Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
dhamma follower
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by dhamma follower »

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Freewaru,

Yes, and what happened to anicca, dukkha and anatta? These people will never become disenchanted with phenomena, but go on to seek a peaceful existence in samsara- not a bad thing in itself, but not the Buddha's teaching :shrug:

With metta
Hi RYB,

IMO, you misunderstand U Tejania's teaching.

The right attitude as explained by U Tejaniya is not meant to enjoy peacefulness as a goal but as the right conditions for panna to arise. How can panna about anicca, dukkha, anatta can arise in a wanting or angry mind ?
1. Meditating is acknowledging and observing whatever happens —whether pleasant or unpleasant—in a relaxed way.
[actually we are not expected to be the guard who is very aware of the thief stealing everything, but takes no action. We should not just watch akusala, but stop/prevent it from happening]
Who stops the akusala, and how?

kusala or akusala arise and cease because someone wants them to arise/stop or because of conditions ?
2. Meditating is watching and waiting patiently with awareness and understanding. Meditation is NOT trying to experience something you have read or heard about.[the Buddha praised stream entry, jhanas etc. This is not goalless.]
Can stream entry happens because we try to experience it ? Or does it happen when panna is developed to the point it is ready to make to jump?
Again, the advice is about understanding the right condition, it is not goalless.
5. If the mind and the body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising, and it is time to check the way you are meditating.[hardly, the Sudha sutta talk about what to do, after you have engaged in the satipatthana to the point of getting tired. This is a path of great effort/viriya]
Could you please provide the sutta?
7. The meditating mind should be relaxed and at peace. You cannot practise when the mind is tense.[it is possible to be aware of some mental tubulance- you should not wait for perfect peace before starting meditation- the Buddha says the antidote for an agitated mind is anapanasati]
What is meant is that a mind relaxed and at peace is one of the right conditions for insight to arise, not otherwise.
Trying to create something is greed. Rejecting what is happening is aversion. Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped happening is delusion.[..a very limited definition of the three poisons]
Could you pls give a better definition with regard of the present moment ?

The right attitudes were given out of Sayadaw's experience in teaching yogis, who too often practice with a wanting or rejecting mind, and have no understanding of the rights conditions for panna to arise. Taken out of context, they are easily misunderstood.
Sayadaw has a very deep practice and his understanding of the mind by his own experience is really notable. Many experienced meditators, meditation teachers come to learn from him.

Regards,
D.F
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat »

Hi Dhamma follower,

Thank you, for your reply. I was perhaps responding to a teaching taken out of context. I do/did not have the time to research into the venerable's understanding of the dhamma, much like most people who would simply read the original post.
For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this: 'Gladly would I let the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, but if I have not attained what can be reached through human firmness, human persistence, human striving, there will be no relaxing my persistence.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What would you make of this statement?
There is the case of a monk who remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on the body in & of itself, a fever based on the body arises within his body, or there is sluggishness in his awareness, or his mind becomes scattered externally. He should then direct his mind to any inspiring theme [Comm: such as recollection of the Buddha]. As his mind is directed to any inspiring theme, delight arises within him. In one who feels delight, rapture arises. In one whose mind is enraptured, the body grows serene. His body serene, he feels pleasure. As he feels pleasure, his mind grows concentrated. He reflects, 'I have attained
the aim to which my mind was directed. Let me withdraw [my mind from the inspiring theme].' He withdraws & engages neither in directed thought nor in evaluation. He discerns, 'I am not thinking or evaluating. I am inwardly mindful & at ease.'
Furthermore, he remains focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, a fever based on mental qualities arises within his body, or there is sluggishness in his awareness, or his mind becomes scattered externally. He should then direct his mind to any inspiring theme.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .olen.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I believe the above sutta is about getting tired while meditating. This will not happen with the kind of effort which essentially takes it easy. But with the kind of effort mentioned in the suttas- meditating essentially 20 hours of the day.
14. "When, friends, a noble disciple understands suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way leading to the cessation of suffering, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... b.html#nt4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I would like to refer to the above as a definition of lack of ignorance about the present moment. Not 'Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped happening'.

The currently arisen moment is unsatisfactory
The cause to this arisen moment is craving/ignorance
The cessation of this arisen moment/unsatisfactoriness is the removal of craving/ignorance
The path to the cessation of the arisen moment is the noble eightfold path.

:anjali:

with metta

Matheesha
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Matheesha,

I know little about Sayadaw U Tejaniya, but the talks of his that I've listened to a few years ago impressed me. It's clear that he's not teaching a watered down Buddhism, but is challenging his students to examine whether their practice is effective.

He has several books available here:
http://sayadawutejaniya.org/teachings/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Don’t look Down on the Defilements is known as the Blue Booklet which contains guidance on understanding the defilements, establishing right attitude, the right effort of continuity, the mind work of meditation, dealing with pain, posture, sounds and the wandering of the mind and the development of wisdom. Lots of food for thought that supports your practice.
If you are tense or find yourself getting tense, relax. There is no
need to make a forceful effort. Right now, are you aware of your
posture? Are you aware of your hands touching this book? Can you
feel your feet? Notice how little energy or effort you need to know
any of this! That is all the energy you need to remain aware, but
remember, you need to do this all day long. If you practise this way,
your energy will increase over the day. If you use excessive energy,
if the mind wastes energy, you will get tired. In order to be able to
practise continuously, you just need to keep reminding yourself to
be aware.
This right effort will allow you to practise in a relaxed
way, free of tension. If the mind is too tense or too tired, you cannot
learn anything. If the mind and the body are getting tired, something
is wrong with the way you are practising. Check your posture;
check the way you are meditating. Are you comfortable and alert?
Also check your attitude; don’t practise with a mind that wants
something or wants something to happen. The result will only be
that you tire yourself.
Awareness Alone is Not Enough is a 213 page book of transcripts of practice discussions with students and contains pragmatic advice on mindfulness practice, making skillful, continuous effort, the need for and development of right understanding, etc. Recorded on Sayadaw’s 2007 trips abroad with Western students in residential and non-residential practice settings.
CULTIVATING RIGHT EFFORT

Yogi: I know that by diligent right practice the idea of self
will go away and be replaced by Right View. But the actual
practice itself feels like working hard at a task. I am trying
to accomplish something and therefore there is a grasping
associated with the self. Could you comment on this?

SUT: It is very important to have the right information
before we start practising. Don’t identify with the effort,
but instead recognize that what is doing the work is effort
plus whatever other qualities that are involved. These
qualities are at work, not ‘I’.

Right effort is only possible if the mind has the right
information, if it really understands what right effort is.
We are working towards a goal, but getting to the goal will
happen sometime in the future. Right now we need to know
how to work. We need to know what right effort is and what
right practice is.

A mind which is striving towards a goal, which is focused
on achieving a certain result, is motivated by greed. Wisdom
knows the cause-effect relationships and it will therefore
concentrate on fulfilling the causes and conditions.
:anjali:
Mike
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Freawaru »

Hi Mike,

I still think it to be absolutely necessary to read all of this stuff to know for certain what he talks about. Many things can be misunderstood taken out of context.

For example:

If you are tense or find yourself getting tense, relax. There is no
need to make a forceful effort. Right now, are you aware of your
posture? Are you aware of your hands touching this book? Can you
feel your feet? Notice how little energy or effort you need to know
any of this! That is all the energy you need to remain aware, but
remember, you need to do this all day long. If you practise this way,
your energy will increase over the day.
Only the energy to keep sati. The mind itself, it's ability to concentrate, will get tired.
If you use excessive energy,
if the mind wastes energy, you will get tired.
In order to be able to
practise continuously, you just need to keep reminding yourself to
be aware.
This right effort will allow you to practise in a relaxed
way, free of tension.
If the mind is too tense or too tired, you cannot
learn anything. If the mind and the body are getting tired, something
is wrong with the way you are practising.
Again, even after just doing mindfulness meditation mind and body will tire sooner or later. Simply being awake will tire body and mind. What won't tire is the ability to maintain sati. So I would like to rephrase it a bit and say that "if the ability to keep sati of mind and body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising".
Check your posture;
check the way you are meditating. Are you comfortable and alert?
Also check your attitude; don’t practise with a mind that wants
something or wants something to happen. The result will only be
that you tire yourself.
I think the problem lies in his use of the term "mind". Usually, "mind" refers to many processes such as thinking, reading, body coordination. I think he uses the term " your mind" is a rather different way.
SUT: It is very important to have the right information
before we start practising. Don’t identify with the effort,
but instead recognize that what is doing the work is effort
plus whatever other qualities that are involved. These
qualities are at work, not ‘I’.
This is, IMO, a very important statement. By moving the impression of "I am this" away from identification with the working mind and body stability of sati can be maintained. Mind and body work, they do all that is necessary, thinking, feeling, moving, getting agitated or tired, but they don't need our identification with them to work properly. This statement casts the right light on his other statements and is the reason I believe that his use of the term "your mind" is different.
Right effort is only possible if the mind has the right
information, if it really understands what right effort is.
We are working towards a goal, but getting to the goal will
happen sometime in the future. Right now we need to know
how to work. We need to know what right effort is and what
right practice is.

A mind which is striving towards a goal, which is focused
on achieving a certain result, is motivated by greed. Wisdom
knows the cause-effect relationships and it will therefore
concentrate on fulfilling the causes and conditions.

I think by "your mind" or "mind" he only refers to the the mind one is identified with while maintaining sati. When sati is present there are two kinds of mind, the one observed and the observing one. "Your mind" refers to the one one identifies with, namely the one based on sati and the processes arising on this foundation. This is the "your mind" he refers to, the "your mind" that does not tire, does not work, will increase it's energy simply by being maintained, and that does not strive towards a goal (at least not in this phase of practice).
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat »

Hi Mike (Freewaru)

Thanks for the clarification- it does help.

After reading that, I wonder how he came up with the previous list.. I think we must loose something when it gets transcribed into text (what happened in the sangayana/councils, incidentally), from the actual speech of it.

:anjali:

with metta

Matheesha
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Goofaholix »

rowyourboat wrote: After reading that, I wonder how he came up with the previous list.. I think we must loose something when it gets transcribed into text (what happened in the sangayana/councils, incidentally), from the actual speech of it.
It pays not to judge a book by it's cover.

The instructions reproduced in the OP are an instruction sheet handed out to beginners arriving at the centre, that's how he came up with the previous list, to assume that that's all he teaches is just a sign of disinterest.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by dhamma follower »

Dear Freawaru,

Let's examine some questions you've raised
Again, even after just doing mindfulness meditation mind and body will tire sooner or later. Simply being awake will tire body and mind. What won't tire is the ability to maintain sati. So I would like to rephrase it a bit and say that "if the ability to keep sati of mind and body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising".
In my understanding, awareness (sati) doesn't tire body and mind. Its function is simply to remember what is happening in the body and mind.
What tires the body and mind is the wrong effort that is put in trying to maintain awareness.
On the on the other hand, I am not sure what you mean by "the ability to maintain sati" Is it a thing? How can you know it is tired?
Check your posture;
check the way you are meditating. Are you comfortable and alert?
Also check your attitude; don’t practise with a mind that wants
something or wants something to happen. The result will only be
that you tire yourself.


I think the problem lies in his use of the term "mind". Usually, "mind" refers to many processes such as thinking, reading, body coordination. I think he uses the term " your mind" is a rather different way.
I don't think there's any problem with his using of "mind" here. lobha is a mental factors and belongs to the mind.
Thinking is only one function of the mind, belonging to "sanna" khanda.
Right effort is only possible if the mind has the right
information, if it really understands what right effort is.
We are working towards a goal, but getting to the goal will
happen sometime in the future. Right now we need to know
how to work. We need to know what right effort is and what
right practice is.

A mind which is striving towards a goal, which is focused
on achieving a certain result, is motivated by greed. Wisdom
knows the cause-effect relationships and it will therefore
concentrate on fulfilling the causes and conditions.


I think by "your mind" or "mind" he only refers to the the mind one is identified with while maintaining sati. When sati is present there are two kinds of mind, the one observed and the observing one. "Your mind" refers to the one one identifies with, namely the one based on sati and the processes arising on this foundation. This is the "your mind" he refers to, the "your mind" that does not tire, does not work, will increase it's energy simply by being maintained, and that does not strive towards a goal (at least not in this phase of practice
In reality, there is no person. So what Sayadaw is saying is simply a description of what is going on in the paramatha sense. You can check out the definition of nama, you will see that: vedana (feeling), sana(perception, thinking...), sankhara (mental formations), vinanna (consciousness) all belong to nama. So mind can be one or another depending on contexts.

Regards,
D.F
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Freawaru »

Dear D.F.
dhamma follower wrote:
Again, even after just doing mindfulness meditation mind and body will tire sooner or later. Simply being awake will tire body and mind. What won't tire is the ability to maintain sati. So I would like to rephrase it a bit and say that "if the ability to keep sati of mind and body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising".
In my understanding, awareness (sati) doesn't tire body and mind. Its function is simply to remember what is happening in the body and mind.
What tires the body and mind is the wrong effort that is put in trying to maintain awareness.
On the on the other hand, I am not sure what you mean by "the ability to maintain sati" Is it a thing? How can you know it is tired?
I apologise. I should have been more clearly.

Yes sati doesn't tire body and mind. But when one does walking meditation one still will need to rest sooner or later. Because one cannot walk for a year. The body tires. Same with mental objects of sati. Sati shouldn't tire the practitioner but the objects of sati will. It was my impression that one could wrongly interpret the given quote of Sayadaw U Tejaniya meaning that when there is right sati neither mind nor body would tire and one could - for example - walk for years without needing a rest. If this did not happen - all the better. :smile:
What tires the body and mind is the wrong effort that is put in trying to maintain awareness.
It is like with everything else. Once it is automatic it seems effortless. When one learns how to be mindful of the traffic of cars on the street it is difficult and tiring at first. But with practice it becomes automatic and effortless. It is the same with being mindful of the traffic of ones thoughts and feeling (etc) on the streets of one's mind.
On the on the other hand, I am not sure what you mean by "the ability to maintain sati" Is it a thing?
Can you keep sati during deep sleep? If not there is what I would call a lack of the "ability to maintain sati" during deep sleep.
Check your posture;
check the way you are meditating. Are you comfortable and alert?
Also check your attitude; don’t practise with a mind that wants
something or wants something to happen. The result will only be
that you tire yourself.


I think the problem lies in his use of the term "mind". Usually, "mind" refers to many processes such as thinking, reading, body coordination. I think he uses the term " your mind" is a rather different way.
I don't think there's any problem with his using of "mind" here. lobha is a mental factors and belongs to the mind.
Yes, but is is not identical to the mind. If I say "car" and just mean the "wheel" it can lead to confusion. This is what I meant.
I think by "your mind" or "mind" he only refers to the the mind one is identified with while maintaining sati. When sati is present there are two kinds of mind, the one observed and the observing one. "Your mind" refers to the one one identifies with, namely the one based on sati and the processes arising on this foundation. This is the "your mind" he refers to, the "your mind" that does not tire, does not work, will increase it's energy simply by being maintained, and that does not strive towards a goal (at least not in this phase of practice
In reality, there is no person.
I am not speaking about how an arahant would experience it.
So what Sayadaw is saying is simply a description of what is going on in the paramatha sense. You can check out the definition of nama, you will see that: vedana (feeling), sana(perception, thinking...), sankhara (mental formations), vinanna (consciousness) all belong to nama. So mind can be one or another depending on contexts.

Regards,
D.F
Mind is an english term. It is not defined in Pali. Translations such as nama or citta or vinnana as mind can be misleading - especially to beginners of meditation who might use the popular usage of the term mind.
Which attributes make up the mind is much debated. Some psychologists argue that only the "higher" intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotions—love, hate, fear, joy—are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of what we call the mind.

In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on "inside our heads." Thus we "make up our minds," "change our minds" or are "of two minds" about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can "know our mind." They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat »

Goofaholix wrote:
rowyourboat wrote: After reading that, I wonder how he came up with the previous list.. I think we must loose something when it gets transcribed into text (what happened in the sangayana/councils, incidentally), from the actual speech of it.
It pays not to judge a book by it's cover.

The instructions reproduced in the OP are an instruction sheet handed out to beginners arriving at the centre, that's how he came up with the previous list, to assume that that's all he teaches is just a sign of disinterest.
Hi Goof,

Well you know, I don't really have the time to search the Internet to read all his articles and books before I respond to a post on this forum. I respond to it on it's own merits. If the cover doesn't really represent what is inside the book, it is merely propaganda to attract customers.

With upekkha

M
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Goofaholix »

rowyourboat wrote: Well you know, I don't really have the time to search the Internet to read all his articles and books before I respond to a post on this forum. If the cover doesn't really represent what is inside the book, it is merely propaganda to attract customers.
If you don't have time to reseach a topic better to resereve judgement or ask someone who has had some direct experience, I say that to remind myself also.

I think any teacher worth his/her salt will tell you that you need to meet your students where they are at, the way you teach a beginner is different from the way you teach an experienced student or one who is a couple of weeks or months into an intensive retreat.

Labelling that as propaganda seems pretty contemptuous.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Kumara »

I've created an egroup for students of the sayadaw:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SUT-Int/info

Come join.
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Kumara »

I should add this to the last post:

Unofficial forum for students of Sayadaw U Tejaniya. Members can post information on the sayadaw, his teachings and Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya, and discuss anything relevant to these subjects.

This group caters for those who prefer old-fashion email forum. If you prefer facebook, such a group already exist: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2439246087/

Official information on the sayadaw is best obtained here: www.sayadawutejaniya.org
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