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 Post subject: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:42 am 
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I have been wondering lately if I am progressing at all with meditation, I really have no idea what sort's of qualities I should watch for to gauge my progress. Are there any to keep in mind?

Lately I have been a bit lazy with my meditation, I think because there are long periods of very uninteresting experiences, and while this shouldn't be a problem I think there may be some attachment to some of the more 'interesting' meditative experiences, I find myself almost disappointed and frustrated when they do not occur. Has anyone felt similar?

Well, I have a million more questions but I think these will do. Thanks for reading. :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:57 am 
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What kind of meditation?

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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."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:54 am 
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Meditation is method, like study and contemplation. But what is your goal, you haven't said?

I don't think its enough to use meditation like a tool to reach our goals. We need a strategy. Maybe its better to focus on removing the obstacles than on trying to recognize qualities, since you have already identified what those obstacles are.

Are you following a manual/sadhana?

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:47 am 
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Although I don't know the following website thoroughly, it seems to contain some good information you could use. Explore it and if you find any subject you wish to inquire about, come back to us.

http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/Meditations/index.html

You should try to find a teacher or at least some good books. If you need advice about this, feel free to ask and I'm sure the people here will help.

Best wishes.


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Konchog1, mindfulness of breath is my normal practice

maybay, I suppose the goal is simply freedom, It may sound silly but I would like to experience all of the jhana's, as well. I think you may be right on removing obstacles, though I'm currently at a loss on how to do that entirely. :smile:
I'm not following anything, mainly trial and error - with a bit of reading here and there.

Dechen Norbu, Thank you for the link, that page has alot more information than any place I've found, I have pondered finding a teacher, but I think at least for now I'd be better off learning more before I seek one out.

Thanks all, appreciate it. :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:07 pm 
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I've found teachers from the Kagyu school the most inspiring on the topic of meditation. Read biographies of past masters. Read Gampopa. Watch Youtube videos of Tai Situpa, Mingyur Rinpoche.

When you do an intensive meditation retreat it sets the bar for your daily practice. Meditation feels more natural after retreat.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Thank you maybay, I will have a look, during retreat what are the sessions usually like? and how long do the retreats generally last? Thank you. :)

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:03 pm 
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This is OK for general Mahayana regarding signposts in meditation:

http://www.kalavinka.org/book_excerpts/ ... _Intro.pdf

Kosa has bits and pieces too.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:30 pm 
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Thank you Mr. G, I'll give it a shot. :)

There are some really interesting meditation's listed on the page Dechen Norbu linked, something about "TONGLEN " strikes me, I think I may add that one to my routine.

Thanks everyone. :namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:48 am 
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If you sit down to meditate and a cat comes and sits quietly beside you, I'd say that was a pretty good sign. :)

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:20 am 
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Dang catmoon, now I gotta lookout for cats too?! :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:38 am 
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ghost01 wrote:
Thank you maybay, I will have a look, during retreat what are the sessions usually like? and how long do the retreats generally last? Thank you. :)

It depends on the tradition. It needs to be long enough that you get bored and where you feel completely immersed in the practice.

If you don't have a teacher and you don't go to organised retreats given by centres, then I don't think you can progress without following a manual of some sort.

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:55 am 
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catmoon wrote:
If you sit down to meditate and a cat comes and sits quietly beside you, I'd say that was a pretty good sign. :)


huh I must be doing something right then. All the animals in the house (cats and dogs) come and sit around me when I do my practice or meditate. :smile:

Also here is a site that has helped me out http://www.wildmind.org/


Kindest wishes, Dave

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Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:37 pm 
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I am curious, can tonglen be your only meditation practice, or should it be practiced with other methods too? What is common?

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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:21 am 
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ghost01 wrote:
I am curious, can tonglen be your only meditation practice, or should it be practiced with other methods too? What is common?


There was another thread where tonglen was mentioned in the past couple months... I don't recall the name of the thread unfortunately, but maybe do a search. The visualization of taking others negativity by inhaling it in the form of black smoke was the part in question... There was speculation about whether or not this could produce adverse side-effects in practitioners who lacked stable view. Could be merely speculation, maybe someone who is more knowledgeable could elaborate...


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 Post subject: Re: A few questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:32 am 
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asunthatneversets wrote:
There was another thread where tonglen was mentioned in the past couple months... I don't recall the name of the thread unfortunately, but maybe do a search. The visualization of taking others negativity by inhaling it in the form of black smoke was the part in question... There was speculation about whether or not this could produce adverse side-effects in practitioners who lacked stable view. Could be merely speculation, maybe someone who is more knowledgeable could elaborate...


Thank you asunthatneversets, I have been pondering it more today and realized it actually does encapsulate multiple types of mediation. Concentration on the breath, visualization, loving kindness, and selflessness all in one, and at the same time no less. So it could probably replace all of those.

:)

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