Samatha and Vipassana

Buddhism now

Quote: Some people think that samatha isn’t necessary, whilst others think it is absolutely essential. There are arguments about it.

In the Theravada teachings on samatha-vipassanà, they divide meditation ― that English word ‘meditation’ ― into tranquillity and insight (samatha and vipassanà). Now, in Thailand there are all kinds of views about samatha and vipassanà, and within the vipassanà world, there are all kinds of views about how to practise it. Some people think that samatha isn’t necessary, whilst others think it is absolutely essential.

There are arguments about it. Some say you have to get the jhànas(absorptions) before you can do vipassanà (there are certain elements that think like this), and then there are others that say, ‘Well no, don’t do samatha, just straight vipassanà, that’s all that’s necessary.’ Now, teachers speak from their own experience, so this has to be taken into account. It isn’t that all these opinions are wrong or that one is…

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