Sunlun Sayadaw method

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Sam Vara
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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:43 pm

Zom wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:43 pm

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
If that has nothing to do with anapanasati, then presumably the other 15 bits of the Anapanasati Sutta instructions also have nothing to do with anapanasati. Or it looks as if anapanasati requires 15 other things, as well as calming.

And as for breaths being "bodily" - which breaths are not?

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:43 pm

Zom wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:43 pm


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.



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
Indeed, sports can cultivate concentration; however, the context of sports is more than a bit different from the context of the cultivation of concentration in a sitting meditative practice. Also, there is nothing that says that the concentration cultivated by a Sunlun style of initial strong breathing cannot be used to do the practices outlined MN 118 once the initial strong breathing exercise is stopped and breathing normally is resumed. As the “normal” breathing resumes after a period of the cultivation of concentration via deliberate strong breathing one finds “'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication'” is pretty much already in place.

In other words, the concentration cultivated by a Sunlun style of practice is certainly useful in doing MN 118 practice in whatever style one opts to practice MN 118.

I am not sure that trying to replicate a strict Sunlun style of practice without a good Sunlun style teacher in advisable, but a far gentler version as I outlined above is certainly doable, though I would recommend initially having some retreat experience in mindfulness practice with an experienced teacher.
Last edited by tiltbillings on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
>> 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

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by BasementBuddhist » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:28 pm

I sometimes use a breathing method similar to this to wake up when groggy. Its also good for making yourself feel euphoric. Actually, whim Hoff and Tibetan Buddhists have some pretty interesting breathing methods too.

Give them a try, it might be a bit of wasted time, but of you plug it in to a time you'd normally waste anyway, there is no harm.

Meditation leads down all sorts of fun little avenues if one is interested. You can make yourself feel drunk quite easily if you put yourself in the right mindset. Block out pain or increase tolerance. Wake the body up or put it to sleep. Make time feel fast or slow. Lots of fun alleys to get lost in if one cares to.

None of these things are Buddhist and none of them will lead to Enlightenment.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:26 am

BasementBuddhist wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:28 pm
I sometimes use a breathing method similar to this to wake up when groggy. Its also good for making yourself feel euphoric. Actually, whim Hoff and Tibetan Buddhists have some pretty interesting breathing methods too.

Give them a try, it might be a bit of wasted time, but of you plug it in to a time you'd normally waste anyway, there is no harm.

Meditation leads down all sorts of fun little avenues if one is interested. You can make yourself feel drunk quite easily if you put yourself in the right mindset. Block out pain or increase tolerance. Wake the body up or put it to sleep. Make time feel fast or slow. Lots of fun alleys to get lost in if one cares to.

None of these things are Buddhist and none of them will lead to Enlightenment.
I thought Wim Hof just teaches a stripped down version of Tummo?

Anyways its my understanding that Tummo is basically a practice of maha-bandha (all three bandhas together), but with a lot of bells and whistles like visualizations and so on.

I've found holding my breath a few times, with udiyana bandha (tucking in your abdomen), to be refreshing and invigorating, so I can see why these practices are popular. I picked it up from Reginald Ray's course on Mahamudra. Of course, they are just auxiliaries, not (as some believe) a complete way to awakening on its own.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:53 am

Also, there is nothing that says that the concentration cultivated by a Sunlun style of initial strong breathing cannot be used to do the practices outlined MN 118 once the initial strong breathing exercise is stopped and breathing normally is resumed. As the “normal” breathing resumes after a period of the cultivation of concentration via deliberate strong breathing one finds “'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication'” is pretty much already in place.
Yes, but in this case you can do anything - powerlifting, jogging, whatever. And then sit to meditate. But this is not a part of anapanasati method.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:04 am

Greetings,
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.
I concur.
Dhp 11-12 wrote:Those who mistake the unessential to be essential and the essential to be unessential, dwelling in wrong thoughts, never arrive at the essential.

Those who know the essential to be essential and the unessential to be unessential, dwelling in right thoughts, do arrive at the essential.
Metta,
Paul. :)
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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:26 am

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:53 am
Also, there is nothing that says that the concentration cultivated by a Sunlun style of initial strong breathing cannot be used to do the practices outlined MN 118 once the initial strong breathing exercise is stopped and breathing normally is resumed. As the “normal” breathing resumes after a period of the cultivation of concentration via deliberate strong breathing one finds “'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication'” is pretty much already in place.
Yes, but in this case you can do anything - powerlifting, jogging, whatever. And then sit to meditate. But this is not a part of anapanasati method.
It obviously a method for establishing mindfulness in the in and out breathing. One just does it a bit faster than usual. It is no different than other developments such as say, counting breaths, which, while not directly spelled out in the suttas, has been used in anapanasati for centuries. The use of "Buddho" is not spelled out in the suttas either, but it still counts as anapanasati. Another example is the visualization of nimittas at the nose tip and so on.

These developments are not directly in the suttas but they are all still anapanasati. Now can we put this aside? It's a big waste of time and energy to argue about this really. I mean if you don't like the thread or the topic, don't participate. :coffee:
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 tiltbillings » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:16 am

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:53 am
Also, there is nothing that says that the concentration cultivated by a Sunlun style of initial strong breathing cannot be used to do the practices outlined MN 118 once the initial strong breathing exercise is stopped and breathing normally is resumed. As the “normal” breathing resumes after a period of the cultivation of concentration via deliberate strong breathing one finds “'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication'” is pretty much already in place.
Yes, but in this case you can do anything - powerlifting, jogging, whatever. And then sit to meditate.
I have done jogging, running, powerlifting and whatever including distance target shooting (300 yards/274.32 m with a .45-70 open-sight rifle). I suppose one could meditate after these activities, but as I said, context and intention are what is key here. While the running and other physical activities can be extremely focused, there is still a considerable amount of other mental activities necessarily at play because there is a considerable amount of various physical activities at play in their execution. These sports activities are not quite the same nor as singular in focus as is one’s focusing on one’s breathing in a seated position in the context and intention of doing a meditative practice. Simply, in the Sunlun method the strong breathing is a preliminary practice in a context and intention of mindfulness meditation.
But this is not a part of anapanasati method.
MN 118 states
MN 118 wrote:“Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.

“Breathing in long, he understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘I breathe out long.’ Breathing in short, he understands: ‘I breathe in short’; or breathing out short, he understands: ‘I breathe out short.’
“Ānāpānasati method”? Whose interpretation? I see nothing in the MN 118 that says anything about the rate of one’s breathing. While doing the strong breathing preliminary practice, if the practitioner “Breathing in long, he understands: ‘I breathe in long’; or breathing out long, he understands: ‘I breathe out long.’, which is very much part of the preliminary practice, if the practitioner understands, as the sutta states, he becomes ardent, alert, & mindful. Where is the problem? Let us keep in mind, that the strong breathing practice is only a preliminary part of the practice that helps cultivate concentration and attention – that is to say: ardency, alertness, & mindfulness which is carried into the core practice of the sitting meditation which could be found in MN 118 or MN 10 or any one of the other meditation discourses.
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.
"Breath exercises have nothing to do with viriya or sati.” In and of themselves, no, “Breath exercises have nothing to do with viriya or sati,” but in the context of the intention and the knowledge of the practitioner, the Sunlun practice obviously can be a useful tool in cultivating saddhā, viriya, and sati.

As for what is not found in the suttas and commentaries, one can find in the teachings of Ven Thanissaro, for example, a lot of differing things to aid one’s practice that are not found in the suttas or commentaries, but they work in helping the student learn, see, gain confidence – saddhā – etc.
>> 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

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:45 am

aflatun wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 am
This link seems to have his email which you use to register:

Registration
Thanks! I've just signed up for it. If anyone else wishes to do so there is still time. Though the link states that the course starts on 9th October, Peter Harvey in his e-mail says it's actually the 14th.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Mkoll » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:04 am

Ajahn Chah also suggested holding one's breath in certain situations.
Do it! Have you ever walked cankama? What was it like as you walked? Did your mind wander? If it did, then stop and let it come back. If it wanders off a lot, then don't breathe. Hold your breath until your lungs are about to burst. It will come back by itself. No matter how bad it is, if it's racing around all over the place, then hold your breath. As your lungs are about to burst, your mind will return. You must energize the mind. Training the mind isn't like training animals. The mind is truly hard to train. Don't be easily discouraged. If you hold your breath, you will be unable to think of anything and the mind will run back to you of its own accord.

http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
~~~
tiltbillings wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:16 am
...
Yo! Long time no see.
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:40 am

counting breaths, which, while not directly spelled out in the suttas, has been used in anapanasati for centuries. The use of "Buddho" is not spelled out in the suttas either, but it still counts as anapanasati. Another example is the visualization of nimittas at the nose tip and so on.
These developments are not directly in the suttas but they are all still anapanasati.
At least, these are in the Commentaries, that is, in Visuddhimagga. But forcing breath is not there.
“Ānāpānasati method”? Whose interpretation? I see nothing in the MN 118 that says anything about the rate of one’s breathing.
Traditional theravadin commentarial interpretation. Here, a remark by Ven. Bodhi to MN 118:

The practice of mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati)
involves no deliberate attempt to regulate the breath, as
in hatha yoga, but a sustained effort to fix awareness on
the breath as it moves in and out in its natural rhythm.
Mindfulness is set up at the nostrils or the upper lip,
wherever the impact of the breath is felt most distinctly;
the length of the breath is noted but not consciously controlled.
The complete development of this meditation
method is expounded in MN 118. For a collection of texts
on this subject, see Bhikkhu Ñyanamoli, Mindfulness of
Breathing. See too Vsm VIII, 145–244.

As for what is not found in the suttas and commentaries, one can find in the teachings of Ven Thanissaro, for example, a lot of differing things to aid one’s practice that are not found in the suttas or commentaries, but they work in helping the student learn, see, gain confidence – saddhā – etc.
Forceful breath not only isn't there, but it contradicts traditional understanding. But, of course, it is up to you whether to follow something or not, practise or not.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by aflatun » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:28 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:45 am
aflatun wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:49 am
This link seems to have his email which you use to register:

Registration
Thanks! I've just signed up for it. If anyone else wishes to do so there is still time. Though the link states that the course starts on 9th October, Peter Harvey in his e-mail says it's actually the 14th.
Glad to be of help Bhante, and thanks for the info!
"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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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:31 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:40 am
Forceful breath not only isn't there, but it contradicts traditional understanding. But, of course, it is up to you whether to follow something or not, practise or not.
Among ancient sources, it is the non-Theravadin Vimuttimagga which states that it's the natural rather than the deliberately controlled breath that is the proper object of the yogi's attention:
"[The yogi] should not purposely breathe very long or very short breaths."
But no such stipulation is found in the Suttas or the Visuddhimagga or in any other Theravadin source. The status of the claim in the Theravada is not that of a "traditional understanding" but merely that of a widely held modern opinion, though not by any means a universally held one.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Zom » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:13 pm

But no such stipulation is found in the Suttas or the Visuddhimagga or in any other Theravadin source. The status of the claim in the Theravada is not that of a "traditional understanding" but merely that of a widely held modern opinion, though not by any means a universally held one.
We are speaking about forcing the breath - that is - making it gross, not subtle. And both Anapanasati sutta (4th exercise) and Visuddhimagga (pp 264-265 modern edition; explanation of long and short breath) go against such practice and such understanding.

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Re: Sunlun Sayadaw method

Post by Javi » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:16 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.
Breath exercises certainly help with establishing sati and viriya, even if they are not for everyone, it clearly has helped some like Sunlun sayadaw reach arhatship.

The sutta speaks of training oneself (sikkhati), they don't specify how exactly this is to be done. It is likely that this minimalistic way of instruction was a flexible one. We know breath control techniques existed in India, and it is interesting that the Buddha never says not to do these things as an aid or preliminary to practice.
We are speaking about forcing the breath - that is - making it gross, not subtle.
No we are not speaking about forcing it, only manipulating it in a certain way to arouse mindfulness.
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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