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material elements and signless concentration

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  • Benoit Santerre
    Dear venerable Sayadaws, I have two questions. 1. When I observe a feling, say the sensation of the air coming in and out of the nose, I am unable to discern
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 22 9:13 AM
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      Dear venerable Sayadaws,
      I have two questions.
      1. When I observe a feling, say the sensation of the
      air coming in and out of the nose, I am unable to
      discern the water and earth element. Same with another
      physical sensation. The air moving, this is obviously
      the air element. Its heat or coldness, this is
      temperature element. Can you please help me how to see
      water and earth element in the breath sensation at the
      nostrils? And in another physical sensation?

      2. What is signless concentration. Is it insight
      concentration, like being focused on the rise and fall
      of mind and matter? Or is it something else?
      Thank you and deep bows to you,
      benoit


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    • Ashin Punnobhasa
      Dear Benoit, 1. First of all, I would like to mention a pargraph from the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma. The water element (apodhatu): The water element,
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 24 6:05 AM
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        Dear Benoit,

        Dear Benoit,

        1. First of all, I would like to mention a pargraph from the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma.

        "The water element (apodhatu): The water element, or fluidity, is the material factor that makes different particles of matter cohere, thereby preventing them from being scattered about. Its characteristic is trickling or oozing, its functiion is to intensify the coexisting material states, and its is manifested as the holding together or cohesion of material phenomena. Its proximate cause is the other three great essentials. The Abhidhamma holds that unlike the other three great essentials, the water element cannot be physically sensed but must be known inferentially from the cohesion of observed matter."

        From the practical aspect, when you focus on the breath, sometimes, you are aware of either heat or cold, sometimes movement, and sometimes how strongly the air touches on that area.

        Our teachers suggested that, when we are aware of dhatu (elements) we better focus on the tip of the nostril; not the air.

        When the air touches, there is some changes on the area where the air touches. You feel heat or cold on the flesh around the nostril. There is moving or pushing sensation on that area. These two are clear. You are right; it seems hardness and softness is almost intengible. Let us think about it this way;

        When I am touching the key board with my fingers, I can sense the temperature, and also I can sense the hardness on the keys. I understand that the sense of touch (photthabbaramana) is the composition of three elements (temperature, hardness and softness and movement). But I am sensing heat aspect or hardness aspect alternatively. Sometimes I notice the keys are cold; another time I notice it is hard.

        One more step:

        When I touch the table with me nose, I can sense coldness (temperature) and hardness. Like I can sense the keys with my fingers.

        When I touch my nose with my finger, I can sense with my fingers the temperature and the softness on my nose. I can also sense the temperature, the movement and the hardness of my fingers on my nose. This sensation on the nose seems clearer than that on the fingers.

        When I wave my hand in the air I can feel the movement, and the tempearture. But I hardly feel the hardness and softness in the air because my hand pass through the air easily.

        I hope this examples will give you something to think. Different material things has different composition of elements. When you touch them you feel different. Some aspect of those elements are clearer than the others.

        When you are sitting for a long time, your legs will feel stiffness, your back may feel a kind of hard object inside your back. These are aspect of pathavi (earth elements). When you feel the stiffness in your legs, don't pay attention towards the floor; just observe the sensation on your legs.

        Please feel free to discuss about this more. It is interesting!

        (2) for your second question, I would like to konw what you meant by signless concentration. If possible I would like to know the pali term for that, if you don't mind. I am sorry I cannot answer it now. I do not want to guess about the term. Also, the mind is blocked by something (It must be moha) so that I do not get the meaning right away. I would appreciate the answers form other venerables too.

        with metta,

        Ashin Punnobhasa

         

      • Benoit Santerre
        Thank you Venerable Ashin Punnobhasa for this insightful answer. It is helpful. The pali term for signless concentration is animitta cetosamadhi. According to
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 24 6:03 PM
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          Thank you Venerable Ashin Punnobhasa for this
          insightful answer. It is helpful. The pali term for
          signless concentration is animitta cetosamadhi.
          According to bhikkhu bodhi, a commentary says it is
          vipassanasamadhi (insight concentration), having
          abandoned the sign of permanence. But the suttas
          themselves do not explain what this is. They mention
          Venerable Sariputta abiding in that concentration
          after having mastered the base of
          neither-perception-nor non-perception. I just wanted
          to have your opinion on this. I am very interested in
          discerning "dry insight" vipassana (going straight to
          vipassana without jhana) in the pali canon.
          Thank you and deep bows,
          benoit



          --- Ashin Punnobhasa <punnobhasa@...> wrote:
          > Dear Benoit,
          >
          > 1. First of all, I would like to mention a pargraph
          > from the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma.
          >
          > "The water element (apodhatu): The water element, or
          > fluidity, is the material factor that makes
          > different particles of matter cohere, thereby
          > preventing them from being scattered about. Its
          > characteristic is trickling or oozing, its functiion
          > is to intensify the coexisting material states, and
          > its is manifested as the holding together or
          > cohesion of material phenomena. Its proximate cause
          > is the other three great essentials. The Abhidhamma
          > holds that unlike the other three great essentials,
          > the water element cannot be physically sensed but
          > must be known inferentially from the cohesion of
          > observed matter."
          >
          > From the practical aspect, when you focus on the
          > breath, sometimes, you are aware of either heat or
          > cold, sometimes movement, and sometimes how strongly
          > the air touches on that area.
          >
          > Our teachers suggested that, when we are aware of
          > dhatu (elements) we better focus on the tip of the
          > nostril; not the air.
          >
          > When the air touches, there is some changes on the
          > area where the air touches. You feel heat or cold on
          > the flesh around the nostril. There is moving or
          > pushing sensation on that area. These two are clear.
          > You are right; it seems hardness and softness is
          > almost intengible. Let us think about it this way;
          >
          > When I am touching the key board with my fingers, I
          > can sense the temperature, and also I can sense the
          > hardness on the keys. I understand that the sense of
          > touch (photthabbaramana) is the composition of three
          > elements (temperature, hardness and softness and
          > movement). But I am sensing heat aspect or hardness
          > aspect alternatively. Sometimes I notice the keys
          > are cold; another time I notice it is hard.
          >
          > One more step:
          >
          > When I touch the table with me nose, I can sense
          > coldness (temperature) and hardness. Like I can
          > sense the keys with my fingers.
          >
          > When I touch my nose with my finger, I can sense
          > with my fingers the temperature and the softness on
          > my nose. I can also sense the temperature, the
          > movement and the hardness of my fingers on my nose.
          > This sensation on the nose seems clearer than that
          > on the fingers.
          >
          > When I wave my hand in the air I can feel the
          > movement, and the tempearture. But I hardly feel the
          > hardness and softness in the air because my hand
          > pass through the air easily.
          >
          > I hope this examples will give you something to
          > think. Different material things has different
          > composition of elements. When you touch them you
          > feel different. Some aspect of those elements are
          > clearer than the others.
          >
          > When you are sitting for a long time, your legs will
          > feel stiffness, your back may feel a kind of hard
          > object inside your back. These are aspect of pathavi
          > (earth elements). When you feel the stiffness in
          > your legs, don't pay attention towards the floor;
          > just observe the sensation on your legs.
          >
          > Please feel free to discuss about this more. It is
          > interesting!
          >
          > (2) for your second question, I would like to konw
          > what you meant by signless concentration. If
          > possible I would like to know the pali term for
          > that, if you don't mind. I am sorry I cannot answer
          > it now. I do not want to guess about the term. Also,
          > the mind is blocked by something (It must be moha)
          > so that I do not get the meaning right away. I would
          > appreciate the answers form other venerables too.
          >
          > with metta,
          >
          > Ashin Punnobhasa
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Do you Yahoo!?
          > Yahoo! Platinum - Watch CBS' NCAA March Madness,
          > live on your desktop!


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        • Zen Ridge
          Dear Venerables I have a few questions, i am learning Tai Chi, and as with buddhism a requirement is to meditate, to help clear and focus my mind, which i can
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 25 3:47 AM
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            Dear Venerables

            I have a few questions, i am learning Tai Chi, and as with buddhism a requirement is to meditate, to help clear and focus my mind, which i can do although i find myself sometimes becoming uncomfortable, it is not the way i sit as i have tried many different ways, it is simply the more relaxed i become, my legs seem to not tense up but kind of twitch, which in turn distracts me, what do you do when meditating and do you have the same problem, or did yopu, and how did you overcome this.

            Also With the matter of enrgy, chi/jing, i saw the discussion with Benoit, in Tai Chi, learning how to concentrate and tone your chi, and feel your inner breath are a great thing, i believe that i have felt this sensation twice, could this be or am i simply allowing my seld to feel what i want to feel?, also what are your view s on inner energy, chi.

            One final point, what are your views on the statements that everything moves, in a circular motion, everything that comes will return, and that this is the true path of nature and that to be one with nature you too must learn to move the same, would you agree with this?

            Kind thoughts

            Zen

             Benoit Santerre <benoit_santerre@...> wrote:

            Thank you Venerable Ashin Punnobhasa for this
            insightful answer. It is helpful. The pali term for
            signless concentration is animitta cetosamadhi.
            According to bhikkhu bodhi, a commentary says it is
            vipassanasamadhi (insight concentration), having
            abandoned the sign of permanence. But the suttas
            themselves do not explain what this is. They mention
            Venerable Sariputta abiding in that concentration
            after having mastered the base of
            neither-perception-nor non-perception. I just wanted
            to have your opinion on this. I am very interested in
            discerning "dry insight" vipassana (going straight to
            vipassana without jhana) in the pali canon.
            Thank you and deep bows,
            benoit



            --- Ashin Punnobhasa <punnobhasa@...> wrote:
            > Dear Benoit,
            >
            > 1. First of all, I would like to mention a pargraph
            > from the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma.
            >
            > "The water element (apodhatu): The water element, or
            > fluidity, is the material factor that makes
            > different particles of matter cohere, thereby
            > preventing them from being scattered about. Its
            > characteristic is trickling or oozing, its functiion
            > is to intensify the coexisting material states, and
            > its is manifested as the holding together or
            > cohesion of material phenomena. Its proximate cause
            > is the other three great essentials. The Abhidhamma
            > holds that unlike the other three great essentials,
            > the water element cannot be physically sensed but
            > must be known inferentially from the cohesion of
            > observed matter."
            >
            > From the practical aspect, when you focus on the
            > breath, sometimes,  you are aware of either heat or
            > cold, sometimes movement, and sometimes how strongly
            > the air touches on that area.
            >
            > Our teachers suggested that, when we are aware of
            > dhatu (elements) we better focus on the tip of the
            > nostril; not the air.
            >
            > When the air touches, there is some changes on the
            > area where the air touches. You feel heat or cold on
            > the flesh around the nostril. There is moving or
            > pushing sensation on that area. These two are clear.
            > You are right; it seems hardness and softness is
            > almost intengible. Let us think about it this way;
            >
            > When I am touching the key board with my fingers, I
            > can sense the temperature, and also I can sense the
            > hardness on the keys. I understand that the sense of
            > touch (photthabbaramana) is the composition of three
            > elements (temperature, hardness and softness and
            > movement). But I am sensing heat aspect or hardness
            > aspect alternatively. Sometimes I notice the keys
            > are cold; another time I notice it is hard.
            >
            > One more step:
            >
            > When I touch the table with me nose, I can sense
            > coldness (temperature) and hardness.  Like I can
            > sense the keys with my fingers.
            >
            > When I touch my nose with my finger, I can sense
            > with my fingers the temperature and the softness on
            > my nose. I can also sense the temperature, the
            > movement and the hardness of my fingers on my nose.
            > This sensation on the nose seems clearer than that
            > on the fingers.
            >
            > When I wave my hand in the air I can feel the
            > movement, and the tempearture. But I hardly feel the
            > hardness and softness in the air because my hand
            > pass through the air easily.
            >
            > I hope this examples will give you something to
            > think. Different material things has different
            > composition of elements. When you touch them you
            > feel different. Some aspect of those elements are
            > clearer than the others.
            >
            > When you are sitting for a long time, your legs will
            > feel stiffness, your back may feel a kind of hard
            > object inside your back. These are aspect of pathavi
            > (earth elements). When you feel the stiffness in
            > your legs, don't pay attention towards the floor;
            > just observe the sensation on your legs.
            >
            > Please feel free to discuss about this more. It is
            > interesting!
            >
            > (2) for your second question, I would like to konw
            > what you meant by signless concentration. If
            > possible I would like to know the pali term for
            > that, if you don't mind. I am sorry I cannot answer
            > it now. I do not want to guess about the term. Also,
            > the mind is blocked by something (It must be moha)
            > so that I do not get the meaning right away. I would
            > appreciate the answers form other venerables too.
            >
            > with metta,
            >
            > Ashin Punnobhasa
            >
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Do you Yahoo!?
            > Yahoo! Platinum - Watch CBS' NCAA March Madness,
            > live on your desktop!


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          • Sayadaw Nanda Siddhi
            Dear Benoit, You may not have only two questions but also many doubts. They will not be clear by just thinking and considering. You should read my last answer
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 25 5:51 AM
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              Dear Benoit,
              You may not have only two questions but also many doubts. They will not be
              clear by just thinking and considering. You should read my last answer
              carefully. Observing for a while is not enough for seeing and understanding
              the character of phenomena of aggregates. You have to develop mindfulness,
              heedfulness, and concentration. Then you could get experience and deep
              knowledge.
              Normal reading and thinking knowledge is easy to explain to you like you say
              that moving is air element, heat or coldness is fire element, cohesiveness
              and fluidity is water element, hardness or softness is earth element. These
              are knowledge from the books.
              You want to get the real experience knowledge; you must go on intensive
              vipassana meditation retreat under the guidance of knowledgeable teacher.
              Then you will get daily interview, discussion and Dhamma talk to clear all
              your doubts.

              I couldn't get the meaning of signless concentration. It is a bit different
              between insight and concentration. Concentration means putting your mind on
              one- pointedness of object. So it needs an object. If there is no object,
              how can we concentrate? Without concentration we couldn't gain real insight.

              With metta

              Nandasiddhi







              >From: Benoit Santerre <benoit_santerre@...>
              >Reply-To: SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com
              >To: sanghaonline@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [SanghaOnline] material elements and signless concentration
              >Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 09:13:09 -0800 (PST)
              >
              >Dear venerable Sayadaws,
              >I have two questions.
              >1. When I observe a feling, say the sensation of the
              >air coming in and out of the nose, I am unable to
              >discern the water and earth element. Same with another
              >physical sensation. The air moving, this is obviously
              >the air element. Its heat or coldness, this is
              >temperature element. Can you please help me how to see
              >water and earth element in the breath sensation at the
              >nostrils? And in another physical sensation?
              >
              >2. What is signless concentration. Is it insight
              >concentration, like being focused on the rise and fall
              >of mind and matter? Or is it something else?
              >Thank you and deep bows to you,
              >benoit
              >
              >
              >__________________________________________________
              >Do you Yahoo!?
              >Yahoo! Platinum - Watch CBS' NCAA March Madness, live on your desktop!
              >http://platinum.yahoo.com
              >


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            • Ashin Punnobhasa
              Dear Benoit, Thanks for your immediate response. As you do, I am not very much interested in achieving jhanas either. When I read your first question I was
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 25 4:15 PM
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                Dear Benoit,

                Thanks for your immediate response. As you do, I am not very much interested in achieving jhanas either. 

                When I read your first question I was wandering if you are talking about animittavimokkha. I would like to spend some time on that animittavimokkha. Please bare with me for that. Vimokkha (emancipation) refers to magga because when you attain magga you are free from certain kilesa (defilement). And also vimokkha refers to phala since you have been free from those kilesa. So Vimokkha is synonymous for magga and phala.

                Suppose you are close to magga practicing vipassana. Let say, you are at the stage of sankharupekkha nana or anuloma nana. You may be either contemplating on impermanence or dukkha or non-self. The option is due to what you are more attracted to.

                Putthujjana (worldly) person tend to view anicca (impermanence) as nicca (permanence). This view is called vipallasanimitta (the sign of perversion). Through the practice of vipassana and if he is at the stage of sankharupekkha or anuloma nana, the meditator views nama (mind) or rupa (matter) (whatever he is contemplating on) as anicca. When he attains magga, vipallasanimitta (the sign of perversion) is abandoned. Therefore, that magga is called as animitta vimokkha magga (signless emancipation).

                Therefore, I would say, animitta cetosamadhi means concentrated mind (strictly speaking, concentration that associated with vipassana nana) that contemplates on impermanence.

                I understand that without attainment of jhana, one may be able to reach the state of sankharupekkha nana and anuloma nana and even magga and phala. In case of Venerable Sariputta, his attainment of magga and phala was after attainment of jhana states. Yet, you and I may be able to reach the state of animitta vimokkha through animitta cetosamadhi.

                (Another point to mentioned here is that after attainment of magga and phala, )when a noble disciple enters his respective fruition attainment (phala samapatti), the fruition experience is named after the type of insight that led immediately to its attainment. (A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma) Then that fruition is called signless emancipation.

                Again, that word "animitta" may refers to nibbana which is signless. Here animitta means free from marks or attributes (alakkhana), not contaminated by outward signs or appearance, undefiled, unaffected, unconditioned (Pali-English Dictionary, Pali Text Society). Unconditioned refers to nibbana. So concentration that is associated with phala samapatti may be called animitta cetosamadhi because the object of phala samapatti is nibbana.

                My friend, if my answer leads some more questions, I will be glad to discuss with you. And also I am willing to accept any comment or correction to my answer humbly.

                May you be able to achieve the goal of nibbana as soon as possible!

                with metta,

                Ashin Punnobhasa

                 



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              • Sayadaw Nanda Siddhi
                Dear Bhante, Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! Thank you for your answer to our friend. Your explanation is very clear like a meditation master. It is very beneficial for
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 25 6:26 PM
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                  Dear Bhante,
                  Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
                  Thank you for your answer to our friend. Your explanation is very clear like
                  a meditation master. It is very beneficial for every body that is
                  interested. Your English is very good. I sincerely want to explain but my
                  English is not good enough. Please carry on your explanations. I also can
                  learn some more.
                  Thanks,
                  Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! Again.
                  With respect.
                  Nandasiddhi.







                  >From: Ashin Punnobhasa <punnobhasa@...>
                  >Reply-To: SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com
                  >To: SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com
                  >Subject: Re: [SanghaOnline] material elements and signless concentration
                  >Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 06:05:06 -0800 (PST)
                  >
                  >Dear Benoit,
                  >
                  >1. First of all, I would like to mention a pargraph from the Comprehensive
                  >Manual of Abhidhamma.
                  >
                  >"The water element (apodhatu): The water element, or fluidity, is the
                  >material factor that makes different particles of matter cohere, thereby
                  >preventing them from being scattered about. Its characteristic is trickling
                  >or oozing, its functiion is to intensify the coexisting material states,
                  >and its is manifested as the holding together or cohesion of material
                  >phenomena. Its proximate cause is the other three great essentials. The
                  >Abhidhamma holds that unlike the other three great essentials, the water
                  >element cannot be physically sensed but must be known inferentially from
                  >the cohesion of observed matter."
                  >
                  >From the practical aspect, when you focus on the breath, sometimes, you
                  >are aware of either heat or cold, sometimes movement, and sometimes how
                  >strongly the air touches on that area.
                  >
                  >Our teachers suggested that, when we are aware of dhatu (elements) we
                  >better focus on the tip of the nostril; not the air.
                  >
                  >When the air touches, there is some changes on the area where the air
                  >touches. You feel heat or cold on the flesh around the nostril. There is
                  >moving or pushing sensation on that area. These two are clear. You are
                  >right; it seems hardness and softness is almost intengible. Let us think
                  >about it this way;
                  >
                  >When I am touching the key board with my fingers, I can sense the
                  >temperature, and also I can sense the hardness on the keys. I understand
                  >that the sense of touch (photthabbaramana) is the composition of three
                  >elements (temperature, hardness and softness and movement). But I am
                  >sensing heat aspect or hardness aspect alternatively. Sometimes I notice
                  >the keys are cold; another time I notice it is hard.
                  >
                  >One more step:
                  >
                  >When I touch the table with me nose, I can sense coldness (temperature) and
                  >hardness. Like I can sense the keys with my fingers.
                  >
                  >When I touch my nose with my finger, I can sense with my fingers the
                  >temperature and the softness on my nose. I can also sense the temperature,
                  >the movement and the hardness of my fingers on my nose. This sensation on
                  >the nose seems clearer than that on the fingers.
                  >
                  >When I wave my hand in the air I can feel the movement, and the
                  >tempearture. But I hardly feel the hardness and softness in the air because
                  >my hand pass through the air easily.
                  >
                  >I hope this examples will give you something to think. Different material
                  >things has different composition of elements. When you touch them you feel
                  >different. Some aspect of those elements are clearer than the others.
                  >
                  >When you are sitting for a long time, your legs will feel stiffness, your
                  >back may feel a kind of hard object inside your back. These are aspect of
                  >pathavi (earth elements). When you feel the stiffness in your legs, don't
                  >pay attention towards the floor; just observe the sensation on your legs.
                  >
                  >Please feel free to discuss about this more. It is interesting!
                  >
                  >(2) for your second question, I would like to konw what you meant by
                  >signless concentration. If possible I would like to know the pali term for
                  >that, if you don't mind. I am sorry I cannot answer it now. I do not want
                  >to guess about the term. Also, the mind is blocked by something (It must be
                  >moha) so that I do not get the meaning right away. I would appreciate the
                  >answers form other venerables too.
                  >
                  >with metta,
                  >
                  >Ashin Punnobhasa
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >---------------------------------
                  >Do you Yahoo!?
                  >Yahoo! Platinum - Watch CBS' NCAA March Madness, live on your desktop!


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                • Ashin Punnobhasa
                  Dear Sayadaw U Nanda Siddhi, I am greatful to your kind reply. I, too, can learn many things form the answers as well as the questions. I will try my best. And
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 26 6:18 AM
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                    Dear Sayadaw,

                    I am greatful to your kind reply. I, too, can learn many things form the answers as well as the questions. I will try my best. And let us try our best! In fact, the teaching itsefl is so wonderful. What do we need to do is just to learn, practice, and experience. My English is not that good. I always wish that my English would be as good as Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi. Well, it is too much for now. My knowledge on the teaching may be compared to the dust on the feet of Sayadaws like Ashin Janakabhivamsa. And also what I have experienced about the Dhamma is too little to be compared with that of Meditation Masters like Mahasie Sayadaw. But I am confidend that I am on that directions; if the fulfilment is not in this life, that would be in one future life. We will work together for Buddhasasana, the welfare of all beings.

                    with metta,

                    Punnobhasa



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                  • Ashin Punnobhasa
                    Dear Zen, (1) Most people have the same problem with pain or discomfort. And people also have pleasure and comfort. This comes up and down in turn. That s the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 26 6:49 AM
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                      Dear Zen,

                      (1) Most people have the same problem with pain or discomfort. And people also have pleasure and comfort. This comes up and down in turn. That's the nature of the body. To overcome with pain, one need to be patient. So in the course of meditation one should observe the nature of mind and matter patiently, confidently, analytically, energetically, concentratedly, and the most important of all, mindfully. Try to keep away your idea that "I am experiencing that pain, or this is my pain." Observe the pain objectively (as it is) without considering from subjective view point. It's the way that a physician examine the wound of a patient. Changing posture is not a problem. But too much changes would disturbe your concentration. And by changing all the time you will not be able to develop the quality such as patience that is necessary in you meditation as well as in your day-today life. Whether you change the posture or remain in the same posture, please be mindful.

                      (2) About chi, I have no knowledge, yet I believe that it is a good thing to practice. I will leave it to you to see and understand by yourself. I can only say that concentrated mind is very powerful among all other types of energy.  

                      (3) I do not really know how one can be one with nature, but I do agree on one point that to be in harmony with the nature is a good thing.

                      Again, I am afraid, I do not have any comment on your statment, "Everything moves, etc." But I am wandering if a person who was young is moving towards the old age and death or mental states and material phenomena are changing moment to moment. If a statement is true in one aspect, that is conventional truth. If a statement is true in any aspect, that is considered to be ultimate truth.  

                      with metta,

                      Ashin Punnobhasa

                       



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                    • Benoit Santerre
                      Dear Venerable Monks, Thank you very much to take time to answer, both to you, venerable Ashin Punnobhasa, and venerable Nanda Siddhi. I am interested in
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 26 7:26 PM
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                        Dear Venerable Monks,

                        Thank you very much to take time to answer, both to
                        you, venerable Ashin Punnobhasa, and venerable Nanda
                        Siddhi. I am interested in developing those
                        concentrations of mind connected to insight because as
                        a lay person, if I can dispense with jhanas I would. I
                        feel I live in a busy society and feel the "dry
                        insight path" is good for us. Why take a long time to
                        develop jhana when you can go straight to insight?
                        I have no questions for now. I will practice more.
                        Deep bows to you and thanks again.
                        Benoit


                        --- Ashin Punnobhasa <punnobhasa@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Dear Benoit,
                        >
                        > Thanks for your immediate response. As you do, I am
                        > not very much interested in achieving jhanas either.
                        >
                        >
                        > When I read your first question I was wandering if
                        > you are talking about animittavimokkha. I would like
                        > to spend some time on that animittavimokkha. Please
                        > bare with me for that. Vimokkha (emancipation)
                        > refers to magga because when you attain magga you
                        > are free from certain kilesa (defilement). And also
                        > vimokkha refers to phala since you have been free
                        > from those kilesa. So Vimokkha is synonymous for
                        > magga and phala.
                        >
                        > Suppose you are close to magga practicing vipassana.
                        > Let say, you are at the stage of sankharupekkha nana
                        > or anuloma nana. You may be either contemplating on
                        > impermanence or dukkha or non-self. The option is
                        > due to what you are more attracted to.
                        >
                        > Putthujjana (worldly) person tend to view anicca
                        > (impermanence) as nicca (permanence). This view is
                        > called vipallasanimitta (the sign of perversion).
                        > Through the practice of vipassana and if he is at
                        > the stage of sankharupekkha or anuloma nana, the
                        > meditator views nama (mind) or rupa (matter)
                        > (whatever he is contemplating on) as anicca. When he
                        > attains magga, vipallasanimitta (the sign of
                        > perversion) is abandoned. Therefore, that magga is
                        > called as animitta vimokkha magga (signless
                        > emancipation).
                        >
                        > Therefore, I would say, animitta cetosamadhi means
                        > concentrated mind (strictly speaking, concentration
                        > that associated with vipassana nana) that
                        > contemplates on impermanence.
                        >
                        > I understand that without attainment of jhana, one
                        > may be able to reach the state of sankharupekkha
                        > nana and anuloma nana and even magga and phala. In
                        > case of Venerable Sariputta, his attainment of magga
                        > and phala was after attainment of jhana states. Yet,
                        > you and I may be able to reach the state of animitta
                        > vimokkha through animitta cetosamadhi.
                        >
                        > (Another point to mentioned here is that after
                        > attainment of magga and phala, )when a noble
                        > disciple enters his respective fruition attainment
                        > (phala samapatti), the fruition experience is named
                        > after the type of insight that led immediately to
                        > its attainment. (A Comprehensive Manual of
                        > Abhidhamma) Then that fruition is called signless
                        > emancipation.
                        >
                        > Again, that word "animitta" may refers to nibbana
                        > which is signless. Here animitta means free from
                        > marks or attributes (alakkhana), not contaminated by
                        > outward signs or appearance, undefiled, unaffected,
                        > unconditioned (Pali-English Dictionary, Pali Text
                        > Society). Unconditioned refers to nibbana. So
                        > concentration that is associated with phala
                        > samapatti may be called animitta cetosamadhi because
                        > the object of phala samapatti is nibbana.
                        >
                        > My friend, if my answer leads some more questions, I
                        > will be glad to discuss with you. And also I am
                        > willing to accept any comment or correction to my
                        > answer humbly.
                        >
                        > May you be able to achieve the goal of nibbana as
                        > soon as possible!
                        >
                        > with metta,
                        >
                        > Ashin Punnobhasa
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------
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                        > live on your desktop!


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