Dry insight: support by the suttas?

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Sati1
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Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by Sati1 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:13 pm

Hello,

I was wondering if anybody here knows of passages from the suttas that support the dry insight approach in which insights ars attained without prior attainment of jhanas. One sutta that I heard of but can't find the reference for is of someone who lost the ability to enter jhanas after getting ill, got frustrated from that loss, but then attained some stage of sainthood anyways after having been roused by the Buddha. Does anybody here know what sutta this refers to?

Many thanks, with metta,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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pilgrim
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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by pilgrim » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:31 pm

Not the sutta you are looking for but the Vijjabhagiya sutta, AN 2.32 , seems to indicate that Vipassana and Samatha are two separate practices with 2 different results.

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 2-032.html

santa100
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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by santa100 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:24 pm

see SN 12.70 and Ven. Thanissaro's introductory note at the top.

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Sati1
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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by Sati1 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:15 pm

Dear pilgrim and santa100,

Thank you for your responses. What seems to remain an open question in the sutta that you (pilgrim) post is whether the person who follows the vipassana path doesnt do it with at least some level of jhanic absorption, rather than free from any jhanas. Regarding Ven Thanissaro's intro in the sutta that you (santa100) post, my understanding was also that arahantship, and even the stage of non-returner, requires at least the first jhana. This sutta doesnt seem to clarify what the situation is for sotapannas. Also, the fact that these arahants did attain jhanas does not mean that this was actually a requirement for their attainment of full enlightenment.

With metta,
Sati1
London, UK

----
"I do not perceive even one other thing, o monks, that when developed and cultivated entails such great happiness as the mind" (AN 1.10, transl. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
"So this spiritual life, monks, does not have gain, honor, and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of moral discipline for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakable liberation of mind that is the goal of this spiritual life, its heartwood, and its end," (MN 29, transl. Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi)

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by daverupa » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:23 pm

As I understand it, uprooting sensuality requires jhana, ergo non-returners all can attain jhana, while once-returners &tc. may or may not have jhana (but remember, even puthujjana can have jhana - that's a necessary tool for certain things, but in no way a Noble thing in and of itself. It's the samma- part of samma-samadhi that ties it up with right view, making it efficacious).
  • "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: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:38 pm

This article by Bhikkhu Bodhi may be helpful:
The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas

His conclusion supports Dave's statement: that lower attainments do not require jhana, but final liberation does.

Regarding dry insight, note that this does not mean that there is no development of concentrations and jhana factors. The "access concentration" spoken of in the Visudhimagga is still quite quite concentrated.

Visuddhimagga III.6
... access concentration is the
unification of mind obtained by the following, that is to say, the six recollections,
mindfulness of death, the recollection of peace, the perception of repulsiveness in
nutriment, and the defining of the four elements, and it is the unification that
precedes absorption concentration.

Visuddhimagga III.9
Access concentration may be accompanied
by bliss or accompanied by equanimity. So it is of two kinds as accompanied by
bliss and accompanied by equanimity.

Visuddhimagga III.106
As to which bring access only and which absorption: the eight recollections—
excepting mindfulness occupied with the body and mindfulness of breathing—
the perception of repulsiveness in nutriment, and the defining of the four elements,
are ten meditation subjects that bring access only.

Visuddhimagga IV.31
As he does so, the hindrances eventually become suppressed, the
defilements subside, the mind becomes concentrated with access concentration,
and the counterpart sign arises.

Visuddhimagga IV.33
he difference between the two kinds of concentration is this. The factors
are not strong in access. It is because they are not strong that when access has
arisen, the mind now makes the sign its object and now re-enters the life-
continuum, just as when a young child is lifted up and stood on its feet, it
epeatedly falls down on the ground. But the factors are strong in absorption. It
is because they are strong that when absorption concentration has arisen, the
mind, having once interrupted the flow of the life-continuum, carries on with a
stream of profitable impulsion for a whole night and for a whole day, just as a
healthy man, after rising from his seat, could stand for a whole day.

Visuddhimagga IV.34
The arousing of the counterpart sign, which arises together with access
concentration, is very difficult. Therefore if he is able to arrive at absorption
in that same session by extending the sign, it is good. If not, then he must
guard the sign diligently as if it were the foetus of a Wheel-turning Monarch
(World-ruler).

:anjali:
Mike

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samseva
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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by samseva » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:50 pm

From what I know, dry-insight in Pāḷi—sukkha-vipassaka and suddha-vipassanā-yānika—are terms both only used in the Commentaries.

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:01 pm

pilgrim wrote:Not the sutta you are looking for but the Vijjabhagiya sutta, AN 2.32 , seems to indicate that Vipassana and Samatha are two separate practices with 2 different results.

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 2-032.html
I don't read it that way at all, it appears to me the main point is that the two must be developed in tandem.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by bodom » Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:33 pm

On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Friends!"

"Yes, friend," the monks responded.

Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control. There comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, and becomes unified & concentrated. In him the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of these four paths."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by Zom » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:07 pm

I was wondering if anybody here knows of passages from the suttas that support the dry insight approach in which insights ars attained without prior attainment of jhanas. One sutta that I heard of but can't find the reference for is of someone who lost the ability to enter jhanas after getting ill, got frustrated from that loss, but then attained some stage of sainthood anyways after having been roused by the Buddha. Does anybody here know what sutta this refers to?
Depends on what you call an insight. Non-returning and arahantship are impossible without a jhana. See MN 64.

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:31 am

samseva wrote:From what I know, dry-insight in Pāḷi—sukkha-vipassaka and suddha-vipassanā-yānika—are terms both only used in the Commentaries.
The particular terms may well be later, but terminology isn't the issue. The question is from where in the suttas the commentators derived their systematization. As Zom (and the Bhikkhu Bodhi article I linked above) says, from looking at examples in the suttas, it appears that jhana is not needed for the lower attainments, but is for the higher ones.

We see examples in the suttas of people with apparently no practice experience attaining stream entry just listening to a discourse. Those who quickly attained arahantship seemed to have been ascetics already, so may well already have had jhana, or a strong basis for jhana.

I gave some quotes above from the Visuddhimagga regarding access concentration. I didn't have time to see whether there was a clear statement that access concentration was required for dry/bare-insight. Does anyone have a reference for that?

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by ryanM » Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:49 am

Zom wrote:
I was wondering if anybody here knows of passages from the suttas that support the dry insight approach in which insights ars attained without prior attainment of jhanas. One sutta that I heard of but can't find the reference for is of someone who lost the ability to enter jhanas after getting ill, got frustrated from that loss, but then attained some stage of sainthood anyways after having been roused by the Buddha. Does anybody here know what sutta this refers to?
Depends on what you call an insight. Non-returning and arahantship are impossible without a jhana. See MN 64.
Zom,

I'm in agreement that jhana is a requisite for unbinding. I was just wondering if it's stated anywhere that jhana must be experienced in this current birth, or whether it is just that it must have been experienced at anytime during our past lives? I apologize if this is off topic.

:anjali:

Ryan
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

"nothing whatsoever should be clung to"

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by robertk » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:54 am

mikenz66 wrote:
We see examples in the suttas of people with apparently no practice experience attaining stream entry just listening to a discourse. Those who quickly attained arahantship seemed to have been ascetics already, so may well already have had jhana, or a strong basis for jhana.


http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
/verseload.php?verse=142
g a rebellion on the border. King Pasenadi was so pleased with him that he honoured the minister with the gift of the riches and glory of a ruler together with a dancing girl to entertain him for seven days. For seven days, the king's minister enjoyed himself to his heart's content, getting intoxicated with drink and infatuated with the young dancer. On the seventh day, riding the ornamented royal elephant, he went down to the riverside for a bath. On the way, he met the Buddha going on an alms-round, and being drunk, he just bowed casually, as a sign of respect to the Buddha. The Buddha smiled, and Ananda asked the Buddha why he smiled. So, the Buddha said to Ananda, "Ananda, this minister will come to see me this very day and after I have given him a short discourse will become an arahat. Soon after becoming an arahat he will realize parinibbana
."

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by robertk » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:57 am

Mundane jhana is not a prerequisite at all for arahatship.
In the commentary to Aane~njasappaaya sutta (MN 106) it is said:
Uparipannasa-Atthakatha 4.67

]Samaapatti.m taava pada.t.thaana.m katvaa vipassana.m va.d.dhetvaa[/i]

When he has made the attainment of jhana the proximate cause of insight and increased vipassana,

arahatta.m ga.nhanto bhikkhu naava.m vaa u.lumpaadiini vaa nissaaya

and he attains arahatship, the bhikkhu who is as it were depending on a boat or a raft

mahogha.m taritvaa paara.m gacchanto viya na kilamati.

crosses the great flood and reaches the other side, is not tired.==========================
The above is the path of the great ones of the past who attained arahatship using mundane jhana as basis. These are the highest type of arahant. Below is the path of the Sukkhavipassaka- the very lowest type of arahant.


i
]Sukkhavipassako pana paki.n.nakasa'nkhaare sammasitvaa arahatta.m ga.nhanto[/i]

But the person with dry insight who has thoroughly known the particular conditioned dhamma and attains arahatship,

baahubalena sota.m chinditvaa paara.m gacchanto viya kilamati.

after he has as it were cut the stream with much force and reaches the other side, is tired.
___Bhikkhu Bodhi gives some other notes from the commentary of this sutta (M.106):

In the sutta Ananda asks the Buddha, "a bhikkhu is practising thus: 'If it were not it would be mine; it will not be and it will not be mine. What exists, what has come to be, that I am abandonding. Thus he attains equanimity. Venerable sir , does such a one attain Nibbana?."......The note by bodhi (1021)from Majjima attahakatha, "Anandas question is intended to elicit from the Buddha an account of the practice of the dry-insight meditator(sukkhavipassaka) who attains arahatship without depending on a jhanic attainment."

Sutta "This is deathless, namely the liberation of mind through not clinging" note 1023 Majjhima atthakatha says that the arahstship of the dry- insight meditator (sukkhavipassaka) is intended.

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Re: Dry insight: support by the suttas?

Post by Zom » Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:33 pm

I'm in agreement that jhana is a requisite for unbinding. I was just wondering if it's stated anywhere that jhana must be experienced in this current birth, or whether it is just that it must have been experienced at anytime during our past lives? I apologize if this is off topic.
In this very life, of course.

Mundane jhana is not a prerequisite at all for arahatship.
This is a plain contradiction to MN 64.

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