Path and Nibbana

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:41 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:I figure, nibbana is what happens when we stop creating. When a flame goes out do we say that non-flameness has been created? That would be rather backwards.


Thanks for good point. But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists. Nibbāna cannot be "what happens when..."
So, when there are no arahants, no buddhas, no ariya of any kind, there is still nibbana exising some place, some how. Is that what you are saying? Where did the Buddh say that?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:46 pm

Alex123 wrote:Nibbāna cannot occur "when..." or "due to..." because that would imply a starting point for it and conditions to create it. But it has no causes and never arises. It always is. It is: “not-born (ajātaṃ) , not-brought-to-being (abhūtaṃ), not-made (akataṃ), not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ).”
But what do these words actually mean in relation to nibbana? You can do the Hindu thing here, or you can look at these words in there various contexts. Nibbana "always is," Is what? Where is it? Is an an ultimate? An absolute? Is it completewly, absolutely unconditioned, having no relationship to anything conditioned? Nibbana is what?
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: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:48 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:It seems to me that going with nibbana as some thing that exists out there somehow raises far more questions than it addresses.

In Ud8.1 Nibbāna is said to be an āyatana.

[list]There is (Atthi), bhikkhus, that base (tadāyatanaṃ) where there is no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.
And you reify that, as you are doing, you become a Hindu.
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: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:51 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi Alex123,
Alex wrote:"But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists."

I do not think that this is stated anywhere. It may be implied in some interpretations.


Buddha called Nibbāna that base (tadāyatanaṃ) that is (Atthi), that is not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. etc.

If Nibbāna ever had a starting point, then wouldn't that be the beginning of it? And whatever has beginning, has an end.


tiltbillings wrote:So, when there are no arahants, no buddhas, no ariya of any kind, there is still nibbana exising some place, some how. Is that what you are saying? Where did the Buddh say that?


Nibbāna is not conditioned by presence or absence of Arhats, Buddhas, ariyas. It is not-made (akataṃ) and not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ), etc.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:52 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
Kenshou wrote:It seems to me that going with nibbana as some thing that exists out there somehow raises far more questions than it addresses.

In Ud8.1 Nibbāna is said to be an āyatana.

    There is (Atthi), bhikkhus, that base (tadāyatanaṃ) where there is no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.
And you reify that, as you are doing, you become a Hindu.


I am reading a sutta and what it says. What do you think Atthi and tadāyatanaṃ mean?

Atthi as I remember is also used for existence of 5 aggregates and is opposite of natthi.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:17 pm

Alex123 wrote:
vinasp wrote:Hi Alex123,
Alex wrote:"But don't the suttas state that Nibbāna always exists."

I do not think that this is stated anywhere. It may be implied in some interpretations.


Buddha called Nibbāna that base (tadāyatanaṃ) that is (Atthi), that is not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a not-made, a not-conditioned. etc.
And the context of the four "not" words? Also, do you think you might be reifying atthi? And you know what tadāyatanaṃ actually means? And what is actually being described in the text in question? Something that exists independently of the arahant? Where is it?

tiltbillings wrote:So, when there are no arahants, no buddhas, no ariya of any kind, there is still nibbana exising some place, some how. Is that what you are saying? Where did the Buddh say that?


Nibbāna is not conditioned by presence or absence of Arhats, Buddhas, ariyas. It is not-made (akataṃ) and not-conditioned (asaṅkhataṃ), etc.
Then where is it?
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: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:19 pm

Alex123 wrote:Atthi as I remember is also used for existence of 5 aggregates and is opposite of natthi.
And do the khandhas exist independent of any cause and condition? Rather than doing the Hindu thing here, maybe you better give some thought to how atthi is being used here.
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: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Sun May 13, 2012 11:17 pm

If Nibbāna never arises, always is, uncreated, unconditioned, etc - then how can practice which is conditioned create it?
One proposed solution is to use this simile: When you travel from one city to another city, you do not create destination. You only arrive
there. So the path does not created Nibbāna, it brings you there. Here is the limitation of this example: Nibbāna is not a place, so the spatial
simile is not totally valid. There is no person who travels from saṃsāra to Nibbāna. Nibbāna is more of "experience" (or lack of certain kind of experience) than a place where "one" arrives. What was not experienced before, and now is experienced for the first time , for all intents and purposes is as if it arises. Un-experienced Nibbāna would become experienced now. Can un-experienced experience really exist? No. But Nibbāna does.

It is possible to say that what arises is Awakening (maggaphala).
Next question: What would be the relationship between Nibbāna and Awakening(maggaphala) experiencing Nibbāna for the first time?
If they are same then it doesn't solve the original question. If they are different than how do they relate and how Nibbāna is attained?
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon May 14, 2012 12:55 am

A couple of problems here, first Nibbana is not a place, supposedly it is the lack of certain processes, here is an article from Thanissaro...

http://mettarefuge.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... t-a-place/

here is the problem though, Thanissaro describes the experience of nibbana as consciousness that doesn't land but consciousness only arises due to causes and conditions and always takes an object in order to arise, for example...

When it is realized that consciousness results only from conditioning causes and that it soon disappears, it becomes obvious that there is no such thing as a permanently enduring self. For example, eye-consciousness arises only when there is eye and object of sight. Likewise, ear consciousness can arise only when there are ear and sound; smell-consciousness can only arise when there are nose and odor; tongue-consciousness can arise only when there are tongue and taste; body-consciousness only when there are body and tactile object; and mental consciousness, only when there are mind and mental object. When these conditional causes for their respective results are known, the notion of a permanent entity, nivāsī attā clinging, is discarded.
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahasi-anat/anat04.htm

There seems to some contradiction here, which seems to indicate possible contradiction in the suttas or confusion on my part, for example

"Where there is no passion for the nutriment of consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase. Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form. Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair.

"Just as if there were a roofed house or a roofed hall having windows on the north, the south, or the east. When the sun rises, and a ray has entered by way of the window, where does it land?"

"On the western wall, lord."

"And if there is no western wall, where does it land?"

"On the ground, lord."

"And if there is no ground, where does it land?"

"On the water, lord."

"And if there is no water, where does it land?"

"It does not land, lord."

"In the same way, where there is no passion for the nutriment of physical food... contact... intellectual intention... consciousness, where there is no delight, no craving, then consciousness does not land there or increase. Where consciousness does not land or increase, there is no alighting of name-&-form. Where there is no alighting of name-&-form, there is no growth of fabrications. Where there is no growth of fabrications, there is no production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is no production of renewed becoming in the future, there is no future birth, aging, & death. That, I tell you, has no sorrow, affliction, or despair."

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

The sutta above either that consciousness can exist without an object or the metaphor is simply poorly formulated in the sense that the correct answer is that there would be no consciousness to land anywhere not that there would be nowhere for consciousness to land

and then this sutta

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."

Thanissaro claims that the consciousness experiencing nibbana can't be associated with the five aggregates but that sounds like a cop out to me. Where does it come from then, it makes no sense to me.

If someone could clarify this for me it would be greatly appreciated.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 14, 2012 1:10 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:A couple of problems here, first Nibbana is not a place,


Right. I've said that in my previous post.

polarbuddha101 wrote:supposedly it is the lack of certain processes, here is an article from Thanissaro...
http://mettarefuge.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... t-a-place/
here is the problem though, Thanissaro describes the experience of nibbana as consciousness that doesn't land but consciousness only arises due to causes and conditions and always takes an object in order to arise, for example...


If Nibbāna is a consciousness that arises... Doesn't that make Nibbāna temporal (there wasn't consciousness of it before, now it is) and conditioned (by the factors that cause this "consciousness" to arise)?

Bhikkhu Bodhi has said that:
    "By practising the path one doesn't bring Nibbana into existence but rather discovers something already existing, something always present."


Isn't discovery of something implies a beginning of that cognitive state? One didn't know before and then one knows it...
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon May 14, 2012 1:20 am

Alex123 wrote:
If Nibbāna is a consciousness that arises... Doesn't that make Nibbāna temporal (there wasn't consciousness of it before, now it is) and conditioned (by the factors that cause this "consciousness" to arise)?


that is why I said experience of nibbana, I never said it was nibbana. Still though, there remains the question, since consciousness always takes an object then how does one experience nibbana. My proposal is that nibbana is simply the absence of the 3 fires of greed, aversion, and confusion/delusion because nibbana means going/gone out and that is why it is defined by negatives because it is the absence of conditioned things such as the craving and ignorance that sustain the 3 fires referred to above. So nibbana is the highest bliss because the conditioned phenomena that lead to dukkha are not present, in other words, nibbana isn't really anything at all, it is a lack of things
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 14, 2012 1:28 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:that is why I said experience of nibbana, I never said it was nibbana.


What is the difference between experience of Nibbāna vs Nibbāna itself?
Can there be un-experienced Nibbāna?

polarbuddha101 wrote:My proposal is that nibbana is simply the absence of the 3 fires of greed, aversion, and confusion/delusion


Is that absence (of greed, aversion and confusion) experienced or not experienced?

If it is not experienced, then even at the moment of defilements this Nibbāna already is. If it is experienced, then this experience has to arise at some point in time as a result of practice which brings us back to the beginning.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon May 14, 2012 3:55 am

What is the difference between experience of Nibbāna vs Nibbāna itself?
Can there be un-experienced Nibbāna?


1) good point, they probably are indistinguishable

2) I would have to guess no, nibbana is not some realm or state existing by itself

Is that absence (of greed, aversion and confusion) experienced or not experienced?

If it is not experienced, then even at the moment of defilements this Nibbāna already is. If it is experienced, then this experience has to arise at some point in time as a result of practice which brings us back to the beginning.


the absence of greed, aversion and confusion obviously has to be experienced for it to be known. Since nibbana is defined as the absence of those 3 fires and the absence of craving it follows that nibbana is dependent on the existence of those 3 fires and craving in order for it to be defined. So, nibbana is simply a way of perceiving the world that is unlike anything we experience. Nibbana is seeing things how they truly are without any biases or concepts, going from samsara-ing all the time and then awaking to nibbana could be compared to living in the sewer your whole life and fighting with rats and then emerging from the sewer one day to a wonderful sunny day with the birds chirping and sitting under the shade of a nice tree drinking pristine water and not having a care in the world. That's the only way I can think of it, obviously I have no idea what the Awakened One actually experienced but it sounds wonderful. I also think that nibbana is not a metaphysical proposition, that it is truly just the seen in what is seen, just the heard in what is heard etc. with no BS stacked on top, no fear or anxiety or stress, and so yes, nibbana does not exist independently of the experience of it except in the sense that it is potentially possible for any human to awaken to that mode of perception. So the real question is if nibbana is a way of experiencing the world then for it to have any unconditioned reality to it then doesn't that mean that nibbana is the way things are and we've turned the world into samsara by simply being ignorant and by craving and therefore causing ourselves dukkha? If so, then dukkha is manufactured and nibbana is simply the experience someone has when they deconstruct all the false perceptions and confused ways of processing information. So in one way nibbana is dependent on conditions in the sense that there has to be a human to experience it but it's unconditioned in the sense that it isn't fabricated by the human mind, nibbana occurs when the human mind stops fabricated things out of ignorance. That's all I can really say, I'll let you know more if I ever become awakened myself and find out what nibbana is.

I realize what I wrote might sound wrong or repetitive or something like that to people so feel free to tell me where I've gone wrong in my statements, this is an interesting topic.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 14, 2012 4:04 am

Alex123 wrote:If Nibbāna never arises, always is, uncreated, unconditioned, etc - then how can practice which is conditioned create it?
It is a problem when one assumes nibbana is a thing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby vinasp » Mon May 14, 2012 1:38 pm

Hi everyone,

Some have said: "nibbana is not a place ..."

But in Ud 8.1 nibbana is said to be "that sphere" (tadaayatanam).

The Buddha seems to accept that some can be reborn - after death - as a deva in any of the four formless spheres. They even give the very long lifetimes of these beings.

All that is needed is to master the corresponding formless absorption. But what about the final state in this sequence - the cessation of perception and feeling? This does not seem to correspond to any of the planes which make up the cosmos.

Could some monks have thought that this state is nibbana, that it was beyond the cosmos? That they could arise there after death having escaped samsara or the cycle of birth and death? An eternal, blissful existence?

Of course, this is not the true aim of the teachings. But the teachings are a contradiction. If they say that these realms are just imagination and do not really exist - then how could they teach rebirth?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 14, 2012 6:28 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Alex123 wrote:If Nibbāna never arises, always is, uncreated, unconditioned, etc - then how can practice which is conditioned create it?
It is a problem when one assumes nibbana is a thing.


Nibbāna is described as that base (tadāyatanaṃ) that is (Atthi). Some people interpret the suttas to claim that it is a dhamma.

Is Nibbāna a new experience of (absence of greed, anger and delusion.)?
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby reflection » Mon May 14, 2012 9:02 pm

This may be of interest:
http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/1788/

I did not read it through (and probably never will, considering my interest in reading :tongue:), but as far as I've skipped through it, it seems to mainly quote suttas and teachers, leaving the specific interpretation to the reader. Which is nice, I think.


Bye and metta!
:anjali:
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon May 14, 2012 9:16 pm

vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

Some have said: "nibbana is not a place ..."

But in Ud 8.1 nibbana is said to be "that sphere" (tadaayatanam).



right but there is also something the buddha called the six-sense spheres, and the six-sense spheres are not places they are the limitations of perception, so nibbana is that final sphere of perception/awareness, it is the island where no one can go further because nibbana is the most refined/clear way of seeing things, nibbana has no fabrications in it, it is not conditioned by ignorance like every other way of perceiving the world, it is pure awareness, this is why the Buddha when asked just after his awakening if he was a deva and he said no, if he was a gandhabba and he said no, if he was a yakkha and he said no, if he was a human and he said no, the Buddha simply said "I am awake" because at that stage fabrications don't apply, they're ultimately meaningless. So nibbana is not a place
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:19 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
vinasp wrote:Hi everyone,

Some have said: "nibbana is not a place ..."

But in Ud 8.1 nibbana is said to be "that sphere" (tadaayatanam).



right but there is also something the buddha called the six-sense spheres, and the six-sense spheres are not places they are the limitations of perception, so nibbana is that final sphere of perception/awareness, it is the island where no one can go further because nibbana is the most refined/clear way of seeing things, nibbana has no fabrications in it, it is not conditioned by ignorance like every other way of perceiving the world, it is pure awareness, this is why the Buddha when asked just after his awakening if he was a deva and he said no, if he was a gandhabba and he said no, if he was a yakkha and he said no, if he was a human and he said no, the Buddha simply said "I am awake" because at that stage fabrications don't apply, they're ultimately meaningless. So nibbana is not a place


However, according to the following: "nirvanna" is a town in Michigan:

Michigan:
Bad Axe, MI
Christmas, MI
Climax, MI
Gay, MI
Hell, MI
Lake, MI
Nirvanna, MI :tongue:
Paradise, MI
Saline, MI


source: http://www.lkfshow.com/funfacts/townnames.html

My understanding is that Nibanna is an unconditioned and non-dependent state, meaning that kamma does not exist, but, having never attained it, I will reserve my final description for when I do. I am not even certain if there is such a thing as time in nibbana, so "when" may not be he right choice of words.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Path and Nibbana

Postby equilibrium » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:28 am

Time does not exist, you don't need to touch Nibbana to realize it.....For anything to exist it must depend on something else!
So how can "Time" exist on this planet called Earth?

The 6 sense spheres are all empty.....what you sense cannot be real.....it is real because you "believe" it is real.
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