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Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

With a focus on the Tibetan, Nepalese, and Mongolian forms of Mahayana Buddhism

Re: Samadhi the experience, not the head trip...

Postby Seeker242 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:33 am

Platform Sutra has some interesting comments on Samadhi. :)

SUTRA SPOKEN BY THE SIXTH PATRIARCH ON THE HIGH SEAT OF "THE TREASURE OF THE LAW"

Chapter IV. Samadhi and Prajna

The Patriarch on another occasion preached to the assembly as follows:--

Learned Audience, in my system Samadhi and Prajna are fundamental. But do not be under the wrong impression that these two are independent of each other, for they are inseparably united and are not two entities. Samadhi is the quintessence of Prajna, while Prajna is the activity of Samadhi. At the very moment that we attain Prajna, Samadhi is therewith; and vice versa. If you understand this principle, you understand the equilibrium of Samadhi and Prajna. A disciple should not think that there is a distinction between 'Samadhi begets Prajna' and 'Prajna begets Samadhi'. To hold such an opinion would imply that there are two characteristics in the Dharma.

For one whose tongue is ready with good words but whose heart is impure, Samadhi and Prajna are useless, because they do not balance each other. On the other hand, when we are good in mind as well as in words, and when our outward appearance and our inner feelings harmonize with each other, then it is a case of equilibrium of Samadhi and Prajna.

...

Learned Audience, to what are Samadhi and Prajna analogous? They are analogous to a lamp and its light. With the lamp, there is light. Without it, it would be darkness. The lamp is the quintessence of the light and the light is the expression of the lamp. In name they are two things, but in substance they are one and the same. It is the same case with Samadhi and Prajna.

On another occasion the Patriarch preached to the assembly as follows:--

Learned Audience, to practice the 'Samadhi of Specific Mode' is to make it a rule to be straightforward on all occasions -- no matter whether we are walking, standing, sitting or reclining. The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra says, "Straightforwardness is the holy place, the Pure Land." Don't let your mind be crooked and practice straightforwardness with your lips only. We should practice straightforwardness and should not attach ourselves to anything. People under delusion believe obstinately in Dharmalaksana (things and form) and so they are stubborn in having their own way of interpreting the 'Samadhi of Specific Mode', which they define as 'sitting quietly and continuously without letting any idea arise in the mind'. Such an interpretation would rank us with inanimate objects, and is a stumbling block to the right Path which must be kept open.

...

Learned Audience, some teachers of meditation instruct their disciples to keep a watch on their mind for tranquility, so that it will cease from activity. Henceforth the disciples give up all exertion of mind. Ignorant persons become insane from having too much confidence in such instruction. Such cases are not rare, and it is a great mistake to teach others to do this.
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Re: Samadhi the experience, not the head trip...

Postby Avisitor on Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:27 am

I am not sure what the op means by samadhi.
To me, it means an intense state of concentration found during meditation.
It does not mean enlightenment.

I am sure many have had that state of quiet and concentration.
Where mind disengages from or stops identifying with the train of thoughts and focus is upon the task.
Awareness then can reflects whatever is in front of it.
There is a sort of space that can be seen ... before thoughts arise and after they leave.
There is a choice of actions ... instead of just reacting to situations.
And daily living becomes a moment to moment activity ... be here, now.
And still the scope of time is available ... memories are vivid.
So really nothing special.
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
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Re: Samadhi the experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Wed Dec 25, 2013 6:04 pm

Avisitor wrote:I am not sure what the op means by samadhi.


Samadhi is a mental state characterized by relaxation and stillness … both to a degree you might think of them as an altered state since they are far beyond what we ordinarily experience. Utterly without any physical or mental tension, agenda, preferences. There is no actual content in the mind unless and until you focus your attention on something … yet one is 100% awake alert present to the moment. With or without content. When one gets to the point the mind is so still all the internal noise, involuntary or invasive or obsessive thoughts no longer exist ... then we have tons more brain power at our disposal for things we chose to focus on, so, we have insight. It seems a lot like having twice as many brain cells yet is actuality it is only "the silence of the obsessive, non stop, involuntary, invasive rumination."

What is left is a mental space that is collosal crystal clear empty open space. Then vipassana, insight, happens spontaneously.

ONe of the most difficult things about it is that the practice that is the direct route, its so simple

It has nothing to do with spirituality, its mental training, strait up.
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Re: Samadhi the experience, not the head trip...

Postby Avisitor on Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:57 am

Rocket wrote:
Avisitor wrote:I am not sure what the op means by samadhi.


Samadhi is a mental state characterized by relaxation and stillness … both to a degree you might think of them as an altered state since they are far beyond what we ordinarily experience. Utterly without any physical or mental tension, agenda, preferences. There is no actual content in the mind unless and until you focus your attention on something … yet one is 100% awake alert present to the moment. With or without content. When one gets to the point the mind is so still all the internal noise, involuntary or invasive or obsessive thoughts no longer exist ... then we have tons more brain power at our disposal for things we chose to focus on, so, we have insight. It seems a lot like having twice as many brain cells yet is actuality it is only "the silence of the obsessive, non stop, involuntary, invasive rumination."

What is left is a mental space that is collosal crystal clear empty open space. Then vipassana, insight, happens spontaneously.

ONe of the most difficult things about it is that the practice that is the direct route, its so simple

It has nothing to do with spirituality, its mental training, strait up.

If one has such an intense mental focus then where would "things we chose to focus on" come from?
The mind is still. No noise. 100% alert.
That mental state has neither me nor I (no we).
And that mental state is not enlightenment.
So how can one chose to focus on things when ones state is clear of such things??

Understand about space but where does this vipassana insight come from??
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby klqv on Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:43 am

i never experienced anything on the cushion that i didn't sitting chatting with people on the internet.

beside leg pain.

if we are talking about pleasure in nothing much?

IMVHO samadhi without understanding is bunk - and a part of that is gratitude and respect to who is teaching your meditation. in no way am i saying anyone on this board is not so... but again - it does seem hard won.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby goddess on Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:11 pm

Although not buddhist, I thought this was one of the clearest explanations I have ever read. It was recently posted in another thread by a forum member….

http://www.spiritualteachers.org/b_robe ... erview.htm
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Mason on Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:37 pm

What you are talking about, Rocket, is "mundane samadhi" - the fruition of shamatha practice. Relative to other experiences in ordinary life, it does not seem mundane at all. But it is still a samsaric state, containing within it the seeds of vexation. The support for this samadhi - in other words, the object of concentration - is something like the breath, a candle flame, or a mental image.

The support for supramundane samadhi is vidyā (recognition of true nature).
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:15 am

klqv wrote:i never experienced anything on the cushion that i didn't sitting chatting with people on the internet.

beside leg pain.

if we are talking about pleasure in nothing much?

IMVHO samadhi without understanding is bunk - and a part of that is gratitude and respect to who is teaching your meditation. in no way am i saying anyone on this board is not so... but again - it does seem hard won.


Not many folks even those who sit on that cushion until blue in the face do get into authentic deeper states …. at least among us busy busy westerners.

We have particularly steep obstacles. We are saturated with hedonic existance, non stop go go do this and that, aquire this and that ...

You must place all other aspects of life into secondary priority for periods of time.
Gotta be totally free of any substances.
I had to start getting the very best sleep I ever got in my life, manditory to marshall the mental resources.
You cannot be working a job or committed to any kind of busy work.
You cannot be around vexacious or unstable or crazy people.
You need to be close to nature.
YOu cannot be concerned about basics, stability of food, clothing lodging etc etc.
YOu have to get great guidance, not too common at all. I've met one westerner.

YOu have to start out as a person who is uncommonly free of mental agitation and instability. You can aquire that uncommon stabilty with work, preliminary practice, western style.

If and when it does get working on you there will be periods where you are sure you are going insane. That's a good sign.

Prior favorable experiences with psychedelics can furnish a "temporary coarse approximation" of a deeper state on a really really good day. That can help.

Psychedelics can also furnish a pre view on that "insanity" phase which can be helpful indeed. If that is something you passed through with a favorable outcome. That period could can really rattle your cage even if you have been through it on a psychedelic. Coming at you out of your own mind while squeeky clean from all consciousness altering substances can be harrowing, it was more intense. That rattled my cage and I have a load of experience with altered states from a variety of methods.

That phase was followed shortly by a permanent shift into a healed mind.
Last edited by Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:46 am

Rocket, et al.,

I'd say samadhi is both a result, and a practice.

One cannot practice samadhi before one has the result of samadhi, ...as a result of some other practice.

After samadhi is established, it can be considered and taken as a practice.

Awakening is different from samadhi, by a long shot. Samadhi must break up, suddenly, for awakening to manifest, or dawn, ...suddenly.

This is the view in the Chan Buddhist and Zen Buddhist tradition of practice.

You'll get nowhere without a teacher and sangha, in this. I hope you're well situated, positioned, and practicing, vis-a-vis those two quite nearly absolute necessities.

Best!,

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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:25 pm

Samadhi is a term found thru centuries of HIndu and Buddhist literature / practice. I'm no book scholar but have learned from a top notch scholar

My interest in initiating discussion is the first hand experiences of practitioners.

I have found evidence of first hand accounts almost non existant.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Seeker242 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:43 pm

Rocket wrote:Samadhi is a term found thru centuries of HIndu and Buddhist literature / practice. I'm no book scholar but have learned from a top notch scholar

My interest in initiating discussion is the first hand experiences of practitioners.

I have found evidence of first hand accounts almost non existant.


Perhaps this is why? From Meido in the other Samadhi thread:

"By this point it should be clear that from a Zen standpoint, since even the recognition of one's nature is not itself the completion of liberation but rather only an entry-point, that samadhi states arising before such recognition are generally not worth discussing at all except with one's teacher."

So it's like "Oh, I've experienced this deep state where time and space disappeared and all things become one thing and one thing disappears and it feels really good, etc, etc, etc"

Well ok, so what? Big deal. :lol2:

:Namaste:
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Re: Samadhi the experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:02 pm

Rocket wrote:
Avisitor wrote:

If one has such an intense mental focus then where would "things we chose to focus on" come from?


Differentiating the process of achieving the state of Samadhi from already being there:

In working to deepen ones experience, ie getting there: objects of attention are chosen from a few options along a gradient of difficulty, according to ones capacities at any given moment. It is a process of doing less and less, until arriving at stillness. Its not about leaning to do some new thing. Its learning to stop doing things we are already doing.


Once in that state: attention flows from simple open space to specific objects in the normal way.

Avisitor wrote:The mind is still. No noise. 100% alert.

So how can one chose to focus on things when ones state is clear of such things??


This question is not clear to me.

ONe utilizes simple objects of attention suitable to ones abilities.

I believe considerable psychotherapy or similar processes are virtually manditory for westerners wishing to experiecne deeper states. We could do it via sitting practice only if we could live for centuries. We are just too jacked up from saturation with materialism and hedonism. Hedonism writ large, in the sense of any diversion from internal space.

Avisitor wrote:Understand about space but where does this vipassana insight come from??


Simply from silencing obsessive non stop rumination that seems to occupy half our brains capacity. We don't realize it until we get it to go silent. It seems like haveing twice the brain cells, every one focussed flawlessly.

If not focussed on an object of attention, the mind is an immense, utterly crystal clear, empty open space but also "pregnant" with the entire universe.

During the process of getting there one experiences everything your mind can possibly dish up, it all becomes old hat. There is no more button pushing mental BS to encounter you have not integrated.

One begins to know the thoughts of others.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Michaeljc on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:26 pm

Rocket wrote:Samadhi is a term found thru centuries of HIndu and Buddhist literature / practice. I'm no book scholar but have learned from a top notch scholar

My interest in initiating discussion is the first hand experiences of practitioners.

I have found evidence of first hand accounts almost non existant.


Should you be genuinely interested in detecting this in others then, according to my observations, you will need to hang around here for several months and read behind the words. There is a type of protocol at play here, partly driven by a method on which this forum relies to survive - and- a natural manifestation of Zen Buddhist practice. Zennies do not blow their own trumpet.

Interestingly, just of late, there has been a surge of rigid dogma expressed on this forum. I learn more from the manner in which others respond to these, than the initial dogma expressed. Skilful means. None of this dogma is new. It has all been expressed in different ways before.

My initial attraction to Zen Buddhism was mostly due to its independence from dogma. The story of the teacher saying to the pupil, "go away, I can teach you nothing' Is still my favourite. There are many others. I remain very wary of Dogma. But, that is probably my own inappropriate dogma at play. I am beginning to understand why Dogen (reputedly) said. "practice is enlightenment'. This requires over again coming back to zero - baby Zen. What else can we do? Words, spoken or written, don't cut it (for me), Samadhi no more important than the morning pee.

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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:42 pm

Seeker242 wrote:
Rocket wrote:Samadhi is a term found thru centuries of HIndu and Buddhist literature / practice. I'm no book scholar but have learned from a top notch scholar

My interest in initiating discussion is the first hand experiences of practitioners.

I have found evidence of first hand accounts almost non existant.


Perhaps this is why? From Meido in the other Samadhi thread:

"By this point it should be clear that from a Zen standpoint, since even the recognition of one's nature is not itself the completion of liberation but rather only an entry-point, that samadhi states arising before such recognition are generally not worth discussing at all except with one's teacher."


Yes, it is useless to discuss these experiences with others.
I've confirmed my Samadhi experience(s) with teacher(s) and long time experienced dharma friends,
it's a good sign (for ones practise) but the experiences themselves are easily discarded.
And that applies to every event, I have no interest in them.
It only becomes an experience due to memory of it, when returned from those 'states' to the level of the personality, there is the sense of my experience, and that can be troublesome.
Hence practise is about piercing through the false sense of identity, with or without samadhi.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:48 pm

Michaeljc wrote: Samadhi no more important than the morning pee.

m


Too much head trip. Pure experience free is mental bs is well worth experiencing and discussing. Not to mention permanent healing of the mind that is really the point.

It is true, not too many have the time and dedication, freedom from big obstacles. In my view those mental obstacles, anger, frustration, they are the big obstacles. When those are down to a dull roar, the actual practice can bring very rapid results.

No sour grapes now…. very unzen….
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:52 pm

[quote="fukasetsu"}
Yes, it is useless to discuss these experiences with others.
[/quote]

I disagree. We must do all we can to encourage folks into these mind healing experiences. No doubt many will never have these experiences, but some will.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:56 pm

Seeker242 wrote:Well ok, so what? Big deal. :lol2:



:Namaste:


The point is, it is available, even for ordinary folks who simply work at it can experience the mental healing … its not a one off deal. It's permanent. I'm not kidding.

One more person walking around with a mind relatively free of …. agitation, instability, angst, anger , what have you.

It is a lot of work, dedication.

If you guys are so sour on it, perhaps you should just sit back and let anyone who has experience or some interest , instead of trying to desparage something you seem inexperienced in ….

That would be more zen.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:07 pm

Rocket wrote:I disagree. We must do all we can to encourage folks into these mind healing experiences. No doubt many will never have these experiences, but some will.


Perhaps, it might depend on the person, it is not interesting for me but if someone would ask about it I might reply in daily life depending on whether I know that person well enough. I know the mind is very creative (and deceiving) if someone who had never had a Samadhi experience before might read "Samadhi is like this" it might be recreated but would be just another fantasy, having the idea of an experience which isnt genuine.To me it was just a word, when I described the experience the first time to a teacher he said "you had a Samadhi experience" and I was like, OK allright. It didn't change anything for me.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:10 pm

fukasetsu wrote:
Rocket wrote:I disagree. We must do all we can to encourage folks into these mind healing experiences. No doubt many will never have these experiences, but some will.


Perhaps, it might depend on the person, it is not interesting for me but if someone would ask about it I might reply in daily life depending on whether I know that person well enough. I know the mind is very creative (and deceiving) if someone who had never had a Samadhi experience before might read "Samadhi is like this" it might be recreated but would be just another fantasy, having the idea of an experience which isnt genuine.To me it was just a word, when I described the experience the first time to a teacher he said "you had a Samadhi experience" and I was like, OK allright. It didn't change anything for me.


My suggestion, if you don't have solid experience, abstain from trying to put anything down. Careful who you consider teacher….

Without solid experience it might be better to just be passive, observe without reacting…. or take a strong reaction to be an obstacle to mental clarity, thus worth removing.

Hope this doesn't piss you off too much, but the fight you guys seem to want to put up is an obstacle to that profound relaxation and stability….
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Michaeljc on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:00 pm

Well, this is a Tibetan thread. The concept that mind can be permanently 'healed' is very foreign to me.

I am not qualified to comment further.

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