Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by danieLion » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:12 pm

convivium wrote:these teachers think it's problematic to stay in one spot (e.g. webu sayadaw).
i'm not saying that i disagree in a certain sense. but i haven't had much success with their methods (e.g. ajahn lee method 2) coming from the goenka tradition. right now staying in one spot is the only thing that i can handle with my attention span (while keeping silent for long enough)...
The problem is that "spot" is just an idea. The body, while ultimately just an idea, is much more practical for awareness.

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:24 am

it's not an idea, it's a sensation.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:26 am

or rather it's a point or range of sensations that you can focus on potentially to the exclusion of other sensations. but knowing what is sensation and what is idea is a point of insight (nama rupa). but then i don't know exactly what "idea" means to you.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by danieLion » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:18 am

convivium wrote:or rather it's a point or range of sensations that you can focus on potentially to the exclusion of other sensations. but knowing what is sensation and what is idea is a point of insight (nama rupa). but then i don't know exactly what "idea" means to you.
There's what it means to me and what it means to others and never the twain shall meet. We may for pragmatic purposes temporarily agree on a conventional, public meaning, but we cannot utimately verify whether or not my private understanding exactly matches another's private understanding.

“For a large class of cases—though not for all—in which we employ the word ‘meaning’ it can be defined thus: the meaning of a word is its use in the language” (Wittgenstein, PhiIosophical Investigations, p. 43).

Say the spot you pick is the "dan tian" or a "chakra." Exaclty where and what these are is a personal ideation. It's a private event. I can't make you feel what I conceive of as my "spot" but only convey to you through language what I think it is. You may agree or disagree, but even if we agree we only have each other's words to go by. Even if we specify an anatomical object, say "the navel," my private conception of where the navel ends and where it begins is completely personal. To take a crude example, if I have an "inny" and you have an "outty" then when we ideate the navel as the spot of contemplation we don't mean the same thing at all because empty holes and fleshy bumps are publicly verifiable as two different things. If we say, "It's the area, not the anatomy" we are still in trouble. "Area" is an ideation, too. We may agree that the navel is part of the abdomen but disagree on where to draw distinguishing lines between the abdomen from other parts of the torso. Even if we agree that we experience our spot sensationally via nama-rupa, we are still dealing with private mental constructs. I might select the earth elements present in my spot via intention, attention, feeling, contact and perception while you might select the water elements present in you spot via mentality. Your spot may seem warm, mine cold; yours motionless, mine moving. So we cannot even clearly distinguish an idea from a sensation, for "sensation" is an ideation too.

Even the term "body" is an idea. For yogis, the import of "whole-body" awareness--like all ideas--is purely pragmatic. If there was a consensus about "body" or "whole-body" topics like this wouldn't be necessary. So we are playing a language game. When we accept an instruction from our teacher about focusing on the "whole-body" we are not agreeing on an ultimate definition but a conventional meaning that serves our practical purposes for the moment--in this case for the purpose of being aware of an object of samadhi. But we still have to test this privately. When we cannot verify it personally, we return to our language games with our teacher or fellow practitioners for clarification ang go back and forth like this until we are satisified with knowing for ourselves the value of the experience, at which point we have no need to rely on convention. Knowing for ourselves implies we are not knowing for others, so their ideations about spots, or nama rupa, or body become irrelevant.

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by Nyana » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:40 am

:goodpost:

Also, Ven. Ñāṇananda, Nibbāna Sermon 01:
  • Even though he is able to recognize objects by their conventional names, for the purpose of comprehending name-and-form, a meditator makes use of those factors that are included under 'name': feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. All these have a specific value to each individual and that is why the Dhamma has to be understood each one by himself -- paccattaṃ veditabbo. This Dhamma has to be realized by oneself. One has to understand one's own world of name-and-form by oneself. No one else can do it for him. Nor can it be defined or denoted by technical terms. [Emphasis added.]

Goob
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:14 pm

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by Goob » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:52 pm

And yet is it assumed that this name & form relationship is fundamentally the same for everyone?

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:32 pm

thoughts and dream-like experience or hallucinations (nimittas), and distinctions or mappings can be discerned from bodily sensations (vedana) by using the bodily sensations as a frame of reference with enough samadhi.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:06 pm

feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention.
i guess i had a naive conception of nama rupa based on the experience i described. i don't see how e.g. contact is categorized as nama. i wasn't familiar with this list. edit: i think it's a very interesting list.
Last edited by convivium on Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:10 pm

i appreciate the wittgenstein reference in a buddhist forum and will have to read your post more carefully when i can. one knee jerk response is that theravada works with fabrications and distinctions to get beyond distinctions and fabrications. crowley was a black magician and a drug addict and RAW was a new age hippy stoner so i am going to be biased towards anything you have to say :tongue:
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

danieLion
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by danieLion » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:06 pm

Ñāṇa wrote::goodpost:

Also, Ven. Ñāṇananda, Nibbāna Sermon 01:
  • Even though he is able to recognize objects by their conventional names, for the purpose of comprehending name-and-form, a meditator makes use of those factors that are included under 'name': feeling, perception, intention, contact and attention. All these have a specific value to each individual and that is why the Dhamma has to be understood each one by himself -- paccattaṃ veditabbo. This Dhamma has to be realized by oneself. One has to understand one's own world of name-and-form by oneself. No one else can do it for him. Nor can it be defined or denoted by technical terms. [Emphasis added.]
The "Heretic" Buddhist fascinates me lately. Thanks for this.

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3368
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by Mr Man » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:27 pm

danieLion wrote: The "Heretic" Buddhist fascinates me lately. Thanks for this.
o/t unfortunately the website which had a good interview with Ven. Ñāṇananda no longer seems to be there.

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46 pm

he's a heretic?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

User avatar
convivium
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 7:13 am

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by convivium » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:55 pm

i'd like to know the context and background of the quote if you consider the guy a heretic. i'm interested in his classification of nama rupa and how it relates to the suttas... or if you would contextualize it with mahayana thought whether e.g. yogacara or madhyamaka
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16460
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:43 am

convivium wrote:he's a heretic?
I don't think so, but it makes a catchy headline...

As Mr Man says, the interview seems to have disappeared from the particular links here:
http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2010/10 ... etic-sage/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7338" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16460
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Teachers teaching Jhana as whole-body awareness?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:49 am

OK, thanks!

:anjali:
Mike

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests