Abhidhamma View : Samatha and Vipassana
[Presented by Dr.Tep Sastri @ SariputtaDhamma/JTN/Mult]
CMA IX, p. 329-331:
Two types of meditation subject: The Pali term kamma.t.thaana means literally "field of action" or "workplace". The term is used to designate a subject of meditation, the workplace for the meditator to develop the special attainments in the field of contemplation. In Buddhism two approaches to meditative development are recognized, calm and insight. Of the two, the development of insight is the distinctively Buddhistic form of meditation. This system of meditation is unique to the Buddha's teaching and is intended to generate direct personal realization of the truths discovered and enumerated by the Buddha. The development of calm is also found in non-Buddhist schools of meditation. However, in the Buddha's teaching calming meditation is taught because the serenity and concentration which it engenders provide a firm foundation for the practice of insight meditation. Each of the two types of meditation has its own methodology and range of meditation subjects, to be explained in the course of this chapter.
Calm and Insight : The word samatha, rendered "calm", denotes quietitude of mind.The word is almost synonymous with concentration (samaadhi), though it derives from a different root, sam, meaning to become peaceful. Technically, samatha is defined as the one-pointedness of mind (cittass'ekaggataa) in the eight meditative attainments --the four fine-material-sphere jhaanas of the Suttanta system (five in the Abhidhamma system) and the four immaterial-sphere jhaanas. These attainments are called calm because, owing to the one-pointedness of mind, the wavering or trepidation of the mind is subsided and brought to an end.
The word vipassanaa, rendered "insight", is ecplained as seeing in diverse ways (vividhaagaraato dassana). Insight is the direct meditative perception of phenomena in terms of the three characteristics --impermanence, suffering, and non-self. It is a function of cetasika of wisdom(pa~n~naa) directed towards uncovering the true nature of things.
The explanation of calm and insight meditation of the Abhidhamma Sangaha is a summary of the entire Visuddhimagga, to which the reader is referred for an elaborate treatment of these topics.
Love Buddha's dhamma,