Seven mental processes 七種作意（色界四禪及四無色定的七種內在)
The seven mental processes (Wyl. yid la byed pa bdun) are the mental processes by means of which the samadhis of the four dhyanas and four formless absorptions are attained. Sometimes only the first six are mentioned.
- mental process of precisely discerning characteristics (mtshan nyid rab tu rig pa'i yid byed) 了相作意。謂若作意能正覺了欲界麤相初靜慮靜相。
- mental process of conviction (mos pa las byung ba'i yid byed) 勝解作意。於所緣相發起勝解。修奢摩他毘缽舍那。既修習已如所尋思。麤相靜相數起勝解。如是名為勝解作意。
- mental process of thorough separation (rab tu dben pa las byung ba'i yid byed) 遠離作意。即此勝解善修善習善多修習為因緣故。最初生起斷煩惱道。即所生起斷煩惱道俱行作意。此中說名遠離作意。
- mental process of gaining joy (dga' ba sdud pa'i yid byed) 攝樂作意。從是已後愛樂於斷愛樂遠離。於諸斷中見勝功德。觸證少分遠離喜樂。於時時間欣樂作意而深慶悅。於時時間厭離作意而深厭患。為欲除遣惛沈睡眠掉舉等故。如是名為攝樂作意。
- mental process of examination (dpyod pa yid byed) 觀察作意。便作是念。我今為有於諸欲中貪欲煩惱不覺知耶。為無有耶。為審觀察如是事故隨於一種可愛淨相作意思惟。猶未永斷諸隨眠。故思惟如是淨妙相時。便復發起隨習近心趣習近心臨習近心。不能住捨。不能厭毀制伏違逆。彼作是念。我於諸欲猶未解脫其心。猶未正得解脫。我心仍為諸行制伏。如水被持。未為法性之所制伏。我今復應為欲永斷餘隨眠故。正勤安住樂斷樂修。如是名為觀察作意。
- mental process of the culmination of engagement (sbyor ba'i mtha' yid la byed pa) 加行究竟作意。當於爾時初靜慮地前加行道已得究竟一切煩惱對治。作意已得生起。是名加行究竟作意。
- mental process of the result of the culmination of engagement (sbyor ba'i mtha'i 'bras bu yid byed) 加行究竟果作意。從此無間由是因緣證入根本初靜慮定。即此根本初靜慮定俱行作意。名加行究竟果作意。
Khenpo Pema Vajra says:
- Once pliancy is attained, there is a foundation for developing the wisdom of vipashyana. This is the preparatory stage which is known as ‘the capable stage.’ At this point, there are seven mental processes through which the main part of dhyana meditation is accomplished.
- Firstly, there is the mental process of precisely discerning characteristics, in which one understands the positive and negative qualities of the three realms and their respective causes, the mental afflictions of the different levels of existence as well as the special qualities of dhyana meditation.
- Secondly, there is the mental process of conviction, which is the confident belief arising out of this meditation that the flaws of the lower levels should be discarded, while the qualities of the higher levels should be attained.
- Then, the mental process of thorough separation involves discarding the coarser type of thoughts that should be abandoned by applying the antidote to the mental afflictions of a lower plane of existence.
- When one is freed from these mental afflictions of a lower stage, one attains the joy and physical wellbeing of mental and physical pliancy, and this is known as the mental process of gaining joy.
- The mental process of examination means that while the mind is abiding at a particular level, the mental afflictions of the level below should not arise, and so one deliberately focuses on a given object and carefully examines the mind, abandoning any afflictions that do develop.
- The mental process of the culmination of engagement is the unimpeded path during which the antidote that overcomes the subtle mental afflictions of the lower level arises in the mind.
- The mental process of the result of the culmination of engagement is the path of total release, at which point there is no longer any need to apply an antidote, the mental afflictions of the lower level having been totally eradicated.
- This is how the mind of the main dhyana practice is accomplished.
- six/seven attentions
- six/seven mental engagements
- See for example Kangyur Rinpoche, Treasury of Precious Qualities, Shambhala, 2001, n. 219, p. 388 (where they are refered to as the six types of attention) and B. Alan Wallace, Bridge of Quiescence: Experiencing Tibetan Buddhist Meditation, pp.217-8 (where they are referred to as the six mental engagements)