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Smiling in meditation - Dhamma Wheel

Smiling in meditation

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
salaatti
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Smiling in meditation

Postby salaatti » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:57 pm

Hey everyone :smile: Bhante Vimalaramsi says in his article "The Bare-Bones Instructions to
Mindfulness of Breathing", that we should be smiling gently in meditation. But is this common teaching in theravada meditation. For me, it just sometimes feels a little tedious to do so. Especially if I feel sad or very frustated, my fake smiling just seems a way to supress those feelings. I would be grateful if anyone knows what the Buddha said about this.

thanks!

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retrofuturist
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:15 pm

Greetings salaatti,

For what it's worth, I've read a lot of the Buddha's meditation instructions in the Sutta Pitaka and not once have found any instruction to smile gently in meditation. I don't even recall seeing it in any of the ancient commentaries.

Perhaps this is just a little addition to practice that Venerable Vimalaramsi found beneficial and wished to share with others for their consideration.

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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Fede
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Fede » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:48 pm

My Qi Gong "Master" in France, used to lead a standing meditation, which we found both relaxing, yet invigorating at the same time, and would suggest expressing an inward smile....
In martial arts, you focus attention on the hara (Japanese) or Dan Tien (Chinese) - the lower abdomen, which houses and nurtures Qi/Chi.
there, your bodily Chi is nourished and generated....
so he would invite us to focus on this area, and express inward serenity in the form of a visualised internal smile.....

Whilst I do not think the Buddha ever mentioned this, his face always seems to bear a serene hint of a content and 'knowing' smile.....

I don't know if this helps you.
it helped me.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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retrofuturist
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:51 pm

Greetings Fede,

That was nice, but it's probably best to make abundantly clear (given the forum that we're in) that what you said bears no relevance to the Theravada tradition.

As for the Buddha statues, it would be interesting to know if there was any scriptural basis upon which such rupas were designed.

:buddha1:

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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Cittasanto
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:41 am



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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Cittasanto
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:45 am



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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Fede
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Fede » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:32 am

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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retrofuturist
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:35 am

"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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Fede
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Fede » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:30 am

Oh well done, yes, thanks for bringing that one forward again! :clap:

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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tiltbillings
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:41 am

I'd like to think he looked much like this, but then that is my Western bias.
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imagemarie
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby imagemarie » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:39 am

Head%20of%20Buddha%20Thailand.jpg
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I go for a more generous mouth.. :smile:

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Cittasanto
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:28 am



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.

salaatti
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby salaatti » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:16 pm

Thank you very much guys :thanks:

He has also said:

"He (the Buddha) never mentioned nostril, or body in any way outside of relaxing. Most times when you have instructions on meditation, they tell you to put your attention on one particular place in your body. But the Buddha, if he thought that was important, he would have said it very specifically. If you put your attention on one particular place in your body, you have the tendency to really focus very hard at that one place. But the Buddha did say you understand when you breathe in long and when you breathe out long, or short. So it’s just knowing the breath, not focusing on the breath, but seeing the breath clearly."

Is this correct? He has said many times that Buddha never thaught nostrils or abdomen to be focused on.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:43 pm


salaatti
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby salaatti » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:12 pm

Oh, "he" means Bhante Vimalaramsi :smile: I found his "manual" to meditation very helpful (generally speaking) so I'd like to know.

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Rui Sousa
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Rui Sousa » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:26 pm

With Metta

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appicchato
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby appicchato » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:53 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:51 am

there is a difference between smiling and smiling for the sake of smiling, Vimalaramsi says this is the forgotten step in meditation which is a big thing to say considdering it is not found in any of the suttas!


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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appicchato
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby appicchato » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:12 am

I'm not referring to Vimalaramsi, nor any suttas, nor for the sake of anything...it's a 'tool' that I've found to be beneficial to 'lighten the load' and conducive to putting one's self in a 'good' (better) space...whenever one feels the need...and, on a whim, decided to share this 'tool'...period...

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Hoja
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Re: Smiling in meditation

Postby Hoja » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:20 am

Obviously is not Theravada, but Thich Nhat Hanh instructs to do sitting meditation with a gently smile.


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