Volitional formations (saṅkhāra)
Parent topics: Aggregates, Dependent origination
34 excerpts, 1:43:52 total duration

All excerpts (34) Questions about (23) Answers involving (10) Quotes (1) Readings (1)

Metta Retreat, Session 4Ajahn Pasanno – Sep. 12, 2008

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17. “What is the difference between 'meditating on' versus 'contemplating' or just thinking about something. Can you give some examples how one may skillfully meditate on something versus unskillfully? What does saṅkhāra mean?” [Meditation] [Recollection] [Directed thought and evaluation] [Skillful qualities] [Volitional formations] [Pāli] // [Concentration] [Progress of insight] [Self-identity view] [Aggregates]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 11: A passage to arouse urgency.


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 24, 2013

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2. “Could you clarify the difference between perception (sanna), mental formations (sankara) and conscousness (vinnana)?” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Consciousness]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 25, 2013

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10. “Would you please elaborate on mental formations and volition.” [Volitional formations] [Volition]


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18. “I was interested to hear the definition of mental formations as volitional...Could you help me reconcile (random and unbidden thoughts) with volitionality?” [Volitional formations]


Abhayagiri Monastic Retreat 2013, Session 4Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 26, 2013

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10. “Could you please explain again the differences between sanna, sankara, and vinnana? I'm still not getting it.” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Consciousness]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 13Ajahn Pasanno – Jan. 22, 2014

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2. “Have you heard of sañña and saṅkhara being translated as short-term and long-term memory?” [Perception] [Volitional formations] [Translation]


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 19Ajahn Pasanno – Feb. 1, 2014

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8. “Would it be possible to give a working definition of saṅkhāra? It seems that saṅkhāra is used by different people in different ways.” [Volitional formations] [Aggregates] // [Conditionality] [Form]

Reference: Abhayagiri Chanting Book, p. 23: "All conditions are impermanent."


Abhayagiri 2014 Winter Retreat, Session 51Ajahn Pasanno – Mar. 17, 2014

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2. “The citta is sometimes defined as pure awareness, and it being in the fourth khanda, but it sounds like here he's talking about the activity of awareness?” [Heart/mind] [Knowing itself] [Volitional formations] // [Rebirth]

Quote: “There is that which is beyond birth and death. And then you start asking, 'Well, what is it and how is it? How should it be?' It's just the same as in the Sabbāsava Sutta (MN 2.7)...As soon as you get into conceiving, you've already started the process of dukkha.” [Unconditioned] [Proliferation] [Conceit] [Suffering]

Follow-up: “So is it better to hear what he said and let it go when I notice awareness that's good, but I don't have to make anything out of it?” [Volitional formations]

Quote: “The investigation is not a conceiving. The best investigation is when the mind is exceedingly still and not conceiving, not creating concepts.” [Discernment] [Concentration]

Follow-up: “So is it a realizing, not a conceiving?” [Knowledge and vision]


Thai Forest Tradition, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo – Jun. 14, 2014

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9. “Regarding thought fabrications, in daily life we have to focus on our work. How can we intergrate the principles of anatta and dukkha into daily life?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Volitional formations] [Everyday life] [Work] [Not-self] [Thai Forest Tradition] [Suffering] // [Right Livelihood] [Restlessness and worry] [Energy] [Impermanence] [Self-identity view] [Relinquishment]


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10. “In the reading, Upasikā Kee Nanayon says the mind takes the fabrications itself as the object. Is that similar to Ajahn Sumedho's 'It's like this?'” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Volitional formations] [Ajahn Sumedho] [Knowing itself] [Thai Forest Tradition]


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11. “As the mind takes fabrications as its object, does the mind expand?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Upasikā Kee Nanayon] [Volitional formations] [Heart/mind] [Mindfulness of mind] [Thai Forest Tradition] // [Relinquishment]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 22, 2014

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10. “If unwholesome thoughts arise and it creates fear and a repeating pattern, what is the best method for breaking the patterns? For instance, mettā meditation replacing the fear or attention with something else? Thank for the inspiration.” [Fear] [Goodwill] [Unskillful qualities] [Volitional formations]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 3Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 24, 2014

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4. “I've enjoyed practicing with connecting the breath to whatever is conditioning the mind. Twice however, when evaluating, I've come across something new: a plain, white, fizzy, barrier. It's not un-friendly and I can feel a faint tug from whatever is behind it but that's as far as I get. Have my saṅkhāra’s developed a new stealth technology? Are they allowed to do that? Any advice on how to proceed (or secret passwords)? Gratefully appreciated.” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Meditation/Unusual experiences] [Volitional formations]


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9. “1. What is meant by “releasing” the mind? Releasing it from any hindrance? Can you place illustrate with examples? 2. How is “calming mental fabrication” different from “releasing the mind?” Any examples to illustrate? 3. When mental fabrication causes a bodily or verbal fabrication such as in anxiety or sensual desire, it it too late to breathe and calm fabrications?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Tranquility] [Volitional formations] [Release]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 5Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 26, 2014

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9. “What is the difference between directed thought and verbal fabrication? Thank you for showing us patience.” [Directed thought and evaluation] [Volitional formations]


2014 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 6Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 27, 2014

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5. “Can you define / explain saṅkhāras—mental formations? For example, what phenomena does it include? How can one evaluate what is or is not a saṅkhāra? How does it differ from the hindi / yogic samskara? Thank you.” [Volitional formations] [Culture/India]


The Middle Way of Not-Self, Session 1Ajahn Pasanno – May. 27, 2015

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2. “What are mental formations and consciousness?” [Aggregates] [Volitional formations] [Consciousness] [Not-self] // [Sense bases] [Contact]

Sutta: MN 44: Cūḷavedalla Sutta


2015 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 4Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 24, 2015

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9. “Do monks on retreat feel as much pain as we do? Is pain sankharas?” [Pain] [Volitional formations]


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10. “Can you repeat the aspect of sankharas other than mental volitional energy?” [Volitional formations]


2015 Thanksgiving Monastic Retreat, Session 8Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 28, 2015

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21. “In the Anapanasati Sutta, what is meant by “breathing in/out tranquilizing the mental formation?”” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Volitional formations]


Thanksgiving Retreat 2016, Session 2Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 20, 2016

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8. “In the mindful breathing sutta, what is the difference between “mind” and “mental fabrication”? And what is meant by “satisfying the mind” in step 10?” [Mindfulness of breathing] [Heart/mind] [Volitional formations] [Gladdening the mind]


Thanksgiving Retreat 2016, Session 7Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 25, 2016

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15. “Would you please give some advice on how to deal with obsessive compulsive thoughts that cause fear in the mind and tension in the body? I have tried to remember that “mental formations” are not self, but this doesn’t seem to alleviate the problem or help much.” [Habits] [Fear] [Volitional formations] [Not-self]


Thanksgiving Retreat 2016, Session 8Ajahn Pasanno – Nov. 26, 2016

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11. “Will you please define bodily formations and mental formations again?” [Volitional formations]