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Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation - Dhamma Wheel

Ajahn Sumedho on 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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retrofuturist
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Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:36 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby robertk » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:46 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby robertk » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:51 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:56 am

Greetings Robert,

I'm going to have a guess at the nature of your implied objections, since they weren't explicity drawn out.

Ajahn Sumedho's comment "We don’t have to have any qualifications to watch our breath. We do not even need to be particularly intelligent" means literally what it says, not that "We do not even need to be particularly intelligent to realise the Dhamma"... the scope of the statement refers solely to the observation of the breath. Thus the Practice vs Study dichotomy doesn't seem to be of relevance in this instance.

Also, within the text, Ajahn Sumedho is only talking about anapanasati to the point of "upacara samadhi [approaching concentration]", thus the Visuddhimagga reference pointing towards the deeper jhanic levels of anapanasati also seems to be irrelevant. Ajahn Sumedho is speaking of anapanasati as a prelude to vipassana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby clw_uk » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:37 am

Greetings

Since you just quoted the Visuddhimagga without giving your explanation im going to have to guess that your point is that mindfulness of breathing is very difficult and shouldnt be taught otherwise



I have read an article by him where he states that if you have been mindful of one in breath or one out breath then your doing mindfulness of breathing, thats not to say thats all there is though i think he was trying to put across that one shouldnt be to hard on oneself in attitudes towards meditation


He generally doesnt put meditation or Dhamma across as something difficult and out of reach. He tends to put across the point that Dhamma is something ordinary and so within grasp (not to say that others do the opposite)


I will add some quotes later but on break in work atm


:anjali:
Last edited by clw_uk on Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:36 am

Hi Robers
what is your point(s)?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby clw_uk » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:16 pm

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:42 pm

hi has anyone heard Ajhan sumedo talking of disenchantment, dispassion and cessation (ie that path of insight)?
With Metta

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby cooran » Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:52 pm

---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: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby gavesako » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:10 pm





Whatever you think you are, that's not what you are.



Whenever you suffer, ask yourself: "What am I attached to?"



People who are attached to life are actually attached to death: contemplate that.



The five khandhas are all about death.



Mindfulness is the way out of insanity. The whole world is insane! It's just that some kinds of insanity are agreed upon as 'normal', while those that are not considered normal -- especially if they get anti-social -- they will lock you up for those....



In meditation we are breaking down the illusion that the mind is in the brain. Actually, the brain -- and the whole body -- is in the mind! The brain is more like a radio receiver. Each of us is a separate conscious entity in the universe. We all see the world from here. Consciousness is like light which makes things visible. Each of us is the centre of the universe, the centre of the mandala. That's why we are ultimately alone. Nobody can help you do this practice, it's only up to you.



Learn how to trust and rest in this state of pure knowing: It is like this. It can't be any other way. You need mindfulness (sati) to keep remembering this state and returning to it. This stillness of the mind is non-critical, non-judgemental. It's an intuitive, direct knowing, it's not analytical. This is called nanadassana, or insight knowledge.



Discussing 'Transcendental Dependent Arising' (suffering --> faith --> gladness --> rapture --> calmness --> happiness --> concentration --> knowing and seeing things as they are --> disenchantment --> dispassion --> liberation --> destruction of the effluents): It begins with positive states like 'gladness' and 'happiness', so you would expect it to get better and better, but then it goes to ... disenchantment, or nibbida. It's like when you see some children playing on the sand, with buckets and spades, building sand castles and roads and bridges. I used to play like that when I was young! But then as you get older and you see small children playing in this way, you are no longer interested in it, you become disenchanted with it. And then dispassion arises, you can no longer get involved in the quarrelling and disputes among the children on the playground. You see society, people around you, getting upset and obsessed by such unimportant, trivial things.... That's how the arahant sees the world. And that's liberation. You are no longer fascinated by rebirth. "The holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is nothing more beyond this." You see the dukkha of all conditions, that your desires cannot be satisfied in this conditioned world. But it's not like rejecting the world, either. You still love the children playing with the sand, and you want to help them. Maybe you ask yourself: "So what happens after I die?" But you don't die. What dies? The body dies, but there is no attachment to it. ... Somebody said to me: "There are no arahants in the world anymore." I asked him: "How do you know? Are you omniscient? Maybe there are more arahants in the world than you think."



The jhanas are often spoken of in terms of 'attainment', but it's no attainment at all, it's more like abandoning, or relinquishing. Because jhana is a state when the five hindrances are suppressed or abandoned. By cultivating this spacious, expansive mind, you do actually develop the jhana factors -- like rapture, gladness, etc. -- but they arise naturally, without you trying to attain them.



I see samma-samadhi as wholeness, as a state of balance, or collectedness. Concentration which is dependent on special conditions is not sustainable, because those conditions are not always going to be there.



In Theravada Buddhism, we use words like Unconditioned, Unborn, cessation, or abandoning. But when we approach them with a Western-trained, analytical mind, it often ends up as annihilationism.



Speaking about psychotherapeutic meetings: It's like we take these heavy burdens onto our shoulders, and then we come together and tell each other about how we feel, carrying this weight on our backs! It tends to reinforce the basic delusion that "I am somebody who has a problem, and I have to do this and that in order to solve it." It does not cut off the problem at its root.

(Amaravati winter retreat 1999)
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby pink_trike » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:39 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby pink_trike » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:43 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby robertk » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:48 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby pink_trike » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:10 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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robertk
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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby robertk » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:46 am

I was meaning magical understanding of course.

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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby appicchato » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:54 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby floating_abu » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:09 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby floating_abu » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:12 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

Postby floating_abu » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:20 am


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Re: Ajahn Sumedho on Meditation

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