Guess everyone has his or her favorite samannya :-)
For me 'composure' would not do it either, but such are words, its all about
connotations... It is always more helpful if you know someone who can teach
you directly, lead you to the experience, then you can use simply 'samadhi'
and everything is perfectly fine :-)
On Sun, Oct 10, 2010 at 4:51 AM, Kumara Bhikkhu <kumara.bhikkhu@...>wrote:
> Thanks, and I agree, since reading Ricardo Sasaki's (a very old Buddhist
> friend's) note on the Latin etymology of 'concentrate': "con-centrare = to
> be near or with the center". If concentration is understood that way, I
> think it's perfectly fine.
> As I see it, the word just doesn't work well unqualified if the person
> reading it has already been very conditioned to take it the other way, esp.
> with the idea of having to penetrate into the ultimate truth of phenomena.
> Retrospectively, most of the time then I did not do it forcefully. Even
> when I did , it didn't occur me then that I was straining or using
> will-power. I was aware of trying to induce a particular state of mind
> though, so much so that my brain may have physically went 'off-centrare'.
> You pointed out another translation of samaadhi that didn't work for me
> too: absorption.
> It probably works well with the Visuddhimagga's jhaana, but not with the
> sutta's. In relation to this is what I got among the many responses I
> received. This is from Ajahn Sucitto:
> bhikkhu sucitto wrote thus at 13:38 01/10/2010:
> >Yes I can echo those remarks. Amazing what damage a word can do! Sometimes
> I use collectedness, or unification for samadhi. It seems to me that people
> approach it as something to do, rather than keep the qualities of
> mindfulness, kindness and letting go in good condition. But when we do that
> (i.e. follow the Buddha's instructions) then there can be an arrival at
> samadhi without tightening up the nervous system.
> That part about "something to do" hit the nail on the head. (I instead hit
> the head on the nail. Doh!) Instead of allowing the mind to settle, I
> approached it as "something to do". I tried to induce a state of
> concentration, of absorption, and ended up somewhat wonky.
> Here's another on a similar note:
> Ajahn Brahmavamso wrote thus at 08:36 09/10/2010:
> > Sadhu! I agree with you. "Concentration" is a miserable translation for
> the Pali word "Samadhi". It makes monasteries and retreat centres become
> "Concentration Camps"!!! I generally use "Stillness" as my preferred
> translation for "Samadhi", and "Samatha" is what you do to become still,
> which is disengaging or letting go.
> I bear in mind though that his preference for "stillness" is probably based
> on the kind of jhaana prescribed by the Visuddhimagga. Nonetheless,
> disengaging is what allows for samatha (settling) and arriving at samaadhi
> IMO, a translation preferably does not need any qualification. Ideally, the
> equivalent in the target language captures the meaning, usage, and (if
> possible) even imagery of the original word. In the case of 'samaadhi',
> 'composure', for me, is that word.
> Thanks to all for this interesting discussion. Please feel free to
> contribute further, if you think it hasn't been beaten to death yet.
> Lennart Lopin wrote thus at 21:01 07/10/2010:
> >Dear Ven Kumara @all,
> >I would like to second Dhivan's take on this interesting topic. The
> >translation of "concentration" does not strike me as an overemphasis of
> >viriya either. Especially the Latin
> >contemporary understanding of the term 'concentration' seem to work
> >with the Pali sam� dhi - even though one could try to find an even more
> >differentiating rendering for sam� dhi and its related terms (as is
> >the case for many of these words: samath� (calmness), ekaggat�
> >(one-pointedness), ekodibhava (unification), sam� dhi (state of
> >concentration, absorption, attainment of a concentrated mind). Esp. Sam�
> >seems rather to imply the result of bh� van� and not so much the action
> >Here is an interesting post on this topic (or closely related) which seems
> >to point out that it is rather an act of mental balancing which evokes
> >sam� dhi rather than straining oneself:
> >much metta,
> > ..., I agree with others who have discussed how 'concentration' does not
> >> necessarily imply an imbalanced use of will-power. Can I also share a
> >> teaching on meditation that comes from my own tradition, which is the
> >> Triratan Buddhist Community (formerly known as Friends of the Western
> >> Buddhist Order). In our movement, many meditators have also found that
> >> wilfulness became a problem for them when they tried too hard to
> >> on the object of meditation. In order to counteract this, a distinction
> >> been made between FOCUS and BREADTH in meditation. In order to have
> >> concentration, a meditator needs to have a broad basis of awareness,
> >> especially of the body. He or she can then develop the kind of focus on
> >> object, for instance the breath, which leads to access concentration and
> >> jh� na, and hence to the possibility of effective insight reflection.
> >> Good wishes,
> >> Dhivan
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