Phassa (contact)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:09 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:I think you are slowly coming to understand the position that I have been putting forward in the recent week (especially in light of the turtle comment and the acknowledge of science as realist)... what you are yet to see is why I consider it to be an important distinction.

The relationship of science to reality is something that philosophers of science have argued about for centuries, and there's certainly no consensus that science is investigating "reality". In practise it is largely irrelevant, since what scientists actually do is stuff like making measurements and building computer models. Just observing and analysing phenomena. Of course it's an interesting question, and I'm co-supervising (with a philosopher) a student working on some aspects of this question, but it's rather peripheral to how science actually works.

Similarly, as you know, I don't find the labelling of particular Buddhist commentators as "realist" or "ontological" as having any particular relevance to practise. Perhaps someone will be able to provide and example sometime, but after many long threads I've yet to see any explanation of what difference it would make to, for example, the practice instructions of modern meditation teachers.

As with science, I think that it is a totally open question whether the Abhidhamma, etc have to be interpreted in a realistic way. To me it's just a description of phenomena. Of course, it's an interesting scholastic question, so there's no reason not to think about and discuss it, but I certainly don't take the word of any particular scholar as definitive. Some argue one way, some another. Some members are fond of bringing up quotes arguing that the Abhidhamma and Commentaries are necessarily realistic.
Tilt's collection of quotes here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 99#p111695 provide examples of schoars arguing against a realistic interpretation. As is usual in such scholarly discourse, agreement is unlikely.

So, go ahead and label if you think its' useful to you. But don't expect others to necessarily to take those labels seriously as a way of dismissing the usefulness of the instructions or writings of any particular teacher or scholar.

:anjali:
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby pulga » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:15 pm

To the extent that Ven. Ñanavira's ideas have been brought up, here are exerpts from a couple of his letters that might help in understanding his take on epistemology and whether or not things exist apart from us.

Letter 145:

Of course, since knowledge is very commonly (Heidegger adds 'and superficially') defined in terms of 'a relation between subject and object', the question of the subject cannot simply be brushed aside -- no smoke without fire -- and we have to see (at least briefly) why it is so defined. Both Heidegger and Sartre follow Kant in saying that, properly speaking, there is no knowledge other than intuitive; and I agree. But what is intuition? From a puthujjana's point of view, it can be described as immediate contact between subject and object, between 'self' and the 'world' (for how this comes about, I must refer you to PHASSA). This, however, is not yet knowledge, for which a reflexive reduplication is needed; but when there is this reflexive reduplication we then have intuitive knowledge, which is (still for the puthujjana) immediate contact between knowing subject and known object. With the arahat, however, all question of subjectivity has subsided, and we are left simply with (the presence of) the known thing. (It is present, but no longer present 'to somebody'.) So much for judgement in general.

Letter 137:

The ordinary person (the puthujjana or 'commoner') thinks, 'I feel; I perceive; I determine; I cognize', and he takes this 'I' to refer to some kind of timeless and changeless ego or 'self'. But the arahat has completely got rid of the ego-illusion (the conceit or concept 'I am'), and, when he reflects, thinks quite simply, 'Feeling feels; perception perceives; determinations determine; consciousness cognizes'. Perhaps this may help you to see how it is that when desire (craving) ceases altogether 'the various things just stand there in the world'. Obviously they cannot 'just stand there in the world' unless they are felt, perceived, determined and cognized (Berkeley's esse est percipi[2] is, in principle, quite correct); but for the living arahat the question 'Who feels, perceives, determines, cognizes, the various things?' no longer arises -- the various things are felt by feeling, perceived by perception, determined by determinations, and cognized by consciousness; in other words, they are 'there in the world' autonomously (actually they always were, but the puthujjana does not see this since he takes himself for granted). With the breaking up of the arahat's body (his death) all this ceases. (For other people, of course, these things continue unless and until they in their turn, having become arahats, arrive at the end of their final existence.)

Ven. Ñanavira described his approach to the Dhamma as "vertical" as opposed to "horizontal" or linear, i.e. it is based on immediacy and its relation to reflection. And since the immediate world is given (granted from a particular point of view, i.e. as "shaped" in a particular way) before reflexion, it stands autonomously whether we reflect upon it or not. To hold to a linear epistemology without recognizing its derivitive nature distorts how we actually experience the world (it lends itself to a belief in an outside world apart from our senses, failing to recognize that phassa occurs at the immediate level).
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:39 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
So, arahants don't talk using conventional speech?

Did I say they didn't? No, I did not.
What you said: "Isn't it an assumption though on your part that they would indeed say "that is a tree" in the first place? Following their respective set of instructions received, would either Bahiya or Kaccayanagotta say that? If not during their training, then why so after? Measuring the measureless with puthujjana frames of reference is risky business." These two statements of yours taken together are a bit confused.

And why would we assume that?

I don't see the need to assume anything in relation to the arahant other than that nirodha has occurred.
But you are assuming things all over the place about the nature of the arahant, about what does and does not apply to the arahant.

One can be quite mindful of the thought "It is a tree" without investing in it beyond the fact that it is a thought arising from the sensory input of the eyes, which is really the point of the practice instructions to Bahiya and to Malunkyaputta, a text where the Buddha expands upon the instructions given to Bahiya (see the verses):

... and that's fine.
Of course it is fine; it clearly makes my point. Good to see agreement.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:49 pm

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:But you are assuming things all over the place about the nature of the arahant, about what does and does not apply to the arahant.

If accepting the dependent cessation sequence constitutes "assuming", then yes I am "assuming"... but that is simply accepting the Buddha's teaching as per the suttas.

The Buddha tells us what ceases. I did not cast a set of hypotheses and make it up myself. I'm accepting the dependent cessation sequences, as is, in the structural relationship/sequence in which it is defined.

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
So, arahants don't talk using conventional speech?

Did I say they didn't? No, I did not.
What you said: "Isn't it an assumption though on your part that they would indeed say "that is a tree" in the first place? Following their respective set of instructions received, would either Bahiya or Kaccayanagotta say that? If not during their training, then why so after? Measuring the measureless with puthujjana frames of reference is risky business." These two statements of yours taken together are a bit confused.

Not really... I'm just challenging the basis of your assumption regarding the arahant. I did not cast any hypothesis regarding the arahant, only asking the basis upon which you justify yours.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:22 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:But you are assuming things all over the place about the nature of the arahant, about what does and does not apply to the arahant.

If accepting the dependent cessation sequence constitutes "assuming", then yes I am "assuming"... but that is simply accepting the Buddha's teaching as per the suttas.
The problem is that Malunkyaputta Sutta points a different reading than what you are giving of the shorter Bahiya Sutta.


Not really... I'm just challenging the basis of your assumption regarding the arahant. I did not cast any hypothesis regarding the arahant. only asking the basis upon which you justify yours.
It certainly was less than clear.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:00 am

mikenz66 wrote:Similarly, as you know, I don't find the labelling of particular Buddhist commentators as "realist" or "ontological" as having any particular relevance to practise. Perhaps someone will be able to provide and example sometime, but after many long threads I've yet to see any explanation of what difference it would make to, for example, the practice instructions of modern meditation teachers.



Sadhu to that! It's that old strawman that occassionally creeps into these discussions.

I've far less of a problem with the "ontological" label, as ontological is far more neutral than either "Realist" or "Idealist". It's is simply an enquiry, which may or may not lead one to Realism or Materialism or whatever "-Ism" floats out there. For Plato to have become an "Essentialist", he first had to be an ontologist to embark on that search for his theory of Forms.

For me, an "ontologist" is one who wonders, while a "Realist" is one who has made up his mind. And that seems to be a major source of problem - when an ontologist makes up his mind and elects for an "-ism", clinging to views (ditthupadana)starts and that gives rise to DO's nidana of upadana-bhava. No need to even wait for the cosmological next-life effect to manifest - ditthupadana's immediate present life psychological effect is idamsaccabhinivesa gantha.

But even the one who just wonders without a firm position, such as the cosmologist in SN 12.48, did not find his method endorsed by the Buddha...
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:13 am

Greetings Sylvester,

I agree with your reasoning on the preferability of the word "ontological" in this sense.

Ontology doesn't mean a decision has been made about existence or non-existence, only that one is investigating and enquiring with respect to that particular framework.

It's a framework with no relevance to dukkha and nirodha, and is merely a cause for papanca.

Questions of "soul" and "no soul", prevalent in Theravada, are also ontological frameworks.... the Buddha's Dhamma says only that all phenomena experienced are not-self. That is sufficient - anything more is speculative, unverifiable, outside loka and not connected with the goal.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:It's a framework with no relevance to dukkha and nirodha, and is merely a cause for papanca.

:twothumbsup:
    "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: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:50 am

Greetings,

An in relation to phassa and papanca...

MN 18: Madhupindika Sutta wrote:Now, when there is the eye, when there are forms, when there is eye-consciousness, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is a delineation of contact, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling. When there is a delineation of feeling, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of perception. When there is a delineation of perception, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of thinking. When there is a delineation of thinking, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of being assailed by the perceptions & categories of objectification.

.... (so on with the other senses)

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

The wording "delineate a delineation" is important too, and shouldn't be glossed over on account of it sounding ungainly - it highlights how phassa is sankhata (i.e. involves an active/participatory process of formulation)

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby pulga » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:11 am

retrofuturist wrote:It's a framework with no relevance to dukkha and nirodha, and is merely a cause for papanca.


You're no fun. I came across this note by Ven. Saddhajiva:


ontology … Perhaps it is worth noting here by references some of the most important material in the Suttas, so that anyone interested can collect it as a nucleus for study. Some of the basic material for such a study is provided by M.3 Suttas 38 and 49 (the latter ought to be studied in the Burmese ed. since there are several important mistakes (see below) in the otherwise very reliable P.T.S. Text), dealing as they do with the structure of being and with an inevitable and interdependent mutually-supporting relationship of being to consciousness. The principal effective words there are bhūta (M.i.260), sambhava (M.i.260 and 261), ananubhūta (M.i.329), pabhava (M.i.261), pahoti (M.i.329—read nāppahosiṃ with Burmese ed. for P.T.S. nāhosi), pahaṃ (or pabhaṃ M.i.329 and D.i.223—almost certainly a contracted present participle of pahoti = pabhavati, see hint in one exegesis at MA.ii.413. The verse viññānaṃ anidassanaṃ anantaṃ sabbatopahaṃ (sabbatopabhaṃ) is spoken by the Buddha in M. Sutta 49 and not by Baka Brahmā as appears in the P.T.S. text, and sabbato’pahaṃ probably represents sabbato apahaṃ (= sabbato apabhavaṃ) and connects up with the sabbato nāppahosiṃ a few lines above in M. Sutta 49), bhava (M.i.261, etc., 330; iii.250), vibhava (M.i.330; iii.250; Iti.43), etc. etc. are also relevant.

If I recall in the footnotes to his Life of the Buddha Ven. Ñanamoli was also intrigued by the ontological nature of the Brahmanimantanika Sutta.

It seems to me that the tini sankhatassa sankhatalakkhanani reflect the relative existence of things (I'm using "things" in a loaded sort of way as particular lived experiences (Erlebnis) since a thing-in-itself is a pure abstraction divorced from experience.) I don't think it is enough to be agnostic about whether things exist or do not exist, nor do I think it is enough to ignore the relevance of sankharas within the Buddha's Teaching. We have to understand how things exist -- i.e. how they exist relatively in accordance with the sankhatalakkhanani -- in order to understand just what our experience of a self actually is and why it is contradictory to the nature of experience.
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:29 am

Greetings pulga,

pulga wrote:You're no fun.

In many regards, this is so.

pulga wrote:I came across this note by Ven. Saddhajiva...

What would need to be determined is whether the words referenced have connotation of (capital E) "Existence".

For example, I would argue that bhava (translated as becoming, and sometimes dubiously as 'existence') and vibhava (non-becoming) do not have such connotations. Nor for that matter does any sankhata dhamma, by the very nature of their formation being conditional upon avijja.

pulga wrote:We have to understand how things exist -- i.e. how they exist relatively in accordance with the sankhatalakkhanani -- in order to understand just what our experience of a self actually is and why it is contradictory to the nature of experience.

Agreed - sankhata (formed) dhamma (pheonmenon), rooted in avijja (ignorance) - i.e. samsaric 'existence'

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:An in relation to phassa and papanca...

MN 18: Madhupindika Sutta wrote:Now, when there is the eye, when there are forms, when there is eye-consciousness, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of contact. When there is a delineation of contact, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of feeling. When there is a delineation of feeling, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of perception. When there is a delineation of perception, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of thinking. When there is a delineation of thinking, it is possible that one will delineate a delineation of being assailed by the perceptions & categories of objectification.

.... (so on with the other senses)

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

The wording "delineate a delineation" is important too, and shouldn't be glossed over on account of it sounding ungainly - it highlights how phassa is sankhata (i.e. involves an active/participatory process of formulation)

I find Ven Thanissaro's translation rather hard to follow. Bhikkhu Bodhi has:
17. When there is the eye, a form, and eye-conciousness, it is possible to point out the manifestation of contact [233]. When there is the manifestation of contact, it is possible to point out the manifestation of feeling, ... perception ... thinking ... When there is the manifestation of thinking it is possible to point out the manifestation of besetment by perceptions and notions [born of] mental prolifieration.

[233] The Pali idiom phassapannattim pannapessati, in which the verb takes an object derived from itself, is difficult. Nanamoli originally rendered "that one will describe a description of contact". "To point out a manifestation" is less literal, but it should do justice to the meaning without jeopardising intelligability. MA says that this passage is intended to show the entire round of exisitence (vatta) by way of the twelve sense bases. Paragraph 18
["When there is no eye, no form, and no eye-conciousness is it impossible to point out the manifestation of contact..."]
shows the cessation of the round (vivatta) by the negation of the twelve sense bases.

However, your point that:
"... it highlights how phassa is sankhata (i.e. involves an active/participatory process of formulation)"
seems relevant.

:anjali:
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:06 am

Greetings Mike,

I agree that Bhikkhu Bodhi certainly provides the most "readable" translations, and for the most part explains the basis upon which he makes his translations quite well, though I'm not convinced he did "justice to the meaning without jeopardising intelligability" when changing Nanamoli's earlier translation. At least he acknowledged the more literal translation via his footnotes.

:reading:

It's always worth looking at his and venerable Thanissaro's translations side-by-side, as they both often have something worthwhile to bring to the table.... so thanks for sharing.

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:18 am

Hi Retro, Others,

A reminder that the DN and MN Wisdom Publications, and a little of SN (it's in process) are available at http://www.palicanon.org/
You have to sign up to read them, and you can't download or search, only read online. But if you don't have the printed copy at hand, it's really useful.

:anjali:
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby pulga » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:23 am

Hello retrofuturist,

retrofuturist wrote: For example, I would argue that bhava (translated as becoming, and sometimes dubiously as 'existence') and vibhava (non-becoming) do not have such connotations. Nor for that matter does any sankhata dhamma, by the very nature of their formation being due to avijja.


I prefer "being' as a translation for "bhava": it better captures our sense of presence that seems to transcend the manifest change around us, but note Ven. Ñanavira's "o precedes x first, and then x precedes o". As for sankhata dhammá I don't think all are due to ignorance, after all the arahant's experience is still constituted by the pancakkhandhá which include sankhará. His experience is still sankhata, but of course he's rid himself the sankhara that determines his subjectivity, i.e. things still are (in a relative sense, given the nature of change) but he is no longer in the equation.

retrofuturist wrote: Agreed - sankhata (formed), rooted in avijja (ignorance).


I don't think sankhará in and of themselves are rooted in avijja. Asmimána is rooted in avijja and as a sankhara it manifests itself in subjectivity, but the tini sankhatassa sankhatalakkhanani apply to both puthujjana and arahant alike. I realize that nibbána is defined as asankhata in the suttas, but sankhara is used so broadly throughout the canon that it is difficult to always determine just what is meant by it. I'm inclined to think that it is the absence of a particularly notorious sankhara, i.e. asmimána. (If not, one would have to reconcile how an arahant gets by with only four khandhas.)
Last edited by pulga on Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:25 am

Greetings pulga,

pulga wrote:I realize that nibbána is defined as asankhata in the suttas, but sankhara is used so broadly throughout the canon that it is difficult to always determine just what is meant by it.

I would suggest that sankhata (the formed) is the opposite of asankhata (the unformed).

To wit, here's a reasonably exhaustive and forumlaic list of ways in which asankhata (unformed, not sankhara) can be achieved, and what alternative representations exist for asankhata... take the opposite of these things and aspects of what constitutes being sankhata may come to mind. Phassa being sankhata, of course.

SN 42.2.1 - http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pit ... ggo-e.html

Monks, I will tell the uncompounded and the path to the uncompounded, listen carefully.
Monks, what is the uncompounded? Monks, that destruction of greed, hate and delusion is called the uncompounded.
Monks, what is the path to the uncompounded? Monks, calm* is the path to the uncompounded**.
Monks I have told you the uncompounded and the path to the uncompounded.
Monks, I have done what should be done by the Teacher, out of compassion and love for his disciples.
Monks, there are roots of trees, there are empty houses, concentrate, do not be negligent and repent later. This is our advice to you.


* - Throughout the vagga, the word "calm" is replaced in subsequent suttas by...

- insight
- concentration accompanied by reasoning and investigation
- concentration without thoughts and a little investigation
- concentration without thoughts and investigations
- concentration on emptiness
- concentrating without a sign
- concentrating in the aimless
- mindful and aware of the body in the body, to burn covetousness and displeasure in the world
- mindful and aware of feelings in feelings to burn covetousness and displeasure in the world
- mindful and aware of mental states in the mind to burn covetousness and displeasure in the world
- mindful and aware of thoughts in the Teaching to burn covetousness and displeasure in the world
- arouses interest, endeavors strives and stretches forth his mind to stop the arising of non-arisen demerit
- arouses interest, endeavors strives and stretches forth his mind to dispel arisen demerit
- arouses interest, endeavors strives and stretches forth his mind to arouse non-arisen merit
- arouses interest, endeavors strives and stretches forth his mind for the non-confused duration, for the development and completion of arisen merit
- develops psychic power, endowed with interested concentration striving and with determination
- develops psychic power, endowed with energetic concentration striving and with determination
- develops psychic power, endowed with mental concentration striving and with determination
- develops psychic power, endowed with investigating concentration striving and with determination
- develops the mental faculty of faith, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the mental faculty of energy, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the mental faculty of mindfulness, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the mental faculty of concentration, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the mental faculty of wisdom, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the power of faith, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the power of energy, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the power of mindfulness, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the power of concentration, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the power of wisdom, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the enlightenment factor mindfulness, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops the enlightenment factor investigating the Teaching  energy  joy  composure  concentration  equanimity secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops right view, secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up
- develops right thoughts  right speech  right action  right livelihood  right effort  right mindfulness  right concentration secluded, dispassionate, intent on ceasing and maturing and surrendering to give up

** - "the uncompounded" is replaced also as...

- the end
- the outflows
- the truth
- the beyond
- accomplishment
- the difficult to see
- non-decay
- the permanent (though personally I'd like to see the Pali word to see if I agree with this one)
- non-destruction
- the lack of a sign
- the lack of worldliness
- the appeasement
- the deathless
- the exalted
- the auspicious
- the peaceful
- the destruction of craving
- the not-born
- the wonderful
- no harm
- the teaching of non-harm
- extinction
- freedom from suffering
- the destruction of passion
- purity
- emancipation
- non-settlement
- reach the light
- shelter
- the peace offered by the teaching
- the refuge
- the beyond

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)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:I find Ven Thanissaro's translation rather hard to follow. Bhikkhu Bodhi has:
17. When there is the eye, a form, and eye-conciousness, it is possible to point out the manifestation of contact [233]. When there is the manifestation of contact, it is possible to point out the manifestation of feeling, ... perception ... thinking ... When there is the manifestation of thinking it is possible to point out the manifestation of besetment by perceptions and notions [born of] mental prolifieration.

[233] The Pali idiom phassapannattim pannapessati, in which the verb takes an object derived from itself, is difficult. Nanamoli originally rendered "that one will describe a description of contact". "To point out a manifestation" is less literal, but it should do justice to the meaning without jeopardising intelligability. MA says that this passage is intended to show the entire round of exisitence (vatta) by way of the twelve sense bases. Paragraph 18
["When there is no eye, no form, and no eye-conciousness is it impossible to point out the manifestation of contact..."]
shows the cessation of the round (vivatta) by the negation of the twelve sense bases.



I too prefer BB's translation. The verb paññapessatī also occurs in DN 24 in the Buddha's admonitions to Sunakkhatta, who grumbled that the Buddha does not paññapessatī the beginning of things (ie a Genesis). I think the context there indicates that paññapessatī means "reveal" (as translated by Rhys Davids) or simply "show". Maybe Ven Nanamoli's "describe" should have been left alone.

But there might be some merit in Ven T's translation as "delineation" if he was trying to establish some connection between papanca as spin doctoring with just bare phenemena.
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:40 am

pulga wrote: I'm inclined to think that it is the absence of a particularly notorious sankhara, i.e. asmimána. (If not, one would have to reconcile how an arahant gets by with only four khandas.)


Mahavedalla Sutta (MN 43):
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

Sankhara, it seems, can be disjoined from the other three and a difference delineated. Perhaps it renders an interesting understanding of sabba-saṅkhāra-nirodha?
    "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: Phassa (contact)

Postby Sylvester » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:37 am

I think MN 43's position is understandable in light of the passage in the Sammanamandika Sutta MN 78 which states that unwholesome sankappas cease without remainder in 1st Jhana, and wholesome sankappas cease without remainder in 2nd Jhana.

Against that, MN 111 preserves cetana as a dhamma that persists all the way to the Attainment of Nothingness.

2 voices in the Canon?
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Re: Phassa (contact)

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:38 pm

Does this say anything about how 'clods of earth' are regarded?

The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form.

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


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