After reading the answers to this question I understand that keeping the object of meditation same, Samatha leads to calm and tranquility of mind and Vipassana leads to insight into nature of reality.

If I focus on the breath or if my object of meditation is bearth while meditation, what is the exact technique for both Samatha and Vipassana.

Sorry, the answers to question does not mention the technique or what exactly to do. Also google search results are showing up magazine articles.

References to suttas appreciated.

Thanks.

up vote -1 down vote accepted

keeping the object of meditation same, Samatha leads to calm and tranquility of mind and Vipassana leads to insight into nature of reality.

The above is incorrect. Samatha & vipassana are not "techniques". I encourage you to free your mind from the wrong terminology you have previously learned. I will rephrase what you wrote, below:

keeping the object of meditation same, Samatha is calm and tranquility of mind and Vipassana is insight into nature of reality.

Thus, by merely observing the breathing with equanimity, the breathing will calm (because the mind has equanimity and is no longer thinking). This feeling of calmness is called samatha.

Also, by merely observing the breathing with equanimity, it will be automatically seen, if the mind is sensitive & clear enough, the breathing is impermanent and not-self. This clearly seeing of impermanence & not-self is vipassana.

Also, by merely observing the breathing with equanimity, if the mind is sensitive & clear enough, it will be clearly discerned wholesome states of mind cause the breathing to calm and unwholesome states of mind cause the breathing to become agitated & stressed. This clearly seeing of cause & effect regarding the relationship between the mind, breath & body is vipassana.

If I focus on the breath or if my object of meditation is bearth while meditation, what is the exact technique for both Samatha and Vipassana.

There is no technique, apart from keeping the mind clear and knowing the breathing. Samatha & vipassana are "fruits" of practise; wbich arise automatically. They are not a practise in themselves. To quote:

Thus for him, having thus developed the noble eightfold path... for him these two qualities occur in tandem: tranquillity & insight

MN 149

Again, AN 4.41 describes four fruits from developing concentration. To quote:

Monks, these are the four developments of concentration. Which four? There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now (samatha). There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowing & seeing (psychic power). There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & clear comprehension (perfect clarity). There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents (vipassana).

AN 4.41

The translator Bhikkhu Thanissaro comments about AN 4.41:

The Buddha explains how concentration, when fully developed, can bring about any one of four different desirable results.

Imagine growing fruit on a tree. The "technique" is digging soil, plant the tree, watering it, removing insects, adding fertilizer, etc. But the fruit grows by itself. You can do nothing to create the fruit. It is the tree that automatically brings forth fruit, when the tree is ready.

Sorry, the answers to question does not mention the technique or what exactly to do. Also google search results are showing up magazine articles.

Meditation is letting go & being quiet and still. It is not some type of manipulative exercise. I recommend to give up this idea of "technique".

References to suttas appreciated.

Already done.

  • 1
    Thank you very much for the answer. This clears a lot. So can I say that the technique is to 'be aware of the breath'? Also what is more helpful, to be aware of the in-and-out flow of breath or being aware of the sensation of breath on the upper lip. Also in regards to your previous answer about Jnana, am I right in saying, if my meditation leads to Vipassana i.e. insight I won't get into Jnana? Or I don't have to bother about developing Vipassana to get into Jnana? I think Samatha i.e. tranquillity will be necessary for Jnana. – user68731 Dec 6 at 3:25
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    No. Vipassana will lead to jhana and jhana will lead to vipassana and in jhana itself vipassana will occur. You should not concern yourself with these labels or concepts. Just let it happen. As for the breathing, you should be aware of it wherever it is naturally felt. Regards – Dhammadhatu Dec 6 at 4:18

If you are focusing on the breath sensation then it is vipassana and if you are focusing on in and out breath as a concept then it is samatha. There are many methods like mahasi, sunlun, goenka so I suggest you try it. I don't think you can reach jhana if you are just focusing on the in and out breath because it's not easy to stop thoughts from arising. That's why samatha and vipassana should be developed together. You should be aware of what you are doing all the time. Always be aware of sensation of touch.

  • Thank you for the answer. I just returned from Goenka retreat but I am now highly confused about Jnana, Vipassana, Samatha, Anapanasati and doubtful about body scanning and what exactly is leading to Nirvana. Goenka does notvmenation what and how will lead to Nirvana. He mentioned leading to insight into impermenance. Also my mind kicks in if I move my focus in body scan. – user68731 Dec 5 at 19:20
  • I don't know much about the goenka method because I can't seem to find it on the internet but I think goenka and sunlun method could be similar. In sunlun method, you have to be aware of the painful sensation till it cease. It may take more than an hour for it to cease so we just have to be mindful of it. Then your mindfulness will sink into the painful sensation and you will reach certain insight knowledge. It might be the same with goenka method. – TheDBSGuy Dec 5 at 19:38
  • Goenka method is to be aware of sensations unpleasant or pleasant with equanimity and watch the rise and fall. According to him, this will finally lead to being aware of sensations throughout the body which will lead to the insight of impermanence. But he did not mention at all about Jnana or getting Nirvana. As I read the Buddha advised Jnana as necessary for Nirvana. – user68731 Dec 6 at 5:11
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    Jhana is a pleasant abiding here and now. According to AN 4.163, there is a pleasant and painful practice. The pleasant practice is where a monk practice jhana and the painful practice could be the insight stages. So Jhana isn’t necessary but could make it faster to attain nirvana – TheDBSGuy Dec 6 at 6:42

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