User talk:Larry Rosenfeld/sandbox3

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Nice article - not too much to complain about :p I like it when people point out that the vipassana thing is commentarial.

  • I very much appreciate the quote from AN4.94, which illuminates how there are many terms used as euphemisms for Jhana... someone who is looking for samatha should practise samadhi - samadhi is defined as the four Jhanas. Samatha is just a beautiful way of refering to Jhana. This is the point I would like to see this article make: that Samatha means Jhana.
  • Perhaps include a reference to adhikaranasamatha - for insight into the meaning of samatha: the settling of issues, i.e. their being concluded, finished, dealt with, over...
  • "The Buddha identified two paramount mental states, used in tandem". Yes! thank you!
  • You could mention that in the canon vipassana is never, ever, used to refer to a meditation technique, and you could mention that the word appears infrequently.

n.b. The four immaterial attainments are never referred to as jhana in the nikayas.

Sunfirejake (talk) 14:58, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi Sunfirejake!
Thanks so much for your kind, generous, thoughtful, learned and very helpful feedback!
I'll definitely look into each of your points more. Especially the term adhikaranasamatha -- I wasn't familiar with it and am definitely interested in understanding it better.
Regarding vipassana's not being referred to as a meditation technique in the Canon -- from what I've read, your point seems to be definitely true. Because my knowledge of the Canon is far from exhaustive, I shied away from explicitly spelling this out in the main text though I refer to it in end note 9, based on Thanissaro and Brahm texts. (In fact, my reading of the Thanissaro article is that it especially emphasizes this point about vipassana, more so than about samatha.) I was wondering if you have read either or both of these texts and, if so, if they helped shape your views? If not, I was wondering how you came upon your understanding (which I seem to share but which so many seem to not). In the "Serenity and insight" section, I also quote from MN 6 which I think highlights the distinction.
For what it's worth, the material in this article on "serenity" and "insight" being mental states, not meditation techniques, in the Canon I took from prior material I had added to the WP article Buddhist meditation. Perhaps somewhere down the road a review of the vipassana article is in order? (Though, at the moment, I've not the time, energy or interest in dealing with an edit war on what I assume is a somewhat popular article "owned" by so many who likely approach the topic so differently than we do.)
Also, regarding the relationship between samatha and jhana, I intuitively agree with you but I've yet to review all the pertinent material so, in my mind, I've formulated a somewhat more cautious relationship. If I may be naive, is there such a passage in the Canon stating something to the effect of "samatha means jhana"? I know my first section marked Expand certainly seems to be leading me in that direction but, again, I'm not quite there yet.
Whether or not you have time to respond, thank you so much for your invaluable feedback and support. May you be safe, healthy, happy and at ease, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 19:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Don;t have time to respond as fully as I would like to right now, but I will see if I can dig up an article by Ven. Brahmali (a disciple of Ajahn Brahm), which covers this topic with extensive quotations. I will respond again when I have time (i'm in the process of changing careers and holidaying interstate over christmas) Sunfirejake 14:30, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Whenever you get a chance, it would be much appreciated. I'm hoping to get my hands on the Cousins material that Peter suggested sometime later this month but, if not able to, I might just tighten this current sandbox text up and stick a tag at top stating that the article smacks of "original research" and needs secondary sources (at least I think I've seen such tags around WP before); then we can all add our favorite secondary and primary sources to it afterwards :-) )
Again, I really appreciate your on-going contributions, Jake. Good look with the career changing (is there someone in the monastery's HR department who helps with such? ;-) ) and I hope you enjoy the holidays! Best wishes, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 16:40, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Have a look at Satipatthāna & Samādhi by Ven. Bhikkhu Brahmali [1] Sunfirejake 14:49, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Excellent! Will do! Thanks so much again Jake! - Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 17:13, 4 December 2007 (UTC) (The holidays might eat into my WP time here, so please forgive my delay in digesting new information :-) )
Hi Jake - I just read through Brahm article and definitely find it of interest. He certainly has a facility for marshalling the suttas in support of his understanding. I also find useful his distinction between satipatthana as a basis (nimitta) for developing samadhi and then for developing post-samadhi wisdom; I definitely will keep this distinction in mind for further exploration when further exploring this issue on the cushion and when reading further. And it definitely helps make sense of various aspects of the dhamma (e.g., that sati precedes samadhi in the Noble Eightfold Path but is also said to lead to wisdom). I think it is both clear and potentially very useful. This would probably be a good article to add to the "External links" section of the WP Satipatthana Sutta page. I suspect the Brahm's article's perspective could also be a positive addition to the WP [vipassana]] page (though, I haven't looked at that page in a while ...). Is there another point you'd like to underline from the on-line Brahm article regarding this current sandbox article? Thanks again, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 14:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)