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Vimuttimagga chapter on 16 APS (anapanasati)


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Table of Contents

Vimuttimagga 16 APS

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Warning: Vimt. Is not EBT. The purpose of this article is to provide a neatly formatted version of that chapter so Vimt. 16 APS can be audited against other non EBT 16APS systems to trace how it diverged from original EBT 16 APS. While Vimt’s interpretation is actually pretty close to a genuine EBT in the important aspects, the underlying Abhidhamma terminology which is confusing and overrides normal EBT meanings makes it potentially dangerous in untrained hands.
Editor notes: I made comments in headings which are inside parenthesis. I added (sukha), (piti), (nimitta) to clarify original english terms.

[418] THE PATH OF FREEDOM
FASCICLE THE SEVENTH
WRITTEN BY THE ARAHANT UPATISSA
WHO WAS CALLED GREAT LIGHT IN RYO
TRANSLATED IN RYO BY
TIPITAKA SANGHAPALA OF FUNAN
CHAPTER THE EIGHTH
Section Four

MINDFULNESS OF RESPIRATION

Q. What is mindfuiness of respiration?
What is the practising of it? What are its salient characteristic, function and near cause? .What are its benefits? What is the procedure?
A. Inhalation is the incoming breath.
Exhalation is the outgoing breath.
The perceiving of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath—this is being mindful, mindfuiness and right mindfuiness. The undisturbed dwelling of the mind (in this mindfuiness) is the practising of it. To cause the arising of perception as regards respiration is its salient characteristic. Attending to contact is its function. Removal of discursive thought is its near cause.

BENEFITS

"What are its benefits?": If a man practises mindfuiness of respiration, he attains to the peaceful, the exquisite, the lovely, and the blissful life. He causes evil and demeritorious states to disappear and to perish as soon as they arise.
He is not negligent as regards his body or his organ of sight. His body and mind do not waver or tremble.
He fulfils the four foundations of mindfuiness, the seven enlightenment factors and freedom. This has been praised by the Blessed One. This is the abode of the Noble Ones, of Brahma and of the Tathagata.

PROCEDURE (STED 16APS)

"What is the procedure?":
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu
The new yogin
[0.1] arañña-gato vā
having gone to a forest,
rukkha-mūla-gato vā
to the foot of a tree
suññā-(a)gāra-gato vā
or to a wide open space,
[0.2] nisīdati
sits down,
[0.3] pallaṅkaṃ ābhujitvā
with legs crossed under him,
[0.4] ujuṃ kāyaṃ paṇidhāya
with the body held erect,
[0.5] pari-mukhaṃ satiṃ upaṭṭhapetvā.
with mindfulness established in front.
[0.6] So sato-va assasati,
He is mindful in respiration.
Sato-va passasati
Mindful of the outgoing breath,

(1. kāyā-(a)nupassī)

Dīghaṃ vā assasanto ‘dīghaṃ assasāmī’ti pajānāti,
that yogin knows, when he breathes out a long breath: "I breathe out a long breath";
dīghaṃ vā passasanto ‘dīghaṃ passasāmī’ti pajānāti;
[430] when he breathes in a long breath, he knows: "I breathe in a long breath";
rassaṃ vā assasanto ‘rassaṃ assasāmī’ti pajānāti,
when he breathes in a short breath, he knows: "I breathe in a short breath";
rassaṃ vā passasanto ‘rassaṃ passasāmī’ti pajānāti;
when he breathes out a short breath, he knows: "I breathe out a short breath".
Thus he knows. "I am breathing in, in such and such a way", thus he trains himself. "I am breathing out, in such and such a way", thus he trains himself.
‘sabbakāyappaṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
(Experiencing the whole body;
‘sabbakāyappaṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘passambhayaṃ kāya-saṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
calming the bodily formations),
‘passambhayaṃ kāya-saṅkhāraṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.

(2. vedanā-(a)nupassī )

‘Pīti-p-paṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
experiencing joy,
‘pīti-p-paṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘sukhap-paṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
experiencing bliss,
‘sukhap-paṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘citta-saṅkhārap-paṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
experiencing the mental formations,
‘citta-saṅkhārap-paṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘passambhayaṃ citta-saṅkhāraṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
calming the mental formations,
‘passambhayaṃ citta-saṅkhāraṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.

(3. cittā-(a)nupassī)

‘Citta-p-paṭisaṃvedī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
(experiencing the mind),
‘citta-p-paṭisaṃvedī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘abhip-pamodayaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
gladdening the mind,
‘abhip-pamodayaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘samādahaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
concentrating the mind,
‘samādahaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘vimocayaṃ cittaṃ assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
freeing the mind,
‘vimocayaṃ cittaṃ passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

(4. dhammā-(a)nupassī)

‘a-niccā-(a)nupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
discerning impermanence,
‘A-niccā-(a)nupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘virāgā-(a)nupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
discerning dispassion,
‘virāgā-(a)nupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘nirodhā-(a)nupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
discerning cessation,
‘nirodhā-(a)nupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
‘paṭinissaggā-(a)nupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati,
discerning renunciation, thus he trains himself.
‘paṭinissaggā-(a)nupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati.
"Discerning renunciation, I breathe out in such and such a way", thus he trains himself;
"discerning renunciation, I breathe in, in such and such a way", thus he trains himself.

(pari mukham explanation)

Here, he trains himself in "breathing in" means: "mindfulness is fixed at the nose-tip or on the lip".
These are the places connected with breathing in and breathing out. That yogin attends to the incoming breath here. He considers the contact of the incoming and the outgoing breath, through mindfulness that is fixed at the nose-tip or on the lip. Mindfully, he breathes in; mindfully, he breathes out. He does not consider (the breath) when it has gone in and also when it has gone out.

(sawing wood simile)

He considers the contact of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, at the nose-tip or on the lip, with mindfulness. He breathes in and breathes out with mindfulness. It is as if a man were sawing wood. That man does not attend to the going back and forth of the saw. In the same way the yogin does not attend to the perception of the incoming and the outgoing breath in mindfulness of respiration. He is aware of the contact at the nose-tip or on the lip, and he breathes in and out, with mindfulness.
If, when the breath comes in or goes out, the yogin considers the inner or the outer, his mind will be distracted. If his mind is distracted, his body and mind will waver and tremble. These are the disadvantages. He should not purposely breathe very long or very short breaths. If he purposely breathes very long or very short breaths, his mind will be distracted and his body and mind will waver and tremble. These are the disadvantages.
He should not attach himself to diverse perceptions connected with breath- ing in and breathing out. If he does so, his other mental factors will be disturb- ed. If his mind is disturbed, his body and mind will waver and tremble. Thus countless impediments arise because the points of contact of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath are countless. He should be mindful and should not let the mind be distracted. He should not essay too strenuously nor too laxly. If he essays too laxly, he will fall into rigidity and torpor. If he essays too strenuously, he will become restless. If the yogin falls into rigidity and torpor or becomes restless, his body and mind will waver and tremble.

(Nimitta “image” is tactile, not visual!)

These are the disadvantages. To the yogin who attends to the incoming breath with mind that is cleansed of the nine lesser defilements the image arises with a pleasant feeling similar to that which is produced in the action of spinning cotton or silk cotton. Also, it is likened to the pleasant feeling produced by a breeze.
Thus in breathing in and out, air touches the nose or the lip and causes the setting-up of air perception mindfulness. This does not depend on colour or form.
This is called the image (Nimitta). If the yogin develops the image (Nimitta) and increases it at the nose-tip, between the eye-brows, on the forehead or establishes it in several places,
he feels as if his head were rilled with air. Through increasing in this way his whole body is charged with bliss (sukha). This is called perfection.

(in 16 APS, visions of smoke and mist are the wrong kind of Nimitta)

And again, there is a yogin: he sees several image (Nimitta)s from the beginning. He sees various forms such as smoke, mist, dust, sand of gold,

(gross tactile sensation also not the right Nimitta )

or he experiences something similar to the pricking of a needle or to an ant's bite. If his mind does not become clear regarding these different image (Nimitta)s, he will be confused. Thus he fulfils overturning and does not gain the perception of respiration.

(correct respiration Nimitta will trigger Pīti & sukha)

If his mind becomes clear, the yogin does not experience confusion. He attends to respiration and he does not cause the arising of other perceptions. Meditating thus he is able to end confusion and acquire the subtle image (Nimitta). And he attends to respiration with mind that is free. That image (Nimitta) is free. Because that image (Nimitta) is free, desire arises. Desire being free, that yogin attends to respiration and becomes joyful. Desire and joy being free, he attends to respiration with equipoise. Equipoise, desire and joy being free, he attends to respiration, and his mind is not disturbed. If his mind is not disturbed, he will destroy the hindrances, and arouse the meditation (jhāna) factors. Thus this yogin will reach the calm and sublime fourth meditation, jhāna. This is as was fully taught above.

COUNTING, CONNECTION, CONTACTING AND FIXING


[CP]: These 4 methods are definitely not EBT. Interesting to see how Arahant Upatissa says "certain predecessors taught", perhaps hinting he didn't personally want to teach these 4 methods, but out of respect for his elders, he is obliged to.

And again, certain predecessors taught four ways of practising mindful- ness of respiration. They are counting, connection, contacting and fixing.
Q. What is counting?
A. A new yogin counts the breaths from one to ten, beginning with the outgoing breath and ending with the incoming breath. He does not count beyond ten. Again, it is taught that he counts from one to five but does not count beyond five. He does not miss. At that time (i.e., when he misses) he should count (the next) or stop that count. Thus he dwells in mindfulness of respiration, attending to the object. Thus should counting be understood.
"Connection": Having counted, he follows respiration with mindfulness, continuously. This is called connection.
"Contacting": Having caused the arising of air perception, he dwells, attending to the contact of respiration at the nose-tip or on the lip. This is called contacting.
"Fixing": Having acquired facility in contacting, he should establish the image (Nimitta), and he should establish joy (Pīti) and bliss (sukha) and other states which arise here. Thus should fixing be known.
That counting suppresses uncertainty. It causes the abandoning of un- certainty. Connection removes gross discursive thinking and causes unbroken mindfulness of respiration. Contacting removes distraction and makes for steady perception. One attains to distinction through bliss (sukha).

SIXTEEN WAYS OF TRAINING IN MINDFULNESS OF RESPIRATION

(1) and (2)

Breathing in a long breath, breathing out a short breath, breathing in a short breath, thus he trains himself
Knowledge causes the arising of non-confusion and the object. Q. What is non-confusion and what is the object? A. The new yogin gains tranquillity of body and mind and abides in mindfulness of respiration. The respirations become subtle. Because of subtility they are hard to lay hold of. If at that time, the yogin's breathing is long, he, through fixing, knows it is long. If the image (Nimitta) arises he considers it through its own nature. Thus should non-confusion be known. And again he should consider the breaths, whether long or short (as the case may be). Thus should he practise. And again, the yogin causes the arising of the clear image (Nimitta) through the object. Thus should one practise.

(3) "Experiencing the whole body, I breathe in',

thus he trains himself": In two ways he knows the whole body, through non-confusion and through the object.

(anatomical whole body)

Q. What is the knowledge of the whole body through non- confusion?
A. A yogin practises mindfulness of respiration and develops concentration through contact accompanied by joy (Pīti) and bliss (sukha). Owing to the experiencing of contact accompanied by joy (Pīti) and bliss (sukha) the whole body becomes non-confused.

("body" = physical breath + mental properties)

Q. What is the knowledge of the whole body through the object? A. The incoming breath and the outgoing breath comprise the bodily factors dwelling in one sphere. The object of respiration and the mind and the mental properties are called "body". These bodily factors are called "body".
Thus should the whole body be known. That yogin knows the whole body thus: "Though there is the body, there is no being or soul".

THE THREE TRAININGS

"Thus he trains himself" refers to the three trainings. The first is the training of the higher virtue, the second is the training of the higher thought, the third is the training of the higher wisdom.
True virtue is called the training of the higher virtue; true concentration is called the training of the higher thought; and true wisdom is called the training of the higher wisdom. That yogin by these three kinds of training meditates on the object, recollects the object and trains himself. He practises repeatedly. This is the meaning of "thus he trains himself".

(4) " 'Calming the bodily formation, I breathe',

thus he trains himself": Which are the bodily formations? He breathes in and out with such bodily formations as bending down; stooping, bending all over, bending forward, moving, quivering, trembling and shaking.

(this step can take you to 4th jhāna)

And again, he calms the gross bodily formations and practises the first meditation, jhāna, through the subtle bodily formations. From there, he progresses to the second meditation, jhāna, through the more subtle bodily formations. From there, he progresses to the third meditation, jhāna, through the still more subtle bodily formations. From there, he progresses to the fourth meditation, jhāna, having ended (the bodily formations) without remainder.
Q. If he causes the ending of respiration without remainder, how is he able to practise mindfulness of respiration?
A. Because he has grasped well the general characteristics, the image (Nimitta) arises even when the respirations lapse. And because of these many characteristics, he is able to develop the image (Nimitta) and enter into meditation, jhāna.

(5) " 'Experiencing joy (Pīti)

through the object, I breathe in', thus he trains himself". [431] He attends to respiration. He arouses joy (Pīti) in two meditations, jhānas. This joy (Pīti) can be known through two ways: through non-confusion and through the object.
Here the yogin enters into concentration and experiences joy (Pīti) through non-confusion, through investigation, through overcoming and through the object.

(6) " 'Experiencing bliss (sukha),

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": He attends to respiration. He arouses bliss (sukha) in three meditations, jhānas. This bliss (sukha) can be known through two ways: through non-confusion and through the object. The rest is as was fully taught above.

(7) " 'Experiencing the mental formations,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": "Mental formations" means: "Perception and feeling". He arouses these mental formations in four meditations, jhānas. He knows through two ways: through non-confusion and through the object. The rest is as was fully taught above.

(8) " 'Calming the mental formations,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": The mental formations are called perception and feeling. He calms the gross mental formations and trains himself. The rest is as was fully taught above.

(9) " 'Experiencing the mind,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": He attends to the incoming breath and the outgoing breath. The mind is aware of entering into and going out of the object, through two ways: through non-confusion and through the object. The rest is as was fully taught above.

(10) "'Gladdening the mind,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": joy (Pīti) means rejoicing. In two meditations, jhānas, he causes the mind to exult. Thus he trains himself. The rest is as was fully taught above.

(11) " 'Concentrating the mind,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": That yogin attends to the incoming breath and the outgoing breath. Through mindfulness and through meditation, jhāna, he causes the mind to be intent on the object. Placing the mind well he establishes it. Thus he trains himself.

(12) " 'Freeing the mind,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": That yogin attends to the incoming breath and the outgoing breath. If his mind is slow and slack, he frees it from rigidity; if it is too active, he frees it from restlessness. Thus he trains himself. If his mind is elated, he frees it from lust. Thus he trains himself. If it is depressed, he frees it from hatred. Thus he trains himself. If his mind is sullied, he frees it from the lesser defilements. Thus he trains himself. And again, if his mind is not inclined towards the object and is not pleased with it, he causes his mind to be inclined towards it. Thus he trains himself.

(13) " 'Discerning impermanence,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": He attends to the incoming breath and the outgoing breath. Discerning the incoming and the outgoing breath, the object of the incoming and the outgoing breath, the mind and the mental properties and their arising and passing away, he trains himself.

(14) "'Discerning dispassion,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": He attends to the incoming breath and the outgoing breath (thinking) thus: "This is impermanence; this is dispassion; this is extinction, this is Nibbdna". Thus he breathes in and trains himself.

(15) "'Discerning cessation,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": Discerning many hindrances, according to reality, (he thinks), "These are impermanent, the destruction of these is extinction, Nibbdna". Thus with tranquillized vision he trains himself.

(16) "'Discerning renunciation,

I breathe in', thus he trains himself": Discerning tribulation according to reality, (he thinks), "These are imperma- nent", and freeing himself from tribulation, he abides in the peace of extinction, Nibbdna. Thus he trains himself and attains to bliss (sukha). The tranquil and the sublime are to be understood thus: All activities are brought to rest. All defilements are forsaken. Craving is destroyed. Passion is absent. It is the peace of blowing out.

(Which steps of 16 APS are samatha/vipassana?)

Of these sixteen, the first twelve fulfil serenity and insight, and are discerned as impermanence. The last four fulfil only insight. Thus should serenity and insight be understood.
And again, all these are of four kinds. The first is that practice which leads to the completion of discernment. There is a time when one discerns (impermanence) through attending to the incoming breath and the outgoing breath. This is called the knowledge of the long and the short through practis- ing. Calming the bodily formations and the mental formations, gladdening the mind, concentrating the mind and freeing the mind — this is called the arising of the knowledge of the whole body, bliss (sukha) and the mental formations. "Experiencing the mind" means: "The completion of discernment". "There is a time when one discerns" and so forth refers to the four activities which always begin with the discernment of impermanence.
And again, practice means attaining to a state (of meditation, jhāna) through mindfulness of respiration. This is practice. Through this mind- fulness of respiration, one attains to the state which is with (-out, even) initial application of thought. That is the state which is with initial and sustained application of thought, and the state of sustained application of thought.

(key marker for each jhāna)

The experiencing of joy (Pīti) is the state of the second meditation, jhāna. The experiencing of bliss (sukha) is the state of the third meditation, jhāna. The experien- cing of the mind is the state of the fourth meditation, jhāna.
And again, all these are of two kinds. They are practice and fulfilment. Such practice as is included within fulfilment does not cause decrease of the sixteen bases. Practice is like a seed; it is the cause of merit. Fulfilment is like a flower or a fruit, because it proceeds from a similar thing.
If mindfulness of respiration is practised, the four foundations of mind- fulness are fulfilled. If the four foundations of mindfulness are practised,
the seven enlightenment factors are fulfilled. If the seven enlightenment factors are practised, freedom and wisdom are fulfilled.

THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF MINDFULNESS

Q. How is such a state attained? A. The foundation of mindfulness which begins with the long incoming breath and the long outgoing breath is the reviewing of the body. That which begins with the experiencing of joy (Pīti) is the reviewing of feeling. That which begins with the experiencing of the mind is the reviewing of thought. That which begins with the discernment of impermanence is the reviewing of states. Thus one who practises mindfulness of respiration fulfils the four foundations of mindfulness.

THE SEVEN ENLIGHTENMENT FACTORS

Q. How are the seven enlightenment factors fulfilled through the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness?
A. If the yogin practises the (four) foundations of mindfulness, he is able to abide non-confused in mindfulness; this is called the enlightenment factor of mindfulness. That yogin, abiding in mindfulness, investigates subjection to ill, impermanence and phenomena; this is called the enlightenment factor of inquiry into states. Inquiring into states (dhammd) thus, he strives earnestly without slackening; this is called the enlightenment factor of exertion. Developing exertion, he arouses joy (Pīti) that is clean; this is called the enlightenment factor of joy (Pīti). Through the mind being full of joy (Pīti), his body and mind are endowed with calm; this is called the enlightenment factor of calm. Through calmness his body attains to ease and his mind is possessed of concentration; this is called the enlightenment factor of concentration. Owing to concentration, the mind acquires equanimity; this is called the enlightenment factor of equanimity. Thus because of the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness, the seven enlightenment factors are fulfilled.
Q. How are freedom and wisdom fulfilled through the practice of the seven enlightenment factors ?
The yogin who has practised the seven enlightenment factors much, gains in a moment the wisdom of the Path and the Fruit of freedom. Thus because of the practice of the seven enlightenment factors, wisdom and freedom are fulfilled.
A. All formations are endowed with initial and sustained application of thought according to planes.
Q. That being so, why is only initial application of thought suppressed in mindfulness of respiration, and not the other ?
A. It is used here in a different sense. Discursiveness is a hindrance to meditation, jhāna. In this sense, it is suppressed. Why is air contact pleasant ? Because it calms the mind. It is comparable to the soothing of a heavenly musician's (gandhabba's) mind with sweet sounds. By this discursive thinking is suppressed. And again, it is like a person walking along the bank of a river. His mind is collected, is directed towards one object and does not wander. Therefore in mindfulness of respiration, the suppression of discursive thinking is taught.
Mindfulness of respiration has ended.

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Unlike Vism.'s chapter 10 on space-infiinitude-dimension, where they have the awkward task of trying to explain away what’s the difference between arupa and rupa, Vimuttimagga is straightforward and agrees with the EBT, i.e. rupa is rupa, arupa is arupa, four jhanas are rupa, 5 sense faculties can still impinge in jhāna. In arupa, they can’t.

Vimt. in practice is mostly consistent with EBT jhāna

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In theory, they share the similarity with Vism. in redefining kāya and sukha vedana in the four jhānas, following Abhidhamma Vibhanga confusing redefinitions, but in practice, as you can see from Q&A sessions they acknowledge the anatomical body that is sensitive to 5 sense faculties in jhāna.
The four jhana similes are conspicuously missing from Vism., but Vimt. has no problem talking about it because they have no confounding bodily experiential contradictions to try to hide from. If you read Vimt. Sections on 16APS (anapanasati), and their gloss of the four jhānas and similes from using earth kasina, you see there as well it’s absolutely clear there is an anatomical body that is sensitive to the five faculties whether it’s through breathing meditation to enter four jhānas, or earth kasina to enter four jhānas.

Vimt. matches EBT in rupa vs. arupa, space-infinitude-dimension

THE SPHERE OF THE INFINITY OF SPACE
I consider the tribulations of the fourth meditation, jhāna.
Now, the yogin who has acquired boundless happiness in the fourth meditation, jhāna, wishes to enjoy the space-concentration and to transcend the realm of form. He considers thus: "Concentration of form is coarse; space- concentration is fine". That yogin sees the tribulations of form and the merits of space-concentration.
What are the tribulantions of form? There are many (tribulations) such as the taking up of sticks and weapons, beating, quarrelling, slander, lying, maiming and the like. There are many sufferings such as pain of the eye and other bodily ills, cold and heat, hunger and thirst. These are the severe trials of the sensuous form.
What are the tribulations of the fourth meditation, jhāna?
The depending on form objects has satisfaction for near enemy. It is called coarse. One who is attached to form and delights in it cannot partake of distinction. But depending on space, one liberates oneself peacefully. In this concentration one fulfils the gross. Thus the yogin sees the tribulations of the fourth meditation, jhāna, in form. The merits of space-concentration consist of the over- coming of these.
I have considered the troubles of the fourth meditation, jhāna.
And now I show how to enter the concentration of the sphere of the infinity of space.
That yogin having seen form and the great tribulations thereof and the merits of space-concentration, rises from that (form) concentration, abandons the earth kasina, the earth sign and practises space-concentration.
He should dwell on space regarding it as an infinite object. If he meditates thus, he quickly completes the destruction of the earth sign and his mind rises out of the earth sign and goes beyond the earth sign to space. Through the acquisition of facility in the perception of the sphere of the infinity of space he attains to fixed meditation, jhāna.
That yogin "by passing entiiely beyond perception of form, by the dis- appearance of the perception of impact, by being freed from attention to perceptions of diversity, thinking, 'Infinite is space', enters into and abides in the sphere of infinite space.
1 "Entirely" means without remainder.
"By passing beyond perception of form": What is perception of form?
The perception, the perceiving, the state of having perceived pertaining to one who dwells in the concentration of the form-element — these are called perception of form. "Passing beyond" means the surpassing of this. [421]

This is saying the mind is divorced from 5 sense faculties

"By the disappearance of the perception of impact":
What is the perception of impact? The perception of visible objects, of sounds, of odours, of flavours, and of tangibles — these are called the perception of impact.
"Disappearance" means the ending of these various kinds of (impact-) perception.

[CP]: Note that nowhere in this chapter on infinite-space-dimension do they mention, "oh by the way, in the four jhānas the mind was already divorced from 5 sense faculties". Just as it is in EBT, rupa is rupa, arupa is arupa.

"By being freed from attention to perceptions of diversity": What are perceptions of diversity? The perception, the perceiving, the state of having perceived pertaining to one who has not attained to concentration and who is endowed with the mind element and the conscious- ness element — these are called perceptions of diversity.
"Freed from attention to perceptions of diversity" means that one is freed from attending to these perceptions of diversity.
Q. Why is it that only the surpassing of perception is taught and not the surpassing of feeling, formations and consciousness ?
A. If a man passes beyond perception of form, he passes beyond all the others; and if a man is not freed from perception of form, his mind is not capable of passing beyond the others. Hence the Blessed One taught the surpassing of perception of form with the intention of setting forth the surpassing of all form-objects, because all (form) objects of concentration are dependent on perception.

here he explicitly says four jhānas, the mind is still sensitive to 5 faculties

Q. If that does not happen (i.e., if he does not transcend the perception of form) is there or is there not perception of impact and diversity?
A. There is the perception of impact and diversity in form concentration, because these are removed (later).
Q. Why does he not proceed further in that concentration?
A. He dislikes form, therefore, he does not remove (these perceptions) in that (concentration). This is according to the teaching of the Buddha which says that, owing to the non-removal of these (perceptions of impact) in that (form concentration), sound is a thorn to one entering the first medi- tation, jhāna.
Thus disliking form, he goes further. He destroys them here. Therefore, he attains to the imperturbability of the formless attainment and the peacefulness of liberation. Alaia Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta when they entered the formless attainment, did not see nor hear those five hundred carts passing and repassing.
Therefore, it is taught as the destruction of the (sense) spheres; and thus, surpassing of all form perception is taught as the destruction of the form states and the perception of impact.
"By being freed from attention to perceptions of diversity" means the destruction of the sense states. Again, the surpassing of all form perception is taught as the attainment of the realm of the formless. The disappearance of the perception of impact is taught as the destruction of the outer disturbance to that concentration (of the formless) and the purification of imperturbability.
"Freed from attention to perceptions of diversity" is taught as destruction of the inner disturbance to that concentration and the purification of the peacefulness of liberation.
Q. "The sphere of infinite space": What is space?
A. It is the sphere of space, the element of space and vacuity.
That which is untouched by the four primaries — this is called vacuity. When a man tranquillizes the mind by means of the perception of limitless space, it is said that he thinks, "Infinite is space". Infinite space means the entering into limitless space. The mind and the mental properties which enter space are called "sphere of space". What is "sphere of space"? Boundlessness is the nature of space. This boundless nature is the "sphere of space". This is taught as the meaning of space. As dwelling in heaven is called heaven, so (dwelling in) the concentration of the sphere of space is called "sphere of space". "Enters into and abides in the sphere of infinite space" means that he acquires the concentration of the sphere of infinite space, passes beyond all form objects, fulfils three factors, three kinds of goodness and ten characteris- tics, is associated with twenty-two merits and dwells peacefully in the enjoyment of the reward of concentration practice. By reason of these good qualities, he will be reborn in the sphere of infinite space, as it was fully taught before. "By these good qualities he will be reborn in (the sphere of infinite) space" means that he who practises the concentration of the sphere of space will,
after his death, be reborn in the sphere of infinite space. His life-span will be two thousand aeons.

#3

Very important, which includes discerning the four noble truths.

While this fulfils higher training in discerning anatta, it does not discern the more basic four noble truths (discerning the effects of craving & attachment and their absence), which is why the interpretation “whole body” seems both inadequate & wrong.

The Pali word “sabba” generally means “all” and not “whole” (kevala). MN 118 unambiguously states the breathing is a body (kaya) among other bodies (kaya). In other words, there are multiple kaya rather than a single kaya.

“Experiencing all kaya” seems to mean experiencing all kaya, namely, the breath kaya, rupa kaya & nama kaya and how they condition/influence eachother.

Based on the 7th step, the Buddha should have called step 3: “experiencing the kaya sankhara”, which would mean experiencing how the quality of the breathing influences the quality of the physical body. However, the Buddha obviously used the word “sabba kaya” to also include the mind; i.e., experiencing how the quality of the mind influences the quality of the breathing, which in turn influences the quality of the physical body.

The Pali here is “citta sankhara”. Perception & feeling are not mental formations (sankhara khandha). Instead, they are “conditioners” of the “citta”. What this means is “rapture & happiness” seduce the mind (citta) to give rise to greed, attachment, etc, towards these pleasant feelings.

Therefore, the training here is to experience how the mind is drawn or seduced towards these pleasant feelings and how to keep the mind free of falling to this seduction.

Ajahn Brahm describes this seduction well in his book with the ‘jhana wobble’ and Ajahn Buddhadasa describes this particularly well in his book.

At least to me, only Ajahn Buddhadasa has described these matters clearly & logically.

This commentary neglects to mention how the factors of enlightenment have the quality of letting go (vossagga), as described in MN 118. This is a major oversight.

I think Ajahn Brahm’s book provides a better guide to how to establish meditation with letting go (vossagga) and Ajahn Buddhadasa’s book provides a better explanation about the sixteen stages.

:seedling:


#4

Keep in mind Vimt. source is archaic chinese, translated from no longer existing sanskrit source. The author of the English translation went by the Chinese. So we should have some sympathy for the English translation that results.

I appreciate the comments you’ve made, but I can only respond to this one since it referenced a parenthetical injection I made “(anatomical body)”. The other comments, both the translator and Ven. Upatissa are no longer around to answer.

Here’s a full quote of my “anatomical” comment for context.

(anatomical whole body)

Q. What is the knowledge of the whole body through non- confusion?

A. A yogin practises mindfulness of respiration and develops concentration through contact accompanied by joy (Pīti) and bliss (sukha). Owing to the experiencing of contact accompanied by joy (Pīti) and bliss (sukha) the whole body becomes non-confused.

(“body” = physical breath + mental properties)

Q. What is the knowledge of the whole body through the object? A. The incoming breath and the outgoing breath comprise the bodily factors dwelling in one sphere. The object of respiration and the mind and the mental properties are called “body”. These bodily factors are called “body”.

Thus should the whole body be known. That yogin knows the whole body thus: “Though there is the body, there is no being or soul”.

Looking again at what I wrote, I still think my parenthetical injections are accurate.

(anatomical whole body)
(“body” = physical breath + mental properties)

It matches up with KN Ps interpretation of step 3 as well. Both of those categories are being included with “sabba kaya”. The first, which should be more prominent, is the anatomical body, as we are in kaya-anupassana after all. the second category address the elements you implied were missing, so I don’t really understand your point. [quote=“Deeele, post:3, topic:5932”]
However, the Buddha obviously used the word “sabba kaya” to also include the mind; i.e., experiencing how the quality of the mind influences the quality of the breathing, which in turn influences the quality of the physical body.
[/quote]

It’s not obvious to me why. There are 4sp, the 3rd one being citta anupassana, so that territory of mindfulness being aware of both the mind and how the breath affects the mental processes is explicitly stated there. Why do we need to poach on kayanupassa territory and make “body of mental factors” the primary meaning of “sabba kaya”? That makes no sense IMO. Sabba kaya IMO obviously means first and foremost the 31 parts of the anatomical body, and how the experience of breath works in conjunction with that. For kaya sankhara, wind element (of which breath is a part of ) is not the only one. MN 62 does not explicitly say how the 4 elements is to be combined witih 16 APS, but the implication is there.


#5

The 3rd tetrad has the citta as the meditation object & not the breath. The breath is only in the background.

Because there must be three trainings, including higher wisdom, as I mentioned.

It makes perfect sense. How the quality of the mind affects the breath is the most basic insight. Even non-Buddhists understand focusing the mind in a crude way upon the breath will calm the breath, the body & the mind. Sports people are trained to do this.

If I cannot discern how the quality of my mind affects the breath & body; how can I possibly discern how the breath affects my kidneys, liver, intestines, the brainy matter in the skull, etc?

The breath is the only kaya sankhara, according to MN 44.

The four elements are unrelated to Anapanasati; apart from forming the rupa kaya, which is affected by the breath.

The quality of the breath affects the quality of the rupa kaya. If the breathing is unhealthy, the rupa kaya will be unhealthy; if the breathing is agitated, the rupa kaya will be stressed; if the breath is short, the rupa kaya will have no energy; if the breath is calm, the rupa kaya will be relaxed; if the breath is long & fine, the rupa kaya will be very comfortable & at ease. This is the most basic understanding of kaya sankhara, namely, how the breathing is the body conditioner (kaya sankhara).


#6

Unfortunately, they didn’t. The translators were steeped in the Pali Theravadin tradition, and Chinese and northern traditions, not so much. Much of the translation is a reconstruction or interpretation based on analogy with Pali sources, and bears only a loose relation to the Chinese. A new translation has been in preparation for many years by Ven Nyanatusita.


#7

This is where it shows main deference from Vishuddhimagga, and getting tactile image is correct. There are number of methods developed to practice Mindfulness of Breathing with a visual image which makes it completely unrelated to 16 steps mindfulness of breathing practice.
Eventhough, Vishuddhimagga mention about tactile image, priority goes to visual image with the reading. Nonetheless, it never confirms one image claiming this one is the correct one, leaving the reader to make the decision.
With all the commentaries and books written in Ven. Buddhagosha’s time reveals the lack of practice in bhikkus. Being a book written before Beminitiyasaya (a great famine) or atleast before Vishuddhimagga, makes it more reliable.
I am looking foreward to read new translation by Ven. Nyanatusita. I wish he could finish this work soon.
Many merits @frankk

Bhante, please let me know if the book available to download or buy?