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Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:34 am
by Collective
Very true, good advice.

I have 2 books here which I bought some time early last year. Both by Bhante Gunaratana; 8 Mindful Steps to Happiness, and Mindfulness in Plain English.

I read most of both then life took over and I put them down. But what I did read, I'm not sure if they taught me how to awaken, how to gain insight. It taight me a lot about being aware at all times and how to do breath meditation. But my question was will breath meditation bring me to awareness/enlightenment/insight, and more importantly, the question I think I really need to ask is; how will it?

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:36 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Collective,
Collective wrote:But my question was will breath meditation bring me to awareness/enlightenment/insight, and more importantly, the question I think I really need to ask is; how will it?
Yes, it can... but you need to distinguish between the samatha (calming) aspects and the vipassana (insight) aspects. Do you presently know the difference?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:36 am
by Collective
thereductor wrote:
Collective wrote:So many options.

I want to achieve insight, but not sure if that comes with just observing breath.

At first it seems like your just watching the breath. In time you will realize that you're really watching the mind. And doing that will bring insights. It is certain, just ask any meditating monk.
This sounds promising.

I guess my real question then, is how can doing something so simple (just observing the breath) bring so much release from attachemnt, and bring insight?

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:38 am
by Collective
jcsuperstar wrote:
Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I don't know if this will help, but I found a suggested book here, Insight Meditation a Step-by-Step Guide, and it's a home study course/workbook. While I just got it today in the mail, it comes with the workbook (very easy to follow and understand), two meditation CDs (along with a booklet on how best to utilize them), and focus cards to help you with quick references to the lessons. It explains how to use the book in the best way as well. I'm only in the first lesson, and it suggests spending at least one week in each--which gives you the time to really learn and apply everything. I've scanned the whole workbook to get a feel of it, and I am very excited to use it. Maybe it will help you as well. I got it on Amazon.com for just $17 after shipping. I found it used, but never opened. This might be a good option for you....

Hope you find something that helps! I know it can be overwhelming to find your starting point, but after a lot of researching I found this to be my best bet for starting out. I plan on sticking with this course until I have learned and applied it completely. Even if that takes a couple years--I love it so far!

:meditate:
great kit, great sugestion.
also as others have said, pick one teacher/style and stick with it.
I will definitely look into this, into all of the great advice here.

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:40 am
by Sanghamitta
Suck it and see Collective. What is there to lose ?
But I would strongly advise hands on instruction if at all possible.

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:47 am
by Collective
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Collective,
Collective wrote:But my question was will breath meditation bring me to awareness/enlightenment/insight, and more importantly, the question I think I really need to ask is; how will it?
Yes, it can... but you need to distinguish between the samatha (calming) aspects and the vipassana (insight) aspects. Do you presently know the difference?

Metta,
Retro. :)
One brings relaxation the other brings the insight/enlightenment? This is the crux of my problem. I have books, but I'm not sure what they are guiding me to. I want to follow the meditative path of vipassana (I think).

I want to awaken, I know that is attachemnt, but I hope you know what I mean. I want to realise, to have my eyes opened, but it is also extremely important that I relax as well. Will vipassana also help me to relax and find calm, as well as awareness? If so this is the one; vipassana.

If so, I only need to acquire nexcessary reading materials as there isn't a teacher for miles.

Only the Dharmavajra Kadampa Buddhist Centre

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:48 am
by Collective
Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I don't know if this will help, but I found a suggested book here, Insight Meditation a Step-by-Step Guide, and it's a home study course/workbook. While I just got it today in the mail, it comes with the workbook (very easy to follow and understand), two meditation CDs (along with a booklet on how best to utilize them), and focus cards to help you with quick references to the lessons. It explains how to use the book in the best way as well. I'm only in the first lesson, and it suggests spending at least one week in each--which gives you the time to really learn and apply everything. I've scanned the whole workbook to get a feel of it, and I am very excited to use it. Maybe it will help you as well. I got it on Amazon.com for just $17 after shipping. I found it used, but never opened. This might be a good option for you....

Hope you find something that helps! I know it can be overwhelming to find your starting point, but after a lot of researching I found this to be my best bet for starting out. I plan on sticking with this course until I have learned and applied it completely. Even if that takes a couple years--I love it so far!

:meditate:
Is this the one: Book

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:03 am
by Sanghamitta
Both Vipassana and Samatha are ways to Enlightement. To some degree its a matter of choice. Buddhism is intensly practical, its about doing it, trying it. If one is anxious and speedy many teachers recommend Samatha, which is not simply a a means of relaxation, but is a complete path in itself. If Samatha is taught at the centre you mention then try it and see if it suits you.

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:46 am
by Collective
I was advised to stay well away from the centre near me as their teachings are controversial: Link

What is the difference in technique between Samatha and Vipassana meditation?

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:53 am
by Sanghamitta
The controversy about that Buddhist group has no relevance outside of some Vajrayana circles. If they have people who can teach basic vipassana or samatha then I would recommend ignoring the other stuff.
If you have toothache then whether a dentist is a Methodist or Roman Catholic need not concern us. You dont have to sign up to the whole shebang in order to learn basic meditation.

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:38 pm
by Cittasanto
Sanghamitta wrote:The controversy about that Buddhist group has no relevance outside of some Vajrayana circles. If they have people who can teach basic vipassana or samatha then I would recommend ignoring the other stuff.
If you have toothache then whether a dentist is a Methodist or Roman Catholic need not concern us. You dont have to sign up to the whole shebang in order to learn basic meditation.
Hi Sanghamitta,
the controversy is about how they practice, and operate! to use a psychotherapy example.
if you needed a psychotherapist whether they use mindfulness or psychoanalasis predominantly may not matter to much (in general terms not for specific treatments,) but if one therapist was suspected of using their position and ability to pray on vulnerable people either sexually or financially, then you wouldn't want to use them.
not that they have been accused of sexual or financial pressuring

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:13 pm
by Sanghamitta
My understanding Manapa was that this group is controversial because it is said to worship an " evil spirit" which threatens the life of the Dalai Lama. Which frankly sounds delusional on all sides.
I know two people who leaned basic Samatha from the Kadampa, and said that they received a good basic intro. As to the other stuff I dont believe for a moment that Avalokitesvara literally exists or that he/she incarnates as a human being . Or that little children are the literal incarnation of previous lamas, I dont think that the Buddha taught any such thing. So beyond basic teachings I would not recommend ANY Vajrayana group. However many Tibetan centres offer basic Samatha lessons. And if the only practical source of such teaching is a Tibetan group, then so be it. Bees and nectar and all that.

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:47 pm
by Collective
Good news, I had the book all the while.

Mindfulness by Bhante Gunaratana.

Says ion the beginning it focuses on vipassana :)

What do you use as a timer when meditationg? Assuming you use one, and is it a free download?

Thank you

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:10 pm
by jcsuperstar
http://www.audiodharma.org/

has some you can download. they also have online courses and tons of guided meditations.

i'm taking the next course they offer (starting in march)

Re: A Fresh Start

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:11 pm
by Collective
Thanks jc.

I've found an interesting one, it's for 20 minutes, but it also has a little bell sound every 5 minutes.

Is this recommended, or not?