1-9 Talking About Words

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Talking About Words

Now, we are almost ready for the Ānāpānasati Sutta. But before we go into that, let’s look at some words which have been simplified so that their meanings in the texts become clearer.

For instance, the word “rapture” is replaced by “joy”; the word “pleasure” is changed to “happiness”; the word “concentration” is replaced by “stillness”, “collectedness”, or “unified mind”; the phrase “applied and sustained thoughts” is replaced by “thinking and examining thoughts”, which seems to be more immediately understood; the word “contemplation” has, in most cases, been changed to “observation”.

When you practice according to the Buddha’s instructions, as described here, afterwards, you will be able to confirm your experiences by reading the suttas. As a result, there will arise a better understanding of these profound texts.

One last note: In these few opening chapters, the author has touched on some controversial views about the practices of absorption or fixed concentration (appanā samādhi), access concentration (upacāra samādhi), and momentary concentration (khanika samādhi). Thus, the author would appreciate it very much if the reader finds any mistake; they should indicate the suttas, which mentioned these various concentration practices by e-mailing the author.

When you practice TWIM there is only opening, expanding of mind, and allowing, then relaxing the tightness caused by the hindrance or distraction, before going back to the object of meditation again. This opening and allowing helps you to be more aware of the things which cause pain and suffering so that you can open up and expand even further. With this kind of awareness, there is personality change and only then can you fulfill the Buddha’s admonition of “We are the Happy Ones”.

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