Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

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one_awakening
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Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by one_awakening » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:53 am

What are people's understanding of Step 7 and Step 8 of the sixteen steps of Anapanasati:

[7] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.’

[8] He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.’
Thich Nhat Hahn’s says:

The 7th and 8th exercises bring our attention to all feelings that arise, whether produced by the body or the mind. The mind’s functions include feelings and perceptions. When we are aware of every bodily and every mental action, we are aware of every feeling. The 8th exercise calms the body and mind and makes them peaceful. At this point we can perfectly and completely unify body, mind, feelings, and breath.
Thanissaro says:

In step 8, after sensitizing yourself to the effect of perceptions and feelings on the mind in step 7, you try to cultivate perceptions and feelings that will have a calming effect. And although verbal fabrication is not mentioned by name in any of the steps, the use of the training phrase “I will breathe” is, in itself, an example of using verbal fabrication skillfully. So all three forms of fabrication play a role in
these sixteen steps.



Thich Nhat Hahn and Thanissaro seem to be saying two very different things here.



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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by DooDoot » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:14 am

Step 7 and Step 8 use the term "citta sankhara". "Citta sankhara" is feeling & perception (MN 44). They are called "citta sankhara" because feeling and perception can condition the citta to generate greed, hatred & delusion (when mindfulness & wisdom are absent or deficient).

When rapture (step 5) and happiness (step 6) occur, they can push & pull the mind (citta) to have various reactions; particularly when the meditator is new to this sphere of experience . Step 7 is experiencing how rapture and happiness push & pull the mind to have various reactions. Step 8 is calming this process, that is, calming any reactivity & the feelings themselves.

When step 5 and 6 is reached, particularly step 5 (rapture), many types of mental reactions can occur. The mind can delight or lust over the rapture; the mind can create self-delusions over the rapture (such as "I have attained; I am the next Jesus"); the mind can dislike the rapture because it disturbs the calmness developed at step 4; or the mind can become apprehensive & confused over the rapture because it can be difficult for the newbie to control & maintain the composure, equanimity & concentration of the mind (citta) when the rapture is strong.

Step 7 is experiencing how feelings (& perceptions of those feelings) sankhara (stir-up) the citta (mind). Step 8 is calming this process.
Thanissaro wrote:In step 8, after sensitizing yourself to the effect of perceptions and feelings on the mind in step 7, you try to cultivate perceptions and feelings that will have a calming effect.
Thanissaro has provided the explanation I agree with. It also conforms with the direct explanation of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa and the indirect explanation of the "jhana wobble" by Ajahn Brahm.
The “Wobble" (Vitakka and Vicara). All Jhanas are states of unmoving bliss, almost. However, in the First Jhana, there is some movement discernible. I call this movement the "wobble" of First Jhana. One is aware of great bliss, so powerful it has subdued completely the part of the ego that wills and does. In Jhana, one is on automatic pilot, as it were, with no sense of being in control. However, the bliss is so delicious that it can generate a small residue of attachment. The mind, not the doer, instinctively grasps at the bliss. Because the bliss of First Jhana is fuelled by letting go, such involuntary grasping weakens the bliss. Seeing the bliss weaken, the mind automatically lets go of its grasping and the bliss increases in power again. The mind then grasps again, then lets go again. Such subtle involuntary movement gives rise to the wobble of First Jhana.

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn ... Jhanas.htm

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by paul » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:21 am

The second tetrad deals with feeling, as appropriate to its basis in the second foundation of mindfulness, so the question arises why are steps 7 & 8, which deal with the mind, included in it?

Thich Nhat Hanh tries to suggest they apply to feelings, which is a static conception. Thanissaro’s explanation is they are a prelude to the third tetrad, the state of mind, in that feelings condition mental states:

“Step 7 builds naturally on steps 5 and 6 because only when you have gained
experience in inducing states of rapture and pleasure, and in observing the role
of perception in conjunction with these states, can you see clearly the way their
presence and absence can fabricate the state of your mind. This will enable you,
in step 8, to calm the impact of these feelings and perceptions as seems
appropriate.”—-“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by auto » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:56 am

idea of "i will breath in sensitive to.." for instructed person its like, "I" makes a difference:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it disjoined from it.
If you say "I" then that is different from how uninstructed person does it:
"Sensing a feeling of pleasure, he senses it as though joined with it.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

fabrications are building blocks for consciousness. Anyways birth will end,7-8, ending of 5 lower fetters.
"If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no base for consciousness. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released. Owing to its release, it stands still. Owing to its stillness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
---
but you still need know how to satisfy mind instead of fabrications and also cessation. 9-16

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by Zom » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:20 pm

I don't think these are "steps". All 4 tetrads are actually 4 satipatthanas, and 4 satipatthanas are not "steps". They are just 4 possible areas to direct your attention.

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by Alexander____ » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:20 pm

It gets confusing because it isn't really clear if you're breathing and at the same time sensitive and calming fabrications, or if you're meant to be using the breath in that process to become sensitive and calm.

The latter seems more likely from the words used in the sutta in my opinion, but it does get a bit technical using the breath like that and it seems Thanissaro goes down that route while other teachers like Buddhadasa go the former way.

I like the Thanissaro idea of using the breath, it makes more sense to me in relation to the texts. But then both teachers expand logically on why they think of things their way with relation to the texts.

As so often is, I think it depends on your own personal practice, what works well for you and how well that resonates with you with reference to the texts.

I find it's good to read these monks' meditation books as well as the texts and compare them with your own experience because the texts deal mainly with the outcome of meditation rather than the exact technique to get there.

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by ToVincent » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:36 pm

I wouldn't question the great achievements of the experts over the newbies. And I wouldn't wonder how
the mind can become apprehensive & confused over the rapture because it can be difficult for the newbie to control & maintain the composure, equanimity & concentration...
However, I might wonder what a Christian kind of "rapture" might have to do with pīti; the pamoda of seclusion (viveka) in the internal breath.

Let's not forget that no one can breathe for you, once mindful. Breathing is really an internal process; a process that transcends the external. That is to say that discards and casts out the external (see AN 3.32).
Note also that this internal will have to be discarded too. (See MN 35).
(Note: As far as ajjhat­ta­bahid­dhā (external-internal) is concerned, SN 52.1, with it's parallel in SA 536 (the cup and the supper) - and which is, (apart from the dubious MN 10,) the only relevant parallel to this concept, with maybe MN122 - might be the best way to tackle the misconception that both the internal & external should be made one) .
This having been said, let's continue with pīti, if you may.

Pīti comes from the root प्री prī, which has
the meaning of gratifaction, satisfaction, and comfort. It has to do with propitiation, or conciliation with oneself in the internality of the breath.
One is delighted as he feels satisfied in the feeling born from the seclusion within the internal body.
This is a mano/body process, with very little citta involved.
And I have a hard time to see into that a "rapture" that moreover, would be difficult to control.
Sounds a bit overdone; as the promise of a filthy rich evangelist.

Now, when one reaches the citta, that has been abhipamoda"ed", as stated in the apanasati sutta (SN 54.13); or explained otherwise in SN 55.40 below:
When the mano is full of joyful contentment, the body becomes tranquil.
Pītimanassa kāyo passambhati.
When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss (in the citta - this is also the result of having abhippamoda"ded" the citta).
Passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ viharati.
The citta becomes established - ready to be totally liberated from mano, which is the orchestrator of the fields of sensory experience (salayatanani) (MN 43).
And when blissful, the mind "establihes itself" (samadhi - https://justpaste.it/5x298 ).
Sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati.
When the mind is establihed, phenomena become clear.
Samāhite citte dhammā pātubhavanti.
There is no Christian "rapture" into that.
"Rapture" is used by the fool to fool the fools.

Pīti to Sukkha, is mano joy going towards citta joy.
And both have to be cast off in third and fourth jhanas anyway.

It is true that it is not as attractive as some would like to make it look.
But upekkhasatiparisuddhi (purity of mindfulness due to equanimigy) is supposed to be way better and sophisticated.
That's
what the Buddha says.

But maybe an expert would like to tell us, the newbies, a bit more about that.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by paul » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:47 pm

Quote: “the mind can become apprehensive & confused over the rapture because it can be difficult for the newbie to control & maintain the composure, equanimity & concentration”

Rapture is an energy factor in terms of the division of the factors of enlightenment into tranquility and energy, and there is a suggested theme in the Anapanasati sutta that the practitioner alternately builds energy then calms it, as an exercise in developing balance and control. When instructing on samatha, MN 118 is not talking about nibbana so much as giving strengthening exercises for mental development:

“The calming of mental fabrication, as the mind goes through the jhanas,
echoes MN 118’s description of the relationship between rapture and calm as
factors for awakening: Unless the mind is already too energized, you have to
make sure that it is energized before calming it. Otherwise it will grow sluggish
and constricted.”—-“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:51 pm

paul wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:47 pm
Quote: “the mind can become apprehensive & confused over the rapture because it can be difficult for the newbie to control & maintain the composure, equanimity & concentration”
The above comment is unrelated to anything posted from Bhikkhu Thanissaro. The above comment refers to a subtle defilement of the citta arising due to rapture.
paul wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:47 pm
Rapture is an energy factor in terms of the division of the factors of enlightenment into tranquility and energy, and there is a suggested theme in the Anapanasati sutta that the practitioner alternately builds energy then calms it, as an exercise in developing balance and control.
The is no explicit suggestion at all of the above in MN 118; the idea that the meditator intentionally "builds" energy rapture and then intentionally calms it. Also, the rapture of step 5 may not necessarily be the same rapture as a factor of enligthenment; similar to how the rapture in AN 11.2 is not necessary the same rapture as step 5 or as jhana.
paul wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:47 pm
“The calming of mental fabrication, as the mind goes through the jhanas, echoes MN 118’s description of the relationship between rapture and calm as factors for awakening: Unless the mind is already too energized, you have to make sure that it is energized before calming it. Otherwise it will grow sluggish and constricted.”—-“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro.
It may "echo" but appears not the same because there is no awareness of breathing mentioned in any jhana. In other words, it appears doubtful that MN 118 is about jhana. Regardless, the yogic mental gymnastics described by Thanissaro above appears unrelated to the suttas.

The rapture of Step 5 appears born from the calm developed at Step 4.

The rapture as a Factor of Enlightenment appears born of (the success of) insight (dhamma vicaya) and energy.

In other words, the two rapture mentioned in MN 118 appear to be diffferent.

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by auto » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:44 am

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN54_11.html
Then the Blessed One, having emerged from seclusion after the passing of three months, addressed the monks: “Monks, if wanderers of other sects ask you, ‘By means of what dwelling, friends, did Gotama the contemplative mostly dwell during the rains residence?’: You, thus asked, should answer them in this way: ‘It was by means of the concentration of mindfulness of breathing that the Blessed One mostly dwelled.’
“For whatever one rightly speaking would call, ‘a noble dwelling,’ ‘a brahmā dwelling,’ ‘a Tathāgata dwelling,’ it would be the concentration of mindfulness of breathing that he, speaking rightly, would call, ‘a noble dwelling,’ ‘a brahmā dwelling,’ ‘a Tathāgata dwelling.’
“Those who are learners, who have yet to attain their hearts’ desire, who stay resolved on the unexcelled security from bondage: When the concentration of mindfulness of breathing is developed & pursued by them, it leads to the ending of the effluents.
“Those who are arahants, whose effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who are released through right gnosis: When the concentration of mindfulness of breathing is developed & pursued by them, it leads to a pleasant abiding here-&-now and to mindfulness & alertness.
it seem it is concetration of mindfulness of breathing.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"[1] On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.
mindfulness as a factor of awakening will be aroused and it .. culminates

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by DooDoot » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:17 pm

auto wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:44 am
concentration of mindfulness of breathing.
Nice quotes but is "concentration from mindfulness with breathing" ("ānāpānassatisamādhinā") the same as "mindfulness with breathing" (ānāpānasati) in MN 118? :shrug:

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by auto » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:49 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:17 pm
auto wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:44 am
concentration of mindfulness of breathing.
Nice quotes but is "concentration from mindfulness with breathing" ("ānāpānassatisamādhinā") the same as "mindfulness with breathing" (ānāpānasati) in MN 118? :shrug:
What's mindfulness anyway, Sensuality. Breath is sensual substance. Concentration is how much there is it.

I used to think concentration is looking at an object. But there is that "i look at an object" very boldly standing out, so i come aware of "me being aware", so if i am like that then i notice that breathing interrupts that's one of the reason what when actually be alert and aware you notice that breath demands attention and it will cultivate annoyance and frustration,
Reasonable reason to switch solely to breath since it demands anyway attention time to time and there is a stage where it won't lapse anymore.

In breath there is that same "me" but it is as a sensation, it is hard to discern it from breath. So if i am just aware of an object it is subordinate to the substance of "me" what can be discern in a breath

That difference is made clear i think here,

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"But how do you develop mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, Arittha?"
"Having abandoned sensual desire for past sensual pleasures, lord, having done away with sensual desire for future sensual pleasures, and having thoroughly subdued perceptions of irritation with regard to internal & external events, I breathe in mindfully and breathe out mindfully."[1]
"There is that mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, Arittha. I don't say that there isn't. But as to how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is brought in detail to its culmination, listen and pay close attention. I will speak."
"As you say, lord," Ven. Arittha responded to the Blessed One.
The Blessed One said, "And how, Arittha, is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing brought in detail to its culmination? There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[2] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.
always mindful.

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by ToVincent » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:00 pm

What is saṅkhara in the particular case of Anapanasati ?

One should refer to both SN 22.81, and its parallel SA 57 (translated by Analayo).
What these two texts are teaching us, and have in common, is that:
1. We should "well contemplate
the aggregates, that is, [based on cultivating] the four establishments
of mindfulness, etc..."
What purport to us here then, is how should we contemplate the aggregate saṅkhara in Anapanasati.
2. That "contact with ignorance gives rise to craving. In dependence on craving, this saṅkhara arises.

Ok.
- Ignorance is what we haven't discovered yet. It is non-discerment)
- I hope not to be flamed again - but contact is just the "transfer of property" from one thing to another.

When one, in Anapanasati comes, through the body that is breath, to a desired feeling of contentment (piti,) born of mano - (sikkhati is a desiderative verb, that means "to desire to be able to" - and also patisamvedi has the underlying meaning of: "to have the knowledge of the particulars of a thing).

And when one desires also to be able to know the particulars of sukha; and experiences it, THEN there is contact.
Because one transfers the property of kaya's piti, acquired through and within mano; and one doesn't discern - One is ignorant of the duality of sukha. One mixes up the piti/dukkha of mano's piti, with the bliss of citta.
The etymology of saṅkhara (संकर saṃkara [act. saṃkṝ] [√ कॄ kṝ] ,) shows a meaning of "commingling", with an under lying sense of confusion.

The discernment is to see that this mano piti is dukkha.
And one has to abandon this pain/pleasure of mano "undiscerment" in the fourth jhana.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by ToVincent » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:11 pm

What is saṅkhara in the particular case of Anapanasati ?

One should refer to both SN 22.81, and its parallel SA 57 (translated by Analayo).
What these two texts are teaching us, and have in common, is that:
1. We should "well contemplate the aggregates, that is, [based on cultivating] the four establishments of mindfulness, etc..."
What purport to us here then, is how we should contemplate the aggregate saṅkhara in Anapanasati.

2. That "contact with ignorance gives rise to craving. In dependence on craving, this saṅkhara arises".

Ok.
- Ignorance is what we haven't discovered yet. It is a non-discerment.
- Contact (phasso) is just the "transfer of property" from one thing to another.

When one, in Anapanasati comes, through the body that is breath, to a desired feeling of contentment (piti,) born of mano - (sikkhati is a desiderative verb, that means "to desire to be able to" - and also patisamvedi has the underlying meaning of: "to have the knowledge of the particulars of a thing).

And when one desires also to be able to know the particulars of sukha; and experiences it, THEN there is contact.

The part of samadhi that corresponds to the commingling (saṅkhara) of mano with citta is contact.

Because one transfers the property of kaya's piti, acquired through and within mano; and because one doesn't discern yet the duality in the commingling (saṅkhara) ; because there is not yet Vi-ññāṇa - One is ignorant of the duality of sukha. One mixes up the piti/dukkha of mano's piti, with the bliss of citta. For this commingling, this aggreagate that is saṅkhara is dukkha, - because it is not one's ownness (the second meaning of anicca,) it is not our self (anatta)

Experiencing and calming cittasaṅkhara in the seventh & eighth steps of Ānāpānasati, is just about that. 
It is about knowing about this duality, of which one part is impermanent and not one's ownness - which is anatta.

The etymology of saṅkhara (संकर saṃkara [act. saṃkṝ] [√ कॄ kṝ] ,) shows a meaning of "commingling", with an under lying sense of confusion.

The discernment is to see that this mano's piti + citta's sukha is indeed dukkha.

One has first to liberate the citta (from mano);
then one has to abandon this pain/pleasure of mano/citta, once in the fourth jhana.

---
Note:
Sukha is not really bliss. It is polluted bliss, as long as citta is not totally liberated.

When it "mixes" with the body, through mano, it becomes sukhañca kayena (Third jhana).
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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Re: Anapanasati - Step 7 and 8

Post by 2600htz » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:40 pm

Hello:

It means that while being mindful of the breath you calm your mind :rofl: .

Regards.

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