Mind states in Satipatthana

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby buddhajunkie » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:59 am

What do the words "constricted", "scattered". "enlarged" and "surpassed" mean in MN10?

When the mind is constricted, he discerns that the mind is constricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed.



Also, since the passage on Mind pairs objects with it's absence (such as "passion" and "without passion"), it seems like "constricted" should be the opposite of "scattered." Is this right? It would seem to be a strange break of the pattern otherwise.
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:40 pm

Constricted refers to the actual feeling of what the mind feels like when it is focused upon, when it is sleepy.

Scattered refers to a mind which is full of thoughts (the opposite of unified).

Enlarged refers to a mind which is 'stretched' if you like, to cover what feels like a vast space - in the divine abodes or the arupa jhana, IMO.

Surpassed is a mind which is in the jhanas.

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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:49 pm

Constricted/scattered does appear to be an "odd pair out", in that both members of the pair seem to be negative qualities, whereas the other pairs are negative/positive qualities (with and without aversion, etc).

:anjali:
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby bodom » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:06 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Constricted/scattered does appear to be an "odd pair out", in that both members of the pair seem to be negative qualities, whereas the other pairs are negative/positive qualities (with and without aversion, etc).

:anjali:
Mike


In Goenka's Discourses on Satipatthana he actually translates sankhitta, here translated as constricted, as "concentrated" or "collected" and regards it as a wholesome mind state.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:56 pm

Hmm, but the second-last pair has concentrated, doesn't it? Hmmm....

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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby bodom » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hmm, but the second-last pair has concentrated, doesn't it? Hmmm....

Mike


Hi Mike

Im not sure myself. Maybe someone with experience in the Goenka tradition would care to comment.

Here is an extract from his Discourses on Satipatthana:

Whether the mind is collected and concentrated (sankhitta) or vikkhitta (scattered)—this is just observed and accepted. In deeper jhānas when the mind is expanded, using imagination, to a limitless area, it is called mahaggata, big. Whether or not it is mahaggata—this is just observed. Sa-uttara means there are higher minds, or scope for development. Anuttara is when there is nothing higher: mind has reached the highest stage. This also is observed. Whether the mind is deeply absorbed in samadhi (samahita) or not is observed. Whether the mind is liberated (vimutta) or in bondage is also observed.


:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:30 am

Greetings,

Sankhitta

Sankhitta [pp. of sankhipati] 1. concise, brief Miln 227; DhsA 344; instr. sankhittena in short, concisely (opp. vitthārena) Vin i.10; D ii.305; S v.421; Pug 41. Cp. BSk. sankṣiptena Divy 37 etc. -- 2. concentrated, attentive D i.80 (which at Vism 410 however is expld as "thīna -- middh' ânugata"); S ii.122; v.263; D ii.299= M i.59. -- 3. contracted, thin, slender: ˚majjhā of slender waist J v.155. -- Cp. abhi˚.

Source: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2802.pali


kind regards

Ben
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby bodom » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:44 am

Ben wrote:Greetings,

Sankhitta

Sankhitta [pp. of sankhipati] 1. concise, brief Miln 227; DhsA 344; instr. sankhittena in short, concisely (opp. vitthārena) Vin i.10; D ii.305; S v.421; Pug 41. Cp. BSk. sankṣiptena Divy 37 etc. -- 2. concentrated, attentive D i.80 (which at Vism 410 however is expld as "thīna -- middh' ânugata"); S ii.122; v.263; D ii.299= M i.59. -- 3. contracted, thin, slender: ˚majjhā of slender waist J v.155. -- Cp. abhi˚.

Source: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :2802.pali


kind regards

Ben


Good find thanks Ben!

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:19 am

Its always a pleasure, my friend!
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:43 pm

Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu
sarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ sarāgaṃ cittanti pajānāti, vītarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ vītarāgaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
sadosaṃ vā cittaṃ sadosaṃ cittanti pajānāti, vītadosaṃ vā cittaṃ vītadosaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
samohaṃ vā cittaṃ samohaṃ cittanti pajānāti, vītamohaṃ vā cittaṃ vītamohaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
saṅkhittaṃ cittaṃ saṅkhitta cittanti pajānāti, vikkhittaṃ vā cittaṃ vikkhittaṃ cittanti pajānāti,

mahaggataṃ vā cittaṃ mahaggataṃ cittanti pajānāti, amahaggataṃ vā cittaṃ amahaggataṃ cittanti pajānāti,
sauttaraṃ vā cittaṃ sauttaraṃ cittanti pajānāti, anuttaraṃ vā cittaṃ anuttaraṃ cittanti pajānāti,
samāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ samāhitaṃ cittanti pajānāti, asamāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ asamāhitaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
vimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ vimuttaṃ cittanti pajānāti, avimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ avimuttaṃ cittanti pajānāti.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#pts.290


Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching knows[49]
the mind accompanied by passion,[50] as 'Mind with passion'; he knows the mind unaccompanied by passion, as 'Mind without passion';
he also knows the mind accompanied by anger,[51] as 'Mind with anger'; he also knows the mind unaccompanied by anger, as 'Mind without anger';
he also knows the mind accompanied by bewilderment,[52] as 'Mind with bewilderment'; he also knows the mind unaccompanied by bewilderment, as 'Mind without bewilderment';
he also knows the indolent state of mind,[53] as 'Indolent state of mind'; he also knows the distracted state of mind,[54] as 'Distracted state of mind';
he also knows the developed state of mind,[55] as 'Developed state of mind'; he also knows the undeveloped state of mind,[56] as 'Undeveloped state of mind':
he also knows the inferior state of mind, as 'Inferior state of mind'; he also knows the superior state of mind,[57] as 'Superior state of mind';
he also knows the mind in a state of concentration,[58] as 'Mind in a state of concentration'; he also knows the mind not in a state of concentration,[59] as 'Mind not in a state of concentration';
he also knows 'the liberated state of mind,[60] as 'Liberated state of mind'; he also knows the unliberated state of mind,[61] as 'Unliberated state of mind'.
Burmese Pitaka association translation:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bpit.html


with metta

:namaste:

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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:08 pm

Sankhitta is an interesting word here, carrying two very different meanings, and looking at the text RYB quoted, one could argue that the commentary got it wrong, going for the second meaning rather than the first. What would be the deciding factor is how sankhitta is used elsewhere in the suttas in terms of meditation.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby ground » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:52 pm

buddhajunkie wrote:What do the words "constricted", "scattered". "enlarged" and "surpassed" mean in MN10?

When the mind is constricted, he discerns that the mind is constricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed.



Also, since the passage on Mind pairs objects with it's absence (such as "passion" and "without passion"), it seems like "constricted" should be the opposite of "scattered." Is this right? It would seem to be a strange break of the pattern otherwise.


Since "constricted" seems to be controversial I would suggest to take the meaning that appears most appropriate and conducive to you.
For me both, "constricted" and "scattered." have an unwholesome meaning and I would not suggest to replace "constricted" by the term "concentrated" which usually has a wholesome meaning. "constricted" means "being drawn inside", "encapsulated" which I find is negative because IMO the state in between "constricted" and "scattered" ("the middle way") is what should be established while practicing mindfulness.


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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:56 pm

Sankhitta

Sankhitta [pp. of sankhipati] 1. concise, brief Miln 227; DhsA 344; instr. sankhittena in short, concisely (opp. vitthārena) Vin i.10; D ii.305; S v.421; Pug 41. Cp. BSk. sankṣiptena Divy 37 etc. -- 2. concentrated, attentive D i.80 (which at Vism 410 however is expld as "thīna -- middh' ânugata"); S ii.122; v.263; D ii.299= M i.59. -- 3. contracted, thin, slender: ˚majjhā of slender waist J v.155. -- Cp. abhi˚.

In light of the second meaning and the references given, obviously sankhitta deserves a careful look.

He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted [sankhitta] mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. -- DN i 80 Ven Thanissaro


He knows the narrow mind to ne be narrow [sanhkitta]. He knows the expanded mind to be expanded.... DN i 80 Walshe 106
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby bodom » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Sankhitta

Sankhitta [pp. of sankhipati] 1. concise, brief Miln 227; DhsA 344; instr. sankhittena in short, concisely (opp. vitthārena) Vin i.10; D ii.305; S v.421; Pug 41. Cp. BSk. sankṣiptena Divy 37 etc. -- 2. concentrated, attentive D i.80 (which at Vism 410 however is expld as "thīna -- middh' ânugata"); S ii.122; v.263; D ii.299= M i.59. -- 3. contracted, thin, slender: ˚majjhā of slender waist J v.155. -- Cp. abhi˚.

In light of the second meaning and the references given, obviously sankhitta deserves a careful look.

He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted [sankhitta] mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind. -- DN i 80 Ven Thanissaro


He knows the narrow mind to ne be narrow [sanhkitta]. He knows the expanded mind to be expanded.... DN i 80 Walshe 106


Analayo translates as "contracted".

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby bodom » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:14 pm

Bodhi translates as "cramped" and this also from Soma Thera:

Sankhittam cittam = "The shrunken state of consciousness." The conscious state fallen into sloth and torpor. That is called the shrivelled or contracted state of mind.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... sciousness

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:46 pm

[For all you commentary poo-poo-ers, just a note: all the translations I have looked at of the passages in question follow the commentaries, which says something about need for really learning Pali, and learning it well, if you are going to poo-poo the commentaries.]

Saṅkhittaṃ cittaṃ in the few suttas I looked always apperars in this list:


rāgaṃ cittaṃ
dosaṃ cittaṃ
samohaṃ cittaṃ

saṅkhittaṃ cittaṃ

mahaggataṃ cittaṃ
uttaraṃ cittaṃ
samāhitaṃ cittaṃ
vimuttaṃ cittaṃ

See viewtopic.php?f=33&t=9364&p=144722#p144704 for the full Pali.

rāgaṃ cittaṃ -- greedy/lustful mind
dosaṃ cittaṃ -- hateful mind
mohaṃ cittaṃ -- delusional mind

saṅkhittaṃ cittaṃ

mahaggataṃ cittaṃ -- mind become great
uttaraṃ cittaṃ -- ming crossed over
samāhitaṃ cittaṃ -- mind having attained
vimuttaṃ cittaṃ -- mind liberated.

Now, the pivotal word here is saṅkhittaṃ. Do we read it, along with the commentaries, as contracted or can we read it, as the PTS Dictionary suggests, as concentrated, attentive? I suppose it depends upon how you want to look at the nature of this list. An argument can be made for either reading.

You have a contracted mind, which is what greed, hatred and delusion gives us and this contrasts with a mind become great. Or you have a concentrated mind, which gives rise to a mind that becomes great and all that follows. Lists in the suttas almost always move in a progression, and one could probably argue, reasonably, that in the suttas where this list is given that a progressive reading is appropriate and that saṅkhittaṃ cittaṃ as a concentrated, attentive works as well as, if not better than, the commentarial reading.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:10 am

Hi Tilt,

Looking at the list I believe Samahita refers to concentration- and even the Visuddhhimagga commentary (see sankhitta definition already quoted) has it is thina-middha, which is sloth and torpor. It makes sense that the first 4 elements on the list refers to elements of the five hindrances followed by 1) prejhanic samadhi (mahaggatta) 2) jhanic samadhi (sauttara) 3) highest developmenet of fourth jhana/vipassana samadhi (Samahita) 4) enlightened mind (Vimutta). This is just my interpretation. :)

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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:17 am

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Tilt,

Looking at the list I believe Samahita refers to concentration- and even the Visuddhhimagga commentary (see sankhitta definition already quoted) has it is thina-middha, which is sloth and torpor. It makes sense that the first 4 elements on the list refers to elements of the five hindrances followed by 1) prejhanic samadhi (mahaggatta) 2) jhanic samadhi (sauttara) 3) highest developmenet of fourth jhana/vipassana samadhi (Samahita) 4) enlightened mind (Vimutta). This is just my interpretation.
Maybe but it hardly convincing, given that you would have "concentration" after uttara.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby effort » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:10 pm

rowyourboat wrote:
Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu
sarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ sarāgaṃ cittanti pajānāti, vītarāgaṃ vā cittaṃ vītarāgaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
sadosaṃ vā cittaṃ sadosaṃ cittanti pajānāti, vītadosaṃ vā cittaṃ vītadosaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
samohaṃ vā cittaṃ samohaṃ cittanti pajānāti, vītamohaṃ vā cittaṃ vītamohaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
saṅkhittaṃ cittaṃ saṅkhitta cittanti pajānāti, vikkhittaṃ vā cittaṃ vikkhittaṃ cittanti pajānāti,

mahaggataṃ vā cittaṃ mahaggataṃ cittanti pajānāti, amahaggataṃ vā cittaṃ amahaggataṃ cittanti pajānāti,
sauttaraṃ vā cittaṃ sauttaraṃ cittanti pajānāti, anuttaraṃ vā cittaṃ anuttaraṃ cittanti pajānāti,
samāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ samāhitaṃ cittanti pajānāti, asamāhitaṃ vā cittaṃ asamāhitaṃ cittanti pajānāti,
vimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ vimuttaṃ cittanti pajānāti, avimuttaṃ vā cittaṃ avimuttaṃ cittanti pajānāti.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#pts.290


Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching knows[49]
the mind accompanied by passion,[50] as 'Mind with passion'; he knows the mind unaccompanied by passion, as 'Mind without passion';
he also knows the mind accompanied by anger,[51] as 'Mind with anger'; he also knows the mind unaccompanied by anger, as 'Mind without anger';
he also knows the mind accompanied by bewilderment,[52] as 'Mind with bewilderment'; he also knows the mind unaccompanied by bewilderment, as 'Mind without bewilderment';
he also knows the indolent state of mind,[53] as 'Indolent state of mind'; he also knows the distracted state of mind,[54] as 'Distracted state of mind';
he also knows the developed state of mind,[55] as 'Developed state of mind'; he also knows the undeveloped state of mind,[56] as 'Undeveloped state of mind':
he also knows the inferior state of mind, as 'Inferior state of mind'; he also knows the superior state of mind,[57] as 'Superior state of mind';
he also knows the mind in a state of concentration,[58] as 'Mind in a state of concentration'; he also knows the mind not in a state of concentration,[59] as 'Mind not in a state of concentration';
he also knows 'the liberated state of mind,[60] as 'Liberated state of mind'; he also knows the unliberated state of mind,[61] as 'Unliberated state of mind'.
Burmese Pitaka association translation:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bpit.html


with metta

:namaste:

Matheesha



it is hard for me or even impossible to label the mind state as complete as above list, and i'm curious to know how others do that?
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Re: Mind states in Satipatthana

Postby chownah » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:46 am

effort wrote:it is hard for me or even impossible to label the mind state as complete as above list, and i'm curious to know how others do that?

I think you have brought up a good point. While it is good to want to know the precise meanings of the words listed in the original post for mind states it is probably true that there are many different mind states and that whatever they are they should be discerned and understood...it is my view that this is the Buddha's intent in giving this teaching as well as to name some of the important ones......to me it seems plausible that as one progresses along the path that one will develop the ability to know and understand mind states without fabricating around them and giving them names.
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