AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

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AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:15 am


AN 8.63 PTS: A iv 299
Sankhitta Sutta: In Brief (Good Will, Mindfulness, & Concentration)
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

    Translator's notes:
    The Buddha describes the practices of the four sublime states (metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha) and of the four frames of reference (satipatthana) as a basis for concentration practice.
    This discourse is important in that it explicitly refers to the practice of the four frames of reference (the four foundations of mindfulness) as a form of concentration practice, mastered in terms of the levels of jhana.

Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, & resolute."

"But it is in just this way that some worthless men make a request but then, having been told the Dhamma, think they should tag along right behind me."

"May the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma in brief! May the One Well-gone teach me the Dhamma in brief! It may well be that I will understand the Blessed One's words. It may well be that I will become an heir to the Blessed One's words."

"Then, monk, you should train yourself thus: 'My mind will be established inwardly, well-composed. No evil, unskillful qualities, once they have arisen, will remain consuming the mind.' That's how you should train yourself.

"Then you should train yourself thus: 'Good-will, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

"When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus: 'Compassion, as my awareness-release... Appreciation, as my awareness-release... Equanimity, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

"When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus: 'I will remain focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

"When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should train yourself: 'I will remain focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

"When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort."

Then that monk, having been admonished by an admonishment from the Blessed One, got up from his seat and bowed down to the Blessed One, circled around him, keeping the Blessed One to his right side, and left. Then, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus he became another one of the arahants.

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:09 pm

Many thanks, Mike. I chose this one for discussion at our local meditation group a few months ago. One of the members of the group (an ex-Abbot of a monastery) said he particularly liked the way that the Buddha had obviously seen something in this monk that differentiated him from the other "worthless men" who had made similar requests. It paid off.

The structure of the practice described is, I think, unique. The Brahma-Viharas are to be developed before the Four Foundations, and within that sequence each of the four parts is sequential. This is different from, say, the Satipatthana Sutta, where although the four foundations are dealt with in turn, there is no indication as to the sequence in which they are to be practiced. ("And how does a monk remain focused on feelings...mind...phenomena...") Here, we start with Metta, and proceed all the way through to mental qualities. And within each one, we run through the jhanas. With the extra bit of "a modicum of evaluation". It is also noteworthy that the Brahma Viharas are labelled or serve as "awareness release" (Ceto-vimutti) and each of them
will be developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken
, whereas the four foundations are presented in their most common format.
This extremely comprehensive and systematic approach suggests two related questions.

1) Did the Buddha tailor this approach for that particular monk, knowing that he would benefit from such a linear approach?

2) I wonder why this Sutta has not been made more of by those western practitioners who really like such a logical sequences? For someone who likes to start at the beginning and work through to the end, this is a beautiful approach. Dhamma as a "project".

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:47 pm

They are all to be endowed with upekkha, which I find noteworthy. The Brahmaviharas are a wholesome source of pitisukha, are they not?
    "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: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:50 pm

Hi Sam,

Yes, it is very interesting. Actually, it seems to me that there are quite a number of suttas that discuss various developmental approaches. However, as you say, certain suttas, such as the Anapanasati and Satipatthana Suttas, have become particularly popular.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon for teachers to teach brahmaviharas (or, at least some basic metta) as a preparation for satipatthana practice. Particularly if the student is having issues with anger, self-hatred, and so on, which can make satipatthana rather unbearable.

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:51 pm

daverupa wrote:They are all to be endowed with upekkha, which I find noteworthy. The Brahmaviharas are a wholesome source of pitisukha, are they not?


It's in there, isn't it?
"When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus: 'Compassion, as my awareness-release... Appreciation, as my awareness-release... Equanimity, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.'

Or am I misunderstanding your question?

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:53 pm

I was asking whether pitisukha can be said to arise due to Brahmaviharas.
    "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: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:56 pm

Hi Dave,

Is your question about the Jhana factors that are mentioned?
When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.


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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:02 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sam,

Yes, it is very interesting. Actually, it seems to me that there are quite a number of suttas that discuss various developmental approaches. However, as you say, certain suttas, such as the Anapanasati and Satipatthana Suttas, have become particularly popular.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon for teachers to teach brahmaviharas (or, at least some basic metta) as a preparation for satipatthana practice. Particularly if the student is having issues with anger, self-hatred, and so on, which can make satipatthana rather unbearable.

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Mike


Yes, sorry, I wasn't clear. I am aware of other developmental approaches, but this particular one seems to be unique.

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:54 pm

Hi Sam,

I agree, this seems fairly unique. But, on the other hand, quite a few suttas have fairly unique approaches to various things, so it might be a mistake to read just a few suttas (such as Anapanasati and Satipatthana Sutas) and elevate them to the "standard".

This particular suttas does have some relationship to the usual Gradual Training suttas such as:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
where the pattern is
Virtue, Sense Restraint, Mindfulness and Alertness, Abandon Hindrances, Do Jhana, Have liberating insight.

In the current Sutta we have:
Do Jhana with Brahmaviharas, Develop insight through satipatthana.

A while ago Dave mentioned a Gradual Training Sutta that specifically mentioned satipatthana, but I can't find that right now. Perhaps he'll come along and help me out...

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby santa100 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:22 am

From MN 77 with note from Ven. Bodhi:

Note764: MA explains liberation (vimokkha) here as meaning the mind’s full (but temporary) release from the opposing states and its full (but temporary) release by delighting in the object. The first liberation is the attainment of the four jhānas using a kasi˚a (see §24 and n.768) derived from a coloured object in one’s own body; the second is the attainment of the jhānas using a kasi˚a derived from an external object; the third can be understood as the attainment of the jhānas through either a very pure and beautiful coloured kasi˚a or the four brahmavihāras . The remaining liberations are the immaterial attainments and the attainment of cessation.


So, seems like either the kasina or the Brahmaviharas could also be cultivated to lead to jhana and its factors of piti and sukha..

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:45 am

From Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation:
"It is in just this way that some hollow men here make requests of me, but when the Dhamma has been explained they think only of following me around.

    Mp: "It is said that although an exhortation was given [to him], this bhikkhu remained heedless. Having heard the Dhamma, he just hung around and did not want to strive. Therefore, the Blessed One rebuked him. But since the bhikkhu had the supporting conditions for arahantship, the Buddha exhorted himself with teh words [below], 'Thus should you train yourself.'"


One of the interesting things about this sutta is the description of the jhana factors, which are suggestive of the five-fold Abhidhamma classification.
When this concentration has been developed and cultivated by you in this way, then you should develop this concentration with thought and examination; you should develop it without thought but with examination only; you should develop it without thought and examination. You should develop it with rapture; you should develop it without rapture; you should develop it accompanied by comfort; and you should develop it accompanied by equanimity.

    Mp: "This is the meaning: 'When, bhikkhu, you have developed this fundamental concentration of loving-kindness in such a way, you should not be satisfied merely with this much, but you should attain four and five jhanas [in the fivefold jhana scheme] in regard to other meditation objects. Thus you should develop it according to the method "with thought and examination" and so forth.'"

    BB: While in the jhana scheme of the Nikayas, the transition from the first to second jhana is marked by the simultaneous elimination of thought (vitakka) and examination (vicara), other textss distinguish samadhi as threefold: as with thought and examination, without thought but with examination, and without thought and examination. This middle stage of samadhi gave rise, in the Abhidhamma, to a fivefold scheme of jhanas that inserts, after the first jhana, a second jhana that is without thought but with examination. This scheme then renumbers the second, third, and fourth jhanas of hte fourfold scheme as the third, fourth, and fifth jhanas, to obtain a fivefold scheme.
    The samadhi with rapture (sappitika) includes the first and second jhanas (of the fourfold scheme); that without rapture (nippitika) includes the third and fourth jhanas. The samadhi with comfort (satasahagata) is the third jhana, and the samadhi with equanimity (upekkhasahagata) the fourth jhana (of the four-fold scheme).

    BB: refers to the following Suttas for the three-fold samadhi:

    DN 33.1.10 (Walshe Translation)
    (50) ‘Three kinds of concentration: with thinking and pondering, [1052] with pondering without thinking, with neither (savitakko savicāro samādhi, avitakko vicāra-matto samādhi, avitakko avicāro samādhi).
      [1052] Different stages of jhāna. The distinction made between the first two seems to reflect the (later) Abhidhammic subdivision of the first jhana into two.

    MN 128.31
    http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... esa-e.html
    Anuruddha, when these minor defilements, such as doubts, non attenton, sloth and torpor, fear, jubilation, wickedness, too much aroused effort, too little effort, various perceptions, thinking too much about forms were dispelled, it occurred to me, now these minor defilements are dispelled and I should develop concentration in a threefold manner. Then I developed concentration with thoughts and discursive thoughts. developed concentration without thoughts, thinking discursively. developed concentration without thoughts and without discursive thoughtsdeveloped concentration with joy and without joy. developed concentration which is equanimity. Then knowledge and vision arose and I knew that my release is unshakeable. This is my last birth. There is no more rebirth.

    BB translation:
    31. “Thereupon, Anuruddha, I developed concentration with applied thought and sustained thought; I developed concentration without applied thought but with sustained thought only; I developed concentration without applied thought and without sustained thought; I developed concentration with rapture; I developed concentration without rapture; I developed concentration accompanied by enjoyment; I developed concentration accompanied by equanimity.
      MA: The concentration with rapture is the two lower jhānas; without rapture, the two higher jhānas; accompanied by enjoyment (s̄ta), the three lower jh̄nas; accompanied by equanimity, the fourth jhāna. PTS omits sātasahagato pi samādhi bhāvito ahosi, found in the other eds.


    SN 43.3 (BB Translation)
    … “And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Concentration with thought and examination; concentration without thought, with examination only; concentration without thought and examination: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned….”
      BB: This triad of concentrations occurs elsewhere in the Nikāyas, e.g., at DN III 219,19–20, MN III 162,14–15, and AN IV 300,28–301,1. A concentration without thought but with examination (avitakka vicāramatta samādhi) does not fit into the familiar sequence of the four jhānas, in which the first jhāna includes both thought and examination and the second excludes both. To reconcile the two schemes, the Abhidhamma supplements the fourfold sequence of jhānas with a fivefold sequence in which the second jhāna is the avitakka vicāramatta samādhi. The second jhāna of the tetrad then becomes the third jhāna of the pentad. See As 179–80, which explains the reasons for the two sets.


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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby equilibrium » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:43 pm

Sam Vara wrote:.....I chose this one for discussion at our local meditation group a few months ago. One of the members of the group (an ex-Abbot of a monastery) said he particularly liked the way that the Buddha had obviously seen something in this monk that differentiated him from the other "worthless men" who had made similar requests. It paid off.

There is a difference between "this monk" and "some worthless men".
Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, & resolute."

"But it is in just this way that some worthless men make a request but then, having been told the Dhamma, think they should tag along right behind me."

Notice "this monk" highlighted in red.....he knew what needs to be done to get the "fruits".....yet for the "some worthless men" being told the Dhamma and subsequent actions (in blue).
The difference is "distance".....meaning the Dhamma is not to be seen with the eyes (tag along right behind me - worthless men).....the Dhamma must be seen in the "mind" as this monk shows potential (subsequent actions after hearing the Dhamma.....he noted "I might dwell.....)

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:42 pm

Daverupa's comments about jhana, satipatthana, and the Gradual Training may be relevant here:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 81#p198477
daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I've always seen the Gradual Training Suttas and the Satipatthana Sutta as very much related, just differing in the amount of detail of some aspects.


I once would have agreed, but that has changed.

Looking, for example, at MN 125, satipatthana occurs where first jhana normally occurs, coming as it does after the injunction to assume a seated posture in seclusion in order to get rid of the hindrances, and this follows the prerequisites of satisampajanna, vigilance, food restraint, sense control, and morality. Satipatthana belongs, roughly, between the hindrances and jhana according to this gradual training template.

In agreement with this, MN 39 does not even include a satipatthana section, going directly from the section on the hindrances to the section on the jhanas.

So, using the gradual training Suttas here, ones bhavana practice looks a little different than if the Anapanasati Sutta, say, was the primary structural framework. Sustained six sense restraint, sustained awareness and mindfulness, sustained morality - such sustenance is required for getting rid of the hindrances, which seems to me to be the primary contemplative task of ones seated meditational efforts until jhana can be attained. What does one then "do" in jhana? Satipatthana.

I know this is at variance with the traditional view, but it seems to exist in the Suttas as such, so I'm not too worried about it.


Here is MN 125 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html where the sequence goes:
    Acquisition of faith
    Morality
    Sense-Control
    Moderation in eating
    Vigilance
    Mindfulness and clear consciousness
    Overcoming of the five hindrances
    The four applications of mindfulness (Satipatthana)
    Jhana
    The three knowledges, te-vijja

Perhaps it is also worth pointing out that the Satipatthana Sutta Commentary mentions jhana as one of the ways of dealing with the hindrances in the early part of the Sutta:
"Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending (it) and mindful (of it), having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief;
    ...
    "Having overcome" refers to the discipline of knocking out an evil quality by its opposite good (that is by dealing with each category of evil separately) or through the overcoming of evil part by part [tadangavinaya] and through the disciplining or the overcoming of the passions by suppression in absorption [vikkhambhana vinaya].



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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby DAWN » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:28 pm

Thanks you mikenz a lot !

I enjoyed to read this topic :anjali:
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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:31 pm

So, looking at these various suttas, there are variety of orderings of jhana and satipatthana between AN 8.63 and other suttas.

Perhaps not surprising given suttas such as this, discussing different orders of development of tranquillity and insight:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"There is the case of the individual who has attained internal tranquillity of awareness, but not insight into phenomena through heightened discernment. Then there is the case of the individual who has attained insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, but not internal tranquillity of awareness. Then there is the case of the individual who has attained neither internal tranquillity of awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment. And then there is the case of the individual who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment.


It appears, then, that claims that the suttas show that one must develop jhana and insight together, or separately in particular orders, don't seem to find support in Canon, taken as a whole. It seems that different people develop in different ways.

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Re: AN 8.63 Sankhitta Sutta(Good Will,Mindfulness,Concentration)

Postby DAWN » Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:43 pm

mikenz66 wrote:It appears, then, that claims that the suttas show that one must develop jhana and insight together, or separately in particular orders, don't seem to find support in Canon, taken as a whole. It seems that different people develop in different ways.

:anjali:
Mike


Do, actualy, this two ways of development of mind, lead to different release - one by wisdom (internal tranquillity of awareness), other by descernement (insight into phenomena ) ? :juggling:
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