THE ADVANCED MEDITATION PRACTICES


             EXAMINATION OF THE ADVANCED PRACTICES OF SAMATHA AND VIPASSANA
  



Before we begin the details of the more Advanced Meditation Practices of the Samatha Jhana Absorptions and Vipasana Absorptions it may be useful to have some idea where these meditations are leading. But we must remember that they will eliminate all the symptoms of Identity impediments, the symptoms of related to impediments of a dual mind and symptoms generated as a result of the cankers of Sexual Folly.



But the root causes of these three remain, established when the human creature began his fall into his present state of Ignorance while living and evolving in world of marvelous mental advances.


       We can say that Advanced Meditation Practices lead towards Buddhahood, but that does
       not make things very clear. 

Perhaps we can get a better idea if we present what Buddha himself explains about his own  behaviour, for meditation, in and of itself, is not the end that is appropriate for any person upon the Path of Buddha Dharma.


This then, if you eventually digest properly what the Buddha declares here, will give you an idea what the Dharma Doors of Meditation can make available. 


We do not demean the elementary meditations that help apparent suffering and elicit better behaviour, but we must make clear that there is much more available... even beyond the advanced meditations mentioned here.


So before going to the actual meditation practices read the fundamentals of Sitting Meditation and then read through this text from the Vinaya and see if this is the path that you really want or if you would rather look for greater happiness, accepting the linked potential suffering.

                  

                                            


         Then, and only then, consider the details of the Tranquility and Insight Meditations.


          

                



                                       ON SPEAKING TRULY OF THE BUDDHA

 

From the Vinaya-PitakaThe Book of the Discipline, Volume I (Suttavibhanga),

available from from the Pali Text Society:

 

I hear tell, Once upon a Time, The Potter, Veranja-town, near Naleru’s Nimba tree came revisiting along with around 500 beggars. Then the story went round: It’s a fact, good sirs, the beggar Gotama, son of the Sakyans, having gone forth from the Sakyan clan, is staying at Veranja near Naleru’s Nimba tree with a great company of five hundred monks.

 

The highest praise has gone forth concerning the Bhagava Gotama: he is indeed lord, perfected one, fully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct, well-farer, knower of the worlds, unrivalled trainer of men to be tamed, teacher of devas and mankind, the enlightened one, the lord. Having brought to fulfillment his own powers of realization, he makes known this world and the next including the gods, the Maras, and the Brahmas; the variety of beings and types, including sorcerers and beggars, recluses and brahmins, gods and men. He teaches dhamma, helpful in the beginning, helpful in the middle and helpful at the end. He explains with the spirit and the letter the Brahma-life completely fulfilled and wholly pure. Good indeed it were to see perfected men like that.

 

Then the brahmin of Veranja, hearing this, came to visit the Lucky Man, and having come up he exchanged friendly greetings, sat down to one side, and spoke thus to the Bhagava:


"I have heard, good Gotama, that the recluse Gotama does not greet brahmins who are worn, old, stricken in years, who have lived their span and are at the close of their life; nor does he stand up or ask them to sit down. Now this, good Gotama, this is not respectful."

 

"Brahmin, I do not see him in the world of devas, including the Maras, including the Brahmas, including recluses and brahmins, or any living beings including devas and mankind, whom I should greet or rise up for or to whom I should offer a seat.

 

"For, brahmin, whom a tathagata should greet or rise up for or offer a seat to, his head would split asunder."

 

"The revered Gotama is without the quality of good taste," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama is without the quality of taste. For, brahmin, tastes for forms, tastes for sounds, tastes for scents, tastes for savors, tastes for tangible objects . . . these have been destroyed by the tathagata, cut off at the root like a palm-tree, they are so utterly done away with that they are not able to come into future existence. This, brahmin, is a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: "The recluse Gotama is without the quality of good taste. But surely you did not mean that;"

 

"The revered Gotama is without enjoyment," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama is without enjoyment. For, brahmin, enjoyments of forms, enjoyments of sounds, enjoyments of scents, enjoyments of savors, enjoyments of tangible objects . . . these have been destroyed by the tathagata . . ."

 

"The revered Gotama professes the doctrine of non-action," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama professes the doctrine of non-action.

For I, brahmin, teach the non-doing of offences of body, speech and thought. I teach the non-doing of manifold evil and wrong states. . . ."


"The revered Gotama professes the doctrine of annihilation," he said.

"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama professes the doctrine of annihilation. For I, brahmin, speak of the annihilation of passion, of hatred and of confusion; I speak of the annihilation of manifold evil and wrong states. . . ."

 

"The revered Gotama is one who detests," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama is one who detests. For I, brahmin, detest offences of body, speech and thought, and the coming into manifold evil and wrong states. . . . "


"The revered Gotama is restrained," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama is restrained. For I, brahmin, teach dhamma for the restraint of passion, of hatred and of confusion; I teach dhamma for the restraint of manifold evil and wrong states. . . . "


"The revered Gotama is one who practices austerities," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama is one who practices austerities. For I, brahmin, speak of evil, wrong states which are searing, of offences of body, speech and thought. He who, brahmin, has destroyed the searing, evil, wrong states, having cut them off at the root like a palm-tree, who has done away with them so utterly that they can come to no future existence . . . him I call one who practices austerities. The tathagata, brahmin, has destroyed the searing, evil, wrong states, has cut them off at the root like a palm-tree, has done away with them so utterly that they can come to no future existence.. . . "


"The revered Gotama is not destined to another becoming," he said.


"There is indeed, brahmin, a way in which one speaking truly of me could say: The recluse Gotama is one who is not destined to another becoming. 


"Indeed, brahmin, he whose future conception in a womb, whose rebirth in a future becoming are destroyed and cut off like a palm-tree at the root, are so utterly done away with that they can come to no future existence . . . him I call one not destined to another becoming. The tathagata’s future conception in a womb, his rebirth in a new becoming, are destroyed and cut off at the root like a palm-tree, are so utterly done away with that he can come to no future existence. . . . "


"Brahmin, it is like a hen with eight or ten or twelve eggs on which she has sat properly, properly warmed and properly hatched; is that chick which should win forth safely, having first of all pierced through the egg-shell with the point of the claw on its foot, or with its beak, to be called the eldest or the youngest?"


"He is to be called the eldest, good Gotama, for he is the eldest of these."


"Even so, I, brahmin, having pierced through the shell of ignorance for the sake of creatures going in ignorance, born of eggs, covered over, am unique in the world, utterly enlightened with unsurpassed enlightenment. I myself, brahmin, am the world’s eldest and highest.


"Brahmin, I had steadily put forth energy, clear mindfulness had arisen, my body was quieted and calm, my mind was composed and one-pointed. I, brahmin, aloof from pleasures of the senses, aloof from wrong states of mind, having attained the first burning with its reflection and investigation that is born of solitude, zestful and easeful, I made a habitat of that.


"By the mastery of reflection and investigation, having inner faith, the mind become one- pointed, without reflection, without investigation, having attained the second burning that is born of samadhi, zestful and easeful, I made a habitat of that.


"By the fading out of zest, I dwelt poised, mindful and attentive, and I experienced ease as to the body, attaining the third burning which the noble ones describe in these terms: "he who is poised and mindful dwells happily," I made a habitat of that. 


"By allowing both ease and discomfort to pass off, by the abandoning of the rejoicing and the sorrowing I had before, having attained to that state which is neither pleasant nor painful, that utter purity of mindfulness which is poised, which is the fourth burning, I made a habitat of that.


"Then with the mind collected, clarified, purified, flawless, void of taints, grown soft and pliable, fixed and come to utter peace, I directed the mind towards the knowledge of the memory of former habitations: one birth, two births, three births, four births . . . many aeons of both its disintegration and reintegration: such a one was I by name, having such and such a clan, having such and such a color, so was I nourished, such and such easeful and painful experiences were mine, so did the span of life end. Passing from this, I came to be in another state . . .


"Passing from this, I came to be here. Thus I remember diverse former becomings in all their modes and in detail. This, brahmin, was the first knowledge attained by me in the first watch of that night; ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was dispelled, light arose, even as I abided zealous, ardent, with a self that had striven. This was, brahmin, my first successful breaking forth, like a chick’s from the eggshell.


"Then with the mind collected, clarified, purified, flawless, void of taints, grown soft and pliable, fixed and come to utter peace, I directed the mind towards the knowledge of the arising and passing hence of beings; so that with the purified deva-vision surpassing that of men, I behold beings, I know beings as they pass away or come to be . . . mean, excellent, fair, foul, in a good birth, in a bad birth according to their actions, and I think: Indeed, those worthies whose deeds were evil, whose speech was evil, whose thoughts were evil, abusers of the noble ones, holders of wrong views, incurring the actions of wrong views . . . these at the breaking up of the body after death, have arisen in the waste, the bad-bourn, the abyss, hell. Indeed, those good sirs whose deeds were good, whose speech was good, whose thoughts were good, who did not abuse the noble ones, holding right views, incurring the actions of right views . . . these a the breaking up of the body after death, have arisen in the good bourn, the heaven-world. Thus with purified deva-vision surpassing that of men, do I behold beings, I know beings as they pass away and come to be . . . mean, excellent, fair, foul, in a good bourn, in a bad bourn according to their actions.


"This, brahmin, was the second knowledge attained by me in the middle watch of that night. Ignorance was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was dispelled, light arose, even as I abided zealous, ardent, with a self that had striven. This was, brahmin, my second successful breaking forth, like a chick’s from the egg-shell.


Then with the mind collected, clarified, purified, flawless, void of taints, grown soft and pliable, fixed and come to utter peace, I directed the mind towards the knowledge of the destruction of the cankers. I knew as it really is: This is Pain, this is the arising of Pain, this is the stopping of Pain, this is the course leading to the stopping of Pain.


"I knew as it really is: These are the Asavas [the No-Goods], this is the arising of the Asavas, this is the stopping of the Asavas, this is the course leading to the stopping of the Asavas. In me, thus knowing, thus seeing, my mind was freed from the asava of Pleasure-wishing, my mind was freed from the asava of becoming, my mind was freed from the asava of views about the self, my mind was freed from the asava of blindness.


"In Freedom, Seeing Freedom, I knew: Left Behind is rebirth, lived is the Brahma-life, done is what was to be done, there is no beyond for this state of things. This was, brahmin, the third knowledge attained by me in the third watch of that night. Blindness was dispelled, knowledge arose, darkness was dispelled, light arose, even as I abided zealous, ardent, with a self that had striven. This was, brahmin my third successful breaking forth, like a chick’s from the egg-shell."


When he had spoken thus, the brahmin of Veranja said to the lord:


"The revered Gotama is the first-born, the revered Gotama is the best. Wonderful, good Gotama, wonderful, good Gotama. As a man, good Gotama, might set upright what had been overturned, or reveal what had been hidden, or give direction to a man who had gone astray, or bring a lamp into the darkness so that those with eyes in their heads that could see, could see the things about them . . . even so, good Gotama, in many a figure has the good Gotama made dhamma clear.


"To the lord Gotama I go for refuge, and the dhamma and to the Order of monks. May the revered Gotama accept me as a lay follower, as one gone for refuge, from this day forth while life lasts. May the revered Gotama consent to spend the rains at Veranja together with the company of monks."

The lord consented by his silence. Then the brahmin of Veranja having gained the Bhagava’s consent, rose from his seat, and saluting the lord, departed, keeping his right side towards him.