Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:37 am

Nana Wrote :

Without sufficient common ground for discussion there isn't much possibility of meaningful dialogue


Agree, lets stop this discussion on this note.

Metta

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby kirk5a » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:49 pm

parth wrote: So why do this.

Why define anything? Not so we can have a gilded definition to worship. So it can be found, that's why.
"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 Sambodhi in Oz » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:10 pm

Trying to define can help find it ? this one really makes me laugh. No offences meant though :jumping:

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:56 pm

Yeah, that silly Gotama, going to such lengths to explain nibbana to us, what a waste of time that was!
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby kirk5a » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:48 pm

parth wrote:Trying to define can help find it ? this one really makes me laugh. No offences meant though :jumping:

Metta

Parth

What is your explanation for the Buddha telling us the Third Noble Truth?

It wasn't for comic relief.
"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 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:04 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:the unconditioned can't be defined


parth wrote:the unconditioned can't be defined


It's the reification of "The Unconditioned" which leads to these appeals of ineffability. But this has been discussed previously at length.

All the best,

Geoff


Hardly Geoff,

Your stance of defining nibbana in terms of simply saying it is the absence of lobha, dosa, moha and denying anything beyond, unwittingly assumes the non-existence of an unconditioned...and with that, the (non) experience of the unconditioned which this thread is about. But that kind of definition is, ofcourse, good enough in terms of personal practice. Better to say there is something unconditioned, which is not definable in terms of existing or not existing and leave it at that.

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:22 am

rowyourboat wrote:Your stance of defining nibbana in terms of simply saying it is the absence of lobha, dosa, moha and denying anything beyond, unwittingly assumes the non-existence of an unconditioned...and with that, the (non) experience of the unconditioned which this thread is about. But that kind of definition is, ofcourse, good enough in terms of personal practice. Better to say there is something unconditioned, which is not definable in terms of existing or not existing and leave it at that.
An "unconditioned" what? And where is it and, if there where no ariya, would there still be an "unconditioned?"
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.

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:08 am

rowyourboat wrote:unwittingly assumes the non-existence of an unconditioned

Not really. Just a different idea of what exactly "unconditioned" means. It may imply non-existence when viewed in your terms, but not on it's own terms, due to underlying fundamental differences about how this all works.
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Nyana » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:57 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Your stance of defining nibbana in terms of simply saying it is the absence of lobha, dosa, moha and denying anything beyond,

I don't have a "stance." I follow the dhamma expounded in the canon. SN 43 Asaṅkhata Saṃyutta (1-44 combined & abridged):

    And what, monks, is the not-fabricated (asaṅkhata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated.

    And what, monks, is the not-inclined (anata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-inclined.

    And what, monks, is the outflowless (anāsava)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the outflowless.

    And what, monks, is the truth (sacca)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the truth.

    And what, monks, is the farther shore (pāra)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the farther shore.

    And what, monks, is the subtle (nipuṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the subtle.

    And what, monks, is the very hard to see (sududdasa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the very hard to see.

    And what, monks, is the unaging (ajajjara)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unaging.

    And what, monks, is the stable (dhuva)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the stable.

    And what, monks, is the undisintegrating (apalokita)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the undisintegrating.

    And what, monks, is the non-indicative (anidassana)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the non-indicative.

    And what, monks, is the unproliferated (nippapañca)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unproliferated.

    And what, monks, is the peaceful (santa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the peaceful.

    And what, monks, is the death-free (amata)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the death-free.

    And what, monks, is the sublime (paṇīta)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the sublime.

    And what, monks, is the auspicious (siva)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the auspicious.

    And what, monks, is the secure (khema)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the secure.

    And what, monks, is the elimination of craving (taṇhākkhaya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the elimination of craving.

    And what, monks, is the wonderful (acchariya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the wonderful.

    And what, monks, is the amazing (abbhuta)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the amazing.

    And what, monks, is the calamity-free (anītika)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the calamity-free.

    And what, monks, is the dhamma free of calamity (anītikadhamma)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the dhamma free of calamity.

    And what, monks, is extinguishment (nibbāna)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called extinguishment.

    And what, monks, is the unafflicted (abyāpajjha)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unafflicted.

    And what, monks, is dispassion (virāga)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called dispassion.

    And what, monks, is purity (suddhi)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called purity.

    And what, monks, is freedom (mutti)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called freedom.

    And what, monks, is the unadhesive (anālaya)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the unadhesive.

    And what, monks, is the island (dīpa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the island.

    And what, monks, is the cave (leṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the cave.

    And what, monks, is the shelter (tāṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the shelter.

    And what, monks, is the refuge (saraṇa)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the refuge.

    And what, monks, is the destination (parāyana)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the destination.

The Abhidhamma Vibhaṅga 184:

    What, there, is the not-fabricated component (asaṅkhatā dhātu)? The elimination of passion, the elimination of aggression, the elimination of delusion: this is called the not-fabricated component.

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.

rowyourboat wrote:the (non) experience of the unconditioned which this thread is about.

The gnosis of the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion is known. It's called the gnosis of nibbāna (nibbāna ñāṇa), the gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa), the gnosis and vision of liberation (vimuttiñāṇadassana), and so on.

All the best,

Geoff
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:02 pm

Dear Matheesha,

It is useless to try and explain, even though our friends themselves undermine their stand and prove why what should remain undefined. somebody says it is a figurative concept, somebody says defining it brings them closer to achieving it, somebody further questions; still not realising, all this is utterly useless/ futile.

Metta to all

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:25 pm

parth wrote:Dear Matheesha,

It is useless to try and explain, even though our friends themselves undermine their stand and prove why what should remain undefined. somebody says it is a figurative concept, somebody says defining it brings them closer to achieving it, somebody further questions; still not realising, all this is utterly useless/ futile.
Not that you have shown.
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: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:20 pm

still not realising, all this is utterly useless/ futile
Funny how the Buddha himself appeared to engage in these things that you consider so futile. You seem to want to ignore what the Buddhist canon actually says.

I'm fairly open about what can be useful practice, but the attitude being presented here turns a very nice dhamma into kind of a wet noodle. It turns the core of the dhamma into something akin to Sanjaya's eel-wriggling.
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:37 am

Kenshow Wrote :

Funny how the Buddha himself appeared to engage in these things that you consider so futile. You seem to want to ignore what the Buddhist canon actually says.

I'm fairly open about what can be useful practice, but the attitude being presented here turns a very nice dhamma into kind of a wet noodle. It turns the core of the dhamma into something akin to Sanjaya's eel-wriggling.


Friends, What is explained in suttas are only certain aspects of nibanna (again this may be incorrect to state so) not the actual experience, which for all the debate above cannot be explained and put in words. To try and explain nibbana 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).

Metta

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:08 am

parth wrote:Kenshow Wrote :

Funny how the Buddha himself appeared to engage in these things that you consider so futile. You seem to want to ignore what the Buddhist canon actually says.

I'm fairly open about what can be useful practice, but the attitude being presented here turns a very nice dhamma into kind of a wet noodle. It turns the core of the dhamma into something akin to Sanjaya's eel-wriggling.


Friends, What is explained in suttas are only certain aspects of nibanna (again this may be incorrect to state so) not the actual experience, which for all the debate above cannot be explained and put in words. To try and explain nibbana 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).

Metta

Parth
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.
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: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:44 am

parth wrote:Friends, What is explained in suttas are only certain aspects of nibanna (again this may be incorrect to state so) not the actual experience, which for all the debate above cannot be explained and put in words.

No, you're continuing to avoid straightforwardly acknowledging the plain meaning of the sutta quotations you've been shown.

Also, if these "unexplainable aspects" of yours aren't traceable to the suttas, what reason is there to think they have anything to do with Buddhism? It seems to me they are an assumption on your part.
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:50 am

Tilt 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.

Metta

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:53 am

Dear Kenshou,

Leave the 'ism' follow the practise.

Metta

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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:56 am

That comment doesn't address the subject at hand at all.
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby Kenshou » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:06 am

To continue the chocolate metaphor:

It's true the words cannot perfectly capture and communicate the taste of chocolate to another person. They can also not perfectly capture and communicate the experience of nibbana. Or any other experience, because language is imperfect.

But words can still communicate and describe the taste of chocolate. Not perfectly, but they can do it. Words can also communicate and describe nibbana. Not perfectly, but that doesn't make those words wrong.

In fact those words can be quite useful to us, and should not be ignored. An imperfect description is not a useless description, that is my point. If it were true that all explanations of nibbana are wrong, the suttas would be a whole lot shorter.
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Re: Pitch-black emptiness and Mahasi Sayadaw technique

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:53 am

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

"'All phenomena have Unbinding as their final end.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Yours alone is the eye, Evil One. Yours are forms, yours is the sphere of consciousness of contact at the eye. Where no eye exists, no forms exist, no sphere of consciousness & contact at the eye exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go. Yours alone is the ear... the nose... the tongue... the body... Yours alone is the intellect, Evil One. Yours are ideas, yours is the sphere of consciousness & contact at the intellect. Where no intellect exists, no ideas exist, no sphere of consciousness of contact at the intellect exists: there, Evil One, you cannot go."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#nibbana

Ven. Sariputta was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Feeding Sanctuary. There he said to the monks, "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?"

"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"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."

— Ud 8.1

"There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned."

— Ud 8.3

There's no fire like passion,
no loss like anger,
no pain like the aggregates,
no ease other than peace.

Hunger: the foremost illness.
Fabrications: the foremost pain.
For one knowing this truth
as it actually is,
Unbinding
is the foremost ease.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-202

Where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing:
There the stars do not shine,
the sun is not visible,
the moon does not appear,
darkness is not found.
And when a sage,
a brahman through sagacity,
has known [this] for himself,
then from form & formless,
from bliss & pain,
he is freed.
— Ud 1.10

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... bbana.html

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...

"Now from the remainderless fading & cessation of that very ignorance comes the cessation of fabrications. From the cessation of fabrications comes the cessation of consciousness. From the cessation of consciousness comes the cessation of name-&-form. From the cessation of name-&-form comes the cessation of the six sense media. From the cessation of the six sense media comes the cessation of contact. From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of feeling. From the cessation of feeling comes the cessation of craving. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of clinging/sustenance. From the cessation of clinging/sustenance comes the cessation of becoming. From the cessation of becoming comes the cessation of birth. From the cessation of birth, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Such is the cessation of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

"This is the noble method that he (the steam entrant) has rightly seen & rightly ferreted out through discernment.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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. 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.

:anjali:

with metta

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With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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