13305Re: [Buddhism_101] Re: Meditation, Concentration and Mindfulness
- Sep 2, 2011Hi
My remarks were not aimed at you, my friend, but at the gentleman who actually carried on in defense of TM and went on to explain it adfinitum. And actually my email is not negative, merely to the point taken by our "leader".
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-----Original message-----From: Don <donald_e_mathews@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 21:35:19 GMT+00:00
Subject: [Buddhism_101] Re: Meditation, Concentration and Mindfulness
Just to clarify; I have no idea about the previous conversation. I am a new Buddhist and new to this group. I saw tm mentioned and mentioned it as part of my question but I am not defending or criticizing and I am not asking a question about TM! Sheesh! My question was unrelated to the previous conversation and was about meditation and concentration and mindfulness. What are the similarities and differences. This is a perfect example, I think, of how destructive wrong speech can be. Someone said something that they should not have (I have no idea if it was too harsh or untrue) and It was upsetting and clouded Right View. Now; I have looked over some of the documents you have posted and I see that I am on the mark. There is a doc stating the 4 noble truths and when talking about the 8 fold path they do seem to lump together these three ideas. They are close to one another. That tells me that my experience with these things have not been too far off what other Buddhists experience when they practice Buddhism. So all in all I think answering my own question was probably good for me.
With Bows, Don
--- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "levey_steven@..." <levey_steven@...> wrote:
> I've been following along the previous discussion on TM and it is an odd thing when someone tries to, seemingly innocently, ask questions about comparison and contrast of doctrine, and then proceeds to carry on only in defense of their own. And I agree that since no one is lacking in the Buddha Nature, they deserve a listening to.
> This has always been the problem with sites such as ours where folks can come and go while hiding behind their anonymity. However, I have for one wouldn't have it any other way. After all, isn't the first of the Paramitas-charity?
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> -----Original message-----
> From: ken <gebser@...>
> To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 09:48:42 GMT+00:00
> Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] Meditation, Concentration and Mindfulness
> TM and the meditation taught in buddhism are similar in some ways,
> different in others. In order to avoid confusion where the same term
> means one thing in one kind of practice and something different (or
> nothing at all) in the other, we should use a consistent set of terms.
> Since this is a list for buddhists, I'll be using terms with the
> meanings they have in buddhism and expect that others do the same.
> Otherwise it'll be a little bit like we're speaking different languages
> and not even knowing it.
> Also, it happens in buddhism that meanings of words (and practices)
> change as one becomes more adept and occasionally depending upon a
> specific situation. It's like if someone asks, should I walk down the
> street on the left side or the right side? Well, this is going to
> depend upon whether it's city or country, whether there's sidewalks or
> not, is there construction going on you need to avoid, and so on. These
> might seem to be dumb to anyone familiar with walking down streets and
> roads, but if this is unfamiliar territory, then these are valid
> Enough prologue.
> As I understand meditation (and I'm still learning about it, so others
> should feel free to correct me or give their interpretation... that's
> fine and what we're here for), yes, it's quiet time with the mind.
> There might be noises, both audio and visual, around you. But it's
> quite possible to pay them no mind. We've probably all been in a
> conversation in a crowded room with lots of noise and activity all
> around, yet we're able to focus on what just one person is saying.
> Meditation is like that.
> And yes, even though we set aside everything happening in the
> environment surrounding us and focus on the mind, there can be a lot
> going on there too. Just allowing whatever thoughts arise can be
> interesting... or perhaps disturbing. A thought arises, we examine it.
> If it is troubling, then we might want to think about it and wonder
> where it's coming from. This is vipassana, or sometimes called 'insight
> meditation' meditation and can be therapeutic in dealing with personal
> problems. You might have heard of 'free association' used in
> psychotherapy...? It's a bit like that.
> There's also shamata meditation. (This might also be spelled samatha or
> shamatha. There are attempts to canonize transliterations, but people
> are already using spellings they know and these can be different.) In
> shamata meditation we try to clear all thoughts from the mind and so
> have no thoughts, this to experience a different kind of consciousness,
> one which most people don't even know exists. By 'clearing all
> thoughts' we mean that we allow thoughts to arise-- which they'll do
> anyway-- but just examine them briefly and then let them go. The aim is
> to let the thoughts play out until they don't arise anymore. Relax into
> this, just let it happen.
> Another kind of meditation is analytical meditation. This is used when,
> to use ordinary terms, you're trying to figure something out or when you
> want to learn something. So it's a little like philosophical
> contemplation and a little like rigorous study. Rather than banishing
> all thoughts, you do think about something, but in a focussed way. And
> you might slip into shamata meditation in order to allow it to enlighten
> you on the topic. After all, words fail in trying to describe some
> things (e.g., emptiness), so how could thoughts possible help in
> understanding them? Yet also we might just want to commit something to
> memory, something for the most part completely understandable with
> thoughts. Analytical meditation can help here also, help in accessing
> that kind of memory which never forgets.
> As a practical matter, shamata and analytical meditation can be
> difficult to practice if I have some kind of severe attachment. (And
> these will be initially difficult for anyone even should they have no
> such attachments.) If there is some thoughts or feelings, the same ones
> over and over again, which won't let us clear the mind, then we should
> deal with those, practice vipassana meditation. After all, if we can't
> be at peace with these recurring and troubling thoughts, then we can't
> really succeed in shamata or analytical meditation anyway. So we may as
> well deal with what's so obviously and urgently in front of us.
> I don't know if this answers your questions. If not, there are many
> entire books just on buddhist meditation (several of which I'd like to
> get to) and many more which at least in part discuss meditation. And
> perhaps there are others in this group with different takes on the
> topics, additional information, and/or better answers.
> War is a failure of the imagination.
> --William Blake
> On 08/31/2011 11:53 PM Don wrote:
> > So I have no idea what vipassana is but I have practiced Zen meditation
> > and TM. In both forms one notices the churning of the mind creating and
> > recreating thoughts. One notices this also with simple mindfulness. I
> > suppose meditation is in the category of right concentration although
> > when one is concentrating on the wall or the mantra or the breath it is
> > different than when the mind is quiet. So my first question is: In
> > Buddhism do we make a distinction between concentration and meditation.
> > Also is the purpose to aid you in right mindfulness because the more I
> > practice each the more they seem alike.
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