Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:39 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Dave,
daverupa wrote:I'd like to see a Sutta with only paramattha language, as pertains to bhavana. Can one be provided?

From my point of view there are hundreds, starting with the second discourse:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

*Sigh* :tongue: How is any word of that discourse paramattha Mike?

Well, sorry, but I really have trouble figuring out what Dave is trying to ask, so I pointed out, yet again, that that whole discourse is framed in terms of khandhas, not in terms of "conventional beings".

I have been trying to avoid the term "paramattha" but I assumed that this was the sense that Dave was using it. Another possible reply would have been that there in no "paramattha" in the suttas in this sense...

:anjali:
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby Nyana » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:56 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Well, sorry, but I really have trouble figuring out what Dave is trying to ask, so I pointed out, yet again, that that whole discourse is framed in terms of khandhas, not in terms of "conventional beings".

I have been trying to avoid the term "paramattha" but I assumed that this was the sense that Dave was using it. Another possible reply would have been that there in no "paramattha" in the suttas in this sense...

No need to apologize to me Mike. I think you're a pretty straight up guy. But for what it's worth, I'd suggest that your other possible reply is probably more accurate: there in no "paramattha" in the suttas in this sense...
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote: that whole discourse is framed in terms of khandhas, not in terms of "conventional beings".


My point is perhaps too subtle to appear meaningful:

...to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted...


Talk of khandas, and then instantly a reference to a being. The whole discourse is not framed in terms of khandas, else there could be no reference to a being such as a disciple; it is not framed in purely ultimate terms because no Sutta is - throughout the Suttas the Buddha teaches without using such affectations.

The abhidhamma et al, whence the two truth idea, attempts such affectations. The Buddha never does. This is really the whole of the point: understanding Sutta-based bhavana cannot proceed via these sorts of interpolated dichotomies without such artifice becoming obfuscatory because such artifice always intervenes between the Buddha's words and the reader's understanding. Some artifice (English is not Pali, for example) is unavoidable for most; but keeping these things thin on the ground is of paramount importance, is it not?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:43 am

daverupa wrote:My point is perhaps too subtle to appear meaningful:
...

Perhaps. It's certainly too subtle for me to be particularly concerned with...

:anjali:
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:50 am

Greetings Mike,

If I understand Dave's point correctly, adding "interpolated dichotomies" (Dave's words), which are sankharas (my words), runs counter to the intent to 'progress through a series of "peeling away layers of delusion"' (your words).

Less is more, more or less.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

If I understand Dave's point correctly, adding "interpolated dichotomies" (Dave's words), which are sankharas (my words), runs counter to the intent to 'progress through a series of "peeling away layers of delusion"' (your words).

Less is more, more or less.

Metta,
Retro. :)
But how much of a dichotomy actually is there? The conventional language and the more precise language are talking about the same thing; they are often used together, but without understanding the differences, mistakes can be made. So, what is actually meant by dichotomy here? I thought this has already been settled.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:59 am

Greetings Tilt,

I don't know, you'll have to ask Dave... I was just hoping to rephrase Dave's comments to assist Mike in understanding the point that Dave is attempting to communicate. Facilitation, as it were.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

I don't know, you'll have to ask Dave... I was just hoping to rephrase Dave's comments to assist Mike in understanding the point that Dave is attempting to communicate. Facilitation, as it were.

Metta,
Retro. :)
I think dave has missed the point on this.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:22 am

Hi Retro,

Personally, I see Dave's point as merely being picky about the language. In my opinion, has little relevance. Others clearly disagree, but if they were going to look at it seriously they'd need to carefully examine the Pali syntax.

:anjali:
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:42 am

It's a matter of small degrees becoming large degrees, but I'll not press the point. It's obviously not something others are interested in pursuing.

:alien:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:50 am

daverupa wrote:It's a matter of small degrees becoming large degrees, but I'll not press the point. It's obviously not something others are interested in pursuing.

Not :alien:

more like: Image
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:49 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Dave,
daverupa wrote:I'd like to see a Sutta with only paramattha language, as pertains to bhavana. Can one be provided?

From my point of view there are hundreds, starting with the second discourse:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
Mike

Mikenz66,
I just had an idea....maybe a bad one......you indicate that this sutta uses only paramattha language......it seems to me that if there are "two truths" then the truth of this sutta could be expressed in non-paramattha terms.....it seems unlikely to me but I thought that maybe trying to do this would yield some foothold on some kind of understanding....maybe not.....just an idea......I've been sort of brainstorming on this two truths idea and when I brainstorm often what washes up onshore is just flotsam and jetsum of the discardable kind.....
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby Sylvester » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:00 am

To add to Karunadasa's listing of suttanta ideas of 2 truths, there is also the division between pariyayena (with elucidation/metaphorical) versus nippariyayena (without elucidation/literal) used.
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:04 am

Sylvester wrote:To add to Karunadasa's listing of suttanta ideas of 2 truths, there is also the division between pariyayena (with elucidation/metaphorical) versus nippariyayena (without elucidation/literal) used.
And I know that you would be delighted to expand in that in clear, concise English.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby Sylvester » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:16 am

Sorry, that will have to wait until the World Tipitaka site is up again. I tried accessing it just now, to use its search engine to generate all the suttanta occurences of these 2 words. My browser went into a seizure because of that site.
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:14 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:how does one "see" the three marks of a concept?

Concept is an object of mind-consciousness ...

In which sutta does it say that a concept is an object of mind-conciousness?

At the very least, thinking about a concept involves a very complicated sequence of mind-objects. At least that's my experience...

Which is the point of this thread. In the suttas insight (where it is explained in detail) seems to arise as a result of breaking down experience into simple objects.

It seems like an important question to ask whether there are examples of insight arising via complicated objects. Some sutta references would be appreciated.

:anjali:
Mike


Dear all,

I've not read through all the thread, so I've probably missed some important points...

However, I think that the above is the KEY point to this discussion.

IMO, concepts are not direct object of mind-conciousness. As Mike haspointed out, they are result of a complex process involving sannas (memory) among others. The thing is, what can be understood by panna as anicca, dukkha, anatta is the process it-self, not the result of that process.

Let's say, now pay attention to your body, it's the touching- sense door is involved, right? What the touching sense door can experience directly: only heaviness, softness, motion...
Can you know that this is hand, leg etc... without the mind- door process, remembering what has been learned before?
Now the mind-door process can be known too, but it is distinctive from the final answer "this is leg, hand etc..." although all happen in a split second. When sati is aware of this entire process, panna arises and understand that this is just a process, only elements, nobody is there. Panna is not concerned with hand, leg or whatever the result of that process.

It doesn't really matter whether cittas, cetasikas etc... are ultimately real, arguing about that is only for the sake of arguing.
What is more important is that they are objects of sati and panna, while house, leg, hand... are not.

Becoming aware of their characteristics of anicca, dukkha, anatta are the steps leading to Nibanna. This is what the Buddha has repeatedly taught in the suttas, right? Without distinguishing concepts from the processes that create them, can we ever truly understand anicca, dukkha, anatta?

When talking about the tilakkhana, the Buddha always used paramatha, right? (seeing, hearing, perceptions, feeling, mental formations...), could someone points out otherwise?


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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:37 pm

Thanks dhamma follower, that's a good summary of the various issues.

:anjali:
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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:11 pm

Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:IMO, concepts are not direct object of mind-conciousness. As Mike haspointed out, they are result of a complex process involving sannas (memory) among others. The thing is, what can be understood by panna as anicca, dukkha, anatta is the process it-self, not the result of that process.

Regardless of how many times these concepts go round and around the papanca bush, they're still objects of mind-consciousness, otherwise they'd be outside sabba/loka/range. In the context of the six-consciousness schema, memory is mind-consciousness too.

MN 18 wrote:"Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future ideas cognizable via the intellect.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:IMO, concepts are not direct object of mind-conciousness. As Mike haspointed out, they are result of a complex process involving sannas (memory) among others. The thing is, what can be understood by panna as anicca, dukkha, anatta is the process it-self, not the result of that process.

Regardless of how many times these concepts go round and around the papanca bush, they're still objects of mind-consciousness, otherwise they'd be outside sabba/loka/range. In the context of the six-consciousness schema, memory is mind-consciousness too.

MN 18 wrote:"Dependent on intellect & ideas, intellect-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future ideas cognizable via the intellect.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

This is a subtle point, one's reading into the same quote can be different from another person.

When there is no sati-panna, the process creating a concept is not seen, then one takes the concept to be "real".
When sati - panna are present, it sees the process, and understand that concept is just a result of that process.

It is similar to the gestalt theory: a series of points give rise to the idea of something. When one focuses on the points, this idea of something dissapears as it were.

Since concepts don't exist without these mind-processes, they can not be said to be anicca, dukkha, anatta in and of them-selves. Rather, it is the process making them up that are. We dont realize that legs, hands, houses are anicca, dukkha, anatta (they can be in the thinking, but not as vipassana nana).

Sanna is not mind-consciouness it-self but a cetasika. The function of vinnana is to reflect only, while the function of sanna is to conceptualize.

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Re: Two "truths"/"descriptions" and meditation in the suttas

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:43 am

Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:One's reading into the same quote can be different from another person.

Indeed - it appears your reading is rooted in Abhidhamma, whereas mine is not.

:broke:

This being the Mental Cultivation in the Sutta Pitaka forum, I'll leave it there.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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