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Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed? - Dhamma Wheel

Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
dhammapal
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Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby dhammapal » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:37 am

After watching the TV News about the flood-victims in Pakistan, I sat in meditation and used all the powers at my disposal to help all beings be happy.

I read SN56.34 about practicing with the same extraordinary desire as if one’s clothes or head were ablaze. So mudita doesn’t mean that something is all right for now so you can celebrate.

A lot of people think meditation is about relaxation. Did the Buddha ever teach this in the suttas?

Thanks / dhammapal.






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jcsuperstar
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:49 am

what do you mean by relaxation?
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

Kenshou
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:19 am

"Relaxation" might not be the right word. Tranquility or stillness might be better?

Restlessness is one of the 5 hindrances, though. But so is laziness. Gotta have a balance.

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IanAnd
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby IanAnd » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:33 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

PeterB
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:50 am


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m0rl0ck
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:48 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Kim OHara
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:38 am

All the meditation postures I have been taught - or even read about, come to think of it - are basically positions which provide stability with minimum muscular tension but can't be maintained if you relax to the point of sleepiness.
Drowsiness is not meditation and impedes meditation, but excessive muscular tension is a waste of energy and - also - tends to spill over into creating mental tension which blocks the achievement of tranquillity.
Does that make it sound like the Middle Way is best?
:namaste:
Kim

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby m0rl0ck » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:08 pm

Actually i dont know how you would get to calm tranquil and pleasant (see the anapanasati sutta quote above) except thru some degree of relaxation. As Kim pointed out, the usual meditation postures with your spine unsupported, wont allow you to actually sleep (long or deeply anyway) and if you are living in 21st century western culture on planet earth, you are probably experiencing stress levels previously unknown to the species. So yeah, go ahead and relax :)



EDIT: I had to come back to this, because the single biggest hurdle in my meditation practice when i started was that i didnt relax. So i wasted alot of time with typical goal oriented western behaviour. If i could go back in time 15+ years, the biggest thing i would change about my practice is that i would relax more. Im sure someone at some point told me to relax and i didnt listen and the result was alot of wasted time and effort.

If you look at the basic instructions above, a calm bodily and mental fabrication is stressed and pleasure is also stressed. The only way you get to calm and pleasant is to relax afaik.

Also think about the people the buddha was giving these instructions to, these werent stressed out westerners with a million things clamoring for their attention, these were guys who basically had only one task a day, walk to town for lunch. Imo if the buddha were preaching today, to westerners, he would postively underline relaxation.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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ground
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby ground » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:04 am

Relaxation (only) destroys the capacity to concentrate. Without the capacity to concentrate things cannot be seen clearly.

Kind regards

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:38 am

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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ground
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Re: Did the Buddha ever say to be relaxed?

Postby ground » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:02 am



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