Samadhi (best English translation?)

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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:25 am

Sylvester wrote:I was just curious if instead of the idiomatic "stillness", you would have tolerated "one-placedness".

Why not? We've tolerated with an equally un-English "onepointedness" for decades.

Besides, I do have a little hypothesis about "one-placedness". Clumsy as it may appear in English, it may carry a profound literal meaning. It is reflected in the Chinese translation for cittekaggatā: 心一境性 (lit. mind-one-based-ness)。Although this meaning can be related to an experience in a slightly advanced level of satipaṭṭhāna practice, and the experience is spoken of by meditation masters, I have not found sufficient evidence in the Suttas to back it up yet. So, it remains a hypothesis, which I discuss in an appendix in my book.

I do apologise to the initiator of the topic for deviating, though I see ekaggatā as closely related. Perhaps we shall stop here, Sylvester, at least for ekaggatā.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:43 am

Kumara wrote:
I do apologise to the initiator of the topic for deviating,
No need, bhante, to apologize. The discussion you are having here with Sylvester is on point.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:16 am

Greetings bhante,

Kumara wrote:I do apologise to the initiator of the topic for deviating, though I see ekaggatā as closely related. Perhaps we shall stop here, Sylvester, at least for ekaggatā.

As the originator of the topic, you have my explicit permission to take it in whatever direction you find would be most profitable.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Dmytro » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:36 am

Bhante Kumara,

Kumara wrote:Besides, I do have a little hypothesis about "one-placedness". Clumsy as it may appear in English, it may carry a profound literal meaning. It is reflected in the Chinese translation for cittekaggatā: 心一境性 (lit. mind-one-based-ness)。Although this meaning can be related to an experience in a slightly advanced level of satipaṭṭhāna practice, and the experience is spoken of by meditation masters, I have not found sufficient evidence in the Suttas to back it up yet. So, it remains a hypothesis, which I discuss in an appendix in my book.


This accords very well with the Atthakatha - one base (ārammaṇa) is predominant (agga) in the mind (citta).

:anjali:
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Sylvester » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:42 am

Kumara wrote:Besides, I do have a little hypothesis about "one-placedness". Clumsy as it may appear in English, it may carry a profound literal meaning. It is reflected in the Chinese translation for cittekaggatā: 心一境性 (lit. mind-one-based-ness)。Although this meaning can be related to an experience in a slightly advanced level of satipaṭṭhāna practice, and the experience is spoken of by meditation masters, I have not found sufficient evidence in the Suttas to back it up yet. So, it remains a hypothesis, which I discuss in an appendix in my book.



Hi Bhante

The point above about 心一境性 being possibly related to satipaṭṭhāna is quite exciting. I've located some occurence of citta + ekagga which might point to such a connection here -

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13526&start=80#p204237

By the way, is the said Chinese phrase from an Agama sutra?
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Mr Man » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:22 pm

Hi Bhante
agara (from this discussion) makes me think of words abode & abide.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:42 am

Dmytro wrote:Bhante Kumara,

Kumara wrote:Besides, I do have a little hypothesis about "one-placedness". Clumsy as it may appear in English, it may carry a profound literal meaning. It is reflected in the Chinese translation for cittekaggatā: 心一境性 (lit. mind-one-based-ness)。Although this meaning can be related to an experience in a slightly advanced level of satipaṭṭhāna practice, and the experience is spoken of by meditation masters, I have not found sufficient evidence in the Suttas to back it up yet. So, it remains a hypothesis, which I discuss in an appendix in my book.


This accords very well with the Atthakatha - one base (ārammaṇa) is predominant (agga) in the mind (citta).


I don't mean that actually. I was referring to a unified knowing: to be aware of all sense bases at the same time. This is done by not having the attention “go” to any of the sense bases, but stepping back to settle into the knowing or cognising, where all sense impressions happen. I have this in my book as an appendix titled "A Hypothesis on Ekaggatā":
As Ajahn Chah taught (in The Path to Peace), “The pure mind is the mind without attachment. It… is in a state of continuous knowing and wakefulness—thoroughly mindful of all it is experiencing.” (Italics here and in the quotes below are mine.) Other instances: (in Our Real Home) “Don’t take hold of anything at all, just stay with this unified awareness.” (In Food for the Heart) “Simply be the ‘one who knows’, knowing without fixation, knowing and letting things be their natural way.” Sayadaw U Tejaniya, the most prominent student of Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw, also teaches his students very much the same thing. He gradually guides them to come to be familiar with this knowing mind that knows whatever arises at all sense doors.

Nonetheless, at this point, connecting the term with this is just a hypothesis. The experience is real though. One can look at all the sense based through this one knowing, and see them all as not-self. When this happens, one can understand that this person is really just the 6 sense bases, which is also one's entire world. The anattasaññā becomes very strong.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:23 am

Sylvester wrote:The point above about 心一境性 being possibly related to satipaṭṭhāna is quite exciting. I've located some occurence of citta + ekagga which might point to such a connection here -

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=13526&start=80#p204237


I was quite excited too when I discovered this. You can clearly see ekaggacitta among the Buddha's description of satipaṭṭhāna practice in SN47:4. (In CDB, it's rendered as "one-pointed mind", which makes it quite meaningless.) The jhānas of the Suttas aren't separate from satipaṭṭhāna. They are results of it.

[DELETED. Pending further examination.]

Sylvester wrote:By the way, is the said Chinese phrase from an Agama sutra?


Yes, that's the standard translation for cittekaggatā (cittassa ekaggatā, cittassekaggatā).
Last edited by Kumara on Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Dmytro » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:44 pm

Bhante,

Kumara wrote:I was referring to a unified knowing: to be aware of all sense bases at the same time. This is done by not having the attention “go” to any of the sense bases, but stepping back to settle into the knowing or cognising, where all sense impressions happen.


There's a name for this - animitta cetosamadhi.

See also "appaṇidhāya bhāvanā", as described in Bhikkhunupassaya sutta.

Kumara wrote:The experience is real though. One can look at all the sense based through this one knowing, and see them all as not-self. When this happens, one can understand that this person is really just the 6 sense bases, which is also one's entire world. The anattasaññā becomes very strong.


"Animitta", "appaṇihita" and "suññata" are quite close to each other.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:50 pm

Composure seems like a good, usable word. I'm realizing that anything over three syllables, while fine for academics, seems too academic or like technical jargon to convey a meaning that goes straight to the "citta". With that in mind, I also suggest "poise"...
poise [poiz] noun, verb, poised, pois·ing.

noun
1. a state of balance or equilibrium, as from equality or equal distribution of weight; equipoise.
2. a dignified, self-confident manner or bearing; composure; self-possession: to show poise in company.
3. steadiness; stability: intellectual poise.
4. suspense or wavering, as between rest and motion or two phases of motion: the poise of the tides.
5. the way of being poised, held, or carried.

verb (used with object)
7. to adjust, hold, or carry in equilibrium; balance evenly.
8. to hold supported or raised, as in position for casting, using, etc.: to poise a spear.
9. to hold or carry in a particular manner: She walked, carefully poising a water jug on her head.
10. Obsolete . to weigh.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ ... n=(organic)

...or "grace"
grace [greys] noun, verb, graced, grac·ing.
noun
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.
2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces.
3. favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
4. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor.
5. mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve. Antonyms: harshness.
verb (used with object)
14. to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house. Synonyms: embellish, beautify, deck, decorate, ornament; enhance, honor. Antonyms: disfigure, desecrate, demean.
15. to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one's presence. Synonyms: glorify, elevate, exalt. Antonyms: disrespect, dishonor.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ ... n=(organic)

Any opinions on the validity/usefulness of these terms?
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:18 pm

The only problem with words like composure and poise is that the words don't carry any connotation that suggests one is meditating or in a deep meditative state and since samma samadhi is jhana it would be nice to have an english word that carries this connotation, but I don't think there really is any. I think composure is a bit better than poise though because poise sounds too much like a quality of social elegance to me, or alternatively it sounds more aristocratic in character than the term composure. But anyway, different strokes for different folks.

Grace sounds like it's coming straight out of the new testament or straight out of the ballet so I wouldn't personally ever use that word as a synonym for samadhi.

In the end, I think it would be better if one was just aware of the variety of english translations of samadhi but that one should just adopt the word samadhi into their own lingo. I think terms like dukkha are also best left untranslated since they lose a lot of meaning once you apply a single english term to be its equivalent.
Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:26 pm

stop and look
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:24 am

convivium wrote:stop and look


Haha, that is my favorite :thumbsup:
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Buckwheat » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:27 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:Grace sounds like it's coming straight out of the new testament or straight out of the ballet so I wouldn't personally ever use that word as a synonym for samadhi.


When I was looking for a dog, I fell in love with one at the pound and she happened to be named Gracie. I didn't like it at first and planned to change it, but she already knew her name so it was too late. Now I love it, but it did take a while to grow on me. Some people hear the word Grace and think of the bible, I think of my dog rolling in a cow patty (one of her favorite past-times - she doesn't actually do it often, but when she does, she seems to love it... but she hates the bath afterwards.)

I should add: I don't have a problem with keeping the term Samadhi in my head, but when I'm in causal conversation with a friend, I don't want to bust out the Pali and then end up giving a language lesson. I want to slip the dhamma in there with stealth :tongue: A more serious consideration is just keeping the conversation flowing so that we convey ideas instead of going off on tangents.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby polarbuddha101 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:35 am

Buckwheat wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:Grace sounds like it's coming straight out of the new testament or straight out of the ballet so I wouldn't personally ever use that word as a synonym for samadhi.


When I was looking for a dog, I fell in love with one at the pound and she happened to be named Gracie. I didn't like it at first and planned to change it, but she already knew her name so it was too late. Now I love it, but it did take a while to grow on me. Some people hear the word Grace and think of the bible, I think of my dog rolling in a cow patty (one of her favorite past-times - she doesn't actually do it often, but when she does, she seems to love it... but she hates the bath afterwards.)

I should add: I don't have a problem with keeping the term Samadhi in my head, but when I'm in causal conversation with a friend, I don't want to bust out the Pali and then end up giving a language lesson. I want to slip the dhamma in there with stealth :tongue: A more serious consideration is just keeping the conversation flowing so that we convey ideas instead of going off on tangents.


That makes sense. Sounds like a cool dog you got there. I guess I wonder though how many people would understand what you meant by grace if you didn't explain it to them, or is grace just a personal term you think of when thinking about samadhi?
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"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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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:08 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:The only problem with words like composure and poise is that the words don't carry any connotation that suggests one is meditating or in a deep meditative state and since samma samadhi is jhana it would be nice to have an english word that carries this connotation, but I don't think there really is any.


Yes, composure doesn't imply the mental state of jhana as described in the Visuddhimagga. However, it does fit very well into the Sutta type of jhana, which is possible even while walking. See Venāgapura (or Venāga) Sutta (A.i.180ff)
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:09 pm

Has anyone suggested "mental development"? I was thinking of samadhi in terms of the 3-fold path.
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:12 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:Has anyone suggested "mental development"? I was thinking of samadhi in terms of the 3-fold path.


I think I'd still go for "composure", so in the case of the tripartite Path division this would mean composing the mind around the themes of integrative (samma-) effort, mindfulness, and jhana.
    "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: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby John1122 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:35 pm

Would there be an opposite to samadhi like distraction or division?
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Re: Samadhi (best English translation?)

Postby Kumara » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:23 am

Spiny Norman wrote:Has anyone suggested "mental development"? I was thinking of samadhi in terms of the 3-fold path.

Development or cultivation is a good translation for bhāvanā, which has a much wider meaning. The entire noble 8fold path is to be developed.
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