Analayo - Understanding and Practicing the Ānāpānasati-sutta

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Javi
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Re: Analayo - Understanding and Practicing the Ānāpānasati-sutta

Post by Javi » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:48 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:05 am
Javi wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:44 am
I tend to agree with the view that sees the sixteen steps as not being a strictly linear ...
I would suggest they are linear. For example, rapture obviously occurs after the calming of the breath. For non-linear meditation, for practitoners without stable mindfulness, I would suggest the Satipatthana Sutta. As for the Anapanasati Sutta, the Buddha said it is not for those without stable mindfulness:
I do not say that there is the development of mindfulness of breathing for one who is forgetful, who is not fully aware. MN 118
I said they are not strictly linear, not that they have no conditional connection.

I think that the sixteen steps can be seen both diachronically, as causing and leading to each other, but also as synchronically supporting each other.

Indeed the more I study the anapanasati sutta the more I see how complex the relationships between the sixteen steps are.

Have you read Thanissaro Bhikkhu's analysis in "Right Mindfulness"? If not, I highly recommend it.
Satipatthana Sutta is for the run-of-the-mill meditator; Anapanasati for stream-enters & jhana for once-returners & above.
Eh I'm not sure where you got his idea from, do you have any evidence for this claim from the canon?
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Javi
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Re: Analayo - Understanding and Practicing the Ānāpānasati-sutta

Post by Javi » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:59 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:12 am
In steps 7 & 8, the Pali is 'citta sankhara', which refers to the vedana (feelings) of rapture & happiness, as defined in MN 44:
Assāsapassāsā kho, āvuso visākha, kāyasaṅkhāro, vitakkavicārā vacīsaṅkhāro, saññā ca vedanā ca cittasaṅkhāro”ti

In-&-out breaths are bodily sankhara (conditioning agent). Initial & sustained thought are verbal sankhara. Perceptions & feelings are the mind sankhara. MN 44
Feelings as the mind sankhara are well described in MN 148...
Thus, Analayo's reference to 'citta sankhara' as 'other mental formations' is very questionable scholarship. While the presence of some mental formations may exist here, as described in MN 148, which are subtle defiled reactions to rapture & happiness, these reactions are not the literal meaning of citta sankhara, as described in MN 44. The meaning of 'experiencing citta sankhara' is experience how rapture & happiness, which are the mind conditioning agents, give rise to different mental moods or subtle reactions. While not relevant to my point, I would assume or guess 'citta' is a noun meaning 'mind' rather than an adjective meaning 'mental'. Vedana (feelings) are mind-conditioning-agents (citta-sankhara), as defined in MN 44. They are obviously not the "mental formation". If steps 7 & 8 were about mental formations (sankhara khandha), they would be part of the 3rd tetrad.
It is not questionable at all, it is a standard rendering in English of this term. And like you yourself stated, we are to notice how perceptions and feelings affect our "mental moods or subtle reactions", how is that different from what Analayo said?

You should really try to be more charitable in the way you read this essay before dragging a fine scholar's name through the mud like you have consistently in your posts on this thread. Speaking for myself, your disparaging of Analayo is quite distasteful.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Javi
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Re: Analayo - Understanding and Practicing the Ānāpānasati-sutta

Post by Javi » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:04 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:56 am
Javi wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:07 pm
The ability to know that one is breathing in or breathing out does not require much meditative expertise, and even to know if one is joyful or happy can still be reckoned part of average experience.
The above appears to show Analayo is watering down MN 118; just as he watered down & misconstrued the phrase: "He trains himself". At least for me, the sentence above is sufficient to personally reject Analayo's commentary; given continuously knowing & tranquilizing breathing to give rise to rapture is an unordinary skill, which is why jhana is classed as a supernormal attainment.
In practical terms, successfully navigating this shift from step (8) to step (9) can take place through a turning back of awareness, or a turning inside of awareness, so to say. From being mindful of the breath, one turns back awareness to that which knows the breath. From being mindful of the experience of joy and happiness, one turns awareness inside to that which knows the experience of happiness.
That which "knows" is consciousness (vinnana) rather than citta. Experiencing the citta is described in MN 10:
And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns that the mind has passion. When the mind is without passion, he discerns that the mind is without passion. When the mind has aversion, he discerns that the mind has aversion. When the mind is without aversion, he discerns that the mind is without aversion. When the mind has delusion, he discerns that the mind has delusion. When the mind is without delusion, he discerns that the mind is without delusion. When the mind is constricted, he discerns that the mind is constricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed. When the mind is concentrated, he discerns that the mind is concentrated. When the mind is not concentrated, he discerns that the mind is not concentrated. When the mind is released, he discerns that the mind is released. When the mind is not released, he discerns that the mind is not released. MN 10
The definition of viññana is not as narrow as you make it seem.

Also turning our attention to the intentional quality of "that which knows" allows us to see how it is being directed by objects of passion or aversion and to notice other qualities of mind.

All in all, all I see you doing here is picking out quotes from Analayo's essay, and criticizing them with very little substance.

I take this essay to be a good basic overview of the steps with certain key points, not an attempt at a complete scholarly exposition of every aspect of the sixteen steps. But instead of seeing this, you seem to think that because the essay does not include particular details you deem as more important, that this invalidates the entire essay. I think you are being highly uncharitable here.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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