Stage 2 of Ajahn Brahm's meditation guide

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Re: Stage 2 of Ajahn Brahm's meditation guide

Post by damaci » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:35 am

No. If you do that then you end up in what the Chan masters call "the ghost cave in the mountain of darkness". In other words, you end up in a numb state of mind which is very close to sleep (but with awareness), and no matter how much time you spend there in that ghost cave, you will not proceed further (it is not a bad state really, it is just not useful).

Look, it is not very complicated really: Do not want being, do not want non-being. Meditation has nothing to do with desires. If there is even a tiny bit of desire for anything (including wholesome and nice things) during the meditation, it just does not work. This may sound a bit weird, but I call this the dharma's way of defending itself against the intruders. They all want it, and that is exactly why they will not get it.

Instead try this: Sit like a child, with complete innocence; and just let it go. Let go of your controlling mind. That is it in a nutshell. Relax your muscles and relax the tension in the body. Breathe naturally, and do not try to control the breath or try to make it short or long. Your body already knows how to breathe. You just follow the breath however it is and enjoy it.

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Re: Stage 2 of Ajahn Brahm's meditation guide

Post by ieee23 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:45 pm

Hi lostitude,

I've experimented with Ajahn Brahm's method for several years. I've gotten to the second stage "the beautiful breath" many, many times. I haven't gotten too far past that, just some bliss.

The bottom line with his method is that you do not try to do anything. You set the stage for the process and let the brain run through the process on its own while you are passive and watch.

You just stay there and be aware.

Thoughts running through your mind will eventually settle down on their own, giving you present moment awareness. From there present moment awareness will go into the beautiful breath on its own, and from to other stages, on their own.

The thing about this method is that it can take more time than starting off following the breath and making some effort to do so. You are letting the mind empty itself out, at its own pace.

There isn't always room for that when you have been working a few 10 hour days back to back, you are stressed, and your mind is full of anxious, angry, etc thoughts and you need to relax after a long day and go to sleep.

I rotate methods depending on where my mind is starting off.

The states of mind produced by Brahm's technqiues, at least in the begining, are beautiful and worth the time/experimentation.
Last edited by ieee23 on Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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Re: Stage 2 of Ajahn Brahm's meditation guide

Post by lostitude » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:09 pm

Thank you both for your answers :)

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