Contemplation Objects

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
K.Dhamma
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Contemplation Objects

Postby K.Dhamma » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:55 am

So, I hear people say the term "Contemplate death or disease."

I'm kind of confused by what they mean by contemplate as my only meditation style has been breath meditation.

Do I just sit and think about people who are moving on? Do I think about a corpse and how it would smell/feel/look?

Do I think about what it would be like to myself die? Maybe I am overthinking this and that is the problem. Please, just a little guidance with maybe some "pointing" to something in the vissudhimagga or something like that would be very very helpful. Thanks in advance!
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah

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polarbuddha101
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Re: Contemplation Objects

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:41 am

These suttas may be of assistance.


"There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five?

"'I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.' This is the first fact that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

"'I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.' ...

"'I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.' ...

"'I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.' ...

"'I am the owner of my actions,[1] heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.' ...

"These are the five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.

"Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that 'I am subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging'? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] youth's intoxication with youth. Because of that intoxication with youth, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that youth's intoxication with youth will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

"Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that 'I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness'? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] healthy person's intoxication with health. Because of that intoxication with health, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that healthy person's intoxication with health will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

"Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that 'I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death'? There are beings who are intoxicated with a [typical] living person's intoxication with life. Because of that intoxication with life, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that living person's intoxication with life will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

"Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that 'I will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me'? There are beings who feel desire and passion for the things they find dear and appealing. Because of that passion, they conduct themselves in a bad way in body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that desire and passion for the things they find dear and appealing will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

"Now, based on what line of reasoning should one often reflect... that 'I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir'? There are beings who conduct themselves in a bad way in body... in speech... and in mind. But when they often reflect on that fact, that bad conduct in body, speech, and mind will either be entirely abandoned or grow weaker...

"Now, a disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not the only one subject to aging, who has not gone beyond aging. To the extent that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are subject to aging, have not gone beyond aging.' When he/she often reflects on this, the [factors of the] path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it, cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it and cultivates it, the fetters are abandoned, the obsessions destroyed.

"Further, a disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not the only one subject to illness, who has not gone beyond illness.'... 'I am not the only one subject to death, who has not gone beyond death.'... 'I am not the only one who will grow different, separate from all that is dear and appealing to me.'...

"A disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not the only one who is owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator; who — whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir. To the extent that there are beings — past and future, passing away and re-arising — all beings are the owner of their actions, heir to their actions, born of their actions, related through their actions, and have their actions as their arbitrator. Whatever they do, for good or for evil, to that will they fall heir.' When he/she often reflects on this, the [factors of the] path take birth. He/she sticks with that path, develops it, cultivates it. As he/she sticks with that path, develops it and cultivates it, the fetters are abandoned, the obsessions destroyed."


Subject to birth, subject to aging,
subject to death,
run-of-the-mill people
are repelled by those who suffer
from that to which they are subject.
And if I were to be repelled
by beings subject to these things,
it would not be fitting for me,
living as they do.

As I maintained this attitude —
knowing the Dhamma
without paraphernalia —
I overcame all intoxication
with health, youth, & life
as one who sees
renunciation as rest.

For me, energy arose,
Unbinding was clearly seen.
There's now no way
I could partake of sensual pleasures.
Having followed the holy life,
I will not return.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


"Furthermore, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day, two days, three days dead — bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate'...

"Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, & hawks, by dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures... a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with tendons... a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons... a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons... bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions — here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a breast bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull... the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells... piled up, more than a year old... decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, 'This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.'

"And as he remains thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, any memories & resolves related to the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers & settles inwardly, grows unified & centered. This is how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

K.Dhamma
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Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: Contemplation Objects

Postby K.Dhamma » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:34 pm

Perfect, thank you so much.
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah

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Alex123
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Re: Contemplation Objects

Postby Alex123 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:54 pm

K.Dhamma wrote:So, I hear people say the term "Contemplate death or disease."

I'm kind of confused by what they mean by contemplate as my only meditation style has been breath meditation.
Do I just sit and think about people who are moving on? Do I think about a corpse and how it would smell/feel/look?


Sure. What is wrong with wisely using thoughts and imagination? Many methods in the suttas appear to suggest using thoughts, and Visuddhimagga does suggest using thoughts for death. My idea is that the more one thinks these sort of thoughts, the more they leave impression in the mind and the mind becomes more and more dispassionate about sensual gratifications and unreal expectations we have of life.


IMHO.
"dust to dust...."


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