Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:06 pm

porpoise wrote:Yes, but as I read the 4 tetrads, some attention remains with the breath throughout the practice, so full attention cannot be given to any of the four frames.


You aren't supposed to be paying attention to the frame, you're supposed to be paying attention to what's being framed. In anapanasati, you are dealing with the breath in one or another of those frames, which is why the "breathes in... breathes out..." persists throughout the instructions. It isn't a matter of partial attention to the breath and partial attention to satipatthana, it is a matter of framing the breath according to satipatthana and practicing in that way. That this is possible is why anapanasati fulfills satipatthana.
    "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]
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:13 am

Yes, but as I read the 4 tetrads, some attention remains with the breath throughout the practice, so full attention cannot be given to any of the four frames.


4 tetrads belong to Vipassana, because by looking into the behaviour of 4 tetrads nakedly (without involving concept), you will slowly and passively understand the true nature of 4 tetrads.

If you want to fully understand something, of course you should put full attention to it. We can't do half looking at the breathing, half looking at one of four tetrads.

When you are ready to move to 4 tetrads, do you still need to look for breathing? No.

Breathing is just a technique. A technique to make you focus without any sway. Because it is just a technique to make you focus, you can replace that breathing with anything you like, like a blue flower, like a statue of buddha, like a stone. Anything.

But, once you have gain your unsway focus, if you never move from that point, and just following your breathing, you will not make any single progress in wisdom.

You will make a progress in concentration aspect, but not a single aspect in your wisdom aspect.

Once your mindfulness has been sharp and natural, leave your breathing behind. At this point, your breathing is already hardly noticeable.

At that point, if you keep searching for breathing, you have waste your time. Because when you look for breathing, your "unnoticeable" breath will turn to gross breath. This is not good.

The grosser your breathing, the more agitate your mind with concept.
The more unnoticeable your breathing, the clearer your mind (free with concept).


That is the undisputeable basic reality in any pranayama.

Prove it yourself, by holding your breath for 1 minute. Notice your thought. Does it move?

This experiment should give you a confident that the relationship between breathing and movement of thought is one to one.

A very advanced technique to clear your mind is actually holding your breath. However, since this is not taught in Satipatthana, you should rely on the pace of your natural breathing.

Your natural breathing will bring you to the state where your breathing is hardly noticeable.

So, it is very important here, once you achieve that, you should notice your mindfulness. Your mindfulness should be relatively sharp here.

Once you can feel your mind is relatively free from flying concepts, you are ready for 4 tetrads.

The most easiest to understand its true nature is the first one - body. Because body is very gross.
The most difficult to understand its true nature is the last one - mind. Because it is the most subtle one.

In all tetrads that you do, you should slowly notice passively without any concept to get a throughout insight that:
1. In this body, there is no body.
2. In this perception, there is no perception.
3. In this feeling, there is no feeling.
4. In this mind, there is no mind.

4 tetrads actually is equivalent to 2 tetrads. THe first one is body, the rest are the different aspect of mind (perception, feelings, mental formations, etc. - all of them are just the aspect of mind)

When you do the 4 tetrad, you no longer put any single attention to the breathing. If you put it there, you are distracting yourself.

At the end of your 4 tetrad, you should slowly experience directly and nakedly what it means by FALSE APPEARANCES - Appear as if it is something, but actually that something is never truly there.

Ask yourself this question:
Can I say something which look like there, but it is not there as something?

Ordinary people see nothing, but madman see something. That is why he is mad.
Buddha see nothing, but ordinary people see something.

Four tetrads will give you that answer through experience.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:10 am

daverupa wrote:
porpoise wrote:Yes, but as I read the 4 tetrads, some attention remains with the breath throughout the practice, so full attention cannot be given to any of the four frames.


You aren't supposed to be paying attention to the frame, you're supposed to be paying attention to what's being framed. In anapanasati, you are dealing with the breath in one or another of those frames, which is why the "breathes in... breathes out..." persists throughout the instructions. It isn't a matter of partial attention to the breath and partial attention to satipatthana, it is a matter of framing the breath according to satipatthana and practicing in that way. That this is possible is why anapanasati fulfills satipatthana.


Thanks, but I'm still not clear. You say that one is "dealing with" the breath in one or another of the frames, but what do you mean by "dealing with" if not paying it some attention? And I don't understand what you mean by "framing the breath according to satipatthana" - could you elaborate?
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:20 am

DarwidHalim wrote:4 tetrads belong to Vipassana, because by looking into the behaviour of 4 tetrads nakedly (without involving concept), you will slowly and passively understand the true nature of 4 tetrads.


Thanks, but there do seem to be different interpretations according to which commentary you read. Some commentaries say that the first 3 tetrads focus on developing sahadhi and jhana, while the 4th tetrad is insight proper ( the references to piti, sukha and "gladdening the mind" in the second and third tetrads seem to support this interpretation, as does the fact that the first reference to anicca comes in the 4th tetrad ).

Your interpretation seems to be based on the assumption that first we develop access concentration using mindfulness of breathing, then we do insight meditation on the 4 frames? Have I got that right?
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:25 am

porpoise wrote:Your interpretation seems to be based on the assumption that first we develop access concentration using mindfulness of breathing, then we do insight meditation on the 4 frames? Have I got that right?


Yes.

This meditation is the one that built on perfect samantha, and slowly you gain your insight through 4 tetrads.

porpoise wrote:Some commentaries say that the first 3 tetrads focus on developing sahadhi and jhana, while the 4th tetrad is insight proper ( the references to piti, sukha and "gladdening the mind" in the second and third tetrads seem to support this interpretation, as does the fact that the first reference to anicca comes in the 4th tetrad ).


THis one actually is not using the tetrad for your jhana. That one you are applying some concepts that may look like using tetrads.

Why buddha use 4 tetrads? Because you should realize there is no you. You have no self.

In buddhist theory, human consists of 4 tetrads.

So, by systematically knowing the nature of each tetrad as something not there, at the end of your job, you are moving in a very systematic way to realize to self.

If you can realize that the components that form human, has no self, you can come to direct experience that actually you have no self. No you, no I.

If you don't have that 4 tetrads, how are you going to meditate of no self?
You can't.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:28 am

porpoise wrote:You say that one is "dealing with" the breath in one or another of the frames, but what do you mean by "dealing with" if not paying it some attention? And I don't understand what you mean by "framing the breath according to satipatthana" - could you elaborate?


With reference to anapanasati as sixteen steps in four tetrads and remembering that "breathes in... breathes out" is a persistent instruction, consider the third step: "...sensitive to the entire body." Here is where the breath and the body are experienced together, in order that the body becomes calmed due to the calming of the breath.

Calming a function due to calming the breath occurs again at step eight, where perception and feeling are calmed. Prior to this, steps five and six associate the breath with pleasant feeling, rather than the body. You can see how this training retains the use of the breath, yet takes place in a different way.

With the body calm and with feeling and perception calm, the mind in and of itself becomes a salient percept. Step nine is a reminder to pay attention in that way, and a subtle connection between the mind and the breath can be discerned, in the same way that a connection between body/breath is almost obvious, while feeling/breath was also noticeable but much more subtle. During the second tetrad, however, the "...in, ...out" component of the breath was noticed to have a mental component (step seven); the mind knows 'in' or 'out' even when the body and breath are thusly calmed, and this is the breath for the third tetrad. It's rather subtle.

Finally, the fourth tetrad takes whatever remains of the breathing percept and variously applies instructions to foment a "let go" approach - which is a meditation object leading to jhana.

SN 48.10 wrote:"And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana


In this way, anapanasati fulfills satipatthana and leads onward to jhana.

(You may wish to make sure there are no objections to this interpretation, prior to becoming too disappointed/enthusiastic about it. In any event, I hope it helps.)
    "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]
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:21 pm

daverupa wrote:(You may wish to make sure there are no objections to this interpretation, prior to becoming too disappointed/enthusiastic about it. In any event, I hope it helps.)


Thanks for the thoughtful responses, it's very helpful in developing understanding of this practice. :smile:
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:23 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:
porpoise wrote:Your interpretation seems to be based on the assumption that first we develop access concentration using mindfulness of breathing, then we do insight meditation on the 4 frames? Have I got that right?


Yes.

This meditation is the one that built on perfect samantha, and slowly you gain your insight through 4 tetrads.

porpoise wrote:Some commentaries say that the first 3 tetrads focus on developing sahadhi and jhana, while the 4th tetrad is insight proper ( the references to piti, sukha and "gladdening the mind" in the second and third tetrads seem to support this interpretation, as does the fact that the first reference to anicca comes in the 4th tetrad ).


THis one actually is not using the tetrad for your jhana. That one you are applying some concepts that may look like using tetrads.


So presumably with your approach one could use any of the 40 meditation objects to develop concentration, and then "do" sattipathana on the four frames? And if one isn't using the breath to develop concentration, then the progression described in the 4 tetrads of the Anapanasati Sutta wouldn't be relevant to the practice?
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:10 pm

porpoise wrote:So presumably with your approach one could use any of the 40 meditation objects to develop concentration, and then "do" sattipathana on the four frames? And if one isn't using the breath to develop concentration, then the progression described in the 4 tetrads of the Anapanasati Sutta wouldn't be relevant to the practice?


The one that make your meditation as samantha and vipassana is not your object.

Although 4 tetrads is supposed to be used as the vipassana meditation basis, they themselves can also be used as samantha meditation.

Therefore, just because you are using 4 tetrads as your meditation, it doesn't mean you are doing vipassana meditation.

The one that really separate samantha and vipassana meditation is how you see your object and with what you see your object.

Let's use the example of 4 tetrads - body.

We can do a pure samantha meditation with this body. We can use awareness for the whole body as the object. If your mind run to New York, you bring your awareness back to your whole body. In this case your meditation is just samantha, not even close to Vipassana.

We can even use the last tetrad, which is mind, as my samantha. I can focus on the state of no thought and get absorb into that. In this case your meditation is just samantha, and not even close to Vipassana.

We can do Samantha meditation without Vipassana. If you take a stone and just look on it for 5 minutes, you have done Samantha without Vipassana.

But, doing Vipassana without Samantha is impossible. Because in Vipassana, we need to maintain a very stable non-conceptual awareness (due to power samantha) to see the behavior or nature of your object, which in these case are those 4 tetrads.

Vipassana cannot be carried out with conceptual awareness. Because if you do that, what you are doing is thinking, and you will involve in concept playing without end. Vipassana can only be done with non-conceptual awareness (naked/bare awareness). Because only in non-conceptual awareness, you can just see, you can just look, without getting involve in concept, without getting involve in thinking.

By looking into how your body changes, how your feeling change, how your thoughts change, you will see and experience very clear here that there is no self that moves.

If you have a conceptual awareness and see how your body move, how your feeling change, how your thoughts change, that is not Vipassana. That is not different with just thinking.

So, what make your meditation Vipassana is not your object, but your non-conceptual awareness in seeing the things.

Samantha meditation although can give you exceptional achievement in jhana, like flying to the sky, seeing your past lives, etc., It itself without any knowledge of reality, which is no-self, is just mundane achievement.

Jhana 1 - will make you born in the 12, 13, 14 realm. Human is No. 5
Jhana 2 - will make you born in the 15, 16, 17 realm.
Jhana 3 - will make you born in the 18, 19, 20 realm.
Jhana 4 - will make you born in the 21 to 27 realm.
Jhana 5 (some classify this as 1st formless jhana) - will make you born in formless realm, No. 28 - Infinite Space.
Jhana 6 (or 2nd formless jhana) - will make you born in formless realm, No. 29 - Infinite Consciousness
Jhana 7 (or 3rd formless jhana) - will make you born in formless realm, No. 30 - Nothingness
Jhana 8 (or 4th formless jhana) - will make you born in formless realm, No. 31 - Neither-perception-nor-non-perception (peak of samsara)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html

So, jhana itself has nothing special.

If we can achieve jhana 4, so what?
If we can achieve jhana 8, so what?

Just in samsara.

The most important aspect of Samantha is actually the stability aspect and the non-conceptual awareness.

THe bliss aspect is also useful, but at the same thing this bliss can become the most dangerous weapon that prevent you to move to Vipassana. Just like how bliss bind all Gods - bind them in samsara.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:04 pm

DarwidHalim wrote:
porpoise wrote:So presumably with your approach one could use any of the 40 meditation objects to develop concentration, and then "do" sattipathana on the four frames? And if one isn't using the breath to develop concentration, then the progression described in the 4 tetrads of the Anapanasati Sutta wouldn't be relevant to the practice?


Therefore, just because you are using 4 tetrads as your meditation, it doesn't mean you are doing vipassana meditation.


Yes, I see that. But the 4 tetrads are not the same as the 4 frames.
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby bodom » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:18 pm

My question is really about how insight arises, it seems to me to be more about feeling than thinking.


Hi porpoise

Right thinking and labeling in meditation can help contribute to the arising of wisdom:

Vipassana meditation is similar because you use the reflection ''don't believe it'' as you make contact with sense objects. Practising vipassana, you don't let any sense object delude you. You are aware of each object as soon as it converges in on the mind, whether it is experienced with the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind and you use this reflection ''don't believe it'' almost like a verbal meditation object to be repeated over and over again. Every object immediately becomes a source of insight. You use the mind that is firm in samadhi to investigate each object's impermanent nature. At each moment of sense contact you bring up the reflection: ''It's not certain'' or ''This is impermanent''. - Ajahn Chah


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Integrating the 4 tetrads into daily practice

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:32 pm

bodom wrote:
My question is really about how insight arises, it seems to me to be more about feeling than thinking.


Hi porpoise

Right thinking and labeling in meditation can help contribute to the arising of wisdom:

Vipassana meditation is similar because you use the reflection ''don't believe it'' as you make contact with sense objects. Practising vipassana, you don't let any sense object delude you. You are aware of each object as soon as it converges in on the mind, whether it is experienced with the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind and you use this reflection ''don't believe it'' almost like a verbal meditation object to be repeated over and over again. Every object immediately becomes a source of insight. You use the mind that is firm in samadhi to investigate each object's impermanent nature. At each moment of sense contact you bring up the reflection: ''It's not certain'' or ''This is impermanent''. - Ajahn Chah


:anjali:


Thanks. I'm still exploring labelling in as an "aid" to insight, though it seems to me that insight itself is a non-conceptual.
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