The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
frank k
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The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by frank k » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:58 pm

https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... vada.html
excerpt:

The Miseducation of Pīti😁 in Theravada
THOX (Theravada Orthodoxy) teaches this subject in a way that promotes the marginal case of spontaneously arisen Piti upon entering first jhana, as the main definition. Whereas in EBT, we can see Piti is something that needs to be actively developed, nurtured, reflected upon even while in jhāna, so one sees the cause and effect relationship between virtue and the spontaneous expression of piti in the jhanas.

In other words, THOX has cause and effect inverted. It treats piti as an effect, as something that happens to you when you do their pure samatha VRJ (vism. redefinition of jhana), piti is a reward.

In EBT, piti, pamojja, mudita, are all very closely related if not synonymous, and they are activities you actively do, nurture, develop, rather than treating them like magic beans that magically sprout when you blank your mind out 'one-pointedly' on a kasina or breath nimitta, and are rewarded with piti and sukha in jhana. In EBT, one is cognizant of the cause and effect relationship that piti and mudita has with the spontaneous piti and sukha that arises in jhana.
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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:33 am

frank k wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:58 pm
The Miseducation of Pīti😁 in Theravada
It seems the 'piti' of the 1st jhana (an effect of samadhi development) is not the same as say the 'piti' from hearing the teachings (a cause for samadhi development). For example, the 'piti' in the teaching below does not appear to be 'jhana' or 'immersion':
SN 12.23 wrote:Suffering is a vital condition for faith.
dukkhūpanisā saddhā,

Faith is a vital condition for joy.
saddhūpanisaṃ pāmojjaṃ,

Joy is a vital condition for rapture.
pāmojjūpanisā pīti,

Rapture is a vital condition for tranquility.
pītūpanisā passaddhi,

Tranquility is a vital condition for bliss.
passaddhūpanisaṃ sukhaṃ,

Bliss is a vital condition for immersion.
sukhūpaniso samādhi,

Immersion is a vital condition for truly knowing and seeing.
samādhūpanisaṃ yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ,

Truly knowing and seeing is a vital condition for disillusionment.
yathābhūtañāṇadassanūpanisā nibbidā,

Disillusionment is a vital condition for dispassion.
nibbidūpaniso virāgo,

Dispassion is a vital condition for freedom.
virāgūpanisā vimutti,

Freedom is a vital condition for the knowledge of ending.
vimuttūpanisaṃ khayeñāṇaṃ.

https://suttacentral.net/sn12.23/en/sujato
:alien:
frank k wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:58 pm
Whereas in EBT, we can see Piti is something that needs to be actively developed, nurtured, reflected upon even while in jhāna, so one sees the cause and effect relationship between virtue and the spontaneous expression of piti in the jhanas.
It seems like the above is "overestimating" what "jhana" is. It seems the "rapture" of being acutely aware of how one's virtue (harmlessness) is proper & right is not related to jhana. For example, similar to SN 12.23 above, it appears the "rapture" below is not jhana:
AN 11.2 wrote:When you have no regrets you need not make a wish:
Avippaṭisārissa, bhikkhave, na cetanāya karaṇīyaṃ:

‘May I feel joy!’
‘pāmojjaṃ me uppajjatū’ti.

It’s only natural that joy springs up when you have no regrets.
Dhammatā esā, bhikkhave, yaṃ avippaṭisārissa pāmojjaṃ uppajjati.

When you feel joy you need not make a wish:
Pamuditassa, bhikkhave, na cetanāya karaṇīyaṃ:

‘May I experience rapture!’
pīti me uppajjatū’ti.

It’s only natural that rapture arises when you’re joyful.
Dhammatā esā, bhikkhave, yaṃ pamuditassa pīti uppajjati.

When your mind is full of rapture you need not make a wish:
Pītimanassa, bhikkhave, na cetanāya karaṇīyaṃ:

‘May my body become tranquil!’
‘kāyo me passambhatū’ti.

It’s only natural that your body becomes tranquil when your mind is full of rapture.
Dhammatā esā, bhikkhave, yaṃ pītimanassa kāyo passambhati.

When your body is tranquil you need not make a wish:
Passaddhakāyassa, bhikkhave, na cetanāya karaṇīyaṃ:

‘May I feel bliss!’
‘sukhaṃ vediyāmī’ti.

It’s only natural to feel bliss when your body is tranquil.
Dhammatā esā, bhikkhave, yaṃ passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vediyati.

When you feel bliss you need not make a wish:
Sukhino, bhikkhave, na cetanāya karaṇīyaṃ:

‘May my mind be immersed in samādhi!’
‘cittaṃ me samādhiyatū’ti.

It’s only natural for the mind to become immersed in samādhi when you feel bliss.
Dhammatā esā, bhikkhave, yaṃ sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati.

https://suttacentral.net/an11.2/en/sujato
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Pondera
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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:29 am

The “rapture” described as an “effect” of joy and a “cause” for serenity is the very same “rapture” found in jhana descriptions and also the anapanasati formulas.

The misconception is that, in jhana, piti and sukha must arise simultaneously.

The contrary seems to be the case. All of the formulas show piti coming before sukha.

This is the case in anapanasati formulas - even where joy and serenity are excluded from the sequence.

Many of these factors must be discerned. Joy must be discerned if it is to be experienced and/or have the result of being a cause for rapture; etc., etc.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:12 am

Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:29 am
The “rapture” described as an “effect” of joy and a “cause” for serenity is the very same “rapture” found in jhana descriptions and also the anapanasati formulas.
I already offered EVIDENCE from the suttas the above idea that sounds like "fake-jhana" appears wrong.
Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:29 am
The misconception is that, in jhana, piti and sukha must arise simultaneously.
They appear to arise simultaneously yet, in the beginning, only the rapture is felt, since it blocks out the sukha. Also, I imagine there can be occasions in the 1st jhana when rapture/piti subsides (leaving only sukha) but then returns.
Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:29 am
The contrary seems to be the case. All of the formulas show piti coming before sukha.
Since the suttas say there are 5 factors in the 1st jhana they obviously both arise simultaneously. If they arose separately then the 1st jhana would only have 4 factors. :sage:
Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:29 am
This is the case in anapanasati formulas - even where joy and serenity are excluded from the sequence.
They appear to arise simultaneously yet, in the beginning, only the rapture is felt, since it blocks out the sukha. Also, I imagine there can be occasions in the 1st jhana when rapture subsides (leaving only sukha) but then returns.
Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:29 am
Many of these factors must be discerned. Joy must be discerned if it is to be experienced and/or have the result of being a cause for rapture; etc., etc.
Tranquilizing the breathing is the cause for jhana rapture. The contrary view appears both unsupported by sutta and the mark of fake-jhana. Volitionally making the mind happy, similar to Laughing Yoga, does not appear to be the Buddha's Jhana.

:smile:

There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:33 am

In Anapanasati, the body is tranquilized; the mind is tranquilized; mind objects are tranquilized; existence is tranquilized; one breathes in contemplating cessation or fading or relinquishment; and one does the same breathing out. So ...

Correct if I’m wrong (with a sutta reference) - but where does it say in ANY anapanasati formula that “the breath” is tranquilized?
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:47 am

Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:33 am
Correct if I’m wrong (with a sutta reference) - but where does it say in ANY anapanasati formula that “the breath” is tranquilized?
It says the "kaya sankhara" is tranquilized. The "kaya sankhara" is the "breathe".
passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati

https://suttacentral.net/mn118/pli/ms
Assāsapassāsā kho kāyasaṅkhāro

https://suttacentral.net/mn44/pli/ms
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:11 am

I’ll get back to you.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

frank k
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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by frank k » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:09 pm

Doodoot, you might try actually reading the blog post instead of replying to a short excerpt of it.
And even the full blog article is just a summary.
I've looked at every single occurrence of piti, pamojja, mudita in the suttas, a separate article summarizing the results of that are forthcoming.
It's amazing how you just start running your mouth off all the time without even researching the topic carefully, or even researching what the relevant part you're commenting on says.
I just ignore most of what you say most of the time because you seem like a lost cause. But here's hoping you wake up and do a self assessment.
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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Volo » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:29 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:33 am
It seems the 'piti' of the 1st jhana (an effect of samadhi development) is not the same as say the 'piti' from hearing the teachings (a cause for samadhi development). For example, the 'piti' in the teaching below does not appear to be 'jhana' or 'immersion':
Might be. Or maybe the intensity is what is different. Vism talks about 5 types of pīti:
Vism IV.94 wrote:But it is [happiness = pīti] of five kinds as minor happiness, momentary happiness, showering happiness, uplifting happiness, and pervading (rapturous) happiness.
And stresses that only the last type is what is meant when talking about 1st jhāna:
Vism IV.99 wrote:Of these, what is intended in this context by happiness is pervading happiness, which is the root of absorption and comes by growth into association with absorption.

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by DooDoot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:30 pm

Volo wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:29 pm
Might be. Or maybe the intensity is what is different.
Yes. Its partially the same piti but both its intensity & fruition as a salient experience is different.

As already posted from sutta, piti occurs in at least three situations:

#1. From the arising of faith when hearing & learning there is an end to suffering (SN 12.23).

#2. From clearly knowing one's own virtue is proper, harmless & the only & right way to live (AN 11.2)

#3. From the tranquilisation of the breathing & body, which includes the cleaning of the five hindrances (MN 118; jhana). The suttas say when the five hindrances are overcome, the result is joy & rapture, as follows:
In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured, his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure. Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Now, the practise of tranquilizing breathing in Anapanasati includes #1 & #2 piti because the practise of Anapanasati verifies the knowledge there is an end to suffering and harmlessness is the right & only way to live. Therefore, there is an underlying joy or rapture before reaching step 5 of Anapanasati or before reaching the 1st jhana. However, the experiencing of "tranquility" is predominant when the tranquilisation of the breathing & body (step 4) is advanced. It is only when the breathing becomes so tranquil that the mind can no longer feel the breathing & simultaneously the underlying piti emerges as the predominant meditation object (step 5). Note this piti includes #3 piti, namely, rapture because of tranquilisation. Therefore, the condition to fully experience #1 piti and #2 piti plus #3 piti is the tranquilizing of the breathing.

However, when step 5 of Anapanasati or, on a higher lever, jhana, is reached, the mind here will not be thinking at all; which includes not thinking about its virtue or reflecting upon the teachings. Thus, ultimately, the experience of piti in Step 5 or jhana will be discerned as born from tranquilisation. Thus the suttas say:
Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Kind regards :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:48 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:47 am
Pondera wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:33 am
Correct if I’m wrong (with a sutta reference) - but where does it say in ANY anapanasati formula that “the breath” is tranquilized?
It says the "kaya sankhara" is tranquilized. The "kaya sankhara" is the "breathe".
passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati

https://suttacentral.net/mn118/pli/ms
Assāsapassāsā kho kāyasaṅkhāro

https://suttacentral.net/mn44/pli/ms
Buddhadasa, Sujato, and Thinissaro all translate “kaya sankhara” as “body” or “bodily fabrication” - I’ve even seen it translated as “breath body” (more difficult to define).

Why do you think these Bhikkhus translate “kaya sankhara” as “body” or “bodily fabrication”?

Why are there ZERO translations that refer to the experiencing and calming of the “kaya sankhara” as the experiencing and calming of “the breath”?
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:57 am

kāya:
Body. Usually refers to the physical body (rūpa-kāya; see rūpa), but sometimes refers to the mental body (nāma-kāya; see nāma).
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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Pondera
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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:02 am

Useful thread:

viewtopic.php?t=16419
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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DooDoot
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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by DooDoot » Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:23 am

Pondera wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:48 am
Buddhadasa, Sujato, and Thinissaro all translate “kaya sankhara” as “body” or “bodily fabrication”
Irrelevant. The "kaya-sankhara" is translated as "body-conditioner" by Buddhadasa, "bodily fabrication/s" by Thinissaro and "physical process/the body’s motion" by Sujato.

Despite the ambiguous translations of Thinissaro & Sujato, all three monks are forced by the Pali to translate that the "kaya sankhara" means "the breath". :smile:
Thinissaro wrote:Assāsapassāsā kho kāyasaṅkhāro

In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Sujato wrote:Breathing is a physical process.

Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso visākha, kāyasaṅkhāro

But ma’am, why is breathing a physical process?

Kasmā panāyye, assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro,

Breathing is physical. It’s tied up with the body, that’s why breathing is a physical process.

Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso visākha, kāyikā ete dhammā kāyappaṭibaddhā, tasmā assāsapassāsā kāyasaṅkhāro.

https://suttacentral.net/mn44/en/sujato
Buddhadasa wrote:STEP FOUR: CALMING THE BREATH

After we know that we can regulate the flesh-body with the breath-body, we begin to practice step four. The Lord Buddha described step four as "calming the body-conditioner (passambhayam kayasankharam)." We are able to do this once we know that we can use the breath-body to control the flesh-body. (79)

The subject of step four is to calm the body-conditioner (kaya-sankhara) while breathing in and calm the body-conditioner while breathing out. This means we can make the body-conditioner (breath) calmer and calmer at the same time that we inhale and exhale. This is the matter which we now will explain. (80)

Note the specific wording of this step. "Calming the body­-conditioner" refers to calming the breath-body. In step four, the aim of our practice is to calm the breath. We make it fine and peaceful using various techniques which are available to us. If we can calm the breath, there will be very interesting and powerful results. First of all, the flesh-body will become very gentle, relaxed, and tranquil. Then there will arise a calming of the mind, also. There will be other results as well, but they will be left alone until later. The immediate lesson is to calm the breath. To mange the breath is the first point to be considered in the practice of step four.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... athing.htm
:alien:
Pondera wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 2:48 am
I’ve even seen it translated as “breath body” (more difficult to define).
No. The term "breath-body" merely means "the breath" because the Buddha said the breath was also a "kaya" ("body"). The term "breath-body differentiates the breath from the physical body (rupa-kaya) and mentality body (nama-kaya). MN 118 says:
Thinissaro wrote:I tell you, monks, that this — the in-&-out breath — is classed as a body among bodies....

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
The essence of practicing step three is to know that there are two kaya, and to be able to regulate one kaya through the other kaya. That is, we can regulate the flesh-body through the breath-body.

We see the breath as the conditioner of the flesh-body.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Bhik ... athing.htm
:focus:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: The Miseducation of Pīti in Theravada

Post by Pondera » Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:04 am

Thank you. The large font and use of colour was helpful. :bow: keep on breathing, Guru DooDoot. Breath until your root chakra finally bestows rapture and serenity in you. Breath until that last grain of consciousness leaves the middle of your head :bow:

I’ll stick to my Wind Kasina meditation. After all “in and out breaths” are merely a subset of the internal Wind element. :sage:
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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