The Natural Way of Development - A combination of several methods is the desire for result


Questioner: The practice should be steadfast, not agitated, as you just said. Therefore, is it possible to use the method of satipatthana of breathing (anapana satipatthana)? The subjects of satipatthana are body, feeling, citta and dhamma, but we can combine these with anapana sati, mindfulness of breathing. I myself have given the name of “anapana satipatthana” to this way of practice.
Sujin: It is mostly the desire for result that causes a person to look for a combination of several methods. He may not know how to develop understanding and tries therefore to use one method in combination with another one so that understanding (sampajanna) would become more accomplished. He believes that there is in that way no forgetfulness and that he can for a long time focus on one object. However, is that not clinging? People may well wish to focus citta for a long time on a particular object, but they cannot be mindful in the right way, they cannot be mindful, for example, of what appears through the eyes or through the other doorways. When people try to make citta concentrate on one object they are actually combining several methods of development because of clinging to result. It is not the development of panna.

For the person who develops satipatthana naturally the aim is to understand realities and thereby to become detached from them. However, if one has no understanding yet one cannot become detached. Can you, while you try to make citta concentrate on one object, let go of desire? If you try to concentrate you do not develop panna with the aim of understanding realities and becoming detached. If people try to do something other than developing satipatthana naturally, they will not know as they are the characteristics of realities that are appearing at this moment. Hearing is real, it appears naturally and so it is with thinking, happy feeling or unhappy feeling; they all appear naturally, they are all dhammas, realities. If sati does not arise and is not aware of realities, there is not the development of satipatthana. What is the use of combining different methods of practice if there is no understanding of nama and rupa as they appear already through the six doors?


Topic ID  198
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