This week’s discussion focused on the stanzas in the Anapanasati Sutta related to the cultivation of piti and sukha, Pali words often translated as rapture and pleasure. During the talk, Peter related the commentaries that describe piti dramatically, associated with so-called “Visuddhimagga jhanas”, then suggesting an alternative view regarding “sutta jhanas”, which are more accessible and workable in regards to the process of awakening. Peter then reinforced the passage in the Anapanasati Sutta that describes the culmination of practice as being the maturing of the seven awakening factors, and that piti is one of those factors, generated by the skillful and persistent focus on the mind/body process set forth in previous stanzas of the sutta.
This talk is accompanied by Peter’s notes, posted after this posting.
Next week’s discussion will focus on the next stanza of the sutta, regarding the calming of mental fabrications.
Peter described the characteristics of jhana from both the “sutta jhana” and “Visuddhimagga jhana” models. The benefits of jhana practice were reviewed, suggesting the real benefit of jhana practice is the cultivation of the seven Awakening Factors, which will be discussed in depth during next week’s discussion. Peter’s notes for this talk are posted above this posting, including URL addresses for downloading an ebook relevant to jhana practice, and a page from Leigh Brasington’s site with various articles about the jhanas.
This dialogue is the first of two explorations of samma samadhi, right concentration. Peter explained the terms samadhi and passadhi, and why he groups them together. Six considerations were illustrated to support the cultivation of samadhi-passadhi. The value of samadhi-passadhi in the practice of vipassana was explored. The explanations were followed by dialogue about the supportive considerations and the value of samadhi-passadhi in daily life. There is a post following this one containing the notes used for the evening’s discussion. the notes include a link to a website where Richard Shankman’s book “The Experience Of Samadhi” can be downloaded free in .pdf format. Next week’s dialogue will explore the practice of jhana.