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Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Three 1/2 years.......nothing!

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  • Marc Moss
    Some have said that meditation is just quieting the mind, having no thoughts. Wah Shan taught that meditation was about having no thoughts, not even awareness
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 14, 2006
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      Some have said that meditation is just quieting the mind, having no thoughts. Wah Shan taught that meditation was about having no thoughts, not even awareness of thoughts. The path to enlightenment, according to him was to bring the mind to a state where no thoughts arise, whatsoever.  So, the most important question is this: does the Buddha think? Is enlightenment then comparable to being in a coma??
       
      Scientific studies on meditators are finding amazing changes in the brain...changes that usually don't occur. These changes are amazing because they are produced by the meditator, created willingly by the practitioner. Focused meditation (on an object, particularly a virtuous one like compassion, patience, emptiness) bring about a "re-wiring" of the brain, the physical brain. But, it is necessary for it to be a focused meditation...in which the mind remains fixed on the object for a very long period of time. The mind slowly withdraws from the senses and loses awareness of space and time. The parietal lobe of the brain (which is ALWAYS functioning and is ever aware of where you end and the rest of the world begins) slows down to almost nil. The practitioner at this time feels as though they have "become one with everything."
       
      Just sitting and becoming aware of you thoughts is a prerequisite to developing strong, one-pointed meditation. Having no thoughts at all isn't "emptiness", it's just unfocused and inspires little change in the mind. But, stilling the mind is important...and should lead to new levels in your meditative experience when you learn to fixate the mind.
       
      One must practice ethical living to ensure that the physical and mental basis is strong for meditation. It's a bit difficult to focus your mind on something virtuous like making changes and seeking enlightenment when you've been stealing and lying all day.
       
      I suggest reading Kamalashila's Bhavanakrama (steps of meditation) with a qualified teacher; Pabongka Rinpoche's Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand with a qualified teacher; Master Patanjali's texts on meditation with a qualified teacher...or learn from a qualified master from an honored lineage. This is important because you don't know if what you are learning will work or not unless it has been handed down the ages by masters who have used it. Watch out for those teaching something new...do they have someone in the lineage of their practice that accomplished the high goals they express?
       
      Thank you,
      Sonam


       
       
       
       
       
      As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva
       
       
       


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    • Marc Moss
      Abandon attachment...but how? Ignorance is the basis for attachment. The ignorant mind clings to what it believes to be true about something and then moves
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 14, 2006
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        Abandon attachment...but how? Ignorance is the basis for attachment. The ignorant mind clings to what it believes to be true about something and then moves towards wanting to not be separated from that thing, or to be as far from it as possible. The way things appear and the way they are is not congruent. You are forced by your past karma to see the things the way you see them. If abandoning attachment was as simple as hearing someone tell you to "abandon attachment," don't think there'd be a multimillion dollar industry in psychotherapy.
         
        You must study how ignorance creates the other poisons, thus experiencing suffering. You must study the Second Arya Truth: The Cause of Suffering. Attachment is an ingredient in that mix, but there's another skin to that onion, friends!
         
        Sonam


         
         
         
         
         
        As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva
         
         
         


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      • Marc Moss
        Friends, If you practice these instructions correctly, then you will gain the razor-sharp sword of wisdom, a form of one pointed concentration where quietude
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 14, 2006
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          Friends,
           
          "If you practice these instructions correctly, then you will gain the razor-sharp sword of wisdom, a form of one pointed concentration where quietude and special insight (shamtha and vipassyana) are married together."
           
          The following is a list of the scenes found in the middle of the blockprint chart that was completed in the Tibetan Fire-Sheep year in Bene Dremo Jong. It has been stored at the Tarndu Ling Temple of Baksa monastery. Here is a link for a copy of the chart:
           
          Below is the translation of the instructions that appear in Tibetan on the sides of the chart:
           
          1) Setting the Mind on the object (an instruction given to you by your teacher
          2)Bringing the mind back to the object
          3)Watchfulness
          4)The six bends in the road represent the six powers. The first represents the power of learning the instructions. Based on this, one achieves the first mental state.
          5)The elephant represents your mind, and his black color symbolizes dullness.
          6)The monkey stands for distraction, and his black color represents agitation
          7)The presence of the flames, and their relative size, from this point up to the seventh mental state represent the relative amount of effort needed to bring your mind back to the object, and the degree of watchfullness needed.
          8)The power of contemplating the instructions, You use this to reach the second mental state.
          9)Keeping the mind on the object with brief continuity
          10)The gradual increase in the white patch from this point on, starting with the elephant's head, represent a gradual increase in the clarity and fixation of the mind.
          11)This symbol stands for the five objects of the senses, which themselvs represent the various objects that agitation focuses upon
          12)the power of bringing the mind back to the object. This allows you to attain the third and fourth mental states
          13)Keeping the mind on the object, with patches where you lose the object
          14)Subtle dullness. From this point on, you are able to recognize the distinction between obvious and subtle dullness, and other such details
          15) The monkey looking back represents the ability both to tell when your mind is wandering, and to re-focus it upon the object of meditation
          16) Maintaining the mind tightly on the object
          17) The power of watchfulness. This allows you to reach the fifth and sixth mental states
          18)Agitation is the first of the two that loses its power to appear in your mind
          19) When you are trying to develop quietude, even allowing you mind to be distracted to a virtuous object becomes an obstacle, and you must seek to stop it. When you are doing other practices though you do not have to stop it. And so we see the monkey reaching for the fruit of a second activity
          20) Watchfulness will not let the mind get distracted; and uplifting your heart leads you to a state of one-pointed concentration
          21) Controlling the mind
          22) Quieting the mind
          23) The power of effort. This allows you to reach the seventh and the eighth mental states
          24) Completely Quieting the mind. At this point it is difficult for even subtle forms of dullness and agitation to occur. Even if they do come, you are able to eliminate them immediately with a minimum of effort
          25) Here the fact taht the elephant has lost all the black, and left behind the monkey as well, represents your ability to engage in one-pointed concentration in an uninterrupted stream: if you apply just a little effort to bring your mind to the object and maintain watchfulness, then dullness, agitation, and distraction can no longer interrupt your meditation.
          26) Attaining single-pointedness
          27)The power of complete habituation, which enables you to reach the ninth mental state
          28) Reaching deep meditation
          29) Achieving quietude (shamata)
          30) Physical meditative pleasure
          31) Mental meditative pleasure
          32) Special insight (vipashyana) and quietude (shamata) marry together, focussing on emptiness, and allow you to cut the root of this suffering life
          33) One goes on to seek the correct view of reality, with a great ability to bring the mind to the object, and to maintain watchfulness
           
          These instructions that appear on the chart were developed from the words of the Buddha himself. He gave the teaching on the five mental states as follows:
           
          Place the mind on an object;
          place the mind on the object with some continuity;
          place the mind on the object and patch the gaps;
          place themind on the object closely;
          control the mind;
          pacify the mind;
          pacify the mind totally;
          make the mind single-pointed;
          and achieve equilibrium
           
          These are nine states of mind in meditation. As you can see, all of the instructions given by Lord Buddha here indicate the union of the mind with AN object. Meditating without an object would be like archery without a target...who knows where the arrow is going to go. I suggest printing these nine statements on index cards and testing yourself in your next meditation session to see which mental state you can reach.
           
          Sonam Tsering
           
           


           
           
           
           
           
          As long as space remains, as long as living beings remain, until then - may I too remain to dispel the sufferings of the world. - Master Shantideva
           
           
           


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        • the32family
          Thanks Cheryl, This board has een fantastic so far,i can see i made a great decision to join My problem(if you can call it that lol)with visuals thus far
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 14, 2006
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            Thanks Cheryl,

            This board has een fantastic so far,i can see i made a great decision
            to join>

            My problem(if you can call it that lol)with "visuals" thus far has
            simply been the placement of my computer,the comfortablity of my desk
            chair,the light in the room...etc.,but i can see how it would work.I
            feel i need a pitch black room with a large screen.I also feel the
            urge to close my eyes.

            using this with headphones has DEFINITELY been a help:

            http://www.bwgen.com


            cool,I'll let you know how it goes.




            -- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "cbondnelms"
            <cbondnelms@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Sean:
            >
            > I'm glad you found some answers. I had the same issue you had.
            > My problem was mind racing. I just couldn't stop it. My mind
            seemed
            > to think that because I was trying to bring stillness to my
            thoughts,
            > it had to fill it with something. It would drive me crazy. I
            > started using tools. I'm a producer, so I used visuals. I use
            video
            > clips to get me started. I can then flow right into a meditative
            > state. I have some clips at http://www.tranquilityisyours.com
            >
            > I make sure my windows media player is on repeat and I use the
            clips
            > as a visual tool, or close my eyes and use the audio as the tool to
            > help me move past mind racing and into a meditative state. It
            works
            > for my and several others I've heard from. I can log on anywhere
            and
            > use them just to calm me down.
            >
            > If you get stuck again, see if it works for you.
            >
            > Good Luck,
            >
            > Cheryl
            > http://www.tranquilityisyours.com
            >
            >
          • the32family
            ... You re very right Daniel.Without going into too much detail and boring you with the details of my personal life,the sudden loss of my job followed by a
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 14, 2006
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              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Daniel Bonekeeper"
              <bonekeeper@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Sean,
              > my first impression about you is that you have too much anxieties on
              > your life that are keeping you from focus. Remember how much time
              > Buddha himself had to sit down to achieve enlightenment. Remember also
              > that you have to give up anxieties and futile worries to achieve bliss
              > and happiness, not the other way around. "Abandoning attachment brings
              > release from suffering".
              >
              > Daniel
              >





              You're very right Daniel.Without going into too much detail and boring
              you with the details of my personal life,the sudden loss of my job
              followed by a failed business venture has put extreme anxiety on me.I
              have extreme pressure from others as well,which is natural,I can only
              lean on a person for so long....

              Quickly,

              Before these things happened and life was coasting along,I became self-
              realized and lost absolutely all stress.Little things that used to eat
              away at me no longer had any effect.(my appearance,my spending
              money...etc..)

              Things were great!!!!

              Then this!Now,I know the right answer,however,that stress you detect is
              definitely present and this time is not subsiding as easily.

              But,yes,I know the answer,the one and only answer to overcome
              everything this "dream" presents.

              Sometimes,though,and I wonder if any of you ever feel this way,

              I feel like it shouldn't have to be this hard.I mean,to sit there with
              all the force that you can muster up in your heart and plead with "God"
              to let you into His consciousness,to "show you the light"
              then get nothing in return is VERY frustrating.

              Thanks
              awesome group
            • Citizens Active
              Sean, I was in a similiar situation as you recently. When it got to the point I couldn t keep focus on my focus point (my breath), I threw myself to the
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 16, 2006
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                Sean,
                 
                I was in a similiar situation as you recently.  When it got to the point I couldn't keep focus on my focus point (my breath), I threw myself to the universe so to speak, focusing on direction and purpose.  Afterwhich, I received related dreams ans had some so-called coincidences happen which relieve much of the anxiety which also helped to keep focus on meditations.  Something that also helped me was the use of reiki symbols in meditations, just do a search they're easy to find.  Also, you want to try to open up in a different like getting a reiki session done, you can find practioners everywhere now.  How this helps!


                the32family <the32family@...> wrote:
                Thanks Cheryl,

                This board has een fantastic so far,i can see i made a great decision
                to join>

                My problem(if you can call it that lol)with "visuals" thus far has
                simply been the placement of my computer,the comfortablity of my desk
                chair,the light in the room...etc., but i can see how it would work.I
                feel i need a pitch black room with a large screen.I also feel the
                urge to close my eyes.

                using this with headphones has DEFINITELY been a help:

                http://www.bwgen. com

                cool,I'll let you know how it goes.

                -- In meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com, "cbondnelms"
                <cbondnelms@ ...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Sean:
                >
                > I'm glad you found some answers. I had the same issue you had.
                > My problem was mind racing. I just couldn't stop it. My mind
                seemed
                > to think that because I was trying to bring stillness to my
                thoughts,
                > it had to fill it with something. It would drive me crazy. I
                > started using tools. I'm a producer, so I used visuals. I use
                video
                > clips to get me started. I can then flow right into a meditative
                > state. I have some clips at http://www.tranquil ityisyours. com.
                >
                > I make sure my windows media player is on repeat and I use the
                clips
                > as a visual tool, or close my eyes and use the audio as the tool to
                > help me move past mind racing and into a meditative state. It
                works
                > for my and several others I've heard from. I can log on anywhere
                and
                > use them just to calm me down.
                >
                > If you get stuck again, see if it works for you.
                >
                > Good Luck,
                >
                > Cheryl
                > http://www.tranquil ityisyours. com
                >
                >


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