YOU CANNOT POST. OUR WEB HOSTING COMPANY DECIDED TO MOVE THE SERVER TO ANOTHER LOCATION. IN THE MEANTIME, YOU CAN VIEW THIS VERSION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW POSTING AND WILL NOT SAVE ANYTHING YOU DO ONCE THE OTHER SERVER GOES ONLINE.

Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness" - Dhamma Wheel

Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
buddhajunkie
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:15 pm

Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby buddhajunkie » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:34 am

I browsed through "Mindfulness in Plain English" for the first time in many years and was surprised by something: Of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, he emphasizes almost exclusively Mind States and the 5 Hindrances. I was also reminded of something else: He strongly downplays the practice of "mental noting," advocating it only in difficult circumstances, and stressing it should be disposed of soon after.

I was wondering if this is also your impression of his book, and, if so, do you think this is the best way to teach beginner or "casual" meditators.

I'm beginning to think so, based on my experience. I followed Gunaratana almost exclusively when I first started to meditate, and I had very good results in terms of concentration and mindfulness.

I took a break from regular meditation for a few years. When I decided to come back to it, a teacher recommended Kornfield's "Path With Heart". I also got into reading some of the Sutta's and commentaries, especially regarding the Satipatthana and Anapanasati suttas. What I gathered from both of these was: 1. mental noting, and 2. intentionally attending to all the four foundations, with an initial bias towards body and feelings. (It is important to note that I've never attended a residential retreat)

Since then, I've found concentration and mindfulness relatively harder to obtain than under Gunaratana's guidance. Specifically, I feel like it's much more easy for me to get hijacked by thoughts, even though I'm very aware of the effect it has on my body as well as the co-arising feelings.

Having now read through "Mindfulness", I'm wondering if I got the 4 Foundations mis-prioritized. Taking the advice of Gunaratana, I should be foremost vigilant about the 5 Hindrances, then mindstates. In a sense, this is "reversing" the order of the Four Foundations. The rationale is thus: Mindstates/hindrances are more likely to derail you than are body or feelings.

I know the Anapanasati Sutta instructs a sequential 1,2,3,4, order of the foundations, but I suspect this is only useful for long retreats or for someone who has already cultivated strong mindfulness.

On top of this, for what ever reason, my "mental noting" practice has always seemed to result in a superficial mindfulness, as well as a distraction. I regret getting into doing it, especially since it has created a habit that is hard to break.

I know I'm misunderstanding a lot here, especially, how the 4F are supposed to be used. Especially in regards to whether I should intentionally focus on a foundation, or simply attend to whatever foundation is more prominent.

Anyway, just interested in your thoughts or advice.

My disposition now is to go back entirely to Gunaratana's method.

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby Ben » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:11 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Nicro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby Nicro » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:28 pm

I also like Bhante G's method. I think what is really important though is that you pick your set off instructions and stick to them. Don't constantly jump between methods.

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:03 am

Hi Nicro,

What you are missing here is the fact that all these practices ultimately originate from the Noble Eightfold path. In that, Right effort comes before Right Mindfulness- and in this case, specifically effort at reducing the hindrances to a manageable level.

You need to practice these three elements together (in the same day, seperatly, that is). Right effort means reducing hindrances and other defilements and giving rise to their more wholesome counterparts. You already know Right mindfulness: the importance of that is to pick an object which will give you the strongest impression of impermanence. Then you have Right concentration- where you go with the Gunarathane method and strive for jhanas. You do this on a good background of keeping the precepts, having the intention to achieve nibbana, and having the Right View that 1) everything IS suffering 2) the cause of suffering is ignorance, craving 3) it's complete cessation is nibbana and 4) you need to practice the Noble eightfold path to get there. Hope that is clear..

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby alan » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:28 am

Hi buddhajunkie
I've read "Mindfulness in plain english" 5 times, and decided it wasn't what I was looking for. Lots of good stuff there, but his approach does not work for me.
For a beginning meditator, I would not place emphasis on the "hinderances". That is just going to create more thoughts and questions.

rowyourboat
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:26 am

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Nicro
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Location: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby Nicro » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:43 am


User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby bodom » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:37 pm

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 mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby bodom » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:14 am

*MODERATOR NOTE*

Off topic posts have been removed and moved to a new thread found here:

Is everything Suffering?

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9361

: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 mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Jhana4
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby Jhana4 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:31 am

In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

User avatar
ground
Posts: 2591
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby ground » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:41 am


User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby DarwidHalim » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:06 pm

Yes, actually mental noting is a hindrance if we are not skillful.

We need to find the balance between too relax and too concentrate.

May be you can apply yourself by keep doing mental noting and see whether it becomes a hindrance or not.
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!

User avatar
withing
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:56 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby withing » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:03 pm


rinias
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby rinias » Fri May 18, 2012 5:21 pm

If you are interested in Bhante G's methods from Mindfulness in Plain English, I do whole-heartedly suggest that you also read his two other books, Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness and Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English. I found that they really constitute a 'trilogy' of his method. While there is some repetition, each treatise adds to one's understanding of the path.

Furthermore, he has a new book on the way, The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English, which I am greatly looking forward to. Perhaps then his treatment of the foundations will be complete.

Good luck!

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 5713
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Gunaratana's Teaching Method in "Mindfulness"

Postby bodom » Fri May 18, 2012 6:51 pm

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 mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/


Return to “General Theravāda Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine