Samatha Meditation instructions

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
boundless
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 pm

Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by boundless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:07 pm

Hello everyone,

I am a beginner. Since last summer I have been practicizing "vipassana" meditation. However, I am now interested also in the "samatha" since I am very prone to anxiety ecc

Is there some reliable "guide" in the net for the samatha?

Thank you in advance

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:48 pm

Hi boundless,

The best instruction I have received was via this organisation:

https://www.samatha.org/

The best option is to attend a class in person (I don't know where you are based) but you will see that they also do an online version.

Failing that, Googling the title that you have given this thread will bring up lots of different sets of instructions. You could shop around among these, and, of course, include other recommendations that you are given here.

boundless
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by boundless » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:46 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:48 pm
Hi boundless,

The best instruction I have received was via this organisation:

https://www.samatha.org/

The best option is to attend a class in person (I don't know where you are based) but you will see that they also do an online version.

Failing that, Googling the title that you have given this thread will bring up lots of different sets of instructions. You could shop around among these, and, of course, include other recommendations that you are given here.
Thank you very much for the link!

At the present moment I have some difficulties to go to organized classes. But I think I will go as soon as possibile.

As I said I have some anxiety issues, but I am quite confident that the "samatha" meditation will help!

jmccoy
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 6:18 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by jmccoy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:07 am

I'm also a beginner and therefore have a dumb question.

Isn't anapanasati a form of samatha bhavana?

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 1416
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:34 am

Hi,
there are quite good resources for maranasati (death) and body contemplations.
Also here i quote my self;
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:19 am
Id give simple Anapanasati instruction like this;

Mindful of the entire Body,
Mindful the Posture
One establishes mindfulness on the Breath.

Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

Further;

Resolving on experiencing Mental&Physical Pleasure
Resolving on calming body and mind
Mindfully breathing in and breathing out

One remains mindful of Feelings and Sensations as one mindfully breathes in and out, focused on calming the body and mind, resolving on pleasure and tranquility. As a person who walks fast would resolve to walk slower.

Further the last part is investigating and noticing;

inconstancy
He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.'

AN 7.46
"'The perception of inconstancy, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of inconstancy, his mind shrinks away from gains, offerings, & fame, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance.

dispassion [literally, fading]
He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.'

AN 7.46 "'The perception of distaste for every world, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of distaste for every world, his mind shrinks away from worldly embellishments, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance.

I would probably also train this

Also AN 7.46 "'The perception of stress in what is inconstant, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of stress in what is inconstant, a fierce perception of danger & fear is established in him toward idleness, indolence, laziness, heedlessness, lack of commitment, & lack of reflection, as if toward a murderer with an upraised sword.

Other aspects i have not analyzed much but one can think within theme of the Dhamma in general. Also very important to accomodate for state of mind;
Sluggish/Tired Mind
"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors.
"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.
Aroused/Active/Agitated Mind
"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors.
"When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:39 am

jmccoy wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:07 am
I'm also a beginner and therefore have a dumb question.

Isn't anapanasati a form of samatha bhavana?
Yes, it is.

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 1416
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:39 am
jmccoy wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:07 am
I'm also a beginner and therefore have a dumb question.

Isn't anapanasati a form of samatha bhavana?
Yes, it is.
It is and it isnt, it also has Kaya-Sati (Mindfulness of the Body, Postures&Activities), Vedana-Sati (Mindfulness of Physical and Mental Sensations), Citta-Sati (Mindfulness of Mind and Emotional States) it also has one focus on Dhamma-Sati (Mindfulness of Teachings and reflection).

As i understand it is, that is the base and allows for versatile approach to training, further one has to decide which Factors of Enlightenment to train, which is done by two things;

1. Either resolving on tranquility, calm and pleasure or not resolving on tranquility, calm and pleasure.
2. Picking appropriate themes for reflection

These two make the difference for which Enlightenment Factors are trained, ie

Mindfulness, Investigation, Energy, Equanity
or;
Mindfulness, Tranquility, Concentration & Pleasure

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3857
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:49 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm

It is and it isnt, it also has Kaya-Sati (Mindfulness of the Body, Postures&Activities), Vedana-Sati (Mindfulness of Physical and Mental Sensations), Citta-Sati (Mindfulness of Mind and Emotional States) it also has one focus on Dhamma-Sati (Mindfulness of Teachings and reflection).
Yes, you are perfectly right. As the questioner self-deprecatingly said they were a beginner with a "dumb question", I took it to mean "Is anapana a good way of gaining samatha?". But thanks for the clarification. :anjali:

jmccoy
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 6:18 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by jmccoy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:00 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:49 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm

It is and it isnt, it also has Kaya-Sati (Mindfulness of the Body, Postures&Activities), Vedana-Sati (Mindfulness of Physical and Mental Sensations), Citta-Sati (Mindfulness of Mind and Emotional States) it also has one focus on Dhamma-Sati (Mindfulness of Teachings and reflection).
Yes, you are perfectly right. As the questioner self-deprecatingly said they were a beginner with a "dumb question", I took it to mean "Is anapana a good way of gaining samatha?". But thanks for the clarification. :anjali:
LOL
The self-deprecation was a way to pre-emptively decapitate myself just in case anyone would have bit my head off for asking a question which might be perceivable as stupid, especially by someone having a bad day.
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:12 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:39 am
jmccoy wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:07 am
I'm also a beginner and therefore have a dumb question.

Isn't anapanasati a form of samatha bhavana?
Yes, it is.
It is and it isnt, it also has Kaya-Sati (Mindfulness of the Body, Postures&Activities), Vedana-Sati (Mindfulness of Physical and Mental Sensations), Citta-Sati (Mindfulness of Mind and Emotional States) it also has one focus on Dhamma-Sati (Mindfulness of Teachings and reflection).

As i understand it is, that is the base and allows for versatile approach to training, further one has to decide which Factors of Enlightenment to train, which is done by two things;

1. Either resolving on tranquility, calm and pleasure or not resolving on tranquility, calm and pleasure.
2. Picking appropriate themes for reflection

These two make the difference for which Enlightenment Factors are trained, ie

Mindfulness, Investigation, Energy, Equanity
or;
Mindfulness, Tranquility, Concentration & Pleasure
May I ask how is, or are jhana(s) related to these factors? Specifically moreso to the second set of factors (Mindfulness, Tranquility, Concentration & Pleasure) than another?

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 1416
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:19 pm

jmccoy wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:00 pm
May I ask how is, or are jhana(s) related to these factors? Specifically moreso to the second set of factors (Mindfulness, Tranquility, Concentration & Pleasure) than another?
Jhanas are related to these factors, drowsiness is ie one of the hindrances so is agitation/restlessness.
Image

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 1416
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:44 pm

Sati - Mindfulness
Dhamma Vicaya - Investigation, Investigative Knowledge , Analysis , investigation-of-states
Viriya - Energy , Effort , Persistence, Energy
Piti - Joy , Happiness/Rapture , Delightful Satisfaction , Rapture
Passadhi - Tranquility , Calm, Serenity ,
Samadhi - Concentration
Upekkha - Equanimity

These are the Seven Enlightenment Factors and common english translations.
The Seven Factors of Awakening are good to study as telling them to another can heal the person it is said.

boundless
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by boundless » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:31 am

Thank you all very much :anjali:

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 1416
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:21 am

actually posted similar instruction here;
viewtopic.php?f=44&p=457806#p457806
might be useful as it is the same topic.

pyluyten
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:08 am

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by pyluyten » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:37 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:44 pm
Sati - Mindfulness
Dhamma Vicaya - Investigation, Investigative Knowledge , Analysis , investigation-of-states
Viriya - Energy , Effort , Persistence, Energy
Piti - Joy , Happiness/Rapture , Delightful Satisfaction , Rapture
Passadhi - Tranquility , Calm, Serenity ,
Samadhi - Concentration
Upekkha - Equanimity

These are the Seven Enlightenment Factors and common english translations.
The Seven Factors of Awakening are good to study as telling them to another can heal the person it is said.
i am only noticing this now : in the context of jhanas, joy may be seen as opposed to equanimity. The joy fades away, then even sukkha, then equanimity replaces it. But joy is still there as a factor of enlightenment. Is joy a "former" factor of enlightenment, then practice goes further and equanimity only remains, like in jhana steps

or maybe the fact joy disappears in jhana is specific to jhana. Maybe in the Path the joy remains, and is associated to equanimity regarding change, constant change. In the context of intense concentration joy at some point has no more place, but Joy and Equanimity are two friends in the Path. Not sure!

Dinsdale
Posts: 5695
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Samatha Meditation instructions

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:42 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:48 pm
https://www.samatha.org/
I have a couple of friends who are involved in Samatha Trust, good people. I didn't get on with their breath mediation technique though, it involves a deliberate manipulation of breath length.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Wizard in the Forest and 23 guests