insight requires access concentration?

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mikenz66
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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:26 pm

Off topic discussion moved here: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=32564

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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:15 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:56 pm

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

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It seems the short answer is no, insight does not require access concentration, only momentary concentration. So really we should ask how much family resemblance is there between the two.

While momentary concentration may contain an equivalent amount of stillness and focus of mind, does it necessarily contain the jhana factors the way access concentration does?
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:19 pm

Polar Bear wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:15 pm
It seems the short answer is no, insight does not require access concentration, only momentary concentration. So really we should ask how much family resemblance is there between the two.

While momentary concentration may contain an equivalent amount of stillness and focus of mind, does it necessarily contain the jhana factors the way access concentration does?
There was a long discussion about this back in the 1960s and 1970s.
See the link here (which Chrome complained about, but it still works ok...):
viewtopic.php?t=15323&start=20#p220875

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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:36 pm

Thanks Mike, I’ll take a look at the link.

In the meantime though, I found this:
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... wtopic=312

The commentaries speak of "threefold concentration" (tividha samādhi), comprising momentary concentration, approach concentration, and arrival concentration. The second and third of these are meditative attainments; the first is the ordinary concentration that is always present, which the Abhidhamma identifies with the ekaggatā cetasika. That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

More charitably construed, the modern usage might be seen as a shorthand for "develop the foundations of mindfulness, but without aiming for upacāra- or appanā-samādhi." I believe this is in fact what most modern vipassanā teachers mean by the expression. All the same, it's unfortunate that they have chosen this way of saying it, for it has given rise to an almost universal misapprehension of khaṇika-samādhi as being something that one has to strive to achieve.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
So it seems that if access concentration is explicitly stated not to be required but only momentary then no explicitly stated samadhi is required to be developed since khanika samadhi is considered present in every state of consciousness. But I think we can all agree that the five hindrances have to be in abeyance in order to realize any noble attainment.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:10 pm

Actually, it seems that access concentration maybe is required to fulfill purification of mind.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:34 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:10 pm
Actually, it seems that access concentration maybe is required to fulfill purification of mind.
Thank you for pointing that out. Yes, the Path of Purification, such as, for example on P345 of A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma viewtopic.php?f=18&t=826 has the progression:
IX.22
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.
In the associated table, purification of mind occurs due to access or absorption concentration, explained in IX.22
Purification of mind consists of two kinds of concentration,
namely: access concentration and absorption concentration.
Bhikkhu Bodhi's explanatory note:
The Pali Buddhist tradition recognizes two different approaches to
the development of insight. One approach, called the vehicle of calm
(samathay±na), 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
jh±na 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 vipassan±y±nika
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.
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Re: insight requires access concentration?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:14 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:15 pm
While momentary concentration may contain an equivalent amount of stillness and focus of mind, does it necessarily contain the jhana factors the way access concentration does?
I have an idea that "access concentration" is called that because it is the level of concentration required to access the jhanas? Is that correct?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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