thereductor wrote:Do you agree sammasamadhi and jhana are the same? ... Your comments seem fine, but what is meant by being an 'outsider'?
-- Hi thereductor, nice to see your post again. Have you seen my recent post on the thread "How to gain Samadhi - answer to the Buddha's questions" (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=6563
) on sammasamadhi?
I would post more often, but usually I lack time, or lack energy, or lack both. I had seen your other post before, but will take another look.
"Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports and requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports and requisite conditions." —Maha-cattarisaka Sutta
Jhana not equipped with those seven factors are not sammasamadhi, as I understand. I know that many practitioners in some other schools can reach jhana (even the 4th jhana) without practicing the N8P. Sammasamadhi mostly refer to the 4 jhanas obtained after practicing the preceding 7 factors.
I would like to know from which schools those jhana practitioners come from. Is it their position that they can develop jhana without the supports, or is it your conclusion?
At any rate, I would respond further to your question about the presence of piti and sukha by pointing back to what you quote immediately above. In that quote the Buddha is showing his strong preference for being systematic, in that the path must be properly developed before sammasamadhi can arise. Otherwise that samadhi is wrong, correct?
So, perhaps a better question would be "should vitakka and vicara be stilled if piti and sukha are not yet present?" To which I would say "No". To allow vitakka and vicara to lapse first, before the arising of piti and sukha, would be disorderly rather than systematic, and thus not very much in the spirit of how the Buddha wanted us to practice. It would also fly in the face of the various jhana descriptions.
Consider also that at the end of the this sutta in the OP we see: "you should develop it with piti, you should develop it without piti, you should develop it with sukha, you should develop it with equanimity." Which seems a pretty strong allusion to the sequence of first jhana to the fourth jhana, where each initial quality of mind yields to the better quality, culminating in perfect equanimity. The fact that it is listed at the end, and the arising and falling away of vitakka and vicara comes first, doesn't mean that vitakka and vicara are disjoined from piti, sukha and equanimity.
Being an "outsider" means the mind is aware that it's watching the breath -- the breath and the mind are separated instead of being united, as I understand.
The sense of being an outsider seems to be caused by lingering uncertainty. Namely, there is uncertainty whether or not the mind has really let go worldly preoccupations, or not. Once the mind seems to be free of preoccupations, then it can settle into the breath and relax, to watch for a while. Having relaxed into the breath, the mental turmoil that the uncertainty created goes away. It is the mental turmoil that makes it seem there is 'a breath' and a 'watcher'. In my opinion, of course.
Oh, and pardon me if I'm rambling a bit. I don't have the time to write a shorter post.