Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
SamKR
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Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Mon May 07, 2012 3:48 am

Among the different parts of the eight-fold path the one with which I am most confused is samma samadhi. So I have the following questions:
* What is Samma Samadhi actually (in simple words)?
* What does it include besides concentration and tranquility?
* Samadhi is often translated as concentration. Is concentration essential part of samadhi, or can there be samadhi without concentration?
* What makes it Samma?
* Does it refer to tranquil states of mind, or to a process of becoming tranquil?
* Is Samma Samadhi equivalent to jhana or a superset of jhana? If both are not equivalent how are they related?
* Can there be Samma Samadhi without jhana?

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reflection
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby reflection » Mon May 07, 2012 4:14 am


SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Mon May 07, 2012 4:48 am


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reflection
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby reflection » Mon May 07, 2012 6:16 am

I personally go with the suttas in saying samma samadhi is the jhanas. So now the question, how to interpret it? Concentration doesn't entail everything samadhi stands for. It's not based on the kind of concentration we usually use for other tasks, which is more forced concentration, or a concentration from sense indulgence. Right tranquility would also be a nice translation, I think, but there is this factor of concentration -or one pointedness- in it, so the translation 'concentration' is not that bad. So you can also choose not to translate it, perhaps that's the best option.

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manas
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby manas » Mon May 07, 2012 6:31 am

I can recommend the 'Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life' http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
It is a long sutta, and alot of the section on virtue could be skimmed through, as it applies more to renunciates (such as monks and nuns) rather than laypeople such as ourselves (although it is interesting to note how the five, eight or ten precepts are all included in it). Only after virtue has been exhaustively explained does it go on to guarding the sense doors, mindfulness in daily activites, contentment with simplicity, abandoning the five hindrances, and then finally it goes into the jhanas. And after the jhanas, there's even more...it just gets better and better, all the way to the total destruction of the asavas.

I get the feeling (from this sutta) that jhana involves a whole-life approach; inclining to quietude in all one's activities, avoiding silly entertainments, abstaining from obtrusive music, cultivating brahmacariya, etc. I sense that for many of us laypeople, jhana might be a long-term cultivation, that will require steady effort, and much patience.

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Mon May 07, 2012 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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polarbear101
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby polarbear101 » Mon May 07, 2012 9:00 am

according to the book Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization by Venerable Analayo

Direct quote: "samadhi is related to the verb samadahati, 'to put together' or 'to collect', such as when one collects wood to kindle a fire. Samadhi thus stands for 'collecting' oneself, in the sense of composure or unification of mind. The discourses use the term 'concentration' (samadhi) in a surprisingly broad manner, relating it to walking meditation, for example, or to observing the arising and passing away of feelings and cognitions, or to contemplating the arising and passing away of the 5 aggregates. In a passage from the Anguttara Nikaya, even the 4 satipatthanas are treated as a form of concentration. These occurences demonstrate that, as used in the discourses, the term 'concentration' (samadhi) is not restricted to the development of calm (samatha) only, but can also refer to the realm of insight meditation (vipassana).
Turning to 'right concentration' (samma samadhi), here one finds time and again that the discourses equate right concentration with the four absorbtions (jhanas). This is of considerable importance since 'right' concentration is a prerequisite for awakening." page 72
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby Cittasanto » Mon May 07, 2012 10:48 am

Hi Sam
hope this helps
* What is Samma Samadhi actually (in simple words)?
Samma - Upright, right, correct, complete
samadhi - Concentration, focus,


* What does it include besides concentration and tranquility?
the rest of the eightfold path. see MN117 the great fourty

* Samadhi is often translated as concentration. Is concentration essential part of samadhi, or can there be samadhi without concentration?
it is essential

* What makes it Samma?
the appropriate attention on an object, which leads to liberation.

* Does it refer to tranquil states of mind, or to a process of becoming tranquil?
a process of dropping the hindrences could be more accurate.

* Is Samma Samadhi equivalent to jhana or a superset of jhana? If both are not equivalent how are they related?
it is equivalent to

* Can there be Samma Samadhi without jhana?
The Jhana are the culmination of Sammasamadhi, so yes, I would say there is, but this would just be called samadhi


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Tue May 08, 2012 12:07 am

Thank you reflection, manas, polarbuddha, and Cittasanto for your inputs.

So far, by some readings and a little bit of thinking what I gather is nibbana is the ultimate Samma Samadhi which is the ultimate aim of Buddha's teachings. There is no more right view after the right view he/she attains immediately after this ultimate samma samadhi.

The different jhanas (peaceful and clear mind-states) are the different deepest-states of the meditator's mind that he/she can possibly attain at his/her stage (during his/her development in the noble eight-fold path). The process of development culminates in the ultimate samma samadhi (nibbana: the cessation of all hindrances,suffering) and the right view immediately thereafter (if one is alive), or more precisely it culminates in the the parinibbana.

So a beginner, who starts with right view (the forerunner), right resolve, ..., right mindfulness, ends up with right samadhi (first jhana).
Then equipped with first jhana he gains more right view, more right resolve,...,more right mindfulness, and attains more right samadhi (second jhana).
In this way developing further he attains more and more right samadhi (third jhana, fourth jhana, and finally nibbana).

Do you think my view about samma samadhi is right?

[Perhaps already obvious, I have not attained any of these states. I just wanted to understand what samma samadhi is so that I can practice better.]
Last edited by SamKR on Tue May 08, 2012 6:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Tue May 08, 2012 6:19 am

Ok, no other replies so far. And, I am about to read Ñāṇa's thread "Jhāna According to the Pāḷi Nikāyas". Initially avoided it as the discussion is 12 pages till now, but want to start reading it (though I have final exam of this semester this week; Dhamma Wheel has been my major cause of distraction -- away from my study :) )

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Cittasanto
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 08, 2012 6:29 am

Hi Sam
what about the other aspects of the path? and although Jhana can be mistaken for Nibbana it is not Nibbana.

the Eightfold path should be developed, but it is not itself the final goal!


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Tue May 08, 2012 6:56 am


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reflection
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby reflection » Tue May 08, 2012 7:20 am

Well, a bit of a 'sad' thing about jhana is, both teachers and practitioners disagree quite a lot on what they actually are. On this board these ideas are all represented. Which is fine, but finding the end of your confusion here probably won't happen because of that. What will end your confusion is your own experience. Which doesn't have to be a problem, because you can also admit to yourself that you don't know.

You can also take a look here to see what I mean with the different opinions: (I'm sorry, it'll add to your confusion :tongue: )
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4597

SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Tue May 08, 2012 7:35 am

Last edited by SamKR on Tue May 08, 2012 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Buckwheat
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby Buckwheat » Tue May 08, 2012 9:27 am

Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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reflection
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby reflection » Tue May 08, 2012 4:04 pm


SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Tue May 08, 2012 4:49 pm


SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Tue May 08, 2012 4:57 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 08, 2012 8:49 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

SamKR
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby SamKR » Fri May 11, 2012 8:10 pm


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Rui Sousa
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Re: Questions Regarding Samma Samadhi

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri May 11, 2012 11:48 pm

With Metta


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