anapanasati first four tetrads

Discussion of Samatha bhavana and Jhana bhavana.

Re: anapanasati first four tetrads

Postby alan... » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:17 am

daverupa wrote:
alan... wrote:now i'm at a loss again, the commentary/visuddhimagga approach...


That's either an authoritative text for you, or it isn't, but if it is, get your meditation instructions from it (& that strata of texts) directly, otherwise you're going to find hiccups like this everywhere when holding those things against the Nikayas.


usually, or almost always, but for this instance the description of how to practice the fourth tetrad actually seems to be in agreement with the suttas.
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Re: anapanasati first four tetrads

Postby alan... » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:30 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Alan,

alan... wrote:okay thanks. how exactly do we contemplate?


An excellent question.

the suttas sound pretty straightforward: look at, for example, form and see how it is impermanent.


I'll quote the Ahuneyyavagga in toto.

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Anguttara Nikaya 7.95-622

Āhuneyyavaggo

Persons worthy of offerings

Translated by E. M. Hare

“Monks, there are these seven persons, worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit. What seven?

Monks, herein a monk abides seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom; and destroying the cankers, he enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation … ; this, monks, is the first person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Again, consider one who likewise abides seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom; and for him the cankers’ ending and life’s ending are at the same time, not one before and one after; this, monks, is the second person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Again, consider one so abiding, seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom, who, destroying the five lower fetters, after an interval becomes completely cool [Non-returner -- antarāparinibbāyin]; this, monks, is the third person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Again, consider one so abiding, seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom, who, destroying the five lower fetters, after lessening his period, becomes completely cool [Non-returner -- upahaccaparinibbāyin]; this, monks, is the fourth person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Again, consider one so abiding, seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom, who, destroying the five lower fetters, without (karmic) residue becomes completely cool [Non-returner -- asankhāraparinibbāyin]; this, monks, is the fifth person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Again, consider one so abiding, seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom, who, destroying the five lower fetters, with some residue becomes completely cool [Non-returner -- sasankhāraparinibbāyin]; this, monks, is the sixth person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Again, consider one so abiding, seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom, who, destroying the five lower fetters, becomes part of the upward stream, bound for the highest (Akanitฺtฺha); this, monks, is the seventh person worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Verily, monks, these seven persons are worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.”

(Other worthy persons)

“Monks, there are these (other) persons, worthy of offerings, worthy of gifts, worthy of oblations, the world’s peerless field for merit.

Herein a monk abides seeing the impermanence … ill … no self … destruction … decay … dispassion … ending … renunciation (each in seven degrees of perfection) in respect of:

a)
The eye _ shapes _ visual consciousness _ visual contact
The ear _ sounds _ auditory consciousness _ auditory contact
The nose _ odours _ olfactory consciousness _ olfactory contact
The tongue _ tastes _ gustatory consciousness _ gustatory contact
The touch _ tangibles _ tactile consciousness _ tactile contact
The mind _ mental states _ representative cognition _ mental contact

b)
He abides, seeing impermanence … ill … no self … destruction … decay … dispassion … ending … renunciation (each in seven degrees of perfection) in respect of:

{ Feelings; Perceptions; Intentions; Cravings; Reflections; Deliberations }

sprung from

{ Visual contact; Auditory contact; Olfactory contact; Gustatory contact; Tactile contact; Mental contact. }

He abides, seeing impermanence … ill … no self … destruction … decay … dispassion … ending … renunciation (each in seven degrees of perfection) in respect of:

The body aggregate;
The feelings aggregate;
The perceptions aggregate;
The syntheses aggregate;
The consciousness aggregate.

(The Burmese MS. M. adds an Uddāna and observes that this chapter consists of 528 suttas. There appear, however, to be 8 x 6 x 10 suttas in respect of the six senses and their derivatives, and 8 x 5 suttas in respect of the five aggregates, therefore 520 in all. So 3,640 different persons, worthy of offerings, are stated. These recur in many places in the Pitฺakas. See Stcherbatsky’s “The Central Conception of Buddhism”.)

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Some phenomena continue for the long time, and it's impossible to observe their impermanence right now.
As explained in Sattathana sutta:

"From the origination of nutriment comes the origination of form. From the cessation of nutriment comes the cessation of form."

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

Which means that the body can arise only with food, and ceases to exist when food is absent.

So direct observation in present moment is applicable mostly to such areas:

“Katha~nca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sampajaano hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno viditaa vedanaa uppajjanti, viditaa upa.t.thahanti, viditaa abbhattha.m gacchanti. Viditaa vitakkaa uppajjanti, viditaa upa.t.thahanti, viditaa abbhattha.m gacchanti. Viditaa sa~n~naa uppajjanti, viditaa upa.t.thahanti, viditaa abbhattha.m gacchanti. Eva.m kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sampajaano hoti.

"And how is a monk aware? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is how a monk is aware."

(Sati sutta, SN 5:180)

which is a part of Conditioned Arising, as you can see on the diagram http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm .

This awareness is possible without any samadhi.

The matter is further complicated by the fact that to make the consciousness non-stationed, you have to encompass, instead of a single feeling in the present, all feelings of the past, present and future, etc.:

In Alagaduppama sutta Buddha explains the recognition of impersonality (anatta):

"What do you think, monks — Is form constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant (anicca), stressful, subject to change (vipariṇāmadhamma) as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"...Is feeling constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"...Is perception constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"...Are fabrications constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord."...

"What do you think, monks — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?" "Inconstant, lord." "And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?" "Stressful, lord." "And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

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

To encompass such a wide scope, and to encompass the rise and fall not observable in the present, one needs a sound samadhi.
The samadhi will make possible to get the deep insight during the intense contemplation described in Ahuneyyavagga:

"Monks, herein a monk abides seeing the impermanence of the eye, conscious of it, aware of it, at all times, continually, without a break, working it mentally, fathoming it by wisdom; and destroying the cankers, he enters and abides in the cankerless mind-emancipation …"

The goal is not contemplation per-se, but the disenchantment, and eventual non-stationing of consciousness.

As Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo writes:

"If this doesn't lead to a sense of dispassion and detachment, go on to consider mental phenomena (nama), which are formless: vedana — the experiencing of feelings and moods, likes and dislikes; sañña — labels, names, allusions; sankhara — mental fashionings; and viññana — consciousness."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... html#craft

See also the instructions at:

http://measurelessmind.ca/panna.html

:anjali:


wow thank you.

so the ones that arise naturally in the present are easy enough. what about the ones that don't? you say samadhi helps to see them, how so?
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Re: anapanasati first four tetrads

Postby Dmytro » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:52 pm

Hi Alan,

alan... wrote:so the ones that arise naturally in the present are easy enough. what about the ones that don't? you say samadhi helps to see them, how so?


I don't know how exactly this happens.
AFAIK, samadhi helps to encompass all experience, with all observed rises and falls.

:anjali:
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Re: anapanasati first four tetrads

Postby alan... » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:38 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Alan,

alan... wrote:so the ones that arise naturally in the present are easy enough. what about the ones that don't? you say samadhi helps to see them, how so?


I don't know how exactly this happens.
AFAIK, samadhi helps to encompass all experience, with all observed rises and falls.

:anjali:


oh okay. thanks.
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Re: anapanasati first four tetrads

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:53 am

alan... wrote:anyone care to give their own personal commentary on them, however brief or detailed?


Alan, just on a practical note, do you divide up your anapanasati meditation sessions, eg 10 minutes for each tetrad if you were doing a 40 minute sit?
Well, oi dunno...
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