Every session goes like this.....

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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Myotai
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Every session goes like this.....

Post by Myotai » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:11 pm

Hi everyone,

I am not new to Buddhism, or meditating, but I think my academic background is getting in the way pf my practice now. Each session seems to be taken up by considering the respective virtues of each Buddhist path/practice.

From Anapanasati (what I am supposed to be doing) to Shikantaza (Soto Zen) to Hwadu (Korean Zen) all the way to the analytical methods of the Tibetan Gelug schools....

Its like an engine that won't turn over properly.

Anyone else experienced this?

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aflatun
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by aflatun » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:08 pm

Yes, and I find it really infuriating sometimes, which doesn't help.

We also seem to have some similar interests and sticking points ("What the hell am I supposed to be doing?" is a favorite one of mine with respect to Anapanasati.)

Maybe we can compare our intrusive thought loops, possibly therapeutic? :tongue: :hug:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:13 pm

What kind of Breath Bhavana are you doing? Are you noting the Satipatthanas?

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aflatun
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by aflatun » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:19 pm

aflatun wrote:Yes, and I find it really infuriating sometimes, which doesn't help.

We also seem to have some similar interests and sticking points ("What the hell am I supposed to be doing?" is a favorite one of mine with respect to Anapanasati.)***

Maybe we can compare our intrusive thought loops, possibly therapeutic? :tongue: :hug:

***EDIT: I read your post too fast. You meant Anapanasati is what you're supposed to be doing. I meant I sometimes ask myself "what the hell am I supposed to be doing?" and then compare possible merits with alternative practices :rofl:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Myotai
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by Myotai » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:21 pm

R1111 wrote:What kind of Breath Bhavana are you doing? Are you noting the Satipatthanas?
As per Ajahan Brahms instructions....

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Myotai
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by Myotai » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:22 pm

aflatun wrote:Yes, and I find it really infuriating sometimes, which doesn't help.

We also seem to have some similar interests and sticking points ("What the hell am I supposed to be doing?" is a favorite one of mine with respect to Anapanasati.)

Maybe we can compare our intrusive thought loops, possibly therapeutic? :tongue: :hug:

Sounds like a plan - and here's me, a CBT Therapist and cannot Cognitively Restructure this one! :jumping:

PM me if you like?

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dylanj
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by dylanj » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:43 pm

Myotai wrote:Hi everyone,

I am not new to Buddhism, or meditating, but I think my academic background is getting in the way pf my practice now. Each session seems to be taken up by considering the respective virtues of each Buddhist path/practice.

From Anapanasati (what I am supposed to be doing) to Shikantaza (Soto Zen) to Hwadu (Korean Zen) all the way to the analytical methods of the Tibetan Gelug schools....

Its like an engine that won't turn over properly.

Anyone else experienced this?
You need to pick a technique & stick to it. Don't sit down without having made a decision. I would suggest anapanasati, considering this is what the Buddha taught.
susukhaṁ vata nibbānaṁ,
sammā­sambud­dha­desitaṁ;
asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
yattha dukkhaṁ nirujjhatī


Oh! extinction is so very blissful,
As taught by the One Rightly Self-Awakened:
Sorrowless, stainless, secure;
Where suffering all ceases


etaṁ santaṁ etaṁ paṇītaṁ yadidaṁ sabbasaṅkhārasamatho sabbūpadhipaṭi nissaggo taṇhakkhayo virāgo nirodho nibbānaṁ

This is peaceful, this is excellent, that is: the stilling of all preparations, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction.

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Myotai
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by Myotai » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:26 pm

R1111 wrote:What kind of Breath Bhavana are you doing? Are you noting the Satipatthanas?
Post repeated - Admin please delete this one, thanks...

JohnK
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by JohnK » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:23 am

Myotai wrote:...Each session seems to be taken up by considering the respective virtues of each Buddhist path/practice...
Made me think of these sentences from Bhikkhu Bodhi (In the Buddha's Words, p.260):
The meditating monk begins by removing the grosser impurities of bodily, verbal, and mental conduct...Then he eliminates the middle-level inpurities of unwholesome thoughts...Next come the subtle impurities of meandering thoughts. Finally, he must eliminate thoughts about the Dhamma, the subtlest obstacle. When all such distracting thoughts are removed, the monk attains "mental unification." [emphasis added]
He is summarizing AN 3:101(10)
So, you are up to the subtlest obstacle; not bad! ;)
Yeah, academic types have it tough: "I am a cogent thinker." "My thinking is delightful and reassuring."
Best wishes to us all!
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:30 am

I recall seeing a similar thread recently
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... +technique
Unfortunately i am not familiar with the technique so ill leave it at that.

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:33 am

JohnK wrote:
Myotai wrote:...Each session seems to be taken up by considering the respective virtues of each Buddhist path/practice...
Made me think of these sentences from Bhikkhu Bodhi (In the Buddha's Words, p.260):
The meditating monk begins by removing the grosser impurities of bodily, verbal, and mental conduct...Then he eliminates the middle-level inpurities of unwholesome thoughts...Next come the subtle impurities of meandering thoughts. Finally, he must eliminate thoughts about the Dhamma, the subtlest obstacle. When all such distracting thoughts are removed, the monk attains "mental unification." [emphasis added]
He is summarizing AN 3:101(10)
So, you are up to the subtlest obstacle; not bad! ;)
Yeah, academic types have it tough: "I am a cogent thinker." "My thinking is delightful and reassuring."
Best wishes to us all!
It seems rather like OP is stuck with Doubt as a hindrance.
Dispelling doubt can be done by getting clear instructions and questioning authority. I would say Sati but if every session is like this then there is some confusion that needs to be settled in regards to the method.

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Myotai
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by Myotai » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:14 am

Thanks....

I got close reading 'One Dharma' by Goldstein because a part of what feels problematic is the compulsion to 'belong' to a tradition. There's a comfort in that, but its wholly unsatisfying as the grass is always greener on the Zen side.....then the Theravadin side.....you get the gist?

M...

pyluyten
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by pyluyten » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:36 am

Myotai wrote: Each session seems to be taken up by considering the respective virtues of each Buddhist path/practice.
practicing something like "just observe, just note, let go" might lead to being not focus at all. even some "pure vipassana" partisans would advise to focus first. eg goenka courses start by few days just getting the mind calm. if you are constantly thinking about, how would you observe? forget about observation & focus, focus, focus. This is a hard task even sometimes for people who did practice a lot.

You can also try to consider which external factors could influence this : is your practice best the morning? before sleeping? what activity do you do before? be factual, do not try to understand , just see which condition makes session easier.

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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:46 pm

Myotai wrote:Thanks....

I got close reading 'One Dharma' by Goldstein because a part of what feels problematic is the compulsion to 'belong' to a tradition. There's a comfort in that, but its wholly unsatisfying as the grass is always greener on the Zen side.....then the Theravadin side.....you get the gist?

M...
You can belong to the Tradition Of the Noble Ones:)
If i were you i would just try these out:
1) Breath Bhavana - Focusing on hot/cold sensations at the nose
2) Breath Bhavana - Focusing on hot/cold sensations at the nose + Establishing Sati on the 5 Hindrances
3) Breath Bhavana - Focusing on hot/cold sensations at the nose + Establishing Sati on all 4 Satipatthanas
4) Walking Meditation + Breath Bhavana 1/2/3
5) Mahasi Method - Similar to #3 but is more systematic in terms of application of effort and is done with Walking Meditation as well. Ven. Yuttadhammo is a good teacher for this, resources in my signature he also has an on-going online course.
6) Contemplating Asubha (get educated for this one)

Personally i havent tried 2&3 as i trained 1,5,6 it is also how i know that 2&3 are legit practices.
There is room for variation in these methods, but this is as simple as i can put it. If you want i can elaborate on pros and cons.

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Every session goes like this.....

Post by Pseudobabble » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:46 am

I would suggest serious consideration of the fact of your mortality.

Look at your hands. I don't know how old you are, but the chances are that the skin is more wrinkled than it used to be. Think about what that means. Think about how you will feel if you have still not made progress by the time you are old. Your time is running out.

If any of your close friends or family have died, consider the fact that this can happen to you. And it needn't be when you're old. Any of us can keel over from an aneurysm or brain haemorrhage at any time. If you have any personal experience of serious injury or danger of death, reflect on how that made you feel.

Seriously think about these things. Our time is limited, and things can go bad quickly, at any time, removing your opportunity for indecision. Practice now, while you still can.

I find these types of thoughts focus my mind, and help to remove vacillation pretty fast.
"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

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