Lam Rim

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
User avatar
Epistemes
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Location: Here

Lam Rim

Postby Epistemes » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:51 pm

Thubten Chodron has a book with CD of guided meditations for lam rim entitled Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path. I'm questioning the potential value this book might have for me. I'm unfamiliar yet still slightly uncomfortable with guided meditations; they seem new agey due to my past experience with zazen, calm abiding and Centering Prayer (Christian) as archetypes of "correct" meditation, but I'm intrigued by the idea of checking (analytical) meditation because it seems like the type of meditation practiced by the Buddha, Sariputra, and other arahants. Of course, for that matter, any school could claim the Buddha practiced its model of meditation.

Ani Chodron states in the book that traditional methods like visipanna and calm abiding (and probably zazen) are good for short interims, but ultimately fail to produce long-term results in the practice of dharma. This seems pragmatically correct, but somehow, on some level with which I'm not quite familiar, this statement of hers could be disjointed since, to my limited knowledge, Theravadan, Zen, and some Tibetan practices rely upon these sole meditation techniques and advance far along the path of dharma.

While I understand the value of lam rim lies in its continuous development of a holistic, more compassionate heart and mind, I get the impression from her book that this is the correct way of meditation. Is she right? Is lam rim the only path that allows for steady, continuous improvement in the direction of the jhanas and ultimately the realization of emptiness and nirvana? I question that assertion, but I have very little basis for doing so aside from my zazen practice 12 years ago.

I'd be interested in hearing thoughts supporting her notion that lam rim with its emphasis upon analytical meditation is the correct method to truly reach realization and arguments against that notion, as well.
Cantankerous Buddha

Chaz
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:23 am
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Chaz » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:34 pm


User avatar
Epistemes
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Location: Here

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Epistemes » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:35 am

It doesn't matter.

Her methods are beyond my ability even though she claims to have penned this book and CD for "the beginner." The beginner what?--the beginner monk??

During a single session, the guided meditations include a 40 minute meditation on the Buddha (which includes prayers), an 18 minute breathing exercise and body scan, followed by a 10-20 minute analytic meditation. I'm currently doing good putting in 20 minutes a day - which excludes today since I'm so frustrated at all this malarkey.

I should go back to being a disaffected Catholic dissident - at least I knew what I was doing then. Or, if I didn't, someone told me what to do and I did it. "Recite 5 Hail Marys." I don't know why - but okay if it gets me salvation.
Cantankerous Buddha

Chaz
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:23 am
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Chaz » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:18 pm


User avatar
Epistemes
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Location: Here

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Epistemes » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:15 pm

Cantankerous Buddha

Chaz
Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:23 am
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Chaz » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:12 pm


User avatar
Karma K Sonam
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:23 pm

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Karma K Sonam » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:55 pm

Getting involved with dharma is like being a snake in a bamboo tube. You can't turn round and go back, you can only go forwards :D Lots and lots of teachers say keep it simple. There is a tendency to try to do different practices and until you are doing so many that you are doing none with any effect. At one point I was trying to do Tara, Ngondro, Chenrezig, shinay, reading, watching dvds of teachers. It was impossible as well as holding down a full time job and running a house! In fact it out me right off practising all together!

Reading your post you already know what to do, don't get caught up, just be ;)
don't forget to stop and smell the daisies.

User avatar
Epistemes
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:30 am
Location: Here

Re: Lam Rim

Postby Epistemes » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:23 pm

Cantankerous Buddha


Return to “Meditation”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests