Non-Doing

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
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clw_uk
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Re: Non-Doing

Postby clw_uk » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:36 pm

I should have said "remove all critical thought" as in thinking about what your doing instead of experiencing it

As for perfections i simply meant to have developed it as a strong foundation
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

nathan
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Re: Non-Doing

Postby nathan » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:39 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Nathan,

Where I've seen it presented (e.g. in Bhante Sujiva's book, or by other teachers) it is considered reasonably "advanced", I think.

My experience is that if I have built up enough mindfulness and concentration (after several days of retreat), then I can sometimes just sit and watch whatever is going past (without any "primary object", in the Mahasi sense, to anchor the attention). However, I notice a danger that if mindfulness is not strong enough I drift off into a rather unhelpful state...

Metta
Mike
I agree that it is not as easy as it often sounds when we learn about it. Access concentration is probably difficult for most people to enter into and maintain prior to sufficient experience of clearly entering into it. I think this is because attention is not sufficiently paid to the hindrances. When I noticed this opposing nature of the hindrances I made attending to and overcoming the hindrances my top priority and this made a huge difference to my overall facility for entering into a steady access concentration. I don't know why the hindrances get so little attention but I think that they should get a lot more attention. When you focus on the arising, persisting and disappearance of the hindrances you develop insight and concentration together in a very useful way which can then be further applied during access concentration and both qualities can be further refined in the same kind of mutually supportive way.
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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mikenz66
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Re: Non-Doing

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:02 am

Hi Nathan,
nathan wrote:I agree that it is not as easy as it often sounds when we learn about it. Access concentration is probably difficult for most people to enter into and maintain prior to sufficient experience of clearly entering into it. I think this is because attention is not sufficiently paid to the hindrances.
...

You may be right. I was going to say that I have read hundreds of pages and listened to dozens of talks on the hindrances (oops, I already said it...) but perhaps I have not taken on board this point enough.
nathan wrote: When you focus on the arising, persisting and disappearance of the hindrances you develop insight and concentration together in a very useful way which can then be further applied during access concentration and both qualities can be further refined in the same kind of mutually supportive way.

From where I am you're talking about taking the hindrances themselves as the object. I do, of course, do this to a certain extent, focussing on desire, aversion, sloth, etc, but perhaps I'm not paying enough interested attention to them...

Metta
Mike

nathan
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Re: Non-Doing

Postby nathan » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:38 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Nathan,
nathan wrote:I agree that it is not as easy as it often sounds when we learn about it. Access concentration is probably difficult for most people to enter into and maintain prior to sufficient experience of clearly entering into it. I think this is because attention is not sufficiently paid to the hindrances.
...

You may be right. I was going to say that I have read hundreds of pages and listened to dozens of talks on the hindrances (oops, I already said it...) but perhaps I have not taken on board this point enough.
nathan wrote: When you focus on the arising, persisting and disappearance of the hindrances you develop insight and concentration together in a very useful way which can then be further applied during access concentration and both qualities can be further refined in the same kind of mutually supportive way.

From where I am you're talking about taking the hindrances themselves as the object. I do, of course, do this to a certain extent, focussing on desire, aversion, sloth, etc, but perhaps I'm not paying enough interested attention to them...

Metta
Mike
While I have been mentioning at every opportunity lately that I think the hindrances should receive more considered attention all around I am not suggesting that the subject hasn't already been well treated. I suspect that we all overlook the significance of the hindrances for a while for what are later seen retrospectively as pretty obvious reasons. The hindrances will continue to arise for all of us and force the issue. So, no worries.

I am sort of advocating observing with more attention to the hindrances but I am not willing to go so far as to suggest that they should become the theme of meditation or that concern over the presence of the hindrances should predominate our thinking. I think that without the true theme, be it the breath or ongoing mindful awareness of the present conditions or what have you, without the true theme and the appropriate right effort the hindrances will lack the proper context for the right kind of insights. The actual theme and our right efforts are opposed by the hindrances and it is in this dynamic environment of harmonious and disharmonious conditions that we discover what supports the development of our wholesome and beneficial efforts and what opposes these efforts and why; and that is what leads to our efforts becoming increasingly effective.

So in this context the hindrances are there to teach us how to overcome them, they pose a challenge to our efforts to better understand our makeup and to alter it. In facing up to the challenge we need to be well equipped by our teachings and teachers and to see the benefits well enough to undertake the work with energy and joy. This would be preferable to seeing the hindrances as entirely useless and oppressive but there is no need to elevate the significance of the hindrances beyond the place they hold now.

What I would like to see is a more comprehensive treatment of the subject that would tie together the skillful ways to observe the nature of the hindrances, observe the causes of the hindrances, observe the causes for the overcoming of the hindrances, the many related techniques for attending and opposing and why or why not these would be suitable or appropriate at a given moment. I think there is quite a lot to this and that the subject is almost as complex as the progress of insight which usually begins where overcoming the hindrances ends. I think this would save a lot of reinventing the wheel that we all usually have to do and often quite early on. I think if we had a good overview of both this progression of overcoming the hindrances and the progress of insight we would begin to see how a deficiency or a proficiency in the progression of insights in overcoming the hindrances then has an impact on the efficacy and expediently of the progress of insight.
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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