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Suttas recommending energy practices?

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Suttas recommending energy practices?
Answer
5/30/15 9:55 AM
What do you think, could it be that the instruction of attending to "the theme of uplifted energy" given in the sutta below is an indication that the Buddha taught energy practice?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.100.11-15.than.htm

If so, I've never read another sutta where the Buddha gives instruction to work with the energy body specifically. The Buddha tells about "another body" though in some suttas, that one can call forth if one wants to when in fourth Jhana, but it is not directly asociated with energy. 

It's interesting that the meditation instructions in the Ajahn Lee->Ajahn Fuang->Thanissaro Bhikkhu thai lineage starts with energy practices resembling the microcosmic orbit. This is said to be a preparatory practice for the suttaic instruction of "experiencing the whole body" which this lineage, unlike most other theravada schools, interprets litterary. I've never found any direct basis for this in the suttas though, but from my experience it induces strange kriyas, but no whole body awareness. I might be doing it wrong though.

Anyway, sorry for being a little dogmatic again, but do you think the suttas teach enery work?

And how important do you think energetic changes are on the spiritual path? (How) are they related to Jhanic progress?

RE: Suttas recommending energy practices?
Answer
5/30/15 11:08 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
What do you think, could it be that the instruction of attending to "the theme of uplifted energy" given in the sutta below is an indication that the Buddha taught energy practice?

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.100.11-15.than.htm

If so, I've never read another sutta where the Buddha gives instruction to work with the energy body specifically. The Buddha tells about "another body" though in some suttas, that one can call forth if one wants to when in fourth Jhana, but it is not directly asociated with energy. 

It's interesting that the meditation instructions in the Ajahn Lee->Ajahn Fuang->Thanissaro Bhikkhu thai lineage starts with energy practices resembling the microcosmic orbit. This is said to be a preparatory practice for the suttaic instruction of "experiencing the whole body" which this lineage, unlike most other theravada schools, interprets litterary. I've never found any direct basis for this in the suttas though, but from my experience it induces strange kriyas, but no whole body awareness. I might be doing it wrong though.

Anyway, sorry for being a little dogmatic again, but do you think the suttas teach enery work?

And how important do you think energetic changes are on the spiritual path? (How) are they related to Jhanic progress?
Virya, of course, Energy Practice, being able to arouse energy at will.  One of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, Energy control and manipulation is necessary.  Most people do not think of it as Energy work, but that is exactly what it is.  That is why Vipassana is crucial, seeing inside, knowing how things work internally and externally, what causes what.  

For me, one benefit , is an uplifting release, or freeing of energy flow, removing blockages, blockages caused when one is not in line with the Dhamma, then when one is in line with the Dhamma, the energy flows freely, releasing also, joy and tranquility.  When energy is not flowing in harmony and the system is out of balance, the mind and body is agitated and restless if there is too much energy, if there is too little, dullness, sloth , and torpor are being developed.

That is a little of how I think the Suttas teach Energy Work.  More of a Middle Way, Balancing, Energetic Equillibrium approach.

There is a Sutta that talks about the metaphor of the Lute String being too tight or too loose...

Just some thoughts, as for which and what Sutta, I do not really know off of the top of my head.

So, to sum up, what I remember, one should develop the skill to raise or lower energetic phenomenon at will, and as needed.

Psi

RE: Suttas recommending energy practices?
Answer
5/30/15 11:58 AM as a reply to Psi.
That could be the case! Viriya doesn't sound verry much like prana/chi/ki to me though. From the indriya vibhanga sutta:

"And what is the faculty of persistence? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. He generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen... for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen... for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen... for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. This is called the faculty of persistence.

RE: Suttas recommending energy practices?
Answer
5/30/15 2:11 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
That could be the case! Viriya doesn't sound verry much like prana/chi/ki to me though. 

It may not sound much like prana/chi/ki, but the real investigation is how does Viriya feel ?  

For me, it is an uplifting cleansing energy, pure in nature.  Arousing the wholesome energies, maintaining the wholesome energies.  Perhaps that is the key to explaing the Four Supreme Efforts, it is an energy practice, and not a thinking practice. Though, my view was initially more of a chemical hormonal type of activity, but everything is energy anyway.  Hormonal changes feel like energy if one did not know what hormones were, they would probably think in terms of energy, i.e. Wind Element.  

Wind Element might also help you on your knowledge quest, the Wind Element in Buddhism is the equivalent of Energy in Modern Day Physics, I believe.

Psi

RE: Suttas recommending energy practices?
Answer
5/30/15 5:14 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Well, as for Suttas recommending Energy Practices, that question may remain open for investigation, kinda depends on the definition for Energy, and the definition of Practice.

But, I ran across this, which is kinda cool, 

But… it still takes energy/willpower/work to get there, although many of us (like me) secretly hope for a clever way to get to the place where we are “converted” with a minimum of the grueling, exhausting, often frustrating and uninspiring work. The folly of this hope is illustrated in the following story. Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition, encountered Togdens during her training. The Togdens were ordained monks who engaged in particularly rigorous practices like living as hermits, taking almost no food, or sitting out in the cold wrapped in wet sheets and drying the sheets with an energy they summoned from within. They were renowned as spiritual adepts, but one the Togden once told Tenzin Palmo:“You think we yogis are doing some very high, fantastic, esoteric practice and if only you had the teachings you also could really take off! Let me tell you, however, that there is nothing I am doing that you have not been taught. The only difference is that I am doing it and you aren’t.”11. Mackenzie, Vicki. Cave in the Snow: Tenzin Palmo's Quest for Enlightenment. Bloomsbury Publishing, 1998.

Bold face mine

http://brightwayzen.org/willpower-and-the-buddhist-perfection-of-virya-or-energy/


Psi



RE: Suttas recommending energy practices?
Answer
5/31/15 4:50 AM as a reply to Psi.
The dryimg energy must be tummo. But to make tummo arise you need lots of virya!
And yes, what sound more like prana/chi/ki is the wind property. From the maha-rahulovada sutta:

"And what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now both the internal wind property & the external wind property are simply wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the wind property and makes the wind property fade from the mind.

Then the Buddha tells us to "develop the meditation in tune with wind", whatever that means.