Need Some Advice

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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baratgab
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by baratgab » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:00 pm

Collective wrote:... I find it difficult trying to centre my awareness on the tip, or nostrils because the sensation is that subtle as to be almost non existent. ...
Perceptions are fascinating things: they have no solid ground. :) If you keep watching any sensation of the body, putting aside everything else, they grow, fill the mind, and you see more and more details. Not just in the case of the nostrils or the tip of the nose, but even heart-beating, or anything else. You can feel your body or any part of it heavily pulsating with every heartbeat, or you can feel the flowing of the blood in your brain. So we can't really say that this or that sensation is such and such. As with everything else, they are subject to change, subject to arising and falling away.

Of course if frustration arises because of the desire for a perception that is different from what you have, and the awareness shifts to the frustration, then the frustration will grow, instead of the calming meditation object. There is a tendency of identifying with such mental phenomena as "I", and if one identifies with them, one becomes oblivious to them. If one becomes oblivious to them, there can be no escape: they take control. The key is to keep in mind that everything is just a natural phenomenon that you can either cultivate, or put aside. If a perception is stressful, there is no reason to nurture it. In this way you can make peace with any conditions, and this peace and ease is the very essence of the "relaxation" that you would like to have.

As for or mindfulness of breathing, general awareness of breathing is excellent; just cultivate it thoroughly. You don't have to deliberately fixate on any nose or nostril sensation. You can even give the thing a spin, and instead of watching the breath, you can observe the mind whether it watches the breath or not. In any case, you are just observing a perception. In my view there is not so much difference between the "different" meditations; the dynamics is the same. With time you will eventually lose much of the initial experience of the meditation object (and of being :lol:), when the normal, complex perception of "reality" starts to completely fall away.

But I'm just following my own thread of thinking in my usual intuitive way, with the hope that it gives some form of help. :) It is guaranteed that there are much more skillful meditators than me here, so hopefully you will have some more meaningful explanations. And of course the recommended talks are really good sources of information; you can get from them almost everything that you need for development. Though, one of the most important spiritual qualities is patience; time is needed for the dhamma to fully penetrate one's mind.

Again, apologies for the blabbing, and have a lovely day. :anjali:
"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

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Collective
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by Collective » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:20 pm

Very interesting, and good avice.

So, to me it seems to be a case of staying focused on the breath and awareness at the same time?

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Collective
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by Collective » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:19 am

Collective wrote:Very interesting, and good avice.

So, to me it seems to be a case of staying focused on the breath and awareness at the same time?
Can anyone here with more expereince verify this?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:34 am

Greetings,
Collective wrote:So, to me it seems to be a case of staying focused on the breath and awareness at the same time?
MN 118: Anapanasati Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.1 Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'2 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'3 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'4 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'5

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Freawaru
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by Freawaru » Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:31 pm

Collective wrote: Is 'breath' meditation the same thing as 'awareness' meditation?
No.

The awareness we want to develop is a very specific and special awareness. Usually it is initiated during states of high concentration, identified and isolated there and then brought back to the states of lower concentration. In short, as long as one has not developed and identified this specific awareness one cannot do awareness meditation in the first place.
Can 'breath' meditation bring about insight (however that may be described) like 'awareness' meditation does?
Breath meditation can induce by concentration the awareness and thus lead to insight.
My point is; if I focus on my breath, surely I'm not as aware as when I focus on awareness. A bit like, if I'm looking up I can't be looking down at the same time?
When people just focus on awareness they experience a suppression of thoughts, feelings etc. They shut themselves down, so to speak (well, some also seem to enter trance states). The special awareness one wants does not do that. It keeps you being aware of whatever happens now without interfering with what happens. When a thought appears it makes you aware of that thought without judging the thought or interfering with it in any way. When an emotion appears it makes you aware of this emotion without judgement or interfering. This way it reduces clinging - just as one clings less to a lucid dream than to a normal dream.

Pay attention to the moment the breath starts again after the out-breath. Focus on knowing that moment as exactly as you can. Unlike thoughts, emotions and so on we cannot really suppress the start of the in-breath (just prolong the pause between out- and in-breath). Sooner or later it will start again on it's own. This "on it's own" is what you need to become aware of. This is the correct awareness and with it you can be aware of your breath at all times, aware of whatever you think, feel, an so on, even during sleep and dream and dying - it all comes on it's own.

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Collective
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by Collective » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:43 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Collective wrote:So, to me it seems to be a case of staying focused on the breath and awareness at the same time?
MN 118: Anapanasati Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.1 Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'2 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'3 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'4 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'5

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'
Metta,
Retro. :)
Thanks for the link. I read most of it but it was deep and I never understood most of it :|
But thank you

Freawaru
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Re: Need Some Advice

Post by Freawaru » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:15 am

Collective wrote: Thanks for the link. I read most of it but it was deep and I never understood most of it :|
We discussed it here ("the long breath"):

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2727" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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