MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

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MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:49 pm

MN 118 PTS: M iii 78
Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother, together with many well-known elder disciples — with Ven. Sariputta, Ven. Maha Moggallana, Ven. Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccana, Ven. Maha Kotthita, Ven. Maha Kappina, Ven. Maha Cunda, Ven. Revata, Ven. Ananda, and other well-known elder disciples. On that occasion the elder monks were teaching & instructing. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the Pavarana ceremony — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:

"Monks, I am content with this practice. I am content at heart with this practice. So arouse even more intense persistence for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. I will remain right here at Savatthi [for another month] through the 'White Water-lily' Month, the fourth month of the rains."

The monks in the countryside heard, "The Blessed One, they say, will remain right there at Savatthi through the White Water-lily Month, the fourth month of the rains." So they left for Savatthi to see the Blessed One.

Then the elder monks taught & instructed the new monks even more intensely. Some elder monks were teaching & instructing ten monks, some were teaching & instructing twenty monks, some were teaching & instructing thirty monks, some were teaching & instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught & instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the White Water-lily Month, the fourth month of the rains — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:

"Monks, this assembly is free from idle chatter, devoid of idle chatter, and is established on pure heartwood: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an incomparable field of merit for the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly to which a small gift, when given, becomes great, and a great gift greater: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that it is rare to see in the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly — the sort of assembly that it would be worth traveling for leagues, taking along provisions, in order to see.

"In this community of monks there are monks who are arahants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, laid to waste the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of the five lower fetters, are due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, destined never again to return from that world: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, & delusion, are once-returners, who — on returning only once more to this world — will make an ending to stress: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who, with the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of the four frames of reference... the four right exertions... the four bases of power... the five faculties... the five strengths... the seven factors for awakening... the noble eightfold path: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of good will... compassion... appreciation... equanimity... [the perception of the] foulness [of the body]... the perception of inconstancy: such are the monks in this community of monks.

"In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

"Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.

Mindfulness of In-&-Out Breathing
"Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.1 Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'2 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'3 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'4 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'5

"[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.'

"This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.

The Four Frames of Reference
"And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

"[1] On whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, discerns, 'I am breathing out long'; or breathing in short, discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, discerns, 'I am breathing out short'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&... out sensitive to the entire body'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out calming bodily fabrication': On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"[2] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to rapture'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to pleasure'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to mental fabrication'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out calming mental fabrication': On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — careful attention to in-&-out breaths — is classed as a feeling among feelings,6 which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"[3] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out sensitive to the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out satisfying the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out steadying the mind'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out releasing the mind': On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. I don't say that there is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in one of lapsed mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"[4] On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on inconstancy'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on dispassion'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on cessation'; trains himself, 'I will breathe in...&...out focusing on relinquishment': On that occasion the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He who sees with discernment the abandoning of greed & distress is one who watches carefully with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

"This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination.

The Seven Factors for Awakening
"And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[2] Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[3] In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, persistence is aroused unflaggingly. When persistence is aroused unflaggingly in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[4] In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[5] For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of an monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then serenity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[6] For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

"[7] He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

(Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, & mental qualities.)

"This is how the four frames of reference are developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination.

Clear Knowing & Release
"And how are the seven factors for awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

"This is how the seven factors for awakening are developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.

Notes
1. To the fore (parimukham): The Abhidhamma takes an etymological approach to this term, defining it as around (pari-) the mouth (mukham). In the Vinaya, however, it is used in a context (Cv.V.27.4) where it undoubtedly means the front of the chest. There is also the possibility that the term could be used idiomatically as "to the front," which is how I have translated it here.
2. The commentaries insist that "body" here means the breath, but this is unlikely in this context, for the next step — without further explanation — refers to the breath as "bodily fabrication." If the Buddha were using two different terms to refer to the breath in such close proximity, he would have been careful to signal that he was redefining his terms (as he does below, when explaining that the first four steps in breath meditation correspond to the practice of focusing on the body in and of itself as a frame of reference). The step of breathing in and out sensitive to the entire body relates to the many similes in the suttas depicting jhana as a state of whole-body awareness (see MN 119).
3. "In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications." — MN 44.
4. "Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That's why perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications." — MN 44.
5. AN 9.34 shows how the mind, step by step, is temporarily released from burdensome mental states of greater and greater refinement as it advances through the stages of jhana.
6. As this shows, a meditator focusing on feelings in themselves as a frame of reference should not abandon the breath as the basis for his/her concentration.
See also: SN 54.8.


study guide
118 Ānāpānasati Sutta Mindfulness of Breathing v
SUMMARY
A very important discourse explaining mindfulness of breathing and how it
relates to the four foundations of mindfulness, to the seven enlightenment
factors, and to true knowledge and deliverance.
NOT ES
[12, 13] The Buddha names the eleven different practices the Sangha is
devoted to developing at the time (see MN77.15 for fuller explanations of each
practice):
1. four foundations of mindfulness
2. four right kinds of striving, or the four great efforts
3. four bases for spiritual power
4. five spiritual faculties
5. five spiritual powers
6. seven enlightenment factors
7. Noble Eightfold Path [Ed: See my notes for MN151]
8. four brahmavihāras
9. meditation on foulness
10. meditation on impermanence
11. devotion to development of mindfulness of breathing.
Mindfulness of Breathing:
[15] Here the Buddha states the progression: Mindfulness of breathing when
developed and cultivated fulfills the four foundations of mindfulness. When these
are developed, they fulfill the seven enlightenment factors. When these are
developed, they fulfill true knowledge and deliverance.
[18] Use the breath to tranquilize body and mind.
[19] “I shall breathe in, I shall breathe out experiencing rapture… pleasure…the
mental formations…tranquilizing the mental formations.” [Ed: I have drawn on
Thich Nhat Hahn’s (also known as ‘Thay’) commentary of the Ānāpānasati Sutta
for help in understanding this discourse. [18] and [19] are the two passages Thay
refers to when he talks of experiencing the breath with joy and happiness. Note
1118 says this refers to the first two jhānas, but Thay says in his commentary
that this is not accurate. He says this passage refers to meditation generally.]
[20] “I shall breathe in…out experiencing the mind…gladdening the
mind…concentrating the mind…liberating the mind.” [Ed: Thay uses the
following example to compare joy (pīti) with happiness (sukha): Someone
travelling in the desert, on seeing a stream of cool water, experiences joy and,
on drinking the water, experiences happiness.]
[21] “I shall breathe in…out contemplating impermanence… fading away
(virāga: a fading way of desire, lust)…cessation…relinquishment.” [Ed:
Christopher Titmuss says cessation is the ending of the problem in life. From
Thay: “Relinquishment is giving up everything which we see to be illusory and
empty of substance.”]
The Four Foundations
[24] the foundation of body—[Ed: I question why the translation for the first
foundation refers to the whole body [of breath] rather than just body. ‘Body’ is the
first foundation of mindfulness. Note 1122 says the whole body [of breath] refers
to the air element. Thay is quite adamant that this is incorrect. He says the
Buddha must be referring to the whole body in order to be congruent with the
four foundations of mindfulness.]
[25] the foundation of feeling—the pleasurable feelings born of tranquillity and
concentration. [Ed: Again, notes say this refers to jhānas, but this seems
limiting.]
[26] the foundation of mind—one experiences mind, gladdening the mind,
concentrating the mind, liberating the mind…through mindfulness and clear
comprehension (sampajañña). [Ed: From Thay: We concentrate the mind in
order to see. The concentration (samatha) is the stopping in order to see. The
seeing is the understanding, or vipassana.]
[27] the foundation of mindobjects—
noticing the characteristics of
impermanence and cessation, which leads to observing with equanimity (nonreactivity).
The Seven Enlightenment Factors
[2940]
This section shows the relationship among the factors, as well as their
progression (how one leads to the next):
Mindfulness brings about investigation with wisdom; which brings about
“tireless” energy; which brings about “unworldly” rapture; which brings about
tranquillity (and the pleasure associated with it); which brings about
concentration; which brings about equanimity, or more accurately, one “closely
looks on with equanimity at the mind thus concentrated.” [36]
Note 1126 points out that these factors can all exist together in one mindmoment.
PRACT ICE
1. While breathing in and out, see if you can experience joy and happiness in
your breath that leads to gladdening the mind. 2. Clearly distinguish between the
four foundations of mindfulness. 3. In your meditation practice, see if you can
identify the seven different factors of enlightenment. These do not necessarily
have to be done in one sitting, but can be done over time.

:buddha1:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:34 am

a few things..

vijjavimutti - 'clear knowing and release' as translated here ' -vijja is the opposite of avijja- hence wisdom or insight might be a better translation IMO, as avijja is delusion and clear knowing maybe confused with clear comprehension (sampajanna).

Note how in and out breaths are felt with body, feelings, mind and insight. The Buddha is clearly not stuck with the Two Truths version of reality (ultimate truth and conventional truth) and doesn't make it a hindrance to progressing further. The mindfulness used here is clearly more broader and less intense, to incorporate these other elements along with the breath- and uses 'conventional' reality. To get to ultimate reality the yogi would have to use highly magnified mindfulness noting fine extremely fine details. This method is highly commendable, but not absolutely necessary by the looks of it. If there is anything which can lead to revulsion, dispassion and cessation (foulness for example, using visualisation, but nevertheless a way to access the truth) then it is a way forward.

Yoniso manasikara- appropriate contemplation/attention, the factor the buddha described as the most useful internal thing in attaining nibbana (see udana), is a verbal pointing out of the truth to oneself, leading to the truths being seen (dassana) in the present moment and leading to dispassion and cessation (see 4 sotapatti anga). Note below that thoughts like 'a cancer an affliction' cannot arise on their own in a prolonged repeated way, unless we intentionally think of them. They are simply a way of 'intensifying' the truth and cutting through avijja. Yonismanasikara becomes an internal spiritual friend who points to the truth. Yoniso manasikara methods are also conventional truth methods.

"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way (yoniso manasikara) to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry."
C:\Documents and Settings\Matheesha\My Documents\important suttas\yoniso manasikara\SN 22_122 Silavant Sutta.mht
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Re: MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:42 pm

a monk that I respect once suggested that the fact that numbers of student monks mentioned in this sutta does not exceed 40 suggests that true dhamma is being taught. He felt that if followers were in the hundreds that the teaching is likely to be something that simply attracts the masses.
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Re: MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:49 pm

I think it is likely that relaxing the actual physical body with the breath leads to pleasant body sensations which can be observed in conjunction with the breath (1st tetrad-->2nd tetrad). Similarly relaxing the mind in a similar manner leads to a mind capable of attaining jhana (2nd tetrad-->3rd tetrad). This prejhanic/jhanic level of samadhi then becomes the foundation for seeing anicca, nirodha etc using the breath. Here the breath is symbolic of all bodies, of all sensations, of all mental phenomena, of everything otherwise it will be difficult to go past sammasana nana, one of the insight knowledges, which sees the three characteristics in all phenomena hence is able to let go of everything.
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Re: MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

Postby Avery » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:26 pm

I think it is interesting that this teaching is addressed to monks who are already in a thriving sangha. If they have attained such high states they must already know how to breathe and concentrate, but rather than addressing the novices the Buddha reminds all of them of these simple facts. Perhaps the intention of the long first section is to establish that a compassionate and healthy sangha, far from being an extraneous part of Buddhism, is necessary to create a fertile ground for successful meditation.
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Re: MN 118. Ānāpānasati Sutta

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:37 am

Avery wrote:I think it is interesting that this teaching is addressed to monks who are already in a thriving sangha. If they have attained such high states they must already know how to breathe and concentrate, but rather than addressing the novices the Buddha reminds all of them of these simple facts. Perhaps the intention of the long first section is to establish that a compassionate and healthy sangha, far from being an extraneous part of Buddhism, is necessary to create a fertile ground for successful meditation.

Well said. An important point I think.
That " fertile ground" extends also to the lay people who find an oasis in which to practice.
:anjali:
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