A few doubts about Anapanasati

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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budo
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Re: A few doubts about Anapanasati

Post by budo » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:42 am

bridif1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 am


Thanks!

What are, in your opinion, the key suttas to have a thorough theoretical understand of jhanas?
Is there a anthology or something alike where such suttas are reunited and at hand?

Kind regards!

I don't know I've read thousands of suttas over the past 10 years, I read about 10-30 suttas a day, you just have to keep reading until it goes into your subconscious. Start with the Anguttara Nikaya, and then Samyutta Nikaya, that alone should take you a year or two.

To start, I recommend Kayagata-sati sutta. Although you have to understand, that concentration is the second training, and a stream entry path doesn't require meditation, only hearing the dhamma, and the only way to do that is to hear the Buddha's words, so by reading the suttas (4 nikayas).

Meditation is only needed for fruit of stream entry, and first jhana / metta for attaining non-return fruit.

So you need theory and practice to attain path and fruit. Start with the theory, the Buddha's dhamma (the suttas of the 4 nikayas).

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DooDoot
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Re: A few doubts about Anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:27 pm

Srilankaputra wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:36 am
To give you a taste...
It seems "mindfulness" does not mean "cognition" of the breathing. "Mindfulness" means "to remember" or "bring to mind". It seems the breathing is not something "remembered". In the Anapanasati Sutta, the words for "cognition" of the breathing are "anupassi", "paṭisaṃvedī", "pajānāti", etc. It is not "sati" ("mindfulness"). I imagine the role of mindfulness in the Anapanasati Sutta is to remember to keep the mind in a state of Right View; i.e., free from craving & attachment.
One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness.

MN 117
the monk on that occasion remains... mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

MN 118
:alien:
Srilankaputra wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:27 am
A traveler in a unfamiliar territory should ask a local or consult a map. But the map is ancient and locals might not be knowledgeable. What can one do but cautiously explore the paths to see where they lead.
I imagine the below only has a short term result. If the mind practises the below, i imagine the breathing will calm and the mind will lose awareness of the breathing because the mind remains aggressive or coarse. I think when one cautiously explores this path, this is where it will lead. It won't be a "taste" of what the Buddha taught.

Regardless, it seems unlikely mindfulness "feels" the breathing or "feels" the teeth of a saw. Mindfulness is not vinnana (consciousness). It seems the terminology used below is inaccurate.

Suppose there were a tree trunk placed on a level piece of ground, and a man
cut it with a saw. The man's mindfulness is established by the saw's teeth
where they touch the tree trunk, without his giving attention to the saw's teeth
as they approach and recede, though they are not unrecognized by him as
they do so; and he manifests endeavour, carries out a task and achieves a
distinctive effect.

As the tree trunk placed on the level piece of ground, so the sign for the
anchoring of mindfulness [at the nose tip or on the upper lip]. As the saw's
teeth, so the in-breaths and out-breaths. As the man's mindfulness,
established by the saw's teeth where they touch the tree trunk, without his
giving attention to the saw's teeth as they approach and recede, though they
are not unrecognized by him as they do so, and so he manifests endeavour,
carries out a task and achieves a distinctive effect, so too the bhikkhu sits,
having established mindfulness at the nose tip [where the breath touches (i.e.
is felt) if breathing through the nose] or on the upper lip [where the breath
touches (i.e. is felt) if breathing through the mouth], without giving attention
to the in-breaths and out-breaths as they approach and recede, though they
are not unrecognized by him as they do so, and he manifests endeavour,
carries out a task and achieves a distinctive effect.

The distinctive effect of the above I imagine is sleepiness; a "taste" of sloth & torpor.
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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https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

frank k
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Re: A few doubts about Anapanasati

Post by frank k » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:32 pm

Yes, 16 APS can be used to get into jhana. But best if you don't approach jhana with a spiritual materialist intent.
I can save you a lot of time and pain.
Start with Thanissaro's free book,
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Keepi ... 0001.html
(there are epub and other downloadable formats on that website)

Ajahn Brahm is a skilled meditator, and a very charismatic teacher. His book has good advice on meditation in general,
but he redefines what jhana means, different than the Buddha, and in short it can create lots of obstacles for people
that are completely unnecessary. I would put him aside until you've studied EBT or Thanissaro and got a firm grasp of the basics first.

I've collected comprehensive material and done a detailed pali audit that explains which systems are EBT compliant here:
http://lucid24.org/sted/16aps/index.html



bridif1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am
Hi!

I have a few questions about Anapanasati.
In case someone's wondering about my experience in meditation, I'd say that it's almost nonexistent. So I apologize in advance if any question has an obvious answer, or if it's basic 101 meditation information.

In another forum (https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/in ... pic=2279.0) I read that there is a controversy about how to interpret the instructions on mindfulness of breathing. On one side we have Ven. Thanissaro which seems to propose that, at one point, we have to be aware of our whole body during the breathing cycle; on the other, there's Ajahn Brahm's interpretation, where we are aware of our "breath-body", which appears to be another way of talking about the breathing cycle.

Which interpretation do you lean on, and why?

Another question...
Is Anapanasati a way to attain Jhana, or are those two concepts are unrelated?

This question arises because in Brahm's book "Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond", the main focus seems to be in the ability of "letting go" all mental defilements and formations, which at first glance seems to be contrary to the idea of being mindful of the breath through "noting" (which is what the Buddha seems to indicate in the Anapanasati Sutta, at least in my limited interpretation).

So, are the steps leading to Jhana ("letting go") in contradiction to those mentioned in the Mindfulness of Breathing suttas?

Thanks in advance for your time and patience!
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DooDoot
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Re: A few doubts about Anapanasati

Post by DooDoot » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:43 pm

frank k wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:32 pm
Start with Thanissaro's free book,
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Keepi ... n0001.html
This book appears to be "yogic" exercises. I don't recall reading of such "yogic" techniques in the suttas. For example, in MN 118, it is said "the meditator establishes/brings mindfulness to the fore".
frank k wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:32 pm
Ajahn Brahm is a skilled meditator, and a very charismatic teacher. His book has good advice on meditation in general, but he redefines what jhana mean...
If Ajahn Brahm has good advice on meditation in general then practise this good advice. There is no benefit or point of arguing or knowing about what jhana really is until the mind reaches it. This said, my impression is AB's description of jhana is more accurate than your apparent assertions that there is "active thinking" in jhana. The issue with "jhana" is generally that of "over-estimation".
frank k wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:32 pm
different than the Buddha, and in short it can create lots of obstacles for people that are completely unnecessary.
I doubt there are any obstacles at all, given the way of reaching jhana is not related to what jhana really is.
frank k wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:32 pm
I would put him aside until you've studied EBT or Thanissaro and got a firm grasp of the basics first.
The EBTs appear to explain the method reaching jhana the same as Ajahn Brahm. The suttas below appear to Ajahn Brahm is correct. Ajahn Brahm said his "letting go" method is based in SN 48.9. The EBTs appear to fully support Ajahn Brahm.
And what is the faculty of immersion? Katamañca, bhikkhave, samādhindriyaṃ?

It’s when a noble disciple, relying on letting go, gains immersion, gains unification of mind. Idha, bhikkhave,
ariyasāvako vossaggārammaṇaṃ karitvā labhati samādhiṃ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṃ—

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana:

Idha, bhikkhave, ariyasāvako vossaggarammaṇaṃ karitvā labhati samādhiṃ, labhati cittassa ekaggataṃ.

SN 48.9 https://suttacentral.net/sn48.9/en/sujato
SN 48.10 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
There is the case where a monk develops concentration as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go (vossaggapariṇāmiṃ).

MN 118 https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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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