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Padhāna Sutta — Striving
Forum: Selected Discourses
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4 hours ago
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Brāhmaṇadhammika Sutta — ...
Forum: Selected Discourses
Last Post: Bhikkhu Pesala
06-06-2018, 11:48 AM
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Blanking out during sitti...
Forum: Insight Meditation
Last Post: budo
05-16-2018, 09:35 AM
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Books by Bhikkhu Pesala
Forum: Books by Bhikkhu Pesala
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Feeling of unbearableness...
Forum: Insight Meditation
Last Post: Bhikkhu Pesala
05-03-2018, 03:44 PM
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Hello, everyone!
Forum: Introductions
Last Post: Wizard_in_the_Forest
04-22-2018, 10:55 PM
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Coping with Aversion and ...
Forum: Theravāda Buddhism
Last Post: Wizard_in_the_Forest
04-22-2018, 10:52 PM
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Mental noting vs Commenta...
Forum: Insight Meditation
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04-15-2018, 10:22 AM
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Questions regarding A Man...
Forum: Books by the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw
Last Post: Bhikkhu Pesala
04-11-2018, 07:02 PM
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My introduction
Forum: Introductions
Last Post: budo
04-10-2018, 09:31 PM
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  Padhāna Sutta — Striving
Posted by: Bhikkhu Pesala - 4 hours ago - Forum: Selected Discourses - No Replies

Added: Padhāna Sutta — Striving

The Bodhisatta battles with Māra on the eve of his Enlightenment.

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  Brāhmaṇadhammika Sutta — The Good Conduct of the Brahmin
Posted by: Bhikkhu Pesala - 06-06-2018, 11:48 AM - Forum: Selected Discourses - No Replies

Brāhmaṇadhammika Sutta — The Good Conduct of the Brahmin

The Buddha teaches a group of elderly and wealthy brahmins about the noble conduct of the brahmins of ancient times, which had declined by the time of the Buddha.

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  Blanking out during sitting meditation
Posted by: budo - 05-15-2018, 10:44 AM - Forum: Insight Meditation - Replies (2)

When I meditate I have a lot of blanking out experiences, for example I will notice my mind start to dream/have visions which I note as "seeing seeing", and then I will blank out and then jump up and become alert due to losing balance. I'm not sure if this is due to sloth/drowsiness or not. I also remember on the days of determination on the past retreat that they made us write down the amount of times this happens. What is the significance of this happening and is it important?

Thank you!

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  Feeling of unbearableness during sitting
Posted by: budo - 05-03-2018, 02:38 PM - Forum: Insight Meditation - Replies (1)

When I sit to meditate my sitting usually lasts 2-3 hours. Always when I start meditating I feel good for the first hour, like taking a relaxing vacation. But usually near the one hour mark the pleasure from relaxation turns to stress. The body becomes a source of stress for me, the shifting of consciousness is a source of stress, thinking, hallucinations/dreams, pain in the body that arises is a source of stress.

Eventually it gets to the point that the pain of consciousness, body, and existence itself seems unbearable.

Is this what some call the dark night stage? In some sittings I can sit like a statue unaffected for hours, and in others there's this unbearableness of existence, like almost everything I do in life is to run away and suppress this unbearableness that's always there.

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  Coping with Aversion and Resentment
Posted by: Wizard_in_the_Forest - 04-22-2018, 08:46 PM - Forum: Theravāda Buddhism - Replies (2)

I was hoping to collect as many sutta references to help deal with one of my most pressing mental defilement,  namely Aversion (Dosa) and Resentment (paṭigha). Naturally since I have had some difficulty with these feelings on a regular occasion I wanted to flood myself with both the drawbacks of these defilements, the benefits of goodwill and letting go, ways to recognize them as quick as I can in meditation so I don't get drawn into them, and I'm looking for good ways to restrain these thoughts as soon as they come up. 

The Vitakka-Santhana Sutta describes this method as the best way to remove these kinds of distracting thoughts, and I have done some of the work already and wish to share an analysis of what I've found for the sake of others if they also struggle with these feelings like I do. 

First, let's identify the problem. Aversion (Dosa) in the mind is expressed as anger, and anger raises the danger of it manifesting in many physical ways; it is a common source of physical violence, harsh words, divisive words. The kamma of physical violence is something that is obviously can be seen and has serious lasting consequences both for the person who does it, and the person who is a victim of it, but divisive and harsh words are also things that can lead to problems just as damaging. It needs to be clearly understood that any act done with Dosa leads to powerful dangerous results, namely pushing one closer to birth in a hell realm.

Then there's the antidotes to Dosa, namely Compassion (karuṇā), Good will (mettā), and Patience (khanti). 

The reason I put compassion first is because in my case, I don't get angry unless I presume there is actually an intentional act done to cause harm. At that point, anger is a plea for immediate action for something that needs to be rectified right there and right now. Instead of acting, the sting remains at the wrong left unaddressed. To me, a willful act of harm is not going to immediately be followed by a wish for good will, because it's actually really hard to do right off. It's why metta needs to be cultivated toward a friend and a neutral person before cultivating it for a difficult person. So instead the first thing that is aroused is compassion for the person who is wronged. 

That compassion arises pretty naturally, and then it becomes easier to direct that same compassion for someone who is doing wrong by understanding that they're also harming themselves by committing this wrongful act. Some people also don't often commit these harmful acts because they're happy people. All people are heirs to their kamma, and anything done to harm someone whether out of greed, ignorance, or malice will feel painful results. That pain might not be immediate, but it'll come. After compassion is developed for the wrongdoer, then it is easier to cultivate good will, and when the problem they created needs to be addressed with patience. The big issue with anger of this kind is the knowledge that it doesn't often have an immediate solution quick enough to put the mind at ease. So part of dealing with it needs to be learning to cope with unease. 

Some Suttas and lessons that have helped me: 

Vipaka Sutta

Kodhana Sutta

Venerable Piyatissa's Lesson on the Elimination of anger

Aghata Sutta

Acharya Buddharakkhita's lesson on Positive Response

If you can offer more help with this kind of defilement, please feel free to help and offer some more insight, and hopefully it'll help more people than just me.

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  Hello, everyone!
Posted by: Wizard_in_the_Forest - 04-22-2018, 07:50 PM - Forum: Introductions - Replies (2)

I started the search for a more wholesome life after I discarded the spiritual life offered to me by a concerned friend. This friend wanted to introduce me to Christianity, before then I was a nominal Catholic whose parents did not actually believe any of it. I read the Bible and very quickly rejected it for its unsettling and violent nature. I then began to read some of the classics, looking for a moral and effective way of living my life. I started practicing alone when I was thirteen after reading several Suttas from the Majjhima Nikaya on Access to Insight. The first sutta I read was the Sigalovada Sutta translated by Narada Thera and I was taken by how wholesome it was. The delight in the morality it promoted only took a backseat to the real liberation the Buddha offered when I started to read the Vitakkasanthana Sutta and put his teachings to the test. Ultimately it is what changed my mind for the better, as my concentration became sharper, and my life was less leaden by the problems that surrounded me.

 After many religious texts, I found nothing satisfied me more than the Dhamma, so my curiosity turned to genuine respect and I felt solid enough in my understanding to look for a teacher. I looked for a preceptor, but since I was a teenage spiritual seeker and I did not follow the religion of my family, they and I didn't know where to even go. I did not really know my community since my family were immigrants from Central America, so I had no idea where to search in the first place. I read the Khaggavisana Sutta and realized I didn't really need to go and look for a preceptor, my saṃvega was already strong enough for me to feel confident enough to take refuge by myself using the dhamma presented as my teacher. I took the precepts and refuge right then and took my study with increasing rigor. Now I'm thirty something, and am way different from that little girl digging through spiritual books in the library and am still going strong. 

Either way, I hope that we can all be good friends.

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  Mental noting vs Commentary thinking
Posted by: budo - 04-15-2018, 09:55 AM - Forum: Insight Meditation - Replies (1)

I try to mental note everything all the time, when I'm brushing my teeth or showering, it's mostly "feeling feeling feeling, hearing hearing hearing". Is the purpose of mental noting to keep us present and away from commentary thinking? Whenever I have commentary thinking (like a script/story) it seems to take me off into imagination land which takes me away from the present moment.  Commentary thinking seems to be based on past and future, which seems to be based on anxiety/restlessness. For example, in the past I would think of what I should say in a future scenario, or what I should have said in a past scenario, and this puts me into imagination land, which is away from the present moment.

Also, should one keep mental notes at the 5 aggregates level instead of detailed noting? For example, instead of noting "brushing teeth" one would note "feeling, hearing, seeing".. what about "Touching" vs "Feeling"?  Also, if I am imagining something in my head should I note "seeing" or "imagining"?

I noticed as well that if my attention is on feeling this gets me into "liking" and "disliking", and "wanting/not wanting", but if my attention is on another sensation like hearing then I am less attached to wanting/liking/disliking. Should one try to control the attention in this manner, or is it better to note the dominant sensation?

Thank you

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  Questions regarding A Manual of Respiration
Posted by: budo - 04-11-2018, 10:29 AM - Forum: Books by the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw - Replies (4)

So today I read through the book A Manual of Respiration, it is one of the best books I read on Anapanasati and I've read a lot, including ones by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.

This part in particular grabbed my attention:

Quote:If one practises according to the counting method, the connection method, and the fixing method (where access concentration and attainment concentration are entered), one fulfils the four foundations of mindfulness and the seven factors of enlightenment. However, if one does so with an inclination towards the Deva and Brahma existences after death, the seven factors of enlightenment become dependent on the cycle of rebirths. If one stops short with the attainment of access concentration, attainment concentration, and contemplation of impermanence, one is liable to become inclined towards depending on the cycle of rebirths. Hence, depending on seclusion, dispassion, cessation, and relinquishment mean putting forth effort with a view to attaining the stopping of rebirth in this very life and not stopping short with such attainments as access concentration and attainment concentration. Stopping rebirth means nibbāna.

So before I went on my Mahasi retreat last summer, I would get into the Jhanas, enjoy them, maybe attain a few insights, and end it there. Is this what Ledi means when he says

"If one stops short with the attainment of access concentration, attainment concentration, and contemplation of impermanence, one is liable to become inclined towards depending on the cycle of rebirths. "

It is not enough to even contemplate on impermanence, one must go further and contemplate dispassion, cessation and relinquishment?

From now on, when I return to anapanasati meditation I will always try to end my meditation with these contemplations. Is there any material that expands on dispassion, cessation and relinquishment and how one should contemplate them?

Dispassion makes sense to me, like a sort of indifference, but what does "relinquishment" mean exactly?

What does "to perceive them with wisdom" mean? Does perceive mean to imagine? and wisdom to compare/discern?

In general, I get the gist of where I am lacking and what I should prioritize from here on out, any more resources and materials on this is appreciated.

I think at the end of the day it all comes down to seeing the 5 aggregates first hand, correct me if I'm wrong.

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  My introduction
Posted by: budo - 04-10-2018, 06:26 PM - Forum: Introductions - Replies (4)


I go by the username Budo. I started meditating in 2009-2010 when I discovered Buddhism. Since then it has been a process of weeding out what works and what doesn't work. I found that I never really liked Zen or Mahayana because it was too ambiguous and fluffy for me. The book Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana is what made me experience Mind and Body insights for the first time in 2010. Over the years I delved into many different Buddhist teachings, but always returned to Theravada.

I followed the teachings of Henepola Gunaratana, Ayya Khemma, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, and Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. Last year I was able to enter First Jhana consistently, to the point that my visual field was white, with a strong white orb nimitta, very strong piti/sukha, and loss of hearing while in that state. I even had nights where I woke up in the middle of the night and saw electric spiderwebs with eyes in them, and see-through transparent beings, perhaps from touching 4th Jhana a few times. My dreams became more vivid and more lucid, I started having 100% dream recall.

While the Jhanas were fun to play with, I eventually got dispassion towards them. I went on a 15 day Ajahn Tong/Mahasi based vipassana retreat last summer which was a rollercoaster of emotions, extremely vivid dreams almost as if they were past live memories, a lot of painful sensations coming to surface, etc.  My desires also disappeared for that time, I had no desire to eat until half the day was already over, foods I liked I no longer wanted to eat.

After that retreat I don't know if I attained stream entry or a new path, but I took a break from Buddhism and meditation, went traveling, got into video games and other distractions, but now my interest in video games is slowly disappearing and my interest in meditation and Buddhism is returning.
I started meditating again, I don't know if I can get back to first jhana, or if I even have a desire to, I just want to attain a path. I don't feel like I have any suffering in me, only boredom or withdrawal from addictions like video games. I still have some questions regarding the Mahasi dry insight practice, maybe Bhikkhu Pesala can answer them in another thread I'll post.

Aside from that, my goal is to attain nibbana, or at least a path.

Thanks for reading and any thoughts or feedback is appreciated.


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  Chaiya Meditation Monastery
Posted by: Bag of Bones - 04-02-2018, 01:02 PM - Forum: Insight Meditation - Replies (1)

Greetings Bhante,

I've been reading 'In this Very Life' and trying to practice Mahasi method meditation but feel a retreat of intensive practice is probably necessary to get going with it, so I've been looking for places in the States and came across the Chaiya Meditation Monastery in Las Vegas. Do you know anything about it, or the Venerable Chaiya who is the abbot? I emailed them and got reply to call the abbot, and will once I know when is a good time.


Thank you

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