SuttaCentral

Gradual training


#1

This is the gradual training, but with a twist. See if you can find it! This could be an early version of it-


#2

Like AN4.37, it’s a bit monotonic–one is always “getting there”. AN4.37 is very similar and ends with:

A mendicant who loves to be diligent, seeing fear in negligence, can’t decline, and has drawn near to extinguishment.

I’m not sure what the twist is other than one could do this for kalpas. Other suttas imply that blind adherence to observances can actually hinder progress, but at least there wouldn’t be backsliding:

the personal ties to covetousness, ill will, misapprehension of precepts and observances, and the insistence that this is the only truth. --DN33


#3

I was thinking of the portion below:

A bhikkhu observes how things occur,
The arising and passing of the aggregates.

Living thus ardently,
Of calm and quiet conduct,
Ever mindful, he trains in the course
Of calm tranquillity of mind.
Such a bhikkhu is said to be
One who is ever resolute.

Here what corresponds to right mindfulness, is arising and passing away of the aggregates. This leads to samadhi, along with mindfulness of the four postures.


#4

:thinking: this is quite interesting, since SN46.53 says that practicing tranquility is sometimes wrong:

“In the same way, when the mind is sluggish, it’s the wrong time to develop the awakening factors of tranquility, immersion, and equanimity.

In those cases, we need to light a fire:

“In the same way, when the mind is sluggish, it’s the right time to develop the awakening factors of investigation of principles, energy, and rapture.

Apparently Iti111 is not medicine for turtle slugs like me. :turtle: :snail:


#5

None of these mental factors are essentially Buddhist. They can be in a wrong intensity- too much of anything, is not good. But mindfulness is said to be always useful.


#6

Having said that, I don’t think I know what the evolutionary advantage of being able to access samadhi is.!


#7

Hunting or fishing, one needs to stay still, alert and mindful for a long time, pouncing as needed. That last bit, pouncing, is perhaps not necessary for jhana.


#8

Yes, and also any threat from predators requires being aware or mindful. You are exquisitely aware of the external environment. But there’s no need to be internally focused to the level of nimittas arising. You could argue the five hindrances provide an evolutionary advantage but beyond that? :slight_smile: