seanpdx wrote:First, I take issue with the word "meditations" (plural). This implies that there are two (or more) types of meditation that the Buddha taught. I am, of course, working from the assumption that we're speaking of buddhist meditation specifically, and not including non-buddhist meditation. I don't believe he taught more than one type of meditation. And I certainly don't think they could be called "vipassana" or "samatha" if he ever did such a thing.
Well There is Buddhist meditation and then there are the techneques in developing the different sides, that is what meditations
refers too, these are stages along the path, rather than the end goal or results. but after saying that meditation isn't a word found in pali, the closest is Bhavana which means cultivation, so when buddhist meditation/s is used it is really referring to the cultivation of a certain aspect.
seanpdx wrote:Secondly, and just as importantly, neither vipassana nor samatha, as qualities, are the results for which buddhist meditation aims. The result for which buddhist meditation aims is nibbana (or whichever synonym or metaphor you prefer). Vipassana and samatha are qualities (and indispensable qualities at that) which arise from buddhist meditation (singular), but they are not the goal.
they are the result of the meditative techniques aims which bare the names, not the end result of the path itself, if someone knew they needed to develop samatha more they would ask about that, they wouldn't ask about buddhist meditation generally.
seanpdx wrote:It may seem like nit-picking, but you _did_ ask me to explain my answer. =) In the end, I think that many people either intentionally or unintentionally find a good blend of sati and samadhi, resulting in the sort of meditation the Buddha was probably trying to teach. More or less. I think the biggest problem with the artificial separation of buddhist meditation into two branches is that it ends up confusing people. Heck, just look at how often the topic comes up on buddhist forums. And using pali words that most people don't even understand just seems to exacerbate the problem.
using english has the same problem, as Pali words can mean something slightly or grossly different to the English being used. look at satipatthana as an example, it can be split in two different ways which give it different meanings to one extent or another, both in pali and translation, and the context could potentially change which is being meant, plus it removes confusion as to what is being meant, take sampajanna as an example one person says alert, another says comprehension so someone who doesn't know the alternative translation is still in the dark, but using a dictionary they are familiar with can find the meaning they are familiar with, and any confusion in the explanation stemming from a post can then be addressed.