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jhana and sukkha vipassana

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  • nina van gorkom
    Dear Dimitri and all, I followed with interest the discussions. Sometimes it is difficult to make out what is in the text, and we have to consider as well to
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 30, 2003
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      Dear Dimitri and all,
      I followed with interest the discussions. Sometimes it is difficult to make
      out what is in the text, and we have to consider as well to whom the Buddha
      spoke.
      Here is a text which may be of interest:
      Puggala pa~n`natti, Human Types, the fourth book of the Abhidhamma. I have
      only the PTS translation:
      Division of Human Types by four. In this sectiopn it is asked:
      1. How does a person attain the inner tranquillity of mind but not the
      higher wisdom of insight into things?
      2. How does a person attain the higher wisdom of insight into things but not
      the inner tranquillity of mind ?
      3. How does a person attain both?
      4. How does a person attain neither?
      We read as to 2:
      <Here a certain person is an attainer of the supramundane path and fruition,
      but not of ecstatic meditation [lit. gainer of the samaapattis] accompanied
      by an idea of form or formlessness. In this way a person attains the higher
      wisdom of insight into things but not the inner tranquillity of mind.>
      The term itself of sukkhavipassaka may be from the commentary, but the idea
      it represents, insight alone, is found in the Tipitaka, such as in the text
      above.
      Nina.
    • Frank Kuan
      ... Hi Nina, Just as the aspirant would not aim for #4 as their goal (neither tranquility nor insight), it would also be a mistake to take #1 or #2 as their
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 30, 2003
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        --- nina van gorkom <nilo@...> wrote:

        > Here is a text which may be of interest:
        > Puggala pa~n`natti, Human Types, the fourth book of
        > the Abhidhamma. I have
        > only the PTS translation:
        > Division of Human Types by four. In this sectiopn it
        > is asked:
        > 1. How does a person attain the inner tranquillity
        > of mind but not the
        > higher wisdom of insight into things?
        > 2. How does a person attain the higher wisdom of
        > insight into things but not
        > the inner tranquillity of mind ?
        > 3. How does a person attain both?
        > 4. How does a person attain neither?

        Hi Nina,
        Just as the aspirant would not aim for #4 as their
        goal (neither tranquility nor insight), it would also
        be a mistake to take #1 or #2 as their goal. If there
        were actual arahants who only attain higher wisdom of
        insight without inner tranquillity (which I highly
        doubt, despite what some literature say), they are a
        statistical anomaly, not a model we should try to
        emulate. I would also venture to guess that those
        arahants who were allegedly dry insight probably
        attempted to cultivate a complete path (i.e. including
        jhanas), but somehow just ended up that way despite
        their best efforts.

        As far as giving different discourses to different
        audience, there are pretty much only these categories:
        1) laypeople: talk about cultivating virtue. On a few
        rare instances, for those with little dust in their
        eye, they get to hear some stuff usually reserved for
        ordained.
        2) monks: gradual training - start out with vinaya
        (discipline/morality/virtue), then move on to
        concentration and insight (jhanas, right view,
        anatta).
        There is no third category where the Buddha describes
        a dry insight only path without mastering tranquillity
        and jhana practice.

        If there were, one would think that would be the
        dominant theme in the whole canon, since everyone
        loves a short cut, and the Buddha is not known for
        repeatedly asking us to do some kind of practice that
        is unessential.

        Through looking at the whole body of suttas, there is
        also this overwhelming implication that right
        mindfulness and right view can not possibly come to
        the level needed for liberating insight unless right
        concentration reaches its culmination. No one is
        trying to argue that the jhanic effects and
        supernormal powers are the goals. But the vehicle in
        which we take to reach the culmination of right
        concentration is jhanas, I don't even see how that is
        debatable.

        How can we overlook the Blessed one's repeated
        exhortations in the overwhelming number of pali
        suttas? Again and again, he says, "Practice jhanas, do
        not be heedless, here is a root of a tree, empty hut,
        you know what to do. Two things one must do: give
        unremitting effort, and strive to attain whatever
        unattained state that can be won with human endeavor."


        I am always baffled when I encounter earnest
        Buddhists who have the luxury of devoting 2 or more
        hours of day to their practice but do not attempt
        jhana or at least some kind of tranquillity meditation
        (whether sitting, standing, walking) for a
        significant proportion of that time.
        As I get older, and death approaches rapidly, I
        constantly assess my priorities on the path, and try
        to target what is really crucial. In fact, to this
        day, I'm still only on lesson 2 of the Gair book, and
        chapter 4 of the de Silva book, despite my earnest
        desire to learn more Pali. Why? Because of priorities.
        We really have to carefully examine the 8fold path and
        discern which factors to which we should devote most
        of our time (at whatever phase of the path we happen
        to be). In my case, I spent most of the today sitting
        at the root of a tree with my legs crossed, just as
        the buddha recommends about 5 billion (*) times in the
        canon. When the moment of death arives, what am I
        going to need more, expertise in Pali, or razor sharp
        one pointed concentration? When that moment comes, I
        intend to tell Mara to kiss my ass while I witness the
        arising and cessation of 5 aggregates for the final
        time.

        -fk

        (*) not an exact figure



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      • Frank Kuan
        The buddha goes so far as to say the disciple who neglects jhana practice is not one who dwells in the dhamma
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 1, 2003
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          The buddha goes so far as to say the disciple who
          neglects jhana practice is "not one who dwells in the
          dhamma"

          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an05-073.html


          "Then there is the case where a monk takes the Dhamma
          as he has heard & studied it and thinks about it,
          evaluates it, and examines it with his intellect. He
          spends the day in Dhamma-thinking. He neglects
          seclusion. He doesn't commit himself to internal
          tranquility of awareness. This is called a monk who is
          keen on thinking, not one who dwells in the Dhamma.

          Then there is the case where a monk studies the
          Dhamma... [HOWEVER!] He doesn't spend the day in
          Dhamma-study. He doesn't neglect seclusion. He commits
          himself to internal tranquility of awareness. This is
          called a monk who dwells in the Dhamma.

          "Now, monk, I have taught you the person who is keen
          on study, the one who is keen on description, the one
          who is keen on recitation, the one who is keen on
          thinking, and the one who dwells in the Dhamma.
          Whatever a teacher should do -- seeking the welfare of
          his disciples, out of sympathy for them -- that have I
          done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over
          there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monk. Don't be
          heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our
          message to you."



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        • rjkjp1
          ... And ... Dear Frank, Certainly only studying Dhamma is of limited value. Still, one of the advantages of such study, including Pali studies, is that we
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 1, 2003
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            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Frank Kuan <fcckuan@y...> wrote:
            > The buddha goes so far as to say the disciple who
            > neglects jhana practice is "not one who dwells in the
            > dhamma"
            >
            > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an05-073.html
            >
            >
            > "Then there is the case where a monk takes the Dhamma
            > as he has heard & studied it and thinks about it,
            > evaluates it, and examines it with his intellect. He
            > spends the day in Dhamma-thinking. He neglects
            > seclusion. He doesn't commit himself to internal
            > tranquility of awareness. This is called a monk who is
            > keen on thinking, not one who dwells in the Dhamma.
            >
            > Then there is the case where a monk studies the
            > Dhamma... [HOWEVER!] He doesn't spend the day in
            > Dhamma-study. He doesn't neglect seclusion. He commits
            > himself to internal tranquility of awareness. This is
            > called a monk who dwells in the Dhamma.
            >
            > "Now, monk, I have taught you the person who is keen
            > on study, the one who is keen on description, the one
            > who is keen on recitation, the one who is keen on
            > thinking, and the one who dwells in the Dhamma.
            > Whatever a teacher should do -- seeking the welfare of
            > his disciples, out of sympathy for them -- that have I
            > done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over
            > there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monk. Don't be
            > heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our
            > message to you."
            And
            >In fact, to this
            >day, I'm still only on lesson 2 of the Gair book, and
            >chapter 4 of the de Silva book, despite my earnest
            >desire to learn more Pali. Why? Because of priorities.

            >_______
            Dear Frank,
            Certainly only studying Dhamma is of limited value. Still, one of the
            advantages of such study, including Pali studies, is that we learn
            about the deeper meaning of phrases such as the one you quote
            above.The Pali (supplied by Jim Anderson) of an almost identical
            phrase:

            "Jhaayatha, Cunda, maa pamaadattha maa pacchaa vippa.tisaarino
            ahuvattha ..." -- M i 46 (near the end of MN 8). Also found at M i
            118 (MN
            19) with 'bhikkhave' instead of Cunda.
            Here, the commentary interprets "Meditate" as "Increase samatha and
            vipassanaa".

            "Samatha~nca vipassana~nca va.d.dhethaa ti vutta.m hoti." --MA ii 195
            (there's a bit more just before this)
            Jim:
            >> I know about this translation of 'jhaayatha'. I find
            >> that it does not
            >> quite agree with the commentary which includes both
            >> samatha and
            >> vipassanaa. That's why I think 'Meditate' is a
            >> better translation than
            >> 'Practice jhana'.

            "Jhaayatha' is a verb in the 2nd person plural with the -tha ending.
            In the
            PED, the verbs are entered in their 3rd pers. sing. forms with the -ti
            ending. So you will have to look for 'jhaayati' for which you will
            find two
            entries. The first one has the following senses: to meditate,
            contemplate,
            think upon, brood over (c. acc.): . . . -- and for the second: to
            burn, to
            be on fire: . . . They are derived from two distinct roots. In the
            commentarial passage from which I quoted "Increase samatha and
            vipassanaa"
            in explaining 'jhaayatha' there is also the following comment that
            helps to
            clarify the difference between samatha and vipassana: "Meditate
            (upanijjhaayatha) on the 38 objects (aaramma.na) with the meditation
            (upanijjhaana) on an object and on aggregates, bases, etc. according
            to
            anicca, etc. with the meditation on a characteristic (lakkha.na)." --
            MA i
            195." end of section by Jim Anderson.
            -----------
            When the texts talk about meditation, jhaya, it is useful to
            know that there are two types.
            I quoted this to Dimitry earlier: The Dhammapada 371 :"Meditate, o
            bhikkhu and be not heedless." (same
            pali phrase as the sutta you quoted above.
            The atthakatha says "o bhikkhus meditate by the two kinds of
            meditative absorptions"
            And the tika notes that this is twofold in "the sense of
            meditative absorption that arises depending on an object and
            meditative absorption that arises dependent on characteristics"
            The tika later explains this by saying that the first is (p506
            note 6 of carter and palihawadana) "the eight attainments
            (jhanas) to be obtained by training the mind in concentrating on
            one of the thirty eight objects such as kasina [or metta, or
            Buddha or Dhamma or breath etc] and the second means 'insight
            wisdom, path and fruit'..to be obtained by reflecting on the
            three characteristics'"endquote

            Now when it says 'reflecting' this means direct insight into the
            actual
            characteristics and conditions of the present moment right up to
            the vipassana nanas and magga and phala, it is far more than only
            thinking about Dhamma.
            THe Dhammapada pradipaya (see p457 of carter and palihawadana) says
            "to consider the coming into being of rupa on account of
            ignorance, craving, kamma and nutrition, and also to see the
            mere characteristics of its instantaneous coming into being,
            without looking for causative aspect; thus one should consider
            the rise of rupa in five ways. Likewise to consider the rise of
            the other 4 khandas in the same way...Thus the rise of the
            pancakkhanda (five aggregates )is seen in 25 ways. To see that
            the rise of the khandas is stopped by abolishing the
            causes:ignorance, craving, kamma and nutrition..in this way the
            cessation of the agregates should be seen" end quote

            As Teng kee pointed out the path out of samsara depends on lakkhana
            jhana - insight into the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha and
            anatta. The jhana labhi after he leaves mundane jhana must also
            develop this type of special samadhi. The sukkha-vipassaka develops
            this profound samadhi without having attained mundane jhana.
            Which is the superior path? Certainly the texts are clear that the
            one who develops both samatha and jhana is the highest. However I
            think we should not despise also the lesser path of the sukkha-
            vipassaka as this too eventually results in the end of rebirth.
            RobertK
          • Frank Kuan
            Hi robert, you wrote: As Teng kee pointed out the path out of samsara depends on lakkhana jhana - insight into the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha and
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 2, 2003
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              Hi robert,

              you wrote:
              As Teng kee pointed out the path out of samsara
              depends on lakkhana
              jhana - insight into the three characteristics of
              anicca, dukkha and
              anatta. The jhana labhi after he leaves mundane jhana
              must also
              develop this type of special samadhi. The
              sukkha-vipassaka develops
              this profound samadhi without having attained mundane
              jhana.
              Which is the superior path? Certainly the texts are
              clear that the
              one who develops both samatha and jhana is the
              highest. However I
              think we should not despise also the lesser path of
              the sukkha-
              vipassaka as this too eventually results in the end of
              rebirth.

              =============================================
              To clear up a few points:
              1. I never said I despise the sukkha-vipassaka. What I
              express is that I doubt that they exist, or if they
              did exist, they existed as a statistical anomaly, and
              did not cultvate some special dry insight only
              techniques that modern Buddhists can follow and bypass
              the foundation of seclusion and samatha.
              2. one can study all the pali, commentaries, and
              subcommentaries until the end of time, but in the
              final analysis, the only valid proof is the
              confirmation from one's own realization experienced
              directly. To this end, we have to carefully scrutinize
              the canon to identify which parts are the most
              authoritative and significant. For example, in the
              early suttas, you would be hard pressed to find any
              references to kasinas and 40 meditation objects. What
              you do find is sutta passages that indicate that of
              the 4 foundations of mindfulness, mindfulness of body
              is the most important, and of the those, mindfulness
              of breath is given special prominence. What this tells
              me is that the serious cultivator should be spending a
              fair amount of their effort engaged in mindfulness of
              body, especially the breath. The early pali suttas
              also say that if we carefully cultivate mindfulness of
              breath, that it would naturally bring all 4
              foundations of mindfulness to fruition, would lead to
              samatha, vipassana, single pointedness of mind and
              induce jhanic absorption. What a wonderful tool! All
              the study of the canon does not equal one minute of
              peace, joy, tranquillity and insight that is easily
              availabe to us from cultivating the breath. This can
              be verified with one's own experience without even
              obtaining jhanic absorption.
              3. The Buddha used the breath, seclusion, tranquillity
              as the fundamental tools. So did the arahants. Even
              taoist and yoga adepts. If there was some method that
              avoided these fundamental steps, and redefined
              "meditation" in some novel way to achieve lofty states
              without doing the work, surely we would know about
              them. There would be as many enlightened beings as
              there are lawyers. Talk about accumulations, or lack
              thereof, is also baffling to me. Certainly some would
              find seclusion and tranquillity easier to cultivate
              than others, but if you don't accumulate now, when are
              you going to accumulate? After you're dead?

              -fk



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            • rjkjp1
              ... __________ Dear Frank, If one has the ability and inclination to develop anapanasati that is great. Still it is good to know that many conditions are
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 2, 2003
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                ---In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Frank Kuan <fcckuan@y...> wrote:
                >
                > 2. one can study all the pali, commentaries, and
                > subcommentaries until the end of time, but in the
                > final analysis, the only valid proof is the
                > confirmation from one's own realization experienced
                > directly. To this end, we have to carefully scrutinize
                > the canon to identify which parts are the most
                > authoritative and significant. For example, in the
                > early suttas, you would be hard pressed to find any
                > references to kasinas and 40 meditation objects. What
                > you do find is sutta passages that indicate that of
                > the 4 foundations of mindfulness, mindfulness of body
                > is the most important, and of the those, mindfulness
                > of breath is given special prominence. What this tells
                > me is that the serious cultivator should be spending a
                > fair amount of their effort engaged in mindfulness of
                > body, especially the breath. The early pali suttas
                > also say that if we carefully cultivate mindfulness of
                > breath, that it would naturally bring all 4
                > foundations of mindfulness to fruition, would lead to
                > samatha, vipassana, single pointedness of mind and
                > induce jhanic absorption. What a wonderful tool! All
                > the study of the canon does not equal one minute of
                > peace, joy, tranquillity and insight that is easily
                > availabe to us from cultivating the breath. This can
                > be verified with one's own experience without even
                > obtaining jhanic absorption.

                __________
                Dear Frank,
                If one has the ability and inclination to develop anapanasati that is
                great. Still it is good to know that many conditions are needed to
                suceed in this: Some meditation subjects need a crosslegged posture,
                erect back, a very quiet place, solitude...
                This is all well explained in the visuddhimagga. In particular this
                applies to anapanasati - breath.
                Also we should know that anapanasati is singled out as being the
                most difficult of all the 40 objects.Here is a passage from the
                Visuddhimagga Viii
                211: "Although any meditation subject, no matter what, is
                successful
                only in one who is mindful and fully aware, yet any meditation
                subject other than this one gets more evident as he goes on
                giving it
                his attention. But this mindfulness of breathing is difficult,
                difficult to develop, a field in which only the minds of
                Buddhas,
                paccekabuddhas and Buddhas sons are at home. It is no trivial
                matter,
                nor can it be cultivated by trivial persons.." (we discussed this on
                pali list last year)
                We might be concentrating on the breath with subtle lobha
                (attachment) not realising that true samatha comes with alobha,
                detachment.

                In many suttas the Buddha was speaking to monks who had vast
                accumulations of panna and other parami. It is not, I believe, that
                the Buddha said that all should take up anapanasati.

                There are other types of samatha - such as Maranasati (meditation
                on death)- that are suitable for all times.
                For example the Anguttara nikaya (Book of the Elevens ii 13 p213
                Mahanama) says about Buddhanusati and Dhammanusati and several other
                samatha objects:
                "` you should develop it as you sit, as you stand, as
                you lie, as you apply yourself to business. You should
                make it grow as you dwell at home in your lodging
                crowded with children"

                In the Samyutta nikaya V (Sayings on stream entry p347
                The great chapter Dhammadina ) 5oo rich merchants
                came to see the Buddha . They asked how they should
                live their lives. The Buddha suggested that they train
                themselves thus:
                "as to those discourses uttered by the Tathagatha,
                deep, deep in meaning, transcendental and concerned
                with the void (about anatta) from time to time we will
                spend our days learning them. That is how you must
                spend your days."

                In the satipatthana sutta the Buddha explains the four foundations of
                mindfulness. These can be cultivated in any position at any time.
                ____

                Frank: Talk about accumulations, or lack
                > thereof, is also baffling to me. Certainly some would
                > find seclusion and tranquillity easier to cultivate
                > than others, but if you don't accumulate now, when are
                > you going to accumulate? After you're dead?
                ____
                It is relevant because this is a Buddha sasana - a very rare event.
                If one develops samatha bhavana that is wonderful.
                Indeed all of us have developed samatha and we must have succeeded in
                gaining jhana in countless lives. This is because of the vast time of
                samsara.
                However only very rarely has there been insight into anatta, into
                the lakkhana (characteristic) of elements. That is why some of us
                believe that we should give stress to this aspect of the Dhamma. The
                Buddha sasana will soon be extinguished and it will be a long time
                before another samma-sammbuddha arises.
                RobertK




                >

                >


                >
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              • nina van gorkom
                Dear Robert and friends, Robert Kirkpatrick wrote:
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 3, 2003
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                  Dear Robert and friends,

                  Robert Kirkpatrick wrote:

                  <Thus we see that the way of using mundane jhana as a
                  basis has this
                  advantage too. However not all beings have the
                  accumulations to
                  master the jhanas (I mean genuine jhana, not
                  imitation). To use the
                  jhanas as basis one must be proficient in them -not
                  just attaining
                  them a few times- >

                  Nina: In the Mahaanidaanasutta (transl Bhikkhu Bodhi) and the Co. there are
                  texts about liberated both ways and liberated by insight. At the end of the
                  sutta we read what the requirements are for being liberated both ways. It
                  shows how difficult it is:<When a bhikkhu attains these eight emancipations
                  in forward order, in reverse order, and in both forward and reverse order;
                  when he attains them and emerges from them wherever he wants, in whatever
                  way he wants, and for as long as he wants, and when, through the destruction
                  of the cankers, he here and now enters and dwells in the cankerless
                  liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realized it for himself
                  with direct knowledge, then he is called a bhikkhu who is liberated both
                  ways. And, Ananda, there is no other liberation in both ways higher or more
                  sublime than this one."
                  The Visuddhimagga describes these as masteries, vasis.
                  The co. about the passage <Ananda, when a bhikkhu...is liberated through
                  non-clinging, then he is called a bhikkhu liberated by wisdom.>
                  Follows an explanation we discussed before: fivefold: dry insight and those
                  who attain arahatship after having become established in one of the four
                  jhanas.
                  The subco: liberated by wisdom. <He is liberated solely by the power of
                  wisdom because he does not achieve the eight emancipations and thus lacks
                  the power of eminent concentration. Or else, "liberated by wisdom" means
                  liberated while understanding; that is, knowing and penetrating the four
                  truths in the mode of full understanding, etc. wihtout contact with the
                  first jhana, he is "liberated" or distinctively freed by completeing the
                  functions (of penetration) by bringing those functions to their climax.
                  "Dry insight meditator": one whose insight is dry, rough, and unmoistened,
                  lacking the moisture of serenity meditation.
                  "Does not dwell suffusing the eight emancipations":this indicates the
                  absence of the power of eminent concentration. "Having seen with wisdom":
                  this indicates possession of the power of eminent wisdom">
                  The meaning of dry insight is interesting. I think of the text that someone
                  with dry insight becomes tired, kilamati, while the jhanalaabhi does not
                  tire. If someone truly has the skill for jhana it is an advantage, but we
                  should not underestimate the vasis, masteries. Now we are further away from
                  the Buddha's time. There are texts in the commentaries that arahats with the
                  four patiusambhidas will disappear (in this world), and also jhanalabhi
                  arahats. All arahats will disappear, and subsequently ariyans of the third,
                  second and first stage of enlightenment will disappear, the teachings will
                  disappear.
                  As Robert reminds us: < The Buddha sasana will soon be extinguished and it
                  will be a long time
                  before another samma-sammbuddha arises.>
                  Nina.
                • Hope Raven
                  Our Frank proclaimed: When the moment of death arives, what am I going to need more, expertise in Pali, or razor sharp one pointed concentration? When that
                  Message 8 of 12 , Oct 6, 2003
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                    Our Frank proclaimed:
                    "When the moment of death arives, what am I
                    going to need more, expertise in Pali, or razor sharp
                    one pointed concentration? When that moment comes, I
                    intend to tell Mara to kiss my ass while I witness the
                    arising and cessation of 5 aggregates for the final
                    time."

                    Absolutely.
                    But nonetheless I've just ordered Warder - maybe if I have enough Pali books
                    in my house I can learn the language by osmosis?

                    Actually the little Pali that I have managed to learn has mostly come via
                    the regular postings to this list of the da Silva and Warder exercises. The
                    kindness of the posters - in fact of all the regular contributers here - is
                    much appreciated.
                    My thanks,
                    Hope

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                  • rjkjp1
                    ... Dear Hope, That is also my main method for pali study. Like you I also pick up bits by reading the other posts. welcome to the group robert
                    Message 9 of 12 , Oct 6, 2003
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                      --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Hope Raven" <hope_raven@h...> wrote:
                      > I've just ordered Warder - maybe if I have enough Pali books
                      > in my house I can learn the language by osmosis?
                      >
                      > ____
                      Dear Hope,
                      That is also my main method for pali study.

                      Like you I also pick up bits by reading the other posts.
                      welcome to the group
                      robert
                    • nina van gorkom
                      Dear Hope, ... N: You may be very busy but, it pays to look up the relevant Warder Ch that Jon mentions each time he gives us an exercise. At first I also
                      Message 10 of 12 , Oct 7, 2003
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                        Dear Hope,
                        op 07-10-2003 03:23 schreef rjkjp1 op rjkjp1@...:

                        > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Hope Raven" <hope_raven@h...> wrote:
                        >> I've just ordered Warder - maybe if I have enough Pali books
                        >> in my house I can learn the language by osmosis?
                        N: You may be very busy but, it pays to look up the relevant Warder Ch that
                        Jon mentions each time he gives us an exercise.
                        At first I also thought that I would not need so much grammar, but I found
                        out that even the difference between instrumentalis or ablative can, if we
                        are not precise, twist the meaning. We have to be very precises with the
                        cases. I found out while studying the text of the Buddha's last meal in the
                        Dhamma Study Group. There are many pittfalls. In the course of learning
                        interest will grow. I welcome any discussions on grammar on this list. I
                        learn by discussions.
                        Nina.
                      • cheangoo
                        Hi Frank, Robert, Nina, Dimitry and others, Fogive me for butting in so late but I see the thread is still running on the jhanas. I tend to agree largely with
                        Message 11 of 12 , Oct 14, 2003
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                          Hi Frank, Robert, Nina, Dimitry and others,

                          Fogive me for butting in so late but I see the thread is still
                          running on the jhanas. I tend to agree largely with Franks'
                          position. The question of whether to jhana or not, and dry vipassana
                          has been hotly debated for many years by meditators and will continue
                          for more. Sometimes all the arguements simply remind me of the
                          Buddha's simile of the blind men trying to describe an elephant.
                          Meditation is to be experienced and not to be argued about. If one
                          wants to follow the jhana way, one should find a teacher who has
                          achieved it and is skilled in it and learn from such a teacher. Same
                          for a vipassana meditation. Such an advice was given by the Buddha
                          in either AN or SN where he said that a monk skilled in samatha
                          should also visit another skilled in insight and learn from him and
                          vice versa.

                          About whether it is important to have jhana or not, I personally
                          think samatha meditation culminating in jhana is an experience no
                          meditator whould forego, no matter how long it takes to achieve.
                          This is obvious from the suttas and the way in which jhanas are
                          described not only by the Buddha but also by Sariputta and other
                          arahants.


                          In an earlier post Robert said that the Visuddhimagga categorized
                          breath meditation as the most difficult of the 40 odd techniques
                          taught by the Buddha. Difficult, yes. But so are all meditation
                          techniques for different people. Meditation can never be easy
                          because it needs striving, consistency, reflection and
                          experimentation. The Buddha taught anapanasati as one of central
                          meditation topics, one that he used himself on the night of his
                          enlightenment. He wouldn't have taught it if it was impossible for
                          people to practice.

                          Then about accumulation of good kamma, and how times have
                          deteriorated in these declining years of the Sasana - that's all
                          Commentary staff. The suttas never say any such thing. What the
                          Buddha said was that as long as we follow the Noble Eightfold Path
                          persistently and correctly, we should get there some time. The
                          Buddha knew hemun beings' minds. He taught us to understand our own
                          minds and how to work with it. Have the minds of human beings
                          changed since 2500 years ago? I think not. That's why the Dhamma is
                          timeless.

                          I am not a follower of the Commentaries. I have not tried to start
                          reading the Vidsuddhimagga, because I find the suttas complete and
                          adequate. While there may be odd statements here and there that are
                          not satisfactorily understood, the central theme of Dhamma and
                          practice stands firm and clear and provides enough of a guide to
                          use. Commentaries are good if they help increase understanding and
                          practice but I have not found any urge from what I read about other's
                          postings and explanations of the Commentaries. From such postings,
                          for example, of Nina's painstaking time and effort in this group, I
                          see three aspects (a)when the commentaries expand on individual words
                          e.g. he walked up meaning he waited for the Buddha toi leqve and then
                          walked up ... I find no additional value in understanding the Dhamma
                          from such commentaries. (b)when the commentaries explains some simile
                          and then adds one more of their own e.g. like a lion king, like this
                          and that, getting more and more extravagant with each example, I can
                          only imagine that the audience to which the commentaries were
                          addressed must have been very simple village folk who need the
                          devotional ardour to be stoked to flaming level. Such commentariesd
                          do not add to the value I already place on the suttas. (c)when the
                          commentaries comment on meditation methods and ways of practice, I
                          find this is often confusing and unnecessary. Because meditation is
                          something to experience not to intellectualize about. I find many of
                          the arguements on this thread tend to follow rational lines, meaning
                          each person is appealing to some understanding from our intellectual
                          mind. Yet meditation experience, especially jhanas do not fit such
                          restrictions. The Buddha said that the power and range of jhanas is
                          one of the four imponderables. Ajahn Brahm teaches that in jhana one
                          never experience what one expects. Maybe that's why jhana experience
                          and the reflection after emerging from then are so powerful to cut
                          off the deep underlying tendencies of greed hatred and delusion.

                          Wth metta to all,
                          Khaik-Cheang Oo


                          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "rjkjp1" <rjkjp1@y...> wrote:
                          > --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Frank Kuan <fcckuan@y...> wrote:
                          > > The buddha goes so far as to say the disciple who
                          > > neglects jhana practice is "not one who dwells in the
                          > > dhamma"
                          > >
                          > > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an05-073.html
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > "Then there is the case where a monk takes the Dhamma
                          > > as he has heard & studied it and thinks about it,
                          > > evaluates it, and examines it with his intellect. He
                          > > spends the day in Dhamma-thinking. He neglects
                          > > seclusion. He doesn't commit himself to internal
                          > > tranquility of awareness. This is called a monk who is
                          > > keen on thinking, not one who dwells in the Dhamma.
                          > >
                          > > Then there is the case where a monk studies the
                          > > Dhamma... [HOWEVER!] He doesn't spend the day in
                          > > Dhamma-study. He doesn't neglect seclusion. He commits
                          > > himself to internal tranquility of awareness. This is
                          > > called a monk who dwells in the Dhamma.
                          > >
                          > > "Now, monk, I have taught you the person who is keen
                          > > on study, the one who is keen on description, the one
                          > > who is keen on recitation, the one who is keen on
                          > > thinking, and the one who dwells in the Dhamma.
                          > > Whatever a teacher should do -- seeking the welfare of
                          > > his disciples, out of sympathy for them -- that have I
                          > > done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over
                          > > there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monk. Don't be
                          > > heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our
                          > > message to you."
                          > And
                          > >In fact, to this
                          > >day, I'm still only on lesson 2 of the Gair book, and
                          > >chapter 4 of the de Silva book, despite my earnest
                          > >desire to learn more Pali. Why? Because of priorities.
                          >
                          > >_______
                          > Dear Frank,
                          > Certainly only studying Dhamma is of limited value. Still, one of
                          the
                          > advantages of such study, including Pali studies, is that we learn
                          > about the deeper meaning of phrases such as the one you quote
                          > above.The Pali (supplied by Jim Anderson) of an almost identical
                          > phrase:
                          >
                          > "Jhaayatha, Cunda, maa pamaadattha maa pacchaa vippa.tisaarino
                          > ahuvattha ..." -- M i 46 (near the end of MN 8). Also found at M i
                          > 118 (MN
                          > 19) with 'bhikkhave' instead of Cunda.
                          > Here, the commentary interprets "Meditate" as "Increase samatha and
                          > vipassanaa".
                          >
                          > "Samatha~nca vipassana~nca va.d.dhethaa ti vutta.m hoti." --MA ii
                          195
                          > (there's a bit more just before this)
                          > Jim:
                          > >> I know about this translation of 'jhaayatha'. I find
                          > >> that it does not
                          > >> quite agree with the commentary which includes both
                          > >> samatha and
                          > >> vipassanaa. That's why I think 'Meditate' is a
                          > >> better translation than
                          > >> 'Practice jhana'.
                          >
                          > "Jhaayatha' is a verb in the 2nd person plural with the -tha
                          ending.
                          > In the
                          > PED, the verbs are entered in their 3rd pers. sing. forms with the -
                          ti
                          > ending. So you will have to look for 'jhaayati' for which you will
                          > find two
                          > entries. The first one has the following senses: to meditate,
                          > contemplate,
                          > think upon, brood over (c. acc.): . . . -- and for the second: to
                          > burn, to
                          > be on fire: . . . They are derived from two distinct roots. In the
                          > commentarial passage from which I quoted "Increase samatha and
                          > vipassanaa"
                          > in explaining 'jhaayatha' there is also the following comment that
                          > helps to
                          > clarify the difference between samatha and vipassana: "Meditate
                          > (upanijjhaayatha) on the 38 objects (aaramma.na) with the meditation
                          > (upanijjhaana) on an object and on aggregates, bases, etc.
                          according
                          > to
                          > anicca, etc. with the meditation on a characteristic (lakkha.na)." -
                          -
                          > MA i
                          > 195." end of section by Jim Anderson.
                          > -----------
                          > When the texts talk about meditation, jhaya, it is useful to
                          > know that there are two types.
                          > I quoted this to Dimitry earlier: The Dhammapada 371 :"Meditate, o
                          > bhikkhu and be not heedless." (same
                          > pali phrase as the sutta you quoted above.
                          > The atthakatha says "o bhikkhus meditate by the two kinds of
                          > meditative absorptions"
                          > And the tika notes that this is twofold in "the sense of
                          > meditative absorption that arises depending on an object and
                          > meditative absorption that arises dependent on characteristics"
                          > The tika later explains this by saying that the first is (p506
                          > note 6 of carter and palihawadana) "the eight attainments
                          > (jhanas) to be obtained by training the mind in concentrating on
                          > one of the thirty eight objects such as kasina [or metta, or
                          > Buddha or Dhamma or breath etc] and the second means 'insight
                          > wisdom, path and fruit'..to be obtained by reflecting on the
                          > three characteristics'"endquote
                          >
                          > Now when it says 'reflecting' this means direct insight into the
                          > actual
                          > characteristics and conditions of the present moment right up to
                          > the vipassana nanas and magga and phala, it is far more than only
                          > thinking about Dhamma.
                          > THe Dhammapada pradipaya (see p457 of carter and palihawadana) says
                          > "to consider the coming into being of rupa on account of
                          > ignorance, craving, kamma and nutrition, and also to see the
                          > mere characteristics of its instantaneous coming into being,
                          > without looking for causative aspect; thus one should consider
                          > the rise of rupa in five ways. Likewise to consider the rise of
                          > the other 4 khandas in the same way...Thus the rise of the
                          > pancakkhanda (five aggregates )is seen in 25 ways. To see that
                          > the rise of the khandas is stopped by abolishing the
                          > causes:ignorance, craving, kamma and nutrition..in this way the
                          > cessation of the agregates should be seen" end quote
                          >
                          > As Teng kee pointed out the path out of samsara depends on lakkhana
                          > jhana - insight into the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha
                          and
                          > anatta. The jhana labhi after he leaves mundane jhana must also
                          > develop this type of special samadhi. The sukkha-vipassaka develops
                          > this profound samadhi without having attained mundane jhana.
                          > Which is the superior path? Certainly the texts are clear that the
                          > one who develops both samatha and jhana is the highest. However I
                          > think we should not despise also the lesser path of the sukkha-
                          > vipassaka as this too eventually results in the end of rebirth.
                          > RobertK
                        • rjkjp1
                          Dear Khaik-Cheang Oo, ... ____ I appreciate you continuing the discussion, please add more.I just add something on this point for now: ... _____ From the sutta
                          Message 12 of 12 , Oct 14, 2003
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                            Dear Khaik-Cheang Oo,
                            In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "cheangoo" <cheangoo@h...> wrote:
                            > Hi Frank, Robert, Nina, Dimitry and others,
                            >
                            > Fogive me for butting in so late but I see the thread is still
                            > running on the jhanas.
                            ____
                            I appreciate you continuing the discussion, please add more.I just
                            add something on this point for now:
                            ____

                            >
                            > Then about accumulation of good kamma, and how times have
                            > deteriorated in these declining years of the Sasana - that's all
                            > Commentary stuff. The suttas never say any such thing.

                            _____
                            From the sutta Pitaka
                            Samyutta Nikaya IX (20)7
                            p708 of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation

                            The Peg
                            "Monks, there once was a time when the
                            Dasarahas
                            had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split,
                            the
                            Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when
                            Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a
                            conglomeration of pegs remained.
                            "In the same way, in the course of the future there will be
                            monks who
                            won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata --
                            deep,
                            deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness --
                            are
                            being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on
                            knowing
                            them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or
                            mastering.
                            But they will listen when discourses that are literary works --
                            the
                            works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work
                            of
                            outsiders, words of disciples -- are recited. They will lend ear
                            and
                            set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these
                            teachings as
                            worth grasping & mastering.

                            "In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words
                            of
                            the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent,
                            connected
                            with emptiness -- will come about.

                            "Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when
                            discourses
                            that are words of the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning,
                            transcendent, connected with emptiness -- are being recited. We
                            will
                            lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these

                            teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should
                            train
                            yourselves."
                            _________
                            >
                            > I am not a follower of the Commentaries. I have not tried to start
                            > reading the Vidsuddhimagga, because I find the suttas complete and
                            > adequate. >
                            > ________
                            Anyway I add something from the commentary to the above sutta:
                            The commentary notes that this means deep teachings such as
                            those dealing with emptiness(sunnatapatisamyutta), explaining
                            mere phenomena devoid of a being (sattasunnata-dhammamattam eva
                            pakasaka)
                            [like the whole of the Abhidhamma? -robert]
                            RobertK
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