Khalil Bodhi wrote:Greetings All,
My teacher follows, for the most part, the Thai Forest Tradition (being himself a student of Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu). However, every once in awhile he will throw something out there that doesn't quite jibe with my understanding of the Dhamma in the context of Theravada doctrine. The other night during a course he was teaching on Mindfulness of Death he had us all sit and practice non-doing. I believe this was intended to allow us to experience the miracle of the present and to appreciate being alive but I experienced strong resistance and aversion to it. I feel somewhat ashamed to even be writing this as I feel as though I'm slighting a my teacher but the whole thing just seemed kind of New Age-y. Anyway, I would just like to get some thoughts on how the concept or practice of Non-Doing might be received and/or practiced in a Theravadin context.
clw_uk wrote:Did he instruct you just to sit and thats it? If he did it sounds simillar to a Zen practice.
There is a meditation practice taught in the Thai Forest Tradition where you just sit in silent present moment awareness, this is close to non-doing meditation but you are mindful not to think about what is happening or to look to past of future. Its usually taught as a foundation practice to strenghten mindfulness and stop the mind wandering.
clw_uk wrote:Its the first chapter of teachings in "Mindfulness, bliss and beyond" so I assume its basic
The basic concept is that meditators tend to think about what is happening "Is this jhana" and then lose concentration, or think about past or future "how much longer" "Im going to do this later", so you learn to abandon these thoughts and focus on the moment, then procede to breath.
clw_uk wrote:There must be a difference between the two, i dont think ajahn bram would give advanced meditation teachings to beginners
Choiceless awareness is a type of meditation which arises most prominently from the Theravadan tradition (sometimes also called the Forest tradition) of Buddhism
My recollection of that part of Ajahn Brahm's book was that this was a technique that could be used when experiencing difficulties in the more routine methods.
clw_uk wrote:My recollection of that part of Ajahn Brahm's book was that this was a technique that could be used when experiencing difficulties in the more routine methods.
He states that each stage needs to be perfected before moving on in his book, so you start with perfecting awareness of the moment, removing thoughts perceptions etc about past and future, then you move on to remove all thinking, then onto silent present moment of the breath and so on up into the immaterial meditations.
Ajahn Brahm wrote:At the end of each meditation session,spend two or three minutes reviewing
all that has happened during that session. There is no need to “take
notes” (that is, remind oneself to remember) during the meditation, because
you will find it easy to remember the important features at the end.
Was it peaceful or frustrating? Now ask yourself why.What did you do to
experience peace, or what caused the feeling of frustration? If your mind
wandered off into fantasy land,was that peaceful and useful? Such reviewing
and inquiry only at the end of the session generates insight into how to
meditate and what meditation is. No one starts out as a perfect meditator.
tiltbillings wrote:Choiceless awareness is a term coined by J. Krishnamurti and adopted and adapted by American vipassana teachers such as Jack Kornfeild and Joseph Goldstein.
If one’s mindfulness and concentration do develop, then even
subtle mental phenomena become clear, and subtle aspects
of gross material phenomena are also observed. At those
phases, mental phenomena are watched more frequently.
At such times the effort is made mainly to maintain or
guard the mindfulness to ensure its continuity. The mind is
left to choose its objects, and one has no time to think. With
practice, mindfulness goes on by itself. This is also the time
when labeling is dropped. This type of undirected mindfulness
is called Choiceless Awareness which is often more
stable but comes about only after much practice.