Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 06, 2010 3:32 am

Greetings Mike,

Really?

Oh well... I'm sure pt1 knows why I'm asking.

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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 06, 2010 3:44 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:Really?

Oh well... I'm sure pt1 knows why I'm asking.

OK, perhaps it's buried in your past conversations, but I thought you were talking about experience, and I don't see how you'd tell the difference between your options experientially.

As PT says, there's commonly documented observations (from the Visuddhimagga onwards) of experience "breaking up" into discrete chunks. Now, whether what PT or I experience is particularly deep or not, if you are experiencing this sort of thing all you have is the "chunkiness", so whether the "clock" is the rising and falling of the chunks or whether there is some "external clock" doesn't appear to me to be knowable.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 3:46 am

Now the conversation is going somewhere... we are getting very minute, very detailed, very exact, very precise... he he he. We are going past concepts all the way to the dhamma that is arising right now. That is all that exists and it is anicca, anatta, and dukkha! As soon as it passes it is gone, just a memory, just a concept. It no longer exists as soon as the mind process starts to label it and it turn it into some object, some thing we recognize, some whole part. It no longer exists then. It is history, no longer real, no longer there. Just a shadow of it, a concept, exists. We are always caught up in conceptual proliferation. The concepts hide the characteristics of the realities that appear. They are too fast to control, they are anatta. Hopefully we will develop the wisdom -- we won't be caught up in past or in future, in trying to see or know, it thinking but just see the dhamma that is now, like really, really now-- the impermanent, anatta, and dukkha one.

Look at how much the proliferation creates!

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 06, 2010 3:50 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:As PT says, there's commonly documented observations (from the Visuddhimagga onwards) of experience "breaking up" into discrete chunks. Now, whether what PT or I experience is particularly deep or not, if you are experiencing this sort of thing all you have is the "chunkiness", so whether the "clock" is the rising and falling of the chunks or whether there is some "external clock" doesn't appear to me to be knowable.

You're right, it isn't knowable... or rather, it isn't experientially knowable, so what good is it?

So much then for the notion of more than a billion cittas (supposed ultimate realities) crammed into the time of the shortest possible flash of lightning (i.e. a discrete conceptual time period). Unless of course lightning strikes while doing this and you're awfully good as counting whilst you watch the rising and falling of over a billion consecutive cittas... doesn't seem very practical to me.

Thus, temporally delineated dhammas are at best, irrelevant - at worst, wrong and misleading.

In something purpotedly so infintesmal, how to experientially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship.

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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 4:59 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:As PT says, there's commonly documented observations (from the Visuddhimagga onwards) of experience "breaking up" into discrete chunks. Now, whether what PT or I experience is particularly deep or not, if you are experiencing this sort of thing all you have is the "chunkiness", so whether the "clock" is the rising and falling of the chunks or whether there is some "external clock" doesn't appear to me to be knowable.

You're right, it isn't knowable... or rather, it isn't experientially knowable, so what good is it?

So much then for the notion of more than a billion cittas (supposed ultimate realities) crammed into the time of the shortest possible flash of lightning (i.e. a discrete conceptual time period). Unless of course lightning strikes while doing this and you're awfully good as counting whilst you watch the rising and falling of over a billion consecutive cittas... doesn't seem very practical to me.

Thus, temporally delineated dhammas are at best, irrelevant - at worst, wrong and misleading.

In something purpotedly so infintesmal, how to experientially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship.

Metta,
Retro. :)

In accordance with Abhidhamma, when satipatthana occurs, panna arises at the same time as the dhamma which it knows. Panna is just a cetasika that arises. Having developed highly it can naturally arise. At that time, it can know the characteristic of the dhamma that it arises with.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 06, 2010 5:18 am

Greetings Virgo,

In relation then to my post which you quoted above, do you see the relationship between dhammas as temporal (as measured in time) or structural (as measured relative to the preceding dhamma)?

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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 06, 2010 5:19 am

Forgive me if this is beyond the scope of the thread, but,

Regardless of the reality or lack thereof concerning concepts, are concepts not still subject to the 3 characteristics and therefore a potential object of insight? Isn't subjective experience, including concepts or not, what's important?
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 5:27 am

Virgo wrote:Now the conversation is going somewhere... we are getting very minute, very detailed, very exact, very precise... he he he. We are going past concepts all the way to the dhamma that is arising right now.
Actually, not. This sort of notion of individual, momentary dhammas is not something the Buddha taught; rather, it is something introduced into the Theravada long after the Buddha died. Dhammas as a way of talking about experience can be useful, but what is the point of trying to turn dhammas into existing little wholes operating on a time scales that have no relationship to reality?

]It no longer exists as soon as the mind process starts to label it and it turn it into some object, some thing we recognize, some whole part. It no longer exists then. It is history, no longer real, no longer there. Just a shadow of it, a concept, exists. We are always caught up in conceptual proliferation.
Which is kind of the problem with layering over the flow of experience with the idea of dhammas, when taking dhammas as being more than they are.
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 06, 2010 5:28 am

Greetings Kenshou,

Kenshou wrote:Regardless of the reality or lack thereof concerning concepts, are concepts not still subject to the 3 characteristics?

As objects of mind-consciousness, yes.

Kenshou wrote:therefore a potential object of insight?

Even setting aside the ti-lakkhana for the time being, meditation based on concepts is found in the Satipatthana Sutta in the form of corpse meditations. Yonisaro manasikara (wise reflection) is a means to insight.

Kenshou wrote:Isn't subjective experience, including concepts or not, what's important?

Yes. The problem in question is the (conceptual) act of artificially packaging subjective experience into dhammas with set-timeframes and then ignoring that the packaged dhamma is itself formed (sankhata) conceptually, as it necessarily is if time is a necessary component of it. So much for 'momentariness'.

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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 5:31 am

Kenshou wrote:Forgive me if this is beyond the scope of the thread, but,

Regardless of the reality or lack thereof concerning concepts, are concepts not still subject to the 3 characteristics and therefore a potential object of insight? Isn't subjective experience, including concepts or not, what's important?

This is a useful definition: A concept is a cognitive unit of meaning— an abstract idea or a mental symbol sometimes defined as a "unit of knowledge," built from other units which act as a concept's characteristics. A concept is typically associated with a corresponding representation in a language or symbology such as a single meaning of a term. - http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... clnk&gl=us

See above: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 303#p63303
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 06, 2010 5:37 am

Alright then, thanks, makes enough sense to me.

Sometimes the undertones of "buddhist platonism" gunk me up where there wasn't gunk before, is all.
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 5:45 am

pt1 wrote:Regarding the speed and discrete moments of experience, I think I mentioned this already - sometimes it happens to me that the flow of experience in fact looks like a sequence of very fast pulses, or discrete instances. E.g. an arising of a certain sensation is seen as a very long sequence of very fast distinct pulses. I have no idea what is this, most probably just a meditation artefact.
It is likely an artifact of physiology rather than reflecting some sort of objective reality about the nature of what it you are experiencing.

Count to a billion lately?
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu May 06, 2010 8:12 am

retrofuturist wrote:You're right, it isn't knowable... or rather, it isn't experientially knowable, so what good is it?

So much then for the notion of more than a billion cittas (supposed ultimate realities) crammed into the time of the shortest possible flash of lightning (i.e. a discrete conceptual time period). ... Thus, temporally delineated dhammas are at best, irrelevant - at worst, wrong and misleading.

In something purpotedly so infintesmal, how to experientially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Yep. :smile:
This sort of thing defines one yana I prefer not to travel on ... it's all depressingly similar to mediaeval (Christian) Scholasticism - you know, the mob who debated how many angels could dance on the end of a pin.
Scholastic Method

The scholastics would choose a book (say, the Bible) by a renowned scholar, auctor (author), as a subject for investigation. By reading it thoroughly and critically, the disciples learned to appreciate the theories of the author. Other documents related to the book would be referenced, such as Church councils, papal letters and anything else written on the subject, be it ancient or contemporary. The points of disagreement and contention between multiple sources would be written down in individual sentences or snippets of text, known as sententiae.
Once the sources and points of disagreement had been laid out through a series of dialectics, the two sides of an argument would be made whole so that they would be found to be in agreement and not contradictory. (Of course, sometimes opinions would be totally rejected, or new positions proposed.) This was done in two ways.
The first was through philological analysis. Words were examined and argued to have multiple meanings. It was also considered that the auctor might have intended a certain word to mean something different. Ambiguity could be used to find common ground between two otherwise contradictory statements.
The second was through logical analysis, which relied on the rules of formal logic to show that contradictions did not exist but were subjective to the reader. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism)

It's a style of 'learning' which seems to arise spontaneously in the right (wrong) circumstances. You'll find it in ivory towers all around the world in all periods of history.

Back to the cushion!
:namaste:
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby pt1 » Thu May 06, 2010 9:19 am

Hi retro (and Mike),
retrofuturist wrote:Just a thought for consideration...

In the Buddha's teachings, events are usually depicted in relation to other events, rather than as against a notion of time. Time is merely a conceptual corrolary of aniccata (impermanence) - in other words, the reality of change is observed experientially and we use this abstract notion of 'time' as a measuring stick for change. Time is therefore a concept, not a reality... should you wish to revert to Abhidhamma-speak.

Therefore, if you attempt to 'timebox' dhammas (which you consider to be ultimate and real) into time (which is a conceptual notion only), can these timeboxed dhammas truly be called 'real'? If you are truly observing "the flow of experience in fact looks like a sequence of very fast pulses, or discrete instances", are these observed relative to time, or relative to the previous dhamma? Which is the correct way of seeing? Does reality care about time? Do dhammas adhere to our conceptual notions of time?

Yeah, sorry for introducing a bit of controversy there regarding temporal examples, I used those only as a common reference point in order to relate an experience. So, I don't really know if there is a direct relationship between dhammas and time, i.e. whether it can be said that exactly this many cittas arises per a certain amount of time. If I remember correctly from kathavatthu quote I gave in the other thread you mentioned, it is not known nowadays anymore what's the relationship between "moment" used in commentaries and conceptual framework of time that's commonly accepted nowadays, nor whether there was ever such a relationship in the first place. So we can only speculate. Regardless, the experience is there, though whether I was actually experiencing dhammas, or concepts about dhammas, or concepts about concepts, I can't be sure either at the moment. Regardless still, even that example was used just to illustrate that some things might be potentially possible regardless of how far-fetched they seem. I mean, the possibility that I'll ever actually get to understand sabbe sankhara dukkha directly seems pretty far-fetched at the moment, seeing that it happens so rarely at present, if at all really. In comparison, the speed even in the billions per flash of lightning seems like a pretty trivial matter.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby pt1 » Thu May 06, 2010 9:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
pt1 wrote:Regarding the speed and discrete moments of experience, I think I mentioned this already - sometimes it happens to me that the flow of experience in fact looks like a sequence of very fast pulses, or discrete instances. E.g. an arising of a certain sensation is seen as a very long sequence of very fast distinct pulses. I have no idea what is this, most probably just a meditation artefact.
It is likely an artifact of physiology rather than reflecting some sort of objective reality about the nature of what it you are experiencing.

Thanks tilt.

tiltbillings wrote:Count to a billion lately?
Actually, it looks like I'll need to learn what comes after a billion, because the latest number I heard (though the reference point this time was a wink of an eye) is - three trillion (point something - sorry couldn't catch the remainder exactly as my mind was already blown away by all the trillions). Pretty cool, if possible.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 2:02 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

In relation then to my post which you quoted above, do you see the relationship between dhammas as temporal (as measured in time) or structural (as measured relative to the preceding dhamma)?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hi Retro. I see it as structural.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 2:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:Now the conversation is going somewhere... we are getting very minute, very detailed, very exact, very precise... he he he. We are going past concepts all the way to the dhamma that is arising right now.
Actually, not. This sort of notion of individual, momentary dhammas is not something the Buddha taught; rather, it is something introduced into the Theravada long after the Buddha died

Actually the Buddha is the one who taught the Abhidhamma.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu May 06, 2010 2:47 pm

Virgo wrote:Actually the Buddha is the one who taught the Abhidhamma.


Hi Kevin,

According to the Commentaries . . .

see also: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2169
(another very long and controversial topic) :tongue:
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 2:55 pm

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:Now the conversation is going somewhere... we are getting very minute, very detailed, very exact, very precise... he he he. We are going past concepts all the way to the dhamma that is arising right now.
Actually, not. This sort of notion of individual, momentary dhammas is not something the Buddha taught; rather, it is something introduced into the Theravada long after the Buddha died

Actually the Buddha is the one who taught the Abhidhamma.
Even if he did, he only taught the Pitaka texts, but clearly not the much later stuff that introduced billions of individual mind moments in an eye's blink.
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 4:43 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Virgo wrote:Actually the Buddha is the one who taught the Abhidhamma.


Hi Kevin,

According to the Commentaries . . .

see also: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2169
(another very long and controversial topic) :tongue:

Yes, the MahaVihara Ancient Commentaries. I don't have a problem with that. Buddhagosa commented that even during his time there were still many Arahants. The stuff he put out was approved of by the Sangha. Surely true Arahants were respected in the sangha (and yet no one chided him). And what Buddhaghosa put out was his translations with slight editing (but not inserting his own opinions or beliefs) of the ancient Commentaries. Before Buddhaghosas time there were even more Arahants. At the time of the Third Council, only hundreds of years after the Buddhas passing the Abhidhamma was recited in the format we have it now. Surely there were Arahants around and they didn't object. It is modern-day putthujunas that reject it, IMO.

Kevin

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