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Sloth Torpor or Jhana...? - Dhamma Wheel

Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Beautiful Breath
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Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:59 pm

When getting deeper into our practice how can we differentiate between our concentration becoming more focused and consequently a quieter mind and lapsing into a numbness that just feels good?

I sometimes practice Silent Illumination (Shikantaza Jp. Just Sitting) and often get a real sense of there being no sense of my body and a sort of expanded awareness of my immediate environment....feels 'nice' but I am often concerned that its a trap - depite seeming to fit in with 'progress' as described in that method...

Ta!

BB...

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reflection
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby reflection » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:04 pm

In my experience, if it's going the right way you can in a way feel mindfulness get sharper and more single pointed. It's not like a zoning or dulling out, there is a center point of awareness where happiness arises. If you don't really know what you are aware of, it is a sign of dullness.

But do know that I have not heard of Silent Illumination and am explaining it in terms of my experience.

With metta,
Reflection

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IanAnd
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby IanAnd » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:31 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Beautiful Breath
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:36 pm

Ian thanks so much for taking the time to reply so comprehensively. I will indeed read the link. its a difficult time for me at the moment re my practice and has been for a while now. I've been verging on turning my back on what potentially could be something important.

_/|\_

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IanAnd
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby IanAnd » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:45 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:23 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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daverupa
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:36 am

Lapsing into numbness is either a lapse of mindfulness, else you can still be aware of "numbed out mind" (though this counts as a hindrance, probably, whereupon one gets back to work). Additionally, part of satipatthana is knowing when a pleasant feeling is worldly or unworldly - only one of those is a sensual cord, so this is an occasion for practice, not for worry.

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Beautiful Breath
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Re: Sloth Torpor or Jhana...?

Postby Beautiful Breath » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:46 pm

...imagine being in a busy rush hour, with lots of smog and cars beeoing their horns...pouring with rain....etc...etc...

Then suddenly you find yourself in a meadow on a warm day feeling nothing but the breeze and hearing nothing but the birds in the distance...eys closed and feeling no sense of physicality....


...its a bit like that. Not sure whats further down the road either if I were to stay or deepen that experience.

Thanks,

BB...


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