Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

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Goedert
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Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Goedert » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:17 am

Samadhi Sutta: Concentration
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"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.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

"These are the four developments of concentration.

"And it was in connection with this that I stated in Punnaka's Question in the Way to the Far Shore [Sn 5.3]:

'He who has fathomed
the far & near in the world,
for whom there is nothing
perturbing in the world —
his vices evaporated,
undesiring, untroubled,
at peace —
he, I tell you, has crossed over birth
aging.'"


Hello Friends,

I do not understand the technique used to develop perception of light. It is a kind of kasina method? Any text or commentary on it? I appreaciate any help, on how to practice this. Because it seems really usefull.

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Anicca » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:01 am

Howdy Goedert!

It has been discussed here.
Hope this helps

Metta

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Anicca » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:05 am

Once again -
Another link is here - find the .pdf for Anguttara Nikaya 4.41.

Edit: Here is a direct link to the pdf.

Metta

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:31 am

Hi Goedert,

Goedert wrote:Samadhi Sutta: Concentration
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu


"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.


Hello Friends,

I do not understand the technique used to develop perception of light. It is a kind of kasina method? Any text or commentary on it? I appreaciate any help, on how to practice this. Because it seems really usefull.


I think the kind of "light" referred to here is an awareness. More precisely, in this case, it is the awareness we have during lucid dreaming (from latin lux = light). Awareness of visions (the psychic kind) and the knowledge linked to them arises similar to dream lucidity.

Sometimes visions arise in our mind, but usually we are not aware of them, don't remember them afterwards. During day (wake consciousness) they tend to be short or even suppressed (except if one happens to be a special kind of mystic) and during the night (dream and sleep consciousness) they tend to be easily forgotten - just like most dreams.

So I would say whatever helps to develop lucid dreaming will do - kasina practice is one possibility.

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Goedert » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:38 pm

bodom wrote:The Buddha also taught in Aloka Sutta and Abha Sutta of Anguttara Nikaya that there are 4 kinds of light: 1) sunlight, 2) moonlight (which includes starlight), 3) light of fire, and 4) light of wisdom. As for the light of wisdom the subcommentary to the Pacalayamana Sutta mentioned that there are 4 types:1) Dibba Cakkhu Abhinna (Divine eye/psychic power) also has light. 2) Aloka Kasina or all the Kasina have light. 3) Beginning from Palikamma Samadhi (preliminary concentration) which is close to Upacara Samadhi up till the upper Samatha Bhavana Citta, all these have light also. 4) In the Upakilesacalled Vipassanobhasa - it is the bright light of Vipassana nana(Vipassana insight knowledge).


I still don't know how to apply it in meditation. How can I meditate on perception of light?
I imagine the case if I focus on the sun, probabily I'll be blind in the end of meditation, but if I focus on the light of the sun on the ground as a kind of kasina, this last seens to be logical.

In the case of the moon, one can direct focus on it.

Same for fire.

Now in the light of wisdom, this is only for advanced practioners I believe.


Some one can clarify on how to put this in to simple practice? It is difficult to interpret the texts and put it in to practice, because it something not concrete, similiar to abstract object. How is possible to train in this way?

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Kenshou » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:51 pm

I suspect that this is just one of those things that we simply don't have enough information to understand what it originally meant, beyond a vague idea. Probably best to not worry about it, though of course I understand the curiosity.

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Virgo » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:20 pm

Goedert wrote:Samadhi Sutta: Concentration


I do not understand the technique used to develop perception of light. It is a kind of kasina method? Any text or commentary on it? I appreaciate any help, on how to practice this. Because it seems really usefull.

Can't recall fully. I seem to remember that it is like kasina (perhaps like a light kasina?). Also, that the knowledge and vision is mundane, as in like the divine eye I am assuming.

Kevin

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Goedert
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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Goedert » Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:49 am

I tried to search every where. I just could find some tibetan yogas about it, they are useless to me, too much misticism involved.

I think some things were lost in the oral tradition.

Thanks for everybody.

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Freawaru » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:27 am

I wonder, are all of them samma samadhi? I recall that jhana is samma samadhi - aka the first kind of samadhi described in this sutta. But on the other hand wouldn't it be odd if the samadhi that leads to the ending of the effluents isn't a samma samadhi. Does anybody know?

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Goedert » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:08 pm

Freawaru wrote:I wonder, are all of them samma samadhi? I recall that jhana is samma samadhi - aka the first kind of samadhi described in this sutta. But on the other hand wouldn't it be odd if the samadhi that leads to the ending of the effluents isn't a samma samadhi. Does anybody know?


There is a explanation of the terms in Palikanon dictionary:


Samādhi

'concentration'; lit. 'the (mental) state of being firmly fixed' (sam+ā+Ö hā),

is the fixing of the mind on a single object.

"One-pointedness of mind (cittass' ekaggatā), Brother Visakha, this is called concentration" (M. 44).

Concentration - though often very weak - is one of the 7 mental concomitants inseparably associated with all consciousness. Cf. nāma, cetanā.

Right concentration (sammā-samādhi), as the last link of the 8-fold Path (s. magga), is defined as the 4 meditative absorptions (jhāna). In a wider sense, comprising also much weaker states of concentration, it is associated with all karmically wholesome (kusala) consciousness. Wrong concentration (micchā-samādhi) is concentration associated with all karmically unwholesome (akusala) consciousness. Wherever in the texts this term is not differentiated by 'right' or 'wrong', there 'right' concentration is meant .

In concentration one distinguishes 3 grades of intensity:

*

(1) 'Preparatory concentration' (parikamma-samādhi) existing at the beginning of the mental exercise.
*

(2) 'Neighbourhood concentration' (upacāra-samādhi), i.e. concentration 'approaching' but not yet attaining the 1st absorption (jhāna), which in certain mental exercises is marked by the appearance of the so-called 'counter-image' (patibhāga-nimitta).
*

(3) 'Attainment concentration' (appanā-samādhi), i.e. that concentration which is present during the absorptions. (App.)

Further details, s. bhāvana, Vis.M. III and Fund. IV.

Concentration connected with the 4 noble path-moments (magga), and fruition-moments (phala), is called supermundane (lokuttara), having Nibbāna as object. Any other concentration, even that of the sublimest absorptions is merely mundane (lokiya).

According to D.33, the development of concentration (samādhi-bhāvanā) may procure a 4-fold blessing:

*

(1) present happiness through the 4 absorptions;
*

(2) knowledge and vision (ñāna-dassana) - here probably identical with the 'divine eye' (s. abhiññā) through perception of light (kasina);
*

(3) mindfulness and clear comprehension through the clear knowledge of the arising, persisting and vanishing of feelings, perceptions and thoughts;
*

(4) extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya) through understanding the arising and passing away of the 5 groups forming the objects of clinging (s. khandha).

Concentration is one of the 7 factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga), one of the 5 spiritual faculties and powers (s. bala), and the last link of the 8-fold Path.

In the 3-fold division of the 8-fold Path (morality, concentration and wisdom), it is a collective name for the three last links of the path (s. sikkhā).


There is also some explanations about it in [url=http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/gunaratana/wheel351.html?iframe=true&width=100%&height=100%#ch5]The Jhanas in Theravada Tradition[/url]:

The samathayanika is a meditator who first attains access concentration or one of the eight mundane jhanas, then emerges and uses his attainment as a basis for cultivating insight until he arrives at the supramundane path. In contrast, the vipassanayanika does not attain mundane jhana prior to practicing insight contemplation, or if he does, does not use it as an instrument for cultivating insight. Instead, without entering and emerging from jhana, he proceeds directly to insight contemplation on mental and material phenomena and by means of this bare insight he reaches the noble path. For both kinds of meditator the experience of the path in any of its four stages always occurs at a level of jhanic intensity and thus necessarily includes supramundane jhana under the heading of right concentration (samma samadhi), the eighth factor of the Noble Eightfold Path.


Samma-Samadhi is the last of the path factos and you can see The Noble Path here:
Samma Ditthi
Samma Sankappo
Samma Vaca
Samma Kammanto
Samma Ajivo
Samma Vayamo
Samma Sati
Samma Samadhi

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Re: Samadhi Sutta - Technique Doubt

Postby Freawaru » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:30 pm

Thank you very much, Goedert. :smile:


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