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Anapana Sati and Non Attainment. - Dhamma Wheel

Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

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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Prasadachitta
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Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:55 am

I follow the steps laid out in the Anapana Sati Sutta. Sometimes I follow all 16 steps and make at least some attempt to do what each step seams to me to be indicating. At other times I use my breath as a kind of anchor while I explore the spheres of; Body, Feelings, Mental activity, How things are. Its hard for me to qualify or quantify how this practice is influencing my life. I might speak of really wonderful periods of meditative enjoyment or of an increasing tendency towards allowing my actions to be influenced by a broader perspective. Also I, think of the substance recovery saying "Re-laps is part or recovery." Each time I come around to the ways in which I fall away from wise conduct I tend to see with a bit more clarity and remember how to practice. The practice seems effective on a number of levels and those permutations of efficacy seem to augment one another.

Recently Ive been reading some descriptions of what one might experience in meditation. All the levels and stuff. I can see how I find myself lost in a bliss at times where nothing particularly distracting is forming within my experience. Sometimes my sense of dimensionality sort of slips out of gear and nothing about me is delineated or located. I wonder if maybe these kind of experiences are what are being indicated by levels of djanna. But then I found that all this categorizing and wondering is having an influence on my practice of meditation. An influence which is really not all that helpful.

Now....

I have decided to label my practice of Anapana Sati "A practice in Non Attainment." It is really just a way to play with words but it helps me.



Metta

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"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:02 pm

This thread is for discussing whether or not people find it helpful to assess the relative depth of meditation attainment as apposed to just following instruction as you understand them regardless of what arises. I have come to the tentative conclusion that some of the hearers the Buddha was teaching were already so familiar with systems of meditative categorization that he found he had to teach how these categories relate to Dhamma but that it is not necessary for me to use or think about them.



Metta


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"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Reductor » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:01 pm


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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:37 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Kenshou » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:25 pm

Maybe if that's what you're looking for.

IMO, the anapanasati sutta is about cultivating pitisukha and mindfulness as a basis for insight (in the 4th tetrad), but not necessarily "jhanic". However those same steps could indeed be used to reach jhanic concentration, I believe, when done thoroughly and with lots of practice.

Remember that there's nothing particularly significant about jhana other than being a wholesome skill. If your goal is deeper concentration then you may want to look into that. If your goal is simply to collect the mind and explore it, as you put it, then maybe not.

I'm no teacher but it sounds to me like you're kind of in a place where you're experimenting and getting to know how the technique works with your mind, which is probably something good to keep on doing until you get a pretty good handle on everything, but of course you know you best.

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:55 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Vepacitta » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:30 am

Well, on the one hand, one is supposed to be 'diligent, ardent, resolute ' so that does imply a goal as to practise. I don't think a person can just sit there and 'blah out' - that won't go too far - except into sloth and torpor.

On the other - going into meditation trying to 'get' jhana, could be analagous to watching for the water to boil , if one is grasping at that state, or at what one thinks that state should be, one probably isn't going to get there any time soon.

It's a bit of a catch-22 - on the one hand - yes - there have to be some goals for a meditation practise (of whatever stripe). However, if a person is grasping on to that goal - or to an idea of a state to 'attain' or to what a person thinks 'should be' - it eludes one.

Annoying, ain't it?

V.
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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:13 am

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

Kenshou
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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Kenshou » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:30 am

Vepacitta is quite right, it's something of a dilemma.

But I don't think having a goal in mind hurts, what matters is weather or not that desire interferes with the quality of your practice. Having in mind that you want to eventually get to this or that is no problem if you aren't pestered by thoughts of "Is this it? Is that it?" and your meditation is all thrown out of whack.

But on the other hand you learn by messing up, too. After screwing things up for awhile you can really appreciate how much it helps to put down the expectations, and then conveniently you are more able to get to what you wanted in the first place. Messy messy.

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Reductor » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:47 am


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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:57 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby legolas » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:07 pm


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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby bodom » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:21 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Re: Anapana Sati and Non Attainment.

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for your comments. I recognize in what has been said here the necessity for constant reassessment of the quality of my effort. I am at a point where I am benefiting from leaning away from striving for specific attainments but I can see that I have also benefited from periods of leaning towards them. Either way the maintenance of consistent discipline rolls on.


Metta

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332


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