Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
R1111
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Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby R1111 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:06 am

How powerful and incredibly awesome is the body contemplation friends!

I think it is somewhat unfortunate that people are generally (rightfully) advised not to train it because of possible complications. It is very dangerous if grasped wrongly but it is also in the heart of the Teachings, right there in the Satipatthana Suttani and really, it is not rocket science as it is not difficult to do it safely.

I think it should be much more popular, as It is quite simple and does quickly lead to disenchantment with the human body, Nimittas & deep jhanic states. It is truly incredible and relatively easy Samadhi-training which complements formal Satipatthana practice perfectly.

Afaik It should be done with compassion(Karuna) and appreciation of the body as a precious vehicle to Enlightenment that should be guarded with care. It is a truly wonderful and versatile practice, one can easily contemplate old age, sickness & death while doing it as well as elements of metta for ones body if needed. I think it is a really good way to develop the perspective and concentration.

:smile:

treyg21
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby treyg21 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:38 am

What technique do you use?
The furniture may be exquisite,
And the bars of solid gold,
But once the bird realizes that the cage is a cage,
It finds within that cage
No joy

- Ajahn Jayasaro

R1111
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby R1111 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:16 am

My technique was to memorize the 32 body parts, reciting verbally and mentally to memorize.

When memorized i trained according to the Suttas and Vsm, the elements of compassion were advised to me by Thai Forest Tradition teacher to counter aversion and it worked well for me.

So when one knows the bodyparts one starts contemplating them one-by-one, they are traditionally split into groups of ~5.

IE Hair on the Head; think about shape, color, where is it located, what does it connect to, how does it age, how it looks when falls out, how it is not same as hair elsewhere, how hair is not skin, how skin is not the hair, how teeth are not the hair, how nails are also not the hair on the head.

I also called body-parts with more loving words like a mother would say it to a child, saying belly or tummy instead of abdomen/stomach and in general tried to use nicer words where was possible as to avoid aversion.

I imagined my own bones and try to feel the hardness when contemplating bones.

Another thing is to imagine aging of the bodyparts ie "When i get old the skin will get wrinckled/ hair fall out, turn grey/ teeth falling out and rot. Another thing is imagining disease, sores, broken bones, think back to times where you have been sick, think about how bones can break etc.

When contemplating the bodyparts, one should focus on them in/on ones own body, imagining body as skeleton, bones, etc..

Other things one could do is to think of the body as a house, consisting of Space, Water, Earth, Air and Fire elements. So Space Inside, enclosed by "walls" made of the other elements (Read: MN 28, 62, 140, 119) . There are many other things you could do like elaborating on vulnerability, thinking of creatures living on skin, bones, sinews, comparing elements inside to elements outside etc.

When i trained it last time it took me some 50 minutes to get thru it, i had it written and planned out. In hindsight i think it might be better to stick to what is working best and rather do several laps.

What i really like about this training is that its just very clear cut instruction, there isnt much room for doubt and mind is really keen on this object

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=16951&hilit=Asubha good thread.
Last edited by R1111 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pink_trike
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby pink_trike » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:48 am

R1111 wrote:
I think it should be much more popular

Imo, the reason it doesn't resonate with modern Western / Westernized people is that they aren't particularly enchanted with the body ... in fact, nearly all modern people are perceptually dissociated from the body, to pathological degrees. They are enchanted with the appearance of the body but this has more to do with images and ongoing stories all up in the mind.

Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.


For this reason modern people should probably start by practicing to get a clearer sense of how they are trapped and dragged around by habitual conditioned patterns of thought and unconscious emotional reactivity.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

R1111
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby R1111 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:40 am

pink_trike wrote: perceptually dissociated from the body, to pathological degrees.

Sorry can you explain this, do you mean that they are blind to its unattractive aspects?

For this reason modern people should probably start by practicing to get a clearer sense of how they are trapped and dragged around by habitual conditioned patterns of thought and unconscious emotional reactivity.

I agree, nothing changes before one sees exactly that :thumbsup:

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pink_trike
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby pink_trike » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:10 am

R1111 wrote:
pink_trike wrote: perceptually dissociated from the body, to pathological degrees.

Sorry can you explain this, do you mean that they are blind to its unattractive aspects?


I mean that most modern people are barely conscious that there is a body ... and have next to no idea how it works below the surface, how diet affects both body and mind, how it is regulated by the patterns and processes of the terrestrial environment and celestial mechanics, and what it requires to be healthy and to support a healthy mind). Their sense of existence is both externalized and upwardly displaced (obsessive conceptuality).
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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binocular
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:56 am

pink_trike wrote:I mean that most modern people are barely conscious that there is a body ... and have next to no idea how it works below the surface, how diet affects both body and mind, how it is regulated by the patterns and processes of the terrestrial environment and celestial mechanics, and what it requires to be healthy and to support a healthy mind). Their sense of existence is both externalized and upwardly displaced (obsessive conceptuality).

I agree. With the qualifier that many people do believe they know how the body works -- they believe it on the grounds of what (popular) science tells them.
Glenn Wallis: Nascent speculative non-Buddhism
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Do you believe that the Dhamma can be adequately taught solely through words, and even to people one doesn't care about?

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binocular
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:04 am

A couple of years back, I had to pass a course in first aid. On the topic of choking (such as by inhaling foreign objects or ingesting more than one can swallow), the textbook (a European one) noted that this occurs much more often in the US than in Europe.
Choking on food is a good example of being out of touch with one's body.
Glenn Wallis: Nascent speculative non-Buddhism
- - -
Do you believe that the Dhamma can be adequately taught solely through words, and even to people one doesn't care about?

R1111
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby R1111 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:01 am

binocular wrote:Choking on food is a good example of being out of touch with one's body.


You are on to something here i think, when im distracted alot im sometimes surprised i dont choke on some food or get hit by a truck or something..

pyluyten
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby pyluyten » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:40 am

pink_trike wrote:Imo, the reason it doesn't resonate with modern Western / Westernized people [...]


There is no such thing as Western people, nor Westernized people who would share common things. it's like saying "asian people think like this" and mixing japanese people (all ages, all type of works, all types of convictions...) then also mixing Chinese people (muslim, young, farmers, billionaires), then also mixing South East Asia then also mixing India Pakistan Mongolia. Not even Thailand people are the same. not even in one city in Thailand people are the same. not even in one single family in Thailand people are the same.

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binocular
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:31 pm

pyluyten wrote:There is no such thing as Western people, nor Westernized people who would share common things. it's like saying "asian people think like this" and mixing japanese people (all ages, all type of works, all types of convictions...) then also mixing Chinese people (muslim, young, farmers, billionaires), then also mixing South East Asia then also mixing India Pakistan Mongolia. Not even Thailand people are the same. not even in one city in Thailand people are the same. not even in one single family in Thailand people are the same.

There are cultural trends though, and they can be studied and measured.
See the work of Richard Nisbett, for example: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nisbett/selected.html
Glenn Wallis: Nascent speculative non-Buddhism
- - -
Do you believe that the Dhamma can be adequately taught solely through words, and even to people one doesn't care about?

jabalí
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby jabalí » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:04 pm

R1111 wrote:How powerful and incredibly awesome is the body contemplation friends!.


It's true

Do you practise this contemplation combined with Mahasi method?

R1111
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby R1111 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:18 pm

jabalí wrote:
R1111 wrote:How powerful and incredibly awesome is the body contemplation friends!.


It's true

Do you practise this contemplation combined with Mahasi method?


I do and i plan to give it more attention in future.

An interesting and relatively short read the Ven. Maha Boowa's "Wisdom develops Samadhi" http://www.luangta.eu/site/books/book9_ ... wisdom.pdf

Describes the Progression quite well.

voitsberg.graz48
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Re: Contemplation of the Body Isnt it Wonderful:)

Postby voitsberg.graz48 » Sat May 13, 2017 12:17 pm

HOW WONDERFULL BODY MEDITATION
Reading the post first I thought: Yes, how wonderful is the meditation of the body. But later it shows that it boils down just to the 32 body parts which deal mostly with the inner organs. To learn these 32 body parts by heart and meditate them, I think, is not very helpful. Well, it is enough to know once what you carry inside. But that`s it. If you like you can pin an anatomic picture on your wall that shows the intestines. But then what? We have to go on living with these “impurities”. But what is wrong with all the liquids in the body? There are necessary for the functioning of the body machine. Would you also feel distaste to all the oils and liquids in your car only because they make your hands dirty?
I know all these meditations or recollections about the foulness of the body, calling it a bag filled with bones, are poor tricks to break the strong attachment people have to their bodies. These meditations aim to create disgust against the body, a negative attitude which can have dangerous consequences as is also mentioned in one of the posts. Monks at the time of Buddha got so disgusted with their bodies and life that they “took to the knife” and opened their veins. And Buddha did not say much against it even when suicide is not recommended.
I propose a healthier method to get more detached from the body which I call “the Marionette” exercise.
I recommend having such a marionette in your home and moving it. One can learn a lot from this puppet. Didn’t Buddha say we should look at the body as a puppet? Well, let us feel our own body like a puppet. And how?
First: Instead of observing your intestines better observe the flow from one of the mayor position into the next with an unbroken awareness. If you do it for a while you may reach this “marionette” feeling. Instead of being the doer you are just the observer.
Then observe all the minor movements while the “Marinette” is preparing a cup of tea.

But now comes the real work: dismantling the body.
First in an active way (yang)through movements and stretching and then in a passive way (yin) through relaxation and visualization of the body parts.
And how is that done? I just give one example:
The right arm. Moving the fingers in all possible ways, then the wrist, investigating the possibilities of the three joints wrist, elbow, shoulder. Moving the right arm in all possible direction. Then shaking it out and letting it hang like the lost arm of a marionette.
Then “meditate” the arm, the 4 main parts, hand, forearm, upper arm, shoulder. Through all the different movements one “knows” the arm and can go to the next step “exhaling” the arm. That resembles the part of the Anapansati “in/exhaling I calm the body”. But in the case of the marionette exercise, it is more specific. You inhale “figuratively” through the right hand, starting with the fingertips, draw the air up to the shoulder. Hold the air and the visualized arm, then exhale the arm, having the feeling, that the air flows out through the fingertips. At the same time, you let loose of the arm. It lies at the side like cut off.
That should be enough to give you an idea about the “marionette” exercise.
And what is the outcome? One gets a clear image of the body as a marionette. One feels less as a doer.
And one reaches the feeling:(as in the Visuddhimagga)
“Walking is but nobody who walks”
Breathing is but nobody who breathes.
Feeling is but nobody who feels.
Thinking is but nobody who thinks.
The marionette is doing it all by itself.


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