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what are all the direct paths

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:46 am
by Dhammarakkhito
from the suttas, mindfulness of breathing and the four ways of attending to mindfulness are direct paths to nibbāna. are there more? i was thinking of uploading them as a list

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:37 am
by SarathW
Good question and I never thought about it.
:twothumbsup:
It seems to be a translation error.
Compare to:
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“Monastics, this is the path where all things come together as one, to purify sentient beings, to make an end of pain and sadness, to get past sorrow and lamentation, to reach the way, to witness Nibbāna; that is, the four kinds of mindfulness meditation.

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn10

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:22 am
by paul
The Satipatthana sutta (MN 10, DN 22) states both in the introduction and conclusion that mindfulness is the direct path to realisation, in any case it is an indispensable requirement, so rather than look for other ways it is more profitable to study exactly what mindfulness is:

“Monks, this is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of dukkha and discontent, for acquiring the true method, for the realization of Nibbãna, namely, the four satipatthãnas.
The qualification of being a “direct path” occurs in the discourses almost exclusively as an attribute of satipatthãna, thus it conveys a considerable degree of emphasis. Such emphasis is indeed warranted, since practice of the “direct path” of satipatthãna is an indispensable requirement for liberation.” —-‘Satipatthana- The Direct Path to Realization’, Analayo.

Mindfulness (sati) includes the function of memory:
“In these instances sati seems to combine both present moment awareness and remembering what the Buddha had taught.
The kind of mental state in which memory functions well can be characterized by a certain degree of breadth, in contrast to a narrow focus. It is this breadth that enables the mind to make the necessary connections between information received in the present moment and information to be remembered from the past. This quality becomes evident on those occasions when one tries to recall a particular instance or fact, but where the more one applies one’s mind, the less one is able to remember it. But if the issue in question is laid aside for a while and the mind is in a state of relaxed receptivity, the information one was trying to remember will suddenly spring to mind.
The suggestion that the mental state in which sati is well- established can be characterized as having “breadth” instead of a narrow focus finds support in some discourses which relate the absence of sati to a narrow state of mind (parittacetasa), while its presence leads to a broad and even “boundless” state of mind (appamãœacetasa). Based on this nuance of “breadth of mind”, sati can be understood to represent the ability to simultaneously maintain in one’s mind the various elements and facets of a particular situation. This can be applied to both the faculty of memory and to awareness of the present moment.
(paul's note: It is in this relaxed state of mind, when the hindrances are suppressed, that the mind is able to make connections between events in the present (which are likely to overwhelm), and the perspective of dhamma. In many cases it is necessary to reflect on the event later to make the right connection. The conclusions thus drawn are the ones that should be acted upon.)
[…]
The fourth foundation, mindfulness of dhammas; how to apply memory:
What this satipatthãna is actually concerned with are specific mental qualities (such as the five hindrances and the seven awakening factors), and analyses of experience into specific categories (such as the five aggregates, the six sense-spheres, and the four noble truths). These mental factors and categories constitute central aspects of the Buddha’s way of teaching, the Dhamma. These classificatory schemes are not in themselves the objects of meditation, but constitute frameworks or points of reference to be applied during contemplation. During actual practice one is to look at whatever is experienced in terms of these dhammas. Thus the dhammas mentioned in this satipatthãna are not “mental objects”, but are applied to whatever becomes an object of the mind or of any other sense door during contemplation. “ ibid

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:33 am
by SarathW
>I discussed the phrase ekāyana at length in A History of Mindfulness. It is a brahmanical term that has a specific philosophical meaning of “place of convergence”, “where all comes together as one”. The earlier rendering of “direct” way is based on an incomplete survey of the texts, and it is not correct.>
Bhnte Sujato

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/wh ... -path/7286

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:07 am
by mal4mac
paul wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:22 am
The Satipatthana sutta (MN 10, DN 22) states both in the introduction and conclusion that mindfulness is the direct path to realisation...
No it doesn't, here are my summary notes from Anãlayo Satipatthãna: The Direct Path to Realization:
----------------------
1.1 OVERVIEW OF THE SATIPATTHÃNA SUTTA

“Direct path” statement: Satipatthãna is the direct path to Nibbãna.
“Definition”: Satipatthãnas: body, feelings, mind, dhammas. For satipatthãna: diligence, clear knowing, mindfulness (sati), freedom from desires & discontent.

---------------------

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... t-path.pdf

So satipatthãna is the direct path to Nibbãna, not just sati on its own.

---------------------
iii.1 THE EARLY BUDDHIST APPROACH TO KNOWLEDGE

Ancient India had three main approaches to the acquisition of philosophical knowledge: oral tradition, logical reasoning, and direct intuition through meditative experiences. -44

The Buddha placed himself in the third category, but did not completely reject oral tradition or logical reasoning. Oral teachings might be wrongly remembered, or simply false. Logical reasoning might be unsound, or based on false premises. But he also had reservations about direct knowledge gained in meditation. A king had several blind men touch a different part of an elephant. Personal direct experience had revealed only part of the picture. The mistake each made was to conclude that his direct knowledge through personal experience was the only truth.

According to the Buddha it is satipatthãna that leads to an undistorted direct experience of things as they truly are, but some degree of knowledge and reflection about the Dhamma, form the supporting conditions for a direct experience of reality through the practice of satipatthãna. -45
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So satipatthãna is not a path to realization on its own. You will have to study the dhamma, and think very hard about its logical consequences. For instance, some jhana experience might be mistaken for Nibbana by the ignorant, so you have to know exactly what Nibanna is, according to the texts, so that you can know exactly what you have experienced.

So is there a contradiction here? Has Analayo stated that satipatthãna both is and is not the path to realization? No. If an ignorant, illogical mediator gets lucky he may attain realisation by satipatthãna alone! But we better not rely on luck...

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:47 pm
by 2600htz
Hello:

Emm i think that everything that the Buddha taught leads to cessation, to nibbana.
The four foundations of mindfulness are in every aspect of the teachings, but if you want to talk about the things that immediately lead to nibbana,
maybe it should be a talk about the disciple in higher training (like mn-53).

Regards.

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:47 am
by Cittasanto
Hi.
On page 41 of this pdf page number 27 Bhikkhu Analayo goes over this phrase and explains it thourally. I can't copy and paste it unfortunately.

Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization is a gem. Ven. Analayo ...
PDFhttps://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg.de › ...
http://ftp.budaedu.org/ebooks/pdf/EN345.pdf
Dy firrinagh focklagh
In Truth
Cittasanto

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:19 pm
by Saengnapha
SarathW wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:33 am
>I discussed the phrase ekāyana at length in A History of Mindfulness. It is a brahmanical term that has a specific philosophical meaning of “place of convergence”, “where all comes together as one”. The earlier rendering of “direct” way is based on an incomplete survey of the texts, and it is not correct.>
Bhnte Sujato

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/wh ... -path/7286
Translation seems to be an inexact science. Not only does a translator have to be intimately familiar with the nuances of a language, the multi-meanings of the same word, but also in context to what is being discussed. Then there is the aspect of being a practitioner who is familiar with the nuances of what is being discussed. Most of us are at the mercy of translations that are being called into question in this modern age. We have no way of knowing for ourselves or making an intelligent inquiry into what words mean in Pali, and how they were translated from Magadhi or Prakriti, or other languages of antiquity. But, in this case, 'place of convergence' makes sense.

It is also the same for the word sati, usually translated as mindfulness. There are components of mindfulness, it is not only being aware of what is going on in the moment, it is also about your speech and actions, the habits that control them. Disarming habitual thinking that controls speech and action is very important and works in tandem with contemplating each of the Four Foundations in calming and realizing one pointedness. This is a good example of convergence.

It is easy to see the over zealousness of some translators to use expressions such as 'the direct way', or 'only way'. I can only guess at the possible manipulation of suttas over the centuries that have come down to us not in the way they were spoken and meant by the Buddha. This is a tough territory.

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:24 pm
by bodom
Not clinging is the surest most direct path:
"Good sir Moggallana, I went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, I stood at one side and said: ‘Venerable sir, how in brief is a bhikkhu liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans?’ When this was said, good sir Moggallana, the Blessed One told me:

‘Here, ruler of gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having directly known everything, he fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither pleasant or painful, he abides contemplating (observing) impermanence in those feelings, contemplating (observing) fading away, contemplating (observing) cessation, contemplating (observing) relinquishment (letting go). Contemplating (observing) thus, he does not cling (think about) to anything in the world. When he does not cling (think about), he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana.

He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, there is no more coming to any state of being.’ Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans.’

That is how the Blessed One stated to me in brief deliverance in the destruction of craving, good sir Mogallana."
https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books9/Bhik ... _Sutta.htm

:namaste:

Re: what are all the direct paths

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:48 pm
by Zom
It seems to be a translation error.
Compare to:
==============

“Monastics, this is the path where all things come together as one, to purify sentient beings, to make an end of pain and sadness, to get past sorrow and lamentation, to reach the way, to witness Nibbāna; that is, the four kinds of mindfulness meditation.
Yes, this is intersting. However, "only way" is also a right translation.. I mean.. maybe it is a wrong one, but it is right if we speak about Satipatthana as the only way to reach nibbana - simply because you can't do that without satipatthana -) However, it is better to speak this way about the Path as a whole, but not as a part of it, be it satipatthana or smth esle, like right views, for example.