Pushing Water Uphill

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Myotai
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Pushing Water Uphill

Post by Myotai » Wed May 20, 2015 8:39 am

Hi everyone,

A little inspiration required here!

I get up regularly around 5am to sit. I think over the last year only once have I experienced anything that could be close to being described as concentrated, as for Access Concentration I doubt whether I have come close TBH. I have been using Anapanasati as a main practice but find that after 10/15 mins I lose what awareness I had on the breath and become merely aware of the absence of my body awareness and more aware of my immediate environment...it all feels really open and 'big' (not a particularly good description sorry). Either way no focus, just expansion.

I must be doing something wrong, I mean really wrong, as there's no positive movement in my practice. I have tried addressing my motives, my attitude (too eager or not enough etc...) but I honestly can't think of where I am going wrong. I am also aware of not looking too hard for signs.

Just one small indication that I am improving my concentration would be good but its not there.

I feel like I am stuck, completely.

Thanks in advance for any advice and/or inspiration.

hermitwin
Posts: 214
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:35 pm

Re: Pushing Water Uphill

Post by hermitwin » Wed May 20, 2015 9:31 am

Here's how to attain jhana.
If the breath gets very, very subtle, or if it disappears entirely, instead of taking a deep breath, shift your attention away from the breath to a pleasant sensation. This is the key thing. You watch the breath until you arrive at access concentration, and then you let go of the breath and shift your attention to a pleasant sensation. There is not much point in watching the breath that has gotten extremely subtle or has disappeared completely. There's nothing left to watch. Shift your attention to a pleasant sensation, preferably a pleasant physical sensation. You will need a good bit of concentration to watch a pleasant physical sensation, because a mildly pleasant feeling somewhere in your body is not nearly as exciting as the breath coming in and the breath going out. You've got this mildly pleasant sensation that's just sitting there; you need to be well-concentrated to stay with it.
http://www.leighb.com/jhana3.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

dhammarelax
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:59 pm

Re: Pushing Water Uphill

Post by dhammarelax » Wed May 20, 2015 11:17 am

Myotai wrote:Hi everyone,

A little inspiration required here!

I get up regularly around 5am to sit. I think over the last year only once have I experienced anything that could be close to being described as concentrated, as for Access Concentration I doubt whether I have come close TBH. I have been using Anapanasati as a main practice but find that after 10/15 mins I lose what awareness I had on the breath and become merely aware of the absence of my body awareness and more aware of my immediate environment...it all feels really open and 'big' (not a particularly good description sorry). Either way no focus, just expansion.

I must be doing something wrong, I mean really wrong, as there's no positive movement in my practice. I have tried addressing my motives, my attitude (too eager or not enough etc...) but I honestly can't think of where I am going wrong. I am also aware of not looking too hard for signs.

Just one small indication that I am improving my concentration would be good but its not there.

I feel like I am stuck, completely.

Thanks in advance for any advice and/or inspiration.
The Brahamaviharas are the easiest way of achieving Jhana that I know of, I practice this way and the progress I got is unbelievable I highly recommend following exactly this instructions:

http://talks.dhammasukha.org/metta-davis-mm-070215.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Smile all the time
dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Myotai
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Re: Pushing Water Uphill

Post by Myotai » Wed May 20, 2015 8:18 pm

Thanks,

Just so hard at the moment to even achieve access concentration. It's constantly out of reach.

paul
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Location: Vietnam

Re: Pushing Water Uphill

Post by paul » Thu May 21, 2015 9:16 am

You've outgrown the reason for your practice; one needs to find a way to be aware of one's defilements as a goad to practice, to give reason to practice. This is found through an insight approach, not a serenity one.

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Myotai
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Re: Pushing Water Uphill

Post by Myotai » Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am

paul wrote:You've outgrown the reason for your practice; one needs to find a way to be aware of one's defilements as a goad to practice, to give reason to practice. This is found through an insight approach, not a serenity one.
Thats an interesting thought - can you explain a little more?

paul
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Re: Pushing Water Uphill

Post by paul » Thu May 21, 2015 5:14 pm

I guess you mean how does one become aware of one's own defilements. Everyone has different mental abilities and what applies to me won't apply to others, all I can do is but explain my own experience. Firstly, it's astounding to me how disconnected you are from your spiritual environment and this may be as a result of poor teaching, which treats meditation as a hermetically sealed activity, disconnected from daily life. When younger, I developed concentration to the level of access (and no higher) and with it came an ability to discern the minds of others; I am aware of the potential demons (in the form of other people) in my social environment and have to deal with them daily. As one develops concentration, one or other of the five higher powers will become incipient, depending on one's mental abilities; it's a matter of being aware of that personal aptitude. So to me meditation is a survival tool in daily living, in the sense I am honing those wholesome qualities I am deficient in and reducing those which are toxic, (in terms of the four right efforts) so as to make it easier for myself in the battle in which I am engaged every day; the behaviour of other people is only an expression of one's own inner condition. You seem to be totally unaware of the spiritual forces around you (in the form of other people) and how they relate to your practice and are an indicator of your progress. This is what is meant by," The Dhamma is.....visible here and now, not delayed, inviting of inspection, onward-leading and directly experienceable by the wise."

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