Samatha and Anatta

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Myotai
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Samatha and Anatta

Post by Myotai » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:42 am

Daft question maybe, but how does Samatha and/or Jhana bring about a transformation regarding a realization of Anatta or the Emptiness of self?

Thanks...

Maarten
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Maarten » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:58 pm

I don't think it does. You get an understanding of Anatta and emptiness from insight meditation. And a more intellectual understanding by studying Dhamma. Samatha just supports insight meditation. So I it indirectly helps.

With Metta,

Maarten

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Thisperson
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Thisperson » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:48 pm

Myotai wrote:Daft question maybe, but how does Samatha and/or Jhana bring about a transformation regarding a realization of Anatta or the Emptiness of self?

Thanks...
When the mind gets calm and still, it's much easier to see how the sense of "me" arises from conditions. Ordinarily we think "I'm angry", but if the mind is in a more calm state we can see how anger arises dependent on certain conditions. If it arises based on certain conditions, it's not self. That also means it's impermanent as it arose dependent on other impermanent conditions. Where we can make an impact on these conditioned reactions is in not repressing them in an effort to make them disappear, but also in not indulging in them. Knowing them for what they are, anicca, dukkha, anatta and letting go of attachment.

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Myotai
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Myotai » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:15 pm

Thank you.

So if practicing Samatha when do we know when to shift into having vipassana as a basis for the mind, or does the insight into the nature of the 'self' arise naturally out of the calm mind?

_/|\_

Dinsdale
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:52 pm

Myotai wrote:So if practicing Samatha when do we know when to shift into having vipassana as a basis for the mind, or does the insight into the nature of the 'self' arise naturally out of the calm mind?
For me it generally doesn't, I need to actively observe stuff arising and passing, ie practice satipatthana.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Thisperson
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Thisperson » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:38 pm

Myotai wrote:Thank you.

So if practicing Samatha when do we know when to shift into having vipassana as a basis for the mind, or does the insight into the nature of the 'self' arise naturally out of the calm mind?

_/|\_
Samatha is a support for insight much as morality is a support for samatha. Insight gives rise to stronger drive in morality practice. They all work together. I think to give a blanket answer as to "when to use this or that" might not be good as everyone will have different tendencies. Using steady mindfulness can help to clear things up.

pyluyten
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by pyluyten » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:23 pm

Maarten wrote:I don't think it does. You get an understanding of Anatta and emptiness from insight meditation. And a more intellectual understanding by studying Dhamma. Samatha just supports insight meditation. So I it indirectly helps.
this is the right answer if we are to follow traditional Theravada.

Some recent research say, there is no such thing as "vipassana" meditation in suttas. (There is vipassana inside sutta but this comes from practice, this is not a distinct practice).

You will have to practice & see if the practice helps you let go. if it helps you then practice harder ;)

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srivijaya
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by srivijaya » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:02 pm

There are two components to meditation; calmness and awareness.

The calmer you become, the more awareness is able to go deeper.

When awareness goes deeper, you are able to locate subtle stress, which is released, leading to deeper calmness.

The two are part of the self-same process.

Stress equates to "self" - that's all "self" amounts to, nothing else.

Dissolving stress = dissolving "self" = anatta.

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Twilight
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Twilight » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:28 pm

srivijaya wrote:
Stress equates to "self" - that's all "self" amounts to, nothing else.

Dissolving stress = dissolving "self" = anatta.
I don't know where you got these strange ideas from. Certainly not from the suttas.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
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Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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srivijaya
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by srivijaya » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:37 pm

Twilight wrote:
srivijaya wrote:
Stress equates to "self" - that's all "self" amounts to, nothing else.

Dissolving stress = dissolving "self" = anatta.
I don't know where you got these strange ideas from. Certainly not from the suttas.
Please feel free to correct it.
:anjali:

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Twilight
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Twilight » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:43 pm

Please feel free to correct it.
Realization about non existence of a self is done through contemplating suttas dealing with dependent origination, such as most suttas from SN. It is important to pay special attention to those suttas that end up with "after hearing this discourses, 20 bhikkhus attained stream entry". A lot of reading and contemplation is required to understand it. And this is how insight arises.
Some recent research say, there is no such thing as "vipassana" meditation in suttas. (There is vipassana inside sutta but this comes from practice, this is not a distinct practice).
I agree. There is no such thing mentioned in the canon. What insight refers to is the insight that arise through contemplating how the 5 aggregates work. Mindfulness is the 7th step of the path. First step is right view (stream entry). Every step follows from the previous one. You can not do jhana in order to achieve mindfulness or do mindfulness in order to achieve right view. That would be ridiculous.

If such ideas sound strange, then you should know that Bhikkhu Bhodi who translated the canon "does not meditate". He has not arrived at that step yet. He is taking things in order. I suggest starting with step nr 1: right view (stream entry)
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

CecilN
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by CecilN » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:21 pm

srivijaya wrote:Stress equates to "self" - that's all "self" amounts to, nothing else.

Dissolving stress = dissolving "self" = anatta.
This sounds like it accords with the suttas (SN 5.10 & SN 12.15), which about the wrong view of 'self' say:
Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Here no being is found.

It's only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering cease.

SN 5.10

CecilN
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by CecilN » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:27 pm

Myotai wrote:Daft question maybe, but how does Samatha and/or Jhana bring about a transformation regarding a realization of Anatta or the Emptiness of self?
Samatha and/or Jhana bring about a transformation regarding a realization of Anatta or the Emptiness of self in two-says:

(1) It cleanses/dissolves the thoughts of 'self' in the mind. This is conventionally known as 'samadhi-emptiness'.

(2) It cleanses/dissolves the thoughts in the mind, so when the mind sees the meditation objects, it only sees the body to be 'body', only sees feelings to be 'feelings', only sees mental states to be 'mental states', only sees the truth to be 'truth'. The mind does not see body, feeling, mental states & truth to be 'self'. It only sees 'elements' (dhatu). This is known as 'vipassana-wisdom-emptiness'.

The sense of 'emptiness' arising from thoughtlessness ('samadhi-emptiness') is not the true or final realisation of emptiness because it is only a temporary experience. True or final realisation of emptiness sees all thoughts are also empty of self. All thinking that occurs is thoroughly seen as depersonalized.

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Twilight
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by Twilight » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:35 pm

CecilN wrote:
Myotai wrote:Daft question maybe, but how does Samatha and/or Jhana bring about a transformation regarding a realization of Anatta or the Emptiness of self?
Samatha and/or Jhana bring about a transformation regarding a realization of Anatta or the Emptiness of self in two-says:

(1) It cleanses/dissolves the thoughts of 'self' in the mind. This is conventionally known as 'samadhi-emptiness'.

(2) It cleanses/dissolves the thoughts in the mind, so when the mind sees the meditation objects, it only sees the body to be 'body', only sees feelings to be 'feelings', only sees mental states to be 'mental states', only sees the truth to be 'truth'. The mind does not see body, feeling, mental states & truth to be 'self'. It only sees 'elements' (dhatu). This is known as 'vipassana-wisdom-emptiness'.

The sense of 'emptiness' arising from thoughtlessness ('samadhi-emptiness') is not the true or final realisation of emptiness because it is only a temporary experience. True or final realisation of emptiness sees all thoughts are also empty of self. All thinking that occurs is thoroughly seen as depersonalized.
This is like staring at an engine and expecting to understand how it works by just staring at it for long enough. You will never understand how the 5 aggregates work and why there is no self by just staring at the aggregates like a dog at a calendar, doing zero thinking/contemplation.

This anti-contemplation attitude comes from Zen not from Theravada. Don't think, just sit and understanding will somehow arise by itself.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

CecilN
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Re: Samatha and Anatta

Post by CecilN » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:46 pm

Twilight wrote:This is like staring at an engine and expecting to understand how it works by just staring at it for long enough. You will never understand how the 5 aggregates work and why there is no self by just staring at the aggregates like a dog at a calendar, doing zero thinking/contemplation.
Actually, what is written above is wrong. :roll:
For a person whose mind is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will, 'May I know & see things as they actually are.' It is in the nature of things that a person whose mind is concentrated knows & sees things as they actually are. AN 11.2
And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents. AN 4.41
Last edited by CecilN on Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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