No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Thu May 02, 2013 10:33 am

Indeed, unremitting satipatthana is a better goal to set than jhana, when first beginning samadhi.
    "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: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby reflection » Thu May 02, 2013 10:38 am

Just to point out the distinction "sutta" vs "commentary" is deceiving. Of course those who practice the latter kind also think the suttas describe them and that the Buddha taught them. Just in case you didn't know. And then still there is not a clear distinction to be made.

But I agree with tilt that it's better to forget about these things. Perhaps not only at this point, but for a long time.

:anjali:
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Thu May 02, 2013 11:07 am

daverupa wrote:Indeed, unremitting satipatthana is a better goal to set than jhana, when first beginning samadhi.


Jhana is NOT my goal. I do want to avoid the deep absorption ones as I believe them to be a hinderance. I'm not asking about piti and sukkha because I want to experience them for the sake of the experience but because I see them as my gateway into going further down formal Anapanasati practice that culminates with vipassana.

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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Thu May 02, 2013 11:17 am

Mojo wrote:I see them as my gateway into going further down formal Anapanasati practice that culminates with vipassana.


Samatha and vipassana are paired qualities which interact with satipatthana, per SN 35.204.

Anapanasati fulfills satipatthana and culminates in jhana. Vipassana and samatha are developed in tandem prior to that. I think there's some sort of misunderstanding somewhere.

:heart:
    "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: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Zakattack » Thu May 02, 2013 11:39 am

Mojo wrote:I'm not asking about piti and sukkha because I want to experience them for the sake of the experience but because I see them as my gateway into going further down formal Anapanasati practice that culminates with vipassana.

Every tetrad (satipatthana) of Anapanasati includes vipassana. The 1st tetrad includes vipassana of in breathing & out breathing. The 2nd tetrad includes vipassana of piti & sukkha. The 3rd tetrad includes vipassana of underlying mental states (revealed after piti & sukkha have calmed). The 4th tetrad is full scale vipassana, where impermanence itself is predominant. Piti & sukkha are not obstacles to vipassana but, instead, objects of vipassana.

I would suggest to make the 1st sign post vipassana of the in breathing & out breathing, which necessitates learning to establish a concentration that has sufficient release, malleability & clarity so the impermanence of in breathing & out breathing can be discerned. Quality takes precedence over quantity. An old Sufi saying is: "Stop aiming to shoot those long distance skyward arrows. Instead, let the arrow drop".

:)

In the first steps of this practice, those concerned with the kaya (body), we study the breath in a special way. We note every kind of breath that occurs and study what each is like. Long breaths, short breaths, calm breaths, violent breaths, fast breaths, and slow breaths: we must know them all. Of all the different kinds of breath which arise, know what nature each one has, know its characteristics, and know its functions.

Observe what influence the different breaths have upon the flesh-body. The breath has a great influence on the rest of the physical body and this influence needs to be seen clearly. Observe both sides of the relationship until it is obvious that they are interconnected and inseparable. See that the breath-body conditions and concocts the flesh-body.

We must learn how to observe in more detail, that is, to observe the reaction or influence of the different kinds of breathing. What reactions do they cause, how do they influence our awareness? For example, when the breathing is long, how does it influence our awareness. What reactions does the short breathing cause? What are the influences of coarse and fine breathing, comfortable and uncomfortable breathing? We observe the different types of breath and their different influences until we can distinguish clearly how the long and short breaths, coarse and fine breaths, and comfortable uncomfortable breaths differ . We must know the variations in the reactions to and influences of these various properties of the breath, of these qualities that influence our awareness, our sensitivi­ty, our mind. (52)

Along with the above observations, we need to watch the effect or flavor of the different kinds of breath. The flavors that arise are kinds of feelings, such as, happiness, non-happiness, dukkha, annoyance, and contentment. Observe and experience the flavors or effects caused, especially, by the long breath and short breath, by the coarse breath and fine breath, and by the easy breath and uneasy breath. Find out how it is they have different flavors. For instance, we will see that the long breath gives a greater sense of peace and well being, it has a happier taste than the short breath. Different kinds of breath bring different kinds of happiness. We learn to analyze and distinguish the different flavors that come with the different kinds of breath that we have scrutinized. (53)

Finally, we will discover the various causes that make the breath either long or short. We gradually will find this out for and by ourselves. What causes the breathing to be long? What kind of mood makes the breath long? What kind of mood makes it short? Thus, we come to know the causes and conditions that make the breath long or short.

The body which is the causal conditioner is given the name kaya-sankhara (body conditioner) to distinguish it from the other, the one effected by the conditioning, the “conditioned body." Work on this fact in the mind, seeing it as if it were physically tangible. See the one group condition and nurture the other. See them arise together, fall together, coarsen together, become fine together, grow comfortable together, and become uncomfortable together. Realize how intimately they are connected.

This is what is meant by "seeing all bodies," Watch both bodies together and see them condition each other. This is valuable for seeing truth more extensively, for realizing anatta, even. In seeing this interrelationship, we see that what occurs is merely a natural process of conditioning. There is no atta, no self, no soul, no such thing at all involved. Such understanding can have the highest benefit, although it may be somewhat beyond the specific object of this step. For now, however, we only need to understand this fact of conditioning enough to be able to regulate the flesh-body, to calm it by regulating the breath-body.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 02, 2013 12:32 pm

Zakattack wrote:Every tetrad (satipatthana) of Anapanasati includes vipassana.... The 4th tetrad is full scale vipassana, where impermanence itself is predominant.


The text of the 4th tetrad is clearly describing vipassana ( anicca ), but could you say which text lines in the first 3 tetrads are explicitly describing vipassana? Phrases like "sensitive to feeling" and "experiencing the mind" seem more like sati than vipassana.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 02, 2013 12:43 pm

daverupa wrote:Samatha and vipassana are paired qualities which interact with satipatthana, per SN 35.204.


An interesting sutta, but I'm not sure I understand the relationship being described here between samatha and vipassana ( the swift pair of messengers ), mindfulness ( the gatekeeper ) and consciousness ( the commander ) - see the extract below. It sounds as if consciousness is primary, with mindfulness relegated to the role of giving directions.

"A swift pair of messengers, coming from the east, would say to the gatekeeper, 'Where, my good man, is the commander of this fortress?' He would say, 'There he is, sirs, sitting in the central square.' The swift pair of messengers, delivering their accurate report to the commander of the fortress, would then go back by the route by which they had come.
The message is this:
The fortress stands for this body... The gatekeeper stands for mindfulness. The swift pair of messengers stands for tranquillity (samatha) and insight (vipassana). The commander of the fortress stands for consciousness."
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Thu May 02, 2013 1:13 pm

porpoise wrote:
daverupa wrote:Samatha and vipassana are paired qualities which interact with satipatthana, per SN 35.204.


An interesting sutta, but I'm not sure I understand the relationship being described here between samatha and vipassana ( the swift pair of messengers ), mindfulness ( the gatekeeper ) and consciousness ( the commander ) - see the extract below. It sounds as if consciousness is primary, with mindfulness relegated to the role of giving directions.

"A swift pair of messengers, coming from the east, would say to the gatekeeper, 'Where, my good man, is the commander of this fortress?' He would say, 'There he is, sirs, sitting in the central square.' The swift pair of messengers, delivering their accurate report to the commander of the fortress, would then go back by the route by which they had come.
The message is this:
The fortress stands for this body... The gatekeeper stands for mindfulness. The swift pair of messengers stands for tranquillity (samatha) and insight (vipassana). The commander of the fortress stands for consciousness."


They facilitate clear knowing, the accurate report.

The important point is to recognize that they develop within satipatthana practice. You had said that anapanasati culminates in vipassana, but in fact anapanasati fulfills satipatthana - both samatha and vipassana ought already to have begun development prior.
    "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: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Zakattack » Fri May 03, 2013 12:14 am

porpoise wrote:The text of the 4th tetrad is clearly describing vipassana ( anicca ), but could you say which text lines in the first 3 tetrads are explicitly describing vipassana? Phrases like "sensitive to feeling" and "experiencing the mind" seem more like sati than vipassana.

Hi Purpoise. My understanding is each tetrad reflects the predominant meditation object. In the 1st tetrad, breathing is predominant. As breathing tranquilises & loses predominance, feelings of piti & sukkha become predominant (2nd tetrad). As feelings tranquilise & loses predominance, underlying mental states become predominant (3rd tetrad). As underlying mental states dissolve & clarify, although breathing, feelings & mind remain, they are so tranquilised or 'minimised', that impermanence itself becomes predominant (4th tetrad). As breathing/body, feelings & mental states are by nature impermanent, it is natural to experience their impermanence in each tetrad. Any clear seeing of impermanence is vipassana. For practicality, I would suggest to view Anapanasati as: 1st tetrad: 75% samatha 25% vipassana; 2nd tetrad: 50% samatha 50% vipassana; 3rd tetrad 25% samatha 75% vipassana; 4th tetrad 100% vipassana. As for the Pali, the same word 'paṭisaṃvedī' (experiencing; sensitive to) is used in the 1st, 2nd & 3th tetrads. The suffix 'vedī', possibly has the nuance 'to feel'. The 4th tetrad uses ānupassī (in aniccānupassī), which means 'to see'. This does not preclude 'seeing impermanence' occurring in the early tetrads. Also, it supports my view about the progression & tranquilisation of successive objects. Thus the coaser objects are 'felt', due to their coarseness, rather than 'seen'. If we read the long quote I posted in my previous post, we may sense how there is a lot of 'feeling' involved in experiencing the different kinds of breathing & their respective effects (rather than just mere 'seeing'). This is why these coarser objects tranquilise. The dukkha or disturbing formations within them, which are felt, subsequently tranquilise. With metta

:smile:
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri May 03, 2013 8:30 am

daverupa wrote:The important point is to recognize that they develop within satipatthana practice. You had said that anapanasati culminates in vipassana, but in fact anapanasati fulfills satipatthana - both samatha and vipassana ought already to have begun development prior.


I think there are different ways of looking at this Dave. Yes, the 4 tetrads of anapanasati fulfill satipatthana, but that doesn't mean they are the same thing or describing the same method. I agree that the 4 tetrads of anapanasati are based on a foundation of satipatthana, but for me the language of the 4 tetrads still looks descriptive of a progression from samatha to vipassana.
IMO some interpretations of the 4 tetrads are basically just describing satipatthana practice, which seems to me missing the point.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri May 03, 2013 8:34 am

Zakattack wrote:For practicality, I would suggest to view Anapanasati as: 1st tetrad: 75% samatha 25% vipassana; 2nd tetrad: 50% samatha 50% vipassana; 3rd tetrad 25% samatha 75% vipassana; 4th tetrad 100% vipassana. As for the Pali, the same word 'paṭisaṃvedī' (experiencing; sensitive to) is used in the 1st, 2nd & 3th tetrads.


Interesting breakdown. I do agree that the 4 tetrads are describing a progression from samatha to vipassana, and of course samatha and vipassana aren't mutually exclusive.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby daverupa » Fri May 03, 2013 10:51 am

porpoise wrote:IMO some interpretations of the 4 tetrads are basically just describing satipatthana practice, which seems to me missing the point.


Actually, the point is the suppression of the hindrances and bringing the awakening factors to fulfillment by development. As to that, the Anapanasati Sutta says

"And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

"And how are the four frames of reference developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?


I'm very unsure about this appellation "just" with reference to satipatthana; it is, after all, the direct path to awakening, which is why I have said

both samatha and vipassana ought already to have begun development prior [to anapanasati]


in reference to the OP.

(For example, in the Kayagatasati Sutta we learn a method of breathing which is one way, among many, of

how a monk develops mindfulness immersed in the body.


In this respect, we can see that anapanasati is itself simply a certain way of doing satipatthana, one which fulfills satipatthana and, in short, facilitates jhana.)

:heart:
    "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: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Kamran » Fri May 03, 2013 1:45 pm

Piti with just breath can take a long time, but if you add one of the brahma viharas, in particular mudita(appreciative joy), piti often arises right from the beginning.

If interested, I have found the below combination of breath and Mudita to cause piti to arise consistently:

1) still the mind with breath for 20 min.

2) Then while still noticing the breath, think of a memory that made you feel happy for someone, such as your children opening presents on Christmas day.

3) Notice the subtle warm pleasant feeling that arises.

4) Drop the memory and focus on the feeling, and smile to yourself both inwardly and outwardly....spread the feeling around your whole body by moving your awareness around ( body scan).

5) Piti sensation arises.

6) Continue following the breath, smiling, and bathing yourself in the warm "happiness for others" feeling.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby fivebells » Fri May 03, 2013 9:26 pm

I agree, Kamran. That is a great way to practice.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Sat May 04, 2013 3:13 am

I've started experimenting with Thanissaro's instructions. I think perhaps they may be what I need right now. There have been some posts about the relationship between samadhi and mindfulness that have helped me think about anapanasati in a different light than I had before. Thank you all for your input!
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Tue May 07, 2013 4:48 am

I am waiting for a copy of Thanisareo's Each and Every Breath to arrive in the mail but had printed the "method" portion from the pdf when I was at the library last week and am wondering if the book later goes on to show how to develop all the steps of Anapanasati or if this book is strictly the foundation of breathing? I haven't had the opportunity yet to read past the "method".

Thanks,

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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Kamran » Tue May 07, 2013 2:05 pm

Thanissaro is an excellent choice in my opinion due to the daily talks he provides that address problems you encounter in real-life meditation practice. Instructions only go so far; you have to figure things out yourself by practicing.

You may want to explore his collection of talks that accompany his "With Each and Every Breath" manual.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/mp3_collecti ... verybreath
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Mojo » Tue May 07, 2013 2:16 pm

Kamran wrote:Thanissaro is an excellent choice in my opinion due to the daily talks he provides that address problems you encounter in real-life meditation practice. Instructions only go so far; you have to figure things out yourself by practicing.

You may want to explore his collection of talks that accompany his "With Each and Every Breath" manual.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/mp3_collecti ... verybreath


Thank you
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby frank k » Tue May 07, 2013 5:15 pm

Ajahn Thanissaro's new book on meditation is excellent.
In the Chinese Agama parallel to anapana 16 steps, they are much more explicit in step 3 of anapanassati, "sabba kaaya patisamvedi", "experiencing the whole [anatomical] body". I found that sutra passage very helpful to my practice in developing piti and sukha.

The following is where the third step of the 16 steps of breathing meditation is explained in the sutra itself:

T15n0614_p0275b25(08)║念諸息遍身。亦念息出入。
T15n0614_p0275b26(05)║悉觀身中諸出息入息。
T15n0614_p0275b27(14)║覺知遍至身中乃至足指遍諸毛孔如水入沙。
T15n0614_p0275b28(13)║息出覺知從足至髮遍諸毛孔亦如水入沙。譬如[夢-夕+棐]囊入出皆滿。
T15n0614_p0275b29(05)║口鼻風入出亦爾。觀身周遍見風行處。
T15n0614_p0275c01(07)║如藕根孔亦如魚網。復心非獨口鼻觀息入出。
T15n0614_p0275c02(06)║一切毛孔及九孔中。亦見息入息出。
T15n0614_p0275c03(09)║是故知息遍諸身

“One is mindfully aware of various breaths suffusing the whole body, as one attends to the exhalation and inhalation of the breath. As one pervasively observes the various kinds of inhalation and exhalation inside the body, one becomes aware and comprehends what is happening throughout the body, up to and including one’s toes and pores—[awareness] pervades as if water seeps into sands. In the same way, with [each] out-breath, awareness and understanding pervade—from the toes to the hairs, permeating all the pores—as if water seeps into sands. Just like a sack that is completely filled from its bottom to its opening, so too should one experience the body being saturated this way with [each] in-breath coming in from mouth [and/or] nose. One should perceive that throughout the body, where ‘wind’ traverses, it is as if it traverses through the holes of a lotus root; it is as if it traverses through the eyes of a fish net.

Furthermore, one should not just perceive the breath as going in and out of one’s mouth [and/or] nose; one should also see that the breath comes in and out from all the pores and from the nine orifices of the body. For this reason, one should understand that the breath pervades throughout the body."
(translation from chinese to english by Dr. William Chu)
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings
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Re: No Piti, No Sukkha, No Vipassana?

Postby Zakattack » Tue May 07, 2013 8:33 pm

frank k wrote:In the Chinese Agama parallel to anapana 16 steps, they are much more explicit in step 3 of anapanassati, "sabba kaaya patisamvedi", "experiencing the whole [anatomical] body".

In the Pali, such an interpretation does not arise. The Pali states:
Kāyesu kāyaññatarāhaṃ, bhikkhave, evaṃ vadāmi yadidaṃ – assāsapassāsā.

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

Here, the Pali emphasises the in-&-out breath (rather than the anatomical physical body) & also calls the in-&-out breath a 'kaya' ('body'). In Pali, the word 'sabba' generally means 'all' rather than 'whole' (kevala). The Pali states there are 'bodies among bodies', i.e., plural bodies. The different bodies include the 'breath body', 'physical body' (rupa kaya) & 'mental bodies' (nama kaya). "Sabba kaaya patisamvedi" thus can mean 'experiencing all bodies', as described in the Dipa Sutta:

So if a monk should wish: 'May neither my [anatomical] body be fatigued nor my eyes, and may my mind, through lack of clinging/sustenance, be released from fermentations,' then he should attend carefully to this same concentration through mindfulness of in-&-out breathing.

Dipa Sutta

The most important aspect of practising Anapanasati is not the body but establishing (upaṭṭhāna) the mind in right mindfulness. Step 3 of anapanassati "sabba kaaya patisamvedi" is experiencing/knowing/feeling how the state of mind influences the breathing and how the breathing, in turn, influences the physical body. Ultimately, all practise is related to the mind. If the quality of mind required for anapanasati is not comprehended then limits to progress will occur.

:smile:
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