insight requires access concentration?

A forum for members who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries, which for discussion purposes are both treated as authoritative.

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

insight requires access concentration?

Post by robertk » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:09 pm

As several of us have said "dry" is somewhat confusing characterisation of such practices, since insight requires, according to the commentaries, to develop the jhana factors to access-concentration level. And that is what such practices aim for. That would imply that it is partly a samatha practice
this was said on another topic.
we can discuss here.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16460
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:56 pm

Thanks Robert.

Here are some relevant passages from:

A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma:The Abhidhammatthasangaha of Acariya Anuruddha, With commentary by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
Free PDF: http://store.pariyatti.org/Comprehensiv ... _4362.html
IX. KAMMATTHANASANGAHA
...
§22 Stages of Purification
In insight meditation, the compendium of purifications is seven-
fold: (1) purification of virtue, (2) purification of mind, (3) purifica-
tion of view, (4) purification by overcoming doubt, (5) purification
by knowledge and vision as to what is the path and what is not the
path, (6) purification by knowledge and vision of the way, and (7)
purification by knowledge and vision.

Guide to §22 [I.e. Bhikku Bodhi's comments]
These seven stages of purification are to be attained in sequence, each
being the support for the one that follows. The first purification corre-
sponds to the morality aspect of the path, the second to the concentration
aspect, the last five to the wisdom aspect. The first six stages are mun-
dane, the last is the supramundane paths.
See Table 9.2. [Page 345 of the PDF]
...
§29 Purification of Mind
Purification of mind consists of two kinds of concentration,
namely: access concentration and absorption concentration.

Guide to §29
The Pali Buddhist tradition recognizes two different approaches to
the development of insight. One approach, called the vehicle of calm
(samathayana), involves the prior development of calm meditation to
the level of access concentration or absorption concentration as a basis
for developing insight. One who adopts this approach, the samathay±nika
meditator, first attains access concentration or one of the fine-material
or immaterial-sphere jh±nas. Then he turns to the development of in-
sight by defining the mental and physical phenomena occurring in the
jhana as mentality-materiality and seeking their conditions (see §§30-
31), after which he contemplates these factors in terms of the three char-
acteristics (see §32). For this meditator, his prior attainment of access
or absorption concentration is reckoned as his purification of mind.

The other approach, called the vehicle of pure insight (suddha-
vipassanayana), does not employ the development of calm as a founda-
tion for developing insight. Instead the meditator, after purifying his
morality, enters directly into the mindful contemplation of the changing
mental and material processes in his own experience. As this
contemplation gains in strength and precision, the mind becomes
naturally concentrated upon the ever-changing stream of experience with
a degree of concentration equal to that of access concentration. This
moment-by-moment fixing of the mind on the material and mental
processes in their present immediacy is known as momentary concen-
tration (khaoikasamadhi). Because it involves a degree of mental
stabilization equal to that of access concentration, this momentary
concentration is reckoned as purification of mind for the vipassanayanika
meditator, the meditator who adopts the vehicle of pure insight. Such a
meditator is also called a “dry insight worker” (sukkhavipassaka) because
he develops insight without the “moisture” of the jhanas.
...
There is more detail in the Visuddhimagga: http://www.bps.lk/library-search-select.php?id=bp207h

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16460
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:58 pm

Off-topic posts removed. This is a discussion of the Classical progress of insight.

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
cappuccino
Posts: 1535
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:45 am

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by cappuccino » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:46 pm

One approach, called the vehicle of calm
(samathayana), involves the prior development of calm meditation

Right, jhana is calm

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16460
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:57 pm

Please note that this thread is intended as a discussion of the validity of the statement:
insight requires, according to the commentaries, to develop the jhana factors to access-concentration level.
Posts that do not address that question in some way should be posted on the many other threads about jhana.

Furthermore, this thread is in the Classical Theravada section, so these guidelines apply:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=373#p3724

:heart:
Mike

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:57 am

robertk wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:09 pm
As several of us have said "dry" is somewhat confusing characterisation of such practices, since insight requires, according to the commentaries, to develop the jhana factors to access-concentration level. And that is what such practices aim for. That would imply that it is partly a samatha practice
this was said on another topic.
we can discuss here.
What is your definition of insight?

User avatar
budo
Posts: 419
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am
Location: The world

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by budo » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:50 pm

I can only speak from my understanding of the suttas.

According to Anapada sutta, in third jhana one attains: Sampajañña - commonly translated as "clear knowing", "clear understanding", or "constant thorough understanding of impermanence"

"Furthermore, with the fading away of rapture, he entered and remained in the third jhana, where he meditated with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’

Puna caparaṃ, bhikkhave, sāriputto pītiyā ca virāgā upekkhako ca viharati sato ca sampajāno, sukhañca kāyena paṭisaṃvedeti. Yaṃ taṃ ariyā ācikkhanti: ‘upekkhako satimā sukhavihārī’ti tatiyaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati.

"And he distinguished the phenomena in the third jhana one by one: bliss and mindfulness and awareness and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and attention. "

Ye ca tatiye jhāne dhammā—sukhañca sati ca sampajaññañca cittekaggatā ca, phasso vedanā saññā cetanā cittaṃ chando adhimokkho vīriyaṃ sati upekkhā manasikāro—


Wikipedia article on Sampajañña - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampaja%C3%B1%C3%B1a

This quality is not present in the previous jhanas, and I'm guessing not in access concentration either. If you look at the suttas involving the third noble truth "Impermanence" is always the first characteristic to be seen and understood.

"The perceptions of impermanence, not-self, ugliness, drawbacks, giving up, fading away, cessation, dissatisfaction with the whole world, non-desire for all conditions, and mindfulness of breathing." -AN10.60

or the last tetrad of anapanasati, first step: ""[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on impermenence.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on impermenence.' -MN 118

Sweeney
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:11 am

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Sweeney » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:49 am

From Ledi Sayadaw's Ānāpāna Dīpani found here: https://www.bps.lk/library-search-select.php?id=wh431
From the Counting and Connection Stages
In these two stages, the work consists solely of keeping the attention on the out-breaths and inbreaths
and perceiving them with wisdom. Hence, if one wishes to proceed to vipassanā from these
stages, the effort must be based on corporeal phenomena (rūpa-dhamma).
And
Vipassanā based on Corporeal Phenomena
When effort in the counting stage is accomplished, instead of proceeding next to the connection stage,
one must proceed to the stage of insight into impermanence (anicca-vipassanā) in accordance with the
text, “he trains to contemplate impermanence, and thus he exhales and inhales” (aniccānupassī
assasissāmīti sikkhati, etc.).
The momentary concentration (khaṇika-samādhi) which one achieved in the counting stage must be
treated as access concentration (upacāra-samādhi). A person who wants to practise vipassanā, being an
ordinary human being, may not find it possible to put forth effort twenty-four hours a day. He must
therefore allocate three or four hours a day and put forth effort punctually and regularly every day.
When he starts to practise, he must first overcome the wandering tendencies of the mind and
establish mindfulness on the breath. It is only after he has overcome the mind’s wandering tendencies
that he can direct the mind towards vipassanā. He must not relinquish mindfulness of the breathing,
but must remain established in it until he achieves insight and attains knowledge of the path and fruit
(magga-ñāṇa and phala-ñāṇa). Even when he enters fruition, he must treat mindfulness of breathing as
access concentration.
Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ
Kusalassa upasampadā
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ
Etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ
~ Dhp 183 ~

SarathW
Posts: 10121
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by SarathW » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:55 am

The way I understand the insight itself is the concentration.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

James Tan
Posts: 944
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by James Tan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:44 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:55 am
The way I understand the insight itself is the concentration.
I suppose not , concentration is one mind .
Insight is revelation when penetrating the process .
:reading:

SarathW
Posts: 10121
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by SarathW » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:53 am

Insight is revelation when penetrating the process .
Agree but insight and concentration are not separable.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

justindesilva
Posts: 807
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by justindesilva » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:34 pm

James Tan wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:44 am
SarathW wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:55 am
The way I understand the insight itself is the concentration.
I suppose not , concentration is one mind .
Insight is revelation when penetrating the process .
In meditation we hear of 3 modes of insight which are
parikamma initial concentration
Upacara access concentration
Appana fixed concentration

with anapanasati as of initial concentration mind gets light and breathing is in control.
Access concentration is the stage of the mind to enter in to jana, while with appana samadhi the mind is fixed to enter the 1st jana and will continue.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16460
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:42 pm

Since this is the Classical Theravada section members should support their statements with quotations from suttas, abhidhamma, or commentary. The question under consideration is (adding some context that is missing from the OP, and makes it somewhat confusing):
As several of us have said "dry" is somewhat confusing characterisation of such practices, since insight requires, according to the commentaries, to develop the jhana factors to access-concentration level. And that is what such practices aim for. That would imply that it viewtopic.php?t=32135&start=15#p477777[Mahasi -style practice] is partly a samatha practice.
Commentaries such as the Visuddhimagga discuss upacāra samadhi (VM IV 32-33)
32. Now, concentration is of two kinds, that is to say, access concentration and
absorption concentration: the mind becomes concentrated in two ways, that is,
on the plane of access and on the plane of obtainment. Herein, the mind becomes
concentrated on the plane of access by the abandonment of the hindrances, and
on the plane of obtainment by the manifestation of the jhána factors.
33. The 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
repeatedly 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.
VM XVIII 5
5. But one whose vehicle is pure insight, or that same aforesaid one whose vehicle
is serenity, discerns the four elements in brief or in detail in one of the various ways
given in the chapter on the definition of the four elements (XI.27ff.). Then, when the
elements have become clear in their correct essential characteristics, firstly, in the
case of head hair originated by kamma there become plain ten instances of materiality
(rúpáni) with the body decad thus: the four elements, colour, odour, flavour, nutritive
essence, and life, and body sensitivity. ...
Here are some other quotes:
viewtopic.php?t=24637#p354806

:heart:
Mike

SarathW
Posts: 10121
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by SarathW » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:41 pm

Ven Kumara Kassapa mentioned that insight can attain in three ways.
That is Samatha, Vipassana and both Samatha and Vipassana.
There is a Sutta to support this.
He also mentioned that when you acquire insight you are in Samadhi however when you are in Jhana you are not necessarily in insight.
He also argues that practicing concentration without right view can lead to extending the Samsara.
The reason being Jhana is so pleasant a person can be attached to Jhana.

The video is in the Sinhalese language.

“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Dinsdale
Posts: 5964
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:24 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:53 am
Agree but insight and concentration are not separable.
Indeed, and they seem to be two sides of the same coin.

See for example SN35.99, the Samadhi Sutta:

“Bhikkhus, develop concentration. A bhikkhu who is concentrated understands things as they really are.
“And what does he understand as they really are? He understands as it really is: ‘The eye is impermanent.’ He understands as it really is: ‘Forms are impermanent.’… ‘Eye-consciousness is impermanent. ’… ‘Eye-contact is impermanent.’… ‘Whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is impermanent.’…"

https://suttacentral.net/sn35.99/en/bodhi

While samadhi is often described in terms of jhana as a path factor, it is described in a variety of ways across the suttas, including both jhana and insight.
See for example the results on this search for "samadhi" on ATI:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_ ... &sa=Search

To answer the OP question, I assume that more concentration corresponds to more insight. Is there a clear definition of "access concentration" in the suttas? Possibly it's like trying to ask that question: "How long is a piece of string?" ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests