Samatha is a synonym of samadhi (concentration) and is one-pointedness developed through repeatedly bringing the mind back to the subject of meditation (and there are 40 subjects- the subject should be interesting to the meditator), and it is a skill separate from vipassana. Concentration can also be developed through other methods, such as reading and study. The practice of vipassana requires some modicum of concentration for insight to occur, so samadhi is a tool used in vipassana. Insight occurs when mundane daily events are seen in the light of impermanence, suffering or non-self through the application of concentration, because they are ultimate reality. But there is an essential foundation to this process and that is sila- morality.
Samatha meditation is where you sit for a matter of hours concentrating on the subject whereas vipassana is something you do throughout the day.
Suffering in and of itself is a very good thing to focus the vipassana attention on without worrying about the three other Truths, which will take care of themselves. All of life is suffering "except craving and states free from cankers"...(Vism. XVI:86)
"Although the texts list four separate duties appropriate to each of the truths, in actual practice these duties are four aspects of a single process. When stress is comprehended, the second noble truth — craving — has no object to latch onto and so can be abandoned. The full realization of what is happening in the process of that abandoning constitutes the realization of the third noble truth, the cessation of stress. Both the abandoning and the realization are accomplished by developing the path, which destroys any trace of ignorance concerning the four noble truths at the same time that it abandons craving. This is how the practice cuts the chain of dependent co-arising simultaneously at its two most crucial factors [§§210-211], thus unraveling the causal chain and opening the way for an experience of the Unfabricated."--"Discernment- The Four Noble Truths", Thanissaro Bikkhu.
Last edited by paul
on Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:23 am, edited 2 times in total.