- See also:Bhavana
- development of tranquillity (Samatha-bhāvanā), i.e. Concentration (Samādhi), and
- development of Insight (vipassanā-bhāvanā), i.e. Wisdom (paññā).
Tranquillity (Samatha) is the concentrated, unshaken, peaceful, and therefore undefiled state of Mind, whilst Insight (vipassanā) is the intuitive Insight into the Impermanence, misery and impersonality (Anicca, Dukkha, anattā; s. tilakkhana) of all bodily and Mental Phenomena of existence, included in the 5 groups of existence, namely, corporeality, Feeling, Perception, Mental formations and Consciousness; s. Khandha.
Tranquillity, or Concentration of Mind, according to Sankhepavannana (Commentary to Abhidhammattha-sangaha), bestows a threefold Blessing: favourable Rebirth, present happy Life, and purity of Mind which is the condition of Insight. Concentration (Samādhi) is the indispensable foundation and precondition of Insight by purifying the Mind from the 5 Mental Defilements or hindrances (Nīvarana), whilst Insight (vipassanā) produces the 4 supra mundane stages of holiness and deliverance of Mind. The Buddha therefore says:
And in Mil. it is said: "Just as when a lighted lamp is brought into a dark chamber, the lamp-Light will destroy the darkness and produce and spread the Light, just so will Insight, once arisen, destroy the darkness of Ignorance and produce the Light of Knowledge."
- 10 Kasina-exercises (s. Kasina). These produce the 4 absorptions
- 10 loathsome subjects (asubha). These produce the 1st absorption.
- 10 recollections (Anussati):
Among these, the recollection (or Mindfulness) of in-and-out breathing may produce all the 4 absorptions, that of the Body the 1st absorption, the rest only neighbourhood-Concentration (upacāra-Samādhi, s. Samādhi).
Of these, the first 3 exercises may produce 3 absorptions, the last one the 4th absorption only.
These are based upon the 4th absorption.
- 1 Perception of the loathsomeness of Food (āhāre patikkūla-saññā), which may produce neighbourhood-Concentration
- 1 analysis of the 4 elements (catudhātu-vavatthāna, s. Dhātu-vavatthāna), which may produce neighbourhood-Concentration.