Contact, Suffering, Cessation Qs?

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Re: Contact, Suffering, Cessation Qs?

Postby Dmytro » Thu May 20, 2010 4:20 pm

Hi Adosa,

adosa wrote:Part of my original question centered around whether or not we as ordinary, unenlightened individuals have the ability to see the cessation of suffering even if for just a moment, considering that the process from contact to craving (and thus suffering) is so fast and so prolific due to the myriad of contacts occurring at a given time.


Buddha called the jhanas "Dittha-dhamma-Nibbana", Nibbana seen in this very life, since in these states the suffering of the mental nature (cetasika dukkha) is temporarily suspended. It's not that the contact stops, - the contact in jhanas doesn't bring about suffering.

Ordinary people can also attain at least momentary concentration states. And everyone has experienced moments of clarity and relief when the mental hindrances are temporarily absent.

Metta, Dmytro
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Re: Contact, Suffering, Cessation Qs?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 20, 2010 4:24 pm

Dmytro wrote:
Buddha called the jhanas "Dittha-dhamma-Nibbana", Nibbana seen in this very life,
Of course that invites the request to cite the text(s) that support what you have just claimed. It is not that I doubt your statement; I'd just like to see it in context.
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: Contact, Suffering, Cessation Qs?

Postby adosa » Thu May 20, 2010 10:39 pm

ReadyFeet wrote:So, If I may ask....

If one lives a life where one reads lots of Dhamma books and tries hard to meditate but still engages in social activity with friends, works and plays lota of sports etc is it possible for me to achieve any of the benefits of the Dhamma's if I am essentially "flooded with contact and suffering" all the time. I like to think that as my compassion and understanding for all those around me deepens so does my spiritual maturity. Any suggestions. Thanks.



Hello ReadyFeet,

In my very humble opinion, you are achieving one of the most, if not the most important benefit of the Dhamma when you say "my compassion and understanding for all those around me deepens." Keep practicing. Even Stream Entrants still enjoy sensual pleasures. This is a gradual path and we can't be expected, nor would it be lasting, to throw away everything we enjoy in life without first seeing first hand, through insight, the dangers in and fleeting nature of these pleasures. As unenlightened beings much of the dukkha we experience we don't even know is dukkha since we don't have that glimpse of nibbana to weigh it against. We don't know release so we don't always know how much dukkha we are really experiencing.

I used to beat myself up with this concept but my main focus now is, as you say, the "deepening of compassion and understanding." If nothing else the world would be a much, much better place if this type of personal growth was universal.


adosa :smile:
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
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Re: Contact, Suffering, Cessation Qs?

Postby Dmytro » Fri May 21, 2010 1:21 am

Hi Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
Dmytro wrote:
Buddha called the jhanas "Dittha-dhamma-Nibbana", Nibbana seen in this very life,
Of course that invites the request to cite the text(s) that support what you have just claimed. It is not that I doubt your statement; I'd just like to see it in context.


With pleasure:

10. Diṭṭhadhammanibbānasuttaṃ - Extinction in this very life

005.10. ”Friend, it is said, `extinction in this very life” how far is it extinction in this very life as told by The Blessed One?”

“Here, friend, the bhikkhu secluding the mind from sensual desires ... re ... abides in the first higher state of the mind. Friend, mastering this is extinction in this very life, said The Blessed One.

Again, friend, the bhikkhu overcoming thoughts and discursive thoughts ... re ... abides in the second higher state of the mind ... third higher state of the mind, ... fourth higher state of the mind Friend, mastering this is extinction in this very life, said The Blessed One.

Again, friend, the bhikkhu overcoming all perceptions of matter and all perceptions of anger, not attending to various perceptions, with space is boundless abides in the sphere of space. Friend, mastering this is extinction in this very life, said The Blessed One ... re ...

Again, friend, the bhikkhu overcoming all the sphere of neither perceptions nor non-perceptions abides in the cessation of perceptions and feelings. Friend, mastering, this is extinction in this very life, said The Blessed One.”

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html

Surely there's also Tapussa Sutta, etc.:

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

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Re: Contact, Suffering, Cessation Qs?

Postby Sylvester » Fri May 21, 2010 5:31 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Adosa,

adosa wrote:Part of my original question centered around whether or not we as ordinary, unenlightened individuals have the ability to see the cessation of suffering even if for just a moment, considering that the process from contact to craving (and thus suffering) is so fast and so prolific due to the myriad of contacts occurring at a given time.


Buddha called the jhanas "Dittha-dhamma-Nibbana", Nibbana seen in this very life, since in these states the suffering of the mental nature (cetasika dukkha) is temporarily suspended. It's not that the contact stops, - the contact in jhanas doesn't bring about suffering.

Ordinary people can also attain at least momentary concentration states. And everyone has experienced moments of clarity and relief when the mental hindrances are temporarily absent.

Metta, Dmytro



Dear Dmytro

Might be it possible to interpret the Jhana formula as implying that Contact based on the external ayatanas, external indriyas and corresponding consciousness have "nirodhaed" in Jhana? (I'm using "nirodha" in the sense of "not arisen", as suggested by Ven Payutto to distinguish it from other contexts of "nirodha' which should read as "ceased").

The Mahaniddana Sutta, DN 15 says that at any time, there can be only one vedana of the 3 being felt. The Mahasaccaka Sutta, MN 36 has the Buddha considering that 1st Jhana is "pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality (kama), nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities (akusala dhamma)?" The standard Jhana formula which have piti-sukha, read with DN 15 and MN 36 might support the inference that in those Jhanas, there is ONLY mental pleasure, to the exclusion of all other vedanas.

If Contact is the condition of Vedana (per Madhupindika Sutta, MN 18, and Mahapunnama Sutta, MN 109), and only mental pleasure can be felt in Jhana, would that not suggest that the other 5 classes of Contact based on the external ayatanas are absent in Jhana?

I like what you say about "the contact in jhanas doesn't bring about suffering". Little wonder the Buddha declared the Jhanas to be Nibbana seen in this life. If "suffering" is indeed the 5 clinging aggregates, and Nibbana is the nirodha of clinging, that suggests that the khandhas in Jhana are subject to very very little clinging, if at all, during the duration of the Jhana.

At least that is how I understand that Arahats still experience Contact and Feelings etc without suffering - their aggregates are simply not clinging.
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