Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

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Florian, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:23 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:10 AM

Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hello, DhOers

For the past couple of months, I've been doing concentration practice using Ven Ajahn Lee's "Method 1".

It's a breath meditation technique, but it moves attention along what are considered "energy" paths in many traditions, and focuses on a strong visual nimitta or afterimage-like effect. This meshes nicely with my experience using a kasina or visual meditation object.

For me, it has so far been very effective in getting a nimitta, without having a candle or other external kasina available. I've got some fairly stable, subjectively autonomous visual effects, which are also mentioned by Ajahn Lee, though he doesn't dwell on them, recommending deep breaths to make them go away. His aim in that booklet was a different one from what I'm trying to do here.

I'm using this technique to pump up my concentration skill because I want to explore powers-y effects.

I posted this to the powers/magick section. The new DhO Software does not make this obvious, so I'm mentioning it here.

So I'm wondering if anyone else is using or has used this technique for this purpose, and what they've found out or been able to do with it.

Cheers,
Florian
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:02 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:59 AM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 995 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
I've had this in my bookmarks for a while.  Maybe you'll find it interesting?

http://www.bio.net/hypermail/neur-sci/1996-June/024159.html

I think I got it from a post on a lucid dreaming forum somewhere, and the guy who posted said he was able to change the color of physical objects (like make a red lamp blue), invent people and talk to them, listen to music that wasn't real, etc.

EDIT: Sorry if this isn't relevant, I'm not sure re-reading your post, haha.
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Jenny, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:08 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:07 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Hi, Florian,

That book is my main practice! But, if I remember correctly, I use Method 2. I'll look when I am home from work.

I've not used that meditation guide specifically for powers, for I've only very recently become interested in the powers. However, I also started getting the nimittas soon after adopting this method of breath meditation for everyday practice. I think, by the way, that this is a fantastic meditation guide for beginners: Because he gives the meditator a lot to actually "do" during the sit, it is much easier to stay focused and much harder to become bored or otherwise distracted.

Highly recommended, and am glad you are seeing good effects.

Jenny
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Florian, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:58 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 4:58 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Not Tao:
I've had this in my bookmarks for a while.  Maybe you'll find it interesting?


Interesting, yes! I did get the 2d-3d shift in the "eyelid color" phosphene scenery some years ago.

Interesting about the rotating images. I haven't been able to verify this yet.

Have you experimented with this?

Cheers,
Florian
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Florian, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:01 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:01 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Jenny:
That book is my main practice! But, if I remember correctly, I use Method 2. I'll look when I am home from work.


I chose method 1 specifically because of its association with the powers.

I did breath meditation for some years along the lines of method 2. It really is excellent!

Cheers,
Florian
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Jenny, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:27 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:27 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 566 Join Date: 7/28/13 Recent Posts
Florian:
I chose method 1 specifically because of its association with the powers.

Ah, well, then this book is next up on my rereading list! Enjoy!
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heath, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:40 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 5:40 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 3/12/14 Recent Posts
Great to see this here this evening. I had just decided that I was going to switch to concentration practices for the next two weeks and your link is the first thing I see when I log in. I'm giving a read now. Thanks for the link!
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 11:23 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 10/8/14 11:23 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 995 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:
Not Tao:
I've had this in my bookmarks for a while.  Maybe you'll find it interesting?


Interesting, yes! I did get the 2d-3d shift in the "eyelid color" phosphene scenery some years ago.

Interesting about the rotating images. I haven't been able to verify this yet.

Have you experimented with this?

Cheers,
Florian



The reason I was interested in this, I think, was because I was taking naps in the evening back when I was doing the jhanas everyday and I realized that if I used the same letting go technique, accepting the sleep as it came, I wouldn't actually fall asleep but instead get visions. I was able to pop a few faces into visual reality, and I think I got a rose to appear once, but I never tried to rotate anything specifically. The technique of trying to adjust the colors of the floaters was actually good practice for control, so then popping in full images actually became easier. You'd think faces would be hardest, but they were actually the easiest thing I found. Something to be aware of, though, if you try that method is that actually going to sleep can become difficult. There was one night where I think I fell into the deep sleep state while still paying attention for a few moments (unintentionally, as I was very tired at the time). I posted about it on here somewhere. It was very blissful and still - but then I spent the rest of the night hitting the edge of it and popping back awake. I even had a few rotting corpse images appear haha.

It seems like concentration meditation and sleep effects really go together...
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Suriyopama, modified 7 Years ago at 1/12/15 1:15 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/12/15 12:46 AM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 1/7/15 Recent Posts
Hi Florian, thank you for reminding about this method.

I read about it several years ago, but I discarded it due to my problems with migraines (I was afraid that concentrating on the head could make it worst). Since then I have been practicing a sort of method 2, following the instructions of Thanissaro.

After reading your post, last Saturday I decided to give it a try, and the result was this:
 
When I moved the attention to the top of the head (Third Base) a big white luminous nimitta appeared above my head. When I have nimittas, they use to be colored (purple, yellow, blue…), very fragile, and in front of my eyes. But this one was solid and pure bright white. I was a bit amazed. From there I tried to bring the attention it into the middle of the brain (Fourth Base) but the nimitta stayed above my head, bright and giant. And the same result when I tried to move into the Fifth Base: the nimitta was like a streetlight shining over my head. Then I thought: LOL, that’s not what the instructions say; how can I bring the nimitta down into my body? And that thought put an end to my concentration. emoticon
 
On Sunday night I tried it again. There was no nimitta at all, but on step 5 I had some visions that I discarded as stressful (I was meditating because I could not sleep, and I’m tired of everything that has signs of stress, although I still haven’t find any calm or refugee on my meditation).

I'll keep trying...
 
Cheers!
Steve, modified 7 Years ago at 1/12/15 9:29 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/12/15 9:29 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 24 Join Date: 12/31/14 Recent Posts
I found your post interesting.

I belong to a sutta study group at a vihara.  A big chunk of the group are eager students of Thanisarro Bhikkhu and a meditation teacher among them is into the method you mention as well as some related conversative Southeast Asian teachers.

A few times when he has taught guided medtations he had described something like you wrote and my thought were "WTF is he teaching?".   The style of meditation at the vihara is pretty much what Venerable Gunaratane teaches.

About a year ago at a meditation retreat I was fortunate to pick up some printed book versions of Thanisarro Bhikkhu's e-books.  One of them was a meditation primer based heavily on Ajhan Lee's method.

I found your post interesting because I thought all of that was obscure.  I just didn't realize other people had heard of it.

I haven't had a chance to look at the book myself as I have been getting really into Ajahn Brahm's meditation techniques.

Not enough hours in the day for me to try everything out! emoticon
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Suriyopama, modified 7 Years ago at 1/12/15 10:45 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/12/15 10:31 PM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 1/7/15 Recent Posts
Please, allow me to ask a naive question: could this method be considered “concentration”, “samatha”, “vipassana”, or any other trend?

I have never been into labeling things. During the past 15 years I have been following the instructions of Ajahn Chah, Kornfield, Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Brahm, and for the last year I am centered on Thanissaro Bhikkhu. But I have not considered how to categorize what I’ve been doing.

Now I am making this question because yesterday I was explaining to my wife the phenomena that I have recently experienced on my meditation (e.g. a perception of how deep is dukkha, and a subsequent dispassion for things; visions that I discard because I suspect that they could lead to stress; perceiving movements of the mind through subtle tension in a certain part of the body; a perception of how the mind can become matter/body, like an ameba or insect, and the subsequent insight of how dangerous is the mind, and the urge to practice more intensively, etc. - In resume: anything but the calm that I wish to have; only stress) and then she said: “Ah, so you are practicing vipassanna”

I am not much concerned about how to differentiate and put names to the practice, especially since Ajahn Chah said that they are just the two sides of the same hand, but since people talks a lot about this samatha/vipassana issue, I would like to know if it is correct to say that this is vipassana.

Thank You

____________________________
Edit:

I’ve just recalled that this topic is named Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration, emoticonemoticon So I guess that concentration is, isn't it? emoticon

But I am still curious to know how the description of what I've been experiencing can be linked to vipassana.
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Suriyopama, modified 7 Years ago at 1/13/15 12:28 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 1/13/15 12:17 AM

RE: Anyone else usig Ajahn Lee's "Method 1" for concentration?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 1/7/15 Recent Posts
OK. I think that I’ve quite answered the question to myself:
I’ve googled a little bit and I’ve found that it could be called “concentration leading to insight”. Nothing to worry about.
As usually, Thanissaro has been my savior: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/onetool.html
I haven’t read it yet to the end, but my question has already passed away.

Just drop the modern academic labels, and carry on with the work! emoticon

[Florian, I’m sorry for hijacking the topic with this monologue]

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