A Comparative analysis of Meditation in the Abhidhammattha-samgaha and the
and the meditation practice between the Omnoi VipassanaMeditationCenter and the Vipassana-
Meditation Center of Wat Mahadhatu.
Name Malee Anakul.
Degree Master of Art (Comparative Religion) - [ Mahidol University ]
Date of graduation 3 May B.E. 2539 (1996)
There are two vital obligations in Buddhism to study. They are Ghanthadhura and Vipussanadhura. The two are meant for each other as they will not be a right understanding of life if we lack either one. Ghanthadhura is studying of scripture of the Tripitaka and commentaries. Once one thoroughly understands them, it is up to him to choose the way most suitable to his temperment. In addition, the actual experiencefrom the practice will help one to prove for the truth by oneself.
The main objective of this thesis is to make a comparative study between the khammathana in the Mahasatipatthana-sutta, the Abhidhammattha-samgaha and the Visuddhimagga, including the study of the change of ideas in the scripture, and at the two meditation practice centers, namely, The Omnoi Meditation Center and the Vipassana Meditation Center of Wat Mahadhatu. The thesis is divided into two parts: The documentary and the field work. The first part is concerned withthe teaching of meditation or Kammatthana, both in theories and in practice as found in the Tripitaka, the commentaries and other related works. The field work is focused on the philosophy and the different method of meditation teaching by interviewing eight persons from both place mentioned above and the teachers from the Abhidhammajotika college.
According to the findings from the scriptures, it is obvious that each scripture has different emphasees point. These difference help make clear to us the best right part of living. The Mahasatipatthana-sutta stresses the four foundations of mindfulness, while the Abhidhammattha-samgaha, not only stresses mindfulness, but also illustrates the main points of natural conditions and the phenomena of thoughts and behaviors which are obviously on the study side rather than the practice one. In contrast , the Visuddhimagga shows relevant steps of the three-fold training; morality, concentration and wisdom, even up to the Sammathakammatthana and the Vipassanakammatthana to the final goal i.e. the enlightenment. However, the right training is based on the understanding of natural phenomena that have been told in the Abhidhammattha-samgaha.
In brief, the Abhidhammattha-samgaha sheds some light on mindfulness in the Satipatthana provide an insight into the development of Visudddhimagga.
A study of the meditation practice centers is to find out whether both places adapt theory and the method from the Mahasatipatthana-sutta. They build up different practices i.e. The Omnoi Meditation Center rewrites the Satipatthana-sutta into fifteen ways of doing, but the content remain unchanged. Beside the Satipatthana-sutta, the phenomena explained in the Abhidhamamattha-samgaha and the three-fold training in Visuddhimagga also provide another content for teaching. On the contrary, The Vipassana Meditation Center of Wat Mahadhatu adapts the method of breathing and action watching into the new method called “Rising-Falling”. This method is to develop mindfulness by keeping the mind of the meditator on the abdomen while breathing in and out,with specific words to develop concentration. The contents of teaching are explained step by step from the Visuddhimagga rather than the phenomena in the Abhidhammattha-samgaha.
These adapted from ideas and methods provide a basic way for each place to try to introduce and guide us in the right direction. one can not say, however, which is the best method, just to help widen our mind on Buddhism by combinding the good points of each and make use of them in our dialy life.
Ultimately, meditation will yield such fruits only if it is practised properly since there are many ways of buddist maditations, the meditator should study first the teaching concerning the practice of meditation in the scripture before making a decision to study a particular branch of menditation center.