Metta vs. Breath

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
dhammarelax
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Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:37 pm

Hi, I found this here, it mentions that while the breath meditation is discussed 8 times in the Suttas, Metta is discussed more than one hundred times, is this an indication of a preference towards one of the methods?

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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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waterchan
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by waterchan » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:39 pm

Does meditation have to be either one or the other? Why not both?

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badscooter
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by badscooter » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:01 pm

I do not consider vimalaramsi to be a reliable or trust worthy source.
I believe the Buddha taught many different kinds of meditation all dependent on who he was teaching to..
I believe the themes he taught to keep in mind for mindfulness meditation are the four satipatthana.
I believe anyone teaching a "secret technique" that which is said to be the only "true" technique of the Buddha is a snake oil salesman.

Maha metta
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

dhammarelax
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:14 am

badscooter wrote:I do not consider vimalaramsi to be a reliable or trust worthy source.
I believe the Buddha taught many different kinds of meditation all dependent on who he was teaching to..
I believe the themes he taught to keep in mind for mindfulness meditation are the four satipatthana.
I believe anyone teaching a "secret technique" that which is said to be the only "true" technique of the Buddha is a snake oil salesman.

Maha metta
Why do you think Bhante Vimalramsi is not a reliable source?
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

dhammarelax
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:16 am

waterchan wrote:Does meditation have to be either one or the other? Why not both?
My experience is that you are better off dedicating yourself to master one method.
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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tiltbillings
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:10 am

dhammarelax wrote:
badscooter wrote:I do not consider vimalaramsi to be a reliable or trust worthy source.
I believe the Buddha taught many different kinds of meditation all dependent on who he was teaching to..
I believe the themes he taught to keep in mind for mindfulness meditation are the four satipatthana.
I believe anyone teaching a "secret technique" that which is said to be the only "true" technique of the Buddha is a snake oil salesman.

Maha metta
Why do you think Bhante Vimalramsi is not a reliable source?
This thread and this thread may give some idea as to why Vimalaramsi may be seen as being problematic by some.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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badscooter
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by badscooter » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:27 am

dhammarelax wrote:
badscooter wrote:I do not consider vimalaramsi to be a reliable or trust worthy source.
I believe the Buddha taught many different kinds of meditation all dependent on who he was teaching to..
I believe the themes he taught to keep in mind for mindfulness meditation are the four satipatthana.
I believe anyone teaching a "secret technique" that which is said to be the only "true" technique of the Buddha is a snake oil salesman.

Maha metta
Why do you think Bhante Vimalramsi is not a reliable source?
Well tilt just gave two threads to look at. I go off of the personal conversations I've had with him and his senior students. The constant response to all legitimate questions that they could not answer would be "just try the method for yourself and see if it works". This was after a bunch of back and forth about the suttas and evidence found there in..

That kinda showed me how he/they are sneaky and hypocritical. They don't want me to pass judgement on their practice until I try it, however, they have no problem passing judgement on all other practices.. And I know for a fact that they haven't tried all of them because they told me.
They like to say that "all other" practices are all wrong except his method. He told me to try for myself to decide. It's a shame he didn't take his own advise...

Apparently there are a slew of stream enters and once returners that vimalaramsi has labeled over there. It seems to me people in that practice are being taught to dramatically over estimate their attainments. From the discussions I've had with them a lot of what they consider attainments seem to come from what is known as wrong concentration practices.

When trying his method it was almost the exact same method I had done with a Tibetan Rinpoche many years ago. Nothing new...

I prefer more scholarly monks like Venerable Analayo.
Maha metta
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

dhammarelax
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:56 pm

badscooter wrote:
dhammarelax wrote:
badscooter wrote:I do not consider vimalaramsi to be a reliable or trust worthy source.
I believe the Buddha taught many different kinds of meditation all dependent on who he was teaching to..
I believe the themes he taught to keep in mind for mindfulness meditation are the four satipatthana.
I believe anyone teaching a "secret technique" that which is said to be the only "true" technique of the Buddha is a snake oil salesman.

Maha metta
Why do you think Bhante Vimalramsi is not a reliable source?
Well tilt just gave two threads to look at. I go off of the personal conversations I've had with him and his senior students. The constant response to all legitimate questions that they could not answer would be "just try the method for yourself and see if it works". This was after a bunch of back and forth about the suttas and evidence found there in..

That kinda showed me how he/they are sneaky and hypocritical. They don't want me to pass judgement on their practice until I try it, however, they have no problem passing judgement on all other practices.. And I know for a fact that they haven't tried all of them because they told me.
They like to say that "all other" practices are all wrong except his method. He told me to try for myself to decide. It's a shame he didn't take his own advise...

Apparently there are a slew of stream enters and once returners that vimalaramsi has labeled over there. It seems to me people in that practice are being taught to dramatically over estimate their attainments. From the discussions I've had with them a lot of what they consider attainments seem to come from what is known as wrong concentration practices.

When trying his method it was almost the exact same method I had done with a Tibetan Rinpoche many years ago. Nothing new...

I prefer more scholarly monks like Venerable Analayo.
Maha metta
Did you get any results from his method?
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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tsurezuregusa
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by tsurezuregusa » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:21 pm

dhammarelax wrote:Hi, I found this here, it mentions that while the breath meditation is discussed 8 times in the Suttas, Metta is discussed more than one hundred times, is this an indication of a preference towards one of the methods?
Did you actually do the work yourself and counted how many times the breath meditation is mentioned or are you just going by hearsay? Did you know that the Buddha indicated that Metta bhavana leads to the Brahma heavens only unless you put in some Satipatthana vipassana practice. Why then not go directly and practice Satipatthana.

Additionally, Metta practice is recommended to overcome hatred. I would say that most people lean more towards sense desires than to hatred. Therefore some asubha bhavana might be a better way to go.

Kind regards,
Florian

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Mr Man
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Mr Man » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:49 pm

tsurezuregusa wrote:
Additionally, Metta practice is recommended to overcome hatred. I would say that most people lean more towards sense desires than to hatred. Therefore some asubha bhavana might be a better way to go.

Kind regards,
Florian
Hi Florian
Is asubha bhavana a suitable practice for lay people? Many people suffer from self loathing as well as sense desires, would this make asubha bhavana inappropriate? My personal view is that asubha bhavana may not be appropriate without some hands on guidance and within the right setting, unless one has a very strong grounding in Dhamma.

dhammarelax
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:06 pm

tsurezuregusa wrote:
dhammarelax wrote:Hi, I found this here, it mentions that while the breath meditation is discussed 8 times in the Suttas, Metta is discussed more than one hundred times, is this an indication of a preference towards one of the methods?
Did you actually do the work yourself and counted how many times the breath meditation is mentioned or are you just going by hearsay? Did you know that the Buddha indicated that Metta bhavana leads to the Brahma heavens only unless you put in some Satipatthana vipassana practice. Why then not go directly and practice Satipatthana.

Additionally, Metta practice is recommended to overcome hatred. I would say that most people lean more towards sense desires than to hatred. Therefore some asubha bhavana might be a better way to go.

Kind regards,
Florian
Nope I didnt count.
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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badscooter
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by badscooter » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:34 pm

dhammarelax wrote:
badscooter wrote:Well tilt just gave two threads to look at. I go off of the personal conversations I've had with him and his senior students. The constant response to all legitimate questions that they could not answer would be "just try the method for yourself and see if it works". This was after a bunch of back and forth about the suttas and evidence found there in..

That kinda showed me how he/they are sneaky and hypocritical. They don't want me to pass judgement on their practice until I try it, however, they have no problem passing judgement on all other practices.. And I know for a fact that they haven't tried all of them because they told me.
They like to say that "all other" practices are all wrong except his method. He told me to try for myself to decide. It's a shame he didn't take his own advise...

Apparently there are a slew of stream enters and once returners that vimalaramsi has labeled over there. It seems to me people in that practice are being taught to dramatically over estimate their attainments. From the discussions I've had with them a lot of what they consider attainments seem to come from what is known as wrong concentration practices.

When trying his method it was almost the exact same method I had done with a Tibetan Rinpoche many years ago. Nothing new...

I prefer more scholarly monks like Venerable Analayo.
Maha metta
Did you get any results from his method?
The Tibetan monk? sure...
although one didn't just stick with metta only. meditation objects could and would change, sometimes in the same sitting (much like some vipassana schools) however they called the practice more calm abiding rather than insight. Usually though one would use any object that was available. There was sound meditation, breath meditation, meditation on the physical body sensations, metta meditation, tonglen meditation, objectless meditation (relaxing in present moment), meditation on form, meditation on smell, meditation on thoughts and meditating on feelings.

maha metta
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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tsurezuregusa
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by tsurezuregusa » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:48 pm

Mr Man wrote:
tsurezuregusa wrote:
Additionally, Metta practice is recommended to overcome hatred. I would say that most people lean more towards sense desires than to hatred. Therefore some asubha bhavana might be a better way to go.

Kind regards,
Florian
Hi Florian
Is asubha bhavana a suitable practice for lay people? Many people suffer from self loathing as well as sense desires, would this make asubha bhavana inappropriate? My personal view is that asubha bhavana may not be appropriate without some hands on guidance and within the right setting, unless one has a very strong grounding in Dhamma.
Sometimes asubha meditation is limited to contemplation about the different types of decaying corpses. But it also includes the contemplation of the 32 body parts. And that is something most people I guess are familiar with from their high school biology classes. So that shouldn't cause any problems and I consider it a definitive suitable practice for lay people.

I am not sure about self-loathing, is that a "normal state" like sensual desires or more like a psychological disorder?

Kind regards,
Florian

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mikenz66
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:05 pm

The advice I've had from monastics, which I've found to be helpful, is that the first ("external")
pentad of the contemplation is usually effective enough to deal with sensual desire.
‘In this body there are head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, ...
https://suttacentral.net/en/mn10
:anjali:
Mike

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mirco
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by mirco » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:57 pm

badscooter wrote:When trying [Vimalaramsi's] method it was almost the exact same method I had done with a Tibetan Rinpoche many years ago. Nothing new...

although one didn't just stick with metta only. meditation objects could and would change, sometimes in the same sitting (much like some vipassana schools) however they called the practice more calm abiding rather than insight. Usually though one would use any object that was available. There was sound meditation, breath meditation, meditation on the physical body sensations, metta meditation, tonglen meditation, objectless meditation (relaxing in present moment), meditation on form, meditation on smell, meditation on thoughts and meditating on feelings.
Dear Scooter,

as far as I am acquainted with the Ven. Vimalaramsis method, switching the meditation object to "any object that [is] available" is one thing he stresses one should not do.

Best Wishes :)
Last edited by mirco on Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." - Bhikkhu Anālayo

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Mr Man
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Mr Man » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:55 am

tsurezuregusa wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
tsurezuregusa wrote:
Additionally, Metta practice is recommended to overcome hatred. I would say that most people lean more towards sense desires than to hatred. Therefore some asubha bhavana might be a better way to go.

Kind regards,
Florian
Hi Florian
Is asubha bhavana a suitable practice for lay people? Many people suffer from self loathing as well as sense desires, would this make asubha bhavana inappropriate? My personal view is that asubha bhavana may not be appropriate without some hands on guidance and within the right setting, unless one has a very strong grounding in Dhamma.
Sometimes asubha meditation is limited to contemplation about the different types of decaying corpses. But it also includes the contemplation of the 32 body parts. And that is something most people I guess are familiar with from their high school biology classes. So that shouldn't cause any problems and I consider it a definitive suitable practice for lay people.

I am not sure about self-loathing, is that a "normal state" like sensual desires or more like a psychological disorder?

Kind regards,
Florian
Hi Florian

Learning about human biology at school and contemplation of the 32 parts of the body as a meditation object are quite different.

Self loathing is a manifestation of hatred and is not something out of the ordinary.

I think by and large it is best to practice meditation as guided by someone of experience or to stick to the more mainstream methods.

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tsurezuregusa
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by tsurezuregusa » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:06 am

Mr Man wrote:I think by and large it is best to practice meditation as guided by someone of experience or to stick to the more mainstream methods.
I consider asubha meditation a mainstream method. Why do you consider it not to be mainstream?

Kind regards,
Florian

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Mr Man
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Mr Man » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:19 am

tsurezuregusa wrote:
Mr Man wrote:I think by and large it is best to practice meditation as guided by someone of experience or to stick to the more mainstream methods.
I consider asubha meditation a mainstream method. Why do you consider it not to be mainstream?

Kind regards,
Florian
I will tell you what I do consider to be mainstream meditation for lay people: Breath meditation, metta and various sorts of open awareness. I think these are the most suitable in general.

I also think we may be taking the thread away from it's subject now though, so if you wish to discuss this further perhaps we will need a new thread.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:20 am

tsurezuregusa wrote:
Mr Man wrote:I think by and large it is best to practice meditation as guided by someone of experience or to stick to the more mainstream methods.
I consider asubha meditation a mainstream method. Why do you consider it not to be mainstream?

Kind regards,
Florian
It is a potentially very dangerous practice, which is an idea that finds support in the suttas: SN LIV, 9; PTS: S v 320; CDB ii 1773. It is best done with guidance of an experienced teacher, in my opinion.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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badscooter
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by badscooter » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:50 am

mirco wrote:
badscooter wrote:When trying [Vimalaramsi's] method it was almost the exact same method I had done with a Tibetan Rinpoche many years ago. Nothing new...

although one didn't just stick with metta only. meditation objects could and would change, sometimes in the same sitting (much like some vipassana schools) however they called the practice more calm abiding rather than insight. Usually though one would use any object that was available. There was sound meditation, breath meditation, meditation on the physical body sensations, metta meditation, tonglen meditation, objectless meditation (relaxing in present moment), meditation on form, meditation on smell, meditation on thoughts and meditating on feelings.
Dear Scooter,

as far as I am acquainted with the Ven. Vimalaramsis method,
switching the meditation object to "any object that [is] available"
is one thing he stresses one should not do.

Best Wishes :)
Yes I understand that, and when doing metta it was pretty much the same sitting mediatation as vim teaches.

Kind regards
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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