Samatha and Vipassana.

When the “two sticks” (tranquility and insight) are “rubbed together” (perfected) they bring forth a fire that burns both away. That fire can not be called purely conceptual, nor can it be called purely nonconceptual– it is not both, not neither. The truth is beyond beyond. Beyond words. Beyond thoughts. There is no truth [it won’t be captured in words or thoughts]. So we Gno Truth.

Kashyapa-paripriccha Sutra.

'By the rubbing of one stick against another,
fire is produced;
By the applying of that fire,
both sticks are burnt up.
Similarly,
the Super-Intellect is born of the union of the "Moving" 
and the "Non Moving".
And by that,
to which they both give birth,
both are consumed.'
This is such a potent combo of words. Let’s look deeper at tranquility and insight as they appear in some Pali Suttas.

Vijja-bhagiya Sutta.

"These two qualities have a share in clear knowing {**gnosis**}. 
Which two? 
Tranquillity (samatha) 
& insight (vipassana).
"When tranquillity is developed, 
what purpose does it serve? 
The mind is developed. 

And when the mind is developed, 
what purpose does it serve? 
Passion is abandoned.

"When insight is developed, 
what purpose does it serve? 
Discernment is developed. 

And when discernment is developed, 
what purpose does it serve? 
Ignorance is abandoned.

"Defiled by passion, 
the mind is not released. 

Defiled by ignorance, 
discernment does not develop.
 
Thus from the fading of passion is there awareness-release. 
From the fading of ignorance is there discernment-release."
So, with tranquility and insight, awareness and discernment are developed to the point where, we are told, they both burn away. This fire is the fire of the Great Seal, Mahamudra.
The clear gnosis of the intrinsic nature of all objects of mind is of shunyata.
The yogi is ‘released’ by the perfection of both tranquility and insight– in that perfect release, there is neither ‘awareness’ nor ‘discernment’. Interesting!
One calms the fabrications, the other stokes the flames of gnosis. Each aspect presents its unique danger. With the effort toward samatha, there is the danger of entering into basic unconscious inertness. With the effort toward vipassana, there is the danger of over intellectualization and agitation. We are being shown a middle path between both. Beyond nonconceptuality, because ‘Super-Intellect” is clearly aware, Beyond conceptuality, because tranquility is necessary– the ocean of mind, stirred into waves by activity, does not reflect the moonlight accurately until it is stilled.

The Samatha Sutta.

[**My summary of each paragraph is bold**]

We can check ourselves! It is possible.
"Even if a monk is not skilled in the ways of the minds of others,
he should train himself: 
'I will be skilled in reading my own mind.'

Seeing ourselves in the mirror we know if our face is dirty or clean.
"And how is a monk skilled in reading his own mind? 
Imagine a young woman — or man — fond of adornment, 
examining the image of her own face in a bright, 
clean mirror or bowl of clear water: 
If she saw any dirt or blemish there, 
she would try to remove it. 
If she saw no dirt or blemish there, 
she would be pleased, 
her resolves fulfilled: 
'How fortunate I am! How clean I am!' 
In the same way, 
a monk's self-examination 
is very productive in terms of skillful qualities: 
'Am I one who achieves internal tranquility of awareness, 
or am I one who does not achieve internal tranquility of awareness? 
Am I one who achieves insight into phenomena 
through heightened discernment,
or am I one who does not achieve insight into phenomena 
through heightened discernment?"

We examine ourselves and if we see that we have attained tranquility,
but not insight,
we work on that side of things.
"If, on examination, he knows, 
'I am one who achieves internal tranquility of awareness 
but not insight into phenomena through heightened discernment,' 
then his duty is to make an effort for the maintenance 
of internal tranquility of awareness 
and for insight into phenomena through heightened discernment. 
At a later time he will then be one who achieves 
both internal tranquility of awareness and insight into phenomena 
through heightened discernment.

If, on examination, we see the opposite to be true, 
we work to attain tranquility. 

"But if, on examination, the monk knows, 
'I am one who achieves insight into phenomena 
through heightened discernment but not internal tranquility of awareness,' 
then his duty is to make an effort for the maintenance of insight 
into phenomena through heightened discernment 
and for internal tranquility of awareness. 
At a later time he will then be one who achieves both insight 
into phenomena through heightened discernment and internal 
tranquility of awareness.

If we look and see that we fail in both ways, we get busy!
"But if, on examination, the monk knows, 
'I am one who achieves neither internal tranquility of 
awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment,' 
then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, 
relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for gaining those very same 
skillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on 
fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, 
relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his 
turban or head; in the same way, the monk should put forth extra desire, 
effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness 
for gaining those very same skillful qualities.

If we look and see we succeed in both ways, 
we seek to maintain the skillful qualities.
"But if, on examination, the monk knows, 
'I am one who achieves both internal tranquility of awareness 
and insight into phenomena through heightened discernment,' 
then his duty is to make an effort in maintaining those very same 
skillful qualities to a higher degree for the ending of the effluents.

Lean on each other.

In another Sutta, we are told to rely on each other. We are strong in different ways. Some of us have the tranquility practices down. Others of us are really bright– we are proficient in insight. We are told to lean on each other. If we lack skill with tranquility practices, we should learn from our friends who are good at this kind of stuff. If the opposite is true, we should seek out those who are full of insight. If we pay attention, we will be able to discern each other’s inclinations.

There is more to share about all of this.
There will be more posts of a similar nature to come in the future.

Thank you for existing.

Much love.
Many blessings.
All the respect.

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