Author Topic: The fishing boat (Samatha meditation)  (Read 602 times)

Offline Solodris

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The fishing boat (Samatha meditation)
« on: November 10, 2016, 12:40:25 am »
Om namo Amitabha.

I'm trying to give non-buddhists a visualization aid on how to get started on Samatha meditation. My idea is "The fishing boat" and it goes like this:

Imagine yourself in a boat on a lake fishing for thoughts, but everytime you catch one you find it flopping around jumping in the boat. So you release it back into the water just to attain the peace this gives you.

Is this an appropriate teaching?  :pray:
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 01:41:42 am by Solodris »

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: The fishing boat (Samatha meditation)
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2016, 09:22:19 am »
Whatever works, although you might be attaching another thought to the original thought.

Suzuki Roshi liked saying that it was OK to have thoughts, "Just don't invite them in for tea."

Uchiyama Roshi said thoughts were just natural, mental "secretions" that come and go.
 
I concentrate on physical sensations such as breathing, hearing and so forth, until I can just sit with whatever comes up and let it naturally resolve back into emptiness. Counting breaths from one to ten, over and over, can focus the attention and calm the mind when it is over-active. Lengthening the outbreath also has a calming effect.

In zen it's said there are two major hindrances to concentration --  "Excitement" or mental over-activity and "oblivion" or sleepiness. The latter is hard to deal with, so I just take a short nap.

My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: The fishing boat (Samatha meditation)
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 02:20:40 am »
Om namo Amitabha.

I'm trying to give non-buddhists a visualization aid on how to get started on Samatha meditation. My idea is "The fishing boat" and it goes like this:

Imagine yourself in a boat on a lake fishing for thoughts, but everytime you catch one you find it flopping around jumping in the boat. So you release it back into the water just to attain the peace this gives you.

Is this an appropriate teaching?  :pray:
I like it, but my mind is like being in a boat with flying fish landing in it every few seconds. I don't have to go fishing to find fish to throw back in!
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Solodris

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Re: The fishing boat (Samatha meditation)
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 07:40:07 am »
Whatever works, although you might be attaching another thought to the original thought.

Until you realise the fishing boat itself is another fish.

 


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