DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 11, 2011 10:39 am

rowyourboat wrote:The point is we can't depend on one sutta when we are trying to make sense of the the whole dhamma, as you know. Even dry vipassana teachers go past the first jhana when they reach fruition (anantarika) samadhi, classically.
I do indeed know that.

The point I made still stands. I am not denying the efficacy or utility of jhana, but based upon the suttas, it is hardly a necessity to cultivate the jhanas right out of the gate. That is not to say that concentration is not necessary, nor is it to say that as one advances in practice that the jhanas do not have a role to play. What I am saying, as the texts do say, is not a matter of jhana über alles, especially the formless jhanas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 11, 2011 10:44 am

Hi Tilt,

This article has quite a lot of Sutta analysis:
The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha267.htm
(3) A number of texts on stream-enterers and once-returners imply that they do not possess the jhānas as meditative attainments which they can enter at will. Though it is obvious that disciples at the lower two levels may have jhānic attainments, the latter are not declared to be an integral part of their spiritual equipment.

:anjali:
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 11, 2011 10:50 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Tilt,

This article has quite a lot of Sutta analysis:
The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha267.htm
(3) A number of texts on stream-enterers and once-returners imply that they do not possess the jhānas as meditative attainments which they can enter at will. Though it is obvious that disciples at the lower two levels may have jhānic attainments, the latter are not declared to be an integral part of their spiritual equipment.

:anjali:
Mike
And this is the one thing the Burmese vipassana traditions got right as a skillful means for practice and it is in accordance with the suttas:


Mahasi 1990:PP.17and 21:"the actual method of practice in vipassana meditation is
to ... observe ... the successive occurrences of seeing, hearing, and so on, at the six
sense doors. However, it will not be possible for a beginner to follow these on all successive
incidents as they occur, because his mindfulness, concentration and knowledge
are still very weak. ... A simpler and easier form of the exercise for a beginner is
this: With every breath there occurs in the abdomen a rising-falling movement. A beginner
should start with the exercise of noting this movement." Mahasi 1992: P.7S:
"we used to instruct the yogi whose powers of concentration have strengthened to
extend this method of meditation to noting all that happens at his six sense doors." Ba
Khin 1985=P.94: "in fact one can develop the understanding of anicca through any of
the six organs of sense. In practice, however, we have found that ... the feeling by
contact of touch ... is more tangible than other types of feeling and therefore a beginner
in Vipassana meditation can come to the understanding of anicca more easily
through bodily feelings .... This is the main reason we have chosen the body feelings
as a medium for the quick understanding of anicca. It is open to anyone to try other
means, but my suggestion is that one should have oneself well established in the
understanding of anicca through bodily feelings before an attempt is made through
other types of feeling
." -- a footnote from an some unknown book.
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: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 11, 2011 10:52 am

Greetings,

"Seek and cultivate, O monks, (the company of) Sariputta and Moggallana! They are wise and are helpful to their fellows in the Holy Life. Sariputta is like a mother, and Moggallana is like a nurse. Sariputta trains (the monks) for the Fruit of stream-entry, and Moggallana for the supreme goal." (MN 141)

The characterization of the two in the last text may be interpreted as follows. Sariputta urges his pupils to cut through the first and basic fetters and thus helps them to attain stream-entry. In this way he "converts" men by vigorously diverting them from the futility of the round of existence, and guides them into the zone of safety. Sariputta, like a mother, watches and guides the first steps on the path of emancipation; or it may be said, he causes, or at least assists, the birth of final emancipation in the pupil. Moggallana, however, leads on those who thus far have been saved, guiding them along their way upwards; he supports them in their practice of meditation up to sainthood, in the same way as he himself was helped by the master; he is like a wet-nurse, nourishing the strength and sustaining the growth of the pupil.

Both aspects are found perfectly united in a Fully Awakened One; but in Sariputta and Moggallana they were separate qualifications. Though both were "liberated in both ways," yet with Sariputta the major emphasis was on wisdom, and with Moggallana on the meditative "Liberation of the Mind" (cetovimutti).

Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el263.html

Metta,
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby beeblebrox » Wed May 11, 2011 3:05 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"Increasing percentage?" If the other parts are made quiet, that does not mean they are seen with insight. Their potential is still there.

Not "made quiet", but actually brought to cease. I'm not talking about the permanent cessation of entire aggregates or faculties here, but the cessation of individual sankhata dhammas.
The only way the sankharas are brought to cessation is by insight. At best jhana is a tool that assists in that. Quite frankly, I do not think you are being very clear here, given that you said: "jhanas can quiet some sankharas."


I wanted to make sure - isn't the insight in noticing the cessation, the non-arising, and understanding what that is? The sankharas still cease by themselves all the time whether you have insight or not... it's the ignorance about the nature of this arising and cessation which is dukkha, isn't that right? Isn't it more like that you're not "bringing" the sankharas to their cessation, per se, but that you've detached from these, putting yourself on a path where there's a continuing non-arising of them after their cessation? Tell me if I'm wrong.

:anjali:
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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby daverupa » Wed May 11, 2011 3:19 pm

beeblebrox wrote:it's the ignorance about the nature of this arising and cessation which is dukkha, isn't that right?


SN 38.14:
"There are these three forms of stressfulness, my friend: the stressfulness of pain, the stressfulness of fabrication, the stressfulness of change. These are the three forms of stressfulness."
    "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: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed May 11, 2011 5:24 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Tilt,

This article has quite a lot of Sutta analysis:
The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha267.htm
(3) A number of texts on stream-enterers and once-returners imply that they do not possess the jhānas as meditative attainments which they can enter at will. Though it is obvious that disciples at the lower two levels may have jhānic attainments, the latter are not declared to be an integral part of their spiritual equipment.

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Tilt, Mike

'Sota' or 'stream' means the Noble eightfold path. 'To enter the stream' means to enter the noble eightfold path, fully...and that includes right concentration defined as the 1-4 jhanas. BB seems to be inclined towards the dry insight camp in that article of his. I'm not here to argue the case of the jhanas- I have yet to see anyone who didn't have the jhanas reach stream entry.. but maybe that is due to viriya levels required for both -a 'confounder' if I am correct in my research terminology. I have also yet to come across a 'dry' insight meditation master who didn't have jhanas, even though they will always talk in praise of dry insight. Ultimately the path will take care of all of this, one way or the other. I have come to see jhana as something more than the deep 'eyes closed' type of attainment- the suttas while talking of that type of jhana as well, seems to be talking of a type of jhana where consciousness can become focused on that 'plane' as it were while apparently living in the kama loka. Then going further it can become focused on the arupa and finally even the nibbana 'dathu' - the unfocused eyes of the living arahanth.

There is something about cessation (see the anupubbanirodha sutta) it all fades away along the jhana continuum.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

You could say that this cessation (or withdrawal) happens 90 degrees to our experience. What is left is nibbana:

I have attempted to string some sutta together to make some sense of the the DO and how to practice it.

Dwelling at Savatthi... "Monks, the ending of the effluents is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what is there the ending of effluents? 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is perception, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their disappearance. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' The ending of the effluents is for one who knows in this way & sees in this way.

"The knowledge of ending in the presence of ending has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is the prerequisite for the knowledge of ending? Release, it should be said. Release has its prerequisite, I tell you. It is not without a prerequisite. And what is its prerequisite? Dispassion... Disenchantment... Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present... Concentration... Pleasure... Serenity... Rapture... Joy... Conviction...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Note that, the practice here seems to be one of yonisomanasikara- an active contemplation..

"The instructed disciple of the noble ones, [however,] attends carefully & appropriately right there at the dependent co-arising:

"'When this is, that is.

"'From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

"'When this isn't, that isn't.

"'From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.

"'In other words:

"'From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications.

"'From fabrications 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 stress & suffering.

"'Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering.'

"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness.[1] Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The practice then, is to develop disenchantment, dispassion etc.. this is possible either through yonisomanasikara -'mere knowledge and remembrance..' (see Silavant sutta) or through pure mindfulness (satipattana- would love to see a sutta talking of satipatthana leading to dispassion cessation etc).

"If a monk teaches the Dhamma for the sake of disenchantment, dispassion, & cessation with regard to birth, he deserves to be called a monk who is a speaker of Dhamma. If he practices for the sake of disenchantment, dispassion, & cessation with regard to birth, he deserves to be called a monk who practices the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma. If — through disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, and lack of clinging/sustenance with regard to birth — he is released, then he deserves to be called a monk who has attained Unbinding in the here-&-now.

[Similarly with becoming, clinging/sustenance, craving, feeling, contact, the six sense media, name & form, and consciousness.]

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

The cessation of the paticca-nirodha leaves some interesting 'things' 'behind'..

"Now, ignorance is bound up in these things. From the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance, there no longer exists [the sense of] the body on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the speech... the intellect on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise. There no longer exists the field, the site, the dimension, or the issue on account of which that pleasure & pain internally arise."

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

"If anyone, through disenchantment with decay-and-death, through dispassion [leading to] its cessation, is liberated from grasping, that suffices for him to be called one who has attained Nibbaana in this life."[6]
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html


[Ajita:]
Discernment & mindfulness,
name & form, dear sir:
Tell me, when asked this,
where are they brought to a halt?

[The Buddha:]
This question you've asked, Ajita,
I'll answer it for you —
where name & form
are brought to a halt
without trace:
With the cessation of consciousness
they're brought
to a halt.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed May 11, 2011 5:26 pm

daverupa wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:it's the ignorance about the nature of this arising and cessation which is dukkha, isn't that right?


SN 38.14:
"There are these three forms of stressfulness, my friend: the stressfulness of pain, the stressfulness of fabrication, the stressfulness of change. These are the three forms of stressfulness."


He has no uncertainty or doubt that just stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It's to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 11, 2011 6:13 pm

rowyourboat wrote: 'Sota' or 'stream' means the Noble eightfold path. 'To enter the stream' means to enter the noble eightfold path, fully...and that includes right concentration defined as the 1-4 jhanas. BB seems to be inclined towards the dry insight camp in that article of his. I'm not here to argue the case of the jhanas- I have yet to see anyone who didn't have the jhanas reach stream entry.. but maybe that is due to viriya levels required for both -a 'confounder' if I am correct in my research terminology. I have also yet to come across a 'dry' insight meditation master who didn't have jhanas, even though they will always talk in praise of dry insight.
So, you are claiming to have seen people become sotapanna, which would mean you are claimining such for yourself?

First of all, dry insight is never as dry as no jhana as one might find in the commentarial literature. And this is quite obvious with the idea of the vipassana jhanas, which is a far more appealing idea than the "absorbed" jhanas. It is a matter of degree and function. A lot of time gets wasted by trying to deliberately cultivate jhana, when the levels of concentration cultivated via insight practice can be significantly profound and more easily cultivated along with insight.
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: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed May 11, 2011 8:17 pm

Hi Tilt,

Am I claiming entering the stream? - the question is wrong! 'Stream entrant' is yet another 'sakkaya-ditti' a false view of the five aggregates- a person that doesn't really exist. In any case you know as well as I do that I don't plan to get into that discussion :tongue:

My problem with vipassana jhana is that it does not feature in the Buddhas classificatory system (not ruling out equivalent mental states though). I also do feel the 'run-of-the-mill' type jhana also provide some fantastic returns and is well worth developing. The development of the mind/samadhi (adhi-citta training) is an important part of the path, arguably more important, the higher you go. So it is neglected at one's peril. Also, if we consider the noble eightfold path as 8 areas of practice (rather than containing results of practice), then concentration needs to be practiced in it's own right, apart from satipattana practice. This is in line with other suttas which outline the importance of samatha and vipassana practice.

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Re: DO not depending on avijja and sankhara?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 11, 2011 8:44 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Tilt,

Am I claiming entering the stream? - the question is wrong! 'Stream entrant' is yet another 'sakkaya-ditti' a false view of the five aggregates- a person that doesn't really exist. In any case you know as well as I do that I don't plan to get into that discussion
Then why do you keep claiming you know all these other people who have attained sotapanna? It raises questions. If you do not want the questions . . . .

My problem with vipassana jhana is that it does not feature in the Buddhas classificatory system (not ruling out equivalent mental states though).
So? That does not mean it is not an accurate and useful way of talking about things. Also, keep in mind that this classification system was developed by highly experienced and learned meditation teachers (moreso than anyone else who posts here) who were working within the commentarial structure. One thing it points to is that the tradition is living and adaptive, which beats the begezuz out of being an ossified system that is slavish to rigid categories.

I also do feel the 'run-of-the-mill' type jhana also provide some fantastic returns and is well worth developing.
Sure, but jhana is for a lot people very dificult, especially when not working with a teacher and not having the adequate time to devote to it. Also, when trying to develop jhana on one's own there are serious pitfalls.

The development of the mind/samadhi (adhi-citta training) is an important part of the path, arguably more important, the higher you go. So it is neglected at one's peril.
The nice thing about the Mahasi Sayadaw and U Pandita type practice is that concentration is strongly developed from early on. This is not the dry practice of the some of the commentraries, and it has the adavantage of insight. As one progesses the level of contentration increase considerably.

Also, if we consider the noble eightfold path as 8 areas of practice (rather than containing results of practice), then concentration needs to be practiced in it's own right, apart from satipattana practice. This is in line with other suttas which outline the importance of samatha and vipassana practice.
And that is not a problem with the Burmese style vipassana practices being quite inline with the Buddha's teachings.
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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