In the Chinese equivalent of MN19, which is MA102, the following points are different from the English version:
1) The three wholesome thoughts are thoughts of non-sensual desire or not-craving for sensual pleasure (instead of renunciation), thoughts of non-hatred or not-hating, and thoughts of non-harming or not-harming. But exactly what are these three types of wholesome thoughts?
Are they thoughts of letting-go of sensual desires (or not-craving for sensual pleasures), thoughts of equanimity and loving kindness/good will, and thoughts of compassion and forgiveness?
[hence immediately cultivate (the three wholesome thoughts) more in line with that, which is not in the English translation]。復生無恚念．無害念。我即覺生無恚念．無害念。不自害．不害他。亦不俱害。修慧不煩勞而得涅槃。覺不自害．不害他．亦不俱害。修慧不煩勞而得涅槃。便速修習廣布。我生無欲念．多思念。生無恚念．無害
念．多思念。 我復作是念。多思念者。身定喜忘。則便損心。我寧可治內心。常住在內止息。一意得定。令不損心。["... And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmlessness arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed."]
。若比丘多念無恚念．無害念者。則捨恚念．害念。是三善念。無欲念．無恚念．無害念也。 [Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-sensual desire, (he consequently) abandons thinking imbued with sensuality, because his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. ... ]
-- [This is the fist method taught in MN20 -- use wholesome thoughts to get rid of unwholesome thoughts
], the meaning of which becomes obscured in the English translation.
(quietly/comfortably sit and meditate on a thought
)。勿得放逸。勤加精進。無令後悔。 [MN translation: "Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana
, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret".]
The equivalent of the word "jhana" is quietly/comfortably sit and meditate on a thought in MA102; such "thinking" meditation is also mentioned in the other suttas:
(meditate on this thought)：道从无欲，非有欲得，乃至道从智慧，非愚痴得。...
[MA 97: 爾時，尊者阿難[Ananda]閑居獨處，宴坐思惟，心作是念
(meditate on this thought)： 「此緣起甚奇，極甚深、明亦甚深，然，我觀見至淺至淺。」
It seems strange to me that the Buddha would ask us to practice thoughtless jhana at the end of MN 19 to summarize this teaching, after all the teachings about how to distinguish the two types of thoughts, how to let-get unwholesome thoughts and cultivate wholesome thoughts. It makes sense now that the meditation he asked us to do is actually practicing his teaching -- right thinking.
Well in the middle of MN 19 he did teach us to rest our mind in thoughtless jhana when thinking too much. But that's a different meditation.
So it seems to me the Buddha has taught two types of meditation
(禪): one type with thinking like he taught in MN 19, which is kind of similar to Vipassana as I understand, and another type is without thinking for jhana, which is kind of similar to Samadhi meditation. [for more details see Two types of "Vipassana meditation" taught in MN 19 viewtopic.php?f=44&t=13437
It appears to me that the Buddha had mostly used formal meditation practice (done mostly during sitting meditation and sometimes walking meditation ) except for the training of right speech/action/livelihood/sense restraint/full awareness & clear comprehension, which combined with daily activities.
Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks and metta!