4 Elements Meditation

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Protect Dhamma
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2022 2:25 am

4 Elements Meditation

Post by Protect Dhamma »

4 Elements Meditation



The above video highlights some mistakes meditators face when they practice Four Elements meditation according to the Pa Auk System.

By following the Venerable’s instructions, meditators tend to confuse discernment of the 4 elements by later adverting to seeing color (which the Venerable calls “ice-block body”).

They then further misinterpret these specks of color as rupa kalapas. This finally leads to the wrong belief that there are sub-atomic particles in the world

These misinterpretations do not match the Buddha’s teaching. In the video we quote sections of the Visuddhimagga (Path of Purification) to confirm the errors prevalent in the Pa Auk System.

Note: All this is done with the sole intention that the correct Dhamma will prevail and wrong information of Dhamma will disappear from the world.

More videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmWcN ... DBmDI8u4MA

Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/mistakesofpaaukmeditation
Mudryj
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by Mudryj »

1. When the meditator distinguishes the 4 elements, he reaches the level of access concentration and begins to see the nimitta of the body. Color, transparency, light are also manifestations of matter. therefore they are seen in the process of meditation on matter. only when the nimitta is broken into kalapas and 4 elements of matter and derivative matter are distinguished in kalapas - only then no forms such as a body, etc. appear

2. Bearing in mind that color and light are derivatives of matter from the four great elements, then space can be distinguished between accumulations of matter that have their own color.
Space is not distinguished in color, but in matter, which has color and can be analyzed in terms of the four elements.
Protect Dhamma
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by Protect Dhamma »

Mudryj wrote: Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:52 am 1. When the meditator distinguishes the 4 elements, he reaches the level of access concentration and begins to see the nimitta of the body. Color, transparency, light are also manifestations of matter. therefore they are seen in the process of meditation on matter. only when the nimitta is broken into kalapas and 4 elements of matter and derivative matter are distinguished in kalapas - only then no forms such as a body, etc. appear

2. Bearing in mind that color and light are derivatives of matter from the four great elements, then space can be distinguished between accumulations of matter that have their own color.
Space is not distinguished in color, but in matter, which has color and can be analyzed in terms of the four elements.
1. Your interpretations are not in the text and have a mixture of correct and incorrect understandings.

2. We clarify: The mind cannot "see" earth element, water, element, fire element, air element. It can discern these elements. The mind can discern colour and it can also "see" colour.

3. There is no such thing as body nimitta. This is something that Pa Auk practitioners have started and believe in. Even Mahasi Sayadaw has stated this as one of the reasons he does not accept Pa Auk. (We are not recommending Mahasi method by stating this)

4. So what is this ice block? When concentration increases, this concentration can be used to both see and discern. When the person pays attention to the colour in specific way, his mind can see it. So, he shifts his meditation from 4 elements to seeing colour. Please remember that then object of the meditation has changed. In this meditation, we cannot say that because colour is part of materiality, seeing colour is the same as meditating four elements.

5. Ultimate reality space cannot be "seen" by the mind. But, it can be discerned. This is why we cannot say the conceptual space between colour is the same as ultimate reality space.

6. If the yogi thinks that the conceptual space between colour is ultimate reality space, he has fallen into wrong view. From this point onwards it will be impossible for him to destroy the self belief associated with materiality and also space.

7. There are further descriptions of how a person can make a mistake of space between colour in the Pali texts. We have not shown that here, because it would entail a longer discussion.

8. The mind can experience many things in meditation. Some really happen. Some imaginary. Some are real, but interpreted wrongly. Some are imaginary and are also interpreted wrongly. In short, many experiences. The Buddha's teachings of meditation is to remove ignorance. Which also means we have to understand the meditation experiences correctly.

Thanks for commenting!
pegembara
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by pegembara »

The 4 elements are what is experienced by the body other than sights, sounds, smells, and tastes.

It is the quality of hardness, softness, liquidity, heat/cold, and motion - all non-conceptual experience of the physical body.
At deeper levels of meditation, the body fades from the mind.
"And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property? Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the mind.

"And what is the liquid property? The liquid property may be either internal or external. What is the internal liquid property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's liquid, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's liquid, watery, & sustained: This is called the internal liquid property. Now both the internal liquid property & the external liquid property are simply liquid property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the liquid property and makes the liquid property fade from the mind.

"And what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten, drunk, consumed & tasted gets properly digested; or anything else internal, within oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the internal fire property. Now both the internal fire property & the external fire property are simply fire property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the fire property and makes the fire property fade from the mind.

"And what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now both the internal wind property & the external wind property are simply wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the wind property and makes the wind property fade from the mind.

"There remains only consciousness: pure & bright. What does one cognize with that consciousness? One cognizes 'pleasure.' One cognizes 'pain.' One cognizes 'neither pleasure nor pain.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
Mudryj
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by Mudryj »

Protect Dhamma wrote: Thu Jun 16, 2022 3:16 am
Mudryj wrote: Thu Jun 09, 2022 9:52 am 1. When the meditator distinguishes the 4 elements, he reaches the level of access concentration and begins to see the nimitta of the body. Color, transparency, light are also manifestations of matter. therefore they are seen in the process of meditation on matter. only when the nimitta is broken into kalapas and 4 elements of matter and derivative matter are distinguished in kalapas - only then no forms such as a body, etc. appear

2. Bearing in mind that color and light are derivatives of matter from the four great elements, then space can be distinguished between accumulations of matter that have their own color.
Space is not distinguished in color, but in matter, which has color and can be analyzed in terms of the four elements.
1. Your interpretations are not in the text and have a mixture of correct and incorrect understandings.

2. We clarify: The mind cannot "see" earth element, water, element, fire element, air element. It can discern these elements. The mind can discern colour and it can also "see" colour.

3. There is no such thing as body nimitta. This is something that Pa Auk practitioners have started and believe in. Even Mahasi Sayadaw has stated this as one of the reasons he does not accept Pa Auk. (We are not recommending Mahasi method by stating this)

4. So what is this ice block? When concentration increases, this concentration can be used to both see and discern. When the person pays attention to the colour in specific way, his mind can see it. So, he shifts his meditation from 4 elements to seeing colour. Please remember that then object of the meditation has changed. In this meditation, we cannot say that because colour is part of materiality, seeing colour is the same as meditating four elements.

5. Ultimate reality space cannot be "seen" by the mind. But, it can be discerned. This is why we cannot say the conceptual space between colour is the same as ultimate reality space.

6. If the yogi thinks that the conceptual space between colour is ultimate reality space, he has fallen into wrong view. From this point onwards it will be impossible for him to destroy the self belief associated with materiality and also space.

7. There are further descriptions of how a person can make a mistake of space between colour in the Pali texts. We have not shown that here, because it would entail a longer discussion.

8. The mind can experience many things in meditation. Some really happen. Some imaginary. Some are real, but interpreted wrongly. Some are imaginary and are also interpreted wrongly. In short, many experiences. The Buddha's teachings of meditation is to remove ignorance. Which also means we have to understand the meditation experiences correctly.

Thanks for commenting!
"1. Your interpretations are not in the text and have a mixture of correct and incorrect understandings."

Your conclusions are not based on any reliable foundations. I doubt that you even reached the first jhana to criticize the venerable one. Buddhism is not a religion of a book, but a religion of yogic experience. the practice of Pa Auk Sayadaw is based on the direct experience of these elements.

"2. We clarify: The mind cannot "see" earth element, water, element, fire element, air element. It can discern these elements. The mind can discern colour and it can also "see" colour. "

according to the texts, the mind experiences all the perceptions of the five senses. In addition, the door of the mind serves as the eye of wisdom, the divine eye at a certain level of development. but even if one does not speak of a literal vision, one can understand that this word was used in a figurative sense. That is, your remark is a filtering out errors where they do not exist. In exactly the same ugly way you criticize the venerable

"3.There is no such thing as body nimitta. This is something that Pa Auk practitioners have started and believe in. Even Mahasi Sayadaw has stated this as one of the reasons he does not accept Pa Auk"

How do you know whether it is or not, if you have no practical experience? You do not understand what a bodily nimitta is and you do not understand what a nimitta is in general. Nimitta is a pure image of perception. it is as real as the khandha of perception. we do not have access to the experience of matter directly, only through the image created by perception.

"(We are not recommending Mahasi method by stating this)"
It would be strange if you recommended something other than your fantasies. despite the polemics of these two Sayados, sometimes sharp, I consider both of these Sayados to be enlightened masters and their methods, so different from each other, lead to the same goal and are tested by experience.

"So what is this ice block? When concentration increases, this concentration can be used to both see and discern. When the person pays attention to the colour in specific way, his mind can see it. So, he shifts his meditation from 4 elements to seeing colour."

Despite the extensive long-winded response, you neither grasped my arguments above nor really answered them. As I have already said, meditation begins with the distinction of the qualities of the four elements in the body, that is, the practice takes place exactly as it has been indicated below. the four elements are found in the body and the mind is directed to the perception of mass of matter in the first place. but as one trains, concentration grows and there is a shift from mere contemplation to concentrated contemplation of the object. Matter does not disappear anywhere, but it begins to be seen differently. Meditation does not shift to the perception of light. Sayadaw emphasizes that if the meditator shifts his attention in breathing meditation from the concept of inhalation and exhalation to the white quality of nimitta, he will switch to meditation on the white kasina or light kasina and lose the main object - breath. And in the same way, meditation on 4 elements easily develops into meditation on kasinas, if you especially focus on the quality of white color or light, etc. The mind immediately loses the ability to distinguish something, whether it be kalapas or something else and sets on the totality of color/light, but the main goal of meditation on the four elements, namely the transition to the practice of insight, will be lost. Sayadaw states that meditation on the four elements is an alternative way to develop samatha. That is, there is a fork. if the mind shifts from the perception of the four elements to the perception of the quality of color, there will be a transition to pure tranquility meditation and jhana. But the meditator should not shift the mind from the perception of the four elements. the four elements are matter. and this matter also has other derived qualities, the so-called derived matter, among which is the quality of color. that is, the meditator perceives not the color itself, but matter, among which there are derivatives of the dhamma of color. And what makes it possible to single out separate kalapas in this mass of matter, which constitutes so far a conceptual unity? is the perception of the element of space. that is, the difference between the practice proposed and that in the suttas is the distinction of five elements instead of four. I repeat once again. They do not meditate on light and color, which, according to Sayadaw, lead to the transition to samatha jhana practice and kasinas. One meditates on matter, represented as the four great elements, the mass of matter is endowed with the qualities of a derivative of matter of color and light. The illusion of compactness and separateness of the body is destroyed not at the stage of distinguishing between nama and rupa, but at the stage of bhanga nana. so that your assumptions that a simple distinction of elements leads to the disappearance of the perception of the body as a whole are not based on anything other than fantasies divorced from practice and theory.

"Please remember that then object of the meditation has changed. In this meditation, we cannot say that because colour is part of materiality, seeing colour is the same as meditating four elements."

No, at the level of access concentration=momentary concentration it is possible to contemplate the multiplicity of objects. It is the multiplicity factor of four elements that leads to the fact that this practice gives only the level of concentration of access concentration and one cannot reach 4 jhanas on 4 elements. precisely for this particular reason. therefore, the object does not change, as you want in vain to impose, but only added. in addition to the four elements, the practitioner also begins to see subtle derivative matter, then space is added to the four elements and the derivative of matter, and so the number of observed qualities increases. all this happens due to the deepening and development of the concentration of access, the emergence of the light of wisdom and the development of momentary concentration.

"Ultimate reality space cannot be "seen" by the mind. But, it can be discerned. This is why we cannot say the conceptual space between colour is the same as ultimate reality space."

Another example of demagogic tricks. I have already said that the concept of "sees" is considered in a figurative sense. And the space differs not between the total quality of color/light, which, we have already learned, is not possible, since the transition to the pure quality and totality of light/color marks the transition to the corresponding kasina, jhana, one-pointedness of the mind and the inability to distinguish anything. It is precisely the conceptual integral mass of matter that is distinguished, in which four qualities-elements of matter have already been distinguished. now the task of distinguishing the space in this mass, isolating the kalaps and distinguishing, in turn, the elements in the kalaps themselves, is presented. it is then that the idea/concept of the substantial mass of matter begins to really collapse.

"6. If the yogi thinks that the conceptual space between colour is ultimate reality space, he has fallen into wrong view. From this point onwards it will be impossible for him to destroy the self belief associated with materiality and also space. "

It is to such absurdities that your incorrect reasoning and lack of understanding of the concept of "massivety of forms" lead
thomaslaw
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by thomaslaw »

Is the 4 elements Meditation a Theravada meditative tradition?
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Coëmgenu
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by Coëmgenu »

All Buddhist schools except for very late-stage Mahāyāna schools practice meditation upon the four or five elements, including the modern form of the southerly Vibhajyavādins, the Theravādins; so-named after their ancient parent school, the Sthaviravādins.
At one time, Thomas the Bodhi-Wizard was teaching in the rosewood pavillion in the park by the Kmart. Summarizing, he concluded: "The gist is to be unconscious of conceptualizations." "What about the concept of 'concepts versus non-concepts?'" asked Frampton the Initiate. "Ooooh you think you're so clever," responded Thomas, "but when I was porking your mother last night, she achieved a non-dual gnostic bliss that transgresses the binaries of even your foolish question. Do not question the Bodhi-Wizard."

The students rejoiced.
Bundokji
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Re: 4 Elements Meditation

Post by Bundokji »

I am not sure if notions of write and wrong apply to the 4 elements. For example, if in the sensual realm, consciousness is thought of as the fire element, then would it be accurate to say that its wrong?

The logic of Idappaccayatā seems to go beyond right and wrong.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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