Print
Category: Bhikkhu Samahita daily drops
Hits: 2551

 

 

Today, on this full day, the Buddha was quite satisfied with the

mental progress of the monks & therefore spoke the Anapanasati Sutta.

This quite refined meditation technique he himself used for Enlightenment!

A unique & excellent thing in itself - A Lamp - shining bright everywhere.

 

Awareness by Breathing

 

 

Majjhima Nikaya 118

A gift of Dhamma.

 

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi

in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother, together with many

well-known elder disciples with Ven. Sariputta, Ven. Maha Moggallana,

Ven. Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccayana, Ven. Maha Kotthita, Ven. Maha Kappina,

Ven. Maha Cunda, Ven. Revata, Ven. Ananda & other well-known elder disciples.

 

On that occasion the elder Bhikkhus were teaching & instructing.

Some elder Bhikkhus were teaching & instructing ten Bhikkhus, some were teaching &

instructing twenty Bhikkhus, some were teaching & instructing thirty Bhikkhus,

some were teaching & instructing forty Bhikkhus.

 

The new Bhikkhus, being taught & instructed by the elder Bhikkhus, were successively discriminating significant distinctions.

Now on that occasion the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the

Pavarana ceremony the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the

community of Bhikkhus. Surveying the silent community of Bhikkhus, he addressed them:

"Bhikkhus, I am content with this practice. I am really content in mind with this exercise.

So arouse even more intense persistence for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained,

the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, and the realization of the as-yet-unrealized.

I will remain right here at Savatthi through the 'White water-lily' month, the fourth

month of the rains."

 

The Bhikkhus in the countryside heard, "The Blessed One, they say, will remain right

there at Savatthi through the White water-lily month, the fourth month of the rains."

So they left for Savatthi to see the Blessed One.

 

Then the elder Bhikkhus taught & instructed even more intensely.

Some elder Bhikkhus were teaching & instructing ten Bhikkhus, some were teaching &

instructing twenty Bhikkhus, some were teaching & instructing thirty Bhikkhus,

some were teaching & instructing forty Bhikkhus. The new Bhikkhus, being taught &

instructed by the elder Bhikkhus, were discerning even higher successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the

White water-lily month, the fourth month of the rains the Blessed One was seated

in the open air surrounded by the community of Bhikkhus. Surveying the silent community

of Bhikkhus, he addressed them: Bhikkhus, this assembly is free from idle chatter,

devoid of empty babble & is established on pure heartwood: such is this community of

Bhikkhus, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that is worthy of gifts, worthy of

hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an incomparable field of merit

for the world: such is this community of Bhikkhus, such is this assembly.

The sort of assembly to which a small gift, when given, becomes great & a

great gift greater: such is this community of Bhikkhus, such is this assembly.

The sort of assembly that it is rare to see in the world: such is this community of

Bhikkhus, such is this assembly the sort of assembly that it would be worth travelling

for leagues, taking along provisions, in order to see.

In this community of Bhikkhus there are Bhikkhus who are Arahants,

whose mental fermentations are ended, who have reached fulfilment,

done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal,

totally destroyed the fetter of becoming & who are released

through right gnosis: such are the Bhikkhus in this community of Bhikkhus.

In this community of Bhikkhus there are Bhikkhus who, with the total ending of the

first set of five fetters, are due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally

unbound, never again to return from that world: such are the Bhikkhus

in this community of Bhikkhus. In this community of Bhikkhus there are Bhikkhus who,

with the total ending of [the first] three fetters (see note 1) & with the attenuation of passion,

aversion, & delusion, are once-returners, who on returning only one more time to this

world will make an ending to pain: Such are the Bhikkhus in this community of Bhikkhus.

In this community of Bhikkhus there are Bhikkhus who, with the total ending of [the first]

three fetters (see note 1), are stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for

states of misery, headed for self-awakening: Such are the Bhikkhus in this community

of Bhikkhus. In this community of Bhikkhus there are Bhikkhus who remain devoted to the

development of:

 

The four foundations of Awareness...

The four best Efforts...

The four Sources of Force...

The five Abilities...

The five Powers...

The Seven Factors of Awakening...

The Noble Eightfold Way:

 

such are the Bhikkhus in this community of Bhikkhus. In this community of Bhikkhus there

are Bhikkhus who remain devoted to the development of good will...understanding...joy...

equanimity. disgust of the body... the perception of impermanence: such are the

Bhikkhus in this community of Bhikkhus. In this community of Bhikkhus there are Bhikkhus

who remain devoted to awareness by in-&-out breathing.

Awareness by in-&-out breathing, when developed & practiced, is of great fruit,

of great advantage!Awareness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & practiced,

brings the four foundations of awareness to their culmination.

The four foundations of awareness, when developed & practiced,

bring the Seven Factors of Awakening to their culmination.

The Seven Factors of Awakening, when developed & practiced,

bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.

 

Establishing Awareness by In-&-Out Breathing:

 

Now how is Awareness of in-&-out breathing developed & practiced so

as to bring the four foundations of awareness to their culmination?

There is the case where a Bhikkhu, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree,

or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect &

setting Awareness up in front ( see note 2).

 

Always aware, he breathes in; always aware he breathes out.

Inhaling long, he knows that he is inhaling long &

exhaling long, he knows that he is exhaling long.

Inhaling short, he knows that he is inhaling short &

exhaling short, he knows that he is exhaling short.

He trains himself to inhale experiencing the entire body &

to exhale sensitive to & perceiving the entire body. (see note 3)

He trains himself to inhale calming the bodily processes &

to exhale calming the bodily construction. (see note 4)

 

He trains himself to inhale perceptive of mental joy &

to exhale experiencing to mental joy.

He trains himself to inhale perceiving bodily pleasure &

to exhale experiencing bodily pleasure.

He trains himself to inhale sensitive to all mental construction &

to exhale experiencing every mental construction. (see note 5)

He trains himself to inhale calming any mental construction &

to exhale stilling all mental construction. (see note 5)

 

He trains himself to inhale perceiving the mind &

to exhale experiencing the mind. (see note 6)

He trains himself to inhale gladdening the mind &

to exhale cheering the mind to satisfaction. (see note 7)

He trains himself to inhale focusing the mind &

to exhale while concentrating the mind. (see note 8)

He trains himself to inhale releasing the mind &

to exhale while liberating the mind. (see note 9)

 

He trains himself to inhale focusing on impermanence &

to exhale reflecting on inconstancy. (see note 10)

He trains himself to inhale reflecting on disinterest &

to exhale reflecting on disgust & disillusion. (see note 11)

He trains himself to inhale reflecting on stopping & to

exhale reflecting on the freedom of final ending.

He trains himself to inhale reflecting on relinquishment &

to exhale reflecting on relinquishment. (see note 12)

 

The four Foundations of Awareness:

 

Now, on whatever occasion a Bhikkhu inhaling long knows that he is inhaling long;

or exhaling long, knows that he is exhaling long;

or inhaling short, knows that he is inhaling short;

or exhaling short, knows that he is exhaling short;

trains himself to in-&-exhale experiencing the entire body;

trains himself to in-&-exhale calming the bodily construction:

On that occasion the Bhikkhu remains focused on the body in & of itself enthusiastic,

alert, & aware, thereby eliminating attraction & aversion related to this world.

I tell you, Bhikkhus, that this the in-&-out breath is classed as a body among bodies,

which is why the Bhikkhu on that occasion remains focused on the body in & of itself

enthusiastic, alert & aware thereby eliminating attraction & aversion related to this world.

 

On whatever occasion a Bhikkhu trains himself to in-&-exhale experiencing joy;

trains himself to in-&-exhale perceiving pleasure;

trains himself to in-&-exhale experiencing the mental construction;

trains himself to in-&-exhale calming any mental construction:

On that occasion the Bhikkhu remains focused on feelings in & of themselves enthusiastic,

alert, & aware subduing attraction & aversion related to this world.

I tell you, Bhikkhus, that this close attention to in-&-out breaths is classed as a feeling

among feelings, which is why the Bhikkhu on that occasion remains focused on feelings

in & of themselves enthusiastic, alert, & aware thereby eliminating attraction & aversion

related to this world.

 

On whatever occasion a Bhikkhu trains himself to in-&-exhale experiencing the mind;

trains himself to in-&-exhale encouraging & gladdening the mind;

trains himself to in-&-exhale concentrating & focusing the mind;

trains himself to in-&-exhale releasing & liberating the mind:

On that occasion the Bhikkhu remains focused on the mind in & of itself enthusiastic,

alert, & aware subduing attraction & aversion relating to this world. I don't say that there

is Awareness of in-&-out breathing in one of confused Awareness and no alertness,

which is why the Bhikkhu on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself

enthusiastic, alert, & aware thereby eliminating attraction & aversion related to this world.

 

On whatever occasion a Bhikkhu trains himself to in-&-exhale reflecting on impermanence;

trains himself to in-&-exhale reflecting on disgust, dispassion & disillusion;

trains himself to in-&-exhale reflecting on fading, ending, stopping & ceasing;

trains himself to in-&-exhale reflecting on releasing relinquishment:

On that occasion the Bhikkhu remains focused on mental states in & of themselves enthusiastic,

alert, & aware subduing attraction & aversion related to this world.

 

He who sees clearly with discernment the removal of attraction & aversion is one

who oversees with equanimity, which is why the Bhikkhu on that occasion remains

focused on mental quality in & of itself enthusiastic, alert, & aware thereby eliminating any

attraction & aversion related to this world.

This is how Awareness of in-&-out breathing is developed & practiced so as to bring the

four frames of reference to their culmination...

 

The Seven Factors of Awakening:

 

And how, friends, when the Four Foundations of Awareness - the four frames of reference

have been developed, how when they have been made much of, do they bring to fulfilment,

to culmination the Seven Links to enlightenment, the Seven Factors of Awakening?

 

At the time, friends, when a friend is living by contemplating the body as a mere body,

just a disgusting form, though enthusiastic & clearly conscious of it, continually Aware of it,

steady & without lapse so as to control the desire & aversion, attraction & repulsion

[for & from bodies and forms] in & of this world: At that time undisrupted Awareness

is aroused in this friend.... At the time, friends, when undisrupted Awareness,

when unrelaxed, unslack Awareness, when unlapsing, continual Awareness is aroused & irreversibly established in such friend: At that exact

occasion is the Factor of Awakening that is Awareness stirred up in this friend; at that time such friend develops the Factor of Awakening

that is Awareness; at that time the factor of awakening that is Awareness comes to fulfilment, to culmination of development in this friend.

 

Living thus Aware, awake, mindful such curious & interested friend examines, inquires into,

scrutinizes, analyzes, & bring all phenomena forward for Investigation by means of insight

by observation. At the time, friends, when such a friend, living thus aware, mindful, examines,

inquires into, scrutinizes, analyzes, & bring these things forward for Investigation, he comes to

comprehension by means of insight: At exactly that occasion the Factor of Awakening that is

Investigation of phenomena, of states, of dhammas & of The Dhamma - The Norm is stirred up

in such friend; at that time the friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Investigation

into things; at that time the factor of awakening that is Investigation into things comes to fulfilment, to culmination of development in

this friend.

 

While such friend is thus examining, analyzing, inquiring into all phenomena, the unsluggish

Energy of enthusiasm inherent in curiosity is stirred up in this friend. At the time, friends,

when such unsluggish enduring Energy is stirred up in a friend, who is examining, who inquires

into that quality of unflagging persistence; at that time the Factor of Awakening that is Energy

is stirred up in such friend; at that time such friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Energy; at that time the factor of awakening

that is Energy comes to fulfilment, to culmination

of development in this friend.

 

When such a friend has stirred up energy an immaculate joy not of this world, a rapture not of world arises. A joy not experienced before, a

bliss not of the flesh, not caused by sensing

anything arises.At the time, friends, when such immaculate joy not of this world, such ecstasy

not of this body arises in a friend of stirred up energy: At that time the Factor of Awakening

that is Rapture, is stirred up in such friend; at that time the friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Rapture; at that time the

factor of awakening that is Rapture comes to fulfilment, to culmination of development in this friend.

 

The body of one whose mind is enraptured, [- as happy as can be, satisfied & content -] grows calm & is all tranquilized, and mind & thought

too grows calm & is all tranquilized. At the time when both the body of a friend whose mind is enraptured is tranquilized and his thought

too is all tranquilized: At that time the Factor of Awakening that is Tranquillity is aroused in such friend; at that time the friend

develops the Factor of Awakening that is Tranquillity; at that time the factor of awakening that is Tranquillity comes to fulfilment, to

culmination of development in this friend.

 

The mind of one whose body is thus calm, tranquil and at ease becomes quite concentrated.

At the time, friends, when the mind is concentrated in a friend whose body is calm,

tranquil and at ease: At that time the Factor of Awakening that is Concentration is

aroused in such friend; at that time the friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is

Concentration; at that time the factor of awakening that is Concentration comes to

fulfilment, to culmination of development in this friend.

 

Such noble friend with mind concentrated thus is one who reviews with reason,

with proper care, with prudence any of his thoughts. At the time, friends, when a friend

looks with proper care at the thought concentrated thus: At that time the Factor of

Awakening that is Equanimity, solid even mental balance, settles in such friend;

at that time the friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Equanimity;

at that time the factor of awakening that is Equanimity comes to fulfilment,

to culmination of development in this friend.

 

At the time, friends, when a friend is faring along, living while always contemplating

The Feelings just as Responses....,

The Mind just as Moods....,

The Phenomena as mere Mental States ....,

enthusiastic, clearly conscious of them, continually Aware of them, so as to control

the attraction and rejection, greed & aversion provoked by this world: at that time the

factor of Awakening that is Equanimity comes to fulfilment of development in this friend.

 

Friends, when the four foundations of awareness, the Four Foundations of Awareness

are developed thus, made much of thus, refined thus, they bring to fulfilment the Seven

Links in Awakening .... !

 

And How, friends, when the Seven Links of Awakening have been developed thus,

refined thus, completed thus: How when they are made much of, do they bring to

fulfilment: Complete Freedom through Knowledge & Vision ?

 

Herein, friends, a friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is

Awareness dependent on aloofness, seclusion & solitude, dependent on detachment,

disillusion & dispassion dependent on cessation, stopping & ending in the final surrender

of letting go;

The friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Investigation into things...

The friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Energy...

The friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Rapture...

The friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Tranquillity...

The friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Concentration...

The friend develops the Factor of Awakening that is Equanimity...

The friend develops dependent on aloofness, seclusion & solitude,

dependent on detachment, disillusion & dispassion, dependent on cessation,

stopping & ending in the surrender of letting go....!

 

Friends, when the Seven Links in Awakening are developed thus, are made much of thus,

are refined thus, they bring to utter fulfilment: Final Freedom through Direct Knowledge .... !

 

Thus spoke the Buddha....

 

Delighted, aroused, uplifted, inspired & gratified these Bhikkhus

rejoiced in what the Blessed One had said.... '

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

Notes & Comments:

 

Note 1:

The first three lower Fetters (Samyojana) obstructing one from entering

the Noble stream:

I: Personality view or 'ego' belief (Sakkaya-ditthi). The false idea that there

is a fixed stable & same person 'I & Me' hidden inside somewhere.

II: Sceptical Doubt (Vicikiccha). Uncertainty about whether the Buddha actually

was perfectly enlightened.

III: Clinging to rule & ritual (silabbata-paramasa): The belief that rules of morality

or rituals themselves can purify mind.

 

Note 2: "Setting Awareness up in front".

Means attention should be focused where the breath touch & is felt either inside the

nostrils or on the upper lip. (Lit: 'around the mouth'). The closed eyes should 'look for'

the same location, down & central, since that enhance the attention & perception of the

gentle air touch.

 

Note 3: "Entire Body" here has several connotations:

A: Whole body experienced sequentially scanning all parts & furthermore

in one & same experienced sensation.

B: Both the Physical Body made of the 4 great elements:

(extension, cohesion, heat, motion);

& the Mental Body 'made of':

(contact, feeling, perception, intention & attention).

C: Whole 'Breath Body' which means awareness of the start, middle & end of

the entire in-&-exhalation.

 

Note 4: "Calming Bodily Construction" here means calming all movement of muscles,

thereby also breathing. Calming bodily construction also includes reducing

all biochemical metabolism of sugar, protein, lipids & all other compounds.

It also means slowing the heartbeat & the deceleration of the blood flow.

It signifies the stilling of all physical or chemical processes taking

place in the body. On the elemental level it means relaxing the extension,

spreading the cohesion, cooling the heat & slow down the diffusion.

 

Note 5: " Calming the mental construction" Mental construction here signifies

perception & feeling. So calming the mental construction (formation)

means tranquilizing the mental process of creating a perception from

the raw sense input & the mental process of assigning a feeling thereto.

One here systematically calms:

'The mental construction of visual experience & the connected feeling

(Pleasurable, painful or neutral)

The mental construction of auditory experience & the connected feeling.

(Important disturber while sitting!)

The mental construction of smell experience & the connected feeling.

The mental construction of taste experience & the connected feeling.

The mental construction of bodily tactile experience & the connected feeling.

(Pain-maker while sitting!)

The mental construction of mental experience & the connected feeling.'

Then quite silent mind can be!

 

Note 6: "Experiencing the mind" means initially which mood the mind currently is in.

Aversive or resisting? Wanting or searching or urging?

Confused, bewildered or in doubt? Contracted or scattered?

Alert or sluggish? Aloof or engaged? Calm or anxious?

Absorbed or average? Released or bound?

After 1st access to Jhana it means perceiving in which Jhana the mind abides?

1st: Absorbed into directed & sustained thought joined by joy & pleasure?

2nd: Absorbed into unified mind void of thought but joined by joy & pleasure?

3rd: Absorbed into the balanced awareness of equanimity joined by pleasure?

4th: Absorbed into purity of aware equanimity?

 

Note 7: "Satisfying the mind" means rejoicing, pleasing & delighting the mind

initially by recollecting the exquisite qualities of the Buddha or other

similar advantageous pleasant object.

After the 1st access to Jhana it means first creating or entering the

rapture connected with 1st & 2nd Jhana & then when returning from

absorption reviewing this exquisite excellence of the quality of joy.

 

Note 8: "Concentrating the mind" means initially focusing, steadying,

fixing & evenly placing it on the object: The 'sign' of air touching the

nostrils. This gradually stabilizes into one-pointedness of mind where only

one object is anchored in the attention. This non-excess of thoughts,

this non-distraction is the door, this edge, this entrance,

is the access point to absorption into 1st Jhana.

So keep on polishing here!

 

Note 9: "Releasing the mind" means setting the mind free from the hindrances of

1: Urge for sensing by reflecting on the disgusting aspects.

2: Ill will by reflecting on the release of mind by friendship.

3: Lethargy & Laziness by reflecting on initiative, launching & persistence.

4: Restlessness & Regret by reflecting on the stable inner calm of body &

the serene inner calm of mind.

5: Confused uncertainty by reflecting on the advantageous & the detrimental,

the blameable & unplayable, the average & the excellent, the bright & the dark.

And thereby entering the 1st Jhana. In the Jhanas this means releasing the mind

from: The 'noise' of thoughts, the 'tension' of joy (& depression) and the stirring

agitation of pleasure (& pain).

 

Note 10: "Reflecting on impermanence." means realizing the inevitable change,

otherwiseness, vanishing, ending & thereby certain loss of whatever form

in world, loss of whatever body, loss of whatever feeling, loss of whatever

experience, loss of whatever construction, loss of whatever consciousness

there possibly can be. Divine or not .

 

Note 11: "Reflecting on disillusion." means noting the disinterest, indifference,

disenchantment & disappointment that inevitably emerge with whatever object

as time goes by. Mind grows bored even with what it loved!

This 'Virago' '= lit. Fading away' is a general feature.

For rich people it is very difficult to find satisfaction for this reason.

Whatever you can have, they already had plenty of it & thereby grown

dispassioned towards it, realizing its emptiness.

Only Dukkha arises. Only Dukkha fades away!

 

Note 12: "Reflecting on relinquishment." means seeing that having a body means

having pain one gives up body, one lets go of 'form' and is thereby

mentally released & relinquished into entering the bliss & peace of Nibbana

in which form is absent. Seeing the inherent detrimental distress of feeling,

perception, construction & consciousness one gives up those too. Then one is

cleared for the final climax.

 

For further study of this excellent meditation method praised by all Buddhas:

"Mindfulness of Breathing" Classic Anapanasati meditation manual of all the

canonical root texts on the subject translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli. BPS. 1998.

http://www.pariyatti.com/book.cgi?prod_id=404502

 

On this special Buddhist observance day: Anapasati Day see:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/uposatha.html#anapanasati

 

 

Friendship is the Greatest !

 

© Bhikkhu Samahita, Sri Lanka.