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In daily Life, I always trying to focus on single good thought so no space for bad. When I did something, I tend to analyse it wether it is good or bad. It is deep most of the time because I am trying to follow five precepts. It seems like I am doing nothing wrong. So I trying to understand deeper clingings (klesha) that are not visible to outside. Most of the time, I am stuck in a loop.

But, I recently realize that I'm living in a different world. I am far away from the real world. I was trying to improve samadhi but it weaken the sati. Trying to have a single thought feels heavy to mind. Focus on environment feels calm/less heavy/simple.

So How am I improve the situation? I think I have some kind of fear of doing something wrong. Focusing on something good prevent coming wrong thoughts to mind. I heard these kind of advices from monks. But this prevent having sati.

Should I have a general idea of good/bad deeds and stop trying to have a single thought always so I can be aware about the environment (have sati)? Have a specific time for a day to reflect about deeds did during the day.

Are there any sutta which contrast sati and samadhi?

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It seems like you have developed a method of suppression which is favoured in the Theravada tradition - under certain circumstances. This isn't bad if done correctly, but you may find that whatever is suppressed must then find the next path of least resistance, usually through our emotions which, in turn, shapes our behaviour. This might be why you feel your sati has been weakened. These instances require emotional and mental discernment. They must be understood or known and that understanding or knowing must come from an observation that is not informed by our regular mental and emotional conditioning. This is sati. This is correct attention. Sati and Samadhi are very different, but they often acquaint each other as part of the Nobel Eightfold Path.

Developing healthy emotional intelligence is key because the way in which we respond to emotional upheaval determines the quality of our dhamma path. Virtue and morality (sila) practice is considered a critical and fundamental prelude that serves to strengthen and lubricate the dhamma path in ways that will permanently and radically change the mind, behaviour and feelings. Having healthy emotional intelligence at the outset is similar to servicing your car prior to a long journey - and even along the journey, we stop off and continue to service the car. In the same way, we give correct attention to our emotional and mental state as often as is needed so that we are able to see how our behaviour is influenced by our thoughts and our environment. So, this kind of virtuous pursuit is aided by being open and receptive rather than being trained onto one modality: the single good thought. I'm not saying your method is wrong, just that different situations call upon different forms of sati or a different kind of attention.

In some instances, I have found it helpful to let whatever occurs occur. This often means letting go of dhamma concepts and throwing caution to the wind. I make mistakes and I give my apologies, but I learn valuable lessons about myself, people and the complexity of social dynamics. I think this kind of raw human intimacy cannot be given the substitute we call dhamma, but I think it helps to have a reasonable ability to manage your own emotions.

We all have our different skill sets in dhamma, and you may not have found what's most useful to you at this moment or perhaps something needs tweaking a little. There's a lot to be said for trial and error. Largely, I'm an observer; I watch, study and examine my own behaviour and others' behaviour through the magnifying glass of dhamma. Sometimes I throw myself in there, sometimes I don't. It's nice to have the choice.

Should I have a general idea of good/bad deeds and stop trying to have a single thought always so I can be aware about the environment (have sati)? Have a specific time for a day to reflect about deeds did during the day.

The general idea of good and bad comes from preconceived notions, man-made conceptions that only produce stress. For example, good and bad define each other and the void in the middle is called stress. In Buddhist thought, we can see this as attraction and aversion leading to sorrow, lamentation, pain and suffering. Having said that, I think it can be helpful to generalize good and bad for the sake of orientation. But, ultimately, whatever knows morality knows it from a place beyond conceptions. Keeping to the basic precepts is enough for most people. I would't discount the single thought practice; it just may not be practical all of the time.

Adjunct to this, some Theravadins have hundreds of ridiculous rule sets that constrict the practitioner such that they lose their autonomy to systematic regimes. Now, sometimes I dwell in arcane regions of the cosmos to try and understand humans from a new perspective, but this I could never understand.

So How am I improve the situation?

Studying the Noble Eightfold Path.

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I don't understand your question fully.

In general the five spiritual faculties support one another. Ie wisdom or understanding cannot culminate without development of effort/perstence [putting in the work] and a development of samadhi which leads to knowledge & vision.

I will give sutta references

"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. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.

"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

"These are the four developments of concentration. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.041.than.html

Samadhi can be in short defined thus;

Therein what is samādhi-awakening-factor? That which is stability of consciousness. right samādhi, samādhi-awakening-factor, path constituent, included in the path. This is called samādhi-awakening-factor. (6)For him of calm body (of mental aggregates) and mental pleasure, consciousness is in samādhi. This is called samādhi-awakening-factor.

The stability, solidity, absorbed steadfastness of thought which on that occasion is the absence of distraction, balance, imperturbed mental procedure, quiet, the faculty and the power of concentration, right concentration—this is same as composure [collectedness/self-collectedness/onepointedness]

Patisambhidamagga explains that it's power is non-distractedness.

I won't dump more text here on sati but i did recently itt, in the last part of the answer; https://buddhism.stackexchange.com/a/43920/8527

To me it sounds like you are dealing with a bunch of hindrances such as doubt about the method & development, worry about the strength of your faculties, general restlessness & restlessness about the Dhamma, discontentment and wanting to soon experience the comforts of the noble one's.

If you are always thinking and analyzing you might want to develop jhana and learn to calm the thought formations.

If your sila is good then use that to go deep into the rupa & arupa jhana and proceed to entering into cessation of perception & feeling so that your klesha are destroyed by the seeing with wisdom.

If you are just keeping sila and neglecting seclusion from unwholesome states then you probably won't have any substantial contentment, will feel deprived of comforts and be tempted by sensuality.

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  • 'dead man posting' is an awesome screen name / handle. I love it! Great name for an arahant also to carve on your stupa when you succeed. – frankk Feb 7 at 17:59
  • arahants don't die. – Dhammadhatu Feb 7 at 22:24
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In daily Life, I always trying to focus on single good thought so no space for bad. When I did something, I tend to analyse it wether it is good or bad. It is deep most of the time because I am trying to follow five precepts. It seems like I am doing nothing wrong.

The above is correct, as the Buddha taught Rahula in MN 61.

So I trying to understand deeper clingings (klesha) that are not visible to outside. Most of the time, I am stuck in a loop

Yes, the above can occur because morality/being good, while being necessary and desirable, can also be a strong source of clinging to 'self'.

In the Dhammapada, it is taught: (i) avoid evil; (ii) do good; (iii) purify the mind. The phrase 'purify the mind' means to purify the mind of attachment/clinging because avoiding evil & doing good can cause attachment/clinging.

I was trying to improve samadhi but it weaken the sati. Trying to have a single thought feels heavy to mind. Focus on environment feels calm/less heavy/simple.

The term "sati" or "mindfulness" means "to remember" and "to not forget" to practise the Dhamma Teachings. SN 46.3 says: "a bhikkhu who recollects the Dhamma and thinks it over, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is aroused by the bhikkhu".

Therefore, as shown in your question, sati is required to practise good conduct, as explained in MN 117, as follows:

One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort & right mindfulness — run & circle around right speech.

One is mindful to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort & right mindfulness — run & circle around right action.

This said, the type or object of sati for the development of morality can be much different to the type or object of sati required for the development of samadhi.

To develop samadhi, the object of sati (remembering) is either the breathing (for beginners) or "letting go" (for mature practitioners), as explained as follows:

There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; always mindful he breathes out. MN 118

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. SN 48.10

The mindfulness practise for "letting go" is far more subtle than the mindfulness practise for maintaining good behaviour.

Therefore, as described in your question, as you attempt to develop samadhi, your mindfulness of good behaviour weakens. This probably occurs because your wisdom about what is good & bad behaviour has not yet been fully developed and consolidated.

So How am I improve the situation? I think I have some kind of fear of doing something wrong. Focusing on something good prevent coming wrong thoughts to mind. I heard these kind of advices from monks. But this prevent having samdadhi.

Yes, as i explained, this is an ordinary expected obstacle. One of the "fetters" ("obstacles") to Stream-Entry is called "sīlabbata-parāmāsa", which includes crude or clumsy attachment to morality.

I cannot give you any advice about how to improve your situation, apart from encouraging you to be patient. As your sati of good behaviour becomes better and better and more consolidated, I imagine samadhi will naturally develop from this.

Should I have a general idea of good/bad deeds and stop trying to have a single thought always so I can be aware about the environment (have sati)? Have a specific time for a day to reflect about deeds did during the day.

Yes.

When you are around people, you should maintain mindfulness of skillful behaviour & avoiding unskillful behaviour.

When you are alone, you should try to develop mindfulness of one single object, such as the breathing or such as "letting go" of all desires.

Are there any sutta which contrast sati and samadhi?

SN 46.3 says:

"Whenever a bhikkhu who recollects the Dhamma and thinks it over, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of mindfulness is aroused by the bhikkhu".

"Whenever, bhikkhus, the mind becomes concentrated in a bhikkhu whose body is tranquil and who is happy, on that occasion the enlightenment factor of concentration is aroused by the bhikkhu."

In summary, sati means to bring & maintain the Teachings in mind. Samadhi means to have a unified mind based on the mind being tranquil & happy.

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