Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Impromptu Anapana Instructions

A European meditator has ordained temporarily as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar, and shares this inspiring story about an impromptu meditation lesson:

"Today out of the blue I was asked to come to the chanting hall (the teak wooden) and my Sayadaw presented me to a group of about 15 Americans as a very strong meditator, student of the great meditation master from India, and said to me they are here to learn meditation from me now. =D

So far I hadn't prepared anything for teaching the novices, so I had to completely improvise. And Dhamma came to help me, as I took several seconds of silence for myself to capture the situation and went into a quiet mind which allowed me to give an anapana course with which I'm quite satisfied in the end. =)

I started by raising the question why to meditate, explained the problem of suffering and what the Buddha found out as the cause for it; the solution to the problem by the eradication of the cause (or defilements) and then the threefold way to liberation. Emphasising and explaining the importance of sīla, then how samadhī is necessary and helpful for that and how experiential wisdom gained by direct insight in the phenomena will solve the deep-rooted cause. 

Then I explained how and why the Buddha gave the breath as a tool for self realization and how we are to observe it (yatha bhuta, etc.) and how we are to deal with the tendencies of the mind...

During the meditation (maybe about 10min) at times I felt a need to remind them to relax and keep the awareness naturally, not to control the breath, and to keep the body relaxed and that they could change their posture as it was not a physical exercise.

After the session I asked them for their experiences and explained the tendencies of the mind and how this will help them in daily life situations to keep their minds in a balance and how it will help them to understand the close relationship between mind and body.. then their guide pressed that they needed to go.. so something I'd have liked to say more would have been an encouragement to try for a week morning and evening 10-15 minutes And some few details and more opportunity for questions..

Just felt like sharing this."

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