Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Mojo
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by Mojo » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:00 am

Well, I had the day off work today and ended up going through sections 2 through 10 of the September 7, 2007 talks/meditation exercises. I will be working in experiencing the quality of my breath for the next month I suppose before going onto the next set of talks/exercises.

The last exercise of the day included step 3, being aware of the whole body and Gil did give different common interpretations of this. I'm kinda torn between what he referred to Buddhadasa's method of watching the breath move from the nose at the beginning of the in breath down to the belly at the end if the in breath and back again vs watching the sensations of belly with the in and the out breaths. Also, I'm not sure if I should be focusing on this third step yet or not. Like I said it was the last exercise of the first set of lectures, but then he said that the first month of practice was to be watching the quality of the breath - learning the breath. So I suppose I'm asking people who've gone through this series of talks, should I wait until picking up the next set of talks before focusing on step 3?

Thanks,

Mojo

Dinsdale
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:55 pm

daverupa wrote:Within each tetrad of anapanasati, the steps are designed to lead the practitioner towards letting go in terms of that frame;
Dave, could you elaborate on the "letting go" bit?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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daverupa
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by daverupa » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:19 pm

porpoise wrote:
daverupa wrote:Within each tetrad of anapanasati, the steps are designed to lead the practitioner towards letting go in terms of that frame;
Dave, could you elaborate on the "letting go" bit?
The culminating steps for each satipatthana involve calming, releasing, or relinquishing, which are already based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation (this last being itself the third step of the fourth tetrad, which further emphasizes the attitude here).
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

Rasko
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by Rasko » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:43 pm

Mojo wrote:Also, I'm not sure if I should be focusing on this third step yet or not. Like I said it was the last exercise of the first set of lectures, but then he said that the first month of practice was to be watching the quality of the breath - learning the breath. So I suppose I'm asking people who've gone through this series of talks, should I wait until picking up the next set of talks before focusing on step 3?

Thanks,

Mojo
Hi Mojo,

the way I understood it is that all those guided meditation exercises are things you can try and get familiar with before going forward. The first month is a useful preliminary part before the actual anapanasati steps and the real focusing on step 3 will come later.

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Mojo
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by Mojo » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:24 pm

Rasko wrote:
Mojo wrote:Also, I'm not sure if I should be focusing on this third step yet or not. Like I said it was the last exercise of the first set of lectures, but then he said that the first month of practice was to be watching the quality of the breath - learning the breath. So I suppose I'm asking people who've gone through this series of talks, should I wait until picking up the next set of talks before focusing on step 3?

Thanks,

Mojo
Hi Mojo,

the way I understood it is that all those guided meditation exercises are things you can try and get familiar with before going forward. The first month is a useful preliminary part before the actual anapanasati steps and the real focusing on step 3 will come later.
Thank you. When I got up this morning and meditated, I mostly just tried to watch the quality of my breath, but when I found myself struggling to keep up this concentration, I moved shortly to watching the movement that Gil referred to as the Buddhadasa style and then went back to watching the quality after I felt more concentrated again. :namaste:

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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by badscooter » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:02 pm

Mojo wrote:
Rasko wrote:
Mojo wrote:Does anyone know of a good and free program to help ease one into a full Anapanasati routine over an extended amount of time?
Anapanasati Practice - Mindfulness of Breathing
"Recordings of the Dharma Practice day series on Anapanasati Practice offered by Gil Fronsdal."

The recordings start with an Introduction (September 7, 2007).
Thank you. I found a short bio of Gil on wikipedia. It said he had trained in Zen then Insight meditation. I didn't see anything about Anapanasati proper. Is he considered a good source of instruction on Anapanasati?

Thanks,

Mojo
Gil in my opinion is one of the best dhamma teachers we have in the states! For me he is the best lay teacher we have. He is extremely versed in Theravada Buddhism and Pali. He has a Phd from Stanford in Buddhist Studies. I believe he is the transcriber of an addition of the Dhammapada from the pali to english.

I think he has a great blend of what people call vipassana schools and samatha schools.
There are many great talks on his site here
with metta
:anjali:
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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Mojo
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by Mojo » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:28 pm

I'm clearly drawn to vipassana more than samatha so I think I should really put effort onto learning more about Satipatthana so I'm going to start listening to Joseph Goldstein's Satipatthana series on Dharmaseed.

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badscooter
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by badscooter » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:32 pm

Mojo wrote:I'm clearly drawn to vipassana more than samatha so I think I should really put effort onto learning more about Satipatthana so I'm going to start listening to Joseph Goldstein's Satipatthana series on Dharmaseed.

Good glad to hear... I'm sure you'll get a lot out of it.. He's been known to be a good teacher.
:anjali:
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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Mojo
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Re: Developing an Anapanasati practice over time?

Post by Mojo » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:32 am

Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein might have been the first Dharma book I ever bought. I was pretty young at the time and though I remember enjoying the book, I think I turned away from this style because it wasn't exotic enough for me at the time.

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