Sunlun Sayadaw method

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Zom
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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:29 pm

That's only one part of the sutta. It also speaks of arousing mindfulness and energy (viriya) - and it doesn't really explain how, this is just as good a method as any other to arouse vigor.
These qualities are based entirely on faith (saddha), wisdom (pannya), rightviews (sammaditthi), and an urge to practise (samvega). Breath exercises have nothing to do with viriya or sati. Nowhere, neither in suttas nor in commentaries, you can find even a hint about forcing a breath. So, this is entirely speculative, non-buddhist thing.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:33 pm

Zom wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:29 pm
That's only one part of the sutta. It also speaks of arousing mindfulness and energy (viriya) - and it doesn't really explain how, this is just as good a method as any other to arouse vigor.
These qualities are based entirely on faith (saddha), wisdom (pannya), rightviews (sammaditthi), and an urge to practise (samvega). Breath exercises have nothing to do with viriya or sati. Nowhere, neither in suttas nor in commentaries, you can find even a hint about forcing a breath. So, this is entirely speculative, non-buddhist thing.
Well, if we were to reject a teaching simply because it was not in the suttas, we'd have to reject a lot of modern Theravada and a lot of the teachings of many other Buddhist traditions. That's one approach and its fine, but you have no right to go around calling people non-Buddhist simply because they use a technique not spelled out in the suttas. That's what's called around these here parts "fundamentalism" :quote:
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:59 pm

As I pointed out in the link I gave above, it is interesting to see the huge differences in practice instructions between different Asian teachers. One could speculate that which interpretations became well-known in the West was partly a matter of luck - which Asian monasteries and lay teachers were attractive to Westerners in the late 60s and early 70s. We have the extraordinarily success of Ajahn Chah's followers in estabishing themselves in the West, derivatives the Mahasi approach being extremely influential in modern lay circles, and so on. Some who spent time with Ajahn Buddhadasa were quite influential in some lay institutions. And there is, of course, interest in some of the newer teachers, such as Sayadaws Pa Auk, and U Tejaniya.

Of the other Thai approaches, Thanissaro Bhikkhu seems to have single handedly created interests in one strand (Ajahn Lee). There is some interest in Ajahn Maha Bua, and some of his teachings are available in English.

Interestingly, Thanissaro Bhikkhu is someone else whose approach is sometimes criticised as overly manipulative of the breath:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=30312

Personally I agree with Javi. There are a variety of ways of using the suttas to build practice approaches, and it seems to me that rejecting everything that was not explicitly spelled out in the suttas would rule out almost all modern (and ancient) analysis and practice advice. I guess that's possible, but I'd rather follow the Buddha's instructions in the suttas, and get advice from teachers who have walked the path.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:32 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:59 pm
Of the other Thai approaches, Thanissaro Bhikkhu seems to have single handedly created interests in one strand (Ajahn Lee).
Actually the interest in Ajahn Lee's approach had already been established to a certain extent during the pioneering days of the lay vipassanā movement in America. The person responsible was the veteran German monk Ven. Vimalo (now, as a layman, Vimalo Kulbarz). Although Vimalo's original training had been under Mahasi Sayadaw at Sasana Yeiktha, he later took up Ajahn Lee's practice using Thanissaro's translation of Keeping the Breath in Mind and was teaching it to Germans and Americans about two decades before Thanissaro himself returned to the States.

http://imsrc.dharmaseed.org/teacher/793/talk/43211/

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:56 pm

Thanks, Bhante,

That's interesting information.

I could also add that there are many, many, teachers and monastics (hundreds, or even thousands) out there who (like yourself) are not famous enough to get into various lists, but do great work in spreading the Dhamma. For me, the vast majority of detailed personal instruction that started me off, and kept me going, has come from non-famous teachers and companions. As I said, it seems partly a matter of luck that certain people became famous in the West.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:51 pm

Javi wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:25 am
Interestingly enough, here's another Theravadin on holding the breath:
If you want to understand what the heart is, you can try an experiment. Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for a moment. At that point there won't be anything at all except for one thing: neutral awareness. That's the heart, or 'what knows.' But if you try to catch hold of the heart in this way, you can't hold on to it for very long — only as long as you can hold your breath — but you can give it a try just to see what the true heart is like.

(Holding the breath can help reduce physical pain. People who are suffering from great pain have to hold their breath as one way — fairly effective — of relieving their pain.)
Buddho by Phra Ajaan Thate Desaransi
translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... uddho.html
Although it is nowhere near as "dramatic" as the Sunlun method, the UK-based Samatha Trust teach a method which is based (initially) on controlling the length of the breath, and counting. I have found it to be extremely beneficial. But explaining this to other meditators has often led to them claiming that one should not interfere with the length of the breath, and that the method somehow departs from the "gold standard" of the Satipatthana Sutta. People get very attached to their favourite methods and ideas!

Many thanks for sharing this. There is something very appealing about these videos, and I will read the texts with interest.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:42 pm

That's one approach and its fine, but you have no right to go around calling people non-Buddhist simply because they use a technique not spelled out in the suttas. That's what's called around these here parts "fundamentalism"
Very simple. If something is not based neither on discourses nor on commentaries and not even practised widely by buddhists themselves - it just can't be called "buddhist". Otherwise, we can call "buddhist" everything we want, anything at all.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:12 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:51 pm
Javi wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:25 am
Interestingly enough, here's another Theravadin on holding the breath:
If you want to understand what the heart is, you can try an experiment. Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for a moment. At that point there won't be anything at all except for one thing: neutral awareness. That's the heart, or 'what knows.' But if you try to catch hold of the heart in this way, you can't hold on to it for very long — only as long as you can hold your breath — but you can give it a try just to see what the true heart is like.

(Holding the breath can help reduce physical pain. People who are suffering from great pain have to hold their breath as one way — fairly effective — of relieving their pain.)
Buddho by Phra Ajaan Thate Desaransi
translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... uddho.html
Although it is nowhere near as "dramatic" as the Sunlun method, the UK-based Samatha Trust teach a method which is based (initially) on controlling the length of the breath, and counting. I have found it to be extremely beneficial. But explaining this to other meditators has often led to them claiming that one should not interfere with the length of the breath, and that the method somehow departs from the "gold standard" of the Satipatthana Sutta. People get very attached to their favourite methods and ideas!

Many thanks for sharing this. There is something very appealing about these videos, and I will read the texts with interest.
Do you have any links to instructions on how to practice this? Is there a book where I can find them in? I have heard of Nai Boonman and Samatha trust, but it seems hard to find meditation instructions from them.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:09 am

Zom wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:42 pm
That's one approach and its fine, but you have no right to go around calling people non-Buddhist simply because they use a technique not spelled out in the suttas. That's what's called around these here parts "fundamentalism"
Very simple. If something is not based neither on discourses nor on commentaries and not even practised widely by buddhists themselves - it just can't be called "buddhist". Otherwise, we can call "buddhist" everything we want, anything at all.
Good to know that is your criteria. Now since it is easily established that many Buddhists in Burma practice this technique, then we can say it is a Buddhist practice.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by aflatun » Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 am

Javi wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:12 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:51 pm
Javi wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:25 am
Interestingly enough, here's another Theravadin on holding the breath:



Buddho by Phra Ajaan Thate Desaransi
translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... uddho.html
Although it is nowhere near as "dramatic" as the Sunlun method, the UK-based Samatha Trust teach a method which is based (initially) on controlling the length of the breath, and counting. I have found it to be extremely beneficial. But explaining this to other meditators has often led to them claiming that one should not interfere with the length of the breath, and that the method somehow departs from the "gold standard" of the Satipatthana Sutta. People get very attached to their favourite methods and ideas!

Many thanks for sharing this. There is something very appealing about these videos, and I will read the texts with interest.
Do you have any links to instructions on how to practice this? Is there a book where I can find them in? I have heard of Nai Boonman and Samatha trust, but it seems hard to find meditation instructions from them.
Peter Harvey is a teacher there now, you might find what you're looking for here, looks like a course is starting up/just started? Best of all its entirely donation driven it seems, in contrast to the charlatans out there that take fees to teach 'emptiness' (sorry I couldn't resist):

Link
While it is best to learn this practice by attending a local class, many people live far away from such a class. We therefore offer an online course, taught by Peter Harvey and a small group of other teachers, using written and recorded material that Peter has developed over many years of teaching traditional face-to-face classes. This is supplemented by online written forum discussions and individual weekly Skype meetings with your meditation teacher. The aim is to have a group of people reflectively learning the practice, stage by stage, together, as in a non-online class.

The Samatha Trust is happy to acknowledge that Peter Harvey is a teacher of meditation within the tradition of practice initiated in the UK by Nai Boonman Poonyathiro in the 1960s, which is now taught in classes across the UK, in the USA, in Ireland and elsewhere. At the same time, both the Trust and Peter would wish to make clear that neither these writings, nor any others, are to be regarded as a ‘definitive’ expression of this tradition. They represent one person’s experience and understanding which he has chosen to make available to others in this way.

The current online Buddhist Meditation Course begins in October 2017 and runs through to the end of June 2018.

Participants can download a week's teachings at any time during a week.

A particular feature of this online course is the weekly one-to-one discussion that each meditator has with their teacher using Skype, a free video-link, about how their practice is going.
This link seems to have his email which you use to register:

Registration
"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."

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:52 am

Thanks! I also found they publish a journal, which seems interesting


http://journal.samatha.org/
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:21 am

Javi wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:52 am
Thanks! I also found they publish a journal, which seems interesting
See also their online books.

https://www.samatha.org/explore-publications/texts

Two that are worth downloading are their translation of the DN's Lakkhaṇasutta and Abhidhamma Papers.

Lance Cousins, the late co-founder of the Samatha Trust, was a great Dīgha Nikāya enthusiast and would use the Lakkhaṇasutta's account of the Buddha's thirty-two marks (and their past life kammic causes) as the basis for a rather elaborate and visually rich form of buddhānussati. As for Abhidhamma Papers, this was a collective production based on a group study of the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha led by Lance.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:42 am

Zom wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:16 am
I am not sure why you seem to think it goes quite far from Buddhism. If it is a practice which helps arouse sati and viriya, why would it be so?
It simply goes against canonical texts, including, of course, the major one - anapanasati sutta, which speaks about calming the breath (and calming other things as well), not forcing it.
Back for a brief visit, and this comment deserves a response. I have used a stripped-down version of the Sunlun meditation method of 20 mins (or longer, depending upon how I may be feeling) of “strong” breathing. This is not hyperventilating. If one were hyperventilating, one would likely pass out. And this is not a forced breathing in and out with all one's might; rather, it is a comfortable deep nasal breathing of maybe 50 breaths per min. The point is that this kind of breathing requires a very active concentration to stay with it. If the concentration falters, the mind very obviously wanders, the breathing very obviously loses its rhythm, and, like the counting method, one can quickly return back to the breathing.

In other words, it is nothing more than a very active and obvious way of cultivating concentration. With practice one can easily get used to a breathing practice such as this. There is no need to force it. 20 mins (or shorter or longer depending on one’s experience), then the alarm one has set goes off and one drops to simply paying attention of breath as it normally comes in and goes out. The difference from a “normal” sitting practice is, however, because the mindfulness of breathing has been preceded by a potent concentration exercise, one tends to find the mind relaxed and very attentive to the rise and fall of the breath and the mind/body process. And like any practice it takes work and, importantly, constancy of practice.

This is, of course, very different from what is done in a Sunlun meditation retreat, but it is inspired by what Ven Sunlun taught and it works well for me.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:26 am

Javi wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:12 am

Do you have any links to instructions on how to practice this? Is there a book where I can find them in? I have heard of Nai Boonman and Samatha trust, but it seems hard to find meditation instructions from them.
I'm sorry, I don't think there is anything on-line or on print. I've often searched. I imagine that this is a deliberate policy of theirs so as to encourage face-to-face personal instruction; they place a lot of emphasis on feedback to the teacher, which then results in personalised advice.

Where do you live, Javi? There is a "Find your nearest class" facility here:
https://www.samatha.org/

EDIT: Ah, I see Aflatun has spotted an on-line course, which I had forgotten about. Worth trying, and good luck!

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:43 pm

Now since it is easily established that many Buddhists in Burma practice this technique, then we can say it is a Buddhist practice.
I haven't heard this is practised anywhere widely. But again, even if it is - tantric practices, which are pure non-Dhamma, are also "buddhist" in this sense.
In other words, it is nothing more than a very active and obvious way of cultivating concentration.
Well, any kind of active sport is also a cultivation of concentration. But it has nothing to do with anapanasati, which requires calming the breath:

He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

[3] "In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications." — MN 44.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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