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Anapanasati (again) - Dhamma Wheel

Anapanasati (again)

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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daverupa
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Anapanasati (again)

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:07 pm

I have here 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?

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bodom
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby bodom » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:17 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:29 pm


rowyourboat
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:59 pm

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

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:19 am

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.

pegembara
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby pegembara » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:28 am

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)

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:13 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:46 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Freawaru
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby Freawaru » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:15 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:36 pm

I now have here 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: )

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bodom
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby bodom » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:46 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:34 am

“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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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daverupa
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:01 am

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:

Vossaga (Element)

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:30 am

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)

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:39 am

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.

Vossaga (Element)

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby Vossaga (Element) » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:48 am


PeterB
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:59 am

In my experience there are many. If daverupa wants to explore that he can pm me.

PeterB
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Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:22 am

I dont think that anyone can convey the subtleties of Anapanasati ( in any form ) via the written word.
But its daverupas decision and his business.
If my advice to him is unhelpful to him then he will ignore it.

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Ben
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Location: kanamaluka

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:04 pm

Hi Dave

When I practice anapana-sati I don;t worry about working in this or that tetrad and I don;t even think about jhana. What I do is maintain a continuity of awareness of the inbreath and outbreath for longer and longer periods at a stretch. Anything else is a distraction and a distraction in samatha meditation has the potential to derail concentration. I learned the hard way several years ago during a long retreat that any desire for meditative attainment or progress is actually a barrier to its attainment. So, be very careful. Anapana being so simple is also incredibly subtle and it requires diligence and an acute sensitivity of mind. My advice to you is to anchor your attention on the touch of the in-breath and the outbreath. Just do that and in the words of my teacher 'leave the rest to Dhamma'.
kind regards

Ben
“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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Anapanasati (again)

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:47 pm

:goodpost:


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