How do YOU meditate?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
SarathW
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by SarathW »

Trying almost three years I am still struggling to keep my attention on breath for five minutes let alone Jhana. :D
These Sutta stuff are very advance. Do not bother about them at this stage. However I believe they are true.
Do not expect anything. More you try hard to get it, it moves away from you.
Just do and see what happens without any expectations.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
pitithefool
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by pitithefool »

SarathW wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:01 am Trying almost three years I am still struggling to keep my attention on breath for five minutes let alone Jhana. :D
These Sutta stuff are very advance. Do not bother about them at this stage. However I believe they are true.
Do not expect anything. More you try hard to get it, it moves away from you.
Just do and see what happens without any expectations.
I can only read this with admiration. Thank you for your advice :anjali:
SarathW
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by SarathW »

In my opinion, if you manage to keep your attention 100 % on breath for five minutes, you will experience all at once.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
form
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by form »

Anyone here meditate till they can activate the supernormal power?
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confusedlayman
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by confusedlayman »

SarathW wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:01 am Trying almost three years I am still struggling to keep my attention on breath for five minutes let alone Jhana. :D
These Sutta stuff are very advance. Do not bother about them at this stage. However I believe they are true.
Do not expect anything. More you try hard to get it, it moves away from you.
Just do and see what happens without any expectations.
that is why jhana is a big attainment and comes at last stage in 8 fold path .. how can it be easy?
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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confusedlayman
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by confusedlayman »

form wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:23 am Anyone here meditate till they can activate the supernormal power?
what supernormal power u want to witness? :quote:
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
form
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by form »

confusedlayman wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:29 pm
form wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:23 am Anyone here meditate till they can activate the supernormal power?
what supernormal power u want to witness? :quote:
Those written in the suttas.
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confusedlayman
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by confusedlayman »

form wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 1:22 pm
confusedlayman wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:29 pm
form wrote: Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:23 am Anyone here meditate till they can activate the supernormal power?
what supernormal power u want to witness? :quote:
Those written in the suttas.
Only way is to do jhana and develop it yourself ..
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
auto
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by auto »

Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:13 pm “When I understood that doubt is a corruption of the mind, I gave it up. When I understood that loss of focus, dullness and drowsiness, terror, excitement, discomfort, excessive energy, overly lax energy, longing, perception of diversity, and excessive concentration on forms are corruptions of the mind, I gave them up.”

MN 128
'diversity of perception' is regards to having passion for many things there arises many paths. Ceasing that passion means mind freed and limitless, the brahmacariya is attained and one can have jhana with ñāṇadassana understanding of the dukkha. Dukkha is superhuman distinction different from dukkha from austerities(over-extension, mind tired),
https://suttacentral.net/mn100/en/sujato wrote:But I have not achieved any superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones by this severe, grueling work.Na kho panāhaṃ imāya kaṭukāya dukkarakārikāya adhigacchāmi uttari manussadhammā alamariyañāṇadassanavisesaṃ.Could there be another path to awakening?’Siyā nu kho añño maggo bodhāyā’ti?
pitithefool
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by pitithefool »

I guess here's a question then. If practicing deep or hard jhanas, I usually hear thought is not possible in the first jhana. How is this possible when vitakka-vicara is defined as thought (verbal fabrications)? In my experience, that fades away in the second jhana, but the first jhana has thought for sure. I've had explosive experiences with jhana in the past where the piti-sukha was incrediblyy strong as well, but since then, I've come to feel that that level of intensity isn't really necessary and that it's kindof a balance of using vitakka-vicara to "adjust" the piti sukha along with the mind's expectation to where the mind won't budge from the object, then the process of thinking can be let go of entirely. The object is fit to the mind like a lock and key, the two unify and thought falls away completely

I've said for a while now that the "hard jhanas" are still correct by every means, but I also feel like the "jhana lite" methods are just the same but aren't really taken seriously. I suppose I could be wrong, but I have had some experiences like I said with piti so strong it almost knocked me over and MN119's description of jhana seems to correspond closely with my experience of the softer jhanas, especially these lines:

"He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip"

With some special emphasis on that "would nevertheless not drip"
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Ceisiwr
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:23 am I guess here's a question then. If practicing deep or hard jhanas, I usually hear thought is not possible in the first jhana. How is this possible when vitakka-vicara is defined as thought (verbal fabrications)? In my experience, that fades away in the second jhana, but the first jhana has thought for sure.
Vitakka-vicāra are closer to intentions than everyday "thinking and pondering":

"Now where do skillful resolves cease without trace? Their cessation, too, has been stated: There is the case where a monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana"

MN 78
I've said for a while now that the "hard jhanas" are still correct by every means, but I also feel like the "jhana lite" methods are just the same but aren't really taken seriously. I suppose I could be wrong, but I have had some experiences like I said with piti so strong it almost knocked me over and MN119's description of jhana seems to correspond closely with my experience of the softer jhanas, especially these lines:

"He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip"

With some special emphasis on that "would nevertheless not drip"
MN 43 teaches that the physical body faculty can’t experience any āyatana besides phoṭṭhabba. The “kāya/body” being referred to in your quote must then refer to the nāmakāya. I would then read “kāya” here as the mental body rather than the physical body, for which we have the Pali word “sarīra”.

As to your earlier questions, I’ll answer later (or possibly tomorrow).
"Because of attachment to doctrines one approaches and refutes,
For those unattached, how can they dispute?
Not because self or no-self are said to be true,
He has only shaken off all harmful views."


Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta
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confusedlayman
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by confusedlayman »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:23 am I guess here's a question then. If practicing deep or hard jhanas, I usually hear thought is not possible in the first jhana. How is this possible when vitakka-vicara is defined as thought (verbal fabrications)? In my experience, that fades away in the second jhana, but the first jhana has thought for sure. I've had explosive experiences with jhana in the past where the piti-sukha was incrediblyy strong as well, but since then, I've come to feel that that level of intensity isn't really necessary and that it's kindof a balance of using vitakka-vicara to "adjust" the piti sukha along with the mind's expectation to where the mind won't budge from the object, then the process of thinking can be let go of entirely. The object is fit to the mind like a lock and key, the two unify and thought falls away completely

I've said for a while now that the "hard jhanas" are still correct by every means, but I also feel like the "jhana lite" methods are just the same but aren't really taken seriously. I suppose I could be wrong, but I have had some experiences like I said with piti so strong it almost knocked me over and MN119's description of jhana seems to correspond closely with my experience of the softer jhanas, especially these lines:

"He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal. Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within & without — would nevertheless not drip"

With some special emphasis on that "would nevertheless not drip"
hard jhanas are possible and correct .. lite jhana can't take u deeper in to further jhana (jhana 3rd and 4th or formless)
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
pitithefool
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by pitithefool »


Vitakka-vicāra are closer to intentions than everyday "thinking and pondering":
I'd agree with you there for sure. Ime, vitakka-vicara mean things more akin to letting go, relaxting finding comfortable ways to breath, than normal discursive thought in the context of jhana, but in other places of canon vitakka-vicara does specifically mean normal discursive thought. Ime, this isn't really an issue because in first jhana, all of the mental activity (vitakka-vicara like you've stated up above) is centered around the breath as a factor of jhana.

MN 43 teaches that the physical body faculty can’t experience any āyatana besides phoṭṭhabba. The “kāya/body” being referred to in your quote must then refer to the nāmakāya. I would then read “kāya” here as the mental body rather than the physical body, for which we have the Pali word “sarīra”.
This screams convolution to me for two reasons:

First is that the kayagatasati sutta everywhere else uses the term kaya to refer to the physical body, then immediately jumps into the description of the jhanas using the same term and without redefining.

As for your point about the term being read as namakaya, I actually think that using that term has validity with Thanissaro's method considering that the breath energy is essentially feeling and perception. The sutta doesn't make a clear distinction though, and I would say honestly it doesn't really matter. If you want to think of the breath body as namakaya or physical, ime the end result will be the same. Thanissaro's method states it would be the physical body and that makes sense to me from my experiences but it also makes sense to think of it as being namakaya because you are in reality more dealing with the mental impression of the body and how it feels. Like I said I don't think it matters all that much because you're kindof supposed end up with the body/breath-energy/piti-sukha as a single perception that fills your awareness when the first jhana is strong and ready to go into second jhana.

Also, I think we have to take into account the range of objects that can be used to develop jhana with,where it would make sense that we could be talking about physical body, namakaya or both when working with the objects and the end result would still be the same.

If we take more of the hard jhana approach, it makes more sense to me to use the term namakaya in a more strict sense but then that again begs the question of why the Buddha doesn't redefine the terms for this simile when the entirety of the rest of the sutta talks about the physical body using the same term.

I appreciate your responses on this topic by the way. :anjali:
pitithefool
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by pitithefool »


hard jhanas are possible and correct .. lite jhana can't take u deeper in to further jhana (jhana 3rd and 4th or formless)
I don't know man, I've gotten some real good concentration from using this method. Like I've been saying, I honestly think the main difference in the methods boils down to how to apporach the first jhana. These are the different ways I've noticed:

1. Focus on a single spot (anapana spot) until you are no longer distracted and the breath starts to become very nice. At some point, the sign of concentration appears and the meditator merges with it passively as they keep with their object. (my over-reductionist view of the VSM)

2. Focus on a single spot until you aren't getting distracted and can stay with the object for a long them, then switch your attention to a pleasant feeling somewhere in the body and take that up as the object. The pleasure will grow until you're completely enveloped in it. (Leigh Brasington)

3. Find a way to breathe that's comfortable. Search the body and find a comfortable spot to settle down. By skillfully relaxing and adjusting perceptions, allow the pleasant energy of the breath to spread so as to fill the whole awareness. (my over-reductionist Thanissaro/Ajahn Lee technique)

When I put them side to side like this (and mind you I have experience with practicing all of these), the first two methods are akin to revving your engine super high before letting out the clutch on a manual transmission car, whereas Thanissaro's is more like driving your grandmother around. Make what you will of that simile but after that, the experience can be extremely similar. Ime with Thanissaro's technique, I tend to prefer it because it's not so intense but it can be if you want it to.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: How do YOU meditate?

Post by Ceisiwr »

pitithefool wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:41 pm [2. Focus on a single spot until you aren't getting distracted and can stay with the object for a long them, then switch your attention to a pleasant feeling somewhere in the body and take that up as the object. The pleasure will grow until you're completely enveloped in it. (Leigh Brasington)
I have work in the morning so i can only give a brief response tonight, but I wanted to say that Leigh Brasington even admits that what he teaches isn’t strictly the same Jhana as the Buddha. I’ll have to dig out the quote.
"Because of attachment to doctrines one approaches and refutes,
For those unattached, how can they dispute?
Not because self or no-self are said to be true,
He has only shaken off all harmful views."


Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta
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