The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby dzoki » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:46 pm

Dear Magnus,
thank you for the advice. I am not at all depressed about my practice in fact I think that in the past moths there has been finaly some little progress, which I mostly owe to the practice of shamatha and lojong. Also I am happy with the teachers I have. What I am little sad about though is how my firends are constantly letting themselves down by not keeping to their noble intentions. When I went into retreat many of them told that it is a good idea and they will do likevise. As I met some of them during the holidays now, they have not "materialised" their wish for more intense practice. Of course it is difficult to leave worldly life, but to be honest there is no place where one could be happier than meditation box.
Anyway i will be off the grid from tomorrow onwards, so I wish everybody a happy new year and much success with their path.
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:03 pm

dzoki wrote:Dear Magnus,
thank you for the advice. I am not at all depressed about my practice in fact I think that in the past moths there has been finaly some little progress, which I mostly owe to the practice of shamatha and lojong. Also I am happy with the teachers I have. What I am little sad about though is how my firends are constantly letting themselves down by not keeping to their noble intentions. When I went into retreat many of them told that it is a good idea and they will do likevise. As I met some of them during the holidays now, they have not "materialised" their wish for more intense practice. Of course it is difficult to leave worldly life, but to be honest there is no place where one could be happier than meditation box.
Anyway i will be off the grid from tomorrow onwards, so I wish everybody a happy new year and much success with their path.


Well dzoki there is a Tibetan saying that goes something like this "keep yourself in your own skin". The meaning is that it is important with your own discipline, your own practice, not others. It is a teaching I received many times myself and I think it is suitable for your situation. I hope you don't mind. I wish you a wonderful retreat and a fantastic new year!

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby tamdrin » Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:15 pm

Heart,
Btw... The four thoughts that turn the mind are not really supposed to be practiced as shamata. They are separate and distinct contemplations from Shamata...
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:41 pm

tamdrin wrote:Heart,
Btw... The four thoughts that turn the mind are not really supposed to be practiced as shamata. They are separate and distinct contemplations from Shamata...


Sure, but if you understand a little about shamatha then the capacity to keep your mind on the contemplation of for example impermanence is actually shamatha with an object. Of course that is not the whole truth about contemplation of impermanence, there is a vipasshana aspect as well. This is when the contemplation of impermanence arise as renunciation.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby tamdrin » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:28 pm

I just remember a teaching of Drupon Thinley Nyingpo when he had people doing the four thoughts to turn the mind and he said the people that did Shamata didn't do it correctly. One doesn't need to actively cultivate shamata when doing the four thoughts contemplations. I did a full 100 days retreat on the four thoughts that turn the mind.. and it is much different than one might expect. Best to have the instructions of a lineage holder even for the four thoughts...
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:22 pm

tamdrin wrote:I just remember a teaching of Drupon Thinley Nyingpo when he had people doing the four thoughts to turn the mind and he said the people that did Shamata didn't do it correctly. One doesn't need to actively cultivate shamata when doing the four thoughts contemplations. I did a full 100 days retreat on the four thoughts that turn the mind.. and it is much different than one might expect. Best to have the instructions of a lineage holder even for the four thoughts...


If you put your mind on a object, whatever the object is, it is shamatha. It might not be the aim with the four thoughts but I don't see how you can avoid shamatha. The vipasshana part of renunciation should likewise be unavoidable.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby Aemilius » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:07 pm

heart wrote:
tamdrin wrote:Heart,
Btw... The four thoughts that turn the mind are not really supposed to be practiced as shamata. They are separate and distinct contemplations from Shamata...


Sure, but if you understand a little about shamatha then the capacity to keep your mind on the contemplation of for example impermanence is actually shamatha with an object. Of course that is not the whole truth about contemplation of impermanence, there is a vipasshana aspect as well. This is when the contemplation of impermanence arise as renunciation.

/magnus


Sure, but what is your actual object of concentration, when you practice impermanence ?
There are many kinds of practices on impermanence, for example the Nine Cemetary Contemplations. If your object is how your own body gradually decomposes through these nine stages, it is a dynamic and disturbing object to contemplate, and difficult to have samatha on it. It is inevitably bent on vipashyana, because of its very nature. Meditation on impermanence can lead to breakthrough, it depends on the personality type, it is not a suitable meditation object for everybody.
http://silentmindopenheart.org/docs/cemetery/Death.html

best wishes
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:38 pm

Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:
tamdrin wrote:Heart,
Btw... The four thoughts that turn the mind are not really supposed to be practiced as shamata. They are separate and distinct contemplations from Shamata...


Sure, but if you understand a little about shamatha then the capacity to keep your mind on the contemplation of for example impermanence is actually shamatha with an object. Of course that is not the whole truth about contemplation of impermanence, there is a vipasshana aspect as well. This is when the contemplation of impermanence arise as renunciation.

/magnus


Sure, but what is your actual object of concentration, when you practice impermanence ?
There are many kinds of practices on impermanence, for example the Nine Cemetary Contemplations. If your object is how your own body gradually decomposes through these nine stages, it is a dynamic and disturbing object to contemplate, and difficult to have samatha on it. It is inevitably bent on vipashyana, because of its very nature. Meditation on impermanence can lead to breakthrough, it depends on the personality type, it is not a suitable meditation object for everybody.
http://silentmindopenheart.org/docs/cemetery/Death.html

best wishes
Aemilius


The object is the impermanence of anything that arise in the mind. But you are right, it isn't exactly an easy object. Just normal contemplation is easier when comes to impermanence. Like we both know, since Lama Ngawang used to teach us impermanence over and over again, it can actually make you a bit depressed if overdone or done without naturally arising inspiration.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby Nosta » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:54 pm

Phantom, about your original post on this thread, thanks for it. It was really pleasurable to read it. :namaste:
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby Aemilius » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:30 pm

heart wrote:
The object is the impermanence of anything that arise in the mind. But you are right, it isn't exactly an easy object. Just normal contemplation is easier when comes to impermanence. Like we both know, since Lama Ngawang used to teach us impermanence over and over again, it can actually make you a bit depressed if overdone or done without naturally arising inspiration.

/magnus


I mean if you concentrate on a disc of light, or on a disc of colour, or on a seed syllable, or on the form of a Bodhisattva, then the object is a static entity on which you can easily get concentrated, and experience a state of tranquility or calm abiding of mind. But impermanence is no static object at all, it is an abstract object, an object of analytical meditation, it is something indicated by for example the decomposition of the human corpse, or by the five elements that make up the body, etc... impermanence doesn't exist as such, as a separate entity.
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:00 pm

Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:
The object is the impermanence of anything that arise in the mind. But you are right, it isn't exactly an easy object. Just normal contemplation is easier when comes to impermanence. Like we both know, since Lama Ngawang used to teach us impermanence over and over again, it can actually make you a bit depressed if overdone or done without naturally arising inspiration.

/magnus


I mean if you concentrate on a disc of light, or on a disc of colour, or on a seed syllable, or on the form of a Bodhisattva, then the object is a static entity on which you can easily get concentrated, and experience a state of tranquility or calm abiding of mind. But impermanence is no static object at all, it is an abstract object, an object of analytical meditation, it is something indicated by for example the decomposition of the human corpse, or by the five elements that make up the body, etc... impermanence doesn't exist as such, as a separate entity.


No, but neither do anything else. Anyway, as I said before, I agree with you it is not an easy "object" to use.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:39 pm

heart wrote:No, but neither do anything else. Anyway, as I said before, I agree with you it is not an easy "object" to use.

/magnus


Long ago, in the beginning of 1980's, one summer I worked in Stockholm's Södra Begravningsplats. Then a couple of times I came there to meditate late at night. The manuals of meditation say that meditation on death and impermanence acts like a catalyst, it brings into the open already existing tendencies, -or something like that?-, nevertheless I always became joyful, bubly and jubilant, when I had meditated in graveyards. I did that in other countries too. Later, in 1990's, I heard that a certain flicka från Arvika hade slutat jobba i Stockolms Södra B. veckan innan jag började där, can you imagine?!

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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:12 pm

Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:No, but neither do anything else. Anyway, as I said before, I agree with you it is not an easy "object" to use.

/magnus


Long ago, in the beginning of 1980's, one summer I worked in Stockholm's Södra Begravningsplats. Then a couple of times I came there to meditate late at night. The manuals of meditation say that meditation on death and impermanence acts like a catalyst, it brings into the open already existing tendencies, -or something like that?-, nevertheless I always became joyful, bubly and jubilant, when I had meditated in graveyards. I did that in other countries too. Later, in 1990's, I heard that a certain flicka från Arvika hade slutat jobba i Stockolms Södra B. veckan innan jag började där, can you imagine?!

best wishes!
Aemilius



:smile: memories....

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby Aemilius » Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:10 pm

heart wrote:
Aemilius wrote:
heart wrote:No, but neither do anything else. Anyway, as I said before, I agree with you it is not an easy "object" to use.

/magnus


Long ago, in the beginning of 1980's, one summer I worked in Stockholm's Södra Begravningsplats. Then a couple of times I came there to meditate late at night. The manuals of meditation say that meditation on death and impermanence acts like a catalyst, it brings into the open already existing tendencies, -or something like that?-, nevertheless I always became joyful, bubly and jubilant, when I had meditated in graveyards. I did that in other countries too. Later, in 1990's, I heard that a certain flicka från Arvika hade slutat jobba i Stockolms Södra B. veckan innan jag började där, can you imagine?!

best wishes!
Aemilius



:smile: memories....

/magnus


Yeah, which ones are the more powerful memories? -about meditation? -or about the something else?


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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby Aemilius » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:20 pm

Hi Magnus !
I thought you would reply: " I have long since lost distinction between meditation and the rest of my life, they have dissolved into each other, to such extent that I don't really know what formal meditation is ??", -or something in that vein?
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Re: The Conditions for Practicing Meditation by Sharmapa

Postby heart » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:41 pm

Aemilius wrote:Hi Magnus !
I thought you would reply: " I have long since lost distinction between meditation and the rest of my life, they have dissolved into each other, to such extent that I don't really know what formal meditation is ??", -or something in that vein?


:smile:
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