Concentration that when developed & pursued leads to mindfulness & alertness

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Post Reply
Bundokji
Posts: 5050
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Concentration that when developed & pursued leads to mindfulness & alertness

Post by Bundokji »

Friends,

In AN 4.41, the Buddha taught:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.
In your understanding, what validates the sequence of arising, persisting and subsiding in the quoted sutta?

In other words, what makes arising what it is, rather than being persisting or subsiding?

Thank you :anjali:
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.
jinic
Posts: 741
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2022 5:50 am

Re: Concentration that when developed & pursued leads to mindfulness & alertness

Post by jinic »

Bundokji wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 12:42 pm Friends,

In AN 4.41, the Buddha taught:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.
In your understanding, what validates the sequence of arising, persisting and subsiding in the quoted sutta?

In other words, what makes arising what it is, rather than being persisting or subsiding?
Maybe this answers it for you
At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, there are these three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins. What three?

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has passed, ceased, changed: the term, label, and description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’

“Whatever feeling … Whatever perception … Whatever volitional formations … Whatever consciousness has passed, ceased, changed: the term, label, and description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has not been born, has not become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘was.’

“Whatever feeling … Whatever perception … Whatever volitional formations … Whatever consciousness has not been born, has not become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘was.’

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has been born, has become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or the term ‘will be.’

“Whatever feeling … Whatever perception … Whatever volitional formations … Whatever consciousness has been born, has become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or the term ‘will be.’

“These, bhikkhus, are the three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins.

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.62/en/bod ... ight=false
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
Bundokji
Posts: 5050
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Concentration that when developed & pursued leads to mindfulness & alertness

Post by Bundokji »

jinic wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 1:24 pm
Bundokji wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 12:42 pm Friends,

In AN 4.41, the Buddha taught:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.
In your understanding, what validates the sequence of arising, persisting and subsiding in the quoted sutta?

In other words, what makes arising what it is, rather than being persisting or subsiding?
Maybe this answers it for you
At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, there are these three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins. What three?

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has passed, ceased, changed: the term, label, and description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’

“Whatever feeling … Whatever perception … Whatever volitional formations … Whatever consciousness has passed, ceased, changed: the term, label, and description ‘was’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘will be.’

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has not been born, has not become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘was.’

“Whatever feeling … Whatever perception … Whatever volitional formations … Whatever consciousness has not been born, has not become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘will be’ applies to it, not the term ‘is’ or the term ‘was.’

“Whatever form, bhikkhus, has been born, has become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or the term ‘will be.’

“Whatever feeling … Whatever perception … Whatever volitional formations … Whatever consciousness has been born, has become manifest: the term, label, and description ‘is’ applies to it, not the term ‘was’ or the term ‘will be.’

“These, bhikkhus, are the three pathways of language, pathways of designation, pathways of description, that are unmixed, that were never mixed, that are not being mixed, that will not be mixed, that are not rejected by wise ascetics and brahmins.

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.62/en/bod ... ight=false
Thank you for sharing :anjali:

It is very relevant. The sutta seems to define when past, present and future tense are used through what appears to be tautology and circular reasoning. It does not say why it cannot be otherwise or mixed. For example, knowing that a form ceased, passed or changed can be in the present or in the future. In other words, the tenses "was" "is" and "will be" still apply. Also the given example about nihilists accepting these designations does not explain why the interchangeability of the three cannot be a basis for eternalism or fatalism.
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.
User avatar
frank k
Posts: 1814
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:55 pm
Contact:

Re: Concentration that when developed & pursued leads to mindfulness & alertness

Post by frank k »

It would help if you explain what's motivating your question.
real Example featuring all 3:
You're experiencing a stream of neutral sensations (a dukkham a sukham vedana), say for a few minutes.
You decide to enter jhāna.
You're thoughts meet the requirement of right resolve,
you deeply pacify/relax the body,
and over the next few seconds then you notice the neutral sensations end, and pleasurable (sukha vedana) arising.
You decide to see how long the sukha vedana persists in this jhāna session.
After an hour, you notice some pain sensation (dukkha vedana) in your knee.
There is sukha vedana in the rest of your body, but some dukkha vedana in the knee area.
You notice the different qualities of the sukha, for example the intensity of it varies in various parts of the body.
These are perceptions that arise, sustain, end (your perceptions of how the sukha differ in quality).
The type of mental fuel you use to sustain this jhāna (for example, using metta, or breath meditation), also gives you vitakka's for you to observe their rise, persisting, and falling away.

Remember, AN 4.41 all four of them are done within a 4 jhānas context.
sampājano is better transladed as lucid-discerning, it corresponds with the pañña faculty, in verb form, it's pajānati. You know when your mind has greed or doesn't, you know when it's in samādhi or isn't, and you know when different vedana, sañña, vitakka are rising, persisting, falling.
You're not just 'alert' to them, you know them with the wisdom faculty, and you're not just 'situationally aware'.





Bundokji wrote: Mon Oct 10, 2022 12:42 pm Friends,

In AN 4.41, the Buddha taught:
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.
In your understanding, what validates the sequence of arising, persisting and subsiding in the quoted sutta?

In other words, what makes arising what it is, rather than being persisting or subsiding?

Thank you :anjali:
www.lucid24.org/sted : ☸Lucid24.org🐘 STED definitions
www.audtip.org/audtip: 🎙️🔊Audio Tales in Pāli: ☸Dharma and Vinaya in many languages
Bundokji
Posts: 5050
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Concentration that when developed & pursued leads to mindfulness & alertness

Post by Bundokji »

frank k wrote: Thu Nov 17, 2022 12:26 pm It would help if you explain what's motivating your question.
real Example featuring all 3:
You're experiencing a stream of neutral sensations (a dukkham a sukham vedana), say for a few minutes.
You decide to enter jhāna.
You're thoughts meet the requirement of right resolve,
you deeply pacify/relax the body,
and over the next few seconds then you notice the neutral sensations end, and pleasurable (sukha vedana) arising.
You decide to see how long the sukha vedana persists in this jhāna session.
After an hour, you notice some pain sensation (dukkha vedana) in your knee.
There is sukha vedana in the rest of your body, but some dukkha vedana in the knee area.
You notice the different qualities of the sukha, for example the intensity of it varies in various parts of the body.
These are perceptions that arise, sustain, end (your perceptions of how the sukha differ in quality).
The type of mental fuel you use to sustain this jhāna (for example, using metta, or breath meditation), also gives you vitakka's for you to observe their rise, persisting, and falling away.

Remember, AN 4.41 all four of them are done within a 4 jhānas context.
sampājano is better transladed as lucid-discerning, it corresponds with the pañña faculty, in verb form, it's pajānati. You know when your mind has greed or doesn't, you know when it's in samādhi or isn't, and you know when different vedana, sañña, vitakka are rising, persisting, falling.
You're not just 'alert' to them, you know them with the wisdom faculty, and you're not just 'situationally aware'.
Thank you frank :anjali:

If i may begin from where you ended: situational awareness makes the sequence of arising, persisting and subsiding interchangeable. When experience is perceived to be taking place between "birth and death" i.e situational awareness, it makes it impossible to distinguish sankhata dhamma (the Buddha's utterances) from Papañca (sophistry).

Also AN 4.41 makes an interesting distinction between the Jhanas and the ending of effluents. A pleasant abiding in the here and now as a result of mastering the Jhanas does not necessarily mean the ending of effluents. If we try to bridge the gap between vipassana and samatha to determine what would constitute samma samadhi, then vipa-sati seems to be a necessary condition. Experience as known through vipa-sati would not be perceived as between birth and death, but as a re-play between two lives, akin to a dead person having his/her actions replayed to them (literally). Action would no longer be perceived as a choice, but as kammic action where the fourth type is prioritized/the forerunner.

[Uttara the deva's son:]

"Life is swept along,
next-to-nothing its span.
For one swept on by aging
no shelters exist.
Perceiving this danger in death,
one should do deeds of merit
that bring about bliss."

[The Buddha:]

"Life is swept along,
next-to-nothing its span.
For one swept on by aging
no shelters exist.
Perceiving this danger in death,
one should drop the world's bait
and look for peace."
Such a view will make the four types of concentrations taught in AN 4.41 understandable in reverse as manifestations of the gradual path:

1- The fourth type of concentration is the end of clinging to the five aggregates, or attaining the middle path between two lives.
2- The third type of concentration is the ability to distinguish dhamma from Papañca, thus able to use the three pathways of language blamelessly (SN22.62).
3- The second type of concentration is eliminating the lapse of time during sleeping time as a condition to misconceiving experience (concentrating on the perception of day, regardless of whether it’s night or day)
4- The attainment of the cessation of perception and feeling as a culmination of the gradual path through developing the four Jhanas.
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.
Post Reply