Reply To: post on How to Attain Samadhi via “Vipassana Pubbanga Samatha” Bhavana


1. The verse you quoted is: “Tassa sampaṭivedhena rakkhaṇā paṭisaṁharaṇā, ayaṁ samatho.” 

  • Here, “samatha” is calming the mind.
  • The other aspect of meditation is “vipassanā” or “developing insight/wisdom.”

2. Without vipassanā (i.e., without understanding Dhamma concepts,) one CAN NOT attain magga phala.

  • However, one needs a calm mind to cultivate vipassanā.

3. To calm the mind, one needs to keep the mind away from attractive sensory inputs. 

  • If the mind attaches to an attractive sensory input, it moves away from “samatha.” That attachment is taṇhā.
  • @marker 5.10 (above the verse you quoted,) there is another verse, “Tattha taṇhā dve upādānāni kāmupādānañca..”
  • When the mind is tempted with kāma rāga (with kāmupādāna orkāma upādāna), it will not get to “samatha.

4. Therefore, one must use “sense control,” i.e., not indulge in sensory pleasures. 

  • That is essentially the meaning of “Tassa sampaṭivedhena rakkhaṇā paṭisaṁharaṇā, ayaṁ samatho.” 
  • One can get to “samatha” by keeping the mind away from attractive sensory inputs.
  • The popular method used by non-Buddhists is “breath meditation.” If you keep the mind on the breath, it cannot be attached to any other sensory input. 
  • However, that will not help with vipassanā at all. Thus, one must do both. The best is to keep the mind focused on a Dhamma concept, i.e., vipassanā. That way also, the mind can not attach to other sensory inputs. This way, you will get both done (samatha and vipassanā.) 
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