Location of the Mind?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby kitztack » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:43 pm

as another aside, i remember reading the great Yoga teacher Swami Sivananda say that when we sleep, the mind rests in the heart. i used to visualise the process as a means for falling asleep quicly and deeply
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby suttametta » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:30 am

Ben wrote:Sutta metta,
I am not interested in your unsupported opinions.
If you cannot support your contentions with evidence, then please refrain from presenting it as doctrine.


There's this thing called the Pali dictionary. It gives the various definitions for words like virāga. As to heart base, If there is a Sutta that says the mind dwells in the heart, I'd be interested in reading it. So for I have been very patient with your baseless speech and angry tone. I have only made the contention that what you claim is absent from the record. I can't show you an absence. :-)
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby SarathW » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:22 am

Ben wrote:
suttametta wrote:This is Burmese abhidhamma. It's not in the sutras.



Essence of mind has no location, is my understanding. The mind-consciousness is in the brain, judging things, etc.


This seems a bit contradictory. The 'essence of mind' has no location yet the 'mind consciousness' is in the brain. Perhaps you can tell us what these two things are and how your contentions are supported in the Nikayas.
Thanks.


Hi SM
I tend to agree with Ben.
Brain is considered as the body.

:thinking:










B
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby kitztack » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:04 am

kitztack wrote:as another aside, i remember reading the great Yoga teacher Swami Sivananda say that when we sleep, the mind rests in the heart. i used to visualise the process as a means for falling asleep quicly and deeply


in the Dhammapada Citta VaggaDhp03 it states:
. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

Ven. Narada says interestly of the seat of consciousness that belief in the 'cardiac theory' seems to stem from pre-existing Brahmanistic belief of the time
Guhàsaya§ - i.e., the seat of consciousness. It is clear that the Buddha has not definitely assigned a specific basis for consciousness as He had done with the other senses. It was the cardiac theory (the theory that the heart is the seat of consciousness) that prevailed in His time, and this was evidently supported by the Upanishads. The Buddha could have adopted this popular theory, but He did not commit Himself. In the Paññhàna, the Book of Relations, the Buddha refers to the basis of consciousness in such indirect terms as ya§ råpa§ nissàya, dependent on that material thing. What the material thing was the Buddha did not positively assert. According to the views of commentators like the Venerables Buddhaghosa and Anuruddha the seat of consciousness is the heart (hadayavatthu).

One wonders whether one is justified in presenting the cardiac theory as Buddhistic when the Buddha Himself neither rejected nor accepted this popular theory


http://www.metta.lk/english/Narada/03-Citta%20Vagga.htm
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby suttametta » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:47 pm

kitztack wrote:
kitztack wrote:as another aside, i remember reading the great Yoga teacher Swami Sivananda say that when we sleep, the mind rests in the heart. i used to visualise the process as a means for falling asleep quicly and deeply


in the Dhammapada Citta VaggaDhp03 it states:
. Dwelling in the cave (of the heart), the mind, without form, wanders far and alone. Those who subdue this mind are liberated from the bonds of Mara.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

Ven. Narada says interestly of the seat of consciousness that belief in the 'cardiac theory' seems to stem from pre-existing Brahmanistic belief of the time
Guhàsaya§ - i.e., the seat of consciousness. It is clear that the Buddha has not definitely assigned a specific basis for consciousness as He had done with the other senses. It was the cardiac theory (the theory that the heart is the seat of consciousness) that prevailed in His time, and this was evidently supported by the Upanishads. The Buddha could have adopted this popular theory, but He did not commit Himself. In the Paññhàna, the Book of Relations, the Buddha refers to the basis of consciousness in such indirect terms as ya§ råpa§ nissàya, dependent on that material thing. What the material thing was the Buddha did not positively assert. According to the views of commentators like the Venerables Buddhaghosa and Anuruddha the seat of consciousness is the heart (hadayavatthu).

One wonders whether one is justified in presenting the cardiac theory as Buddhistic when the Buddha Himself neither rejected nor accepted this popular theory


http://www.metta.lk/english/Narada/03-Citta%20Vagga.htm


Good catch, w Dhp cite. This is right. I stand corrected. Thank you.
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby kitztack » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:22 pm

suttametta, the translation by Thannisaro Bhikku does not mention heart at all, only refers to the mind dwelling in a cave,and 'alighting wherever it likes' in the previous birth so the translations seem to be open to different interpretations.

Thanissaro Bhikku wrote:
So hard to see,
so very, very subtle,
alighting wherever it likes:
the mind.
The wise should guard it.
The mind protected
brings ease.

Wandering far,
going alone,
bodiless,
lying in a cave:
the mind.
Those who restrain it:
from Mara's bonds
they'll be freed.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


venerable Narada wrote:
5. Faring far, wandering alone, bodiless, lying in a cave, is the mind. Those who subdue it are freed from the bond of Màra. 37.

http://www.metta.lk/english/Narada/03-Citta%20Vagga.htm

here is the Pali for anyone who is interested
Dåraïgama§ ekacara§ Þ
asarãra§ guhàsaya§
Ye citta§ sa¤¤amessanti Þ
mokkhanti màrabandhanà
. 37.

this topic is interesting but beyond the scope of my insights :)

it was the description of the heart basis being a very bright fine subtle matter which attracted my interest also in the OP,
Almost like a description of a chakra.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby convivium » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:15 pm

So consciousness is localized in the brain according to the suttas? I remember reading Ajahn Amaro/Passano talking about the non-localization of CS in the island. It would have interesting ramifications w/ regard to rebirth if CS was localized in the brain whether causally, supervening, etc.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:08 pm

"Very well then, Kotthita my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name & form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Mind and matter are dependent on each other. Asking for the location of mind is tantamount to asking "Where is everything?" There is no where you can point away from it and imo the question makes no sense.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby SarathW » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:52 pm

Hi M
Actually this question is very important question.
See my previous post and read through the article.
For example how does mind arise in a Arupavacra realm if there is no matter?
:thinking:
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:37 am

Well if you want to create transcendental mind-realms you are certainly free to do that, but this is the only universe you have to do it in and afaik in every buddhist tradition:
In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby chownah » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:11 am

People who hold the view that the external world exists independently of experience often wonder where the mind is located. People who do not hold the view that the external world exists independently rarely wonder where the mind is located.....questioning where the mind is does not occur to one who does not hold the view of an external world existing independently.
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby SarathW » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:15 am

Hi Chownah and M
I see your point.
But why Buddha did bother to teach them?
:shrug:
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby MidGe » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:07 am

From "The Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma", Bikkhu Bodhi, general editor (pg 144, Ch III Guide to para 20):

Heart-base (hadayavatthu): According to the Pali commentators, the heart serves as the physical support for all cittas other than the two sets of fivefold sense consciousness, which take their respective sensitivities as their bases. In the canonical Abhidhamma the heart-base is not expressly mentioned. The Paṭṭhāna, the last book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, simply speaks of “that matter in dependence on which the mind element and mind-consciousness element occur” (i,4). The Commentaries, however, subsequently specify “that matter” to be the heart-base, a cavity situated within the physical heart.


Hope this helps.
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby suttametta » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:44 pm

I stand uncorrected! The plot thickens... :jawdrop:
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby thelotuseffect » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:56 pm

Mind is immaterial and without location, like a rainbow. If a rainbow has a location why can you not touch it, or even see it when you look at it closely. You cannot see the origin of mind from the viewpoint of mind itself. If by mind you mean consciousness then consciousness is like a beam of light able to reveal things without touching them.

While there is dependence on physical matter for consciousness, you can still hear silence, taste the tasteless, feel neutral body sensation, smell nothing, see your own blindness (if you're blind), etc... This is because mind is immaterial and is able to be directed at will.
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby convivium » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:26 am

Mind and matter are dependent on each other. Asking for the location of mind is tantamount to asking "Where is everything?" There is no where you can point away from it and imo the question makes no sense.


"Very well then, Kotthita my friend, I will give you an analogy; for there are cases where it is through the use of an analogy that intelligent people can understand the meaning of what is being said. It is as if two sheaves of reeds were to stand leaning against one another. In the same way, from name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness, from consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name & form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress.


so name and form conditions CS and CS conditions name and form. i wonder exactly what this entails or amounts to.

in the transcendental dependent origination formulation i've read ignorance precedes everything or is the forerunner of at least sentient experience (not sure if there exists observer-independent ontologically objective phenomena on this view i.e. would a universe continue to exist if all sentient life disappeared for any period of time?)
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby MidGe » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:09 am

in the transcendental dependent origination formulation i've read ignorance precedes everything or is the forerunner of at least sentient experience (not sure if there exists observer-independent ontologically objective phenomena on this view i.e. would a universe continue to exist if all sentient life disappeared for any period of time?)


Dependent origination is beginning-less. You can think of it as a wheel. Ignorance is not an absolute beginning point to dependent origination, it is, however, the cause of suffering that can be eliminated and hence stop the running around the wheel.
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:29 am

would a universe continue to exist if all sentient life disappeared for any period of time?

=========
Human beings at the beginning of one world cycle are
of spontaneous birth. They don't have to get into the mother's
womb because they are the first human beings there. When
human beings appear in the world for the first time, they are
born spontaneously. It is like they fall down from the world of
Brahmas or something like that. It is said that at the
beginning there was no difference of sex. They were just
human beings. Sex-decad can be deficient for those human
beings who are born at the beginning of a world cycle by
spontaneous birth. Only later did sex and other differences
occur. In the beginning ages of the world cycle there were no
men or women, just human beings.
Page 365:
http://buddhispano.net/sites/default/fi ... ies-II.pdf
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby alan » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:28 am

Ben is on the right track here.
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Re: Location of the Mind?

Postby convivium » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:16 am

there has be some sort of over CS or higher CS to make sense of rebirth determined by karma.
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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