mikenz66 wrote:If you want to pursue a Samatha approach then I think that Ajahn Brahm's book, Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond is useful.
The Great Vipassanā versus Samatha Debate
Some traditions speak of two types of meditation, insight meditation (vipassanā) and calm meditation (samatha). In fact the two are indivisible facets of the same process. Calm is the peaceful happiness born of meditation; insight is the clear understanding born of the same meditation.Calm leads to insight and insight leads to calm
For those who are misled to concieve of all the instructions offered here as "just samatha practice" (calming) without regard to vipassanā (insight), please know that this is neither vipassanā nor samatha. It is called bhāvanā (mental development). This method was taught by the Buddha (AN IV, 125 - 27; MN 151, 13 - 19) and repeated in the forest tradition of Northeast Thailand, with which my teacher, Ven.Ajahn Chah, was associated. Ajahn Chah often said that samatha and vipassanā cannot be seperated, nor can the pair be developed apart from right view, right thought, right moral conduct, and so forth. Samatha and vipassanā, Ajahn Chah said, are like two sides of one hand...
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Laurens,
Of course, its all a matter of stress. Perhaps I should say that Ajahn Brahm teaches an approach that puts a lot of stress on the samatha aspect in the initial stages than many other teachers. Other Ajahn Chah students, such as Ajahn Tiradhammo, put a lot less stress on attaining deep levels of concentration.
Different approaches are useful to different people at different times... In most cases apparent disagreements between teachers are just a matter of what they put stress on.
Well, the meditations are named after what results they are aiming for, no?
Manapa wrote:do you care to explain?
Kenshou wrote:Well, the meditations are named after what results they are aiming for, no?
Kenshou wrote:I'm not in disagreement with you. There is meditation, there is the practice. Release from suffering is the goal of course, not "vipassana" or "samatha" themselves. I did not intend to imply that there are two distinct methods of meditation. I was under an impression like that before this thread was posted, but I do not see things in that particular way at this point, thanks to the clarifications of people on this forum and the materials they've given. And those names applied to different aspects of meditation are not the final goal and if I implied that it was due to a fault in my own phrasing/ a brain-fart moment.
But I understand that from your side what I said could appear to have certain connotations that would imply misunderstanding on my part, and you pointing those out is understandable and obviously comes from a place of good intention. So yeah,
seanpdx wrote:Folks like Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Brahm, quoted previously, do an excellent job of explaining things. =D
seanpdx wrote:First, I take issue with the word "meditations" (plural). This implies that there are two (or more) types of meditation that the Buddha taught. I am, of course, working from the assumption that we're speaking of buddhist meditation specifically, and not including non-buddhist meditation. I don't believe he taught more than one type of meditation. And I certainly don't think they could be called "vipassana" or "samatha" if he ever did such a thing.
seanpdx wrote:Secondly, and just as importantly, neither vipassana nor samatha, as qualities, are the results for which buddhist meditation aims. The result for which buddhist meditation aims is nibbana (or whichever synonym or metaphor you prefer). Vipassana and samatha are qualities (and indispensable qualities at that) which arise from buddhist meditation (singular), but they are not the goal.
seanpdx wrote:It may seem like nit-picking, but you _did_ ask me to explain my answer. =) In the end, I think that many people either intentionally or unintentionally find a good blend of sati and samadhi, resulting in the sort of meditation the Buddha was probably trying to teach. More or less. I think the biggest problem with the artificial separation of buddhist meditation into two branches is that it ends up confusing people. Heck, just look at how often the topic comes up on buddhist forums. And using pali words that most people don't even understand just seems to exacerbate the problem.
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