We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:10 am

Greetings Ed

This one immediately came to mind: Rohitassa Sutta: To Rohitassa
Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the cosmos, the origination of the cosmos, the cessation of the cosmos, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the cosmos."

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


I'll try and dig some more out later...

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby octathlon » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:15 am

PeterB wrote:Ergo the purpose of meditation practice in Buddhism is not to cast off these bodies or transcend them, it is instead to gain insight into the way that the khandas arise...including rupa.

Funny, I was just thinking about this yesterday, how the Buddhist meditation I do now is so different from the meditation I always used to do, in that I now very much include and focus on the body. I see now that what my old way was doing was really disconnecting from the body. Even though I did start by focusing intently on the body, I did that in order to disconnect from it until it was as if the body didn't exist at all. Now, I focus intently on the breath and/or body, in order to keep my attention on it, not remove my attention from it. So I agree completely with the statement.
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby phil » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:49 am

Hi all

Great topic, a couple of points which may or may not be relevant.

1) I can't for the life of me find it now, but yesterday in one of my too-many notebooks, I came across a quote from Bhikkhu Bodhi, I think from his series of talks on Majjhima Nikaya. Anyways, the gist was that according to Bhikkhu Bodhi at least, mindfulness in the body, awareness of and understanding of the physical processes and rupas involved is helpful for establishing conditions for understanding of the mental processes. So there was in that quotation at least an implied move towards understanding of the mental processes by first establishing understanding of rupas through mindfulnes of the body. I may be misquoting or may have misunderstood. And of course in any case, it was Bhikkhu Bodhi, not the Buddha. And maybe this is no news to anybody.

2) There are at least a few teachings, I think, that say that rupas are particularly to be mistrusted as treacherous and as leading us into suffering. Here is an example: "THe Buddha said to the Brahmin Pinguya: 'People are intoxicated, they are oppressed by physical phenomena, ruupas. It can be seen that people are disturbed becuase of ruupas. Therefore, Pingiya, you should not be negelectful, you should give up clinging to rupas so that you will not be reborn. " (from "The Questions of Pingiya" from Culaniddesa of the khuddhaka Nikaya as quoted in Sujin Boriharnwanaket's book "The Perfections Leading to Englightenment.") I think it is great that we appreciate any health and energy provided through our bodies as a temporary blessing and use that energy to develop sila, samadhi and panna. But our attitude to our bodies should be extremely mistrustful. Again, no news to anybody, I guess.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:57 am

Hi Ben and everyone...yes Ben with characteristic aplomb you have expressed my intention better than I did..

I think that there is a real tendency in western Buddhism to assume that the object is some kind of disembodied state.
The Buddha makes it clear that having a human form is in fact an ace in our hand if we play it right....
We have all the equipment we need right here...we breath in, we breath out...it will with proper instruction take us home...its not easy, but it is simple.
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby Sylvester » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:03 am

While we have to work with this fathom-long body, what happens when Nibbida takes over, eg MN 22 and MN 152?
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:16 am

We each of us have a tendency to see certain qualities or effects in isolation for purposes of discursive understanding...in reality the situation is always complex. If we are doing it right one quality or effect will be balanced by another...in this case nibbida will be balanced by upekkha.
Nibbida is a form of attachment with a minus sign. The medicine for attachment of any kind is upekkha. What the Greeks called apathia..
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby Sylvester » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:37 am

A bit too abtract for me, that "attachment with a minus sign". I associate it with something verging on strong revulsion, given Nibbida's close relation to the similes of the carcass of a snake employed by MN 20. The apathia response, if we adopt MN 152's sequence, seems to come earlier in those who are not yet sekkhas.
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:47 am

I bow to your superior attainment Sylvester, after several decades I am still working on upekkha personally.
:anjali:



PS ..revulsion IS attachment.
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby Sylvester » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:37 am

If you say so, Pete. I'm still waiting for my uppekha, and dare not even imagine Nibbida beyond the pages of texts.
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Re: We Are Not Spirits Who Have Aquired Bodies.

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:12 pm

Likewise... :anjali:
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