What is this Sublime & Profound Right Concentration ?
The Noble Eightfold Way, leading to Nibbāna, is simply this: Right View,
Right Motivation, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort,
Right Awareness, & Right Concentration. But what is Right Concentration ?
The 4-fold Definition & Characterization of Right Concentration:
Having eliminated the 5 mental hindrances, mental defects that obstruct
understanding, quite secluded from sensual desires, protected from any
detrimental mental state, one enters & dwells in the 1st jhana; full of joy &
pleasure born of solitude, joined with directed & sustained thought. One
makes this joy & pleasure born of seclusion drench, saturate, soak, and
suffuse the body, so that no part of the entire body is unperfused by this
joy & pleasure! Just as a skilled bath-man puts soap powder in a copper
basin & sprinkling it gradually with water, whips it until the water soaks &
pervades all the soap powder, yet without dripping, so too, do the friend
make the joy & pleasure born of solitude permeate & pervade the entire body.
Again, friends, with the stilling of directed & sustained thought, one enters
& dwells in the 2nd jhana, calmed assurance & unification of mind with joy &
pleasure now born of concentration, devoid of any thought! One makes the
joy & pleasure born of concentration drench, saturate, soak, and suffuse
the body, so no part of the whole body is unperfused by this joy & pleasure:
Just as a lake whose waters welled up from below within it itself, & it had
no other sources neither by showers of rain, then this cool fount of water
welling up from within would suffuse, fill, & pervade the entire lake, so do
one make this joy & pleasure born of concentration infuse this entire body!
Again, friends, with the fading away of joy, the friend dwells in equanimity,
aware & clearly comprehending, still feeling pleasure in the body, one enters
upon & remains in the 3rd jhana, regarding which the Noble Ones declare:
'In aware equanimity one dwells in pleasure!' One makes the pleasure apart
from of joy flood, saturate, soak, and suffuse the body, so that there is no
part of one's whole body unperfused by this pleasure divested of joy. Just as
in a lotus pond some lotuses are born, grow & thrive immersed under the water &
the cool water soaks them from their roots to their tips, so too, do a friend make
the pleasure divested of joy drench, fill, flood and pervade this entire body.
Again, friends, with the leaving behind of both pleasure and pain, & with the prior
disappearance of both joy & sorrow, one enters & dwells in the 4th jhana; a stilled
mental state of awareness, purified by an equanimity of neither-pain-nor-pleasure.
One sits illuminating the body internally with this pure bright mind, so that there
is no part of one's whole body not illuminated by this pure bright mind! Just as a
man were sitting covered from the head down with a white cloth, so that no part
of his whole body was uncovered by this white textile; so one sits encompassing
this entire body with a pure bright radiant mind, so that there is no part of one's
whole body not illuminated by this pure bright and luminous mind...
No trivial worldly pleasure surpasses such sublime bliss!
The Function of Right Concentration & it's associates:
Knowing right & wrong concentration as right & wrong concentration, is right view.
Exchanging wrong concentration with right concentration is right effort.
Right concentration has the function of a drill: focusing, unifying, and penetrating!