This is becoming a real problem now...

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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Zenainder
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by Zenainder » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:16 am

Beautiful Breath wrote:...bizarre that such a small and superficially innocuous thing can have such a huge impact on a long established practice.

I am thinking it might be to do with some form of identity. Feeling 'Theravadin' or feeling 'Zennie' when seduced by a particular practice/tradition.

I keep telling myself these things but it helps little in terms of the mind succumbing to the waves of attachment and clinging to views.

My Pali is sadly lacking, but I listened to a talk by Shaila Catherine recently. she was speaking about the dangers of fixation 'Diti'? That all seemed to ring true. Not being tethered to a particular view as it becomes our yoke. We can become like a dog chained to a post.

Its so powerful as it can incorporate everything that could be linked to a tradition. Food, music even down to the type of film I might watch.

Being liberated from this would be nice...! :woohoo:

BB...
BB,

Apply mindfulness when these feelings arise. Insight must dawn within, we can only show you the door and gives theories.

Metta,

Zen

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Anders
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by Anders » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:35 am

at wat pah nanachat, I was told how at least one student who was new to meditation was handed a copy of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind because "it says the same thing as what we're doing, but it's not as dry as the suttas."

I've been told similar things from monastics at Cittavevika. So it may be that the contradiction is more apparent than real.

Maybe try and contact someone like Ajahn Amaro who has some fair knowledge of mahayana teachings and talk to him about your contradictions between vipassana and shikantaza.

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Beautiful Breath
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by Beautiful Breath » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:52 am

Anders wrote:at wat pah nanachat, I was told how at least one student who was new to meditation was handed a copy of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind because "it says the same thing as what we're doing, but it's not as dry as the suttas."

I've been told similar things from monastics at Cittavevika. So it may be that the contradiction is more apparent than real.

Maybe try and contact someone like Ajahn Amaro who has some fair knowledge of mahayana teachings and talk to him about your contradictions between vipassana and shikantaza.
Thanks Anders,

Its not so much of a contradiction - on the contrary, I can see a parallel through all traditions - its the feeling compelled to imerse in one or the other thats the problem.

BB...

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IanAnd
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by IanAnd » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:57 pm

Hello BB,

You say you've been meditating for over 25 years. I'm trying to picture who I'm speaking (writing) to in order to understand your particular situation better. You must be somewhere in your mid 40s to mid 50s in age, then. That is old enough for you to begin putting two and two together, and examining your direct experience with more wisdom (self-honesty) and reflection.

I like the suggestions that Nyana and acinteyyo have provided you. The latter having said:

"I would say it's just craving, grasping for pleasurable feelings, desire. When we let go of gross forms of pleasure like material possessions, wealth and so on our mind tends to grasp for more subtle forms of pleasurable feelings. Be mindful, ... Always remember finally we don't practice because this or that technique is beautiful or this or that tradition acts or speaks about something we like, we want to cut through defilements and understand suffering in order to get rid off it."

Nyana: I'd suggest simplifying things to their basic components as mental qualities, i.e. the mental qualities of calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā). All aspects of Buddhist samādhi are included within the development of samatha and the development of vipassanā....

The purpose of developing samatha is to abandon the hindrances and thereby compose the mind. The purpose of developing vipassanā is to eliminate the fetters and thereby attain liberation from samsāra.

Beautiful Breath: So for example, I have been reading some Ajahn Cha today. Beautiful, so clear and inspiring. Reminds me with a warm feeling of the shrines and altars I saw I the small villages in Thailand. Looking forward to learning more of the chanting I do when visiting my local group. Then in a breath I find myself in Zen Land for no reason other than a brief thought about something I saw on a video about a Zen Monastery in the US. Then I am seduced again by the simplicity of Zen and its intimate relationship with nature...

Nyana: Sounds to me like thoughts and memories. Thoughts and memories can be thieves that rob us of sammāsamādhi.
Beautiful Breath wrote: Its not so much of a contradiction - on the contrary, I can see a parallel through all traditions - its the feeling compelled to immerse in one or the other that's the problem.
Perhaps you need to explore more deeply (through insight) this "feeling" compelling you to immerse in one or the other, as that is the cause of the ambivalent position you find yourself in. Clear that up, and everything associated with it in your mind will automatically clear up. See?

Both practices have you aimed in the same direction. There is no difference, for all practical purposes. And yet, why you can't see that, and everyone here can is beyond us! :shock: Only you can set yourself free of this delusion! So, get to work.

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

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Aloka
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by Aloka » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:13 pm

Anders wrote: Maybe try and contact someone like Ajahn Amaro who has some fair knowledge of mahayana teachings and talk to him about your contradictions between vipassana and shikantaza.
Hi BB,

Yes I agree with Anders. Ajahn Amaro is an ideal person to talk to about your practice . As you are in the UK, you can arrange to see him at Amaravati Monastery or go to one of his talks during the rains retreat and approach him for a chat during the tea break.

http://www.amaravati.org/

with kind wishes,

Aloka

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Anders
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by Anders » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:00 am

Beautiful Breath wrote:
Anders wrote:at wat pah nanachat, I was told how at least one student who was new to meditation was handed a copy of Zen Mind, Beginners Mind because "it says the same thing as what we're doing, but it's not as dry as the suttas."

I've been told similar things from monastics at Cittavevika. So it may be that the contradiction is more apparent than real.

Maybe try and contact someone like Ajahn Amaro who has some fair knowledge of mahayana teachings and talk to him about your contradictions between vipassana and shikantaza.
Thanks Anders,

Its not so much of a contradiction - on the contrary, I can see a parallel through all traditions - its the feeling compelled to imerse in one or the other thats the problem.

BB...
Hi bb,

If you recognise the two as being the same in function, can I ask : what, practically speaking, is the problem? What kind of obstacles does it create for you to train in a method sometimes with a flavour of 'chan' and sometimes with a flavour of 'theravada' if the method remains the same?

And what about the flavour of your own heart mind outside of traditions and schools? What is cultivation like for that?

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Beautiful Breath
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Re: This is becoming a real problem now...

Post by Beautiful Breath » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:38 am

Anders wrote: Hi bb,

If you recognise the two as being the same in function, can I ask : what, practically speaking, is the problem? What kind of obstacles does it create for you to train in a method sometimes with a flavour of 'chan' and sometimes with a flavour of 'theravada' if the method remains the same?

And what about the flavour of your own heart mind outside of traditions and schools? What is cultivation like for that?
Hi Anders,

Two great points. First of all seeing the empty nature of tradition is an intellectual exercise, does affect the compulsion one way or another. So the problem remains that in terms of 'choosing a path and sticking to it'. Currently this is not possible due to whatever mental or emotional mechanism it is that dictates that settling into a practice is not an option.

In terms of why I cannot sometimes practice Chan others other schools. If I knew the answer to that I would have solved this very personal koan of mine! If I am practicing Chan it HAS to be to the exclusion of all else. This is my quandary, anything else seems skewed and irrational.

Finally, the flavour of my own heart outside of traditions and schools? Well, thats why I am practicing, to experience just that.

Back to square one! :anjali:

BB...

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