Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

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Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:52 pm

Listened to this talk by Joseph Goldstein yesterday:
2002-10-02 Desire 59:51
http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?search=desire

The useful point he brought out is that it's not particular things we are attached to, it's how they make us feel.
So when we find ourselves thinking "I'm not attached to X (drinking a cup of tea was one of his examples)..." it can be helpful to look at what feelings are generated by the object or action.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
Then in him who enjoys sensual happiness, an underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He does not know, according to facts, the arising and ending of these feelings, nor the gratification, the danger and the escape, connected with these feelings.


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:43 pm

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:The useful point he brought out is that it's not particular things we are attached to, it's how they make us feel.

Ah, I see... so when Joseph Goldstein says it.....

:rofl:

Anyway, yes, I concur whole-heartedly with Joseph's incredibly useful point. Vedana is in loka, and if attention is placed there within loka correctly , "particular things" are not discerned/regarded as "particular things", and we're not falsely lulled into believing that it's those "particular things" (out there) that we desire.

:thumbsup:

The following couplet of suttas are also directly connected to this matter...

SN 47.6: Sakunagghi Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

SN 47.7: Makkata Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

These suttas also help illustrate the significance of the Satipatthana Sutta's "in & of itself" refrain.

:reading:

Now, I desire the vedana (in and of itself) that arises through warm caffeine-consumption, so off to the coffee-machine I go!

:coffee:

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:45 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:The useful point he brought out is that it's not particular things we are attached to, it's how they make us feel.

Ah, I see... so when Joseph Goldstein says it....


I thought pretty much all vipassana teachers teach this, in one way or another.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:46 pm

Greetings Goof,

Goofaholix wrote:I thought pretty much all vipassana teachers teach this, in one way or another.

I'm pleased to hear it.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:05 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:I thought pretty much all vipassana teachers teach this, in one way or another.

I'm pleased to hear it.


Don't just hear it, feel it.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:06 am

Yes, all suttana-method vipassana here...

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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:11 am

Greetings,

Goofaholix wrote:Don't just hear it, feel it.

Reading that I feel as if I should be hearing loud music, seeing refracted laser-lights, feeling the movement of the body, smelling sweat and smoke, thinking of witty chat-up lines, and tasting precept-violating beverages.

Image

8-)

On the off-chance that there was anything deeper implied... words are needed for communication, and the Dhamma cannot be communicated by holding a lotus flower alone. Because words are used, it would be wrong to assume there are only words, and that they are neither pointing to experience, nor utilisation of the implications the words point to. Such assumptions would be regarding others in bad faith. Apologies if that appears a bit pre-emptive, but it does get somewhat wearisome when because I use the language of suttas rather than the language of contemporary vipassana teachers, I am assumed to be engaging in sutta bookwormery, rather than samma sati and/or samma samadhi.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby amtross » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:21 am

Goofaholix wrote:Don't just hear it, feel it.


I laughed out loud at that one! Thanks for that....
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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:On the off-chance that there was anything deeper implied... words are needed for communication, and the Dhamma cannot be communicated by holding a lotus flower alone. Because words are used, it would be wrong to assume there are only words, and that they are neither pointing to experience, nor utilisation of the implications the words point to. Such assumptions would be regarding others in bad faith. Apologies if that appears a bit pre-emptive, but it does get somewhat wearisome when because I use the language of suttas rather than the language of contemporary vipassana teachers, I am assumed to be engaging in sutta bookwormery, rather than samma sati and/or samma samadhi.


As they say in Thai "kit maak!".

If one can talk about these things in ones own words from personal experience as well as in terms of what the suttas say then I'd say there is nothing to fear about the assumptions of others.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:40 am

Greetings Goof,
Goofaholix wrote:If one can talk about these things in ones own words from personal experience as well as in terms of what the suttas say then I'd say there is nothing to fear about the assumptions of others.

Nothing to fear, for sure... but it's desirable to discuss the Dhamma amongst ourselves without diffusion and caricature.

All good. :thumbsup:

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:. Apologies if that appears a bit pre-emptive, but it does get somewhat wearisome when because I use the language of suttas rather than the language of contemporary vipassana teachers, I am assumed to be engaging in sutta bookwormery, rather than samma sati and/or samma samadhi.

I'm fine with the language and Dhamma of the Suttas. That's what I was discussing in the first place and always have. Sutta-based meditation.

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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:59 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Goof,
Goofaholix wrote:If one can talk about these things in ones own words from personal experience as well as in terms of what the suttas say then I'd say there is nothing to fear about the assumptions of others.

Nothing to fear, for sure... but it's desirable to discuss the Dhamma amongst ourselves without diffusion and caricature.
Diffusion and caricature? Who does that? Goldstein?
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: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:56 pm

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Diffusion and caricature? Who does that? Goldstein?

No, no... I'm talking about the general tendency in contemporary Dhamma discourse for patipatta and pariyatti to be falsely typecast as two mutually exclusive activities, or two different Dhamma paths. The diffusion arises when an individual is typecast as falling exclusively into either domain, and the perception of their words is filtered by the listener accordingly. Goof made clear this was not what he was doing when he said "Don't just hear it, feel it", and I was pleased to hear it.

Got it now?...

:focus:

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:22 pm

Well, having got the meta-discussion out of the way, does anyone have any actual comments about this (not intended to be earth-shattering) subject.

Since Goldstein is presumably addressing people who have a similar practice to mine, based to a large extent on the Satipatthana Sutta (pay attention to the various stuff) and the more obvious links of the dependent origination suttas:
    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.
the observation that "it's how objects make us feel that is what we cling to, not the objects themselves" is rather obvious. And it is obvious when we are concentrated, mindful, and paying attention. But when we relax that attention, especially outside of retreat or daily practice conditions, it can be much less obvious what exactly is causing the craving and clinging.

A minor point of Dhamma, but, like many other points, something I'm not always good at remembering.

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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:25 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Diffusion and caricature? Who does that? Goldstein?

No, no... I'm talking about the general tendency in contemporary Dhamma discourse for patipatta and pariyatti to be falsely typecast as two mutually exclusive activities, or two different Dhamma paths. The diffusion arises when an individual is typecast as falling exclusively into either domain, and the perception of their words is filtered by the listener accordingly. Goof made clear this was not what he was doing when he said "Don't just hear it, feel it", and I was pleased to hear it.

Got it now?...

:focus:

Metta,
Retro. :)
I got it, but there was no way to get it without your explanation of your statement. I cannot read your mind. So thanks for the explication.
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: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:30 pm

mikenz66 wrote:the observation that "it's how objects make us feel that is what we cling to, not the objects themselves" is rather obvious. And it is obvious when we are concentrated, mindful, and paying attention. But when we relax that attention, especially outside of retreat or daily practice conditions, it can be much less obvious what exactly is causing the craving and clinging.

A minor point of Dhamma, but, like many other points, something I'm not always good at remembering.

:anjali:
Mike
It is more than a minor point, and at times we do need to have things such as this directly stated.
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: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:43 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:It is more than a minor point

Indeed, and underpins the instructions to Bahiya.

Ud 1.10: Bahiya Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:48 am

retrofuturist wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is more than a minor point

Indeed, and underpins the instructions to Bahiya.

Ud 1.10: Bahiya Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Would you care to elaborate on the particular relevance of that sutta to the OP? Sorry, but dense today. I mean clearly if one managed to follow the instructions mentioned in that sutta there won't be clinging, by definition, but is there something in particular in that sutta that illuminates the "feeling as a clinging trap" problem?

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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:09 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Would you care to elaborate on the particular relevance of that sutta to the OP?

Sure. In the example of "a cup of tea", as given above, by following the instructions given to Bahiya...

"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself."

... we would be cognizing the desire itself (i.e. in reference to the cognized, only the cognized). If one is training in accordance with the observation of "only the seen", "only the heard" etc. then there is correct discernment of experience within the six-sensefold-sphere. Because of this, any thought of "a cup of tea" would be discerned as "only the cognized"... i.e. a thought about a cup of tea. When the "cup of tea" is regarded correctly as a concept/cognition, it does not intrude into awareness (as an assumed extant thing), and one can become aware that the desired object actually lies within the six-sensefold-sphere as opposed to outside it. In the example given by Goldstein, the desire is towards "the sensed". Discerning that, it's becomes much less attractive, as it can be regarded through vipassana as possessing the three characteristics, and penetrated through insight. Whilst we labour under the misconception the object of desire is external, we cannot penetrate it with insight as it falls beyond our range to do so.

mikenz66 wrote:Sorry, but dense today. I mean clearly if one managed to follow the instructions mentioned in that sutta there won't be clinging, by definition, but is there something in particular in that sutta that illuminates the "feeling as a clinging trap" problem?

If one has trained in accordance with these instructions and seen them through to fruition in terms of the complete and remainderless cessation of avijja, then yes, that's correct. However, they are instructions only, and because there is still avijja, we will (when not discerning correctly) desire objects outside the six-sensefold-sphere of loka/sabba, and find frustration as a result.

As per my earlier example, "Now, I desire the vedana (in and of itself) that arises through warm caffeine-consumption, so off to the coffee-machine I go!".

Or to give another more personal example, when you get irritated at me, it's not the external object "retrofuturist" or "Paul" that is actual object of that irritation. The irritatant is the "fetter" (i.e. vibhava-tanha) that arises dependent upon seeing my words...

MN 10 wrote:"Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media? There is the case where he discerns the eye, he discerns forms, he discerns the fetter that arises dependent on both. He discerns how there is the arising of an unarisen fetter. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of a fetter once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no future arising of a fetter that has been abandoned. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining sense media: ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.)"


Thus, if all our suffering can be understood with reference to the sixfold-sense-sphere (as opposed to "contact" between "self" and "other") then liberating discernment can arise.

The desire for everyone to agree on points of Dhamma is a similar example as well... if we relinquish perception of self and external selves by following Bahiya's lead and deal exclusively within the sixfold-sense-sphere, there is no compulsion towards concurrence of perceived selves, and no fetter or suffering arises on account of conceived things in the external world not doing what we would like them to do.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Desire (Joseph Goldstein)

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:40 am

OK, thanks that's how I was understanding it. No disagreement there with my first post that I can see. :woohoo:

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