Softening is the key

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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anthbrown84
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Softening is the key

Post by anthbrown84 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:34 am

hello DW,

I just want to share a small part of my own insight and also mainly teachings from far more wise people than myself who have helped me see this.

softening in meditation is the key to letting go. If we look around our bodies and mind in meditation for where we feel some resistance or some anxiety manifesting, we soften right there.

Looking at The Buddha's explanation on the destruction of craving, right effort and also the removal of hindrances, He says to "tranquillize the bodily formations" upon realising you are distracted. I guess we don't have to try and force it to leave. It's the truth of the matter, it's there, so back off from.it, soften around it and let it be there, heading back to our object of meditation.

Recently I was sat in meditation for a long time, 2 hours (approximately) yet by this stage, my mind hadn't calmed down. I was very restless and my mind wasn't playing ball.

I was recommended a certain teacher who puts a calm not overly strict emphasis on softening. Simply listening to this and meditating helped me see how previously I had been very much "doing" the meditation. Almost trying to force the mind into being quiet. Softening around these tendencies, the inclination to force or control helped me let.go of this subtle craving I was creating by trying to control.

I've heard a monk say before our job in meditation is simply to Observe, and how true that is.


Stop feeding the hindrance, Soften, bring up a positive mind state and then return to our object of meditation.

Softening the mind, softening our body's as we go through life helps us take things less personally, helps our meditation flow more smoothly and delve deeper into tranquility.

Next time in daily life someone annoys you, or you get stressed, maybe try soften right then and smile. I would be interested in hearing if anyone sees that when the irritation arises, so does tension and tightness.

This tension and tightness is us taking this personally. Another word.to describe taking something personally? Craving.....


With a smile

Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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rightviewftw
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Re: Softening is the key

Post by rightviewftw » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:50 pm

I like this simile a lot;
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
...Just as the thought would occur to a man walking quickly, 'Why am I walking quickly? Why don't I walk slowly?' So he walks slowly. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I walking slowly? Why don't I stand?' So he stands. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I standing? Why don't I sit down?' So he sits down. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I sitting? Why don't I lie down?' So he lies down. In this way, giving up the grosser posture, he takes up the more refined one. In the same way, if evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts, he should attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts. As he is attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it.
As i understood your post softening would be somewhat like that i guess.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

SarathW
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Re: Softening is the key

Post by SarathW » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:26 am

:goodpost:
rightviewftw wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:50 pm
I like this simile a lot;
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
...Just as the thought would occur to a man walking quickly, 'Why am I walking quickly? Why don't I walk slowly?' So he walks slowly. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I walking slowly? Why don't I stand?' So he stands. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I standing? Why don't I sit down?' So he sits down. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I sitting? Why don't I lie down?' So he lies down. In this way, giving up the grosser posture, he takes up the more refined one. In the same way, if evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts, he should attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts. As he is attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it.
As i understood your post softening would be somewhat like that i guess.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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anthbrown84
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Re: Softening is the key

Post by anthbrown84 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:55 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:50 pm
I like this simile a lot;
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
...Just as the thought would occur to a man walking quickly, 'Why am I walking quickly? Why don't I walk slowly?' So he walks slowly. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I walking slowly? Why don't I stand?' So he stands. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I standing? Why don't I sit down?' So he sits down. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I sitting? Why don't I lie down?' So he lies down. In this way, giving up the grosser posture, he takes up the more refined one. In the same way, if evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts, he should attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts. As he is attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it.
As i understood your post softening would be somewhat like that i guess.


Indeed.... Good sutra reference my friend!

Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

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