Contemplation (anupassanā) leads to integral meditative composure (sammāsamādhi). Contemplating one of the four applications of mindfulness is the cause of integral meditative composure. MN 44 Culavedalla Sutta:reflection wrote:Whatever any teacher says, contemplation can not be the development of concentration. I don't see how that is not obvious. That doesn't mean contemplating is useless as a whole, but it is a formation of the hindrance of restlessness (or possibly doubt) during concentration development.
- Singleness of mind (cittassa ekaggatā) is meditative composure, friend Visakha; the four applications of mindfulness are its causes (nimitta); the four integral exertions are its requisites; and any cultivation, development, and pursuit of these qualities is its development.
- Come, friends, remain contemplating the body in the body, ardent, fully aware, unified, with a limpid mind, composed, with singleness of mind, in order to know the body as it really is. Remain contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, fully aware, unified, with a limpid mind, composed, with singleness of mind, in order to know feelings as they really are. Remain contemplating mind in mind, ardent, fully aware, unified, with a limpid mind, composed, with singleness of mind, in order to know the mind as it really is. Remain contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, fully aware, unified, with a limpid mind, composed, with singleness of mind, in order to know phenomena as they really are.
Regarding the relationship between the applications of mindfulness and the jhāna factors of the four jhānas, we find the following instructions in AN 8.63 Saṅkhittadesita Sutta:
- ‘I will remain contemplating the body in the body... feelings in feelings... mind in mind... phenomena in phenomena, ardent, fully aware, mindful, having removed covetousness and unhappiness with regard to the world.’ That, monk, is how you should train.
When, monk, this meditative composure is developed in this way and made much of, you should develop this meditative composure with directed thought and evaluation, you should develop it without directed thought but with mere evaluation, you should develop it without directed thought and evaluation, you should develop it with joy, you should develop it without joy, you should develop it with comfort, you should develop it with equanimity.
AN 4.12 Sīla Sutta informs us that singleness of mind can be maintained and the five hindrances abandoned in any of the four postures (standing, walking, sitting, reclining). Moreover, the occurrence of light nimittas and other rūpāvacara phenomena in jhāna requires the activity of the corresponding sense faculties. This has already been indicated in the quotation from Nettippakaraṇa 4.22.reflection wrote:The same goes for having more than one sense active. By the very definition of the word "one" , one pointed concentration can not be involved with more than one of the 6 senses. Because the mind always backs up the other 5 senses and those can not be noticed separately, the one sense to be concentrated on is the mind itself. Having 5 sense activity is the first hindrance of sensual craving at work.
The hindrances are abandoned through integral mindfulness prior to jhāna. MN 39 Mahāssapura Sutta elaborates:reflection wrote:So samatha jhana is beyond the 5 hindrances, while "vipassana jhana" is not, so is not jhana.
- Here monks, a monk resorts to a secluded dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a charnel ground, a jungle grove, an open space, a heap of straw. After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body upright, and brings mindfulness to the fore.
Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world [a synonym for the first hindrance], he dwells with a mind devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning aversion and anger, he dwells with a mind devoid of aversion, sympathetic to the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of aversion and anger. Abandoning lethargy and drowsiness, he dwells with a mind devoid of lethargy and drowsiness, mindful, fully aware, clearly percipient. He cleanses his mind of lethargy and drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning doubt, he dwells having crossed over doubt, with no perplexity with regard to skillful phenomena. He cleanses his mind of doubt.
It would be good to drop the condescending attitude and acknowledge that other members may have just as much or more experience in these matters than you do.reflection wrote:I really encourage everybody to give it a shot, you won't be disappointed. I keep repeating this, because an underestimation of jhana also means an underestimation of the hindrances. And the hindrances are the main thing between us and enlightenment.
All the best,