Brother Teoh’s 6 August 2019 Tuesday Class Short Notes
Book Review: The BUDDHA & his TEACHINGS
Chapter 36: THE WAY TO NIBBANA through Meditation Page 530
1. There are 40 objects of Samatha meditation (kammathana) are:-
10 kasina; 10 impurities (Asubha or corpses), 10 Reflections or Anussati
4 illimitable (4 Brahmavihara), 1 loathsomeness of Material Food
- Analysis of 4 Elements, 4 Arupa Jhanas.
Above meditation leads to concentration of mind and energy field. They are thought based in nature. Not awareness based type of mindfulness meditation.
2. (a) The 10 Kasina are:
- earth (paṭhavī kasiṇa),
- water (āpo kasiṇa),
- fire (tejo kasiṇa),
- air, wind (vāyo kasiṇa),
- blue, green (nīla kasiṇa),
- yellow (pīta kasiṇa),
- red (lohita kasiṇa),
- white (odāta kasiṇa),
- enclosed space, hole, aperture (ākāsa kasiṇa),
- bright light (āloka kasiṇa)
(b) The 10 Anussati are:
- Buddhanusatti- reflection on the Virtues of the Buddha
- Dhammanusatti – Reflection of Buddha’s teaching/ doctrine
- Sanghanussati- Reflection on the virtues of its Pure disciples
- Silanussati – Reflection on ones’ Virtues
- Caganussati – Reflection on one’s own charitable nature
- Devatanussati – Reflection on Faith and Virtues with Deities as Witnesses
- Upsamanussati – Reflection on the attributes of Nibbana-Cessation of Suffering
- Masrananussati – Reflection on Death, fleeting Nature of Life. (This practice makes one realise the urgency to cultivate, especially when we exceed 70 years of age).
- Kayagatasati -Reflection on the 32 Impure Body Parts. Leads to Dispassion
- Anapanasati -Mindfulness on respiration and the 4 postures.
3. The 4 Brahmavihara (Sublime states) are:
Metta (Loving kindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (sympathetic Joy) and Upekkha (Equanimity).
(With Universal Love, the heart opens to radiate love to all beings. This pure metta energy flows out soothingly from the heart. It goes beyond boundaries. Even animals and non-humans can feel the metta/love).
4. Through samatha bhavana or meditation one can develop the following 5 Supernormal Powers (Abhinna):
- magical powers (iddhi-vidha),
- divine ear (dibba-sota),
- penetration of the minds of others (ceto-pariya-ñāna),
- remembrance of former existences (pubbe-nivāsānussati),
- Divine eye (dibba-cakkhu).
But the above supernormal powers does not lead to enlightenment. To realize enlightenment one must release their jhana concentration out to normal awareness to cultivate insight meditation.
5. Many people can attain Arahantship without developing Jhana. Instead they cultivate vipassana insights leading to the real abhinna of extinction of all cankers (āsavakkhaya).
6. The 8 Worldly conditions are:
- Gain & Loss,
- Pain and Happiness,
- Fame & Ill-fame,
- Praise and Blame.
These dualities are the worldly phenomena of life. Cultivators must learn to transcend them with wisdom. Don’t attach and cling to them, otherwise suffering will be the result.
7. Panca Nivarana (5 mental Hindrances) – they are: Sensual Desire, Ill-will, Sloth & Torpor, Restlessness & Worry and Doubt or Indecision. These mind states hinders our mind from entering the meditative states of inner peace, calmness and awareness to develop the meditation.
8. Need Wisdom to root out these mental hindrances via cultivating the opposite 5 Spiritual Faculties to counter them.
- The spiritual faculty of Faith in the Buddha and Dhamma will help overcome the mental hindrances of Restlessness and Doubt,
- The spiritual faculty of Viriya (or Zeal) will help us overcomes the mental hindrance of Sloth & Torpor; drives one to cultivate Sati.
- The spiritual faculty of Sati (which is the silent mind in tranquillity) can help us overcome the mental hindrances of sensual desire and ill-will.
- When we stabilise Sati, our mind will be composed, collected and unwavering, leading to Samadhi. At this stage, we can see things as they are and the reality as it is, understand how we function as a Human being, via seeing clearly the 12 links of the Paticca samuppada.
- With sati and Samadhi, wisdom or the panna spiritual faculty will arise. With wisdom all the 5 mental hindrances will cease and the mind will be in the meditative state all the time because no more mental hindrances.
(Above draft outline short notes prepared by Sister Yoon Chun)