I've been wondering if bhavanamaya panna (learning in heart instead of in brain?) should be obtained 1) by vipassana after entering samadhi, or 2) by directly experiencing dhammas.
1. By vipassana after entering samadhi: obtain true knowledgte with a calmed citta.
By contemplating the five aggregates and nibbana when in samadhi, as taught by the Buddha in AN 9.36 (& MN 64):
'I tell you, the ending of the effluents [after obtaining the deepest bhavanamaya panna] depends on the first jhana.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?..., there is the case where a monk... enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal, accompanied by vitaka & vicara. He regards whatever phenomena there [in the jhana] that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications [intentions], & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness:
'This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations, the relinquishing of all attachments, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana.'
If he is steady in that, he attains the destruction of the taints. But if he does not attain the destruction of the taints because of that chandaraga (desire and attachment) for the Dhamma [those states: jhanas?] then with the destruction of the five lower fetters [self-identity views, grasping at sila & observances, doubts, sensual passion, and aversion/ill will/anger] he becomes one due to reappear spontaneously [in the pure abodes], and there attain final Nibbana without ever returning from that world."
Or by contemplating the Dhamma as taught in anapanassati sutta:
1) Contemplate anicca/dukkha/anatta of the five aggregates involved in the jhana [disenchantment towards the five aggregates].
2) Contemplate dispassion and ending of craving [towards the five aggregates].
3) Contemplate cessation [of attachment to the five aggregates].
4) Contemplate relinquishing [of greed/aversion/delusion].
To me, part of such contemplations are not done through direct personal experience at the moment of contemplation. Of course we can use our past experiences for the contemplation.
2. By directly experiencing dhammas:
I was advised that aversion, for instance, can only be abandoned through repeatedly experiencing the unpleasant things (the ugly and the disgusting) and painful feelings (the bodily/mental pain) so that the heart can really know and see what aversion to them is (how the defilements work) and then let each aversion go. The same applies to greed. Each attachment/aversion is removed one by one first, then in groups, ... This method is like pruning the trees ... I was told without knowing how the defilements work we can't really let our attachments go, even though we've comprehended anatta. We should use anatta only to distant ourselves from the things we are attached to, in order to investigate them and then let them go ...
I thought we can cut the roots of greed and aversion by truly comprehending anicca/dukkha/anatta of the six sense sets/five aggregates, so we can just repeatedly contemplate anicca/dukkha/anatta of the six sense sets/five aggregates as mentioned in section 1 and apply anicca/dukkha/anatta to detach ourselves from all things and from all our feelings and let them go. However, while reading the following sutta, I've realized that the Buddha advised us to comprehend/abandon/develop/realize through direct knowledge (through personal experience, through practicing). The Buddha actually taught us how to do so (through direct knowledge) in the Satipattana sutta (DN22 and MN10): experience and contemplate body/feeling/mind states/the Dhamma (the teachings), and experience anicca in the Dhammas (their dependant origination and ceasing) using right effort. It's interesting to note that in most cases he taught us to experience anicca, but not dukkha (while anatta can hardly be experienced). Of course by seeing anicca one can also see dukkha and anatta.
I was wondering without samadhi and a calmed citta, can we really know and see things as they truly are when we experience them? Now I understand in the Satipattana sutta the Buddha appeared to teach us the methods to enter samadhi by remaining focused on body/feeling/mind states/the Dhamma, and experiencing anicca through channeled attention is quite different from trying to know/see things with bare attention.
Not knowing, not seeing the eye as it actually is present; not knowing, not seeing forms (sounds, odor, taste, tactile sensations, and mental phenomena)as it actually is present... not knowing, not seeing consciousness at the eye as it actually is present... not knowing, not seeing contact at the eye as they actually are present; not knowing, not seeing whatever arises conditioned through contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — as it actually is present [not knowing, not seeing the six sense sets/five aggregates as they truly are is avija which is the most foundamental incoming defilement], one is infatuated with the eye... forms... consciousness at the eye... contact at the eye... whatever arises conditioned by contact at the eye and is experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain.
"For him — infatuated, attached, confused, not remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future accumulation. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — grows within him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances grow. His bodily torments & mental torments grow. His bodily distresses & mental distresses grow. He is sensitive [subjects to] both to bodily stress & mental stress.
"However, knowing & seeing the eye as it actually is present , knowing & seeing forms ["foams"]... consciousness ["magic trick"] at the eye... contact at the eye as they actually are present, knowing & seeing whatever arises conditioned through contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain ["water bubble"] — as it actually is present [true knowledge: knowing and seeing the six sense sets/the 5 aggreagtes as they truly are], one is not infatuated with the eye... forms... consciousness at the eye... contact at the eye... whatever arises conditioned by contact at the eye and is experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain.
"For him — uninfatuated, unattached, unconfused, remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future diminution. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — is abandoned by him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances are abandoned. His bodily torments & mental torments are abandoned. His bodily distresses & mental distresses are abandoned. He is sensitive both to ease of body & ease of mind.
"Any view belonging to one who has come to be like this is his right view. Any resolve, his right resolve. Any effort, his right effort. Any mindfulness, his right mindfulness. Any concentration, his right concentration: just as earlier his actions, speech, & livelihood were already well-purified. Thus for him, having thus developed the noble eightfold path, the four frames of reference go to the culmination of their development. The four right exertions... the four bases of power... the five faculties... the five strengths... the seven factors for Awakening go to the culmination of their development. [And] for him these two qualities occur in tandem: tranquillity & insight.
"He comprehends through direct knowledge [experiencing] whatever qualities are to be comprehended through direct knowledge [Dukkha: the five clinging-aggregates] , abandons through direct knowledge whatever qualities are to be abandoned through direct knowledge [cause of dukkha: ignorance, craving and clinging], develops through direct knowledge whatever qualities are to be developed through direct knowledge [tranquility and insight via N8P], and realizes through direct knowledge whatever qualities [true knowledge & nibbana] are to be realized through direct knowledge.
"And what qualities are to be comprehended through direct knowledge? 'The five clinging-aggregates,' should be the reply. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate... feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. These are the qualities that are to be comprehended through direct knowledge.
"And what qualities are to be abandoned through direct knowledge? Ignorance & craving for becoming [& not becoming, and craving for sensual pleasure & views] : these are the qualities that are to be abandoned through direct knowledge.
"And what qualities are to be developed through direct knowledge? Tranquillity & insight: these are the qualities that are to be developed through direct knowledge.
"And what qualities are to be realized through direct knowledge? Clear knowing [true knowledge: knowing and seeing … as they are actually present] & release: these are the qualities that are to be realized through direct knowledge.
Well, probably better to use both approach, but when we use the 2nd method, we should first reach a calmed citta before experiencing things. Your helpful input would be most appreciated.
Metta to all,
Last edited by starter
on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.