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Fourth Tetrad of Anapanasati

NamelessRiverNamelessRiver Veteran
edited October 2009 in Meditation
Apparently these are the last 4 steps of anapanasati.
  1. Focusing on impermanence
  2. Focusing on dispassion
  3. Focusing on cessation
  4. Focusing on relinquishment
I have a hard time on understanding them, specially the last three. Can anybody point me to a source of explanation of this part or enlighten me on what dispassion, cessation and relinquishment mean in this context?

Comments

  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited October 2009
    Yes, I'd like to know as well. I'm unclear especially on cessation and relinquishment. Not as general terms, but in the context of anapanasati.

    (Thanks for posting the question, NR.)
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited October 2009
    Apparently these are the last 4 steps of anapanasati.
    1. Focusing on impermanence
    2. Focusing on dispassion
    3. Focusing on cessation
    4. Focusing on relinquishment
    I have a hard time on understanding them, specially the last three. Can anybody point me to a source of explanation of this part or enlighten me on what dispassion, cessation and relinquishment mean in this context?
    Hi Nameless

    This teaching describes Buddhist enlightenment and Nirvana. Many Buddhists regard Nirvana as non-thinking or the mind empty of thought or labelling. But this, whilst relatively peaceful, is not the Buddha's Nirvana.

    1. Focusing on impermanence here in the 4th tetrad means impermanence itself becomes the meditation object. In the 1st tetrad, one meditation object is the impermanence of the breathing in & out and the impermanence of the changing state of the breath & body. In the 2nd tetrad, one meditation object is the impermanence of pleasant feelings. In the 3rd tetrad, one meditation object is the impermanence of mental states. In the 4th tetrad, impermanence itself is the object of meditation rather than the impermanence of a certain objects such as the breathing, feelings or mental states. Consciousness & objects are arising & passing so clearly and relatively quickly, the meditation object becomes impermanence itself.

    2. When impermanence is seen so clearly & empathically, naturally passion or craving subsides and extinguishes. In Pali, this is called viraga or dispassion. A story that serves as a similie is that of a woman who fell in love with a Buddha. The woman was so in love with him that the Buddha performed a feat of psychic power where he made himself visibly age gradually until an old wrinkled man. When the woman saw this, her love or lust towards the Buddha's beautiful form and behaviour ended. It is the same in the 4th tetrad. Impermanence is seen so clearly & empathically that any desirable or pleasant aspects of an object cease. It is like seeing a rusty broken down car rather than a shiny red Ferrari. It follows, in seeing impermanence, unsatisfactoriness or dukkhata is simultaneously seen. Objects due to impermanence are no longer seen to be satisfactory, reliable, perfect, etc. They are seen to be inherently unreliable, unsatisfactory and have the potential to produce suffering if grasped out. Their inherent danger is seen. This is seeing dukkhata. In seeing impermanence (aniccata) and unsatisfactoriness (dukkhata), not-self (anattata) is also seen.

    3. As craving & infatuation cease and dispassion arises, suffering quenches in the mind. The mind experiences the 3rd Noble Truth and realises perfect peace through the destruction of craving. The mind is free from suffering and touches Nirvana. This is 'cessation' or what in Pali is called 'nirodha'. In actually, the word 'nirodha' means 'quenching', 'extinguishing' & 'freedom' rather than 'cessation' but cessation is OK. In brief, cessation is the cessation of suffering. The cessation of mental disturbance.

    4. In this seeing or insight, the mind ceases to regard anything as "I", "me" or "mine". All things are seen as merely natural elements or dhatu. This is relinquishment.

    To summarise, these four dhammas in the 4th tetrad arise together. Seeing impermanence results in the end of infatuation & craving which results is the cessation of suffering which results in the relinquishment of regarding or attaching to life as "I", "me" or "mine".

    Kind regards

    DDhatu

    maypl2.jpg1128j81.jpgbdjr13.jpg2qnp43s.jpg

    :)
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited October 2009
    The Dhammapada states:
    6. There are those who do not realize that one day we all must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels.

    :smilec:
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited October 2009
    DDhatu,

    Wow!

    Thank you.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited October 2009
    Can anybody point me to a source of explanation of this part?
    In brief, here.
    After having learned the secrets of the body, the feelings, and the mind, we come to the fourth stage, which is about Dhamma. As mentioned earlier, Dhamma is nature in all its meanings. Now, take the truth of all those things, the ultimate truth of all natures, to study. This is what is meant by "studying Dhamma." It is to study the truth, the fact, which is the supreme secret of nature. With that knowledge we can live life in the best way. We ought to study the secret of the truth that controls life, the truth of aniccam, dukkham, anatta, sunnata, and tathata.

    To see Dhamma [impermanence] sufficiently is the first step. That is just the first step. Now, we will see that the mind begins to let go, begins to loosen up its attachments. These attachments will dissolve away [dispassion]. This will be experienced until the step where attachment is extinguished [cessation]. Once attachment is quenched, the final step is to experience that "the mind is free, everything is free" [relinquishment].

    However, the texts use the words "throwing" back." The Buddha said that at the end we throw everything back. The meaning of this is that we have been thieves all our lives by taking the things of nature to be "I" and "mine." We have been stupid and we suffer for it. Now, we have become wise and are able to give things up. We give it all back to nature and never steal anything ever again. At this last step of prac­tice we realize, "Oh! It's nature's not mine." Then we can throw everything back to nature.

    In detail, here.

    :smilec:
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited October 2009
    Thanks, Dhatu. That was very helpful.
  • DhammaDhatuDhammaDhatu Veteran
    edited October 2009
    Thank you Brigid and FBs

    You're welcome.

    :)
  • NamelessRiverNamelessRiver Veteran
    edited October 2009
    Thank you DD. Your explanation was very clear and you actually pointed me to a source I was looking for but couldn't find anywhere: Buddhadasa's fourth tetrad explanation (he is great, very thorough, and I love his objective view with no-nonsense). I only had the incomplete version, now I have the whole thing YAY!
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