A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

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an_user
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A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by an_user » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:43 pm

Hi everyone,

I have known dhammawheel.com for a while, but English isn't my first language and may Buddhism vocabulary is limited, so I usually just read. Recently, I came across a phenomenon that I really want to seek an explanation from Theravada mediation perceptive, so I write this post.

I know some folks who practice Pure Land Buddhism (Buddha-recitation). Some of them claim that they have achieved Buddha-recitation samadhi. Here is how it is described by most of them (not exactly words by words):
Stage 1: One day, I suddenly heard the Buddha-recitation sound. At first, I thought someone was playing Buddha-recitation audio. I went around to seek for the origin of the sound, but then I realized the sound actually came from within my mind. At this stage, I heard the sound whenever I started Buddha reciting in my mind. Keep practicing Buddha-recitation, then I went to stage 2.
Stage 2: I hear the Buddha-recitation sound all my awaking time (non-stop from waking to before sleeping). Keep practicing Buddha-recitation, then I went to stage 3.
Stage 3: I hear the Buddha-recitation sound 24 hours a day, even while I am sleeping. Sleeping isn't the same as before, when I sleep, I am aware that I am sleeping.
They also claim that the Buddha-recitation sound has the power to wipe away confusing thoughts, so they rarely have confusing thoughts.

I suspect this is some kind of auditory hallucination, but I am not sure. I wish to hear your comments.

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B23
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by B23 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:17 am

From what I know, this sounds exactly like what Ayya Khema said about mantra recitation experience. Please don't count on my memory and excuse me if I am wrong.

But you can search for the video on YouTube at this site:
https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE ... vVC3mWDqOH
- Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One!

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samseva
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by samseva » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:12 am

If you repeat something enough times, eventually it gets stuck in your head. A good example of this is how music students, from developing their ear and memory so much, usually have music playing around in their heads during various parts of the day, anything from parts of Jazz solos all the way to whole orchestras (whether they want to or not). I'm sure you've already gotten a song stuck in your head. Well, imagine that, but 10 times worse!

Personally, the Buddha recitations you described don't have any basis in actual Buddhist teachings (as in what the Buddha taught, not as Buddhism the religion). I would even go so far as to say it's almost the equivalent of developing a compulsion, to the point of being an involuntary one as well.

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B23
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by B23 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:48 am

samseva wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:12 am
If you repeat something enough times, eventually it gets stuck in your head. A good example of this is how music students, from developing their ear and memory so much, usually have music playing around in their heads during various parts of the day, anything from parts of Jazz solos all the way to whole orchestras (whether they want to or not). I'm sure you've already gotten a song stuck in your head. Well, imagine that, but 10 times worse!

Personally, the Buddha recitations you described don't have any basis in actual Buddhist teachings (as in what the Buddha taught, not as Buddhism the religion). I would even go so far as to say it's almost the equivalent of developing a compulsion, to the point of being an involuntary one as well.
I think you are over-reacting. Mantras are just another method to develop mindfulness, and developing mindfulness is definitely not bad or against what the Buddha taught. Breathing method or mantras are just methods, they are just products of the body and mind so they are just the same in essence, some people are better at the former while others at the second. Also the fact that they manage to make the mantras have the characteristics of the breath (always going "on") means they have at least practice mindfulness for the mantra for a long period of time.
- Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One!

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Crazy cloud
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by Crazy cloud » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:11 am

My guess .. !? :juggling:

your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh green distances of your blindness

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samseva
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by samseva » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:53 pm

B23 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:48 am
I think you are over-reacting. Mantras are just another method to develop mindfulness, and developing mindfulness is definitely not bad or against what the Buddha taught. Breathing method or mantras are just methods, they are just products of the body and mind so they are just the same in essence, some people are better at the former while others at the second. Also the fact that they manage to make the mantras have the characteristics of the breath (always going "on") means they have at least practice mindfulness for the mantra for a long period of time.
I don't think my post was over-reacting. I think considering this practice (the one an_user described, not Ayya Khema's) as being developing a mental and involuntary compulsion is accurate (there isn't necessarily a negative connotation to this), because that is the exact result of it. You can say it has benefits and is "useful to block out thoughts", but it doesn't change the fact that it's actually developing an involuntary mental-auditory compulsion.

The Buddha taught meditation and other teachings for the reducing/calming the mind of mental compulsions (or call it whatever you prefer), be it thoughts, emotions, memories, thinking, delusion and so on—not creating an involuntary and auditory one that you hear in your head 24 hours a day to suppress your thoughts.

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cjmacie
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by cjmacie » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:32 pm

B23 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:48 am
Mantras are just another method to develop mindfulness, and developing mindfulness is definitely not bad or against what the Buddha taught. Breathing method or mantras are just methods, they are just products of the body and mind so they are just the same in essence, some people are better at the former while others at the second. Also the fact that they manage to make the mantras have the characteristics of the breath (always going "on") means they have at least practice mindfulness for the mantra for a long period of time.
But in some religions and other (cultist, political, etc.) movements, chanting like this can be used to induce trance, or work-up a frenzy; has military uses also. I.e. not always so mindful.

Garrib
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by Garrib » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:13 pm

samseva wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:12 am
If you repeat something enough times, eventually it gets stuck in your head. A good example of this is how music students, from developing their ear and memory so much, usually have music playing around in their heads during various parts of the day, anything from parts of Jazz solos all the way to whole orchestras (whether they want to or not). I'm sure you've already gotten a song stuck in your head. Well, imagine that, but 10 times worse!

Personally, the Buddha recitations you described don't have any basis in actual Buddhist teachings (as in what the Buddha taught, not as Buddhism the religion). I would even go so far as to say it's almost the equivalent of developing a compulsion, to the point of being an involuntary one as well.
I was a music student in a past life (jk it was this life but many years back) and I can say that this was definitely true in my experience. Music was playing in my head nearly constantly - at first I thought that was a good thing but eventually realized I had no control over it. In the end I decided music was more suffering than happiness and gave it up. My family still doesn't totally understand my decision.

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B23
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by B23 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:11 am

cjmacie wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:32 pm
B23 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:48 am
Mantras are just another method to develop mindfulness, and developing mindfulness is definitely not bad or against what the Buddha taught. Breathing method or mantras are just methods, they are just products of the body and mind so they are just the same in essence, some people are better at the former while others at the second. Also the fact that they manage to make the mantras have the characteristics of the breath (always going "on") means they have at least practice mindfulness for the mantra for a long period of time.
But in some religions and other (cultist, political, etc.) movements, chanting like this can be used to induce trance, or work-up a frenzy; has military uses also. I.e. not always so mindful.
Of course it can. It is just fundamental that one thing can be both good and bad (that is why we prefer some things over the others), for example we have cars to drive us around so we can save time, but we can also kill people with cars, not? The Intention matters most.

Edit: What good are chanting or mantras if we do it with an impure intention? What good is Dhamma if we don't hold it?
- Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One!

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B23
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by B23 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:49 am

samseva wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:53 pm
I don't think my post was over-reacting. I think considering this practice (the one an_user described, not Ayya Khema's) as being developing a mental and involuntary compulsion is accurate (there isn't necessarily a negative connotation to this), because that is the exact result of it. You can say it has benefits and is "useful to block out thoughts", but it doesn't change the fact that it's actually developing an involuntary mental-auditory compulsion.

The Buddha taught meditation and other teachings for the reducing/calming the mind of mental compulsions (or call it whatever you prefer), be it thoughts, emotions, memories, thinking, delusion and so on—not creating an involuntary and auditory one that you hear in your head 24 hours a day to suppress your thoughts.
So you didn't even watch Ayya Khema's video. Why then comment about this?

Ayya Khema says that yes, the repetition of a mantra becomes an ongoing, self-process of repetition ("always on"). But she also said that if we are being mindful when this happens, we can take that process to become our meditation subject then.

If you do mantra repetition just for getting something stuck in your head, what will that be good for?
But if you do it, watching the changes that happen when this activity is performed, then it becomes the same as breathing meditation.

Even the sound of a bird, or the meow of a cat, or YOUR LIFE can be a subject of meditation IF you have appropriate attention. That is why they are called METHODS.

The truth is that all methods of meditation are all bound to the mind or body. If you say that one is good and one is bad, then you can meditate on that also.
- Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One!

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samseva
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by samseva » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:27 pm

B23 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:49 am
So you didn't even watch Ayya Khema's video. Why then comment about this?
[...]
If you say that one is good and one is bad, then you can meditate on that also.
I commented on the method that was mentioned by the original poster, which is what is being discussed in the thread.

I never said it was bad; you jumped to that conclusion. I said it was developing an involuntary mental compulsion—which is what the method develops. I also said the Buddha never taught such techniques, which is also true.

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B23
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by B23 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:44 pm

samseva wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:27 pm
B23 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:49 am
So you didn't even watch Ayya Khema's video. Why then comment about this?
[...]
If you say that one is good and one is bad, then you can meditate on that also.
I commented on the method that was mentioned by the original poster, which is what is being discussed in the thread.

I never said it was bad; you jumped to that conclusion. I said it was developing an involuntary mental compulsion—which is what the method develops. I also said the Buddha never taught such techniques, which is also true.
Ok ok.
The sun still shines in the morning.
The moon can still be seen in the night.
- Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Self-awakened One!

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mikenz66
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Re: A kind of samadhi or just auditory hallucination

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:22 pm

Hi an_user,
an_user wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:43 pm
Hi everyone,

I have known dhammawheel.com for a while, but English isn't my first language and may Buddhism vocabulary is limited, so I usually just read. Recently, I came across a phenomenon that I really want to seek an explanation from Theravada mediation perceptive, so I write this post.
Recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, is certainly a Theravada samadhi practice. See, for example:
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an ... all-Buddha
viewtopic.php?t=26134#p375983

Sometimes I do get that stuck in my head, especially on retreats where it forms part of the morning and evening chanting:
Itipi so bhagava araham samma-sambuddho,
He is a Blessed One, a Worthy One, a Rightly Self-awakened One,
...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... anting.pdf
:heart:
Mike

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