Posted by: Soh

The Buddha teaches:

These four types of individuals are to be found existing in the world. Which four?
There is the case of the individual who has attained internal tranquility of awareness, but not insight into phenomena through heightened discernment. There is... the individual who has attained insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, but not internal tranquility of awareness. There is... the individual who has attained neither internal tranquility of awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment. And there is... the individual who has attained both internal tranquility of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment.

The individual who has attained internal tranquility of awareness, but not insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, should approach an individual who has attained insight into phenomena through heightened discernment... and ask him: 'How should fabrications be regarded? How should they be investigated? How should they be seen with insight?' The other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: 'Fabrications should be regarded in this way... investigated in this way... seen in this way with insight.' Then eventually he [the first] will become one who has attained both internal tranquility of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment.

As for the individual who has attained insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, but not internal tranquility of awareness, he should approach an individual who has attained internal tranquility of awareness... and ask him, 'How should the mind be steadied? How should it be made to settle down? How should it be unified? How should it be concentrated?' The other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: 'The mind should be steadied in this way... made to settle down in this way... unified in this way... concentrated in this way.' Then eventually he [the first] will become one who has attained both internal tranquility of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment.

As for the individual who has attained neither internal tranquility of awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, he should approach an individual who has attained both internal tranquility of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment... and ask him, 'How should the mind be steadied? How should it be made to settle down? How should it be unified? How should it be concentrated? How should fabrications be regarded? How should they be investigated? How should they be seen with insight?' The other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: 'The mind should be steadied in this way... made to settle down in this way... unified in this way... concentrated in this way. Fabrications should be regarded in this way... investigated in this way... seen in this way with insight.' Then eventually he [the first] will become one who has attained both internal tranquility of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment.

As for the individual who has attained both internal tranquility of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, his duty is to make an effort in establishing ('tuning') those very same skillful qualities to a higher degree for the ending of the effluents*.


*Effluents: Mental effluent, pollutant, or fermentation. Four qualities — sensuality (sensual attachments/cravings and aversion), views (false views pertaining to self and other related extreme views), craving for becoming, and ignorance — that "flow out" of the mind and create the flood of the round of death and rebirth.
 

AN 2.32 Vijjābhāgiyā Sutta:
When calm is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And what is the benefit of a developed mind? Passion is abandoned.

When clear seeing is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And what is the benefit of developed discernment? Ignorance is abandoned.

Defiled by passion, the mind is not released. Defiled by ignorance, discernment does not develop. Thus, monks, from the fading away of passion there is liberation of mind (cetovimutti). From the fading away of ignorance there is liberation through discernment (paññāvimutti).

...

Here's a related conversation between Thusness and I about five years ago:

Session Start: Saturday, August 26, 2006

Update: Sorry, conversation removed from blog by request of Thusness.

.............

p.s. interesting note from Loppon Namdrol:

"In the early period of Budddhism, there were two yānas, śamatha yāna and vipaśyāna yāna; beginners went to Śariputra to training in vipaśyāna for stream entry; then they would go train in śamatha with Maudgalyana for further progress.

Lance Cousins wrote a very interesting article about this."

(Samatha = tranquility meditation, Vipasyana = insight meditation, stream entry = first out of four stages of awakening culminating in liberation)
3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Soh, you have written very much about your development of insight practice. What would be interesting for me is to know how important shamata was for you. Through all the stages, have you practiced constantly? Always the same routine, daily, how long? I read the conversation between you and Thusness, but still would be cool if could tell more about it. Would you consider that for example I Am realization or other insights aren´t possible without a certain amount of concentration and equanimity?


  2. Anonymous Says:

    What is then mastery? Does it mean that someone has to master the Jhanas? And what I also not really understand, the difference between the nature of mind or I AM or Rigpa and also the Jhanas. If you realize I Am or even Anatta, do you still need shamatha?


  3. Anonymous Says:

    Gracias, that´s very helpful! Now I know what to do.