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Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas? - Dhamma Wheel

Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Micheal Kush
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Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:51 pm

After reading the Path of Purification by Buddhaghosa mainly for the benefit of my breathinng meditation and examining the steps of breath meditation elucidated in the suttas, ive noticed some corresponding issues i wish to get clarified. For a while now, i have done my meditation consisting of intensely focusing on my nose tip for the breath to appear and touch(path of purification). So far, so good. However, ive noticed in the suttas it is never stated that one can gain absorbtion or purified concentration by focusing solely on the nose tip which seems to have a lack of presence regarding in the four tetrads.

And i have wondered, are buddhaghosas methods just an easier and elaborated way of breath meditation in the suttas or is it completely different? Does his thesis lack something that the suttas have?

I ask this primarily because recently i decided to expirement a little with my practice in spite of the struggling journey i have had with my breathing practice. When i decided to do the four tetrads, i closely followed the breath at the nose tip but also maintained the duration(long,short) and then when the feeling of bodily fabrications came, i felt this initial shock of calmness that grew with every breath, i started to question what was going on. Everytime an unpleasant feeling arose, i simply just breathed in and calmed it. After i was finished, i investigated it and felt that there must be something wrong because even though i was attuned to my breath, it wasnt fully concentrated the concentration on the breath felt muddled but i felt the joy in which the breath produced.

So are buddhaghosa practice and suttas one and the same? Or should i stick to this dofferent method?

Another reason i ask is because i hear most people say that you should just mind everything else or note it and just go back to the breath. Also, i dont wanna feel like a long enduring path of progress is washed away just because i switched methods. I have gotten fairly good at buddhaghosa technique which is why this recent expierence and examination of the texfs left me with much confusion.

Please clarify

With metta, mike

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Ben
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:14 pm

Greetings Mike.
Personally, I think its a false dichotomy to set the Visuddhimagga against the Suttas. Buddhaghosa's work is a commentary and manual for meditation masters. If you read it as an explanation and manual that is read alongside the suttas, then it will be most beneficial. Most modern meditation methods have their provenance in the Visuddhimagga. Anapana can be practiced to cultivate either samadhi or vipassana.
In my experience, anapana-sati is extraordinarily difficult and subtle. The object of meditation becomes increasingly more difficult to discern the more one progresses. Hence, it is always good to work under the instruction of a teacher or guide. And having chosen a particular approach - stick to it for six months to a year exclusively to give yourself an opportunity to develop some depth of experience and become proficient in the practice.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Micheal Kush
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:22 pm


Micheal Kush
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:36 pm

Another problem i have dealing with the factors of concentration, is that if one pointedness is actually a faculty for absorbtion or is it fully body awareness that needs to be developed?

I have a hard time telling which one is most conducive, plus i have never heard of one pointedness in the suttas. Clarification?

With metta, mike

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bodom
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby bodom » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:03 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Cittasanto
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:07 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.

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bodom
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby bodom » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:14 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Micheal Kush
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:47 pm

Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:42 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby daverupa » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:06 pm

One-pointedness of mind need not imply single-object absorption; samadhi is best translated as composure, not concentration, imo; it's a certain tenor of six-sense body awareness-&-mindfulness. I'm of the mind to see a backreading of Vedic/Brahamnical meditation values and progress into the Suttas.

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Kamran
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Kamran » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:23 pm

You may be interested in Thanissaro Bikhu's below talk :

"When the Buddha describes concentration states, he doesn't use images of single-pointedness. He uses images of whole-body awareness...

Progress along the path comes simply from staying right here and growing more and more aware of what's going on all around right here. You develop a more all-around awareness, not only all-around in the body, but also all-around in the mind. You see through the blind spots that allowed you to consume experiences obliviously, forgetting the fact that you had to produce them. It's like watching a movie — two hours of lights flashing up on a screen — and then later seeing a documentary about how they made the movie. "

"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Micheal Kush
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:26 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:39 pm


Micheal Kush
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Micheal Kush » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:09 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:03 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:16 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Dmytro
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby Dmytro » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:30 am



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manas
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby manas » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:43 am

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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reflection
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby reflection » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:40 am


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robertk
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby robertk » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:02 am


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manas
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Re: Buddhaghosa Path of Purification vs Suttas?

Postby manas » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:23 am

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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