The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:11 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

What is explained in brief in the earlier sutta quotes is explained in detail at...

MN 148: Chachakka Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The whole sutta is relevant (I guess that goes without saying), but if you want to get to the section specific to your question, scroll down to the part that says "Now, this is the path of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification."


"Now, this is the path of practice leading to the cessation of self-identification. One assumes about the eye that 'This is not me, this is not my self, this is not what I am.
'One assumes? Sometimes I really do not like Ven T's translations at all. Ven B: "One regards the eye thus: 'This is not mine....""

But the question I have is the actual process for how one is to "Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications," how one is to maintain "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' In opther words, how does one actually "regard the eye thus." The perception of anicca is the foundation to the practice.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:54 pm

Greetings Tilt,

As for "remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications", I would suggest one achieves this by remaining focused on inconstancy in all fabrications. As far a direction goes on what to do, I do not see any need for anything separate, assuming one knows already how the Buddha explains anicca and sankhara - there is no deficiency in the sutta instruction.

In terms of how successful one actually is in maintaining this perception at any particular point in time, I expect that depends on the strength of the seven factors of enlightenment.

1. Mindfulness (sati)
2. Investigation (dhamma vicaya)
3. Energy (viriya)
4. Joy or rapture (pīti)
5. Relaxation or tranquility (passaddhi)
6. State of total equilibrium of the detached intellect (samādhi)
7. Equanimity (upekkha)

And in keeping with the spirit of sharing relevant instruction from the Sutta Pitaka...

SN 46.16: Gilana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html

The Blessed One said: "O Cunda, let the factors of enlightenment occur to your mind."

"These seven factors of enlightenment, bhante (Ven. Sir), are well expounded and are cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana. What are the seven?

i. "Mindfulness, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One, and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

ii. "Investigation of the Dhamma, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iii. "Persevering effort, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

iv. "Rapture, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

v. "Calm, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vi. "Concentration, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

vii. "Equanimity, the factor of enlightenment, bhante, is well expounded by the Blessed One, and is cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. It conduces to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana.

These seven factors of enlightenment, bhante, are well expounded and cultivated and fully developed by the Blessed One. They conduce to perfect understanding, to full realization and to Nibbana."

"Most assuredly Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment. Most assuredly, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment."

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: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:55 am

But the question I have is the actual process for how one is to "Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications," how one is to maintain "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' In opther words, how does one actually "regard the eye thus." The perception of anicca is the foundation to the practice.

I think one way to do this is to not cling to the visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, and mental expereince......when you see a cup don't fabricate the familiarity of that cup...better to fabricate the newness of that cup....better yet...don't fabricate "cup" at all.....instead just let sensation flow by....
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:05 am

chownah wrote:
But the question I have is the actual process for how one is to "Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications," how one is to maintain "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' In opther words, how does one actually "regard the eye thus." The perception of anicca is the foundation to the practice.

I think one way to do this is to not cling to the visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, and mental expereince......when you see a cup don't fabricate the familiarity of that cup...better to fabricate the newness of that cup....better yet...don't fabricate "cup" at all.....instead just let sensation flow by....
chownah
Okay, but it really does not work to say to myself: "Don't cling, it is all anicca." One can do that but it is still conceptual stuff.


retro wrote:I do not see any need for anything separate, assuming one knows already how the Buddha explains anicca and sankhara - there is no deficiency in the sutta instruction.
Point me to a sutta instruction or two. Again, the perception of anicca is foundational to what you are talking about in the OP.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:24 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:The perception of anicca is the foundation to the practice.... Point me to a sutta instruction or two.

SN 22.102: Aniccasañña Sutta
http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... 2-piya.pdf

And how, bhikshus, is the perception of impermanence cultivated, how is it developed, so that
all sensual lust is exhausted; all lust for form is exhausted; all lust for existence is exhausted; all ignorance
is exhausted; all conceit of ‘I am’ is exhausted—they are (all) removed?

‘Such is form; such is the arising of form; such is the ending of form.
Such is feeling; such is the arising of feeling; such is the ending of feeling.
Such is perception; such is the arising of perception; such is the ending of perception.
Such are formations; such is the arising of formations; such is the ending of formations.
Such is consciousness; such is the arising of consciousness; such is the ending of consciousness.’

Bhikshus, this is how the perception of impermanence, when cultivated, when well developed,
all sensual lust is exhausted,
all lust for form is exhausted,
all lust for existence is exhausted,
all ignorance is exhausted;
all conceit of ‘I am’ is exhausted—they are (all) removed.”

...

Bhikshus, just as when a stalk of a bunch of mangoes has been cut, all the mangoes
attached to the stalk would follow it;
even so, bhikshus, when the perception of impermanence is cultivated and well developed, all sensual
lust is exhausted, all lust for form is exhausted, all lust for existence is exhausted, all ignorance is exhausted;
all conceit of ‘I am’ is exhausted—they are (all) removed

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: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:
But the question I have is the actual process for how one is to "Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications," how one is to maintain "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' In opther words, how does one actually "regard the eye thus." The perception of anicca is the foundation to the practice.

I think one way to do this is to not cling to the visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, and mental expereince......when you see a cup don't fabricate the familiarity of that cup...better to fabricate the newness of that cup....better yet...don't fabricate "cup" at all.....instead just let sensation flow by....
chownah
Okay, but it really does not work to say to myself: "Don't cling, it is all anicca." One can do that but it is still conceptual stuff.

You're right about that. I'm wondering if actually you are asking what is the process for the penetrative understanding of impermanence......isn't "remaining focused on inconsistency in all fabrications" just a way of saying "continuously seeing impermanence clearly "? If this is so then I doubt that there will be a "process" that will accomplish this goal.....I guess that it would be achieved by meditating and developing insite which of course is described in its many form throughout the Buddha's teachings.......is this sort of like the "process" you are asking about or is it something else?
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:The perception of anicca is the foundation to the practice.... Point me to a sutta instruction or two.

SN 22.102: Aniccasañña Sutta
And how, bhikshus, is the perception of impermanence cultivated, how is it developed, so that
all sensual lust is exhausted; all lust for form is exhausted; all lust for existence is exhausted; all ignorance
is exhausted; all conceit of ‘I am’ is exhausted—they are (all) removed?
‘Such is form; such is the arising of form; such is the ending of form. . . . .
The problem, however, with this text is that it seems to leave a fair amount unsaid, which for the trainee would likely be a bit more than confusing. It would seem that what is left unsaid would need to be filled in:

"As for the individual who has attained neither internal tranquillity of awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, he should approach an individual who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment... and ask him, 'How should the mind be steadied? How should it be made to settle down? How should it be unified? How should it be concentrated? How should fabrications be regarded? How should they be investigated? How should they be seen with insight?' The other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: 'The mind should be steadied in this way. The mind should be made to settle down in this way. The mind should be unified in this way. The mind should be concentrated in this way. Fabrications should be regarded in this way. Fabrications should be investigated in this way. Fabrications should be seen in this way with insight.' Then eventually he [the first] will become one who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment. AN 4.94 PTS: A ii 93 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:21 am

You're right about that. I'm wondering if actually you are asking what is the process for the penetrative understanding of impermanence......isn't "remaining focused on inconsistency in all fabrications" just a way of saying "continuously seeing impermanence clearly "? If this is so then I doubt that there will be a "process" that will accomplish this goal.....I guess that it would be achieved by meditating and developing insite which of course is described in its many form throughout the Buddha's teachings.......is this sort of like the "process" you are asking about or is it something else?

When I read texts such as this:

Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications

the perception of impermanence should be cultivated

And how, bhikshus, is the perception of impermanence cultivated … Such is form; such is the arising of form; such is the ending of form.


I assume there are practical ways doing what is said here, otherwise the catechism of the OP really doesn’t say anything.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:44 am

tiltbillings wrote:I assume there are practical ways doing what is said here, otherwise the catechism of the OP really doesn’t say anything.

Or, perhaps, there are a number of practical ways of doing it and the differences between them have no Dhammic significance?

Certainly, the advice of essentially anyone I can think of: Sayadaw Mahasi, Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Buddhadasa, Ajahn Maha Bua, Ajahn Sumedho, Bhante Gunaratana, Bhante Vimalaramsi, etc, etc, is perfectly compatible with those sutta quotes...

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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:54 am

mikenz66 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I assume there are practical ways doing what is said here, otherwise the catechism of the OP really doesn’t say anything.

Or, perhaps, there are a number of practical ways of doing it and the differences between them have no Dhammic significance?

Certainly, the advice of essentially anyone I can think of: Sayadaw Mahasi, Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Buddhadasa, Ajahn Maha Bua, Ajahn Sumedho, Bhante Gunaratana, Bhante Vimalaramsi, etc, etc, is perfectly compatible with those sutta quotes...
Agreed, though there is one name I'd leave out of this list.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:30 pm

tiltbillings wrote:I assume there are practical ways doing what is said here, otherwise the catechism of the OP really doesn’t say anything.

I think that the catechism as you call it is not meant as a "how to" guide but rather as a "what to" guide and also as a way to lay out a roadmap of things that happen along the way...I'll reproduce it here:
-------------------------
SN 55.3 wrote:
"You should further develop six qualities conducive to clear knowing. [1] Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications, [2] percipient of stress in what is inconstant, [3] percipient of not-self in what is stressful, [4] percipient of abandoning, [5] percipient of dispassion, [6] percipient of cessation. That's how you should train yourself."
--------------------
It seems to me that the purpose of this is to show a linear representation of steps along a theoretic path from the realization of inconstancy of all fabrications through the intermediary steps ending at being percipient of cessation.....seems like the qualities are linked with each dependent on the preceding one.....so here it is itself sort of describing a process to get from here to there although it does not give the specific method to "accomplish" each of the steps..........I tried to get an online copy of SN55.3 but didn't find one.....I wouldn't be surprised if it also contained some information clarifying each of the six steps.....but of course I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't either.
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:33 pm

chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I assume there are practical ways doing what is said here, otherwise the catechism of the OP really doesn’t say anything.

I think that the catechism as you call it is not meant as a "how to" guide but rather as a "what to" guide and also as a way to lay out a roadmap of things that happen along the way...
Either way, to be meaningful there really needs to be an undrlying practical application.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby chownah » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:30 pm

Anyone got a link to SN 55.3 in it entirety?
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby daverupa » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:33 pm

chownah wrote:Anyone got a link to SN 55.3 in it entirety?
chownah


I don't think it's online...
    "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: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby kirk5a » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:34 pm

Context:
SN 55.3 was spoken by the Buddha to Dighavu, a dying layperson. Prior to the section quoted, the Buddha advised Dighavu to train himself in the "four factors of stream-entry"

I will be one who possesses confirmed confidence in the Buddha thus: 'The Blessed One is ... teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.' I will be one who possesses confirmed confidence in the Dhamma ... in the Sangha ... I will be one who possesses the virtues dear to the noble ones, unbroken... leading to concentration.' It is in such a way that you should train yourself.


Dighavu says that "these things exist in me, and I live in conformity with those things."

THEN the Buddha goes on to say

"Therefore, Dighavu, established upon these four factors of stream-entry, you should develop further six things that partake of true knowledge." followed by the quotation in the OP.

The sutta concludes with Dighavu's death and the Buddha confirming that he attained non-returner.

I do not see this online, I have the book version Bhikkhu Bodhi translation of the SN.
"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: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:42 pm

daverupa wrote:
chownah wrote:Anyone got a link to SN 55.3 in it entirety?
chownah


I don't think it's online...

Pali: http://studies.worldtipitaka.org/tipita ... 1.1/11.1.3
German: http://palikanon.com/samyutta/sam55.html#s55_3
:coffee:

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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:56 pm

Hi Chownah,
chownah wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I assume there are practical ways doing what is said here, otherwise the catechism of the OP really doesn’t say anything.

I think that the catechism as you call it is not meant as a "how to" guide but rather as a "what to" guide and also as a way to lay out a roadmap of things that happen along the way...

Yes, that's what I was trying to say (I think!).

The suttas are reasonably clear on what the results are. As far as details such as (supposing one decided to pick anapanasati as an aid to discerning impermanence and so on) where one should pay attention to the breath, whether one should control one's breathing or not control one's breathing, and so on, is either:
    1. Simply a matter of personal taste and experience (of students and or/teachers); or
    2. Important, and only a select few have figured out how to decode such information from the suttas.

:anjali:
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby alan » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:05 am

I've never been a big fan of adherence to technique, which may be why I love the seven factors more than anything else. They leave open some positive creativity on the part of the meditator.
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Re: The Buddha's Guide to Mental Cultivation for Trainees

Postby alan » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:29 am

In other words, you have to make it real for your self. That requires some creative awareness. Learn as much as you can, apply the techniques where appropriate. But the adventure is yours alone.
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