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.
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Butrfly_Nirvana
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Butrfly_Nirvana » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:34 pm

Just as an update to my 1st lesson in the workbook:

It explains a lot of what you are asking about. But in the end you just need to pick a book (if, like me, a 'live' teacher isn't available) and set your focus on that one thing. After investing time in it if you seek further knowledge, go to the next book. The thing I've learned so far is that you can not expect to achieve great insight immediately, and that you need to take your time. So it seems that beginners step 1 would be focus on just sitting and breathing. Then move on to the next step. It takes a very long time to reach different levels in your meditation, so be sure that you are accomplishing each step, no matter how small, in its entirety before moving on to something new. To quote the workbook I'm using, Insight Meditation Step-by-Step, "If you are new to practice it's important to realize that simply to sit on that cushion for fifteen minutes is a victory." -Charlotte Joko Beck.

Also, here is link that you can read--I just read it this morning and it was very good.
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... da/200.htm

Good luck with your practice!

PS: In regards to how does it work, I don't think that is really important to know for the practice, and also, I think the "how" is going to probably vary from person to person b/c we all deal with different struggles within ourselves. So for one person it might have been achieved by realizing and being able to let go of anger towards something someone did, and for another it may be in realizing the universal love they have for animals....so I think the "how" is going to be a very personal and individual thing... Just my thoughts anyways!

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Cittasanto » Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:45 pm

hi Sanghamitta,
There are other reasons, which don't come from the Dalai Lama Supporters, but former members and families. Although it could be said that the peoples temple & others such as the one in Waco were good at bible study (not referring to how they ended, but how they operated and grew.)
There is a member who is infrequent here who is a former member, and I think (edit former NKT) monk, I will try to find their post and PM it to you.
Sanghamitta wrote: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.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

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retrofuturist
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:00 pm

Greetings,

I think that detour into Vajrayana politics was sufficient... now let's get...

:focus:

Thank you.

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)

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:37 pm

Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Just as an update to my 1st lesson in the workbook:

It explains a lot of what you are asking about. But in the end you just need to pick a book (if, like me, a 'live' teacher isn't available) and set your focus on that one thing. After investing time in it if you seek further knowledge, go to the next book. The thing I've learned so far is that you can not expect to achieve great insight immediately, and that you need to take your time. So it seems that beginners step 1 would be focus on just sitting and breathing. Then move on to the next step. It takes a very long time to reach different levels in your meditation, so be sure that you are accomplishing each step, no matter how small, in its entirety before moving on to something new. To quote the workbook I'm using, Insight Meditation Step-by-Step, "If you are new to practice it's important to realize that simply to sit on that cushion for fifteen minutes is a victory." -Charlotte Joko Beck.

Also, here is link that you can read--I just read it this morning and it was very good.
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... da/200.htm

Good luck with your practice!

PS: In regards to how does it work, I don't think that is really important to know for the practice, and also, I think the "how" is going to probably vary from person to person b/c we all deal with different struggles within ourselves. So for one person it might have been achieved by realizing and being able to let go of anger towards something someone did, and for another it may be in realizing the universal love they have for animals....so I think the "how" is going to be a very personal and individual thing... Just my thoughts anyways!
Thank you very much.

Interestngly enough, today I sat for 15 minutes, I usually sit for 10, and it was wonderful. I came away feeling really relaxed. Like everything slowed right down.

I've decided to study the works of Bhante Gunaratana, seeing as I had his 'Mindfulness In Plain English' book (which deals with vipassana all the long!) He seems very knowledgeable

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retrofuturist
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:34 pm

Greetings Collective,
Collective wrote:I've decided to study the works of Bhante Gunaratana, seeing as I had his 'Mindfulness In Plain English' book (which deals with vipassana all the long!) He seems very knowledgeable
An excellent move, in my opinion.

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)

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zavk
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by zavk » Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:40 pm

Hi Collective

You seem to be quite concerned about the idea of achieving insight or wisdom. It is definitely important that insight arise if we are to awaken. But if I may share my understanding of insight/wisdom.

In my experience, insight doesn't arise as a set of clearly formulate thought. Rather, insight manifests through my everyday experience. I find that over time--as I sit regularly, study Dhamma texts, listen to Dhamma talk, cultivate sila, etc--I gradually begin to feel a sense lightness or ease in my daily activities. I find that I no longer lose my patience as easily as before, I find that I no longer stay upset when things go round, I find that I'm relating to people with more friendliness and kindness.

To me, this is the expression of insight/wisdom. There could very well be more profound expressions of insight, but I can't say I've experienced them. But the improvements I've experienced in my life has encouraged me to stick with the practice I have chosen.
With metta,
zavk

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jcsuperstar
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by jcsuperstar » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:26 am

Collective wrote:
Butrfly_Nirvana wrote:Just as an update to my 1st lesson in the workbook:

It explains a lot of what you are asking about. But in the end you just need to pick a book (if, like me, a 'live' teacher isn't available) and set your focus on that one thing. After investing time in it if you seek further knowledge, go to the next book. The thing I've learned so far is that you can not expect to achieve great insight immediately, and that you need to take your time. So it seems that beginners step 1 would be focus on just sitting and breathing. Then move on to the next step. It takes a very long time to reach different levels in your meditation, so be sure that you are accomplishing each step, no matter how small, in its entirety before moving on to something new. To quote the workbook I'm using, Insight Meditation Step-by-Step, "If you are new to practice it's important to realize that simply to sit on that cushion for fifteen minutes is a victory." -Charlotte Joko Beck.

Also, here is link that you can read--I just read it this morning and it was very good.
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhi ... da/200.htm

Good luck with your practice!

PS: In regards to how does it work, I don't think that is really important to know for the practice, and also, I think the "how" is going to probably vary from person to person b/c we all deal with different struggles within ourselves. So for one person it might have been achieved by realizing and being able to let go of anger towards something someone did, and for another it may be in realizing the universal love they have for animals....so I think the "how" is going to be a very personal and individual thing... Just my thoughts anyways!
Thank you very much.

Interestngly enough, today I sat for 15 minutes, I usually sit for 10, and it was wonderful. I came away feeling really relaxed. Like everything slowed right down.

I've decided to study the works of Bhante Gunaratana, seeing as I had his 'Mindfulness In Plain English' book (which deals with vipassana all the long!) He seems very knowledgeable
you might like some of the mp3s here at his site www.bhavanasociety.org

or order a cd? i might go there next year for a 10 day retreat, maybe my wife also
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

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:53 am

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

Is this recommended, or not?

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Cittasanto
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Cittasanto » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:08 am

I have a timer on my computer, no bell sound, but if I need to have a set maximum duration then it is useful!

having a tone at a reasonable length may be useful if you are tired help keep you alert.

I have the capability to create tracks of any length if you, or anyone else wants a particular length MP3 for lunch breaks at work or another situation, I have created one for when I go back to work for lunch breaks of 20 mins, with a chime at the beginning and three at the end, so if anyone wants one send me a PM
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

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Collective
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by Collective » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:28 am

As for using the timer, I'd like to share my experiences with you. It is 20 minutes long, with a small sounding bell every 5 minutes.

Have to say this was fantastic for me. I was worried at first that it may distract my focus, if anything it aided it. Each bell served to remind me of why I was sitting, and it also told me (obviously) how long I had sat for. Not that I clock watch. This wasn't so much in respect of 'great - only 5 minutes left', but it was more a case of helping me mentally adjust and again, refocus for the run in as it were. It was like I subconsciously made an extra effort for the 'run in' to coin a phrase.

In short, I found it helped me focus more, and the minutes shot by. I sat for 15 minutes, and for me that's an achievement. I think I could easily have done 20 minutes too. And that's unthinkable.

Ideally, I think I'll ditch it when I'm comfortable doing 20 minutes. But for now it's great.

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mikenz66
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:58 pm

Collective wrote: What do you use as a timer when meditationg? Assuming you use one, and is it a free download?
I usually use my mobile phone's count-down timer. I have used computer-based timers, but they are not very portable, not much use if you're away from your computer...

Metta
Mike

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bodom
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Re: A Fresh Start

Post by bodom » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:12 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I usually use my mobile phone's count-down timer.

Yup same here.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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