With right awareness any object is right object

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: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:14 am

Perception (saññā) exists along with other aggregates. 4 Great Elements and matter derived from them exists as well.
But not concepts as indivisible and functional objects. It is just thinking made out of many moments of mental aggregates (predominantly saññā ) .


Okay. In light of the definition of "real" being used in this context, I believe I understand. Seems to me you're essentially saying that concepts are mental fabrications, and I can't disagree with that, I suppose I simply choose to disagree with the implications of the issue of "what is real" and the paramattha-dhamma philosophy in general. I think that's all there is to say.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:39 am

Rather than getting into a discussion about the reality, or not, of concepts, could I ask whether anyone has any examples from the Tipitika or commentaries where concepts are used as objects of liberating insight practise?

I gave a couple of quotes to the sort of passage I mean here: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4593#p70173

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9610
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:03 am

What I tried to say previously is that, though it's true that the word "concept" isn't used, I think there's enough information to come to the conclusion that concepts come under the category of fabrications (or perhaps more accurate to say a bundle of fabrications, since it's true that a concept is not some irreducible thing), one of the aggregates, and are a result of the aggregate of perception (can you label an object without conceptualizing it?), and in that way they are relevant. The 5 aggregates are most certainly described as a potential object of insight.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:54 am

Hi Kenshou,
Kenshou wrote:What I tried to say previously is that, though it's true that the word "concept" isn't used, I think there's enough information to come to the conclusion that concepts come under the category of fabrications (or perhaps more accurate to say a bundle of fabrications, since it's true that a concept is not some irreducible thing), one of the aggregates, and are a result of the aggregate of perception (can you label an object without conceptualizing it?), and in that way they are relevant. The 5 aggregates are most certainly described as a potential object of insight.

OK, that's another interesting question: Do concepts come under sankhāra-khandha?
http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... tm#khandha
In S. XXII, 56, there is the following short definition of these 5 groups:
...
What, o Bhikkhus, is the group of mental constructions? There are 6 classes of intentional states cetanā with regard to visual objects, to sounds, to odours, to tastes, to bodily contacts and to mind objects.
...

[See http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html for the Sutta.]

See also: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And why do you call them 'fabrications'? Because they fabricate fabricated things, thus they are called 'fabrications.' What do they fabricate as a fabricated thing? For the sake of form-ness, they fabricate form as a fabricated thing. For the sake of feeling-ness, they fabricate feeling as a fabricated thing. For the sake of perception-hood... For the sake of fabrication-hood... For the sake of consciousness-hood, they fabricate consciousness as a fabricated thing. Because they fabricate fabricated things, they are called fabrications.


I had taken these passages (and the commentarial interpretations) to mean that the sankhāra-khandhas are the process. So if I am planning something then it's the planningthat is the sankhāra-khandha, not the object of planning. Clearly you are taking a different meaning from the texts.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9610
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:09 am

I had taken these passages (and the commentarial interpretations) to mean that the sankhāra-khandhas are the process. So if I am planning something then it's the planningthat is the sankhāra-khandha, not the object of planning. Clearly you are taking a different meaning from the texts.


I believe that the process and the result are two sides of the same coin. Each side is essential in fully understanding the other. But I think I see the point that you're making.

I would then argue that even if the results of the aggregate of fabrication should be counted as separate from the process which produces them, the fact that they are in such close relationship provides an adequate enough reason to bother comprehending them.

Edit: Fixed some grammar.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:34 am

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:"With right awareness or mindfulness (yoniso manasikāro, sati), any object is the right object"


The question kind of answers itself by the use of "right" (and yoniso manasikāro)

MN 2: Sabbasava Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned. There are fermentations to be abandoned by seeing, those to be abandoned by restraining, those to be abandoned by using, those to be abandoned by tolerating, those to be abandoned by avoiding, those to be abandoned by destroying, and those to be abandoned by developing.

The whole sutta is relevant actually as it gives examples of what is appropriate and inappropriate, but the above gives a summary of the structures involved.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14517
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:06 am

Hi Kenshou,
Kenshou wrote:
I had taken these passages (and the commentarial interpretations) to mean that the sankhāra-khandhas are the process. So if I am planning something then it's the planningthat is the sankhāra-khandha, not the object of planning. Clearly you are taking a different meaning from the texts.


I believe that the process and the result are two sides of the same coin. Each side is essential in fully understanding the other. But I think I see the point that you're making.

Isn't the "result" different from the "object"? I might be thinking about something that leads to an action. The thinking/planning process is classified under the formation aggregate, the subsequent action (the "result") will presumably be classified under the form aggregate, but are the thoughts themselves an aggregate? I thought not, but I am open to discussion about it, since I think that it is a tricky point.
Kenshou wrote:I would then argue that even if the results of the aggregate of fabrication should be counted as separate from the process which produces them, the fact that they are in such close relationship provides an adequate enough reason to bother comprehending them.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9610
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:54 am

I would then argue that even if the results of the aggregate of fabrication should be counted as separate from the process which produces them, the fact that they are in such close relationship provides an adequate enough reason to bother comprehending them.


For what end ?

The question raised here is whether a concept can be direct object for insight into the three characteristics.

The answer is a clear "no", because by definition, concepts are conventional, not real, and don't have the 3 characteristics of paramatha.

It has been shown by the several suttas in Mike's post.

An exemple: the concept of country and clinging to one's country,

It means 1000 things to 1000 people, it's not universal. The clinging to it is actually the clinging to the feelings associated with this concept, induced over the years by all kinds of conditionnings (some people have pleasant feeling, some unpleasant, some mixted). The insight that can free one from such a clinging is the awareness of the whole process of building up this concept, and see it (directly) as just a process, impersonal, happens by cause and effect. For this insight to happen, the attention should be directed to the activities of the mind, not to the concept it-self. This "directing attention" happen in fact naturally, since there's no one who directs. However, when the moment of insight happen, invariably paramatha is the object of that attention. Training to be aware of paramatha (or body mind-process) instead of concepts definitely helps such moments to occur more easily.

D.F
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:14 am

...since I think that it is a tricky point.


It is a little tricky. I'd have to do a little reading before I can make a statement one way or the other.

I still maintain that regardless of that subject, the fabricated things are still worth understanding. When it comes down to it that's all I'm really trying to say, since it seems to me that there's a stigma against bothering to analyze such mental fabrications on the grounds that they aren't "paramattha".


dhamma follower-

For what end ?


For clear comprehension and release from dukkha, for that end.

The answer is a clear "no", because by definition, concepts are conventional, not real, and don't have the 3 characteristics of paramatha.


Well, I still disagree, on the grounds that concepts are constructions of the mind and are certainly subject to the three characteristics, regardless of their ultimate reality or not. I'm concerned with experience and how it relates to the origination and cessation of dukkha, regardless of what's "real". I simply don't bother with the philosophy of paramattha dhammas, I don't care for it and therefore I do not accept it's impications. I realize this is a different perspective, and I simply agree to disagree in this area.

I understand that there is the perspective that concepts cannot be subject to the 3 characteristics, because they don't really exist. But I don't care about that so much, because concepts certainly have an impact subjectively, even if they can't be said to properly exist, and so I want to find how out how they work. Why? For gaining an overall more complete understanding of the processes of the mind. Maybe a better way to put it would be to say that I want to come to understand the processes and associations of the mind which give rise to the phenomena or collection of phenomena which I label a "concept". I choose to label this bundle of mental activities a "concept" or "conceptualization", when I say that I am am analyzing it the truth is indeed that I am analyzing those mental processes and not -really- the concept itself.

But I think this is a bunch of time-wasting word-mincing, so I just say that I'm analyzing a concept. I don't think it's that big of a deal.

A "tree" is not really a tree, it's a buzzing collection of fundamental particles obeying the laws of physics, in reality there is no thing that is a "tree". But knowing this doesn't do me a single bit of good when the tree is about to fall on my head. This is how I view this talk about paramattha dhammas and concepts and all this stuff.

It has been shown by the several suttas in Mike's post.


I don't see anything in the suttas quoted that says this. I'm open to correction, however.

The insight that can free one from such a clinging is the awareness of the whole process of building up this concept, and see it (directly) as just a process, impersonal, happens by cause and effect. For this insight to happen, the attention should be directed to the activities of the mind, not to the concept it-self.


I believe that this is kind of what I'd been trying to communicate, that the understanding of arising and passing of everything, concepts included *this is the main point*, is useful. It's true that trying to analyze the processes of formation of concepts is really an analysis of the processes of the mind, yeah. But that's just a matter of perspective, I think.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Srotapanna » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:12 am

Srotapanna
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:04 am

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:21 am

I believe that this is kind of what I'd been trying to communicate, that the understanding of arising and passing of everything, concepts included *this is the main point*, is useful. It's true that trying to analyze the processes of formation of concepts is really an analysis of the processes of the mind, yeah. But that's just a matter of perspective, I think.


Concepts don't arise and pass away, it's the mind that perceive it that does. Do you see the difference ?

a matter of perspective ? How ?

D.F.
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:45 pm

But the packages of mental activity and association, which I choose to label a concept, do arise and pass away. The parts change and fluctuate, resulting in a change in the overall package, if you choose to look at it from that perspective as I have. I think that's the main thing, it is indeed a question of perspective, entirely.

It is a matter of perspective weather you choose to look at the "concept" in terms of the whole or it's parts. Looking at it in terms of it's parts and leads to the view that it doesn't really exist, since it is indeed just a group of fluctuating parts. I understand this position. However I personally see no harm in looking at the overall package and deciding to call it a concept for the sake of convenience. I just don't see the value in splitting hairs over it, because I'm not concerned with what is or isn't paramattha. That's all there is to it. To put this in other words, I think it's just that I prefer to use conventional terms sometimes. That's all that's going on here. And since when I attempt to look at the process of a concept, in reality I'm looking at a package of aggregate activity and whatnot, it doesn't really matter what I call it.

Srotapanna wrote:Note 9th paragraph: http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Vipa ... th_(Talk_4)


Link seems to be broken.

(that is there's no text on the page, though the page itself does load)
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Alex123 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:11 pm

Kenshou wrote:But the packages of mental activity and association, which I choose to label a concept, do arise and pass away. The parts change and fluctuate, resulting in a change in the overall package, if you choose to look at it from that perspective as I have. I think that's the main thing, it is indeed a question of perspective, entirely.

It is a matter of perspective weather you choose to look at the "concept" in terms of the whole or it's parts. Looking at it in terms of it's parts and leads to the view that it doesn't really exist, since it is indeed just a group of fluctuating parts. I understand this position. However I personally see no harm in looking at the overall package and deciding to call it a concept for the sake of convenience.


The problem is that atta view is also based on seeing packages of mental activity as one entity that has seen, sees and will see. Or that entity that sees, hears, thinks, wills, etc.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2788
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:59 pm

Which is why we make an effort to observe and understand the bits and parts of the process to see that they do no in actuality add up to a "self". Which is the same thing that can be done to any other concept.

We can refute a ham sandwich similarly, of course there is no thing that is the "sandwich", it's ham and bread and whatever else. But for practical purposes, I'm just going to call that group of things a sandwich.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:15 pm

Hi Kenshou,
Kenshou wrote:But I think this is a bunch of time-wasting word-mincing, so I just say that I'm analyzing a concept. I don't think it's that big of a deal.

Actually, it is a big deal if it leads to ineffective practise. That's why I think that it is important to discuss it. The Suttas, Abhidhamma, and Commentaries all seem to agree on this point. Can you find an exception?

All of the instructions I've ever seen from teachers I trust say, basically: Leave your conceptual "stuff" and "baggage" at the door. Pondering that won't lead to liberation. You need to spend your practise time focussing on "realities", however you want to define those.

Of course you may well need to deal with that baggage to get to the stage of focussing on "realities", just as you probably need to develop dana and sila.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9610
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:26 pm

Actually, it is a big deal if it leads to ineffective practise. That's why I think that it is important to discuss it. The Suttas, Abhidhamma, and Commentaries all seem to agree on this point. Can you find an exception?


I can't speak for the abhidhamma and commentaries. However as I've said before, though you aren't going to find the word concept used in the same way as we use it in the suttas as far as I have ever seen, I think there's adequate enough reason to place concepts among or as closely related to fabrication.

The keyword is "think" though, how exactly I understand something probably changes by the day.

All of the instructions I've ever seen from teachers I trust say, basically: Leave your conceptual "stuff" and "baggage" at the door. Pondering that won't lead to liberation. You need to spend your practise time focussing on "realities", however you want to define those.


I'm definitely not advocating pondering over mental baggage. I'm not concerned with the content, but the conditions for the arising and passing away of (what are perceived as) conceptual fabrications in general.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:33 pm

Greetings,

Kenshou wrote:I'm definitely not advocating pondering over mental baggage. I'm not concerned with the content, but the conditions for the arising and passing away of (what are perceived as) conceptual fabrications in general.


The Blessed One wrote:And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating mental objects in mental objects?

....

"Thus he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, internally, or he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, externally, or he lives contemplating mental object in mental objects, internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in mental objects, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in mental objects, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things in mental objects. Or his mind is established with the thought: 'Mental objects exist,' to the extent necessary for just knowledge and remembrance and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world.


MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soma.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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14517
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:10 am

Hi Kenshou,
Kenshou wrote:I can't speak for the abhidhamma and commentaries. However as I've said before, though you aren't going to find the word concept used in the same way as we use it in the suttas as far as I have ever seen, I think there's adequate enough reason to place concepts among or as closely related to fabrication.

The keyword is "think" though, how exactly I understand something probably changes by the day.

All of the instructions I've ever seen from teachers I trust say, basically: Leave your conceptual "stuff" and "baggage" at the door. Pondering that won't lead to liberation. You need to spend your practise time focussing on "realities", however you want to define those.


I'm definitely not advocating pondering over mental baggage. I'm not concerned with the content, but the conditions for the arising and passing away of (what are perceived as) conceptual fabrications in general.

Well, perhaps we actually agree. My point was that in passages such as the ones I and Retro's have provided conceptual content is not the object of contemplation, the process is the object. As I have said, I would be very interested to see an example where contemplation of the content of the concepts was used for insight.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9610
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby Kenshou » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:23 am

In order to understand the coming and going of conceptual fabrications, it is necessary to look at their content only insofar as it is relevant to seeing the processes which produce them in general. I don't believe that the content is what's important for the gaining of liberating insight, nevertheless the content must be understood well enough to see clearly how it is that the comingling of mental factors and processes works. Which doesn't require getting caught up in the content, only recognizing what it is to a basic general degree in order to understand the composition of the fabricated thing in question.

So I'm trying to say that the content of conceptual fabrications is not 100% irrelevant, but the relevancy it does have is not due to what the content represents in of itself.
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1027
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: With right awareness any object is right object

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:39 pm

But the packages of mental activity and association, which I choose to label a concept, do arise and pass away.


Apparently you have a different concept of what is a concept than what is defined in the Teachings and for other people here.

(I will not take the example of "country" since it's a abstract concept and therefore, there's no question for the mind to take it as object, because it is not tangible nor visible, so the mind can only take the process of making it up as objects, and what it can be aware of is sounds, colors, feelings etc... which are paramatha.)

Let's take the exemple of the concept "a house":

When eye consciousness meets the object that we call "house", there's a whole set of processing happening: it regcognizes the shape, finds in the memory store, regcognizes the features, finds in the memory store again...then word processing and so on. The result of that "checking" is: "rectangular", "windows", "roof",.... and : "a house", all of that happens in a milisecond.

As it has been mentioned before, there are two "things" here:
- the mind processing
- the result of that processing

The first one belongs to what is defined as paramatha
The second belongs to what is defined as concept.

In this case, do you make a package of these two and call it concept also?

The Teaching makes a distinction of these two because it is very important, whether you tell people to observe the house or the seeing: If you pay attention to the seeing, you are at the beginning of the mind process. If you pay attention to the house, you are at the end of the process (result). If your awareness can really catch the seeing, that's wisdom at work, no "I' making. When the attention is directed to the seeing, there's a chance for them to see rise and fall of the seeing [consciousness]. When the attention is directed to the house, either the mind will get caught in proliferation about the house (the content) and eventually wanders to other objects , or (with much lower probability) will get a nimitta of the house, meaning a mental image. As long as your mind stays on that mental image, you can not see rise and fall. Only when the mind turns its attention to the act of seeing or seeing consciousness , then rise and fall can be experienced. So again mental image is a concept, seeing consciousness is paramatha.

So may be you don't care what the Teachings say about paramatha and concepts, but it is an extremely important issue to explain to people how to practice and what to make sense of their experiences. Otherwise, if would not have been such a fundamental part in Buddhist texts for over tow thousand years.

D.F

P.S: The bellow is quite relevant to what is being discussed:

Concepts are certainly unreal. People doubt this but they can prove it to themself if there is direct insight. That is what the development of satipatthana reveals - that it is only ignorance that takes concepts for realities. As the Abhidhammathasangaha says about concepts like human, person, man, chariot that
QUOTE
"All such different things , though they do not exist in the ultimate sense , become objects of consciousness in the form of shadows of ultimate things (paramattha dhammas)"(bodhi p.326)
Just to be explicit: the thinking process consists of different cittas and cetasikas all arising and passing away rapidly. These are paramattha dhammas, ultimate realities. Let us consider a couple of [examples of] thinking.

1. Think of a flying purple elephant. The process of thinking that imagines this, whether a graphic visualisation or your no-frills, idea only version, consists of cittas and cetasikas. The object of this thinking is a concept, not real.

2. Think of your mother or father (whether alive or not). Again same process - the cittas and cetasikas of the thinking process are real but the object, mother and father, is concept- not real.

3. If your mother and father were right in front of you now (talking to you) and you think of them, again the object is concept, not real; but the thinking process is real. The colours are real, the sounds are real, but mother and father is concept.

Obviously example 1 is easily understood. It is number 2 and especially number 3 that in daily life we get confused by.

Satipatthana can only take paramattha dhammas for object, not concepts. Does this mean we should try not to think of concepts? Some would have us do this but this is not the middle way. All the arahants thought of concepts but they could never confuse concept for reality. Panna and sati can understand dhammas directly even during the processes of thinking that take concepts for objects.

Now there is thinking happening that is trying to comprehend what was just read. The process of thinking is real and it might be rooted in lobha (desire) that wants to understand. The lobha is real - is it seen as just a dhamma , not you. There is also feeling; if you liked what was written this will be pleasant feeling - is it seen as just a conditioned dhamma, not you. And if you didn't like it there was unpleasant feeling, not you. These present objects must be seen wisely otherwise there will always be doubt and one will not gain confidence. Or one will settle for attachment to the Dhamma rather than insight. Or worse become someone whose aim is to look for little flaws thinking that this is proper investigation.

and

k: In the first place, in the sutta, there is no mention that concepts can not be objects of satipatthana. the position that concepts cannot be objects of satipatthana is in Abhidhamma and not in Sutta. I have not seen in what Buddha said that only paramattha are objects of satipatthana. Hence where is the inconsistency. Does Abhidhamma rejects concepts as objects in Satipatthana and on what basis is the objection derive from?

QUOTE
Is it just because concepts are not paramathas? Then we got to ask, where does objects derived from?


You are right to say that the sutta doesn't appear to explicitly say that concepts cannot be objects of satipatthana. I will give you a list of reasons why saying that only "paramatha" dhammas are objects of satipatthana *may* be a plausible explanation:

1) If something is not even there, then it cannot have impermanence or falling-away as its characteristics

2) Howard coined "concepts" as "mental constructs." Without the repetition of the mind door processes, mental constructs cannot be experienced. All paramatha characteristics are experienced relatively immediately after the brief existence of the object. There are definitely differences when we consider "feelings", as compared to "freedom": what's the difference? One has its conditioned characteristics that can be directly experienced, where the other we have to think a little to understand what it means. One may have a hard time explaining to a person from another culture the concept of freedom, but I am sure one has less problem explaining feelings.

3) A good portion of the teachings in the sutta mention the 5 kandhas, 12 ayatanas, and 18 dhatus, all explained in the commentaries and the abhidhamma as being paramatha realities.

4) There are 84,000 headings in the tipitakas. Over 40,000 are in the abhidhamma. Unless you don't believe in the authenticity of the abhidhamma, then you have to consider why even doubling the volume by extremely intricate and detailed explanation of the "realities" if about half is already enough to allow all beings to understand the essence of the teachings.

5) Of course, we shouldn't stick to book knowledge and our own belief of what the teachings mean. There are realities arising now. What are the differences between experiencing the 5 kandhas and concepts?

more of this can be found at http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=79
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

PreviousNext

Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest