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aṣṠa-vimokṣa


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(Skt.; Pāli, aṭṭha vimokkha).

The eight liberations, a meditational practice in which the meditator passes through eight levels of contemplation with the purpose of cultivating detachment. The eight stages are: (1) the contemplation of internal and external forms (i.e. inside and outside the body) as impure; (2) contemplation of external forms as impure (reinforcing and progressing from the first stage); (3) contemplation of the beautiful (śubha). This is in contrast to the impurity contemplated at the first two levels, but no attachment to the beautiful is allowed to develop. It is followed by the contemplation of the four higher or ‘formless’ dhyānas.namely (4) the sphere of unlimited space; (5) the sphere of unlimited consciousness; (6) the sphere of nothingness; (7) the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. The final level (8) is the cessation of perception and feeling (nirodha-samāpatti). The first two liberations correspond to the first stage of the ‘eight masteries’ (abhibhāvayatana) and the third and fourth to the second.

(1) the contemplation of internal and external forms (i.e. inside and outside the body) as impure; (2) contemplation of external forms as impure (reinforcing and progressing from the first stage); (3) contemplation of the beautiful (śubha). This is in contrast to the impurity contemplated at the first two levels, but no attachment to the beautiful is allowed to develop. It is followed by the contemplation of the four higher or ‘formless’ dhyānas.namely (4) the sphere of unlimited space; (5) the sphere of unlimited consciousness; (6) the sphere of nothingness; (7) the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. The final level (8) is the cessation of perception and feeling (nirodha-samāpatti).

Subjects: Buddhism.


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