Internal Dialogue

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: Internal Dialogue

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:41 am

i don't know about balancing mindfulness and concentration but every teacher that i can think of makes it clear that there is always at least some mindfulness needed for concentration and concentration needed for mindfulness the two are never mutually exclusive practices.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:43 am

Hi 5heaps,

I fear you lost me. Too complicated for me. Could you please explain it again. :thinking:

5heaps wrote:
Freawaru wrote:Isn't there a fresh contact with the object, too - just not with the five senses but with the sixth ?

so complicated but i thought of a decent way of trying to explain

"the enterprise" is a sankhara and so it conditions the mental consciousess which is cognizing. in this sense, the sankhara "the enterprise" in the process of imagining the enterprise in the new star trek movie is the subject not the object.


I don't understand what you mean by object and subject here. As far as I would use the terms "the enterprise" is always an object of my awareness, never a subject, whether it arises as a memory (of a picture for example), or a visual imagination, or as an image based on visual data from the physical eyes by watching it on screen. It is always an object of awareness.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:16 am

Thanks for clarifying that is was mindfulness you were referring to, not insight!!

However, the usual balance I'm familiar with is concentration vs energy. You can't have too much mindfulness according to the paradigm that the Mahasi teachers follow, and the commentaries. See the book I referenced, for example, or the Visuddhimagga IV 45-49

Bhante G teaches a different approach. Nothing wrong with that, of course, different teachers use different ways of guiding their students.

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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby octathlon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:43 pm

Hi Freawaru,
Freawaru wrote:Hi octathlon

octathlon wrote:Hi Freawaru,
Freawaru wrote:and what about the sense: mind? Isn't mind also a sense in Buddhism? What do we perceive via this sense?

Ideas or thoughts.
eye-->forms
ear-->sounds
nose-->smells
tongue-->tastes
body-->tactile sensations
mind-->ideas


Hmm, I am not sure how you define "ideas or thoughts". Personally, I would discern between ideas, thoughts, memories, imaginations (imaginations can actually be not only visual but also tactile and auditive, etc), interconnections (when we suddenly see how the pieces of a puzzle fit together), and so on.

Well, I kind of lumped it all together there, but of course you can categorize however you like.

The last few days I've spent some time taking that mental "music" mentioned early in this thread as the object of meditation, and it's really just a sequence of thoughts, but instead of words or images, it's sounds. When I put attention on it, it would stop, and as soon as attention wandered it started up again, then stopped when I looked at it again. It was just like that Ninja Cat video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzzjgBAaWZw :rofl: Anyway, each note or even piece of a note, was nothing more than it's own separate thought; in other words the mental background music has to be sustained by continually generating thoughts.

Probably just the word "thoughts" will encompass all the things you mentioned, like "forms" encompasses all the visual stuff the eye perceives.

:smile:
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:44 pm

Freawaru wrote:I don't understand what you mean by object and subject here.

standard meaning, but i understand that it is confusing or seems contradictory to say "the enterprise" is the subject. it has to do with the difference between "the enterprise" and the enterprise. this is useful:
Congruent and Noncongruent Affecting Variables (sankhara/samskara)

As far as I would use the terms "the enterprise" is always an object of my awareness, never a subject, whether it arises as a memory (of a picture for example), or a visual imagination, or as an image based on visual data from the physical eyes by watching it on screen. It is always an object of awareness.

is there some essence to the experience which makes that experience the experience of the enterprise?
is the experience 1 substantial package in the way that it seems to be?

even with a google image of the enterprise there is nothing in the form alone which makes it an experience of the enterprise. so, its not quite clear that the enterprise is entirely the object.

if it was the object entirely then anyone who saw the object would see the enterprise
.
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A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:19 pm

Hi octathlon,

The last few days I've spent some time taking that mental "music" mentioned early in this thread as the object of meditation, and it's really just a sequence of thoughts, but instead of words or images, it's sounds.


Yes :smile:

When I put attention on it, it would stop, and as soon as attention wandered it started up again, then stopped when I looked at it again. Anyway, each note or even piece of a note, was nothing more than it's own separate thought; in other words the mental background music has to be sustained by continually generating thoughts.


Yes. In my experience the mental music does not stop any more when I pay attention to it. Thus I can watch every mental sound arise, stay and go away again. Some sounds stay longer, others shorter. Some are there simultaneously. It is an useful exercise because it is so similar to observing thoughts - they, too, can stay simultaneously for example. Be harmonic with each other or disharmonic.

Probably just the word "thoughts" will encompass all the things you mentioned, like "forms" encompasses all the visual stuff the eye perceives.


Must be so. :smile:
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby octathlon » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:46 pm

That's interesting, Freawaru. :smile: I often have my regular thoughts going on "simultaneously" with the music.
In many ways the mental music works really well as a meditation object, maybe because it's so reliable like the breath (in those of us who have the problem really bad anyway).
:rolleye:
side note: Oh no, I notice from my previous post that I put the apostrophe in "it's" when I meant the possessive "its". I knew that would start happening one of these days, now that it seems to have become the standard. :D
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:48 pm

Hi 5heaps,

5heaps wrote:
Freawaru wrote:I don't understand what you mean by object and subject here.

standard meaning, but i understand that it is confusing or seems contradictory to say "the enterprise" is the subject.


Yes. "Enterprise notes awareness" does not make that much sense to me. "Awareness notes Enterprise" however does.

it has to do with the difference between "the enterprise" and the enterprise. this is useful:
Congruent and Noncongruent Affecting Variables (sankhara/samskara)


Oh dear. All those Tibetan concepts :lol: . Will take me days to understand that link ... :rolleye:

As far as I would use the terms "the enterprise" is always an object of my awareness, never a subject, whether it arises as a memory (of a picture for example), or a visual imagination, or as an image based on visual data from the physical eyes by watching it on screen. It is always an object of awareness.

is there some essence to the experience which makes that experience the experience of the enterprise?
is the experience 1 substantial package in the way that it seems to be?


As usual I have no idea what is meant by "essence" or "substance". I mean, when I observe a memory arising what kind of substance or essence do you expect it to have? What kind of essence or substance could it have?

even with a google image of the enterprise there is nothing in the form alone which makes it an experience of the enterprise. so, its not quite clear that the enterprise is entirely the object.


Well, to be precise the experience is the noting. The noting has objects, for example a memory. And the memory has a content, for example the picture of a starship. I would not say that I experience the starship Enterprise. What I experience is noting the arising of a memory, and only when I experience noting my mind comparing this memories content to the more abstract concepts build on the base of former contents of visual sense contacts and memories the content of this specific memory is recognised as "starship Enterprise".

This is an interesting process to observe. At times something arises in the mind (especially with increasing concentration) but when the content of it is compared to concepts there is no overlap found. No recognition. My mind has a lot of problems to deal with these kind of mind objects and there is no way to talk about them because of the lacking concepts and thus lacking terminology. :shrug:


if it was the object entirely then anyone who saw the object would see the enterprise


I don't understand this remark. I mean, don't you see the memories content in it's entirety? What is lacking?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:03 pm

Hi octathlon,

octathlon wrote:That's interesting, Freawaru. :smile: I often have my regular thoughts going on "simultaneously" with the music.


Why, yes. By "simultaneously" I mean regarding that level of discernment. It is probably not simultaneously on the level of the Abhidhammic Planck time.

In many ways the mental music works really well as a meditation object, maybe because it's so reliable like the breath (in those of us who have the problem really bad anyway).
:rolleye:


:toast:

There is another useful aspect to it. It is not only reliable like breath but it is faster than breath. Thus one has to automatically increase ones temporal resolution by increasing the concentration. Also, it seems to me that for people of our time music is more accessible than breath because without some serious training few people have a good awareness of breath in the first place. But music? Everybody knows how to be aware of music for hours - it just takes a slight shift of priority from there.

side note: Oh no, I notice from my previous post that I put the apostrophe in "it's" when I meant the possessive "its". I knew that would start happening one of these days, now that it seems to have become the standard. :D


Really? I didn't notice - please don't notice all those typos I write in return :smile:
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:16 pm

Freawaru wrote:Yes. Looks like even the dry insight Method teaches concentration practice - especially at retreats :smile:

Of course. A certain level of concentration is required for insight to arise. That's one of the key points.

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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:58 am

Freawaru wrote:
5heaps wrote:it has to do with the difference between "the enterprise" and the enterprise. this is useful:
Congruent and Noncongruent Affecting Variables (sankhara/samskara)

All those Tibetan concepts Will take me days to understand that link ...

theres included both an abhidharmakosha pov and a mindonly pov. theres not much of a difference and just ignore the short mindonly section.
also its a small article and not very complicated, yet useful

I don't understand this remark. I mean, don't you see the memories content in it's entirety? What is lacking?

the content of this specific memory is recognised as "starship Enterprise".

so there is this second memory which is used to recognize the first memory of an unnamed starship. this second memory which contains colours, shapes etc must have "enterprise-ness" encompassing these colours etc. it must or else what else is "the enterprise"?

im a little obsessed about this valid perception stuff so when your eyes glaze over too much please excuse yourself

the enterprise is like atta because atta too gives the impression that it is the real nature of its parts (the heaps).
.
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A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:43 am

Hi 5heaps,

5heaps wrote:
I don't understand this remark. I mean, don't you see the memories content in it's entirety? What is lacking?

the content of this specific memory is recognised as "starship Enterprise".

so there is this second memory which is used to recognize the first memory of an unnamed starship.


Yes. Definitely. This can be seen when something completely knew to the mind arises. No recognition happens. But the second time it arises recognition can take place - even if sometimes just as "this has happened before - whatever it is". If the first (or later arisings) of the new dhamma somehow interfered with other, already known and conceptualised, dhammas, this is part of the re-cognition. But if it is completely new it is more like: "pure energy, unknown matter, not in files of the data bank" :wink:

this second memory which contains colours, shapes etc must have "enterprise-ness" encompassing these colours etc. it must or else what else is "the enterprise"?


The second memory is a concept. A specific pattern. When the content of the first memory (also a pattern) is somewhat similar to the second memory (a broader pattern) they are recognised as identical. The process sometimes fails. At times we recognise wrongly, say, we see someone from behind and think we know this person but when the person turns we see it differently. So if you want you could call the pattern itself the "enterprise-ness" because that IS "the Enterprise" - at least in our heads.

the enterprise is like atta because atta too gives the impression that it is the real nature of its parts (the heaps).


The personality of a human is just another pattern. This is how we recognise ourselves, too, namely by comparing patterns. There are mental dysfunctions when this self-recognition process fails due to various reasons. The difference between the pattern "Enterprise" and the pattern "Freawaru" is that the Enterprise-pattern is not linked to the motor activity and other senses of the wake state. Otherwise we would get the impression that the personality is the "starship Enterprise" rather than, say, Freawaru. This actually happens sometimes during dreams (well, not necessarily with a spaceship). Sometimes we dream that we are somebody else, the mental and physical patterns of the first person singular during dream can be quite different than during wake.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:51 pm

hi,
Freawaru wrote:call the pattern itself the "enterprise-ness" because that IS "the Enterprise"

but this leads to many absurdities. if "that [pattern] IS the enterprise" seeing the pattern means seeing the enterprise. this means an eskimo from 500 years ago would see the enterprise, a dog would see the enterprise etc. also, if that pattern is the enterprise, a slight change in the pattern could no longer be the enterprise - for example if it got a scratch. and so on.

in fact you would never need memory to recognize the enterprise, because the enterprise would appear since it encompasses the pattern, and the pattern was seen.

The personality of a human is just another pattern. This is how we recognise ourselves, too, namely by comparing patterns.

no patterns of this type! there is no unchanging object which is an interval of the 5 heaps. there is no monolithic object which encompasses the 5 heaps. and there is no independent object which is itself the 5 heaps and yet is not findable among them.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/khandha.html wrote:Sister Vajira:

"What? Do you assume a 'being,' Mara?
Do you take a position?
This is purely a pile of fabrications.
Here no living being
can be pinned down.
Just as when, with an assemblage of parts,
there's the word,
chariot,
even so when aggregates are present,
there's the convention of
a being.
For only stress is what comes to be;
stress, what remains & falls away.
Nothing but stress comes to be.
Nothing ceases but stress."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/vonglasenapp/wheel002.html wrote:According to Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta 22, a doctrine that proclaims "The same is the world and the self. This I shall be after death; imperishable, permanent, eternal!" (see Brh. UP. 4, 4, 13), was styled by the Buddha a perfectly foolish doctrine. On the other side, the Katha-Upanishad (2, 1, 14) does not see a way to deliverance in the Buddhist theory of dharmas (impersonal processes): He who supposes a profusion of particulars gets lost like rain water on a mountain slope; the truly wise man, however, must realize that his Atman is at one with the Universal Atman, and that the former, if purified from dross, is being absorbed by the latter, "just as clear water poured into clear water becomes one with it, indistinguishably."
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:13 pm

Hi 5heaps,

5heaps wrote:hi,
Freawaru wrote:call the pattern itself the "enterprise-ness" because that IS "the Enterprise"

but this leads to many absurdities. if "that [pattern] IS the enterprise" seeing the pattern means seeing the enterprise. this means an eskimo from 500 years ago would see the enterprise, a dog would see the enterprise etc. also,


I don't understand what you mean here. Please explain.

if that pattern is the enterprise, a slight change in the pattern could no longer be the enterprise - for example if it got a scratch. and so on.


No. First, it only takes a similarity not an identity for the mind to recognise the pattern. And second - of course the concept pattern (that what a sense pattern is compared to to be recognised) is changeable. In fact most are changing all the time, due to memory loss (parts of the pattern will get lost if not used often), interconnection with other mind processes such as imagination (every thought or imagination one has about the Enterprise will change the pattern) and so on. It is a fluid process.

In some aspects the human mind works similar to a computer. What happens inside the computer when a new information is entered ?

in fact you would never need memory to recognize the enterprise, because the enterprise would appear since it encompasses the pattern, and the pattern was seen.


What do you mean by "the enterprise would appear"?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:37 pm

Freawaru wrote:
5heaps wrote:
Freawaru wrote:call the pattern itself the "enterprise-ness" because that IS "the Enterprise"

but this leads to many absurdities. if "that [pattern] IS the enterprise" seeing the pattern means seeing the enterprise. this means an eskimo from 500 years ago would see the enterprise, a dog would see the enterprise etc. also,

I don't understand what you mean here. Please explain.

i dont mean anything other than the straightforward thing being said.. since the pattern and the enterprise are one and the same, even a stoneage mind or a dog mind which observes the pattern will see the enterprise. or else there is nothing about the pattern which is the enterprise. in which case, why recognize it as the enterprise.

And second - of course the concept pattern (that what a sense pattern is compared to to be recognised) is changeable.

whats the concept pattern? raw sense data like colours and shapes appear directly not conceptually

What do you mean by "the enterprise would appear"?

just ordinary usage.. appear to the mind, appear in the mind, be known by the mind, is realized, etc
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:47 pm

Hi 5heaps,

5heaps wrote:i dont mean anything other than the straightforward thing being said.. since the pattern and the enterprise are one and the same, even a stoneage mind or a dog mind which observes the pattern will see the enterprise. or else there is nothing about the pattern which is the enterprise. in which case, why recognize it as the enterprise.


I am still not sure I understand you but it seems to me that you ask whether a spaceship would appear in physical reality. Is this correct?

The problem with our mind is that we don't really access raw sense data. Our mind has genetically set patterns to interpret raw sense data, some are physical (like in the eye) and other are neurochemical. For example it take the mind some practice during early childhood to find out that things or people who are not in sight are not automatically non-existent. The baby's mind has to learn that the apparently vanished mother is just in the other room and can be heard. The mind has to learn how to interpret the sense data and we - as adults - have in general only access to the well established interpretations because these processes happen very fast. Even when one tries to see just colours one won't see the raw sense data until ones awareness discerns on a fitting temporal resolution.

So what we see are actually the patterns that have already been filtered and interpreted by the mind's established interpretation pattern. Have you tried to just listen to the sounds in your native language without knowing the meaning for example? Not an easy task. And that is just the surface.

As far as I know so far there is no way to directly insert patterns into a human mind. But science fiction speculates about this. Think of "The Matrix" for example. So yes, if one could copy the pattern of "The Enterprise" from my mind into the mind of someone millennia ago this person would perceive exactly what I perceive. And if this was not a pattern of fiction but a pattern my mind labels as "real" that person would feel sure that it really exists, via all the senses - like in "The Matrix".

The mind has a special way to label sense data - and this can fail. Hallucinations for example. It is not unusual for people who wake from artificial coma to hallucinate - but these hallucinations are stored wrongly and the persons would swear that it really happened. Because they recall it as a memory of something that really happened. Contact with a mental object happened (in this case with a hallucination) but the interpretation or storing process failed - but usually the mind is not able to know it.

This is one reason one starts to pay more attention to the processes and mental objects that can directly be observed, discerning "this is real memory, this is dream memory, this is imagination memory, this is hallucination memory ..." than the actual contents of these mind objects. When contact happens one first discerns "it is this object" and only then one takes a look at it's content. The content is just a pattern and without the knowledge of the mental object that carries it one gets lost within one's own mind

And second - of course the concept pattern (that what a sense pattern is compared to to be recognised) is changeable.

whats the concept pattern? raw sense data like colours and shapes appear directly not conceptually


Well, if I would ask you to describe me, Freawaru, what would you find in your mind that you would call Freawaru? Is it colours and shapes on the computer screen, raw sense data?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Vepacitta » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:29 pm

Recalling one riff of any Led Zeppelin tune will blast out any mental music. And for some reason - LZ doesn't 'stick'. At least for moi. I've been using that for years to let go of any mind music. This may sound flippant, but I'm deadly serious.

On holiday today on Mt. Meru (woo hoo!)

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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:20 pm

Freawaru wrote:Well, if I would ask you to describe me, Freawaru, what would you find in your mind that you would call Freawaru? Is it colours and shapes on the computer screen, raw sense data?

in dependence upon raw data and karma (past actions) the generality "Freawaru" appears. this conceptual consciousness though is deceived because it seems as though "Freawaru" is mixed into the raw data and thus external.

the actual Freawaru which is an abstraction in some mind some place is very imprecisely known by this superficial generality that applies to many different instances of raw data.

when youre talking about patterns, memories, comparisons etcetc youre always mistaking a generality and beleiving that theres something in the raw data which identifies the thing as the thing, otherwise there is not pattern of a thing, memory of a thing, etcetc.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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