What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Viachh
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 pm

What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Viachh » Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:14 pm

What kind of practice (technique) Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

santa100
Posts: 3800
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by santa100 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:50 pm

Viachh wrote:What kind of practice (technique) Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?
Refer to MN 19 for the detailed events leading up to His Awakening the last night under the bodhi tree. Some excerpts:
MN 19 wrote:And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.
...
This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.
...
This was the third knowledge I attained in the third watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

User avatar
Will
Posts: 1229
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:26 pm
Location: California

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Will » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:00 pm

Dhyāna Master Zhiyi’s Preface

As for the “six gates to the sublime (praṇīta),” they constitute the
very root of one’s internal practice and the essential route to realization
of the paths of the Three Vehicles. Hence, when Shākyamuni
first arrived at the Bodhi Tree and sat down in lotus posture on the
cushion of grass, “He directed his thought inwardly to ānāpāna:
first, counting (gaṇanā); second, following (anugamaḥ); third, stabilization
(sthānam), fourth, contemplation (upalakṣaṇā); fifth, turning
(vivartanā); and sixth, purification (pariśuddhiḥ).” It was because of
this that the myriad practices opened forth and took effect, resulting
in the subduing of the demons and the realization of the Path.

One should realize that the Buddha is the model for beings. Since
he pointed out his own tracks in this fashion, how then could the
orthodox personages of the Three Vehicles fail to all travel together
along this road?
From The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime, Kalavinka Press. The translator's, (Bhikshu Dharmamitra,) note gives the sources for Buddha using this profound form of breath meditation:
This listing of the six gates is a direct quote from a “life-of-the Buddha”
scripture entitled: the Origins Sutra on the Prince’s Auspicious Response
(太子瑞應本起經 – T02.185.476c). This scripture was translated by
Zhiqian between 223 and 253 ce. The parenthetically-included original
Sanskrit for the six gates is per De la Valleé Poussin as supplied in
his translation of L’Abhidharmakośa de Vasubandhu.
This same list is discussed in the Vibhāṣā of Kātyāyaniputra, circa
200 bce (T28.1546.105b29–6a01), at greater length in the Mahā-vibhāṣā
of Vasumitra (T27.1545.134c26–35b20), and in the Abhidharma-kośabhāṣyam
of Vasubandhu (Pruden, p. 922–3). Pruden references Pali
scripture locations: Dīgha, ii.291; Majjhima, i.425 (p. 1049, note 89).
Finally, Buddhaghosa’s much later Pali-tradition commentary preserves
the same list in a slightly altered version (Path of Purification,
VIII: 189–225, p. 300–309).

My point here is to demonstrate that this six-gate meditation method
is not a later-period Mahāyāna construct, but rather a meditation cultivation
formula rooted in the earliest period of Indian Buddhism. A
closer examination of this formula will help us develop a much more
refined view of traditional Buddhist meditation, one which goes
beyond the very simplistic assumptions generally prevailing in the
West which tend to look upon the tradition as consisting primarily
in a very rudimentary form of ānāpāna (breath) meditation only later
overlaid with doctrinally sophisticated calming-and-insight elaborations
of the same sort as we see in this six-gate schema.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3894
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:13 pm

From Questions and Answers: Mindfulness of Breathing

Now, Paṇḍitārāma Sayādaw has become perhaps the foremost and most successful among many Myanmar Sayādaws teaching vipassanā who have won world-wide renown. When Sayādaw came to the Kuala Lumpur monastery where I was, I took the opportunity to put Mary Shimoda’s questions to Sayādaw. Firstly, “Did the Buddha not attain Buddhahood through ānāpānassati?”
Sayādaw U Paṇḍita wrote:“Ko Hla Myint,” the Sayādaw replied, “You have not studied the scriptures with the necessary attention to detail. It is true that the Buddha-to-be attained Knowledge of Former States of Being (dibbacakkhu abhiññā) and the Divine Eye of Omniscient Vision (dibbacakkhu abhiññā) in the first and second watches of the night through ānāpānassati. However, in the third and last watch of the night, the Buddha-to-be was no longer absorbed in ānāpānassati, but had turned his great intellect to the doctrine of Dependent Origination (paṭiccasamuppāda). ‘Through ignorance are conditioned rebirth producing volitions or kamma-formations (saṅkhārā), and so on.’ Then, just before the break of day, while meditating on the five aggregates, the physical and mental phenomena of existence, the Buddha-to-be attained the path and fruition of Arahantship, and the Omniscience of a Supremely Enlightened Buddha. Thus, Buddhahood was won not through ānāpānassati, but through mindfulness on the physical and mental phenomena of the five aggregates.”
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:25 pm

Viachh wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:14 pm
What kind of practice (technique) Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?
It appears, to begin with, during the 1st watch of the night, Shakyamuni was examining previous "births" ("jati"), what "birth" actually was and how each new "birth" brought suffering:
Dhp 153 wrote:153. Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house. Repeated birth is indeed suffering!

154. O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .budd.html
MN 26 wrote:And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth.

In search of what might be skillful, seeking the unexcelled state of sublime peace, I wandered by stages in the Magadhan country and came to the military town of Uruvela. There I saw some delightful countryside, with an inspiring forest grove, a clear-flowing river with fine, delightful banks, and villages for alms-going on all sides. The thought occurred to me: 'How delightful is this countryside, with its inspiring forest grove, clear-flowing river with fine, delightful banks, and villages for alms-going on all sides. This is just right for the exertion of a clansman intent on exertion.' So I sat down right there, thinking, 'This is just right for exertion.'

Then, monks, being subject myself to birth, seeing the drawbacks of birth, seeking the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the unborn, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Being subject myself to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeing the drawbacks of aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement, seeking the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke, Unbinding, I reached the aging-less, illness-less, deathless, sorrow-less, unexcelled rest from the yoke: Unbinding. Knowledge & vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
MN 4 wrote:When my concentrated mind was thus purified, bright, unblemished, rid of imperfection, malleable, wieldy, steady, and attained to imperturbability, I directed it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives [abodes]. I recollected my manifold past lives, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many aeons of world-contraction, many aeons of world-expansion, many aeons of world-contraction and expansion: ‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared elsewhere; and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my nutriment, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life-term; and passing away from there, I reappeared here.’ Thus with their aspects and particulars I recollected my manifold past lives [abodes].

This was the first true knowledge attained by me in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose, as happens in one who abides diligent, ardent, and resolute.

https://suttacentral.net/mn4/en/bodhi
SN 22.79 wrote:At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, those ascetics and brahmins who recollect their manifold past abodes all recollect the five aggregates subject to clinging or a certain one among them. What five?

When recollecting thus, bhikkhus: ‘I had such form in the past,’ it is just form that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such a feeling in the past,’ it is just feeling that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such a perception in the past,’ it is just perception that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such volitional formations in the past,’ it is just volitional formations that one recollects. When recollecting: ‘I had such consciousness in the past,’ it is just consciousness that one recollects.

Any kind of form whatsoever … Any kind of feeling whatsoever … Any kind of perception whatsoever … Any kind of volitional formations whatsoever … Any kind of consciousness whatsoever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all consciousness should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.79/en/bodhi
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

Viachh
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Viachh » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:51 am

Shakyamuni was practicing mindfulness of "objects of the mind" (the fourth level of satipatthana) just before awakening, right? (This was his meditation technique.)

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:17 am

Viachh wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:51 am
Shakyamuni was practicing mindfulness of "objects of the mind" (the fourth level of satipatthana) just before awakening, right? (This was his meditation technique.)
Definitely not. The word "mindfulness" means "recollecting" past knowledge (be that past knowledge learned or experienced). Since the Buddha was awakening to truths/realities never discovered before, mindfulness was obviously not involved. The suttas say:
Yadā have pātubhavanti dhammā,
Ātāpino jhāyato brāhmaṇassa;
Athassa kaṅkhā vapayanti sabbā,
Yato pajānāti sahetudhamman ti.

When things become manifest
To the ardent meditating brahman,
All his doubts then vanish since he understands
Each thing along with its cause.
Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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

Viachh
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Viachh » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:23 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:17 am
Viachh wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:51 am
Shakyamuni was practicing mindfulness of "objects of the mind" (the fourth level of satipatthana) just before awakening, right? (This was his meditation technique.)
Definitely not. The word "mindfulness" means "recollecting" past knowledge (be that past knowledge learned or experienced). Since the Buddha was awakening to truths/realities never discovered before, mindfulness was obviously not involved. The suttas say:
When things become manifest
To the ardent meditating brahman,
All his doubts then vanish since he understands
Each thing along with its cause.
??? :alien:

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:27 am

Viachh wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:23 am
??? :alien:
"Mindfulness" does not mean "awakening". About "awakening", the suttas say:
Such was the vision, knowledge, wisdom, realization and light that arose in me regarding teachings not learned before from another.

pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhuṃ udapādi, ñāṇaṃ udapādi, paññā udapādi, vijjā udapādi, āloko udapādi.

https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/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.

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

Viachh
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Viachh » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:37 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:27 am
Viachh wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:23 am
??? :alien:
"Mindfulness" does not mean "awakening". About "awakening", the suttas say:
Such was the vision, knowledge, wisdom, realization and light that arose in me regarding teachings not learned before from another.

pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhuṃ udapādi, ñāṇaṃ udapādi, paññā udapādi, vijjā udapādi, āloko udapādi.

https://suttacentral.net/sn56.11/en/sujato
And where do I say the opposite? :alien:

User avatar
Volo
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Volo » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:38 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:17 am
Since the Buddha was awakening to truths/realities never discovered before, mindfulness was obviously not involved.
Mindfulness is a factor of the noble eightfold path about which Buddha said:
273. Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best: of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.

274. This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara.
Did Buddha follow some other path, without right mindfulness?

tamdrin
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by tamdrin » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:01 am

We will never really know unless we get to his level. It's all theoretical speculation.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:13 am

Volo wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:38 am
Did Buddha follow some other path, without right mindfulness?
Mindfulness was there but only in respect to maintaining concentration and maintaining in the mind the smaller required realisations from the past. Each time a break-through was made, it was not mindfulness doing the breaking through.
Volo wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:38 am
273. Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best: of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.

274. This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara.
Did Buddha follow some other path, without right mindfulness?
The above quote appears irrelevant because the Buddha was discovering The Path (as well as walking The Path discovered). As quoted below, the "wilderness track" is without mindfulness but the "ancient path" includes mindfulness.
SN 12.65 wrote:It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king's minister, saying, 'Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path... I followed it... I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital... complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!' The king or king's minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.

In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Possibly we can say only during the 3rd watch of the night was there 100% mindfulness. It was the 3rd watch of the night where the following occurred:
MN 4 wrote: My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, 'Released.' I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
:smile:
Viachh wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:37 am
And where do I say the opposite? :alien:
You keep referring to "mindfulness of objects". "Mindfulness" is not seeing the reality of objects. On the night of enlightenment, it was wisdom breaking through to enlightenment (rather than mindfulness). From MN 117:
MN 117 wrote:Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
The fourth level of satipatthana is called "dhammanupassana". The Pali word "anupassana" ("watching closely") does not mean "mindfuless" ("sati"). Therefore, it seems the Buddha was not "mindful of objects of the mind", as you suggested.

When we (you & me) practise "dhammanupassana", we are mindful towards objects of the mind because the Buddha instructed us to not cling or have covetousness or distress in relation to objects of the mind. Therefore, we (you & me) are mindful to remember the Buddha's instruction to us because the Buddha is our teacher and we are his disciples. But the Buddha, on the night of his enlightenment, had no teacher or no predetermined or pre-taught goal. Therefore, the only mindfulness the Buddha had was to maintain his concentration & his mission. As for how to respond towards meditation objects, he has to discover this.

Regards :smile:

@0:43 "Sati is not part of the wisdom training"
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

Viachh
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by Viachh » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:20 am

You keep referring to "mindfulness of objects". "Mindfulness" is not seeing the reality of objects. On the night of enlightenment, it was wisdom breaking through to enlightenment (rather than mindfulness).
""Mindfulness" is not seeing the reality of objects", but result of mindfullness is seeing the reality(4TN).
Galileo observed the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus. As a result, an understanding of the heliocentric system arose in him. Newton, watched the fall of the apple. As a result, an understanding arose in him, expressed in the law of universal gravitation. Shakyamuni, observed dhammas. As a result, an understanding of 4TN (a law that operates at the level of dhammas (objects of the mind)) arose in him. That is, close observation of something inevitably leads to the emergence of wisdom: knowledge of the law by which the observed objects operate.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 6222
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: What kind of practice Shakyamuni was doing under the bodhi tree?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:37 am

Viachh wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:20 am
Galileo observed the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus. As a result, an understanding of the heliocentric system arose in him. Newton, watched the fall of the apple. As a result, an understanding arose in him, expressed in the law of universal gravitation. Shakyamuni, observed dhammas. As a result, an understanding of 4TN (a law that operates at the level of dhammas (objects of the mind)) arose in him. That is, close observation of something inevitably leads to the emergence of wisdom: knowledge of the law by which the observed objects operate.
It seems "mindfulness" does not mean "observing" objects; but means "remembering".
"What is sammasati? Sati means to bear in mind or bring to mind. Sati is the state of recollecting, the state of remembering, the state of non-fading, the state of non-forgetting. Sati means the sati that is a Spiritual Faculty, the sati that is a Spiritual Power, Sammasati, the Sati that is an Enlightenment Factor, that which is a Path Factor and that which is related to the Path. This is what is called sammasati." [Vbh.105, 286]

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... ulness.htm
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

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 57 guests