Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Each week we study and discuss a different sutta or Dhamma text

Moderator: mikenz66

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Dan74 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:39 pm

Would it be fair to put it simply that mindfulness as recollection (of the Right View, of what is wholesome and unwholesome, of the Dhamma in general) forms the basis of practice much like sila, while mindfulness as bare awareness form the foundation of samadhi - discerning it as it is?

Naively I thought this is uncontroversial in all Buddhist schools, including Theravada. :shrug:

If Dmytro or others feel that many of us have gone wrong in our practice, I would appreciate a thread addressing Ven Analayo's exposition, both scripturally and substantially.

PS Thank you, Tilt, for attaching the scans of Ven Analayo's book - it's much like what I've been taught.

PPS I recall our old friend, Element, coming to ZFI and telling that we've all gone terribly wrong with our understanding of mindfulness and it is just about recollection. But we won't hold that against this thesis, will we.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2670
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby alan » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:15 am

Focusing on "bare awareness" without a firm basis of concentration seems like a fruitless task.
Can we equate mindfulness, as a technique, with the realization of bare awareness?
For the purpose of the discussion I'll assume "bare awareness" is a state beyond what we can normally achieve through normal mindfulness, and that it is not a necessary outcome of mindfulness practice.
alan
 
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:38 am

Dan74 wrote:Would it be fair to put it simply that mindfulness as recollection (of the Right View, of what is wholesome and unwholesome, of the Dhamma in general) forms the basis of practice much like sila, while mindfulness as bare awareness form the foundation of samadhi - discerning it as it is?

Naively I thought this is uncontroversial in all Buddhist schools, including Theravada. :shrug:

If Dmytro or others feel that many of us have gone wrong in our practice, I would appreciate a thread addressing Ven Analayo's exposition, both scripturally and substantially.

PS Thank you, Tilt, for attaching the scans of Ven Analayo's book - it's much like what I've been taught.
You are welcome. The problem is there are a those who are rather doggedly anti-vipassana, who subscribe to a very narrow and limited take on these things.

Here we have a a carefully documented approach by Ven Analayo, plus supporting stuff from Vens Bodhi and Nyanaponika. Ven Analayo gives a rather subtle and sophisticated argument for his position; however, the negative response has had all the subtlety of a ball-peen hammer.

If one wants to offer a negative critique of Ven Analayto and the idea of bare attention, then please do so, but do so in terms a carefully worked out argument that accurately reflects Vens Analayo, Bodhi and Nyanaponika's points of view. So far here, that has not happened. All we gotten are straw man arguments from which no one learns anything.

The thing is Vens Analayo, Bodhi and Nyanaponika arguments concerning bare attention are reasonable in terms of the suttas and in terms of the Theravada tradition as a whole, and more importantly they are talking about a practice that works in terms of the Buddha-Dhamma.

For those who do not like Ven Analayo's position, your objections are noted, and -- as I have said a number of times already -- if you wish to discuss these objections further, start a new thread.
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby ground » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:43 am

Dan74 wrote:If Dmytro or others feel that many of us have gone wrong in our practice, ...

I think this thread is about the interpretation of a sutta called "Satipatthana sutta". Whether one's practice is right or wrong is not the topic of this thread but depends on one's own assessment with reference to one's own individual goals.

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:44 am

alan wrote:Focusing on "bare awareness" without a firm basis of concentration seems like a fruitless task.
The cultivation of bare attention cultivates concentration. One cannot really have bare attention, as defined by Vens Analayo, Bodhi and Nyanaponika, without concentration.
Can we equate mindfulness, as a technique, with the realization of bare awareness?
You'll need to define your terms here.
For the purpose of the discussion I'll assume "bare awareness" is a state beyond what we can normally achieve through normal mindfulness, and that it is not a necessary outcome of mindfulness practice.
Again, you'll need to define your terms here. As for what I mean by bare attention, please see the Ven Analayo PDF, the Ven Nyanaponika link and the bit I quoted from Ven Bodhi:


viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9941&start=20#p160144

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9941&start=40#p160162
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:49 am

TMingyur wrote:
Dan74 wrote:If Dmytro or others feel that many of us have gone wrong in our practice, ...

I think this thread is about the interpretation of a sutta called "Satipatthana sutta".
To talk about this sutta it would likely necessitate talking about how one would practice it. What we are looking at is how one scholar/practitioner bhikkhu understands it in terms of the Pali tradition. Obviously there are differing points of view, and they can be discussed in detail in new threads devoted to those points of view.
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby alan » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:56 am

Is the cultivation of bare attention the best way to cultivate concentration?
alan
 
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:03 am

alan wrote:Is the cultivation of bare attention the best way to cultivate concentration?
It is a way of cultivating concentration and it is a way of cultivating the requistes for insight.
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby ground » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Dan74 wrote:If Dmytro or others feel that many of us have gone wrong in our practice, ...

I think this thread is about the interpretation of a sutta called "Satipatthana sutta".
... What we are looking at is how one scholar/practitioner bhikkhu understands it in terms of the Pali tradition.
...

So textual evidence should suffice and should be the only concern. Otherwise it would be about whether one feels that this scholar is right or wrong depending on one's own success of practicing according to one's own understanding or depending on one's own likings.


Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:30 am

TMingyur wrote:So textual evidence should suffice and should be the only concern.
Yes, since the book is a textual exploration of the the sutta in question.
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby dhamma follower » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:10 pm

daverupa wrote:
SN 48.10 wrote:"And what is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. He remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called the faculty of mindfulness.


Well found, Daverupa!

So there are two aspects of sati:

1.sati that is quite commonplace in everyone -in varying degrees, independently from being a follower of the Buddha's teaching.
2. sati that is defined as samma sati, which is the one described in satipathanna and in the second part of the sutta above. It is this second aspect of sati that of particular interest for practitioners, isn't it?

Regards,
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:57 pm

Hi Manasikara,

manasikara wrote:I know what you are getting at in that there is no direct instruction as in "abandon sensual desire!" etc, but maybe it's assumed that we already know that this needs to be done. It seems to be implied here, in any case (afaics), by ending with "...that has been abandoned".


Indeed, it is implied in Satipatthana sutta. The suttas like Dvedhavitakka sutta are much more explicit in this regard, describing the full range of practice.

:anjali:
User avatar
Dmytro
 
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:24 pm

Hi Daverupa,

SN 48.10 wrote:"And what is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. He remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called the faculty of mindfulness.


For the sake of clarity, I would like to say that the passage you quoted:

Katamañca bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ: idha bhikkhave, ariyasāvako satimā hoti paramena satinepakkena sannāgato cirakatampi cirabhāsitampi saritā anussaritā. So kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ. Vedanāsu vedanānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ. Citte cittānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ. Dhammesu dhammānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati bhikkhave, satindriyaṃ.

consists of two parts. One is the definition of sati as a faculty, the same as in the preceding sutta, SN 48.9:

"And what is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."

In addition to such definition, this sutta also defines the ways of establishing sati, namely, four satipatthana.
The words "remains focused" don't define sati here, they refer to what one does when sati is already established.
User avatar
Dmytro
 
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby James the Giant » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:13 am

I wonder when Samvega will be along to get us back on topic with the next installment?
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:28 am

James the Giant wrote:I wonder when Samvega will be along to get us back on topic with the next installment?
One can hope soon.
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:16 am

Hi Dmytri,

this sutta also defines the ways of establishing sati, namely, four satipatthana.


Does it define the ways of establishing sati or does it define samma sati?

Regards,
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Dmytro » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:53 am

Hi Dhamma Follower,

dhamma follower wrote:Does it define the ways of establishing sati or does it define samma sati?


First, this sutta (48.10) gives the definition of "sati", which is also given in other suttas, for example, the preceding one, 48.9.

Second, it gives the standard definition of four satipatthana, which is also given in many other suttas.
IMHO, the definition of four satipatthana contributes to the definition of "sati".

The earliest and most reliable explanation of this "satipatthana" definition is given in Vibhanga:

357. Anupassīti. Tattha katamā anupassanā? Yā paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā paṇḍiccaṃ kosallaṃ nepuññaṃ vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā bhūri medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṃ patodo paññā paññindriyaṃ paññābalaṃ paññāsatthaṃ paññāpāsādo paññāāloko paññāobhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṃ amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi – ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘anupassanā’’. Imāya anupassanāya upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato upapanno sampanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati ‘‘anupassī’’ti.

358. Viharatīti. Iriyati vattati pāleti yapeti yāpeti carati viharati. Tena vuccati ‘‘viharatī’’ti.

359. Ātāpīti. Tattha katamo ātāpo [katamaṃ ātāpaṃ (sabbattha)]? Yo cetasiko vīriyārambho…pe… sammāvāyāmo – ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘ātāpo’’. Iminā ātāpena upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato upapanno sampanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati ‘‘ātāpī’’ti.

360. Sampajānoti. Tattha katamaṃ sampajaññaṃ? Yā paññā pajānanā vicayo pavicayo dhammavicayo sallakkhaṇā upalakkhaṇā paccupalakkhaṇā paṇḍiccaṃ kosallaṃ nepuññaṃ vebhabyā cintā upaparikkhā bhūri medhā pariṇāyikā vipassanā sampajaññaṃ patodo paññā paññindriyaṃ paññābalaṃ paññāsatthaṃ paññāpāsādo paññāāloko paññāobhāso paññāpajjoto paññāratanaṃ amoho dhammavicayo sammādiṭṭhi – idaṃ vuccati ‘‘sampajaññaṃ’’. Iminā sampajaññena upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato upapanno sampanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati ‘‘sampajāno’’ti.

361. Satimāti. Tattha katamā sati? Yā sati anussati paṭissati sati saraṇatā dhāraṇatā apilāpanatā asammussanatā sati satindriyaṃ satibalaṃ sammāsati – ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘sati’’. Imāya satiyā upeto hoti samupeto upāgato samupāgato upapanno sampanno samannāgato. Tena vuccati ‘‘satimā’’ti.

362. Vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassanti. Tattha katamo loko? Sveva kāyo loko. Pañcapi upādānakkhandhā loko. Ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘loko’’. Tattha katamā abhijjhā? Yo rāgo sārāgo…pe… cittassa sārāgo – ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘abhijjhā’’. Tattha katamaṃ domanassaṃ? Yaṃ cetasikaṃ asātaṃ cetasikaṃ dukkhaṃ cetosamphassajaṃ asātaṃ dukkhaṃ vedayitaṃ cetosamphassajā asātā dukkhā vedanā – idaṃ vuccati ‘‘domanassaṃ’’. Iti ayañca abhijjhā idañca domanassaṃ imamhi loke vinītā honti paṭivinītā santā samitā vūpasantā atthaṅgatā abbhatthaṅgatā appitā byappitā sositā visositā byantīkatā. Tena vuccati ‘‘vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassa’’nti.


Sorry that I don't give the full translation, but I will write the main points.

In the paragraph 357 "anupassanā" (translated as "focusing on") is explained with the words related to wisdom, knowledge and discrimination, and with the "dhamma-vicaya" (discrimination of ways of behavior) factor . In the paragraph 361 "sati" is explained with the words related to memory and remembrance. So they have nothing in common, and just act together.

The explanation of "anupassanā" is nearly identical to the explanation of "sampajañña" (translated as "being alert") in the paragraph 360.

So, the "focusing on" has to do with awareness/alertness (sampajañña), and not with remembrance/mindfulness (sati).

Best wishes, Dmytro
User avatar
Dmytro
 
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:24 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:05 am

Don't go quoting paragraphs of Pali with an actual translation.

And again, please stay on topic. Off topic msgs well be removed.
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: 19748
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:22 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Dhamma Follower,

dhamma follower wrote:Does it define the ways of establishing sati or does it define samma sati?


IMHO, the definition of four satipatthana contributes to the definition of "sati".

The earliest and most reliable explanation of this "satipatthana" definition is given in Vibhanga:

Best wishes, Dmytro


Did you mean this sutta or a different one?:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

where we read:

"And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness."

Regards,

PS: I hope this point is still considered ON topic, undirectly?
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:07 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Dhamma Follower,

In the case of samma-sati, it is defined through four satipathana.

Best wishes, Dmytro


This is what I wanted to point out.

I've had a quick look at the book again, and got the feeling that "bare attention" was only one of many aspects of sati that Ven. Analayo tries to explore in his book. Even in the part where he talks about sati as bare attention, he also mentions the sense-restraint function of sati (page 58-59).

What I personally feel necessary to discuss about is this:

"Analyo notes that these are more possible objects of mindfuless than those specifically listed in the satipatthana sutta."

And in the Ven's own words:

"...to speak of "satipatthana" is less a question of the nature of the object chosen than of "attending" to whatever situation with a balance attitude and with mindfulness being "present""

IMHO, if the Buddha did make the distinction between sati and samma sati, and went on listing all the objects of samma sati (as in the Maha-vibhaga sutta), that means the objects of sati ARE important in defining whether it is samma sati or not.

Ven. also makes a point that in order to be samma sati, it should be accompanied by attapi-sampajana. I agree with that totally. However, if the objects are removed from the constituents of samma sati, I am affraid the implication of it will much affect the practice.

The objects mentioned in this sutta are not random, but all belong to nama-rupa, and come in an obvious order from gross to subtle, from using common-sense concepts to much refined basic factors and advanced stages of understanding. Therefore, it is an extremely bold step from the Ven's part to include other objects to this list.

Our natural tendency is to turn outwards to concepts and to proliferate. If we are told that any object is fine as long as there is remembering, the mind will just keeps on following this pattern and will not be able to see its nature (and actually mindfulness will be lost in the first place!)

Regards,
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

PreviousNext

Return to Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests