i’m not familiar with the full minlinda passage contents, but just based on your brief quotes in the previous msg, it sounds more like he’s talking about the vitakka and vicara of vism. and ajahn brahm. That is, no ordinary discursive thinking and evaluation, but a “fixed penetration” type of absorption for example on a breath nimitta visually perceived white light, or a color disk kasina.
vism. uses an analogy for vitakka and vicara like a bell being struck, with vitakka being the initial strike of the bell, and vicara being the ringing sound that perists for some time. much like the vism. jhana and ajahn brahm jhana where one can not think in the ordinary sense of vitakka and vicara, vitakka and vicara is sticking to the white visual light of breath nimitta or a color kasina.
thanks for pointing out that detail. you’re right i bolded the wrong english word originally. i wasn’t sure if dhamma-vicaya’s vicaya was from the same root as vicara (you’re saying it’s not, i believe you), but vicara must be related to pa-vicarati right? pari-vīmamsa sure reminds me of vīmamsa-samādhi-padhāna-sammannagatam, of 4ip (iddhi-pada).
here’s a tangent to another important point. the 4ip are also describing a process of getting into samadhi strong enough to exercise 6 abhiñña, similar to 7sb (satta bojjhanga). but it does so without mentioning piti-sukha, and any of the 4 jhanas by name, but because of the presence of visual light all day and all night, and access to 6 abhinna, one can deduce must be 4th jhana quality samadhi minimum.
so whether one uses the causal sequence of 8aam (8 fold noble path), the causal sequence of 7sb, or the 4ip to get into jhana or a strong samadhi, all of those standard formulas are mapping the same territory but highlighting different aspects of the process, while ignoring others.
so returning to the dhamma-vicaya-sambojjhanga, for first jhana i see vicara playing an active role with discursive type of thinking/evaluation, just as in the cook sutta SN 47.(some number 10 or less), the cook is evaluating how do i adjust my cooking of dishes to please the king, or in reference to the first jhana analogy, what is going on in my anatomical body and mind, what do i need to adjust in my cooking to produce a deeper samadhi, piti-sasmbojjhanga, and the bliss of first jhana and samadhi-sambojjhanga?
for the 4ip mapping out the same moment by moment process, 4ip’s-vimamsa would take the same role as dhamma-vicaya-sambojjhanga, as signalled by the pa-vimamsa in SN 46.2.
edit, addition to cook simile comment:
so the ordinary sense of vitakka and vicara doing discursive thinking is very important for the stages prior to, during, and the process of stabilizing first jhana in EBT. If we take vitakka and vicara in the vism. and ajahn brahm sense of sticking the mind exclusively to a color disk or a visual appearance of a white breath nimitta, the cook simile doesn’t make sense because it’s not developing wisdom, discrimination, looking for gradually subtler causes of dukkha that not only prevent entry into first jhana, but the rest of the path to nibbana. You’re just staring at a light or a color disk and trying to blot out every part of your experience of the world. In a straightforward reading of the EBT, jhana and samadhi is something you work on all the time, in every posture, always looking at dukkha and its cause whether you’re in jhana or not, rather than a separate samatha kung fu exercise you do in a formal sitting practice.