Kammaṭṭhāna

In Buddhism, kammaṭṭhāna is a Pali word (Sanskrit: karmasthana) which literally means the place of work. Its original meaning was someone's occupation (farming, trading, cattle-tending, etc.). It has several distinct but related usages, all having to do with Buddhist meditation.

Asubha Body Contemplation
Illustration of the first two asubha contemplations: bloated corpse and discolored, bluish corpse. From an early 20th century manuscript found in Chaiya District, Surat Thani Province, Thailand[1]

Etymology

Its most basic meaning is as a word for meditation. In Burma senior meditation practitioners are known as "kammatthanacariyas" (meditation masters). Buddhaghosa uses "kammatthana" to refer to each of his forty meditation objects listed in the third chapter of the Visuddhimagga, which are partially derived from the Pāli Canon.[2]

In the Pali literature, prior to the post-canonical Pali commentaries, the term kammaṭṭhāna comes up in only a handful of discourses and then in the context of "work" or "trade."[note 1]

The Thai Forest Tradition names itself Kammaṭṭhāna Forest tradition.

Buddhaghosa's forty meditation subjects

Of the forty objects meditated upon as kammatthana, the first ten are 'things that one can behold directly', 'kasina', or 'a whole':

(1) earth, (2) water, (3) fire, (4) air, wind, (5) blue, (6) yellow, (7) red, (8) white, (9) enclosed space, (10) bright light.

The next ten are objects of repulsion (asubha):

(1) swollen corpse, (2) discolored, bluish, corpse, (3) festering corpse, (4) fissured corpse, (5) gnawed corpse, (6,7) dismembered, or hacked and scattered, corpse, (8) bleeding corpse, (9) worm-eaten corpse, (10) skeleton.

Ten are recollections (anussati):

First three recollections are of the virtues of the Three Jewels:
(1) Buddha
(2) Dharma
(3) Sangha
Next three are recollections of the virtues of:
(4) morality (Śīla)
(5) liberality (cāga)
(6) the wholesome attributes of Devas
Recollections of:
(7) the body (kāya)
(8) death (see Upajjhatthana Sutta)
(9) the breath (prāna) or breathing (ānāpāna)
(10) peace (see Nibbana).

Four are stations of Brahma (Brahma-vihara):

(1) unconditional kindness and goodwill (mettā)
(2) compassion (karuna)
(3) sympathetic joy over another's success (mudita)
(4) evenmindedness, equanimity (upekkha)

Four are formless states (four arūpajhānas):

(1) infinite space
(2) infinite consciousness
(3) infinite nothingness
(4) neither perception nor non-perception.

One is of perception of disgust of food (aharepatikulasanna).

The last is analysis of the four elements (catudhatuvavatthana): earth (pathavi), water (apo), fire (tejo), air (vayo).

Each kammatthana can be suggested, especially by a spiritual friend (kalyāṇa-mitta), to a certain individual student at some specific point, by assessing what would be best for that student's temperament and the present state of his or her mind.[8]

Meditation subjects and jhanas

According to Gunaratana, following Buddhaghosa, due to the simplicity of subject matter, all four jhanas can be induced through ānāpānasati (mindfulness of breathing) and the ten kasinas.[12]

According to Gunaratana, the following meditation subjects only lead to "access concentration" (upacara samadhi), due to their complexity: the recollection of the Buddha, dharma, sangha, morality, liberality, wholesome attributes of Devas, death, and peace; the perception of disgust of food; and the analysis of the four elements.[12]

Absorption in the first jhana can be realized by mindfulness on the ten kinds of foulness and mindfulness of the body. However, these meditations cannot go beyond the first jhana due to their involving applied thought (vitaka), which is absent from the higher jhanas.[12]

Absorption in the first three jhanas can be realized by contemplating the first three brahma-viharas. However, these meditations cannot aid in attaining the fourth jhana due to the pleasant feelings associated with them. Conversely, once the fourth jhana is induced, the fourth brahma-vihara (equanimity) arises.[12]

Meditation subjects and temperaments

All of the aforementioned meditation subjects can suppress the Five Hindrances, thus allowing one to fruitfully pursue wisdom. In addition, anyone can productively apply specific meditation subjects as antidotes, such as meditating on foulness to counteract lust or on the breath to abandon discursive thought.

The Pali commentaries further provide guidelines for suggesting meditation subjects based on one's general temperament:

  • Greedy: the ten foulness meditations; or, body contemplation.
  • Hating: the four brahma-viharas; or, the four color kasinas.
  • Deluded: mindfulness of breath.
  • Faithful: the first six recollections.
  • Intelligent: recollection of marana or Nibbana; the perception of disgust of food; or, the analysis of the four elements.
  • Speculative: mindfulness of breath.

The six non-color kasinas and the four formless states are suitable for all temperaments.[12]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For instance, in the first three nikayas, the term is found only in the Subha Sutta (MN 99), although there it is found 22 times. In this discourse, it is contextualized, for instance, in this question to the Buddha by the Brahmin Subha:
    "Master Gotama, the brahmins say this: 'Since the work of the household life [Pali: gharāvāsa-kammaṭṭhāna] involves a great deal of activity, great functions, great engagements, and great undertakings, it is of great fruit. Since the work of those gone forth [Pali: pabbajjā-kammaṭṭhāna] involves a small amount of activity, small functions, small engagements, and small undertakings, it is of small fruit.' What does Master Gotama say about this?"[3]
    Similarly, in the famed Dighajanu Sutta (AN 8.54):
    "And what does it mean to be consummate in initiative? There is the case where a lay person, by whatever occupation he makes his living [Pali: yena kammaṭṭhānena jīvikaṃ kappeti] — whether by farming or trading or cattle tending or archery or as a king's man or by any other craft — is clever and untiring at it, endowed with discrimination in its techniques, enough to arrange and carry it out. This is called being consummate in initiative."[4]
    An identical phrasing can be found in the very next discourse, the Ujjaya Sutta (AN 8.55)[5], and in the Dutiya Sampadā Sutta (AN 8.76)[6] A last canonical use of this term can be found in the Sakya Sutta (AN 10.46):
    "What do you think, Sakyans. Suppose a man, by some profession or other [Pali: yena kenaci kammaṭṭhānena], without encountering an unskillful day, were to earn a half-kahapana. Would he deserve to be called a capable man, full of initiative?" [7]

References

  1. ^ from Teaching Dhamma by pictures: Explanation of a Siamese Traditional Buddhist Manuscript
  2. ^ Buddhaghosa & Nanamoli (1999), pp. 90–91 (II, 27–28, "Development in Brief"), 110ff. (starting with III, 104, "enumeration"). It can also be found sprinkled earlier in this text as on p. 18 (I, 39, v. 2) and p. 39 (I, 107). Throughout Nanamoli translates this term as "meditation subject."
  3. ^ Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi, 2001, p. 809; the square-bracketed Pali is from Bodhgaya News' searchable Tipitaka database at [1].
  4. ^ Thanissaro, 1995; the square-bracketed Pali is from Bodhgaya News' searchable Tipitaka database at [2].
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ Thanissaro, 2000; the square-bracketed Pali is from Bodhgaya News' searchable Tipitaka database starting at [5].
  8. ^ See, e.g., Buddhaghosa & Nanamoli (1999), p. 90, which states: "He should approach the good friend, the giver of a meditation subject, and he should apprehend from among the forty meditation subjects one that suits his own temperament."
  9. ^ Bodhi, Bhikku (2005). In the Buddha's Words. Somerville: Wisdom Publications. pp. 296–8 (SN 28:1-9). ISBN 978-0-86171-491-9.
  10. ^ "Suttantapiñake Aïguttaranikàyo § 5.1.3.8". MettaNet-Lanka (in Pali). Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  11. ^ Bhikku, Thanissaro (1997). "Samadhanga Sutta: The Factors of Concentration (AN 5.28)". Access to Insight. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  12. ^ a b c d e Gunaratana (1988).

Sources

External links

Abhidharmadīpa

The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.

Ajahn

Ajahn (Thai: อาจารย์, RTGS: achan, IPA: [ʔāː.tɕāːn], also romanized ajaan, aajaan, ajarn, ajahn, acharn and achaan) is a Thai language term which translates as "professor" or "teacher." It is derived from the Pali word ācariya, and is a term of respect, similar in meaning to the Japanese sensei, and is used as a title of address for high-school and university teachers, and for Buddhist monks who have passed ten vassa. The term "ajahn" is customarily used to address forest tradition monks and the term Luang Por, "Venerable father" is customarily used to address city tradition monks in Thai Buddhism.

Bahá'í Faith and Buddhism

Buddhism is recognized in the Bahá'í Faith as one of nine known religions and its scriptures are regarded as predicting the coming of Bahá'u'lláh (Maitreya). Buddha is included in the succession of Manifestations of God. The authenticity of the current canon of Buddhist scriptures is seen as uncertain. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of Bahá'ís from Buddhist background.

Buddhism in Bangladesh

It is said that Buddha once in his life came to this region of East Bengal to spread his teachings and he was successful in converting the local people to Buddhism. Buddhism is now the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 2% of population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. Over 65% of the Buddhist population is concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, where it is the predominant faith of the Chakma, Marma, Tanchangya, other Jumma people and the Barua. The remaining 35% are from the Bengali Buddhist community. Buddhist communities are present in the urban centers of Bangladesh, particularly Chittagong and Dhaka.

Buddhism in Venezuela

Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.

Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.

However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.

There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.

Koliya

The Koliyas were Kshatriya of the Adicca (Iksvaku) clan of the Solar Dynasty from the Indian subcontinent, during the time of Gautama Buddha.The family members of the two royal families, that is the Koliyas and Sakyas married only among themselves. Both clans were very proud of the purity of their royal blood and had practised this tradition of inter-marriage since ancient times. For example, Suddhodana's paternal aunt was married to the Koliyan ruler Añjana. Their daughters, Mahamaya and Mahapajapati Gotami, were married to Śuddhodana, the chief of the Sakyans. Similarly, Yashodhara, daughter of Suppabuddha, who was Añjana’s son, was married to the Sakyan prince, Gautama Buddha. Thus, the two royal families were related by marriage bonds between maternal and paternal cousins since ancient times. In spite of such close blood-ties, there would be occasional rifts between the two royal families, which sometimes turned into open hostility.

List of Buddhas

This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:

Acala

Adi-Buddha

Akshobhya

Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism

Amoghasiddhi

Bhaisajyaguru

Budai

Dīpankara Buddha

Five Tathagatas

Gautama Buddha

Kakusandha

Kassapa Buddha

Koṇāgamana Buddha

Lokesvararaja

Nairatmya

Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)

Padumuttara Buddha

Padmasambhava

Ratnasambhava

Satyanama

Sumedha Buddha

Tara

Tonpa Shenrab

Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya

Vajradhara

Vajrayogini

Yeshe Tsogyal

List of Thai forest monastics

This is a list of notable monastics within the Thai Forest Tradition, also known as the Kammaṭṭhāna Tradition.

List of places where Gautama Buddha stayed

There are various types of places where Buddha stayed. The most important kind are those monasteries which were given for his (or the Sangha's) use. Also, sometimes he was invited to stay in someone's garden or house, or he just stayed in the wilderness (a forest without owner). All these places are located in the Gangetic Plain (located in Northern India and Southern Nepal).

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas

Mun Bhuridatta

Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera (Thai: มั่น ภูริทตฺโต, RTGS: Man Phurithatto; Lao: ຫຼວງປູ່ມັ່ນ ພູຣິທັຕໂຕ), 1870–1949, was a Thai bhikkhu from Isan region who is credited, along with his mentor, Ajahn Sao Kantasīlo, with establishing the Thai Forest Tradition or "Kammaṭṭhāna tradition" that subsequently spread throughout Thailand and to several countries abroad.

Rinpoche

Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).

The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).

The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.

Sub-commentaries (Theravāda)

The sub-commentaries (Pali: ṭīkā) are primarily commentaries on the commentaries (Pali: aṭṭhakathā) on the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, written in Sri Lanka. This literature continues the commentaries' development of the traditional interpretation of the scriptures. (Note that some commentaries are apparently also named with the term ṭīkā.) These sub-commentaries were begun during the reign of Parākramabāhu I (1123–1186) under prominent Sri Lankan scholars such as Sāriputta Thera, Mahākassapa Thera of Dimbulagala Vihāra and Moggallāna Thera.

Sutta Piṭaka

The Sutta Pitaka (suttapiṭaka; or Suttanta Pitaka;

Basket of Discourse; cf Sanskrit सूत्र पिटक Sūtra Piṭaka) is the second of the three divisions of the Tripitaka or Pali Canon, the Pali collection of Buddhist writings of Theravada Buddhism. The other two parts of the Tripiṭaka are the Vinaya Piṭaka and the Abhidharma Piṭaka (Sanskrit; Pali: Abhidhamma Piṭaka). The Sutta Pitaka contains more than 10,000 suttas (teachings) attributed to the Buddha or his close companions.

The other two collections are the Vinaya Pitaka and the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

Thai Forest Tradition

The Kammaṭṭhāna Forest Tradition of Thailand (Pali: kammaṭṭhāna; [kəmːəʈːʰaːna] meaning "place of work"), commonly known in the West as the Thai Forest Tradition, is a lineage of Theravada Buddhist monasticism.

The Thai Forest Tradition started around circa 1900 with Ajahn Mun Bhuridatto, who wanted to practice Buddhist monasticism, and its meditative practices, according to the normative standards of pre-sectarian Buddhism. After studying with Ajahn Sao Kantasīlo, and wandering through the north-east of Thailand, Ajahn Mun reportedly became a non-returner, and started to teach in North-East Thailand. He strived for a revival of the oldest Buddhism, insisting on a strict observance of the Buddhist monastic code, known as the Vinaya, and teaching the actual practice of jhana and the realisation of nibbana.

Initially Ajaan Mun's teachings were met with fierce opposition, but in the 1930s his group was acknowledged as a formal faction of Thai Buddhism, and in the 1950s the relationship with the royal and religious establishment improved. In the 1960s western students started to be attracted, and in the 1970s Thai-oriented meditation groups spread in the west.

The purpose of practice is to attain the Deathless (Pali: amata-dhamma), c.q. nibbana. Forest teachers directly challenge the notion of dry insight, and teach that nibbana must be arrived at through mental training which includes deep states of meditative concentration (Pali: jhana), and "exertion and striving" to "cut" or "clear the path" through the "tangle" of defilements, in order to set awareness free.Some representatives of the tradition regard the pure radiant Original Mind as the essence that remains when all mental productions are stopped. It describes the Buddhist path as a training regimen to awaken to this Primal Mind, and its objective to reach proficiency in a diverse range of both meditative techniques and aspects of conduct that will eradicate defilements (Pali: "kilesas") – unwholesome aspects of the mind – in order to attain awakening.

Uppalavanna

Uppalavannā (Chinese: 蓮華色比丘尼 or 優缽華色比丘尼) was considered to be one of the two chief female disciples of the Buddha, the other being Khema.

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and was known for her great beauty. Her name means "one with the hue of the blue lotus".

Ṛddhi

In Buddhism, rddhi powers (Sanskrit; Pali: iddhi) are "psychic powers", one of the five or six supernormal powers (abhijñā) of the mundane plane attained by performing the four dhyānas. The normal Sanskrit meaning of ṛddhi is "increase, growth, prosperity, success, good fortune, wealth, abundance".

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu (also known as Ajahn Geoff; born (1949-12-28)28 December 1949) is an American Buddhist monk. Belonging to the Thai Forest Tradition, for 22 years he studied under the forest master Ajahn Fuang Jotiko (himself a student of Ajahn Lee). Since 1993 he has served as abbot of the Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego County, California — the first monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition in the US — which he cofounded with Ajahn Suwat Suvaco.Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu is perhaps best known for his translations of the Dhammapada and the Sutta Pitaka - almost 1000 suttas in all - providing the majority of the sutta translations for the reference website Access to Insight, as well as for his translations from the dhamma talks of the Thai forest ajahns. He has also authored several dhamma-related works of his own, and has compiled study-guides of his Pali translations.

Rupajhāna
First jhāna Second jhana Third jhana Fourth jhana
Kāma / Akusala dhamma
(sensuality / unskillful qualities)
secluded from;
withdrawn
Does not occur Does not occur Does not occur
Vitakka
(applied thought)
accompanies
jhāna
unification of awareness
free from vitakka and vicāra
Does not occur Does not occur
Vicāra
(sustained thought)
Pīti
(rapture)
seclusion-born;
pervades body
samādhi-born;
pervades body
fades away
(along with distress)
Does not occur
Sukha
(non-sensual pleasure)
pervades
physical body
abandoned
(no pleasure nor pain)
Upekkhāsatipārisuddhi
(pure, mindful equanimity)
Does not occur internal confidence equanimous;
mindful
purity of
equanimity and mindfulness
Sources: [9][10][11]
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