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So, various perceptions may arise while practising an-apana-sati. You may For more details about tranquillizing the breath, see p. Only a name, for it is in fact not a nimitta. It is simply a mental creation, not because of a soul. It is not a problem. Just ignore it, and return to being mindful of your breath. Only when you discern ultimate mentality-materiality paramattha-ndma-rupa internally and externally, can you solve the problem of a soul: you will not find a soul anywhere. So, you need to break down the compactness ghana of mentality and materiality, and realize ultimate mentality and materiality.

Nanadhatuyo vinibbhujitva ghanavinibbhoge kate anattalakkhanarh yathavasarasato upatthati. When compactness is broken down with the breaking down into different elements, the non- self characteristic an-atta-lakkhana in its true nature will arise. In the case of materiality, there are three types of compactness ghana : 1 Continuity compactness santati-ghana : because materiality seems to be one compact continuity, a continuous whole, one may think one's body and limbs have actual existence.

And one may think the same self 'migrates' from life to life, taking different forms. To overcome this delusion, we need to resolve the seeming compactness of the body. We need to see that the body comprises rupa kalapas that arise and perish. That way, we see that a kalapa has no continuity; as soon as it arises, it perishes. There is no time for a kalapa to go anywhere, not from life to life, not even from second to second. And one may think they are one's self. To overcome this delu- sion, we need to resolve the seeming compactness of the individual type of kalapa: we need to analyse the individual type of kalapa.

That way, we see that a kalapa comprises elements: earth element, water element, fire element, wind element, colour, odour, flavour, VsM. The Subcommentaries to these texts explain how this involves resolving the three kinds of compactness. Questions and Answers 1 51 nutritive-essence, life faculty, etc. There is no synthetic whole any- where. To overcome this delu- sion, we need to see that each element has its own characteristic lak- khana , function rasa , manifestation paccupatthana , and proximate cause padatthana : it does not depend on any external thing such as a self.

How do you break down the compactness of materiality? You must first discern the rupa-kalapas small particles. Then you must analyse the dif- ferent rupa-kalapas, and see that they comprise different types of materi- ality, which are at least eight in each rupa-kalapa. And then you need to analyse each type of materiality.

Without doing this the perception of a soul will not disappear. Similarly, without breaking down the compactness of mentality, the perception of a soul will not disappear. For example, when your mind wanders, you may think that the wandering mind is your soul. There are four types of compactness in such a mental process that need to be broken down by vipassana knowledge: 1 Continuity compactness santati-ghana : because mentality seems to be one compact continuity, a continuous whole, one may think it is the same 'mind' that cognizes objects through the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind.

And one may think it is the same self, the same 'mind', the same 'pure consciousness', etc. And in this life, one may think one's mind wanders outside the body. To overcome this delusion, we need to resolve the seeming compactness of the mind. We need to see that cognition takes place by way of mental processes that arise and perish.


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That way, we see that the mind has no continuity; as soon as it arises, it perishes. There is no time for consciousness to go anywhere, not from life to life, not even from second to second. And one may think it is one's self. To overcome this delusion, we need to resolve the seeming compactness of the in- dividual type of consciousness: we need to analyse the individual type of consciousness in each type of mental process.

That way, we VsMT. To overcome this delu- sion, we need to see that each consciousness and mental factor has its own characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate cause: it does not depend on any external thing such as a self. We need to see that the mentality that is the object of our vipassana knowledge was also the subject of vipassana knowledge: it penetrated the three types of compactness of mentality that also was a subject with an object.

And how do you break down the compactness of mentality? Take, for example a mind-door process of access concentration that has the an-apa- na patibhdga-nimitta as object. Such a mental process has one mind-door adverting consciousness and seven impulsion consciousnesses javana. In the mind-door adverting con- sciousness moment there are twelve mental formations, and in each im- pulsion moment there are thirty-four mental formations.

If you break down the four types of compactness of mentality this way, you will see only the rapid arising and perishing of consciousnesses and their associated mental factors. With that perception of impermanence, one can no longer think one's consciousness is one's soul, because with the perception of imperma- nence comes the perception of non-self. As said by The Buddha, in the 'Meghiya ' sutta: [2S Other variations of this delusion would be, for example, ' the knower knows', ' the doer knows', ' that which knows knows', etc.

One may also think 'ultimate materiality and men- tality change, but "the knowing mind" does not change'. For those who have powerful vipassana knowledge of impermanence, vipassana knowledge of non-self will also appear clearly. What makes it appear? A real an-apana-nimitta comes from the breath. But not every mind state produces a nimitta.

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Only a deeply concentrated mind produces a nimitta. Therefore, the breath produced by a deep and concen- trated mind makes an an-apana-nimitta appear. If the nimitta is far from the nostrils, it is not a real nimitta. A nimitta may appear because of con- centration, but not necessarily the real an-apana-nimitta.

If the nimitta produces jhana, we call it an an-apana-nimitta. But if it does not produce jhana, it is not the real an-apana-nimitta. If you concentrate on that nimitta, jhana will not arise. Usually the concentration cannot become strong and powerful. If you meditate on that nimitta, it will very soon disappear. That is why to have only theoretical knowledge is not enough; you must practise with great effort to also realize them.

It is the desire for sense objects. For example, you may get attached to your kuti' 26 or room. While meditating you may think, 'Oh, it would be good if my kuti were beautiful. You must exert strong mindfulness and make effort to stop the arising of sensual desire. The second hindrance is ill-will bydpdda.

It is hatred for or dissatisfac- tion with people or things. For example, if the yogi sitting next to you, while sitting down, makes a noise with his robes, you may become angry and think, 'Oh, why is he making so much noise! The third hindrance is sloth and torpor thina-middha. If the mind is weak, or not interested in the meditation object, sloth and torpor can occur. Sometimes, however, sleepiness may be due to tiredness, illness, or lack of rest. The fourth hindrance is restlessness and remorse uddhacca-kukkucca. If your mind is restless, it will be like a heap of ashes hit by a stone, flying about and scattering.

The mind is scattered. While meditating, you must not relax the mind, and let it leave your meditation object. If you do, rest- lessness will occur. Remorse is to regret bad deeds done, and good deeds A kuti is a monastic dwelling for one, a cell or lodge. Questions and Answers 1 55 not done in the past. Here too, you must exert strong mindfulness, and make great effort to stop the arising of restlessness and remorse. The fifth hindrance is doubt vicikiccha. It is having doubts about eight things: 1 The Buddha 2 The Dhamma 3 The Sahgha 4 The three trainings: morality, concentration, and wisdom.

If you have doubts about the training in concentration, you cannot meditate well. For example, you may think: 'Is it possible to attain jhana through an-apana-sati mindfulness-of-breathing? Can jhana be attained by concentrating on the an-apana-nimittaT The five hindrances are opposite jhana concentration. Talk 2 How You Develop Absorption on Other Subjects In the previous talk we discussed how to develop the meditation subject of an-apana-sati mindfulness-of-breathing up to the fourth jhana, and how to develop the five masteries. As discussed, the light of concentra- tion is then bright, brilliant and radiant, which means the yogi can, if he wishes, move on to develop vipassana meditation.

But at this point the yogi can also go on to develop his samatha medita- tion further. Today, we shall discuss how to develop other samatha sub- jects: meditation on the thirty-two parts of the body, the skeleton, ten kasinas, etc. You should then use the light to try to discern the thirty-two parts of the body, one at a time. The thirty- two parts of the body are twenty parts with predominantly the earth ele- ment, and twelve parts with predominantly the water element. Try to see each part as distinctly as you would see your face in a clean mirror.

If, while doing this, the light of concentration should fade, and the part of the body being discerned become unclear, you should re-establish the fourth an-apana jhana, so the light is again bright and strong. Then return to discerning the parts of the body.

Do this whenever the light of concen- tration fades. Practise so that you are, from head hairs down to urine, or from urine back to head hairs, able to see each one clearly and with penetrating knowledge; keep practising until you become skilful.

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Then, again using the light of concentration and with your eyes still closed, you should try to discern another being close by. It is especially good to discern someone in front of you. Discern the thirty-two parts of the body in that person or being, from head hairs down to urine, and from urine back to head hairs. Discern the thirty-two parts forwards and back- wards many times. When you have succeeded, discern the thirty-two parts once internally, that is in your own body, and once externally, that is in the other person's body; do this many times, again and again.

When you are able to discern internally and externally like this, the power of meditation will increase. You should thus gradually extend your field of discernment bit by bit, from near to far. Do not think that you cannot discern beings far away. Using the brilliant light of the fourth jhana, you can easily see beings far away, not with the naked eye, but with the eye of wisdom nana-cakkhu.

You should be able to extend your field of discernment in all ten directions: above, below, east, west, north, south, north east, south east, north west, south west. Take whomever you discern, be they human, animal or other beings, in those ten directions, and discern the thirty-two parts, once internally and once externally, one person or other being at a time. When you no longer see men, women, devas, or buffaloes, cows, and other animals as such, but see only groups of thirty-two parts, whenever and wherever you look, internally or externally, then can you be said to be successful, skilful, and expert in discerning the thirty-two parts of the body.

The commentary ex- plains further that there are three entrances to the way to Nibbana. They are the samatha subjects of the colour kasinas vanna-kasina , repulsiveness patikkula-manasikara , and voidness of self sunnata , which is four-elements meditation. The first entrance we shall discuss is repul- siveness meditation. Let us look at how to meditate on, for example, the skeleton, the bones, which is one of the thirty-two parts of the body. You should first re-establish the fourth an-apana jhana, so the light is bright, brilliant and radiant. Then use the light to discern the thirty-two parts in your own body, and then in a being nearby.

Discern thus inter- nally and externally once or twice. Then take the internal skeleton as a whole, and discern it with wisdom. When the whole skeleton is clear, take the repulsiveness of the skeleton as object, that is the concept, and note it again and again as either: 'repulsive - repulsive'; or 'repulsive skeleton - repulsive skeleton'; or 'skeleton - skeleton.

Note it in any language you like. You should try to keep your mind calmly concentrated on the object of repulsiveness of the skeleton for one or two hours. Be careful to see the colour, shape, position and delimita- tion of the skeleton, so that its repulsive nature can arise. Because of the strength and momentum of the fourth-jhana concentra- tion based on an-apana-sati mindfulness-of-breathing , you will find that this meditation will also become deep and fully established: you will be able to produce, sustain and develop the perception and knowledge of repulsiveness.

Further to the perception of voidness, see p. According to the Visuddhi-Magga, seeing the colour, shape, position, and delimitation of a part is seeing the uggaha-nimitta. Seeing and discerning the repulsiveness of that part is seeing the patib- haga-nimitta. They are: 1 Application vitakka : directing and placing the mind on the patibhaga- nimitta of the repulsiveness of the skeleton.

You can, in a similar way, attain the first jhana on the repulsiveness of one of the other parts of the body. A question arises: 'How can joy and happiness arise with the repulsive- ness of the skeleton as object? Joy and happiness can arise also because you have removed the defilements of the five hindrances, which make the mind hot and tired. It is just like a scavenger would be delighted to see a big heap of gar- bage, thinking, T will earn a lot of money from this.

The Abhidhamma Commentary explains that whoever has attained the first jhana on the repulsiveness of the skeleton should go on to develop the five masteries of the first jhana. He should concentrate on it as repulsive, and develop this until the jhana factors be- come prominent. Even though they are prominent, it is, according to the commentary, neither access concentration upacara-samadhi nor absorption concentration appana-samadhi , because the object is living. Do this alternately, once internally then once externally, again and again.

When you have meditated like this on the repulsiveness of the skeleton, and it has become deep and fully devel- oped, you should extend your field of discernment in all ten directions. Taking one direction at a time, wherever your light of concentration reaches, develop each direction in the same way. You should apply your penetrating knowledge both near and far, in all directions, once internally and once externally. Practise until wherever you look in the ten direc- tions, you see only skeletons.

Once you have succeeded, you are ready to develop the white kasina meditation. All four kasinas can be developed up to the fourth jhana by using as object the colours of different parts of the body. According to the Abhidhamma Commentary, the head hairs, body hairs, and irises of the eyes can be used for the blue, brown, or black kasina up to the fourth jhana; fat and urine can be used for the yellow kasina; blood and flesh can be used for the red kasina; and the white parts, the bones, teeth, and nails can be used for the white kasina. You should first re-establish the fourth an-apana jhana, so the light of concentration is bright, brilliant, and radiant.

You should then use the light to discern the thirty-two parts of the body internally and then exter- nally in a being nearby. Then discern just the skeleton. If you want to dis- cern it as repulsive you can, if not, simply discern the external skeleton. Then take either the whitest place in that skeleton, or, if the whole skeleton is white, the whole skeleton, or the back of the skull, and con- centrate on it as 'white - white'.

Alternatively, if you want to, and your concentration is really sharp, you can, if you have seen the internal skeleton as repulsive and reached the first jhana, take the skeleton as white, and use that as your preliminary object. You can also discern first the repulsiveness in an external skeleton, and make that perception stable and firm, thus making the white of the skele- ton more evident.

Then, you can change to the perception of it to 'white - white', and instead develop the white kasina. With one of the objects of white in the external skeleton as object, you should practise to keep the mind calmly concentrated for one or two hours. Because of the strength and momentum of the fourth-jhana concentra- tion based on an-apana-sati mindfulness-of-breathing , you will find that your mind will stay calmly concentrated on the object of white.

When you are able to concentrate on the white for one or two hours, you will find that the skeleton disappears and only a white circle remains. When the white circle is white as cotton wool, it is the uggaha-nimitta taken-up sign. When it is bright and clear like the morning star, it is the patibhaga-nimitta counterpart sign. Before the uggaha-nimitta arises, the skeleton nimitta from which it arises is the parikamma-nimitta pre- paratory sign. Continue to note the kasina as 'white - white' until it becomes the patib- haga-nimitta. Continue concentrating on the patibhaga-nimitta until you enter the first jhana.

You will find, however, that this concentration is not very stable and does not last long. In order to make it stable and last a long time, you need to expand the nimitta. Then determine to expand the white circle by one, two, three, or four inches, depending on how much you think you are able to expand it.

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See if you succeed, but do not try to expand the nimitta without first determining a limit: make sure to determine a limit of one, two, three, or four inches. While expanding the white circle, you may find that it becomes unsta- ble. Then go back to noting it as 'white - white' to make it stable. But as your concentration increases the nimitta will become stable and tranquil.

When the first expanded nimitta has become stable, you should repeat the process, that is, again determine to expand it by a few inches. This way you can expand the nimitta in stages, until it is one yard in size, then two yards, and so on. Do this until it extends in all ten directions around you, without limit, and so that wherever you look, you see only white.

Do it till you see not even a trace of materiality, whether internal or external. If you developed the white kasina in a past life, during this or a previous Buddha's dispensation, that is, if you have white kasina paraml, then you will not need to expand the patibhaga-nimitta, because as you concen- trate on it, it will automatically expand in all ten directions.

You should in either case now keep your mind calmly concentrated on the expanded white kasina.

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And when it is stable, then just as if you were to hang a hat on a hook in a wall, put your mind on one place in that white kasina. Keep your mind there, and continue to note 'white - white'. When your mind is tranquil and stable, the white kasina will also be tranquil and stable, and will be exceedingly white, bright, and clear. This too is a patibhaga-nimitta, produced by expanding the original white kasina patibhaga-nimitta. You must continue to meditate, until you can concentrate on that white kasina patibhaga-nimitta continuously for one or two hours.

Then the jhana factors will become very prominent, clear, and strong in your mind, and you will have reached the first jhana. The five jhana factors are: 1 Application vitakka : directing and placing the mind on the patibhaga- nimitta of the white kasina. In the way described in the talk on an-apana-sati mindfulness-of-breathing , develop the five mast- eries of the first white kasina jhana, and then develop the second, third, and fourth jhanas, and the masteries of them too.

You can also use those parts in your own body. When you have succeeded, you can develop the colour kasinas using the colour of also flowers, or other external objects. All blue and brown flowers are calling out, inviting you to develop the blue kasina. All yel- low flowers are calling out, inviting you to develop the yellow kasina. All red flowers are calling out, inviting you to develop the red kasina.

All white flowers are calling out, inviting you to develop the white kasina. Thus, a skilled yogi can use whatever he sees to develop kasina concen- tration and vipassana, be it animate or inanimate, internal or external. According to the Pali texts, The Buddha taught ten kasinas. They are the mentioned four colour kasinas, plus a further six: the earth, water, fire, wind, space, and light kasinas.

Then with a stick or some other instrument, draw a circle about one foot across. That is your meditation object: an earth kasina. You should concentrate on it, and note it as 'earth - earth'. Concentrate on it for a while with your eyes open, and then close them, and visualize the earth kasina.

If unable to visualize the nimitta in this way, you should re- establish the fourth an-apana-, or white kasina-jhana. Then use the light of concentration to look at the earth kasina. When you see the nimitta of Seep. You should not concentrate on the colour of the earth nimitta, or the characteristics of hardness, roughness, etc. Continue to develop this uggaha- nimitta until it becomes pure and clear, and is the patibhaga-nimitta. You should then expand the patibhaga-nimitta a little at a time, in all ten directions, and develop this meditation up to the fourth jhana. Concentrate on the concept of water as 'water - water' till you get the uggaha-nimitta, and then develop it as you did the earth kasina.

If unable to visualize it, you can make a screen with a circular hole in it about one foot across. Put the screen in front of a wood- or grass-fire, so you see only the flames through the hole. Ignoring the smoke, and burning wood or grass, concentrate on the con- cept of fire as 'fire - fire' till you get the uggaha-nimitta, and then deve- lop it in the usual way. You should concentrate on the wind coming in through a window or door, touching the body; or the sight of leaves or branches moving in the wind.

Concentrate on the concept as 'wind - wind' till you get the uggaha-nim- itta. You can discern the nimitta of the wind by re-establishing the fourth jhana with another kasina object, and using the light of concentration see this movement externally. The uggaha-nimitta looks like steam coming off hot milk rice, but the patibhaga-nimitta is motionless. Develop the nimitta in the usual way. You can also look up through the branches of a tree, at the light in the sky above.

If unable to visualize it, you can put a candle or lamp inside an earthen pot, and place the pot in such a way that rays of light come out of the opening of the pot, and fall upon the wall. Concentrate on the circle of light on the wall as a concept, as 'light - light' till you get the uggaha-nimitta, and then develop it in the usual way. If unable to visualize it, you can make a circular hole in a piece of board, about eight inches to one foot across. Hold the board up so you see only the sky through the hole, no trees or other ob- jects.

Concentrate on the space within that circle as a concept, as 'space - space', and develop the nimitta in the usual way. The human body produced by the sperm and egg of your parents is called the produced body karaja-kaya. Since you have a produced body, you are open to assault with weapons such as See footnote , p. The produced body is also subject to many diseases of, for example, the eyes, ears, and heart. So you should consider with wisdom that because you have a produced body made of materiality, you are subject to various kinds of suffering, and that if you can be free of that materiality, you can also be free of the suffering.

Even though a fourth fine-material jhana surpasses gross physical mate- riality, it is still based on it. Thus you need to surmount the kasina mate- riality. Having considered this, and with no desire now for the kasina ma- teriality, you should re-establish the fourth jhana with one of the nine kasinas, such as the earth kasina, emerge from it, and reflect on its dis- advantages: it is based on materiality, which you no longer desire; it has joy of the third jhana as its near enemy; and it is grosser than the four immaterial jhanas.

But you do not need to reflect on the disadvantages of the mental formations the two jhana factors in the fourth jhana, because they are the same as in the immaterial jhanas. With no desire now for the fourth fine-material jhana, you should also reflect on the more peaceful nature of the immaterial jhanas.

Then expand your nimitta, say, of the earth kasina, so that it is bound- less, or as much as you wish, and replace the kasina materiality with the space it occupies, by concentrating on the space as 'space - space' or 'boundless space - boundless space'. What remains is the boundless space formerly occupied by the kasina. If unable to do so, you should discern and concentrate on the space of one place in the earth-kasina nimitta, and then expand that up to the infi- nite universe.

As a result, the entire earth-kasina nimitta is replaced by boundless space. Continue to concentrate on the boundless space nimitta, until you reach jhana, and then develop the five masteries. This is the first immaterial jhana, also called the base of boundless space akasananc-ayatana. With no desire now for the base of boundless space, you should also reflect on the more peaceful nature of the base of boundless consciousness.

Then concentrate again and again on the con- sciousness that had boundless space as its object, and note it as 'bound- less consciousness - boundless consciousness' or just 'consciousness - consciousness'.


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Continue to concentrate on the boundless-consciousness nimitta, until you reach jhana, and then develop the five masteries. This is then the sec- ond immaterial jhana, also called the base of boundless consciousness. To develop the base of nothingness, you should reflect on the disadvan- tages of the base of boundless consciousness: it has the base of boundless space as its near enemy and is not as peaceful as the base of nothingness.

With no desire now for the base of boundless consciousness, you should also reflect on the more peaceful nature of the base of nothingness. Then concentrate on the absence of the consciousness that had boundless space as its object. There were two jhana consciousnesses: first the conscious- ness of base of boundless space akdsanaiic-ayatana citta and then that of the base of boundless consciousness vihndnanc-ayatana citta.

Two consciousnes- ses cannot arise in one consciousness moment titta-kkhana. When the con- sciousness of the base of boundless space was present, the other consci- ousness could not be present too, and vice versa. So, you take the absence of the consciousness of the base of boundless-space as object, and note it as 'nothingness - nothingness' or 'absence - absence'. Continue to concentrate on that nimitta, until you reach jhana, and de- velop the five masteries. This is then the third immaterial jhana, also called the base of nothingness.

In fact, all the mental formations in this jhana are extremely subtle; there is also neither feeling nor non-feeling, neither consciousness nor non-consciousness, neither contact nor non- contact etc. But the jhana is explained in terms of perception, and it has as object the consciousness of the base of nothingness. Furthermore, per- ception is a disease, a boil and a dart. With no desire now for the base of nothingness, you should also reflect on the more peaceful nature of the base of neither perception nor non-perception. Then concentrate again and again on the consciousness of the base of nothingness as 'peaceful - peaceful'.

Continue to concentrate on the 'peaceful - peaceful' nimitta, until you reach jhana, and develop the five masteries. This is then the fourth immaterial jhana, also called the base of neither-perception-nor non-perception. Today we discussed how to develop the ten kasinas, and the eight att- ainments: the four fine-material jhanas and the four immaterial jhanas.

In the next talk, we shall discuss how to develop the four sublime abidings brahma-vihara of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic -joy, and equan- imity; and the four protective meditations catur-arakkha-bhavana of loving- kindness, Buddha Recollection, foulness meditation and death recollec- tion. Questions and Answers 2 Question 2. How should they practise wisdom in an-apana-sati mindfulness-of-breathing? Answer 2. It is not so important for beginners to balance concentration and wisdom. This is because they are only beginners, and their five controlling faculties are not yet developed.

In the beginning of meditation, there is usually much restlessness in the mind. So the faculties are not yet strong and powerful. Only when they are strong and powerful is it necessary to balance them. But if beginners are able to balance the faculties already at the beginning stage, that is of course also good.

For example, you are now practising an-apana-sati; an-apana-sati is mindfulness-of-breathing. Knowing the breath is wisdom pahna. Being mindful of the breath is mindfulness sad. One-pointedness of mind on the breath is concentration samadhi. The effort to know the breath clearly is effort viriya. Having faith that an-apana-sati can lead to jhana is faith saddha. Beginners must try to develop strong and powerful controlling faculties. Their faith in an-apana-sati must be strong enough.

Their effort to know the breath clearly must be strong enough. Their mindfulness of the breath must be strong enough. Their concentration on the breath must be strong enough. They must see the breath clearly. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Knowing and Seeing - 5th Revised Edition , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Knowing and Seeing - 5th Revised Edition.

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