Anapanasati (again)

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daverupa
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Anapanasati (again)

Post by daverupa »

I have here Mindfulness of Breathing by Bhikkhu Nanamoli, and this text contains the Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118) as well as extracts from the related Commentary in the Visuddhimagga and the Papancasudani.

After the Sutta and the Commentarial explanation of the first Tetrad, I read on page 21 the following sentence:

"The first tetrad is stated as a meditation subject for a beginner; but the other three tetrads are (respectively) stated by way of contemplation of the feelings, the mind, and mental objects for one who has attained the first jhana."

Now, sammasati is not sammasamadhi, but the Commentary seems to suggest that three-fourths of sammasati cannot be practiced until sammasamadhi, i.e. the jhanas. In other words, anapanasati (mostly) cannot be practiced according to the Sutta without attaining jhana.

This seems incorrect. What gives?
  • "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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bodom
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by bodom »

Hi Daverupa

You may find Ledi Sayadaws Ānāpāna Dīpanī: A Manual of Respiraton helpful...
THE COMMENTARY RECONCILED WITH THE TEXT

We now need to reconcile the method given in the Commentary [the Visuddhimagga, not the Ānāpānasati Sutta Commentary. ed.] with the Pāḷi Text.

The counting stage, when the attention is fixed on the “point of touch” and the attempt is made to make that attention strong and firm by the method of counting, is the first stage of the first tetrad of the Pāḷi Text. In this stage, the main work is to overcome the habit of the mind that repeatedly wanders away from the point of attention to other objects, and it is for this purpose that the method of counting is adopted. The time is not yet ripe for perceiving the long and short breaths, but in accordance with the Pāḷi Text — “Satova Assasati, Satova Passasati” — effort must be confined to keeping the attention fixed on the out-breath and in-breath.

Herein, this is what the Commentary says: “For counting is simply a device for settling“Bahivisaṭavitakkavicchedaṃ katvā assāsapassāsārammaṇe sati samthaṇṭhāpanaṭṭhaṃ yeva hi gaṇanā”ti. mindfulness on the in-breaths and out-breaths as object by cutting off the external dissipation of applied thoughts.” (Vism.280)

After the counting stage, when the connection stage is reached, effort must be put forth according to the second stage of the first tetrad. In accordance with the text, “Dīghaṃ vā assasanto dīghaṃ assasissamī’tī pajānāti, etc., attention has to be fixed on the “point of touch” and, with the attention so fixed, the long and short have to be perceived. In doing this it is not necessary to trace the entire breath from beginning to end. All that is necessary is that, while keeping the attention fixed on the “point of touch,” additional endeavour has to be made to be aware of the lengths of the breaths that brush the “point of touch.” Long breaths brush the spot for a long time while short breaths brush the spot for a short period. The mind has the ability to become extremely expansive and thus it is possible to be aware of the long and short breaths that go out and come in even while keeping one’s attention steadily fixed on the “point of touch.”

When the long and short breaths have been clearly perceived, effort has to be made to perceive the entire structure of each breath — the beginning, middle, and end — even while keeping one’s attention fixed on the “point of touch.” In accordance with the Pāḷi Text which says “Sabbakāyappaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. Sabbakāyappaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.” Which means that when an out-breath is released it must not be done unmindfully, one must be fully aware of it right from its start within the body and follow it along its course until it reaches its end within the body at the “point of touch.” It is with this added endeavour of being aware of it in its totality that the breath must be released. Similarly, when an in-breath is inhaled one must do so with awareness right from its start within the body at the “point of touch” and follow it until it reaches its end at the navel within the body.

While thus following the out and in-breath from beginning to end, the attention must continue to be fixed at the “point of touch.” The breath must not be followed from beginning to end by allowing the attention to leave the “point of touch.” If endeavour is made with resolution to follow the out and in-breaths without, at the same time, allowing the attention to leave the “point of touch,” then, even while the attention continues to be fixed on the “point of touch,” the form and shape of the out and in-breaths will gradually appear clearly in their entirety.

When the beginning, middle, and end of the out and in-breaths have been clearly perceived, if the rough and coarse out and in-breaths do not become automatically calmed and allayed to the point of disappearance then, in accordance with the text of the fourth section of the first tetrad of the Pāḷi Text, wherein it is said, “Passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅknāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati,” a special and additional endeavour must be made to make them more and more subtle and the out- breath and in-breath must be released with the resolution to make such an endeavour. The process must not be left unmindfully to take its own course. In the method given in the Commentary, however, it is stated that the out and in-breaths become calmed down and allayed of their own accord even from the counting stage, and in my experience, I have come across persons whose out and in-breaths automatically disappeared.

Herein, this is what the Commentary says: “Gaṇanāvaseneva pana manasikārakālato pabhuti anukkamato oḷārika-assāsapassāsa nirodhavasena kāyadarathe vūpasante kāyopi cittampi lahukaṃ hoti, sarīraṃ ākāse laṅghanākārappattaṃ viya hoti.” “After he has given his attention to counting, when the bodily disturbance has been stilled by the gradual cessation of gross in-breaths and out-breaths, then both the body and the mind become light: the physical body is as though it were ready to leap up into the air.” (Vism.282)

I have known people whose bodies have risen about the height of four fingers’ breadth in the air.

When the stage of this disappearance of the out and in-breaths is reached without taking the attention off the “point of touch,” an attempt must be made to perceive the disappeared out and in-breaths, and when they are perceived again clearly, the counterpart signs appear. At that stage the hindrances, such as fear, dread, sleep, indolence, etc., are overcome, and jhāna is attained.

This ends the reconciliation between the Commentary and the Pāḷi Text.

This also ends the counting, connection, and fixing methods of the Commentary where seven stages are given viz., counting (gaṇanā), connection (anubandhanā), touching (phusanā), fixing (ṭhapanā), observing (sallakkhaṇā), turning away (vivaṭṭhanā), and purification (pārisuddhi), are given. The first tetrad is the main and essential stage. At the present day, if work in the first tetrad is successfully accomplished, one can proceed to tranquillity and insight meditation as one desires.

Here ends the first tetrad.

XI

THE SECOND TETRAD

I shall now show the second tetrad which is to be attempted or practised in the fixing stage, which is the stage of the attainment concentration (appanā jhāna).

‘Pītippaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘Pītippaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Sukhappaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, sukhappaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Cittasaṅkhārapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Cittasaṅkhārapaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Passambhayaṃ cittasaṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Passambhayaṃ citta-saṅkhāraṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.

‘Perceiving rapture, I will exhale’ he trains himself. ‘Perceiving rapture, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Perceiving bliss, I will exhale’ he trains himself. ‘Perceiving bliss, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Perceiving the mental formations, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Perceiving the mental formations, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Calming the mental formations, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Calming the mental formations, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
1.
When the counterpart sign appears, putting forth effort until the attainment of the first and second jhāna, in which rapture (pīti) predominates, is what is meant by “perceiving rapture.”
2.
Putting forth effort until the attainment of the third jhāna, in which bliss (sukha) predominates, is what is meant by “perceiving bliss.”
3.
Putting forth effort until the attainment of the fourth jhāna, in which the mental formation (cittasaṅkhāra) of equanimity predominates, is what is meant by “perceiving mental formations.”
4.
Putting forth effort to calm down the coarse feelings and perceptions is what is meant by “Calming down the mental formations.”

The Commentary associates this tetrad with attainment concentration, but the perceptions of rapture, bliss, and equanimity are also associated with access concentration, which is attained after the first appearance of the counterpart sign.

This ends the second tetrad.

XII

THE THIRD TETRAD

I shall now explain the third tetrad which gives the practice when entering attainment concentration.

‘Cittapaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Cittapaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Abhippamodayaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Abhippamodayaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Samādahaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Samādahaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Vimocayaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Vimocayaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.

‘Perceiving the mind, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Perceiving the mind, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Delighting the mind, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Delighting the mind, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Concentrating the mind, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Concentrating the mind, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Freeing the mind, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Freeing the mind, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
1.
Entering the four jhānas repeatedly to make the perception of the mind extremely clear is “perceiving the mind.”
2.
When the perception of the mind is extremely clear, making the mind extremely delighted, by entering the first and second jhānas (which are associated with rapture) repeatedly is “delighting the mind.”
3.
When the mind is extremely delighted, making the mind extremely concentrated, by entering the third and fourth jhānas, is “concentrating the mind.”
4.
Freeing the mind of obstacles by entering the four jhānas repeatedly is “freeing the mind.”

The Commentary associates this tetrad also with attainment concentration. It, however, contains practices associated with access concentration as well.

This ends the third tetrad.

XIII

The Fourth Tetrad

I shall now explain the fourth tetrad which gives the method of proceeding from mindfulness of respiration to insight.

‘Aniccānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Aniccanupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhatī.
‘Virāgānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Virāgānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Nirodhānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Nirodhānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
‘Paṭinissaggānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati. ‘Paṭinissaggānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.

‘Contemplating impermanence, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating impermanence, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating dispassion, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating dispassion, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating cessation, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating cessation, I will inhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating relinquishment, I will exhale’ he trains himself.
‘Contemplating relinquishment, I will inhale’ he trains himself.

The way to proceed to insight will be dealt with later. This ends the fourth tetrad.
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Ledi/Anapa ... condTetrad" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by daverupa »

bodom wrote:Hi Daverupa

You may find Ledi Sayadaws Ānāpāna Dīpanī: A Manual of Respiraton helpful...
...When the stage of this disappearance of the out and in-breaths is reached without taking the attention off the “point of touch,” an attempt must be made to perceive the disappeared out and in-breaths, and when they are perceived again clearly, the counterpart signs appear. At that stage the hindrances, such as fear, dread, sleep, indolence, etc., are overcome, and jhāna is attained.

This ends the reconciliation between the Commentary and the Pāḷi Text.

This also ends the counting, connection, and fixing methods of the Commentary where seven stages are given viz., counting (gaṇanā), connection (anubandhanā), touching (phusanā), fixing (ṭhapanā), observing (sallakkhaṇā), turning away (vivaṭṭhanā), and purification (pārisuddhi), are given. The first tetrad is the main and essential stage. At the present day, if work in the first tetrad is successfully accomplished, one can proceed to tranquillity and insight meditation as one desires.

Here ends the first tetrad.

XI

THE SECOND TETRAD...
This simply restates what was already in the Commentary, that jhana happens after practicing only the first tetrad - in this work as in the other, jhana is attained before discussion of the second tetrad even begins. There is no reconciliation as yet.
:cry:
  • "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]
rowyourboat
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by rowyourboat »

Below is my personal opinion on the matter:

“Long breath, short breath, whole body of breath, stopping of the breath-30%

Piti, sukha, mental fabrication, calming mental fabrication -60%

Sensitive/experiencing the mind, gladdening the mind, unifying the mind, releasing the mind (first jhana) -100%”

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by daverupa »

Well, that would mean that 3/4 tetrads are before jhana, and still one tetrad after jhana. Basically, here is what I'm hearing:

Q: What is the purpose of sammasati?
A: To attain sammasamadhi.
Q: How do I practice sammasati?
A: By attaining sammasamadhi.

:thinking:

Sammasati is satipatthana. Sammasamadhi is jhana. Saying that sammasati consists of sammasamadhi is the same as saying that sammaditthi consists of sammasankappa. It seems completely backwards, which is altogether nonsensical.
  • "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]
pegembara
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by pegembara »

This is Ajahn Chah's description of his practice. Establish samadhi, then practice vippasana.
When we are adept at noting these three points we can let them go and note the in and out breathing, concentrating solely at the nose-tip or the upper lip where the air passes on its in and out passage. We don't have to follow the breath, just establish mindfulness in front of us at the nose-tip, and note the breath at this one point — entering, leaving, entering, leaving. There's no need to think of anything special, just concentrate on this simple task for now, having continuous presence of mind. There's nothing more to do, just breathing in and out.

Soon the mind becomes peaceful, the breath refined. The mind and body become light. This is the right state for the work of meditation.

When sitting in meditation the mind becomes refined, but whatever state it's in we should try to be aware of it, to know it. Mental activity is there together with tranquillity. There is vitakka. Vitakka is the action of bringing the mind to the theme of contemplation. If there is not much mindfulness, there will be not much vitakka. Then vicara, the contemplation around that theme, follows. Various "weak" mental impressions may arise from time to time but our self-awareness is the important thing — whatever may be happening we know it continuously. As we go deeper we are constantly aware of the state of our meditation, knowing whether or not the mind is firmly established. Thus, both concentration and awareness are present.

To have a peaceful mind does not mean that there's nothing happening, mental impressions do arise. For instance, when we talk about the first level of absorption, we say it has five factors. Along with vitakka and vicara, piti (rapture) arises with the theme of contemplation and then sukha (happiness). These four things all lie together in the mind established in tranquillity. They are as one state.

The fifth factor is ekaggata or one-pointedness. You may wonder how there can be one-pointedness when there are all these other factors as well. This is because they all become unified on that foundation of tranquillity. Together they are called a state of samadhi. They are not everyday states of mind, they are factors of absorption. There are these five characteristics, but they do not disturb the basic tranquillity. There is vitakka, but it does not disturb the mind; vicara, rapture and happiness arise but do not disturb the mind. The mind is therefore as one with these factors. The first level of absorption is like this.

We don't have to call it First Jhana, [2] Second Jhana, third Jhana and so on, let's just call it "a peaceful mind." As the mind becomes progressively calmer it will dispense with vitakka and vicara, leaving only rapture and happiness. Why does the mind discard vitakka and vicara? This is because, as the mind becomes more refined, the activity of vitakka and vicara is too coarse to remain. At this stage, as the mind leaves off vitakka and vicara, feelings of great rapture can arise, tears may gush out. But as the samadhi deepens rapture, too, is discarded, leaving only happiness and one-pointedness, until finally even happiness goes and the mind reaches its greatest refinement. There are only equanimity and one-pointedness, all else has been left behind. The mind stands unmoving.

Once the mind is peaceful this can happen. You don't have to think a lot about it, it just happens by itself. This is called the energy of a peaceful mind. In this state the mind is not drowsy; the five hindrances, sense desire, aversion, restlessness, dullness and doubt, have all fled.

When the mind is peaceful and established firmly in mindfulness and self-awareness, there will be no doubt concerning the various phenomena which we encounter. The mind will truly be beyond the hindrances. We will clearly know as it is everything which arises in the mind. We do not doubt it because the mind is clear and bright. The mind which reaches samadhi is like this.
"...With right samadhi, no matter what level of calm is reached, there is awareness. There is full mindfulness and clear comprehension. This is the samadhi which can give rise to wisdom, one cannot get lost in it. Practitioners should understand this well..."
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
Vossaga (Element)

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by Vossaga (Element) »

daverupa wrote:The first tetrad is stated as a meditation subject for a beginner; but the other three tetrads are (respectively) stated by way of contemplation of the feelings, the mind, and mental objects for one who has attained the first jhana.
Hello Daverupa

In Anapanasati, the contemplation of feeling (vedanupassana) is that of rapture (piti) & happiness (sukha). Therefore, some degree of absorption or one-pointedness is required. I have heard the Commentaries list two levels of concentration, neighhourhood concentration and attainment concentration. Although neighhourhood concentration is not jhana level, it is sufficient to give rise to rapture & happiness in sufficient degree so these feelings may serve as objects of vipassana or insight.

To conclude, some degree of one-pointedness is required so the feelings of rapture & happiness can manifest in a manner for the mind to contemplate (observe) them both clearly & with stability.

Often meditators practising suppression meditations can have strong breakouts of rapture, where they cannot control the rapture, cannot observe it dispassionately or objectively and often cannot sleep at night. This kind of rapture is momentary rapture arising from momentary concentration. It is neither neighhourhood concentration or jhana.

With metta

:smile:
rowyourboat
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by rowyourboat »

daverupa wrote:Well, that would mean that 3/4 tetrads are before jhana, and still one tetrad after jhana. Basically, here is what I'm hearing:

Q: What is the purpose of sammasati?
A: To attain sammasamadhi.
Q: How do I practice sammasati?
A: By attaining sammasamadhi.

:thinking:

Sammasati is satipatthana. Sammasamadhi is jhana. Saying that sammasati consists of sammasamadhi is the same as saying that sammaditthi consists of sammasankappa. It seems completely backwards, which is altogether nonsensical.
Hi Daverupa,

Have you heard the saying that the whole eight steps of the eightfold path happen in the same thought, prior to attainment, when all 8 factors reach their culmination in a single moment?

These factors are only very distinct at beginner levels. Even then you cannot develop samadhi, without sati. All the factors are interconnected in various complex ways. Hence the numerous formulations of the Path, known as the 37 factors of enlightenment.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
Freawaru
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by Freawaru »

daverupa wrote:I have here Mindfulness of Breathing by Bhikkhu Nanamoli, and this text contains the Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118) as well as extracts from the related Commentary in the Visuddhimagga and the Papancasudani.

After the Sutta and the Commentarial explanation of the first Tetrad, I read on page 21 the following sentence:

"The first tetrad is stated as a meditation subject for a beginner; but the other three tetrads are (respectively) stated by way of contemplation of the feelings, the mind, and mental objects for one who has attained the first jhana."

Now, sammasati is not sammasamadhi, but the Commentary seems to suggest that three-fourths of sammasati cannot be practiced until sammasamadhi, i.e. the jhanas. In other words, anapanasati (mostly) cannot be practiced according to the Sutta without attaining jhana.

This seems incorrect. What gives?
Hi daverupa,

maybe it will help you to recall what sati (remembrance) is: when one concentrates on something, f.e. the nostrils, the mind usually just keeps it up for a few seconds until it jumps to other things. But sooner or later it *remembers* that it was supposed to concentrate on the nostrils and checks if it does or not (and finds out that it does not and this usually leads to again concentrating on the nostrils). This very moment of remembering to check is sati. The mind remembers to reflect on it's own activity.

The mind can do concentrated work without sati. For example when we have done math tests at school. The mind was absorbed in it's processes until the bell rang. But it did not reflect on itself, it did not recall to check what it is doing - nor did it need to to do the work. Some people I know call this state "being in the tunnel". The mind is concentrated but it does not reflect on this until afterwards, when we come out of "the tunnel" and see that we have been doing calculations for an hour or so.

When developing sammasamadhi by, for example, concentrating on the nostrils, we force the mind to remember to check on it's own activity again and again. After a while the time in between checking shortens, the mind remembers to check sooner and sooner, until it is there at every single moment. Because by this technique concentration has been developed simultaneously with sati the mind can enter jhana then.

One of the problems that usually arise is that once jhana breaks down sati goes away, too. But it is possible for the mind to remember to check it's activity during a math test, too. Or during states of strong emotion such as anger or hate or fear. But this seems to be more difficult for it than to simply remember to check when concentrating on the nostrils. The nostrils are one simple tactile impression, doing math calculation on the other hand is a complicated process and emotional states are really wild and the mind tends to forget to check. Thus contemplating the feelings, the mind, and mental objects is simply more difficult.
daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by daverupa »

I now have here Mindfulness with breathing by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu. Here is an extract:

On step four:

"In our practice of step four of Anapanasati, it is not necessary to try to enter jhana completely. In the practice of Anapanasati those very refined levels of concentration are not necessary. We only need to have a sufficient and appropriate level of concentration to continue with our practice, that is, enough samadhi that there are the feelings of piti and sukha (contentment and happiness). We need to use piti and sukha in the next steps of our study. If you can go on into jhana, into the material absorptions (rupa-jhana), that will be useful. It will make the next steps easier. Even if you do not reach jhana, as long as there is some piti and sukha you are doing fine."

On steps five and six:

"If we calm the kaya-sankhara (body-conditioner) to the extent of jhana (the first jhana and so forth), then piti and sukha will be full and complete as factors of jhana. Nevertheless, if we are unable to reach jhana and are able only to calm the body-conditioner partially, there is likely to be a degree of piti and sukha proportionate to the extent of that calming. Thus, even those who are unable to bring about jhana can still manage enough piti and sukha to practice these steps."

This explanation doesn't make the assumption that jhana is necessary for anapanasati, although it suggests proper practice often results in it, or gets close, at these early stages (4-5-6). I guess I don't care why nearly every other explicator of anapanasati seems to say jhana is a required development at these stages, but I am curious if these passages are met with disagreement by anyone here. If not, then as far as I can tell this series of lectures by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu wholly resolves my confusion about the discordant explanations of sammasati versus sammsamadhi as found in the Commentary to the Anapanasati Sutta.

Thoughts?

(...Feelings? Perceptions? :tongue: )
  • "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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bodom
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by bodom »

Thoughts?
I think it best to just do the practice and let the sitting proceed how it will. See from your own experience how it unfolds. Whether jhana comes or not, it is no big deal either way.

:anjali:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
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Ben
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by Ben »

bodom wrote:I think it best to just do the practice and let the sitting proceed how it will. See from your own experience how it unfolds. Whether jhana comes or not, it is no big deal either way.
Well said, Bodom!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by daverupa »

The difficulty I was experiencing wasn't to do with whether jhana was coming or not, per se. Instead I was struggling with a disheartening confusion over how to continue the practice. I understood that anapanasati wasn't a practice that let you jump in any old place, that it was a sequential development; however, the impression given nearly everywhere, including the Commentary, was that jhana was to be expected after the first tetrad, that it was in fact required before the sequential development of anapanasati could proceed.

Breathe long, breathe short, experience all bodies, calm the body-conditioner... and then, jhana. So I sat.

And sat.

Upon reflection, I see that I have been experiencing piti, I have been experiencing sukha, but because I wasn't experiencing them as factors of jhana, I discarded those feelings as mere side effects. Thereupon I had no guidance and didn't know that a whole tetrad was on tap and that there were instructions on what to do at that stage without being in jhana...

:tantrum:
...instructions that were completely obscured by hearing and reading that the second tetrad begins with the first jhana, that piti and sukha are only relevant to anapanasati if they are factors of jhana!

Ugh.

:buddha1:
  • "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]
Vossaga (Element)

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by Vossaga (Element) »

daverupa wrote:... but I am curious if these passages are met with disagreement by anyone here.

If not, then as far as I can tell this series of lectures by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu wholly resolves my confusion...
Hello Daverupa

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu explained the same as I. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu is suitable for resolving your questions.

There are two levels of samadhi, 'neighbourhood' and 'attainment' (jhana). Each level will give rise to rapture & happiness. Either level is more than sufficient.

With metta

:smile:

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Last edited by Vossaga (Element) on Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
PeterB
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Post by PeterB »

Do you ever have opportunity to discuss these issues face to face with an experienced teacher daverupa ?.
My experience is that the angel is often in the subtlelist details.
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