8 - Your Mind
9 - Consciousness
10 - The Super Conscious Mind
11 - Preliminary Concentration Exercises
12 - Buddhist Method of Mental Culture
13 - āNā-PāNA, or Mindfulness of Breathing
14 - Jhāna CONCENTRATION
15 - Walking on Water
16 - Concentration on Loving-Kindness
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA, BOOK II - CONCENTRATION
Introduction to Book II.
This book deals with Concentration.
The Concentration is of the kind indulged in by the Buddha for the 6 years between his Renunciation and his final Enlightenment under the Bodhi-Tree.
He achieved all the psychic powers that were attainable by concentration, including the 10 miraculous powers, and the super-normal knowledge like the Divine Eye and the Divine Ear, and recollecting the previous existences and the passing away and rebirth of beings, and also the 4 Formless States of the Sphere of Infinite Space, and the Sphere of Infinite Consciousness, and the Sphere of Nothingness and the Sphere of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception. But he was not satisfied that all these psychic powers solved the problem of Birth and Death, for the solution of which he had renounced his kingdom.
He was doing ordinary mundane concentration, and it was only when his mind switched on to meditation on ultimates that he finally achieved Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.
We must fathom our motive for doing either Concentration or Meditation. Concentration will produce the following psychic powers, and more:
Levitation of your body off the ground
Seeing the auras of others
Experiencing Joy and Bliss and Rapture, which are beyond the ken of ordinary mortals.
Attaining the ecstatic state of mental tranquillity
Attaining the power of the Celestial Ear, by which you hear Sounds, both human and divine, both far and near
Attaining the power of the Celestial Eye, by which you see material things and places regardless of distance, and by which you penetrate into the minds of others and read the nature of their thoughts
Attaining the power of recalling your previous existences and the existences of others
Attaining the powers of seeing beings pass away and their rebirth.
Meditation is meant for the person who is fed up with the cycle of Samsāra, being reborn again and again for millenniums and aeons, once as a man, next as a deva or all animal, and may be for some time in hell or the upper reaches of the highest heavens. He is fed up with it all and does Vipassanā (Insight) Meditation towards achieving Freedom from Rebirth. At least, if he becomes a Sotāpanna, he can rest on his oars, knowing that he cannot be born again in the realms of woe, including hell, and he has a maximum of only 7 existences before reaching Nirvana, the Highest Goal.
Vipassanā Meditation is on ultimates and the three characteristics of existence, namely,
· Anicca (Impermanence),
· Dukkha (Sorrow or Misery),
· Anattā (No Soul, No Self and No Control)
and will finally lead to Magga Wisdom and to Nirvana.
Buddhism is the only religion that promises its Highest Goal in this existence.
So you have your choice as to what you want to do. This book will show you how. The psychic powers achieved by Concentration are no mean thing, and the achieving of even some of these will take a lifetime, and the fact that you are still an ordinary human being indicates that you are not yet freed.
There are a few expressions that we have to grapple with, namely. Mundane, Supra-mundane, Super-Normal, Super-Conscious, Transcendental and Lokkuttara.
The question is whether the expression, "Transcendental Concentration" is a contradiction in terms. All concentration is mundane, within the 31 planes of existence. Then the word "supra-mundane", which occurs in connection with Meditation, has been reserved for "Lokkuttara", where Nirvana is the object, as in the Noble 8-fold Path.
In which case, where does the word, "Trancendental," come in? It is a question of translation. If the Jhāna factors of Applied Thought (vitakka). Sustained Thought (vicāra), Joy (pīti), Bliss (sukha) and one-pointedness (ekaggatā) are all transcended in turn to arrive at a higher stage of Jhāna, it should not be wrong to call them Transcendental Minds.
Book I deals with Abhidhamma and Book II with Concentration. There is necessarily duplication of material in Book I and Book II, each book being sufficient unto itself, so that there is no need to read Book I if you confine yourself to Concentration.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
8 - YOUR MIND
Transcendental Concentration is where, the subject and the object meet and are fused as one. There is always a subject, and an object, and they never meet except in Transcendental Concentration; they do not meet even in Transcendental Meditation.
There are 2 kinds of Mind Development and they are called:
1. Concentration or Samatha Bhāvanā, and
2. Meditation or Vipassanā Bhāvanā.
1. Samatha means calm; it leads to calm and tranquillity and serenity. No previous knowledge of any Doctrine is necessary. You Concentrate your mind and you get the Psychic Powers.
2. Vipassanā leads to Insight Wisdom, and eventually to Nirvana, which is Peace.
The powers and capacities of the Human Mind are really wonderful and has been the subject of much wonder and speculation through the ages.
The source of these powers and capacities is in humans themselves and they can be attained by the Buddhist Methods of mental training.
We have to go about it in the right way, and you have to try hard enough. It is not so very difficult but it is not easy either.
The Samatha Method of Mental Training is based on Concentration. It requires just average intelligence. There is no need for a college education or even a high-school education.
Concentration is a wonderful technique for inducing calm that will help you to face the tensions and pressures of every day life.
Concentration may be called Relaxation, and per se will produce calmless of mind and body.
The main idea is to shut out external thoughts.
After a while, concentration becomes very pleasurable; you should cultivate a desire to concentrate. In due course it will be your ruling passion, your heart’s delight, and you will be at it every spare moment, but don’t let it interfere with your daily chores, your daily work.
But just wishing for results will lead you nowhere. You must not have your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.
There are many intensities of concentration ranging from the preliminary or lowest stage to the highest or perfect stage, which is attained after much practice.
It is not difficult to achieve the preliminary stage of concentration. When you are reading a book and forget about the external world, you are exhibiting concentration of mind. When you go to a play and your mind is engrossed in the story, you are exhibiting concentration of mind. When you go to the movies and you suddenly lose awareness of the signs which say "Exit" on the right or left of the screen, you are exhibiting Concentration of mind. So you see that the possibility of concentration of mind is not beyond you.
Mind is popularly defined, for example, in the Chamber’s Dictionary, as that which thinks, knows, feels and wills.
For our purpose, Mind can be defined as that which is conscious of an object, and consciousness can be defined as the relation between subject and object.
Consciousness is subjective, but it can only arise when attention is present.
Along with every consciousness arise certain mental constituents, otherwise called mental factors, or mental concomitants, mental adjuncts. Examples are; Love, Hate, Greed, Anger, Worry, etc.
Mind consists of consciousness plus a few mental factors. These mental factors total 52, and there are many combinations of these mental factors in each unit of consciousness.
1. Say, you see a Girl. Visual consciousness has arisen. You have a reaction on seeing the girl. Certain mental factors have arisen; they could be good or bad. She may be a good girl or a bad girl. You may have prejudice against this girl or you may have a bias in her favour. You may have just heard something against her. There are so many possibilities for the mental reactions to arise.
2. You hear something. Aural consciousness has arisen. Once again, certain reactions arise, good or bad.
3. You taste something. Taste consciousness has arisen. There are so many possibilities for reactions to arise.
4. You smell something. Olfactory consciousness has arisen. Once again certain reactions arise, depending on whether you like or hate the smell.
5. You touch something. Tactile consciousness has arisen, and there are so many possible reactions to arise.
6. You think of something. Ideational consciousness has arisen, but it is not based on the 5 senses.
Once again, there are certain mental reactions. Only one consciousness can arise at a time, namely one Mind can arise at a time.
One consciousness disappears before the next consciousness arises.
When there are so many competing, outside objects, the stimulus that claims attention at the moment will produce the corresponding Mind.
The Mind works very fast. It is said that it takes about a billionth of a second for the Mind to arise, and it immediately disappears.
It is the Mind, and Mind alone that is aware of, or knows, an object.
When anything is known, there are 2 things involved, namely, the Mind, which knows, and the object, which is the thing known.
The important thing is the Mind, for, without the Mind, the object cannot be known.
However the Mind, instead of pointing to itself, has the habit practically of pointing to the object.
Take the case of a person looking up at something in the sky. Another person comes along and invariably, instead of looking at the first person, looks at the thing in the sky. Similarly a third person and so on.
The Mind is inclined towards the object. It is true that the Mind could look at itself, as it were, instead of inclining towards the object.
But can the Mind look at itself? When the Mind functions, it disappears immediately. One has to recall the Mind that has just disappeared and it becomes the object.
So the mind cannot look at itself at the moment that it functions. Only after the first Mind has disappeared can we recall the first Mind.
The Human Personality or Ego consists of:
1. Body, (rūpa) and
2. Mind (citta).
The Body and Mind is similar to the combination of a Blind man and a Cripple. The Blind Man cannot see and the Cripple cannot walk. They join forces, and the Cripple is put on the, shoulders of the Blind Man, and together they function. The Cripple can see and directs the Blind Man to go left and right, and the Blind Man obeys.
It is the Blind Man that wants, say, to drink and it is the Body that drinks. It is the Mind that wants to eat, and it is the Body that eats.
In every matter, it is the Mind that directs and the Body obeys.
All verbal and physical actions are motivated by the subjective Mind.
It is well known that old people cannot hear certain sounds that are audible to younger people. It does not mean, however, that these sounds do not exist.
Similarly, there are sound waves that are inaudible to humans. Moreover, if the Mind is absorbed in something else and attention is not paid to these sounds, the Mind does not hear these sounds.
In these cases, the sounds do not exist for the Mind.
Only when the subjective Mind takes these sounds as objects can they be heard by a person and they exist for the Mind.
Similarly, things exist in the world but they are not known to the Mind, so long as they are not objects of the Mind.
However, the Mind cannot take everything as objects at one and the same time. The mind can take as an object one thing at any one time, and the rest of the world is non-existent so far as the Mind is concerned.
The Minds that have already disappeared are no more existent to the Mind, and the Minds as yet unborn are still non-existent. The Mind exists at the present moment only.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
9 - CONSCIOUSNESS
Consciousness arises through the 5 sense organs, or sense doors, as they are called, producing sense-consciousness in the brain. There is another door, called the Mind Door, when you daydream or think of something not based on the 5 senses; Mind consciousness arises through the Mind Door.
There are 5 kinds of sense-consciousness. When a visual external stimulus makes contact with the eye organ, there arises an impression. At first it is an impression followed immediately by the eye-sense-consciousness.
Different external stimuli are competing for attention. An eye-sense stimulus may win, or it may be an ear-sense stimulus, or it may be a smell-sense stimulus, and so on. These impressions have to build up to a certain threshold to produce the sense-consciousness. Only when the impression is of sufficient strength will it he registered in the brain as a sense-consciousness. It is the attention that builds up the sense-consciousness and this is helped by interest. But whilst a sense-consciousness about something or other is about to fructify, distracting sense stimuli may rush in; large noises are the most distracting and push themselves into the brain to cause aural or hearing-sense-consciousness.
But as soon as a unit of consciousness arises, it disappears immediately, to be immediately followed by another unit of consciousness. The new unit of consciousness may be of the same character as the immediately past unit of consciousness, namely, a visual-sense consciousness, or it may be followed by another kind of consciousness, say, by an aural-sense-consciousness.
The Mind can be conscious of only one kind of consciousness at a time. With the arising of each unit of consciousness there also arise certain consciousness-accompaniments (cetasikas), otherwise known as thought constituents, or mental concomitants, or mental factors, such as love, hate, anger, fear, compassion, worry, etc., which accompany consciousness.
These thought-constituents arise in groups, and some are mutually exclusive like love and hate. These groups form in many combinations, depending on whether the thoughts are selfish thoughts or unselfish thoughts, and so on.
A child’s dominant instinct is the ego instinct, which makes it completely selfish. It has desires and wishes, which cannot be fulfilled and are "repressed". They are the cause of much trouble in the form of nervous disorders, nightmares, hysteria, depression, and a host of other ailments. Also, certain "complexes" are developed.
Your present character is the outcome of impressions formed in early childhood, and was moulded by your environment, and the attitude adopted by you towards your environment. Much of you behaviour, and even your thinking, is motivated by emotions and by repressed infantile desires.
At the moment of conception, your resultant karmic forces, in being translated into the new life, have already endowed the new embryonic cell with its genes, and its chromosomes, and DNA and RNA and its heredity. If it is your Karma that you should be born blind or deaf, etc., all this has been fashioned at the moment of conception.
Every person from the time of conception has certain good and bad tendencies, which have been implanted by the karma of past lives. It is up to him to change his future karma, to live with the basic good conduct towards a more moral and spiritual life, or to go down the gutter leading an immoral life.
The new life is also endowed with good and bad animal instincts in varying proportions as a result of the karma of past lives. Again it is up to the person concerned to overcome his animal instincts and lead a rational life through concentration and meditation.
In Part I of the Book is mentioned that the functions of the human body are carried on automatically. No amount of conscious command can enable you, for example to raise the rate of beating of your heart. But the least fear or anger will subconsciously make your pulse rate shoot up. Throughout the 24 hours of the day, whilst you are sleeping or you are awake, your body is receiving its orders: for example your heart and your stomach and your kidney and your liver and the results are automatic. As your body grows, it builds up a wonderfully intricate system of nerves which also function automatically.
In the Universe, there are 3 Realms of existence:
1. The Realm of Sensuous Desire, ranging from the Purgatories through the Plane of Animals and the Human Plane to the Planes of Higher Beings within the Sense-World.
2. The Realm of Pure Form, where the Senses of Taste, Smell and Touch are eliminated, and only the mental, visual and aural senses remain. (The Mental Faculty is taken as a Sense).
3. The Realm of Non-Form, where only the mental sense is present. (The Mental faculty is taken as a sense).
In all, there are 89 consciousnesses:
1. Sensuous Realm 54 consciousnesses
2. Pure Form 15 consciousnesses
3. Non-Form 12 consciousnesses
4. Supra-Mundane 8 consciousnesses
Grand Total 89 consciousnesses
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
10 - THE SUPERCONSCIOUS MIND
The expression, "The Super-Conscious Mind", is used because many Buddhists will say that the term "Transcendental Concentration" is a contradiction in terms in that there’s no Transcendental Mind in Concentration but only in Vipasssanā Meditation and that is when you are nearing Magga Wisdom.
Yet, as you are transcending the different Jhāna factors of Applied Thought, Sustained Thought, etc., in Jhāna Concentration, as will be explained later, it should not be wrong in using the expression, "Transcendental Concentration".
The Superconscious Mind is mostly latent till called upon to function.
In the system of Jhāna training, it is called upon for the first time to function when your Mind achieves the first Jhāna with the elimination of the Five Hindrances simultaneously, as explained later.
These 5 Hindrances (nīvaranas) are:
1. Craving or Lust for Sensuous Desires, kāmachanda
2. Ill-will, vyāpāda
3. Sloth and Torpor, thīna-middha
4. Restlessness and Worry uddhacca-kukkucca
5. Sceptical Doubt vicikicchā.
There are many different forms of Concentration, but it is not every form of concentration that will induce Jhāna. For example, it’s no use concentrating on a picture of a horse, for it will not induce Jhāna.
But if you concentrate on a picture of your brother, it will give you somewhat good concentration, but it will be difficult to eliminate all the 5 Hindrances simultaneously.
If you are going to concentrate on a picture of your sweetheart, you will not be able to surmount the first of the 5 Hindrances, which is craving or Lust for Sensuous Desires.
When you have transcended the Realm of Sensuous Desires, you proceed thereafter to the second Jhāna, where you will have to transcend Applied Thought and Sustained Thought.
As you proceed to the third Jhāna, you transcend Joy, as explained later.
As you proceed to the 4th Jhāna, you transcend Bliss, as explained later.
If you die whilst you are concentrating in the 1st Jhāna, as you have transcended the Realm of Sensuous Desires, you will be born in the Realm of Pure Form.
From the 1st Jhāna onwards through the Second and Third and Fourth Jhāna, you will be born as beings of radiant light, beings of boundless aura, beings of infinite radiance, and beings of the abodes of purity.
In the Realm of non-Form, where only the mental faculty is present, we have beings corresponding to the 4 stages of Non-Form Consciousness.
You may wish to achieve Transcendental Concentration in the Realm of Non-Form. Here you concentrate on formless objects, and the procedure is to transcend one stage before the next stage is achieved.
But after the 4th Jhāna, without going to the Realm of Non-Form, there are many supernormal powers in the Realm of Pure Form that can be attained.
There is the super-normal power of the Celestial Ear, which hears sounds, both human and divine, practice after attaining the 4th Jhāna. You have to develop the capacity step by step so that you hear sounds at a great distance by means of Jhāna Concentration.
There is the super normal power of the Celestial Eye by which you see material things and places from afar regardless of the distance and you can penetrate others’ minds and read the nature of their thoughts.
Then there is the super-normal knowledge of the rebirth of beings. Here you develop the medium of light to such an extent that even night appears as day and makes the mind radiant. Then you can see beings passing away and beings born in happy or miserable circumstances according to their former deeds, good or bad.
Then there is the super-normal knowledge of recollecting your previous existences. After the 4th Jhāna, you should develop the faculty of memory, first recollecting the events of present life from the present moment up to the moment of birth and tracing its relation to your previous birth. You continue your concentration so that you can recollect as many former births as possible.
Then there are the 4 Arūpa Jhānas, namely,
1. The conception of the infinity of space,
2. the conception of infinite consciousness,
3. the conception of nothingness,
4. the conception of neither-perception nor-nonperception.
The above are mentioned, but it is doubtful whether you will go in for these 4 Arūpa Jhānas.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
11 - PRELIMINARY CONCENTRATION EXERCISES
Concentration means one-pointedness of mind upon a single object. It is the narrowing of the field of attention.
It is said that Einstein scarcely ever needed pencil and paper in the first instance when solving mathematical problems. His concentration was so good that he could work out his problems in his head and only later would he commit them to paper.
It takes many many hours spread over days and months and maybe years to develop one-pointed concentration. You should exercise your will-power and do your concentration exercises at every available opportunity. If you are really serious, you should spend an hour or more non-stop every day on concentration, in addition to snatches of concentration at all available times of the day. It will pay dividends. After you have achieved one-pointed concentration, nothing will hold you back. You will want to spend more and more time on it.
You can concentrate for a few minutes at a time in any position or posture and in any place, but the best place for longer periods of concentration is in the quietness of your own room.
Sit upright on a chair and place your arms comfortably on the arm rests. Keep your two feet on the ground; you can keep them crossed if you prefer, or your feet can be kept dangling in the air if the chair is high. Keep the body erect. Try different chairs to find out the one you like best.
For long periods of concentration it is better to sit cross-legged in the "Turkish fashion." Sit down on a divan or on the floor with your legs stretched out. Bend your left leg at the knee and place it under the right thigh. Then bend the right leg at the knee and place it under the left leg. The position of the two legs may be reversed, If you are very uncomfortable at the start, sit on a low stool or a book or something 2 or 3 or more inches high.
When sitting cross-legged in the Turkish Fashion with one shin over the other, there may in due course arise some aches and pains where they touch or overlap. A better cross-legged position is where the two shins do not touch at all, but it is difficult at first. When on the floor bend your left leg as usual bringing your left heel towards your body. Maneuver the right leg so that your bent right leg does not touch the bent left leg. This is easy if the junction of the thigh and the shin lies flat on the floor. Actually, if at first this junction is higher than the floor by a few inches, after some months of trying out this posture, one day the junction will lie flat on the floor. At the same time the junction made by your right leg will also lie flat on the floor. The position of the two legs may be reversed.
If you are uncomfortable at the start, you can sit on a book or a low stool some inches high.
Now you can concentrate for hours and hours without cramps and aches due to the touching of the shins.
The cross-legged posture has some calming effects on the body. After sometime your pulse rate will be reduced by as much as 5 to 10 beats, and the respiratory rate will come down to about 14 or 15 times a minute from the usual 18 or l9 or 20. To those very advanced in concentration, the respiratory rate has been known to come down to as little as 5 or 6 a minute.
It is important to keep the body erect. The hands can be placed anywhere where you find it comfortable.
Concentration Exercise No. 1
Take up your concentration posture. Breaths naturally, namely, do not force your breathing. Let your Subconscious do the breathing for you.
Now, just be aware of your in-breaths and out-breaths. Or in the alternative be aware of the in-breaths striking the tip of your nose or striking any part of your upper lip (wherever it does strike).
Let there be no conceptual thought at all. Do not think of the past, nor of the future. Just live in the present, aware of the in-breaths and out-breaths.
It is possible that in course of time, the tip of your nose will seem to become a bit hard. You will feel a sensation of hardness at the tip of your nose. You can then concentrate on this sensation of hardness.
Concentration Exercise No. 2
When you are occupied in any activity, viz., reading, writing, talking, the idea is to maintain in your marginal zone of consciousness the awareness of the hardness of the tip of your nose.
Your main activity will occupy the focal zone of consciousness but at the same time you must be aware, as mentioned above, in your marginal zone of consciousness.
When you are very much in love, are you not aware of your all-pervading love, though you are occupied with this or that chore, with this activity and that? Your love-awareness is in your marginal zone of consciousness. When you do your concentration exercises, you are concentrating by being aware of your in-breaths and out-breaths in the focal zone of consciousness. In course of time, you will achieve one-pointed concentration for half a minute, then for a minute, then for 5 minutes, then for much longer periods, when you are not aware of anything in your marginal zone of consciousness.
Concentration Exercise No. 3
Do one or both of these two arithmetical exercises. Close your eyes and rest them by visualizing black.
THE SECOND EXERCISE IS TO ADD,
You can use your initiative and perform some more arithmetical exercises. For example: 7 + 7 = 14, and so on.
Concentration Exercise No. 4
Concentrate on something external to you. Look at a picture or a statue for some seconds and then visualize it in your mind’s eye. Preferably you may wish to visualize a religious picture or statue. Look at the picture or statue again and again and visualize it; keep it up for minutes and minutes.
When you achieve deep concentration by losing consciousness of everything around you for minutes on end, you are making progress.
Concentration Exercise No. 5
In this Concentration Exercise you are required to do some forced chest breathing. Breathe fast, in and out. You can adopt long breaths or medium breaths or little breaths. In and out. But the breathing should be rhythmic, namely, the in-breaths and out-breaths should have the same timing, The frequency of respiration per minute may be anything from 100 to 150 or more.
You will find for yourself what is a good frequency of respiration for you. As your body will naturally be shaking because of your forced breathing, this Exercise is not feasible or pleasant when you are in a lying position. The best is the cross-legged position with your body erect, but it can be done when you are sitting in a chair.
People will notice your forced breathing and the shaking of your body and thus it should be done in the privacy of your room.
Carry on for minutes and minutes. The carbonic acid from your blood stream will gradually be reduced causing a gradual increase in alkalinity. If you breathe very hard for a very long time, you may feel a little dizzy, but there is nothing to worry about; you should stop and resume normal breathing for the present.
After starting your forced breathing, concentrate on the impact that your in-breaths and out-breaths make at the entrance of the nose or the upper lip. Be aware of the sensation of impact. Let there be no conceptual thinking, no thinking of the past and no thinking of the future. Just concentrate on the present, namely, be aware of the sensation of impact.
Every time your mind wanders, bring it back with an added burst of breathing. This method of breathing facilitates concentration.
Try the gimmick of short breaths, namely, short in-breaths and short out-breaths, so that the sensation of impact is continuous, For example, a cinema film consists of separate pictures but when projected on the screen at a certain minimum number of pictures per second, the persistence of vision makes you see animated scenes. Similarly, let there be a persistence of the sensation of impact making it a continuous sensation. You focus your mind on this continuous sensation.
Whatever may be your technique of forced breathing, your concentration should become better and better till you achieve one-pointed concentration, at first for half a minute, then a full minute, then for 5 minutes and then for more.
After some time of forced breathing, you consciously change over to calm rhythmic breathing, and then later you are no more aware of your breathing and are just concentrating on the in-breaths and out-breaths on the upper lip, or wherever the impact is.
The period of forced breathing should become less and less as the weeks roll by, and you can move over more quickly into calm rhythmic breathing. But every time your mind wanders, bring it back with an effort of will with the help of a few bursts of forced breathing.
This forced breathing by itself will make you warm physically. You can keep yourself warm by this method. In warmer climates you will begin to perspire and sweat, and you should be careful not to catch a cold with your clothes all wet.
This forced breathing has therapeutic value. You will find that your phlegm is thrown up and you should have a handkerchief or something ready to catch the phlegm. Those with respiratory ailments should try this method from a healing point of view. But more about this in the Appendix on Self-Healing.
Concentration Exercise No. 6
In this Exercise you concentrate on sounds external to you. You can close your eyes but it is not an imperative. Or you can perform the Exercise sometimes with your eyes closed and sometimes with your eyes open.
Concentrate on sounds near to you, then on sounds far from you. It is a very interesting Exercise, which you can perform at any place and at any time. Concentrate for minutes on end. Remember that it is a real Exercise and not just a pastime.
You will be surprised after a few weeks how acute your sense of hearing has become and it will have been worth while.
Concentration Exercise No. 7
In this Exercise you are to concentrate on smells external to you. It is a matter of choice whether you close your eyes or not, or you may want to close your eyes sometimes and open them sometimes.
Concentrate on smells near to you and on smells far from you. You can do this Exercise wherever you are and at anytime at your convenience. Really concentrate for minutes and minutes, and do not treat it just as a pastime.
After a few weeks your sense of smell will have become more acute and it may be of value to you sometime or other.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
12 - BUDDHIST METHOD OF MENTAL CULTURE
The future Buddha renounced his kingdom at the age of 29, and studied under the best Teachers of the day. He did Concentration under Hermit Alara and Hermit Ramapatta.
Later he took to ascetic practices along with his 5 Companions, known as the 5 Vaggi.
He achieved all the psychic powers that could be obtained. He also attained to the 4 Arūpa or Formless states of
1. the conception of the infinity of space;
2. the conception of infinite consciousness;
3. the conception of nothingness;
4. the conception of neither-perception-nor-non perception.
But he was not satisfied in that what he had achieved did not solve the problem of birth and death. He become very emaciated and one day, he fell down in a swoon.
He realised that he was not on the right track by just concentrating his mind. He took to food again.
It was on the full moon day of May that he meditated under the Bodhi Tree in present day Buddha-Gaya. He changed from Samatha Concentration to Vipassanā Meditation and became Enlightened, and was known later as Gautama Buddha.
The method he used for his Concentration and Meditation, and by which he achieved Enlightenment, was by being mindful of his In-Breaths and Out-Breaths, called ānā-Pāna. (Pronounced Ar-narpar-na.).
However, when he developed the methods of Mental Development for his Disciples, he formulated 40 kammathāna subjects as objects of concentration and meditation. They are as follows;
1. The 10 Kasinas, which are the 10 devices;
2. The 10 Asubhas, being concentration on corpses;
3. The 10 Anussatis, being the 10 Recollections;
4. The 4 Brahma-vihāras;
5. The 4 Arūpas, being the Sphere of Space, the Sphere of consciousness, the Sphere of Nothingness, and the Sphere of Neither-Perception-nor-Non-Perception;
6. The contemplation of the Loathsomeness of Food;
7. Analysis of the 4 Physical Elements.
ānā-Pāna concentration and meditation comes under No.3 above.
These 40 kammathana subjects have been described in great detail in the Scriptures; except for 4 or 5 of them, it is doubtful whether they will be used by readers of this book.
(1) The 10 Kasinas, or Devices, are:
1. Earth Device
2. Water Device
3. The Fire Device
4. Air or Wind Device
5. The Blue Device
6. The Yellow Device
7. The Red Device
8. The White Device
9. Space Device
(2) The 10 Asubhas are concentrations on corpses in their different stages of decomposition.
(3) The 10 Anussatis or Recollections are:
1. Recollection of the Buddha (the teacher)
2. Recollection of the Dhamma (the teaching)
3. Recollection of the Sangha (the community of buddhist monks)
4. Recollection of Virtue
5. Recollection of Charity
6. Recollection of the Devas
7. Mindfulness of Death
8. Mindfullless of the Physical Body
9. Mindfulness of Breathing (ānā-Pāna)
(4) The Brahma-Viharas of
· (a) Loving Kindness (mettā)
· (b) Compassion (karunā)
· (c) Sympathy (muditā)
· (d) Equanimity (uppekkha)
Each Concentration has its usefulness in the scheme of Buddhist Mental Culture.
There is a Chapter on the Earth Device, under the title, "Walking on Water" p. 97.
There are 2 Chapters on Mindfulness of Breathing (āna-Pāna, next chapter, and Jhāna Concentration, p. 91).
There is a Chapter on Loving-Kindness, or Mettā, p. 101.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
13 - ānā-pāna, OR MINDFULNESS OF BREATHING
Mindfulness of Breathing, called ānā-pāna is described on p. 285 of the Path of Purification (Visuddhi-Magga), translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli. It runs as follows:
It has been described by the Blessed One as having sixteen bases thus: "And how developed, Bhikkhus, how practised much, is concentration through mindfulness of breathing, both peaceful and sublime, an unadulterated blissful abiding, banishing at once and stilling evil unprofitable thought as soon as they arise?
Here, Bhikkhus (monk), a Bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty place, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.
(I) Breathing in long, he knows "I breathe in long"; or breathing out long, he knows "I breathe out long".
(II) Breathing in short, he knows "I breathe in short "; or breathing out short, he knows "I breathe out short".
(III) He trains thus "I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out experiencing the whole body".
(IV) He trains thus "I shall breathe in tranquillising the bodily formation"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out tranquillising the bodily formation".
(V) He trains thus "I shall breathe in experiencing happiness"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out experiencing happiness".
(VI) He trains thus "I shall breathe in experiencing bliss"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out experiencing bliss".
(VII) He trains thus "T shall breathe in experiencing the mental formation"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out experiencing the mental formation".
(VIII) He trains thus "I shall breathe in tranquillising the mental formation"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out tranquillising the mental formation".
(IX) He trains thus "I shall breathe in experiencing the (manner or) consciousness", he trains thus "I shall breathe out experiencing the (manner of) consciousness".
(X) He trains thus "I shall breathe in gladdening the (manner of) consciousness", he trains thus "I shall breathe out gladdening the (manner of) consciousness".
(XI) He trains thus "I shall breathe in concentrating the (manner of) consciousness"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out concentrating the (manner of) consciousness".
(XlI) He trains thus "I shall breathe in liberating the (manner of) consciousness"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out liberating the (manner of) consciousness".
(XIII) He trains thus "I shall breathe in contemplating impermanence"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out contemplating impermanence".
(XIV) He trains thus "I shall breathe in contemplating fading away"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out contemplating fading away".
(XV) He trains thus "I shall breathe in contemplating cessation"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out contemplating cessation.
(XVI) He trains thus "I shall breathe in contemplating relinquishment"; he trains thus "I shall breathe out contemplating relinquishment". (S.V.321-2)".
This mindfulness, unlike other kammathāna subjects, is for both Samatha and Vipassanā, and goes from Samatha to Vipassanā. However, it is too very difficult, as the language is very involved.
The best thing is to follow the Jhāna arisings as described in Chapter XIV (p. 91) and to follow the Vipassanā Meditation as described in Chapter VII (p. 59).
Regarding the subject of Concentration, we should be acquainted with the general terminology. It will help you to understand this book and other books.
The attempt made by the aspirant in fixing his mind on the object is called Parikamma-Bhāvanā. There are many kinds of objects and it is the first concentration on the object that is called Parikamma Bhāvanā. When the object, called the symbol, is thoroughly grasped by the Mind, and appears as if the aspirant sees it with the eyes open, he is said to have obtained the visualised image; it is a concept called Uggaha-Nimitta, which is the mental replica of the symbol.
The attempts have to make the visualised object clearer and brighter than the actual object as seen by the open eyes is called Upacāra-Bhāvanā. This brighter concept is called the Pathibhaga-Nimitta, which is the "after-image".
As soon as the 5 Hindrances are suppressed, Upacāra-Samādhi is obtained and is otherwise called Access or Proximate Samādhi. The Mind is not yet steady even at this stage. Upacāra-Samādhi is proximate to Appanā-Samādhi.
Appanā-Samādhi is full fledged concentration; the aspirant can stay in this stage for as long as he wants, for the 5-Hindrances have been eliminated. With the attainment of Appanā-Samādhi, he has attained the 1st Jhāna.
So the process runs as follows:
Parikammā - Upacāra - Anuloma - Gotrabhū - Appanā.
The Mind-Consciousness now takes the Patibhaga-Nimitta and prepares it for the first stage of Jhāna.
In turn we get Upacāra (Access) and Anuloma, which is called Adaptation consciousness. Then comes Gotrabhū, where the thought-moment transcends the sensuous plane. The former lineage has been cut off and the Mind evolves the lineage of the Form Plane. This is immediately followed by Appanā-Samādhi, which is Ecstatic Concentration. This is First Jhāna, otherwise called Rūpa-Jhāna.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
14 - Jhāna CONCENTRATION
The words Samatha, Samādhi and Jhāna are mostly used synonymously. They all mean Concentration.
"Samādhi" literally means "placing firmly together (sam-a-dha). The word "Sammā-samādhi" is one of the mental factors of the Noble 8-fold Path and was used by the Buddha himself.
Jhāna corresponds to the Sanskrit "dhyana", and is derived from the root "jhe" which means "to think" or "to meditate", namely, to think closely or meditate firmly upon a given object. Jhāna is both a system of mental training and a process of transforming the lower states of consciousness to higher levels.
In the Second Basket of the Scriptures, namely, the Suttas, there are 4 Jhānas, but in the third Basket, the Abhidhamma, there are 5 Jhānas. They are practically the same; in the Suttas, the first 2 of the 5 mental factors have been coalesced.
The main idea of concentration is to fuse the subject and the object, and this is achieved at the higher levels of consciousness. At first, concentration is helped by the will.
There are two separate levels. At the bottom it is calm, whilst at the surface there is discursive thinking. The practice of concentration calms the surface.
The general idea is to transcend the Sensuous Realm bringing the Mind to the Realm of Pure Form, and then later to transcend the Jhāna Factors of Applied Thought, Sustained Thought, Joy and Bliss till one attains perfect one-pointedness of Mind and equanimity. The last is reached in the 4th Jhāna.
Your decision to concentrate is the important step. It means that you have the desire and the will to get rid of your worries and your fears and your restlessness, as the case may be, the difficulty with most people is that they subconsciously enjoy being worried and being restless.
Concentrate on your in-breaths and out-breaths at the tip of your nose. Whatever you may be doing or not doing, your subconscious carries on with your breathing, and it is a simple matter to concentrate on something which occurs automatically all the time.
Sit down quietly on a chair and concentrate on your in-breaths and out-breaths. The best place to concentrate on your in-breaths and out-breaths is at the nostrils, but you can try the alternative of concentrating on the rise and fall of your belly as you inhale and exhale.
If you have the time and the inclination, and you want to concentrate for more than half an hour, it is better to sit cross-legged in the "Turkish Fashion" on a divan or on the floor. Sit with your legs stretched out, and then bend your left leg at the knee and place it under the right thigh. Then bend the right leg at the knee and place it under the left leg. The position of the two legs may be reversed. If you are very uncomfortable at the start, sit on a low stool or a book or something, 2 or 3 or more inches high.
When sitting cross-legged in the Turkish fashion, one shin is over the other; in due course there may arise some aches and pains where they touch or overlap.
A better cross-legged position is when the two shins do not touch at all, but it is difficult at first. When on the floor bend your left leg as usual, bringing your left heel towards your body. Then manoeuvre the right leg so that your bent right leg does not touch your bent left leg. This is easy if the junction of the thigh and the shin lies flat on the floor. Actually, if at first this junction is higher than the floor by a few inches after some months of trying out this posture, one day the junction will lie flat on the floor. At the same time the junction made by your right leg will also lie flat on the floor. The position of the two legs may be reversed.
You should be able to concentrate for hours and hours without cramps and aches, and this is possible by assuming a correct posture.
Concentrate on your breathing. Let your subconscious direct your breathing and you are just to be aware in the first instance whether your in-breath is long or short, and whether your out-breath is long or short.
As an aid to concentration, you can count your breaths, 1. (one) for the first in-breath, and 2. (two) for the first out-breath, and 3. (three) for the next in-breath, and 4. (four) for the next out-breath, and so on up to 13 or so. You can repeat this for a number of times till you think that your mind has become somewhat calm.
Now you can concentrate on your in-breaths and out breaths at your nostrils or the tip of your nose. Keep on concentrating for as long as you want, or for as long as you can.
It may be better for you to begin with short breaths, not very short, but more short than long. It takes some doing. It is more difficult than you think. Before you can get some sort of concentration, your mind has gone elsewhere, and you have to bring it back to where you started.
It is better to consider that there are two zones of consciousness or awareness, namely, the focal zone where your mind is in proper focus, and the marginal zone where you are aware of something somewhat in the background and where your awareness is a bit out of focus but you are aware of it all the same.
It is sometimes said that it is not correct to say that there are two zones of consciousness; the mind works so fast, in less than a billionth of a second, that there are really two different successive minds, but you think there is only one.
Whatever it may be, try this exercise. When next you drive your car, be aware of whatever you are doing as you drive your car, but also in the marginal zone of awareness be aware of your breathing in and out. Do not think of anything else except your driving in the focal zone of your consciousness and of your breathing in and out in the marginal zone of your consciousness. You will be surprised how much more alert you are; you will have become a much better driver.
During the day when you are performing any task, perform the task with the focal zone of your consciousness, and at the same time be aware of your in-breaths and out-breaths in the marginal zone of your consciousness. You may have some difficulty at first but you will come to enjoy this concentration exercise as time goes by.
At first there are 3 thoughts, the first is the thought of the in-breath at the nose-door, the second is the thought of the out-breath, and the third is the contact at the nose-door. Later, these three thoughts are merged into one.
Even if you start with short breaths, the breathing eventually goes into long breaths.
After some time, the breathing apparently ceases. You cannot say whether you are breathing or not, the breathing is so refined and delicate.
You must make an effort to maintain rhythmical breathing.
First there is what is called "Preliminary Concentration".
The objective is the suppression of the 5 Hindrances which are impediments to good concentration, namely:
1. Craving for sense-pleasures; kāmacchanda
2. Ill-will, vyāpāda
3. Sloth and torpor; thīna-middha
4. Restlessness and worry, uddhacca-kukkucca
5. Perplexity and skeptical doubt. vicikicchā
They are defilements which are hostile to the clear mind, and therefore must be suppressed; otherwise the mind will not be concentrated.
They can only be suppressed at this stage and cannot yet be eliminated. It is only after achieving the First jhāna, and thereafter, that they are automatically eliminated.
When your concentration is getting better and better, and you have Basic Good Conduct you will get your Sign.
This sign is different to different people. To some it is like a lotus, or a round jewel or pearl, to others like a column of smoke, the sun, the full moon, starshine, a silver gridlechain, a garland of flowers, a spreading cloud.
Once you get the Sign you must concentrate on it and leave aside the breaths and the "nose-door".
The sign must now be carefully guarded and fostered. It must me made to grow at will.
You must now be careful of the company you keep and not mix with persons who are not spiritually inclined.
You must be careful of the kind of talk you indulge in, for talk is the result of thoughts.
You must avoid useless and aimless talk, as otherwise your included image will disappear.
You must also take care of the food you eat to ensure that it is not unsuitable and cause you bodily trouble at this stage of your mental development.
You must also now try and see whether it is better for your concentration when you are sitting or lying down or standing walking.
At this stage it is best to delimit the size of the induced image. It’s no use having it too large. Enlarge the induced image to any size you want, but don’t have it too big.
When the 5 Hindrances have been suppressed simultaneously, Ecstatic Concentration is obtained. This is the First Jhāna. This is when the Super-conscious Mind takes over.
With the First Jhāna, you have the Jhāna; factors of Applied Thought, Sustained Thought, Deep Interest or Joy, Bliss and One-pointedness.
This complete absorption transcends the Realm of Sensuous Desire, and brings you to the Realm of Form. You are now ready to proceed to the Second Jhāna.
The Second Jhāna is attained by transcending applied thought and sustained thought.
When you have attained the First Jhāna and obtained proficiency therein, you review your achievement.
You feel that your mind is not quite so calm, disturbed as it is by waves of applied thought and sustained thought. The latter are gross in nature and you are threatened by the 5 Hindrances.
At this stage you require personal confidence and great exaltation of mind.
As concentration proceeds, you will now experience joy which refreshes the mind and body.
There are many forms and intensities of joy, ranging from the joy that raises the hair of the body, to the joy that raises you off the ground, sometimes to the ceiling, to the joy that breaks over your body like waves on the seashore, to the joy which is all embracing and suffuses both body and mind.
With all this joy of excitement, your body will not be tired. You will feel light as you are refreshed.
You now make a big attempt to transcend Applied Thought and Sustained Thought, and you attain the second Jhāna.
Emerging from the second Jhāna, you review its factors with self-awareness and mindfulness. You are aware of its defects and that you are threatened by Applied Thought and Sustained Thought.
The joy you have experienced appears gross, whereas Bliss and Concentration make for peace of mind.
You must transcend Joy whilst remaining in equanimity of Jhāna, which is like indifference or disinterestedness. You are unaffected by pleasure or pain.
If you are not careful, the mind will return to Joy again.
You continue your concentration on the sign or after-image.
As soon as Joy is transcended, Bliss together with Concentration is achieved and you have attained to the third Jhāna. You are now blissful and evenminded.
You are still threatened by Bliss. You are therefore to transcend Bliss.
You keep concentrating as before. You become free from both pleasure or pain, either physical or mental. There is a difference in this world between physical and mental pain. Whatever may be your spiritual development, you will experience bodily pain till you die, but when you have attained to great spiritual development, there is no more the feeling of mental pain.
You now have a neutral feeling, of neither pleasure nor pain.
You how have the purest mindfulness through equanimity. There was a vestige of equanimity before in the previous stages of Jhāna, but now it is manifested to the full.
There is now perfect equilibrium of the mental states, which is the ultimate aim of Jhāna. You are free from all kinds of mental disturbances. You are serene.
You have now achieved Perfect Concentration, with perfect stillness of both body and mind.
It is ecstatic concentration you have achieved the fourth Jhāna.
At this stage you have achieved supernormal psychic powers of clairvoyance and clairaudience and of seeing the auras of others.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
15 - WALKING ON WATER
Eastern philosophies state that the universe is composed of the primordial essences of Earth, Water, Fire and Air. They are also called fundamental elements. They are not material elements in the crude sense but are immaterial qualities and the concept is different to the Greek ones.
An atom is a unit of energy but can be made to materialise by combination with other atoms. Every manifestation of matter has the qualities of the fundamental elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air in different combinations. These immaterial qualities can be made to materialise by the power of the Mind.
Of the many different concentration exercises on this and that, four important ones are on Earth, Water, Fire and Air.
The concentration on Earth gives you the power to walk on water and to stand on water, or to sit on water or to step on water by materializing earth.
The present chapter refers to concentration on Earth. Obtain or make a disc about eight to ten inches in diameter, painted dull light pink or beige, or any very light colour. This disc is made of matter, of "Earth". The overall affect should not be bright or shining.
You must make a preliminary survey of why you want to do this concentration exercise. All concentration produces peace of mind and serenity and tranquility, but certain concentration exercises produce special effects. On the road to the production of the ultimate result, there are certain intermediate results which are themselves worthwhile to obtain.
Everybody is born with certain good and bad tendencies and one of the reasons for Transcendental Concentration is the suppression or elimination of the bad tendencies.
Certain desires arise through your contact with the outside world through your five senses. Many of these desires are selfish desires and one of the results of Transcendental Concentration is the overcoming selfish and unwholesome desire.
Transcendental Concentration requires much sustained effort. You will have to be at it for weeks and weeks and months and months. You must have great eagerness to embark on this type of concentration, and all the time you must display sustained effort.
You have to look at the disc for minutes and minutes and maybe for hours. What posture of body will you adopt? Of the four postures of sitting, standing, walking, and lying down, the last two are clearly unsuitable. Moreover, you cannot be standing for minutes and minutes and for hours. Therefore only the sitting posture is suitable.
You can sit comfortably on a chair, or you can sit cross-legged on a divan or on the floor. Sit about three or four or five feet away from the disc keeping it about the level of your eyes.
Before you begin your concentration exercise, calm down your body and your feelings and your emotions. Think of your body; think of the posture of your body, whether you are sitting or lying or standing, etc., and then calmly suggest to yourself that your body is at ease. Now think of your feelings; calm your feelings. Then think of your emotions; calm your emotions so that your mind is in a passive state.
With half-open eyes concentrate looking at the disc. Look at it intently for a while as if you were looking at a beautiful picture.
Do not stare at it; blink your eyes naturally without being conscious of the blinking. Do not strain your eyes or your body. Look at it comfortably but with concentration. Then on closing your eyes see whether a visualised image appears in your mind’s eye. If you lose it, try again and again. Keep it up for minutes and minutes till you see the visualised image clearly.
Keep on concentrating on the visualised image. The aim of concentration is to unify your mind with the object concentrated on. You must be able to maintain the visualised image in your mind when you walk away from your original position. If you lose it, go back to the disc and repeat the process all over again.
As you concentrate, you must completely forget the colour of the disc. The colour of the disc does not come into it at all. What is important is to know what yon are making this Concentration Exercise on "Earth". You will have to remind yourself of it off and on by repeating the expression "Earth, Earth" at suitable intervals.
Before the visualised image appears in your mind, you may have to look at the disc a few hundred times or even a few thousand times, till you have the visualised image steady in your mind, whether your eyes be shut or open.
When you walk away from the disc, keep the visualised image in your mind wherever you go. If you lose the image, you must go back to the disc over and over again with sustained effort. After you can keep the visualised image in your mind for an appreciable amount of time, there will arise in your mind what may be called the after-image. The disc will appear shining and bright like a looking glass and with no colour or shape.
You should delimit the size of the after-image. Enlarge it to any size you want, but don’t have it too big.
You should be careful of the company you keep and the kind of talk you indulge in and take care of the food you eat.
You must see whether it is better for your concentration when you are sitting or lying down or standing or walking.
And now the Five Hindrances are suppressed, as mentioned previously in the Chapter on Jhāna Concentration on in-breaths and out-breaths.
When the 5 Hindrances are suppressed, you are no more in the Realm of Sensuous Desire, and you achieve the First Jhāna.
Thereafter, the procedure is similar up to the Fourth Jhāna, but you must remind yourself off and on that this Concentration is on "Earth".
After the 4th Jhāna, you will have the power of Walking on Water.
INTRODUCING BUDDHIST ABHIDHAMMA
16 - CONCENTRATION ON LOVING-KINDNESS
There is enough hatred and prejudice and misunderstanding all over the world for us to want to surmount them.
We want good-will and friendship, free from malice and anger, in thought and deed and word, to guide our life with our relatives and friends and our neighbours and the rest of the whole wide world.
This Chapter deals with Concentration on Loving-kindness. Loving-kindness means "love without lust" or friendliness or spiritual love. It is the opposite of hatred or ill-will or anger, and this Concentration Exercise gets rid of anger and malice.
There are two ideas behind this Concentration Exercise. One is to suffuse the whole world with loving-kindness, and the other is to extend loving-kindness to particular human beings.
But in order to suffuse the whole world with loving-kindness, or to extend loving-kindness to particular human beings, it is necessary in the first instance to suffuse oneself with loving-kindness. Only then will you be able practically to extend loving-kindness to the whole world and to particular human beings.
So let us begin with that. One-self is the easiest person to suffuse with loving-kindness, for one-self is the dearest person to one-self.
Yet this part is a means to an end, as the end is to suffuse the whole world, and also particular beings, with loving-kindness.
Say to yourself: "I wish to be happy and free from misery, and so do all other persons. May I be free from ill-will and anxiety".
Then radiate loving-kindness on one-self. Then extend the loving-kindness to your Parents and to your Teachers.
Then extend loving-kindness to your dearest friend. You should avoid extending loving-kindness to your sweetheart for it may turn to lust and not loving-kindness.
Then later to your enemy; this may be difficult at first, but you should persist in your attempt.
Then comes the second part. Say to yourself many times: "May all beings be happy and free from ill-will and anxiety and enmity".
Turn your loving-kindness on to the Northern portion of the world, and suffuse this portion of the world with loving-kindness.
Then turn your loving-kindness to the Eastern portion of the world, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.
Then turn your loving-kindness to the Southern portion of the world, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.
Then turn your loving-kindness to the Western portion of the world, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.
Then turn to the regions above, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness.
Then turn to the regions below, and suffuse this portion with your loving-kindness