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natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:18 pm
by alan...
i'm SO sick of all the conflict and confusion regarding jhana interpretation. i find that there is so much confusion that there will never be a 100% resolution without a time machine or until metteya shows up.

that being said, what happens if i just give up and watch my breath and do nothing else? and then after, or during, i practice vipassana? surely it's possible i will end up going through the jhanas naturally without really knowing it, or it's possible this is wrong concentration? i have no clue.

thoughts?

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:29 pm
by lojong1
alan... wrote:...what happens if i just give up and watch my breath and do nothing else?
exactly
alan... wrote:...and then after, i practice vipassana?
exactly
alan... wrote:...and then during, i practice vipassana?
exactly
alan... wrote: ...or it's possible this is wrong concentration?
still something to watch for

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:57 pm
by LonesomeYogurt
How about you just follow the steps of anapanasati and see what happens? Watch the breath until piti arises and go from there.

You seem to be caught in the thicket of views. In reality, Jhana is readily accessible to those who spend more time just watching the breath and less time wondering where it will take them :smile:

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:08 pm
by Polar Bear
alan... wrote: what happens if i just give up and watch my breath and do nothing else? and then after, or during, i practice vipassana? surely it's possible i will end up going through the jhanas naturally without really knowing it, or it's possible this is wrong concentration? i have no clue.

thoughts?
Apparently the Buddha would tell you to do more:
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "Monks, do you develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing?"

When this was said, Ven. Arittha replied to the Blessed One, "I develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, lord."

"But how do you develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, Arittha?"

"Having abandoned sensual desire for past sensual pleasures, lord, having done away with sensual desire for future sensual pleasures, and having thoroughly subdued perceptions of irritation with regard to internal & external events, I breathe in mindfully and breathe out mindfully."[1]

"There is that mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, Arittha. I don't say that there isn't. But as to how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is brought in detail to its culmination, listen and pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," Ven. Arittha responded to the Blessed One.

(And then the Buddha goes through the 16 steps of anapanasati)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
As a thought, you could just develop the body based jhanas, then after that develop the non-body based jhanas and then after that master samadhi under an Advaita Vedanta Swami and then after that master some version of the formless attainments and then after that use your samadhi skills and direct your mind to looking at things as they have to be, see that they are not worth holding onto and then incline the mind to the destruction of the asavas.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:13 pm
by Polar Bear
LonesomeYogurt wrote:Jhana is readily accessible to those who spend more time just watching the breath and less time wondering where it will take them
This also makes much sense and is of pragmatic value.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:01 pm
by Cittasanto
LonesomeYogurt wrote:Jhana is readily accessible to those who spend more time just watching the breath and less time wondering where it will take them
Doubt is a fickle thing. shut up and do the practice.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:35 pm
by lojong1
polarbuddha101 wrote:
alan... wrote: what happens if i just give up and watch my breath and do nothing else? and then after, or during, i practice vipassana? surely it's possible i will end up going through the jhanas naturally without really knowing it...?
Apparently the Buddha would tell you to do more: ...(And then the Buddha goes through the 16 steps of anapanasati)
These steps would be included in Alan's vipassana during/after.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:56 pm
by alan...
lojong1 wrote:
alan... wrote:...what happens if i just give up and watch my breath and do nothing else?
exactly
alan... wrote:...and then after, i practice vipassana?
exactly
alan... wrote:...and then during, i practice vipassana?
exactly
alan... wrote: ...or it's possible this is wrong concentration?
still something to watch for
seems we are in agreement. what about your last statement though? how do i avoid this?

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:58 pm
by alan...
lojong1 wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:
alan... wrote: what happens if i just give up and watch my breath and do nothing else? and then after, or during, i practice vipassana? surely it's possible i will end up going through the jhanas naturally without really knowing it...?
Apparently the Buddha would tell you to do more: ...(And then the Buddha goes through the 16 steps of anapanasati)
These steps would be included in Alan's vipassana during/after.
indeed, i should have clarified that point. even if not the specific anapanasati vipassana techniques then another canonical method.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:00 pm
by alan...
Cittasanto wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:Jhana is readily accessible to those who spend more time just watching the breath and less time wondering where it will take them
Doubt is a fickle thing. shut up and do the practice.
i wish it were so simple. the conflicting instructions from different teachers are night and day. it's not like i'm seeing only small variation. if all are correct then it's one of the easiest and most ambiguous meditation practices i've ever heard of.

to just "shut up and do the practice" sounds like good advice, but, which practice? i don't have a teacher or any nearby. the different teachers i have read are all over the place on defining proper jhana.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:21 pm
by LonesomeYogurt
alan... wrote:i wish it were so simple. the conflicting instructions from different teachers are night and day. it's not like i'm seeing only small variation. if all are correct then it's one of the easiest and most ambiguous meditation practices i've ever heard of.

to just "shut up and do the practice" sounds like good advice, but, which practice? i don't have a teacher or any nearby. the different teachers i have read are all over the place on defining proper jhana.
But they're not all over the place on how to get there; everyone agrees that one should watch the breath with mindfulness. That, coupled with proper sila, is going to get you to Jhana.

It's as though there is a path in front of you; some say it leads to a bustling city, some say it leads to an open pasture, and some say it leads to ocean. Why not just start down the path yourself? You'll only be able to know where the path really leads once you walk down it without fear or trepidation. Live a wholesome life and watch the breath with energy, mindfulness, compassion, and resolve. Wherever that takes you, you'll know it to be "proper Jhana." And once you're there, you might realize that every description - city, pasture, ocean - is just one way of explaining something that is really beyond words.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:31 pm
by alan...
LonesomeYogurt wrote:
alan... wrote:i wish it were so simple. the conflicting instructions from different teachers are night and day. it's not like i'm seeing only small variation. if all are correct then it's one of the easiest and most ambiguous meditation practices i've ever heard of.

to just "shut up and do the practice" sounds like good advice, but, which practice? i don't have a teacher or any nearby. the different teachers i have read are all over the place on defining proper jhana.
But they're not all over the place on how to get there; everyone agrees that one should watch the breath with mindfulness. That, coupled with proper sila, is going to get you to Jhana.

It's as though there is a path in front of you; some say it leads to a bustling city, some say it leads to an open pasture, and some say it leads to ocean. Why not just start down the path yourself? You'll only be able to know where the path really leads once you walk down it without fear or trepidation. Live a wholesome life and watch the breath with energy, mindfulness, compassion, and resolve. Wherever that takes you, you'll know it to be "proper Jhana." And once you're there, you might realize that every description - city, pasture, ocean - is just one way of explaining something that is really beyond words.
well some say the city is where you lack all your senses and are totally absorbed by it, others say you still have your senses and so on. so the path leading to it is different, so is the destination. it's a joke. seriously, the only way this would be easier on me is if i had a teacher that i had faith in personally. beyond that the differences in interpretation are so vast it's maddening.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:38 pm
by LonesomeYogurt
alan... wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:well some say the city is where you lack all your senses and are totally absorbed by it, others say you still have your senses and so on. so the path leading to it is different, so is the destination. it's a joke. seriously, the only way this would be easier on me is if i had a teacher that i had faith in personally. beyond that the differences in interpretation are so vast it's maddening.
The path to either "absorption" Jhana or regular sutta Jhana is the same - mindfulness of breathing. I think you're overstressing on the different interpretations. All interpretations contain the same factors and the same progression; while some may be "deeper" than others, it's all still Jhana. I'm curious as to what, besides the sense/no-sense debate, you see as so disparate between schools.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:50 pm
by alan...
LonesomeYogurt wrote:
alan... wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:well some say the city is where you lack all your senses and are totally absorbed by it, others say you still have your senses and so on. so the path leading to it is different, so is the destination. it's a joke. seriously, the only way this would be easier on me is if i had a teacher that i had faith in personally. beyond that the differences in interpretation are so vast it's maddening.
The path to either "absorption" Jhana or regular sutta Jhana is the same - mindfulness of breathing. I think you're overstressing on the different interpretations. All interpretations contain the same factors and the same progression; while some may be "deeper" than others, it's all still Jhana. I'm curious as to what, besides the sense/no-sense debate, you see as so disparate between schools.
with many absorption teachings you drop the breath and switch to a mental nimitta of light, and as far as i know, in anapanasati you keep the breath and there are variations on whether or not a nimitta of light is used.

Re: natural progression of meditation?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:52 pm
by Modus.Ponens
IIRC, in Ajahn Brahm's method you attain the jhana factors, but he claims that they are not fully developed until you are in propfound absortion. I interpret this as meaning that the hard jhanas are nothing more than sutta jhanas with excessive concentration factor. It's a matter of degree. So what's most likely is that any method will lead you through the sutta jhanas first and then to the hard jhanas.