Sutta Study Discussion Theme 1-7-17

From Craving to Liberation, From Grasping to Emptiness: Excursions into the Thought-World of the Pali Discourses by Bhikkhu Analayo,

Chapter 20, Concentration/Samadhi

To be read out loud:
20.1 From beginning on p. 238 until end of first full paragraph on p. 241

Practice theme:

I am guessing that we all have judged ourselves and others according to how settledness and peacefulness of the mind. The practice teaches us to have confidence that samadhi like everything else arises lawfully. When the causes are there samadhi arises, when the cause are not present, there will be no samadhi. Once we have identified the conditions that support the arising of samadhi then the mind is no longer helpless. We feel empowered. We may not be able access these causes at all times, but we know better then to blame or judge or feel ashamed. Instead, wisdom simply does the one thing that helps – it recalls the causes and strengthen them by keeping the causes for this balanced and stable heart in mind. With this devotion to the causes, it is just a matter of time before something good flows from these efforts.

Venerable Analayo reports what is conducive to samadhi – a stable mind secluded from the torments of sensual desire, aversion, restlessness, dullness and doubt. He names the following four causes for samadhi:

  1. Development of morality especially the reduction of harsh and quarrelsome speech.
  2. Restraint of the sense doors in order to reduce distractedness.
  3. Contentment with the external circumstances in our lives.
  4. Moderation in food.

These are four areas that we can directly explore as we learn more directly how to strengthen samadhi. The Buddha teaches that a wise person is quite willing to abandon a lessor joy in order to gain a greater joy. This is our opportunity to put aside relatively insignificant habits to explore whether the greater joy of samadhi is accessible.

Wishing everyone a peaceful solstice time,


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