A Fresh Start

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:34 am

Very true, good advice.

I have 2 books here which I bought some time early last year. Both by Bhante Gunaratana; 8 Mindful Steps to Happiness, and Mindfulness in Plain English.

I read most of both then life took over and I put them down. But what I did read, I'm not sure if they taught me how to awaken, how to gain insight. It taight me a lot about being aware at all times and how to do breath meditation. But my question was will breath meditation bring me to awareness/enlightenment/insight, and more importantly, the question I think I really need to ask is; how will it?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20085
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:36 am

Greetings Collective,
Collective wrote:But my question was will breath meditation bring me to awareness/enlightenment/insight, and more importantly, the question I think I really need to ask is; how will it?
Yes, it can... but you need to distinguish between the samatha (calming) aspects and the vipassana (insight) aspects. Do you presently know the difference?

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)

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:36 am

thereductor wrote:
Collective wrote:So many options.

I want to achieve insight, but not sure if that comes with just observing breath.

At first it seems like your just watching the breath. In time you will realize that you're really watching the mind. And doing that will bring insights. It is certain, just ask any meditating monk.
This sounds promising.

I guess my real question then, is how can doing something so simple (just observing the breath) bring so much release from attachemnt, and bring insight?

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:38 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I don't know if this will help, but I found a suggested book here, Insight Meditation a Step-by-Step Guide, and it's a home study course/workbook. While I just got it today in the mail, it comes with the workbook (very easy to follow and understand), two meditation CDs (along with a booklet on how best to utilize them), and focus cards to help you with quick references to the lessons. It explains how to use the book in the best way as well. I'm only in the first lesson, and it suggests spending at least one week in each--which gives you the time to really learn and apply everything. I've scanned the whole workbook to get a feel of it, and I am very excited to use it. Maybe it will help you as well. I got it on Amazon.com for just $17 after shipping. I found it used, but never opened. This might be a good option for you....

Hope you find something that helps! I know it can be overwhelming to find your starting point, but after a lot of researching I found this to be my best bet for starting out. I plan on sticking with this course until I have learned and applied it completely. Even if that takes a couple years--I love it so far!

:meditate:
great kit, great sugestion.
also as others have said, pick one teacher/style and stick with it.
I will definitely look into this, into all of the great advice here.

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:40 am

Suck it and see Collective. What is there to lose ?
But I would strongly advise hands on instruction if at all possible.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Collective,
Collective wrote:But my question was will breath meditation bring me to awareness/enlightenment/insight, and more importantly, the question I think I really need to ask is; how will it?
Yes, it can... but you need to distinguish between the samatha (calming) aspects and the vipassana (insight) aspects. Do you presently know the difference?

Metta,
Retro. :)
One brings relaxation the other brings the insight/enlightenment? This is the crux of my problem. I have books, but I'm not sure what they are guiding me to. I want to follow the meditative path of vipassana (I think).

I want to awaken, I know that is attachemnt, but I hope you know what I mean. I want to realise, to have my eyes opened, but it is also extremely important that I relax as well. Will vipassana also help me to relax and find calm, as well as awareness? If so this is the one; vipassana.

If so, I only need to acquire nexcessary reading materials as there isn't a teacher for miles.

Only the Dharmavajra Kadampa Buddhist Centre

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:48 am

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:I don't know if this will help, but I found a suggested book here, Insight Meditation a Step-by-Step Guide, and it's a home study course/workbook. While I just got it today in the mail, it comes with the workbook (very easy to follow and understand), two meditation CDs (along with a booklet on how best to utilize them), and focus cards to help you with quick references to the lessons. It explains how to use the book in the best way as well. I'm only in the first lesson, and it suggests spending at least one week in each--which gives you the time to really learn and apply everything. I've scanned the whole workbook to get a feel of it, and I am very excited to use it. Maybe it will help you as well. I got it on Amazon.com for just $17 after shipping. I found it used, but never opened. This might be a good option for you....

Hope you find something that helps! I know it can be overwhelming to find your starting point, but after a lot of researching I found this to be my best bet for starting out. I plan on sticking with this course until I have learned and applied it completely. Even if that takes a couple years--I love it so far!

:meditate:
Is this the one: Book

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:03 am

Both Vipassana and Samatha are ways to Enlightement. To some degree its a matter of choice. Buddhism is intensly practical, its about doing it, trying it. If one is anxious and speedy many teachers recommend Samatha, which is not simply a a means of relaxation, but is a complete path in itself. If Samatha is taught at the centre you mention then try it and see if it suits you.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:46 am

I was advised to stay well away from the centre near me as their teachings are controversial: Link

What is the difference in technique between Samatha and Vipassana meditation?

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:53 am

The controversy about that Buddhist group has no relevance outside of some Vajrayana circles. If they have people who can teach basic vipassana or samatha then I would recommend ignoring the other stuff.
If you have toothache then whether a dentist is a Methodist or Roman Catholic need not concern us. You dont have to sign up to the whole shebang in order to learn basic meditation.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Cittasanto
Posts: 6625
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin
Contact:

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:38 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:The controversy about that Buddhist group has no relevance outside of some Vajrayana circles. If they have people who can teach basic vipassana or samatha then I would recommend ignoring the other stuff.
If you have toothache then whether a dentist is a Methodist or Roman Catholic need not concern us. You dont have to sign up to the whole shebang in order to learn basic meditation.
Hi Sanghamitta,
the controversy is about how they practice, and operate! to use a psychotherapy example.
if you needed a psychotherapist whether they use mindfulness or psychoanalasis predominantly may not matter to much (in general terms not for specific treatments,) but if one therapist was suspected of using their position and ability to pray on vulnerable people either sexually or financially, then you wouldn't want to use them.
not that they have been accused of sexual or financial pressuring
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Sanghamitta
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Sanghamitta » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:13 pm

My understanding Manapa was that this group is controversial because it is said to worship an " evil spirit" which threatens the life of the Dalai Lama. Which frankly sounds delusional on all sides.
I know two people who leaned basic Samatha from the Kadampa, and said that they received a good basic intro. As to the other stuff I dont believe for a moment that Avalokitesvara literally exists or that he/she incarnates as a human being . Or that little children are the literal incarnation of previous lamas, I dont think that the Buddha taught any such thing. So beyond basic teachings I would not recommend ANY Vajrayana group. However many Tibetan centres offer basic Samatha lessons. And if the only practical source of such teaching is a Tibetan group, then so be it. Bees and nectar and all that.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:47 pm

Good news, I had the book all the while.

Mindfulness by Bhante Gunaratana.

Says ion the beginning it focuses on vipassana :)

What do you use as a timer when meditationg? Assuming you use one, and is it a free download?

Thank you

User avatar
jcsuperstar
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska
Contact:

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:10 pm

http://www.audiodharma.org/

has some you can download. they also have online courses and tons of guided meditations.

i'm taking the next course they offer (starting in march)
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

User avatar
Collective
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:12 am

Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:11 pm

Thanks jc.

I've found an interesting one, it's for 20 minutes, but it also has a little bell sound every 5 minutes.

Is this recommended, or not?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 29 guests