DEVELOPMENT OF DHARMA CONCENTRATION

IN CONSTRUCTION

When we speak of "Dharma Concentration", what we are really speaking of is the sixth great Factor of Awakening, which is "Mind Development" that is more than Mindfulness, Dharma Investigation, Rapture, Effort, Tranquility or Equanimity.

In the Mahasaccaka Sutta, Buddha instructed Saccaka the Jain in the following manner.

“Oh, Aggivessana, what have you heard about mind-development (Cittabhavana)?” 

When Saccaka could not reply, the Buddha said:

“Aggivessana, for the noble disciples of this teaching in the dhamma and vinaya who have already developed their minds, when happiness has occurred they just experience that happiness, having no delight in it; and when that happiness disappears and dukkha arises they are not sad and depressed. They do not create difficulties for themselves. They do not lament, nor do they grieve. They do not fall into delusion. 

So Aggivessana, when happiness occurs to each one of them, their minds are not disturbed by that because they have developed the body already. Whereas, when dukkha arises their minds are also not disturbed since their minds have been developed. A person who has developed the body and the mind is like this.”

The ways of developing body and mind are termed here Bhavana.

There are two forms of this Bhavana:

Samatha Tranquility Meditation (Samatha bhavana): Firmly establishing the mind making it Still and Peaceful.

Vipassana Insight Meditation (Vipassana bhavana): Acquiring Wisdom and eliminating Ignorance (Avijja).


       THE SAMATHA TRANQUILITY MEDITATION (Samatha bhavana)

  Often called Samadhi, the meditation is divided into two groups.

      The Access concentration (Upacara-samadhi)

     The Absorption concentration (Appana-samadhi)


The Access concentration (Upacara-samadhi)

In the Visuddhimagga, the access is described as touching or entering the door of absorption, which is the Jhana (levels) set. At this point the entry is not steady and firm, but the hindrances have been eliminated. Yet the one-pointedness has not yet been established.

We can say that the meditation still sits within the Becoming of Consciousness.


The Absorption concentration (Appana-samadhi)

Here the meditation becomes one-pointed and concentration is steady upon the selected meditation object, which depends upon the temperament of the meditator.


Objects of Tranquility Meditation


The Abhidhammatthasangaha and Visuddhimagga (Path of Purification) mention and explain forty objects of Tranquility meditation, which are divided into seven groups as follows:

 

1) 10 Kasina (objects for concentrated attention)

2) 10 Asubha (stages of unattractiveness of the body)

3) 10 Kinds of recollection (Anussati)

4) 4 Divine Abodes (Brahmavihara)

5) Perception of the Repulsiveness of Food (Aharepatikulasanna)

6) Determination of the Four Great Elements (Catudhatuvavatthana)

7) Formless states (Arupadamma)


 It is not the objective here to teach the method or details of the meditation, which are to found in the section of Samatha Tranquility meditation.


                   THE VIPASSANA INSIGHT MEDITATION  (Vipassana bhavana)


It must be remembered here that some persons with appropriate capacity and temperament may perform the Insight meditation first and then return to the Tranquility meditation.

There are others who require at least the attainment of the first four Jhana levels before moving into Vipassana and others who really require the preliminary full meditations of the eight jhanas before moving on to Vipassana.

Insight Meditation is a key factor in the path that the Buddha offered for Liberation. He proceeded further in his own meditations, entering the Supramundane Insight Path, which is not a topic for discussion in this section of pages.

Most meditation centres of Vipassana begin well by teaching the essential Mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati), which really has Sensation as the Object of Retrieval in cognition, where Vipassana is centered along with Consciousness.

But Vipassana is much more than this first pass into Sensations, for it continues with Discriminations, Perceptions (name and form), Consciousness and the Contents of the mind.

Then and only then does the True Vipassana begin to deal with the stored impediments of memory, with the task of cleaning and rejuvenating the system, eliminating all the symptoms of Identity, Duality, and Sexual Folly.

It is not the objective here to teach the method or details of the meditation, which are to be found in the section on advanced meditation.

What it is important to remember is that the meditation deals with the impediments of memory, which as illusions form the apparent present moment.

It is the discernment unconsciously experienced during the Becoming of Consciousness that is important for the cleansing, and the discernment experience recuperated within memory is used within Consciousness as a Cognitive and continual reinforcement.


                   FIX A FIRM BASE FOR MEDITATION
  
                                                       
                                                                                 
                                          THE MEDITATIONS OF THE JHANAS AND THE ABSORPTIONS OF VIPASSANA