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What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish? - Dhamma Wheel

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.
starter
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What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby starter » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:15 pm

Hello Teachers/Friends,

While contemplating the deathless:

'This is the peaceful, this is the sublime, that is, the stilling of all formations [BT: fabrications], the relinquishing of all attachments [BT: acquisitions; or substratum, endearments], the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, Nibbana [extinction].'

‘so tehi dhammehi citta.m pa.tivaapetvaa amataaya dhaatuyaa citta.m upsanharati: eta.m santan eta.m paniita.m yadhida.m sabba sankhaarasamatho suabbupddhipa.tnissaggo ta.nhakkhayo viraago nirodho nibbaana.m ti’

I wonder if "all fabrications" mean the fabrications of “self” and “liking/disliking” instead of all mental formations since it comes before "the ending of craving". I also wonder if "all acquisitions" mean our "acquisitions" of five aggregates as “I” and sense objects as “mine”?

Metta,

Starter

PS: "all fabrications" appears to mean all mental formations, since neutral feelings should also be relinquished in addition to “liking/disliking”. However, considering that many synonyms were used in the suttas for easy transmission, more likely "all fabrications" here might actually mean volitional formations / desires. "All acquisitions" probably mean all attachments and underline tendencies for such attachments.
Last edited by starter on Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Kenshou » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:10 pm

For what it's worth, I basically agree with you.

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

Postby unspoken » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:27 pm

Can you write in a more simple English? Thankyou for understanding

Metta~

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

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:06 pm

Hi Starter,

The sutta is pretty clear if you take it at face value, contorted if you try to escape its basic meaning.

If all fabrications cease for a moment, all arising and passing away (of the five aggregates) cease, self ceases, craving ceases, awareness/consciousness ceases- THIS is true stilling- the flame going out, going beyond 'death' (and life) beyond existence and non-existence, it is complete cessation with no room for doubt or rites/rituals to misinterpret- it is Nibbaana through and through. Simple and direct. Your mind may not 'leap up to it' as you see nothing good in it - but contemplations such as 'Contemplating Nibbana' (nibbanussati?) as taught to Mahanama can be helpful in making the mind more receptive to stilling, cessation, non-arising, 'cooling', putting down the burden (of the aggregates) etc.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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

Postby Kenshou » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:31 pm

I do not wish to flare up an old argument, but for the sake of being the devil's advocate I would like to note that I'm not certain that "the stilling of all fabrications" in this particular phrase necessarily represents a momentary all-around cessation of the aggregates, for this reason: The Pali, I believe, is sabbasankhāra samatho, samatha having connotations of tranquility, rather than utter cessation, to my knowledge.

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

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:32 pm


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kirk5a
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:48 pm

"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

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

Postby alan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:29 am

Don't say that!

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kirk5a
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:18 am

That sutta says:

"With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection]"

It does not say all awareness/consciousness, as Matheesha does.
"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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kirk5a
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:43 am

More on AN 4.174, Ven Thanissaro:

"With this sense of disenchantment, the processes of feeling and thought are stilled, and there is a breakthrough to the cessation of the six sense spheres. When these spheres cease, is there anything else left? Ven. Sariputta, in AN 4.174, warns us not to ask, for to ask if there is, isn't, both-is-and-isn't, neither-is-nor-isn't anything left in that dimension is to papañcize what is free from papañca. However, this dimension is not a total annihilation of experience. It's a type of experience that DN 11 calls consciousness without feature, luminous all around, where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing, where long/short, coarse/fine, fair/foul, name/form are all brought to an end. This is the fruit of the path of arahantship — a path that makes use of dualities but leads to a fruit beyond them.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.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

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

Postby Kenshou » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:29 am

No doubt it's a tricky subject, but I feel that ven Thanissaro's idea of nibbana as some kind of unconditioned consciousness separate from the 6 sense media is just as erroneous as the idea of the experience of nibbana as the cessation of experience, albeit leaning in the opposite direction.

I think that ven. Nanananda's analysis more accurately avoids either extreme, however the man has written so much that I'm not sure what to quote as a relevant passage at the moment...

Also, I believe awhile ago Tilt wrote up a post explaining how the reification of nibbana as some literal "dimension" is a result of not-so-good translation, but for the life of me I can't find that either.

Wish I could be more helpful.

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

Postby Nyana » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:29 am


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

Postby Nyana » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:35 am


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

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:09 pm

From 'The Heretic Sage' Ven Katukurunde Nananda writes (incidentally, the Fire refersto the five aggregates..):

There is a flush of Buddhist literature thriving in the West which attempts to interpret this fire simile in the light of the Vedic myth that the extinguished fire ‘goes into hiding’. Though the Buddha succeeded in convincing the Brahmin interlocutors of the depen­dently arisen nature of the fire by the reductio-ad-absurdum method, these scholars seem to be imper­vious to his arguments. What is worse, misinterpre­tations have even sought refuge in blatant mistrans­lations of sacred texts.
[…]
The term ‘extinction’ is anathema to the West in general. Perhaps as a euphemism, ‘extinguishment’ might be ‘passable’. But rather than playing with the ‘fire-simile’ it is bet ter to accept the obvious conclusions, willy nilly.[3]

Those of you who have problems with the causally arisen fire going out, I wish you a long and pleasant samsara. :jumping:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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

Postby Kenshou » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:57 pm

Your quote is inapplicable since there is no eternalism going on here as far as I can see. And though in the end, parinibbana, the khandhas cease and don't re-arise, the issue here is not parinibbana, but what happens before then.

And I could accuse you of wrong view too, but that wouldn't get us anywhere, would it.

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kirk5a
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:49 pm

"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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kirk5a
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Re: What fabrications to still? What acquisitions to relinquish?

Postby kirk5a » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:29 am

"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

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

Postby Kenshou » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:52 am

I haven't seen that bit before.

I'm not entirely sure how to react to that other than to scratch my head and go "Eh?" Since I haven't read that whole thing I guess I can't comment, such passages are really probably best taken in context. Might mean what it literally appears to mean (eternal mind thingie?), might not.

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

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:03 am


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

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:31 am

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha


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