Author Topic: Poll on anapanasati  (Read 7853 times)

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2016, 06:21:40 AM »
Quote
The Buddha said: "the bhikkhu has mindfulness established before him".

But the Buddha did not say: "being mindful of the breath" because the breath is not "before him" (in Pali parimukhaṃ: "in front of one's face").

This is a mistranslation of parimukham - it's open to interpretation, yet the standard one you have quoted does not make sense in the context in which it's used in the Suttas.

Parimukham means "to bring to the fore of consciousness", not "to bring (or be) in front of your face".

This misinterpretation is why many people do nose-meditation.

I understand 'parimukham' is not literal. However, it demonstrates the point I made, which is the Buddha does not instruct a deliberate act of focusing towards the breathing in respect to 'mindfulness'.

There is no such thing as "mindfulness of breathing'  because being 'mindful of breathing' is impossible.

Anapanasati means 'mindfulness with breathing'. It means being mindful of the dhamma (right view; relinquishment) with the breathing as the 'sign' of right mindfulness.

At SN 48.9 & 10, it is said: "the noble disciple attains jhana by making letting go (vossaga) the meditation object".

My point stands. The Burmese teacher was contrary to the Buddha.

 :)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 06:46:18 AM by Nicky »

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2016, 06:45:13 AM »
When you focus on a smaller area, don't you get a headache or blackout? What do you do when you achieve one pointed concentration? What is the purpose of it? Do you go into samadhi? Do you maintain awareness in that state? I am asking these questions because, I do achieve that one pointed concentration once in a while where I blackout and come out of it with no insight whatsoever.

Premature or volitional nose meditation does not develop real samadhi (although it can develop a tranquility).

It is an error of Pali-English language exchange to equate 'samadhi' with sharp focus.

The term 'one-pointedness' (ekkagattacitta) does not refer to a narrow focus. It refers to a very advanced mental factor that makes the mind unmoving or locked on the meditation. It is 'one-pointedness' of pre-occupation rather than 'one-pointed' in shape.

Real samadhi, including jhana, is expansive, radiant, fluid & clear. The Buddha described samadhi as: "purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady".

 :)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 06:47:27 AM by Nicky »

Pacific Flow

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2016, 07:25:37 AM »
The Buddha makes no mention of noses in any Sutta on Anapana. You do nose meditation because you learnt that and are attached to it. It's a development that came after the Buddha said his Dhamma would be corrupted.

So you know why i do what I do better than me? Interesting!
Actually i was specifically searching for a technique that allows me to train concentration effectivly and "nose-meditation" is perfect for that.
Do i think i practice exactly what Buddha taught himself? No, i don't believe that.
Can anyone seriously claim they are practising exactly what Buddha himself taught? No, i don't think anyone can.
We simply don't know for sure what he taught. If you think your version of Samatha is exactly that, fine. I have no motivation to change your belief. But it is nothing more than a belief you are holding.
I just use my common sense and then test what seems reasonable with my experience. And if it works, i practice it. Doesn't mean i am attached to it. I am not fighting any battles to convince anyone to do as i do.

One point everybody should keep in mind is that the Sutta's themselves were written hundreds of years after the Buddha's death. On top of that the most likely already corrupted Sutta's have been translated in diverging ways.

You don't have to be enlighted to predict that a teaching will be altered and corrupted over time, especially as it is passed on orally.
Knowing that, and in the light of Buddha's supposed prediction of the corruption of his teaching, i wonder how anyone could be sure they know exactly what he taught? It is absurd to think that.
"The Buddha said his teachings will be corrupted, so everyone that doesn't believe what i believe is following a corrupted teaching. Just my teaching, of course, is not corrupted".



Matthew

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2016, 08:35:52 AM »
Quote
The Buddha said: "the bhikkhu has mindfulness established before him".

But the Buddha did not say: "being mindful of the breath" because the breath is not "before him" (in Pali parimukhaṃ: "in front of one's face").

This is a mistranslation of parimukham - it's open to interpretation, yet the standard one you have quoted does not make sense in the context in which it's used in the Suttas.

Parimukham means "to bring to the fore of consciousness", not "to bring (or be) in front of your face".

This misinterpretation is why many people do nose-meditation.

I understand 'parimukham' is not literal.


Parmukham being taken at it's mistranslated literal meaning is why so many people waste energy and time doing nose-meditation.

However, it demonstrates the point I made, which is the Buddha does not instruct a deliberate act of focusing towards the breathing in respect to 'mindfulness'.

There is no such thing as "mindfulness of breathing'  because being 'mindful of breathing' is impossible.


So how do you interpret the Anapanasati Sutta and Maha Anapanasaiti Sutta. These are exactly about mindfulness of breathing as the base or anchor for mindfulness generally:

Quote from: accesstoinsight.org
Mindfulness of In-&-Out Breathing

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

"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.'


Anapanasati means 'mindfulness with breathing'. It means being mindful of the dhamma (right view; relinquishment) with the breathing as the 'sign' of right mindfulness.

This seems to disagree with the Sutta's.  I would agree if you said it can't be "mindfulness of breath" as breath can only be discerned through physical contact of the air with bodily sense organs, yet breathing includes both this and the proprioceptive feedback of body moving as one breaths etc. One can be mindful of these things and the Buddha seems to directly instruct it.

At SN 48.9 & 10, it is said: "the noble disciple attains jhana by making letting go (vossaga) the meditation object".

My point stands. The Burmese teacher was contrary to the Buddha.

 :)

Certainly I agree with you the Burmese teacher was mistaken. The whole Burmese tradition only developed this nose-breathing and "Vipassana" business in the last 150 years or so.

As I often say, there is no such thing as "Vipassana Meditation" or "Shamatha meditation" as Vipassana and Shamatha are fruits (Pali Phala) of meditation .. fruits that help establish the ground for more fruitful fruits! - and the Buddha does not say anywhere in the Suttas "go do Vipassana", it's always "go do Jhana" ...


The Buddha makes no mention of noses in any Sutta on Anapana. You do nose meditation because you learnt that and are attached to it. It's a development that came after the Buddha said his Dhamma would be corrupted.

So you know why i do what I do better than me? Interesting!

Isn't it?
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Middleway

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2016, 08:33:13 PM »
Nicky, thanks for sharing the following link.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm

This is simply brilliant. Now I understand why practicing according to Anapanasati Sutta alone will bring us home.

Warm regards,

Middleway
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2016, 10:34:59 AM »

Parmukham being taken at it's mistranslated literal meaning is why so many people waste energy and time doing nose-meditation.

People do nose-meditation because they are told to. It is in all of the modern instructions. These people generally have never heard of 'parmukham'.

 ::)

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2016, 10:40:50 AM »
So how do you interpret the Anapanasati Sutta and Maha Anapanasaiti Sutta. These are exactly about mindfulness of breathing as the base or anchor for mindfulness generally:

Mindfulness of In-&-Out Breathing

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

"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. 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.'

I suggest you re-read my posts. I have already answered your questions there.

The instruction states: "holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out."

Mindfulness (sati) establishes the clear unhindered mind. The physical body breathes rather than mindfulness. No mindfulness or lack of mindfulness can start or stop the body breathing in & breathing out. Consciousness (vinanna) rather than mindfulness (sati) discerns/is aware of the breathing. That is why the word in the sutta that refers to knowing the meditation object is 'anupassi' (contemplates; continuously sees) rather than 'sati'. The role of sati is to keep the mind free from covetousness & distress, as the sutta states.

When there is a very loud noise, an act of intention is not required to hear the noise. The hearing is automatic due to the coarseness of the sense object (the noise). Similarly, when mindfulness is established to the fore (resulting in clear silent mind), an act of intention is not required to sense/know the in & out breathing because the breathing is the coarsest sense object for the silent quiet sensitive alert mindful mind.

 ::)


« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 10:56:59 AM by Nicky »

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2016, 10:53:41 AM »
Quote from: Matthew link=topic=2925.msg30086#msg30086 dhttp://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/Smileys/LightB/cry.gifate=1458981352

Anapanasati means 'mindfulness with breathing'. It means being mindful of the dhamma (right view; relinquishment) with the breathing as the 'sign' of right mindfulness.

This seems to disagree with the Sutta's. 

I don't disagree with the suttas. I already posted, the suttas state:

Quote
Monks, I will teach you noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions. Listen, and pay close attention. I will speak. Of those, right view is the forerunner. One makes an effort for the abandoning of wrong view & for entering into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html

Quote
And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go (vossaga), attains concentration, attains singleness of mind.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn48/sn48.010.than.html

Quote
...a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment (vossaga).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html

 ::)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 11:38:31 AM by Nicky »

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2016, 11:08:00 AM »
I would agree if you said it can't be "mindfulness of breath" as breath can only be discerned through physical contact of the air with bodily sense organs...

Correct. Breath can only be discerned through physical contact of the air with bodily sense organs together with body consciousness. The sutta never states the meditator is 'mindful of' the breath. The sutta states:

Quote
On that occasion the monk remains focused (anupassi) on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert & mindful putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.


...yet breathing includes both this and the proprioceptive feedback of body moving as one breaths etc. One can be mindful of these things and the Buddha seems to directly instruct it.

The Buddha instructs the practitioner is mindful to put aside/abandon greed & distress with reference to the world, which is the noble path, as instructed in the noble truths to abandon craving.

The Buddha states the mindfulness developed & required for anapanasati culminates in relinquishment (vossaga)

 ::)

Quote
And how are the seven factors for awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 11:39:14 AM by Nicky »

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2016, 11:20:16 AM »

As I often say, there is no such thing as "Vipassana Meditation" or "Shamatha meditation" as Vipassana and Shamatha are fruits (Pali Phala) of meditation .. fruits that help establish the ground for more fruitful fruits! - and the Buddha does not say anywhere in the Suttas "go do Vipassana", it's always "go do Jhana" ...

Yes. The suttas state:

Quote
Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes & comes to a comprehension of dhammas with discernment (wisdom; insight). When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing & coming to a comprehension of dhammas with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html

Quote
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 (samatha) & insight (vipassana).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.149.than.html

In terms of total development, it can be conveniently said the four respective tetrads of Anapanasati are: (1) 75%/25% samatha/vipassana; (2) 50%/50% samatha/vipassana; (3) 25%/75% samatha/vipassana; and (4) 100% vipassana.

Lessons 3 and 7 are lessons in vipassana, i.e., understanding 'sankhara', which means understand 'conditioning', namely, how the quality of the breathing conditions the quality of the physical body and how rapture & happiness condition (push, pull, tempt, etc) the mind into greed, lust, aversion, delight, clinging, thinking, obsession, ,etc. But that is another Pali story gone awry by the scholars & translators.

 ::)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 11:40:17 AM by Nicky »

Nicky

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2016, 11:34:27 AM »
Nicky, thanks for sharing the following link.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Anapanasati_Mindfulness_with_Breathing.htm

This is simply brilliant. Now I understand why practicing according to Anapanasati Sutta alone will bring us home.

Warm regards,

Middleway

You are welcome. It is brilliant (and the 1st Buddhist book I ever read, 27 years ago). It best explains the journey but, imo, while providing some good beginning instruction, is lacking in instruction on advanced technique. About advanced preliminary technique, I like the initial chapters of Ajahn Brahmavaso's Mindfulness Bliss & Beyond: http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/files/pdf/Ajahn_Brahm-Mindfulness_Bliss_and_Beyond-Chapters1-4.pdf

Whilst off-topic, these four talks (being translated live from Thai to English) are also brilliant.

Quote
2. Meaning of "Ariya-Sacca" (part 1 | part 2)

3. Noble Truth of Dukkha (part 1 | part 2)

4. Noble Truth of Dukkha's Origin (part 1 | part 2)

5. Noble Truth of Dukkha's Quenching (part 1 | part 2)

http://www.liberationpark.org/audio/tanaj01.htm

With metta  :)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 11:36:26 AM by Nicky »

Matthew

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Re: Poll on anapanasati
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2016, 12:23:21 PM »
PacificFlow,

I suspect there are no enlightened traditions, that nobody knows the path and that each of us must take responsibility for finding our way as best we can.

Even the Buddha followed several teachers before deciding one by one that their teachings could be surpassed.

That's why it says "Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project." under my profile picture.

I know I don't know all the answers. I continue seeking the path, finding it, falling off, getting back on again ... as I've said many time with this many people experimenting and exploring with meditation practice and other aspects of the path it's only a question of time until someone finds the way again.

Respect,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~