to attain first jhana: focus on unity of present object?

Zach anti pasta, modified 11 Years ago.

to attain first jhana: focus on unity of present object?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 9/1/10 Recent Posts
Hi, love this place. I've got faith in other mental states and like the approach the DhO takes towards them.

I am fairly certain that I can achieve "access concentration" using breath as the object. There's an open feeling inside and noting perceptions is secondary to breath. Once there, then what? It feels like I get a foundation and then might be beating around the bush, eventually getting distracted by frustration. What territory am I looking for next? Any references such as light, memories, pictures/visuals, or thought constructions would help.

Relating to the analog/smoothness from MCTB, do I think about the breath and ignore any muscle twitching or combine all sensations as a unified moment? When breathing, am I focusing on where I am in the breathing cycle or accepting the process as a whole?

Should I just be investigating books mentioned in other beginner's posts?

Also, I'm trying to do this without recalling previous altered mental states as a reference or launching point. My hope is to discover a process separate from them. Would mentally referring to such past experiences in any way facilitate or inhibit progress of my practice in general? At the very least I can sit for prolonged periods of time, but I would love to be able to use this time most efficiently.

Thanks,
Zach
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tarin greco, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: to attain first jhana: focus on unity of present object? (Answer)

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Zach anti pasta:
Hi, love this place. I've got faith in other mental states and like the approach the DhO takes towards them.


welcome to the dho.


Zach anti pasta:

I am fairly certain that I can achieve "access concentration" using breath as the object. There's an open feeling inside and noting perceptions is secondary to breath. Once there, then what? It feels like I get a foundation and then might be beating around the bush, eventually getting distracted by frustration. What territory am I looking for next? Any references such as light, memories, pictures/visuals, or thought constructions would help.


tranquilise the feel of your body by paying attention to it along with the breath. that is, feel the breathing of the whole body with the whole of your mind.


Zach anti pasta:

Relating to the analog/smoothness from MCTB, do I think about the breath and ignore any muscle twitching or combine all sensations as a unified moment? When breathing, am I focusing on where I am in the breathing cycle or accepting the process as a whole?


either; and probably attentive awareness to the whole breath will work better.


Zach anti pasta:

Should I just be investigating books mentioned in other beginner's posts?


i learnt concentration from practice, and from skilled guidance, and not from a book, so i don't know which one(s) to recommend.


Zach anti pasta:

Also, I'm trying to do this without recalling previous altered mental states as a reference or launching point. My hope is to discover a process separate from them. Would mentally referring to such past experiences in any way facilitate or inhibit progress of my practice in general? At the very least I can sit for prolonged periods of time, but I would love to be able to use this time most efficiently.


recalling previous states could be useful, provided you recall ones with the right (read: appropriate) factors, and don't get caught in the other content.

the way to use your meditation time most efficiently (effectively) is to do with it full interest and whole-heartedness. a little willingness for clear-minded fascination goes a long way.

tarin
Zach anti pasta, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: to attain first jhana: focus on unity of present object?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 9/1/10 Recent Posts
Thanks tarin, I think I see the appropriate attitude to approach with.

Ian And, I would love to find a teacher I can afford though for the time being I am enriching and developing my practice to the best of my abilities. Thanks for your well wishes, I'm looking in to the info and sources you mentioned.
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Ian And, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: to attain first jhana: focus on unity of present object?

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Entering absorption can be a slippery slide, especially if you don't have someone experienced nearby to help guide you. If you are new to meditation and trying to learn from books or the Internet, while some people with highly developed intuition may be able to somewhat accomplish this, the vast majority cannot. You're better off studying with someone in person, especially in beginning a practice, who can help you to make corrections "on the fly."

But, if you are bound and determined to try this on your own, then, tarin pretty much covered it. Especially when he mentioned: "tranquilise the feel of your body by paying attention to it along with the breath. that is, feel the breathing of the whole body with the whole of your mind."

One antiquated method of doing this was mentioned some twenty-five hundred years ago by man named Gotama (his family name). You may have heard of him in your research. Anyway, what tarin recommended is almost word for word, thought for thought, what this man recommended. And I should mention that this man was an expert at this. So, he knew what he was doing and pretty much how to explain it to others. Fortunately, we still have some of his instructions recorded from history. A modern monk, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, has kindly provided a translated version of this method in his book Mind Like Fire Unbound. If you will read the section titled Habits & practices, you will find this method described there, almost word for word. It describes in a little more detail what tarin was attempting to communicate to you.

Good luck to you, Zach. You're going to need it.

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