Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Modifying Practices

Tonglen is an advanced practice now taught to beginners by some . . . Yep, strange but true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonglen

I like to do my own version on occasion, using a Russian doll image. These are the Russian wooden dolls nesting inside each other.
I am not interested in becoming a wooden Russian, so I visualise myself as a Buddha Bodhi. There are many tantric practices that invoke this initial phase.

When I have a 'perfect' centering Boddhisattva, I visualise the Buddha in my being expanding, with a new more perfect visualisation at the centre. The old 'dharma doll shell' falls away to bow before Buddhas, feed the Purelands and dharma hungry needy etc

Then I continue for a while with new Buddha Dolls.

The reason I mention this is because focus on breathing in negativity and transforming it can be detrimental to those not partially cleansed of impediments. They get caught in their own smoke and mirrors . . . tsk, tsk . . . who would have thought . . .

Another way I do this is with a 'metta bubble' that works as a transforming mirror based around the heart/mind. On the in breath the negativity/dukkha is drawn in and immediately begins to be transformed and add to the radiance of metta from the core inner Buddha quality of metta. The metta is for all beings in all realms.

Have you adapted or modified a traditional practice? Do share. :)

Comments

  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    Kind of, I recently read Bhikkhu Analayao's compassion and emptiness in early Buddhism where he states that the generation of metta to specific individuals is a later teaching in the Vissudhimagga and early buddhists just used to radiate metta to the entire universe. I modified my practice to generate metta to myself, then everyone in the area for a few minutes, then everyone in the city, the country, the world and finally spending a significant amount of time generating metta throughout all space and time. I was in an intense state of metta that nothing could touch for three weeks. It was interesting while it lasted.

    lobster
  • ^^. metta radiation sounds like a good Therevada plan. In other words no drawing in and then radiating, which is more a Mahayana approach.

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    I work with the elements when walking by the sea, they are all there in abundance, though the fire element can be a bit elusive in the winter. ;)

  • @SpinyNorman said:
    the fire element can be a bit elusive in the winter.

    just a reminder
    fire element has two side, cold and heat

    lobsterSteve_B
  • @upekka said:

    just a reminder
    fire element has two side, cold and heat

    Interesting. Not something I have considered. Can you say some more about this?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Everything is Yin and Yang, @lobster.... You can have a nice cosy warm glow or a fierce explosive raging fire...

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @lobster said:
    Can you say some more about this?

    we can identify elements by experiencing, seeing through their characteristics?
    when we touch a thing we feel its warmness or coldness, so we can say there is fire element

    when we touch a thing we feel its roughness or smoothness, so we can say there is earth element

    etc.

    Steve_B
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @upekka said:

    @lobster said:
    Can you say some more about this?

    we can identify elements by experiencing, seeing through their characteristics?
    when we touch a thing we feel its warmness or coldness, so we can say there is fire element

    No, coldness is Water element. Not Fire.

    when we touch a thing we feel its roughness or smoothness, so we can say there is earth element

    etc.

    No smoothness is Metal element, not Earth.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    (I think we re referring to different classifications of the elements. I base my comments on TCM, which I find personally to be more profound and logical, for my own interests.)

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @upekka said:

    @SpinyNorman said:
    the fire element can be a bit elusive in the winter.

    just a reminder
    fire element has two side, cold and heat

    "And what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten, drunk, consumed & tasted gets properly digested; or anything else internal, within oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the internal fire property. Now both the internal fire property & the external fire property are simply fire property."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.140.than.html

  • Interesting.

    My understanding of the elements is more to do with the way of experiencing an internal experience or element.

    So the element of water can ground us - a bath
    soothe and refresh us - drink
    focus and fire us up - cold shower
    take away our thoughts - stream or waves

    So interesting to hear other interpretations. For example metal and wood is included in some Chinese interpretations but not the one I studied.
    More elementary chat here ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/21791/six-elements

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited September 2016

    When walking by the sea I feel the ground beneath my feet, the wind on my skin, the warmth of the sun on my face ( or raindrops on my head! ), that kind of thing. And of course there are the sights, sounds and smells of the sea, including noisy seagulls.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited September 2016

    @SpinyNorman said:
    When walking by the sea
    I feel the ground beneath my feet,

    (I/my) feet (a label for form/all four elements are here) touches (contacts) (I/my) feet (a label for form) feels (arising of consciousness about it) the 'hardness/roughness' or 'softness/smoothness' of earth element

    when we say ground (a label for form) all four elements are there but earth element is predominate

    the wind on my skin

    wind ('movement' of air element brings earth element) on my skin giving a feeling of cold if there is lower amount of fire element or feeling of warm if there is higher amount of fire element

    when we say wind all four elements are there but air element is predominate

    the warmth of the sun on my face

    all four elements are there in warmth but fire elements is predominate

    raindrops on my head

    all four elements are in raindrops but water element is predominate

    And of course there are the sights, sounds and smells of the sea, including noisy seagulls.

    all sight, sound, smell are derived forms of four elements

    all these four elements and derived qualities are on space element

    these five elements are everywhere, internally and externally

    when someone (being) knows about them there is consciousness element

    then there are the six elements

    instead of reading or listening to experience of someone else do the following and see yourself

    take some flour (in flour, earth element is predominate) touch it and feel it
    put it on a pot and add some water (in water, water element is predominate) little by little and see what will happen to flour
    increase the water (water element)
    see whether earth element is predominate or water element is predominate
    keep the pot on the stove and switch on and add the fire element
    see what will happen to the earth element and water element
    air element will come out from the mixture of flour and water
    catch the air element (steam is the perception we used to give air element at this stage) and see the water element come with air element
    check whether air is warm or cold

    everything consists of four elements and four derived qualities (colour, taste, smell, and strength/texture/oja)

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I tend to keep it simple, I am more interested in observing the transience and conditionality of experience.

  • @Lonely_Traveller said:
    Kind of, I recently read Bhikkhu Analayao's compassion and emptiness in early Buddhism where he states that the generation of metta to specific individuals is a later teaching in the Vissudhimagga and early buddhists just used to radiate metta to the entire universe.

    I rather like this. Very simple. <3

    Tried it whilst walking. First though I had to do some directing the attention to the body tension and breath - relaxing, softening ...
    Then when I was at ease and peaceful, radiated out metta/goodwill/blessing radiance. Such an effort heals, improves and calms - no doubt. Goodwill and kind thoughts are contagious ...

    Good plan. Many thanks.

    Traveller
  • TravellerTraveller East Midlands UK Veteran

    @lobster Glad you found the technique useful, plus London could do with some good vibes. I've only practiced it while sitting and find feeling the breath in the chest/heart centre helps.

Sign In or Register to comment.