Luminous Mind. - What is it?

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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Viscid » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:44 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Viscid wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: "Luminous" simply refers to the initial act of awareness as the mind becomes aware of an object of consciousness.


Snore.

Then why call it 'Luminous?'
That initial bit of awareness before all the other stuff piles on has a claririty about it.


Clarity isn't radiant, which 'Luminous' implies.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:53 pm

Viscid wrote:Clarity isn't radiant, which 'Luminous' implies.
And how literal do we want to be? Shall talk about the clarity of a diamond?
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:03 pm

Pabhassara (adj.) [fr. bhās] shining, very bright, resplendent S i.145; v.92, 283; A i.10, 254, 257 sq., iii.16; Sn 48 (=parisuddha pariyodāta Nd2 402); J v.202, 170; Vv 171 (rucira+); Pv iii.31 (rucira+); Vism 223; 377; DhA i.28; VvA 12 (pakati˚ bright by nature).

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1663.pali
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:13 pm

kirk5a wrote:Pabhassara (adj.) [fr. bhās] shining, very bright, resplendent S i.145; v.92, 283; A i.10, 254, 257 sq., iii.16; Sn 48 (=parisuddha pariyodāta Nd2 402); J v.202, 170; Vv 171 (rucira+); Pv iii.31 (rucira+); Vism 223; 377; DhA i.28; VvA 12 (pakati˚ bright by nature).

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1663.pali

Are you envisioning some sort of beacon thingie, shining, glowing, radiating?
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Nibbida » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:22 pm

This pretty much explains it:

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."


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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:24 pm

Nibbida wrote:This pretty much explains it:

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."
And you are quibbling over words, why?
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:33 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:Pabhassara (adj.) [fr. bhās] shining, very bright, resplendent S i.145; v.92, 283; A i.10, 254, 257 sq., iii.16; Sn 48 (=parisuddha pariyodāta Nd2 402); J v.202, 170; Vv 171 (rucira+); Pv iii.31 (rucira+); Vism 223; 377; DhA i.28; VvA 12 (pakati˚ bright by nature).

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1663.pali

Are you envisioning some sort of beacon thingie, shining, glowing, radiating?

When I read the word "luminous" I think of something glowing, like a light bulb or the moon. I don't know how to relate that to experience, which is why I did some amateur sleuthing into the Pali. The root "bhās" from what I can tell, seems to have something to do with light or the qualities of light. Looking at it that way, the quality of "clarity" makes more sense to me.

Side anecdote: I attended a Zen center and the chant book opened with "You are the light." I was resistant to this from the very first. 50% because it seemed like some kind of Self-view, and 50% because I was like... "WHAT light??" which is exactly what I asked the priest in an interview. He said it was meant as a metaphor. I thought to myself, well that's all fine and good, but I still don't have a clue what "light" it is I'm supposed to be identifying with this metaphor...
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:51 pm

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:Pabhassara (adj.) [fr. bhās] shining, very bright, resplendent S i.145; v.92, 283; A i.10, 254, 257 sq., iii.16; Sn 48 (=parisuddha pariyodāta Nd2 402); J v.202, 170; Vv 171 (rucira+); Pv iii.31 (rucira+); Vism 223; 377; DhA i.28; VvA 12 (pakati˚ bright by nature).

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1663.pali

Are you envisioning some sort of beacon thingie, shining, glowing, radiating?

When I read the word "luminous" I think of something glowing, like a light bulb or the moon. I don't know how to relate that to experience, which is why I did some amateur sleuthing into the Pali. The root "bhās" from what I can tell, seems to have something to do with light or the qualities of light. Looking at it that way, the quality of "clarity" makes more sense to me.
Of course, "luminuos" is metaphorical speech, as is "clarity."

I am not claiming anything extraordinary here. During a three month vipassana retreat one can get very quiet, very concentrated and very mindful. There are times that there is the clear experience of the instant of the arising of awareness, just that instant before all the other khandha stuff arises, colors and "drives" - as it were - the direction of one's awareness. For me, "claritry" best captures that aspect of the arising of the mind (citta) moment, but one could use the word "luminuous" or some such word, keeping in mind, it is just descriptive metaphor. What else would it be? There is no need to try to turn the mind into some sort of thing of "purity."
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:14 pm

I tend to expect the word luminous to be used to refer to a clarity which is discernible as-is; discerning clarity generally requires some other illumination. Luminous things, however, don't require another light source, they are considered to provide sufficient inherent illumination for discerning any other (literally visual) qualities.

So the mind is called luminous as a metaphor because it can be seen calmly and clearly apart from the otherwise emitted thoughts and feelings and perceptions with which it is usually identified. I expect that the third tetrad of anapanasati is an exploration of this.
    "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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:28 pm

What about this line?

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the
noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}


Especially the words "discerns that as it actually is present"?
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:35 pm

Dan74 wrote:What about this line?

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the
noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}


Especially the words "discerns that as it actually is present"?

"When for you there will be only the seen in the seen, only the heard in the
heard, only the sensed in the sensed, only the cognized in the cognized,
then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms
of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither
here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of suffering."

-- Ud I 10
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:42 pm

I'd be inclined to agree. But then it seems that the "luminous mind" only a few words previously refers to something more that just
the initial act of awareness as the mind becomes aware of an object of consciousness.


You said
The "luminous mind" is not the awakened mind.
doesn't seem to add up...
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:49 pm

Dan74 wrote:You said
The "luminous mind" is not the awakened mind.
doesn't seem to add up...
All I can say if you want to do the math, look at the text:


"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements." {I,v,9}

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements." {I,v,10}
Being free of incoming defilement is awakening. Obviously the luminous mind, in and of itself, is not, given that it can be defiled.
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:09 pm

Thusly?

“The mind is something more radiant than anything else
can be, but because counterfeits – passing defilements – come
and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured
by clouds. Don’t go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds.
Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun.
“So meditators, when they know in this manner, should do away
with these counterfeits by analyzing them shrewdly... When they
develop the mind to the stage of the primal mind, this will mean
that all counterfeits are destroyed, or rather, counterfeit things
won’t be able to reach into the primal mind, because the bridge
making the connection will have been destroyed. Even though
the mind may then still have to come into contact with the
preoccupations of the world, its contact will be like that of a
bead of water rolling over a lotus leaf.”

~ Ven. Ajahn Mun, ‘A Heart Released,’ p 23
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:19 pm

Hi Dan,
Dan74 wrote:What about this line?

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the
noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}


Especially the words "discerns that as it actually is present"?

I would be very interested in seeing the pali for the words you highlighted above. To me, it appears as though the Buddha is talking about the development of special wisdom, vipassana, which is often defined as 'seeing things as they really are' or variations of that. Vipassana is developed, as you know, by observing one or more of the three characteristics of existence, anicca, dukkha and anatta. So while the mind is described as luminous, it should not be taken as unconditioned (asankhata).
Furthermore,I think the passage from the Udana is problematic for many people as it appears to imply a surrogate for a self.
kind regards

Ben
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- Heraclitus


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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:29 pm

kirk5a wrote:Thusly?

“The mind is something more radiant than anything else
can be, but because counterfeits – passing defilements – come
and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured
by clouds. Don’t go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds.
Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun.
“So meditators, when they know in this manner, should do away
with these counterfeits by analyzing them shrewdly... When they
develop the mind to the stage of the primal mind, this will mean
that all counterfeits are destroyed, or rather, counterfeit things
won’t be able to reach into the primal mind, because the bridge
making the connection will have been destroyed. Even though
the mind may then still have to come into contact with the
preoccupations of the world, its contact will be like that of a
bead of water rolling over a lotus leaf.”

~ Ven. Ajahn Mun, ‘A Heart Released,’ p 23
"Primal mind?" Whatever could that be? Also, keep in mind, that the mind is not a thing, but an interdependent process.
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:30 pm

Ben wrote:Furthermore,I think the passage from the Udana is problematic for many people as it appears to imply a surrogate for a self.
And it is radiant and it is always there.
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby kirk5a » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:55 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Dan,
Dan74 wrote:What about this line?

"Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is freed from incoming defilements. The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones discerns that as it actually is present, which is why I tell you that — for the well-instructed disciple of the
noble ones — there is development of the mind." {I,vi,2}


I would be very interested in seeing the pali for the words you highlighted above.

1. 6. 2.
Pabhassaramidaṃ bhikkhave cittaṃ tañca kho āgantukehi upakkilesehi vippamuttaṃ.48 Taṃ sutavā ariyasāvako yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti. Tasmā sutavato ariyasāvakassa cittabhāvanā atthīti vadāmīti.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#pts.010
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:01 am

Taṃ sutavā ariyasāvako yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti.
In other words, it is one who has attained some degree of awakening (sutavā ariyasāvako) by comprehending (pajānāti) things as they truly are (yathābhūtaṃ).
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: Luminous Mind. - What is it?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:06 am

What about he bit before that? "And it is freed..." ("freed" as in "it can be freed", "it will be freed" or "is already freed"?)
_/|\_
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