Types Of Samadhi (From Early Buddhist Texts)

Here and there I’ve come across different types — or names of — various versions of Samadhi while consuming material where such things crop up. Such flavors of Samadhi usually seem to be in Sanskrit or Pali, and because of the tricky spelling (at least for me) sometimes a (duckduckgo.com) search turns them up, sometimes not.

And after coming up empty-handed searching for a Samadhi list, I turned to Buddhism Stack Exchange where a fella ‘did an in depth research going through a digital search of the pali suttas and compiling a comprehensive list of every type of usage of Samādhi: broad umbrella term in every type of usage in EBT [Early Buddhist Texts].’

The following is a sampling of his compilation:

  • sammā-samādhi
  • Ānā-pānas-sati-samādhi
  • a-nimitta ceto-samādhi — sign-less mind’s-undistractable-lucidity
  • ap-paṇihito samādhi, ap-paṇidhāya bhāvanā — un-directed samadhi
  • Ariyassa pañc-aṅgikassa sammā-samādhissa — 5 factors = 4 jhānas + reflection-nimitta + 5 similes
  • ariyo sammā-samādhi sa-upaniso itipi sa-parikkhāro itipī — noble right concentration 7 factored
  • a-vitakko a-vicāro samādhi
  • a-vitakko vicāra-matto samādhi
  • samādhi-bala — one of 5 bala)
  • samādhi-bhāvanā
  • samādhi-sambojjhanga
  • samādhi-khandha
  • samādhi-nimittā
  • paṇihito samādhi, paṇidhāya bhāvanā — directed samadhi
  • samādhi-parikkhārā — requisites, equipment, indispensables
  • sa-vitakko sa-vicāro samādhi
  • suññato samādhi — emptiness samadhi

Would love to see someone take this even further by including Sanskrit, Chinese, etc. sources.

[6/4/2021 UPDATE] Starting a running list of other samadhi names:


Here’s a (copy and pasted) portion of the aforementioned work:

4👑☸ Cattāri Ariya-saccaṃ 四聖諦

4👑☸ → ☂️ Samādhi (in broadest sense)8🌄 🔝

☂️ Samādhi (in broadest sense)

☂️ Samādhi (in the broadest sense)

With a digital search on the string ‘samādh’ in all of the EBT pali suttas, I’ve exhaustively listed every single term that includes the word ‘samadhi’ as part of its term or defintion (example, ekaggata is a synonym). So an ideal translation for the word samadhi, would work in every single one of these naunced contexts.“Concentration” is probably the most common translation, but it doesn’t really capture the essence, the heart of the matter, of samādhi, and the crucial indispensable role it plays in realizing Dhamma, nirvana.These passages make the case for the translation choice of ‘undistractible-lucidity’.’Concentration’ is general usage, is associated with tension (both physical and mental).’Undistractibility’ covers the function it shares with ‘ekaggata’, and ‘lucidity’ makes explicit what the Buddha’s ‘samādhi’ was intended for: making the mind so clear, sharp, and bright, ready to penetrate through to nirvana.

AN 5.113 sammā-samādhi-suttaṃAN 5.113 right concentration discourse

(Note the title of the sutta. There are many suttas in the EBT called “samādhi”, but this is the only one I’ve found that’s called “sammā samādhi”)

♦ “pañca-hi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato“five-of-these, *********, qualities, possessing (them),
bhikkhu bhabbo sammā-samādhiṃ(a) monk [is] capable (of) righteous-undistractable-lucidity,
upasampajja viharituṃ.[capable of] entering (and) dwelling (in that).
katamehi pañcahi?Which five?
idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhuHere, monks, (a) monk
1. khamo hoti rūpānaṃ,1. (can) patiently-endure **** forms,
2. khamo saddānaṃ,2. (can) patiently-endure sounds,
3. khamo gandhānaṃ,3. (can) patiently-endure odors,
4. khamo rasānaṃ,4. (can) patiently-endure tastes,
5. khamo phoṭṭhabbānaṃ.5. (can) patiently-endure tactile-objects,

AN 5.139

(key word, khamo = resilience, or patient endurance from AN 5.113)
2. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti saddānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo saṅgāmagato hatthisaddaṃ vā sutvā assasaddaṃ vā sutvā rathasaddaṃ vā sutvā pattisaddaṃ vā sutvā bheripaṇavasaṅkhatiṇavaninnādasaddaṃ vā sutvā na saṃsīdati na visīdati, santhambhati sakkoti saṅgāmaṃ otarituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti saddānaṃ.2. “And how is a king’s elephant resilient to sounds? There is the case where a king’s elephant, having gone into battle, hears the sound of elephants, the sound of cavalry, the sound of chariots, the sound of foot soldiers, the resounding din of drums, cymbals, conchs, & tom-toms, but he doesn’t falter or faint, he steels himself and engages in the battle. This is how a king’s elephant is resilient to sounds.
3. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti gandhānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo saṅgāmagato ye te rañño nāgā abhijātā saṅgāmāvacarā tesaṃ muttakarīsassa gandhaṃ ghāyitvā na saṃsīdati na visīdati, santhambhati sakkoti saṅgāmaṃ otarituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti gandhānaṃ.3. “And how is a king’s elephant resilient to aromas? There is the case where a king’s elephant, having gone into battle, smells the stench of the urine & feces of those pedigreed royal elephants who are at home in the battlefield, but he doesn’t falter or faint, he steels himself and engages in the battle. This is how a king’s elephant is not resilient to aromas.
5. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo saṅgāmagato ekena vā saravegena viddho, dvīhi vā tīhi vā catūhi vā pañcahi vā saravegehi viddho na saṃsīdati na visīdati, santhambhati sakkoti saṅgāmaṃ otarituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, rañño nāgo khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ.5. “And how is a king’s elephant resilient to tactile sensations? There is the case where a king’s elephant, having gone into battle, is pierced by a flight of arrows, two flights, three flights, four flights, five flights of arrows, but he doesn’t falter or faint, he steels himself and engages in the battle. This is how a king’s elephant is resilient to tactile sensations.

(monk who patiently endures stimuli like warrior elephant is in “samādhi”)

2. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti saddānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu sotena saddaṃ sutvā rajanīye sadde na sārajjati, sakkoti cittaṃ samādahituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti saddānaṃ.2. “And how is a monk resilient to sounds? There is the case where a monk, on hearing a sound with the ear, feels no passion for a sound that incites passion and can undistractify-&-lucidify his mind. This is how a monk is resilient to sounds.
3. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti gandhānaṃ. idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ghānena gandhaṃ ghāyitvā rajanīye gandhe na sārajjati, sakkoti cittaṃ samādahituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti gandhānaṃ.3. “And how is a monk resilient to aromas? There is the case where a monk, on smelling an aroma with the nose, feels no passion for an aroma that incites passion and can undistractify-&-lucidify his mind. This is how a monk is resilient to aromas.
5. ♦ “kathañca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṃ phusitvā rajanīye phoṭṭhabbe na sārajjati, sakkoti cittaṃ samādahituṃ. evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti phoṭṭhabbānaṃ.5. “And how is a monk resilient to tactile sensations? There is the case where a monk, on touching a tactile sensation with the body, feels no passion for a tactile sensation that incites passion and can undistractify-&-lucidify his mind. This is how a monk is resilient to tactile sensations.

AN 6.5(word ‘samadhi’ is not used, but the khamo qualities just like AN 5.139 elephant and monk)

Idha, bhikkhave, rañño bhadro assājānīyo khamo hoti rūpānaṃ, khamo saddānaṃ, khamo gandhānaṃ, khamo rasānaṃ, khamo phoṭṭhabbānaṃ, javasampanno ca hoti.It’s when a fine royal thoroughbred can endure sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. And it’s fast.
Evamevaṃ kho, bhikkhave, chahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu āhuneyyo hoti … pe … anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassa.In the same way, a mendicant with these six factors is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a teacher’s offering, worthy of veneration with joined palms, and is a supreme field of merit for the world.
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu khamo hoti rūpānaṃ … pe … khamo dhammānaṃ.What six? Katamehi chahi? It’s when a mendicant can endure sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts.

MN 20

ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, bhikkhuThis (is) called, **********, (a) monk
vasī vitakka-pariyāya-pathesu.(who is a) master (of) thought-order-pathways.
yaṃ vitakkaṃ ākaṅkhissatiThe thoughts (he) wishes,
taṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkessati,those thoughts (he) thinks.
yaṃ vitakkaṃ n-ākaṅkhissatiThe thoughts (he does) not wish,
na taṃ vitakkaṃ vitakkessati.those thoughts (he does) {not} think.
ac-checchi taṇhaṃ,Fully-cut-off craving,
vivattayi saṃyojanaṃ,Flung-away (the) fetters,
sammā mān-ābhisamayāRight {penetration}-of-conceit,
anta-m-akāsi dukkhassā”ti.end-reached (for) suffering.”

Samādhi is not stillness. Stillness is an ingredient of deep samadhi, an important aspect of it, but samadhi is not equivalent of stillness.If stillness were the defining characteristic of EBT Buddhist Samadhi, then a dead tree stump and a corpse of a dead person buried next to it, that would be your king and queen of samadhi.


16apss🌬️😤‍SN 54, which contains 20 suttas, starting with sutta #7, the latter 14 suttas switch terminologly from16APS to 16APSS (16APS + samādhi). It’s the same 16 steps, nothing different about it, but the Buddha starts labeling the practice a samādhi practice.

SN 54.8 Pa-dīp’-opama-suttaSN 54.8 (the) **-lamp-simile-discourse
“Ānā-pānas-sati-samādhi, bhikkhave,“Inhale-exhale-mindful-concentration, monks,
bhāvito bahulīkato[when] developed (and) pursued,
mahap-phalo hoti mahā-nisaṃso.{is of} great-fruit ****, great-benefit.

(see separate article that examines all EBT passsages on animitta)

SN 40.9 a-nimitta-pañhā-suttaṃSN 40.9 sign-less-question-discourse
♦ 340. “‘a-nimitto ceto-samādhi,“‘Sign-less concentration-of-mind,
a-nimitto ceto-samādhī’ti vuccati.Sign-less concentration-of-mind,’ (it is) said.
katamo nu kho a-nimitto ceto-samādhīti?what the heck (is) Sign-less concentration-of-mind?
tassa mayhaṃ, āvuso, etad-ahosi —Then I, *****, (had) this-[thought]-occur (to me):
‘idha bhikkhu‘Here (a) monk,
sabba-nimittānaṃ a-manasi-kārā(regarding) all-signs, no-attention-(is)-given (to them).
a-nimittaṃ ceto-samādhiṃ upasampajja viharati.Sign-less concentration-of-mind (he) enters (and) dwells.
ayaṃ vuccati a-nimitto ceto-samādhī’ti.This (is) called Sign-less concentration-of-mind.'”

same as (a-vitakka a-vicara) samadhi, second jhana or better.see SN 47.10


AN 5.28 noble five-factored right-concentration5 factors = 4 jhānas + reflection-nimitta + 5 similes

AN 5.28 Pañc-aṅgika-suttaAN 5.28 Five-Factored-discourse
“Ariyassa, bhikkhave, pañc-aṅgikassa sammā-samādhissa(This) Noble, ********, five-factored right-concentration;
Puna ca-paraṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhunoAgain, and-furthermore, *********, ********
paccavekkhaṇā-nimittaṃ sug-gahitaṃ hoti(the) reviewing-sign {has been} well-grasped ****,
su-manasikataṃ sū-(u)padhāritaṃ sup-paṭividdhaṃ paññāya.well-attended, well-sustained, well-penetrated (by) wisdom.

AN 7.45MN 117DN 18SN 45.28: noble right concentration 7 factored

AN 7.45 samādhi-parikkhāra-suttaṃAN 7.45 concentration-Accessories-discourse
♦ 45. “satt-ime, bhikkhave, samādhi-parikkhārā.“[There are] seven-(of)-these, *********, concentration-accessories.
katame satta?What seven?
sammādiṭṭhi, sammāsaṅkappo,Right view, right intention,
sammāvācā, sammākammanto, sammāājīvo,right speech, right action, right livelihood,
sammāvāyāmo, sammāsati.right effort, and right mindfulness.
yā kho, bhikkhave,what ever, *********,
imehi sattah-aṅgehi(with) these seven-factors
cittass-ekaggatā parikkhatā,(that the) mind’s-unification (is) equipped (with),
ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave,that (is) called, *********,
ariyo sammā-samādhi sa-upaniso itipi sa-parikkhāro itipī”ti.noble right-concentration with-supports ***** &-with-accessories *****.’”

♦ “katamo ca, bhikkhave, asaṅkhatagāmimaggo?what is the way to the unconditioned?
a-vitakko a-vicāro samādhi.Without-thinking, without-evaluation undistractable lucidity [second jhana or higher]

See AN 8.63 for how the “3 ways of samadhi” samādhi in 3 ways correspond to 4 jhanas 4j🌕 .


♦ “katamo ca, bhikkhave, asaṅkhatagāmimaggo?what is the way to the unconditioned?
a-vitakko vicāra-matto samādhi.Without-thinking, with-some-evaluation undistractable lucidity [between first and second jhana]

See AN 8.63 for how the “3 ways of samadhi” samādhi in 3 ways correspond to 4 jhanas 4j🌕 .


The 5bal👊️ = 5ind🖐️ .5 bala = 5 indriya. See indriya, samadhi-indriya.


View the entire research compilation at https://lucid24.org/sted/8aam/8samadhi/nuance/index.html

Published by josh dippold

IntegratingPresence.com

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