Dependent Origination

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Thu May 20, 2010 10:24 pm

Kenshou wrote:Steve, I think that you might be getting a little bit too caught up with your nimitta thing. I think that you might be making a big deal about something which you shouldn't be. When you learn a little more in depth about what dependent origination is actually about, and meditation in a Buddhist context, this might become clearer to you. I've put a good deal of time into understanding the various meditative approaches that are out there, and I have to kindly say that I haven't got a clue what you're going on about.


So you know what the nama-rupa are then? I'd like to know.
All I know is that these nimmita have a 1-to-1 correspondance with sensation. I'd be very surprised if this was not nama-rupa. If I'm wrong on this please tell me.
I to have put a great deal of time into understanding and practicing the various meditative approaches that are out there - this is what they lead me to find and it sounds very much like the description of vipassana proper (except centered - at a point).

Peace,
Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 20, 2010 10:47 pm

So you know what the nama-rupa are then? I'd like to know.


As I understand it, Namarupa simply refers to this body and mind, comprised of the five aggregates. More could probably be said, but that is the bulk of it's significance.

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

"And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form."

All I know is that these nimmita have a 1-to-1 correspondance with sensation.


What do you mean by this? We are experiencing sensations all the time, as long as our brain is functioning and there is stimulus for our tactile sense.

If you're referring to vedana, (which is not sensations) then once again, this is not something dependent on these nimittas. Vedana is the bare affective impact of a sense-object, it arises in dependence upon whatever object we are aware of.

I'd be very surprised if this was not nama-rupa. If I'm wrong on this please tell me.


These are simply objects of mind-consciousness. Not namarupas in of themselves. In Buddhism the mind is counted as one of the senses, mental images and whatnot come under this category.

this is what they lead me to find and it sounds very much like the description of vipassana proper (except centered - at a point


May I ask what you think vipassana is about and how it's done?
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Thu May 20, 2010 10:54 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Steve,

whitewedding wrote:Right - so you don't need to understand dependent origination to gain arantship.


No, I didn't mean that... apologies for any confusion caused.

As for nama and rupa, look up the resources I provided and see what they say.

Good luck.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Cheers man.
No - you didn't cause any confusion - you saved me from confusion because I wasn't sure whether I should be following what I think is dependent origination or whether I should be doing the vipassana (but I was thinking I should be doing the vipassana).

Take care,
Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Thu May 20, 2010 11:32 pm

Kenshou wrote:
So you know what the nama-rupa are then? I'd like to know.


As I understand it, Namarupa simply refers to this body and mind, comprised of the five aggregates. More could probably be said, but that is the bulk of it's significance.

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

"And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form."

All I know is that these nimmita have a 1-to-1 correspondance with sensation.


What do you mean by this? We are experiencing sensations all the time, as long as our brain is functioning and there is stimulus for our tactile sense.

If you're referring to vedana, (which is not sensations) then once again, this is not something dependent on these nimittas. Vedana is the bare affective impact of a sense-object, it arises in dependence upon whatever object we are aware of.

I'd be very surprised if this was not nama-rupa. If I'm wrong on this please tell me.


These are simply objects of mind-consciousness. Not namarupas in of themselves. In Buddhism the mind is counted as one of the senses, mental images and whatnot come under this category.

this is what they lead me to find and it sounds very much like the description of vipassana proper (except centered - at a point


May I ask what you think vipassana is about and how it's done?


"As I understand it, Namarupa simply refers to this body and mind, comprised of the five aggregates. More could probably be said, but that is the bulk of it's significance."
Yes - the ball of nimmita I am looking at is a representation of my mind (for sure).
No - the mind sense like thoughts and stuff (which i am by now almost always experiencing in the exact same way as I experience the other senses) is not this - it is not "the mind".
I also have "conciousness" sense (which is not the same thing as awareness - It seems to be what would be awareness if I wasn't aware of it) which I experience in a similar - but not the same way. It is "conciousness" sense which is linked up to the nimmita which are in turn linked up to sensation. It is the "conciousness" that I gather to a point to create the centre to the meditation.

"What do you mean by this? We are experiencing sensations all the time, as long as our brain is functioning and there is stimulus for our tactile sense. "
It appears as if we always live intergrated in the nimmita and that is why we don't see them - the nimmita are effectively graphical representations of the stuff that happens to my mind when I feel sense (They will rush to positive sensations and be pushed back from negative sensations (when we are integrated in them this is us going into spiritual darkness - hence with nimmita I can observe suffering without actually partaking in it)).

"May I ask what you think vipassana is about and how it's done?"
I've read a lot of books on vipassana so I know how it's done and what it is about (at least how it's initially developed - the more advanced stuff has to be experienced to be understood).
Actually - being an achademic I have put a serious amount of research into Buddhism. I also take this stuff very seriously - I will meditate for hours and hours and hours everyday (but not so much at the moment - I have exams coming up).

"If you're referring to vedana, (which is not sensations) then once again, this is not something dependent on these nimittas. Vedana is the bare affective impact of a sense-object, it arises in dependence upon whatever object we are aware of."
How do you know it's not dependent of these nimmitas - you haven't even experienced these nimmitas - else you would know that is is dependent on these nimmita (at least "feeling" is). Vedana is translated as "feeling" - it is always translated as "feeling".
It is not translated as sensation because what's translated into sensation is something different (which is sensation without feeling in my understanding).
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Kenshou » Thu May 20, 2010 11:55 pm

Yes - the ball of nimmita I am looking at is a representation of my mind (for sure).


How do you know this?

There are a lot of weird things that can happen in meditation. I've had my share. Best not to jump to conclusions, I think.

I also have "conciousness" sense (which is not the same thing as awareness - It seems to be what would be awareness if I wasn't aware of it)


If we're talking Buddhism, if you aren't aware, then there is no awareness. As I understand it, the Pali viññána which can be rendered as either consciousness or awareness, is impermanent like everything else, and is dependently originated, that is, dependent upon the meeting of one of the sense faculties and an external object. Without these, there is no awareness.

How do you know it's not dependent of these nimmitas


Let me clarify: Vedana is not dependent only on these nimittas.

you haven't even experienced these nimmitas


I have, I'm just not ascribing more significance to them than is due. However, I can agree to disagree.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 12:17 am

"How do you know this?
There are a lot of weird things that can happen in meditation. I've had my share. Best not to jump to conclusions, I think."
I have investigated the ball of nimmita deeply - i know what it does and how it works - I can't actually explain why (goes beyond words) but I know that is a graphical representation (sorry - part of - not of) my mind - actually I have explained many things to show why this is the case to you already. Anything you ever experience is some representation of your mind (surely) - thing is - I know all the stuff that this stuff is representing.
I know what this stuff is and what it does. If this isn't dependent origination then I am still being very aware of some process happening in my mind (which very coincidentally satisfies the description of (the later parts of) dependent origination).

"If we're talking Buddhism, if you aren't aware, then there is no awareness. As I understand it, the Pali viññána which can be rendered as either consciousness or awareness, is impermanent like everything else, and is dependently originated, that is, dependent upon the meeting of one of the sense faculties and an external object. Without these, there is no awareness"
It's not actually awareness as I have said - It's quasi-awareness stuff (this stuff goes beyond words - I can't explain more than that).

Let me clarify: Vedana is not dependent only on these nimittas.
"Ummm - actually I think it is in my experience" - I am not 100% sure because I can see the process for every single arising sensation.

"I have, I'm just not ascribing more significance to them than is due. However, I can agree to disagree."
If you have breath nimmita or the like then you don't have these nimmita - it's the same stuff but I have "everything" nimmita(s). You can't see this stuff unless you have a link in your head beween different nimmitas and different sensations (I have outlined how to create this link in this post somewhere).

My Sammatha teacher told me that insight meditation was done with nimmita so I was probably on the right path.

Peace,
Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 12:25 am

Oh - and I'm pretty sure that this stuff i call conciousness (citta) is what the Buddha call citta. Because firstly I become aware of it and then I consolidate it to a point (haven't actually got it to an actual stable point yet) - just like the Buddha says in the anapanasati sutta (or at least that the most obvious translation).

Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 21, 2010 12:27 am

Greetings whitewedding,

Do you distinguish between citta and vinnana?

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: Dependent Origination

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 21, 2010 12:41 am

and I'm pretty sure that this stuff i call conciousness (citta) is what the Buddha call citta. Because firstly I become aware of it and then I consolidate it to a point (haven't actually got it to an actual stable point yet) - just like the Buddha says in the anapanasati sutta (or at least that the most obvious translation).


Could you point this out to me?

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

As far as I know, the Buddha doesn't talk about "cittas" all that much, other than as a general term for the mind. The theory of cittas is taken much further in Abhidhamma, though.

On a related note, as for the "nimitta", this is something that has essentially no significance and is not something essential as far as the suttas are concerned, as far as I have ever seen. Can you show anything to the contrary?

It's not actually awareness as I have said - It's quasi-awareness stuff


Can you back any of this up with sutta citations?

"Can't be described in words" is a cop-out. There's little in Buddhism that can't be described, save Nibbana itself.

"Ummm - actually I think it is in my experience" - I am not 100% sure because I can see the process for every single arising sensation."


If you'd read the suttas, I don't think you'd hold the view that vedana is dependent upon these nimitta only. Dependent origination has a wide breadth, from the moment-to-moment scale up to the inter-life perspective. It describes the process of samsara in general, all of our subjective experience, not just the narrow place you're boxing it in to.

My Sammatha teacher told me that insight meditation was done with nimmita so I was probably on the right path.


Maybe some form of insight meditation, but not any for that I've come across in the context of Buddhism. Take a look at the Satipatthana sutta, maybe.

If you want to learn about Buddhism, go read the suttas. I don't think you're very acquainted with them. If you want to go beyond the suttas into other areas of Buddhist thought is your choice, of course, but the suttas are a good foundation for any Buddhist.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 12:47 am

And with regards to the nimmita/mind thing. I have read quite a few times that the nimmita represent the mind (you don't know how to interpret it so you do so by way of a sense) ontop of experiencing this directly. So no - I'm not having some weird meditation trip - the pros agree with me on this. If the nimmita are a resprestation of the mind like they say then that is the definition of nama is it not.

Also - if nama is the mind-sense like you describe then it's quite contradictory when they say that vipassana done purely on any 1 of the sense doors can lead to enlightement but that vipassana is done simultaneously on nama-rupa.

also - in dependent origination the Buddha describes the six senses as a different thing from nama-rupa - so no the mind sense is not nama. Also - Buddhism makes no distinction between mind sense and other senses - it would be entirely out of the blue for them to split 5 in one section and 1 in another.

Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 1:10 am

Kenshou wrote:
and I'm pretty sure that this stuff i call conciousness (citta) is what the Buddha call citta. Because firstly I become aware of it and then I consolidate it to a point (haven't actually got it to an actual stable point yet) - just like the Buddha says in the anapanasati sutta (or at least that the most obvious translation).


Could you point this out to me?

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

As far as I know, the Buddha doesn't talk about "cittas" all that much, other than as a general term for the mind. The theory of cittas is taken much further in Abhidhamma, though.

On a related note, as for the "nimitta", this is something that has essentially no significance and is not something essential as far as the suttas are concerned, as far as I have ever seen. Can you show anything to the contrary?

It's not actually awareness as I have said - It's quasi-awareness stuff


Can you back any of this up with sutta citations?

"Can't be described in words" is a cop-out. There's little in Buddhism that can't be described, save Nibbana itself.

"Ummm - actually I think it is in my experience" - I am not 100% sure because I can see the process for every single arising sensation."


If you'd read the suttas, I don't think you'd hold the view that vedana is dependent upon these nimitta only. Dependent origination has a wide breadth, from the moment-to-moment scale up to the inter-life perspective. It describes the process of samsara in general, all of our subjective experience, not just the narrow place you're boxing it in to.

My Sammatha teacher told me that insight meditation was done with nimmita so I was probably on the right path.


Maybe some form of insight meditation, but not any for that I've come across in the context of Buddhism. Take a look at the Satipatthana sutta, maybe.

If you want to learn about Buddhism, go read the suttas. I don't think you're very acquainted with them. If you want to go beyond the suttas into other areas of Buddhist thought is your choice, of course, but the suttas are a good foundation for any Buddhist.


"Could you point this out to me?" - it's stage 12 or something of anapanasati (not sure the exactly figure - you'll find it)

"Can't be described in words" is a cop-out" - cut the crap mate - of course it can't be described in words - the buddha could only say "it is that on which reality is based". Hardly any of Buddhism can be described in words - isn't that actually the moto of Zen. Cop out - what am I copping out from exactly - I'm not trying to persuade you I have these experiences or anything - you can believe me if you so wish - we're just having a debate about stuff these experiences are directly related to.

"If you'd read the suttas, I don't think you'd hold the view that vedana is dependent upon these nimitta only. Dependent origination has a wide breadth, from the moment-to-moment scale up to the inter-life perspective. It describes the process of samsara in general, all of our subjective experience, not just the narrow place you're boxing it in to."
The suttas say its dependent on nama-rupa. I am pretty sure that the nimmitas are nama - so yeah - they do.

"Maybe some form of insight meditation, but not any for that I've come across in the context of Buddhism. Take a look at the Satipatthana sutta, maybe. "
I have read the Satipatthana sutta. And yes - I am suggesting that you have come across it - these are called nama in vipassana (I'm pretty sure) and vipassana is meditation on nama rupa.
Also - I have several times seen the word "sign" (which is what the word nimmita is translated as) in the commentaries on insight meditation. They only call them nimmita in sammatha - it's a sign. Otherwise I believe Vipassana calls them nama - but it's the same thing I think.

Mate - These things lie at the heart of all my suffering - I have seen this. Hence it is clear to me that these things are very important. You can't persuade me otherwise unless you are actually properly a vipassana pro who meditates on nama-rupa (as I have argued above - your definition of nama wouldn't tie up).

"Can you back any of this up with sutta citations?"
No - He never describes the citta because it is beyond words - as I have said.

I'm going to bed now.
Night night,
Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 1:16 am

But actually - in my experience nimmita and (what I am pretty sure are) nama - are different things (hence the different names). Nimmita is many nama viewed as I consolidate thing (because it's sammatha) - what nimmita is composed of is little nama (seen in Vipassana).
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 21, 2010 1:35 am

And with regards to the nimmita/mind thing. I have read quite a few times that the nimmita represent the mind (you don't know how to interpret it so you do so by way of a sense) ontop of experiencing this directly. So no - I'm not having some weird meditation trip - the pros agree with me on this.


But does Gotama? You're still failing reference any of this.

Also - if nama is the mind-sense like you describe


I don't think I said this. To quote from a sutta I already quoted on what nama actually is:

""Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name(nama)."

If you do not know what this refers to, then go learn about the five aggregates.

...then it's quite contradictory when they say that vipassana done purely on any 1 of the sense doors can lead to enlightement but that vipassana is done simultaneously on nama-rupa.


I don't see what this has to do with what we've been talking about.

it's stage 12 or something of anapanasati


He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'

Doesn't sound like what you were talking about, "consolidating it to a single point".

the buddha could only say "it is that on which reality is based"


Source? I don't think so. The "base of reality" isn't an issue in Buddhism, Theravada anyway.

what am I copping out from exactly


Backing up your statements with coherent explanations and legitimate sources.

I am pretty sure that the nimmitas are nama - so yeah - they do.


We have passed this point and I continue to disagree. You haven't coherently defended this statement. They are mental experiences, yes, but nimitta does not equal nama, as a broad statement.

Also - I have several times seen the word "sign" (which is what the word nimmita is translated as) in the commentaries on insight meditation. They only call them nimmita in sammatha - it's a sign.


Yeah, the samatha nimitta is something that comes up in the commentaries and abhidhamma (though not the suttas), a phenomena that precedes full jhanic concentration. But that's a different thing entirely from vipassana, in that context.

Otherwise I believe Vipassana calls them nama - but it's the same thing I think


So you're saying that in the context of vipassana, nimitta = nama? I think you're incorrect, but I'll eat my words if you find a source which contradicts me.

You can't persuade me otherwise unless you are actually properly a vipassana pro who meditates on nama-rupa (as I have argued above - your definition of nama wouldn't tie up).


On the definition of nama, you've been putting words in my mouth. I haven't said that nama = the mind-sense. I've stated my position on what it is already.

No - He never describes the citta because it is beyond words - as I have said.


It most certainly isn't. I don't know where you get this from, but I invite you to show me a source.

I'm trying not to come off as rude, but I probably am anyway. You're taking concepts and ideas and words from all over the place and sticking them together however you want to, and it's difficult to make sense of. The fact that you don't back up any of this with other sources makes it even more difficult.

Good night.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 2:03 am

OK - I can't answer to all of it because I have to go to bed.

I can't remember all the sources - I read them ages ago. Also - I'm not really pulling a load of words together to fit my meditation experience. It's rather like I developed the meditation (just how the Buddha says to) and suddenly all the words went click.
Also - In regard to you telling me to read the satipatthana sutta. Yes - I have read it and do what it says. It's in the part where I investigate the citta that the nimmitas suddenly appear (they are the attractive forces in my consciousness) - so yes - I do think that the satipatthana sutta directs you into becoming aware of nimmita.


Have a look into the nimmita (if you like) - see if you see what I see. I'd like to know. Accumulating nimmita to a point (which in my experience requires doing sati to surf them (which is looking into them with periphery awareness) (by doing this you will automatically become aware of what I call the citta - it has a 1 to 1 correspondence with the nimmita (just as sensation does - but you need to be doing simultaneous sati on sensations to see this (took me a few days to be able to do both at once))) will cause a rapid development in concentration anyway (because they are very attractive) so it's a worthwhile thing to learn to do anyway - you start to do sammatha on a point in space rather than on the breath (sorry if you already do this).

Take care,
Steve.
Last edited by Ben on Fri May 21, 2010 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: meta-discussion and expletive removed by Ben
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 21, 2010 2:14 am

Well, in short, I simply don't agree with your approach. I stopped thinking about "nimittas" of any sort a long time ago. My preference is to stick to the suttas to the best of my ability, and I find this worthwhile. I don't find your views consistent with the suttas nor other Theravada literature to the extent than I am familiar with it. But, I can let it be.

The main reason I constantly ask for other sources is because it would be easier to put together exactly what you are talking about if I was able to get an explanation of it from another perspective. Because honestly, your terms aren't consistent. But we're obviously speaking from different perspectives and this complicates effective discussion.

If what you're doing helps you defeat craving, aversion, and delusion, then go for it.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 2:24 am

But I do stick to the suttas (although they have been translated in many different ways so obviously no one knows for sure the techniques given in them) - and this is what happens for me. I don't know how my terms aren't consistent - they seem to be entirely consistent to me.
Yeah - I think it does help me defeat craving, aversion and delusion (I have a much clearer perspective on both craving and aversion by doing this).

This is the message I was going to write but then you wrote yours which stopped me posting it up...

Also - by learning to surf the nimmita/citta you will find that you have an incredible multidimensional level of control to your mind. If you learn dynamic movement of the point you'll be able to use it to break through the walls of your consciousness and blast all sensation into particles. You'll be able to use the incredible multidimensional awareness/citta to become aware of parts of your body you couldn't otherwise reach.
So yeah - it's a good thing to learn to do anyway. But if you learn to do it - promise me you'll have a look out for the stuff that I've been talking about (you'll probably actually see the stuff I'm talking about as soon as you start blasting sensation up into particles anyway (the trick I found to do this roll round the walls of aversion (you'll see what I mean by this when you use this stuff to investigate pain), then the pain will split into smaller quasi-particles of pain. Doing the same thing on these but on a much smaller scale will cut round them like a laser and totally particulate it - from the nimmita angle it will seem as though light is bursting out of the pain)).
NB - i don't actually know if blasting up things into particles is the right way to go so I don't actually do it anymore. But it was pretty fun and massively deepens your insight into the 3 characteristics.

Take care,
Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 2:50 am

Oh - I've found a good way to describe what I think is the citta...

It is like loads and loads and loads of planes of focus (not awareness - focus - that's the right word).
The nimmitas are then contained in these planes of focus - each nimmita corresponding to a particular sensations.

So as soon as I do sati on the citta like the sutta says (this is what I described as surfing the nimmita), whilst doing sati on my body (like the sutta says) I am automatically seeing all the stuff I'm talking about. Then I consolidate the citta to a point (buddha says in anapanasati sutta: centering the citta in samedhi) I see in incredible detail the nimmita and corresponding sensations.
So you see - I have just been doing exactly (at least in my interpretation) what the suttas say.

Steve.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 21, 2010 2:55 am

I continue to disagree with your interpretation. I think you're making it all a hell of a lot more complicated than it needs to be, adding things that don't need to be added.

But anyway, if it works for you, then alright. That's all I can say.
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 3:28 am

I have found the perfect quote and thanks to this I now know I'm right and that what I experience as citta is actually citta:

Page 202 of "Mastering the core teachings of the buddha":

"Further, as the sensations are observed including the crude mental impression that follows them ("conciousness"), the whole of the mind and body process is not a separate self."

Now by mental impression he's not talking about any imagination of the sensation (because he regards that as sensation) - he's talking about what i'm talking about. When my mind is not centred the nimmita appears to "follow it" as he says, but when my mind is centred I see them arise together - as one. As I said - the nimmita is in the citta - so he is definining citta how I'm defining citta."

Yey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He also later talks of kama formations as little pictures like I experience (although he says they have all senses in them simultaneously - I guess I am nowhere near the level to see them that clearly yet though (apparently I have to go through hell and out the other side before I can properly meditate on them).

Yey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Dependent Origination

Postby whitewedding » Fri May 21, 2010 3:46 am

And - from this quote we can automatically derive that the nimmita are in fact nama. He is talking about vipassana being concentrating both on the object and the crude mental impression following it, and vipassana is described as the meditation on nama-rupa.

Cheers for your skepticism man - it made me find my quote.

NB/ This book is far more detailed than anything else I have read - http://www.interactivebuddha.com/mctb.shtml

:-) :-) :-)
whitewedding
 
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