About nibbana

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About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:47 pm

Has anyone read AB's book "mindfulness, bliss and beyond"? If so, don't you think he is describing a more absorption kind of meditation and not necessarily anapanasathi as the Buddha explained it?

He has described that the mind attends to "Nibbana" when arising from the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception". Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana. Ajhan Buddhadasa doesn't even mention that higher jhanas are necessary for Nibbana.

Will appreciate your opinions

:namaste:
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Re: About nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:08 pm

There's no jhana
for one with no discernment,
no
discernment
for one with no jhana.
But one with both jhana
&
discernment:
he's on the verge
of Unbinding. (ie- not yet there, almost there)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-372
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: About nibbana

Postby IanAnd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:11 pm

Sunrise wrote:Has anyone read AB's book "mindfulness, bliss and beyond"? If so, don't you think he is describing a more absorption kind of meditation and not necessarily anapanasathi as the Buddha explained it?

Ajahn Brahm has a tendency to describe absorption in terms of the deeper manifestations of such. But this is only his opinion. And there is no consensus that his opinion is correct for anyone but himself. There are several other meditation teachers who teach a kind of "middle path" on this issue, and like rowyourboat suggests, that one should develop discernment using concentration (samadhi) and absorption concentration (jhana) to help develop these abilities and guide one's practice. You cannot explore (contemplate) matters of insight if your mind is completely blanked out (no possibility of thought, no decision—making process, no perception of time, consciousness is nondual making comprehension inaccessible, the five senses are fully shut off) and you are basking in "bliss" a la Aj. Brahm's model. Although you can use that state (primarily the 4th jhana) to help condition the mind to be able to attain it again in the future or to help develop and strengthen sati (mindfulness) in normal everyday consciousness, which will take you a great deal of the way toward nibbana. Remember, the Buddha once said, "Bhikkhus, mindfulness, I say, is always useful."

Sunrise wrote:He has described that the mind attends to "Nibbana" when arising from the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception". Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana. Ajhan Buddhadasa doesn't even mention that higher jhanas are necessary for Nibbana.

Opinions are like noses: everyone has one. What really matter is: are you able to quiet the mind and to be able to see "things as they are" and not be deluded by your own prejudices.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:24 am

IanAnd wrote:You cannot explore (contemplate) matters of insight if your mind is completely blanked out (no possibility of thought, no decision—making process, no perception of time, consciousness is nondual making comprehension inaccessible, the five senses are fully shut off) and you are basking in "bliss" a la Aj. Brahm's model.


Agree with this. However, AB explains vipassana in the immediate neighborhood of jhana not while in the jhana
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:26 am

IanAnd wrote:Opinions are like noses: everyone has one. What really matter is: are you able to quiet the mind and to be able to see "things as they are" and not be deluded by your own prejudices.


Thanks for your opinion Ian ;)
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Re: About nibbana

Postby IanAnd » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:55 am

In light of another thread, I re-read your original questions and came up with the following:
Sunrise wrote:Has anyone read AB's book "mindfulness, bliss and beyond"? If so, don't you think he is describing a more absorption kind of meditation and not necessarily anapanasathi as the Buddha explained it?

Yes, your observation is correct.

Sunrise wrote:He has described that the mind attends to "Nibbana" when arising from the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception".

Yes, this can occur. However, there is also another way that this can occur. SN 12.70 and AN 4.87 tell us of arahants liberated through discernment who may not have any of the formless attainments.

Sunrise wrote:Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana.

Well, certainly not during the attainment of the ninth jhana, the cessation of perception and feeling, since there is no awareness in that state except on coming out of it and in review. So, in that sense, what Bh. Vimala is stating here is true. He must be speaking about the ninth jhana rather than the eighth — neither perception nor non-perception, in which the practitioner retains awareness.

Sunrise wrote:Ajhan Buddhadasa doesn't even mention that higher jhanas are necessary for Nibbana.

And this view harkens back to the arahant liberated through discernment who may not have any of the formless attainments.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:22 pm

Many thanks Ian.
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Re: About nibbana

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:14 am

Sunrise wrote:
Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana


i believe when he is describing the blackout thing he is criticizing the Mahasi method
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:16 am

jcsuperstar wrote:
Sunrise wrote:
Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana


i believe when he is describing the blackout thing he is criticizing the Mahasi method


I didn't get any clue that he is specifically criticizing the Mahasi method but then again I haven't followed his teachings all that much so maybe I have missed that point. The idea I got was that he is stating that the perception of nothingness (I don't remember if it is the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception" or anything beyond that) is not necessarily Nibbana. As he says, his mind has attended to this state but it was a mere blackout with no vipassana or any cessation. On the contrarily, AB specifically says that when arising from the perception of nothingness there is only one possibility: either arahathhood or anagami
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Kenshou » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:29 am

Really? Anagami or arahant due to simply the sphere of nothingness? Are you sure he didn't mean the cessation of perception and feeling?

If you aren't mistaken, then Ajahn Brahm most likely is.
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:01 am

Kenshou wrote:Really? Anagami or arahant due to simply the sphere of nothingness? Are you sure he didn't mean the cessation of perception and feeling?

If you aren't mistaken, then Ajahn Brahm most likely is.


What do you mean by "cessation of feeling?" :jawdrop:
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Kenshou » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:10 am

There is a meditative accomplishment beyond neither-perception-nor-non-perception, which is sañña-vedayita-nirodha/the cessation of perception and feeling.

In which apparently, consciousness stops occurring and everything stops for a little while. I believe that this does, supposedly, bring a person to the level of anagami at least. But the formless jhana of nothingness doesn't do that.
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Re: About nibbana

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:12 am

Sunrise wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:
Sunrise wrote:
Bhante Vimalaramsi seems to be explaining this as a mere "total blackout" and does not lead to Nibbana


i believe when he is describing the blackout thing he is criticizing the Mahasi method


I didn't get any clue that he is specifically criticizing the Mahasi method but then again I haven't followed his teachings all that much so maybe I have missed that point. The idea I got was that he is stating that the perception of nothingness (I don't remember if it is the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception" or anything beyond that) is not necessarily Nibbana. As he says, his mind has attended to this state but it was a mere blackout with no vipassana or any cessation. On the contrarily, AB specifically says that when arising from the perception of nothingness there is only one possibility: either arahathhood or anagami

in the past I've listened to a lot of his talks and 99% of the time if he is criticizing a method it is the mahasi method since that is what he learned in Burma and according to him he mastered it and it doesn't lead to awakening.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Kenshou » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:21 am

Pardon me, what are you talking about? Lacking context.
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Re: About nibbana

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:26 am

Kenshou wrote:Pardon me, what are you talking about? Lacking context.

nevermind mispost sorry :tongue:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:09 am

Kenshou wrote:There is a meditative accomplishment beyond neither-perception-nor-non-perception, which is sañña-vedayita-nirodha/the cessation of perception and feeling.

In which apparently, consciousness stops occurring and everything stops for a little while. I believe that this does, supposedly, bring a person to the level of anagami at least. But the formless jhana of nothingness doesn't do that.


Great. This is somewhat close to what I wanted to know. It sounds like AB is talking about a state where "consciousness stops occurring". I need to take a look at the book again because if I remember right he is referring to it as a formless jhana. :shrug: Anyway not sure how this can probably make a being enlightened :shrug:
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Re: About nibbana

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:00 am

Hi Sunrise, could you give us a page reference or a short quote, since I can't find what you are referring to in Ajahn Brahm's book...

Mike
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Zom » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:08 am

Anyway not sure how this can probably make a being enlightened


It can make you enlightened, because when you come out of nirodha samapatti, you reflect, that "evertyhing ended there", and because of that you see directly that there is no "me" at all. If everything disappears and nothing is left, then this is the direct realization of anatta. That is why nirodha-samapatti is so useful. By the way, I think that nirodha samapatti and "dwelling in nibbana" (like Buddha did sometimes for 7 days) these are the same things. Visuddhimagga and some suttas also point on that.
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Nyana » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:13 pm

Zom wrote:I think that nirodha samapatti and "dwelling in nibbana" (like Buddha did sometimes for 7 days) these are the same things. Visuddhimagga and some suttas also point on that.

Hi Zom,

Even in the Visuddhimagga the cessation attainment (nirodhasamāpatti), a.k.a. the cessation of apperception and feeling (saññāvedayitanirodha), while nominally mentioned as similar to nibbāna in a couple of passages, nevertheless is not the same as nibbāna. Visuddhimagga 23.52:

    As to the question: Is the attainment of cessation formed or unformed, etc.? It is not classifiable as formed or unformed, mundane or supramundane. Why? Because it has no individual essence. But since it comes to be attained by one who attains it, it is therefore permissible to say that it is produced, not unproduced.

It also can't be designated as the same as nibbāna because, as the Visuddhimagga points out, the cessation attainment requires mastery of the four formless attainments before it can be entered. Since there are arahants who haven't developed the formless attainments, they are incapable of attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling. Nevertheless, they are fully liberated through discernment.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: About nibbana

Postby Sunrise » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:38 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sunrise, could you give us a page reference or a short quote, since I can't find what you are referring to in Ajahn Brahm's book...

Mike


Hey Mike. I don't have the book with me right now as I gave it to a friend. But it is there when he is describing Nibbana after describing in detail all the formless jhanas one after the other. I looked at the table of contents in the PDF and if I am not mistaken it should be in chapter "Onward to Full Enlightenment". It comes right after the description of the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception"
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