Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:31 am

Hi Chris

When I read your question what immediately came to mind was the importance of stream entry as the goal. Some might argue that having goals is counterproductive but I think considering the number of times the Buddha has praised this goal (and others) it is important to consider its beneficial effects. I feel it gives motivation for long term practice (having a goal which is somewhat larger than yourself) and also directs practice in the right direction.

SN 13.1 PTS: S ii 133 CDB i 621
Nakhasikha Sutta: The Tip of the Fingernail
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1999–2009
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then the Blessed One, picking up a little bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monks, "What do you think, monks? Which is greater: the little bit of dust I have picked up with the tip of my fingernail, or the great earth?"

"The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth — this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail — when compared with the great earth."

"In the same way, monks, for a disciple of the noble ones who is consummate in view, an individual who has broken through [to stream-entry], the suffering & stress that is totally ended & extinguished is far greater. That which remains in the state of having at most seven remaining lifetimes is next to nothing: it's not a hundredth, a thousandth, a one hundred-thousandth, when compared with the previous mass of suffering. That's how great the benefit is of breaking through to the Dhamma, monks. That's how great the benefit is of obtaining the Dhamma eye."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:19 am

hi rowyourboat... thanks for that...

I'm really enjoying Nyanaponika Thera's book right now. He has some interesting things to say in relation to stream entry on pg. 13... that with the application of Mindfulness and the development of Insight (vipassana) stream entry eventually becomes almost unavoidable...

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:51 am

This is a very interesting idea! The importance of balancing the "five controlling faculties" aka, Indriya....

:smile:


Balancing the Five Controlling Faculties


Balancing the ‘controlling faculties’ or “Indriya” means the harmonizing of all five controlling faculties. This is one of the factors of the Buddha’s enlightenment and also one of the Dhamma in Bodhipakkhiyadhamma (the 37 qualities contributing to enlightenment). In other words, the Buddha succeeded in his enlightenment partly because he used these five controlling faculties in his enlightenment. Therefore, they are extremely important in the progress of mental practice in Buddhism.

Often it is found that failure in the practice of meditation occurs because one is using the wrong method of meditation practice, or the five controlling faculties are not strong enough, or the five controlling faculties are not balanced properly. Therefore, the reasoning behind and the methods for controlling and balancing the faculties will be explained to benefit one’s practical progress. “Indriya” means ‘being the master of one’s own task’. The five Indriya are:

1. Faith (Saddha-Indriya)

2. Energy (Viriya-Indriya)

3. Mindfulness (Sati-Indriya)

4. Concentration (Samadhi-Indriya)

5. Understanding or wisdom (Panna-Indriya)


These five are called “Indriya” since each is the master of its own task. Saddha-Indriya is the master of faith, whose function is to provide an unshakable faith. It is believed that no other faculty can perform this duty, so it is very powerful in its own realm. However, it has no power in the domains of the other four Indriya. Viriya-Indriya is the master of the energy faculty with the function of making effort. Sati-Indriya is the master of mindfulness and performs the functions of having clear comprehension of natural phenomena, suppressing defilements, and acting as the “overseer” of the controlling faculties. Samadhi-Indriya is the master of concentration and functions to develop the deep, calm awareness needed for both Tranquillity and Insight meditation, while Panna-Indriya is the master of understanding and functions to develop penetrating, transcendent or supreme Wisdom.

The five Indriya are masters of their corresponding tasks similar to the six Indriya, namely the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness. These are the sense organs that perform their own respective functions or tasks, that is, the eyes see, the ears hear, and so on. Not one of the six sense organs can perform the task of the other sense organs because each is the master of its own task and no other.

Moreover, these five Dhamma (Saddha, Viriya, Sati, Samadhi, and Panna) are also considered to have been the “Bala” or ‘power for the Buddha’s Enlightenment’ and are their own power as well.

1. ‘Faith’—“Saddha”, refers to believing in what should be believed concerning Buddhism. The following is a brief explanation of what should be believed.

(A) Believing in the existence of kamma (Kamma-saddha) or of wholesome and unwholesome deeds and not believing in the power of gods or stars or their power to affect people’s fates.

(B) Belief in the result of kamma (Vipaka-saddha). That is, the belief that those who do good will receive good and those who do evil will receive evil, sooner or later. The fruit of kamma is produced the same way as the fruit of a tree that grows from a tiny seed of the same kind.

(C) Belief that everyone is heir to his own kamma (Kammassakata-saddha). In other words, each of us must endure the consequences of our own kamma, no one else can do this for us.

(D) Belief in the enlightenment of the Buddha (Tahagatabodhi-saddha). This belief is especially important to meditation practice because if the meditator does not believe that the Buddha is enlightened and that meditation practice will develop the mind until it is freed from all sufferings, then he has no confidence and no faith in what he is doing. This produces a disturbed mind, a state of mind which is not conducive to making progress.

Therefore, it is necessary for a meditator to have faith up to the high level of Saddha by wholeheartedly believing in the enlightenment of the Buddha; in the Eightfold Noble Path, that is, in Sila, Samadhi, and Panna, that they certainly lead the way out of suffering. Such faith will build up strength to sweep from our minds the shadows of doubt and fear so that we are encouraged to do mental practice.

2. ‘Energy for Effort’—“Viriya”. The meditator must earnestly and continuously practice everyday without fail in order to exercise the power of perseverance. The more one accomplishes by attempting to practice each day, the sooner one will arrive at the desired goal. A half-hearted practice each day cannot increase the strength of the non-collected mind.

Hence, mental practice must be performed persistently, day after day, week after week, month after month. In so doing, if one is not successful in the beginning, one will eventually be successful just from the strength of one’s energetic pursuit of success.

3. ‘Mindfulness’—“Sati”, is a necessary factor for meditation practice. Without the power of mindfulness, it is difficult for one to have a clear comprehension of natural phenomena and it is hard for one to suppress defilements. When mindfulness is weak defilements will emerge, so cultivation of mindfulness should be of major concern to the meditator. It should be strong enough to reach the level of strong mindfulness (“Satibala”: ‘powerful mindfulness’).

4. ‘Concentration’—“Samadhi”, is also a necessary factor for meditation practice. Without the power of concentration, it is difficult for one to collect one’s mind and to develop the calm, penetrating awareness that is necessary for both Tranquillity meditation (Samatha) and Insight meditation (Vipassana).

5. ‘Understanding or Wisdom’—“Panna” is perhaps one of the most important factors for meditation practice because without understanding, one cannot be completely free from the subtle, delicate level of defilements. Without Wisdom one will find it difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the highest goal of Buddhism which is total freedom from the wheel of birth and death, or Nirvana.

To get to this high level, one must have a clear comprehension of the conditioned objects (name and form) and realize that conditioned objects have the Three Characteristics of Impermanence, Suffering, and Non-self. These Three Characteristics of conditioned objects are the conventional truths that, when properly understood, guide one to avoid becoming attached to oneself and to conditioned objects. By contemplating on these truths one gains strength of wisdom.

Anyone who has strengthened these five Indriya has thus created an equilibrium of the mind which will help in the progress of his mental practice. If these five Indriya do in fact occur, but are out of balance, then they cannot be used effectively for mental practice.

To harmonize and balance these controlling faculties, one should make sure that faith (Saddha) and wisdom (Panna) are equally strong. Likewise, concentration (Samadhi) should be linked and balanced with effort (Viriya). Finally, mindfulness (Sati) is the binding thread running throughout the entire process.

source: http://mahamakuta.inet.co.th/english/b-way(12).html

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:58 am

Yes, that's a nice summary. Balance is important. It's something that most teachers I know talk about.

But as I've pointed out before, it's not a new idea. It's in the Classical Commentaries and Visuddhimagga...

And see: http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#indriya
Indriya-samatta: 'equilibrium, balance, or harmony of abilities', relates to the 5 spiritual abilities: faith, energy, awareness or mindfulness, concentration and understanding see: indriya 15-19. Of these there are two pairs of abilities, in each of which both abilities should well counter-balance each other, namely: faith and understanding saddhā paññā on the one hand and energy and concentration viriya samādhi on the other. For excessive faith with deficient understanding leads to blind belief, whilst excessive understanding with deficient faith leads to cunning. In the same way, great energy with weak concentration leads to restlessness, whilst strong concentration with deficient energy leads to indolence. Though for both abilities in each of the 2 pairs a balanced degree of intensity is desirable, awareness or mindfulness should be allowed to develop to the highest degree of strength. Cf. Vis.M III- App..


Mike

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:07 am

Hi Mike. Yes, indeed, its not a new idea at all..! These all seem to fall under the category of Bodhipakkhiya dhamma, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhipakkhiyadhamma

But the 7 Factors of Awakening, while related, has some different faculties included.

Seven factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga)

1. Mindfulness (sati)
2. Investigation (dhamma vicaya)
3. Energy (viriya)
4. Joy (piti/mudita)
5. Tranquility (passaddhi)
6. Concentration (samadhi)
7. Equanimity (upekkha)


Any ideas about why these were grouped separately, distinctive from the Indriya?

Here's what is written over at Wikipedia...

In Buddhism, bodhipakkhiyā dhammā (Pali, variant spellings include bodhipakkhikā dhammā and bodhapakkhiyā dhammā; Skt.: bodhipakṣa dharma) are qualities (dhammā) conducive or related to (pakkhiya) Enlightenment or Awakening (bodhi).

In the Pali commentaries, the term bodhipakkhiyā dhammā is applied to seven sets of such qualities regularly mentioned by the Buddha throughout the Pali Canon. Within these seven sets of Enlightenment qualities, there is a total of thirty-seven individual qualities (sattatiṃsa bodhipakkhiyā dhammā).

These seven sets of qualities are recognized by both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists as complementary facets of the Buddhist Path to Enlightenment.


Its a pity that more Zen Buddhists don't dig into these ideas, imo. They can be extremely helpful.

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:38 am

christopher::: wrote:Hi Mike. Yes, indeed, its not a new idea at all..! These all seem to fall under the category of Bodhipakkhiya dhamma, right?

Yes, see also http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... hamm%C4%81

christopher::: wrote:Any ideas about why these were grouped separately, distinctive from the Indriya?

Thanissoro Bhikkhu has a whole book on the "Wings to Awakening"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
which you can download as a PDF.

I guess the short answer is that these lists are used in the Suttas in different contexts and are useful for different purposes. [Similarly to how one can analyse experience in terms of the khandhas (aggregates) or the sense bases - slicing experience in a different way...]

The way I see it, the faculties/powers tend to be "tools" one can be applying in "real time" time to practise. In particular, one can adjust energy and concentration if they get out of whack (too much energy and you are restless, too much concentration and you tend towards sloth). Different teachers have different ideas on how to do the balancing... Many of the factors of enlightenment seem to be more like things that get developed (rapture, for example) and tend to be talked about in a sequential manner:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#part2-g
However, one can not be too black-and-white about this.

Mike

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:57 am

Actually, I though the balancing was just a Commentary thing, but there is some hint of it in this Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?"

"Yes, lord."

"In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune2the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme."

However, it's not a balancing between faculties...

Mike

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:46 am

Lot's of great ideas to think about. Thanks for all the info, Mike.

And that musical analogy fits perfectly- where all the strings on a piano or guitar need to be in tune, in order for a musician to play well... In this case, we need to be in tune with the dhamma, right? In a wide variety of ways...

"And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?"


Each faculty, skill, aspect of practice needs to be mastered, in tune, each "string" as important and essential as the next...

Image
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:21 am

If memory serves me well, the simile of the lute appears elsewhere.
I think, and I don't have a reference for it, it was at the end of the Bodhisatta's ascetic and anorexic adventures when he overheard/was involved in a conversation when he was inspired by the metaphor of the strings of the lute being not too taught nor too slack.
Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:17 am

Ben wrote:If memory serves me well, the simile of the lute appears elsewhere.
I think, and I don't have a reference for it, it was at the end of the Bodhisatta's ascetic and anorexic adventures when he overheard/was involved in a conversation when he was inspired by the metaphor of the strings of the lute being not too taught nor too slack.
Kind regards

Ben


Beautiful..! It's a metaphor that fits well.

It's hard for me to find the words to express how i'm feeling, now. Been reading a lot lately, especially getting into Nyanaponika Thera's explanations... also, listening to Joseph Goldstein. Have made some changes in behavior, different elements coming together... I think over the last month i've gained a better understanding of some of my own particular habit patterns-- fetters and hindrances...

And as i am reading The Heart of Buddhist Meditation its like my mind is suddenly "getting" some things i had not realized before. It's like the true wisdom of the dharma is becoming clearer, especially as a method for liberation.

I'm just more in awe of the Buddha's genius then ever before...

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:12 pm

christopher::: wrote:Beautiful..! It's a metaphor that fits well.

It's hard for me to find the words to express how i'm feeling, now. Been reading a lot lately, especially getting into Nyanaponika Thera's explanations... also, listening to Joseph Goldstein. Have made some changes in behavior, different elements coming together... I think over the last month i've gained a better understanding of some of my own particular habit patterns-- fetters and hindrances...

And as i am reading The Heart of Buddhist Meditation its like my mind is suddenly "getting" some things i had not realized before. It's like the true wisdom of the dharma is becoming clearer, especially as a method for liberation.

I'm just more in awe of the Buddha's genius then ever before...

:heart:

:idea: :heart:
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:43 pm

Yes , he really did know what he was talking about... :smile: In an age of pretense and opinion its extraordinary to read the words of someone who KNEW. And who knew that he knew. And who shared with us the way to know what he knew. Buddham Saranam Gatchammi...
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:41 am

Sanghamitta wrote:Yes , he really did know what he was talking about... :smile: In an age of pretense and opinion its extraordinary to read the words of someone who KNEW. And who knew that he knew. And who shared with us the way to know what he knew. Buddham Saranam Gatchammi...


Yes!

:smile:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:59 pm

christopher::: wrote:
Ben wrote:If memory serves me well, the simile of the lute appears elsewhere.
I think, and I don't have a reference for it, it was at the end of the Bodhisatta's ascetic and anorexic adventures when he overheard/was involved in a conversation when he was inspired by the metaphor of the strings of the lute being not too taught nor too slack.
Kind regards

Ben


Beautiful..! It's a metaphor that fits well.

It's hard for me to find the words to express how i'm feeling, now. Been reading a lot lately, especially getting into Nyanaponika Thera's explanations... also, listening to Joseph Goldstein. Have made some changes in behavior, different elements coming together... I think over the last month i've gained a better understanding of some of my own particular habit patterns-- fetters and hindrances...

And as i am reading The Heart of Buddhist Meditation its like my mind is suddenly "getting" some things i had not realized before. It's like the true wisdom of the dharma is becoming clearer, especially as a method for liberation.

I'm just more in awe of the Buddha's genius then ever before...

:heart:

That's fantastic news Christopher. I'm very happy for you!
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:10 am

Id like to add my own warm wishes to you. Going back to the thread title I suppose i would say that among the most important ideas of the Theravada is the fact of a Buddhas existence, in our era, and the fact that we have much of his teaching in a fairly intact and usuable form.

:anjali:
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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:46 pm

Thanks so much Sanghamitta and Ben... Unfortunately, the "insights" of 3 weeks ago have faded in clarity, as sometimes happens. Need to climb back up again, tighten those strings, get my practice back in tune, etc....

Did Buddha talk about a dhamma practice learning curve?

Fall down, get up, fall down....

All too familiar samsaric thought, emotion and desire patterns have arisen again. Guess the challenge now is to see the opportunity here, to observe the patterns calmly without reacting to them, acting on them....

Easier said then done.

sigh.

:toilet:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby PeterB » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:21 pm

The fact that you are aware of those patterns is important Chris, you can take heart from that. Its the set patterns that most of us have that are not on our radar that surface and cause problems. But, every breath is another opportunity for us to awaken just a little bit more.

:anjali:

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:39 pm

Thank you Peter. Yes! Actually, i've become all too familiar with some of these patterns, they were not that far below radar. What i've lacked is a proper understanding of how to be mindful of them, calmly observing without reacting, without identifying with them as "my" patterns, or as unhelpful intentions and desires not worth following...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

:tongue:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby christopher::: » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:11 pm

Hi again,

Concerning the difference between equanimity (uppekha) and tranquility (samatha)- any thoughts on how they differ, how they relate and the best ways each can be cultivated?

P.S. Thank you bikkhu appicchato for pointing me in the direction of Ven. Nyanatiloka' dictionary...

:smile:

This entry is great:

samatha-vipassanā

'tranquillity and insight', are identical with concentration (samādhi, q.v.; s. prec.) and wisdom (paññā, q.v.), and form the two branches of mental development (bhāvanā, q.v.).

(1) 'Tranquillity' is all unperturbed, peaceful and lucid state of mind attained by strong mental concentration. Though as a distinct way of practice (s. samatha-yānika), it aims at the attainment of the meditative absorptions (jhāna, q.v.), a high degree of tranquil concentration (though not necessarily that of the absorptions) is indispensable for insight too. Tranquillity frees the mind from impurities and inner obstacles, and gives it greater penetrative strength.

''What now is the power of tranquillity (samatha-bala)? It is the one-pointedness and non-distraction of the mind due to freedom from desire (renunciation) ... to freedom from ill-will ... to the perception of light (s. aloka-saññā) ... to non-distraction ... to the defilling of phenomena ... to knowledge, gladness, the 8 attainments, the 10 kasinas, the 10 recollections, the 9 cemetery contemplations, the 32 kinds of respiration-mindfulness ... the one-pointedness and non-distraction of the mind of one contemplating abandonment (relinquishment) while inhaling and exhaling (s. ānāpānasati).

"The power of tranquillity consists of the freedom from perturbation; in the 1st absorption, from the 5 hindrances (nīvarana, (q.v.); in the 2nd absorption, from thought-conception and discursive thinking; ... in the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception it consists of the freedom from perturbation by the perception of the sphere of nothingness (s. anupubbanirodha), which is no longer agitated and irritated by defilements associated with restlessness, nor by the groups of existence" (Pts.M. 1. p. 97)

(2) 'Insight' (s. vipassanā) is the penetrative understanding by direct meditative experience of the impermanency, unsatisfactoriness and impersonality of all material and mental phenomena of existence. It is insight that leads to entrance into the supermundance states of holiness and to final liberation.

''What now is the power of insight? It is the contemplation of impermanency (aniccānupassanā), of misery (dukkhanupassanā), impersonality' (anattānupassanā), of aversion (nibbidanupassanā), detachment (virāganupassanā), extinction (nirodha), ahandonment (patinissagga), with regard to corporcality, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness.... That in contemplating the impermanency one is no more agitated by the idea of grasping ... no more by ignorance and the defilements associated therewith and no more by the groups of existence: this is called the power of insight" (Pts.M. p. 97).

"Two things are conducive to knowledge: tranquillity and insight. If tranquillity is developed, what profit does it bring? The mind is developed. If the mind is developed, what profit does it bring? All lust is abandoned.

"If insight is developed, what profit does it bring? Wisdom is developed. If wisdom is developed, what profit does it bring? All ignorance is abandoned" (A. II, 2.7).

There is a method of meditative practice where, in alternating sequence, tranquillity-meditation and insight-meditation are developed. It is called 'tranquillity and insight joined in pairs' (samatha-vipassanāyuganaddha), the coupling or yoking of tranquillity and insight. He who undertakes it, first enters into the 1st absorption. After rising from it, he contemplates the mental phenomena that were present in it (feeling, perception, etc.) as impermanent, painful and not-self, and thus he develops insight. Thereupon he enters into the 2nd absorption; and after rising from it, he again considers its constituent phenomena as impermanent, etc. In this way, he passes from one absorption to the next, until at last, during a moment of insight, the intuitive knowledge of the path (of Stream-entry, etc.) flashes forth - See A. IV, 170; A.IX, 36; Pts: Yuganaddha Kathā.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Most Important Ideas of Theravadin Buddhism?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:16 pm

Greetings Chris:::,

Nice to see you back.

:hello:

The Buddha taught many different classification schemes and didn't always join-the-dots between them in such a way that you could relate them equally.

Samatha was measured using the jhana framework... consisting of four form-jhanas, and four formless-jhanas.

Uppekha is generally classified under Brahma-viharas (divide abidings) but may exists in other lists - I can't recall off the top of my head. David would be the one to ask - he's the list man!

Suttas such as the following might help you identify some relationships.

MN 111: Anupada Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)


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