mikenz66 wrote: ↑
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:29 pm
budo wrote: ↑
Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:36 pm
I would say due to the nature of the way suttas are written and broken up, the satipathana sutta is not whole by itself. As the book by Kheminda Thera "Way of Buddhist meditation" explains Satipathana sutta happens AFTER jhana, it assumes one is already in a state or post-state of Samma Samadhi.
It's interesting how one can find different ways of interpreting the suttas by picking different ones. In the "gradual training" suttas such as: https://suttacentral.net/mn27/en/bodhi#sc26
, mindfulness precedes jhana, but I recall that there are other orderings, which I'm sure you can provide...
And, of course, insight (vipassana) and serenity (samatha) can be developed in different orders:
Given this variety in the suttas, I would not be too quick to try to isolate the one true way of approaching the Path, or to claim that the approach of teacher X or Y is "wrong". Even from my rather limited experience, I've seen that different approaches seem to work better for different people, which is probably why there is such a variety of teachings and orderings in the suttas.
We can solve this issue by process of elimination.
In AN10.095 Uttiya asks Ananda, how many people will become enlightened? Ananda tells him this question is irrelevant, the only thing that matters that everyone who becomes enlightened does so the same way, they must all first remove the five hinderances
"In the same way, it’s not the Realized One’s concern whether the whole world is released by this, or half, or a third. But the Realized One knows that whoever’s released from the world—in the past, future, or present—all have given up the five hindrances, corruptions of the heart that weaken wisdom. They have firmly established their mind in the four kinds of mindfulness meditation. And they have truly developed the seven awakening factors. That’s how they’re released from the world, in the past, future, or present. Uttiya, you were just asking the Buddha the same question as before in a different way. That’s why he didn’t answer.”
"For, Lord, all the Blessed Ones, Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the past had abandoned the five hindrances,  the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; had well established their minds in the four foundations of mindfulness;  had duly cultivated the seven factors of enlightenment, and were fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment."
Notice that first one removes the 5 hindrances, THEN attains wisdom and THEN establishes in the 4 foundations of mindfulness..
By definition then, one needs to suppress the 5 hindrances first and develop the 5 jhana factors. Therefore insight vs serenity development can only happen after the 5 hindrances have been suppressed and the 5 jhana factors developed.
You cannot attain insight if your perception is distorted by the 5 hinderances.
"Having abandoned these five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment— then, quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. This, too, is how striving is fruitful, how exertion is fruitful." -MN 101
So first jhana is the minimum requirement for attaining insight, once that basic level is reached, then comes insight vs serenity suttas you referenced, which means either one develops insight first or jhanas 2-8, or both at the same time. So first jhana is the starting point, until first jhana happens there is nothing.
Evidence for this is this is when the buddha says that one who has developed the 5 jhana factors is fully accomplished in the dhamma. Therefore insight cannot even happen before first jhana.
Furthermore anupada sutta shows that the quality of "sampajanna" (clearly knowing/seeing of impermanence) arises in 3rd jhana.
Therefore one cannot even practice Satipatthana if they haven't abandoned the five hindrances and developed the 5 factors.
Let me ask you this:
What good is telling yourself "I am turning, I am moving, I am eating, I am sitting, I am walking, etc.." if your perception is distorted, it won't mean anything, you can tell that to yourself all the time and it won't change anything. When someone is on the drug LSD they love looking at their own hands and other simple ordinary day to day things because their perception has totally changed so they are attaining new insight. Just the same when you have the new perception without the 5 hinderances.
What good is analyzing your body parts, if your perception is distorted by the 5 hindrances and the 5 jhana factors undeveloped?
What good is looking at dead bodies in charnal ground, if your perception is distorted by the 5 hindrances and the 5 jhana factors undeveloped?
What good is looking at your ordinary day to day feelings, if your perception is distorted by the 5 hindrances and the 5 jhana factors undeveloped?
What good is contemplating the 5 aggregates, impermanence, and dependent origination, if your thinking is distorted by the 5 hindrances and the 5 jhana factors undeveloped?
You are not going to attain direct knowledge with your old distorted and ordinary perception, the perception must change first:
"Now, lord, does perception arise first, and knowledge after; or does knowledge arise first, and perception after; or do perception & knowledge arise simultaneously?"
"Potthapada, perception arises first, and knowledge after. And the arising of knowledge comes from the arising of perception. One discerns, 'It's in dependence on this  that my knowledge has arisen.' Through this line of reasoning one can realize how perception arises first, and knowledge after, and how the arising of knowledge comes from the arising of perception." -DN9