Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

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

Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Postby Goofaholix » Mon May 30, 2011 6:05 am

rowyourboat wrote:After reading that, I wonder how he came up with the previous list.. I think we must loose something when it gets transcribed into text (what happened in the sangayana/councils, incidentally), from the actual speech of it.


It pays not to judge a book by it's cover.

The instructions reproduced in the OP are an instruction sheet handed out to beginners arriving at the centre, that's how he came up with the previous list, to assume that that's all he teaches is just a sign of disinterest.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"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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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Postby dhamma follower » Mon May 30, 2011 3:33 pm

Dear Freawaru,

Let's examine some questions you've raised

Again, even after just doing mindfulness meditation mind and body will tire sooner or later. Simply being awake will tire body and mind. What won't tire is the ability to maintain sati. So I would like to rephrase it a bit and say that "if the ability to keep sati of mind and body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising".


In my understanding, awareness (sati) doesn't tire body and mind. Its function is simply to remember what is happening in the body and mind.
What tires the body and mind is the wrong effort that is put in trying to maintain awareness.
On the on the other hand, I am not sure what you mean by "the ability to maintain sati" Is it a thing? How can you know it is tired?

Check your posture;
check the way you are meditating. Are you comfortable and alert?
Also check your attitude; don’t practise with a mind that wants
something or wants something to happen. The result will only be
that you tire yourself.


I think the problem lies in his use of the term "mind". Usually, "mind" refers to many processes such as thinking, reading, body coordination. I think he uses the term " your mind" is a rather different way.


I don't think there's any problem with his using of "mind" here. lobha is a mental factors and belongs to the mind.
Thinking is only one function of the mind, belonging to "sanna" khanda.

Right effort is only possible if the mind has the right
information, if it really understands what right effort is.
We are working towards a goal, but getting to the goal will
happen sometime in the future. Right now we need to know
how to work. We need to know what right effort is and what
right practice is.

A mind which is striving towards a goal, which is focused
on achieving a certain result, is motivated by greed. Wisdom
knows the cause-effect relationships and it will therefore
concentrate on fulfilling the causes and conditions.


I think by "your mind" or "mind" he only refers to the the mind one is identified with while maintaining sati. When sati is present there are two kinds of mind, the one observed and the observing one. "Your mind" refers to the one one identifies with, namely the one based on sati and the processes arising on this foundation. This is the "your mind" he refers to, the "your mind" that does not tire, does not work, will increase it's energy simply by being maintained, and that does not strive towards a goal (at least not in this phase of practice


In reality, there is no person. So what Sayadaw is saying is simply a description of what is going on in the paramatha sense. You can check out the definition of nama, you will see that: vedana (feeling), sana(perception, thinking...), sankhara (mental formations), vinanna (consciousness) all belong to nama. So mind can be one or another depending on contexts.

Regards,
D.F
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Postby Freawaru » Tue May 31, 2011 6:56 am

Dear D.F.

dhamma follower wrote:
Again, even after just doing mindfulness meditation mind and body will tire sooner or later. Simply being awake will tire body and mind. What won't tire is the ability to maintain sati. So I would like to rephrase it a bit and say that "if the ability to keep sati of mind and body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising".


In my understanding, awareness (sati) doesn't tire body and mind. Its function is simply to remember what is happening in the body and mind.
What tires the body and mind is the wrong effort that is put in trying to maintain awareness.
On the on the other hand, I am not sure what you mean by "the ability to maintain sati" Is it a thing? How can you know it is tired?


I apologise. I should have been more clearly.

Yes sati doesn't tire body and mind. But when one does walking meditation one still will need to rest sooner or later. Because one cannot walk for a year. The body tires. Same with mental objects of sati. Sati shouldn't tire the practitioner but the objects of sati will. It was my impression that one could wrongly interpret the given quote of Sayadaw U Tejaniya meaning that when there is right sati neither mind nor body would tire and one could - for example - walk for years without needing a rest. If this did not happen - all the better. :smile:

What tires the body and mind is the wrong effort that is put in trying to maintain awareness.


It is like with everything else. Once it is automatic it seems effortless. When one learns how to be mindful of the traffic of cars on the street it is difficult and tiring at first. But with practice it becomes automatic and effortless. It is the same with being mindful of the traffic of ones thoughts and feeling (etc) on the streets of one's mind.

On the on the other hand, I am not sure what you mean by "the ability to maintain sati" Is it a thing?


Can you keep sati during deep sleep? If not there is what I would call a lack of the "ability to maintain sati" during deep sleep.

Check your posture;
check the way you are meditating. Are you comfortable and alert?
Also check your attitude; don’t practise with a mind that wants
something or wants something to happen. The result will only be
that you tire yourself.


I think the problem lies in his use of the term "mind". Usually, "mind" refers to many processes such as thinking, reading, body coordination. I think he uses the term " your mind" is a rather different way.


I don't think there's any problem with his using of "mind" here. lobha is a mental factors and belongs to the mind.


Yes, but is is not identical to the mind. If I say "car" and just mean the "wheel" it can lead to confusion. This is what I meant.

I think by "your mind" or "mind" he only refers to the the mind one is identified with while maintaining sati. When sati is present there are two kinds of mind, the one observed and the observing one. "Your mind" refers to the one one identifies with, namely the one based on sati and the processes arising on this foundation. This is the "your mind" he refers to, the "your mind" that does not tire, does not work, will increase it's energy simply by being maintained, and that does not strive towards a goal (at least not in this phase of practice


In reality, there is no person.


I am not speaking about how an arahant would experience it.

So what Sayadaw is saying is simply a description of what is going on in the paramatha sense. You can check out the definition of nama, you will see that: vedana (feeling), sana(perception, thinking...), sankhara (mental formations), vinanna (consciousness) all belong to nama. So mind can be one or another depending on contexts.

Regards,
D.F


Mind is an english term. It is not defined in Pali. Translations such as nama or citta or vinnana as mind can be misleading - especially to beginners of meditation who might use the popular usage of the term mind.

Which attributes make up the mind is much debated. Some psychologists argue that only the "higher" intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotions—love, hate, fear, joy—are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of what we call the mind.

In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on "inside our heads." Thus we "make up our minds," "change our minds" or are "of two minds" about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can "know our mind." They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:39 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:After reading that, I wonder how he came up with the previous list.. I think we must loose something when it gets transcribed into text (what happened in the sangayana/councils, incidentally), from the actual speech of it.


It pays not to judge a book by it's cover.

The instructions reproduced in the OP are an instruction sheet handed out to beginners arriving at the centre, that's how he came up with the previous list, to assume that that's all he teaches is just a sign of disinterest.


Hi Goof,

Well you know, I don't really have the time to search the Internet to read all his articles and books before I respond to a post on this forum. I respond to it on it's own merits. If the cover doesn't really represent what is inside the book, it is merely propaganda to attract customers.

With upekkha

M
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:02 am

rowyourboat wrote:Well you know, I don't really have the time to search the Internet to read all his articles and books before I respond to a post on this forum. If the cover doesn't really represent what is inside the book, it is merely propaganda to attract customers.


If you don't have time to reseach a topic better to resereve judgement or ask someone who has had some direct experience, I say that to remind myself also.

I think any teacher worth his/her salt will tell you that you need to meet your students where they are at, the way you teach a beginner is different from the way you teach an experienced student or one who is a couple of weeks or months into an intensive retreat.

Labelling that as propaganda seems pretty contemptuous.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"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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