Reduction of Suffering Levels

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Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby nibs » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:08 am

Posting a new thread due to the Kearney thread being locked.

Regardless of what to call the cessation of the senses and how you wish to interpret it, the first cessation undid something in the brain. The sense of self was blown out of the water right before it and the cessation that followed just seemed to flip a switch. The sense of centre point of an illusory self, the images, the sensations behind the eyeballs and the chest, nothing but impersonal impermanent phenomena arising and passing away. nibs didn't really exist the way he thought he did.

Afterwards, re-occurrences of the cessation kept happening always at the end of an insight cycle in the 11th nana and plopped me back into the buzzy bliss of the 4th nana, only to once again to rise up to rinse and repeat. I could call up a cessation when I wanted too. Resolutions became almost magical. The cessations never occurred for more than a brief moment as far as I could measure (listening to a song to see how long it lasted). The cool bliss exit experience afterglow was very conducive for generating metta and launching into the formless realms.

Later, another cessation, which had much more of a pronounced entrance and exit experience, occurred one day out of the blue. It left the mind profoundly different once again. The two magnets which I would equate to the sensations on and in the body and the mind's tendency to bend around them, identify with them and react to them with a compounded "feeling", lost some of their pulling power. They became easier to seperate and see without them clamping together. Certain mental absorptions became extremely easy to enter and jump about to each one by will of mind alone. Suffering levels reduced considerably due to being able to see the compounding process (and break it up) with much more clarity and ease. The "stickiness" and magnetic pull to identify was reduced considerably.

Then much later, another equally strong exit and entrance to another cessation of the senses left the mind completely changed and very, very aloof to all the phenomena arising and passing within this mind/body organism. The sense of illusory "I" seemed to thin out. The sensations of I AM kept arising but were now seen more clearly to be fluff, smoke and mirrors. Suffering levels reduced once again considerably. Those mentioned mental absorptions were accessed by the speed of directed thought.

Then one day, I didn't know what to do, so I gave up looking for something to do and surrendered. Ended up in the 11th nana quite naturally. The mind was so panoramic, calm and the sensations which were being misread as a centre point of "I" were easily seen to be just sensations being mistakenly put up on a pedestal. They were being mis-read as having importance and therefore seemed to influence the sticky sense of I AM. In several moments of seeing through them, seeing them as no more important than an itch did something. Something flipped in the brain. This time, it followed a cessation of the senses rather than occurred due to the cessation or happening before a cessation. I was conscious of this particular blip.

It occured as the mind became aware of the non-sacredness of those particular sensations which were previously being put up on an illusory throne. After this profound perceptual shift, there was no centrepoint left. It had dropped away with the conscious shift in perception. Awareness became permanently non-localised. Awareness became more panoramic and full bodied. It was easy to see why certain schools of thought thought this to be a goal of sorts. The feeling of being done was the theme. No more of that incessant urge to get something done. It felt like getting off the ride.

Everything was seen to be not-self. No "I" in any phenomena. The stickiness disapeared. However, the compounding of phenomena to form feelings of all kinds keeps occurring even though it was and is continuously seen to be not-self. Past habitual tendencies continue but are easily seen to arise as compounded phenomena. But that compounding seems to support an I AM still. Something still to protect and consider "my precious". What a mindfrack! The compounding of phenomena to give rise to affective feeling seems to just be a process of continuing the sense of "being", of becoming. Sure, affective feelings can easily be seen as not-self as they arise as compounded phenomena. But one can also chose to dismantle it further. The sticky magnets have lost their stickiness, and that compounding process is now easy to see as a compounding process, and easy to break up and cease. Cease for good? It would seem that that is now the job at hand.

Regardless of what you call the cessation of the senses, the ones that have affect, will leave you profoundly changed and reduce suffering levels significantly and profoundly. I don't know why Ingram calls this what he does. I don't agree and really don't care to call it anything. But all that is needed to know, is that it deals with suffering in a profound way. I would not trade it for anything. Not a 100 years of "normal" pre-this mind for just one day of this. Not at all. However, this doesn't mean the job is done. There is much more work to do it seems.

Much love,

nibs

Edited a few times as that is a habitual tendency that has not disappeared.
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:52 pm

Hi nibs, thanks for sharing. What would you say is referred to as "amata" = "deathless" or "without death"?
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby nibs » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:07 pm

kirk5a wrote:Hi nibs, thanks for sharing. What would you say is referred to as "amata" = "deathless" or "without death"?


Hi kirka,

I don't want to pretend to be knowledgeable about pali and the suttas because i am not. I am not sure what "deathless" or "without death" is referring to, not having looked up their definitions. There is no-one that really dies? Really, there isn't.

I don't really have much at stake at being wrong about stuff I talk about. There is really no-one home to have a stake in any of it. I'm not fussed that people get ansy and agitated over it either. Each to his or her own. Reduction in suffering is the theme of this thread. Proving that it is something that can be found in a sutta is not on my agenda anymore.

P.S. Ok, I just looked those terms up and here is Thanisaro's take on it:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:j2-PMXvacPoJ:www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/wings.html+amata+pali&cd=2&hl=es-419&ct=clnk&gl=cl&source=www.google.cl

Seeing these processes as inconstant, stressful, and not-self, he abandoned his sense of identification with them. This caused them to disband, and what remained was Deathlessness (amata-dhamma), beyond the dimensions of time and space. This was the happiness for which he had been seeking.


In my own current experience, there is still an urge or tendency to identify with affective feeling even though it is seen as not-self. The compounding seems to continue on it's own, less out of control than before, but still continues. Affective feelings still arise to bite my bum and cause suffering, although a lot less "sticky" than before.The compounded feelings are easier to let go of as soon as they arise. But sometimes in a moment of blindness, verbal and physical reactions can result.

There are practices which seem to cease the compounding for very long periods and the theme is very much "seeing in the seen", "hearing in the heard" and no sense of ""being is arising to be expericned during such periods. The sense of I AM still pops up to interrupt these periods though. It hasn't permanently "disbanded". In other words, I wouldn't say I am familiar with "deathless" as the Buddha saw it (according to Thanissaro's quote). But I am aiming to "disband" the compounding process that causes affective feeling and a sense of "being" to continue arise for good. Without that sense of I AM or sense of being/presence and without affective feelings (which i would equate to a felt sense of "being") arising there is nothing but peace and clarity without an affective filter, objects coming in contact with the senses. The happiness Buddha speaks of sounds nice.

nibs


Edited various times due to habitual tendency to type like a monkey and change sentences.
Last edited by nibs on Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:00 pm

Ok, thanks, I was just wondering what your take on that might be. This "amata" is certainly a core of the teachings. What the Buddha said to the first person he saw after his awakening was

"In a world become blind,
I beat the drum of the Deathless."

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

I take the realizing of this "deathless" as marking stream entry. We can see this in the story of Mogallana and Sariputta first hearing the Buddha's teachings - secondhand.

One day Upatissa [Sariputta] had gone to the town while Kolita had stayed back at their dwelling. Kolita [Maha-Moggallana] saw his friend returning but never had he seen him like that: his entire being seemed to be transformed, his appearance was buoyant and radiant. Eagerly Kolita asked him:

"Your features are so serene, dear friend, and your complexion is so bright and clear. Should it have happened that you have found the road to the Deathless?"

Upatissa, then, replied: "It is so, dear friend, the Deathless has been found."

[the teachings which they heard were:]
The Perfect One has told the cause
of causally arisen things
And what brings their cessation, too:
Such is the doctrine taught by the Great Monk.

When Upatissa heard this stanza, the vision of truth (the "Dhamma-eye") arose in him on the spot, and the very same happened to Kolita when he listened to the stanza retold by his friend. He, too, realized: Whatever arises is bound to vanish.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#ch3

So it would seem that we also need to find this "deathless" - whatever that is exactly... that is what marks stream entry. That's how it looks to me. I don't have the confidence to answer as Upatissa did "It is so, dear friend, the Deathless has been found."
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:04 pm

kirk5a wrote:So it would seem that we also need to find this "deathless" - whatever that is exactly... that is what marks stream entry. That's how it looks to me. I don't have the confidence to answer as Upatissa did "It is so, dear friend, the Deathless has been found."
Whatever it is, I don't want it, nor do I think the Buddha taught it, though he did teach freedom from birth and freedom from death
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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:19 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Whatever it is, I don't want it, nor do I think the Buddha taught it, though he did teach freedom from birth and freedom from death

So in that interpretation, we should substitute "freedom from death" everywhere "the deathless" is seen? But you must regard that as more than merely a semantical matter then - there's something different experientially?
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:33 pm

kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Whatever it is, I don't want it, nor do I think the Buddha taught it, though he did teach freedom from birth and freedom from death

So in that interpretation, we should substitute "freedom from death" everywhere "the deathless" is seen? But you must regard that as more than merely a semantical matter then - there's something different experientially?
Where is the deathless, the unborn, the unconditioned? What do these words mean?
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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Where is the deathless, the unborn, the unconditioned? What do these words mean?

One of the clearest explanations I have found so far is:

This is deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging/sustenance.

etaṃ amataṃ yadidaṃ anupādā cittassa vimokkho

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:25 pm

kirk5a wrote:Hi nibs, thanks for sharing. What would you say is referred to as "amata" = "deathless" or "without death"?


When 5 aggregates cease, and no longer rearise, there isn't anything left to be inconstant or suffering. So nothing dies is applicable in that sense.
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Whatever it is, I don't want it, nor do I think the Buddha taught it, though he did teach freedom from birth and freedom from death

So in that interpretation, we should substitute "freedom from death" everywhere "the deathless" is seen? But you must regard that as more than merely a semantical matter then - there's something different experientially?
Where is the deathless, the unborn, the unconditioned? What do these words mean?


They mean: nothing to be born, nothing to be conditioned, nothing to die.
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:46 pm

Alex123 wrote:When 5 aggregates cease, and no longer rearise, there isn't anything left to be inconstant or suffering. So nothing dies is applicable in that sense.

"When 5 aggregates cease, and no longer rearise" could only pertain to the death of an arahant. Sariputta and Mogallana were not talking that. They were talking about a realization or insight or whatever they had right then, which made them stream-enterers.
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:07 pm

kirk5a wrote:So it would seem that we also need to find this "deathless" - whatever that is exactly...


If there's no born, then there's no death. "Deathless" would be impossible for a person who has been born... that person must die eventually.

:anjali:
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:15 pm

beeblebrox wrote:If there's no born, then there's no death. "Deathless" would be impossible for a person who has been born... that person must die eventually.

:anjali:

Upatissa, then, replied: "It is so, dear friend, the Deathless has been found."

So how does what you say apply to what Upatissa said?
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:20 pm

kirk5a wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:If there's no born, then there's no death. "Deathless" would be impossible for a person who has been born... that person must die eventually.

:anjali:

Upatissa, then, replied: "It is so, dear friend, the Deathless has been found."

So how does what you say apply to what Upatissa said?



That within a short period of time, there will be no more re-birth. Without birth, there will not be anything to age or to die.
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:That within a short period of time, there will be no more re-birth. Without birth, there will not be anything to age or to die.

"the Deathless has been found" does not match up well with "within a short period of time" (in the future)

Someone who says they have found something does not mean they are going to find it in the future.
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:41 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Alex123 wrote:That within a short period of time, there will be no more re-birth. Without birth, there will not be anything to age or to die.

"the Deathless has been found" does not match up well with "within a short period of time" (in the future)

Someone who says they have found something does not mean they are going to find it in the future.



They irreversible entered the path to no more rebirth (and thus, no more death). They've seen Nibbana.

A stream-enterer already made 5 aggregates (concurrent with eliminated fetters) to cease. There will be no reoccurance of 5 aggregates in lower realms, and no re occurrence of 4-5 aggregates for the 8th time.
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:46 pm

Alex123 wrote:They've seen Nibbana.

A stream-enterer already made 5 aggregates (concurrent with eliminated fetters) to cease.

Ok so this is the "making the 5 aggregates cease is nibbana" interpretation again. And yet do you distinguish that from the state of unconsciousness?
"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: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:56 pm

kirk5a wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:If there's no born, then there's no death. "Deathless" would be impossible for a person who has been born... that person must die eventually.

:anjali:

Upatissa, then, replied: "It is so, dear friend, the Deathless has been found."

So how does what you say apply to what Upatissa said?


Also keep in mind that annihilationism is considered a wrong view... so, if a person thinks that he'll be able to view the "Deathless" just by dying, so that he could escape his previous birth, he would be mistaken. He's actually still bound by the birth/death dichotomy. So, if he thinks he has to die, he's really still viewing it from the side of birth.

No birth, meaning that there will be no death... also: no death, meaning that there was no birth.

:anjali:
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby Alex123 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:59 pm

kirk5a wrote:Ok so this is the "making the 5 aggregates cease is nibbana" interpretation again. And yet do you distinguish that from the state of unconsciousness?



Do you imply that some sort of consciousness/awareness remains in pariNibbana?
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Re: Reduction of Suffering Levels

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:05 pm

Alex123 wrote:Do you imply that some sort of consciousness/awareness remains in pariNibbana?

We aren't talking about parinibbana. You said "they've seen nibbana." I am simply asking you whether this "seeing of nibbana" as you understand it, is distinguishable from the state of unconsciousness?
"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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