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Monday, April 14, 2014

Samatha & Vipassana Meditation - The Right Balance

April 12, 2014 TBA IMG 

Under the Beautify Tx Spring Weather at ABC 


As yogis, we sometimes have questions like;
  • where should I start? 
  • what is Samatha (Tranquillity), Samadhi (Concentration) and Vipassana (Insight)? 
  • Which on should I start first? 
  • What do the Sutta actually say about the 2 topics.
  • Is Samatha same as Samadhi or Jhana?
  • Sama-samadhi is the 4 Jhana, therefore Samadhi is same as Jhana? Is this correct?
  • What do the Sutta tell us is the Function of Samatha and Vipassana.

Under the guidance of Ven. Katapunno, we listened to the 2007 audio lecture by Ven. Aggacitta's Dharma talk on this important subject of the basic understanding of the Buddha's meditation method.  

What is Samatha and What is Vipassana (your understanding)?
Anguttara Nikaya (AN) 4.94 (The Further-factored Discourses Samadhi Sutta: concentration (Tranquility and Insight) ). {AN 4.94: Samadhi Sutta — concentration (Tranquillity and Insight)(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.094.than.html)}

Buddha said that there are 4 kinds of individuals.
There is the one who has attained:
  1. Samatha no Insight (Vipassana);
  2. Vipassana no Samatha; 
  3. neither Samatha nor Vipassana; 
  4. both Samatha and Vipassana.

One can have Vipassana w/o Samatha. Buddha advise: The individual who has attained internal tranquility of mind but not insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, should approach an individual who has attained insight into phenomena through heightened discernment and ask him:- - how should fabrication (sankara/conditioned phenomena) be regarded, - how should they be investigated, - how should they be seen with insight'.

The person who has attained Vipassana or insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, will answered in line with what they have seen and experienced. And for those individuals who has attained insight into phenomena through heightened wisdom. He should approach the individual who has attained internal tranquility of awareness and ask him - how should the mind be steadied, - how should the mind be remained settled, - how should it be unified and, - how should it be concentrated.

 Is Samatha same as Samadhi or Jhana?

AN 4.41 “Samadhi Bhavana Sutta” http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html Monks there are four development of concentration.

What are the four.
  1. There is the development of concentration (Jhana) that when developed and pursued leads to the pleasant abiding into the here and now. 
  2. There is the development of concentration that when developed and pursued leads attainment of knowledge and wisdom. 
  3. There is the development of concentration that when developed and pursued leads mindfulness and alertness 
  4. There is the development of concentration that when developed and pursued leads ending of Asava/effluents or defilement.

Functions of Samatha and Vipassana

Anguttara Nikaya 2.32. Vijja-bhagiya Sutta (Vijjā-bhāgiya Sutta/Conducive to knowledge) [vijjā+bhāgiya]) {(http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/anguttara/02/an02-032.html)} (Here the Buddha relates Samatha with rāga and cetovimutti, and Vipassanā with avijjā and paññāvimutti.)

These two qualities have a share in clear knowing. Which two? Samatha and Vipassana.

When Samatha is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. Then when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned. Passion is a translation of the Pali word raga. Raga is also sometimes translated as lust, or intense desire, or attachment.

When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment or wisdom is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.

Defiled by passion, the mind is not released. Defiled by ignorance, discernment or wisdom does not develop. Thus from the fading of passion is there awareness, is there - here Ven. Thanissaro translates awareness-release, which is cetovimutti (liberation of the mind).

From the fading of ignorance there is discernment-release, or, there is "liberation through wisdom," paññavimutti (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an09/an09.044.than.html). From the fading of ignorance, there is liberation through wisdom. So, both are needed. You need both Samatha and Vipassana.

So for liberation, both are essential. The mind cannot be released from its bondage to our sensual objects because it is defiled by attachment and passion. But attachment or passion is just one of the hindrances in our spiritual quest.  

April 12, 2014 Program:
  • 9:00am Introduction 
  • 9:15am 30 min sitting 
  • 9:45am audio: group discussion 
  • 10:50am break 10 min 
  • 11:00am 30 min sitting 
  • 11:30am Lunch 
  • 12:30p mindful working meditation 
  • 1:00p walking meditation 
  • 1:30p sitting meditation 
  • 2:00p finish 35 min of audio 
  • 2:50p 10 min break 
  • 3:00p sitting meditation 
  • 3:45p transference of merits 
  • 4:00p tea break, tour of ABC and mindful departure

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Day Saturday Meditation Retreat (4/12/2014)

Venerable Katapuno will lead the discussions on the practices and techniques of both Insight and Tranquillity Meditations.

** When & Where
------------------------------------------------------------
This Saturday / April 12th, 2014
American Bodhi Center: 29123 Mellman RD, Hempstead, TX 77445

Program:
9:00 AM- What is Tranquillity (Samatha) Meditation? What is Insight (Vipassana) Meditation? Meditation Practice
12:00 PM- Potluck lunch, bring vegetarian dish!
1:00 PM- How to overcome problems of Meditation. Meditation Practice
3:00 PM- Support for Meditation. Meditation Practice

RSVP and indicate if you can bring a vegetarian dish.