I’ve been reading this the past week, it has some great meditation info, and it’s really interesting to see the similarities and differences between Vism., Vimt., KN Ps on how they understand Kāya, Vedana, V&V (vitakka and vicara) in 16 APS (anapana) and jhāna.
Their 16 steps has some slippage compared to Pali. It totals up to 16, but in a couple of places its out of the sync, omitting a couple of items from pali, and adding 2 of its own. But for the most part it’s pretty much the same. The step that corresponds to pali’s, “sabba kāya patisamvedi” (entire body experienced while breathing), their explanation is very beautiful, and leaves no doubt whether kāya is physical or mental:
(4) Being mindful of the breath pervading the body, one is stil mindful
of the breaths going out and coming in. One thoroughly observes the exha-
lations and inhalations within one’s body. One perceives the breath pervading
the body and filling all pores, down to those on the toes, just like water
soaking into sand. When the breath goes out, one perceives the breath per-
vading al pores, from those on the feet to those on the head, also like water
soaking into sand. Just like the air that fil s bel ows, whether it is going out
or coming in, the wind blowing in and out through the mouth and nose [fil s
the body]. One observes the whole body that the wind fil s, like holes of a
lotus root [fil ed with water] and a fishing net [soaked in water]. Further, it 275c
is not that the mind only observes the breath coming in and going out through
the mouth and nose. [The mind] sees the breath coming in and going out
through al pores and the nine apertures [of the body]. Thus one knows that
the breath pervades the body.
Some info about the Translator Kumarajiva, excerpt from Translators’ Introduction
The Zuochan sanmei jing ( Sutra on the Concentration of Sit ing Meditation,
Taishō No. 614) is a meditation manual compiled by Kumārajīva based largely
on Indian sources. Some portions of the text have corresponding Indian originals,
as we shal see later, but there is no single text in any Indic language that cor-
responds to this manual in its entirety. Nor is there a known version in any other
classical languages, including Tibetan. Kumārajīva’s Chinese version is the only
ful text of this manual available to us.
The translator Kumārajīva (350?–409?) was born in Kucha, an oasis city
on the northern route of the Tarim basin (in present-day Xinjiang-Uighur
Autonomous Region, China). His father was an Indian monk and his mother a
Kuchean princess. At the age of seven, Kumārajīva became a novice monk, and
when he was nine he went to northwest India and studied Traditional (“Hina -
yana”) forms of Buddhism. On his way back to Kucha, he converted to Mahayana
Buddhism at Kashgar under the guidance of Sūryasoma, a Mahayanist monk
from Yarkand, an oasis city on the southern route of the Tarim basin.