A few questions

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

A few questions

Postby Jesse » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:42 am

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:
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: A few questions

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:57 am

What kind of meditation?
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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Re: A few questions

Postby maybay » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:54 am

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:47 am

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Jesse » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:28 pm

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:
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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Re: A few questions

Postby maybay » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:07 pm

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Jesse » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:40 pm

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Mr. G » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:03 pm

This is OK for general Mahayana regarding signposts in meditation:

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

Kosa has bits and pieces too.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: A few questions

Postby Jesse » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:30 pm

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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Re: A few questions

Postby catmoon » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:48 am

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Jesse » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:20 am

Dang catmoon, now I gotta lookout for cats too?! :smile:
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Re: A few questions

Postby maybay » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:38 am

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:55 am

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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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
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Re: A few questions

Postby Jesse » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:37 pm

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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Re: A few questions

Postby asunthatneversets » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:21 am

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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Re: A few questions

Postby Jesse » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:32 am

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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