No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Wed May 01, 2013 3:28 am

I have decided to make Anapanasati my main practice and have been doing it for the past couple of weeks, but have not had any sensations arise that I would consider piti or sukkha. So if I'm staying true to anapanasati, afaik this means that I cannot continue until they arise?

Also, there needs to be a world buddhist conference to decide on the authoritive translation/commentary for Anapanasati... XD
User avatar
Mojo
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed May 01, 2013 3:51 am

I would suggest continuing in your practice until you reach some level of piti or sukkha, ideally Jhana. It may be beneficial to take up walking meditation as well, to satisfy the urge for more bare insight practice that doesn't interfere with your on-the-cushion work.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Wed May 01, 2013 4:27 am

Good idea about the walking meditation. I'd probably be more interesred in a fast walk. In the past, I've just counted the number of paces to each in or out breath - so I suppose that would be considered more of a concentration practice? I'm not sure about walking vipassana. I watched a mahasi style walking meditation on youtube once. It seemed too chatty to me. Step-ping-right-step-ping-left... Perhaps more of a bare attention style would be easier for me to stick with?

Also, I'm only interested in the sutta jhanas, not the commentarial ones. Dunno if that makes a difference. I think some people consider piti and sukkha 1st and 2nd jhana? Thereps soooooooo many opinions out there...
User avatar
Mojo
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed May 01, 2013 4:49 am

Most traditional anapanasati practice works in the sutta Jhana framework - sometimes people call these "Vipassana Jhanas." Deep Jhana is hardly suitable for insight!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 01, 2013 9:48 am

Mojo wrote:I have decided to make Anapanasati my main practice and have been doing it for the past couple of weeks, but have not had any sensations arise that I would consider piti or sukkha. So if I'm staying true to anapanasati, afaik this means that I cannot continue until they arise?


I'd be inclined to continue and get a feel for the 4 tetrads as a whole - this can take a while. There are ways of simplifying the tetrads, recently I've been working with the the following framework which feels manageable in a 30 or 40 minute sit:
1. Calming and gladdening the body;
2. Calming and gladdening the mind;
3. Contemplating transience ( using aggregates and sense-bases ).
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2940
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Zakattack » Wed May 01, 2013 11:17 am

Mojo wrote:I have decided to make Anapanasati my main practice and have been doing it for the past couple of weeks, but have not had any sensations arise that I would consider piti or sukkha. So if I'm staying true to anapanasati, afaik this means that I cannot continue until they arise?

For piti or sukkha to arise that is sufficiently meaningful to serve as a profound object of vipassana, it is probably required to sit, with constant (balanced released) samadhi for at least one hour to 90 minutes. Profound vipassana means the piti or sukkah appear to the mind in such a detached & vivid way so they are clearly seen as 'not-self'. The 75 minute mark is timely for the arising of profound piti or sukkha. Prior to this, the breathing should naturally have calmed, within the body, to the point that the awareness, naturally, by itself, merges to the breathing at the nose. I would suggest doing a 7 or 10 day silent retreat if you can, to provide the optimal conditions. With metta.

:)
Zakattack
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:07 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 01, 2013 1:32 pm

Zakattack wrote:For piti or sukkha to arise that is sufficiently meaningful to serve as a profound object of vipassana, it is probably required to sit, with constant (balanced released) samadhi for at least one hour to 90 minutes. Profound vipassana means the piti or sukkah appear to the mind in such a detached & vivid way so they are clearly seen as 'not-self'.


Could I ask whether this is based on your experience, or on a particular commentary or teaching?
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2940
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Wed May 01, 2013 3:44 pm

I'd suggest that the satipatthana foundation of anapanasati could be improved if, when seated, there doesn't arise some measure of physical & mental ease (piti & sukha, respectively) when the kaya-sankhara are calmed.

They aren't jhana factors at first, and expectations are problematic anyway; the instructions allow one to tune in to citta-sankhara, just as the first tetrad allows one to tune in to kaya-sankhara, and calming these is the way to jhana, not strenuous attention to piti- or sukha-generation.

If you're worried about their apparent lack, well that's a hindrance which is directly opposing the awakening factors...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4360
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby reflection » Wed May 01, 2013 3:56 pm

As you said, there are many opinions out there. It's true. But why not simply put them all aside when doing meditation? Forget about them. Just stay with the breath, ease into it. Don't worry about continuing onto another state, try to be more deeply with the present breath. That's it. That's all.

I mean, you are doing the practice for a few weeks and are thinking about the jhanas - the states that are the last factor of the 8-fold path? You can't realistically expect to abandon the 5 hindrances that easily. It takes a lot of practice to weaken them. Just take it easy and it'll all come with time. :anjali:
User avatar
reflection
 
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:27 pm

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Wed May 01, 2013 4:09 pm

I generally practice 15-20 at a time, 30 min max - once or twice a day - often outdoors with plenty of birds around, which considering Buddha's instructions for suitable environments such as in a forest, I would think this to be ok.
User avatar
Mojo
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Wed May 01, 2013 4:19 pm

I'm really just looking a signpost that I'm doing the first four steps in such a way that will allow me to progress further. Piti and sukkha seem like sign posts to me.
User avatar
Mojo
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby fivebells » Wed May 01, 2013 5:31 pm

The way I do it (Thanissaro's way, basically), piti and sukkha and pretty critical. Try "breathing" through various parts of your body, and rest attention on a part where the associated sensations are comfortable and pleasant. See his book With Each and Every Breath for more details.
fivebells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed May 01, 2013 8:43 pm

Mojo wrote:I'm really just looking a signpost that I'm doing the first four steps in such a way that will allow me to progress further. Piti and sukkha seem like sign posts to me.

Although piti and sukkha are indeed major signposts, the less exciting ones are simple things like how many breaths you can follow before wandering off, how at ease you find yourself, and how your mind feels once you get off the cushion. Don't neglect those in the single-minded pursuit of Jhana.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby santa100 » Wed May 01, 2013 8:59 pm

Mojo wrote:
I'm really just looking a signpost that I'm doing the first four steps in such a way that will allow me to progress further. Piti and sukkha seem like sign posts to me.


From Ven. Bodhi's footnote for MN 118, Anapanasati Sutta:
one experiences rapture in 2 ways: by attaining one of the lower 2 jhanas in which rapture is present, one experiences rapture in the mode of serenity; OR by emerging from that jhana and contemplating that rapture as subject to destruction, one experiences rapture in the mode of insight.


So I guess even before we reach the piti/sukkha sign posts, we'll need other pre-requisite "sign posts" first: the tranquillising of bodily formation (the in-out breath, 4th clause of 1st tetrad), the presence of applied examination/sustained examination, and the absence of the Five Hindrances (greed, hatred, sloth/torpor, restlessness/remorse, doubt). For further details, refer to Ven. Gunaratana's excellent essay on the jhanas at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el351.html
santa100
 
Posts: 1587
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby marc108 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:48 pm

Mojo wrote:I have decided to make Anapanasati my main practice and have been doing it for the past couple of weeks, but have not had any sensations arise that I would consider piti or sukkha. So if I'm staying true to anapanasati, afaik this means that I cannot continue until they arise?

Also, there needs to be a world buddhist conference to decide on the authoritive translation/commentary for Anapanasati... XD


I don't think any significant experience of piti-sukkha will arise after just a few weeks. imo, the key is just to stick to applying and sustaining the mind on the breath and piti-sukkha will arise on its own.

how long have you been practicing? & how long are you sitting each day?
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
User avatar
marc108
 
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Thu May 02, 2013 12:28 am

fivebells wrote:The way I do it (Thanissaro's way, basically), piti and sukkha and pretty critical. Try "breathing" through various parts of your body, and rest attention on a part where the associated sensations are comfortable and pleasant. See his book With Each and Every Breath for more details.


Is Thanissaro on the sutta or commentary side of the jhanas?
User avatar
Mojo
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby fivebells » Thu May 02, 2013 12:49 am

Not familiar with the distinction, so I may be misunderstanding, but where he believes them to contradict, he sides with the suttas.
fivebells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:52 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Thu May 02, 2013 3:21 am

fivebells wrote:Not familiar with the distinction, so I may be misunderstanding, but where he believes them to contradict, he sides with the suttas.


My understanding is that the commentaries teach deep states of absorption where vipassana would not be possible. I believe sutta jhana would be more akin to access concentration?
User avatar
Mojo
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 am

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu May 02, 2013 3:53 am

Mojo wrote:My understanding is that the commentaries teach deep states of absorption where vipassana would not be possible. I believe sutta jhana would be more akin to access concentration?

No, sutta Jhanas and access concentration are not the same. All five Jhana factors are present in Sutta Jhanas.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 02, 2013 4:40 am

Mojo wrote:
fivebells wrote:Not familiar with the distinction, so I may be misunderstanding, but where he believes them to contradict, he sides with the suttas.


My understanding is that the commentaries teach deep states of absorption where vipassana would not be possible. I believe sutta jhana would be more akin to access concentration?
Listen to this: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/305/

Also, I would not get too worried about all these distinctions at this point. Simply sit, watch your breath, don't try to gain anything.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19911
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Next

Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ihrjordan and 4 guests