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Reproducing the same mental states at will. Possible?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 6:41 pm
by ieee23
One thing I have always found interesting about meditation is how just the SLIGHTEST change in attitude/approach -- with the exact same method -- can produce very different ( and many ) mental states.

Over the years I have learned to recognize and remember some mental states.

While I've experienced some of those states more than once, I haven't been able to intentionally reproduce them.

My guess that is partly about starting a sit under different conditions ( sleep, food, levels of excitement that day, the week before, etc ).

Is being able to produce a particular mental state a possible skill and if so, is it limited to monastics/people who mediatate a lot?

Is it possible for an hour a day practioner?

Re: Reproducing the same mental states at will. Possible?

Posted: Sun May 24, 2015 7:03 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Yes, it's possible, and is an acquired skill.

One of the suttas in the Saṃyutta gives a simile of a skilled cook who takes note of which dishes the king enjoys, and therefore gains rewards from the king, while an unskilled cook does not.

So, yes, take note of the conditions that lead to good concentration and try to repeat them.

Re: Reproducing the same mental states at will. Possible?

Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 12:38 am
by santa100
More details on SN 47.8: The Cook is available here

Re: Reproducing the same mental states at will. Possible?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 7:54 pm
by dhammarelax
ieee23 wrote:One thing I have always found interesting about meditation is how just the SLIGHTEST change in attitude/approach -- with the exact same method -- can produce very different ( and many ) mental states.

Over the years I have learned to recognize and remember some mental states.

While I've experienced some of those states more than once, I haven't been able to intentionally reproduce them.

My guess that is partly about starting a sit under different conditions ( sleep, food, levels of excitement that day, the week before, etc ).

Is being able to produce a particular mental state a possible skill and if so, is it limited to monastics/people who mediatate a lot?

Is it possible for an hour a day practioner?
One of the things that the Buddha says is that the Dhamma is immediately effective, this means that if you practice correctly according to the dhamma the results are visible immediately not in some distant future so an hour a day is more than enough, some reproducible mental states are called Jhanas and they are something special, described 2500 years ago in the Buddhist canon this states can be experienced by any meditator. The easiest way I know of achieving them is practicing Metta, check Bhante Vimalaramsi instructions on you tube.

If you breach precepts a lot you will see changes in your meditation but otherwise the Jhanas are quite stable.

smile all the time
dhammarelax