The ancient Theravada meditation system, boran kammatthana: Anapanasati or 'mindfulness of the breath' in kammatthan majjima baeb lamdub

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Abstract

In Thailand the pre-reform Theravada meditation system, boran kammatthana, is now practised only by small and isolated groups. To promote detailed comparative study of boran kammatthana, the tradition of it taught at Wat Ratchasittharam, Thonburi, is explored through a translation of a text on anapanasati attributed to Suk Kaitheun, the head of its lineage. This is followed by a detailed discussion and comparison with the description of the same technique in the Visuddhimagga. Some close connections between these two sources are identified and it is speculated that, despite features concerning nimittas, bodily location, terminology etc. that are diagnos-tically distinctive for boran kammatthana, its method for anapanasati can be seen as a rational development of earlier techniques advocated by Buddhaghosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-229
Number of pages23
JournalBuddhist Studies Review
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Anapanasati
  • Boran kammatthana
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness of breath
  • Nimitta
  • Suk Kaitheun
  • Wat Ratchasittharam

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