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daverupa
17 Mar 11, 01:46
Can anyone here explain the practice of the four tetrads of anapanasati without claiming that jhana is necessary for any of them?

I'm running into a brick wall with this one. Perhaps a few simple sentences for any of the bracketed numbers below, especially [5] through [16]. Remember, the challenge is to avoid any mention of jhana.

---

For reference (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html):

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[1] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[2] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'[5]

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

"This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit."

Element
17 Mar 11, 03:10
Hello Dave

Anapanasati describes the fruition of stream entry, which is why modern Buddhism focuses on the Satipatthana Sutta. Not many Buddhists actually understand the Anapanasati Sutta. If we have an interest in Anapanasati, I can only recommend the explanations by Ajahn Buddhadasa.

However, for a short explanation:

(1) the sixteen stages of Anapanasati can be practised on the level of neighbourhood concentration. (However if this is completed, one "starts again" on the level of jhana (attainment) concentration.)

(2) the translation above is incorrect. Stage 3 is "experiencing all (sabba) bodies (kaya)", meaning, experiencing the breath & body together & their interrelationship. When stage 3 is experienced, it is undertood the breath is the body fabricator/conditioner (kaya sankhara). Stage four is calming the body fabricator (kaya sankhara), namely, the breath. Stages 7 and 8 are experiencing and calming the mind fabricator/conditioner (citta sankhara), namely, the feelings of rapture and happiness.

So the sixteen stages are:

(1) experiencing long breathing;

(2) experiencing short breathing;

(3) experiencing how the different kinds of (long & short) breathing affect (condition) the physical body;

(4) experiencing the calming of the breathing as a result of dwelling with a non-attached mind, ;

(5) when the breath calms so the mind converges naturally at the nose tip, rapture arises;

(6) when rapture calms, happiness appears;

(7) experiencing the mind conditioner (citta sankhara), that is, understanding the difference between how rapture affects the mind as opposed to how hapiness effects the mind, the same as in stage three, when the mind understood how different kinds of breathing affect the body in different ways;

( 8 ) calming rapture & happiness;

(9) when rapture & happiness are calmed, there will remain/appear underlying defilements of the mind, in the form of lust, anger, confusion, etc. These pure non-verbal defilements (that is, not thoughts) are experienced;

(10) when the defilements cease or calm, the mind becomes glad or happy. This degree of happiness is more subtle than in stages 5 and 6;

(11) when the gladness ceases, the mind converges into one-pointedness again, with one-pointedness as is object;

(12) the mind liberates itself from the one-pointedness, just in the same way, thru mere non-attached awareness, the mind has calmed the breathing, calmed the feelings, calmed the defilements and calmed the gladness. Now, the mind liberates itself from the one-pointed concentration so it is pure, bright, clear and, most of all, open.

(13) as the mind has been made pure in stage 12, whatever is experienced is experienced as mere impermanence. Previously, the mind saw "objects" such as "the breath" were impermanent. The breath was the predominant object. But now impermanence becomes the predominant object rather than, say, the breath. As the mind is so pure, each arising & passing of consciousness (with whatever object) with each arising & passing of each in breath & out breath is experienced as impermanence;

(14) the pervasive seeing of impermance results in attachment fading away; in dispassion (viraga); and

(15) the quenching of suffering (nirodha) and

(16) relinquishment; to not regard anything as "I" or "mine".

With metta

;D

srivijaya
17 Mar 11, 07:55
A really first rate exposition element. Thanks for that.

Pegembara
17 Mar 11, 12:03
I posted this in another forum.

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..."

"...Meditation means to make the mind peaceful in order to let wisdom arise... To put it shortly, it's just a matter of happiness and unhappiness. Happiness is pleasant feeling in the mind, unhappiness is just unpleasant feeling. The Buddha taught to separate this happiness and unhappiness from the mind..."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/atasteof.html#med

clw_uk
17 Mar 11, 17:38
I do agree with Buddhadasa stages but I do seem to fall into this trap of thinking about the stages

"now is this long, then I do short, then I do..." and i also find I keep thinking " should I go onto the next stage, have I finished with this stage" etc

I find it distracts my mind to much so atm I just stick to Buddhadasa teaching of calming the mind via the first few stages then switching to mindfulness of the three marks, I would however like to practice all the stages

Anyone else had these kind of problems? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Esho
17 Mar 11, 17:46
but I do seem to fall into this trap of thinking about the stages

Yes, I can share that. "Stages" can become very entertaining, like a video game. One of the most important features of Zazen is that it is not rooted in stages but about direct contemplation.