Satipatthana and Personality Type

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby Mojo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:18 pm

From wikipedia:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satipatthana_Sutta

Personality-based typography
According to Analāyo (2006, pp. 24–25) and Somau (2003, pp. xxii -
xxiv), the Papañcasudani recommends a different autopsies
depending on whether a person:
tends more toward affective craving or intellectual speculation; and,
is more measured in their responses or quick reacting.
Based on these two dimensions the commentary's recommended
personality-based satipaṭṭhāna is reflected in the grid below.
experiential orientation
(character)
affective
(extrovert)
cognitive
(introvert)
reactivity /
temperament
slow body mind
quick sensations mental contents
Soma (2003, p. xxiv) adds that all practitioners (regardless of their
character and temperament) should also practice mindfulness of
Postures (moving, standing, sitting, lying dpen) and Clear
Understanding , about which he writes: "The whole practice of
mindfulness depends on the correct grasp of the exercises included in
the two parts referred to here."


Apologies that my copy and paste butchered the format and chart. My question is how one determines for this purpose if they are an introvert or extrovert and slow or quick. I'm aware of Myers-Briggs, but perhaps that isn't most appropriate here?

Thank you.

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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby karunametta » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:06 pm

Here is what Analayo says in his book, Satipatthana, on page 24-25:

... the commentaries recommend each of the four satipatthanas for a specific type of character or inclination. According to them, body and feeling contemplation should be the main field of practice for those who tend towards craving, while meditators given to intellectual speculation should place more emphasis on contemplating mind or dhammas. Understood in this way, practice of the first two satipatthanas suits those with a more affective inclination, while the last two are recommended for those of a more cognitive orientation. In both cases, those whose character is to think and react quickly can profitably centre their practice on the relatively subtler contemplations of feelings or dhammas, while those whose mental faculties are more circumspect and measured will have better results if they base their practice on the grosser objects of body and mind. Although these recommendations are expressed in terms of character type, they could also be applied to one's momentary disposition: one could choose that satipatthana that best corresponds to one's state of mind, so that when one feels sluggish and desirous, for example, contemplation of the body would be the appropriate practice to be undertaken.


Analayo also has a great chart that ties together the aggregate to be contemplated, the character of the contemplator, and the insight derived from the contemplation. Overall, I highly recommend the book.

Hope this is helpful,
:anjali:
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby Mojo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:23 pm

:anjali:

Thank you.

:anjali:
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby FatDaddy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:28 pm

Mojo wrote: My question is how one determines for this purpose if they are an introvert or extrovert and slow or quick. I'm aware of Myers-Briggs, but perhaps that isn't most appropriate here?

Thank you.

Mojo


For me the Myers-Briggs is a good indicator, but that may because I am on the extreme end of the introvert scale. In terms of reactivity, I tend to sit on the cushion for hours and psychoanyalize myself, so taking mind as an object, in an almost physical way, is a great antidote for getting stuck in that way. I had discovered this before I read the commentary about personality types.

I strongly second the opinion about the Analayo book. I will probably be reading it for the rest of my life.

Metta
Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far, born & seeking birth: May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.
— Sn 1.8
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:37 pm

Hi Mojo,

You might be interested in reading the commentary to the Satipatthana Sutta here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html

The discussion of personality types is in this section:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... l#synopsis
Cattaro Satipatthana = "The Four Arousings of Mindfulness." Four in relation to classes of objects of mindfulness.

Why did the Buddha teach just Four Arousings of Mindfulness and neither more nor less? By way of what was suitable for those capable of being trained.

In regard to the pair of the dull-witted and the keen-witted minds among tamable persons of the craving type and the theorizing type, pursuing the path of quietude [samatha] or that of insight [vipassana] in the practice of meditation, the following is stated: For the dull-witted man of craving type the Arousing of Mindfulness through the contemplation of the gross physical body is the Path to Purity; for the keen-witted of this type, the subtle subject of meditation on the feeling. And for the dull-witted man of the theorizing type the Path to Purity is the Arousing of Mindfulness through a subject not too full of distinctions, namely, consciousness [citta]; for the keen-witted of this type, the subject which teems with distinctions, namely the contemplation on things of the mind — mental objects [dhammanupassana].

For the dull-witted man, pursuing quietude, the First Arousing of Mindfulness, body-contemplation, is the Path to Purity, by reason of the feasibility of getting at the mental reflex; for the keen-witted of this type, because he does not continue to stay in the coarse, the second Arousing of Mindfulness, the contemplation on feeling, is the Path to Purity.

And for the dull-witted man pursuing the path of insight, the subject of meditation without many distinctions, the contemplation on consciousness, is the Path to Purity; and for the keen-witted of this type the contemplation on mental objects which is full of distinctions.

Or it may be said that these Four Arousings of Mindfulness are taught for casting out the illusions [vipallasa] concerning beauty, pleasure, permanence, and an ego.

The body is ugly. There are people led astray by the illusion that it is a thing of beauty. In order to show such people the ugliness of the body and to make them give up their wrong idea, the First Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.

Feeling is suffering. There are people subject to the illusion that it gives pleasure. In order to show such people the painfulness of feeling and to make them give up their wrong idea, the Second Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.

Consciousness is impermanent. There are people who, owing to an illusion, believe that it is permanent. To show them the impermanence of consciousness and to wean them of their wrong belief, the Third Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.

Mental objects are insubstantial, are soulless, and possess no entity. There are people who believe by reason of an illusion that these mental things are substantial, endowed with an abiding core, or a soul, or that they form part of a soul, an ego or some substance that abides. To convince such errant folk of the fact of the soullessness or the insubstantiality of mental things and to destroy the illusion which clouds their minds, the Fourth Arousing of Mindfulness is taught.

[I believe italics indicate the sub-commentary:}
Drawing distinctions, it is said: Body and feeling are the cause of zest [assadassa karana]. For the rejection of that zest of body, by the dull-witted [manda] man of the craving type [tanhacarita], the seeing [dassana] of the ugly [asubha] in the body, the coarse object [olarika arammana], which is the basis of craving [tanha vatthu], is convenient. To that type of man the contemplation on corporeality, the First Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity [Visuddhi Magga]. For the abandoning of that zest, by the keen-witted [tikha] man of the craving type, the seeing of suffering in feeling, the subtle object [sukhuma arammana], which is the basis of craving, is convenient, and for him the contemplation on feeling, the Second Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity.

For the dull-witted man of the theorizing type [ditthi carita] it is convenient to see consciousness [citta] in the fairly simple way it is set forth in this discourse, by way of impermanence [aniccata], and by way of such divisions as mind-with-lust [saragadi vasena], in order to reject the notion of permanence [nicca sañña] in regard to consciousness. Consciousness is a special condition [visesa karana] for the wrong view due to a basic belief in permanence [niccanti abhinivesa vatthutaya ditthiya]. The contemplation on consciousness, the Third Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity of this type of man.

For the keen-witted man of the theorizing type it is convenient to see mental objects or things [dhamma], according to the manifold way set forth in this discourse, by way of perception, sense-impression and so forth [nivaranadi vasena], in order to reject the notion of a soul [atta sañña] in regard to mental things. Mental things are special conditions for the wrong view due to a basic belief in a soul [attanti abhinivesa vatthutaya ditthiya]. For this type of man the contemplation on mental objects, the Fourth Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity.

Consciousness and mental objects constitute the outstanding conditions of theorizing. Consciousness is such a condition because it is a decisive factor in the belief in permanence. Mental objects are such conditions because these are decisive factors in the belief in a soul.

Consciousness and mental objects are decisive factors of craving as well as of theorizing. And body and feeling are decisive factors of theorizing as well as of craving. Yet to point out that which is stronger in body and feeling, namely, craving, and that which is stronger in consciousness and mental objects, namely, theorizing, distinctions have been drawn.


:anjali:
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby Mojo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:55 am

So I would consider myself to be introverted who is quick minded (at least when judging) so it looks like I should focus on the fourth satipatthana, dhammas. When I was practicing this evening (30 minutes) I only had a handful of mindful risings and fallings of the abdomen. Most of my experience bounced between itching, itching, itching, hearing, hearing, hearing, pain, tingling, pressure, itching, itching, and only a little bit of thinking, thinking... But no dhammas. Certainly I shouldn't NOT note bodily sensations should I? How do I transition to primarily working onthe fourth satipatthana when Mara is throwing me itching and a choir across the hall and a ticking clock? :anjali:
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby daverupa » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:59 am

Mojo wrote:So I would consider myself to be introverted who is quick minded... How do I transition to primarily working onthe fourth satipatthana


I consider hindrances and awakening factors for the fourth satipatthana; "while walking back and forth and sitting, purify the mind of unwholesome states" if I recall correctly. It can be difficult, at first, to parse experience in these ways, but for quick-minded introverts there can be speedy progress.

Dig in! (Though overall I prefer BB's translation, I think.)

:spy:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby Mojo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:18 pm

daverupa wrote:
Mojo wrote:So I would consider myself to be introverted who is quick minded... How do I transition to primarily working onthe fourth satipatthana


I consider hindrances and awakening factors for the fourth satipatthana; "while walking back and forth and sitting, purify the mind of unwholesome states" if I recall correctly. It can be difficult, at first, to parse experience in these ways, but for quick-minded introverts there can be speedy progress.

Dig in! (Though overall I prefer BB's translation, I think.)

:spy:


Well, I might be misunderstanding what is meant by quick minded. I jump to conclusions quickly and am judgmental. When it comes to work, I am a big picture kind of guy and can easily get caught up in the details which makes jobs which require a high degree of time management stressful to me. I'm not sure if this might actually point to the slow minded side of the spectrum.

Though it didn't happen last night, there have been times in meditation that I have labeled discursive thoughts about sound, such as wishing it would stop 'because it was preventing me from meditating' as greed because I determined that greed is what feed my idea that I was entitled to the absence of sound during meditation. I've done that similarly with itching. I'm not sure if I should be analyzing like this during meditation.

Definitely looking for input here.

Thanks,

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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby Samma » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:57 pm

Just take a best guess, or ask people that know you well.
Does not seem to be too much information about this temperament stuff.

Also there is writing about temperament in relation to 40meidation objects:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamma%E1%B ... mperaments
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby danieLion » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:10 am

typologies, IMO, are contrarty to trying to gain releas from the first fetter (sakkāya-diṭṭhi) and inhibit the usefulness of anatta insight
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:54 am

Here is the chart the OP was referring to:

Image
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Re: Satipatthana and Personality Type

Postby Mojo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:11 am

Thank you David.
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