The Second Stage of Purification of The Mind (Right Samādhi and Right Insight)

Keeping the mind from greed and distress (abhijjhā and domanassa) for two hours

Yogi has completed with the first stage of samādhi even though he can contemplate the afflicted form (paramatā rūpa), the inclination of the mind and its experience (mano-samphassa and vedanā), their impermanent process is not coming to the end. The mind is still not in purity yet. The kilesas of not being abandoned are stimulating the mind, and its āsavas want to flow out. Don't want to continue insight, become lazy and bored, want to go here and there, want to do this and that. During the sitting, sometimes the mind does not contemplate the visible paramatā mind and form, instead, it wants to associate with the conceptual object. The mind also doesn't want to sit longer is not because it can't bear the object of afflicted four elements. It's the cause of the mild kilesas (pariyuṭṭhāna). So the contemplative mind is not calm.

The above-mentioned mind again becomes the khandhas of obsession with the respective objects. These states of mind are in parallel with the hindrances. Therefore, seeing them as dangers, yogi re-contemplates these clinging minds.

Each time you have to contemplate their arising and cessation (anicca). Because the mind with worldly sensual conceptual objects is still not free from perceptions (saññā) of these conceptual objects. Therefore, yogi who wants to contemplate the worldly paramatā mind and form of the six sets of six still cannot take the objects (i.e., his mind is still covered with worldly sensual concepts so that he cannot see the paramatā object of mind and form in the six sets of six discourse). The inability to see these paramatā dhammas means that the mind has not been purified. On the arising dhammas of sahetu viññāṇa, the mental factors (cetasikas) of delusion (moha), unwholesome dhammas are not purified yet (sahetu viññāṇa refers to both wholesome and unwholesome mind consciousness). This unpurified mind is only taking the worldly sensual concepts. From latent defilement, craving (taṇhā) wanting to flow out with this sensual concept develop to mild kilesa and citta-saṅkhāra are arising again. (Citta-saṅkhāra is the term of perception and feeling—saññā and vedanā.)

The mind takes the object of paramatā and must be empty with concepts. Here yogi does not contemplate any form (rūpa: sight, sound, etc. five external objects and all the objects of smoke, form, sign matter, etc.). If the worldlings take the objects of form (rūpa) always include worldly sensual concepts with them. Therefore, now practice is freeing the mind from concepts.

Now the yogis have abandoned the anger of the toad in accordance with the Vammika Sutta, and selected the vipassanā yānika way. He is arriving at the stage of the practice to free the mind from the hindrances (i.e., throw out the sieve in the Sutta) for sometimes (vikkhambhana—around 10 hours). This stage is to abandon the hindrances with greed and delusion (abhijjhā and moha). Yogi continues to do the practice with animitta—cetosamādhi method. There is a question. This is the possibility of practicing with animitta-cetosamādhi (i.e. stable samādhi without mental signs or images) without being based on jhāna.

This vipassanā yānika method without based on samatha-nimittas is already abandoned the bodily pains (dukkhindriya) from severe suffering (domanassa—mental suffering) which disturbs the samādhi in violent way (i.e., with the first bhavaṅga). There is no mental suffering from the khandha dukkha even if the yogi sits for a longer period.

The kilesas that still exist are:

(1) laziness (kosajja)—don't want to practice, laid down the duty
(2) look for sense objects (vitakka)—thinking this and that
(3) reflecting on different objects (vicāra)—reflect on the objects of thought
(4) like the pleasant objects (pīti)
(5) stick on the pleasant object with happiness (sukha)
(6) restlessness (uddhacca)—not stay with one object
(7) in sloth and torpor (thina and middha)
(8) worry (kukkucca)
(9) concern (byāpāda)
(10) can't make decision (vicikiccha)

The above mental states arise because the mind lacks sati. These impurities of defilement are happening in the mind. Therefore, have to contemplate the mind with mind (i.e., cittanupassanā or nāma kammaṭṭhāna).

[Note: Mogok Sayadaw's cittanupassanā is also in this way purified the mind with developing vipassanā Samādhi. ]

When the mind with laziness arises, contemplate it with the following sati mind, then the preceding mind ceases (i.e., lazy mind). All the other mental states from (2) to (10) also contemplate in this way.

Keeping with sati becomes stronger and the mind with sati sees all the preceding minds (i.e., kilesas) have been leased. Sati becomes stable as the preceding mind states arise, fewer and fewer. With the lack of sati, it will appear again. Irritation of the mind (domanassa) does not arise (because of the factor of suffering), and sati can contemplate all the arising of the previous mind without deviation (because the previous first stage of purity has overcome it). Therefore, the contemplative mind discerns the cessation nature of the phenomena. Yogi continues the contemplation of the cessation of minds, not their arising.

If we analyze the nature of this contemplation, the four jhanic factors of vitakka, vicāra, pīti, and sukha cease. The mind with the five hindrances has ceased. There is no mind taking the object of form (rūpa), and the sensual mind (kāma) that has ceased. There is no mind that depends on sense objects; the mind is stopped for this or that sense object. All kinds of sense objects are not there that the external bases are ceased (bahiddhāyatana). Don't take the form (rūpa) on the body as an object, so that the awareness of heat, tightness, numbness, pain, feet, hands, body, head, vibration, etc., all stop. Therefore, only taking the cessation of the object that worldly sensual concepts with citta-saṅkhāra are ceased.

If you do not take the concept or nimitta as the object, the concept with thought (saññā with paññatti-nimitta; thought with giving names) will be temporarily stopped (tadaṅga) or stopped for a period of time (vikkhambhana, suppressed and broken).

This is animitta-ceto samādhi.

In the Mahāvedalla Sutta, Cūḷayamakavagga, Mūlapaṇṇāsapāli, Majjhima N. (MN 43), we find this passage:

“Friend, what is the signless deliverance of mind (samāpatti)? Friend, in this teaching (sāsana), the monk does not pay attention to all (objects) signs, enters and abides in the concentration of the mind without signs. Friend, this kind of abiding is the singless deliverance of mind”

According to the Sutta, all the signs (objects) mean all the worldly conceptual objects from the six sense-doors with their signs. To discern the worldly paramatā signs (lokiya-paramatā nimitta) or saṅkhāra nimittas, the contemplating mind must transcend the worldly conceptual signs, because the paramatā dhammas have no concepts. Therefore, the mind wants to take paramatā signs and must be freed from the sign of concepts.

[Note: Here we can see the wisdom of the enlightened mind. Some of U Candima students who are also scholars helped him to write the book—the Way to Stream Entry, checking his explanations on the practice with the suttas and they found the same as mentioned there.]

The nature of samatha yānika way is taking the object of sign with jhanic factors and developing the practice. Vipassanā yānika is the establishment of samādhi by the object of "cessation" without the "sign". The interpretation of vipassanā yānika is the establishment of a samādhi which is able to contemplate the āyatana paramatā objects (see the Chachakka Sutta). According to the Mahāvedalla Sutta, all mundane conceptual signs mean that the mind with these signs ceases when no attention is paid to the six sense objects of the "form dhamma". With sati, contemplate the mind which pays attention to the 6-sense objects and the mind with the object is ceased. The perception with the conceptual sign is ceased. It is free from the 6-sens objects that the mind with sati is staying at the cessation with no conceptual sign. To remain alert in this cessation and to keep sati stable there, in this way is to establish samādhi or to free the mind from hindrances. Here the 2nd and third stages of purification of mind are establishing Samādhi by using the practice of the cessation of the conceptual signs.

With the continuous contemplation of the preceding minds that bodily, verbal and mental actions (kamma) with the unwholesome and wholesome minds related to worldly sensuality (lokiyakāma) are coming to cessation. This contemplating mind becomes one-pointed samādhi (ekaggatā samādhi) at the cessation of object. At that time, sati became strong as a faculty of mindfulness (satindriya). Yogi has to practice until the samādhi becomes the faculty of samādhi (samādhi-indriya). The mind completed with samādhi-indriya becomes the purity of mind. Its quality is equal to the 4th rūpa jhāna (i.e., at the 3rd stage of purification or the 3rd bhavaṅga samādhi).

Whatever method the yogi practises to arrive at the noble path factors, he has to achieve the samādhi-indriya as mentioned above is the only goal. To arrive there-

(1) Directly contemplate the minds with worldly sensual concepts to keep it away, or
(2) Contemplate the arising and passing away of feeling for the 2nd stage of purification of mind.

The 2nd Stage of Purification / Keeping Away the Conceptual Objects

(the first method)

In the beginning, practise together with walking meditation. Sit for three hours and walk for two hours. Walking meditation is only support to the sitting, when sati becomes stronger and purified, abandon the walking. And then at least sit for five hours. With the lesser hours, it doesn't become samādhindriya.

With the success of the first stage of purification, kilesa arise from the afflicted four great elements are ceased and fallen into bhavaṅga. After that yogi doesn't want to sit longer, the mind becomes restless with objects, etc., these minds arise with worldly sensual concepts. Mindful to these states of mind. It's the mind contemplating the mind. The contemplative mind contemplates only, and the yogi must not notice perceptions (sañña) such as rising and falling, anicca, dukkha, anatta, etc. Also, do not contemplate with expectation; do not float and associate with the arising tainted (āsava) minds; don't contemplate the preceding minds with the desire of wanting them to arise and fall.

At the contemplation of the preceding minds, when they appear, contemplation can only be done with the desire to recognize them. With contemplation, the preceding mind will disappear. We should not take seeing the rise and fall of the preceding mind as seeing the rise and fall of the mind or discerning dhamma. These minds with taṇhā, māna, and diṭṭhi are still not in themselves objects of insight. This is taking away the conceptual objects which like kilesa algae and dirt which cover up the mind.

[Note: Here is a controversial point that can arise related to some views before U Candima. He never accepts a view as true insight if the contemplative mind still has not arrived at the level of samādhi-indriya or ekaggatā samādhi yet.]

During the contemplation of different mind states, after knowing each mind state clearly, then contemplate them (e.g., the mind wanting to look for an object, thinking, etc.). As long as there is contemplation, it disappears. With the relaxation of sati, the mind arises again. With mindfulness arising again, the former mind stops. During the contemplation, one should not contemplate at the chest area where it arises. Only contemplate with ñāṇa_knowledge (mind to mind only, not to the place which it arises).

In this way, with more awareness, try to contemplate each mind that arises. The reason for asking the yogi to contemplate for five hours is that the unpurified mind does not want to stay longer on one object; it has the nature of restlessness, of being free to look for new objects. It doesn't want to stay on one object quietly. As a result, the mind becomes more lethargic, bored, and not wanting to contemplate as time goes on. Yogi wants to follow one's desire, mind arises. Yogi’s mind wanting to follow his desire arises. Not following all these mind states and with more awareness to know them as objects of contemplation (i.e., not get lost in them). If these kilesa states of mind exist, you can't discern the refined paramatā mind and form at the present moment. Therefore, asking the yogis to sit for longer hours has good reason.

What this reveals is pariyuṭṭhāna kilesa, i.e., delicate or mild defilement. The mind doesn't want to stay calm, it wants to disperse around, etc. and these hindrances must be ceased in order to facilitate the practice (then the mind becomes purified for insight). Yogis do not discern the other paramatā dhammas of mind and form in the Chachakka Discourse; that is caused by delicate or mildly defiled impurities (such as moha, etc.). Not letting the unwholesome mental states stick with the mind by observing sīla and practising the samādhi kammaṭṭhāna straightforwardly is purifying the mind with path factors (i.e., sati and samādhi factors = six factors).

What the yogis must understand is that as long as the mind wanders within the confines of worldly concepts, it can never acquire the paramatā object of mind and form that is free from those concepts. Therefore, it is further from taking the object of transcendental paramatā Nibbāna (lokuttara paramatā Nibbāna) which is free from worldly concepts and worldly paramatā mind and form. With this practice, if sati becomes stronger, increase the sitting to at least 8 or 9 hours. Every time, the preceding mind arises and contemplates regularly without fail. With a lot of contemplation, less and less mind is generated, and then the mind in contemplation is empty, without an object. If this happens, do not expect the next arising mind and pay attention to the empty cessation of nature with no present of mind. It means only the contemplative mind exists. With sati and ñāṇa pay attention to the nature of cessation with no mind object and the nature of clearness and coolness can arise. If these appear, do not pay attention to them, but only contemplate the nature of cessation with sati in a "no mind (object)" way.

He gave an example of a man with some money in his pocket to go shopping. This person didn't know how much money he had. During the shopping process, all the money was used, but he didn't know it. Then he continued to a shop and bought a thing and put his hand in his pocket for the money, then he knew there was no money left. This man when he put his hand into the pocket didn't pay attention to the hand and the pocket, but the emptiness of the money. It was, like this example, the yogi's contemplating mind only pays attention to the nature of cessation with sati and contemplates without naming the experience. When the practice becomes stronger, yogi knows the preceding mind objects with its concepts come to cessation one by one. Don't take this as the knowledge of dissolution (bhavaṅgañāṇa). It's just conceptual objects that stop in the mind. This is also not the cessation of Saṅkhāra dhamma which is Nibbāna. This cessation or no mind nature is the cessation of minds with worldly sensual concepts (lokiya-kāma-paññatti). Even though these states of mind cease, it still can't take the objects of paramatā mind and form (the mind is still at the 2nd stage of purification).

[Note: There is a controversial point arising here. Before U Candima's time, dry insight of vipassanā yānika practice using momentary samādhi (khaṇika samādhi) develops insight. For him, this is still not true insight because it doesn’t have the strength to develop true insight. According to his instruction, it was still in the stage of purification of mind.]

Now, the unwholesome mental states that arise in the mind are becoming fewer or very weak. Wholesome mental states with sati are defending and looking after the mind from unwholesome mental states to arise. This is practising of purification virtue and mind together (i.e., sīla and citta-visuddhis). If the yogi misses one sati on the object of cessation and a worldly sensual concept of mind with moha arises.

With a regain of sati the object of mind ceases. Sati must be continuously stayed with the object of cessation. If the mind of worldly sensual concept arise again and don't pay attention to it, only staying in the cessation. For at the same moment, while acquiring sati, the object of the mind stops by itself. This is asking to stay with the cessation directly with sati. Continue to stay with the cessation with sati (It's really not an easy practice).

With early desire of sati the mind becomes coarse, and not lead to samādhi. Excessive effort can cause the mind to behave roughly and destroy samādhi. If sati is not purified it becomes moha and the object of the sensual conceptual mind reappears. It's not possible with over faith and effort (saddha and viriya). In this way, we can contemplate the cessation with constant sati and knowing and cessation with knowing, but we do not chant with the mind.

The yogi continues the practice until the contemplating mind becomes clean and has strength and sati with calmness is able to stay in the nature of cessation. Do not make the restriction of the time hours if sati becomes strong. The reason for practicing in this way is to expose impurities—such as the mind that gets lazy and bored over time; the mind that doesn't want to practice in a straight way; the mind that doesn't want to stay on one object; the mind with sloth and torpor; the mind that wants to give up, and so on.

With great exertion, to practice for longer 8–9 hours is fulfilling the faculties of mindfulness and samādhi (satındriya and samādhindriya). Sati must stay with the cessation with no any disturbances. When a yogi arrives at the stage of clean and stable samādhi and in the chest area, a sensation will arise. It could make the yogi feel a little frightened (e.g., like someone riding on a chair in the Ferris wheel when it comes down from the height.). Don't let it happen. This is the 2nd time falls into bhavaṅga (second bhavaṅga samādhi). Let the sati dwell with it, just as the sati stabilizes with the previous cessation. Let sati falls with bhavaṅga mind and staying in stability with the cessation as before. In this way, yogis have to practise until the mind falls into bhavaṅga, but don't expect with the desire of wanting it to happen. It becomes greed (lobha) and samādhi can be destroyed. In the practicing mind if the bad states of mind crept in with it can't realize Dhamma. The dhammas of highest quality (Paramatā dhammas) are clean and purified, and are rising and falling quickly; therefore, the mind that has them as its object cannot have any black and filthy defilement. All yogis have to be careful about this point.

If a practicing yogi cannot sit for two hours during practice without talking and without movement, then there is no pleasure of sīla samādhi, magga and phala (Path and Fruit) because he cannot restrain the mind. It's not always sitting for (8-9) hours and only for the support of arriving at the end of purification of the mind which is right samādhi (samma-samādhi). If a yogi has reached samma-samādhi, he can practice in any posture. Changing the physical body (correction) means that the mind is in motion; it means destroying the faculties of the body and mind (kāya-indriya and mano-indriya). If the spiritual faculties are destroyed, he will not arrive at jhānas and not in accordance with the insight practice (i.e., not correcting the body). The paramatā objects are rising and falling in the present moment, and the yogi must be able to discern them. If the contemplative mind is rough without stability and purity, how can it discern them?

All yogis have to be careful about this point.

A yogi who has reached the second stage of purity should easily establish samadhi by stopping his mind on worldly sensual ideas.

It means his mind has to be stable with second bhavaṅga samādhi. After falling into bhavaṅga for one time and get up again; and next time for sitting, as soon as establish the physical faculty there will be two times of falling into bhavaṅga following each other.

When a yogi is arriving at this nature, his contemplating mind is unable to pay attention to the shape and form of the physical body. Therefore, there are no minds arising with the perception of head, body, hand, feet, tension, numbness, pain, etc.

Also, it can't take the objects of colour, light, smoke, darkness, etc. At the 2nd stage of bhavaṅga samādhi, there are no clinging minds arising with taṇhā, māna and diṭṭhi and cling to the objects. With the falling of bhavaṅga, one just know and be mindful and let the mind stays with the cessation. At that time, the mind with sensual concepts does not happen. The mind with thinking, planning and giving names are ceased. When one falls into "bhavaṅga samadhi", one is able to be skillfully and steadily in the "cessation" for one hour (i.e., skillful in second "bhavaṅga samadhi"), and to come out from "cessation" to experience one's body with sati and knowledge (ñāṇa), and to discern that the very refined particles (kalāpa) are changing with dissolution. If the yogi doesn't want to contemplate these kalāpas, then abandon them and contemplate the mind which knows the kalāpas, and the mind ceases.

In this way, the mind stays with the cessation for (8-9) hours, with sometimes after 2½ to 3 hours the mind with sensual concepts able to arise. This is because after a long period of time sati becomes weak and mind with sensual concepts leading by moha back again, but with quick sati coming back again it ceases. Yogi continues with the contemplation on the cessation with clear sati.

Comparing this second stage practice with the four vipers discourse: After freeing from the four vipers, the convict continued to run from the five murderers who were chasing him. The clinging minds which disturb the contemplating minds are like the five murderers. The samādhi staying with the 2nd fallen bhavaṅga was like a place free from the five murderers. The mind with clinging of five khandhas or the objects of mind do not arise that there is no passing away of them, so rising and falling come to end. It ceases to be a mind with concepts and becomes a mind of contemplation without concepts.

The cessation of minds with clingings is only by sīla and samādhi (not insight or paññā). The clinging object of form (rūpa) ceases: the four mind khandhas (namakkhandha) with the object of form also cease.

[Note: Here a controversial point can arise. Before U Candima—some teachings of insight mentioned as the ending of rising and falling (i.e., aniccas) is Nibbāna. Other systems don't mention it in as much detail as he does, which can be questionable at this point. ]

Before the bhavaṅga samādhi, yogi contemplates with knowledge (ñāṇa) knowing the rising and falling of unwholesome mental states (minds) with clingings. After the bhavaṅga and at the moment of samādhi the five clinging of khandhas cease. At that time, with the cessation of kilesas which make the mind unstable is not there and the mind becomes purified. It doesn’t take any object of form that the mind with perception (saññā) which gives the names of concepts has ceased. With the cessation of the mind process which takes the objects of worldly sensual concept ceasing that bhavaṅga falls in for the 2nd time. The contemplative mind becomes refined. With fewer unwholesome mental states, the mind becomes clean and tidy without coarseness. With less dispersion, the mind stays at the present moment. The mind taking the objects of past and future has ceased, but still not completely stable.

A yogi with the mahāpallaṅka (diamond) practice and attains samādhi can't discern the afflicted form, inclination of the mind and feeling (vedanā), now with the 2nd bhavaṅga samādhi contemplate only the cessation with sati for an hour. And sati is stable and calm at the cessation. When sati becomes calm and relaxed a little, concentrate mindful on cessation and look at it with sati only. What is meant here is that the cessation will continue on its own; or it will arise with the contact of external objects with the mind, but the yogi can easily see the cessation without controlling it. This nature is called samādupekkhā (samādhi-upekkhā = equanimity to samādhi) At the time, when the affliction of four elements arise, a mind will arise from the cessation with the inclination toward the affliction (samādhi mind also not stable and changing one by one). Yogi just contemplates at it with equanimity. He will surely discern the connection between form (afflicted rūpa) and feeling by observing the inclination.

The supreme happiness of paths and fruits is not something that can be achieved casually. For any yogi to be successful in his practice, he must put in the proper effort and energy to accomplish the elements required for it. (Buddha mentioned them in the Suttas, but most contemporary monks and yogis take it as an easy way and even distorted the Dhamma.)

Developing Samādhi With the Contemplation on Rises And Falls of Vedanā

(the 2nd method)

Yogis who have discerned the afflicted rūpa, the inclination of the mind and feeling (vedanā) with the scales like samādhi and mahāpallaṅka practices have to practise the 2nd stage of samādhi in the same way.

Every time when the form (rūpa) is afflicted, yogi contemplates the characteristic nature of the mind's experiences (i.e., vedanā). Following the nature of mind and form (nāma-rūpa) with contemplation, the arising of forms are never ending. The tendency of the mind does not end with arising, nor does the nature of the feelings (vedanās) of the mind. The yogi is discerning them. Forms are arising all the time by changing from one kind to one kind and from one place to one place. The mind is changing all the time by feeling it. After feeling it, the cause and effect connection comes to end.

Yogi with his knowledge knows the mind continuously taking a new object and feeling it and stops with ending there (at vedanā). So the yogi continues the contemplation of feeling with its characteristic of ending. He is establishing samādhi by contemplating the mind feeling nature; taking the mind for the object of samādhi.

He is contemplating the only nature of the mind feels and then disappears, feels and disappears, etc: When contemplating with sati continuously the nature of feeling arises and knowing it (or) appears and knowing it, etc., and then also he knows the mind's nature of feeling as its rise and fall and the nature of cessation. The yogi is able to stay at the cessation of vedanākkhandha; he is knowing the place of cessation. When with sati keeping it calmly and evenly on the cessation nature of vedanākkhandha and falls into bhavaṅga for the 2nd time. The meaning here is the mind contact (mano-samphassa) inclining toward external objects come to cease that the mind process taking the object of afflicted form (rūpa) also come to cessation and the mind falls into bhavaṅga. The contemplating mind knows the cessation and is in tune with it. (i.e. samādhi).

Objects of Contemplation Able to Discern With the 2nd Samādhi and the Benefits

(1) With Samādhi able to discern the body as groups of particles
(2) In the mind, the hindrances and conceptual objects are ceased for two hours.
(3) can't take the objects of conceptual images (nimittas) of 32 parts of the body belonging to oneself with others.
(4) not giving the names of perception such as-hot, tense, pain, numb, etc.
(5) not giving the perception (saññā) as afflicted form to the changing of paramatā rūpa

Phenomena Not Able to Abandon With the 2nd Samādhi
(1) the mind with hindrances and taking the concepts still can appear after two hours
(2) sati is still not able to be stable and clean for a long period of time.

revised on 2023-07-20

  • Content of "Right Samādhi and Right Insight" (by Sayadaw U Candima)
  • 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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