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Which parts of the Pali canon deal most directly with meditation?

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  • Patrick Hall
    Hello friends, I ve only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I m
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 19, 2009
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      Hello friends,

      I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of
      the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm
      simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing
      meditation for some time now.

      I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,
      but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket
      of text.

      Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching
      meditation?

      I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a
      "how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in
      English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to
      investigate some of the texts.

      Any suggestions?

      With metta,
      Pat

      PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from
      http://www.buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html .
    • Dipa .
      Hi Pat, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha aka Majjhima Nikaya contains The Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana Sutta), Mindfulness of Breathing
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 20, 2009
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        Hi Pat,
        The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha aka
        Majjhima Nikaya contains The Foundations of Mindfulness
        (Satipatthana Sutta), Mindfulness of Breathing (Anapanasati Sutta),
        Mindfulness of the Body (Kayagatasati Sutta). These are the major
        discourses on meditation in the discourses. The Middle Length Discourse
        collection is considered by many to offer the most well rounded discourse
        collection for training purposes.

        The abbreviation for these discourses would be
        MN 10, MN 118, MN 119 if you are searching for
        them on Access to Insight web site.

        mitta,
        Dipa
        Home: 417-864-4559
        Buddhist Group web site: http://www.geocities.com/sisterdipa/index.html
        Buddhist Group e-list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bowonWalnutSt/
        Audio Talks http://groups.google.com/group/discourses-of-the-buddha
        http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sutta.html
        Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are
        not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed,
        these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them. AN
        3.65


        On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 6:19 PM, Patrick Hall <pathall@...> wrote:

        > Hello friends,
        >
        > I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of
        > the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm
        > simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing
        > meditation for some time now.
        >
        > I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,
        > but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket
        > of text.
        >
        > Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching
        > meditation?
        >
        > I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a
        > "how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in
        > English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to
        > investigate some of the texts.
        >
        > Any suggestions?
        >
        > With metta,
        > Pat
        >
        > PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from
        > http://www.buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html .
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Магубад Бурджан
        Dear Pat, I myself use the bilingual (Pali-English) editions of Aanandajoti Bhikkhu and find them very helpful. This is a good collection of discourses about
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 20, 2009
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          Dear Pat,

          I myself use the bilingual (Pali-English) editions of Aanandajoti Bhikkhu and find them very helpful. This is a good collection of discourses about meditation and other subjects from different parts of the Pali Canon. You can download them from the site:

          http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Texts-and-Translations/TT-index.htm

          With metta,
          Ardavarz

          --- On Fri, 2/20/09, Patrick Hall <pathall@...> wrote:
          From: Patrick Hall <pathall@...>
          Subject: [Pali] Which parts of the Pali canon deal most directly with meditation?
          To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, February 20, 2009, 2:19 AM












          Hello friends,



          I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of

          the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm

          simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing

          meditation for some time now.



          I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,

          but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket

          of text.



          Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching

          meditation?



          I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a

          "how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in

          English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to

          investigate some of the texts.



          Any suggestions?



          With metta,

          Pat



          PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from

          http://www.buddhist ethics.org/ palicanon. html .





























          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • grasje
          Dear Pat, Majjhima Nikaya 26 gives a description of the effect of the jhana s. Kind regards, Ria
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 21, 2009
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            Dear Pat,

            Majjhima Nikaya 26 gives a description of the effect of the jhana's.

            Kind regards,

            Ria

            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Hall <pathall@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello friends,
            >
            > I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of
            > the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm
            > simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing
            > meditation for some time now.
            >
            > I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,
            > but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket
            > of text.
            >
            > Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching
            > meditation?
            >
            > I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a
            > "how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in
            > English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to
            > investigate some of the texts.
            >
            > Any suggestions?
            >
            > With metta,
            > Pat
            >
            > PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from
            > http://www.buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html .
            >
          • patrick
            Thank you all very much for these very helpful pointers! They re precisely the sort of thing I was looking for. With metta, Pat
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 22, 2009
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              Thank you all very much for these very helpful pointers! They're
              precisely the sort of thing I was looking for.

              With metta,
              Pat
            • Piya Tan
              Dear Pat, We are most happy to have you aboard. A lot of people here will be able to assist you in Pali, and you need only ask. For my part, I most keen on the
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 22, 2009
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                Dear Pat,

                We are most happy to have you aboard. A lot of people here will be able to
                assist you in Pali, and you need only ask.

                For my part, I most keen on the Sutta translation in terms of spiritual
                practice and transformation. I'm happy to say that I am getting more monks
                (interestingly almost all of them are forest monks) in the Sutta Discovery
                series, as there is a lot we can learn from them. Their presence is also a
                great guiding and moderating light.

                With metta,

                Piya Tan


                On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 11:10 PM, patrick <pathall@...> wrote:

                > Thank you all very much for these very helpful pointers! They're
                > precisely the sort of thing I was looking for.
                >
                > With metta,
                > Pat
                >
                >
                >



                --
                The Minding Centre
                Blk 644 Bukit Batok Central #01-68 (2nd flr)
                Singapore 650644
                Tel: 8211 0879
                Meditation courses & therapy: http://themindingcentre.googlepages.com
                Website: dharmafarer.googlepages.com


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jon Fernquest
                Dear Pat Which parts of the Pali canon deal most directly with  meditation? A paper worth reading: Gethin, Rupert (1997) Cosmology and Meditation: From the
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 23, 2009
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                  Dear Pat


                  "Which parts of the Pali canon deal most directly with  meditation?"

                  A paper worth reading:

                  Gethin, Rupert (1997) Cosmology and Meditation: From the Aggañña Sutta to the Mahayana', History of Religions 36, pp. 183-219.

                  Which cites Visuddhimagga XIII "recollection of past lives and world cycles" as the best summary of Buddhist cosmology. This has to one of the most beautiful passages of poetry and literature in the world as well as a serious religious text. Here is how it begins:

                  "He directs, he inclines, his mind to the knowledge of recollection of past life. He recollects his manifold past life, that is to say, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world contraction, many aeons of world expansion, many aeons of world contraction and expansion; there I was so named, of such a race, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life span; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there to I was so named, of such a race, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life span; and passing away from there, I reappeared here; thus with its aspects and particulars he recollects his manifold past life" (Bhikku, ~Naa.namoli, Vissudhimagga,
                  page 451-55)

                  And then it goes on to speak of the cataclysmic cycles of creation and destruction over billions of years.

                  With metta,
                  Jon Fernquest























                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Kumara Bhikkhu
                  Meditation suttas generally can be found in MN and certain samyuttas in SN. I would like to suggest that you read on satipatthanasamyutta first. kb
                  Message 8 of 12 , Feb 25, 2009
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                    Meditation suttas generally can be found in MN and certain samyuttas in SN. I would like to suggest that you read on satipatthanasamyutta first.

                    kb

                    Patrick Hall wrote thus at 08:19 AM 20-02-09:
                    >Hello friends,
                    >
                    >I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of
                    >the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm
                    >simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing
                    >meditation for some time now.
                    >
                    >I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,
                    >but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket
                    >of text.
                    >
                    >Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching
                    >meditation?
                    >
                    >I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a
                    >"how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in
                    >English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to
                    >investigate some of the texts.
                    >
                    >Any suggestions?
                    >
                    >With metta,
                    >Pat
                    >
                    >PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from
                    >http://www.buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html .
                  • Gunnar Gällmo
                    http://stores.lulu.com/gunnargallmo http://metrobloggen.se/esperanto ... Meditation suttas generally can be found in MN and certain samyuttas in SN. I would
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 25, 2009
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                      http://stores.lulu.com/gunnargallmo
                      http://metrobloggen.se/esperanto

                      --- Den ons 2009-02-25 skrev Kumara Bhikkhu <yg@...>:

                      "Meditation suttas generally can be found in MN and certain samyuttas in SN. I would like to suggest that you read on satipatthanasamyutt a first."

                      Perhaps the most central text is the Mahaa-satipa.t.thaana-sutta of the Diigha-nikaaya. It includes all the Satipa.t.thaana-sutta of the Majjhima-nikaaya, plus some additions.

                      Gunnar


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                    • buddhayatana
                      Hello Pat, A fundamental meditation teaching of the Buddha can be found as the Teaching on mindfulness of Breathing (Ânâpâna-sati Sutta, Majjhima-Nikâya
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 1, 2009
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                        Hello Pat,

                        A fundamental meditation teaching of the Buddha can be found as the
                        "Teaching on mindfulness of Breathing" (Ânâpâna-sati Sutta,
                        Majjhima-Nikâya 118, XII = Anupada Vagga 8), the 20 Sutta of the
                        "Grouping on Respiration" (Ânâpâna-Sa.myutta, Sa.myutta-Nikâya
                        liv.1-20, V = Mahâ Vagga x.1-20, e.g. liv.13 Ânanda Sutta), and in the
                        "Teaching for Girimânanda" (Girimânanda Sutta, Anguttara-Nikâya X.60,
                        X = Dasaka-Nipâta 60).

                        Moreover, the introduction and the first four quatrains of this
                        teaching can also be found in the "(Great) Teaching on the
                        establishment of Mindfulness" ((Mahâ) Sati-pa.t.thâna Sutta,
                        Dîgha-Nikâya 22 and Majjhima-Nikâya 10), and in the "Teaching about
                        mindfulness directed on the Body" (Kâya-gatâ-sati Sutta,
                        Majjhima-Nikâya 119).

                        The dark-humoured story at Sa.myutta-Nikâya 54.9 is an indication that
                        the ân'âp'âna-sati method was a deliberate and very important method.

                        Thich Nhat Hanh, in the booklet "Breathe: you are alive" (1988), did a
                        good commentary of this most practical and psychologically subtle
                        teaching.

                        Mettâ-cittena.

                        Jîvassatha, Buddhâyatana

                        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Hall <pathall@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hello friends,
                        >
                        > I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of
                        > the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm
                        > simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing
                        > meditation for some time now.
                        >
                        > I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,
                        > but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket
                        > of text.
                        >
                        > Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching
                        > meditation?
                        >
                        > I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a
                        > "how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in
                        > English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to
                        > investigate some of the texts.
                        >
                        > Any suggestions?
                        >
                        > With metta,
                        > Pat
                        >
                        > PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from
                        > http://www.buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html .
                        >
                      • Kumara Bhikkhu
                        Pat, you may want consider reading up on the Gradual Training (as found in MN 107) to have a more complete picture of the practice, rather than just focus on
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 3, 2009
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                          Pat, you may want consider reading up on the Gradual Training (as found in MN 107) to have a more complete picture of the practice, rather than just focus on "meditation", which most people would associate with just focusing on breathing.

                          kb

                          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Hall <pathall@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hello friends,
                          >
                          > I've only just begun my studies of Pali, and looking at the size of
                          > the canon is rather overwhelming, millions of words of text. I'm
                          > simultaneously learning about Buddhism, but I've been practicing
                          > meditation for some time now.
                          >
                          > I'm interested in trying to read some original Pali about meditation,
                          > but I really have no idea how our where to find them among the thicket
                          > of text.
                          >
                          > Is there a section of the canon which is most focused on approaching
                          > meditation?
                          >
                          > I realize that it may be hard to interpret the Pali texts as a
                          > "how-to" guide (to get started I'm relying on a lot of works in
                          > English as well as dhamma talks), but I'm motivated to try to
                          > investigate some of the texts.
                          >
                          > Any suggestions?
                          >
                          > With metta,
                          > Pat
                          >
                          > PS. I'm relying on the Unicode-encoded version of the canon from
                          > http://www.buddhistethics.org/palicanon.html .
                        • Kumara Bhikkhu
                          ... It s curious though, and perhaps even unsettling, that the Buddha encouraged the practice of asubha, which many of the monks apparently did not grasp
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 4, 2009
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                            buddhayatana wrote thus at 02:50 PM 02-03-09:
                            >The dark-humoured story at Sa.myutta-Nikâya 54.9 is an indication that
                            >the ân'âp'âna-sati method was a deliberate and very important method.

                            It's curious though, and perhaps even unsettling, that the Buddha encouraged the practice of asubha, which many of the monks apparently did not grasp correctly and consequently committed suicide.

                            As usual, whenever I find something "odd" in the Pali suttas, I'd try to look up the counterpart in the Chinese Agamas. What I found was basically the same. It even contains the additional juicy stuff, making it very much like the Vinaya Pitaka version (the supposed background story to Parajika 3), which is repeated in the commentary to the sutta.

                            Although the commentary tries to reconcile the matter by giving a background story of a past life and what thoughts occurred to the Buddha, it's curious how the commentator managed to obtain such information.

                            kb
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