Attempt to understand anapana for correct meditation

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    • #25026
      lodonyo
      Participant

      I am currently living a life of camping, working as a barista, and meditating on a tropical tourist island. It’s the closest I could manifest to a lay monk lifestyle, and I have no regrets and I feel the blessings of the devas and bodhisattvas.

      I go through long periods of “unskillful mental states” as Buddha describes in the basic and solid steps of the path to ultimate happiness (atta). I am trying to guard the sense doors And be self-possessed. My experience seems…hard sometimes.

      I was going over the dhammacakka and reading puredhamma for help/Sangha fellowship as “I am(feel) alone” mostly beyond worldly relations. I was inspired by the post title “Ānapānasati Eliminates Mental Stress Permanently”. (I’ve read the other posts multiple times”

      With renewed piti, I wrote the following notes:

      Inside of base awareness(sati/6 senses):
      1. Identify consequences of actions(Mano/vaci/Kaya).  Neutral, suffering, sukkha.
      (Cultivated more of sukkha, discard immediately all dukkha). (Chandra, self possession, envelope)
      2. Stop engaging in energetic movement/karma/action — or engage in no more of it. (Stop movement of aura, silence). 
      OR
      START engaging in more of sukkha actions
      3. Re-direct attention/awareness/mind (after stopping) by focusing intently on the opposite (yin/yang) energy of motion/action. 
      –example: “cookie will satisfy craving” to —> cookie is horrible, cookie is never satisfactory, even gratification is suffering due to craving in the first place!” (Stretch aura to desired energy)
      OR: Use one-pointed attention on non-dual awareness of sukkha-bringing action.
      4. Re-member/meditate/contemplate on Gnosis/experience of cessation/cooling down/nibbana FOR PURPOSE: to continue 1-3 until cessation/sukkha is actually experienced!!!!

      Questions/comments:
      – this is spot on yes? Do I have the right understanding?
      – The 4 steos coincide with the 4 mental powers
      – Japanese(Shinto) Buddhism gives different qualities to satara iddhi, and talk about the aura
      – I am essentially trying to ease my suffering and if experiencing “cooling down” as an alternative will do it, I will do it. I would like to use and teach this model but only after living it amd experiencing real effects for a long time.
      – the idea of meditating on the yin/yang of the tanha object is genius/so simple
      – how can we “STOP” the ongoing karmas/actions effectively?
      — and related: how can we KNOW the obvious sukkha/dukkha effect of a particular action? Does it simple come with practice of applying our knowledge of pati-icca san-upada. I don’t claim to really deeply understand it, but I know pretty much whatever we engage with javana citta/a sense of emotional focus we strengthen the possibility of it recurring in the future.

      OK, Cheers. By reading and interacting with this post may you strengthen the Buddha nature in your mind and attain liberation.

    • #25028
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Iolonyo.

      Each person walks on the Path in one’s own way. There are three things to remember:

      1. Nibbana (cooling down of the mind) is dependent on getting rid of greed and anger. That takes time and is dependent on getting rid of one’s bad gati (habits/character qualities) and cultivating good gati (the opposites). That itself involves taking control of one’s actions and conscious thoughts gradually. See, “The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Asavas).”
      2. Getting rid of wrong views and learning Dhamma accelerates that process.
      3. As one makes progress, one should be able to see changes in one’s gati over time (and the associated “cooling down”). That is the only “measure” we have on making progress. This progress may be not apparent for a while, but once it starts, it will accelerate.

      You seem to be making progress.

      A few comments on some of your statements:
      “Cultivated more of sukkha, discard immediately all dukkha”.
      – You probably mean cultivate the causes and conditions for sukha and discard the causes and conditions for dukkha.

      ” I am essentially trying to ease my suffering and if experiencing “cooling down” as an alternative will do it, I will do it. I would like to use and teach this model but only after living it amd experiencing real effects for a long time.”
      – Excellent! But note that some strong kamma vipaka (bringing suffering) cannot be stopped, even though maybe reduced. The main goal is to stop such future vipaka by not making NEW causes and conditions. For example, when one gets a headache that could be due to excessive drinking, and thus can be stopped by stopping that bad habit. But if one gets cancer, that is due to a strong past kamma, and one can only follow medical procedures to get rid of cancer.

      “how can we “STOP” the ongoing karmas/actions effectively?”
      – I hope you can see the answer to this question in the my statement above. The only way to stop past kamma vipaka is to live a moral life, so as not to make CONDITIONS for such vipaka to materialize. Some can be avoided and others may not be avoidable.
      – The hard part of the practice is to bear those bad vipaka and be determined not to do new bad kamma.
      – See “What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?

      ” how can we KNOW the obvious sukkha/dukkha effect of a particular action?”
      – If an action is based on greed or anger that is guaranteed to bring dukkha in the future, if not in this life in future lives. See, “How to Taste Nibbāna.”
      – If an action is based on non-greed, compassion, kindness, etc, those are bound to bring sukha or happiness in the future.
      – Learning Dhamma makes one truly understand that. That is how one gets rid of wrong views and learn how certain actions lead to corresponding results. That is Paticca Samuppada that you mentioned at the end.

    • #25262
      lodonyo
      Participant

      Thank you Also for your reply.

      I would just like to share i received some kind of transmission with your words. In particular, “The hard part of the practice is to bear those bad vipaka and be determined not to do new bad kamma.” helped me to see clearly that the pain of craving/unbeautiful mental attitudes is (mostly) vipaka and needs great mindfulness as a counteraction…similar to “being tempted” and using the will/wisdom to do go towards that object of temptation. Understanding of/meditation on citta vritti/etc helps.

      Again, thank you. May you continue to have all auspicious conditions for your work – may your merit fruit the ultimate happiness.

    • #25264
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you, lodonyo.

      May you also reach the ultimate happiness!

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