suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 08, 2011 11:12 pm

Hi Mirco,
Alex123 wrote: DN, MN, SN, AN, KN, Vin, Abh
kasiṇa: 22, 13, 0, 50, 108, 0, 159
ānāpāna: 2, 20, 94, 15, 45, 4, 2

mirco wrote:The Abhi-Dhamma does not belong to the discourses
and what I think is that it doesn't count in this comparison.

Even so, kasina seems to edge out ananapa in the Suttas... Interesting...

It would be interesting to see the "jhana" count, since I think in the vast majority of cases the Buddha didn't even bother to give a method for reaching jhana... See, e.g. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html "Jhana" section
mirco wrote:And don't forget about the brahmavihāras.

And don't forget numerous other meditation objects:

Recollections of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... all-Buddha
Body Parts, Elements, etc, etc,
In http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html and others...

And don't forget general mindfulness, walking meditation etc as in http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html in sections Vigilance and Mindfulness and clear consciousness.


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10269
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 08, 2011 11:46 pm

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:Even so, kasina seems to edge out ananapa in the Suttas... Interesting...

What would be interesting (but no doubt harder to calculate) would be the number of discrete suttas in which each term appeared. Thinking about how kasina instructions are delivered, the word kasina would be used many times in a single "teaching" on the kasinas.

However, I think anapana means "in and out breathing", whereas the teachings are usually stated in terms of "breathing in... such and such" and "breathing out ... such and such", so the compound term anapana would not be repeated many times throughout the discourse.

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)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14655
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 09, 2011 12:30 am

Sure, it would be interesting to see how many Suttas deal with each of the several dozen meditation objects collected in later lists. I mentioned a few of them above...

In thinking about this it occurs to me that there are instructions like the following give the same progression as the Anapanasati Sutta, but with less detail, 3 rather then 12 steps, with the first two corresponding roughly to tetrad 2 of the Anapanasati Sutta and the third having some relationship to tetrad 3.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... all-Buddha
"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Tathagata, thus: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' As he is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when the head is cleansed through the proper technique. ...


:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10269
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby serg_o » Mon May 09, 2011 7:09 am

Alex123 wrote:The word that includes kasiṇa
DN, MN, SN, AN, KN, Vin, Abh
kasiṇa: 22,13,0,50,108,0,159

I found 20 in DN (by search in Chattha Sangayana Tipitaka program). 10 are in Sangiti sutta - the list of 10 kasinas and the similar list of 10 kasinas in Dassuttara sutta, both suttas contain abhidhammapitaka-like lists of dhammas.
10 in one list + 10 in another give 20. So really I found 2 places in DN where kasinas are mentioned.
serg_o
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Russia, Zhukovsky

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 09, 2011 1:34 pm

serg_o wrote:
Alex123 wrote:The word that includes kasiṇa
DN, MN, SN, AN, KN, Vin, Abh
kasiṇa: 22,13,0,50,108,0,159

I found 20 in DN (by search in Chattha Sangayana Tipitaka program). 10 are in Sangiti sutta - the list of 10 kasinas and the similar list of 10 kasinas in Dassuttara sutta, both suttas contain abhidhammapitaka-like lists of dhammas.
10 in one list + 10 in another give 20. So really I found 2 places in DN where kasinas are mentioned.


Yes. If we count instance of 10 kasinas as one instance, then there will be less than if we look for instances of every mention of kasina.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby daverupa » Mon May 09, 2011 9:37 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Even so, kasina seems to edge out ananapa in the Suttas... Interesting...


This statement begins to appear incorrect.
    "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: 4125
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 09, 2011 10:35 pm

Hi Dave,
daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Even so, kasina seems to edge out ananapa in the Suttas... Interesting...


This statement begins to appear incorrect.

I just went by the numbers in the Suttas provided above. Of course it would be interesting to analyse how many suttas mention each particular object.

In any case my opinion is that technique is hardly taught in the suttas. A little in suttas such as the satipathana sutta and the ananpanasati sutta. A little less the suttas on recollections. I gave various references in a previous post. Discussion such as yours here: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=7495 ("I would like to explore only anapanasati, but the phrases in the relevant Suttas are unclear to me. ") suggest that the instructions that do exist are sketchy at best on details of how to get started with particular techniques.

So the interesting thing is that the Buddha gave much clearer indications of the results. For example the Jhana factors are spelled out in detail in numerous suttas with no discussion at all of how the bhikkhu might get to that state.

What to make of this? One possible conclusion is that the techniques were common knowledge and/or taught personally, and there was no need for the Buddha to give details in his discourses. Another possible conclusion (not necessarily contradictory) is that the exact object is not particularly important, and there are various ways of using the objects. That's certainly my experience. Different objects and approaches have a different "flavour", and seem to be useful for different practitioners at different times. Metta gives a different "feel" to focussing on motion when walking. Focussing on breath at the nostrils gives a different feel to focussing on the concept of breathing...

I've not had the opportunity to practice with a teacher who used kasinas, so I only have second-hand reports from a dhamma-friend who did a long retreat with kasinas (and reported that it was interesting change from his usual breath meditation). In that case they used a variety of kasina objects, which he said brought up quite different responses.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10269
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby mirco » Wed May 11, 2011 3:08 pm

OFF TOPIC
mikenz66 wrote:In any case my opinion is that technique is hardly taught in the suttas.

Hi Mike,

well, I think, every word spoken by the Buddha is about the technique, how to attain Nibbana the fastest and most efficient way. There is no such like meditation and non-meditation. Meditation does not happen on the cushion only, it happens every single moment. Every deed (kamma) got it's result (vipaka). And every single word spoken by the Buddha about e.g. how to behave in daily life, he spoke to help to better the results of formal meditation.

Be Well :) _()_
I get what I give
User avatar
mirco
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Kenshou » Wed May 11, 2011 3:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote:So the interesting thing is that the Buddha gave much clearer indications of the results. For example the Jhana factors are spelled out in detail in numerous suttas with no discussion at all of how the bhikkhu might get to that state.

I don't think that's entirely true. There are a lot of descriptions along the lines of this (to grab one at random from MN 39):

Seeing that they (the 5 hindrances) have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana...

This little bit is very informative. It is not a complex explanation, but I think that often the instructions we have in the suttas are sufficient and that people just tend to want to complicate things. This is not a jab at you or anyone, and I'm guilty of it too. And thas certainly doesn't apply to everything in the suttas.

But I also agree with the gist of what you're saying that in the suttas what's shown are the results, the salient points, but the little particulars and odd things that can happen are not mentioned. So then what we must do is get to work, navigate what happens with the guideposts we are provided with, and of course consider the advice of others who have been at it too, teachers or dhamma friends or ancient commentators.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Nyana » Thu May 12, 2011 2:47 am

dharmaamrita wrote:where in the suttas are kasinas described?

Kasiṇa means "totality". As already mentioned, the standard formula for the 10 kasiṇas is given in MN 77 Mahāsakuludāyi Sutta:

    Again, Udāyin, I have proclaimed to my disciples the way to develop the ten totality spheres. One perceives the earth totality above, below, and across, undivided and immeasurable... And thereby many disciples of mine abide having reached the perfection and consummation of direct gnosis.

Terms such as totality (kasiṇa), immeasurable (appamāṇa), and expansive (mahaggatā) are used in the descriptions of various samādhis throughout the discourses to indicate the expansiveness of jhāna. MN 127 Anuruddha Sutta explains the meaning of expansive mind-liberation (mahaggatā cetovimutti) and indicates the way of development:

    And what, householder, is the expansive liberation of mind? Here a monk abides resolved upon an area the size of the root of one tree, pervading it as expansive: this is called the expansive liberation of mind. Here a monk abides resolved upon an area the size of the roots of two or three trees, pervading it as expansive: this too is called the expansive liberation of mind. Here a monk abides resolved upon an area the size of one village, pervading it as expansive ... an area the size of two or three villages... an area the size of one major kingdom... an area the size of two or three major kingdoms... an area the size of the earth bounded by the ocean, pervading it as expansive: this too is called the expansive liberation of mind.

The commentary states that this is an instruction for developing the earth kasiṇa of varying sizes. It says that the expansive mind-liberation (mahaggatā cetovimutti) refers to kasiṇa jhāna:

    He covers the are the size of one tree root with the whole representation (kasiṇanimitta), and he abides resolved upon that totality representation, pervading it with the expansive jhāna (mahaggatajjhāna).

And so on. In the early texts, the earth kasiṇa is also called the perception of earth. MN 121 Cūḷasuññata Sutta explains the way of developing earth-perception as a type of kasiṇa jhāna:

    Now, as well as before, I remain fully in a dwelling of emptiness. Just as this palace of Migara's mother is empty of elephants, cattle, & mares, empty of gold & silver, empty of assemblies of women & men, and there is only this non-emptiness — the singleness based on the community of monks; even so, Ananda, a monk — not attending to the perception of village, not attending to the perception of human being — attends to the singleness based on the perception of wilderness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its perception of wilderness.

    He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of village are not present. Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of human being are not present. There is only this modicum of disturbance: the singleness based on the perception of wilderness.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the perception of village. This mode of perception is empty of the perception of human being. There is only this non-emptiness: the singleness based on the perception of wilderness.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure.

    Further, Ananda, the monk — not attending to the perception of human being, not attending to the perception of wilderness — attends to the singleness based on the perception of earth. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its perception of earth. Just as a bull's hide is stretched free from wrinkles with a hundred stakes, even so — without attending to all the ridges & hollows, the river ravines, the tracts of stumps & thorns, the craggy irregularities of this earth — he attends to the singleness based on the perception of earth. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its perception of earth.

    He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of human being are not present. Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of wilderness are not present. There is only this modicum of disturbance: the singleness based on the perception of earth.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the perception of human being. This mode of perception is empty of the perception of wilderness. There is only this non-emptiness: the singleness based on the perception of earth.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure.

Again, the commentary states that this is an instruction for developing the earth kasiṇa.

Also, Sigālapita Theragāthā 1.18 describes skeleton-perception, which is a type of asubha jhāna:

    There was an heir to the Buddha, a monk in the Bhesakala forest,
    Who suffused this whole earth with skeleton-perception,
    Quickly, I say, he abandoned passion for sensual pleasure.

And the brahmavihāras as types of jhāna are also described in many places, such as AN 11.17:

    Then again, a monk keeps pervading the first direction with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth. Thus above, below, and all around, everywhere, in its entirety, he keeps pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with a mind imbued with loving-kindness — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.

dharmaamrita wrote:As described in the vishudhimagga?

In the later strata of commentaries a distinction is made between an "unprepared, unmade" kasiṇa, such as a large plowed field, and a "prepared, made up" kasiṇa, which is the circular disk (maṇḍala), made out of soil or clay. In the Vimuttimagga (circa ~100 CE) both types of kasiṇa are described in detail. Later still, in the Visuddhimagga (circa ~500 CE), the unmade kasiṇa is briefly mentioned, but is no longer considered a suitable object for development unless one had already developed this practice in previous lives. Thus, the Visuddhimagga only describes the made up circular disk type of kasiṇa. And then due to semantic shift, the term kasiṇa began to be identified as this type of circular disk.

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 12, 2011 3:52 am

Thanks, Geoff for putting these various meditation objects in context.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10269
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Nyana » Sat May 14, 2011 6:44 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks, Geoff for putting these various meditation objects in context.

:anjali:
Mike

:smile:
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 15, 2011 6:01 pm

Thank you Geoff, - I found the asubha mahaggatta quite intriguing!

I would like to ask a question if I may- would the texts support a possibility that the 'expansive' state of mind is a pre-jhanic samadhi state, rather than the quality of the jhana itself?

I'm also thinking of expanding the anicca sanna as well now!

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Nyana » Sun May 15, 2011 6:58 pm

rowyourboat wrote:I would like to ask a question if I may- would the texts support a possibility that the 'expansive' state of mind is a pre-jhanic samadhi state, rather than the quality of the jhana itself?

I think a literal reading would probably limit the expansive mind to jhāna. But as I think you know, once one has some experience with jhāna then those mental qualities can be developed and to some degree sustained on pre- and post-jhāna occasions. It's another skill that can be cultivated.

rowyourboat wrote:I'm also thinking of expanding the anicca sanna as well now!

I think it's workable. For example, one can learn to take the entire visible sphere as the object, or any of the other sensory spheres as they arise in awareness, and contemplate the recognition of aniccā.

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Jeffrey » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:07 am

Hello, and welcome back to an old thread. Rather than start a new one, I thought I'd add to one that is already on topic and which I found informative.

I'm wondering if anyone knows about kasina manufacture. Do monks make their own? Are there specifications for manufacture? Are they produced commercially and sold to the monastic community?

Thanks in advance for any information you may be able to provide.
Jeffrey
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:08 am

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:23 pm

Jeffrey wrote:I'm wondering if anyone knows about kasina manufacture. Do monks make their own? Are there specifications for manufacture? Are they produced commercially and sold to the monastic community?

In all my years as a monk I have never come across anyone doing kasiṇa meditation. I presume that if some do, that they will make their own.
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
 
Posts: 2008
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: suttas and the kasinas(vishudhimagga)

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:52 am

In what countries have you practiced, Ven Pesala?

Photo by Carrithers in Berchert & Gombrich World of Buddhism
Attachments
Photo by Carrithers in Berchert & Gombrich World of Buddhism.jpg
Photo by Carrithers in Berchert & Gombrich World of Buddhism.jpg (421.06 KiB) Viewed 368 times
Jeffrey
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:08 am

Previous

Return to Samatha Meditation and Jhana

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests