Metta vs. Breath

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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srivijaya
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by srivijaya » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:12 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?

smile all the time
dhammarelax
I have found the breath to be a more direct object because it is just 'there', without me having to fabricate feelings and radiate them out into the universe. With the breath, there is no need to expect or create an outcome, there is just release.

:namaste:

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Alex123
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Alex123 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:27 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?

smile all the time
dhammarelax
quantity does not equal quality, and one may have to use multiple meditation methods on ad hoc basis.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:35 pm

Alex123 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?

smile all the time
dhammarelax
quantity does not equal quality, and one may have to use multiple meditation methods on ad hoc basis.
I guess that is the bottom line, does repetition in the Pali cannon mean anything? After all I believe that the breath is the most detailed meditation in the cannon.

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

Coyote
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Coyote » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:42 pm

dhammarelax wrote: I guess that is the bottom line, does repetition in the Pali cannon mean anything? After all I believe that the breath is the most detailed meditation in the cannon.
Ven. Sujato points out in "A Swift Pair of Messengers" pg.112 that the six recollections and the brahmaviharas are most often recommended to lay people in the suttas. But perhaps that is more to do with their non-nibbanic goals? After all, the brahmaviharas are said to be the way to rebirth in heaven.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:48 pm

Coyote wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: I guess that is the bottom line, does repetition in the Pali cannon mean anything? After all I believe that the breath is the most detailed meditation in the cannon.
Ven. Sujato points out in "A Swift Pair of Messengers" pg.112 that the six recollections and the brahmaviharas are most often recommended to lay people in the suttas. But perhaps that is more to do with their non-nibbanic goals? After all, the brahmaviharas are said to be the way to rebirth in heaven.
Don't forget:

4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana

It comes to my mind when the Buddha says I teach suffering and the end of suffering, heaven is not the end of suffering so I wonder if he would actually teach something just to gain a rebirth in paradise, I remember reading that Ajahn Brahms stated that rebirth in heaven is a desirable thing but I am not sure about this.

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

Coyote
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Coyote » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:01 pm

dhammarelax wrote:
Don't forget:

4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana

It comes to my mind when the Buddha says I teach suffering and the end of suffering, heaven is not the end of suffering so I wonder if he would actually teach something just to gain a rebirth in paradise, I remember reading that Ajahn Brahms stated that rebirth in heaven is a desirable thing but I am not sure about this.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
Yes, I'm pretty sure that the Buddha taught the way to favorable births such as heaven, and perhaps more importantly the way to avoid unfavorable ones. There are good reasons for these kind of teachings. Firstly, it is difficult to practice under certain unfavorable circumstances. Secondly, it is not so different from liberation. It is, after all, wholesome kamma. Thirdly, some people might not have the right circumstances to practice very intently in this life.

I'm wondering whether it is a difference in goals that is the cause for these kind of distinctions (lay metta vs ordained anapanasati) that we find in the suttas. After all, I think right view is far more important for attaining nibbana than a specific meditation practice.

Also, where to do get this idea "4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana"? I'm pretty sure that, if we are talking suttas here, that such high attainments are pretty much off limits for a non-anagami layperson.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

dhammarelax
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:23 pm

Coyote wrote:
dhammarelax wrote:
Don't forget:

4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana

It comes to my mind when the Buddha says I teach suffering and the end of suffering, heaven is not the end of suffering so I wonder if he would actually teach something just to gain a rebirth in paradise, I remember reading that Ajahn Brahms stated that rebirth in heaven is a desirable thing but I am not sure about this.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
Yes, I'm pretty sure that the Buddha taught the way to favorable births such as heaven, and perhaps more importantly the way to avoid unfavorable ones. There are good reasons for these kind of teachings. Firstly, it is difficult to practice under certain unfavorable circumstances. Secondly, it is not so different from liberation. It is, after all, wholesome kamma. Thirdly, some people might not have the right circumstances to practice very intently in this life.

I'm wondering whether it is a difference in goals that is the cause for these kind of distinctions (lay metta vs ordained anapanasati) that we find in the suttas. After all, I think right view is far more important for attaining nibbana than a specific meditation practice.

Also, where to do get this idea "4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana"? I'm pretty sure that, if we are talking suttas here, that such high attainments are pretty much off limits for a non-anagami layperson.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"And how is awareness-release through equanimity developed, what is its destination, what is its excellence, its fruit, & its consummation?

"There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening accompanied by equanimity, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening accompanied by equanimity, dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful. Or, with the complete transcending of the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) 'There is nothing,' he enters & remains in the sphere of nothingness. I tell you, monks, awareness-release through equanimity has the sphere of nothingness as its excellence — in the case of one who has penetrated to no higher release."
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 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:37 pm

Coyote wrote:
dhammarelax wrote:
Don't forget:

4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana

It comes to my mind when the Buddha says I teach suffering and the end of suffering, heaven is not the end of suffering so I wonder if he would actually teach something just to gain a rebirth in paradise, I remember reading that Ajahn Brahms stated that rebirth in heaven is a desirable thing but I am not sure about this.

smile all the time
dhammarelax
Yes, I'm pretty sure that the Buddha taught the way to favorable births such as heaven, and perhaps more importantly the way to avoid unfavorable ones. There are good reasons for these kind of teachings. Firstly, it is difficult to practice under certain unfavorable circumstances. Secondly, it is not so different from liberation. It is, after all, wholesome kamma. Thirdly, some people might not have the right circumstances to practice very intently in this life.

I'm wondering whether it is a difference in goals that is the cause for these kind of distinctions (lay metta vs ordained anapanasati) that we find in the suttas. After all, I think right view is far more important for attaining nibbana than a specific meditation practice.

Also, where to do get this idea "4 Brahamaviharas plus 7 factors of awakening = Base of Nothingness Jhana"? I'm pretty sure that, if we are talking suttas here, that such high attainments are pretty much off limits for a non-anagami layperson.
Do you have a Sutta reference for favorable rebirth intention for the teachings? Rebirth in heaven as far as I understand involves a lot of pleasure, but it ends, even after a long period of time it ends and then what? again in to Samsara the eternal suffering wheel, liberation is different, is the end of suffering not the temporal suspension of it.

I find the approach of MN 117 to be good, Jhana has as a requisite and condition right view but to walk the 8 fold path you need all the factors.

The Brahamaviharas is not exclusivlly a lay teaching, even in http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html MN 118 (Minfullness of breathing)] we read: "..there are bhikkhus who abide devoted to the development of loving-kindness..."

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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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:41 pm

dhammarelax wrote: Do you have a Sutta reference for favorable rebirth intention for the teachings?
See In the Buddha's Words, Chapter V. The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:53 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: Do you have a Sutta reference for favorable rebirth intention for the teachings?
See In the Buddha's Words, Chapter V. The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth.

:anjali:
Mike
Wow, thanks I wasn't aware of this, the Buddha actually encourages not to be afraid of meritorious deeds that lead to good rebirths.

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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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by Coyote » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:23 pm

dhammarelax wrote:
Do you have a Sutta reference for favorable rebirth intention for the teachings? Rebirth in heaven as far as I understand involves a lot of pleasure, but it ends, even after a long period of time it ends and then what? again in to Samsara the eternal suffering wheel, liberation is different, is the end of suffering not the temporal suspension of it.

I find the approach of MN 117 to be good, Jhana has as a requisite and condition right view but to walk the 8 fold path you need all the factors.

The Brahamaviharas is not exclusivlly a lay teaching, even in http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html MN 118 (Minfullness of breathing)] we read: "..there are bhikkhus who abide devoted to the development of loving-kindness..."

smile all the time
dhammarelax

For brahmaviharas leading to heaven see MN99 Subha Sutta. Unfortunately the MN in sutta central is malfunctioning for me so I can't provide a link.

Of course, heaven and favourable rebirths in general are all impermanent. They have drawbacks. But they are also the result of wholesome kamma 1 2. The Buddha did also give advice on how to continue to practice dhamma in the next life, so it's not an either-or situation.

Ven. Sujato's point, I think, was not that the brahmaviharas are exclusively a lay practice, or that they can't provide the basis for insight. It's just that lay people are usually seen to be practicing them over satipatthana and anapanasati. But as I said, this could be for reasons other than a lay vs. ordained distinction. It could be a heavenly rebirth vs ariya goal distinction. But I am just guessing.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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mikenz66
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:11 am

dhammarelax wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
dhammarelax wrote: Do you have a Sutta reference for favorable rebirth intention for the teachings?
See In the Buddha's Words, Chapter V. The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth.
Wow, thanks I wasn't aware of this, the Buddha actually encourages not to be afraid of meritorious deeds that lead to good rebirths.
It's good to read a wide selection of suttas, not just those addressed to monastics in intense practice.

This thread: Suttas for the Householder is well worth examining.

:anjali:
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dxm_dxm » Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:39 pm

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.
Just wanted to point out that althow those are the most powerfull side-effects that come from those types of meditation they are not the only ones. The benefits can not be reduced only to that. Metta is beneficient in a big number of ways. Also it is worth mentioning that it is more difficult to concentrate on a feeling than on a physical sensation so it is best to start with concentration meditation to be able to do metta more effective

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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by dhammarelax » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:28 pm

dxm_dxm 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.
Just wanted to point out that althow those are the most powerfull side-effects that come from those types of meditation they are not the only ones. The benefits can not be reduced only to that. Metta is beneficient in a big number of ways. Also it is worth mentioning that it is more difficult to concentrate on a feeling than on a physical sensation so it is best to start with concentration meditation to be able to do metta more effective
The breathing meditation as taught by the Buddha involves not only paying attention to the breath but depending on the step you are on, you are for example breathing in sensitive to rapture, 2 things to pay attention the breath and the feeling of rapture, or earlier breaths in tranquilizing the bodily formation, again 2 things the breath and the tranquilizing and so on. With metta you only have one: the feeling.

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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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by badscooter » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:28 pm

dhammarelax wrote:
dxm_dxm 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.
Just wanted to point out that althow those are the most powerfull side-effects that come from those types of meditation they are not the only ones. The benefits can not be reduced only to that. Metta is beneficient in a big number of ways. Also it is worth mentioning that it is more difficult to concentrate on a feeling than on a physical sensation so it is best to start with concentration meditation to be able to do metta more effective
The breathing meditation as taught by the Buddha involves not only paying attention to the breath but depending on the step you are on, you are for example breathing in sensitive to rapture, 2 things to pay attention the breath and the feeling of rapture, or earlier breaths in tranquilizing the bodily formation, again 2 things the breath and the tranquilizing and so on. With metta you only have one: the feeling.

Smile all the time
dhammarelax
I would say that since one can practice right mindfulness (4 satipatthana) and develop the 7 factors with the breath that one should try to stick with that.

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

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mirco
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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by mirco » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:41 pm

srivijaya wrote:I have found the breath to be a more direct object because it is just 'there', without me having to fabricate feelings and radiate them out into the universe. With the breath, there is no need to expect or create an outcome, there is just release:
I experience it the same way (just there). But, Metta to me is like a higher challenge, because it involves more citta activity and thus I can learn more. This again helps me better to cope with my citta in daily activities. And I can incorporate Metta more easily in my daily life than breath.

Kind Regards
"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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Re: Metta vs. Breath

Post by NotMe » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:05 am

mirco wrote:
srivijaya wrote:I have found the breath to be a more direct object because it is just 'there', without me having to fabricate feelings and radiate them out into the universe. With the breath, there is no need to expect or create an outcome, there is just release:
I experience it the same way (just there). But, Metta to me is like a higher challenge, because it involves more citta activity and thus I can learn more. This again helps me better to cope with my citta in daily activities. And I can incorporate Metta more easily in my daily life than breath.
Kind Regards
Greetings mirco. Good post.

One can treat metta and breath interchangably, but as mirco and srivijaya pointed out, the breath can be autonomous and the metta requires more fabrication.

Instead of breath focus, its metta focus - nothing else changes from the intent except:
When it comes to "spreading things out" in the body to fullness, while the breath is ever-present, the metta's intent was to fill the all of the all, and its feedback has a force that can greatly ease the spreading - and relax the spreading in its afterglow to further stillness.

So i've heard.

metta

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