Shine without objet and mahamudra

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby TaTa » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:20 am

Im getting a little confused with this to meditations. Is it shine without object the same method as resting in the emptiness of mind like the mahamudra teachings explain?. I understand that the experience is different. One leads to a samadhi state while the other while already having the mind calm leads to a experiences of emptiness. Im getting the feel that in terms of "technique" ( i don't like that word )its not so different except that maybe shine is with a little more effort in staying focused.
This last few weeks it seemed like a lot of the distinctions that i had in my mind between samatha and vipassana are kind of fading.

Im hopping that i make myself clear, its kind of hard to put my doubt into words in english.

Thanks
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Re: Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:36 am

I don't know much about Mahamudra, but no. It is an important prerequisite though. This is fully explained in Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:56 pm

Good thread, I wonder the same.

Most of the books i've read recently describe them in similar manner..arguably it's maybe the same beast on some level as Skikantaza or similar as well.
Alot of places i've read about these forms talk about the goal being practicing the union of quiescence and insight...so I imagine a simple answer is that it might be "both"? It also seems that some mention Shamatha with nothing as a focus as being a sort of prerequisite for the union of the two...though I have to say, one of the most confusing subjects i've read about.

My guess (and very limited experience) is that the answer probably depends on the level of mental stability one is capable of, for those of us with crazy, bouncy wild minds stability with a bit of insight might be the norm, whereas someone with accomplished stability is able to achieve the two simultaneously with more ease - maybe that's closer to "true mahamudra" if I understand the texts right.

I've also read this kind of meditation being described as sort of "preparatory" Atiyoga.
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Re: Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby Zenda » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:14 pm

I'm not an expert, but one difference I've been told about is that shine/shamatha is just resting; that's the limit of that meditation. I don't know if that helps.

See also: http://rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/Shamatha
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Re: Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby Andrew108 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:16 pm

TaTa wrote:Im getting a little confused with this to meditations. Is it shine without object the same method as resting in the emptiness of mind like the mahamudra teachings explain?. I understand that the experience is different. One leads to a samadhi state while the other while already having the mind calm leads to a experiences of emptiness. Im getting the feel that in terms of "technique" ( i don't like that word )its not so different except that maybe shine is with a little more effort in staying focused.
This last few weeks it seemed like a lot of the distinctions that i had in my mind between samatha and vipassana are kind of fading.

Im hopping that i make myself clear, its kind of hard to put my doubt into words in english.

Thanks

The training of objectless shine is the training of self-liberation of thoughts. At first there are lots of thoughts and to maintain the state of meditation one needs to recognise the thought but not hold onto it. Then lots more thoughts come and so on and we develop the ability to let all thoughts go regardless of how many or how strong they are, whilst at the same time delighting in their presence. So this is the purpose of shine without an object. A delightful appreciation of the fact of thinking and knowing without holding on to perceived contents of thoughts.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:12 am

I've been pondering this thread, because the question is a delicate one, IMO. Went back and reviewed some notes, in fact, and had a "think" about it for a while...so, here's the result.

Objectless Samatha is about undistractedness. One maintains awareness of "now," and doesn't allow oneself to get carried away by trains of thought. In that sense, I agree with Andrew108. Even though we say it is "without object," it is still a meditation method "with focus." It is skillful means. It requires effort, and has an "outward focus" even though it is nonspecific, really. When we get carried away with conceptual thought, we let go of that, and return to a simple awareness of "now." Sounds, appearances, smells, sensations, and thoughts arise and disappear, and we "see" them but do not get distracted from this initial "seeing," or carried away into conceptuality about them. That is the method of Objectless Samatha, in a nutshell.

Resting in "the emptiness of mind," as you put it, or, as I would put it, resting in Mind's Essence, or we could say "resting in Ordinary Mind" which is a Mahamudra term, requires first that you KNOW this state of Ordinary Mind, that you've had a decisive experience of it, usually as a result of Pointing Out Instructions (though in rare cases, not...) and that you are experiencing that state, an aware, nonconceptual, empty-yet-cognizant, wide-open state.

The experience of this state is usually said to be quite brief, for beginners. The goal is to sustain the continuity of this state--but it's a tricky business. The practice is sometimes described as "Undistracted Nonmeditation." Training is involved, for sure...one doesn't just sit there and allow oneself to wander off into fantasy-land, or allow oneself to be drawn into conceptual thinking, trains of thought, etc. That's not what is meant by "Nonmeditation." There is also a danger of making this State an "object." If that happens, you're back to a conceptual practice, an "objectless Samatha" in a sense. As the Third Karmapa said in his "Aspiration of Mahamudra," there's nothing to see. "It is not existent-Even the Buddhas have not seen it."

There's a lot more to be said...but better to hear it from a teacher who holds lineage and blessings.
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Re: Shine without objet and mahamudra

Postby TaTa » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:56 am

conebeckham wrote:I've been pondering this thread, because the question is a delicate one, IMO. Went back and reviewed some notes, in fact, and had a "think" about it for a while...so, here's the result.

Objectless Samatha is about undistractedness. One maintains awareness of "now," and doesn't allow oneself to get carried away by trains of thought. In that sense, I agree with Andrew108. Even though we say it is "without object," it is still a meditation method "with focus." It is skillful means. It requires effort, and has an "outward focus" even though it is nonspecific, really. When we get carried away with conceptual thought, we let go of that, and return to a simple awareness of "now." Sounds, appearances, smells, sensations, and thoughts arise and disappear, and we "see" them but do not get distracted from this initial "seeing," or carried away into conceptuality about them. That is the method of Objectless Samatha, in a nutshell.


Thank you a lot for taking the time to post this. Its very helpful. Thinks are now much clearer. I think its important the thing you mentioned about outward focus as a reminder that is just a larger field of awareness and not just an awareness of mind and thoughts.

Resting in "the emptiness of mind," as you put it, or, as I would put it, resting in Mind's Essence, or we could say "resting in Ordinary Mind" which is a Mahamudra term, requires first that you KNOW this state of Ordinary Mind, that you've had a decisive experience of it, usually as a result of Pointing Out Instructions (though in rare cases, not...) and that you are experiencing that state, an aware, nonconceptual, empty-yet-cognizant, wide-open state.

.


I dont know why i choose emptiness of mind. It suggests only an aspect of nature of mind and it may lead to rejecting phenomena from arising and its state clear in the mahamudra texts that i read (specially the "aspiration of mahamudra" wich was very inspiring for me) that its the union of emptiness and manifestation.

The experience of this state is usually said to be quite brief, for beginners. The goal is to sustain the continuity of this state--but it's a tricky business. The practice is sometimes described as "Undistracted Nonmeditation." Training is involved, for sure...one doesn't just sit there and allow oneself to wander off into fantasy-land, or allow oneself to be drawn into conceptual thinking, trains of thought, etc. That's not what is meant by "Nonmeditation." There is also a danger of making this State an "object." If that happens, you're back to a conceptual practice, an "objectless Samatha" in a sense. As the Third Karmapa said in his "Aspiration of Mahamudra," there's nothing to see. "It is not existent-Even the Buddhas have not seen it."

There's a lot more to be said...but better to hear it from a teacher who holds lineage and blessings


Im a begginer so i dont worry much about it but its kind of hard for me to see wich is the right effort when doing this kind of meditation. Not making the state an objet but dont get carried away by distraction.

Thank you
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