Dhamma Letter No. 54

Understanding Samatha and Vipassana (VI)

Continued from Dhamma Letter No. 49, 50, 51, 52, 53

As a perspective for a way to solve problems in life, samatha and vipassanā meditation can be explained :

  • ‘samatha’ : a method of forgetting yourself temporary : that means to stop thinking about your past, present, and future life situations (restlessness of the mind) : by focusing on a singular object and suppressing emotions that are overpowering whether negative or positive.

  • ‘vipassanā’ : a method of knowing yourself clearly. To focus inwards which develops understanding that all phenomena are changing, unsatisfied, and non-Self.

The meditation practices of vipassanā practiced in early Buddhism also include a method called ‘pure or dry vipassanā’ (Suddha Vipassanā, 純觀), in which vipassanā is practiced directly without cultivating samatha meditation.

The early scriptures according to『Anguttara Nikaya』(AN 4.170, PTS: AN.II.157) describe four types of cultivating samatha and vipassanā , it is as follows :

① Practice samatha (止) first and then practice vipassanā (觀).

② Practice vipassanā (觀) first and then practice samatha (止).

③ Practice samatha and vipassanā (止觀) together in pairs.

④ There is a person who has a mind caught by dhamma-uddhacca(excitement about the dhamma), and when his mind stays right only inside (one's own mind), approaches it rightly, and concentrates on the object, then one has formed the Path (道, Magga).

Buddha described four types of cultivating samatha and vipassanā as above.

May all practice well and reach to Magga (道, the path of enlightenment) and Phala(果, the fruit of enlightenment)!

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 . 

법에 대한 질문이 있으신 분은 위의 이메일 주소로 질문을 남겨주세요.

이번 주부터 연재되는 위빠사나명상의 마음관찰에 대한 논문을 한글 원본으로 읽고 싶으신 분은 클릭해서 다운로드 받을 수 있습니다. (네이버에 PDF 첨부)

The Korean Dhamma Letter is here 담마레터.


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Buddha Sāsanaṁ Ciraṁ Tiṭṭhatu! 
May the Buddha’s teachings last a long time!

​Bhavatu Sabba Sotiṁ ca Maṅgalaṁ ca!!  
May everyone be led on the path of peace and blessing!!

Sādhu Sādhu Sādhu !