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Re: [dsg] Samadhi sutta SN 35.99

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, Nina - In a message dated 9/2/06 10:07:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... ===================== I m speaking about the Vism, which some people have actually
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 2, 2006
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      Hi, Nina -

      In a message dated 9/2/06 10:07:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      vangorko@... writes:

      > Hi Howard,
      > to which texts are you specifically referring? And why?
      > I ask this because it seems that some people think that he is
      > downplaying this subject.
      > Nina.
      >
      =====================
      I'm speaking about the Vism, which some people have actually referred
      to as a meditation manual, though I wouldn't describe it that way. He goes
      into details there about the preparation and use of kasinas, discusses breath
      meditation, and also discusses at length what meditation subjects are
      particularly suitable for particular types of mentalities, with anapanasati a practice
      suitable for all types I seem to recall.
      I can't imagine anyone thinking that Buddhaghosa downplays the subject
      of cultivating concentration.

      With metta,
      Howard

      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nina van Gorkom
      Hi Howard, Thank you for answering. Mindfulness of Breath is suitable for Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas and Buddha s sons. We could read about the discussion on
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 2, 2006
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        Hi Howard,
        Thank you for answering.
        Mindfulness of Breath is suitable for Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas and
        Buddha's sons. We could read about the discussion on this in Rob's
        forum I recently quoted.
        Not everybody appreciates the words that very few people can attain
        access concentration and jhaana.
        Nina.


        Op 2-sep-2006, om 16:35 heeft upasaka@... het volgende geschreven:

        > I'm speaking about the Vism, which some people have actually referred
        > to as a meditation manual, though I wouldn't describe it that way.
        > He goes
        > into details there about the preparation and use of kasinas,



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • upasaka@aol.com
        Hi, Nina - In a message dated 9/2/06 2:13:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Howard: I m not clear as what that means. I assume it pertains to what one s goal
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 2, 2006
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          Hi, Nina -

          In a message dated 9/2/06 2:13:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          vangorko@... writes:

          > Hi Howard,
          > Thank you for answering.
          > Mindfulness of Breath is suitable for Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas and
          > Buddha's sons.
          >
          ----------------------------------------------
          Howard:
          I'm not clear as what that means. I assume it pertains to what one's
          goal is. As for who would find this subject suitable to his/her temperament, on
          p. 114 of The Path of Purification, Buddhaghosa is recorded to have written
          "Mindfulness of breathing is the one [recollection as a] meditation subject
          suitable for one of deluded temperament and for one of speculative temperament."
          -------------------------------------------
          We could read about the discussion on this in Rob's
          >
          > forum I recently quoted.
          > Not everybody appreciates the words that very few people can attain
          > access concentration and jhaana.

          --------------------------------------------
          Howard:
          There are some on DSG who can, and many elsewhere who can.
          ------------------------------------------

          > Nina.
          >
          ======================
          With metta,
          Howard

          /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
          in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
          phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • buddhatrue
          Hi Nina, ... and ... Rob s ... Grrrrrr!!! This is not what the Vism. said about this subject! You- know-who misquoted the relevant passage. The Vism. states
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 2, 2006
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            Hi Nina,

            --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, Nina van Gorkom
            <vangorko@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Howard,
            > Thank you for answering.
            > Mindfulness of Breath is suitable for Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas
            and
            > Buddha's sons. We could read about the discussion on this in
            Rob's
            > forum I recently quoted.

            Grrrrrr!!! This is not what the Vism. said about this subject! You-
            know-who misquoted the relevant passage. The Vism. states that
            Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas, and Buddha's sons are 'at home' in
            anapanasati, but for the rest of the meditators it will be difficult
            to practice. This is an entirely different meaning!

            > Not everybody appreciates the words that very few people can
            attain
            > access concentration and jhaana.

            Again, it isn't that few poeple 'can', it's that few people 'do'.
            Most people don't practice to the extent necessary. It takes a lot
            of time and dedication.

            > Nina.
            >
            Metta,
            James
          • buddhatrue
            Hi Nina, and all, ... wrote: The Vism. states that ... difficult ... I guess I should add that I have taken this advice from the Vism. to
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 2, 2006
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              Hi Nina, and all,

              --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "buddhatrue"
              <buddhatrue@...> wrote:
              The Vism. states that
              > Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas, and Buddha's sons are 'at home' in
              > anapanasati, but for the rest of the meditators it will be
              difficult
              > to practice.

              I guess I should add that I have taken this advice from the Vism. to
              heart and I have changed my meditation object, for the time being.
              Now, during my daily practice, I am using the blue kasina as my
              object of concentration, and no longer the breath. Honestly, I do
              find it much easier to concentrate on the blue kasina than my
              breath.

              It was quite easy for me to make a blue kasina. I just opened
              Microsoft Paint (available in all Windows versions), used the circle
              tool to make a large circle and filled it in with dark blue. Then I
              printed that from a color printer and darkened it a bit with a blue
              marker. So, I have a blue kasina above my Buddha shrine, at eye
              level, which I focus on in the mornings and evenings; and I have the
              blue kasina in my computer which I can focus on at work when I have
              free time. It seems to be working quite nicely.

              If anyone would like a color kasina (the Vism. lists: blue, red,
              yellow, and white), but don't know how to make one, contact me off-
              list and I can e-mail one to you.

              Metta,
              James
            • matheesha
              Hi James, ... Matheesha
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 3, 2006
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                Hi James,
                >
                > It was quite easy for me to make a blue kasina. I just opened
                > Microsoft Paint (available in all Windows versions), used the circle
                > tool to make a large circle and filled it in with dark blue. Then I
                > printed that from a color printer and darkened it a bit with a blue
                > marker. So, I have a blue kasina above my Buddha shrine, at eye
                > level, which I focus on in the mornings and evenings; and I have the
                > blue kasina in my computer which I can focus on at work when I have
                > free time.

                :), nice one!

                Matheesha
              • matheesha
                Hi Nina, ... and ... what one s ... M: Well the buddha s sons (buddhaputta) are his disciples. Especially the bikkhus. That it precludes lay people seems
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 3, 2006
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                  Hi Nina,

                  >N: > Mindfulness of Breath is suitable for Buddhas, Paccheka Buddhas
                  and
                  > > Buddha's sons.
                  > >
                  > ----------------------------------------------
                  > Howard:
                  > I'm not clear as what that means. I assume it pertains to
                  what one's
                  > goal is.

                  M: Well the buddha's sons (buddhaputta) are his disciples. Especially
                  the bikkhus. That it precludes lay people seems unlikely. There were
                  thousands of anagamis during the buddhas time who had completeted
                  samma samadhi living lay lives according to the suttas. A few are
                  even individually mentioned along with their special abilities.
                  Anapanasathi being a such a basic meditation would have been
                  practiced among the layity.

                  > We could read about the discussion on this in Rob's
                  > >
                  > > forum I recently quoted.
                  > > Not everybody appreciates the words that very few people can
                  attain
                  > > access concentration and jhaana.
                  >
                  > --------------------------------------------
                  > Howard:
                  > There are some on DSG who can, and many elsewhere who can.
                  > ------------------------------------------
                  >

                  M: In my experience the ability to attain jhana has a lot to do with
                  1) right view (jhanas being important, jhanas being attainable, the
                  best way to do it)
                  2) belief in one's efficacy/self esteem
                  3) willingness to put in the effort (and putting it in!)
                  4) having a fairly settled life/mind and being virtuous.
                  lastly
                  5) being in a retreat situation, but not exclusively. quiet surrounds
                  do help a great deal.

                  with metta

                  Matheesha
                • Nina van Gorkom
                  Hi Matheesha, I do not know what to answer, but I feel this is your conviction and if a person feels in this or that way let him write about it. Nina. ...
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 3, 2006
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                    Hi Matheesha,
                    I do not know what to answer, but I feel this is your conviction and
                    if a person feels in this or that way let him write about it.
                    Nina.
                    Op 3-sep-2006, om 16:32 heeft matheesha het volgende geschreven:

                    > M: In my experience the ability to attain jhana has a lot to do with
                    > 1) right view (jhanas being important, jhanas being attainable, the
                    > best way to do it)
                    > 2) belief in one's efficacy/self esteem
                    > 3) willingness to put in the effort (and putting it in!)
                    > 4) having a fairly settled life/mind and being virtuous.
                    > lastly
                    > 5) being in a retreat situation, but not exclusively. quiet surrounds
                    > do help a great deal.



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • matheesha
                    Hi Nina ... Not really expecting an answer. :) just commenting. Hope you are well, with metta Matheesha
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 3, 2006
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                      Hi Nina

                      > I do not know what to answer, but I feel this is your conviction and
                      > if a person feels in this or that way let him write about it.

                      Not really expecting an answer. :) just commenting.

                      Hope you are well,

                      with metta

                      Matheesha
                    • Jonothan Abbott
                      Hi Howard ... An accumulation of what particular mind-state? The description you give sounds like samatha of some kind (do you see it as being anything other
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 5, 2006
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                        Hi Howard

                        --- upasaka@... wrote:
                        ...
                        > > OK, I am clear that in your view jhana is involved. I am not clear
                        > what
                        > > other mind-states (or mental activities?) you have in mind,
                        > specifically
                        > > when you refer to "a generally concentrated mind - a mind that has
                        > been
                        > > trained to typically pay sharp attention at most times" and also "a
                        > > process of conditioning the mind, making it a more fit tool for
                        > > investigation of dhammas". If you'd care to elaborate on this, I'd be
                        > > interested to discuss further. Are you referring to samatha or to
                        > some
                        > > other form of kusala (I'm still not clear on this point)?
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------------
                        > Howard:
                        > The word 'accumulation' occurs to me here, Jon. I'm speaking of a
                        > mind
                        > that is inclined to be clear, calm, and undistracted as its most typical
                        > state.
                        > ------------------------------------------

                        An accumulation of what particular mind-state?

                        The description you give sounds like samatha of some kind (do you see it
                        as being anything other than samatha?).

                        So getting back to the original point under discussion, it seems that you
                        see samatha (including jhana) as being the samadhi that conditions the
                        arising of insight.

                        In a recent post to Mateesha I summarised the contents of a sutta from AN
                        that sets out the 4 kinds of samadhi development. These include both the
                        samadhi of samatha and the samadhi of vipassana. So I would say that the
                        samadhi of vipassana refers to something other than samatha.
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/62117

                        > > The passage I quoted from Ch III seems to me to be making a
                        > distinction
                        > > between the samadhi that is associated with the development of samatha
                        > and
                        > > the samadhi that is associated with the development of insight. It
                        > says
                        > > in effect that Part III deals with the former, while the latter is
                        > dealt
                        > > with in Part IV and further that the concentration that accompanies
                        > > insight is developed along with the development of insight.
                        > >
                        > > What do you understand by the passage?
                        >
                        > -------------------------------------------
                        > Howard:
                        > I don't know. But I think of the sutta AN 4.170, the Yuganaddha
                        > Sutta
                        > that discusses several forms of concentration, one of which is
                        > "in-tandem".
                        > The part of the sutta that refers to that is "Then there is the case
                        > where a
                        > monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops
                        > tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that
                        > path, develops
                        > it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it
                        —
                        > his
                        > fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed."
                        > -------------------------------------------

                        Thanks for mentioning the sutta AN 4.170 (called by some translators the
                        Yuganaddha Sutta).

                        This sutta sets out the ways by which insight can be attained when
                        reckoned according to the development of tranquillity (samatha) (note:
                        samatha, not samadhi). Those ways include not only the way described as
                        'in tandem' (samatha and vipassana),but also the way where enlightenment
                        is attained before jhana has been attained.

                        As regards the passage you have quoted, I do not see any particular
                        significance to our discussion about the samadhi of insight. The passage
                        simply describes how the development of insight that leads to
                        enlightenment may be accompanied by the development of samatha (just as,
                        in the scenario described in my previous paragraph, it may not).

                        > > LOL! But what about the development of insight at beginning level.
                        > Do
                        > > the texts say that this requires any particular development of
                        > samadhi?
                        >
                        > ---------------------------------------
                        > Howard:
                        > Well, c'mon, Jon - try to pay attention without paying attention!
                        > Near
                        > the beginning of the Satipatthana Sutta the Buddha writes "There is the
                        > case
                        > where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself —
                        ardent,
                        > alert, &
                        > mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to
                        the world.
                        > He remains
                        > focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves
                        —
                        > ardent,
                        > alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with
                        reference to
                        > the world."
                        > Remaining focused is concentrating, Jon. It is paying attention. There
                        > is no
                        > attending to what arises without attending.
                        > ---------------------------------------------------

                        You say that the passage from the beginning of the Satipatthana Sutta that
                        mentions remaining focussed on the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness is talking
                        about paying deliberate attention to, in other words concentrating on,
                        those objects.

                        I think you are placing a lot of weight on the expression 'remaining
                        focussed' used in particular translation from which you are quoting. The
                        original Pali is 'anupassana' which Bhikkhu Bodhi translates as
                        'contemplates'. 'Contemplates' does not carry the same connotation of
                        'deliberate attention to or concentration on'. Contemplation can occur at
                        many levels, including the conscious (deliberate),but it can also occur a
                        more subtle levels, and can be involuntary.

                        We can get an idea of what is meant by 'anupassana' from the sutta itself,
                        because the rest of the sutta is devoted to answering the question of
                        *how* a person remains focussed on/contemplates the 4 foundations of
                        Mindfulness. From this I think it is clear that something other than the
                        deliberate paying of attention is meant. It refers to a level of
                        understanding, I believe.

                        For example, in the section on the body it says:
                        "And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating the body in the
                        body?
                        ...
                        "And further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu,
                        in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practicing clear
                        comprehension;
                        in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, ...;
                        in bending and in stretching, is a person practicing clear comprehension;
                        in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, ...;
                        in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savored, ...;
                        in defecating and in urinating, ...;
                        in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in
                        sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence,
                        is a person practicing clear comprehension.
                        "Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally... and clings
                        to naught in the world. Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives
                        contemplating the body in the body."

                        Jon
                      • upasaka@aol.com
                        Hi, Jon - In a message dated 9/5/06 4:58:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Howard: I m speaking of a mind that typically tends to be peaceful and undistracted.
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 5, 2006
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                          Hi, Jon -

                          In a message dated 9/5/06 4:58:36 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                          jonoabb@... writes:

                          > Hi Howard
                          >
                          > --- upasaka@... wrote:
                          > ...
                          > >>OK, I am clear that in your view jhana is involved. I am not clear
                          > >what
                          > >>other mind-states (or mental activities?) you have in mind,
                          > >specifically
                          > >>when you refer to "a generally concentrated mind - a mind that has
                          > >been
                          > >>trained to typically pay sharp attention at most times" and also "a
                          > >>process of conditioning the mind, making it a more fit tool for
                          > >>investigation of dhammas". If you'd care to elaborate on this, I'd be
                          > >>interested to discuss further. Are you referring to samatha or to
                          > >some
                          > >>other form of kusala (I'm still not clear on this point)?
                          > >
                          > >------------------------------------------
                          > >Howard:
                          > > The word 'accumulation' occurs to me here, Jon. I'm speaking of a
                          > >mind
                          > >that is inclined to be clear, calm, and undistracted as its most typical
                          > >state.
                          > >------------------------------------------
                          >
                          > An accumulation of what particular mind-state?

                          --------------------------------------------
                          Howard:
                          I'm speaking of a mind that typically tends to be peaceful and
                          undistracted. So, you can choose your favorite Pali words for 'these. ;-))
                          -------------------------------------------

                          >
                          > The description you give sounds like samatha of some kind (do you see it
                          > as being anything other than samatha?).

                          --------------------------------------------
                          Howard:
                          That is certainly a part of it.
                          -------------------------------------------

                          >
                          > So getting back to the original point under discussion, it seems that you
                          > see samatha (including jhana) as being the samadhi that conditions the
                          > arising of insight.
                          >
                          > In a recent post to Mateesha I summarised the contents of a sutta from AN
                          > that sets out the 4 kinds of samadhi development. These include both the
                          > samadhi of samatha and the samadhi of vipassana. So I would say that the
                          > samadhi of vipassana refers to something other than samatha.
                          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/62117
                          ------------------------------------------------
                          Howard:
                          From my perspective, samadhi is, generally, nondistractedness. When it
                          is generated by akusala interest it is not a path factor. When it is a kusala
                          state, it is. As to the two types of samadhi you mention, in my practice, I
                          don't separate samatha bhavana from vipassana bhavana. My practice is an
                          in-tandem one.
                          ------------------------------------------------

                          >
                          > >>The passage I quoted from Ch III seems to me to be making a
                          > >distinction
                          > >>between the samadhi that is associated with the development of samatha
                          > >and
                          > >>the samadhi that is associated with the development of insight. It
                          > >says
                          > >>in effect that Part III deals with the former, while the latter is
                          > >dealt
                          > >>with in Part IV and further that the concentration that accompanies
                          > >>insight is developed along with the development of insight.
                          > >>
                          > >>What do you understand by the passage?
                          > >
                          > >-------------------------------------------
                          > >Howard:
                          > > I don't know. But I think of the sutta AN 4.170, the Yuganaddha
                          > >Sutta
                          > >that discusses several forms of concentration, one of which is
                          > >"in-tandem".
                          > >The part of the sutta that refers to that is "Then there is the case
                          > >where a
                          > >monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops
                          > >tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that
                          > >path, develops
                          > >it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it &pursuing it
                          > —
                          > >his
                          > >fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed."
                          > >-------------------------------------------
                          >
                          > Thanks for mentioning the sutta AN 4.170 (called by some translators the
                          > Yuganaddha Sutta).
                          >
                          > This sutta sets out the ways by which insight can be attained when
                          > reckoned according to the development of tranquillity (samatha) (note:
                          > samatha, not samadhi). Those ways include not only the way described as
                          > 'in tandem' (samatha and vipassana),but also the way where enlightenment
                          > is attained before jhana has been attained.

                          --------------------------------------------
                          Howard:
                          Calm and concentration are mutually related. And concentration is a
                          very important condition. What is it about concentration that worries you, Jon?
                          You always seem wary with regard to it.
                          -------------------------------------------

                          >
                          > As regards the passage you have quoted, I do not see any particular
                          > significance to our discussion about the samadhi of insight. The passage
                          > simply describes how the development of insight that leads to
                          > enlightenment may be accompanied by the development of samatha (just as,
                          > in the scenario described in my previous paragraph, it may not).
                          >
                          > >>LOL! But what about the development of insight at beginning level.
                          > >Do
                          > >>the texts say that this requires any particular development of
                          > >samadhi?
                          > >
                          > >---------------------------------------
                          > >Howard:
                          > > Well, c'mon, Jon - try to pay attention without paying attention!
                          > >Near
                          > >the beginning of the Satipatthana Sutta the Buddha writes "There is the
                          > >case
                          > >where a monk remains focused on the body in &of itself —
                          > ardent,
                          > >alert, &
                          > >mindful — putting aside greed &distress with reference to
                          > the world.
                          > >He remains
                          > >focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in &of themselves
                          > —
                          > >ardent,
                          > >alert, &mindful — putting aside greed &distress with
                          > reference to
                          > >the world."
                          > >Remaining focused is concentrating, Jon. It is paying attention. There
                          > >is no
                          > >attending to what arises without attending.
                          > >---------------------------------------------------
                          >
                          > You say that the passage from the beginning of the Satipatthana Sutta that
                          > mentions remaining focussed on the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness is talking
                          > about paying deliberate attention to, in other words concentrating on,
                          > those objects.
                          >
                          > I think you are placing a lot of weight on the expression 'remaining
                          > focussed' used in particular translation from which you are quoting.
                          >
                          ---------------------------------------
                          Howard:
                          Not an inordinate weight, Jon. I'm just taking it at face value.
                          --------------------------------------
                          The>
                          > original Pali is 'anupassana' which Bhikkhu Bodhi translates as
                          > 'contemplates'. 'Contemplates' does not carry the same connotation of
                          > 'deliberate attention to or concentration on'. Contemplation can occur at
                          > many levels, including the conscious (deliberate),but it can also occur a
                          > more subtle levels, and can be involuntary.
                          >
                          > We can get an idea of what is meant by 'anupassana' from the sutta itself,
                          > because the rest of the sutta is devoted to answering the question of
                          > *how* a person remains focussed on/contemplates the 4 foundations of
                          > Mindfulness. From this I think it is clear that something other than the
                          > deliberate paying of attention is meant. It refers to a level of
                          > understanding, I believe.

                          -------------------------------------------
                          Howard:
                          Actually, I agree with that. Nyanatiloka renders 'anupassana' as
                          'contemplation', but I thought it basically meant "insight" or "insightful
                          investigation'.
                          ------------------------------------------

                          >
                          > For example, in the section on the body it says:
                          > "And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating the body in the
                          > body?
                          > ...
                          > "And further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu,
                          > in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practicing clear
                          > comprehension;
                          > in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, ...;
                          > in bending and in stretching, is a person practicing clear comprehension;
                          > in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, ...;
                          > in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savored, ...;
                          > in defecating and in urinating, ...;
                          > in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in
                          > sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence,
                          > is a person practicing clear comprehension.
                          > "Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally... and clings
                          > to naught in the world. Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives
                          > contemplating the body in the body."
                          >
                          > Jon
                          >
                          ========================
                          With metta,
                          Howard

                          /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
                          in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
                          phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Jonothan Abbott
                          Hi Howard I m finally managing to catch up with some posts that came in while we were away. ... I m glad you ve clarified this ;-)). For some reason there are
                          Message 12 of 23 , Sep 14, 2006
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                            Hi Howard

                            I'm finally managing to catch up with some posts that came in while we
                            were away.

                            upasaka@... wrote:

                            >>I agree with this. What I was trying to draw attention to was the
                            >>particular emphasis you seem to place on just one of the many factors
                            >>mentioned. Why do you not accord equal importance to the other factors --
                            >>Virtuous ways of conduct, Non-remorse, Gladness, Joy, Serenity and
                            >>Happiness -- and assert the need for their (separate) development also?
                            >>
                            >
                            >---------------------------------------------
                            >Howard:
                            > I favor all of them, Jon. I'm a groupie for the whole band! ;-) If I
                            >emphasize concentation that is a reaction to folks dearly wanting to give it
                            >short shrift even though right concentration is no ignored step child of the
                            >Buddha's.
                            >----------------------------------------------
                            >

                            I'm glad you've clarified this ;-)). For some reason there are many
                            folk who like to emphasise samadhi (concentration), and I think that is
                            because they take it to mean samatha (calm, tranquility) and especially
                            jhana, whereas the two are quite different. Samadhi is a mental factor
                            (i.e., not a mental state) that plays an important role in both samatha
                            and vipassana, and also in the development of worldly (i.e., non-kusala)
                            skills. Samatha is a purely kusala mental state (i.e., not a mental
                            factor) the development of which was praised and encouraged by the Buddha.

                            >>I think the wording of the sutta does not preclude a co-arising, although
                            >>I am not saying that is necessarily what is meant here (I'd be guided by
                            >>what the commentary has to say about it).
                            >>
                            >>But even a sequential arising would not be a 'bad news' story because, as
                            >>I see it, it is not a matter of each factor needing a separate 'practice'
                            >>of some kind for its development.
                            >>
                            >
                            >---------------------------------------
                            >Howard:
                            > I agree with that. At least I haven't seen a full menu of specific
                            >practices for specific factors provided directly by the Buddha. Buddhaghosa, of
                            >course, provides much in the way of practices for the cultivation of
                            >concentration.
                            >----------------------------------------
                            >
                            >

                            As a general rule, we do not find in the teachings practices for the
                            development of specific mental factors. What we do find are teachings
                            that emphasise the importance of particular mental factors, and
                            descriptions of how these mental factors manifest in developed form.

                            Jon
                          • Jonothan Abbott
                            Hi Howard ... But how does a mind that typically tends to be peaceful and undistracted come to be so? It must be because of the development of samatha
                            Message 13 of 23 , Sep 15, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hi Howard

                              upasaka@... wrote:

                              >--------------------------------------------
                              >Howard:
                              > I'm speaking of a mind that typically tends to be peaceful and
                              >undistracted. So, you can choose your favorite Pali words for 'these. ;-))
                              >-------------------------------------------
                              >

                              But how does a mind that 'typically tends to be peaceful and
                              undistracted' come to be so? It must be because of the development of
                              samatha (tranquility) or vipassana (insight) (the only other forms of
                              kusala are dana and sila).

                              So if we are looking for an answer to the question, what is the samadhi
                              that conditions insight, I think you are saying that it is the samadhi
                              that is associated with the development of samatha or insight.

                              >>In a recent post to Mateesha I summarised the contents of a sutta from AN
                              >>that sets out the 4 kinds of samadhi development. These include both the
                              >>samadhi of samatha and the samadhi of vipassana. So I would say that the
                              >>samadhi of vipassana refers to something other than samatha.
                              >>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/message/62117
                              >>
                              >>
                              >------------------------------------------------
                              >Howard:
                              > From my perspective, samadhi is, generally, nondistractedness. When it
                              >is generated by akusala interest it is not a path factor. When it is a kusala
                              >state, it is. As to the two types of samadhi you mention, in my practice, I
                              >don't separate samatha bhavana from vipassana bhavana. My practice is an
                              >in-tandem one.
                              >------------------------------------------------
                              >

                              I agree that samadhi can accompany either kusala or akusala mindstate.
                              There is nothing intrinsically wholesome about samadhi. That is why if
                              kusala samadhi is to be developed the mind must be kusala by virtue of
                              the other accompanying mental factors. In the sutta referenced above it
                              is explained that the samadhi of samatha is developed by the development
                              of samatha, and the samadhi of vipassana by the development of vipassana.

                              >>Thanks for mentioning the sutta AN 4.170 (called by some translators the
                              >>Yuganaddha Sutta).
                              >>
                              >>This sutta sets out the ways by which insight can be attained when
                              >>reckoned according to the development of tranquillity (samatha) (note:
                              >>samatha, not samadhi). Those ways include not only the way described as
                              >>'in tandem' (samatha and vipassana),but also the way where enlightenment
                              >>is attained before jhana has been attained.
                              >>
                              >
                              >--------------------------------------------
                              >Howard:
                              > Calm and concentration are mutually related. And concentration is a
                              >very important condition. What is it about concentration that worries you, Jon?
                              >You always seem wary with regard to it.
                              >-------------------------------------------
                              >

                              Not wary, just particular ;-)). Because one often sees samadhi confused
                              with samatha, as in your statement that the Yuganaddha Sutta discusses
                              several forms of concentration one of which is in-tandem (what is
                              discussed in that sutta is insight and samatha).

                              >-------------------------------------------
                              >Howard:
                              > Actually, I agree with that. Nyanatiloka renders 'anupassana' as
                              >'contemplation', but I thought it basically meant "insight" or "insightful
                              >investigation'.
                              >------------------------------------------
                              >
                              >

                              I agree that 'anupassana' refers essentially to panna (which is what
                              insight is), so that the contemplation in question is the seeing with
                              wisdom. But that is a far cry from 'remaining focussed' in the sense of
                              paying deliberate attention to.

                              Jon
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