Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:10 am

thereductor wrote: Boy, I hope you're having as much fun as me. :D


Definitely! :lol:

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Reductor » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:08 am

porpoise wrote:4. MIND OBJECTS: MN118 focuses on experiencing impermanence and dissolving attachment. MN10 includes a range of contemplations about mind objects and how they arise, also contemplations on teachings like the 4NT.


Well, this is the toughest frame to dissect. Here goes.

First, in MN118 we see this frame expressed as ""[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

The steps 13, 14 and 15 are closely related the first three noble truths like this: understand stress, abandon its cause and experience its end. Perhaps you might like to read the "Setting the wheel of Dhamma in motion", SN 56.11 Steps 13, 14 and 15 seem to relate to the third permutation of the wheel "it is understood, it is abandoned, it is realized".

Here is the standard definition of these three truths, slightly abridged:
And what is stress? ... In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful. This is called stress.

"What is the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming ... — i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. This is called the origination of stress.

"And what is the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation ... letting go of that very craving. This is called the cessation of stress.


And just to be clear why I equate step 13 with the five aggregates:
"What do you think, monks — Is form constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

[repeat for each aggregate]




EDIT: Never mind this sentence, as it is the wrong spot (I had a late night). Its inclusion here kind of mucks up the intended meaning
"It should also be noted that the five aggregates are repeatedly treated with the three marks, as in "


Step 16 is relinquishment, or the end of clinging . I have tried to find a definition of relinquishment in the canon to give a little context, and this is the best I've found so far: "Envisioning for himself clash, dispute, quarreling, annoyance, frustration, he both abandons that view and does not cling to another view. Thus there is the abandoning of these views; thus there is the relinquishing of these views.

Hopefully this establishes that the four truths are the template of this last tetrad in MN118.

Because the last tetrad of MN118 closely corresponds to the four truths, we are able to relate it back to the four truths as listed under MN10 frame four. All well an good, but what exactly does that do for the meditator? Recall above that MN118 step 13 relates to stress, and that stress is defined as the five clinging aggregates? Well, the aggregate list under MN10 has this "There is the case where a monk [discerns]: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'

This pattern is mimicking the first three of the four truths, and is carried out to all four in the SN 22.56. From this it may be said that the heart of MN118 is expressed by the four truths and five aggregates.

As an aside, I've found that keeping this simple fact in mind really cuts through a lot of the confusion that surrounds practice. There are a lot of vantage points possible in practice, a lot of methods exist, a lot of investment made in them by their practitioners, but really, it all relates back to the four truths, starting with "understand the five aggregates".

Anyway, there are still three other lists in MN10, so lets keep going.

I think the most straight forward interpretation of the six-sense-base list is that it illustrates that all the fetters arise from contact with the world, so to speak. This is also an important list as it is the one most closely related to DO:"And which All is a phenomenon to be abandoned? The eye is to be abandoned. [1] Forms are to be abandoned. Consciousness at the eye is to be abandoned. Contact at the eye is to be abandoned. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is to be abandoned." SN 35.24

With DO not all of the aggregates are mentioned explicitly, but their presence is implicit. What is always mention is the sense base, the contact and consciousness classes arising there (eye-contact, ear-consciousness, etc). So watching how the sense bases can give rise to the fetters (of lust, delight, etc) we see how DO operates from beginning to end. Because the DO is taught as it is, it seems clear that the six sense bases and the aggregates are two halves of the same coin, as it were. I'm pretty sure there's a sutta to that effect, but I don't think I'm going to look it up :jumping: At anyrate, I think the six sense bases are the best vantage point for everyday mindfulness (as opposed to the mindfulness of samadhi), as they allow you to have a clear starting point in your observations.

Now, about the last lists: the hindrances and enlightenment factors.

I think their import is indicated the inclusion of the seven factors at the end of MN118. Obviously the completion of the 16 steps engenders the fullfillment of the seven. Of course, the five are not explicitly mention there along with them, but are implied as having been abandoned. In this case the inclusion of these two lists in MN10 suggest, as with the feeling and mind frames above, that we should consider this frame to straddle ordinary mind and jhana mind. We abandon the hindrances step by step, giving rise to the enlightenment factors in their place. If you haven't read SN 46.51, do so now. It's pretty great.

...

Ugh, my mind is burnt out. :coffee:

Now that I'm done this 'commentary' I think it wise to add the disclaimer: "I am not an arahant, and as that is the case it must fall to the reader to consider my opinion and discern its validity for themselves. All opinion on the path, fruit and what have you is only provisional, serving to get you to the place of certainty -- the 'undeceptive' that is the goal."

Have a good night porpoise, thanks for starting this thread, as I have learned much.
Last edited by Reductor on Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:02 am

thereductor wrote:Have a good night porpoise, thanks for starting this thread, as I have learned much.


Thanks to you for the detailed commentary which I am mulling over. :smile: If I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that the 2 suttas are in fact describing a very similar method?

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Reductor » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:54 pm

EDIT: I corrected a sentence in the above post that confused an important point. It is marked.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Reductor » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:37 am

porpoise wrote:
thereductor wrote:Have a good night porpoise, thanks for starting this thread, as I have learned much.


Thanks to you for the detailed commentary which I am mulling over. :smile: If I'm reading you correctly, you're saying that the 2 suttas are in fact describing a very similar method?

P


I think, in the end, that Sobeh was most right in describing satipatthana as a template which anapanasati fulfills. However it is certainly possible to take a particular aspect from any of the four frames and focus on that alone (ie, noting whenever it arises), but this practice should always be accompanied by a proper graded method.

What I'm wondering now is if the more imaginative exercises from the MN10 body frame also yield the graded results of anapanasati, or not. If not, then what are the implications of that. Hmm... another time I think.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:07 am

thereductor wrote:I think, in the end, that Sobeh was most right in describing satipatthana as a template which anapanasati fulfills.


I'm not sure I understood that. Coming in new to the MN118 approach I have the impression that it is more transformative in approach than MN10. Anyway, it's good to discuss these things. :smile:

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Kenshou » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:33 pm

porpoise wrote:
thereductor wrote:I think, in the end, that Sobeh was most right in describing satipatthana as a template which anapanasati fulfills.


I'm not sure I understood that. Coming in new to the MN118 approach I have the impression that it is more transformative in approach than MN10. Anyway, it's good to discuss these things. :smile:

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Satipatthana is a "template" for our mindfulness in that they are sort of a generic list of the main themes of which to be mindful. Anapanasati is one way to develop mindfulness of these themes, though they don't necessarily need to be done through anapanasati. I think that's all there is to it.
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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:55 am

Kenshou wrote:Satipatthana is a "template" for our mindfulness in that they are sort of a generic list of the main themes of which to be mindful.


Yes, I'd agree that Satipatthana is a template for mindfulness. But I think it was being suggested ealier that Satipatthana was a template for meditation generally, which I don't see.

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Reductor » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:42 pm

porpoise wrote:
Kenshou wrote:Satipatthana is a "template" for our mindfulness in that they are sort of a generic list of the main themes of which to be mindful.


Yes, I'd agree that Satipatthana is a template for mindfulness. But I think it was being suggested ealier that Satipatthana was a template for meditation generally, which I don't see.

P


Well, I don't recall any other meditations being spelled out in the canon like anapanasati, so it is difficult to draw definite conclusions (and the four frames are spelled out in detail only in MN10/DN22). Perhaps MN10 does not apply fully to each meditation. :shrug: However, the 37 'wings to awakening' don't include a separate category for 'meditation', which you might expect if the other factors didn't already cover it. With that in mind, it might prove interesting to determine which of the 37 factors are specifically reference in M10 and which are referenced in other meditative suttas. This would allow us to say whether or not MN10 is a template for general meditation or if it really is a stand alone practice, or if it is both, or neither.

Of course, I have to ask if it really matters that much whether MN10 is a template or something else. If you wish to see it as standalone, then use it as such. If you wish to see it as something else, then that's fine too. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Well, I'm gone for a few days, so talk then.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Satipathhana v. Anapanasati

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:35 am

thereductor wrote:Of course, I have to ask if it really matters that much whether MN10 is a template or something else. If you wish to see it as standalone, then use it as such. If you wish to see it as something else, then that's fine too. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.


I've found MN10 useful as a basis for mindfulness, and for reflecting on the 3 chararacteristics. But perhaps not so useful for developing samadhi and direct insight into the 3 characteristics. But I've found both MN10 and MN118 very helpful in providing specific methods for practice.

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