Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:00 pm

parth wrote:
To try and explain the taste of chocolate correctly in words is like putiing a striaght stick halfway in water and expecting it to remain staright visually, which it cannot, it bends (visually).
No one here is mistaking the discriptions of nibbana given by the for as being the actual experience.


Dont think this is the case from discussions above but thanks for supporting what I state, since even when some experience which is well within the sensory field (chocolate taste) cant be defined by words then what to say of something which is outside the sensory field itself (and by those who havent probably experienced it).

But ok as long as people are clear that only aspects nibbana are being referred to and not the experience itself and even the words defining them may not be fully correct, I am alright with whatever is left of it.


You're right, no one can describe the "taste" of chocolate or nibbana... but this "taste" isn't the only criteria for identifying either chocolate or nibbana. If it was, then it would be impossible to identify either, or correspond to what others are experiencing.

There are sets of criteria that makes chocolate. It comes from cacao beans, which comes from a pod, taken from a specific tree, that has a specific look (there are even pictures of the tree), roasted and processed in a specific way, etc. These are definitions that are focused around "chocolate," so that no one would be mistaken if he wants to give it a "taste."

It's the same with nibbana. The Buddha developed a very specific set of definitions that is focused around nibbana (the four noble truths, the D.O., the aggregates, the three poisons, etc.), so that no one can mistake something else for nibbana, or even try to make a poor substitute for it. (Like someone did with carob beans, instead of the cacao beans.)

:anjali:

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Nyana » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:08 am

rowyourboat wrote:Considering the cessation of experience, as nibbana, here's a list of quotes

Sorry, but none of those citations support your premise. More to the point, the issue at hand is the criteria for correctly discerning attainment of the noble path. And the only criteria for this discernment is the termination of the first three fetters. There is a spectrum of meditative states which may help one attain the noble path, but none of these experiences are nibbāna. Nibbāna is the termination of specific fetters according to each noble path and fruition. “Pitch-black emptiness” isn’t nibbāna. A “luminous mind” isn’t nibbāna either.

rowyourboat wrote:Now this idea that nibbana entails the cessation of experience is Buddhism 101. Every secondary school child in Sri Lanka knows this. It is a shame that the members on this forum are still struggling with it. In any case, let me offer a sutta which might offer some relief to those who are constipated by the aggregates and cant seem to let go...

Better to not rely on secondary school children for one’s development of discernment. The noble eightfold path has a clearly defined and very specific final goal (pariyosāna), a precise destination (parāyana). This goal is the elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, and the elimination of delusion. The realization of this goal is variously called the “gnosis and vision of liberation” (vimuttiñāṇadassana), the “gnosis of elimination” (khayeñāṇa), the “gnosis of nibbāna” (nibbāna ñāṇa), and so on.

The Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta of the Saṃyuttanikāya offers thirty-three epithets for this goal, almost all of which are either metaphors or evocative terms suggestive of the various facets of this goal. But each of these epithets is then explicitly and unequivocally defined as the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. One of these epithets is nibbāna, which is a term relating to an extended metaphor. Ven. Ñāṇamoli, The Path of Purification, p. 790, note 72:

    Modern etymology derives the word nibbāna (Skr. nirvāṇa) from the negative prefix nir plus the root vā (to blow). The original literal meaning was probably ‘extinction’ of a fire by ceasing to blow on it with bellows (a smith’s fire for example). It seems to have been extended to extinction of fire by any means, for example, the going out of a lamp’s flame (nibbāyati — M iii 245).

Soonil Hwang, Metaphor and Literalism in Buddhism: The Doctrinal History of Nirvana, p. 9:

    Western scholars tend to agree on the etymological meaning of nirvāṇa as ‘going out’: the noun nirvāṇa is derived from the negative prefix nir plus the root vā (to blow). Its original meaning seems to be, as Ñāṇamoli suggested, ‘“extinction” of a fire by ceasing to blow on it with bellows (a smith’s fire, for example).’ When a smith stops blowing on a fire, it goes out automatically. In this respect, this word nirvāṇa should be understood as intransitive: a fire going out due to lack of cause, such as fuel or wind.

    If we accept this etymological meaning, which is probably pre-Buddhist, what does the term refer to within the early Buddhist tradition? One of the common misunderstandings of nirvāṇa is to assume that it refers to the extinction of a person or soul. This view may be caused by the words nibbuta and nibbuti, which can be used of the person or soul. However, both words are derived not from nir√vā (to blow) but from nir√vṛ (to cover) and their meaning in these cases is, as K. R. Norman suggests, ‘satisfied, happy, tranquil, at ease, at rest’ for the former and ‘happiness, bliss, rest, ceasing’ for the latter. Moreover, not only does this view lack any textual evidence, it is also the mistaken opinion identified in the early canon as annihilationism (ucchedavāda).

The canon repeatedly, explicitly, and unequivocally defines nibbāna as the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion. This is the goal of practice. Beyond the attainment of this goal, early Pāḷi Buddhism has nothing to say. SN 48.42 Uṇṇābhabrāhmaṇa Sutta:

    “But master Gotama, what is it that nibbāna takes recourse in?”

    “You have gone beyond the range of questioning, brāhmaṇa. You were unable to grasp the limit of questioning. For, brāhmaṇa, the holy life is lived with nibbāna as its ground, nibbāna as its destination, nibbāna as its final goal.”

There are two reasons why the Buddha had nothing to say about any matters beyond the attainment of this goal. The first is that any view regarding the postmortem existence or non-existence of an awakened arahant is not conducive to actually attaining the goal. It “does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calmness, direct gnosis, full awakening, nibbāna.” It is considered a fetter of view (diṭṭhisaṃyojana). MN 72 Aggivacchagotta Sutta:

    The view that after death a tathāgata exists is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a vacillation of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by dissatisfaction, distress, despair, and fever. It does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calmness, direct gnosis, full awakening, nibbāna.

    The view that after death a tathāgata does not exist is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a vacillation of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by dissatisfaction, distress, despair, and fever. It does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calmness, direct gnosis, full awakening, nibbāna.

    The view that after death a tathāgata both exists and does not exist is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a vacillation of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by dissatisfaction, distress, despair, and fever. It does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calmness, direct gnosis, full awakening, nibbāna.

    The view that after death a tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a vacillation of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by dissatisfaction, distress, despair, and fever. It does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calmness, direct gnosis, full awakening, nibbāna.

The other reason, as suggested by the Buddha’s exchange with the brāhmaṇa Uṇṇābha already mentioned, is that there is no way to describe or designate or define anything beyond the attainment of this goal.

The most elegant and subtle aspect of the dhamma expounded in the Nikāyas is that it doesn’t impose any sort of metaphysical view regarding the nature of the liberated mind. This is clear in the sense of the liberated, measureless mind → appamāṇacetasa, being free from any sort of measuring → pamāṇa.

It is precisely this which differentiates early Buddhism from every other religious and secular worldview, and also separates early Buddhism from virtually every later strata of Buddhist exegesis — both ancient and modern. It’s unfortunate that most authors of Buddhist commentary haven’t seen fit to heed the Buddha’s advice on this point.

The two trends of Buddhist exegetical interpretation both fail to appreciate this point, and fall into either a uniquely Buddhist version of nihilism or a uniquely Buddhist version of eternalism. These post-canonical views are uniquely Buddhist because, for the most part, they manage to avoid the annihilationist and eternalist views criticized by the Buddha in the discourses.

The nihilist version of Buddhist exegetical interpretation errs through mistaken reductionism. This thesis posits that an arahant is nothing more than the aggregates, and therefore, because the aggregates cease without remainder at the time of the arahant’s death, the “arahant” is likewise terminated. This reductionism errs because there are explicit statements in the discourses which tell us that an arahant cannot be measured even while alive, and specifically, cannot be measured using the criteria of the aggregates. Since this is the case, there is nothing whatsoever that can be posited about the postmortem existence or non-existence of the arahant. Language and logical inference don’t apply to that which cannot be qualified or measured. There is no criteria for measurement.

The eternalist versions of Buddhist exegetical interpretation (there is more than one), all err for the same reason. Since an arahant cannot be measured or traced even while alive, there is nothing whatsoever that can be posited about the postmortem existence or non-existence of the arahant. Again, language and logical inference don’t apply to that which cannot be qualified or measured. There’s no criteria for measurement.

rowyourboat wrote:Then we can understand this in the following manner: through the removal of defilements, especially avijja, through breaking of the fetters, we come to attainment/vimutti -and the experience of that is complete cessation- a non-experience.

Here is how the path is developed according to the canon: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).

No need for “pitch-black emptiness.” No need for “non-experience.” And certainly no cause for thinking that “pitch-black emptiness” is the goal of the noble path. Your nihilistic view is no more sustainable than the eternalistic view held by the “nibbāna is the luminous mind” people, or the “nibbāna is a truly existing transcendental realm” people.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Parth » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:59 am

Beeblebrox wrote:

You're right, no one can describe the "taste" of chocolate or nibbana... but this "taste" isn't the only criteria for identifying either chocolate or nibbana. If it was, then it would be impossible to identify either, or correspond to what others are experiencing.

There are sets of criteria that makes chocolate. It comes from cacao beans, which comes from a pod, taken from a specific tree, that has a specific look (there are even pictures of the tree), roasted and processed in a specific way, etc. These are definitions that are focused around "chocolate," so that no one would be mistaken if he wants to give it a "taste."

It's the same with nibbana. The Buddha developed a very specific set of definitions that is focused around nibbana (the four noble truths, the D.O., the aggregates, the three poisons, etc.), so that no one can mistake something else for nibbana, or even try to make a poor substitute for it. (Like someone did with carob beans, instead of the cacao beans.)


Point taken and appreciated, nobody should be made to believe that the act of halucination with drugs can take you there or likes. But as you said these definitions are focussed around nibbana not the experience itself. This is correct.

:thumbsup:

Metta

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Parth » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:18 am

Dear Kenshou,

"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support [mental object]. This, just this, is the end of stress."

Nibbana Sutta— Ud 8.1


This is nothing but 'neti neti' - not this not this. This is all what can be said of the actual experience. Hopefully as per you the above is not useless crud. A suggestion, please do not look at dhamma from a 'ism' perspective which actually is the biggest insult to "Dhamma" and good things should be accepted / inculcated wherever they are found. Buddha taught "Dhamma" which was and is a universal phenomenon and people converted it into an 'ism' what a tragedy.

Metta

Parth

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:29 am

parth wrote:This is nothing but 'neti neti' - not this not this. This is all what can be said of the actual experience.
No, not really. Only if you ignore many other passages.

Also I suspect that this passage refers to the final parinibbana. Which I would agree is, for all intents and purposes, cessation. But it's pretty easy to find explanations of the living experience of awakening which don't include any such thing. And the living individual's awakening was the topic here, or so I have been thinking.

please do not look at dhamma from a 'ism' perspective
I'm not. It's just a word, no reason to be afraid of it. And this is an irrelevant issue that you keep bringing up for no good reason.

which actually is the biggest insult to "Dhamma" and good things should be accepted / inculcated wherever they are found
It's a bigger insult to pour unnecessary muck into it. But the line between useful and unnecessary varies from person to person, I realize.

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Parth » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:30 am

Kenshou wrote :

parth wrote:
This is nothing but 'neti neti' - not this not this. This is all what can be said of the actual experience.


No, not really. Only if you ignore many other passages. Also I suspect that this passage refers to the final parinibbana. Which I would agree is, for all intents and purposes, cessation. But it's pretty easy to find explanations of the living experience of awakening which don't include any such thing. And the living individual's awakening was the topic here, or so I have been thinking.


Am not talking about other passages, am presently talking about the above passage (stated by Buddha) which is 'neti-neti' and is certainly not useless / curd. Which is why I stated that one should not be bound by 'isms' and should be open to good wherever it is found. It is relevant here because probably you reacted to word "neti-neti" in the above manner because it was not part of and therefore not relevant to "Buddhist" thought / practise even though there was no contradiction.

Most of the other referred passages are actually around nibbana and do not, repeat do not explain and cannot explain the actual experience which by words written / spoken cannot be correctly explained.

Metta

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:47 am

Most of the other referred passages are actually around nibbana and do not, repeat do not explain and cannot explain the actual experience which by words written / spoken cannot be correctly explained.
Yeah they do, and yes they can. But we're obviously just going to continue to disagree, so I'd be happy finish the discussion here.

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Parth » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:01 am

Dear Tilt,

You Wrote :

No one here is mistaking the discriptions of nibbana given by the for as being the actual experience.


I wrote:
Most of the other referred passages are actually around nibbana and do not, repeat do not explain and cannot explain the actual experience which by words written / spoken cannot be correctly explained.


Kenshou Wrote:
Yeah they do, and yes they can.


See the confusion !

Metta

Parth

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby kirk5a » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:04 pm

parth wrote:the actual experience

Which is described as such:

They may just be theoretical constructs to explain the sudden manifestation of the next stage, knowledge of path and result (maggaphala-nana). In practice, what happens is that the meditator is practicing, every aspect of his meditation is subtle, clear and bright, and then suddenly there is a sense of falling-into (knowledge of insight leading to emergence) and then the lights go out. There is a momentary sense of nothingness, and then the lights come on. If the meditator checks the watch, he realises some time has passed - depending on the strength of his concentration, this could be anything from a few minutes to a few days and he has "awoken" suddenly into a situation in which the practice is continuing, but the experience is much less subtle than before. The meditator is now in the knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-nana).

16) Knowledge of review - paccavekkhana-nana

What happened? Has he fallen asleep? No, because of the suddenness and clarity of the beginning and end of the experience of unconsciousness, and because there has been absolutely no physical movement. What the meditator has experienced is the total cessation of the mind-body process.

http://www.buddhanet.net/knowledg.htm

"The experience of unconsciousness" is far more easily induced by anesthesia, first of all. But that aside, I would ask those advocating this "event" as constituting "the actual experience of nibbana" as to what the value is in this. So there's a momentary, impermanent, "non-experience." How has one's mind changed for the better through this event?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:47 pm

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for your reply. As far as I am concerned, my input into this thread has cone to an end.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Theravadidiliana » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:44 pm

"The experience of unconsciousness" is far more easily induced by anesthesia, first of all. But that aside, I would ask those advocating this "event" as constituting "the actual experience of nibbana" as to what the value is in this. So there's a momentary, impermanent, "non-experience." How has one's mind changed for the better through this event?



Not saying that this "pitch-backness" is nibbana, but from what nibs said in this thread what he calls some sort of cessation of the senses was followed by some pretty big changes. Hard to tell what it means though.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7709&p=122709&hilit=+nibs#p122709

Be happy,

Theravadidiliana

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby starter » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:57 pm

kirk5a wrote:
parth wrote:the actual experience

Which is described as such:

They may just be theoretical constructs to explain the sudden manifestation of the next stage, knowledge of path and result (maggaphala-nana). In practice, what happens is that the meditator is practicing, every aspect of his meditation is subtle, clear and bright, and then suddenly there is a sense of falling-into (knowledge of insight leading to emergence) and then the lights go out. There is a momentary sense of nothingness, and then the lights come on. If the meditator checks the watch, he realises some time has passed - depending on the strength of his concentration, this could be anything from a few minutes to a few days and he has "awoken" suddenly into a situation in which the practice is continuing, but the experience is much less subtle than before. The meditator is now in the knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-nana).

16) Knowledge of review - paccavekkhana-nana

What happened? Has he fallen asleep? No, because of the suddenness and clarity of the beginning and end of the experience of unconsciousness, and because there has been absolutely no physical movement. What the meditator has experienced is the total cessation of the mind-body process.

http://www.buddhanet.net/knowledg.htm

"The experience of unconsciousness" is far more easily induced by anesthesia, first of all. But that aside, I would ask those advocating this "event" as constituting "the actual experience of nibbana" as to what the value is in this. So there's a momentary, impermanent, "non-experience." How has one's mind changed for the better through this event?


Hi Kirk,

Thanks for your info.

""The experience of unconsciousness" is far more easily induced by anesthesia"

-- Come on, no anesthesia necessary! Do we experience it everyday when we fall asleep or doze off? Actually we could really make some sense out of such experience, by realizing all our experiences are actually only depending upon our consciousness, our perception and our feeling ... I wonder why one has to reach the stage of cessation of perception and feeling in order to comprehend this point ...

Metta to all,

Starter

PS: It might not be a bad idea to induce "The experience of unconsciousness" by anesthesia, then one would truly understand that his consciousness is actually dependent upon the proper function of his nerves ...
Last edited by starter on Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:24 am

Greetings RYB,
rowyourboat wrote:The bits in red are the elements pertaining to the removal of defilements. The bits in green are the elements pertaining to the cessation of experience. Now the only way to reconcile these two strands of quotes from the suttas is to put them together, as seems to have happened in the paticca-nirodha sequence above.

Nice to see paticca-nirodha sequence mentioned, except that your colour coded interpretation changes the explicitly stated sequencing of the cessation to suit your argument about what cessation actually is.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Nyana » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:15 pm

kirk5a wrote:
What happened? Has he fallen asleep? No, because of the suddenness and clarity of the beginning and end of the experience of unconsciousness, and because there has been absolutely no physical movement. What the meditator has experienced is the total cessation of the mind-body process.

http://www.buddhanet.net/knowledg.htm

This was written by Patrick Kearney who considered himself fit to criticize Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart. I'm guessing that Kearney thinks that this "blackout emptiness" he's peddling is :quote: "dhamma."

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:30 pm

Ajahn Maha Boowa on the "stump-like samadhi" - further information of possible relevance to this thread.

This [right samadhi] is not the same as that type of samadhi where, once the heart has converged, one loses track of day and night, not knowing if one is alive — and it's as if one is dead. It is only after the heart has emerged that one starts to wonder about what had happened: "Was it that the heart converged? Wherever did my mind go?". This is 'stump-like samadhi' because it resembles a stump without any consciousness. Try to avoid and quit this type of samadhi, and if you've already fallen for it then you must immediately extricate yourself.

This stump-like samadhi is certainly found among those of us who practice. The remedy is to hold back and break the habitual way the heart tends to converge. If one indulges it then it will always stick with that propensity, so you will have to compel it to break away and 'take a tour' of the body. Mindfulness needs to be firmly in control, traveling up and around and down and around, over and over again until wisdom, Path and Fruit are realized.

The kind of samadhi that is right samadhi is that which has mindfulness attending to the state of calm, when the heart has converged into samadhi. After the heart has emerged again (out of samadhi), the various natural conditions[33] found within the body and mind should be investigated with wisdom. Therefore, with the right occasion and appropriate conditions start up the investigation. Samadhi and wisdom are dhammas that should always interrelate and collaborate. Don't allow your samadhi development to drift without giving it the necessary attention.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... astbr.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:38 am

More reference material I found, this by Ajahn Lee.

Another instance of Wrong Concentration is when — after you've begun practicing to the point where you've attained threshold (upacara) concentration — you then stare down on the present, focusing, say, on the properties of breath, fire or earth, forbidding the mind to think; staring down, getting into a trance until the property becomes more and more refined, the mind becomes more and more refined; using force to suppress the mind until awareness becomes so dim that you lose mindfulness and alertness and all sense of the body and mind: Everything is absolutely snuffed out and still, with no self-awareness. This is called the plane of non-perception (asaññi-bhava), where you have no perception of anything at all. Your awareness isn't well-rounded, your mindfulness lacks circumspection, and as a result discernment has no chance to arise. This is called Wrong Concentration, Wrong Release, a mental blank — no awareness of past, present or future.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... peace.html

This clearly has to be distinguished from the following:

"There is the case, Ananda, where the monk would be percipient in this way: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' It's in this way that a monk could have an attainment of concentration such that he would neither be percipient of earth with regard to earth, nor of water with regard to water, nor of fire... wind... the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness... the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception... this world... nor of the next world with regard to the next world, and yet he would still be percipient."

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

Percipient of what?
Sariputta:"'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding — the cessation of becoming — Unbinding': One perception arose in me, friend Ananda, as another perception ceased. Just as in a blazing woodchip fire, one flame arises as another flame ceases, even so, 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding — the cessation of becoming — Unbinding': One perception arose in me as another one ceased. I was percipient at that time of 'The cessation of becoming — Unbinding.'"

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

Now what I find pretty interesting is "and yet he would still be percipient" (saññī) whereas the "wrong concentration" described above is said to be "asaññi" = not percipient? So that would seem to be a key to distinguish these states.

Doing some dictionary research:

Asaññin (adj.) [a + saññin] unconscious D i.54 (˚gabbhā, cp. DA i.163); iii.111, 140, 263; It 87; Sn 874.

Saññin (adj.) [fr. saññā] (f. saññinī) conscious, being aware of ( -- ˚), perceiving, having perception

"Saññā (f.) [fr. saŋ+jñā] (pl. saññāyo and saññā -- e. g. M i.108) 1. sense, consciousness, perception, being the third khandha Vin i.13; M i.300; S iii.3 sq.; Dhs 40, 58, 61, 113; VbhA 42. -- 2. sense, perception, discernment, recognition, assimilation of sensations, awareness M i.293; A iii.443 (nibbāna˚)

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/

And DN 1 Brahmajāla Sutta describes "Doctrines of Percipient Immortality (Saññīvāda)" and "Doctrines of Non-percipient Immortality (Asaññīvāda)"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Nyana
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Nyana » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:23 am

kirk5a wrote:Now what I find pretty interesting is "and yet he would still be percipient" (saññī) whereas the "wrong concentration" described above is said to be "asaññi" = not percipient? So that would seem to be a key to distinguish these states.

Yes, non-percipient attainments (asaññasamāpatti) are wrong samādhis entered by worldlings, either intentionally, due to misunderstanding the dhamma, or unintentionally. It's a mistake to equate this type of non-percipient state with the noble paths and fruitions. Moreover, if one were to die while experiencing this non-percipient attainment the only possible result of this would be rebirth as non-percipient being (asaññasatta) without any functional mind or mental faculties. This is considered to be an inappropriate and inopportune plane (akkhaṇa bhūmi), because there is no possibility of practicing dhamma either within the non-perceptive absorption or as a non-percipient being reborn in such a realm. Both as a practice and a saṃsāric realm it arrests any possibility for mental development (bhāvanā).

The Pāḷi Tipiṭaka explicitly states -- in both the Suttapiṭaka and Abhidhammapiṭaka -- that the noble path and fruition cognitions must include perception (saññā). Therefore this notion of the noble paths and fruitions being devoid of perception is not the Pāḷi dhamma. It is the path of a deficient vehicle (hīnayāna) which should be avoided.

All the best,

Geoff

Gena1480
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Gena1480 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:17 am

there is two types of cessation
one is cessation of feeling and perception(meditation attainment)
and the other one cessation of delusion and ignorance (understanding of four noble truth)
can someone help with a sutta taking about non perception being
as far as i know there is only 4 immaterial state described by the Buddha.
if you guys discribing cessation of feeling and percetion as non perception being, that is incorrect
there is no base for cessation of feeling and percetion.

Nyana
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Nyana » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:49 pm

Gena1480 wrote:can someone help with a sutta taking about non perception being

This subject is mentioned in the Brahmajāla Sutta. See Ven. Bodhi's translation of The Brahmajāla Sutta and its Commentaries.

Gena1480 wrote:as far as i know there is only 4 immaterial state described by the Buddha.
if you guys discribing cessation of feeling and percetion as non perception being, that is incorrect

No, that isn't what is being described. A non-perceptive attainment (asaññasamāpatti) and a non-percipient being (asaññasatta) are not the same as any of the four formless attainments nor the cessation of perception and feeling.

Gena1480
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Gena1480 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:45 am

Nana you are right
thank you for the link
it is very good read
metta


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