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Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] Re: Jhanas Are Within Our Reach

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  • Jonothan Abbott
    Rob E, ... hips ... ;--)) ... In the Satipatthana Sutta (in the section on The Modes of Deportment), the Buddha had this to say about posture and position:
    Message 1 of 73 , Sep 3, 2001
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      Rob E,

      --- Robert Epstein <epsteinrob@...> wrote: >

      > > You raise an interesting point. If samatha/jhana 'practice' is a
      > > necessary part of the development of the path, is a person with stiff
      hips
      > > or jogger's knees handicapped in the quest for enlightenment?! ;--))
      ;--))
      >
      > My immediate response is 'no' and then my secondary response is 'yes'.
      > I think
      > it's 'no' in the sense that no physical obstacle should be sufficient to
      > bar
      > someone from exercising mindfulness. On the other hand, I can't say
      > that
      > meditating lying down is going to have the same effect as meditating
      > sitting up,
      > or that slumping over is going to have the same effect as sitting up
      > straight, or
      > that sitting with tension in body and breathing is going to have the
      > same effect
      > as sitting with gentle uprightness.
      >
      > I am not aware of what the Buddha said on posture and position, but I
      > know that if
      > I sit cross-legged on the floor and watch the breath it is a very
      > different
      > experience in some ways than what happens if I lie down [which I do when
      > falling
      > asleep] and watch the breath.

      In the Satipatthana Sutta (in the section on The Modes of Deportment), the
      Buddha had this to say about posture and position:

      "And further, O bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am
      going';
      when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing';
      when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting';
      when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down';
      or just as his body is disposed so he understands it….
      Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body…."

      The 4 postures and positions described here--going, standing sitting and
      lying down--between them cover all postures that may be assumed at any
      time. This helps us to understand that satipatthana (ie. mundane insight)
      is not limited as to posture or time.

      Nor is it limited as to kind of activity. In the same sutta, Section on
      The Four Kinds of Clear Comprehension, the Buddha said:

      "And further, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a
      person practising clear comprehension;
      in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person
      practising clear comprehension;
      in bending and in stretching, … in wearing the robes and bowl, … in regard
      to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savoured, … in defecating and in
      urinating, … in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in
      sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person
      practising clear comprehension. …
      Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body…"

      This likewise covers all activities at any time of the day.

      So although things do seem different depending on whether we are, for
      example, sitting or lying down, being quiet or rushing around, with the
      family or 'in practice', satipatthana as taught by the Buddha is something
      that cuts across all these differences. It is something that is
      independent of situation or occasion.

      It can be useful to ask ourselves whether our understanding of what
      satipatthana is consistent with this, or whether we have an idea of
      satipatthana that requires that certain conditions as to posture, activity
      or time need to be satisfied in order for it to arise.

      Jon


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    • robertkirkpatrick@rocketmail.com
      Dear Rob Ep., Yep, it was me who said that anapanasati requires special conditions including posture . This is indicated in the suttas and commentaries. robert
      Message 73 of 73 , Oct 1, 2001
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        Dear Rob Ep.,
        Yep, it was me who said that anapanasati requires special conditions
        including posture . This is indicated in the suttas and commentaries.
        robert k.---

        In dhammastudygroup@y..., Robert Epstein <epsteinrob@Y...> wrote:
        >
        > --- upasaka@a... wrote:
        > > Hi, Rob -
        > >
        > > In a message dated 10/1/01 12:10:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
        > > epsteinrob@Y... writes:
        > >
        > >
        > > > Very kind of you, Jon. I don't have anything to quote at
        present, and I
        > > > think you
        > > > are probably right that there was nothing said about the lotus
        posture being
        > > > particularly expedient, although I think Howard mentioned that
        it was
        > > > prescribed
        > > > for meditating on the breath in the Anapanasati Sutra, unless
        I'm
        > > > remembering
        > > > wrong [which is very possible].
        > > >
        > > ========================
        > > I don't think it was I who said it.
        >
        > No, now that I think of it, I think it was Robert.
        >
        > Robert Ep.
        >
        >
        >
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