Expanding Samadhi

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Expanding Samadhi

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:55 pm

My practice is deepening quickly now that I am living alone and can devote perhaps +3 hours to my sitting practice. My mind is very open and spacious, but I still have a lot of confusion about the doctrine. I've only been really making more than a half-assed effort for two years now, and it's been a struggle to get to this point in my development.

There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi, and the last time I actually went for the gold and started earnestly searching for self. I was given the advice by a tibetan friend of mine to ignore the storylines of 'not finding a self' and continue searching until non-conceptual wisdom arises.

I felt these erruptions of affectionate sensations going down from my head to my heart chakra. it was distracting me from my concentration on the meditation and that was that.

I'm really interested in prolonging the amount of time I can work within this state, and I'd like to learn how to get into it more frequently. is it about familiarity with the state? give me some feedback.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Will » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:15 am

This is where your guru can help.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Malcolm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:18 am

Beatzen wrote:
There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi


That is not true. You are experiening samadhi all the time. Why? Samadhi is a natural function of the mind, called a "mental factor".

The problem is not samadhi, the problem is how to move your mind from its tendency to rest on afflictive objects to path objects.

But rather than worrying about all these contrived meditations it is more more intresting to discover the root of the mind.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Virgo » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:22 am

Namdrol wrote:
Beatzen wrote:
There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi


That is not true. You are experiening samadhi all the time. Why? Samadhi is a natural function of the mind, called a "mental factor".

The problem is not samadhi, the problem is how to move your mind from its tendency to rest on afflictive objects to path objects.

But rather than worrying about all these contrived meditations it is more more intresting to discover the root of the mind.

Oh Loppon I love the Abhidharma.

Kevin
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:04 am

Beatzen wrote:My practice is deepening quickly now that I am living alone and can devote perhaps +3 hours to my sitting practice. My mind is very open and spacious, but I still have a lot of confusion about the doctrine. I've only been really making more than a half-assed effort for two years now, and it's been a struggle to get to this point in my development.

There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi, and the last time I actually went for the gold and started earnestly searching for self. I was given the advice by a tibetan friend of mine to ignore the storylines of 'not finding a self' and continue searching until non-conceptual wisdom arises.

I felt these erruptions of affectionate sensations going down from my head to my heart chakra. it was distracting me from my concentration on the meditation and that was that.

I'm really interested in prolonging the amount of time I can work within this state, and I'd like to learn how to get into it more frequently. is it about familiarity with the state? give me some feedback.
I cannot recommend the Lam Rim Chen Mo enough. Volume three of the English translation. If you want I'll bullet point some of it for you.

Of course, this is for Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug) and is implicitly a preparation for Tantra. So fyi.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Beatzen » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:03 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Beatzen wrote:My practice is deepening quickly now that I am living alone and can devote perhaps +3 hours to my sitting practice. My mind is very open and spacious, but I still have a lot of confusion about the doctrine. I've only been really making more than a half-assed effort for two years now, and it's been a struggle to get to this point in my development.

There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi, and the last time I actually went for the gold and started earnestly searching for self. I was given the advice by a tibetan friend of mine to ignore the storylines of 'not finding a self' and continue searching until non-conceptual wisdom arises.

I felt these erruptions of affectionate sensations going down from my head to my heart chakra. it was distracting me from my concentration on the meditation and that was that.

I'm really interested in prolonging the amount of time I can work within this state, and I'd like to learn how to get into it more frequently. is it about familiarity with the state? give me some feedback.
I cannot recommend the Lam Rim Chen Mo enough. Volume three of the English translation. If you want I'll bullet point some of it for you.

Of course, this is for Tibetan Buddhism (Gelug) and is implicitly a preparation for Tantra. So fyi.


go ahead
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby ground » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:41 am

Beatzen wrote:I'm really interested in prolonging the amount of time I can work within this state, and I'd like to learn how to get into it more frequently. is it about familiarity with the state? give me some feedback.


And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.' For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Kind regards
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Adamantine » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:53 am

It can be tricky territory when there arises a desire
to get back into a "state". On the one hand, our meditative experiences
can serve as inspiration to continue practicing--on the other,
they can become big obstacles to further uncontrived experience.
Trying to repeat an experience becomes a form of subtle grasping,
and grasping is exactly what we are working towards eliminating
altogether. So just be careful here, keep your practice fresh, untainted
with expectation or memory....stay open to new possibility-- inevitably,
however blissful, clear or important some past experience may have
been it's only a memory now, and thus is conceptual.
So keep clear and open to the unknown, the unexperienced and unexpected.
I say this as much to myself as to you...

And, as another comment already pointed out---
this is an essential time for a qualified guide, whether a proper
Guru or a qualified spiritual friend/mentor ... this will be much
more help than us faceless writers on a forum!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:36 am

Preconditions
1. Good place
*a. Easy access to food
*b. no dangers
*c. clean
*d. good companions
*e. quiet
2. Little desire
3. Being content
4. Little activities
5. Pure ethics
6. Four thoughts
7. Bodhicitta

How to Meditate
1. Vairochana’s eight point posture
*a. full or half lotus for the legs
*b. eyes in slits looking at the tip of your nose
*c. spine straight
*d. shoulders straight
*e. head straight ahead
*f. relax your jaw
*g. tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth
*h. relaxed breathing
2. Lust for Shamatha
3. Focusing on Shakyamuni is the best object for mediation
*a. Being able to keep just half of his form in mind is enough
*b. Choose one image of him and keep it the exact same, even if your mind wants to change the color or size.

Meditation
1. Mindfulness
*a. Keeping your mind on the object, keeping the object the same
2. Vigilance
*a. Developed by regular use of mindfulness
*b. Regular checking: am I mindful? Aware of laxity and excitement coming into being or about to.
3. You must be between laxity and excitement

Obstacles
1. Laxity
*a. Sleepiness, heaviness of the mind, lack of vivid perception of the object.
*b. For light Laxity focus harder
*c. For heavy Laxity wash your face, go for a walk, and meditate on a bright Shakyamuni. Also Reflect on the good qualities of the Three Jewels, Shamatha, Bodhicitta and so forth.
*d. Causes: lack of contentment, over sleeping, laziness.
2. Excitement
*a. Inability to focus, thinking of other objects
*b. For light Excitement, focus harder
*c. For heavy Excitement, meditate on impermanence and the faults of whatever you are thinking on instead of Shakyamuni
*d. Causes: Great desire, poor meditation
3. After both have been purged completely, relax your focus and rest in equanimity

This is as far as I've read
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:35 am

[quote="Beatzen"]
There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi, and the last time I actually went for the gold and started earnestly searching for self. I was given the advice by a tibetan friend of mine to ignore the storylines of 'not finding a self' and continue searching until non-conceptual wisdom arises.
[quote]

THe problem is in searching.

Non-conceptual wisdom doesn't come out from searching, because if we search, we are actually searching a concept.

When we eat the orange, we cannot describe the taste of orange. We can only directly experience it. If we try to describe that direct experience with the concept, we are out already. We can describe it, but that is not the taste.

So, direct experience, coming out from keeping familiarizing that neutral state, which is unexpressible by words. It is always there, even when we don't do formal meditation. The difference is simply whether we realize it or not.

Milarepa said: Even the mouth of buddha is mute to explain the direct experience of clear light.

Buddha mouth also mute to explain the taste of orange.

It is not something very special. Because clear light is just an ordinary mind. It is not something extra ordinary. Because it is too ordinary, we never bother about it and we always searching for something extraordinary.

There are books, which is written by a high practitioner meditator, that tell us the pitfalls in meditation.

Probably, you can find this book: Heart Lamp: Lamp of Mahamudra and The Heart of the Matter, available in kindle format as well.

Sometime we do a meditation, we think this is right, but actually it is not right. Hopefully, that book can give you some light.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:35 am

Namdrol wrote:
Beatzen wrote:
There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi


That is not true. You are experiening samadhi all the time. Why? Samadhi is a natural function of the mind, called a "mental factor".

The problem is not samadhi, the problem is how to move your mind from its tendency to rest on afflictive objects to path objects.

But rather than worrying about all these contrived meditations it is more more intresting to discover the root of the mind.


I asked my teacher (she is not a Roshi, but she is authorized to teach by Jan Chozen Bays Roshi of Great Vow Monastery)

She said that it's pointless to think about Samadhi because in a state of samadhi, there is no subject or object. Can you also give me a rundown of the other mental factors, for my learning?

I agree and thank you for the second comment.

As for discovering mind's root, that doesn't sound like Zazen, and I'd like not to be tempted to shop around after these couple years of study with the Zen people. I have a hard time with a meditation where you "look" for things. Not my personal style.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:37 am

Beatzen wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Beatzen wrote:
There's only been a few times when I've actually experienced samadhi


That is not true. You are experiening samadhi all the time. Why? Samadhi is a natural function of the mind, called a "mental factor".

The problem is not samadhi, the problem is how to move your mind from its tendency to rest on afflictive objects to path objects.

But rather than worrying about all these contrived meditations it is more more intresting to discover the root of the mind.


I asked my teacher (she is not a Roshi, but she is authorized to teach by Jan Chozen Bays Roshi of Great Vow Monastery)

She said that it's pointless to think about Samadhi because in a state of samadhi, there is no subject or object. Can you also give me a rundown of the other mental factors, for my learning?

I agree and thank you for the second comment. What I've been doing is a mindfulness practice on bodily actions (walking, laying, sitting). It helps the mind to feel happy and the practice is already helping me to feel more confident.

As for discovering mind's root, that doesn't sound like Zazen, and I'd like not to be tempted to shop around after these couple years of study with the Zen people. I have a hard time with a meditation where you "look" for things. Not my personal style.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:51 pm

Beatzen wrote: Can you also give me a rundown of the other mental factors, for my learning?


The 51 mental factors can be found in the Abhidharmakosa.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Expanding Samadhi

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:51 pm

Beatzen wrote:
Can you also give me a rundown of the other mental factors, for my learning?



Here is a good list.

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... tal_states

As for discovering mind's root, that doesn't sound like Zazen, and I'd like not to be tempted to shop around after these couple years of study with the Zen people. I have a hard time with a meditation where you "look" for things. Not my personal style.


Discovering the root of the mind eliminates the need for Zazen or any other form of contrived meditation.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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