The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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budo
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The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by budo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:58 pm

I've been bouncing between Jhanas and Mahasi style vipassana the past few years, and was on a 30 day mahasi retreat last summer, prior to that I've also reached 4th jhana the year before. Since getting into Mahasi vipassana I've stopped with the Jhanas, but I have a question that is raising doubt in dry insight practice.

The seven factors of awakening are

- Mindfulness
- Investigation
- Energy
- Rapture
- Tranquility
- Concentration
- Equanimity

Two of those require the Jhanas: piti (rapture) comes from First Jhana, and upekkha (equanimity) comes from Fourth Jhana.

So how do dry insight practitioners attain piti and upekkha, or are those factors not needed? Perhaps they are not needed for stream entry and once returner, but are needed for Arahantship?

Thank you

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:02 pm

Just to clarify, you have practiced the 5 factored absorbtion Jhanas before?

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by budo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:05 pm

Yes, vicara, vitakka, piti, sukkha, and ekkagata, which in fourth jhana becomes ekaggata and uppekha.

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:23 pm

The jhanas are entered by themselfs once the conditions are right the bliss and rapture just happen. As one remains mindful of satipatthanas, the factors come and go, i would not know how to compare it to ekkagata Jhana unfortunately.

Here is an excerpt from Ven. Kutukurunde's Guide to Insight Meditation
One's mind is well developed in the Factors of Enlightenment when one reaches a stage at which those factors
are lined up in a direct order. There is a certain lining up in one's mind. These factors are ‘sati’(mindfulness), dhamma-vicaya(investigation of mind- objects), viriya (energy), pīti (joy), passaddhi (calm or tranquillity), samādhi(concentration), and upekkhā (equanimity).

These are the seven Factors of Enlightenment.

Out of these seven, the first is sati–mindfulness. In enumerating these seven also, we see a certain order, a system. It is when mindfulness is purified that one comes to see the mind-objects clearly, which is called ‘dhammavicaya’ or investigation of mind-objects. That is to say, one sees to a certain extent, the mind-objects as they are. Then the mind is awake. The mind awakens when one sees mind-objects clearly.

Thereby one is able to recognize the good and bad, the skilful and the unskilful so that one can do what is necessary with those mental states. That is to say, the skilful ones have to be developed and the unskilful ones have to be abandoned. The knowledge of the means of doing this, is available through ‘dhammavicaya’or the investigation of mind-objects and that as we stated earlier, is made available through mindfulness.

With the understanding acquired through ‘dhammavicaya’ one puts forth energy–right endeavour –to develop the skilful and to abandon the unskilful states. This, therefore,is the third Factor of Enlightenment –the application of energy or ‘viriya’. Thus, we have sati, dhamma-vicaya and viriya.

As one puts forth energy, there arises joy, for, it is said: ‘āraddhaviriyassa uppajjati pīti nirāmisā’ –To one who has started up effort or energy, there arises a kind of spiritual joy which has nothing to do with the material. Thus one attains a certain amount of joy out of the very fact that one puts forth the right endeavour.

The meditator, well knowing that this joy is not the end of his endeavour, subdues it and attains to a calm or tranquillity which is called ‘passaddhi’. Through that calm or tranquillity, which is both physical and mental, he attains to a certain state of bliss which brings in its train, concentration.

Once concentration is attained, there is nothing more to struggle for, and so the meditator makes use of equanimity to stabilize his gains. The purpose of equanimity is to preserve the concentration one has attained. Also, this equanimity, as the culmination of the development of these Factors of Enlightenment, i.e., as the last of the seven factors, is nearer wisdom.

The word ‘sambojjhaṅga’ means ‘factor of enlightenment’ (sambodhi+ aṅga) and when the word ‘sambodhi’ is taken into consideration, it gives the idea of understanding or knowledge. It does not mean Buddhahood alone, but even arahanthood. So the lining up of these Factors of . Sila Sutta, Bojjhaṁga Sarimyutta, S.N.V.68 (P.T.S)

Enlightenment is for the purpose of understanding or knowledge. The factor that is nearest to understanding is equanimity.
It is when one has reached an equanimous state of mind that one can see things as they are. And in order to see things as they are, one has to have concentration or one-pointedness. That also is already mentioned, i.e., ‘samādhi’.

It is for the attainment of this concentration that the preceding factors beginning with mindfulness are made use of. When analysed thus, we see that there is a certain system – an order –in the enumeration of these Factors of Enlightenment.

There is also another way of analysing them.

That is to say, at the very start, one finds it difficult to develop these Factors of Enlightenment as in the case of the five faculties, namely, ‘saddhā’, ‘viriya’, ‘sati’, ‘samādhi’ and ‘paññā’–faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. When analysing these five faculties also, one sees a certain order.
There is a certain balancing necessary in their development.

One has to balance faith with wisdom and energy with concentration. In that context, mindfulness stands in the middle and fulfills the purpose. Its function is to balance the two sets – faith and wisdom, energy and concentration. Now in this context, mindfulness comes to the forefront. It is the leader.

Even as the leader, mindfulness fulfills a very important function. That, again, is the question of balancing. It marshals the other factors into a perfect line-up. Just as in the case of the faculties mindfulness stands in the middle and orders the other faculties, here too it comes to the forefront and marshals those factors that are behind it.

The three factors, dhammavicaya, viriya and pīti have a tendency to lean towards restlessness.
They are on the side of restlessness. When they happen to lean too much to that side, mindfulness orders them to straighten up.

Then there are three others which have a tendency to lean towards laziness, inertia or inactivity. Those three factors arepassaddhi, samādhi, upekkhā–tranquillity, concentration and equanimity. When they are leaning too much to that side, then also mindfulness orders them to straighten up. Thus among the Factors of Enlightenment also, mindfulness fulfills the function proper to it.

It is when all these are fully lined-up with this type of training, that one can say one's mind has attained a developed stage in the Enlightenment Factors

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by santa100 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:56 pm

budo wrote:Two of those require the Jhanas: piti (rapture) comes from First Jhana, and upekkha (equanimity) comes from Fourth Jhana.

So how do dry insight practitioners attain piti and upekkha, or are those factors not needed? Perhaps they are not needed for stream entry and once returner, but are needed for Arahantship?
The Seven Factors are needed to attain the Fruits, but probably vary in intensity between the lower and higher stages. Per Ven. Gunaratana's The Jhanas, dry insight practitioners also cultivate a type of samadhi called "momentary concentration" (khanika samadhi), hence are also able to attain certain levels of piti and upekkha.

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by budo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:11 pm

Ah interesting article rightviewftw, I didn't consider looking at the factors in an order of sequence. The joy I got from first jhana based on Anapanasati was pretty intense, whereas when I do Satipatthana walking meditation or sitting noting meditation I do not get any joy, maybe something light at best, but for the most part I'm indifferent or maybe equanimous.

@santa101, thanks for the reply. I remember reading U Pandita's book about "Vipassana" Jhanas, although I may have experienced them on a mahasi retreat last year, I never really experienced them at home, compared to the samadhi anapanasati Jhanas which are very intense at times.

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 pm

santa100 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:56 pm
budo wrote:Two of those require the Jhanas: piti (rapture) comes from First Jhana, and upekkha (equanimity) comes from Fourth Jhana.

So how do dry insight practitioners attain piti and upekkha, or are those factors not needed? Perhaps they are not needed for stream entry and once returner, but are needed for Arahantship?
The Seven Factors are needed to attain the Fruits, but probably vary in intensity between the lower and higher stages. Per Ven. Gunaratana's The Jhanas, dry insight practitioners also cultivate a type of samadhi called "momentary concentration" (khanika samadhi), hence are also able to attain certain levels of piti and upekkha.
I agree. From what I understand, the jhana factors are devloped before full absorption jhana. In fact there is a whole chapter on this in U Pandita's book, In This Very Life:
http://aimwell.org/inthisverylife.html# ... sanaJhanas
The Five Jhānic Factors
The first of them is called vitakka. It is the factor of aiming, accurately directing the mind toward an object. It also has the aspect of establishing the mind on the object, so that the mind stays there.

The second factor is vicāra (pronounced “vichara”), generally translated as “investigation” or “reflection.” After vitakka has brought the mind to the object and placed it firmly there, vicāra continues to rub the mind onto the object. You can experience this yourself when observing rising and falling. First you make the effort to be precise in aiming the mind at the rising process. Then your mind reaches the object and it does not slip off. It impinges on the object, rubs against it.

As you are mindful in an intuitive and accurate way from moment to moment, the mind gets more and more pure. The hindrances of desire, aversion, sloth, restlessness and doubt, weaken and disappear. The mind becomes crystal clear and calm. This state of clarity results from the presence of the two jhānic factors we just discussed. It is called viveka, which means seclusion. The consciousness is secluded, far away from the hindrances. This viveka is not a jhānic factor. It is merely a descriptive term for this secluded state of consciousness.

The third jhānic factor is pīti, rapture, a delighted interest in what is occurring. This factor may manifest physically as gooseflesh, as feelings of being dropped suddenly as if in an elevator, or as feelings of rising off the ground .The fourth jhānic factor, sukha, happiness or comfort, comes on the heels of the third. One feels very satisfied with the practice. Because both the third and the fourth jhānic factors come about as a result of seclusion from the hindrances, they are called vivekaja pīti sukha, meaning the rapture, joy and happiness born out of seclusion.

Think of this sequence as a causal chain. Seclusion of mind comes about because of the presence of the first two jhānic factors. If the mind is accurately aimed at the object, if it hits it and rubs it, after some time the mind will become secluded. Because the mind is secluded from the hindrances, one becomes happy, joyous and comfortable.

When these first four jhānic factors are present, the mind automatically becomes calm and peaceful, able to concentrate on what is happening without getting scattered or dispersed. This one-pointedness of mind is the fifth jhānic factor, samādhi, or concentration.
Remember that "dry insight" is not "without samadhi", it is "without absorption jhana". The level of samadhi required for liberating insight (see the Visuddhimagga, for example) is significant. In fact, it could be argued that the "sutta jhanas" taught by some teachers are not really much different from the "dry insight" practices, and that deep absorption was not taught in the suttas.

See, for example:
https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/ho ... -variants/

(I'm relatively neutral on this - there are other points of vew...)

:heart:
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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by SarathW » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:23 am

Some discussions about what is dry insight.

https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/ques ... ry-insight
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by budo » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:02 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:13 pm
The level of samadhi required for liberating insight (see the Visuddhimagga, for example) is significant. In fact, it could be argued that the "sutta jhanas" taught by some teachers are not really much different from the "dry insight" practices, and that deep absorption was not taught in the suttas.

See, for example:
https://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/ho ... -variants/

(I'm relatively neutral on this - there are other points of vew...)

:heart:
Mike

If anyone has studied the Jhanas thoroughly, it's Leigh Brasington, student of Ayya Khema. He has suttas on his websites that he has translated that shows that in first Jhana you should avoid sounds, under the Thorns sutta, and from my personal experience, when I get into deep jhanas I cannot hear sounds anymore.

http://www.leighb.com/an10_72.htm
"To one who wants seclusion, company is a thorn. To one developing the sign of loathsomeness, an agreeable sign is a thorn. To one protected in the mental faculties, sight seeing is a thorn. To a man leading a celebate life, the behavior of a woman is a torn. To one in the first jhana, sounds are a thorn. To one in the second jhana, thinking and examining are a thorn. To one in the third jhana, piti is a thorn. To one in the fourth jhana, in breathing and out breathing is a thorn. To one attaining the cessation of perceptions and feelings, perceptions and feelings are a thorn. Greed is a thorn. Hate is a thorn and delusion is a thorn.

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by rightviewftw » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:27 am

bodom wrote:
Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:07 pm
Ajahn Chah on the different levels of concentration:
A further aspect of mental development that leads to clearer and deeper insight is meditating on an object to calm the mind down. The calm mind is the mind that is firm and stable in samādhi. This can be khanika samādhi (momentary concentration), upacāra-samādhi (neighbourhood concentration) or appanā samādhi (absorption). The level of concentration is determined by the refinement of consciousness from moment to moment as you train the mind to maintain awareness on a meditation object.

In khanika samādhi (momentary concentration) the mind unifies for just a short space of time. It calms down in samādhi, but having gathered together momentarily, immediately withdraws from that peaceful state. As concentration becomes more refined in the course of meditation, many similar characteristics of the tranquil mind are experienced at each level, so each one is described as a level of samādhi, whether it is khanika , upacāra or appanā . At each level the mind is calm, but the depth of the samādhi varies and the nature of the peaceful mental state experienced differs. On one level the mind is still subject to movement and can wander, but moves around within the confines of the concentrated state. It doesn’t get caught in activity that leads to agitation and distraction. Your awareness might follow a wholesome mental object for a while, before returning to settle down at a point of stillness where it remains for a period.

You could compare the experience of khanika samādhi with a physical activity like taking a walk somewhere: you might walk for a period before stopping for a rest, and having rested start walking again until it’s time to stop for another rest. Even though you interrupt the journey periodically to stop walking and take rests, each time remaining completely still, it is only ever a temporary stillness of the body. After a short space of time you have to start moving again to continue the journey. This is what happens within the mind as it experiences such a level of concentration.

If you practise meditation focusing on an object to calm the mind and reach a level of calm where the mind is firm in samādhi, but there is still some mental movement occurring, that is known as upacāra-samādhi. In upacāra-samādhi the mind can still move around. This movement takes place within certain limits, the mind doesn’t move beyond them. The boundaries within which the mind can move are determined by the firmness and stability of concentration. The experience is as if you alternate between a state of calm and a certain amount of mental activity. The mind is calm some of the time and active for the rest. Within that activity there is still a certain level of calm and concentration that persists, but the mind is not completely still or immovable. It is still thinking a little and wandering about. It’s like you are wandering around inside your own home. You wander around within the limits of your concentration, without losing awareness and moving outdoors away from the meditation object. The movement of the mind stays within the bounds of wholesome ( kusala ) mental states. It doesn’t get caught into any mental proliferation based on unwholesome ( akusala ) mental states. Any thinking remains wholesome. Once the mind is calm, it necessarily experiences wholesome mental states from moment to moment. During the time it is concentrated the mind only experiences wholesome mental states and periodically settles down to become completely still and one-pointed on its object.

So the mind still experiences some movement, circling around its object. It can still wander. It might wander around within the confines set by the level of concentration, but no real harm arises from this movement because the mind is calm in samādhi. This is how the development of the mind proceeds in the course of practice.

In appanā samādhi the mind calms down and is stilled to a level where it is at its most subtle and skilful. Even if you experience sense impingement from the outside, such as sounds and physical sensations, it remains external and is unable to disturb the mind. You might hear a sound, but it won’t distract your concentration. There is the hearing of the sound, but the experience is as if you don’t hear anything. There is awareness of the impingement but it’s as if you are not aware. This is because you let go. The mind lets go automatically. Concentration is so deep and firm that you let go of attachment to sense impingement quite naturally. The mind can absorb into this state for long periods. Having stayed inside for an appropriate amount of time, it then withdraws. Sometimes, as you withdraw from such a deep level of concentration, a mental image of some aspect of your own body can appear. It might be a mental image displaying an aspect of the unattractive nature of your body that arises into consciousness. As the mind withdraws from the refined state, the image of the body appears to emerge and expand from within the mind. Any aspect of the body could come up as a mental image and fill up the mind’s eye at that point.
http://www.abhayagiri.org/books/the-col ... -hardcover" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:namaste:
this seems about right to me

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Re: The seven factors of awakening in dry insight?

Post by nibbedhika » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:05 am

It isn't necessary to develop all seven factors at once. It is important to develop sati, samadhi and dhamma-vicaya (paññā) carefully first. These fundamental factors are also the foundation of vipassana. The other factors are more to do with opposing the hindrances. There are suttas (e.g. SN 46.53 and SN 46.51) that suggest how they may be developed through wise attention (yoniso manasikāra) and how they must be used to oppose the five hindrances.

It is possible to develop piti and upekkha separately outside jhanas, even if not to the same level. You can also expect these factors to arise as a part of the "vipassana jhanas" which are a consequence of the arising of insight knowledge.

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