Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

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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DooDoot
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:24 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:36 pm
I can't really say much about Ajahn Brahm other than that I have found Mindfulness Bliss and Beyond to be really different than my experience in meditation.
The above only says the mind has not yet reached jhana; that is; has not fully developed the Noble Eightfold Path.
dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:19 pm
That's not what I said. I said his description of meditation isn't what I experience. I have no idea what he based his meditation instructions on-- it may be the suttas, but is probably more commentary oriented.
I already posted Ajahn Brahm (accurately) cites SN 48.9 as his primary source for his "letting go" method.
And what is the faculty of immersion?

Katamañca, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṃ?

It’s when a noble disciple, relying on letting go, gains immersion, gains unification of mind.

Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako vossaggārammaṇaṃ karitvā labhati samādhiṃ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṃ—

This is called the faculty of immersion.

idaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṃ

https://suttacentral.net/sn48.9/en/sujato
It’s when a mendicant develops the awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion, and equanimity, which rely on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripen as letting go.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu satisambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ nirodhanissitaṃ vossaggapariṇāmiṃ. Dhammavicayasambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti … pe … vīriyasambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti … pītisambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti … passaddhisambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti … samādhisambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti … upekkhāsambojjhaṅgaṃ bhāveti vivekanissitaṃ virāganissitaṃ nirodhanissitaṃ vossaggapariṇāmiṃ

https://suttacentral.net/mn118/en/sujato
Last edited by DooDoot on Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Polar Bear
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by Polar Bear » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:39 am

Venerable Anālayo spends the vast majority of his time meditating these days.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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DooDoot
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:40 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:39 am
Venerable Anālayo spends the vast majority of his time meditating these days.
It might improve his so-called "scholarship". :roll:
Last edited by DooDoot on Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:41 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:39 am
Venerable Anālayo spends the vast majority of his time meditating these days.
that's a good sign :)
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."

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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:02 am

Greetings,

:focus:

A swathe of senseless off-topic bickering has been removed.

If either of the participants in that bickering feel that the bickering was actually about something substantiable and relevant in terms of Dhamma discussion, please PM me and tell me what the topic was, and it may (and I repeat, "may") be restored to view, in a new topic.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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rightviewftw
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:02 am
..
good moderating
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."

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DooDoot
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:07 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:58 am
Do you know of some impressive meditation monks?

Tell me about them.
Dear friend. The 1st Dhamma talk I took to heart was this following. I think Bhikkhu Buddhadasa is an impressive monk for beginners. Best wishes for your aspirations. :heart:


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Volovsky
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by Volovsky » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:13 am

But still I find Ajahn Brahm to be a good teacher. Although, as I said before, he bases his meditation instructions on his personal experience, but his personal experience corresponds (to a considerable degree) with Vism (i.e. nimitta, deep jhāna). Although I don't find his practical "tips and tricks" very helpful (his dhamma-talks on "theoretical" aspects of Dhamma I also better won't discuss here), but the deeper understanding of how meditation works - that is what was especially useful for me in his talks: not "what" to do in meditation but "how". "Meditation is the art of disappearing" is my favorite saying of him.

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DooDoot
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:12 am

Volovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:13 am
Although, as I said before, he bases his meditation instructions on his personal experience, but his personal experience corresponds (to a considerable degree) with Vism (i.e. nimitta, deep jhāna).
Ajahn Brahm does not teach Vism techniques and unsubstantiated ideas the suttas teach about "shallow jhana". Nimitta is ekkaggata. Every jhana has ekkaggata; according to the suttas
on a moonlit night, Ven. Sāriputta — his head newly shaven — was sitting in the open air, having attained a certain level of concentration. Seeing him, the first yakkha said to the second, "I'm inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head.

"How amazing, friend Sāriputta! How astounding! How great your power & might! Just now a yakkha gave you a blow on the head. So great was that blow that he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But all you say is this: 'I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache'!"

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"Unflagging persistence was aroused in me, and unmuddled mindfulness established. My body was calm & unaroused, my mind concentrated & single. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana:
The first jhana has five factors. There is the case where, in a monk who has attained the five-factored first jhana, there occurs directed thought, evaluation, rapture, pleasure, & singleness of mind. It's in this way that the first jhana has five factors."

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Volovsky
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by Volovsky » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:12 am
Ajahn Brahm does not teach Vism techniques

I never said he does.
Nimitta is ekkaggata.
Not according to Vism and Ajahn Brahm.

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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:08 am

:focus:
So getting back on topic and away from the arguing, I'd be interested in hearing of some more living meditation masters. (Hmm, not monks, so maybe this is off topic.)

Shaila Catherine practised with Pa Auk Sayadaw, and she speaks confidently and with personal experience about the jhanas.
"Focused And Fearless" is her samatha book, it's quite good if you're interested in learning more about practical jhana meditation.
But I don't know anything about her apart from that book, so it's hard to know what's real and what's writing.


How about Daniel Ingram! Haha! He's pretty good at meditation, that's clear from his descriptions, but I dunno. An oddball. Arahant? :shrug:

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DooDoot
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:09 am

Volovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 am
Not according to Vism and Ajahn Brahm.
My point was nimitta is not mentioned in sutta because it is part of ekkaggatta, which occurs when the breath ceases to be the meditation object (thus the mind no longer moves with the breath, which allows the mind to be ekkaggata). Ajahn Brahm says the nimitta substitutes for the breathing:
When the breath disappears and delight fills the mind, the nimitta usually appears.

When the nimitta is stable and radiant, then one is at the entrance to Jhana...

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn ... Jhanas.pdf
Buddhadasa taught the same:
Now, the breath refines and calms further when we create a mental image (nimitta) at the guarding point. This mental image is only imaginary, it is not real. It is created by the citta, it is mind­-made. You can close the eyes and "see" it, you can open the eyes and you still "see" it. It is like a hallucination that the mind creates by itself to calm the breath. To do so, the mind must be subtle. The breath, everything, must be refined in order to raise a mental image. The breath must become finer and calmer until the image is created.

So it is that we select the one object (nimitta) which is the most appropriate for the mind to contemplate. At this point, we need know that ordinarily the mind is scattering, spreading, and radiating outward in all directions. Now, we must turn inward onto one focus, all of that outward flowing. In Pali this state is called "ekaggata," which means "to have a single peak, focus, or apex." Everything gathers together at this single focus. We have found the image that is most appropriate - a tiny central point -- now the mind plunges into it. The mental flow is collected at this point in the same way that a magnifying glass collects the sun's rays and focuses them into a single point powerful enough to ignite a flame. This example illustrates the power that is harnessed when all of the mind's energy is gathered into one point. Once the mind focuses upon the object we have chosen, its radiance gathers there and becomes ekaggata - one-pointed, one-peaked, one-pinnacled.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... athing.htm

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Volovsky
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by Volovsky » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:35 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:09 am
My point was nimitta is not mentioned in sutta because it is part of ekkaggatta, which occurs when the breath ceases to be the meditation object (thus the mind no longer moves with the breath, which allows the mind to be ekkaggata). Ajahn Brahm says the nimitta substitutes for the breathing:
Ekaggatā seems to be a quality of mind which perceives the object (one-pointedly), not the object itself. Buddhadasa is taking about "creating" nimitta (I have also heard from somebody who visited retreat in Suan Mok that it is indeed what one is asked to do there: to create nimitta by will power), which sounds odd to me, but he still is describing it as a "mental image" (quite in line with what is usually understood by meditation nimitta). I cannot see how mental image can be ekaggatā.

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Volovsky
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by Volovsky » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:45 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:08 am
:focus:
So getting back on topic and away from the arguing, I'd be interested in hearing of some more living meditation masters.
I'm not sure what exactly you are searching for. Are you interested in teachers who (supposedly) have jhānas, or who are believed to be good meditators (whatever that means), or whom we find to be good teachers or something else? Without details it is difficult to suggest, there are so many meditation teachers nowadays, and each of them somebody finds to be good (otherwise they won't be teachers).

BTW have you read this article http://www.leighb.com/Jhana_in_Theravada_Quli.pdf. it gives some overview on contemporary teachers who teach jhānas (although whether they all have it is a question).

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DooDoot
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Re: Who are the contemporary meditation monks?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:34 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:35 am
Ekaggatā seems to be a quality of mind which perceives the object (one-pointedly), not the object itself.
No. They are connected. When the mind actually attains jhana it will know this. The nimitta is certainly an object that is perceived by the mind however the nimitta itself also stabilises the mind and is a sign of the stability of mind. Both the nimitta and ekkaggata are interrelated; like two sheaths standing against eachother.
Volovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:35 am
how Buddhadasa is taking about "creating" nimitta
No. I would suggest the "we" in the text is a mistranslation because the text clearly states the nimitta is "mind-made". It appears you did not read the text further than the first sentence (yet you attempt to refute it).
Volovsky wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:35 am
(I have also heard from somebody who visited retreat in Suan Mok that it is indeed what one is asked to do there: to create nimitta by will power), which sounds odd to me, but he still is describing it as a "mental image" (quite in line with what is usually understood by meditation nimitta). I cannot see how mental image can be ekaggatā.
Ajahn Buddhadasa passed away in 1993. The mental imagine is a sign of ekaggata, as I logically suggested, namely, when the breath ceases to be the object of meditation, the mind ceases to move in unison with the movement of the breathing.

As for Suan Mokkh, it runs a mass-market retreat and just because there are (different varied) teachers there in those often chaotic retreats does not mean those teachers have any personal knowledge of jhana. Its so mass-market that there are reviews on Trip Advisor, with replies!
Reviewed 5 weeks ago
At Suan Mokkh, there are now 5 different speakers, with most of them offering multiple talks per day.. The woman leading the retreat offers perhaps 5 or 6 talks, including guided meditation periods.

I.have done perhaps 12 or 15 retreats here, over the years, and am.saddened and amazed at how this could happen...

I was expecting a silent retreat but it wasn’t silent as there were a lot of talks that didn’t sit well with me. Just felt like a cult and the people, specifically the Aussie lady leading the women’s portion seemed just a little off. Felt really strange to me, maybe I’m not ready for that kind of experience but my gut just told me “run!”. I’m definitely and open minded individual, didn’t mind the basic accommodations or the not talking or no devices, it was largely just the vibe of the people leading the talks didn’t feel right for me. My main reason for writing this is because maybe someone else has had a negative experience?

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attracti ... vince.html
Last edited by DooDoot on Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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