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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: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:39 pm

Chrisd wrote:You are praising, advocating preliminary meditation exercise to stabilize the mind if I understand correctly. That's a good point, I think. People have the tendency to go "all is zen, zen is all" so no need to sit in meditation.

Best :peace:


I'm advocating other practices: far more efficent at preparing us for meditation with rapid progress.

-direct encounter with afflicted emotions to extinguish them. They are the source of gross instability that locks us out of depth in practice
-
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Chrisd on Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:00 pm

I'm all ears! What other practices are you talking about? Direct encounter with emotions. Are you talking about feeling them fully, arousing them purposefully, or maybe tracing their source?
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:09 pm

Or directly immersing into the emotions they cause?
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Rocket on Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:50 pm

psychotherapy with or without psychedelic "accelerators" … they can help

do not do accelerators willy nilly know what you are doing


Holotropic breathwork
Reichian therapy
primal therapy

Jungian therapy …. may be more intellectual when the main problems are mostly "rotting corpses" of afflicted emotions

those are all processes that activate and discharge stuck frozen negative emotions that are so destructive if they control you …. like the negativity evident on this thread
Last edited by Rocket on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Michaeljc on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:05 pm

Are psychedelic "accelerators" part of your personal practice?
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Chrisd on Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:38 am

Which psychotherapy work would you recommend? How would you put it into practice?
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby klqv on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:35 am

i'm intrigued about samadhi not because i want to experience sublime pleasures - i don't want to experience anything stronger than i do in my everyday life, or anything more refined than i think i do from art.

but because it might mean that FINALLY i am doing something right - after all the crazy religious mania.


i have a friend who does samatha-vipassana meditation, and have read a little about it in the mainstream press etc.. and yes, my experiences day to day are quite like these descriptions. i would even go as far as to say that - everyone experiences these pleasures, they are just not attuned to them, they are more concerned with e.g. what they are doing, then the kick they are getting out of doing it.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby klqv on Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:59 am

Seeker242 wrote:
Rocket wrote:
A review of this thread shows ... attack, belittle, use eschatological references towad the fruits of authentic practice. Holy cow.



Just because people disagree or post a different viewpoint, does not mean they are "attacking" or being "angry". It could be that they are just trying to share their own experience with you, which is what you asked for!

:Namaste:

PLUS - a healthy skepticism, with or without discomfort, toward people that come onto forums claiming unusual "authentic" and "deep" spiritual states, is only umm healthy!
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby unsui on Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:21 pm

Let's stop making it personal, folks. Please refrain from references to other people's practices or speaking from a so-called "more enlightened perspective". As you all may notice, I have removed a number of posts that no longer are on the subject of samadhi and/or the experience of samadhi.

This thread is under Tibetan Buddhism. It might be interesting if this perspective also was examined. Anybody?

A Happy New Year to you all!
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Chrisd on Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:32 pm

If you've found something special and useful in your journey that you would be interested in sharing, that would be great. You are talking about a healing of the mind. If people's minds were already healed in that way, then there would be no use in your sharing of information. It seems to me that the people that respond with negativity and vexations are the ones that need it the most. Yet you seem only willing to share with people that are already vexation free, who in your words have this "lovely equanimity". Take for example desert-woodworker, who has already experienced freedom from vexation and Buddhist awakening for himself. Where is your compassion and love to the less fortunate? :Namaste:
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Riverstone on Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:06 pm

What I am observing here and please correct me if this is an incorrect observation. What I am observing is a preoccupation with a fancy word. In this case, "Samhadi". In Shambhala - Path of the Warrior, a Tibetan teaching of enlightenment, there is a progression of teachings. We are taught to recognize arising thoughts and reactions, but to let them go at the same time. Eventually, one has direct experience. It is no big deal really, just gaps, moments when thoughts or a frame of reference is no longer referenced. There is more to this progression of mind training. One eventually recieves the teaching of Ashe. I have not recieve this teaching yet. My understanding is that it is the first stroke of a pen, or, the first thought. One, through our practice, is present when the first thought arises. It is welcomed and relinquished, and over time with practice, it does not become the seed for a rambeling storyline, it is dropped as it arrives. These practices are supported with sitting meditation, mindfulness, and we branch out into the teachings of Tibetan and even Zen Buddhism. While it is easy to get caught up in the technique, it is not so much about the cleverness of our practice, but the ability to look directly at ourselves, and not run. In time, this produces an effect, notably compassion. It is very difficult when you have truly been there for your own struggle with your conditioning, to not feel compassion for those who are stuck in the same struggle. Before we arrive here however we have all along had a supportive teaching, a constant reminder of our Basic Goodness. As I have studied Zen within a Zen Center and Shambhala, I do not see much distinction except for teaching and practice method. Yet the result of compassion and wisdom, remain.

In Zen circles I have seen an interesing practice. It reminds me of Charlie Brown and I can't remember the girl's name who holds the football. Over and over he trust that she will hold the ball for him and in the end winds up flat on his back as he tries to kick it. It really seems mean, but then you have to wonder, why does he do it, over and over again. That is an important question to ask. I think most of the world will look at "Lucy" (Or whatever her name was), and say how mean, how unkind. But we have forgotten that Charlie Brown continues to try. Before I have direct experience, I am dependant on a frame of reference to identify the world to me. It is really odd actually, it is like wearing a pair of swimming floaties where there is no water, the direct experience is already there. Essentially if you present yourself as standing on a platform, frame of reference, or premise, someone in Zen is going to pull that rug out from under you. And like Charlie Brown...you go sailing through the air, wondering, "what happened?".

Having been an artist for so long, direct experience seems easily accesable. What I am challenged by, is the first arising thought. Mostly I can remain with it and release it simultaneously, yet if the first thought is about the death of my mother, perhaps a rather large bill I can not pay, or impending unemployment, it can be challenging. This is precisely the right time to practice, this is the marrow of practice so to speak.

I dedicate the merit of my efforts to all. May we all find peace and joy.

Sincerely - Tashi Pawo
There is no fear in being a novice, an expert on the other hand has something to lose.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby desert_woodworker on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:35 pm

Rocket,

I hope you'll stay. Continue to pitch your lot in with us... .

[please pardon the little personal stuff first, before I get back on-topic]

It's good here. The water is sometimes overheated in some currents, but usually fine, if a little effervescent. But those bubbles can tickle, too, and don't always have to erode or abrade. I find myself often tickled and laughing.

I also find much heart and caring here, and much information and kind consideration freely given. It's more than a person could have hoped! The Teachers, and all Admin here are doing a fantastic job. Members, too.

It would be good if you could share more of your concern for preliminary practices which could help others. I hope you'll stick around and make yourself available. I'm not for much private contact, because it's too personal. The great thing about a forum is that views travel to all quarters, and views come back to us free of charge. Even unwelcome views, but views that may make a difference. I won't cut myself off from them.

I mentioned that all lineages have many practices, not just meditation. In other words, the practice of a lineage is a package-deal. If you work closely with a teacher, a teacher will know things to suggest to help at almost every stage of work. That's the beauty of a relationship with a teacher, if you have the opportunity.

It's not that a "front-end" has to be added on to Zen practice, for example, to "take care" of stressed people joining, to get them up to speed, or down to speed. It might help, but I claim that almost all the provisions for this are already there (and each generation of teachers will do some tweaking). But we must get close enough.

Each of us is special and unique, but each of us is also pretty average. Teachers know what's helpful on average, and they also know what's helpful in special cases. It's a very balanced treatment we can get. Working as a member of the sangha is helpful, because others in the sangha serve to remove the sharp edges and chips from our shoulders and elbows, with the sharp edges and chips on their own shoulders and elbows. Attend even one sesshin and you'll see this magnified many times. We come out pretty nicely sand-papered, down below even No. 600-grit.

You haven't made many posts here yet. I'd ask you to give the Forum a while to get under your skin. It's a good place. There are many open hearts, here. Actually, I think all are open! And we all have personalities, and usually exercise them ;-)

A problem with communication about "Zen-" matters can show up in a way I'll describe from my perspective, and I think we MUST give it some heed (mind...), and provide some slack and understanding in the face of it. And it is:

...even though not everyone is endowed and positioned like Lin Chi, everybody tries to be Lin Chi in some of their comments. Almost everybody. ;-) And, absolutely everybody, at one time or another has done it. It just shows that our aspiration can get ahead of our attainment. I think that's a good thing!, a good sign!, and only Natural. It's not helpful to us, but we must be forgiving as we are of the status and condition of a half-baked cake: It's definitely on the way! It just needs more time in the fire(s). And, there is more time! For us, too, I hope. If we allow. Or else, perhaps, the wisdom of posters who chafe us is wisdom that we are just not ready for, or it's wisdom that's a little too crazy for us -- or for us, anymore -- and doesn't ring true in our long lives.

But, let's not be slack. Nor slump away thinking that the grass is greener! 't ain't!

Welcome to the Forum. If you're leaving, well, see ya. All Zen people meet up again. Just like all Astronomers do, it seems.

--Joe

Rocket wrote: Please do remove my information. I did leave one PM for the one commenter (aside from Meido and Unsui) , desert-woodworker who made intelligent, thoughtful, knowlegeable experience based comments.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby unsui on Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:47 pm

I don't know all that much about Tibetan Buddhism. I have attended a number of Dzogchen retreats and received some of the so-called "self-secret" teachings for the practice of Dzogchen.

When I exclusively practiced Rinzai Zen, it was really difficult for me to "relax into" the samadhi instructions and teachings of Dzogchen. The taste of the two approaches was vastly different and only several years later am I beginning to be able to integrate the apparently unhurried Dzogchen approach with the sharp Zen koan training. I am, of course, doing this with my teacher, who is a Rinzai master who has received permission from his Tibetan teacher to transmit certain, secret teachings.

Kind of condensed, I would say that the Dzogchen instructions have aided me in experiencing the difference between the alaya state and that of deep samadhi, so that I better can orient myself, so to speak. When I just sit, there is a vastness and spaciousness that I do not recognize from Rinzai practice. On the other hand, there is an urgency that is brought into the Rinzai practice that I don't experience in Dzogchen.

All Buddhist practice that I know of refers to the wisdom and compassion and joy that every single being is/has, being as boundless as the universe, beyond time and space and then again, "just here/just now". Meeting the Tibetan practice, these things are described in a way that you really need to have experienced them to really "get it", but all the words are there. This seemed to be really different, in the beginning, from my experiences with Zen. Then again, this was only apparently.

As this subject is sorted under Tibetan Buddhism, does anyone have something to offer from this perspective?
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby unsui on Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:06 pm

This subject is titled "Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip..." The forum we are posting in is "General Buddhist Discussion ‹ Mahayana Buddhism ‹ Tibetan Buddhism".

Please refrain from judging each other and hijacking the thread. Let's stick to the topic and treat each other with respect and compassion!

If you are dissatisfied with the tone or content of any of the posts, please hit the "report" button and let the available moderators take care of it.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby MattJ on Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:59 pm

I'm not sure what is meant by samadhi, here. Despite the use of the term, there is no universal definition of samadhi, or of jhana for that matter. There has been a debate in Theravadan circles about hard vs. soft jhanas--- i.e. how deep concentration needs to be to qualify as a jhana. The suttas tend to say one thing, and the literature another. Richard Shankman has done a good job of highlighting these differences in his book, The Experience of Samadhi.

Even the term samadhi means different things in different teaching traditions. For some, it means one-pointed concentration, i.e. concentration on a single object to the exclusion of all else. For others, it means the exact opposite: an all inclusive state of mind. Personally, I think much of Zen tends towards the latter, while much of other forms of Buddhism tend toward the former. Unfortunately, the lack of precision can pose a difficulty in discussing these things, especially across traditions.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Chrisd on Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:30 pm

Like unsui, I'm interested in the Tibetan perspective.
I'm also interested in this question about preliminary work. Which I've not seen discussed before.
Chrisd wrote:Which psychotherapy work would you recommend? How would you put it into practice?

Who knows, we might all learn something useful.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby unsui on Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:54 pm

Again, a quick comment. More than one of you will surely notice that I again have removed the person-oriented posts. Again, again: stop the hostility, stop the trolling, stop the bashing. Use the report button. Take a time-out. Breathe. Sit. ;)

If the topic isn't returned to in a constructive manner, I will lock the thread until the moderators reach a decision.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby unsui on Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:11 pm

MattJ wrote:I'm not sure what is meant by samadhi, here. Despite the use of the term, there is no universal definition of samadhi, or of jhana for that matter. There has been a debate in Theravadan circles about hard vs. soft jhanas--- i.e. how deep concentration needs to be to qualify as a jhana. The suttas tend to say one thing, and the literature another. Richard Shankman has done a good job of highlighting these differences in his book, The Experience of Samadhi.

Even the term samadhi means different things in different teaching traditions. For some, it means one-pointed concentration, i.e. concentration on a single object to the exclusion of all else. For others, it means the exact opposite: an all inclusive state of mind. Personally, I think much of Zen tends towards the latter, while much of other forms of Buddhism tend toward the former. Unfortunately, the lack of precision can pose a difficulty in discussing these things, especially across traditions.

I don't know about in the OP, but in the Dzogchen I have learned, samadhi is vast and boundless and natural.
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:49 am

MattJ wrote:I'm not sure what is meant by samadhi, here.


Ahh yes, that is the lynch pin of the discussion.

There is a general mention of 10,000 samadhis, meaning there are countless samadhis of all kinds. One sutra names 108 samadhis. Another sutra lists 16 samadhis.

There are beneficial samadhis like the Precious Mirror Samadhi and unbeneficial samadhis like the "couch potato" Samadhi.

Some of the samadhis more familiar to Zen students or Buddhist students generally are:
~the Samadhi of True Suchness (眞如三昧) highlighted by Zen master Zongmi, wherein all delusions are eliminated and thusness is realized;
~the Precious Mirror Samadhi (寶鏡三昧)(A.K.A. the Jewel Mirror Samadhi) a favorite of Zen master Dongshan, the unborn undying original mind reflecting all things;
~the Samadhi of Oneness (一相三昧), (A.K.A. the Samadhi of One Quality, One Attribute, One Characteristic, One Form) the samadhi of seeing the non-duality of everything;
~the Samadhi of One Practice (一行三昧) (A.K.A. Samadhi of One Act) the favorite of Huineng, that manifests as the practice of seamless awareness that the one true nature of all things is the same;
~the Samadhi of Constant Practice (常行三昧) also called the Samadhi of the Present Moment (般舟三昧), in this Samadhi the Buddhas of the Ten Directions are seen as clearly as the stars at night, or as Torei Zenji said, on every blade of grass, a Buddha;
~the Samadhi of Great Emptiness (大空三昧);
~the Diamond Samadhi (金剛三昧) AKA the Vajrasamadhi;
~the Samadhi of Great Compassion (大悲三昧);
~the Recollection of the Buddha Samadhi (念佛三昧) which includes all the samadhis arising from the oral practice of recollection of Buddha's Name and the visual recollection of Buddha's Image in the Vajrayana practices.

Ultimately, all these samadhis are not different samadhis, but merely different names for different facets of the one Samadhi.

Literally, the word "samadhi" means "to turn the mind toward union" or "to turn the mind towards togetherness." The Sanskrit root "sam" meaning "with, together with, union, conjunction," and "adhi" means "to turn the mind towards." The word "Samadhi" is usually translated as "concentration" and sometimes "focus," but I don't like those translations because concentration and focus are really just preliminary steps or exercises toward the actual realization of Samadhi. Sometimes Samadhi is translated as "absorption" which is better but doesn't quite get the full flavor of the "unification" intended in the term. Currently, I prefer to translate samadhi as "equilibrium" or "equanimity," as the Latin root "aequi" is close to the meaning of the Sanskrit root "sam," and this is the meaning as stated by Zen master Huineng: "If someone sees various conditions and the heart-mind is not perturbed, this is real samadhi."

Thus, Samadhi, in all its versions, means the various ways of turning toward all the various conditions of reality and realizing our togetherness or non-duality with everything, and that realization manifests as equilibrium in thought and equanimity in feeling in all circumstances.

Then there is the Samadhi Mara (三昧魔) who is one of the Ten Maras and who lurks in the recesses of the heart and hinders further development of meditation by the enticement of the early bliss stages of Samadhi.

Now the Opening Post asks for our experience, not the head trip. But this is problematic, because merely using words converts "direct experience" into the head trip of communicating by words. My experience of Samadhi is in any moment when my awareness turns toward the inherent union of awareness. It is at this point that the labels come up to try to communicate. Looking at a star and there is complete togetherness, no sense of separateness, no sense of distance or duality, the star fully received and realized, is the star Samadhi. This isn't concentration on the star, nor is it focus on the star, it is unification in equilibrium with the star, with the words "star" and "me" both forgotten.

_/|\_
Gregory
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: Samadhi: your experience, not the head trip...

Postby klqv on Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:15 pm

here's a thought - how do we tell the difference between feelings of pride and happiness
Image

just thinking out loud :)
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