Dhamma Letter No. 53

Understanding Samatha and Vipassana (V)

Since samatha meditation requires concentration, it is best to focus the mind on one, singular object. This prevents the subject from being moved from one object to another which disturbs concentration and creates distraction.

In this process, the five hindrances (pañcanīvaraṇa, 五蓋) disappear and the factors of jhana (jhānaṅga) develops. (See Dhamma letter no. 31)

A pure vipassana (Dry-Insight) meditator overcomes the five obstacles through a of moment samadhi (khaṇika samādhi) by wisdom. The practice of samatha (止), however, develops continuous stillness and serenity through concentration, and thereby achieves jhana (禪定) in which the obstacles are temporarily removed.

This practice of cultivating calmness via concentration can also be viewed as a process of preparation for the next step which is entering vipassana(觀) meditation through mind development. Finally, the obstacles can be completely removed though Vipassana way.

Vipassana meditation aims to gain wisdom by seeing phenomena as they really are. Vipassana, which aims at nirvana, is a method unique to Buddhism, and can be seen as the pinnacle of Buddhist practice.

The Buddhist practice described in the early sutras (Pāli-Nikāya) can be viewed in two ways.

To be continued…

With Metta,

Ayyā Kosallā & Mahāpajāpatī Bhikkhunī Sangha
Edited by Euna Bonovich 

If you have any questions related to dhamma & meditation, please feel free to ask. You can reach Ayya Kosalla directly at Bhikkhuni.Kosalla@gmail.com . 

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May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

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May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

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