December 13, 2019 at 9:01 am #25914
Anapana is taking in what is good and discarding what is bad.
I was wondering after doing an immoral deed with sankappa, vaca, or kammantha how should one do Anapana for each.
Are the following ways the correct way to do Anapana:
1) If I have an immoral thought, replace with moral good thought?
2) If I do immoral speech, replace with moral speech?
3) If I do an immoral bodily action, replace with a meritorious deed?
4) For immoral speech and immoral bodily action, is it ok to replace them with good moral thoughts like a “may you always be safe” instead of replacing them with a moral speech and moral bodily action?
December 13, 2019 at 10:05 am #25915
Yes. You have a good understanding of Anapana.
You asked: “Are the following ways the correct way to do Anapana:
1) If I have an immoral thought, replace with moral good thought?
2) If I do immoral speech, replace with moral speech?
3) If I do an immoral bodily action, replace with a meritorious deed?”
“4) For immoral speech and immoral bodily action, is it ok to replace them with good moral thoughts like a “may you always be safe” instead of replacing them with a moral speech and moral bodily action?”
Yes. That is a good start.
– As you do that, you will see that it is also good to engage in moral speech and moral deeds.
– Moral speech includes not only speaking kind words but also explaining to Dhamma to others or giving any kind of advice that can be helpful to others. See, “Right Speech – How to Avoid Accumulating Kamma”
– Moral deeds include giving to those who are in need, helping out those in need, etc (acts of kindness).
It is also necessary to stop associating with people with bad character and associate with people with good character: “The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Asavas)“
December 13, 2019 at 11:54 am #25916
If I understand correctly, an impure mind has a more difficult time grasping concepts and concentrating during meditation.
Anapana purifies the mind right?
If I keep doing Anapana, then gradually within time my mind will be more pure and thus I’ll be able grasp more Buddhist concepts.
December 13, 2019 at 1:08 pm #25918
“If I understand correctly, an impure mind has a more difficult time grasping concepts and concentrating during meditation.”
That is correct, upekkha.
– There are many people who try to read deep suttas and get to Nibbana. But they have defiled minds, like most average humans. So, their efforts mostly go to waste.
I think you are making the right decision to start at the beginning. You will definitely see the truth of your above statement if you give enough time.
Initially, it may take some time. So, you need to give your best without thinking about the results day-to-day. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice any improvements over the first few weeks.
– The Buddha gave the following analogy. A farmer does not look for the results of his efforts each day. He plants the crops and takes care of them. With proper care, he WILL get the rewards for his labor in due time.
From another perspective, it is like pushing a stalled car. It is hard to get it to move first. But once it starts moving, it becomes much easier.
I hope you will report your progress, even if you are not making much progress initially. You may get suggestions from others too.
December 14, 2019 at 8:41 am #25932
I know we should Anapana thoughts that are the stronger versions of greed like lobha/abhijja. But what about weaker versions of greed like assada/kama raga.
It is starting at the Anagami stage one has eliminated kama raga. Sotapanna and Sakadagami still have kama raga.
1) So should we also suppress thoughts that involve assada/kama raga(thoughts about food, music, beautiful sceneries, an attractive person)?
2) Do we need to suppress and Anapana assada/kama raga to get to Sotapanna stage?
December 14, 2019 at 11:13 am #25935
“1) So should we also suppress thoughts that involve assada/kama raga(thoughts about food, music, beautiful sceneries, an attractive person)?
2) Do we need to suppress and Anapana assada/kama raga to get to Sotapanna stage?”
Both are not necessary.
– Kama raga is removed at the Anagami stage, as you said.
We can look at it the following way, by what is accomplished at each stage of Nibbana.
1. A Sotappana (Anugami) removes the possibility of rebirths in the apayas (where suffering is maximum). He/she does that by realizing that such births originate due to strong akusala kamma.
– Killing a human, for example, is done with extreme anger. Such a strong kamma could lead to rebirth in hell.
– Having excess greed is a “peta gati.” A peta is a hungry ghost who cannot satisfy hunger.
– Raping or extreme sexual misconduct is an “animal gati.” Such actions could lead to rebirth as an animal.
– Depending on others (when is one fully capable of earning a living) is an “asura gati.” Such a lifestyle could lead to rebirth in the asura realm.
That pattern of “rebirths due to gati” is explained in Paticca Samuppada.
2. One could live a moral life by not engaging in such extreme deeds, but as I have tried to explain in the recent posts, there may come a day when the temptation becomes so strong that one unable to “control oneself”.
– Even if one can get through this life not doing any of them, we do not know where the next birth is, even if reborn a human. If one is born to a “bad family”, then one could easily do such things.
– That is why it is also necessary to understand the “anicca nature” of this world. Again, that is what I will be going through the new series of posts.
3. Once you make some progress, you may feel that craving for sensual pleasures decreases to some extent.
– That will become permanent with the understanding of the anicca nature.
– Of course, getting rid of “normal cravings” for food, sex, etc will not be removed at the Sotapanna (Anugami) stage.
– a Sotapanna (Anugami) is incapable of doing only those deeds with “extreme greed” or “extreme anger” or “extreme ignorance (moha)” as mentioned above. I discussed that to some extent in the post published today.
Therefore, the bottom line is to make gradual improvements in the lifestyle, cultivate good thoughts and stop bad thoughts. At the same time, learning Dhamma is also critical.
– Those two things need to go together.
December 15, 2019 at 8:24 am #25941
What are a few examples of kusala kamma(actions that purify the mind)?
December 15, 2019 at 8:44 am #25942
“What are a few examples of kusala kamma(actions that purify the mind)?”
They are opposites of the ten akusala kamma.
Instead of killing/hurting living beings, one needs to realize that they also like to live.
Instead of stealing from others, one should give to those in need.
Instead of engaging in sexual misconduct, one needs to live morally.
I provided a post on how to engage in “correct speech” earlier.
The most important is to avoid the three akusala done with the mind: control excess greed, anger, and most of all, to remove wrong views.
“Wrong Views (Miccā Ditthi) – A Simpler Analysis”
Also, see, “Sīla, Samādhi, Pannā to Pannā, Sīla, Samādhi“
December 16, 2019 at 7:55 am #25959
So it’s not killing, not stealing, not doing sexual misconduct, not lying, not saying harsh speech, not slandering, not speaking idle chatter, etc.
For not killing, not stealing, not doing sexual misconduct-isn’t that what majority of humans are doing right now? Are they doing kusala kamma(purifying their minds) in that respect?
It seems that some of the kusala kamma are non-activities.
1) Isn’t that basically doing nothing(like not killing, not stealing, etc)?
2) If it is doing nothing, can it be classified as kamma?
3) Can one purify one’s mind from doing nothing?
December 16, 2019 at 9:46 am #25960
upekkha: I don’t think you have understood what I was trying to say.
Not doing akusala deeds is the first step.
You can also start doing the opposite. They are punna kamma.
– Instead of killing/hurting living beings, you show compassion for them.
For example, we have a “bug cup” and a piece of cardboard at home, ready to use. When we see an insect in the house, we put the cup over it and slide the cardboard under the cup SLOWLY. Then we lift the cardboard and the cup together so that the bug is trapped there. Then we take it outside and release it.
– That is punna kamma.
– We don’t want insects inside the house. But rather than killing them, we can remove them. Even the lowest insect had been a human at one time. If we don’t show compassion to ALL living beings, we may end up as insects too. They are born as insects because of the bad deeds they had done.
When we really start paying attention, we can come up with ways to make lives better for all living beings, but ESPECIALLY to humans.
It is not possible to “list” such actions. Those are “self-evident.”
– That principle needs to be applied to speech AND thoughts, as well as bodily actions.
Speech and deeds RESULT from the way one THINKS.
– That is why Samma Sankappa (moral thoughts), Samma Vaca (moral speech), and Samma Kammanta (moral deeds) come right after Samma Ditthi (moral/correct) views in the Noble Path.
Any action, speech, deed done with the correct views (Samma Ditthi) are “good kamma” or punna kamma.
Also see, “Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma”
You have got me thinking about this important issue. I have been mostly focused on somewhat deeper concepts of Buddha Dhamma in the past couple of years.
– I had written posts on basic and NECESSARY concepts in the early years. I think I need to revise those early posts and to write some more.
– When I read online discussion forums, this issue is very clear. Most people either do not pay attention to the basics or they are not aware of them.
– But one CANNOT understand deeper concepts without first understanding AND living by the basic principles. I am glad that you pointed out that when you started this topic.
Here are a couple of more of those early posts:
“What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?”
More at, “Moral Living and Fundamentals“
December 16, 2019 at 11:42 am #25962
I came across the article below by Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu through an online discussion forum. This is really relevant to the current topic. Before one starts “meditating,” one needs to know what to meditate on! Furthermore, one needs to purify one’s mind to some extent by what we have been discussing in the comments above.
– I do not know Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu. I am providing his account to illustrate a serious misunderstanding that seems to be very common.
– It appears that he was doing the traditional breath meditation or something like that for many years without making much “progress.” That is the status of 99% of the people doing “Anapanasati meditation.”
– I feel very bad about the bhikkhu. He has spent years trying to attain Nibbana. But he has not understood what is meant by Nibbana in the first place. He is not alone in that. Most people engaged in “meditation” do just that. After ten, twenty years they get discouraged. I am amazed why takes such a long time to realize the futility of “breath meditation.”
– Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
– But the catch here is that one can definitely experience a “calm state of mind” from breath meditation. In some cases, some people who had cultivated jhana in recent previous lives can get into jhana with breath meditation too. However, even such jhanic states can be lost. If anyone has cultivated jhana and still has sexual cravings (while watching an adult movie), that is not an Ariya jhana. I think that is a very simple “test.” Anyone can figure out that. Furthermore, one DOES NOT need to cultivate jhana (Ariya or anariya) in order to get to the Sotapanna stage.
– Anyway, I would like to hear what others think about this issue. I think it is a very critical issue.
December 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm #25963y notParticipant
“For example, we have a “bug cup” and a piece of cardboard at home, ready to use. When we see an insect in the house, we put the cup over it and slide the cardboard under the cup SLOWLY. Then we lift the cardboard and the cup together so that the bug is trapped there. Then we take it outside and release it.”
That is my ‘standard equipment’ as well. But sometimes some other can be improvised to deal with particular situations as they arise. In summer I noticed a mosquito sitting on the fruit cover mesh on the kitchen table. I had already reached for my cup and lid…stopped..curved mesh surface, flat open cup base…aha, remove the mesh, wait for the insect to fly back in, now directly onto the fruit, then quickly cover the tray with the mesh, …remove the cover out the window.
As to meditation, I never even use the word, because that at once implies assuming practised postures, maybe coupled with memorised chants and so on. I therefore use the term ‘to reflect’. And to me that means taking time to ‘go into’ something as deep as I can, no matter whether I am sitting, standing, walking or lying down. No formalities, no regimes, no steps, simply natural ‘giving due consideration to’…contemplating is the more natural term, rather than meditation. I know I formerly equated formal meditation with silabbata paramasa outright. I now see it may be beneficial to those whose gati is in line with that.
December 31, 2019 at 11:56 am #26125
Idle talk(talking about weather, sports and other entertainment, politics, likes and dislikes, etc) is immoral in vaca-when speaking idle chatter with someone else.
What about idle chatter in sankappa when it is to yourself in your thoughts? Is idle talk immoral in sankappa too?
I noticed many thoughts that arise in my mind are irrelevant talk.
December 31, 2019 at 5:41 pm #26149
Upekkha asked:”What about idle chatter in sankappa when it is to yourself in your thoughts? Is idle talk immoral in sankappa too?”
Yes. As I have explained in the following post, both conscious thinking and speech are vaci sankhara.
“Correct Meaning of Vacī Sankhāra”
The IMPORTANT thing to remember is that we do kamma with THOUGHTS.
– It is the javana power in THOUGHTS that have kammic power. Our speech and actions have origins in our thoughts. In other words, we think first and speak or take action next. But we may not realize that.
– I discussed this at a bit deeper level in the recent post, “Dhammā, Kamma, Saṅkhāra, Mind – Critical Connections“
December 31, 2019 at 7:09 pm #26156ChristianParticipant
Anapana is also listening to the discourses, reading proper Dhamma that leads to Nibbana, choosing to being in Sangha rather in or with ignorant people/places. You wont be able keeping mind pure without it unless you are extremely talented or have enough paramits.
You get into Dhamma with intention of finishing this birth, suffering and future one too realizing the dangers of it, once you go into Dhamma-Sangha-Buddha way you will be pulled off many times and this is when Ariya Anapana gets into practice to stay on the Path, mundane anapana is just being good person which is obviously not enough to attain Nibbana and may be not enough to get into Tihetuka birth.
January 1, 2020 at 12:33 am #26161y notParticipant
I would like to share my own experience of this.
“I noticed many thoughts THAT ARISE in my mind are irrelevant talk”
We can hardly help that. The task consists of stopping those thoughts after they have arisen. And yet, at the same time, we CAN help that – for the more we train the mind to dwell on Dhamma, the more will the mind be fully occupied there, and those unwelcome thoughts can find no way in. The door is blocked. I cannot maintain this state of ‘guarding’ mindfulness all of the time, not to say most of the time.
For example, watching the world news – the bush fires in Australia. Taken by the ‘spectacular’ burning forests, I may want to watch the full report. Then..’what if I or a loved one were caught there? Could it happen here? What to do in such a situation?’ All irrelevant vaci sankhara. Suffice instead to spare a thought of genuine compassion. That should lead to Karuna and on to Metta in a general, universal sense. Then it is no longer vaci sankhara. On the contrary, what in the beginning could have led to harmful vaci sankhara has been turned into meritorious Metta.
Same when the arammana is an inner one, a mental one, as in the case you take up. In most cases, these are just random thoughts with no bases of ‘potential good’ inherent in them. Just mental babble. They are to be discarded, but we may not even become aware of that until some time has elapsed. But we get back on the right track alright.
And further to what Christian is saying – it just so happens (!!) that my latest contribution in Meaning of Key Pali words forum (December 31, 2019 at 3:58 pm) sn35.244 (States that entail Suffering) addresses specifically this question, right at the very last chapter.
December 12, 2022 at 5:29 pm #41663TripleGemStudentParticipant
I just realized and now believe that the four Supreme Efforts (Cattārō Sammāppadhāna) is literally anapanasati.
I believe the four supreme efforts can be used to as supporting evidence that anapanasati is not breathing meditation. If we take the four supreme efforts literally as anapanasati, how could someone that’s focusing on breathing in out be practicing the four supreme efforts? Such as taking in kusala and discarding akusala?
December 12, 2022 at 7:59 pm #41666
Yes. Nibbana can be reached in many ways. There are many suttas stating that in different ways.
1. “Dutiyaānanda Sutta (SN 54.14)“: “Ānāpānassatisamādhi, ānanda, ekadhammo bhāvito bahulīkato cattāro satipaṭṭhāne paripūreti, cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satta bojjhaṅge paripūrenti, satta bojjhaṅgā bhāvitā bahulīkatā vijjāvimuttiṁ paripūrentīti.”
That means “Ānāpānassati samādhi, when developed and cultivated, fulfills satipaṭṭhāna. And when satipaṭṭhāna developed and cultivated, fulfill the seven awakening factors (satta bojjhaṅga). And the seven awakening factors, when developed and cultivated, fulfill knowledge and freedom (vijjāvimuttiṁ paripūrentīti), i.e., Arahanthood.
2. “Avijjā Sutta (AN 10.61)” at the end: “Evamevaṁ kho, bhikkhave, sappurisasaṁsevo paripūro saddhammassavanaṁ paripūreti, saddhammassavanaṁ paripūraṁ saddhaṁ paripūreti, saddhā paripūrā yonisomanasikāraṁ paripūreti, yonisomanasikāro paripūro satisampajaññaṁ paripūreti, satisampajaññaṁ paripūraṁ indriyasaṁvaraṁ paripūreti, indriyasaṁvaro paripūro tīṇi sucaritāni paripūreti, tīṇi sucaritāni paripūrāni cattāro satipaṭṭhāne paripūrenti, cattāro satipaṭṭhānā paripūrā satta bojjhaṅge paripūrenti, satta bojjhaṅgā paripūrā vijjāvimuttiṁ paripūrenti; 9.2evametissā vijjāvimuttiyā āhāro hoti, evañca pāripūrī”ti.”
3. The following sutta starts even earlier with “associating with good people/Noble Persons.” “Taṇhā Sutta (AN 10.62)“: “Iti kho, bhikkhave, sappurisasaṁsevo paripūro saddhammassavanaṁ paripūreti, saddhammassavanaṁ paripūraṁ saddhaṁ paripūreti, saddhā paripūrā yonisomanasikāraṁ paripūreti, yonisomanasikāro paripūro satisampajaññaṁ paripūreti, satisampajaññaṁ paripūraṁ indriyasaṁvaraṁ paripūreti, indriyasaṁvaro paripūro tīṇi sucaritāni paripūreti, tīṇi sucaritāni paripūrāni cattāro satipaṭṭhāne paripūrenti, cattāro satipaṭṭhānā paripūrā satta bojjhaṅge paripūrenti, satta bojjhaṅgā paripūrā vijjāvimuttiṁ paripūrenti;”
– Here, if one learns the correct Dhamma, one can fulfill all requirements step by step.
4. The following sutta points out that by following any parts of the 37 factors of Enlightenment (Catunnaṁ satipaṭṭhānānaṁ, catunnaṁ sammappadhānānaṁ, catunnaṁ iddhipādānaṁ, pañcannaṁ indriyānaṁ, pañcannaṁ balānaṁ, sattannaṁ bojjhaṅgānaṁ, ariyassa aṭṭhaṅgikassa maggassa) one can get to Nibbana. “Bhāvanā Sutta (AN 7. 71)”
– “catunnaṁ sammappadhānānaṁ” = four supreme efforts that you mentioned!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.