AN4.170 Four Modes of Meditation Practice: talk by Piya Tan

(Yuganaddha) Patipada Sutta (AN4.170)

The (Yuga,naddha) Paṭipada Sutta (AN4.170) takes its title from the third of the meditative “paths” (paṭipada) to awakening. The first three methods deal with a balancing of the practice of samatha and vipassana [§§3.2, 4, 5], while the fourth deals with overcoming mental restlessness [§6]. Briefly, these are the 4 methods mentioned in the Sutta, namely:
(1) “insight preceded by calm” [§2]
(2) “calm preceded by insight” [§3]
(3) “calm coupled with insight” [§4]
(4) “a mind seized by dharma-restlessness” [§5]
These 4 different ways of meditation work in manner such that “the mental fetters are abandoned and the latent tendencies are destroyed” [§§3.4, 4.3, 5.3, 6.3], in other words, arhathood is attained. In fact, Ananda, the teacher in this Sutta, declares that all the monastics who have declared their arhathood before him, have won full awakening through one of these 4 methods [§3.1].