Vipassana recreates infancy?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby Reductor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:54 pm

ricketybridge wrote:
Aha. Interesting.... So I guess it's kind of like how you can name a color, but you can't really describe, say, the sensation or experience of seeing that color?


Both I and a colour blind person would call the same piece of fabric red, but we would experience it differently. Still, we would both identify it the same way.

But can a dashing and statuesque man, or sexy voluptuous woman, be called both "beautiful" and "foul"? Yes, actually they can be called either because they are both: if you find one attractive, then for all intents and purposes they are attractive (at least to you), but present in their body is also fat, blood, shit and the like. Their bodies are not only one or the other.

However, when you look their way and think to yourself "gosh, I'd like to get me some of that" you have already affirmed their aspects of "beauty" while completely overlooking the many, many other attributes that might be called "foul". You've affirmed a half truth; and worse, you've affirmed a half truth that leads to craving and attachment.

So to abandon all language is not really the goal in itself, in so far as language can be used to express this part or that part of what is true. But language requires you to choose one interpretation over another, and if that is done blindly it is akin to walking in a dark room with over much confidence: you'll slam your shins into that gosh darn coffee table yet again.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby Kenshou » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:23 pm

It is interesting to note that we create solid objects and characteristics out of our bare experience based on how they impact us and how they are of use to us, which comes down to being a matter of how they can service our cravings. So in that way craving serves to perpetuate the delusion of permanency and satisfactoriness, as well as reinforcing the duality of an internal self-agent vs a world of external objects. Thickets of views and all that.

(Hi, thereductor :hello: )
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby Reductor » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:14 pm

Kenshou wrote:(Hi, thereductor :hello: )


Hey kenshou. I now know what its like to hold my pee for 100 days. ;-)
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:41 am

ricketybridge wrote:Aha. Interesting.... So I guess it's kind of like how you can name a color, but you can't really describe, say, the sensation or experience of seeing that color?

There are almost two aspects to that:
1. We have to acknowledge, when we really think about it, that my experience of pinkness may be quite different from yours and there is no way to tell.
2. The word 'pink' is only useful because we have agreed on its meaning, i.e. its relationship to something in the external world that we can both experience. How, then, can we develop language for experiences which have no external objects to serve as reference points for agreement?

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3139
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby daverupa » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:27 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:2. The word 'pink' is only useful because we have agreed on its meaning, i.e. its relationship to something in the external world that we can both experience. How, then, can we develop language for experiences which have no external objects to serve as reference points for agreement?


Simile, metaphor, analogy, allegory, to name a few examples. The Buddha is well-known for being a master of these linguistic tools.
    "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]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4272
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:34 am

I think you maybe confusing regression with evolution. You have to develop an ego to transcend one.


ricketybridge wrote:Hey everyone,

So I just finished reading "Mindfulness in Plain English" and found it very interesting, and I'm looking forward to practicing in that way, but it occurred to me that a couple key aspects of vipassana meditation are directed at undoing fundamental things that I believe are developed in early childhood, namely, separation between self and other and verbalization. I know this is a sort of more theoretical question than one that specifically pertains to me, or anyone else on this board, but it begs the question: if distinguishing between self and other and using words are fundamental obstacles to achieving nibbana, then would it not be advisable to attempt to inhibit a child's development between self and other (however you do that...), and to not teach them language?

I know that sounds like horrific child abuse, but just hypothetically speaking, if someone was somehow raised that way, would they not already have the mindset of an arahant, or at least a stream-entrant? Or, because it would probably be impossible to teach them morality and other related concepts, they wouldn't be even close?

Since I expect the answer will be no, they would not be like a stream-entrant or arahant, it just makes me very curious as to why we must "corrupt" our minds with language and selfhood, only to later attempt to strip them away? This is why I was wondering if it would be more efficient not to develop them in the first place. I guess because we need language and selfhood for practical reasons (e.g. being able to jump out of the way of an oncoming truck), but must be able to willingly put them on hold?

And why, for that matter, is language such a barrier to nibbana? Language isn't inherently filled with dukkha; it's just a tool, isn't it? I guess it's because language stands in the way of "pure experience", but why is "pure experience" necessary for attaining nibbana? If your answer is only "I guess you'll have to find out," since I've already mentioned it, no need to post it yourself.

I don't mean to sound like I'm asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin; to me these questions have practical ramifications and will aid my understanding and, I hope, those of others.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
User avatar
m0rl0ck
 
Posts: 1031
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:25 pm

ricketybridge wrote:Thanks everyone, that clarifies things for me a lot.

The only thing that wasn't wholly clarified, from what I could discern, was why language is such a barrier to these transcendent states of mind. I mean, I know when they do CT scans (or whatever) on people meditating, the language center of the brain shuts down, but why is that? To say that it's because those states of mind are inexplicable is a circular argument. Why is it necessary for that part of the brain to shut down to achieve ultimate happiness/satisfaction/reality, etc.? Why isn't it possible to be able to explain that state of mind, at least to the extent that we can describe anything else, even if it would mean having to create new words?

I know, this sort of falls into the category of this question doesn't even deserve to be answered because the answer (whatever it is) doesn't make attaining nibbana any easier; I'm just plain curious.

Thanks. :)
rick


A lot of verbal thought are based on defilements of craving, conceit and views. We cannot have a purified mind with these floating about generally causing us to be living in the past or the future. The present moment is free from thought (the experience of it, that is). We need to be in the present moment, to really understand reality and it's characteristics. Our thinking is based on delusion, so it's content is NOT (often) based on the characteristics. In fact they may carry assumptions of just the opposite. For example the thought 'that's a nice....' carries with it the asssumtion of satisfactoriness and perhaps permanency, where in reality, it is impermanent and therefore unsatisfactory.

Hope that makes sense,

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby ricketybridge » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:33 pm

rowyourboat wrote:A lot of verbal thought are based on defilements of craving, conceit and views. We cannot have a purified mind with these floating about generally causing us to be living in the past or the future. The present moment is free from thought (the experience of it, that is). We need to be in the present moment, to really understand reality and it's characteristics. Our thinking is based on delusion, so it's content is NOT (often) based on the characteristics. In fact they may carry assumptions of just the opposite.


That makes sense--in terms of impure thoughts, but what about thoughts and words that are completely in line with the dhamma? I'm just saying, theoretically, why couldn't one be thinking about, say, whatever they're experiencing at the moment of attaining enlightenment? I'm asking because I'm a very verbal person, and so the annihilation of verbalization is particularly difficult for me. This is not to say that I'm trying to find a loophole; it's just that this proclivity/barrier of mine induces my curiosity towards this arena and makes it hard for me to understand.

rowyourboat wrote:For example the thought 'that's a nice....' carries with it the asssumtion of satisfactoriness and perhaps permanency, where in reality, it is impermanent and therefore unsatisfactory.


LOL that's true. :)
ricketybridge
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:15 am

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:10 pm

ricketybridge wrote:so the annihilation of verbalization is particularly difficult for me.
There is no annihilation of verbalization. That is not what the practice is about. The use of conceptual structures has its place in one's life and in one's practice. It is not annihilated. What is annihilated is the assumption that concepts have a neo-platonic type reality behind them. This is acheived by seeing the interdependent nature reality, including concepts.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19787
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby Freawaru » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:12 am

Hi Rick,

ricketybridge wrote:
I'm asking because I'm a very verbal person, and so the annihilation of verbalization is particularly difficult for me. This is not to say that I'm trying to find a loophole; it's just that this proclivity/barrier of mine induces my curiosity towards this arena and makes it hard for me to understand.



You can use verbalisation as a starting point for mindfulness meditation. Sit down and try to observe how the thoughts arise and fall. Don't try to hinder or influence them and don't pay attention to the content. Just pay attention to the moment you become aware of a thought arising. How one thought is followed by the next. Before each thought in a language arises it's content is already present without a language... If these processes are too fast at the beginning you can try to think in a different language and observe this process - it is usually a bit slower than thinking in our first language. Or you can try to use deliberate thoughts, many use counting for example, pay attention to the arising of the thought "one" and how it is followed by "two" and so on.
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:12 pm

Hi Rick,

When you are thinking, the mind is scattered. When the mind is scattered there is no samadhi (concentration). When there is no samadhi, there can be no insight (panna).

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:32 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Rick,

When you are thinking, the mind is scattered. When the mind is scattered there is no samadhi (concentration). When there is no samadhi, there can be no insight (panna).

With metta

Matheesha
Yes, and in that, verbalization is not "annihilated."
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19787
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 01, 2011 10:27 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Hi Rick,

When you are thinking, the mind is scattered. When the mind is scattered there is no samadhi (concentration). When there is no samadhi, there can be no insight (panna).

With metta

Matheesha
Yes, and in that, verbalization is not "annihilated."


Indeed.

Some verbalisation may even be helpful if used 'skillfully' -the counting of the breath in samatha and noting (again really in samadhi practice), in 'vipassana'.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Vipassana recreates infancy?

Postby ricketybridge » Tue May 03, 2011 11:52 pm

ok cool, thanks all.
ricketybridge
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:15 am

Previous

Return to Insight Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests