A Scales Like Samādhi [Dhamma Talks by Sayadaw U Candima (Sandima)
[ Following this talk there was a short talk on the same subject, yogis had to sit for three hours sitting. This practice is to free from lobha, dosa and moha at the same time. He called this in Burmese as levelling out samādhi like a scales. He also said he got this system from Thae Inn Gu Sayadaw’s Dhamma verses. It maybe Thae Inn Gu Sayadaw developed his samādhi in this way. U Candima’s vipassanā practice is different from Thae Inn Gu Sayadaw’s way. Thae Inn Sayadaw’s way of vipassanā is based on form (rūpa) nāma kammaṭṭhāna (i.e., not on physical sensation but on mental feeling). U Candima’s way is developed samādhi with ānāpānasati and contemplation on mind—nāma kammaṭṭhāna or cittānupassanā. U Candima called it as—Mahā-pallaṅka meditation which refers to like the bodhisatta’s enlightenment in one sitting, so it also can be called as Bodhisatta Kammaṭṭhāna.
In this talk on scales like samādhi, U Candima called this method the vipassanā-yanki method. Levelling out samādhi and paññā together that it’s also called the yuganaddha method (yuganaddha—yoked together). The commentary explained yuganaddha as coming from jhāna samādhi and contemplating the jhānic factors with insight. Come out from each jhānic level and contemplate in this way respectively. According to Bhikkhu Bodhi even in jhāna state one can contemplate the jhānic factors as evidenced in the suttas. It seems U Candima’s own practice supports this point.
Here, developing samādhi like a scales is—first watching the breath at the tip of the nostril. After sometime dukkha vedanā will arise somewhere. But the mind does not follow the vedanā, but neither returns to the breath at the nostrils. Instead, levelling out these two vedanās one at the tip of the nose and dukkha vedanā appears down there, until the mind becomes upekkhā. The mind staying with vedanā becomes dukkha, domanassa which is one extreme. Wanting to overcome dukkha vedanā and send the mind to the nose with taṇhā becomes abhijjhā which is another extreme.
Therefore, if the yogi can contemplate these two objects or keep them equally until it becomes upekkhā which is the middle way or become the path—maggan. With this upekkhā maggan to develop insight—vipassanā, you can’t contemplate paramatā dhamma with kilesa mind if with kilesa it only becomes concepts. ]
Today we’ll develop the scales like samādhi or middle way samādhi. (Here I didn’t translate the Burmese words—boun-chain kammaṭṭhāna directly) Before we did the ānāpānasati in an ordinary way (i.e., observing the breath only for three days, first one hour sitting and later two hrs sitting) and how to develop it. There is a way to develop insight, and I’ll talk about it today.
Here is not to attain the Dhamma with this method (i.e., Nibbāna). Now we’re on the 4th day. Only you have finished the basic ānāpāna-kammaṭṭhāna, you can practice forward. Therefore, you have to finish the basics. For three days we practiced ordinary ānāpāna. Only you know the meaning of Dhamma practice and can know the nature of vipassanā process for forward practice. When the four elements are disturbed or afflicted and encountered dukkha vedanā, in walking also it’s painful. Could you walk longer? The body becomes stiff and tense when lying down for a longer period. It’s not free from suffering also by standing.
Whichever postures you’re in or keeping it, this khandha will be cruel to you. Because of its cruelty, khandha becomes dukkha and the mind suffers and is tired. Every time with practice you’ll encounter it. When walking, can you walk for a long time in a focused manner? Even though it’s not good for samādhi because of its movements, but it’s good for supporting it (according to the forest monks, walking samādhi is more stable than sitting. Some monks did a lot of walking than sitting, e.g., Ajahn Mun himself.) Walking meditation is supporting one’s own kammaṭṭhāna to has strength. During walking meditation, no-one becomes ariya (a noble being). Because if the yogi enters into one-pointed samādhi (ekaggatā samādhi), he has to stop from walking.
If indriya-saṁvara sīla is in equilibrium (restraint of the sensory faculty), the yogi has to stoop from walking. It’s easy to say that with the four postures (i.e., sitting, standing, walking and lying down) attaining Dhamma. But nobody said, as not attaining the Dhamma with the four postures. There are two ways of walking—after attaining jhāna samādhi and to support samādhi (as mentioned above). Later, yogis will know all of them. For having a stable samādhi before attaining it, the mind with sati has to stick on the primary object (here ānāpāna) outside the sittings.
To support this point, walking meditation is good. As I had explained on the first day, if you attain jhāna directly with sitting posture, it is freed from dukkha vedanā and no need for walking. This is attaining jhāna with sitting posture. Walking meditation is supporting samādhi, but if you’re a vipassanā-yānika maybe you can attain it or with the four elements meditation (i.e., not sure). But you can’t attain it with taruṇa-vipassanā—i.e., weak basic insight stage. Yogis also need to understand these things. I’ll explain all of them for why?
Before three days ago—for the first day, we sat one hour each for five times. On the second day, one and half hours for five times, and on the 3rd day two hours four times. We had practiced in this way. All right, whatever or however, situation you’re in, khandha dukkha will come to you. You have to encounter dukkha. Only this exists and except this one don’t go and do other things. If you do, it becomes useless (with no samādhi—i.e., with hindrances no insight arises). Even though you can contemplate the four great elements if vedanā arises and can’t do it. Dosa-domanassa arises and destroys the meditation. If you practice this way, it is also possible (first, you have to transcend dukkha vedanā). No matter what way you practice, you cannot continue with the following kammaṭṭhāna (i.e., insight) except for the toad (dosa) and the four poisons of the viper.
Therefore, the Buddha taught in the suttas (āsīvisopama sutta, SN 35.238 and vammika sutta, MN 23) yogis had to abandon the four snake poisons and toad (dosa).
(In the Vammika Sutta, the student dug the ant-hill and firstly he found a bar. After that he found the toad, with the continued digging and he found out the fork (dvedhāpatha, which can be translated as doubt and forked path). Which one is correct, I don't know, but if we take it as doubt, it is difficult to relate to the following sieve that represents the five obstacles, which also include doubt. Maybe they are different doubts. If we take the symbol of fork as the forked path also can be taken as doubt and two ways of the path. U Candima took it as two ways of the path—the way of samatha-yānika and the way of vipassanā-yānika.)
After abandoning the toad (dosa) there are two ways of samatha and vipassanā yānika paths.
(It seems to me that U Candima’s interpretation of samatha and vipassanā yānikas are problematic with the Vammika Sutta. These two paths are quite different even in the beginning. Samatha yānika use a samatha object to overcome the five hindrances. Vipassanā yānika with mindfulness to overcome the five hindrances. So they already are separated in the beginning.)
Even though U Zin didn’t understand pariyat (sutta learning), I taught yogis in accordance with what the Buddha had taught. I have interpreted them in the same way. I have studied sutta discourses for only two years.
The practice I taught to others was not deviated from what the Buddha had taught. It was the same with him. Before I had taught Mahā-pallaṅka method or Bodhisatta meditation. People thought that it was torturing them. To expose Taṇhā is only this way, and no other way (i.e., in one sitting). He knew that he was liberated by cutting off the root of taṇhā. The Buddha exhorted us as even if we had patience and endurance for vedanā which would take our life. The vedanā now we’ll encounter is not taking our life.
(It seems to me that samatha/vipassanā differentiation is by the commentary. May be not by the Buddha in the suttas. Sīla, samādhi, paññā can’t be separated. The ways of developping them can be different. There is only one way – vipassanā – the eight-fold path which samatha doesn’t have it.)
Only after overcoming vedanā can you practice samatha/vipassanā practice (i.e., the two ways of insight practice), whichever way you prefer. If not, you’re only dealing with vedanā at the basic practice (i.e., develop samādhi power). Could you go forward by lifting and changing your posture all the time when encountering vedanā? Therefore, in Dhamma practice what are you doing means very simple questions. When the four elements become afflicted or disturbed, the yogi doesn’t want to feel it and want to free or correct is lobha with the wrong view of l-ness (diṭṭhi).
First practice is making these lobha, dosa and moha cease. Other than that, don't practice anything else you can't succeed it. Therefore, I must explain on this problem with tadaṅga pahāna vikkhambhana pahāna and samuccheda pahāna (short period of abandonment, suppression for longer, eradication). Now, you can sit for two hours and there is no tiredness and strong stress. Some already fall into bhavaṅga and free from them (i.e., in jhāna state). Even some are not free from them, when they sit for two hours they don’t have the mind state of trying to struggle with it. They don’t have to because the mind becomes refined.
Passambhayam-kāyasaṅkhāram—the breath become calm down with dosa fallen away and breathing also refined, not tired anymore. Could I ask the yogis to breathe slowly like now at the beginning when they arrived here? All will get up and run away. We’re practicing to be free from the lobha /dosa of not wanting to experience it, even though it’ll take long. Now you can sit for two hours. All right! Let’s move forward step. What is the nature of insight practice? The mind contemplates the mind and form to become true insight (vipassanā) should not think about the past and future even for a ten hours period (only with the present moment). Even for ten hours, the mind doesn’t know about the eye, ears, nose, …etc. It’s free from the worldly objects of concept (loka-paññatti-ārammaṇa), only then it discerns loka-paramatā mind and form. The samādhi discerns mind and form, not including concepts.
During the contemplation it’s anicca, dukkha, etc. are concepts and not vipassanā. It can be taken as bhāvanā—mind or mental development. Anicca saññā, dukkha saññā, etc. (perceptions of anicca, dukkha, etc.) are not insight—vipassanā and not paramatā dhamma. There are three knowledges: Paramatā is penetrative knowledge, saññā—the perception of names and concepts are conceptual knowledge and viññāṇa knowing is not giving names and concepts and also non-penetrative nor analytical knowledge.
Penetrative or analytical knowledge is paññā—wisdom. Knowing with giving names is still not arriving vipassanā yet. Later U Zin continues to explain them. You yourself confuse them or not I don’t know, but I have to explain about them. The main question is, if yogis encounter dukkha vedanā, is it possible for their mind to contemplate paramatā dhamma with suffering and pain, dissatisfaction and exhaustion? Now, with the four elements being tortured, this question arises. We have to deal with this issue. We’re practicing to deal with this problem. On the first day the four elements of the khandha were afflicted, and what is the habit of a worldling?
The mind is unbearable to dukkha vedanā and wanting to condition the khandha. Because of this desire—lobha and the following mind which is kāyasaṅkhāra condition the body (i.e., changing the body). This is the practice of kāmasukhallikānuyoga—indulgence in sensuality, by lifting and correcting the body is happiness. The desire for happiness in sensuality (kāma) is defilement (kilesa)—kilesa-kāma (defilement of sensuality). With kilesa—kāma and action received khandha. Does it not suffer by receiving khandha? The act of torturing oneself by oneself (atta) is attakilamathanuyoga—self-torture. Physical object—vatthu-rūpa is in pain, and making it a temporary comfort. This is kāmasukhallikānuyoga.
We have to abandon these two extremes, and not pursue them. It used to be that whatever kammaṭṭhāna you used, you wanted to correct them; now, you no longer tune them, but are freed from both extremes. Now, you’re stable with the primary object (mūla-kammaṭṭhāna). Before with the habit of a worldling, hīno gammo pothujjaniko (which is low, vulgar, the way of worldlings) now you don’t have the habit of a worldling as wanting to lift and correct the body. You can keep your mind on the primary kammaṭṭhāna is the middle way (majjhimapaṭipadā).
You can keep the mind at the tip of the nostril straight away is samādhi. At the touching point or contact, dukkha form (rūpa) combined with dukkha mind and sukha mind ceases. (when pain arises on the body). Then the sukha form is combined with the sukha mind and the dukkha mind stops (when the pain is overcome). Is there anything as I die? You know that only mind and body exist. Knowing as the I-ness not exist is right view (sammā-diṭṭhi) and right thought (sammā-saṅkappa). Complete with the eight path factors, which is the middle way (majjhima-paṭipadā).
If your sati is gone, it becomes painful again. Yogi wants happiness at the place where the air touches the tip of the nostril. You are clinging to the place. Could you contemplate insight if sati sticks at the tip of the nostril? In sukha vedanā lobha exists (Today humans become the slaves of taṇhā on sukha vedanā that all the pollution of the world and climate disasters arise.), in dukkha vedanā dosa exists and in upekkhā vedanā moha exists respectively. We must practice to get rid of these three points.
Now, we replace dukkha vedanā, dosa with sukha vedanā lobha. Before there was dukkha vedanā (when pain arose) and now with sukha vedanā, we are free from dukkha vedanā. Isn’t it possible to rest here? No, not yet. To contemplate the mind and form, the mind is not purified yet. With dukkha vedanā increasing, the mind with force sticks again at the tip of the nostril. It is stuck with the lobha mind process. What is competing with jhāna?
(Here Sayadaw’s usage of the pāḷi word jhāna is confusing. Actually, it’s not a real jhāna state yet. Maybe it’s on the way to true jhāna.)
Lobha sukha vedanā is competing with jhāna. Pīti and sukha imply the inclusion of lobha. It doesn’t mean you practice insight with this method. This is also one way of practicing insight. However, you’re practicing, whatever method you use, whoever is your teacher and wherever you are practicing, this is to be free from abhijjhā, domanassa and moha.
[This important point also mentioned in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta very clear. It was mentioned as follows:
“There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, alert and mindful—subduing greed and distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings…mind…mental qualities (dhamma) in and of themselves—ardent, alert and mindful—subduing greed and distress with reference to the world.”
Here subduing greed and distress include delusion (moha). What U Candima said was true. It seems there are two ways of insight: samatha-yānika and vipassanā yānika. So yogis have to choose their own ways of practice. These two ways of practice are also mentioned by famous scholars and practicing monks like Ledi Sayadaw, Mogok Sayadaw, Mahāsi Sayadaw, etc. Here, Sayadaw U Candima is teaching the samatha-yānika way. Both ways of practice we can see in the sutta teachings.]
Not wanting to feel or experience (i.e., pain) is dosa, wanting to feel or experience happiness is lobha and uncertainty about things is moha. Not letting these three points sticking with the mind and stripping them off is insight practice, or sīla-samādhi practice. If these three kilesas fall away by however way you do the practice, the outcome is the same. Does the mind not purify if there is no lobha, dosa and moha? If the mind is purified, it becomes citta-visuddhi—purification of the mind, and you can contemplate paramatā mind and form. Without the purification of lobha, dosa and moha and contemplating of insight or development of insight knowledges or wrong view fall away or giving the perceptions of the characteristic (lakkhaṇa) and all these are only in thought. But these can be accepted as weak insight (taruṇa-vipassanā).
[This is right. Dry insight mindfulness (sati) practice purifies the mind or abandonment of the five hindrances.]
What we want is the real paramatā of mind and form, which refer to seeing of mind and form. The real mind and form means the mind does not think about past and future; eye, ear, nose, etc., it doesn’t think about this body and other things even a period of time as long as ten hours. Without any of them and the mind stays at mind based (bhavaṅga) and discern mind and form. Lobha, dosa and moha are also not there anymore. The mind goes and combines with concepts (paññatti) and mixing with lobha, dosa and moha. After it frees from concepts and the mind arrives at a place where it frees from concepts. For arriving there, we’re clearing away the problems which happen here. However, you practice and deal with it, the purified mind does not think about the past and future and never goes out. Even for ten hours long, it never knows about the vibrations and sensations of the body. So where are you keeping the mind?
Is there any place for the mind to stay at? Yes, it exists for the mind to stay free. If it stays at the free place, it becomes citta-visuddhi—purification of mind. Until you do not get the answer, your practice does not end yet (i.e. on samādhi practice). You have not arrived at insight yet until you’re arriving at this stage. You have to hold this answer firmly.
What we are practicing until now when the air touches at the tip of the nostril, the mind moves here and there that it’s not purified yet. We have to continue to take off the dust, still we have to do it and can’t talk about paramatā mind and form. The place where the air and the tip of the nose touch is pleasant. The affliction of the four elements is dukkha. The mind combined with dukkha vedanā becomes distress (domanassa), when combined with sukha vedanā becomes joy (somanassa). Both mind states are lobha and dosa and can’t contemplate the paramatā dhamma. As a first step from dukkha vedanā it becomes sukha vedanā that is a success. Upekkhā vedanā means that the mind is inclined neither to dukkha nor to sukha; rather, it stays in the present moment. This is called the equanimous mind (upekkhā mind). If you practice with this way, this is a process leading to the arahatta magga and phala (path and fruit of arahantship). You can go straight with this one. The answer is the same. (There are many ways, if the practices are right and all have the same result.)
If you encounter dukkha vedanā and domanassa arises or if your mind sticks at the tip of the nostril and sukha arises. Sticking with lobha is taṇhā which hinders path and fruit. It will not become citta-visuddhi. In addition to lobha and dosa, there is moha. Today’s method is to be free from three of them at the same time. The first method is free from dukkha vedanā and at the tip of the nostril, the first jhāna of joy, pleasure and one-pointedness of mind (pīti, sukha and ekaggatā) arise and each jhānic factors (connecting, sustaining, joy and pleasure) are falling away one by one with the practice (i.e., ānāpāna-sati method).
At last, free from lobha, dosa and moha and become sati and ekaggatā. Practicing Dhamma is not doing other things. This one is the goal.
The mind is free from dukkha and sukha and the mind is with upekkhā and sati—this becomes citta-visuddhi. In insight practice, not doing this one and doing other things is not right. I am worried about you will go wrong. Therefore, I’m talking firmly on this point. With the affliction of the four elements, it becomes dukkha vedanā and staying at the tip of the nostril, it becomes sukha vedanā. Two extremes appear. Getting rid of these two extremes is upekkhā vedanā. At the place, if sati stays there at the same time, it can be freed from lobha and dosa. For this, I’ll give you the practice.
(This place is not at the nose or where pains arise but at the bhavaṅga where the mind stays by itself with upekkhā. Sayadaw did not mention specifically the place only at the place.)
This is the way of practicing together (i.e., samatha and vipassanā together—yuganaddha way).
We take the same kammaṭṭhāna of the air and the tip of the nostril as before, with the affliction of the four elements. When the four elements are afflicted, the mind inclines toward the place of its affliction. Then the mind feels dukkha vedanā with distress (domanassa). But if the mind sticks at the contact of air and nostril, it is sticking with lobha. If you let go of the mind from the tip of the nostril and it is inclining on dukkha. So it can’t be let go. I don’t give the kammaṭṭhāna on my own invention. This is called the yuganaddha method—samādhi and paññā yoked together (in some of Mogok Sayadawji’s talks, he called it yuganandha—yoked two oxen together). This is the practice of samatha and vipassanā mixed together at the same time. Before vedanā arises, you breathe ānāpāna regularly or observing at the tip of the head or rising and falling of abdomen, etc., are also in the same way.
Here you only can use form (rūpa) kammaṭṭhāna and can’t use mind object (nāma kammaṭṭhāna). When a time comes, vedanā arises and the mind inclines toward it. At that time there were dukkha vedanā from the four elements and sukha vedanā at the tip of the nostrils. In this way at that time become two vedanās and we establish upekkhā vedanā by purifying the mind. If the mind sticks at the tip of the nostril, it becomes lobha. So, don’t stick it there. If you drop it and domanassa arises. If you let go off domanassa and it moves to somanassa. So we can't let them both go, we have to adjust them both. Can we adjust both sides at the same time through sati? Yes, we can, e.g., a car driver, his eyes are looking in front of him and at the same time the hands are working, we’re eating and at the same time talking to each other.
The mind is changing so fast that it’s possible. With the affliction of four elements, vedanā arises, you must keep the mind at the tip of the nostrils. Also, you have to be mindful of the touching place. And then also mindful where dukkha vedanā arises at the same time. If at the side of dukkha vedanā is more, let the mind inclines toward sukha vedanā. It’s not keeping them in turn but adjusting them at the same time, and they become equal. Can you make it very easily? If it’s possible, all will become arahants. Entering into jhānic states and developing samādhi practices are difficult. You can not attain it easily.
You have to balance sati at the touching point (at the nostril) and the place where the four elements are afflicted. It’s called levelling out the scales bar. One side is sukha vedanā (an extreme) and the other side is dukkha vedanā (another extreme). So sukha extreme and dukkha extreme arise. To cut off dependent co-arising process (paṭicca-samuppāda) is at the presence of moment (ṭhiti-khaṇa) which is also present liberated time (paccuppanna vimutti kāla). It is free from past and future time extremes.
[The life-span of a mind (citta) is termed, in the abhidhamma as a mind-moment (cittakkhaṇa). Each mind-moment consists of three sub-moments—arising (uppāda), presence (ṭhiti) and dissolution (bhaṅga.)]
[It is a curious thing to me. In the West, some Buddhists (most of whom are scholars) rejected the authenticity of the Abhidhamma teachings. I do not know what the Thai ajahns, especially Thai forest ajahns who had realized Dhamma view about them. In Burma, I never heard about Burmese sayadaws who were great scholars and practicing monks such as Ledi Sayadaw, We-bu Sayadaw, Mogok Sayadaw, Mahāsi Sayadaw, etc. said something about Abhidhamma as wrong or unauthentic. Pa-auk Sayadaw’s teachings are based on jhāna practices and Abhidhamma. If Abhidhamma teachings are wrong, it cannot be put into practice at all.]
It’s not liberated from the other two extremes (i.e., lobha and dosa). About awareness is—if vedanā arises, do not relax in order to level the awareness, do not rest (i.e. you must be in a state of alertness). We level the awareness more and less by correcting it. Contemplating on which side has more or which side has less sati is vicāra (sustained thought). Keeping sati there at the same time is vitakka (applied thought).
[Here we can see Sayadaw U Candima’s wisdom came from realization of Dhamma. Even though he was not a scholar monk and didn’t know about the suttas well, his interpretation on the practice was amazing. In one of Mogok Sayadaw’s talks, it was mentioned vitakka and vicāra connected to insight. It’s also mentioned in Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo’s “Keeping the Breath in Mind” on vitakka and vicāra which related to samādhi and paññā. He mentioned vitakka as concentration and vicāra as discernment. He taught to balance both samādhi and discernment.
Mogok Sayadaw’s talk in gist was; vitakka means thinking or planning. Vicāra means the whole round contemplation or reflection on the thinking or planning. The Buddha taught vitakka and vicāra in the first jhāna and also in the path factors (maggaṅga). Today I’ll talk about their application. (Sayadaw talked about vedanās arising from the six senses of the door). You have to think about vedanās which arise from the six senses of door as what are these? After their arising, contemplate or reflect them as existing or not. This is vicāra. If you apply vitakka and vicāra in this way, you will see vedanā and its rise and fall.
For example, your eyes are seeing something, if you don’t know what there is, then no vitakka and no vicāra. Someone who thinks and contemplates is attaining magga (path factors). This is sammā-saṅkappa maggin (right thought). The identity view (sakkāya-diṭṭhi) of taking oneself as I and mine fall away. Thinking is vitakka, contemplation is vicāra and knowing it as not existing (i.e., disappearance) is paññā. Therefore, whenever you open your eyes, you see things with reflection and contemplating. The dissolution of things is useless. The uselessness of things is the truth of suffering (dukkha sacca). If you’re thinking and contemplating, you will know about dukkha sacca. Disappearance is dead. Death is in dukkha. If you’re thinking and contemplating in this way not only sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief but also the hell fire will be extinguished.]
When you’re doing the levelling out, taṇhā comes and pulls you. Now, the mind is pulling together by taṇhā and paññā. At first sati stuck at the tip of the nostril and taṇhā came and pulled it down there. So taṇhā and paññā came to pull the mind together. Now, you’re adjusting sati between the tip of the nostril and dukkha vedanā and sati wants to stick with sukha (i.e., at the nose). This is greed (lobha) that sticks to the mind. Otherwise, if stuck with dukkha vedanā, then it’s stuck with dosa. Lobha and dosa are unwholesome and have to be abandoned. It doesn't need to be abandoned separately.
Don’t let go of your awareness. If sati with two states of mind together, lobha and dosa can’t close to it. So lobha and dosa are not abandoned separately. With sati pulls the mind firmly, adjusting equal sati at two places of nostril and vedanā with alertness taṇhā can’t close to it. Also, if diṭṭhi not come close to it, the mind is not in distress. When each side is not becoming equal, you should not do the practice with desire (lobha) to get the result quickly. You can’t get it and will make mistakes, also not in accordance with the jhānic factors. Wanting comfort and sticking to the sukha side (i.e., nose) becomes lobha, and you can’t do insight. If stick to the side of dosa (i.e., pain) become dosa kilesa. Looking at the two extremes with sati and ñāṇa (nyan) supporting it and paññā checking which side is more and less.
Sati can’t be let go, that is abandoned delusion (moha). Not stick at the nostril abandon lobha, and not stick with dukkha vedanā abandon dosa. So it abandons lobha, dosa and moha at the same time. This is the practice of one-pointedness of mind (ekaggatā) for insight. Otherwise, if you do insight, only get the thought (perception) of insight. It happens as before (no real insight and does not change the mind). You can’t get the real insight easily. The rod of the scales becomes balanced, and it means—sukha extreme is lobha mind, dukkha extreme is dosa mind; if the sati in the middle is lost, it becomes moha. If free from all these mind states, the mind is purified; the Upekkhā mind (equanimous) is free from lobha, dosa and moha. Only with this mind can contemplate insight. Free from these three extremes will discern the real (paramatā) mind and form.
When the mind is in upekkhā vedanā ekaggatā sati, it does not run to the past or the future. It does not stick with sukha and dukkha and is also free from the khandha. It’s not easy to get it. In sukha and dukkha vedanās form (rūpa) exists. If with the form, the mind is not free from the concept, it is not free from lobha and dosa, because it is not purified. So don’t come and practice with it. You don’t get it. Free from sukha and dukkha it falls into upekkhā and free from moha. And then this mind becomes paramatā mind and form. This is the basic resultant mind and form. There are two kinds of mind and form—with cause and with result mind and form. I’ll explain them later. (This we have seen in the talks of Thae Inn Gu Sayadawgyi.)
So, you must see the resultant mind and form. First after seeing it, then develop to Arya—(become a noble person). My duty is to explain whatever it should be. If you don’t understand them, you have to listen very often to the talks which are recorded during these nine days of retreat. To develop the path and fruit, you can’t do it blindly. Even if the skin of the body is worn out for ten years, practicing the path that doesn't get there, still never gets there (i.e., with the wrong practice). Not knowing the (right) practice, doing it will only make you tired, and you will only get the perfection of merit—kusala-pāramitā!
It will not give the result as we expect. If we practice blindly without knowing why we have to practice, it will not bear fruit. You’ll realize Dhamma by following it (as he taught). If you don’t understand the basic points and become confused, you’ll not be able to practice later. (It is important to "fully understand the known (ñāta pariññā)" and the teachers.) I had to clear out the coarser parts for later practice on the refined parts.
I am not teaching you with this method to realize Dhamma. I am not giving you instruction with this system. Furthermore, I want you to understand the nature of insight and show you the way of entering into jhāna. In the future, if you want to continue with this system, you have the main point of it. (i.e., how to do it, here is just for a basic). Now, you know the nature of the practice. If you cling to happiness (sukha vedanā), it is greed (lobha); and to suffering (dukkha vedanā), it is anger (dosa). If you stick with neither sukha nor dukkha objects, it becomes moha.
To be freed from moha we have to practice freeing from sukha and dukkha which is upekkhā. You can’t make upekkhā directly. You can’t make upekkhā by itself. Some people were doing this kind of upekkhā. With ordinary upekkhā when vedanā arises one only could sit for 15 minutes or asked to sit for 15 minutes. Regardless of who is practicing as a sukkha vipassanā, they will directly produce the perception (saññā) of upekkhā. They can’t ask people to sit longer.
(This referred to a dhammānupassanā system in Burma by a lay teacher, here U Candima’s words is short and not clear about the points. So I re-correct it for more clearer.)
[Note on upekkhā (equanimity): In the Pāḷi texts, we can find on equanimity—upekkhā a lot, and their meanings have variations according to the subject contexts. If we don’t understand them clearly, it becomes confusing and can create problems of misunderstanding. The commentary compiled those upekkhā into ten kinds of upekkhā. Still, we can divide them into five kinds as:
- Vedanūpekkhā 2. Viriyūpekkhā 3. Paññā-upekkhā 4. Tatramajjhattatā (neutrality of mind) 5. Samādhi-upekkhā
In general, we can divide into two kinds:
- Feelings (2) Mental states or factors (cetasikas): except vedanā, all the other nine kinds fall into this kind.
We can give the meanings of the ten kinds of upekkhā roughly as follows:
- Vedanā-upekkhā or vedanūpekkhā—neither pleasant nor painful or neutral feeling
- Viriya-upekkhā or viriyūpekkhā—over-effort becomes restless, relax effort; becomes lazy and sloth, torpor can come in. It is equanimous effort or no somanassa and domanassa-effort (no joy and dejection)
- Paññā-upekkhā—2 kinds: (a) vipassanupekkhā—Udayabbaya ñāṇa—discerning of rise and fall of phenomena. (b) Saṅkhāra-upekkhā ñāṇa—knowledge of equanimity toward formations (saṅkhāra dhamma).
This equanimity is the quality of arahant, whatever he experiences from the six senses of the door he is always in equanimity. (This was mentioned by Thae Inn Gu Sayadaw in his experience of final attainment.) This equanimity is included in the tatramajjhattatā (neutrality of mind).
- Brahmavihārūpekkhā—this is the equanimity of the four Brahmavihāra (Divine abidings) free from lobha and dosa, the Buddha’s equanimity to his son Rāhula and the monk Devadatta are the same. This one is pāramī upekkhā, impartiality toward beings.
- Bojjhanga-upekkhā—equanimity in the factors of enlightenment, mental equipoise.
- Tetramajjhatta-upekkhā—the equanimity which is making other mental factors arising together become harmonious, e.g., the five spiritual faculties in harmony.
- Jhānūpekkhā—equanimity in the 3rd jhāna. The happiness (sukha) in the 3rd jhāna is quite happy but its happiness is controlled with equanimity.
- Parisuddūpekkhā—equanimity in the 4th jhāna
In No. three Paññā-upekkhā has two kinds—vipassanūpekkhā and saṅkhārūpekkhā. So all are in ten numbers of equanimity.]
In regard to ānāpāna practice, when you’re sitting don’t go and tense the body with force (i.e., to resist the pain). If you do this, you can’t go forward. Using the strength of sati and viriya to control the mind. For the sense of comfort, don’t go and control the body, and never get the result. Whatever method you practice, if you control the mind and body by force will not attain any path (magga). And can’t discern mind and form. At the time of death also not free from it. Let go of the body (i.e., don’t be concerned about it).
Breathe regularly, in and out breaths, slow and fast, strong and soft, long and short breaths have to breathe rightly (already mentioned above, to adjust the breathings). Breathing with the air passage rightly by aware the touching point. Not with strong force, by breathing regularly with not strong and soft breaths and vedanā will arise. With fear, don’t go and make it for comfort. Only with this vedanā exists can we contemplate sukha, dukkha and upekkhā vedanās. So don’t go and destroy it. With them, only we can do it.
Dukkha vedanā arises, you adjust or level off it with sukha vedanā. Pay attention to the clear touching point (i.e., nostril or sukha) and also pay attention to dukkha vedanā (i.e., where the pain arises). Keep them equally. How to keep it there? If you keep it at only one side, you will lose the other side. How to keep two sides in equality? In the beginning of vedanā arising, it’s still light. Nyan (ñāṇa) and paññā have to control and level off the awareness. Whether right or wrong, don't stop panning, correct errors by panning, adding where required and subtracting where more is needed. Even though you control the mind with sati and viriya, taṇhā will come behind to pull you. So don’t lose your side. If you’re levelling off this way lobha and dosa minds cease and fall into bhavaṅga.
After fall into bhavaṅga, jhāna mind arises. During the jhāna mind process arises, pīti and sukha can arise. If it’s too strong, don’t let it go and it has a strong happiness. Its happiness is something like smoke from a cloud and a big roll of cloud rising up quickly. If something like this happens, don’t let it go away. Not enjoying this object (arom) and only stay with the original kammaṭṭhāna of the touching point at the tip of the nostril and dukkha vedanā by levelling off them and continue will arrive jhānūpekkhā (equanimity of absorption). Don’t let go of the adjustment to the two objects of the touching point of the nostril and dukkha vedanā. Jhanic factors arise by themselves. Do you all understand the way of contemplation? The main point is simple. For your understanding of the practice process, it takes time to explain it. (Sayadaw continued to explain it in gist as follows)
For the practice—with sukha vedanā (at the tip of the nostril) do the breathing regularly before the four elements afflict the body. If vedanā (dukkha at somewhere on the body) arises, the mind will incline toward dukkha vedanā. The yogi has to adjust the awareness between the tip of the nostril and dukkha vedanā, and at the same time to know both of them (i.e., sukha and dukkha). Not to know them in turn. Not close toward any side and contemplate in a normal way. Don’t let the mind go toward the comfortable side (i.e., tip of the nostril), and adjust them equally. If you make the determination to attain it with the practice and taṇhā will not come.
(Note: In many Thae-inn Gu Sayadaw’s talks he mentioned adjusting of samādhi and paññā with the 5 spiritual powers but never mentioned how to do it. After the adjustment discern impermanence. See one of his talks for instruction in the postscript.)
revised on 2022-07-12
- Content of "A Noble Search" (Dhamma Talks by Sayadaw U Candima)
- Content of Dhamma Talks by Sayadaw U Ukkaṭṭha and Sayadaw U Candima
- Content of Publications of Bhikkhu Uttamo
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