Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for 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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cooran
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Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by cooran » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:31 pm

Hello all,

What is the Right Attitude for Meditation?

1. Meditating is acknowledging and observing whatever happens —whether pleasant or unpleasant—in a relaxed way.

2. Meditating is watching and waiting patiently with awareness and understanding. Meditation is NOT trying to experience something
you have read or heard about.

3. Just pay attention to the present moment. Don’t get lost in thoughts about the past.
Don’t get carried away by thoughts about the future.

4. When meditating, both the mind and the body should be comfortable.

5. If the mind and the body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising, and it is time to check the way you are meditating.

6. Why do you focus so hard when you meditate? Do you want something? Do you want something to happen? Do you want something to stop happening?
Check to see if one of these attitudes is present.

7. The meditating mind should be relaxed and at peace. You cannot practise when the mind is tense.

8. Don’t focus too hard, don’t control. Neither force nor restrict yourself.

9. Don’t try to create anything, and don’t reject what is happening.
Just be aware.

10. Trying to create something is greed. Rejecting what is happening is aversion. Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped happening is delusion.

11. Only to the extent that the observing mind has no greed, aversion or anxiety are you truly meditating.

12. Don’t have any expectations, don’t want anything, don’t be anxious, because if these attitudes are in your mind, it becomes difficult to meditate.

13. You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is.

14. What is the mind doing? Thinking? Being aware?

15. Where is the mind now? Inside? Outside?

16. Is the watching or observing mind properly aware or only superficially aware?

17. Don’t practise with a mind that wants something or wants something to happen. The result will only be that you tire yourself out.

18. You have to accept and watch both good and bad experiences. You want only good experiences? You don’t want even the tiniest unpleasant experience?
Is that reasonable? Is this the way of the Dhamma!

19. You have to double check to see what attitude you are meditating with. A light and free mind enables you to meditate well.
Do you have the right attitude?

20. Don’t feel disturbed by the thinking mind. You are not practising to prevent thinking; but rather to recognize and acknowledge thinking whenever it
arises.

21. Don’t reject any object that comes to your attention. Get to know the defilements that arise in relation to the object and keep examining the defilements.

22. The object of attention is not really important; the observing mind that is working in the background to be aware is of real importance.
If the observing is done with the right attitude, any object is the right object.

23. Only when there is faith or confidence (saddhā), effort will arise. Only when there is effort (viriya), mindfulness will become continuous.
Only when mindfulness (sati) is continuous, stability of mind will become established.
Only when stability of mind is established (samādhi), you will start understanding things as they are.
When you start understanding things as they are (paññā), faith will grow stronger.
http://sayadawutejaniya.org/teachings/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

with metta
Chris
Last edited by cooran on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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bodom
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by bodom » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:33 pm

:thumbsup:

Thanks for posting Chris.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Goofaholix » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:23 pm

From my experience attitude is more important than technique, I think if teachers stressed them more beginning meditators wouldn't get so uptight about the technique and what to expect.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Sun May 01, 2011 9:52 pm

Hi Chris,

Thanks for posting this. I just saw it now when you linked to it from another post and I felt it deserved a bump. Metta!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat » Sun May 01, 2011 10:20 pm

It would be an interesting exercise to see how much if this is reflected in the Buddha's words.

With metta
With Metta

Karuna
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cooran
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by cooran » Sun May 01, 2011 11:13 pm

rowyourboat wrote:It would be an interesting exercise to see how much if this is reflected in the Buddha's words.

With metta
Hello Mateesha,

Show us the parts that you maintain are or aren't reflected in the Buddha's words, with links to the Tipitaka.

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat » Mon May 02, 2011 6:24 pm

[quote="cooran"]

Hi Cooran,

Now posting sutta links for everything would take too much time

1. Meditating is acknowledging and observing whatever happens —whether pleasant or unpleasant—in a relaxed way.
[actually we are not expected to be the guard who is very aware of the thief stealing everything, but takes no action. We should not just watch akusala, but stop/prevent it from happening]

2. Meditating is watching and waiting patiently with awareness and understanding. Meditation is NOT trying to experience something you have read or heard about.[the Buddha praised stream entry, jhanas etc. This is not goalless.]

3. Just pay attention to the present moment. Don’t get lost in thoughts about the past.
Don’t get carried away by thoughts about the future.[there is also yonisomanasikara - directly 'applying' the teachings to our current experience - it is NOT bare awareness]

4. When meditating, both the mind and the body should be comfortable.[I was tempted to say 'only in samatha' but I think I agree with this]

5. If the mind and the body are getting tired, something is wrong with the way you are practising, and it is time to check the way you are meditating.[hardly, the Sudha sutta talk about what to do, after you have engaged in the satipatthana to the point of getting tired. This is a path of great effort/viriya]

6. Why do you focus so hard when you meditate? Do you want something? Do you want something to happen? Do you want something to stop happening?
Check to see if one of these attitudes is present.[agreed, but concentration should not be lax either, otherwise you will simply fall into thoughts, distraction and sleepiness.]

7. The meditating mind should be relaxed and at peace. You cannot practise when the mind is tense.[it is possible to be aware of some mental tubulance- you should not wait for perfect peace before starting meditation- the Buddha says the antidote for an agitated mind is anapanasati]

8. Don’t focus too hard, don’t control. Neither force nor restrict yourself.[see above]

9. Don’t try to create anything, and don’t reject what is happening.
Just be aware.[see above. The Vitakkasantana sutta for example gives many things to be removed from the mind, if you become aware of them]

10. Trying to create something is greed. Rejecting what is happening is aversion. Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped happening is delusion.[..a very limited definition of the three poisons]

11. Only to the extent that the observing mind has no greed, aversion or anxiety are you truly meditating.[this is the end result of it, not the prerequisites of meditation]

12. Don’t have any expectations, don’t want anything, don’t be anxious, because if these attitudes are in your mind, it becomes difficult to meditate.[true ..to some degree, we don't want people with no motivation either]

13. You are not trying to make things turn out the way you want them to happen. You are trying to know what is happening as it is.[fair enough]

14. What is the mind doing? Thinking? Being aware?

15. Where is the mind now? Inside? Outside? [outside?]

16. Is the watching or observing mind properly aware or only superficially aware?[nice one]

17. Don’t practise with a mind that wants something or wants something to happen. The result will only be that you tire yourself out.

18. You have to accept and watch both good and bad experiences. You want only good experiences? You don’t want even the tiniest unpleasant experience?
Is that reasonable? Is this the way of the dhamma?
http://sayadawutejaniya.org/teachings/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Ok, got to go,

With metta

Matheesha

Ps- this is the 'thin gruel' mindfulness only path of meditation, for those 'poor in view'.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Freawaru
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Freawaru » Tue May 03, 2011 6:18 am

I agree with Matheesha. This list is only for pure insight method and here only for beginners. Advanced students are able to observe emotions and intentions and a tired mind and body even in the pure insight method.

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cooran
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by cooran » Tue May 03, 2011 7:32 am

Freeawaru said: This list is only for pure insight method and here only for beginners.
:smile: Exactly who it was written for. It wasn't meant to be a dissertation for arguement and discussion. :smile:

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Freawaru » Tue May 03, 2011 7:43 am

cooran wrote:
Freeawaru said: This list is only for pure insight method and here only for beginners.
:smile: Exactly who it was written for. It wasn't meant to be a dissertation for arguement and discussion. :smile:

with metta
Chris

:smile:

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat » Tue May 03, 2011 5:43 pm

Agreed. But often there isn't anything much more on offer and people are left with mistaken belief that this is all there is ..or am I chasing a straw man of my own creation? :tongue:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Goofaholix » Tue May 03, 2011 7:32 pm

rowyourboat wrote:..or am I chasing a straw man of my own creation? :tongue:
yes
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat » Tue May 03, 2011 7:44 pm

:jumping:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by Freawaru » Wed May 04, 2011 6:16 am

rowyourboat wrote:Agreed. But often there isn't anything much more on offer and people are left with mistaken belief that this is all there is ..or am I chasing a straw man of my own creation? :tongue:
I think it is not that there isn't anything much more on offer in itself but that people stop looking and feel all too sure that what they learned on a few retreats (or from a few books or weblinks) is all there is to learn about meditation. Bhante G addresses this wide-spread attitude to meditation here.
One of the most difficult things to learn is that mindfulness is not dependent on any emotional or mental state. We have certain images of meditation. Meditation is something done in quiet caves by tranquil people who move slowly. Those are training conditions. They are set up to foster concentration and to learn the skill of mindfulness. Once you have learned that skill, however, you can dispense with the training restrictions, and you should. You don't need to move at a snail's pace to be mindful. You don't even need to be calm. You can be mindful while solving problems in intensive calculus. You can be mindful in the middle of a football scrimmage. You can even be mindful in the midst of a raging fury. Mental and physical activities are no bar to mindfulness. If you find your mind extremely active, then simply observe the nature and degree of that activity. http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/min ... ish_16.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Sayadaw U Tejaniya 'Right attitude for meditation'

Post by rowyourboat » Wed May 04, 2011 7:21 pm

Hi Freewaru,

Yes, and what happened to anicca, dukkha and anatta? These people will never become disenchanted with phenomena, but go on to seek a peaceful existence in samsara- not a bad thing in itself, but not the Buddha's teaching :shrug:

With metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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