Do you think that you might be taking to much for granted?
Often. But not in this case
I have never come across the Buddha mentioning hatha yoga or any specific exercise other than walking.
Long breath, short breath, staying aware of breath: pranayama
satipatthana sutta wrote:
"Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long. Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short. He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication. Just as a skilled turner or his apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns that he is making a long turn, or when making a short turn discerns that he is making a short turn; in the same way the monk, when breathing in long, discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short... He trains himself to breathe in calming bodily fabrication, and to breathe out calming bodily fabrication.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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This is well known yoga training.
satipatthana sutta wrote:
"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that 'There is a body' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.
This gives the training a different direction. During hatha yoga states like this the awareness (sampajanna) is present, one discerns directly, now, in the present. But hatha yoga teaches to do something with this skill, just like the teachers of the Buddha taught how to develop into higher and higher jhanas. The Buddha instead gave it a different direction, namely to pay attention to the awareness itself, to practice this awareness to reduce the clinging.
As far as I am aware the four jhanas "As taught by the Buddha" are not to be found with yoga teachers or anyone else outside the Buddhas dispensation. The jhanas of Hindu origin are without discernment.
Discernment arises with awareness (sampajanna). It is present during jhana (and there is really no difference between Buddhist jhana and Hindu jhana, just look who taught the Buddha jhana in the first place: they were no Buddhists) as it arises from concentration on the right objects such as the sphere of nothingness. In all jhanic states one can practice discernment or choose to just enjoy the ride.
Brizzi, this is really the most important aspect of the Buddha's teaching: to discern between the experience itself (such as jhana or not jhana) and the awareness (sampajanna) that discerns it. If someone does not know this difference all the suttas are interpreted in the wrong context.
The jhanas of the Buddhas dispensation are the culmination of satipatthana.
Sure. Increasing concentration leads to jhana. Even in tandem with awareness. But the jhanas are still the jhanas, one can discern them, one knows the experience. The difference is the identification, the Buddha's teachers taught to be absorbed (lucidly) in the jhanas (say, the nothingness or "neither perception or non perception"), but for them the pleasant feeling of jhana entered and remained (because that is what they wanted). They identified with the jhanic state. The Buddha choose to pay attention to the awareness and observation rather than the experience itself, thus Liberating Himself from the experience and the identification with the state.
The point is to practice discernment during jhana one has to first experience jhana. Makes no sense otherwise.
The eightfold path IS a progressive path with right view as first, leading eventually to mindfulness culminating into the jhanas.
Yes, but one cannot have right view when the eye is shut. So one has to first open the eye, see and discern. Seeing and discerning lead to right view, that leads to memory (sati) to keep the eye open, that leads to concentration, that leads to jhana. Those suttas starting with right view imply that the practitioner has already opened the eye and sees.
I have often read people wanting to start with right view, but they don't know what right view is because their eye is closed. Right view is not something one can imagine by reading some suttas. One is not taming one's mind by this. The suttas compare the mind to an elephant (or a horse sometimes), and that one needs to tame it.
Quite excellent are well trained & completely tamed
Elephants and full-blooded horses, yet far better is
the one, who have tamed himself ....
Not by Taming elephants can one reach the beyond.
Only by Taming own mind can one reach the beyond.
http://what-buddha-said.net/Canon/Sutta ... htm#hapter
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; XXIII The Elephant - Nagga
Taming one's mind is not too dissimilar to training an elephant. This is why the Buddha used the metaphor. To practice taming, controling one's mind and body (such as in hatha yoga) is the fundamental practice of the Dhamma vinaya. Taming leads to right view because the eye opens.