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October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts

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October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 9/30/13 5:30 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/5/13 6:50 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/4/13 6:28 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Bruno Loff 10/6/13 2:37 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/6/13 10:50 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/7/13 8:44 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/7/13 10:52 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/7/13 12:03 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/17/13 2:28 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/17/13 5:54 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Colleayn G 10/7/13 1:04 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/7/13 4:21 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/8/13 3:06 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Colleayn G 10/8/13 6:59 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/9/13 7:32 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Tom O. 10/8/13 9:49 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/8/13 11:08 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/8/13 12:24 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/9/13 4:25 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/9/13 4:54 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/11/13 7:05 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/11/13 2:41 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/11/13 3:07 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/11/13 5:14 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/16/13 10:22 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/21/13 5:16 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/22/13 6:45 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/22/13 7:14 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Julie V 10/22/13 7:38 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/22/13 7:56 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/22/13 10:33 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Julie V 10/23/13 1:28 AM
Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Georges Drouin 10/24/13 5:28 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/24/13 6:19 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Georges Drouin 10/26/13 2:21 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Georges Drouin 10/26/13 2:55 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Tom O. 10/30/13 2:59 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Georges Drouin 10/30/13 3:24 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Georges Drouin 11/4/13 3:07 PM
RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel Georges Drouin 11/4/13 4:51 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 10/30/13 12:28 PM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Julie V 11/1/13 7:02 AM
RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts Georges Drouin 11/1/13 11:18 AM
November 1-30: Rupa jhana practice in G hangouts: A Pleasant Abiding Georges Drouin 11/2/13 12:34 PM
RE: November 1-30: Rupa jhana practice in G hangouts: A Pleasant Abidi Julie V 11/2/13 1:52 PM
Hello,

This month of group practice is following up on the September samatha jhana study. The founder of this site, Daniel Ingram, set up a Google Hangout so that we can practice and discuss practice together.

I'll open a DhO hangout every sit that I host and post the link here 15 minutes before it starts.

As I'm on the U.S. East Coast, I'll host two daily sits convenient to that time zone:
Morning sit: 05:00 - 07:00 (In the UTC time zone that is 10:00 - noon)
Evening sit: 20:00 - 22:00 (In the UTC time zone that's crazy-early).

I will be traveling later this month, so there are three to four days wherein I will not be hosting either nights or the following mornings.

Other people are welcome to host in their time zone and set up a Hangout in the DhO hangout area or in their own gmail or other means.

There are no teachers in the group; this is basically a two-hour personal "lab period" with peers. Sometimes there's sharing after some sits depending on what people want to do.

Note: there is not a vipassana component to this month. There is no particular reason for this, except that Gotama spoke of anapanasati as being what carried him and I do not separate concentration and vipassana; it has not been my experience that they are separate, but it can help to break concentration into these broad styles.



The purpose of the jhana practice is to train the mind in temporarily abating mental difficulties in order to develop an ability to know arising and passing phenomena with more understanding and with a relaxed, stable concentration as a result of gently tempering five identified mental movements that can hinder relaxed, stable concentration of the mind.

These five hindering movements of mind are said to be: sensory desire, ill-will, sloth-turpor, restlessness-worry, and doubt.




Since I am setting it up and will be responsible for hosting, I do want to say a few things:
1. Each person agrees they are responsible for their own practice, including...

2. ...kindness and non-harm for self and others, including if you know samatha practice is too stressful at anytime, stop. The entire point of 2nd and 3rd jhanas are to abate mental stress with the antidotes of piti and sukkha. If stress is peaking, then something needs to be lightened. Perhaps rest, exercise, go for some form of care for yourself. This is not a race.

3. ...having a regular/daily cardiovascular and physical practice (such as swimming, jogging, yoga, walking at a pace that is hard to talk during, rowing). Here is McMaster's University seven-minute scientific workout: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/?_r=0Many people are drawn to meditate due to depression and anxiety and the mind is hardly ready to deal with the full brunt of depression and anxiety on its own in the beginning and nor should the brain be asked to do all that work when the body and its chemistry on exercise helps so very much, so wholesomely and counteracts nicely the dominance of thinking by giving the body a chance to direct things via adrenoline and breathing and heart rate changes..

4. ...abiding one's normal drug regimen, if any, and not increasing regular caffeine intake, if any. Psychotic breaks in meditation are reported sometimes and I think the monk Yuttadhammo mentioned he has seen one or two that were associated with lots of caffeine/stimulant intake in the practitioner's hope of causing wakefulness in the wee hours and with the excessive and hasty desire to achieve "enlightenment", impatient escape from own mental suffering. It's very okay if you spent the entire time wrestling tipping over with "sloth"; that, I find, is very much part of the training. It actually does help the mind to practice staying upright in the face of an onslaught of natural fatigue

5. ...getting proper sleep. Choose sleep, if in doubt at the outset.

6. iPhones work well with Google Hangout; Google Hangout is wearing on my laptop fan...



With thanks to friends who inspire this, to Daniel for creating and providing the DhO and hangout space and to each person's effort to train themselves sincerely and well, without comparison, to look closely for oneself: "ehipassiko". Good introspective study can be the cause of good outrospective living.

See you tomorrow emoticon
Katy


PS: I am listening to the nun Khema lately and here are some of her talks along with the monk Yuttadhammo:
Khema: First jhana Part I:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X4o1Q2QP94
First jhana Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcRp2eFMsRE
Ask-a-monk Yuttadhammo: value of jhana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF4K0bnxrLA
Ask-a-monk Yuttaghammo: samatha jhana http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnsDC7pchfQ
Khema: the eight jhanas, overview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdxFS-j5oD0

Post your own guides here, too.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/5/13 6:50 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/4/13 6:28 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I'm still enjoying the nun Khema's talks on meditation and started listening to this today: "Why meditate?"

Anyway, a sitting starts in about 30-minutes at the link provided by Bruno up-post.

Happy weekend, folks.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/6/13 2:37 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
The link for the room is:

DhO Meditation Room

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/6/13 10:50 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Hi to all,

I've just joined the Dharma Overground. I appreciate the opportunity of both joining and contributing. Thanks to Daniel Ingram for providing the Discussion Forum and all. This sense of community provides inclusion to my seclusion emoticon.

I also joined the Rupa jhana practice group in Google hangouts. What a way to discover meditation using such simple and pleasant approaches as Communities in Google+. I've sat twice, so far, w Chris, Katy, Bruno and Vejay. It's challenging to sit for two hours twice per day when I've normally sat an hour, sometimes less, two or three time per day. October will be full of challenges for sure.

Thanks to Katy for this innovative and personal approach to group/retreat meditation. Merci Katy!

This morning after our meditation we sat and listened to Sister Ayya Khema's talk on the first jhana. I just wanted to add, for all our benefit, that her book "Who is My Self?" is a wonderful practical and tested guide to the Absorptions.

Sister Khema has been there and gone through the absorptions. She gives me confidence to follow the path she is describing experientially. Her book walks us through the Potthapada Sutta, the Buddha's words on the self and consciousness.

Reading her, listening to her Dhamma talks is a gift, just as sitting with jhana group is.

Georges

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/7/13 8:44 AM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Hi Georges,

Thank you for providing the talk yesterday and welcome to the forum.

_______________________________________________________

Hi all,


Bruno provided the open link so people may come and go.
I'll stop sending invitations.

Also, please come and go as you like.
It's nice to come and go on the half hours (e.g., 9:00, 9:30...) because that's when the bells rings anyway (if I am there).
The mute button can be applied to one's own window if there's a lot of ambient noise in the house.


Stay only as long as sitting would suite you.
For example, there is no way that four hours of sitting would have benefitted me a while back (and it's dubious if it is now... this truly effects work-study-sleep schedule, but it's the time I want to sit for these two months).
The sitting remains nothing special, a chance to focus the mind, which is relaxing and informative when not falling over.
10-20 minutes of sincere practicing is also useful, can be more useful. Recall: conceit is to judge oneself better or worse than another, or just to compare oneself at all. So just sit as suited to you.

Thanks and best wishes,
Katy

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/7/13 10:52 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy and group,

thanks for making me so welcome. I appreciate the Rupa jhana practice. As I previously mentioned "October will be a truly challenging month" and to further emphasize "pas à peu près!" as we say it here in Québec.

--I'm beginning to vary my postures already so that I can work through the exigencies of the 2 hour period. In a "normal" retreat, periods of 60 min are often followed by some stretching or w a break. So......I'm standing, walking and altering my seated posture to a number of variations since yesterday evening. Fortunately, none of you could see my shifts in postures given my webcam malfunction :-). What malfunction? Now that I know how to go from photo to video, you'll probably see me get up and do some walking med or even standing Kayotsarga med.

I believe varying postures is a creative and productive way to go the full 2 hours - time and individual situations permitting for sure!

--I'm only getting used to the noises in our Rupa Jhana hangout. It's somewhat disconcerting for me. Please bear w me emoticon: I'd like movement/shifts, if at all possible, to be done in a smoother --less noisy-- way s'il vous plait! A click, a touch of whatever incl cable and whatnots, reverberate thru the hangout. Also, if you or me or anyone is about to leave the meditation but is going to come back shortly, I'd prefer if the mute or the button to shut down temporarily the video is used, rather than logging out. Naturally, if these descriptions apply.

I'd like to finish w a brief quote from my teacher:
"The precept operates like the light touch of a whip that reminds the horse to stay on course..." Bhante Gunaratana.

À ce soir donc,

meilleurs voeux, Georges

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/7/13 12:03 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Hi Georges and friends,

"pas à peu près!"

Seriously!

I've had to ask myself what I'm doing this home retreat for a few times since starting and realized I should've written some reasons down at the outset. One reason was just offsetting laziness and the ease of quitting, not making effort. Another is skill development. Another is more exposure to how my own mind just throws up wilds stuff and it's interesting to see. Another is literally for health reasons, just exercising brain like exercising the body.

But I should've outlined these purposes at the outset. By not being clear, I actually displaced laziness over to work and home. I have never asked for so many work extensions on projects as I have since starting this. Not good for my bosses and not viable economically for me. Also, for the first two weeks, as noted in the September thread, my home looked like a college band lived there. Gross (sorry, college bands, maybe you've all gotten really tidy). It is amazing what just adding four hours a day does. I totally underestimated that. And I got a good both-piriformis muscles strain out of it (resolved with targeted yoga)! I feel for monastics and retreatants.

So very educational so far... pas à peu près!




_________________________


One thing that's been mentioned is having a sense that if one is doing less than the two-hour sit, one is somehow not doing well.


So I'd like to reframe the retreat: these are just four hours in a day in which one can sit with company if they want for as little or as much as they'd like. Use the "mute" icon to help quietly come and go.




Small reasonable changes change behaviours in huge ways. This is the basis for "harm reduction" models in major afflictions, such as addiction abatement and reducing risk of sexually transmitted infection. What small weekly or daily changes can a person make to start reducing harm and/or succeed in behaviour modification?

Some applied social scientists are lately saying we need about six tools to make a behavioural change and the author of "The Influencers" outlines six tools for doing this and here is his 18-minute TED talk that is amazing.

He takes up our instinct to change the world for the better within the context of the devastating reality of a 12-year old girl choosing to prostitute herself based on her environment and needs, and how she changes and achieves her autonomy and joyful living. There are also hilarious video clips of children making decisions based on gratification, skills, and their environment.

So one can definitely shore up a meditative practice with the tips in that video. And if you hate meditation, well, that video doesn't have any meditation in whatsoever ;)

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/7/13 1:04 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Planning to join you as often as I can, if it's not too late.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/7/13 4:21 PM as a reply to Colleayn G.
Certainly. Feel welcome. It's not set up with any obligations to join at a certain time or for any number of sessions.

It's just a group of people doing concentration meditation (or some other quiet form of meditation).

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/8/13 9:49 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy,

Slightly off topic, but you brought up Ayya Khema. I was recently introduced to her, and am really hooked. There is a lot of content from her online, and I was wondering if you have come across any guided meditations from her, ideally doing a rupa jhana walkthrough? If so, would you mind posting a link?

-- tomo

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/8/13 11:08 AM as a reply to Tom O..
Tom O.:
Katy,

Slightly off topic, but you brought up Ayya Khema. I was recently introduced to her, and am really hooked. There is a lot of content from her online, and I was wondering if you have come across any guided meditations from her, ideally doing a rupa jhana walkthrough? If so, would you mind posting a link?

-- tomo




Hi tomo,

It's totally on topic. Thanks for asking.

Georges played a talk on first jhana on Sunday morning for the people who joined. I knitted during this, but others contiued sitting in meditation to listen.
Georges, could you provide that link?

Here is a youtube link to one of her talks on first jhana ("not how to do it, but what it will bring us"). She died in '97, so this was posted about 12 years after her death.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X4o1Q2QP94


And you can get any of her talks from dharmaseed.org[1]: http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/334/talk/7688/



________________________________________________
[1] Also, dharmaseed is a non-profit organization, 501(c)3.
http://dharmaseed.org/about/us/
They've earned between about USD 37,000 - 38,500 per year for the past three years (2010-2012). They do not seem to have anyone salaried. Based on Form 990 reporting to the US Internal Revenue Service, they spend about USD 2,000-4,300 in professional fees per year. The bulk of their expenses seem to be in publishing and postage (apprx $18,000) and their web hosting and web storage (about $13,000/yr (2012)).

I hope the non-profit Form 990 information helps people decide how they want to share dana. I always have to weigh where any dana can go, who cannot fundraise for themselves (e.g., war and political refugees, children, ocean and ocean life, bees, bats...etc).

Also, as we know, dana is many things, not always money, so giving is done in many, many sincere and attitudinal ways. The DhO community gives me a ton, none of it financial. So thank you, all.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/8/13 12:24 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy, it'll be my pleasure to provide the link for Tom.

Hi Tom,

Ayya Khema I now consider to be one of my two teachers. When I listened to one of her talks for the first time - a couple of weeks ago btw - I was totally taken in by her wonderfully lucid, penetrating mastery of the subject of the absorptions. She also took me in deeply into the first two/three, ever so briefly in the case of the 2nd and 3rd.

So, this past week-end after the morning meditation of 5 to 7 we listened to her talk on the first jhana. Probably the same one Katy provided you in her response to your email.

Let me provide you w same and I'll also give you the complete list of of her talks on the subject from within the retreat she gave at Gampo Abbey in 1988. Here is the link:

http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/334/?search=Transcendental+Dependent+Arising

Here are the ones I've isolated of the retreat:

1988-01-01 Transcendental Dependent Arising - Questions 1:25:07
1988-01-02 Transcendental Dependent Arising - Questions - Loving Kindness Meditation 64:07
1988-01-03 Transcendental Dependent Arising, Joy, Questions - Loving Kindness 1:14:15
1988-01-04 Transcendental Dependent Arising - Questions 1:19:34 (first Jhana)
1988-01-05 Transcendental Dependent Arising 5, 6, 7, Questions - Loving Kindness 64:37 (2nd,3rd Jhana)
1988-01-06 Transcendental Dependent Arising (7) - Questions 1:16:24
1988-01-07 Transcendental Dependent Arising (8) Knowledge & Vision of Things as they are 1:32:42
1988-01-08 Transcendental Dependent Arising (9) - Questions 1:32:06
1988-01-09 Transcendental Dependent Arising 10, 11, 12 - Questions 1:32:34
1988-01-10 Transcendental Dependent Arising - Questions Questions 1:32:39

it all starts w the first Jhana @ 1988-01-04. She is clear, precise and very generous in her teachings at Gampo Abbey. I find when I sit and listen that I enter into meditation w her almost instantaneously! Obviously, she has enormous influence on me. I trust her teachings because her understanding touches me in the most simple yet profound manner.

So, enjoy the listening Tom. I've previously posted (above) a brief comment on her book on the absorptions "Who is My Self?"

w metta, Georges

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/8/13 3:06 PM as a reply to Colleayn G.
Hi Colleayn

I sat w you and the group last evening. I hope your audio problems get resolved. From my end, I've been having video problems w my webcam. Let's hope we resolve our minor issues. Hope t meditate w you this evening.

Georgesemoticon

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/8/13 6:59 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Re-installed my plug in. Let's see if that helped.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/9/13 7:32 AM as a reply to Colleayn G.
At this morning's med I realized why my webcam wasn't always working. I simply shouldn't launch my Logitech webcam sw. Once I'm in the hangout for meditation it started up automatically this morning. I hope your solution is as simple,

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/9/13 4:25 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
So I'm proposing a change to the hours, ones I'll at least apply for myself:
Morning sit: 05:30 - 07:00 (In the UTC time zone that is 10:00 - 11:30)
Evening sit: 20:00 - 21:30 (In the UTC time zone that's crazy-early).

This is a pretty good reduction because a) sleep conflict is commonly mentioned on retreat and has already been mentioned by myself and others joining in this one , and b) not only is memory affected, but it looks like less than seven hours of sleep affects some inflammatory gene activity as well. BBC has a show on it tomorrow night and here's a short article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24444634

Since Bruno set up the room for anyone to access, people can use this as long or for as little as they want. I'm going to try the new hours this week and see what the results are.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/9/13 4:54 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy,

the hours you're proposing are realistic and beneficial for most of us. This should facilitate our participation. You personally will benefit from the additional sleep :-). Also, if my calculations are right, this should bring Bruno closer to the lunch hour than before, probably providing him just the right usage of his time without infringing on his other daily activities. Not to mention others both east and west of our time zone.

Merci,

Georges

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/11/13 7:05 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I'd like to play the next talk of Soeur Ayya Khema tomorrow morning after the meditation. Last week she spoke of the first absorption.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/11/13 2:41 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
That works for me, Georges. Ouai ;) c'est une bonne idée. Sunday morning in between sits or after the sit?

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/11/13 3:07 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy,

either way. Sundays sometimes are days to go out and do whatever. Maybe after the sit on Sunday would leave time for all to get on with the day of "sun".

Let's throw the question out to the jhana practice group demain matin / tomorrow morning saturday after the med. D'ac? ;)

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/11/13 5:14 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I recently learnt of Soeur Ayya Khema's teachings and immediately felt in communion w her. Bhante Gunaratana had a similar impact on me when our paths crossed at Bhanvana Society in the Spring of 2012. These two are my teachers now. For this i feel immeasurable appreciation and gratitude.

Our twice a day October Rupa jhana hangout practice is important for me as a training/practice ground for increasing my mental strength and flexibility all the while attempting to balance it with my body. You see, my body is trying to deal w physical pain while experiencing the jhanas, the first one in particular.

The body sensations i feel when absorbed in the 1st jhana are almost instantly felt when i sit. That could be interpreted as a good thing, n'est-ce pas? It depends on the depth of my absorption however. Earlier this week, it was flowing and easy for me to enter into the sensations and stay within them for a considerably long period, somewhere around 40 minutes. Now, I barely make it to 20 minutes. The 5 factors supposedly neutralizing the 5 hindrances are dancing in front of my mind, playing w me, as a magician - as Soeur Ayya Khema so aptly says of how the mind controls us. It's debilitating for me to say the least. I'm completely thrown off despite the sensations felt in my body, around my head and progressively where I'm attempting to direct them to my heart area - similarly to Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo's description of meditation method 1 (Keeping the Breath in Mind & Lessons in Samadhi) where he speaks of bringing the white light, i.e. the nimitta, down to the base of the chest.

This is a tough one for me. Perhaps this is my battle ground, dealing w going to the heart area, the joy of the second jhana.

Historically within my practice I've always felt pleasant sensations in and around my head. Prior to joining the DhO and the hangout, the sensations became very specific to a particular part of, for example a small area on my upper lip, left side or my left nostril around 10 o'clock. Back to early August and into September/October, these sensations began to augment in their frequency, intensity and plurality, bouncing around my face like miniscule pressure points.

When i began to listen to Soeur Khema's talks - the ones I've referenced above for Tom O - all that was required for me to become absorbed was to simply sit and listen: I pull up my rockin' chair, place it between my 2 speakers, and absorb her teachings - in stereo no less! lol! I've tried advancing further on her 10 Dhamma talks at Gampo Abbey. But I can't. I'm always on rewind. Can't help it. It's beyond my capacity to go faster than my learning can take me. I feel when she speaks that I'm in the presence of one of Buddha's close disciples.

Sandy Boucher, in her foreward to Soeur Khema's book Be an Island says of her: "She was one of Buddha's lions" no less. What a lion! Her roar, for those who want to hear it, is decisive and penetrating al the while generous, tender, a balance that illustrates how she teaches the Dhamma. Her words, spoken & written, are expressions of clarity, depth, intent and deep interest for her listeners.

Ayya Khema says that we should love sitting in meditation. It is, sometimes for me. Not always when dealing w the pain of sitting. Knees, ankles, hips. Here, today in one of her GA talks she spoke of practice points in reference to the pain. So tonight, I'll be looking at this practice point w great attention, not the pain but rather to go beyond it. Knowing it's there perhaps, but remaining one-pointed and attempt to go beyond the body sensations and feel a stronger, developing sense of joy.

Georges

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/16/13 10:22 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Started a new post almost by accident, but we all know, don't we, nothing is accidental but simply an expression of consciousness. Initially wanted it to appear here, so here is the post:

I've been listening, since this morning after meditation, to a talk by Soeur Khema Katy proposed on the 3-6th jhanas . I'm up to Infinite Consciousness and for now I'm going on rewind emoticon. I'm returning to 3-4 specifically because they obviously are more applicable for where I'm sitting, pun intended, somewhere between 2 and 3. Even though 1 is on-going.

I like reading the Buddha's words, MN 39 15, when describing where the recluse

"Having abandoned these five hindrances, imperfections of the mind that weaken wisdom, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, he enters upon and abides in the first jhana, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. He makes the rapture and pleasure born of seclusion drench, steep, fill, and pervade this body, so that there is no part of his whole body unpervaded by the rapture and pleasure born of seclusion."

This drenching, steeping, filling and pervading of the body occurs also when entering and abiding in the 2nd jhana (16), the 3rd jhana (17) and the 4th jhana (18) as well although w some nuances.

1st, is rapture and pleasure born of seclusion
2nd, is rapture and pleasure born of concentration
3rd, the pleasure divested of rapture
4th, he sits pervading this body with a pure bright mind

Nuances aside, I'm beginning to better understand what the Buddha and Soeur Khema call a pleasant abiding. From where I sit, if it isn't attachment wanting to drench, steep, fill and pervade the body w this "pleasant abiding", I see no reason not to remain if that is what is being experienced or requested --- a little longer, so that the absorption can, on the one hand, be maintained more frequently, with one-pointedness and, on the other hand, "naturally" take one fully into the next, either 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 and maybe, having got there just a glimpse, 3 to 4.

Soeur Khema talks of taking the time in the jhanas and that the time taken isn't measurable in our normal terms. this is why the suffusing of the whole body, at least in my extended experience, is becoming my choice now. So instead of getting frustrated as to why I'm not already in the 3rd for example, I believe patience, our samsara, and as Sister Khema says our perseverance, our effort and belief in the Dhamma's teachings suffices to carry me onward.

Also, it is becoming so much more important to me in my practice the practicing and attainment of the four immeasurable, the Brhamaviharas. We all have heard of loving kindness, compassion, joy w others and equanimity but to a degree, for me at least they were words in a dictionary w a certain meaning my DNA inheritance provided me.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/17/13 2:28 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I recall Katy writing about conceit and not feeling better or superior to another. Ajaan Lee Dhammadaro writes in "Skill of Release" :

"Some people get results quickly; others more slowly. The slower people shouldn’t compare themselves or compete with the quick ones. The quick ones shouldn’t compete with the slow ones. It’s like polishing boards and mirrors. Polishing a mirror so that you can see your reflection in it doesn’t take all that much talent, because the nature of the mirror is already reflective. But to polish a board so that you can see your reflection in it, even though it may take a long time, is a sign of real expertise."

:-)

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
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10/17/13 5:54 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Hey, Georges,

Would you post the link to the talk you're listening to? It sounds good from your reports here and via PM.

Also, I think tomorrow night is poutine night with the awesome neighbours so I'll probably miss the sit, maybe Saturday morning. emoticon

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/21/13 5:16 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Here's what Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo says on the breath in Skill for Release (pp 33-37) here at Skill of Release. To reference the pages here is the url to download a epub, pdf or mobi. I dl the pdf and the pages reference should correspond epub-pdf-mobi:

"§ The breath in the body isn’t limited just to the breath that flows in and out the nose. The breath in the body spreads out to every pore, like the vapor that gets exhaled from an ice cube. It’s much more refined than the air outside. When the internal breath goes out the pores, it gets reflected back into the body. This breath is called the supporting breath. It helps keep the body and mind cool and still. So when you breathe in, let the breath fill the inside of your body; when you breathe out, let it spread in all directions.

§ When you breathe in, you have to feel the effects of the inner breath in three parts of the body: (1) the lungs & heart; (2) the liver, stomach, & intestines; and (3) the rib cage & spine. If the breath doesn’t have an effect all over the body, you’re not getting the full results of concentration.

§ When we meditate it’s as if we were milling the rice grains in our granary so that they’ll be ready to cook. The mind is like grains of rice. The Hindrances are like the husks. We have to crack the husks and then polish away the dirty red skin underneath. That’s when we’ll end up with good, white rice. The way to polish is to use directed thought and evaluation. Directed thought is when we focus the mind on being aware of the in-and-out breath, which is like taking a handful of rice and putting it in the teeth of our mill. We have to make sure that the teeth of the mill are in good shape. If we’re aware of just the in-breath and then get distracted with the out-breath, it’s as if the teeth of our mill were broken. When this happens, we have to fix them immediately. In other words, we reestablish mindfulness on the breath and brush away all other perceptions.

Evaluation is being observant, taking careful note of the breath as we breathe in, to see what it’s like, to see whether it’s comfortable, easy, and free-flowing. We then let the good breaths spread throughout the body to chase out the bad breath sensations. All the properties of the body will become pure; the mind will become bright. The body will feel cool and at ease. We have to look after the breath in this way, in the same way that we catch baby chicks to put in the coop. If we hold them too tight, they die. If we hold them too loosely, they run away. We have to gather them in our hands in a way that’s just right. That way they’ll all end up safely in the coop.

§ The factors of jh›na—directed thought, evaluation, rapture, and pleasure— all have to be gathered at the breath if you want to reach singleness of preoccupation. Directed thought is like laying claim to a piece of land. Evaluation is like planting it with seed. When the seed bears fruit, that’s rapture and pleasure.

§ Keeping awareness with the breath is directed thought. Knowing the characteristics of the breath is evaluation. Spreading the breath so that it permeates and fills the entire body is rapture. The sense of serenity and well- being in body and mind is pleasure. When the mind is freed from the Hindrances so that it’s one with the breath, that’s singleness of preoccupation. All of these factors of jh›na turn mindfulness into a factor for Awakening.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
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10/22/13 6:45 AM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
I just want to thank everyone for their company. It makes a huge difference in the continuity of my "lab work/wonder" during bumpy weeks like this one (for me). Thank you.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
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10/22/13 7:14 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
b(^_^)d

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
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10/22/13 7:38 AM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Thanks for setting this up, Katy. It has been really nice to have a company as well (at least from time to time for me).

Just some questions though: Does it bother you guys that I left in the middle of the sit? Not only did I not stay for the whole time, but my unstable internet also kicked me out. Does the hangout make some kinds of noise to indicate that someone enters or leave the room? Should I plan to enter/ leave during the 30 min interval when the bell rings instead?

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
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10/22/13 7:56 AM as a reply to Julie V.
Hi Julie, this is one of the guy :-). We all on occasion go and come back or go depending on time for med availability. On the half-hour may be best but sometimes doesn't work out that way. Yes there is a light sound when one enters or leaves the hangout, but we're all used to it. If it is possible to mute the mike that could be done. But not essential. :-) Welcome.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/22/13 10:33 AM as a reply to Julie V.
Hi Julie,

It was nice to see you. I agree with what George said: the sound of people coming and going is fine. When I've had stable concentration going, it doesn't phase that, and otherwise that little sound of someone entering or exiting the hangout is just part of the practice, can rein me back in from mind-wandering. : )

Also, I tend to either be just the circular icon or coming and going with the camera as the laptop overheats. I try to time that change with the bells. I hope it's not disruptive.

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/23/13 1:28 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

Also, I tend to either be just the circular icon or coming and going with the camera as the laptop overheats. I try to time that change with the bells. I hope it's not disruptive.


I see that from the inner eye ... Get really psychic after all the concentration practice emoticon

Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
Answer
10/24/13 5:28 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
As many of us know, Leigh Brasington was permitted by Soeur Ayya Khema to go out and teach meditation. At Dhamma Wheel, I've come across instruction for Entering Jhana in an article published in Insight Journal in the Fall of 2002. The instructions were taken from a nine-day retreat Leigh Brasington conducted at the BCBS. I cannot copy/paste the article due to not having copyright permission to do so but, since I can direct those interested by way of the url, this isn't necessary. The important thing here are the instructions. Also, it appears that Leigh Brasington is about to publish a book on the Jhanas that is currently in the queue at Wisdom Publications. Great news :-).

Here then is the link Instruction for Entering Jhana

Please feel free to comment. As I'm about to read it while I sip my herbal tea, which is about ready emoticon, I'll do so later when I'll have "absorbed" the teaching.

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
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10/24/13 6:19 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Thanks, Georges.

I guess one can discover one way or the other desire for concentrated mental condition (jhana, meditation) impedes it. It's like if I want to go the post office or if I actually go. And if I want to see the lake or if I see the lake...

As I'm about to read it while I sip my herbal tea, which is about ready
I think I'm on about my 14th cup of green tea now... =) Getting a little twitchy.

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
Answer
10/26/13 2:21 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy, I've been reflecting on your response

"I guess one can discover one way or the other desire for concentrated mental condition (jhana, meditation) impedes it."

I thought this was a sort of haiku at first, then I realized if put the "," after other then it made sense and I could then link it to the second sentence intelligently. Thanks for the missing comma, I certainly practiced my concentration for the past 2 days lol.

As for the tisane, alors je n'en prends pas 14 à la fois mais une. Attention aux excès, sinon je t'appellerai "twitchy" emoticon g

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
Answer
10/26/13 2:55 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Now that I've had the chance to read and sit w Leigh Brasington's "Instructions for Entering Jhana", I'd like to comment a bit on his instructions.

His style is straightforward and clear, a lot like his teacher Soeur Ayya Khema. No surprise here. I like his thought about "if you crave, desire to reach the Jhana absorption" you probably won't. You've got sense desire and an unwholesome state of mind. I reflect more on the word desire and haven't often sought out the undercurrent of this being an unwholesome state of mind. Sounds pretty basic but for me, it was a good lesson in correct view or understanding, certainly.

He talks certainly about being in a comfortable sitting position and says "You may be able to sit in a way that looks really good, but if your knees are killing you there will be pain and you will not experience any jhanas." It's not a question of looking good but rather of feeling right. He adds that this comfort must be accompanied by an upright and alert posture so one's energy goes in the direction of being awake, add not to be too comfortable which invites sloth and torpor back into the picture adding "which is an unwholesome state of mind that is totally useless for entering the jhanas." Emphasis on TOTALLY USELESS.

This point about a comfortable, alert, upright posture is THE starting point, the first prerequisite. If one needs to move because of intense pain for ex. to do it mindfully and to take note of "how long it takes for the mind to get back to that place of calm that it had before you moved". This gives us perspective and possible the determination to limit the moving to a bare minimum. I know I sometimes move unmindfully when the mental agitation takes over where the pain kicked in. In my case this is THE tough one.

In the attainment of Access Concentration, he's very clear and concise: about thoughts being slight, being w the sensations of breath, or using metta feelings, body sweeping to arrive at A.C. Also, when the breath gets to be very subtle, that this is when to shift one's attention to a pleasant sensation. He encourages one to smile to generate this pleasant sensation, albeit saying many people just don't want to smile. I like the smile part. This morning i found it quite nice and easy. So .... I smiled. emoticon

Leigh Brasington differs a bit from what Ayya Khema describes as "pleasant sensations". She speaks of lightness of the body, a pulling upward and tingling as being the most frequent. LB talks about the hands being the most common place to find pleasant sensations. Good point to consider when one is moving our mindfulness on body sensations around the different parts of the body. He adds "Other places people find pleasant sensations include the third eye, the top of the head, the shoulders -- actually, you name a body part, and I've had some student find a pleasant sensation there that they were able to focus upon long enough for the first jhana to arise." This is great to read.

Once found, i.e. the pleasant sensation, simply shift your attention to it.

He goes on:

"You observe the pleasantness of the pleasant sensation, and do nothing else. If you can do that, the pleasant sensation will begin to grow in intensity, it will become stronger. This will not happen in a linear way. It'll sort of grow a little bit, and then grow a little bit more and then hang out, and grow a little bit more…and then eventually, it will suddenly take off and take you into what is obviously an altered state of consciousness."

Awesome simplicity! Key words for me: observe, do nothing else, begin to grow, not...linear way, a little bit and then "blast off" altered state of consciousness.

Soeur Khema speaks of this direction of absorption being one that is simply a natural direction for the mind to take, of the mind (finally) finding a home, a home it can always, at any time, go to to find refuge, peace and contentment.

I'll conclude by one final quote from LB: "All you can do is set up the conditions for the jhana to arise, by cultivating a calm and quiet mind focused on pleasantness. And then just let go -- ..."

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
10/30/13 12:28 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Recently, Vijay and I exchanged thoughts on the path and the practice. This came up:

WALK SLOWLY
Ancestor Lu

Walk slowly, at a relaxed pace, and you won't stumble.
Sleep soundly and you won't fret through the night.

Practitioners first of all need serenity and patience.
Second, they need dispassion, not to think about the past or be concerned about the future.

If you think about the past, your former self will not die.
If you think about the future, the road seems long and hard to traverse.

It is better to be serene and relaxed, not thinking of past or future but just paying attention to the present, acting normally.
Each accomplishment is an achievement, and this will build up.

If you are eager for completion and vow to do so many deeds or practices, this is still personal interest, calculating merit and striving for gain.

Then the mind cannot be pure. This is the root of inconsistency.

Vitality Energy & Spirit, A Taoist Sourcebook

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
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10/30/13 2:59 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
You might also be interested in this interview with LB:

http://secularbuddhism.org/2013/04/20/episode-165-leigh-brasington-sutta-jhanas/

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
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10/30/13 3:24 PM as a reply to Tom O..
Tom, I very much appreciate this opportunity to listen to Leigh Brasington. I'll begin listening to his interview a little later in the early evening before our Rupa Jhana sit of 8 PM.

Thank you, w Metta, g

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
Answer
11/1/13 7:02 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Are you still continuing with some kinds of group sit this month?

RE: October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts
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11/1/13 11:18 AM as a reply to Julie V.
yes we are Julie, I'll be setting up the thread as soon as i can today, probably late afternoon. In the meantime, you can still use the same link we normally use should i have some delays until tomorrow for ex.
I'll be in the hangout this evening. OK?
:-) g

November 1-30: Rupa jhana practice in G hangouts: A Pleasant Abiding
Answer
11/2/13 12:34 PM as a reply to Julie V.
Hi again Julie,

just got the thread for November set up. Here is the link November 1-30: Rupa jhana practice in G hangouts: A Pleasant Abiding.

Thanks for your patience, :-) g

RE: November 1-30: Rupa jhana practice in G hangouts: A Pleasant Abidi
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11/2/13 1:52 PM as a reply to Georges Drouin.
Thanks emoticon

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
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11/4/13 3:07 PM as a reply to Tom O..
In the October 1-31: Rupa jhana practice in Google hangouts, Tom O directed me to a video interview Leign Brasington did w Willoughby Britton here.

I've provided a couple of links on both Soeur Ayya Khema and Leigh Brasington at a wonderful blogspot run by MARGUERITE MANTEAU-RAO, who really enjoys both teachers immensely. Here you can see the results of two searches I conducted on her blogspot that take us into one person's deep appreciation of these two teachers.

1. Soeur Ayya Khema's search results

2. Leigh Brasington's search results

There is a whole series of blog posts here that one can take slowly one at a time, no rush, just read and listen, as the case may be.

I like how Marguerite expresses her path and some of the fruits she has received from her own practice. She calls herself a student of mindfulness meditation, regards Soeur Khema as her preferred teacher. Her language is simple, penetrating and reflects on her following the path that has been set out for her.

One big plus, if you scroll thru the posts she has provided on Leigh Brasington, they are often in the context of her impressions while attending one of LB's retreats earlier last year - done on a day to day basis. This is a most enriching experience to read her comments, which often are of a very practical nature and which provide those of us who wish to attend one of his retreats in the future, wonderful insights into his teachings.

I will also post this comment of mine on our November 1-30: Rupa jhana practice in G hangouts: A Pleasant Abiding thread.

RE: Instruction for Entering Jhana by Leigh Brasington @ Dhamma Wheel
Answer
11/4/13 4:51 PM as a reply to Tom O..
Tom,

on the same website you indicated above, I did a search on Leigh's name and came up w a 4 part series Leigh Brasington did two years ago. Here is the link: What are Jhanas? ~ Leigh Brasington with Stephanie Nash.