RE: Nirodha Samapatti

Ian And, modified 13 Years ago at 2/14/10 1:19 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/14/10 1:19 AM

RE: Nirodha Samapatti

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Mark Lev:
I'm not very skilled with the formless jhanas, but intuition tell me that Nirodha Samapatti would be a useful thing to master eventually.

Well, in that case, in order to arrive at sannavedayita-nirodha (the cessation of perception and feeling, also known as nirodha-samapatti) you would have to have traversed through the four formless absorptions. So, you may want to give some attention to their practice before attempting to go after the former.

While this cessation can be brought on by making a resolution beforehand (i.e. before entering the meditation session itself), my personal experience with it was that it occurred spontaneously one day as I endeavored to quiet the mind and reach ever more tranquil regions after the eighth jhana of neither perception nor non-perception.

You won't know it has occurred until after the meditation as you review your session. It is perhaps something that all meditators are fascinated by, but after having experienced it once, I've not been attracted to it on any kind of regular basis. It is good to know that one can achieve it, though, as it confirms the depths of tranquility to which the mind can sink, as well as to confirm its reality from the standpoint of its being something taught in the Dhamma. There's nothing like a direct experience to confirm the truth of the Dhamma.
Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 2/16/10 11:49 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/16/10 11:49 PM

RE: Nirodha Samapatti

Posts: 3257 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
The standard setup is this:

Read about Nirodha in such places as MCTB, Visuddhimagga, Vimuttimagga, Shorter Series of Questions and Answer (MN), and the like. The sort of thing helps prime the brain.

Rise from samatha jhana 1-8 loosely, not to tightly as if you were going for really hard, full-on, kasina-like jhana, but slightly vipassanized, with light attention to the Three Characteristics of them. If there was a spectrum from pure samatha to pure vipassana, stay about 70% samatha, and if there was a spectrum from really rock-hard jhana to really slacker weak jhana, stay about 60% towards the slacker side. These are just a way to convey the feel that works.

On leaving the 8th jhana, resolve to get Nirodha Samapatti. If you want to be really formal, add the standard other checks and resolutions (see the latter 3 textual sources above), fun but not necessary. I would avoid resolutions involving duration: just resolve for Nirodha Samapatti to happen.

Anyway, just hang out in whatever you want to call that space post 8th and post the resolution. I call it the post 8th Launching Point, as there are so many directions one can go from there, such as Fruition, Pure Land Jhanas, and many other strange and interesting experiences. You don't have to do anything there at all, though dwelling a lot on the resolution is not that helpful. Once it is made, that's enough.

It will either happen or it won't. If not, try again. I had to try multiple times before it happened to me.

It's afterglow is a big, long-lasting deal: don't do this just before some activity that requires lots of engagement with others, high-speed actions, and the like. Do it before you have the time to really chill out. It is good before things like solitary studying.

Have fun,