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anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/11/16 7:02 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/11/16 7:45 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/11/16 7:58 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Psi 3/11/16 8:36 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/11/16 10:07 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Psi 3/11/16 10:28 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/11/16 6:42 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/11/16 7:10 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/11/16 11:09 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/12/16 10:37 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/12/16 2:52 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/12/16 4:13 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/12/16 8:41 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/15/16 8:09 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Ann 3/29/16 10:09 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/29/16 12:20 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Ann 3/29/16 2:34 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/30/16 3:12 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Ann 3/31/16 11:14 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/30/16 3:06 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/30/16 2:37 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/30/16 8:32 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/30/16 11:25 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 4/2/16 4:59 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/11/16 6:49 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/11/16 7:02 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/11/16 10:56 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/12/16 7:34 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/12/16 8:22 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/12/16 9:39 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 3/12/16 6:46 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat CJMacie 4/4/16 7:02 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 4/4/16 1:25 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat CJMacie 4/5/16 6:23 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Nicky 4/5/16 2:30 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/18/16 7:31 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/18/16 8:27 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/18/16 9:09 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/18/16 9:57 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/18/16 1:44 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 3/29/16 6:54 AM
RE: anapanasati retreat Noah 3/29/16 12:21 PM
RE: anapanasati retreat tom moylan 5/10/16 5:02 AM
anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 7:02 AM
howdy DHO sangha,
i'm ramping up my sitting practice in preparation for a self-retreat in a couple of weeks.  i am still uncertain about exactly what my retreat goals will be.  i've been tempted by the fire-kasina posts here recently but for some reason i have a niggling feeling that it is 'off message' for me at the moment and a bit too indulgent for lack of a better term.

i have meditated with much success and pleasure using satipatthana as a structure to my sits but have, to my mind, neglected the possible benefits of anapanasati practice.

i plan to do a thorough read-through of the sutta and some commentaries starting today but i wanted to ask people here who might have some experience with both of those famous mindfulness teachings if they could point out plusses and or minuses to anapanasati over satipatthana?  if anyone has studied and practiced anapana well, i would love to hear some praise or even perhaps some lofty commentary reading before i decide what i will focus on.

thanks in advance

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 7:45 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Hi Tom,

The teacher I am currently working with staunchly advocates the anapanasati sutta as the basis of practice over the satipatthana.  I guess within Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's tradition the anapanasati is considered to be the functional or operational means by which the satipatthana is realized.  

The caveat is that anapanasati is not supposed to be done in the order listed in the sutta.  He says that list is like an itemized grouping of parts for a house or a car; they tell you nothing about how to actually put the thing together.  In the same way, he advises beginning anapanasati by gladdening the mind (step 11), and following soon after with contemplating impermanence (step 13).  

These instructions are moreso for beginners, however, so I don't know how they would apply to you.  Just some thoughts.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 7:58 AM as a reply to Noah.
howdy noah,
excellent! exactly the kind of feedback i am seeking.  if you have any more detailed practice hints, tips, notes, reccommendations i am all ears.

in my practice for the past two years i have been emphasizing the "gladness" factors as a way to go deep quickly into the jhanas and, while 'fun', 'pleasurable', great place to hang out etc. i am now ready to take this fabulous and steady base and really tear it apart.

i presume i will be aiming to pick apart the mind, dhamma aspects but again am not settled on my retreat focus yet.

looking forward to any deeper light you might shed on the nuts and bolts of your current teachers' tactics.

cheers mate

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 8:36 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
howdy noah,
excellent! exactly the kind of feedback i am seeking.  if you have any more detailed practice hints, tips, notes, reccommendations i am all ears.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/anapanasati.pdf

Psi

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 10:07 AM as a reply to Psi.
:-)
thanks Psi.
already had that open.  its remarkably detailed and i had already decided to make it daily reading after haveing skimmed the juicy bits first.  same wavelength.  much appreciated.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 10:28 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
:-)
thanks Psi.
already had that open.  its remarkably detailed and i had already decided to make it daily reading after haveing skimmed the juicy bits first.  same wavelength.  much appreciated.


Synchronicity  

Yes, I like Bhuddhadasa and his explanations, page 532, Cessation of Ignorance makes Kamma (see below) formations cease.  And I was pondering, when one ceases to make more, i.e. I-making, then it is like one is watching a campfire.  And, instead of adding more sticks to the fire, at one point during the night, one stops adding sticks to the fire, then simply watches as the existing sticks already in the fire burn themselves out.  Which requires patience, at least that is the way I am understanding it, though there may be methods to speed thindgs up, burn the sticks faster, maybe. I is used in the sense of everyday language, for communication purposes only, lol.

KAMMA
We come now to the word "kamma" (Sanskrit, karma). When ordinary people say, "That's kamma!" they mean "Too bad!" Bad luck as punishment for sins previously committed is the meaning given to the word "kamma" by ordinary people. But in Dhamma language the word "kamma" refers to something different. It refers to action. Bad action is called black kamma; good action is called white kamma. Then there is another remarkable kind of kamma which is neither black nor white, a kamma that serves to neutralize the other two kinds. Unfortunately, the more people hear about it, the less they understand it. This third kind of kamma is the realization of not-self (anatta) and emptiness (sunnata), so that the "self" is done away with. This kind of action may be called Buddhist kamma, the real kamma, the kind of kamma that the Buddha taught. The Buddha taught the transcending of all kamma.
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books2/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Keys_to_Natural_Truth.htm

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 6:46 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
howdy DHO sangha,
i'm ramping up my sitting practice in preparation for a self-retreat in a couple of weeks.  i am still uncertain about exactly what my retreat goals will be.  i've been tempted by the fire-kasina posts here recently but for some reason i have a niggling feeling that it is 'off message' for me at the moment and a bit too indulgent for lack of a better term.

i have meditated with much success and pleasure using satipatthana as a structure to my sits but have, to my mind, neglected the possible benefits of anapanasati practice.

i plan to do a thorough read-through of the sutta and some commentaries starting today but i wanted to ask people here who might have some experience with both of those famous mindfulness teachings if they could point out plusses and or minuses to anapanasati over satipatthana?  if anyone has studied and practiced anapana well, i would love to hear some praise or even perhaps some lofty commentary reading before i decide what i will focus on.

thanks in advance

It is unlikely the Buddha ever spoke the Satipatthana Sutta because the sutta is merely a list of disconnected practises & dhammas where as the Buddha generally taught the progression of the path in his dhammas. For example, the 5 hindrances are included in the last group of the Satipatthana Sutta, which is illogical. 

In the scriptures, the Buddha teaches his students Ananapasati; eg. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.062.than.html

In SN 54.11, it is reported Anapanasati is the Buddha's 'dwelling'. 

The suttas state it is by means of Anapanasati that the Satipatthana are fulfilled. 

The Anapanasati Sutta describes the natural progression of practise, namely:

1. When mindfulness (the non-attached craving hindrance free mind) is establised, the breath naturally comes to mind (stages 1 & 2), becomes increasingly clear (stage 3) and calms (stage 4). 

2. When the breath calms to a degree that the mind  becomes one-pointed, rapture & happiness will arise (stages 5 & 6). 

3. When rapture & happiness (the mind-conditioners) calm (stage 8), the mind will have some underlying defilements, which are then observed (stage 9) & cleansed (stages 10 to 12). 

4. When the mind becomes cleansed (stage 12), it will most clearly predominantly observe impermanence (stage 13) and experience Nibbana (stage 15) when craving ends (stage 14). 

Therefore, the Anapanasati Sutta does not waste time or bother with watching painful feeling & hindrances, since hindrances must be abandoned before commencement and since it is concerned with calming the mind & rapture. 

Unlike the Satipatthana Sutta, which some later-day monks probably put together for general everyday practise, the Anapansati Sutta is the real deal & is the ideal sutta for extended retreat practise. To progess through the 16 stages of Anapanasati will take extended time. 

Regards emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 6:42 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
:-)
thanks Psi.
already had that open.  its remarkably detailed and i had already decided to make it daily reading after haveing skimmed the juicy bits first.  same wavelength.  much appreciated.

The above book is too complicated & impractical. It is too scholarly. Try this instead: 

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm

.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 6:49 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:

The caveat is that anapanasati is not supposed to be done in the order listed in the sutta.  

This is incorrect. Apart from stages 1 & 2, which are a mere introduction and not the real practise, anapanasati comes to fruition in the order listed in the sutta. If it is actually practised, this will be known. Regards. 

emoticon


Before discussing the third tetrad specifically, there is a very important point which we sometimes forget to stress. Every time you sit down to practice Anapanasati - every sitting and session - you must begin with step one, the experiencing of the long breath. It does not matter what step you were doing yesterday, today you must start again at the very beginning. Each session is brand new. From the long breath, move on to the short breath, and so on. Progress from one step to the next, completely fulfilling each step before moving on, until you come to the step where you left off last time. Each step depends upon the previous one. If you are unable to do the first step, then there is no possibility of you going on to further steps. Buddhadasa 


RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 7:02 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
 In the same way, he advises beginning anapanasati by gladdening the mind (step 11), and following soon after with contemplating impermanence (step 13).  

This 'teacher' is just evangelising or selling 'feel good' dhamma. This is non-sense. 

'Gladdening the mind' is a specific stage that occurs when the mental defilements of stage 9 cleanse or dissolve. Whenever defilements end in the mind, the mind naturally becomes neurologically glad or happy. It is called 'gladness'  because it is a more subtle pleasant feeling than rapture (stage 5) or happiness (stage 6). The pleasant feeling of 'gladness' or 'satisfaction' is more subtle & refined because the defilements that were underlying rapture & happiness (& making these pleasant feelings more coarse) are gone. 

As for impermanence, it is observed in every stage of the practise. For example, in the 1st tetrad, the impermanence of the breathing will be experienced. Stage 13 differs from the earlier stages in that impermanence itself is the salient object (rather than breathing being impermanent or feeling being impermanent, etc). At stage 13, there is no physical & mental salient object, such as the breathing. Instead, impermanence itself is the salient object since the impermanence is happening so fast, like when watching a movie in fast motion. 

With metta emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 7:10 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:

in my practice for the past two years i have been emphasizing the "gladness" factors as a way to go deep quickly into the jhanas and, while 'fun', 'pleasurable', great place to hang out etc. i am now ready to take this fabulous and steady base and really tear it apart.



If you have mastered 'jhana', why would you bother with Anapanasati? 

Just a tip: each of the last 14 steps of Anapanasati Sutta begin with the phrase: "He trains himself", which means the engagement of the three trainings of morality, concentration & wisdom. In other words, in the wisdom training, attachment & egoism are being abandoned. 

All the best with your retreat.

emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 10:56 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:

This 'teacher' is just evangelising or selling 'feel good' dhamma. This is non-sense. 


Lol.  He trained with Bhikkhu Buddhadasa for seven years and teaches at the request of Ajahn Po, Buddhadasa's successor.  Definitely not the real thing.

As for impermanence, it is observed in every stage of the practise.


This is part of what he teaches.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/11/16 11:09 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Tom:

excellent! exactly the kind of feedback i am seeking.  if you have any more detailed practice hints, tips, notes, reccommendations i am all ears.

i presume i will be aiming to pick apart the mind, dhamma aspects but again am not settled on my retreat focus yet.

looking forward to any deeper light you might shed on the nuts and bolts of your current teachers' tactics.


Glad (no pun intended) to share more of his advice, under the warning that this does not represent a full "curriculum," but rather advice he gave me within the context of our conversations.

Most of the rest of what he talks about has to do with the broader psychological perspective on life in general.  He refers to emptiness as a hole inside each one of us that we are always trying to fill with material possessions, positive emotions, and views or concepts.  The last one is the most interesting or poignant.  

He says the only thing we can actually fill the hole with is "true knowledge," which I guess just means the 3 C's.  Buddhadasa apparently taught a progression beyond the third characteristic, into a fourth, 'sunyata' and a fifth, 'tathata.'  But he hasn't told me any more about that.

I liked his image of celebrating the hole of emptiness inside, by building cathedral walls around it.  A big part of what attracted me to his teaching initially was his explanation of the seven factors of enlightenment, in which all one needs to do is to take care of the first four, up to Piti, and then the final three unfold automatically.  Also, Buddhadasa's method for going up through the jhanas, as is covered in the Anapanasati Bhavana (that was linked), involves examining the factor of jhana that is to be abandoned and then consciously dropping it to move up to the next, more refined jhana.  You might want to try experimenting with that.




RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 10:37 AM as a reply to Noah.
Here's a recent video, recorded by a fellow student, of Dhammarato talking about anapanasati:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h_r6r4M-P0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRPl_yZFMvA

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 2:52 PM as a reply to Noah.
@nicky
thanks for the lengthy info.  i find the (rather long) version fully comprehendable and a level of detail which leaves little out.  that said I will check out the link you sent, thanks!

i don't think of myself as a jhana master but they do come easily.  after reading through the (rather long) pdf which psi linked to i noticed the strong jhana basis of the methods elucidated there.  just because i can get into good jhana easily is no reason to NOT use the anapansati as a guideline, quite the contrary.  it suggests that one use the concetrated states as a base to explore and be mindful from.

@noah
i am getting a really good feeling now for the direction of my retreat and your pointers are right on target.  I will check out Dhammarato's vids and report back.

thanks y'all

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 4:13 PM as a reply to Noah.
BTW Noah.  I am a big fan or the 7 factors of enlightenment.  the individual factors, the progressive deepening, it is perfectly integrateable into a sit and i have spent lots of time with them.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 7:34 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Nicky:

This 'teacher' is just evangelising or selling 'feel good' dhamma. This is non-sense. 


Lol.  He trained with Bhikkhu Buddhadasa for seven years and teaches at the request of Ajahn Po, Buddhadasa's successor.  Definitely not the real thing.

As for impermanence, it is observed in every stage of the practise.


This is part of what he teaches.

Noah

I already quoted Buddhadasa, which you ignored.

I would suggest Buddhadasa does not have a "successor" or formal lineage, who teach a formal doctrinal position. Those who heard Buddhadasa teach are numerous, primarily are lay devotees and teach a diversity of things. 

To repeat, Buddhadasa said: 

Before discussing the third tetrad specifically, there is a very important point which we sometimes forget to stress. Every time you sit down to practice Anapanasati - every sitting and session - you must begin with step one, the experiencing of the long breath. It does not matter what step you were doing yesterday, today you must start again at the very beginning. Each session is brand new. From the long breath, move on to the short breath, and so on. Progress from one step to the next, completely fulfilling each step before moving on, until you come to the step where you left off last time. Each step depends upon the previous one. If you are unable to do the first step, then there is no possibility of you going on to further steps. 

Buddhadasa 


RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 8:41 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Here's a recent video, recorded by a fellow student, of Dhammarato talking about anapanasati:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h_r6r4M-P0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRPl_yZFMvA

Lol....Richard (Dhammarato) is teaching naked. The guy hasn't changed much. Vishnu bless his soul. 

Maybe you should ask Richard whether he was requested to teach dhamma naked. emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 8:22 PM as a reply to Nicky.
@Nicky:

Okay, you win.  I can only speak to my own experience.  I have found Richard's advice to be beneficial.  Beyond that, I am not claiming to know anything.  

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/12/16 9:39 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
@Nicky:

Okay, you win.  I can only speak to my own experience.  I have found Richard's advice to be beneficial.  Beyond that, I am not claiming to know anything.  

I am glad to see Richard is still alive & kicking.

emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/15/16 8:09 AM as a reply to Noah.
@Noah
I listened to your video links.  The first one is a little rambling and the meat is in the second one.  I like his style and focus.  He is obviously wise and experienced.  Thanks for those.

I recieved Culadasa's book "the Mind Illuminated" a couple of days ago and am impressed.  I am 100% committed to using an anapanasati format for my upcoming retreat.  it feels good to have this clarity and i have already begun to measure my sits using his 10 step format and his "milestone" approach.

I'm interested to see how my sits progress with a more formal cage arund them as opposed to my more "free format" approach.

Thanks for your enthusiasm for his approach. I'll be checking back in.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/18/16 7:31 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
...just checking back in after having busied myself with culadasa's take on the path.  its been helpful (mostly in an intellectual way up to this point but a little practical application) to frame my sitting experiences in his model and using his techniques.

my current experience lines up generally with his 9-10 stages although perfection or mastery (his word) is not 100%.  his emphasis is on tranquility and investigation which also aligns with my personal 'belief' system about how this stuff all plays out.

i am firmly committed to using this framework and the anapanasati sutta as the basis for my upcoming self-retreat and will incorporate some of culadasas' methods for equanimity level practice.  i still need some traning before my retreat to internalize that wisdom but i've got about 8 days to do so. this will be powering my sati to direct the subtle mind here and there or nonwhere.

this fits in fine too with my daily 'ramp up' of practice. i feel really positive about my sits and have for quite some time.

my goals are not specific although a path is always out there as an unstated one.  i am planning eight days but can extend it to 15 without stress if i want to.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/18/16 8:27 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
Tom:

my current experience lines up generally with his 9-10 stages


Holy sh**t!  Lol.  What is your sitting count and duration daily, outside of retreat Tom?  How long have you been at this level of concentration in your sits?  I'm curious for my own information, to figure out how hard it will be to maintain, once I get up to the top of Culadasa's ladder.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/18/16 9:09 AM as a reply to Noah.
howdy noah,
i've been at this stuff pretty steadily for about ten years altogether although i'm pretty sure my first A&Ps happened to me spontaneously while young.  the buddha's "roseapple" experience rang true for me.  i remember as a young teenager i would have this experience of soft-pleasant light which was combined with an intelligent calm.  i had no way of even describing it.  just put it on the "strange" shelf.

my first inkling that "enlightenment" was a realistic possibility was while reading the intro to "the upanishads"  where the editor described a hindu ascetic path.

many years consumed with indulgence and self-gratification travel, work, family...life stalled any depth. a series of losses and conditions for meditation kicked me into this stuff around 10 years ago, as i said.  checking out different traditions and methods dithered away some unfocused time but i don't see any of that as a loss..just seeing what works best for me.

i don't consider the level that i meditate at as special at all.  very pleasant indeed but absolutely doable.  i am at a place where there is no rush to get anywhere.  the jaggedness of much of the last several years of pretty solid vipassana practice has just melted away.  event the hindrances are noticed when they arise and are almost welcome...almost.

my first recognition of jhanas as such were in 2011 at the beginning of a self retreat while listening to a talk by Ayya Khema. after that they have been pretty stable and at time very deep.

i have no idea where i am on the "path ladder" but have made so many shifts and dropped so many bad habits that i've got to be somewhere on it.  the typical sotapanna fetters were perhaps dropped before the above mentioned retreat but not noticed as such.  several subsequent retreats have provoked other shifts but the lions share of progress has been a drip drip drip of daily practice.

anyway...that's probably more than you wanted to know but there it is.

cheers

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/18/16 9:57 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
@Tom:

Thanks for that.  Very interesting to hear some of your backstory.  Its helpful to hear that sustaining stage 9/10 of concentration happened somewhat naturally for you (with effort over time of course).  

My goal is to reach that point and then go on retreat, either with my current teacher, or on one of these, and hopefully make certain aspects of the mental afterglow permanent, rather than dependent upon a daily, sitting practice.  So obviously its more hopeful if the later stages of concentration have some self perpetuating momentum, rather than being easily lost.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/18/16 1:44 PM as a reply to Noah.
...yeah.  well , thats  about where i am. i f there is anything that i still have as a clear goal it is to end mental proliferation.  perhaps "end" is a bridge too far but i imagine an inate stillness where attention can be applied exclusively to the matter at hand and where intention is clear and wholesome.

we'll see,  but i feel ready for this retreat

cheers mate

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/29/16 6:54 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
howdy all,
day 3 of my self-retreat.  AWESOME

i should change the title to "Culadasa Retreat" since my recent aquisition and swallowing whole of his book "The Illuminated Mind" is greatly influencing this retreat.

his phenomenological descriptions of the path align so perfectly with my sits and progress that i can harldy believe it.  his mind models are a new and deeper take which i believe will become the practical meditator standard.  more on this stuff after my retreat.

if noah is reading this..i am solidly in stage 10.  every sit being a quick ramp-up from concentration to piti and then "over the bump" to equanimity where object observation via attention and metacognative proceeds with extravagant clarity.

more later...

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/29/16 10:09 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
 Buddhadasa apparently taught a progression beyond the third characteristic, into a fourth, 'sunyata' and a fifth, 'tathata.'  But he hasn't told me any more about that.




I picked up a paper copy of a short Buddhadasa text on sunyata at an anapanasati retreat.

Download here if anyone is interested: http://www.bia.or.th/en/index.php/online-dhamma/2013-10-23-08-26-33/summary/3-books-texts/7-void-mind-by-buddhadasa-bhikkhu

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/29/16 12:20 PM as a reply to Ann.
Ann: 

I picked up a paper copy of a short Buddhadasa text on sunyata at an anapanasati retreat.


Thanks so much, Ann. From what I understand, a lot of these treasures are only available in hard copy at the Wats.  Or they cost a fortune on Amazon.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/29/16 12:21 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
Tom:

if noah is reading this..i am solidly in stage 10.  every sit being a quick ramp-up from concentration to piti and then "over the bump" to equanimity where object observation via attention and metacognative proceeds with extravagant clarity.


Wowza.  Can't wait to read more.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/29/16 2:34 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Ann: 

I picked up a paper copy of a short Buddhadasa text on sunyata at an anapanasati retreat.


Thanks so much, Ann. From what I understand, a lot of these treasures are only available in hard copy at the Wats.  Or they cost a fortune on Amazon.
Yeah, I stocked up while there and took home about a dozen books. Heavy, but worth it. 

Paticcasamuppada: Practical Dependent Origination was the big score, but also Christianity and Buddhism: Sinclaire Thompson Memorial Lecture, Life Should be Harnessed by Two Buffaloes (meaning wisdom and technological power, which was a great little read), and No Religion.

I know No Religion is available online (loved this one), but the others may not be. If anybody wants to read the others and can't find copies, I'll scan them. Paticcasamuppada and Christianity are each about 100 pages long, though, so you have to promise to actually read them ;)

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/30/16 2:37 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Tom:
 Buddhadasa apparently taught a progression beyond the third characteristic, into a fourth, 'sunyata' and a fifth, 'tathata.'  But he hasn't told me any more about that.


Buddhadasa taught about the '9 ta'  or '9 insight knowledges', which are:

1. aniccata = impermanence
2. dukkhata = unsatisfactoriness
3. anattata = not-selfhood
4. dhammatthitata = naturalness/ordinariness
5. dhammaniyamata = lawfulness
6. idappaccayata-paticcasammupada = conditionality, interdependence
7. sunyata = voidness/emptiness
8. tathata = thusness/suchness
9. atammayata = unconcoctability

read here: http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/sk/atm_lostword.htm

or listen here: http://www.liberationpark.org/audio/tanaj01.htm  3. The Nine Vipassana Eyes (October 1990)

MORE TO IT THAN JUST IMPERMANENCE 
Now, observe that in the realization of impermanence there is the realization of many other things simultaneously. When impermanence is truly seen, this characteristic of impermanence is also the characteristic of dukkham, namely, it is ugly and unbearable. We will see the characteristic of not-self in it, also. Because these things are always changing, impermanent, unsatisfactory, and beyond our control, we realize anatta, also. Then we will see that they are void of selfhood, which is sunnata. We will see that they are just thus like that. Impermanence is just thus, just like that, thusness. And so, tathata is seen as well.

Please understand that the realizations of these truths are interrelated. From seeing impermanence, we see unsatisfactoriness, see anatta, see sunnata; see tathata, and see idappaccayata (conditionality, the law of cause and effect), also. Each continues into the next. A complete realization of impermanence must include un­satisfactoriness, not-self, voidness, thusness, and the law of conditionality. When all of these are seen, then impermanence is seen completely in the most profound way. This is how we realize fully the impermanence of the sankhara.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm


RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/30/16 3:06 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Ann: 

I picked up a paper copy of a short Buddhadasa text on sunyata at an anapanasati retreat.


Thanks so much, Ann. From what I understand, a lot of these treasures are only available in hard copy at the Wats.  Or they cost a fortune on Amazon.

That is disgaceful. Amazon charging US$55 for books that often can be acquired for free. 

There are more than enough Buddhadasa books on-line, here: http://www.dhammatalks.net/ 

I would personally recommend the following for starters:

1. http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books5/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Two_Kinds_of_Language.htm

2. http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books5/Buddhadassa_Bhikkhu_Buddha_Dhamma_for_University_Students.pdf

3. http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm

4. http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Natural_Cure_for_Spiritual_Disease1.htm

5. http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_The_Danger_of_I.htm

6. http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Heart_Wood_from_the_Bo_Tree.htm

7. https://www.scribd.com/doc/161993913/Buddhadasa-Paticcasamuppada

For those ready for some hardcore Buddhism, no better lectures on the Four Noble Truths can be found anywhere:
The Four Noble Truths (January 1989)
2. Meaning of "Ariya-Sacca" (part 1 | part 2)
3. Noble Truth of Dukkha (part 1 | part 2)
4. Noble Truth of Dukkha's Origin (part 1 | part 2)
5. Noble Truth of Dukkha's Quenching (part 1 | part 2)

http://www.liberationpark.org/audio/tanaj01.htm

With metta 

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/30/16 3:12 PM as a reply to Ann.
Ann:
No Religion is available online (loved this one), but the others may not be. If anybody wants to read the others and can't find copies, I'll scan them. Paticcasamuppada and Christianity 

Paticcasamuppada
is herehttps://www.scribd.com/doc/161993913/Buddhadasa-Paticcasamuppada

Christianity and Buddhism is here: 
http://www.thaicrc.com/gsdl/collect/MIS/index/assoc/D1928.dir/1928.pdf

Take care with those evangelical books. While 'Interfaith' was trendy in the 1960s, it is not necessarily true. Don't get converted and become (bhava) a born again (upapajjati)
 emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/30/16 8:32 PM as a reply to Nicky.
@Nicky:

Wonderful resources to augment my current training, thank you.  It will take awhile to look through them.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/30/16 11:25 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
@Nicky:

Wonderful resources to augment my current training, thank you.  It will take awhile to look through them.

You're welcome Noah

I think Two Kinds of Language is an essential starter. It helps us understand Buddhism & the Pali suttas so much more clearly. 

Then I personally have always liked Buddha Dhamma For Students. It is to the point (compared to the more verbose Handbook for Mankind). 

Best wishes, with metta emoticon

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
3/31/16 11:14 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Take care with those evangelical books. While 'Interfaith' was trendy in the 1960s, it is not necessarily true. Don't get converted and become (bhava) a born again (upapajjati) emoticon

I'm not much of a joiner so conversion seems unlikely, but having read widely myself interfaith comparison has served me well. The same idea expressed in, say, a work of Christian mysticism may be more accessible than the same one in an Eastern religion simply because of one's cultural upbringing and native language. Who cares where it comes from if that's what helps you understand it? If it's useful, I'll take it.

What specifically do you mean by Interfaith and why would it be true or false?

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
4/2/16 4:59 PM as a reply to Noah.
This is a most excellent talk about anatta: 

ANATTĀ & REBIRTH
by Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu
A talk originally addressed to students of Puget Sound University in Seattle, Washington The explanations of rebirth they had heard seemed to contradict the principle of anattā. Tan Ajahn was asked to clarify the seeming contradiction.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/Anatta_and_Rebirth.pdf

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
4/4/16 7:02 AM as a reply to Nicky.
re: Nicky (3/12/16 6:46 PM as a reply to tom moylan)

"Unlike the Satipatthana Sutta, which some later-day monks probably put together for general everyday practise, the Anapansati Sutta is the real deal & is the ideal sutta for extended retreat practise. To progess through the 16 stages of Anapanasati will take extended time."

Ajahn Sujato goes into this at great length and detail in "A History of Mindfulness" ( [url=]http://santifm.org/santipada/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/A_History_of_Mindfulness_Bhikkhu_Sujato.pdf ). He sifts through the mountainous evidence (evolution of the "strata" of ETB – "Early Teaching of Buddha", comparing the Pali and other Canons), hypothesizing that the Satipatthana Sutta was among the very last composed – he pegs it,  just to estimate a date, at 20 BCE.  He frames as culmination of a trend in early Theravada to evolve to more a vipassana focus vs a samadhi focus – a struggle many scholars detect in initial centuries as the suttas were being sorted-out and refined, culminating about when it all first got put to paper (or parchment, lotus leaves, whatever…).

Of course, Sujato (of Thai lineage) points out the modern emphasis in the Burmese schools carries this to an extreme – notably replacing the Sattipatthana-Sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya with the Maha-Sattipatthana-Sutta from the Digha Nikaya (identical but for added stuff near the end).

(pp 298-299)

"The dhammas section in the Majjhima version closes with a brief enunciation of the four noble truths. This is then expanded greatly in the Mah
ā Satipatthāna Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya. Some of the recent Burmese recensions have re-incorporated this entire section from the Dīgha Nikāya back into the Majjhima Nikāya, and even acknowledge this provenance by re-titling it the 'Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta'. Perhaps a better title would be the 'Piltdown Sutta'. This canonical innovation is extraordinary. While it is common for a word or phrase to slip between the cracks, I don't know any other place where a large body of text has been moved, obviously in fairly recent times. No doubt this editorial innovation was designed to further exaggerate the already excessive status of the Satipatthāna Sutta. But the result is rather the reverse — such clumsy mishandling leaves all-too-obvious fingerprints at the scene of the crime. The altered version is found in the so-called 'Sixth Council' edition published by the Vipassanā Research Institute, but was inserted earlier, for the notes to the PTS Pali (edited in 1888) state that the Burmese manuscript includes under the four noble truths 'a passage of some length, borrowed from the Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya'. This possibly refers to the Fifth Council edition."

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
4/4/16 1:25 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:

Of course, Sujato (of Thai lineage) points out the modern emphasis in the Burmese schools carries this to an extreme – notably replacing the Sattipatthana-Sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya with the Maha-Sattipatthana-Sutta from the Digha Nikaya (identical but for added stuff near the end).

(pp 298-299)

"The dhammas section in the Majjhima version closes with a brief enunciation of the four noble truths. This is then expanded greatly in the Mah
ā Satipatthāna Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya. Some of the recent Burmese recensions have re-incorporated this entire section from the Dīgha Nikāya back into the Majjhima Nikāya, and even acknowledge this provenance by re-titling it the 'Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta'. Perhaps a better title would be the 'Piltdown Sutta'. This canonical innovation is extraordinary. While it is common for a word or phrase to slip between the cracks, I don't know any other place where a large body of text has been moved, obviously in fairly recent times. No doubt this editorial innovation was designed to further exaggerate the already excessive status of the Satipatthāna Sutta. But the result is rather the reverse — such clumsy mishandling leaves all-too-obvious fingerprints at the scene of the crime. The altered version is found in the so-called 'Sixth Council' edition published by the Vipassanā Research Institute, but was inserted earlier, for the notes to the PTS Pali (edited in 1888) state that the Burmese manuscript includes under the four noble truths 'a passage of some length, borrowed from the Mahā Satipatthāna Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya'. This possibly refers to the Fifth Council edition."

Thanks. I was referring to Sujato and also to Buddhadasa (quoted below). While Sujato takes a scholarly bent, Buddhadasa referred to the fruition of actual practise. When Anapanasati actually comes to fruition, it is understood each stage follows from the previous stage. Where as the Satipatthana Suttas have no dhammic progression. For example, the Five Hindrances, which are not even part of meditative fruition, are included in the 4th satipatthana in the Satipatthana Sutta. 

Another common problem is that some people cling to... the satipatthana of the Digha-nikaya (Long Discourses) which is not anything more than a long list ofnames, a lengthy catalogue of sets of dhammas. Although there are whole bunches of dhammas, no way of practice is given or explained there. This is what is generally taken to be satipatthana. Then it is adjusted and rearranged into these and those practices, which become new systems that are called satipatthana practices or meditation. 

Then, the followers of such techniques deny, or even despise, the Anapanasati approach, asserting that it is not satipatthana. In truth, Anapanasati is the heart of satipatthana, the heart of all four foundations of mindfulness. The 16 Steps is a straight-forward and clear practice, not just a list of names or dhammas like in the Mahasatipatthana Sutta (Digha-nikaya#22**).

Therefore, let us not fall into the misunderstanding that Anapanasati is not satipatthana, otherwise we might lose interest in it thinking that it is wrong. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding is common. Let us reiterate that Anapanasati is the heart of all four satipatthana in a form that can be readily practiced.        

So please understand correctly that whether we call it satipatthana or Anapanasati there are only four matters of importance:kaya, vedana, citta, and Dhamma. However, in the Mahasatipatthana Sutta there's no explanation of how to practice these four things. It gives only the names of dhammas and expands upon them. For example, the matter of kaya (body) is spread out over corpse meditations, sati-sampajanna in daily activities, the postures, and others more than can be remembered. It merely catalogues groups of dhammas under the four areas of study. 

The Anapanasati Sutta, on the other hand, shows how to practice the four foundations in a systematic progression that ends with emancipation from all dukkha. The sixteen steps work through the four foundations, each one developing upon the previous, and supporting the next. Practice all sixteen steps fully and the heart of the satipatthana arises perfectly. In short, the Satipatthana Suttas are only lists of names. The Anapanasati Sutta clearly shows how to practice the four foundations without anything extra or surplus. It does not mention unrelated matters. 

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm


RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
4/5/16 6:23 AM as a reply to Nicky.
re: Nicky (4/4/16 1:25 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie) 

And Thanissaro Bhikkhu, one of the most pragmatic of the mainline Theravada teachers, uses a similar approach – anapanasati as practice, sattipatthana as "frames of reference", i.e. virtually a reference catalog.

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
4/5/16 2:30 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
re: Nicky (4/4/16 1:25 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie) 

And Thanissaro Bhikkhu, one of the most pragmatic of the mainline Theravada teachers, uses a similar approach – anapanasati as practice, sattipatthana as "frames of reference", i.e. virtually a reference catalog.

The point is all true dhamma teachings (such as the four noble truths, three characteristics, dependent origination & cessation, four satipatthana, four right efforts, four roads to power, five faculties, five powers, seven factors of enlightenment & eightfold path) flow into eachother following the reality of cause & effect and are therefore taught in proper sequence. For example, of the eightfold path, it is said:
Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors and the arahant with ten.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html

"Thus, monks, ignorance is the supporting condition for fabricators, fabricators are the supporting condition for consciousness, consciousness is the supporting condition for mentality-materiality, mentality-materiality is the supporting condition for the sixfold sense base, the sixfold sense base is the supporting condition for contact, contact is the supporting condition for feeling, feeling is the supporting condition for craving, craving is the supporting condition for clinging, clinging is the supporting condition for becoming, becoming is the supporting condition for birth, birth is the supporting condition for suffering, suffering is the supporting condition for faith, faith is the supporting condition for joy, joy is the supporting condition for rapture, rapture is the supporting condition for tranquillity, tranquillity is the supporting condition for happiness, happiness is the supporting condition for concentration, concentration is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation, and emancipation is the supporting condition for the knowledge of the destruction (of the cankers).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.023.bodh.html

The Satipatthana Sutta is not a dhamma sequence of natural fruition. It is merely a list or catalogue of dhammas. 

That is why it is highly unlikely the Buddha ever spoke the Satipatthana Suttas. 

With metta emoticon


 

RE: anapanasati retreat
Answer
5/10/16 5:02 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
my retreat was excellent.  i had originally planned to do this as a strict anapanasati framed mindfullness retreat.  to that end i bought a copy of the john yates (culadasa) book 'the mind illuminated' as it was recommended to me as a cogent anapanasati based progression.

the book was much more than that and it changed the focus of my retreat and practice.  his book outlines a long term developmental approach to meditation in ten defined steps.  people who post and read here are more than familiar with the classic 'progress of insight' stages as outlined by mahasi sayadaw and daniel in different ways. culadasa's methods, clarifications and breakdown of the process are distinctly different and powerful.

he spends less time talking about the 16 distinct classic stages and more on the typical signs which arise with each stage of encountering and then mastering very specifically described skillsets of absorption.  its difficult for me to describe the distinctions between daniels approach and his.  they both obviously cover the same territory but the emphasis from culadasa is on long-term skill development whereas the MCTB approach has always felt to me more like, 'get some concentration, light the retros of vipassana and burn your way up to fruition'.  that is, of couse, my paraphrase and a really rough one at that but as i said its difficult for me to clearly express the differing approaches.  perhaps it is culadasa's emphasis on mastery and integration of each stage of insight as opposed to checking of each stage in a mental list and moving on.

nevertheless, culadasa's phenomenological descriptions of his "10 stages" align so perfectly with my particular sit progressions that i can't ignore thier accuracy.  i presume that this is an individual quirk and that others' will more easily identify with MCTBs take.

his book was written to be helpful for anyone from a bloody beginner to what he refers to as an adept.  after i first skimmed his book, pre-retreat, i guessed that i was already at his stage 8-9, which turned out to be a correct assessment.  at the end of the retreat i was clearly a 10, which is high equanimity in the progress of insight model.

culadasa's experience as a brain scientist colors and inspires his solid teachings.  IMO, culadasa and daniel are the high water mark of people who have managed to bring the most practical and inspired teachings together in a way particularly suited to the western contemplatives. there are others of course but these two books share a rare place on the top shelf of my contemplative library with bikkhu bodhis' translations and a few of the burmese classics.

back to my retreat...
i mostly sat.  i did some walking when my butt hurt or i needed to bring the energy up or shake up expectations.  i did some candle kasina mostly at night to see how that practice aligned with the sitting.
i had almost no objectives going in other than to deepen both absorption and clearly knowing.  this was a big change from previous retreats where i employed the 'slacker's guide' mentality.  i specifically wanted to reduce striving and to get out of my own way.  

the lessened intensity made the retreat a pure pleasure trip from beginning to end.  there has been a shift but i am reticent fo even classify it.  that is a perennial issue with me but it is also not troublesome in the least.

everything is consistently becoming more automatic.  the difference between sitting and life-ing is attenuating by itself.  i am cheerful and happy and soaked with compassion these days and feel blessed and fortunate for what this life has revealed to me thus far.

thanks to you all