Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Letters on Vipassana V, 2.

Expand Messages
  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, Lovingkindness is one of the four Divine Abidings , Brahmavihåras. The other Brahmavihåras are: compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear friends,

      Lovingkindness is one of the four "Divine Abidings", Brahmavihåras.
      The other Brahmavihåras are: compassion, sympathetic joy and
      equanimity. These are subjects of samatha or tranquil meditation.
      Through the development of samatha there can be temporary freedom
      from akusala. However, samatha cannot be developed without right
      understanding. Paññå must know the characteristic of true calm which
      is kusala. When we hear the word samatha we may think that we have to
      go into seclusion in order to have concentration and that we should
      recite for example the "mettå sutta". However, the development of
      mettå is not a matter of trying to concentrate or reciting. Mettå
      must be developed in daily life when we are with others; then we can
      come to know its true characteristic. Foremost is right understanding
      which knows the characteristic of mettå when it appears.
      We read in the scriptures about people who developed samatha to the
      degree of jhåna, absorption, but we should know that not everybody is
      able to attain jhåna. People who had accumulated great skill for
      jhåna could attain different stages of jhåna, but, as the
      "Visuddhimagga" (Ch XII,7) states, jhåna is extremely difficult and
      only very few people can attain it. One has to live in seclusion and
      many conditions have to be fulfilled in order to attain it. At the
      moments of jhåna there are no sense impressions and the "hindrances"
      are temporarily subdued. The "hindrances" are: sensuous desire, ill-
      will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt. However,
      through samatha defilements cannot be eradicated.
      Through right understanding developed in vipassanå defilements can be
      eradicated. We think of ourselves and others as persons, we cling to
      a concept of "self", but through vipassanå we learn to see what we
      really are: only citta, cetasika and rúpa which arise and then fall
      away immediately. When someone goes away or dies, we can think of a
      name, but also a name is forgotten soon. We read in the "Sutta
      Nipåta" (on Decay, vs. 807-809):

      As a man awakened from sleep no longer sees what happened in his
      dream, similarly one does not see a loved one who is dead. Those
      people who were seen and heard and called by their names as such and
      such, only their names remain when they have passed away.

      When we are reborn there is another life and we are no longer "this
      person", but also right now there isn't "this person" who exists.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.