What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

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: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Nyana » Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:56 am

rowyourboat wrote:Complete cessation, in a framework of successive insight knowledges arising, and the cessation moment being its culmination, is what I meant.

The Paṭisambhidāmagga is the canonical source for the so-called "insight-gnoses" (vipassanāñāṇa-s). The noble path arises through contemplating the signlessness of the aggregates, not from the utter absence of mental processes. If there is no mind and mental factors present then there is no path or fruition.

rowyourboat wrote:This is why the Buddha is saying in the above quote that non-perception in itself does not mean anything. However if you put it into the framework of the vipassana nana, it is the ending of aggregates, the ending of suffering, seen here and now.

AN 9.36: "As far as the perception-attainments (saññāsamāpatti) go, that is as far as gnosis-penetration (aññāpaṭivedha) goes." Again, if there is no mind and mental factors present then there is no path or fruition.

rowyourboat wrote:Your notion of supramundane jhana doesnt exist in the pali cannon either- please provide me with a quote with those words.

The Abhidhammapiṭaka is part of the Pāḷi canon. Lokuttarajjhāna occurs in this Piṭaka in the context of attaining the noble path of stream-entry and the other noble paths and fruitions. The Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa Lokuttarakusala Suddhikapaṭipadā:

    When at a certain time one develops supramundane jhāna, which leads out, which goes to decrease (of rebirth), to abandonment of wrong views, to the attainment of the first stage (i.e. sotāpattimagga), quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful phenomena, he enters and remains in the first jhāna, which includes directed thought and evaluation, as well as joy and pleasure born of seclusion, and with difficult practice and slow acquisition of gnosis, then at that time contact arises, feeling arises, apperception arises, volitional intention arises, directed thought arises, evaluation arises, joy arises, pleasure arises, singleness of mind arises, the faith faculty arises, the endeavor faculty arises, the mindfulness faculty arises, the concentration faculty arises, the discernment faculty arises....

The same is said with regard to the resultant supramundane jhāna after stream-entry has been attained. Also, the Vibhaṅga Satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅga:

    Here a monk, at a certain time develops supramundane jhāna, which leads out, which goes to decrease (of rebirth), to abandonment of wrong views, to the attainment of the first stage (i.e. sotāpattimagga), quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful phenomena, he enters and remains in the first jhāna, which includes directed thought and evaluation, as well as joy and pleasure born of seclusion, and with difficult practice and slow acquisition of gnosis, and that which at that time is mindfulness, recollection, right mindfulness, the mindfulness factor of awakening, the path factor, and what belongs to the path -- this is said to be the application of mindfulness. (Also) the remaining phenomena associated with the application of mindfulness.

And so on.

rowyourboat wrote:
The Paṭisambhidāmagga is clear that entrance into the supramundane path occurs after correctly engaging contemplation of release (paṭinissaggānupassanā), not after contemplation of cessation (nirodhānupassanā).

Well the sutta pitaka seems to differ with patisambidhamagga in that respect then.

No it doesn't. Moreover, the Paṭisambhidāmagga is part of the Suttapiṭaka, and as already mentioned, it is the canonical source for the insight-gnoses. The Paṭisambhidāmagga includes in the stages of insight-gnosis the stage of contemplating the signlessness of the mind and mental factors. This is the supramundane jhāna of stream-entry:

    Gnosis of contemplation of the signlessness (animittānupassanāñāṇa) of feeling... recognition... fabrications... consciousness... etc., is signless deliverance because it liberates from all signs.

And:

    What is the ultimate meaning of emptiness [as it relates to] all kinds of emptiness, which is the terminating of occurrence in one who is fully aware?... Through the contemplation of signlessness one who is fully aware terminates the occurrence of signs.

It's essential to develop this vipassanā directly seeing the signlessness of all phenomena because the fetters occur in relation to phenomena. And the cessation of unsatisfactoriness also has to occur in relation to phenomena. This is the only way that liberation is possible. DN 22 Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta:

    And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

    And where, when being abandoned, is this craving abandoned? And where, when ceasing, does it cease? Whatever is endearing & alluring in terms of the world: that is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

    And what is endearing & alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

    The ear... The nose... The tongue... The body... The intellect...

    Forms... Sounds... Smells... Tastes... Tactile sensations... Ideas...

    Eye-consciousness... Ear-consciousness... Nose-consciousness... Tongue-consciousness... Body-consciousness... Intellect-consciousness...

    Eye-contact... Ear-contact... Nose-contact... Tongue-contact... Body-contact... Intellect-contact...

    Feeling born of eye-contact... Feeling born of ear-contact... Feeling born of nose-contact... Feeling born of tongue-contact... Feeling born of body-contact... Feeling born of intellect-contact...

    Perception of forms... Perception of sounds... Perception of smells... Perception of tastes... Perception of tactile sensations... Perception of ideas...

    Intention for forms... Intention for sounds... Intention for smells... Intention for tastes... Intention for tactile sensations... Intention for ideas...

    Craving for forms... Craving for sounds... Craving for smells... Craving for tastes... Craving for tactile sensations... Craving for ideas...

    Thought directed at forms... Thought directed at sounds... Thought directed at smells... Thought directed at tastes... Thought directed at tactile sensations... Thought directed at ideas...

    Evaluation of forms... Evaluation of sounds... Evaluation of smells... Evaluation of tastes... Evaluation of tactile sensations... Evaluation of ideas is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

    This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:29 pm

Matheesha / RYB,

Slightly off topic here, but I'm puzzled by some of your posts. On other threads you put a lot of emphasis on the vipassana-nanas, to the extent of questioning whether certain teachers are teaching properly if they do not discuss them in detail. But in thread such as this you seem to rejecting the teachings on which it is based. Though one might say that the insights are based on MN 24 Ratha-vinita Sutta: Relay Chariots http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.024.than.html, the details, as Geoff explains, are expounded in the Paṭisambhidāmagga (and Abhidhamma) and elaborated in the Commentaries.

I'm probably missing something, but I find these apparent contradictions confusing.

Metta
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:32 am

mikenz66 wrote:Matheesha / RYB,

Slightly off topic here, but I'm puzzled by some of your posts. On other threads you put a lot of emphasis on the vipassana-nanas, to the extent of questioning whether certain teachers are teaching properly if they do not discuss them in detail. But in thread such as this you seem to rejecting the teachings on which it is based. Though one might say that the insights are based on MN 24 Ratha-vinita Sutta: Relay Chariots http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.024.than.html, the details, as Geoff explains, are expounded in the Paṭisambhidāmagga (and Abhidhamma) and elaborated in the Commentaries.

I'm probably missing something, but I find these apparent contradictions confusing.

Metta
:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike,

I might be missing something re the term 'patinissagga'- but from what various monks have told me this is a state after release- ie having released, one contemplates. It is a matter of semantics/labelling. I am still very much with the vipassana nanas!

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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:03 am

Ñāṇa wrote:The Paṭisambhidāmagga is the canonical source for the so-called "insight-gnoses" (vipassanāñāṇa-s). The noble path arises through contemplating the signlessness of the aggregates, not from the utter absence of mental processes. If there is no mind and mental factors present then there is no path or fruition.


Noble paths arise from contemplating tilakkana (signlessness?). The process is full of mental processes. The final result is not. Otherwise with the presence of consciousness perceiving nibbana, as the abhidhamma claims, we have not come to/realized the end of suffering, as even consciousness is impermanent.

AN 9.36: "As far as the perception-attainments (saññāsamāpatti) go, that is as far as gnosis-penetration (aññāpaṭivedha) goes." Again, if there is no mind and mental factors present then there is no path or fruition.


Ven Sariputta is seen clearly saying in the nibbana sutta that sanna-vedaita nirodha is nibbana.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In line with that meaning, the above statement is referring to the overcome all sanna- ie going beyond the 8th jhana (only possible after Path moments), this is as far as any gnosis will go. Anything beyond that is over-stepping the boundary (MN44) - because there is no tilakkana to be discerned in the 'void' of nibbana- not even the tilakkana of consciousness...

rowyourboat wrote:Your notion of supramundane jhana doesnt exist in the pali cannon either- please provide me with a quote with those words.

The Abhidhammapiṭaka is part of the Pāḷi canon. Lokuttarajjhāna occurs in this Piṭaka in the context of attaining the noble path of stream-entry and the other noble paths and fruitions. The Dhammasaṅgaṇī Cittuppādakaṇḍa Lokuttarakusala Suddhikapaṭipadā:...And so on.


My apologies- I meant the Buddha's word, not the pali cannon. Abhidhammapitaka, as I have shown above contradicts the suttas at some points, and crucial ones at that. (5 rupa jhana??) The Buddha never mentions supramundane jhana- if at all he mentions 'anantarika samadhi'. But in any form of samadhi/jhana there is no release as you are still in samsara and not nirvana. Your assertion that nirvana can be found in samsara by overcoming defilements is quite mahayanist. I remember ajhan chah's words: 'anyone who says nirvana is equal to samsara hasn't meditated enough'.

DN 22 Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta:

    And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.


    Evaluation of forms... Evaluation of sounds... Evaluation of smells... Evaluation of tastes... Evaluation of tactile sensations... Evaluation of ideas is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

    This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress.


Why would the Buddha say when ceasing, it (craving) ceases. Ceasing here I would hazard a guess refers to 'niruddha' -'non-arising and not 'vaya' -ceasing/passing away. Why should aggregates etc not arise (or cease) for craving to cease? This quote merely proves my point that to realize the third noble truth nirodha sacca (the truth of ceasing) the aggregates, which are suffering, must cease.

On the other hand if you consider your model of gnosis-I think we would both agree that the stream entrant has right view- of the four noble truths. We also know that the stream entrant has not erradicated craving and this happens in the anagamin (non-returner) state. So according to your sutta above, and if we consider a model of gradually getting rid of defilements as the path, then understanding the four noble truths can only happen after getting rid of craving- that is at its earliest -it would at the anagamin stage. The stream entrant would have no possibility of understanding the four noble truths. This model of the path is not in line with the dhamma, as expounded by the Buddha.


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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:32 am

Kenshou,

Rebirth occurs due to the causes of avijja, craving, kamma and consciousness, according to the suttas. This body the arahanth has come into being due to previous avijja, giving rise to the rest of the paticcasamuppada - except mental suffering. This is why 'full nibbana' occurs at the death of an arahanth as most of the factors giving rise to a rebirth have long ceased and consciousness will itself cease at the death of the body and the faculties, which is keeping it going even in the absence of avijja from this lifetime. We must not forget that the bodhisattva was looking for a 'cure' for old age, ilness and death and nothing less. Merely overcoming defilements doesn't explain that - we must overcome phenomena itself (aka nibbana). The other point is that if we can overcome phenomena only at death, this dhamma would not be akalika-it would unverifiable in the here and now, only known after death. There would be no way to overcome doubt, nothing to 'come and see', not leading beyond this current state of samsara.

Escape (nissarana) from samsara is quite complex and that is why the paticcasamuppada is quite complex.

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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Kenshou » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:17 am

rowyourboat wrote:This is why 'full nibbana' occurs at the death of an arahanth as most of the factors giving rise to a rebirth have long ceased and consciousness will itself cease at the death of the body and the faculties, which is keeping it going even in the absence of avijja from this lifetime.
The arahant's body came into being due to past avijja, okay, no argument. But, that in your concept of the 4 attainments, during a moment when avijja is overcome, consciousness then is then also stopped, implies that avijja in the present moment is all that is reqired for consciousness to occur, which is inconsistent with the previous explanation for the arahant's conscious experience.

To put it another way, if this body brought into being due to past avijja allows the persistence of the arahant's faculties sans avijja until parinibbana, why does it not also allow the persistence of the faculties during the previously mentioned short-term cessations of avijja? Seems like it ought to.


The other point is that if we can overcome phenomena only at death, this dhamma would not be akalika-it would unverifiable in the here and now, only known after death. There would be no way to overcome doubt, nothing to 'come and see', not leading beyond this current state of samsara.
This point only follows if it is accepted that dukkhanirodha is only acheivable through the cessation of experience. Phenomena are "overcome", soteriologically speaking, when anicca is fully comprehended. It's not that nibbana is "equal to" samsara, with the fading of craving the "wandering on" ends right there.

You yourself said that the arahant is free from mental suffering, correct? All detailed analyses of dukkha that I have come across in the suttas involve craving (and aversion). It is my impression that one of the supporting concepts for the necessity of cessation is that phenomena themselves are inherently stressful, weather we get entangled in them by way of craving or not. But, in that case, the craving-free arahant would still be subject to mental suffering, being that they are still subject to experience. I assume you see the inconsistency.

And I hope you don't mind me saying but, as for Geoff's use of the word "lokuttara jhana", I believe all that he's really referring to here, with maybe a few too many words, is jhana coupled with liberating insight. Which is a concept found in the sutta pitaka, as you know, though he is choosing to make use of abhidhammic terminology (or at least, not from the nikayas). I suppose he will surely speak for himself anyway.
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Nyana » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:58 am

rowyourboat wrote:Noble paths arise from contemplating tilakkana (signlessness?).

Yes, according to the Paṭisambhidāmagga the contemplation of impermanence (aniccānupassanā) culminates with gnosis of the contemplation of signlessness (animittānupassanāñāṇa) and results in the signless deliverance (animittā vimokkha):

    When he gives attention as impermanent his mind emerges from the sign; his mind enters into the signless.... Gnosis of contemplation of the signlessness of form... feeling... recognition... fabrications... consciousness... etc., is signless deliverance because it liberates from all signs.

rowyourboat wrote:The process is full of mental processes. The final result is not. Otherwise with the presence of consciousness perceiving nibbana, as the abhidhamma claims, we have not come to/realized the end of suffering, as even consciousness is impermanent.

The only reason that I'm using abhidhamma terminology in this discussion is because you use the system of vipassanāñāṇa-s. And the source of the vipassanāñāṇa-s is the Paṭisambhidāmagga. And to understand the Paṭisambhidāmagga one has to also understand the Abhidhammapiṭaka. Your reliance on the system of vipassanāñāṇa-s on the one hand, and your unwillingness to acknowledge the ābhidhammika sources of this system on the other hand, is extremely idiosyncratic.

rowyourboat wrote:Ven Sariputta is seen clearly saying in the nibbana sutta that sanna-vedaita nirodha is nibbana.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

No he isn't. An arahant can be liberated through discernment (paññāvimutta) without ever attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling.

rowyourboat wrote:This quote [i.e. DN 22] merely proves my point that to realize the third noble truth nirodha sacca (the truth of ceasing) the aggregates, which are suffering, must cease.

All that your assertion proves is your idiosyncratic interpretation of the third noble truth.

rowyourboat wrote:The stream entrant would have no possibility of understanding the four noble truths.

You're drawing a fallacious consequence. At any rate, if you are not willing to discuss the subject of vipassanāñāṇa-s in ābhidhammika terms then there is no point in discussing the subject any further.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:18 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Noble paths arise from contemplating tilakkana (signlessness?).

Yes, according to the Paṭisambhidāmagga the contemplation of impermanence (aniccānupassanā) culminates with gnosis of the contemplation of signlessness (animittānupassanāñāṇa) and results in the signless deliverance (animittā vimokkha):

    When he gives attention as impermanent his mind emerges from the sign; his mind enters into the signless.... Gnosis of contemplation of the signlessness of form... feeling... recognition... fabrications... consciousness... etc., is signless deliverance because it liberates from all signs.


..and what would a animitta ('signless') experience be like? I think that would heading into total cessation by the sounds of it. Animitta, appanihita and sunyata are the 3 doors to nibbana.

I find it interesting in this discussion that nibbana has the meaning of a flame 'going out/being extinguished'- while the english term enlightenment as the meaning 'to turn a light on'. These are two completely opposing imagery. East meets West, sounds like. I believe Ajhan Maha Boowa who said that there is nothing gained upon 'enlightenment'.

In fact, considering that to stop rebirth, something special must happen at the point of death, in an unconscious mind, it is just as well. If it were a matter of brining to consciousness, the dhamma that has been learnt, there would be no escape from samsara at the point of death for some arahanths, because not everyone will die with a clear mind. Wisdom/insight can exert its effects even when unconscious.

rowyourboat wrote:The process is full of mental processes. The final result is not. Otherwise with the presence of consciousness perceiving nibbana, as the abhidhamma claims, we have not come to/realized the end of suffering, as even consciousness is impermanent.

The only reason that I'm using abhidhamma terminology in this discussion is because you use the system of vipassanāñāṇa-s. And the source of the vipassanāñāṇa-s is the Paṭisambhidāmagga. And to understand the Paṭisambhidāmagga one has to also understand the Abhidhammapiṭaka. Your reliance on the system of vipassanāñāṇa-s on the one hand, and your unwillingness to acknowledge the ābhidhammika sources of this system on the other hand, is extremely idiosyncratic.[/quote]

The Buddha said to have his dhamma-vinaya as the final arbitrator as to what he taught. I don't subscribe to a abhidhamma is acceptable/unaccetpable, commentaries are acceptable/unacceptable type black and white view of Buddhist literature. Whatever is in line with the dhamma-vinaya I accept.

rowyourboat wrote:Ven Sariputta is seen clearly saying in the nibbana sutta that sanna-vedaita nirodha is nibbana.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

No he isn't. An arahant can be liberated through discernment (paññāvimutta) without ever attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling. [/quote]

Did you read the last line of this suggestively termed Nibbana sutta? :shock:
"So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant." Ven Sariputta is clearly talking about nirodhasamapatti. There isnt two nibbanas. There is only one.

"This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."
When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?" Clearly, it was known that nothing was felt, AT ALL, in nibbana, not even consciousness. This is why Ven Sariputta defends the idea that nothing is felt. Even the lowest monks like Ven Udayin knew this doctrine.


Ven Sariputta goes onto explain how having less bits to perceive, when going up the jhanas, is more peaceful and more exalted, with less agitation.

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. If, as he remains there, he is beset with attention to perceptions dealing with the dimension of nothingness, that is an affliction for him. Now, the Blessed One has said that whatever is an affliction is stress. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how pleasant Unbinding is.

"Furthermore, there is the case where a monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant." Ven Sariputta has to resort to a 'line of reasoning' just to prove that nothing is felt in nibbana


rowyourboat wrote:This quote [i.e. DN 22] merely proves my point that to realize the third noble truth nirodha sacca (the truth of ceasing) the aggregates, which are suffering, must cease.

All that your assertion proves is your idiosyncratic interpretation of the third noble truth.


Hardly. Nibbana as a final cessation is well known to most of south asian theravada countries. It is only in the west that I have had difficulty teaching this. It may have something to do with 'seize the day' 'and god's perfect creation' type attitudes permeating thinking- I could be wrong, maybe its just ignorance of the dhamma.

rowyourboat wrote:The stream entrant would have no possibility of understanding the four noble truths.

You're drawing a fallacious consequence. At any rate, if you are not willing to discuss the subject of vipassanāñāṇa-s in ābhidhammika terms then there is no point in discussing the subject any further.[/quote]

Its not fallacious at all- quite well reasoned actually, :tongue:

I understand you may not want to deal with this any further- and personally we are possibly both running out of material!

In any case, good luck

May you attain nibbana!

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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Nyana » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:35 am

rowyourboat wrote:The Buddha said to have his dhamma-vinaya as the final arbitrator as to what he taught. I don't subscribe to a abhidhamma is acceptable/unaccetpable, commentaries are acceptable/unacceptable type black and white view of Buddhist literature. Whatever is in line with the dhamma-vinaya I accept.

The Abhidhammapiṭaka is in line with the dhammavinaya.

rowyourboat wrote:Did you read the last line of this suggestively termed Nibbana sutta?
"So by this line of reasoning it may be known how Unbinding is pleasant." Ven Sariputta is clearly talking about nirodhasamapatti. There isnt two nibbanas. There is only one.

There is only one nibbāna element with fuel remaining (saupādisesa nibbānadhātu). Itivuttaka 2.44 (Iti 38) Nibbānadhātu Sutta:

    And what is the nibbāna element with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is an arahant whose outflows have ended, who has reached fulfillment, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, ended the fetter of existence, and is liberated through right gnosis. His five sense faculties still remain and, owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the agreeable and the disagreeable, and is sensitive to pleasure and pain. His ending of passion, aversion, and delusion is termed the nibbāna element with fuel remaining.

SN 38.1 Nibbānapañhā Sutta:

    "'Nibbāna, nibbāna,' friend Sāriputta, it is said. What now is nibbāna?"

    "The elimination of passion (rāgakkhaya), the elimination of aggression (dosakkhaya), the elimination of delusion (mohakkhaya): this, friend, is called nibbāna."

This elimination occurs in the four stages of stream-entry, etc. Moreover, an arahant liberated through discernment does not attain the formless attainments or the cessation of apperception and feeling. MN 70 Kīṭāgiri Sutta:

    And what, monks, is the person liberated through discernment? There is the case where a certain person does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, but having seen with discernment his mental outflows are ended. This is called a person who is liberated through discernment.

And AN 4.87 Samaṇamacala Putta Sutta:

    And how, monks, is a person a white lotus ascetic? Herein a monk, having eliminated the mental outflows, is without mental outflows. With liberation of mind and liberation through discernment, having realized supramundane gnosis, he abides with that attainment. Yet he does not abide personally experiencing the eight deliverances. Thus, monks, is a person a white lotus ascetic.

The eighth deliverance of the eight deliverances (aṭṭha vimokkhā) is the cessation of apperception and feeling (saññāvedayitanirodha).

rowyourboat wrote:Nibbana as a final cessation is well known to most of south asian theravada countries. It is only in the west that I have had difficulty teaching this. It may have something to do with 'seize the day' 'and god's perfect creation' type attitudes permeating thinking- I could be wrong, maybe its just ignorance of the dhamma.

This discussion has nothing whatsoever to do with East vs. West. It has to do with the dhamma.

rowyourboat wrote:
The stream entrant would have no possibility of understanding the four noble truths.

You're drawing a fallacious consequence. At any rate, if you are not willing to discuss the subject of vipassanāñāṇa-s in ābhidhammika terms then there is no point in discussing the subject any further.


Its not fallacious at all- quite well reasoned actually

Sorry, but your entire premise is lacking both well reasoned consideration and canonical support. The Paṭisambhidāmagga:

    How is it that the discernment of the termination of continuance in one who is fully aware is gnosis of full extinguishment (parinibbāna ñāṇa)?

    Through the stream-entry path he terminates identity view (sakkāyadiṭṭhi), doubt (vicikicchā), and mistaken adherence to rules and duty (sīlabbataparāmāsa).... This discernment of the termination of continuance in one who is fully aware is gnosis of full extinguishment....

    He causes the cessation of identity view, doubt, and mistaken adherence to rules and duty through the stream-entry path.

And so on for the fetters which are terminated on the remaining three paths. These gnoses of full extinguishment (parinibbāna ñāṇa-s) are also called gnoses of the bliss of liberation (vimuttisukha ñāṇa-s). The Paṭisambhidāmagga:

    With the stream-entry path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (1) identity view,
    (2) doubt,
    (3) mistaken adherence to rules and duty,
    (4) the underlying tendency of view,
    (5) the underlying tendency of doubt.

    With the once-returner path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (6) the gross fetter of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (7) the gross fetter of aversion,
    (8) the gross underlying tendency of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (9) the gross underlying tendency of aversion.

    With the non-returner path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (10) the secondary fetter of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (11) the secondary fetter of aversion,
    (12) the secondary underlying tendency of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (13) the secondary underlying tendency of aversion.

    With the arahant path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (14) passion for form [existence],
    (15) passion for formless [existence],
    (16) conceit,
    (17) restlessness,
    (18) ignorance,
    (19) the underlying tendency of conceit,
    (20) the underlying tendency of passion for existence,
    (21) the underlying tendency of ignorance.

And none of these extinguishments require the attainment of cessation of apperception and feeling.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby IanAnd » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:57 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
And so on for the fetters which are terminated on the remaining three paths. These gnoses of full extinguishment (parinibbāna ñāṇa-s) are also called gnoses of the bliss of liberation (vimuttisukha ñāṇa-s). The Paṭisambhidāmagga:

    With the stream-entry path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (1) identity view,
    (2) doubt,
    (3) mistaken adherence to rules and duty,
    (4) the underlying tendency of view,
    (5) the underlying tendency of doubt.

    With the once-returner path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (6) the gross fetter of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (7) the gross fetter of aversion,
    (8) the gross underlying tendency of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (9) the gross underlying tendency of aversion.

    With the non-returner path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (10) the secondary fetter of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (11) the secondary fetter of aversion,
    (12) the secondary underlying tendency of passion for sensual pleasure,
    (13) the secondary underlying tendency of aversion.

    With the arahant path, gnosis of the bliss of liberation arises due to the abandoning and cutting off of:

    (14) passion for form [existence],
    (15) passion for formless [existence],
    (16) conceit,
    (17) restlessness,
    (18) ignorance,
    (19) the underlying tendency of conceit,
    (20) the underlying tendency of passion for existence,
    (21) the underlying tendency of ignorance.

And none of these extinguishments require the attainment of cessation of apperception and feeling.


All the best,

Geoff

Not to interrupt the discussion ongoing, but, agreed. These extinguishments require gnosis (knowledge recognition) a la the following:

"Gnosis itself is obtained through understanding at which one can arrive via inner experience or contemplation such as an internal epiphany of intuition..."
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby tinhtan » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:01 am

Hello

interesting discussion,
just one thought:

rowyourboat wrote:Why would the Buddha say when ceasing, it (craving) ceases. Ceasing here I would hazard a guess refers to 'niruddha' -'non-arising and not 'vaya' -ceasing/passing away. Why should aggregates etc not arise (or cease) for craving to cease? This quote merely proves my point that to realize the third noble truth nirodha sacca (the truth of ceasing) the aggregates, which are suffering, must cease


But the noble truth of stress says :
"And what are the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stress? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling as a clinging-aggregate, perception as a clinging-aggregate, fabrications as a clinging-aggregate, consciousness as a clinging-aggregate: These are called the five clinging-aggregates that, in short, are stress"


Not the aggregates are ceasing, but the clinging-aggregates are ceasing.

Why ? because "And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving"

« craving (tanhā) conditions clinging (upādāna) »
Break craving and that is liberation.
The aggregates will continue on their own, but the enlightened one does not cling to them anymore.


metta
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby starter » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:59 pm

Hm, to my understaning there are two types of stillings in nibbana:

1) Stilling of greed/aversion/delusions:
"Whereas formerly he foolishly had greed — as well as desire & infatuation — he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Whereas formerly he foolishly had malice — as well as ill-will & hatred — he has now abandoned them... Whereas formerly he foolishly had ignorance — as well as delusion & confusion — he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for stilling, for this — the stilling of passions, aversions, & delusions — is the highest noble stilling."

— MN 140

2) Stilling of aggregates: occur when the arahants enter the sphere of non-perception and non-feeling, and when they enter final nibbana.

"There's no fire like passion, no loss like anger, no pain like the aggregates, no bliss other than peace. Hunger: the foremost illness. Fabrications: the foremost pain. For one knowing this truth as it has come to be, Unbinding is the foremost bliss.

— Dhp 202-203


How inconstant are compounded things! Their nature: to arise & pass away. They disband as they are arising. Their total stilling is bliss.

— DN 16
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:17 pm

Stilling of aggregates for a moment, occurs at stream entry- Ven Nanananda writes:

So this string of epithets testifies to the efficacy of the realization by the first path. It is not a mere glimpse of Nibbāna from a distance. It is a reaching, an arrival or a plunge into Nibbāna. For purposes of illustration we may bring in a legend connected with the history of Sri Lanka. It is said that when King Gajabāhu invaded India, one of his soldiers, Nīla, who had Herculean strength, parted the seawater with a huge iron bar in order to make way for the king and the army. Now when the supramundane path arises in the mind the power of thought is as mighty as the blow of Nīla with his iron bar. Even with the first blow the sea-water parted, so that one could see the bottom. Similarly the sweeping influxes are parted for a moment when the transcendental path arises in a mind, enabling one to see the very bottom - Nibbāna. In other words, all preparations (saṅkhāras) are stilled for a moment, enabling one to see the cessation of preparations.
We have just given a simile by way of illustration, but incidentally there is a Dhammapada verse which comes closer to it:
Chinda sotaṃ parakkamma,
kāme panuda brāhmaṇa,
saṅkhārānaṃ khayaṃ ñatvā,
akataññū'si brāhmaṇa.[56]
"Strive forth and cut off the stream,
Discard, oh Brahmin, sense-desires,
Having known the destruction of preparations, oh Brahmin,
Become a knower of the un-made."
So this verse clearly indicates what the knowledge of the path does when it arises. Just as one leaps forward and cuts off a stream of water, so it cuts off, even for a moment, the preparations connected with craving. Thereby one realizes the destruction of preparations - saṅkhārānaṃ khayaṃ ñatvā.
Like the sea water parted by the blow of the iron bar, preparations part for a moment to reveal the very bottom which is 'unprepared', the asaṅkhata. Akata, or the un-made, is the same as asaṅkhata, the unprepared. So one has had a momentary vision of the sea bottom, which is free from preparations. Of course, after that experience, influxes flow in again. But one kind of influxes, namely diṭṭhāsavā, influxes of views, are gone for good and will never flow in again.

With metta

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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Nyana » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:29 am

rowyourboat wrote:Stilling of aggregates for a moment, occurs at stream entry- Ven Nanananda writes

Ven. Ñāṇananda is specifically referring to saṅkhāras connected to the influxes/outflows (āsavas). This is in keeping with the canonical texts. Moreover, his teacher, Ven. Ñāṇārāma, states that the supramundane path-consciousness of stream-entry is supramundane jhāna which includes the presence of the jhāna factors. In his Seven Stages of Purification & the Insight Knowledges he states:

    At whatever moment he attains the supramundane path, that path-consciousness comes to be reckoned as a jhāna in itself, since it has some affinity with the factors proper to jhānas, such as the first jhāna. What are known as transcendental meditations in Buddhism are these supramundane levels of concentration within the reach of the pure insight meditator.

This is in keeping with the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, where the supramundane jhāna which occurs at the moment of stream-entry includes the jhāna factors and the five faculties and various other saṅkhāras necessary for the presence of right view and the other components of the noble path.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:31 am

Rowyourboat,

Stilling of aggregates for a moment, occurs at stream entry- Ven Ñanananda writes:
But the thing is, ven. Nanananda goes on to qualify what exactly the "stilling of preparations" etc. signifies, all throughought the rest of the Nibbana Sermons. This passage captures the gist of it:

...The worldling discerns the world around him with the help of six narrow beams of light, namely the six sense-bases. When the superior lustre of wisdom arises, those six sense-bases go down. This cessation of the six sense-bases could also be referred to as the cessation of name-and-form, namarupanirodha, or the cessation of consciousness, viññana­nirodha.

The cessation of the six sense-bases does not mean that one does not see anything. What one sees then is voidness. It is an in-'sight'. He gives expression to it with the words suñño loko, "void is the world". What it means is that all the sense-objects, which the world­ling grasps as real and truly existing, get pene­trated through with wisdom and become non-manifest.


And this is stated several times throughout the Nibbana Sermons:
What is called the cessation of consciousness has a deeper sense here. It means the cessation of the specifically prepared consciousness, abhisankhata viññāna.

Which is further qualified:
What may be called abhisankhata viññāna,cci[30] ‘specifically prepared consciousness’, is that sort of consciousness which gets attached to name-and-form.

So, if we look at ven. Ñanananda's statements in context, it does not appear that you two are talking about the same kind of thing.

I realize that Ñananada has been quoted a lot already, but he was brought up again, so...
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:41 pm

Hi Goeff, Kenshou,

Thank you for this discussion, it has clarified the dhamma for me and helped my practice, but it has not left me with a complete resolution. I have not gone into depth with Ven K. Nanananda's discourses- so finding time to go through the full nibbana series is a bit of an issue. Since we are hammering around about the same isseus I think it is best for me to let this thread be- as I don't see any further issues to discuss, which have not already been discussed. Those who are reading can make up their own minds (or not). Incidentally maybe the final point of agreement may be that (at least) a 'void' is is discerned at the point of attaining stream entry. One might even say the actual details of that 'void' is academic and that all we have to do is to get there. I see it more as the kind of awareness that we have when after a nights sleep, when we are awake, we are aware that we were 'unconscious' last night; or the 'awareness' of the gap in 'continuous' vision when we blink (ie we become aware of it after we blink). 'The knowledge of deliverance' comes after the deliverance has taken place and not before. In any case I am winding down.

:anjali:

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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby starter » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:10 am

Hm, I'd conclude that the ultimate true stillness is empty of all assavas and empty of all conditioned/changing phenomena. Metta to all, Starter
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby starter » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:32 pm

Hm ... I've been wondering at this stage of my practice if I should try to still all mental fabrications during both formal meditation and daily life, or should focus first on abandoning the fabrications of "self", "likes", and "dislikes". My conclusion is that I should now try to abandon assavas and defilements first [by abandoning the fabrications of "self", "likes", and "dislikes"] instead of trying to still all mental fabrications. Just to share my thoughts with our friends, because I'm a bit afraid that the whole discussion of this thread might lead to the practice of stilling all mental fabrications as a trainee, which is probably not right. Metta to all, Starter
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby daverupa » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:40 pm

starter wrote:My conclusion is that I should now try to abandon assavas and defilements first [by abandoning the fabrications of "self", "likes", and "dislikes"] instead of trying to still all mental fabrications.


It's probably more useful in meditation practice to strive to eliminate the five hindrances, and thereby dwell mindfully. Moving around and in daily life, abiding with clear comprehension is called for.

Anapanasati doesn't necessarily call for "stilling" mental fabrications, but it depends on what you mean by "stilling" - experiencing, gladdening, steadying, and releasing are the four (translated) terms for the third tetrad, so perhaps you are thinking of that last term? Otherwise, mental fabrications are dealt with in the second tetrad, where the terms are experiencing and tranquillizing - perhaps you intend this last one?

In any case, you're better off striving for mindfulness per anapanasati instead of playing meditation whack-a-mole. The brahmaviharas would be another approach, letting you address "likes and dislikes" through upekkha in particular. As to "self", even once-returners have the conceit "I am", so working on that conceit now is probably putting the cart before the horse.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby Goedert » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:07 am

It is impossible to stop a stream line by will without arahatamagga, throught observation it is possible see it stopping.

Observation is really important, but as lay followers we have to progress step by step in our spirituality.

First dividing our possessions in three parts: one to apply in bussniess; one to help the family and other one to give in charity.

Then go to the five precept; eight; ten; samanahood.

One who is contemplating the deathless, would not have a doubt like the topic question... So, one who have a doubt like this should be carefull to not be fooled by himself.
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