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Questions about meditation


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#1 Brian

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 02:36 AM

I'm new to Buddhism and advanced meditation in general.

I was curious, what types of mediation do you generally use and how have you benefited from them?

I have used basic meditation for about 6 months now (not religiously) by basic meditation I mean meditation wherein you focus on your breathing, so far I haven't had any experiences whatsoever, I've just sat and meditated clearing my mind seeing blackness

Am i doing something wrong or should I just keep at it?

#2 RobertK

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:37 AM

HI Brian, welcome to the forum,
Ven. Yuttadhammo and ven. Pesala are knowledgeable about this area and might comment.
In the meantime it is good to consider why you meditate and what your aims are. Buddhist meditation can be divided into samatha and vipassana (calm and insight). It is a complex area so we need to have some understanding of the teachings of the Buddha to understand meditation in the Buddhist way. Maybe you can tell us your thoughts on this ..
Anapansati (breath meditation) is more difficult than it appears, there are other meditations like maransati (contemplation of death) or Dhammanusati (contemplation on Dhamma) that may be somewhat easier.
Robert

#3 Guest_Scott Duncan_*

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 03:55 AM

QUOTE(Brian @ Jun 14 2006, 08:36 PM) View Post

I'm new to Buddhism and advanced meditation in general.

I was curious, what types of mediation do you generally use and how have you benefited from them?

I have used basic meditation for about 6 months now (not religiously) by basic meditation I mean meditation wherein you focus on your breathing, so far I haven't had any experiences whatsoever, I've just sat and meditated clearing my mind seeing blackness

Am i doing something wrong or should I just keep at it?

Dear Brian,

I, too, am a beginner as far as meditation goes. If you wish I'd be happy to discuss it from a fellow-beginner's perspective.

Meanwhile, wait for Venerables Pesala and Yuttadhammo.

Welcome to the forum!

Sincerely,

Scott.

#4 Wolfgang

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 02:05 PM

Dear Brian,

I would like to know what you mean when you say: You just sat and cleared your mind seeing blackness? - and had no experiences whatsoever.

I appologize for my stubburness in not unterstanding, but somehow I just don't get it how you wouldn't experience even the in-breath arising & passing, and the out breath arising & passing - if you really did Anapana?
What about the blackness? Do you mean the blackness behind your lids after closing them? What does clearing your mind mean to you?

Although I am not a teacher in meditation at all, nevertheless, if I haven't been misstaken, this seems just the hindrance of sloth&torpor to me. (if you think it isn't, please clarify)

Here a good shortened instruction out of a Sutta, on different ways to deal with drowsiness:

Anguttara Nikaya VII,39. (58)
- 1. non-attention to the thought which caused it
- 2. reflection upon Dhamma
- 3. reflection upon Dhamma in detail
- 4. pull both ear-lobes and you’re your limbs
- 5. get up, wash your eyes and look all around and upward to the sky
- 6. give attention to the perception of (day-)light and a mind full of brightness
- 7. walking up and down with mind (and senses) turned inward, being aware of going
- 8. lie down on your right side, keeping in mind the thought of quick arising

You ask, if you are doing something wrong or if you should just keep at it?
From my experience I know no meditator who did not experience sloth&torpor. So that experience isn't something unusual and - as long as you recognize it as such - wrong.

But with the few words of your question it also appears to me - that you have set out to meditate - to gain something - an experience of sort (?)
In this case be warned of the encounter with a lot of disappointment. You certainly will experience the very pain in your expectations.

If such ever would happen - be glad, because you just arrived at the first & second noble truth.

If I would be you in your case, I would spent just as much time reading translations of Pali Suttas on this subject - as meditating. (I apologize if I misunderstood your situation completely)

All the best to you,