VITAKKA: DIRECTED ATTENTION


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The first jhanic factor, vitakka, refers to the capacity to direct attention at a particular perception; it is the aiming or connecting function of attention.
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Think of this process as shining a light on an object in a dark room, striking a baseball with a bat, aiming a pistol at a target, or poking a needle through a buttonhole when sewing.
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It is the clear directing of attention to its chosen object.
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The Visuddhimagga, an ancient commentary written by Buddhaghosa in the fifth century, uses the analogy of a gatekeeper who inspects people as they enter and exit the gate.
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The gatekeeper is not concerned with the business the merchants transact in the marketplace or which village they travel to when they depart.
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The gatekeeper simply checks each person as they pass through the gate.
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Just so, we direct our attention to the area between the nostrils and upper lip and examine what we find there.
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We don’t need to follow the breath inside the body or contemplate external phenomena.”
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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by kelly on August 23, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    This is so true. If you have not experienced this you are missing out.

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