cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:52 am

Mkoll wrote:In the highest Pure Abode: the Akannitha, beings there live for 16,000 kalpas or aeons. Taking the aeon to be 16,000,000 years, that means that the beings there live for 256 billion years.

The mayfly will live as an adult for as little as 30 minutes before dying.

:

Life, person, pleasure, pain — just these alone
Join in one conscious moment that flicks by.
Devas, though they live for eighty-four thousand kalpas,
Are not the same for two such moments....

Breakup of dhammas is foredoomed at their birth;
Those present decay, unmingled with those past.
They come from nowhere, break up, nowhere go;
Flash in and out, as lightning in the sky.
(Mahāniddesa 42)
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:12 am

kirk5a wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Well, yes, I agree. I can't comment on that from experience.

However, that there are many mind-body processes are going on in split seconds doesn't require any particular Dhamma knowledge or training to figure out, and with a little training it is much clearer. I'm puzzled that anyone would have a problem with that.

I don't have a problem with that.
But some of the questions above seem to call these rather simple observations into question.

Which simple observations are you referring to? The topic is "cittas arise and pass away billions per instant" - obviously, not a simple observation. We still don't even have a first hand report of anyone observing an actual votthapana citta in the wild yet.

Well we do have first hand accounts of Thai monks talking with past Buddhas. :lol:

Personally I have never even met a deva , yet I trust the accounts in the suttas that they exist.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:26 am

The lifespan of those devas:
1,344,000,000,000
1 trillion, 344 billion years.

"The 13.8 billion year history of the universe mapped onto a single year, as popularized by Carl Sagan. At this scale the Big Bang takes place on January 1 at midnight, the current time is December 31 at midnight, and the longest human life is a blink of an eye (about 1/4th of a second)."

They even put the Buddha on there about 6 seconds ago!

825px-Cosmic_Calendar.jpg
825px-Cosmic_Calendar.jpg (74.06 KiB) Viewed 228 times


-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_Calendar

:juggling:
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:23 am

Because I'm a physicist I know that most people don't understand numbers very well. :)
So if someone happens to say "billions" (or some such) I don't assume that they really mean it, or know what it means.

:anjali:
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:48 am

robertk wrote: Honestly it is obvious to me , without talking about insight, that it must be true that millions, or billions, if not trillions , of moments arise and pass away per split second.


At the sub-atomic level, perhaps, but not at our everyday level of perception.
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:52 am

SDC wrote:Time is a construct built on an interpretation of experience.


I'm not sure, given that time still appears to pass while we are sleeping. But if this is true, then presumably the idea of discrete moments in time is also a construct?
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:36 am

SamKR wrote:I think nothing changes to another thing (contact remains contact and feeling remains feeling). The Buddha said, "When this is, that is", which means one depends upon another (for example, feeling depends upon contact). He did not say, in the context of dependent origination (as far as I know), "When this is, this changes to that". When this is, that automatically arises (and therefore, 'that' is said to be dependently arisen). That is the Dhamma (nature) described by the Dhamma (teaching), in my limited understanding. And this 'this-that' process need not necessarily be understood as happening in time.

These arisings can be seen distinctly even when they co-arise. We just need to shift the attention (say, from perception to feeling). I find it easier to disginguish consciousness, perception, and feeling, and sometimes sankhara but I find form (rupa) to be tricky. But I believe rupa, being a part of experience, can be seen directly as rupa (and not merely be inferred based on perception).
Hi SamKR, I agree. And that was my point. That there is not a linier progression that can actually be observed in (minute moments of) time and that the "delineation" is an activity of the mind.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:11 pm

kirk5a wrote:Which simple observations are you referring to? The topic is "cittas arise and pass away billions per instant" - obviously, not a simple observation. We still don't even have a first hand report of anyone observing an actual votthapana citta in the wild yet.
robertk wrote:Well we do have first hand accounts of Thai monks talking with past Buddhas. :lol:

Personally I have never even met a deva , yet I trust the accounts in the suttas that they exist.

Yes and those observations require psychic powers (so it is said). Does observing the votthapana citta require psychic powers? From the author I quoted above, it would appear to be something within range of the average meditator. So it would seem to be something that can be confirmed by observation. Which is where I started this thread, asking if anyone had observed it. So why have you stopped at merely faith in votthapana cittas, and not gone on to observe their actual occurance within yourself?
The process occurs so rapidly that mindfulness has to be alert and brisk to recognize at least the determining thought moment — the vottapana — so that one can govern the javana thought moments by wholesome volition.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
"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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:59 pm

I think people imagine they have all kinds of experiences: look at the numbers who believe they have jhana after reading about it or having some "experience". :tongue:

in fact even the first stage of vipassana, where nama and rupa are demarcated depends on highly developed wisdom.

All there is is the khandas arising and falling away, there is no self who can do this or have that. Still if conditions such as pubbekata punnata ( merit from the past) and wise attention to the teachings are sufficient then there may be moments when satisampajanna, mindfulness and wisdom, briefly arise , that start to be aware of an element. This eventually leads to vipassana where nama is seen as completely different from rupa.

But the one who thinks that he directly understands the individual cittas in a process is ranking himself with the likes of sariputta..
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:05 pm

Mr Man wrote:
These arisings can be seen distinctly even when they co-arise. We just need to shift the attention (say, from perception to feeling). I find it easier to disginguish consciousness, perception, and feeling, and sometimes sankhara but I find form (rupa) to be tricky. But I believe rupa, being a part of experience, can be seen directly as rupa (and not merely be inferred based on perception).
Hi SamKR, I agree. And that was my point. That there is not a linier progression that can actually be observed in (minute moments of) time and that the "delineation" is an activity of the mind.

Have you made an effort to observe such things?
kirk5a wrote:Yes and those observations require psychic powers (so it is said). Does observing the votthapana citta require psychic powers? From the author I quoted above, it would appear to be something within range of the average meditator. So it would seem to be something that can be confirmed by observation. Which is where I started this thread, asking if anyone had observed it. So why have you stopped at merely faith in votthapana cittas, and not gone on to observe their actual occurance within yourself?

I gave some references here:
posting.php?mode=quote&f=16&p=270792

:anjali:
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:42 pm

robertk wrote:
SamKR wrote:Thanks for the reply but my question is: Does a single citta arise and pass away in some duration of small time (however small it is)? I am not asking what that exact duration is but I am just curios to know if there is possibility of such a duration in which a single citta arises and passes away.


All sankhata (conditioned realities) have the characteristics (sankhata-lakkhana)of origination (uppada), cessation (vaya), and the alteration of that which exists (thitassa annathatta) .
In other words they arise , persist for an infinitesimally short time and then disappear.

Is time more fundamental than that single citta which needs a time-duration to appear and disappear? I'm confused. :?
I thought perception of time arises due to abstraction imputed on the arisings - just like the perception of shape and space arises even when there is no inherently existing shape in the universe independent of experiences (arisings). These arising and cessations need not be understood as happening in time.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:43 pm

robertk wrote:But the one who thinks that he directly understands the individual cittas in a process is ranking himself with the likes of sariputta..

So according to you, one has to be as astute as Ven. Sariputta in order to discern any these individual cittas? Well that's not too encouraging. Strictly an article of faith then, for the rest of us. Something to believe in, accept there are billions of them happening all the time, but forget about discerning anything directly, only one on the level of Ven. Sariputta could do that.

That's quite an alien understanding, to me, of what I took this meditative tradition to be communicating, namely, direct observation of the phenomena in question.
"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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby Mr Man » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:55 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
These arisings can be seen distinctly even when they co-arise. We just need to shift the attention (say, from perception to feeling). I find it easier to disginguish consciousness, perception, and feeling, and sometimes sankhara but I find form (rupa) to be tricky. But I believe rupa, being a part of experience, can be seen directly as rupa (and not merely be inferred based on perception).
Hi SamKR, I agree. And that was my point. That there is not a linier progression that can actually be observed in (minute moments of) time and that the "delineation" is an activity of the mind.

Have you made an effort to observe such things?
Yes I have. For example I can put a sour sweet in to my mouth and can feel the initial contact and then feelings caused by the sourness. I can observe my mental reaction to the sourness and then notice the sourness subside but this kind of observation is something that "I" have contrived so I would say, at best it is an approximation.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:03 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Have you made an effort to observe such things?

I gave some references here:


No, I hadn't even heard the term "votthapana citta" before this thread. So do you have access to these books, and they will explain the votthapana citta to my satisfaction, and it is something that can in fact, be observed?
"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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:06 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
SDC wrote:Time is a construct built on an interpretation of experience.


I'm not sure, given that time still appears to pass while we are sleeping. But if this is true, then presumably the idea of discrete moments in time is also a construct?

I would say time does not pass when we are not experiencing since time (like anything else) does not exist inherently and, I believe, is not more fundamental than pure elementary experiences themselves. Time is a compound mental construct - an abstraction (a conceiving or sankhara) imputed due to avijja upon pure experiences. Time arises when avijja-based-experiences arise, and ceases when these experiences cease. This is my current understanding but I could be wrong though.
:anjali:
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:07 pm

Greetings,

I often wonder whether even if one could observe such incredible things... so what?

Would actually seeing this in any way reduce greed, aversion or delusion? And if so, how?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby SamKR » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:18 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Would actually seeing this in any way reduce greed, aversion or delusion? And if so, how?

Seeing experiences arising and passing at such level of highest "resolution" would make one aware of utter impermanence, suffering and insubstantiality (anatta) of all phenomena. But I doubt if it is possible for any common person and if it is even worthy to invest time on it rather than trying to understand "arising and passing away" in all kinds of normal experiences.
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby daverupa » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:42 pm

SamKR wrote:... such level of highest "resolution" (vs.) trying to understand "arising and passing away" in all kinds of normal experiences.


This last seems to be advised and encouraged, in the suttas. The former is not.

:shrug:
    "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: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kitztack » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:45 pm

[/quote]
Seeing experiences arising and passing at such level of highest "resolution" would make one aware of utter impermanence, suffering and insubstantiality (anatta) of all phenomena. .[/quote]

indeed

often on retreats people can experience very strong sensations as the inner workings of the mind are noted.

its good that there are ways of explaining the very fast arising and passing sensations to students who might otherwise think they were going insane, no need for people to doubt other peoples meditative experiences by clinging to literal interpretations.

just my opinion
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: cittas arise and pass away billions per instant

Postby kirk5a » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:51 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

I often wonder whether even if one could observe such incredible things... so what?

Would actually seeing this in any way reduce greed, aversion or delusion? And if so, how?

According to N.K.G. Mendis in The Abhidhamma in Practice:
The process occurs so rapidly that mindfulness has to be alert and brisk to recognize at least the determining thought moment — the vottapana — so that one can govern the javana thought moments by wholesome volition.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el322.html
"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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