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 » Sun May 07, 2017 6:37 am

Where were we before the earth was created? Does Buddhism teach we existed then? Or did reincarnation only begin when we first appeared on earth?

paul
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by paul » Sun May 07, 2017 8:19 am

That's an imponderable:

“Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness and vexation to anyone who conjectured about it."---AN 4:77

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Sun May 14, 2017 8:02 am

Thanks Paul

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Wed May 17, 2017 7:14 am

I sit for 30mins in the morning and 40mins in the early evening and I focus on the breath. I have done this for about 10 days; I built this time up over the last two to three weeks. Some sittings are nice, peaceful, blissful almost, some are hard work. So the kind of things you'd expect from meditation.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing stressful in my life right now, so is there a reason I have been feeling more stressed than usual?

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Mon May 29, 2017 9:22 am

I just sat for 45 minutes and it was the worst session I have had. My mind was in overdrive and I don't think I had more than 2 minutes focusing on the breath.

But I believe this is a good experience because it taught me precisely what the mind is and how chaotic it can be. It is like I was being shown in no uncertain terms what the mind is like. Still, I'm hoping for a more peaceful session next time :)

R1111
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by R1111 » Mon May 29, 2017 5:22 pm

"When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should train yourself: 'I will remain focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.
I will just leave this here for people to see that Satipatthana (Vipassana) Practice leads to the Jhanas.

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:08 am

Well that was, interesting

I just meditated for an hour and the things going through my mind's eye were quite bizarre. All sorts of odd images, pretty much meaningless but it was as if I was lucid dreaming. Almost.

Not sure I've done anything differently, just sitting there as usual and focusing on the breath. I do have a bad stomach so I'm wondering if that had anything to do with it.

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:12 am

I am now up to one hour sessions but the pain in my legs is at times, unbearable.

Can I sit on a chair to mediate?

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bodom
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by bodom » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:56 am

Nothing wrote:I am now up to one hour sessions but the pain in my legs is at times, unbearable.

Can I sit on a chair to mediate?
Absolutely.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


Ultimately, your meditation involves sustaining the knowing, followed by continuous letting go as you experience sense objects through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. It involves just this much and there is no need to make anything more out of it.

- Ajahn Chah

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by Nothing » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:40 pm

Thank you

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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

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

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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

Nothing
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

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

Thanks Pseudobabble

R1111
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Re: Samatha & Vipassanā

Post by R1111 » 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 :)

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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

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