skeleton.

Ten are recollections:

(1) Buddha(2) Dhamma (3) Sangha (4) morality (5) liberality (6) the wholesome attributes of Devas (7) the body (8) death (9) the breath(10) peace (Nibbana).

Four Brahma-vihara:

(1) kindness (2) compassion (3) sympathetic joy (4) equanimity

Four formless states:

(1) infinite space(2) infinite consciousness(3) infinite nothingness(4) neither perception nor non-perception.

One is of perception of disgust of food.

The last is analysis of the four elements:

1) earth 2) water 3) fire 4) air

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:02 pm, edited 2 times 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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:01 pm

I know that the same instructions appear in the Ananda sutta, Arittha sutta and the Dipa sutta, which are all in the Samyutta, the Majjhima's Anapanasati sutta, and the Girimananda sutta in the Anguttara. The instructions for anapanasati are pretty much universal, though looking at these different sutta you can see that there are different details and perspectives on it thrown in here and there.

As for meditation in general, there's a ton of different approaches and perspectives scattered throughout the nikayas. It would be hard to make a list.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby cooran » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:41 pm

Hello all,

Here are a links to a few of the many ways, others have already mentioned some of these. Remember that in the Suttas the Buddha did not give minute instructions - that is a matter of discussion and teaching, and therefore, you need a teacher to progress:

Introduction to Meditation
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... #intro-med

Anapanasati
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... napanasati

Satipatthana
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... tipatthana

Mindfulness of the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... yagatasati

Mindfulness of Death
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... aranassati

Metta - Loving Kindness
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#metta

with metta
Chris
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:00 pm

bodom wrote:There are 40 canonical subjects of meditation

Ten Kasinas:

(1) earth, (2) water, (3) fire, (4) air, wind, (5) blue, green, (6) yellow, (7) red, (8) white, (9) enclosed space, (10) bright light.

ten are objects of repulsion:

(1) swollen corpse, (2) discolored, bluish, corpse, (3) festering corpse, (4) fissured corpse, (5) gnawed corpse, (6,7) dismembered, or hacked and scattered, corpse, (8) bleeding corpse, (9) worm-eaten corpse, (10) skeleton.

Ten are recollections:

(1) Buddha(2) Dhamma (3) Sangha (4) morality (5) liberality (6) the wholesome attributes of Devas (7) the body (8) death (9) the breath(10) peace (Nibbana).

Four Brahma-vihara:

(1) kindness (2) compassion (3) sympathetic joy (4) equanimity

Four formless states:

(1) infinite space(2) infinite consciousness(3) infinite nothingness(4) neither perception nor non-perception.

One is of perception of disgust of food.

The last is analysis of the four elements:

1) earth 2) water 3) fire 4) air

:anjali:


so these are things he said to meditate on? i've never learned anything about meditating on anything but the breath... does he explain these techniques ever?
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:01 pm

Kenshou wrote:I know that the same instructions appear in the Ananda sutta, Arittha sutta and the Dipa sutta, which are all in the Samyutta, the Majjhima's Anapanasati sutta, and the Girimananda sutta in the Anguttara. The instructions for anapanasati are pretty much universal, though looking at these different sutta you can see that there are different details and perspectives on it thrown in here and there.

As for meditation in general, there's a ton of different approaches and perspectives scattered throughout the nikayas. It would be hard to make a list.


thanx,
that's kind of what i thought. hopefully someone could give at least a brief summary...
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:01 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

Here are a links to a few of the many ways, others have already mentioned some of these. Remember that in the Suttas the Buddha did not give minute instructions - that is a matter of discussion and teaching, and therefore, you need a teacher to progress:

Introduction to Meditation
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... #intro-med

Anapanasati
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... napanasati

Satipatthana
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... tipatthana

Mindfulness of the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... yagatasati

Mindfulness of Death
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... aranassati

Metta - Loving Kindness
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#metta

with metta
Chris

thanx chris, i'll look into those.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:03 pm

i've also heard it claimed that the buddha taught only one type of meditation... would this mean that all the other things are more contemplative practices than meditations? or would this just mean people disagree on things...?
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:08 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

Here are a links to a few of the many ways, others have already mentioned some of these. Remember that in the Suttas the Buddha did not give minute instructions - that is a matter of discussion and teaching, and therefore, you need a teacher to progress:

Introduction to Meditation
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... #intro-med

Anapanasati
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... napanasati

Satipatthana
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... tipatthana

Mindfulness of the Body
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... yagatasati

Mindfulness of Death
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... aranassati

Metta - Loving Kindness
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-subject.html#metta

with metta
Chris


gah! so frustrating because i'm learning from a chan monk who says that there is just the one type of meditation. so who do i see to teach me the other types??? recommend any books on the topics?
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:09 pm

Greetings Zac,

zac wrote:i've also heard it claimed that the buddha taught only one type of meditation...

What kind is that? That's the first I've ever heard of such a claim.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:10 pm

Zac, you need to have a look at the Tipitaka and the evidence seems to suggest that he taught different meditation subjects to different people.
kind regards

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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:13 pm

zac wrote:so these are things he said to meditate on? i've never learned anything about meditating on anything but the breath... does he explain these techniques ever?


You will need to read the Visuddhimagga for an explanation of how these 40 subjects are to be used as meditation subjects.

: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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:14 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Zac,

zac wrote:i've also heard it claimed that the buddha taught only one type of meditation...

What kind is that? That's the first I've ever heard of such a claim.

Metta,
Retro. :)


lol, i know right? i read it in a few different books. didn't make much sense to me either. the author of one book was claiming the anapanisati sutta is the only type he taught... not sure how they came to this conclusion though as it's pretty clear he taught more than this.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:15 pm

bodom wrote:
zac wrote:so these are things he said to meditate on? i've never learned anything about meditating on anything but the breath... does he explain these techniques ever?


You will need to read the Visuddhimagga for an explanation of how these 40 subjects are to be used as meditation subjects.

:anjali:


ARRRG! CAN'T BUY MORE DHARMA BOOKS!!!

we'll see how long this decision lasts :lol:
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby Kenshou » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:20 pm

zac wrote:that's kind of what i thought. hopefully someone could give at least a brief summary...


Well they all come down to the end purpose of allowing the mind to understand clearly the fact that all phenomena are dependently originated, unreliable and impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless, so that everything can be let go, unclung from, and so dukkha can be ended.

Every meditation or contemplation comes down to either developing wholesome mental qualities for the sake of a lucid mind (jhana, metta, other brahmaviharas), preventing unwholesome qualities detrimental to mental development (parts of the body, corpse contemplation), or, a scheme for dividing up one's experience to provide a systematic framework for analysis. (five aggregates, satipatthana, four elements)

Every meditation practice is directly linked to the realizing of the same final goal, or complementary to it's realization. There's a pretty big toolbox given to us, but with these things in mind it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what is meant for what.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:21 pm

Ben wrote:Zac, you need to have a look at the Tipitaka and the evidence seems to suggest that he taught different meditation subjects to different people.
kind regards

Ben



thanx, it would take a lot of time, money, and energy to look through all fifteen books of the tipitaka so i was hoping someone could just tell me where to find the info.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:24 pm

zac wrote:
bodom wrote:
zac wrote:so these are things he said to meditate on? i've never learned anything about meditating on anything but the breath... does he explain these techniques ever?


You will need to read the Visuddhimagga for an explanation of how these 40 subjects are to be used as meditation subjects.

:anjali:


ARRRG! CAN'T BUY MORE DHARMA BOOKS!!!

we'll see how long this decision lasts :lol:


Borrow it from your local library. And if they don't have it, get them to get it for you via inter-library-loan.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:28 pm

ok let me re-frame my question then:

what types of meditation do you guys do? what are some books that teach these methods?

on a side note: why are there a bazillion books on mindfulness of breathing and i've never seen one on anything else? not to say there aren't any on other books on other methods but you have to have noticed that the majority of them on bookshelves or recommended reading lists on buddhism are on breathing. strange.
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Re: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby bodom » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:28 pm

Also keep in mind the Buddha gave many meditation subjects because of the different temperaments and capacities of those he was instructing.

The Pali commentaries further provide guidelines for suggesting meditation subjects based on ones general temperament:

Greedy: the ten foulness meditations; or, body contemplation.

Hating: the four brahma-viharas; or, the four color kasinas.

Deluded: mindfulness of breath.

Faithful: the first six recollections.

Intelligent: recollection of death or peace; the perception of disgust of food; or, the analysis of the four elements.

Speculative: mindfulness of breath.

The six non-color kasinas and the four formless states are suitable for all temperaments.

Bhante Gunaratana - The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation


: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: how many different ways did the buddha explain meditation?

Postby dhammastudier » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:29 pm

You will need to read the Visuddhimagga for an explanation of how these 40 subjects are to be used as meditation subjects.

:anjali:


ARRRG! CAN'T BUY MORE DHARMA BOOKS!!!

we'll see how long this decision lasts :lol:


Borrow it from your local library. And if they don't have it, get them to get it for you via inter-library-loan.


good idea ben, thanx. i'll try that.
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