From this description it's obvious that samatha and vipassana are not separate paths of practice, but instead are complementary ways of relating to the present moment.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... etool.html
Some traditions hold that samatha (calm) and vipassana (insight) are separate types of meditation, and developing jhanas is "only samatha" and does not result in wisdom. Ajahn Brahm disagrees, saying "the two are indivisible facets of the same process. Calm leads to insight and insight leads to calm."
“Why did Mahāsi Sayādaw ignore ānāpānassati, which was directly taught by the Buddha, but introduced the rising-falling method?”
“Is ānāpānassati the same in essence as vipassanā and meditating on rising and falling, and able to lead to magga-phala and nibbāna?”
In answering these questions, Panditārāma Sayādaw explained the teachings of the Mahāsi Sayādaw as follows.
Ānāpānassati can take two directions. If the meditator strives to be mindful of the form or manner of the in-breath and the out-breath, then it is samatha meditation and leads to one-pointedness of mind. On the other hand, if the meditator notes the sensation of the in-breath and out-breath as it moves and touches, then it is vipassanā meditation. The element of wind or motion (vayo-dhātu) is rūpa or matter, while the awareness or consciousness of the sensation is nāma or mind. Therefore, ānāpānassati can be considered as vipassanā, and can lead to high levels of insight wisdom. However, in the Visuddhimagga, in the section on kāyānupassana, or mindfulness of body, fourteen objects of meditation are discussed, and further subdivided into objects for samatha and vipassanā meditation. In the Visuddhimagga, ānāpānassati is presented as an object of samatha meditation. Consequently, if we are to instruct meditators to develop ānāpānassati as part of vipassanā meditation, we will be inviting much unwanted and unwarranted criticism and controversy. And neither Mahāsi Sayādaw or myself would want to argue here that the Visuddhimagga, the rightly venerated classic, is at fault here.
It has been said that by noting the rising and falling of the abdomen, meditators are distancing themselves from the teachings of the Buddha. The answer to this is a firm and definite “no.” Quite apart from the success that meditators have achieved by noting rising-falling, there is much solid evidence in the Buddhist scriptures, such as Salāyatana Vagga Samyutta, to show that the method is very much a part of the Buddha’s teachings regarding mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of the elements (dhātu), and mindfulness of the five aggregates (khandhas).
amtross wrote:The difference I've been able to generalize from most teachers has to do with the way you deal with the wandering mind. Vipassana techniques gererally involve noting or labelling or sometimes even staying with the new mind object. Samatha techniques generally pay less attention to secondary objects and focus more on getting the mind back to and keeping it on the primary object (the breath in this case).
Goofaholix wrote:It's a matter of emphasis, samatha emphasises staying with a primary object and vipassana emphasises working with whatever arises or changing objects and may or may not have a primary object to fall back on.
"Monks, these are the four developments of concentration. Which four? There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.
mikenz66 wrote:I think that sutta is worth studying to see that these differences in emphasis are not a post-Sutta invention.
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,mikenz66 wrote:I think that sutta is worth studying to see that these differences in emphasis are not a post-Sutta invention.
Correct, but regarding them as discrete and separable paths is. Reflection's quotations above are apt.
mikenz66 wrote:No one is saying they are separate paths, but that sutta clearly describes some different "actions" and experiences.
stevenpaul wrote:If we bring ourselves back to the breath, rigorously focusing away from any and all distractions, we are cultivating samadhi. On the other hand, if we allow attention to be pulled towards distractions as they arise, equanimously observing them, noting or labeling if we choose to, & then return to the breath, we are cultivating sati.
Goofaholix wrote:You said "we allow attention to be pulled towards distractions", can you see the freudian slip there?
In a vipassana approach nothing is a distraction, anything and everything that arises is a worthy object of attention, an opportunity for learning.
There is no meditative concentration
for him who lacks insight,
and no insight for him
who lacks meditative concentration.
He in whom are found both
meditative concentration and insight,
indeed, is close to Nibbana.
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