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Anapanasati Retreat 2003 Handouts - 3rd and 4th Instructions

by Viveka

3rd and 4th Contemplations of the Body (Kaya) Tetrad

…Sensitive to the whole body…
Awareness opening up to the whole body, breath no longer the exclusive object of
focus. The breath is still there to help us concentrate and is part of our overall
experience of the body.
…Calming the whole body…
Our awareness of the body calms (willing for it to be as it is without reacting)
The experience of the body itself calms and is less distracting (it is unified with
an overall field of mindfulness)
Can identify the 4th contemplation arising naturally as the fruit of the third (if we
become sensitive to the whole body it will calm as a result of paticca samuppada
or dependent origination)
1. Control
“Control” here is used in a descriptive and neutral sense, not negative
Wise use of discipline
Not harsh or forced
Watch out for the far enemy: alienated awareness
2. Release
Letting be
Being with what is without changing it
Watch out for the far enemy: confusion and laziness
Alan Wallace, in Buddhism with an Attitude, says mindfulness “is a state of stable
attention that may be wide open and spacious or tightly focused, as one desires.”…
“Buddhism offers many methods of training attentional stability that can be categorized
into two basic approaches: control and release. The control approach entails being able to
focus and sustain attention on a chosen object at will. The goal of the control model is to
become mater of one’s mind…To assess stability of attention, observe whether the
chosen object is held in the attention or not. To assess vividness of attention, observe
whether the object is clear or not…The second approach to meditative stabilization is the
release model…Instead of applying specific antidotes to all the toxins in the mind, one
simply tries to stop polluting one’s mind-stream with grasping onto afflictive thoughts
and emotions. This can be done quite simply by maintaining one’s awareness without
distraction and without mental grasping…The technical term for the release model is
“settling the mind in its natural state.”
Control approach:
Causing the flesh body to calm through calming the breath body (the breath is the
conditioner of the body)
This is done through building by strengthening our concentration
(samadhi) on the breath
Make the effort to keep your attention with the breath moment by
moment, unwavering, and building toward one-pointed attention
By building jhana our experience of the flesh body calms (not
necessary to enter jhana completely)
o This can also be done by focusing on allowing the breaths to lengthen (let
go of any hurrying of the breath)
Anapansati Retreat, 9/03, Dharmacharini Viveka
More a “not doing” than a “doing.”
Forcing the breaths to lengthen is not skillful as it will give rise to
tension that is the opposite of the contemplation on calming
Release approach:
Letting the body be as it is in each moment
Experiencing it with curiosity, kindness, precision and appreciation
If there’s some aspect of the body we resist being sensitive to we gently soften
around that experience and lean or ease into it
Reactivity in the mind is calmed which then affects our experience of breath and
body (the quality of breath will change naturally in this approach)
Even though we’re mindful of things just as they are (sati) the very act of our
being aware creates a new condition that tends to calm the breath and body (kaya)
Calming the breath and flesh bodies has the fruit of calming the mind citta and
provides a basis for the mind to do the further work in the sutta.
The body tetrad provides a samatha (calm, tranquility) basis from which to
proceed with further samatha and vipasyana bhavana
Part of the third and fourth contemplations is noticing to the inter-relationship of breath,
body and mind.
THE FOUR POSTURES (taken from the Satipatthana Sutta)
When walking, understanding “I am walking”
When standing, understanding, “I am standing”
When sitting, understanding, “I am sitting”
When lying down, understanding, “I am lying down”
And fully aware in all activities, including when:
Looking ahead and looking away
Flexing and extending limbs
Eating, drinking, consuming
food, and tasting
Defecating and urinating
Walking, standing, sitting
Falling asleep, waking up
Talking and keeping silent
Anapansati Retreat, 9/03, Dharmacharini Viveka

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