self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

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self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:36 pm

I've seen this mentioned in a number of books, i'm wondering, how often is self-generation as the deity done by itself, outside of Sadhana practice?
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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:40 pm

No one?
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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Ayu » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:18 pm

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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby conebeckham » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:43 pm

Hmmm......

I've gotta think this is a bit more of an advanced practice, for someone already familiar with the self-generation as outlined in sadhana....though in a sense, it's also a basic part of sadhana practice itself. In other words, the generation stage contemplations ARE samatha practice.

If you're talking about "spontaneous recollection," that can be used as a basis for samatha, but it's usually much more than that sort of approach.


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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:08 pm

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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby CrawfordHollow » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:14 pm

Are you asking about using self-generation of the deity as an object of shamata, or are you talking about using self-generation in post-meditation? I would have to agree with Cone, that self-generation and shamata go together. You need stable shamata to be effective at self-generation, while at the same time a one-pointed mind is produced from doing the visualizations. So your shamata will develop from doing generation stage practice. I don't think that I have ever heard of doing self-visualization as just a stand alone shamata practice. Of course, there are practices out there, such as some guru yogas, where you are visualizing yourself as a deity. These practices are not necessarily full on generation stage practices. I would suggest reading (if you haven't already) books like Gyatrul Rinpoche's Generating the Deity. The fairly new book Vajra Wisdom has two translations that I found very helpful in learning about generation stage. I am sure that you know this, but it is very good to learn about stable pride and the recollection of purity to get an idea about the meaning behind the visualizations. Generation stage is a huge subject, and I feel that I am just starting to scratch the surface of its meaning. I may be wrong, but I think that the feeling of the whole thing may be more important than what you are visualizing. Apologies if this has nothing to do with what you are asking.

Troy

Sorry I didn't see your post when I wrote this.

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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:47 pm

No, both your answers were very relevant, thanks!
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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Ayu » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:31 am

I wonder about your wording "by itself".
As far as i know, it is pretty much work of training and concentration to generate a visualization.
But i heard from a beginner in meditation, that he had some vision of the buddha coming nearer and nearer to him until they melt together. This came by itself while sitting in meditation.
He asked my teacher, if he was allowed to meditate like this because as a total beginner he had no initiation. The Geshe said Yes, it is okay.
Maybe it was a memory of his past life practices. :smile:
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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby lobster » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:23 am


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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Ayu » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:38 am

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- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:39 pm

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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Grigoris » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:45 pm

Personally, if I am strapped for time or do not have my sadhana text with me, I just go straight into the visualisation, but normally coupled with mantra and maybe the four line prayer for the deity (if I can remember it). Personally I cannot recollect any sadhana that has visualisation without mantra. To tell you the truth though, I rarely get into the mindset of seperating out that this part of the sadhana is shamatha, this part is shine, this part... I have not really been taught to see it that way
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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby CrawfordHollow » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:46 pm

I think it may be a good idea to do this to when you are learning a sadhana. Meditation is familiarization, right? So it would be good practice to get familiar with the visualization. As long as you don't ignore the other aspects of the sadhana and just focus on shamatha using the deity as an object, I would say it would be a fine way to practice shamatha, especially if you have had the empowerment.

Troy

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Re: self-generation as stand alone shamatha practice

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:09 pm

We should strive to generate ourselves as the yidam 24/7
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."

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