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What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

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What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:00 pm

Yeah... That.

I've never been in it... Had it...whatever?

I've read that it's very important.

Robert Aitken said something along the lines of - it was the development of samadhi that aided his Awakening - I will dig out the quote proper.

Soto and Rinzai differ on this. But I worry I am missing something.

Thoughts, you samadhi dwellers?
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Meido on Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:39 pm

Sparkle wrote:Soto and Rinzai differ on this.


Though their terminology can differ, Soto and Rinzai understanding of samadhi does not.

~ Meido
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Meido on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:07 pm

Sparkle wrote:Apologies for not explaining myself properly - I meant that Soto and Rinzai differ on the importantance of samadhi.

Whilst I'm grateful that my OP aroused sufficient motivation for you to "correct" me. I can't help feeling that a slightly less abrupt, more helpful response would have been less surprising and a tad more compassionate from a Zen Teacher like your good self?

Instead I was left feeling like I'd been reprimanded by an English Teacher.


You were not reprimanded. My motivation for correcting that incorrect statement was not solely for you, but for anyone reading it who might be misled.

It is also incorrect to say that Soto and Rinzai differ on the importance of samadhi. All Zen schools accept the true Zen samadhi explained in the Platform Sutra, which is the seamless upwelling of recognition of one's true nature. Whether one calls this the state of shikantaza, or hokkyo zanmai (jewel mirror samadhi), or the rank of the real within the apparent by which all phenomenon are seen to be not different from one's own nature, or whatever, this is the samadhi of Zen, though it is not the end.

Sparkle wrote:One smuggy said to me, " you'll know when you're in it"

A Soto teacher said when asked about samadhi by me "oh we don't place that much importance in it..."

This term comes up again and again on all sorts of different books. Am I missing something? Is it really important? Was the Soto teacher wrong? Or should I, as a Soto student, forget all this samadhi nonsense?


Short answer: it is important.

Long answer: details vary. The answer that will be useful will just be the one given by the teacher qualified to guide one on the path one is following. "Samadhi" can also refer to cultivated states that are indeed less important, depending on what path of practice one is following. From the standpoint of practice, samadhi before awakening is different from samadhi after awakening. And so on.

In other words: I did not address such things earlier because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Outside of the context of the practice one is doing, there will in fact be no putting it to rest in any meaningful way, and indeed it will just be "samadhi nonsense."

You may, again, consider this answer abrupt. But to say it less directly would be no more compassionate, and likely less skillful. I therefore hope you will indulge me, and not assume tone or judgement in my words which I do not in fact intend (a hazard of the format).

~ Meido

Edit: I see you deleted the post to which I just responded. If you prefer, I can delete this one as well, just let me know.
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:34 pm

No Meido please leave it.

As soon as I read it I laughed at myself and deleted it...but, I'm grateful for your response.

I realised my frustration was more to do with the situation here at home than your post. When one is suffering from brief periods of stress etc. telephone calls, Internet posts etc. Should be left alone.

So from my side it seems silly now and yes, I will indulge you and not let my emotions read things into your post that are not there.
Appreciated!
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:43 pm

Meido wrote:
It is also incorrect to say that Soto and Rinzai differ on the importance of samadhi. All Zen schools accept the true Zen samadhi explained in the Platform Sutra, which is the seamless upwelling of recognition of one's true nature. Whether one calls this the state of shikantaza, or hokkyo zanmai (jewel mirror samadhi), or the rank of the real within the apparent by which all phenomenon are seen to be not different from one's own nature, or whatever, this is the samadhi of Zen, though it is not the end.

[


The above is very helpful. Thanks.
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Meido on Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:14 am

Sparkle wrote:When one is suffering from brief periods of stress etc. telephone calls, Internet posts etc. Should be left alone.


No worries, Sparkle. Your advice above is very good for me too!

And I should mention that when anything I post comes across as unskillful, I do take that seriously and try to examine my motivation. Thank you for that.

:Namaste:

~ Meido
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby jundo on Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:05 am

Hi,

I wonder if I may slightly differ in perspective from Bro. Meido on Dogen's "Samadhi"? If "Samadhi" refers typically to a state of deep mental concentration, there are certainly such times during Shikantaza of varied depth and depthless. However, Dogen also perhaps was a weirdo on his "Zanmai" (a Japanese way to say "Samadhi). Perhaps, in Dogen's view (in his writings such as Bendowa and Zanmai ō zanmai) "Zazen Samadhi"was not necessarily a deep deep state of mental concentration as meant by the term "Samadhi" in many other forms of meditation. Rather, the very sacred action of sitting Zazen is the realization of all the Buddhas, is "Samadhi" realized. Dogen felt that a moment of Zazen is the whole universe, all reality, all the Buddhas and Ancestors, Enlightenment realized just in the pure act of sitting. It is not necessarily a matter of reaching some mental state of deep concentration. I might say that this "Shikantaza Samadhi" includes concentration to a degree, but with endless equanimity and dropping of both the need to attain and search (including for concentration states), the freedom from all judging and division, plus great faith in this moment and sacred act of Sitting itself.

Dogen had a very special view of what he called "Zazen Samadhi" or "Jijuyu Zanmai" (something like "the self-fulfilling samadhi"). Yes, there is a balance of body-mind that is brought about in sitting, together with the expected calmness and clarity. Yes, thoughts will lessen or sometimes fully drop away. But vital to our sitting is that one sits free of chasing, free of judging, with equanimity yet with a sense of the Sacredness and Completeness in and as just the action and moment of Sitting. (As I often observe, how rarely in life do we experience some action with the sense that there is nothing lacking, nothing more that need be done in that moment to make the moment more sacred and complete!)

So, for example, Dogen describes his "Zazen Samadhi" as follows, really going over the roof in describing how Sacred is sitting (he literally talks about the Lotus Posture "with crossed legs" here, yet the posture is really not what is being emphasized as much as the jewel that is the whole doing, the Buddha-ness of the whole event) ... both body and mind, and that which is the balance of both and dropping both away. He also describes the lightness, and lack of lethargy of it all. Put all such together, and Dogen calls sitting itself "the king of samādhis samādhi".


From: Zanmai ō zanmai

Abruptly transcending all realms, to be greatly honored within the quarters of the buddhas and ancestors—this is sitting with legs crossed. Trampling the heads of the followers of alien ways and the legions of Māra, to be the one here within the halls of the buddhas and ancestors—this is sitting with legs crossed. Transcending the extreme of the extremes of the buddhas and ancestors is just this one dharma. Therefore, the buddhas and ancestors engage in it, without any further task.

...

The Buddha Śākyamuni addressed the great assembly, saying,

When sitting with legs crossed,
Body and mind realizing samādhi,
One’s majesty, the multitudes respect,
Like the sun illumining the world.
Removed, the lethargy clouding the mind,
The body light, without pain or fatigue;
The awareness similarly light and easy,
One sits calmly, like the dragon coiled.
King Māra is startled and fearful
On seeing depicted [one] sitting with legs crossed,
How much more [on seeing] one who realizes the way,
Sitting calmly without stirring.”

Thus, King Māra is startled and frightened to perceive the depiction of [someone] sitting with legs crossed — how much more [someone] actually sitting with legs crossed; the virtue cannot be fully reckoned. This being the case, the merit of our ordinary sitting is measureless.

... Clearly we know that sitting with legs crossed is the king of samādhis samādhi, is realization and entrance. All the samādhis are the attendants of this king samādhi. Sitting with legs crossed is upright body, is upright mind, is upright body and mind, is upright buddha and ancestor, is upright practice and realization, is upright head, is upright vital artery.

Now crossing the legs of the human skin, flesh, bones, and marrow, one crosses the legs of the king of samādhis samādhi. The World Honored One always maintains sitting with legs crossed; and to the disciples he correctly transmits sitting with legs crossed; and to the humans and gods he teaches sitting with legs crossed. The mind seal correctly transmitted by the seven buddhas is this.

The Buddha Śākyamuni, sitting with legs crossed under the bodhi tree, passed fifty small kalpas [eras of time], passed sixty kalpas, passed countless kalpas. Sitting with legs crossed for twenty-one days, sitting cross-legged for one time — this is turning the wheel of the wondrous dharma; this is the buddha’s proselytizing of a lifetime. There is nothing lacking. This is the yellow roll and vermillion roller [that holds all the Sutras and Commentaries]. ...

http://scbs.stanford.edu/sztp3/translations/shobogenzo/translations/zanmai_o_zanmai/translation.html


So, most important is to sit with such an attitude of Zazen as a sacred and complete act, your sitting as the Buddha Sitting, no other place or thing to do in all the universe, sitting in a light and balanced way, not dull and lethargic ... beyond goal and pursuit, in peace and equanimity ... such as a sacred action, the king of samādhis samādhi.

Dogen's Successor and Right Hand Man Ejo Zenji presented a similar expression of "Samadhi" in his essay "Komyozo Zanmai" (Samadhi of the Treasury of Light) ...

From the very beginning, seeking concentration states and viewing practice and realization as two different things is different from the realised-practice of the harmonies and vast activity of the Transmission of luminosity.



Unentangled by sensory objectification, real and unchanging, the essential manifests. This is the practice of alignment with radiance. Just aligning with the Luminosity of Awareness, dwelling at ease in it, is the supreme samadhi of shikantaza, just sitting.



Putting aside brush and ink, avoiding others, and sitting alone in an empty valley, eating bark and fruit, dressed in hemp robes, sitting ceaselessly without lying down... If you are doing this to try to stop the mind and return to some motionless condition, to try to cut away your confusion and dwell in some absolute truth, to avoid samsaric conditions and attain nirvanic ones, then this is just hope and fear arising from grasping. [In your mind you are trying to stop movement and return it to stillness, cut off illusion completely, dwell only on absolute truth, reject samsara and grasp nirvana, despising the one and loving the other, all of this is clutching after.]



However, looking around at monks these days, because they base everything on their own narrow views although they polish it day and night, they are just trying to rub through to get to something. Others try to swat away wandering thoughts, hoping to clear things up by beating out the flames, so that some mysteriously silent light will shine. If you think it is just a matter of stopping thoughts then don't wood, stones, and mud already do it better than you can?



I feel a great respect from the depths of my compassion for you who continue the practice of zazen in the state of mind that I will now describe: without grasping anything [without being pulled around by states or objects] or having any goal, without being influenced by your personal understanding [or intellectual knowledge], without letting the experience that you have acquired in the dojo make you arrogant. Just with all the energy of your body and mind, throw them totally into Komyozo [the Great Treasury of Light] without looking back. Do not seek satori enlightenment. Do not try to hide or be rid of illusion. Do not hate the thoughts that arise, do not love them either and above all, do not nourish them [without aversion to the rising of thoughts, and yet without fondly continuing them]. In every way, you must practice the great sitting, here and now [Stably, calmly, practice shikantaza, just sitting]. If you do not nourish a thought, it will not come back by itself. If you abandon yourself to the exhalation and let your inhalation fill you in a harmonious coming and going, nothing remains but a zafu beneath the empty sky, the weight of a flame [Like an empty space like a mass of fire, letting your breathing flow naturally out and in, sit decisively without getting involved in anything at all]. If you have no expectations about what you are doing and refuse to consider anything, you can cut everything off through zazen alone. Even if the eighty-four thousand bonno [delusions and harmful thoughts] come and go, if you attach no importance to them, then, right then and there, from each one of them, one after the other and all together, the marvelous mystery of the storehouse of great wisdom can arise [Even if eighty-four thousand thoughts come and go, each will display itself as the luminosity of perfect knowing itself if you do not hold to them and allow them to just go on their own way].

...

At its origin this samadhi is the holy dojo, the ocean of all the buddhas. It is therefore the greatest and most holy, of all the seats transmitted directly from buddha to buddha through the holy universal practice. Being disciples of Buddha now yourselves, you should do zazen peacefully on his seat.[ From beginninglessness, this samadhi is the seat of Awakening, the Ocean of Awake Awareness. This zazen is the Buddha's own practice, the sitting as Awake Awareness which is transmitted from Buddha to Buddha. You are a child of the Awakened Ones, so sit calmly in his own seat.][ Do not sit in the sitting of hells, the sitting of hungry ghosts, the sitting of beasts, the sitting of antigods, humans, or celestial beings; those with only hearsay knowledge or those who fabricate enlightenment experiences] And do not practice anything but shikantaza. Do not waste your time. This is what is known as the authentic spirit of the dojo and the true komyozo samadhi, the marvelous and splendid satori.[ This is the practice place of Ordinary Mind. This is the complete practice of the Treasury of Luminosity. This is inconceivable freedom.]

[The above is a combination of translations by Deshimaru Roshi, Anzan Hoshin and Yasuda Joshu, and Thomas Cleary I have sometimes put wordings by various translators side by side in [ ]]
http://wwzc.org/dharma-text/komyozo-zan ... luminosity


So, perhaps one might say that the meaning of this "Samadhi" is not just a concentration state, especially a deep or not deep one, but the freedom of the whole holisitic sacred trip of sitting and living.

Gassho, J

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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Michaeljc on Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:46 am

And I should mention that when anything I post comes across as unskillful, I do take that seriously and try to examine my motivation. Thank you for that.

:Namaste:

~ Meido


I do so admire your posts Meido: lucid, concise, yet ...........

Anything, but unskillful

Its an art that we all need to develop here IMO

Thank you for your contributions

m
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:48 pm

Jundo sir,

Pah! pah paa

This is not a rude exclamation. More my clumsy attempt to express the "lightness" of two hands or even 2 sheets of paper coming together.?

Samadhi invariably comes along with the word "deep" which to me has always indicated the complete OPPOSITE to the silent bright awareness that comes when sitting . So to me this could NOT be samadhi. No. Whatever this is that happens must be the other end of the scale - hence my worry I'm doing something wrong.

Your post makes very interesting reading!

Stu.
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby ed blanco on Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:52 pm

Rev's Meido and Jundo, what a treat is to be acquainted with both of you fine teachers.
Thanks you both for your answers, such different approaches. Both helpful and compassionate.
My passion is Uchiyama roshi's tradition of "no toy" zazen, that is zazen without much lecture or service; but it he does write! He uses his "pen" like a scalpel.
One never gets tired of his writing, or Kodo Sawaki or Rev Okumura's either. I find Samadi hidden there in these writings, in plain sight.
Reading here about it in these two so different answers is a gift for me: Meido to the intimate point and Jundo clarifying it with Dogen Zenjis's mind. :rbow:
Thank you both,
:O: :O:
IT SPEAKS IN SILENCE
IN SPEECH YOU HEAR ITS SILENCE

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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby TigerDuck on Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:06 pm

There is a difference between 'vipassana samadhi' vs 'samadhi'.

The difference between vipassana and samadhi is very clear. They are very different.

Same thing, what is definition of zazen?
a) only samadhi,
b) only vipassana,
c) samadhi + vipassana.

If everyone has different understanding of zazen, it is very difficult to discuss as everyone has different understanding.

Through nonconceptuality, he is immovable.

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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Meido on Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:50 pm

TigerDuck wrote:There is a difference between 'vipassana samadhi' vs 'samadhi'.


Thanks, TigerDuck. The different things "samadhi" can refer to is why I said that other than the general agreement on the actualized Zen samadhi which is the fruition of the path, it is best to get an answer about details of "samadhi" in one's actual practice from one's teacher.

We can talk about samatha -> samadhi and vipashyana -> prajna, but as most folks know Zen doesn't always use that terminology much. If we talk about it in those terms, though, we can say that the true Zen samadhi is the fulfillment/union of both vipashyana and samatha. The recognition of one's nature is the fulfillment of vipashyana/prajna, while the seamless arising of that recognition and the free functioning of it within activity is the fulfillment of samatha/samadhi.

So this at least makes clear that Zen doe not consider trance-like samadhi states as one hears about in other paths to be a goal. This is not to say these do not arise or have value in Zen depending on one's practice path; for example, in koan practice there may certainly be an experience of this complete dropping off of body and mind. Coming back to life from this state is precisely the moment when kensho may occur. But again, it is the recognition after arising from such a state, and the subsequent integration of that recognition, which is crucial...not the state itself in which awareness of time/space/the senses etc. has ceased.

TigerDuck wrote:If everyone has different understanding of zazen, it is very difficult to discuss as everyone has different understanding.


Agreed. I should perhaps affirm, though, that although differences can seem great, I don't think that for example zazen in Soto practice and zazen in Rinzai practice are ultimately different.

Folks always talk about shikantaza vs. koan kufu as if they are very different approaches. But in reality, koan practice is only a beginning aspect of Rinzai practice; it has many functions, but serves also as a kind of framework within which one realizes the hokkyo zanmai and hen sho ego zanmai. After koan practice is done, even after one has received inka from the teacher, there is still then the ascending path due to the compassionate intent of one's vows. I do not think this final practice is different at all from the experience of those who bring shikantaza to fruition within their own bodies.

Since practice methods differ, of course one needs to be clear on details and the unique pitfalls of the different paths. I am just saying that they end up in the same place, without doubt, when brought to completion. A bit off topic perhaps, apologies.

~ Meido
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby flutemaker on Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:26 pm

Sparkle wrote:I've never been in it... Had it...whatever?

As we are in the "General Buddha Dharma" section, it would be excusable to notice that there is a good number of texts allowing us to broaden our perspective with respect to the cultivation of "Samadhi-power", at any stage of our advancement on the Way.

Speaking of Chinese "early" Chan, "The Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation -- Master Zhiyi’s Classic Meditation Manual", which was commented on this very forum by our resident teacher Huifeng, is first of all worth mentioning.

To continue on the "early" Chan, "The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime -- A Classic Meditation Manual On Traditional Indian Buddhist Meditation", was used in the past (if memory serves) by our resident teacher Guo Gu in his own practice-cultivation.

To slightly digress from Chan/Zen, The "Visuddhimagga (Path of Purification)" is one of my own favorite technical meditation manuals of Theravada tradition, enumerating -- and commenting in details on a variety of ways of entrance, development, and frution of Samadhi-practice.

To digress in almost unforgivable way, the 1st part of the Patanjali Yogasutra, being "Samadhi-Pada", provides an excellent source of help for those willing to understand (both theoretically and practice-wise) the way of Samadhi-cultivation in Yoga (and the fruition of such a cultivation is presented in the 3rd part of the text).

To stray even more, the text known as "Vijnana Bhairava" as presented and commented by Swami Lakshman Joo will enlighten us regarding the way of Samadhi-cultivation in Kashmir Shaivism, enumerating 108 different practical ways to "enter".

{ EDIT

Here is an excerpt from the Vijnana Bhairava (namely, verse 41) that I selected based on your forum avatar (don't you play guitar?):

If one listens with undivided attention to sounds of stringed and other musical instruments which on account of their uninterrupted succession are prolonged, he will at the end, be absorbed in the ether of consciousness ....

The notes from Jaideva Singh’s translation:

The resonance of musical notes lasts for a long time and being melodious it attracts the attention of the listener. Even when it stops, it still reverberates in the mind of the listener. The listener becomes greatly engrossed in it. A musical note, if properly produced, appears to arise out of eternity and finally to disappear in it.

When the music stops, it still vibrates in the memory. If the yogi does not allow his mind to wander to something else, but concentrate on the echo of the music, he will be absorbed in the source of all sound, ..."


END OF THE EDIT }

All of the above mentioned is sitting on my hard drive in PDF in multiple translations and can be posted in the ZFI library (or just feel free to download off the Internet -- it is all there).

~~~

"be in it... have it...whatever!"

~ FM
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:21 am

dear Stu,

Sparkle wrote:Samadhi invariably comes along with the word "deep" which to me has always indicated the complete OPPOSITE to the silent bright awareness that comes when sitting . So to me this could NOT be samadhi. No. Whatever this is that happens must be the other end of the scale - hence my worry I'm doing something wrong.

Read the Vipassana teachers regarding samadhi, and "the 'jhanas' ".

Well, for example, the fine paperback by Mr. Richard Shankman, a practitioner. Don't miss this book! :

Shankman in his book, THE EXPERIENCE OF SAMADHI : AN IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION OF BUDDHIST MEDITATION (2008), Shambhala, Boston and London, writes a very fine half of the book himself, then interviews EIGHT Vipassana meditation teachers, in regard to the jhanas and samadhi in general. There's fine-grained info here, and I recommend the book.

On the practical level (at home), I'd say, increase your daily sitting duration three times (3x), and be sure to include physical practices before and afterwards, each sit, to set the conducive basis. THEN, attend sesshin (7-day; 14-day;etc.; or, attend 30-day Vipassana retreat). Samadhi then, I think, has a chance of "coming-on", if you've developed it -- or its precursors -- at home.

"Deep" is not a sine qua non: don't even think about "deep". It doesn't enter at all (except in literature). Samadhi is samadhi, and there is no other. Granted, there are "numbered"-jhanas recognized in some schools. So what: see below:

BUT... it is when samadhi "breaks-up", I'd say, that awakening occurs. So, forget about "counting" transitions from one state to another. Good exercise, and good practice! But awakening occurs OUTSIDE of samadhi.

In the awakened state, samadhi practice is the natural care-taking nourishment of awakening, each day, and is incredibly easy to find yourself drawn into, down into. Why, in 15 seconds, sitting in the middle of New York City (London?), on any park bench, it's right there. Everything is golden and chiaroscuro. Don't take my word for it.

--Joe
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Seeker242 on Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:28 am

I don't think descriptions or explanations do it justice. It's like describing the color red to a person who is color blind. It's never going to match up. It's an experience that can only be known by experiencing it. The best way to experience it IMO is to do a long meditation retreat, the longer the better. :)
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:52 pm

Thank you Flutemaker for your advice and recommendations - I shall look those out and get at least one to begin with (if they can't be found online)

Thanks Joe.
Advice taken... I will sort this hopefully on Kindle today.
Jo can you just confirm what you mean by physical practices?

Joe and Seeker... I have increased my retreat visits to monthly now, but no more than 2 or 3 days at a time. The only week I've ever done was Jukai nearly 10 years ago... Oh and the last 2 Segaki but I left 2 days before the end both times.

Tourette's and arthritis disrupted things.

Message received. I must do my utmost to complete sesshin proper 7days.

Thank you for your advice/teaching.
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby flutemaker on Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:03 pm

Sparkle wrote:Jo can you just confirm what you mean by physical practices.

Conscious efforts directed at the development, exercising, purifying, and extending the limits of the body.

Through the body the Jhana is "entered", and through the body much more than we think is manifested.

The body in a bit broader way of looking at it.

Chinese martial arts training in its stretching part has chances hitting it. Indian Hatha yoga session no matter how poorly presented will show you something. Increasing your existing "limits" , which must include efforts can open a new vision of what we customary see as "just body".

FM
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:01 am

Thanks again FM
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Sparkle
 
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:00 am

Stu,

Sparkle wrote:Thanks Joe.
Advice taken... I will sort this hopefully on Kindle today.
Jo can you just confirm what you mean by physical practices?

FM has answered this well, above. Thanks, Ani.

I'll only add that physical practices are the ones we've been discussing here for years.

For me, they are hatha yoga generally, and hatha-yoga-like stretches, particularly those that help establish comfort and stability in cross-legged postures.

I add to this also the unique exercises taught in-person by Chan Master Sheng Yen, and his successors, plus the self-massage he taught for when we first come out of meditation. Also, his way of coming out of meditation slowly, by swaying the body in ever-widening circles while still in the seated meditation posture (but, first, moving the mind, as he taught, and then moving the body).

By the way, if you're interested in these practices transmitted by Sheng Yen, you will find that they are taught by one of Sheng Yen's Dharma heirs in Wales (and in other places), my friend and Dharma brother, Dr. Simon Child, who also holds Chan retreats worldwide. I think I last caught up with his doings at:

http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

Sparkle wrote:Joe and Seeker... I have increased my retreat visits to monthly now, but no more than 2 or 3 days at a time. The only week I've ever done was Jukai nearly 10 years ago... Oh and the last 2 Segaki but I left 2 days before the end both times.

Best wishes gaining stamina or whatever it takes to again attend full, lengthy, intensive practice retreats, or sesshin, when you like.

best!,

--Joe
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Re: What the blimmeny flip is Samadhi!?

Postby Sparkle on Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:01 am

Thanks Joe.

I have the book you suggested (Kindle) and am finding it very interesting.
I also managed to download a pdf of the Visuddhimagga.

Booked in next weekend for a 3-day retreat but I am hoping to add another day on for now to see how I get on.

Hmmm... The yoga might be the difficult one... I know you've suggested it on a couple of occasions previously. If this is what is suggested (repeatedly) I may have to bite the bullet. I shall keep you updated.

Thanks again.
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