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Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana - Dhamma Wheel

Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

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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Almaril
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Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Almaril » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:49 pm

Many times people get into situations when they are left by themselves, maybe it's getting locked up a in a prison cell for decades, maybe ending up in a deserted island or getting paralyzed in an accident and left in a hospital bed for life... I sometimes think about this, people in similar conditions - which may happen to any of us - usually tend to go crazy in boredom and have a horrible time there. I know I would. So I was thinking, if it ever happens which are the required meditation skills, techniques that may eventually lead me to Nibbana/ take the spiritual development to the furthest one may reach in this life.
I recall a wikipedia article about different approaches to enlightenment (attaining it through samatha, vipassana, metta(?), etc.) but I'm not sure about it. So my question: in theory, which are the essential meditational techniques that's practice would/should eventually lead to nibbana - without the presence of a spiritual teacher?

Just curious. :smile:

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Goofaholix
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:11 pm

I think it doesn't really matter what meditation techniques you may or may not use, rather it's the ability to be persistent and continuous in ones awareness, to be open to ones experience no matter whether good or bad.

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beeblebrox
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:19 pm

I actually think it varies. Every person is conditioned in many different ways, so what might be suitable for one might not be for others. If one has the knack for samatha, then he could focus on developing that for a bit, but eventually he should build a base out of that and then move on to vipassana.

If one is full of insight, and is able to discern many things, but those insights might remain shallow if he isn't good at settling himself down. So, he might use that gift of insight to figure out how to develop the samatha skills, and then use that skills as a base to deepen his vipassana.

If a person isn't particularly gifted with either samatha and vipassana, and he is easily bothered by the world that he lives in, then he won't be able to develop those well. He would need to practice metta, get himself comfortable with the way this world is. Once he's reasonably settled, then he can do either samatha and/or vipassana.

I think that's how it works. I think samatha and vipassana are the main ones to focus on, but whatever helps to reach a state (such as through metta) where it would be relatively easy to develop those two are probably still very helpful.

The main thing though, is to focus on just one thing... don't become diffused with many techniques. And as always, keep in mind the goal, which is Nibbāna. You do this through mindfulness (sati), very important.

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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:18 am

:goodpost:

I might add that it is not possible to attain nibbana with only samatha or metta alone. These existed long before the Buddha. Vipassana is essential.

with metta

RYB
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:38 pm

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:15 pm

"Monks, for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?

"One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and — if penetrating no higher — is headed for the Brahma worlds.

"These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

note that enlightenment is not mentioned here.

Also anapanasati if not used in an vipassana method (ie- used purely as samatha), does not lead to nibbana, and leads only to jhana. The Buddha learnt jhana from teachers at the time.

with metta

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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Almaril » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:56 pm


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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:34 am

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Tipitaka Samyutta Nikaya SN 54
SN 54.8 PTS: S v 316 CDB ii 1770
Dipa Sutta: The Lamp
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2006–2010
"Monks, concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. And how is concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[1] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[2] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming the bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in gladdening the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out gladdening the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind. [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'[5]

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion.'[6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

"This is how concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.

"I, too, monks, before my awakening, when I was an unawakened bodhisatta, frequently remained with this abiding. When I frequently remained with this abiding, neither my body was fatigued nor were my eyes, and my mind, through lack of clinging/sustenance, was released from fermentations.

"So if a monk should wish: 'May neither my body be fatigued nor my eyes, and may my mind, through lack of clinging/sustenance, be released from fermentations,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May my memories & resolves related to the household life be abandoned,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I remain percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I remain percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I remain percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I remain percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting myself off from both — remain equanimous, mindful, & alert,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities — enter & remain in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enter & remain in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the fading of rapture, remain equnimous, mindful, & alert, sense pleasure with the body, and enter & remain in the third jhana, of which the noble ones declare, "Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding,"' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier disappearance of joys & distresses — enter & remain in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the complete transcending of perceptions of (physical) form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, (perceiving,) 'Infinite space,' enter & remain in the dimension of the infinitude of space,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, (perceiving,) 'Infinite consciousness,' enter & remain in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, (perceiving,) 'There is nothing,' enter & remain in the dimension of nothingness,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enter & remain in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"If a monk should wish: 'May I, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enter & remain in the cessation of perception & feeling,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"When concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is thus developed, thus pursued, then if he senses a feeling of pleasure, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished. If he senses a feeling of pain, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished. If he senses a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he discerns that it is inconstant, not grasped at, not relished. If he senses a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it. If he senses a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. If he senses a feeling of neither-pleasure-nor-pain, he senses it disjoined from it. When sensing a feeling limited to the body, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.' When sensing a feeling limited to life, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to life.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is experienced, not being relished, will grow cold right here.'

"Just as an oil lamp burns in dependence on oil & wick; and from the termination of the oil & wick — and from not being provided any other sustenance — it goes out unnourished; in the same way, when sensing a feeling limited to the body, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.' When sensing a feeling limited to life, he discerns that 'I am sensing a feeling limited to life.' He discerns that 'With the break-up of the body, after the termination of life, everything that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.'"

Notes

1.
To the fore (parimukham): The Abhidhamma takes an etymological approach to this term, defining it as around (pari-) the mouth (mukham). In the Vinaya, however, it is used in a context (Cv.V.27.4) where it undoubtedly means the front of the chest. There is also the possibility that the term could be used idiomatically as "to the front," which is how I have translated it here.
2.
The commentaries insist that "body" here means the breath, but this is unlikely in this context, for the next step — without further explanation — refers to the breath as "bodily fabrication." If the Buddha were using two different terms to refer to the breath in such close proximity, he would have been careful to signal that he was redefining his terms (as he does below, when explaining that the first four steps in breath meditation correspond to the practice of focusing on the body in and of itself as a frame of reference). The step of breathing in and out sensitive to the entire body relates to the many similes in the suttas depicting jhana as a state of whole-body awareness (see MN 119).
3.
"In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications." — MN 44.
4.
"Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That's why perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications." — MN 44.
5.
AN 9.34 shows how the mind, step by step, is temporarily released from burdensome mental states of greater and greater refinement as it advances through the stages of jhana.
6.
Lit., "fading."
See also: MN 118; SN 54.6.

:smile:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:58 am

Hello Almaril,

Meditation is only one part of what is needed to attain Nibbana.
The whole of the Noble Eightfold Path must be undertaken and completed.
The Noble Eightfold Path - The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html

And, on Bhikkhu Pesala's website:
How can one realise Nibbana?
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Nib ... a.html#How
From What is Nibbana?
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Nib ... bbana.html

Chris
with metta
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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cooran
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby cooran » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:31 am

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

Parth
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Parth » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:53 pm

Metta alone will not take you there, neither will jhana unless practised along with Vipassana. Unless the physical reality is observed at a very very deep level the Anatta nature does not come out. This along with following the eight fold path will only lead one there. Practise and Practise leave rest to dhamma.

Metta,

Parth

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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Cloud » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:27 pm

Be mindful of your in and out breathing at all times, even before falling asleep, not forcing but knowing each breath fully. This is called Samatha. Samatha develops a tranquility of mind, a calmness, and from this calm insight arises. This is called Vipassana. They are not two different things, but the seed and fruit of that seed. Practice Samatha, and insight arises out of that tranquility.

This is all the same thing; meditations only require mindfulness, calm. Every moment of experience is done in meditation in this way. This is the quickest way, not dedicating "a time" to "sit" in meditation, but to make your life your practice.

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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Anicca » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:46 pm


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Guy
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Guy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:50 am

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

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Guy
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Guy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:05 am

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

Moggalana
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Re: Acquiring the meditational skills to attain Nibbana

Postby Moggalana » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:56 pm

Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.


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