What is vipassana and anapanasati?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
JC938
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What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by JC938 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:57 pm

Hi,

What is vipassana and anapanasati and are there any other meditations type in Buddhism.

Thanks.

thepea
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by thepea » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:32 pm

Anapanasati is awareness of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath. It is important to work with the natural flow of respiration not to change it, to simply observe this as it is.
Vipassana is awareness of the true nature of reality within. If the meditator uses the natural breath as object this cultivation of awareness will be of the body and mind as the breath is a link between.
Observing the natural interaction of body and mind is liberative wisdom.

There are other meditations using artificially created objects which lead to samadhi but you are not observing the nature of reality between body and mind and therefore is not right concentration or Samma samadhi.
They are not leading to dhamma (truth).

Virgo
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by Virgo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:46 pm

thepea wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:32 pm

There are other meditations using artificially created objects which lead to samadhi but you are not observing the nature of reality between body and mind and therefore is not right concentration or Samma samadhi.
They are not leading to dhamma (truth).
Why do you say this? The Buddha taught many subjects of meditation.

Virgo

paul
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by paul » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:53 pm

There are two types of meditation, serenity and insight. The forty subjects of serenity include the recollection of the breath:

ten kasinas
ten unattractive objects (dasa asubha)
ten recollections (dasa anussatiyo)
four sublime states (cattaro brahmavihara)
four immaterial states (cattaro aruppa)
one perception (eka sañña)
one analysis (eka vavatthana).
[…]

Serenity meditation alone is not enough to eradicate the defilements:

The three divisions of the Noble Eightfold Path provide the check against this threefold layering of the defilements. The first, the training in moral discipline, restrains unwholesome bodily and verbal activity and thus prevents defilements from reaching the stage of transgression. The training in concentration provides the safeguard against the stage of manifestation. It removes already manifest defilements and protects the mind from their continued influx. But even though concentration may be pursued to the depths of full absorption, it cannot touch the basic source of affliction — the latent tendencies lying dormant in the mental continuum. Against these concentration is powerless, since to root them out calls for more than mental calm. What it calls for, beyond the composure and serenity of the unified mind, is wisdom (pañña), a penetrating vision of phenomena in their fundamental mode of being.
[…]

Whereas ignorance obscures the true nature of things, wisdom removes the veils of distortion, enabling us to see phenomena in their fundamental mode of being with the vivacity of direct perception. The training in wisdom centers on the development of insight (vipassana-bhavana), a deep and comprehensive seeing into the nature of existence which fathoms the truth of our being in the only sphere where it is directly accessible to us, namely, in our own experience. Normally we are immersed in our experience, identified with it so completely that we do not comprehend it. We live it but fail to understand its nature. Due to this blindness experience comes to be misconstrued, worked upon by the delusions of permanence, pleasure, and self. —“The Noble Eightfold Path”, Bikkhu Bodhi.

thepea
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by thepea » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:55 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:46 pm
Why do you say this? The Buddha taught many subjects of meditation.

Virgo
What is an artificially created object that can lead to liberative wisdom?

Virgo
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by Virgo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:17 pm

thepea wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:55 pm
Virgo wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:46 pm
Why do you say this? The Buddha taught many subjects of meditation.

Virgo
What is an artificially created object that can lead to liberative wisdom?
You must have vipassana for wisdom, but there are many meditation subjects that fall under Samma Samadhi (Right Concentration).

Kevin

thepea
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by thepea » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:05 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:17 pm

You must have vipassana for wisdom, but there are many meditation subjects that fall under Samma Samadhi (Right Concentration).

Kevin
What is an artificially created object that leads to concentration free from craving and aversion?

paul
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by paul » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:13 pm

What is an artificially created object that leads to concentration free from craving and aversion?

Any external materiality, either natural or man-made has a cycle of impermanence which can be a subject of insight.
"...he again attributes the three characteristics to natural materiality. Natural materiality is a name for external materiality that is not bound up with the faculties... for example, iron, copper, tin, lead. gold, silver, pearl, gem, beryl, conch shell, marble, coral, ruby, opal, soil, stone, rock, grass, tree, creeper, and so on."---Visuddhimagga, XX, 73.

thepea
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by thepea » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:27 pm

paul wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:13 pm
What is an artificially created object that leads to concentration free from craving and aversion?

Any external materiality, either natural or man-made has a cycle of impermanence which can be a subject of insight.
Not liberative insight, noticing a tree decompose will not free you from suffering.
You must observe the universe of experience within, how this play of mind and matter operates.
If you are meditating and become overwhelmed by sensuality you may find it useful to observe the decomposition of the body but you do not have to look at corpses in today’s day and age to know what is inside, this can bring the mind back to anapanasati which leads to insight.

paul
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by paul » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:37 pm

"but you do not have to look at corpses in today’s day and age "

This is opposed to Buddhist teaching.

thepea
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by thepea » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:52 pm

paul wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:37 pm
"but you do not have to look at corpses in today’s day and age "

This is opposed to Buddhist teaching.
If you have a television or have exposure to books you know that inside of you are organs, blood, piss, and shit, etc... if you find you can’t concentrate because your horny you can think about how disgusting the body is and how weird it is that you are so attracted to these meat sacks which when deceased and decomposing are so disgusting. This can allow you to regain composure and bring you back to anapanasati which leads to insight.
If during your meditation you are experiencing a storm an experienced meditator can skillfully use thought towards the Buddha or imagine a statue or recite some inspirational words, when the storm passes they stop this and return to anapanasati which leads to insight.
You are not meant to sit and meditate on corpses if you can begin anapanasati, corpse meditation is not right concentration it is not free from craving and aversion.

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:00 pm

that's an interesting perspective, thepea. in one sutta the buddha teaches contemplation of foulness and goes into retreat and then several monks kill themselves. then he teaches anapansati as an alternative
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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Virgo
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by Virgo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:17 pm

thepea wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:52 pm
You are not meant to sit and meditate on corpses if you can begin anapanasati, corpse meditation is not right concentration it is not free from craving and aversion.
Hello thepea,

You claim that meditating on a corpse is wrong concentration, but the Buddha taught it, and did not call it wrong concentration even once as far as I am aware of.

Kevin

thepea
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by thepea » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:32 pm

Virgo wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:17 pm

You claim that meditating on a corpse is wrong concentration, but the Buddha taught it, and did not call it wrong concentration even once as far as I am aware of.

Kevin
It is concentration but it is not free from craving and aversion. How can this lead to liberative wisdom?
It is helpful to regain composure when mind is full of lust.
If you can concentrate on breath no need to think about corpses at all, entirely unneccessary.

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rightviewftw
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Re: What is vipassana and anapanasati?

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:59 pm

JC938 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:57 pm
Hi,

What is vipassana and anapanasati and are there any other meditations type in Buddhism.

Thanks.
Vipassana loosely means "seeing clearly" it has become popular to call any method that supposedly brings it about for "Vipassana Meditation", this is not a proper use of the term as it is used in manuals and theory. What brings it about is actually called practicing Establishment of Mindfulness on the Four Satipatthana ("Sati"+"Patthana", "Mindfulness"+"Base"), idk the Pali so if someone wants to correct me where it is appropriate please do.

Anapanasati("Anapana"+"Sati", "Breath"+"Mindfulness") so it is also training Mindfulness and thus insight.

Anapanasati is thus Mindfulness of Breathing, however Breath is not the only aspect of the practice and it incorporates all Four Satipatthana.
  • Kaya-Sati
    Citta-Sati
    Vedana-Sati
    Dhamma-Sati
Terms better not translated imo but loosely;
Mindfulness of the body, the in&out-breaths, wanting, liking, disliking, anger, excitement, sluggishness, worry, doubt, feelings, sensations, senses, ideas, discursive thinking, knowing, cognizing, evaluation, perceiving, reflecting, resolving, postures, activities as well as the investigation & wise reflection on phenomena according to the Dhamma thus IE;
  • He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.'
    He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading].' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.'
Bodom wrote: Mindfulness entails more than just knowing what is happening in the present moment. As is stated in the satipatthana sutta there are three aspects that need to work in conjunction to fulfill right mindfulness:
The Buddha: "And how is a monk mindful? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. This is how a monk is mindful.
These three aspects are:

mindfulness- the ability to remember and recollect what has been done in the past.

Ardent- as described in the suttas ardency is to abandon what is unskillful and develop the skilful.

Alert- aware of what is happening in the present moment.
Further one would adjust training to the state of mind;

Sluggish/Tired Mind
"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors.

"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.
Aroused/Active/Agitated Mind
"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors.

"When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.
Factors of Enlightenment
i will list some common translations: Nyanasatta Thera further as (1), Piyadissa Thera (2), Burmese Pitaka (3), Thanissaro (4) Bhikkhu Bodhi (5)

Sati - Mindfulness (all)
Dhamma Vicaya - Investigation(1&2), Investigative Knowledge (3), Analysis (4), investigation-of-states (5)
Viriya - Energy (1,2), Effort (3), Persistence (4), Energy (5)
Piti - Joy (1), Happiness/Rapture (2), Delightful Satisfaction (3), Rapture (4,5)
Passadhi - Tranquility (1&5), Calm (2), Serenity (3&4),
Samadhi - Concentration (all)
Upekkha - Equanimity

This is done by making the appropriate resolves and picking right themes for reflection in general.
  • IE;
    Resolving on countering hindrances,
    Resolving on experiencing Mental&Physical Pleasure
    Resolving on calming body and mind

11. “Herein, what are the six kinds of joy based on renunciation? When, by knowing the
impermanence, change, fading away, and cessation of forms, one sees as it actually is with
proper wisdom that forms both formerly and now are all impermanent, suffering, and subject to
change, joy arises. Such joy as this is called joy based on renunciation.

“When, by knowing the impermanence, change, fading away, and cessation of sounds...of
odors...of flavors...of tangibles...of mind-objects, one sees as it actually is with proper wisdom
that mind-objects both formerly and now are all impermanent, suffering, and subject to change,
joy arises. Such joy as this is called joy based on renunciation. These are the six kinds of joy
based on renunciation.
...
“Herein, what are the six kinds of equanimity based on renunciation? When, by knowing the
impermanence, change, fading away, and cessation of forms, one sees as it actually is with
proper wisdom that forms both formerly and now are all impermanent, suffering, and subject to
change, equanimity arises. Such equanimity as this transcends the form; that is why it is called
equanimity based on renunciation.

“When, by knowing the impermanence, change, fading away, and cessation of sounds...of
odors...of flavors...of tangibles...of mind-objects, one sees as it actually is with proper wisdom
that mind-objects both formerly and now are all impermanent, suffering, and subject to change,
equanimity arises. Such equanimity as this transcends the mind-object; that is why it is called
equanimity based on renunciation. These are the six kinds of equanimity based on renunciation.
This is a short version of what would be the basis of Anapanasati training.

Imho a comperhensive training will also incorporate;

Asubha - Reflecting on body as organs
Metta - Kindness cultivation

Other useful pieces of instruction are;
Vitakkasanthana Sutta: The Removal of Distracting Thoughts
And the Ahara, Anapanasati, Kayagatasati, Maranasati, Maha-Satipatthana Sutta
Last edited by rightviewftw on Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:31 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Медитация Сатипаттхана Випассана
How To Develop Factors of Enlightenment & Perceptions
Complete Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw
Tyranny of Words - An Introduction to General Semantics
Ledi Sayadaw's Anapana Dipani (Samatha) @ ffmt.fr/articles/maitres/LediS/anapana-dipani.ledi-sayadaw.pdf
Dhammapada @ myweb.ncku.edu.tw/~lsn46/tipitaka/sutta/khuddaka/dhammapada/dhp-contrast-reading/dhp-contrast-reading-en/
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