Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

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Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:45 am

Hi all

I've just commenced reading Venerable Analayo's Satipatthana: the direct path to realization. The book is a slightly expanded version of Bhante's PhD thesis (University of Peredeniya, Sri Lanka, 2000).
I'm only part way through and I am impressed with the depth of research and treatment.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_19? ... a%3A+the+d
What I would like to know is whether anyone else has read it and what comments you have on Venerable's work.
And one further question... if anyone has Venerable's email - I have a couple of questions that I would like to send him.
metta

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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:48 am

Greetings Ben,

It's next on my reading list after the 3 texts I'm currently trying to read in parallel!

Looking forward to it, but I don't mind if others want to spoil the plot in the meantime.

:reading:

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: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:51 am

Hi Retro
I can loan you my copy to read if you are ready to take it on when you part the waters of Bass Strait and visit.
Cheers

Ben
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:52 am

Hi Ben,

Nah, it's cool... it's already on the bookshelf looking all nice and pretty.

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: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:52 am

I have this book and read it half way through, but as with a lot of things I got bored and stopped. I seem to remember wondering why he translated words differently to other people so often... but I can't think of an example. To be honest, this book was my first Dhamma book and I was cautious because I'd bought it from a FWBO centre (when I was brand new to Buddhism). I think it was a LOT for me to swallow at the time, but maybe I should go back to it now :)
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby bodom » Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:38 am

This is the most in depth commentary on this sutta available in the english language. This might be the best most in depth commentary on any sutta for that matter. I have read this book a half dozen times and find new insights every time i pick it up. This is my meditation manual, my Visuddhimagga. Christopher titmus has said that he believes this commentary witten by Ven. Analayo surpasses all previous commentaries written in the theravadin tradition in the past 2000 years. I agree.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:46 am

Thanks b3! I did read that review by Titmuss and I am pleased that you not only agree with him, but you've studied Venerable's work intensely yourself and use it as a manual! As I mentioned earlier, I am only parly into the work and I have been impressed. I am sure that like you, I will return to it time and again.
metta

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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:42 am

hi ben
http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... f/analayo/

here is a file from the university of hamberg which has some of Bhantes works of varying sizes and much is very interesting, although some are copies from encyclopedia entries by bhante there are other papers there!
and you might be able to contact bhante through one of the links on his profile found here http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... .html?&L=1
there are other papers from other authors found in predominantly German, but some English also.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:11 pm

Hi Manapa
Thanks for that! Actually, some of the questions that I would like to ask venerable are in relation to his paper on 'the ancient roots of the u ba khin meditation method' or similar title that I read before going off on retreat.
Greatly appreciated!
metta

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- Heraclitus


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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:46 pm

I have half read that paper, not had time to finish it although very interesting, and I am plucking up the courage to read another one called from craving to liberation which is 177 pages long, wish I enjoyed reading on my computer.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby IanAnd » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:54 pm

Ben wrote:I've just commenced reading Venerable Analayo's Satipatthana: the direct path to realization. The book is a slightly expanded version of Bhante's PhD thesis (University of Peredeniya, Sri Lanka, 2000).
I'm only part way through and I am impressed with the depth of research and treatment.

What I would like to know is whether anyone else has read it and what comments you have on Venerable's work.

I have been recommending this book to people for the past two years, and would agree with the comments made by bodom bad boy.

I've written extensively on this subject in another forum, a private forum that was started for serious practitioners, as are many who come here looking for inspiration and answers. It is my contention that Ven. Analayo's book is best read in conjunction with another book on the practice of satipatthana, a classic in its own right, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera's The Heart of Buddhist Meditation.

Those who have some interest might find some food for thought and contemplation beginning in the first post in the thread "The Importance of Using Satipatthana in Training" referenced here in the "Theravadan Talk" section of the other forum: http://thirdjewel.myfreeforum.org/ftopic69-0-asc-10.php This link is to the second page of that thread, but there are some interesting passages on the first page as well. The second page is where I began to introduce the book a little more.

But when you get there you will need to use the following login instructions to enter the forum. Once you are logged in, if you copy the link above into your web browser and then paste it into the browser destination bar once you are in the forum and click on it, it will take you directly to the thread. Otherwise, you can click on the "Theravadan Talk" forum and look for the thread in the sticky posts at the top of the forum:

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Login name: thirdwheel
Password: thirdwheel

They ask that you not post anything while using this login to check things out. When you are ready to join, there is a "Join (free!)" link at the top of the forum index page in the link above.



Ben wrote:And one further question... if anyone has Venerable's email - I have a couple of questions that I would like to send him.
metta

The only person I know who has a direct line to Ven. Analayo is Bhikkhu Gavesako. Although I'm unsure how willing he would be to disclose it. It wouldn't hurt to ask him, I'm sure.
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby puthujjana » Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:33 pm

Ben wrote:Actually, some of the questions that I would like to ask venerable are in relation to his paper on 'the ancient roots of the u ba khin meditation method' or similar title that I read before going off on retreat.


That's an very interesting article.

Does anyone know if there is a complete english version of the mentioned Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra available online?

with metta
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby IanAnd » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:11 pm

puthujjana wrote:That's an very interesting article.

Does anyone know if there is a complete english version of the mentioned Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra available online?

Do you have the Nikaya volume and sutta number to give us? (For example: MN 22 or DN 16. These stand for Majjhima Nikaya sutta #22 and Digha Nikaya sutta #16) It would help to have these references so others would know which sutta you are referring to other than just by the sutta's Pali title. (Obviously, I haven't — and don't intend to — looked at the linked to paper.)
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:26 pm

puthujjana wrote:That's an very interesting article.

Does anyone know if there is a complete english version of the mentioned Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra available online?


I have done a search and checked the mahayana sites I know of but I can not see it!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:19 pm

Thanks Ian!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby puthujjana » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:33 pm

IanAnd wrote:Do you have the Nikaya volume and sutta number to give us? (For example: MN 22 or DN 16.


Unfortunatelly I can't as it seems that this (Sanskrit-) sutra was composed several hundred of years after the Buddha in Northern India and served as a meditation manual.

Ven. Analayo wrote the following about the historical background:

Ven. Analayo wrote:In view of this remarkable similarity between the U Ba Khin method
and the instructions given in the Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra, the historical
background to this particular text calls for further comment.

For the Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra to be translated by a famous translator like
Kumārajīva, one would expect that this work, or at least the various parts
that make up this work, were well known already before his time. Thus the
understanding of the third step of mindfulness of breathing as involving
an awareness of the whole body, documented in the Dhyānasamādhi
Sūtra, may well be considerably earlier than its translation, which was
apparently undertaken slightly earlier than Buddhaghosa’s compiling of
the Visuddhimagga.

[...]

According to modern scholarship, this section of the Dhyānasamādhi
Sūtra reflects the practice of meditating monks in the northwest of India
during the first to the fourth centuries of our era.

[...]

During the early centuries of the present era, the northwest of India
was a stronghold of the Sarvāstivāda tradition.

[...]


:anjali:
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:10 pm

interesting article. i've yet to read the book yet, although i have it. i was thinking about takingit up after finishing ajahn sujato's history of mindfulness (which ven analayo actually helped ven sujato on)which i had been working on, but i recently had surgery (last Thursday) and haven't felt like doing too much and pain pills dont help the mind focus too well for reading.
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:35 pm

Hi Puthujjana,

puthujjana wrote:Unfortunatelly I can't as it seems that this (Sanskrit-) sutra was composed several hundred of years after the Buddha in Northern India and served as a meditation manual.


Was it composed several hundred years later, or has it only survived in the Agamas?
metta

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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:44 pm

I believe it was mentioned in the paper that it was made up from other texts, so not a individual text in its own right but rather an anthology of passages from other texts, which came about later.
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Re: Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:59 am

After an invite from Ben:

The text is
《坐禪三昧經》 No. 614
姚秦三藏鳩摩羅什譯
(CBETA, T15, no. 614, p. 269, c25-28)

It is not in the standard Agama collections. This does not mean that it is not equivalent to an Agama text, though, as sometimes individual texts were translated as one-offs, and sometimes these were even put elsewhere. In particular, because it was translated by Kumarajiva, and the later arrangers of the Chinese canon tend to assume that Kumarajiva is Mahayanist (and he is), they may just put anything by him in that category. Often, though, Kumarajiva produced a lot of Sarvastivadin and similar works. It is in the Taisho along with other "dhyana sutras", but not in the volumes with the full Agamas or one-off agama sutras.

This text would probably make some Theravadins think that it is Mahayanist, simply on the grounds of "if it has things that are not in our suttas or texts, then it must be Mahayanist." For example, practices of visualizing the Buddha. But it is not that simple, and it simply reflects ideas that were prevalent in a lot of other mainstream schools at that time. It apparently has a verse on dhyana in it from Asvaghosa. Yinshun believes it to be a text from the Darstantikas (Yinshun 1985: 205-06, 1091: 862), and he is probably correct. I am a bit surprised that Ven Analayo did not check out Ven Yinshun, because as far as things like this go, he is the expert par excellence! The Darstantikas are the meditative / sauntrantika side of the Sarvastivada, so this is perhaps why the order and other features are more similar to the Theravada Nikayas than the Sarvastivadin Agama layout.

Anything else that you are specifically looking for?
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