Meditating on Words

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Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:24 pm

Sometimes when meditating i bring to mind a few lines from a teacher and reflect on the meaning which sometimes leads to deeper understandings

For example I might bring to mind the lines of Nagarjuna

Whatsoever originates from a cause does not endure
without conditions. It is destroyed through the absence of
conditions, therefore, how can it be apprehended to exist?.

Or maybe just a line that Ajahn Chah has said

And reflect on it deeply

Is this a pre-exsisting meditation technique or not? Is it unwise to do this kind of thing during meditation?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:53 pm

Hi Craig,

This is from

Investigation for Insight
by
Susan Elbaum Jootla
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/jootla/wheel301.html#inv-med

Investigation of Dhamma is one of the key factors, the development of which can lead us to liberation from all suffering. The Buddha defines this dhammavicaya as "searching, investigation, scrutinizing, for insight into one's own personal conditions... and... externals."


There are times when meditation consists of just observing, in a very one-pointed manner, the rise and fall of the sensations (vedana) caused by the subtle biochemical changes going on in the body. But there are other occasions either when thinking is going on quite strongly or when there is a tendency to sloth and torpor, and at these times it is very beneficial to do Dhamma investigation. When the mind is busy thinking, it is always involved in ignorance, always full of clinging or aversion, always dwelling in the past or future because this is the nature of the conditioning that it has gotten from the past. By this kind of thinking we are creating "heaps and heaps" of unwholesome mental volitions, sankharas, akusala kamma, which are bound to bear fruit in some sort of dukkha in the future. If instead we apply the mind in a systematic way to thinking about Dhamma, trying to eliminate craving, trying to see through to the ultimate realities of phenomena, we are creating very powerful good kamma for ourselves which has to lead us toward liberation. At the same time, this kind of consideration clarifies in our minds the fundamental truths of Buddha Dhamma that we have read or heard previously so that they become fully comprehensible and meaningful. Thus carefully directed thought, while sitting in vipassana meditation, is a vital tool for the rooting out of all our ignorance and for contrasting the path to emancipation.


Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Jechbi » Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:39 pm

Hi Craig,

clw_uk wrote:Is this a pre-exsisting meditation technique or not? Is it unwise to do this kind of thing during meditation?


This probably would be a good question to ask your teacher, if you have access to one.

My personal opinion fwiw: There's probably no such thing as a meditation technique that is not "pre-existing," because I don't think any of us is going to invent something brand new that nobody has ever done before. With regard to whether this kind of thing is wise or not, I guess it depends on whether you're trying to cultivate concentration, or wisdom, or metta, or strong devotion, or whatever. Seems like you're trying to do something by bringing these thoughts to mind. That means the mind is going to be busy. Some folks might say it's not an effective way to meditate. But I probably shouldn't speak for those folks, I guess. ;)

Metta
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:57 pm

Thank you for that Gabriel


Jechbi

Sadly I dont have a teacher other than myself, books and internet dhamma talks

I tend to just go into it natrually on some occasions of sitting meditation, its not very often but when it happens i find it insightful, i just dont know if maybe its a hindrance because it involves some kind of criticial thought process
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Jechbi » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:08 pm

Well in that case you might want to keep sitting practice as simple as possible. Maybe just keep bringing your attention back to your breath every time a thought pops up. One way to do that is to focus on some place where the breath can be felt, like around your nostrils or when your belly goes in and out. Maybe a nearby Zen place would be a start for support?

Just my 2 cents. Others may have better thoughts for you.

:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:25 pm

I have only just moved onto breath after developing silent-present awareness

I started to develop silent-present awareness because my main problem in meditation is critical thinking so i think maybe these moments of slipping into focusing on teachers words could be a hang up from this


There are no Zen centres near me either as far as i know lol only fwbo

That leads me to an interesting question, does anyone here who is a Theravadin also practise Mahayana meditation?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:21 pm

Hi Craig,
clw_uk wrote:There are no Zen centres near me either as far as i know lol only fwbo

Why don't you contact the closest Ajahn Chah Forest Sangha group?
http://www.forestsangha.org/
The UK isn't very big :smile: so a weekend retreat shouldn't be a problem to get to.

Metta
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:47 pm

Nothing wrong with FWBO in my experience. They will teach you the basic mindfulness of breathing and Metta Bhavana as found in Theravada commentaries. I have heard of number of very good Meditation practices which come out of Mahayana traditions but the only one I have been taught which I practice from time to time is called stupa visualization. This is not really as wacky as it sounds. It is really just a systematic process of discerning the various types of physical sensations as they fall into six elemental categories. Earth=resistance/solidity/Rigidity, Water=Fluidity/Weight/Cohesion, Fire=Heat/Cold/Ripening, Air=Energy/Vibration/Motion, Space, Consciousness,

Its Sort of like a body scan because you associate each element with a certain location within your body. You also Associate each element with a shape and a mantra.

I know it sounds weird but I have found it to be very effective. I too am prone to a very discursive mind I think this kind of practice is good for people like me. I dont do it as much as I used to. Now Im back to the Anapana Sati as described in the Pali Suttas. I can discern a very distinct influence from Stupa Visualization on the way I practice Anapana Sati. I have a more intimate relationship to sensation and I attribute it to the Stupa Practice. I have a very good meditation teacher and Im not sure it can be related well without a retreat setting.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:55 pm

If you look in the Vissudimagga you will find an interesting bit on personality types. You sound like you might be prone to delusion. That is how I find myself.

Check this out.

http://web.mac.com/gabrielbranbury/types.pdf
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:04 pm

clw_uk wrote:Sometimes when meditating i bring to mind a few lines from a teacher and reflect on the meaning which sometimes leads to deeper understandings

For example I might bring to mind the lines of Nagarjuna

Whatsoever originates from a cause does not endure
without conditions. It is destroyed through the absence of
conditions, therefore, how can it be apprehended to exist?.

Or maybe just a line that Ajahn Chah has said

And reflect on it deeply

Is this a pre-exsisting meditation technique or not? Is it unwise to do this kind of thing during meditation?


Hi Craig,

This is one of the first meditations we learn my tradition. A blurb about impermanence, for example, is read silently several times, and then you use it as your point of focus for 'calm abiding' meditation. The eyes are kept open and focused a number of inches away from you, and you rest on the assigned concept or sentence for your sit.

:namaste:
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:16 pm

Hi mike

My nearest place is Amaravati but i cant afford to travel or give dana at the moment so i cant get to it, neither do i drive so i cant afford to go for a day

I am planning to go this year though just as soon as my money situation gets better

Thanks for the advice though :smile:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:18 pm

Thanks for the link Gabriel

Drolma, just out of interest and if you dont mind me asking, what tradition do you belong to, i only ask because im interested in what tradition teaches that?


Metta

Craig
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby cooran » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:22 pm

Hello Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury said: Nothing wrong with FWBO in my experience.

There is a great deal wrong with FWBO and no-one ought to be steered towards them.
The FWBO Files
http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/fwbofiles.htm

metta
Chris
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:28 pm

clw_uk wrote:My nearest place is Amaravati but i cant afford to travel or give dana at the moment so i cant get to it, neither do i drive so i cant afford to go for a day

If you have no money then you don't give any money. Simple... :smile:

I don't think of donations I make as "payment". How could they be adequate "payment" when the gift my teachers have given me is priceless?

Have you contacted Amaravati? There may be some informal or unpublicised things happening closer to where you live.

Another option is the 10-day Goenka retreats. Again, the only cost is travel and time.
http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/eu/uk.shtml

Metta
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:34 pm

Hi Mike

I dont think i could go on one and not give, id feel like bad about it, i can wait a little while until i can give something

Thanks for the additional links :smile: I think one of those may be close enough, problem is most buddhist temples etc are in england or scotland but not many at all in Wales where i live :(

Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:57 pm

clw_uk wrote:Thanks for the link Gabriel

Drolma, just out of interest and if you dont mind me asking, what tradition do you belong to, i only ask because im interested in what tradition teaches that?


Metta

Craig


Hi Craig :)

I'm a Sakyapa but when I started out and first learned how to meditate, I was with a Karma Kagyu group led by Garchen Rinpoche. I think this meditation is common to all schools of vajrayana.

I really want to emphasize that I'm not trying to steer you away from your own tradition, I just thought it was neat that you discovered this practice on your own! And I wanted to validate that in my tradition it's widely practiced and taught. And I personally experienced nice benefits from it so far :bow:

The best way I can explain it is like your mind is a sponge with a lot of little pores in it. When you do this kind of single-pointed meditation (say for example, the four thoughts that turn the mind to dharma, or emptiness or impermanence) it's like the concentration you cultivate in meditation allows for these teachings to slowly absorb into the pores of the mind-sponge over time without you necessarily being aware of it. It's a process, and I have a lot of confidence in it.

Kindly,
Drolma

ps. If you do this your gaze should be focused about one arm's length from your face, pointed downward.
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby clw_uk » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:24 pm

I really want to emphasize that I'm not trying to steer you away from your own tradition


I know your not :smile: besides i asked, thanks for sharing that, it is interesting meditation when i go into it


:namaste:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:37 pm

Hello Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury said: Nothing wrong with FWBO in my experience.


There is a great deal wrong with FWBO and no-one ought to be steered towards them.
The FWBO Files
http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/fwbofiles.htm

metta
Chris


Hello Chris,

I only refer to my experience. I have been practicing with them for over five years. I have read the FWBO files and they appear to me to be the work of a very imbalanced person. There is a very balanced and extensive response from FWBO to be found here.
http://response.fwbo.org/fwbo-files/response.html
If you have your own reasons for claiming that the FWBO is fit for no-one then you should state that yourself.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:47 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Hello Gabriel,

gabrielbranbury said: Nothing wrong with FWBO in my experience.


There is a great deal wrong with FWBO and no-one ought to be steered towards them.
The FWBO Files
http://www.ex-cult.org/fwbo/fwbofiles.htm

metta
Chris


Hello Chris,

I only refer to my experience. I have been practicing with them for over five years. I have read the FWBO files and they appear to me to be the work of a very imbalanced person. There is a very balanced and extensive response from FWBO to be found here.
http://response.fwbo.org/fwbo-files/response.html
If you have your own reasons for claiming that the FWBO is fit for no-one then you should state that yourself.

Metta

Gabriel


Hi All,
I have been going to an FWBO group for about 6months and have seen nothing untoward there!
the files are interesting and hold allot of information which is or can be disturbing, but the FWBO is more than the handful of individuals the files are concerned with.
it is also interesting that the files although vast do not hold many links of supporting evidence independent from the site
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Meditating on Words

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:51 pm

clw_uk wrote:Hi mike

My nearest place is Amaravati but i cant afford to travel or give dana at the moment so i cant get to it, neither do i drive so i cant afford to go for a day

I am planning to go this year though just as soon as my money situation gets better

Thanks for the advice though :smile:


I thought you were in Wales? there are closer centres to you than Amaravati, such as Forest hermitage, which I go to and their is another further south but don't know the name
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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