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Thread: Anapanasati: Step 3

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Anapanasati: Step 3

    hello forum

    just posting about Anapanasati - Mindfulness With Breathing - Step 3

    1. the Pali includes the physical body as a sense organ and the physical sensations touching the physical body as a sense object

    kāyañca paṭicca phoṭṭhabbe ca uppajjati kāyaviññāṇaṃ, tiṇṇaṃ saṅgati phasso

    Dependent on the body & tactile sensations there arises consciousness at the body. The meeting of the three is contact.

    Chachakka Sutta: The Six Sextets
    2. the Pali also classifies the in & out breathing as a body or 'kaya' (lit: 'collection' or 'group')

    Kāyesu kāyaññatarāhaṃ, bhikkhave, evaṃ vadāmi yadidaṃ – assāsapassāsā

    I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies

    Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness with Breathing
    3. step 3 of Anapanasati can read "experiencing all kaya" or "experiencing all bodies"

    sabbakāyapaṭisaṃvedī

    paṭisaṃvedī = experiencing
    sabba = all, every
    kāya = bodies
    4. is short, it can mean experiencing the body & breath together

    regards

    Last edited by Element; 10 Nov 11 at 02:08.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot Element,

    Having to start mediation anew, getting under the way of the instructions given by Buddha, breathing kindly has been chosen as the very first step.

    Seems Anapanasati a good first sutta for this, isn't it?

    This collection of bodies in step two, refers to the body parts, like hands, head, foot, etc., and among others, breathing?

    Step 3 refers to breathing in and out we are in the body, we calm the body?


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    Forums Member srivijaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    the Pali includes the physical body as a sense organ and the physical sensations touching the physical body as a sense object...

    ...it can mean experiencing the body & breath together
    Good point Element. Very much a case of experiencing the totality of sensory information upon which our awareness alights.

    I'm never quite sure what Buddha meant with "a body among bodies". I've seen that translation disputed on occasion but never resolved to my satisfaction.

    He meant something by it, so much is clear.

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    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    I posted about this elsewhere just this morning; my understanding is that the sum total of sensory input from the body, when treated as a single percept, can then be distinguished according to whether or not any particular sensory impact is related to breathing, or not. A good example showcasing this is the difference between the sensory impact of the sitting surface versus the sensory impact of the abdomen during breathing (which itself is further distinguishable according to subtle differences between inhale and exhale functions, per steps 1 and 2).

    Therefore, rather than thinking of the body in terms of gross anatomy (belly, lip, nose, foot), one takes the sum total of sensory impacts arising in the body, some of which are to do with breathing and some of which are not. Thereafter, the sensory impact of breathing is a 'body' within the larger context of the other sensory impacts, to wit "body among bodies".

    Focusing on the breath moving past the lip or nostrils helps in the beginning perhaps, but the expansiveness of the four steps of Tetrad I altogether mean that nose-focus &tc. are a crutch, not a meditation object to become absorbed in. I think the commentarial literature makes missteps here.
    Last edited by daverupa; 10 Nov 11 at 13:34.

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    Forums Member srivijaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daverupa View Post
    I posted about this elsewhere just this morning; my understanding is that the sum total of sensory input from the body, when treated as a single percept, can then be distinguished according to whether or not any particular sensory impact is related to breathing, or not.
    Hi Dave,
    In your opinion, does it follow that if a sensory impact is not related to breathing, it should be disregarded?

    Therefore, rather than thinking of the body in terms of gross anatomy (belly, lip, nose, foot), one takes the sum total of sensory impacts arising in the body, some of which are to do with breathing and some of which are not. Thereafter, the sensory impact of breathing is a 'body' within the larger context of the other sensory impacts, to wit "body among bodies".
    Interesting idea, I've never encountered that one before - I'll ruminate on it for a while.

    Focusing on the breath moving past the lip or nostrils helps in the beginning perhaps, but the expansiveness of the four steps of Tetrad I altogether mean that nose-focus &tc. are a crutch, not a meditation object to become absorbed in. I think the commentarial literature makes missteps here.
    I agree. Like counting breaths, it's just a crutch.

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    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srivijaya View Post
    Hi Dave,
    In your opinion, does it follow that if a sensory impact is not related to breathing, it should be disregarded?
    I think the fourth part of Tetrad I involves using the breath, experientially defined in step three, to conditionally calm these other sensory impacts because one can influence the breath a little. Therefore, one should remain focused on what any particular step of the Tetrad calls for, which changes throughout the Tetrad.

    I think only the fourth step calls for engagement with them, but I see no reason to think "I'm only on step one, I can't do step four". Perhaps, if one's rump is feeling sore or a foot is falling asleep, calm the breath and watch how that allows the other input to recede into the background, perhaps even to disappear - this is different than "disregarding" it. A solid and habitual posture is very important for this reason.

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaarine Alejandra View Post
    This collection of bodies refers to the body parts, like hands, head, foot, etc., and among others, breathing?
    hi KA

    no

    the physical body "collection" is simply the physical body the mind can feel/sense at the same time as it feels/senses the breathing

    for example, the breathing suddenly becomes very relaxed and then, at the exact same time, you feel your body becoming very relaxed

    this is experience "all bodies" or "both bodies"

    the mind experiences the comfort/discomfort of the physical body that occurs with the different qualities of the breathing

    it is to experience a cause & effect relationship between the physical body & the breath

    as for the preliminary steps of Anapanasati, they are:

    1. experiencing when the breathing is long
    2. experiencing when the breathing is short
    3. experiencing the cause & effect relationship between the body & breathing ("all bodies")
    4. experiencing the calming of the breathing

    kind regards

    Last edited by Element; 10 Nov 11 at 22:52.

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    Forums Member Element's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daverupa View Post
    ...one takes the sum total of sensory impacts arising in the body, some of which are to do with breathing and some of which are not. Thereafter, the sensory impact of breathing is a 'body' within the larger context of the other sensory impacts, to wit "body among bodies".
    hi Dave

    personally, i suggest the very contrary

    Anapanasati is Mindfulness With Breathing

    it concerns itself primarily with the breathing & what can be experienced in association with experiencing the breathing

    the first two steps are establishing awareness of breathing

    when the mind loses awareness of the breathing it must start again

    step 3 is something more subtle, which occurs as mental sensitivity to the breathing grows

    step 3 is the sensory impact of physical body (internally) as a 'body' within the context of awareness of breathing as a 'body'

    Quote Originally Posted by daverupa View Post
    Perhaps, if one's rump is feeling sore or a foot is falling asleep...
    these kinds of "sensory impacts" are not really related to the practise of Step 3. they are merely extraneous issues

    step 3 is something 'spiritual', i.e., connected to insight into ease & suffering (per MN 149, below)

    step 3 begins with the words: "he trains himself", which means the fruition of higher morality, higher concentration & higher wisdom

    where as steps 1 and 2 are just samadhi training; just preliminary steps

    regards



    For him — infatuated, attached, confused, not remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future accumulation. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — grows within him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances grow. His bodily torments & mental torments grow. His bodily distresses & mental distresses grow. He is sensitive both to bodily stress & mental stress.

    For him — uninfatuated, unattached, unconfused, remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future diminution. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — is abandoned by him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances are abandoned. His bodily torments & mental torments are abandoned. His bodily distresses & mental distresses are abandoned. He is sensitive to both ease of body & ease of awareness.

    MN 149
    Last edited by Element; 11 Nov 11 at 02:06.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    hi KA


    for example, the breathing suddenly becomes very relaxed and then, at the exact same time, you feel your body becoming very relaxed

    this is experience "all bodies" or "both bodies"
    Yes, this is the experience felt with breathing.

    as for the preliminary steps of Anapanasati, they are:

    1. experiencing when the breathing is long
    2. experiencing when the breathing is short
    3. experiencing the cause & effect relationship between the body & breathing ("all bodies")
    4. experiencing the calming of the breathing

    kind regards

    Thanks Element,


  10. #10
    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    the first two steps are establishing awareness of breathing

    when the mind loses awareness of the breathing it must start again

    step 3 is something more subtle, which occurs as mental sensitivity to the breathing grows

    step 3 is the sensory impact of physical body (internally) as a 'body' within the context of awareness of breathing as a 'body'
    I think in step 3 these 'bodies' are to be experienced within the context of breathing in and breathing out (all Tetrads are within this context), but the 'breath body' is not given pride of place (your "within the context of breathing as a 'body'") in step 3: "Sensitive to all bodies" is how the Sutta has it, the combined percept of breath-body-and-physical-body being experienced within the simple context of breathing in and breathing out. I apologize if I did not make this simultaneity clear.

    In other words, in step 3 any remaining physical impacts are integrated into what was awareness of only the breath in steps 1 & 2. This integrative step is what allows step 4 to be enacted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    step 3 is something 'spiritual', i.e., connected to insight into ease & suffering (per MN 149, below)
    MN 149 is describing the culmination of development:

    Thus for him, having thus developed the noble eightfold path, the four frames of reference go to the culmination of their development. The four right exertions... the four bases of power... the five faculties... the five strengths... the seven factors for Awakening go to the culmination of their development. [And] for him these two qualities occur in tandem: tranquillity & insight.
    This follows the development of the N8P, which includes "Any concentration, his right concentration" in that Sutta, which evokes jhana. The depth of experienced insight, as described, is tremendous; since samatha and vipassana here occur in tandem, I rather think this is to be expected in connection with Tetrad IV, and not step 3 in Tetrad I. (Indeed, MN 149 remarks that the four frames of reference - satipatthana - go to the culmination of their development, which seems to me to implicate all four Tetrads).

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    step 3 begins with the words: "he trains himself", which means the fruition of higher morality, higher concentration & higher wisdom
    I do not think there is any support for this. The demarcation between "he knows" and "he trains" appears to me simply to be an indicator of the difference between a relatively passive awareness of the breath (1 & 2) and a more active application of the mind (3+).

    Quote Originally Posted by Element View Post
    where as steps 1 and 2 are just samadhi training; just preliminary steps
    I think the whole of anapanasati (sammasati) is preparation for samma-samadhi (jhana). I can't imagine what you mean by saying these two steps in particular are "just" so.
    Last edited by daverupa; 11 Nov 11 at 02:06.

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