Samatha & Vipassanā

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:24 am

I've been meditating since early May, I'm up to one hour morning and evening, and one thing I've come to realise, I cannot focus on my breath. Not the nostrils, the rim of the nostrils, my abdomen, or the part on my top lip. At best, I get brief moments of one of them every now and then.

I've really tried but it's an exercise in futility. All that happens is I bounce from one to the other and that's my hour gone. It's not that I'm not concentrating enough, it's just the way I breathe, it's very gentle to the point I can't detect it at those locations. Best I can do is, I am aware of my "general breathing", meaning, not specific to one location, but my entire torso area.

Any advice?

Thanks all

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:32 am

Nothing wrote: It's not that I'm not concentrating enough, it's just the way I breathe, it's very gentle to the point I can't detect it at those locations. Best I can do is, I am aware of my "general breathing", meaning, not specific to one location, but my entire torso area.

Any advice?

Thanks all
You may find this of use: Thanissaro's Guided Meditation
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:20 pm

That is very useful

It doesn't mention focusing on specific locations, which is great because I have a lot of difficulty doing so. It says to focus on the general breathing which is what I think is best for me.

Thank you Pseudobabble

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:24 am

Hi all, I'd like some advice and encouragement.

I feel a little guilty because I've reduced my meditation time from 1 hour morning and evening to 45mins morning and evening. And I was told I should sit for a minimum of 1 hour

The thing is though, I found 1 hour very taxing, both mentally and (especially) physically, but the 45min sessions are much more productive for me in terms of focusing and quality of meditation.

Perhaps I could fit a 30min session in the afternoon, or should I not beat myself up over this?

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Pseudobabble » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:45 pm

Nothing wrote:Hi all, I'd like some advice and encouragement.

I feel a little guilty because I've reduced my meditation time from 1 hour morning and evening to 45mins morning and evening. And I was told I should sit for a minimum of 1 hour

The thing is though, I found 1 hour very taxing, both mentally and (especially) physically, but the 45min sessions are much more productive for me in terms of focusing and quality of meditation.

Perhaps I could fit a 30min session in the afternoon, or should I not beat myself up over this?
You still have the option of increasing your sitting time in future. I'd say its better to for the longest time you can manage consistently. It would be foolish to try sitting for too long, and then run out of motivation due to difficulty. Its like strength training - you can't go straight to lifting 100kg, you need to build it up.

Stick with 45 minutes until you can do this consistently. Then up it by 5, 10, 15 minutes, whatever you feel is right. Then stick with that until you can do it consistently. If you increase by 5 minutes a month, you would end up with 1 hour by the end of 12 months, and you aren't starting from 0 minutes.

It sounds like you can do 45 minutes without a problem, so I'd suggest going with 50.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:53 pm

Thanks Pseudobabble

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:35 pm

Meditate on the guilt and dont worry about it, if you do worry about it try to meditate on that as well by noting, then proceed to note whatever it is your are doing :)

SunWuKong
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by SunWuKong » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:29 pm

Back to original post. Stressed definitely go the samatha route

SunWuKong
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by SunWuKong » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:37 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:29 pm
Back to original post. Stressed definitely go the samatha route
There is a great book by Sarah Shaw on Buddhist Meditation, and she’s in the Samatha organization in the UK

Also there’s an excellent instruction on a web page just Google “Barre Center of Buddhist Studies Anapanasati”

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:20 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:37 pm
SunWuKong wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:29 pm
Back to original post. Stressed definitely go the samatha route
There is a great book by Sarah Shaw on Buddhist Meditation, and she’s in the Samatha organization in the UK

Also there’s an excellent instruction on a web page just Google “Barre Center of Buddhist Studies Anapanasati”
Thank you for the advice

paul
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by paul » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:25 pm

While supporting the advice recommending samatha, ultimately samatha only suppresses the hindrances; for eradication the practitioner must utilize vipassana.
"In the conditional sequence of the awakening factors, “investigation-of-dhammas” (dhammavicaya) develops out of well-established mindfulness. Such investigation-of-dhammas seems to combine two aspects: on the one hand an inquiry into the nature of experience (by taking “dhammas” to stand for “phenomena”), and on the other a correlation of this experience with the teachings of the Buddha (the “Dhamma”). This twofold character also underlies the word “investigation” (vicaya), derived from the verb vicinati, whose range of meaning includes both “investigating” and “discriminating”. Thus “investigation-of-dhammas” can be understood as an investigation of subjective experience based on the discrimination gained through familiarity with the Dhamma. Such discrimination refers in particular to the ability to distinguish between what is wholesome or skilful for progress on the path, and what is unwholesome or unskilful."---"Satipatthana", Ven. Analayo
Last edited by paul on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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xofz
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by xofz » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:02 pm

Indeed, vipassana is where Fruition lies. Calm abiding is merely there as an invitation for direct insight and, while it can be helpful, is actually not necessary!
becoming aware!

Saengnapha
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:08 am

xofz wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:02 pm
Indeed, vipassana is where Fruition lies. Calm abiding is merely there as an invitation for direct insight and, while it can be helpful, is actually not necessary!
It seems to me that samatha is something that you do, while vipassana is something that happens to you without any volition to achieve it.

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