The value of nibbana

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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:54 pm

char101 wrote:
Guy wrote:Hi Char,


Hi,

Nibbana is not destruction of self because there is no self to begin with.


But nibbana is the destruction of sankara which are body and mind which are what makes a being. So it's the destruction of a being, isn't it?

I do accept that self is a wrong view but what is the point of the hard practice to achieve nibbana if the end is the annihilation of the being (i.e. the mind and body and the cycle of samsara). People want to achieve nibbana because there is a lot of suffering risk in this cycle of existence. Beings do not life suffering. That is just their (our) nature. But although nibbana is the end of suffering, it is more than that, it also means the end of all (of a being, i.e. their mind and body). It just does not seem to be the solution of suffering to me. Probably if we can say that nibbana is a way of transformation from current dependently arising form (the mind and body in samsara) to some kind of existence which existence does not dependend on other thing and that does not ill, age, or die, and know that at least the previous state of samsara has been eliminated, nibbana can be seen a better way of this suffering in samsara.

There is only the habitual tendency to grasp at a self, usually one of the 5 khandas (body, feeling, perceptions, mental formations, consciousness) is what we take to be a self or belonging to a self. When we see that all these things are impermanent then what is there that is worth grasping at or clinging to which we can safely identify as a self?


So the [englightment] flow goes from [an impermanent-suffering-not I formation (5 khandhas)] -> [complete destruction of the 5 khandhas and the stopping of the cycle] which seems to me that anything is this world is so pointless?

It's like I'm having this conversation with myself
A: what's the point of life?
B: there is no point of life, it's just an impermanent, suffering state with nothing to be called I or mine or myself
A: then is there a better state?
B: yes there is this complete destruction of ourselves both of our wrong view of self and the mind and the body and the cycle of existence
A: how is that any better that the previous?
B: ... ?

I don't want to be offensive. It is absolutely not my intention to be offensive, but this kind of "rough" tone is the only way how I think I might help you with this. Your assumptions are simply absolutely wrong. Because they are all together based on attavada (belief in a self). Can't you see that you're all the time identifying yourself with things (dhamma) which shall not considerd as self? You don't really use the word "self" but it is obvious that you mean it. You say:
char101 wrote:But nibbana is the destruction of sankara which are body and mind which are what makes a being. So it's the destruction of a being, isn't it?

And it is noticeable that you think you are this being, made out of sankhata dhammá, body and mind is what you think you are. And that's why you think when body and mind will be destroyed, you too will be destroyed. And that then there will be nothing left. It is a prime example for the view of annhilition. "Being" is just another word for the five aggregates of grasping.
If you aren't, according to the Buddha, the five aggregates, and when the aggregates would finally cease, then what is it that will be "destroyed"? You or yourself will not be "destroyed" because you are not the five aggregates, you are not body and mind, you are not sankhata dhammá, you are not any thing (dhammá) at all. Actually to talk about what you are is irrelevant, because it already presumes a self, which actually is not to be found. So why even talk about something which nobody have ever found anywhere?! Please keep in mind, that there is not even the slightest bit of anger in this post, just to not get me wrong. ;) If I misunderstood you, I apologise.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Api cāhaṃ, āvuso, imasmiṃyeva byāmamatte kaḷevare, sasaññimhi samanake lokañca paññāpemi lokasamudayañca lokanirodhañca lokanirodhagāminiñca paṭipadan. (AN4.45)

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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby Wind » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:04 pm

For those who continue to cling onto this make-belief "self", suffering ensures. Nibbana is the end of this illusion and ignorance. No matter how hard you try to hold on to this "self", the nature of impermanence will take it away. And the process will continue and has continue timelessly in this cycle of rebirth and death. Being attach to this "self" is like wandering in a cell endlessly. There will come a point when one wants to escape and be free. The only way out is Nibbana. As to what Nibbana is, only the noble ones who has attain it knows for sure. And so far, they all agree it is the greatest bliss, most worthy pursuit.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:06 am

char101 wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:in this type of situation I think it is better to look at the positive outcome of attaining nibbana, rather than debating the metaphysics. This is simply the ending of all forms of mental suffering brought on by whatever the world throws at us. The result is clarity, mindfulness, joy and peace. Surely that is worthwhile?


Hi rowyourboat,

They are very worthwhile, but they also can be experienced without reaching nibbana, e.g. by achieving jhana. Also clarity, mindfulness, joy, and peace are experiences, experiences are conditioned and not satisfying.

When nibbana is taken as the end of suffering, I see the meaning of suffering as sankhara, all which are conditioned, i.e. the mind and body, so the end of suffering can be read as the end of mind and body not just common suffering.


Hi Char101

The states that I mentioned can be reached while absorbed in jhana- when you come back you are back to square one. In nibbana there is no suffering, no clinging to pleasant/neutral mind states floating about wanting it to be any other way. So there is a positive feedback loop of contentment leading to more positive mindstates. These states are conditioned- this has been seen- hence the clinging to them has been abandoned using this tool of insight- now at the end even the tool is let go of. No more suffering. There is no displeasure at there being conditioned mindstates, no particular pleasure either. there is no more seeking for satisfaction- that in itself is satisfying. there is no more seeking of happiness, that in itself brings happiness. there is more seeking for meaning, in a meaningless world- that brings contentment.

The end of the mind-body is suffering if it's continued existence was seen as desirable/pleasant/worthwhile. Then we cling to it and want this pleasure from it. This is the cause which leads to suffering as well. So giving up this little pleasure for a great pleasure is what it is all about.

with metta
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby BlackBird » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:09 pm

char101 wrote:I see the meaning of suffering as...


If you would like to take this practice of Dhamma further than speculation and reasoning, you might have to let go of this notion.

metta
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby meindzai » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:00 pm

Nibanna has absolutely no value whatsoever. :)
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby ground » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:35 am

Since the "value" of something is not inhering in this "something" it is always dependent on the "value" assigned by a subject. Therefore one who strives for nirvana and has not attained it yet may assign great value to it. One who has never heard about nirvana cannot and one who has heard but does not bother may not assign any value to it.
So the "value" is based on "imagination": it is based on imagining what the difference would be or would "feel" like having "something" that one has not. That this "something" may be just an idea, i.e. is an imagination itself, does not matter in the context of the subject's assigning value to it.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby Fede » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:16 am

char101 wrote:(. . . )
I am not arguing about nibbana as the way out of suffering, it just that the fact about life ( = suffering) and the fact about nibbana ( = end of suffering = end of sankhara = end of existence = nothing left) seems so... meaningless

Maybe when you get there, you'll change your mind...
Actually, I'm serious....
Whilst we try to fathom the unfathomable, we simply tie ourselves in great knots.
I have trouble enough watching my step getting through the day, let alone attaining Nibbana.
My thoughts scatter like frightened rabbits, my mouth runs away with me, and my actions are all too often clumsy and less than skilful.
I seriously and sincerely take refuge each morning and evening, and seriously and sincerely recite the Five precepts, considering each one in turn as I do so.
I sit quietly for a while and still the whole that I am, in readiness for the day, then begin my day and promptly cock it up with flair and consummate ease....

To me, the value of Nibbana is being able to start as I mean to go on, an go on as I've started.
Listen, my words here are probably not of any great use, but I sometimes think that when we pose such questions to ourselves, we're shooting ourselves in the foot.
It's like somebody fretting and panicking about which face of Mt. Everest it would be better to tackle, when all we've ever done is a bit of gentle hill walking with the dog at weekends.....

Thanks for reading this far! :twothumbsup:

:namaste:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby imagemarie » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:25 pm

I sit quietly for a while and still the whole that I am


Hey, I'm with you sister.. :smile:

Thank-you.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby nschauer » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:21 am

Check out the lecture by Ajhan Amaro on nibbana on http://www.audiodharma.org/talks-all.html 10/31/09. Nibbana is the island beyond - and to me this means beyond the craving for nibbana - and this may be the source of your confusion. Elimination of the craving for nibbana will lead to nibbana - not the destruction of the self. Without craving - what is the self? To see what is seen, to hear what is heard, to feel what is felt, to know what is known and this is all there is.
Otherwise, meditation becomes like a prayer for salvation - it is no longer meditation because once again - see what is seen, hear what is heard, feel what is felt, know what is known. Buddhism is not holding out nibbana as a kind of reward for good meditation - or loss of self. It is not heaven. So the trap is expecting something - it is as it is - and that is what you are experiencing. Speculation on achieving nibbana - well these are just thoughts - thus not real. Abandoning all expectation - craving is the achievement of nibbana - and if I long for nibbana- how could I get there? If I think that I must pay a price to enter nibbana - then this delusion is stopping me from abandoning all craving - stopping me from reaching the island beyond.

This is my understanding.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby ground » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:02 am

nschauer wrote:Abandoning all expectation - craving is the achievement of nibbana - and if I long for nibbana- how could I get there? If I think that I must pay a price to enter nibbana - then this delusion is stopping me from abandoning all craving - stopping me from reaching the island beyond.

This is my understanding.


Each activity originating from within the sphere described by the 12 links of DO necessarily ends where it starts, i.e. does not "reach" beyond this sphere. Therefore each activity of one having been born necessarily results in further birth.

This is my understanding of the 12 links of DO.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby nschauer » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:53 am

What are the twelve links of DO? Are you referring to dependent origination? As far as rebirth is concerned - I don't hold to that view - this is all here now and any rebirth is from breath to breath until the breath ceases.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby ground » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:46 am

nschauer wrote:What are the twelve links of DO? Are you referring to dependent origination? As far as rebirth is concerned - I don't hold to that view - this is all here now and any rebirth is from breath to breath until the breath ceases.

Our speaking about "here now" indicates our imprisonment in time and space, indicates our being "born".
To be clear: This understanding of yours is intended to be covered by my post, too ("Therefore each activity of one having been born necessarily results in further birth."). IMO actually it makes no difference how you interprete the term "birth". You necessarily are within the sphere of the 12 links if activity is deliberately initiated or if there is a goal which is in contrast to "what is". Therefore there is no way out through activity having its origin in the sphere of the 12 links. Any intended activity (or effort or activity directed towards a goal) will necessarily fail (meaning "not reach beyond the sphere of the 12 links") according to the model of the 12 links of DO itself. This is my understanding of the dialectical import of the 12 links of DO. One may therefore conclude that this model of DO is not intended to have dialectical import but is intended to have mere "psychological" import effecting the general mental "setting" (attitude) of the individuum. So the model may be understood to be a metaphor.
But then - returning to the topic - the same may be said about the meaning (or "value") of the term "nirvana" which dialectically implies an opposition to this 12 links model.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby nschauer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:45 am

I think then we agree - the 12 steps of dependent origination - or simply the first noble truth puts to rest the idea that nibbana should be sought. If craving is suffering then craving for nibbana will lead to suffering. Self is not destroyed - but craving is. This puts an end to the DO and nibbana is attained. One can hardly speak about reaching nibbana without using language which is contrary to nibbana. I find this hardest of all - most of what the experience of following the path is outside the reaches of language - at least for me.
I agree that the interpretation of rebirth is unimportant - to awaken to this life now - fully and without views or craving - this is the end of rebirth.

thanks
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby nschauer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:45 am

I think then we agree - the 12 steps of dependent origination - or simply the first noble truth puts to rest the idea that nibbana should be sought. If craving is suffering then craving for nibbana will lead to suffering. Self is not destroyed - but craving is. This puts an end to the DO and nibbana is attained. One can hardly speak about reaching nibbana without using language which is contrary to nibbana. I find this hardest of all - most of what the experience of following the path is outside the reaches of language - at least for me.
I agree that the interpretation of rebirth is unimportant - to awaken to this life now - fully and without views or craving - this is the end of rebirth.

thanks
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby nschauer » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:45 am

I think then we agree - the 12 steps of dependent origination - or simply the first noble truth puts to rest the idea that nibbana should be sought. If craving is suffering then craving for nibbana will lead to suffering. Self is not destroyed - but craving is. This puts an end to the DO and nibbana is attained. One can hardly speak about reaching nibbana without using language which is contrary to nibbana. I find this hardest of all - most of what the experience of following the path is outside the reaches of language - at least for me.
I agree that the interpretation of rebirth is unimportant - to awaken to this life now - fully and without views or craving - this is the end of rebirth.

thanks
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby meindzai » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:15 pm

nschauer wrote:I think then we agree - the 12 steps of dependent origination - or simply the first noble truth puts to rest the idea that nibbana should be sought. If craving is suffering then craving for nibbana will lead to suffering. Self is not destroyed - but craving is. This puts an end to the DO and nibbana is attained. One can hardly speak about reaching nibbana without using language which is contrary to nibbana. I find this hardest of all - most of what the experience of following the path is outside the reaches of language - at least for me.



You're dealing with two different things that might be classified as "craving" here. The craving that leads to dukkha is craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming, and sensual craving. But you can still have a desire for awakening - dhamma-chanda, that is absolutely a requirement for awakening. Don't take my word for it - Ananda has this same discussion with the Brahman Unnabha in the Brahmana Sutta

"If that's so, Master Ananda, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire."

"In that case, brahman, let me question you on this matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: Didn't you first have desire, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular desire allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Didn't you first have persistence, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular persistence allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Didn't you first have the intent, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular intent allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"Didn't you first have [an act of] discrimination, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular act of discrimination allayed?"

"Yes, sir."

"So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?"

"You're right, Master Ananda. This is a path with an end, and not an endless one. Magnificent, Master Ananda! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Ananda — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha of monks. May Master Ananda remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge, from this day forward, for life."



-M
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby nschauer » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:56 am

I hope i don't post this one three times - duh - talk about rebirth. I would agree that intent is different from craving. Intention like discernment can be maintained without craving. So I would agree that intention to reach nibbana is not craving. I am not sure what your point is - You are born? My birth doesn't prove I was reborn unless you are speaking about it metaphorically. I'm not sure what you are getting at. Clarify for me please.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby ground » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:23 am

nschauer wrote:I would agree that intent is different from craving. Intention like discernment can be maintained without craving.

Intent is no different from sankhara, the 2nd limb. The result is birth. Dead end. Koan.

Kind regards
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby Mukunda » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:11 pm

Nibbana isn't the destruction of anything. It is the extinguishing of suffering.

I fail to see the point of practice if one doesn't accept the doctrine of literal rebirth. It's much easier to alleviate suffering through drugs and alcohol if this one life is all I have to worry about.
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Re: The value of nibbana

Postby char101 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:59 pm

acinteyyo wrote:I don't want to be offensive. It is absolutely not my intention to be offensive, but this kind of "rough" tone is the only way how I think I might help you with this. Your assumptions are simply absolutely wrong. Because they are all together based on attavada (belief in a self). Can't you see that you're all the time identifying yourself with things (dhamma) which shall not considerd as self? You don't really use the word "self" but it is obvious that you mean it.


Hi acinteyyo,

I do not think your words is offensive. I cannot argue about whether I wrote that based on atta or not because I do not fully understand anatta and when I do try to understand it, there are different views on what is the meaning of anatta. So I'll leave it as it is and 'detach' myself from it :D . Anyway isn't it paradoxical hoping for me talking (writing) free from the view of atta since I am an ordinary being not released from the view of atta itself? We can talk anatta as a doctrine but my main topic is how is it that this being (myself) which is still attached to atta can gain enough motivation to practice to attain nibbana. From psychological point of view, people don't pursue things that they don't value. And as a being which is still attached to atta, I can say that atta is one if not the most valued thing by a living being.
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