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Contemplating fading away, cessation and relinquishment

Hello Friends :slight_smile:

I’m studying Anapanasati Sutta and I have a problem with understanding the fourth tetrad. Specialy part in which Buddha recommend: Contemplating: fading away, cessation and relinquishment. Could you please explain in plain English what is mean? It is possible to contemplate just fading away without the object of this fading, or just cessation without the object of cessation?

with Metta
Gosia

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I would recommend checking the text entitled ‘The Steps of Breath Meditation’ by Ajahn Thanissaro:

0211n3a1 M1 The Steps of Breath Meditation.pdf (97.2 KB)

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HI Gosia,

These parts of the text are talking about a very advanced level of practice. For practical purposes, the first tetrad is the most important, and once you get into the arising of joy and bliss, well, it’s pretty much plain sailing.

But as to what they mean, they refer to the gradual deepening of insight following the development of deep meditation. When, through the first three tetrads, the mind has been purified and stilled, it can see things in a far deeper way than before. It first sees impermanence, the fact that all disappears. Then the process of insight follows this; if all things are impermanent, why are we attached to them? So our attachments fade away and cease, until finally we can completely let go, the final stage of relinquishment.

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Hi Ajahn, gnlaera,
Thank you for the explanation, it is much clearer now for me that 4th tetrad mean. After more research, I also found a familiar explanation to your Ajhan but with more details. I’m posting it, maybe it can be useful for other users.

with Metta
Gosia

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The Anapanasati sutta details the first of the paths below:

Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?
.
"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
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…Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight…
…Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight…
…Then there is the case where a monk’s mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma well under control…
AN4.170

With metta

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SN 54.8 gives a comprehensive picture of what is possible with 16 APS, and the last section of the sutta uses a beautiful simile of an oil lamp to illustrate the last tetrad steps 13-16.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN54_8.html

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