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RE: [Pali] Abhidhammattha Sangho - Citta Summary

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  • Lotsawanet
    Dear Nina. Thanks very much for your answer... Any way, I had some felling about the categorization and classification of Samadhi,dhyana, shamata and
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 9, 2007
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      Dear Nina.

      Thanks very much for your answer...
      Any way, I had some felling about the categorization and classification of
      Samadhi,dhyana, shamata and vipassana...

      I find something about four types of Samadhi:

      (1) the concentration issuing in the attainment of the jhanas (absorptions).
      (2) the concentration issuing in the attainment of nana dassana
      (extra-sensory perception).
      (3) the concentration issuing in the attainment of satisampajanna (intent
      awareness).
      (4) the concentration issuing in the attainment of vipassana nana
      (penetrative insight).

      (1 ) The jhanas (absorptions) derived from concentrated tranquillity of body
      and mind are highly conducive to states of equanimity and bliss. In view of
      this, these concentrated- absorptions are only too susceptible of being
      grasped as ends in themselves, when in reality they are to be only regarded
      as a means to an end, and as such merit a primary and distinguished place.

      (2) Nana dassana (extra-sensory perception) is that faculty of perceiving
      things astral. Devoid of this kind of supernormal vision the human horizon
      is inevitably constrained within the limitations of the five sense-organs,
      to say the least. However, the attainment of supernormal vision, too, is
      only too easily grasped as an end in itself, when in fact it is only a
      means.

      (3) Satisampajanna (intent awareness) is that faculty of mindfulness and
      awareness so necessary for keeping the mind in harness and under restrained
      control. Without this incessant control over formations, feelings,
      perceptions, and concepts, consciousness is only too gamely led astray from
      cyclic second to second, the victim of every incident that upsprings.
      However, mind-control in itself is insufficient as to be regarded as an end,
      for although it keeps a constant vigil over random effervencies it does not
      annihi-late them at the source. At best, it serves as a preventative and
      defensive device.

      (4) Vipassana nana (penetrative insight) is that faculty which penetrates to
      the source. As long as this faculty is not attained the mind is not in a
      position to comprehend or understand the scheme in which all things in the
      visible and invisible universe have their relative span. Without this
      objective vision, consciousness is dominated by its own limited subjectivity
      and personal prejudice. It is,finally, only through this faculty that the
      unrealized potential be-comes the actualized reality. That is, the ultimate
      integration of personality and its unrestricted release.

      These four categories of concentration - attainments, however, may be
      resolved under the collective term of Samatha - Vipassana (tranquillized -
      penetrative insight), and shall be dealt with as such.

      As for jhanna...

      Meditation on these subjects is designed so as to winnow the mind from all
      distractions and attachments (amongst which it is incessantly scattered and
      diffused from second to second) and by focusing the attention upon a
      specific subject to attain to tranquility. And not only tranquility but to
      mental equipoise (samatha) and that one-pointed (ekaggata) potential of
      concentrated-absorption called jhana. In this way, jhanna would be a product
      of samatha.

      the goal of samatha is to attain jhana, of which there are eight: 4
      Rupajhanas, 4 Arupajhanas.

      The 4 Rupajhanas are as follows:
      Pathama jhana : a state of mental ease and buoyancy, wherein reason
      and reflection are still effective.
      Dutiya jhana : a state pervasive of bliss, wherein reason and reflection
      have ceased to be effective.
      Tatiya jhana : a state of equanimity, mindful and intent, undisturbed by
      all comings and goings, beings and becomings.
      Catuttha jhana : a state beyond pleasure and pain, wherein the limbs
      become numb and even breathing stops. The mind, however, being translucent
      and keen.

      The 4 Arupajhanas are 'formless' attainments (samapatti):
      Akasananca ayatana jhana : a state wherein only the infinity of space
      is experienced.
      Vinnanananca ayatana jhana : a state wherein only the infinity of
      consciousness is experienced.
      Akincanna ayatana jhana : a state wherein only voidness is
      experienced.
      Nevasanna nasanna ayatana jhana : a state wherein neither perception
      nor non-perception can be said to be effective.

      So could we say that jhanna in their eight levels is the first type of
      samaddhi?
      And the attainment of that is reached by the development of shamata?

      Also, could we say that the attainment of the third and forth Samadhi is
      reached by the development of vipassana practice?
      Could we categorize in this way?

      Thanks again, sincerely
      Gabriel


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Nina
      van Gorkom
      Sent: 29 June 2007 19:45
      To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Pali] Abhidhammattha Sangho - Citta Summary

      Dear Gabriel,
      -------
      Op 24-jun-2007, om 9:49 heeft Lotsawanet het volgende geschreven:
      > Jhaana and Samadhi are different aspects or focus inside the
      > practices of
      > samatha and vipassanaa...is that right?
      >
      > So they would be a kind of different instruments with different
      > qualities
      > that offers the support to see things in different ways using
      > either the
      > samatha or vipassanaa method, am right?


      Nina: The matter is more complex.
      In the Pa.t.thaana, the Book of the Abhidhamma on Conditional
      Relations, jhaana-paccaya is one of the conditioning factors that
      conditions citta and cetasika. I shall quote parts of what I wrote in
      my "Conditions':
      < In the case of jhåna-condition, jhåna-paccaya, the cetasikas which
      are jhåna-factors are the conditioning dhammas which cause the citta
      and accompaying cetasikas, the conditioned dhammas, to fix themselves
      firmly on the object which is experienced. In the “Visuddhimagga”, in
      the section on the development of samatha, tranquil meditation (Ch
      4), five jhåna-factors are summed up, sobhana cetasikas which should
      be developed in order to reach jhåna, absorption. These factors
      assist the citta to be absorbed in the meditation subject. When
      jhånacitta arises there are no longer sense impressions and there is
      temporary freedom from defilements. Jhånacitta is of a higher level
      of citta than kåmåvara citta, citta of the sense sphere. The word
      jhåna has been explained as being derived from “jhåyati”, to
      contemplate, or to think closely of an object. Or else “jhåyati” can
      mean to burn (Vis. IV, 119), since the jhåna-factors which are
      developed burn the “hindrances” (akusala cetasikas) away. >
      Jhaayati in the sense of burning is from another stem.

      < The jhåna-factors which are developed in samatha are sobhana
      cetasikas, they have to be developed together with paññå which knows
      the way to develop calm, so that absorption can be attained. However,
      jhåna-factors can also be taken in a wider sense, they can even be
      akusala. That is why the “Dhammasangaùi” mentions in the “Summary”
      jhåna-factors arising not only with the mahå-kusala cittas which are
      accompanied by paññå, but also with those which are unaccompanied by
      paññå, ñå.na-vippayutta, as well as with each of the akusala cittas.
      Not only kusala citta but also akusala citta needs jhåna-factors
      which assist the citta to be firmly fixed on an object. >
      < The “Visuddhimagga” (Ch IV) mentions five of the seven jhåna-
      factors, in that case sobhana cetasikas, which have to be developed
      in samatha with the purpose of attaining jhåna. However, there must
      be paññå which knows the characteristics of those particular jhåna-
      factors and which knows the way to develop calm with a suitable
      meditation subject. One will not attain true calm merely by sitting
      and trying to concentrate on one object. There are forty meditation
      subjects of samatha and it depends on the individual which subject is
      suitable as a means to develop calm (Vis. Ch IV-Ch X). For the
      development of samatha it is essential that there is paññå which
      knows exactly when there is akusala citta and when there is kusala
      citta with calm. The sobhana jhåna-factors have each their own
      function in inhibiting the hindrances so that calm can be developed. >
      < Samådhi, concentration, developed in samatha, is sammå-samådhi,
      which is right concentration on the meditation subject. It inhibits
      the hindrance which is sensuous desire (kåma-cchandha). As calm grows
      samådhi also develops. There is miccha-samådhi, wrong concentration,
      and sammå-samådhi, right concentration. If there is no paññå which
      knows precisely when there is kusala citta and when akusala citta,
      wrong concentration can be taken for right concentration. Someone may
      mistakenly believe that there is calm when he just sits and for
      example looks for a long time at a kasina (disk) which is among the
      meditation subjects of samatha. Instead of true calm which is
      wholesome there is clinging to quietness.

      Not merely intellectual understanding of the jhåna-factors is needed
      for the development of calm but there must also be right
      understanding which discerns precisely their different
      characteristics. When one underestimates the difficulty of the
      development of jhåna there is bound to be wrong concentration. >

      < Jhåna-factors which are sobhana condition each kusala citta, and
      thus they also condition the kusala citta which develops vipassanå by
      way of jhåna-condition. In vipassanå the aim is not the suppression
      of the hindrances by the development of the sobhana jhåna-factors, as
      is the case in samatha. Some people think that the hindrances have to
      be suppressed first before there can be right understanding of nåma
      and rúpa. In vipassanå, however, right understanding is developed of
      whatever reality appears, also when that reality is a “hindrance”.
      When it appears it does so because it is conditioned. All conditioned
      realities have to be known as they are, as non-self. At the moment of
      right understanding of the characteristic of a hindrance such as
      desire or ill will, the citta is kusala citta and there is no
      hindrance.>

      < Those who are proficient in jhåna and also develop insight can take
      jhånacitta as object of insight; jhåna is then the basis of insight.
      In that way they can become detached from the idea that jhånacitta is
      self. >

      Gabriel, does this answer your questions? Do not hesitate to ask again.
      Nina.




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    • Nina van Gorkom
      Dear Gabriel, thank you for your post. I cannot answer very extensively since I will be off for a week this Saturday. ... G: So could we say that jhanna in
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 11, 2007
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        Dear Gabriel,
        thank you for your post.
        I cannot answer very extensively since I will be off for a week this
        Saturday.

        Op 10-jul-2007, om 5:35 heeft Lotsawanet het volgende geschreven:

        > I find something about four types of Samadhi:
        >
        > (1) the concentration issuing in the attainment of the jhanas
        > (absorptions).
        > (2) the concentration issuing in the attainment of nana dassana
        > (extra-sensory perception).
        > (3) the concentration issuing in the attainment of satisampajanna
        > (intent
        > awareness).
        > (4) the concentration issuing in the attainment of vipassana nana
        > (penetrative insight).
        --------
        G: So could we say that jhanna in their eight levels is the first
        type of
        samaddhi?
        And the attainment of that is reached by the development of samatha?
        ------
        N: Yes.
        ----------

        G: Also, could we say that the attainment of the third and forth
        Samadhi is
        reached by the development of vipassana practice?
        Could we categorize in this way?
        ---------
        N: I remember that this was mentioned in a sutta but now I have no
        time to trace this.
        When speaking about vipassana I think of samaadhi of the eightfold
        Path that is developed with the other factors, especially right
        understanding of the eightfold Path. Then the object of samaadhi is a
        nama or rupa that appears at the present moment, such as visible
        object, seeing, sound, etc. The goal is to realize them as
        impermanent, dukkha and anattaa. Instead of emphasizing mind-control
        I would rather say that understanding is essential.
        Samaadhi is a cetasika arising with each citta but Now we see that it
        can be very different, depending on the citta it accompanies.
        Samaadhi in jhaana is different from samaadhi of the eightfold Path
        and their objects are altogether different.
        When we read in the texts about samaadhi we should be very careful
        and look at the context, and also consult the ancient commentaries so
        that we do not misunderstand its meaning.
        Nina.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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