Samatha v. vipassana?

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Spiny Norman
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Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Could you say in a nutshell how you see the essential difference between samatha and vipassana?
I've been thinking of it as the difference between samadhi and sati ( concentration v. mindfulness ), but after some reading around I'm not as clear as I thought I was. Thanks in anticipation. :smile:

P
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mikenz66
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by mikenz66 »

I sput some quotes here:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4631#p70910" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Samatha is about developing calm and concentration and tends to use conceptual objects. Vipassana requires "ultimate" objects, such as sensations or feelings, in order to develop wisdom about anicca, dukkha, anata, etc.
As Chanmyay Sayadaw says in one of the links I gave:
... in Vipassana Meditation every object of meditation must be absolute reality, ultimate reality, paramattha. In Vipassana Meditation no concept can be the object of meditation. Concept cannot be the object of Vipassana Meditation because Vipassana meditators need to realize the specific characteristics and general characteristics of mental and physical phenomena which is absolute reality. ...
Mike
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retrofuturist
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Porpoise,

To me, samatha is mental calm or tranquility, whereas vipassana is investigation into experience.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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tiltbillings
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by tiltbillings »

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Porpoise,

To me, samatha is mental calm or tranquility, whereas vipassana is investigation into experience.

Metta,
Retro.
What kind of investigation?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723
Spiny Norman
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Spiny Norman »

mikenz66 wrote:I sput some quotes here:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4631#p70910" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Samatha is about developing calm and concentration and tends to use conceptual objects. Vipassana requires "ultimate" objects, such as sensations or feelings, in order to develop wisdom about anicca, dukkha, anata, etc.
As Chanmyay Sayadaw says in one of the links I gave:
... in Vipassana Meditation every object of meditation must be absolute reality, ultimate reality, paramattha. In Vipassana Meditation no concept can be the object of meditation. Concept cannot be the object of Vipassana Meditation because Vipassana meditators need to realize the specific characteristics and general characteristics of mental and physical phenomena which is absolute reality. ...
Mike
Thanks Mike, but I'm still not getting the distinction between conceptual and ultimate objects. Could you give some examples of conceptual objects? And can some objects be used for both samatha and vipassana, and if so what is the difference in approach?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:What kind of investigation?
Investigation into the characteristics of, and relationship between different aspects of experience.

Or if you prefer, see (most of) the Mahasatipatthana Sutta. :D

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Goedert
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Goedert »

Hello friend,

Actually samadhi and vipassana are Pali term (shamatha and vipayshana is the Sanskrit term).

Hope it helps your understanding.
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by mikenz66 »

porpoise wrote: Thanks Mike, but I'm still not getting the distinction between conceptual and ultimate objects. Could you give some examples of conceptual objects? And can some objects be used for both samatha and vipassana, and if so what is the difference in approach?
Conceptual objects you might use in samatha meditation would include metta, kasinas, and so on. These are created in the mind (in the case of kasinas one does start by looking at a coloured disk, but then it is visualised). Such objects can lead to a high degree of concentration, including jhana, because they are mind-created, and hence the mind can easily "stick" to them.

A "real" or "ultimate" object would include such things as sensations in the feet while walking, sensation of hardness, heat, and so on. Focussing on such objects does build up concentration, but since they are always changing, and are not under our control, they do not lead to such high levels of samatha. However, because they are changing, and not-self, careful study of them leads to insight (or so they say, not much insight here yet...).

Samatha and vipassana are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they support each other. It takes some insight into the hindrances and so on to build up samatha, and it takes some concentration to make vipassana possible. However some practises are more conducive to developing samatha, and some more conducive to vipassana.

The links I gave explain it much better than I can.

Mike
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mikenz66
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Goedert,
Goedert wrote: Actually samadhi and vipassana are Pali term (shamatha and vipayshana is the Sanskrit term).
Yes, Shamatha is Sanskrit. Samatha is the Pali version and has a very similar meaning to samadhi, though there are subtle differences.
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#samatha" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mike
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Brizzy »

porpoise wrote:Could you say in a nutshell how you see the essential difference between samatha and vipassana?
I've been thinking of it as the difference between samadhi and sati ( concentration v. mindfulness ), but after some reading around I'm not as clear as I thought I was. Thanks in anticipation. :smile:

P
From what I understand samadhi was the phrase the Buddha used most frequently, instead of samatha. Maybe he used the word samadhi to indicate a union of samatha & vipassana.

:smile:
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Goedert wrote:Hello friend,

Actually samadhi and vipassana are Pali term (shamatha and vipayshana is the Sanskrit term).

Hope it helps your understanding.
Yes, it certainly does. :smile:

P
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Spiny Norman
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Spiny Norman »

retrofuturist wrote:Or if you prefer, see (most of) the Mahasatipatthana Sutta. :D
So would you say satipatthana is the basis for vipassana?

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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Spiny Norman »

Brizzy wrote:
porpoise wrote:Could you say in a nutshell how you see the essential difference between samatha and vipassana?
I've been thinking of it as the difference between samadhi and sati ( concentration v. mindfulness ), but after some reading around I'm not as clear as I thought I was. Thanks in anticipation. :smile:

P
From what I understand samadhi was the phrase the Buddha used most frequently, instead of samatha. Maybe he used the word samadhi to indicate a union of samatha & vipassana.

:smile:
I'm not sure - I thought samadhi was primarily about concentrating the mind and refining consciousness as a foundation for vipassana?

P
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Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by rowyourboat »

Sati leads to samadhi, in both samatha and vipassana (that is samatha and vipassana as method, not result).

In vipassana (as method) however the samadhi leads to insight (panna). This is sammasamadhi.

Strictly speaking vipassana can be only said to start when the tilakkhana begins to manifest (vipassana as result). Anything below that may simply be leading to samatha samadhi, whatever the external technique used.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
Brizzy

Re: Samatha v. vipassana?

Post by Brizzy »

rowyourboat wrote:Sati leads to samadhi, in both samatha and vipassana (that is samatha and vipassana as method, not result).

In vipassana (as method) however the samadhi leads to insight (panna). This is sammasamadhi.

Strictly speaking vipassana can be only said to start when the tilakkhana begins to manifest (vipassana as result). Anything below that may simply be leading to samatha samadhi, whatever the external technique used.

with metta

RYB
:thinking:

Is vipassana a method?

Samatha Samadhi, is not something I have heard of. Is Samadhi, samatha imbued with vipassana?

:smile:
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