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Aloka
18 Apr 11, 07:29
Ask a monk - Samatha and Vipassana



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDDY4gOexVA&feature=related


Any comments about the video ?

AnonOfIbid
18 Apr 11, 09:25
way cool

Aloka
18 Apr 11, 09:30
way cool...what's his name?

He's called Yuttadhammo. More info at the link:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Ajahn_Yuttadhammo

Esho
18 Apr 11, 16:28
It is curious how Zazen has both essences too; it handles them in a single moment. We do not separate meditation. We need to settle the mind so to develop clear view... mind settles as we start to focus in breath, posture, spacial environment... then after training breathing slowly comes a kind of forgetting breathing, the counting, and getting direct into, what I know now as fabrications, just letting them arise and fade. This skills sooner or later are brought out of the dojo into daily life...

If Samatha, then Vipassana; if there is Vipassana we have gotten Samatha.

;)

Aloka
18 Apr 11, 16:44
Yuttadhammo says in the video that the meditation he teaches combines samatha and vipassana.

Esho
18 Apr 11, 16:50
Yuttadhammo says in the video that the meditation he teaches combines samatha and vipassana.

Right, I was pointing to the match, once again, between Zen and Threavada [Yattadhammo] approach.

;D

fojiao2
18 Apr 11, 20:58
This is a really good teaching. I think it would probably clear up any confusion somebody might have.

I am not familiar with samatha meditation being taught as going into a trance or focusing on something imagined. Relaxation techniques, such as picturing yourself sitting by the ocean, or imagining a cloud or whatever, are methods that some people (perhaps psychologists and yoga instructors) use.

The only imaginary thing that I have ever been taught was counting the breaths (if we consider counting numbers to be imaginary) up to a certain number, then starting over, or, alternately focusing on the sounds "bu - do" with each inhale and exhale, but these are supports and the need for them falls away after a while.

Samatha that I am familiar with focuses on watching the breath, which, I think, is similar to watching your stomach rise and fall (as he mentions). He also mentions that attainment of samatha meditation comes when one is able to focus without mental distraction on an object of meditation, but this can be achieved either with an imagined focus, (he mentions imagining a color) or with watching the breath or something else 'real', and applying that focus, as he says, to seeing things as they really are, constantly changing and so forth is Vipassana.

I know that some teachers teach Samatha first and Vipassna second, and others teach both together.

Thank you for sharing this!!

Element
19 Apr 11, 08:27
Yuttadhammo made something as simple and natural as samatha sound rather bizarre

;D

Element
19 Apr 11, 08:33
For clear vipassana to occur, the mind must be free, imo

Trying to keep it at one place, such as the abdomen, will hinder vipassana, imo

Imo, for clear vipassana to occur, consciousness must be allowed to flexibility flow, so it can both clarify (purify) itself and embrace (merge with) objects

The more one tries to watch rising & falling at the abdomen, the more difficult one will make it

The Buddha did not instruct such techniques

"Seeing" is the natural function of consciousness. For the mind to "see clearly" (vipassana), the mind need simply stop its chatter

;D

Element
19 Apr 11, 09:14
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSVQhhEt7tQ

:peace:

fojiao2
19 Apr 11, 12:01
"Seeing" is the natural function of consciousness. For the mind to "see clearly" (vipassana), the mind need simply stop its chatter

;D

...and the Buddha taught this...where? ;D

Esho
19 Apr 11, 13:56
...and the Buddha taught this...where?

Maybe this can be for some help, fojiao:


On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Friends!"

"Yes, friend," the monks responded.

Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

(It is continued...)

Yuganaddha Sutta: In Tandem (AN 4.170) (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.170.than.html)



From this, it can be told that stop chattering is tranquility while insight is to "see clearly" and there is no other way than through the fifth aggregate.

Aloka
19 Apr 11, 16:10
Ven Sujato-Samatha Vipassana


Hi Element :wave:

Thanks for posting the video of Ajahn Sujato. Its really interesting...I wasn't aware that there was a controversy about Vipassana ! I had noticed from the internet however, that some Theravadins talk a lot about going on Vipassana retreats ...and the names Sayadaw and Goenka come to mind, though I don't know anything about them.

.

fojiao2
19 Apr 11, 19:05
Yes, I didn't think that The Buddha taught that the mind need simply stop its chatter. A bit more is involved. A friend of mine says that samatha is like putting the key into the lock and vippassana is like turning it. Doing one without the other isn't enough to open the lock.

Element
19 Apr 11, 23:10
I read your question last night and decided not to answer.

If I decide, I will answer your post. But about something so staightforward, I think, what is the benefit?

If you wish to dispute the natural function of consciousness is "to see", then a number of quotes from the Buddha probably will be just more "books"

All the best

;D

Element
19 Apr 11, 23:12
A friend of mine says that samatha is like putting the key into the lock and vippassana is like turning it.
Vipassana does not require any turning

Does watching a leaf fall from a tree or the waves lapping upon the sea shore require any "turning"?

Impermanence is the whole world turning. The whole world is both within & without. "Turning" the mind cannot help see the "turning".

The mind must stop its "turning" be able to see clearly the turning.

"Turning" = samsara

A mind in samsara cannot see samsara because a mind in samsara is drowning in the samsara

All the best

;D

fojiao2
19 Apr 11, 23:41
Hello again!
I was interested in this statement, "For the mind to "see clearly" (vipassana), the mind need simply stop its chatter" and, because your statement was also, 'The Buddha did not instruct such techniques' , I thought that you were suggesting that what the Buddha instructed was that (simply) calming the mind is sufficient, meaning sufficient to realize enlightenment as he did.

So what I wanted to know was, where did the Buddha instruct that calming the mind is all that is needed. I won't dispute that it IS needed, but if it was all that were needed, and it was simple to do, there would be a lot more enlightened people.

It is possible, with regular practice, to still the mind. but I don't think this itself automatically opens the door to clear thinking. It might open the door to "no thinking" .

Esho
20 Apr 11, 00:55
but if it was all that were needed, and it was simple to do, there would be a lot more enlightened people.

As we insist in make things difficult, it is clear enough that there has not been neither tranquility nor insight... and that is just the beginning, the starting point to see not-self, unsatisfactoriness and impermanence.

In the quoted teaching at post #12 there is no comment about being enlightened once we achieve tranquility and insight, but:


[...]the path is born.

and after the path is born, then...


He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

So yes, this clear view is not enough just by itself but has to be developed and pursued. Which path? Insight and tranquility.

But there is also a fourth case, given in the same teaching:


Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control. There comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, and becomes unified & concentrated. In him the path is born.[...].

This fourth case is really important. The Buddha is not pointing to insight and tranquility as an starting point but just to be restless about the way we approach a teaching. In the practice of Soto Zen, this is at the aim of a teisho before or after sitting meditation.

Also, to be restless about the teaching points, IMO, to the practice of silent learning that is about to settle the mind while the teachings settles too. If we are troubled about the teaching we will never give ourselves room enough to its practice and to discern the skillful means about its result.

Again, to grow inwardly and to be restless indicates insight and tranquility as an essential condition for practice. And the path is about insight and tranquility.

Element
20 Apr 11, 12:17
It is possible, with regular practice, to still the mind. but I don't think this itself automatically opens the door to clear thinking. It might open the door to "no thinking" .
fojiao2

in theravada, vipassana does not involve any thinking.

in mahayana, vipassana is often defined as analytical reasoning, but this is not vipassana

in theravada, analytical reasoning is called 'yonisomanasikara'

the word 'vipassana' is 'vi' = 'clearly' and 'passa' = 'to see'

discourses are below

regards

;D


For a person whose mind is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I know & see things as they actually are.' It is in the nature of things that a person whose mind is concentrated knows & sees things as they actually are.

Cetana Sutta: An Act of Will (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an11/an11.002.than.html)

fojiao2
20 Apr 11, 17:10
Oh, thank you!


fojiao2

in theravada, vipassana does not involve any thinking.

in mahayana, vipassana is often defined as analytical reasoning, but this is not vipassana

in theravada, analytical reasoning is called 'yonisomanasikara'

the word 'vipassana' is 'vi' = 'clearly' and 'passa' = 'to see'

discourses are below

regards

;D

Glow
21 Apr 11, 01:18
In my practice, samatha is simply a quality of mind I bring to objects of meditation -- a "purity" or sense of "coolness" that allows the mind to apprehend things as they are: the body as a body, feelings as feelings, consciousness as consciousness, and thoughts (mental objects) as thoughts. In the suttas, this is what is described as "moving beyond craving and discontent with reference to the world." If the mind is agitated with craving and aversion, it will be "hot" with reactivity. We will not be able to bring a peaceful mind to our objects of mindfulness and we will likely get sucked into the workings of the monkey mind and never see beyond our habits.

Ajahn Chah called this "the mind in its normal state" when one has "given up clinging to love and hate." In Zen, this is "beginner's mind" or "ordinary mind." In some of the Mahayana traditions, this is what is hinted at as "bodhicitta" or "the mind inclined towards awakening." In some of the modern-day mindfulness therapies like MBSR or MBCT, this is the quality of nonjudgment that is stressed as a facet of mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn has a very useful concept of the "doing mode of mind" (our habitual quality of mind) and "being mode of mind" (one content simply to let things be as they are).

It's nothing really special. You can experience it as an instantaneous unburdening of the mind when you finally "stop the war" with your inner and outer experience, as Jack Kornfield puts it. It's like opening up the walls of our usually claustrophobic container; there's a sense of untangling the knots we've wound ourselves into without our habits of wanting things to be different than they are. And in stopping the war, in letting go of trying to control your experience, we can experience a moment of pure clarity (vipassana): of seeing our old mental habits from the outside-in, and perhaps learning to traverse and flow through the landscape of our experience rather than getting stuck and hung-up in the places that aren't quite how we wish them to be. Put another way, samatha is "stepping out of the storm." In that stepping out, we naturally gain a new perspective (insight).

However, most people need to "practice" with a fairly neutral object of mindfulness so that they can learn to recognize this quality of mind and learn to trust it because it's quite foreign and unfamiliar, even frightening. It's not so much a case of "first samatha, then vipassana", although it can seem like that because the mind gradually becomes less agitated. Rather, it's a constant "recalibrating" of the mind. When the mind gets "hot" or "muddy", agitated with craving or aversion, we re-establish a nonjudgmental awareness of things as they are, in-the-moment. I think of windshield wipers on a car "cleaning the slate" for the a moment. If the mind drifts, it is because it is trying to cling to or escape from something that has come up. We give that up and bring it back, re-establishing samatha, regaining our calm, "collecting ourselves". In my meditation, I do this again and again. Maybe a hundred times per sitting, but eventually the mind acclimates to this mode and becomes less prone to clinging or running away.