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Flatulence and breathing meditation - Dhamma Wheel

Flatulence and breathing meditation

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Bankei
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Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Bankei » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:36 am

"Flatulence and breathing meditation" is the header of a recent article by Eisel Mazard on New Mandala.

The actual article title is
So-Called Breathing Meditation: A notice on the mistranslation of Ānāpānasati
http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... editation/

Mazard's argument is that a key term, apāna, has been badly mistranslated and gone virtually unnoticed. rather than meaning 'out breath' it in fact means 'fart'. If this is the case it could have far reaching consequences for meditation technique.

Also see the comments at the bottom of the article.

What do you think?

Bankei
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Bankei

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manas
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby manas » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:56 am

:candle:
Last edited by manas on Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

Bankei
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Bankei » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:17 pm

This is a serious article, not a joke.

Have a read.
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Bankei

chownah
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:55 pm


Bankei
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Bankei » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:05 am

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Bankei

Kenshou
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Kenshou » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:16 am

Well, how do you suggest we start practicing fart meditation?

Is there a sutta that teaches you how to anally intake air so that you can do it at will, or are you supposed to mindfully await flatulence until it occurs naturally?

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daverupa
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:32 am


chownah
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby chownah » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:24 am

For a deeper understanding of the article perhaps it is best to look at the introduction and the summary without all the papanka in the middle:

Introduction (First section)

"All Rights Reserved, All Wrongs Reserved

§1. Is it possible that a dictionary, made by mortal hands, could be wrong? Not merely in a technical or trivial manner, but profoundly wrong? Could an error of this kind have far-reaching consequences in the translation of sacred texts, that few are, perhaps, willing to contest or question openly? In almost any cultural context, the answer is an inevitable “yes” –and yet my earlier works probing problems of this kind have been met with many obstreperous declarations of “no!” In the study of dead languages, the dictionary is often our only partner in conversation, and we are, perhaps, reluctant to quarrel with it.

This article examines a single (unsettling) example of just how badly wrong a dictionary could be –and, in fact, the more recent dictionaries have gone further astray than the earlier one in this case. The doctrine concerned is so-called “breathing meditation” in Buddhism, and the error in translation concerns that very concept of breathing itself."



Summary (Last section)
"§10. I have an enduring concern that the system of education in the decadent west conditions us to be uncritical of dictionaries: our skepticism is directed everywhere except at the definitions that are presupposed in our inquiries. In the response to both my earlier work and earlier drafts of this article, I’ve been reminded that the same scholars who would gleefully run roughshod over all of Buddhism’s hallowed ground still cling to the dictionary as sacrosanct –as if it were something quite different from a collection of articles or old hypotheses.

One reviewer wrote to me that I should not question the dictionary unless I could create a new one to replace it; another correspondent, less hostile, simply begged me not to draw attention to errors made by old authorities that are simultaneously outmoded and revered. Sadly, if we do not point out and critique such mistakes of the past, they are ever new –and it is because I see such errors “recycled” (in the scholarship of both East and West) that I am motivated to rouse such debates out of dusty corners.

A dictionary definition speaks with one voice only because it marks one moment in a debate. The results, however, remain perpetually debatable."


It is very clear to me that this contains the key ideas that the author wishes to express most urgently.......mostly eveything in the middle is tongue in cheek papanca which is presented (as the author clearly states in the introduction) as an "example of just how badly wrong a dictionary could be"......I think his point is well made.....I doubt that the majority of those most in need of his message will listen.....
chownah

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manas
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby manas » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:56 am

I'm not a gambling type, but if I were I'd be willling to bet that the scholar / mental speculator who penned that article is not a Buddhist...hmm and I wonder what the underlying agenda was for writing such nonsense. But if he wants to, ten cans of baked beans a day should do the job for him. He can let us know how his 'meditation' went - but hopefully, from a great distance...


:D
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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cooran
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby cooran » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:25 am

Hello all,

He has discovered the simple truth that "pana" (= "prana" in Sanskrit) is not "breath" in our conventional sense of the word, but the energy system that flows throughout and beyond the body; and that therefore "breathing meditation" is more like "energy meditation."

This is not news to me, and probably not to many people here. In any retreats I do, I explore air element (vayo dhatu, which = prana) as "movement". I then go on to "breathing," which I experiment with as "movement". Breathing/movement is not confined to the lungs, but can be experienced throughout and even beyond the body. The substantial aspect of Mazard's article is old news.

The idea in Theravada that the focus in breathing meditation should be the entry/exist point of the breath comes from Patisambhidamagga (Path of Discrimination), attributed to Sariputta. It does not come from the Buddha.

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 ---

Bankei
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Bankei » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:37 am

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Bankei

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manas
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby manas » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:00 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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daverupa
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:03 pm


Nyana
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Nyana » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:19 pm


Nyana
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Nyana » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:24 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:35 pm

It seems to my simple mind that you're trying to equate anapanasati with vayo kasina.

Nyana
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Nyana » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:49 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:55 pm

If not, then why is the internal air element being brought into a discussion of anapanasati when the anapanasati instructions do not do so? That the entry-exit is the point of focus is indeed a later idea, but there is discussion elsewhere of mindfulness being placed forward, rather than to the front of the breathing apparatus, which tends to make sense to me. On that note as well (cooran referred to this earlier) it seems that the internal air element is simply unrelated to anapanasati.

Nyana
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby Nyana » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:11 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Flatulence and breathing meditation

Postby daverupa » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:11 pm



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