Usefulness of Meditation

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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one_awakening
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Usefulness of Meditation

Post by one_awakening » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:25 am

Unless you gain insights or learn something from your meditation, then the usefulness of meditation is limited.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:00 am

Or if it calms you down, or makes you happier and more peaceful.
Or improves your life. Or enables you to face the day easier. Or if it's metta and that helps combat mental illness.

Etcetera

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one_awakening
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by one_awakening » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:13 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:00 am
Or if it calms you down, or makes you happier and more peaceful.
Or improves your life. Or enables you to face the day easier. Or if it's metta and that helps combat mental illness.
Yes it's limited to these types of things
“You only lose what you cling to”

budo
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by budo » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:16 am

If you follow the meditation the Buddha has laid out in the dhamma-vinaya, then it cannot ever be useless or limited, as the Buddha does not teach what is not beneficial. Whether you follow his instructions and not mix it up with other views, is another issue on its own.

To sit down and try to overcome the 5 hindrances, is never a waste of time. In fact sitting down and trying to overcome the 5 hindrances, is probably the best thing you can do in your life.

befriend
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by befriend » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:24 am

Being aware makes negative thoughts less likely to arise in me. Not an insight but incredibly helpful on the path
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:42 am

at the very least, if you manage to remain in a meditative posture for however many minutes, that is however many minutes you're not pursuing something unwholesome
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by Pseudobabble » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:05 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:25 am
Unless you gain insights or learn something from your meditation, then the usefulness of meditation is limited.
So, unless something is useful, it is useless.

Very informative.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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Sam Vara
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:24 pm

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:25 am
Unless you gain insights or learn something from your meditation, then the usefulness of meditation is limited.
MN 24 and other suttas suggest that the usefulness of meditation is always limited, in that meditation is not the entire Noble Eight-Fold Path. But we should not, I think, underestimate the importance of meditation, and accept that it might be beneficial in ways that we cannot yet see. Meditation may not have given us insights or have taught us something, but it might well have strengthened our concentration or persistence, etc.

Laurens
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by Laurens » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:44 pm

If you meditate as taught by the Buddha, and put in the appropriate effort you will get insights and wisdom from doing so.

Do it right with commitment and effort and it's always useful.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

SarathW
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by SarathW » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:22 pm

Meditation has many levels and it provides various benefits based on your level of attainments.
It is important to note various meditation practices are mention in other religions as well.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

dharmacorps
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by dharmacorps » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:07 am

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:13 am
JamesTheGiant wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:00 am
Or if it calms you down, or makes you happier and more peaceful.
Or improves your life. Or enables you to face the day easier. Or if it's metta and that helps combat mental illness.
Yes it's limited to these types of things
Maybe just me, but I started meditation because of "side benefits" like this. The relief from suffering isn't a "limited" thing just because for instance, once doesn't attain stream entry. There are plenty of meditators who don't follow the dhamma, but do it for relaxation and overall well being. Based on your comment I wonder if you are saying that is a bad thing?

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one_awakening
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by one_awakening » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:18 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:05 pm

So, unless something is useful, it is useless.

Very informative.
I never said it was useless
Last edited by one_awakening on Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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one_awakening
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by one_awakening » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:19 am

Laurens wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:44 pm
If you meditate as taught by the Buddha, and put in the appropriate effort you will get insights and wisdom from doing so.

Do it right with commitment and effort and it's always useful.
I never said it wasn't useful
“You only lose what you cling to”

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one_awakening
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by one_awakening » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:30 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:07 am
Based on your comment I wonder if you are saying that is a bad thing?
I never said it was a bad thing, quite the contrary. It's one of the most important practices on the Buddhist path.

Yes meditation has many benefits, but the Buddhist path is about seeing clearly, so unless you can learn something from your meditation that enables you to see things clearer, then the benefits of mediation are limited to theses other side-benefits.



.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Usefulness of Meditation

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:23 am

You have to start at the beginning, doing meditation and getting only a few benefits.
It's not until later, much later, that true insights come up.
It's like saying a ladder is not much use, unless you are up at the top.
You have to step on the bottom rungs of the ladder to get to the top.

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