Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:09 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
robertk wrote:Umm ok. So are the 'cognition that arise say with sound object or visible object different or are they still the same one?

Already answered. Why would you want to think that they are the same one?

doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:41 am

Ben wrote:Hi Retro,
I understand where you are coming from regarding some of the insight knowledges and the perceived negativity in which those experiences seem to be framed. Speaking from my own experience, those nanas are characterised by equanimity. They are very different from the affective experience of terror, fearfulness, misery and disgust. I think I have mentioned this before in another thread and I have said similar things with regard to the contemplation of the repulsiveness of nutriment. Its not that we develop aversive responses to food or phenomena. What we are doing is seeing food, phenomena or our situation in greater clarity unveiled from matrices of aversion, craving and ignorance in their myriad and very often subtle forms.

Entirely possible to me too. Given the insight-knowledges framework of the Visuddhimagga is not my path, I have no inclination to desire, wish or hope that that's what it was either.

Sure, I understand. In day to day practice and during a retreat I put aside everything except the instruction atapi sampajjano satima with respect to the object. Experiences come and go. But what I experience isn't as important as how I experience. What is the quality of mind when I avert to the object? How successful am I in carrying out the instruction atapi sampajjano satima? What one thinks one should be experience becomes a bit of a barrier to actually perceiving what's actually happening moment to moment.

In fact, I put aside just about everything whether it be the Dhamma according to SN Goenka, U Ba Khin, Ledi Sayadaw or others and I regard all of it as provisionally acceptable. While I have great confidence in the lineage I practice in and the scholar/meditation teachers within my tradition I also investigate their teachings with the cool piercing laser or objective investigation.

Anyway, I've said enough and I need to get back to work if I want to get out of here this evening...
kind regards,

Ben


What a breath of fresh air to hear from someone actually practicing within the tradition.
_/|\_
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:39 am

robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.


What about a citta that is absorbed in the breath? Isn't there some degree of stability in that situation?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:42 am

Though in parts it's been a bit technical, I have found this to be an interesting and useful discussion. :smile:

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:46 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.


What about a citta that is absorbed in the breath? Isn't there some degree of stability in that situation?

Spiny

In absortion, especially jhana, the same object, for example breath is taken by succeeding cittas
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:54 am

robertk wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:
robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.


What about a citta that is absorbed in the breath? Isn't there some degree of stability in that situation?

Spiny

In absortion, especially jhana, the same object, for example breath is taken by succeeding cittas


It doesn't feel like that. ;)

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:01 am

robertk wrote:2. Others on this thread think the ancients Theravada had it 100% right: there are merely momentary elements arising and ceasing, billions in a fingersnap, and this is an exact description of reality, and any deep insight will lead one to see that is true.


Possibly off-topic, but do the suttas say anything specifically about this?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:08 am

Greetings,

Spiny O'Norman wrote:do the suttas say anything specifically about this?

No, and as far as I'm aware, even the Abhidhamma Pitaka doesn't try to pin these things down to such infinitesimal time-frames.

i.e. Not in the Tipitaka.

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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:27 am

In absorption, especially jhana, the same object, for example breath is taken by succeeding cittas


[u]Spiny: it doesn't feel like that. ;)


Yes and that is one reason why even genuine jhana can be a basis for views of eternalism
Last edited by robertk on Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:46 am

robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.

Which doesn't entail this:

robertk wrote:there are merely momentary elements arising and ceasing, billions in a fingersnap, and this is an exact description of reality
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby chownah » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:51 pm

Brizzy wrote:It probably was disingenuous of me in linking dissolution to what I was saying. My point remains about 'every experience' though. Some experiences have to be developed e.g. sexual/thieving/murderous etc. Surely these are not experiences to aid one on the path.
BTW Sex was explicitly highlighted by the Buddha as an experience that would not aid one on the path.

Metta

:smile:

If one has a sexual experience then one has the opportunity to see the clinging inherent in that experience and thus learn about self and clinging.....this is how a sexual experience is an opportunity to progress along the path.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Brizzy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:02 pm

chownah wrote:
Brizzy wrote:It probably was disingenuous of me in linking dissolution to what I was saying. My point remains about 'every experience' though. Some experiences have to be developed e.g. sexual/thieving/murderous etc. Surely these are not experiences to aid one on the path.
BTW Sex was explicitly highlighted by the Buddha as an experience that would not aid one on the path.

Metta

:smile:

If one has a sexual experience then one has the opportunity to see the clinging inherent in that experience and thus learn about self and clinging.....this is how a sexual experience is an opportunity to progress along the path.
chownah


OK, if that is your take on the sexual act and how one actually develops dispassion, fine. This little side discussion is obviously not part of the thread, so I will not comment further.

Metta

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Brizzy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:34 pm

On the subject of dissolution, it must be asked - what is dissolving? Is it kamma?
I think a good overview of one school of thought can be gleaned here....

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khin/wheel231.html

I urge people to carefully read the above and compare it to your own readings of the suttas. A lot of the material contained in the essay is very convincing on a pseudo scientific/ pseudo sutta level - almost, but not quite.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:39 pm

robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.

NANA: Which doesn't entail this:

robertk wrote:there are merely momentary elements arising and ceasing, billions in a fingersnap, and this is an exact description of reality
[/quote]

In the Book of Causation (Nidaanavagga) VII The Great Subchapter 61, which was referenced earlier in this thread, the Coommentary by Buddhaghosa - see below- gives the figure of hundred thousand kotis of cittas arising and ceasing in a fingersnap.
This is to help people who, reading the sutta, might imagine that one citta last a whole day or a whole night.

Obviously, even without any insight one can see while, say watching TV, sound objects and visible objects and thinking rapidly alternate, and so there are different cittas arising that then immediately cease. If fact it is so fast that on this forum someone a week or two ago wondered if the same citta was both seeing and hearing (and even thinking??)at the same time!

(1) Uninstructed (1) p. 595 Samyutta Nikaya Vol 1 (translated by Bodhi)
"
But that which is called 'mind' and 'mentality' and consciousness'
arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night. Just
as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets
that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grabs still
another, so too that which is called 'mind' and 'mentality'
and 'consciousness' arises as one thing and ceases as another by day
and by night. [note 157]
"
[note 157: Spk: 'By day and by night (rattiyaa ca divasassa ca):
This is a genitive in the locative sense, i.e., during the night and
during the day. Arises as one thing and ceases as another (annadeva
uppajjati, anna.m nirujjhati): The meaning is that (the mind) that
arises and ceases during the day is other than (the mind) that
arises and ceases during the night. The statement should not be
taken to mean that one thing arises and some thing altogether
different, which had not arisen, ceases. "Day and night" is said by
way of continuity, taking a continuity of lesser duration than the
previous one (i.e. the one stated for the body). But one citta is
not able to endure for a whole day or a whole night. Even in the
time of a fingersnap many hundred thousand kotis of cittas arise and
cease (1 koti=10 million).
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Brizzy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:55 pm

robertk wrote:[note 157: Spk: 'By day and by night (rattiyaa ca divasassa ca):
This is a genitive in the locative sense, i.e., during the night and
during the day. Arises as one thing and ceases as another (annadeva
uppajjati, anna.m nirujjhati): The meaning is that (the mind) that
arises and ceases during the day is other than (the mind) that
arises and ceases during the night. The statement should not be
taken to mean that one thing arises and some thing altogether
different, which had not arisen, ceases. "Day and night" is said by
way of continuity, taking a continuity of lesser duration than the
previous one (i.e. the one stated for the body). But one citta is
not able to endure for a whole day or a whole night. Even in the
time of a fingersnap many hundred thousand kotis of cittas arise and
cease (1 koti=10 million).


The Buddha saw fit to only give an observable generalisation, he did not see fit to break things down to moments. I am sure that if the Buddha thought this dissolution was central to the path he would have taught it extensively. It is Buddhaghosa who is putting words into the mouth of the Buddha.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:01 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.


What about a citta that is absorbed in the breath? Isn't there some degree of stability in that situation?

Spiny


There is in-breath, out-breath, and pause in between. These three are different objects. Since citta cannot arise without an object, the citta is different in all these 3 cases. Patisambhidamagga

    "Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing not these three ideas Does not obtain development. [171]
    Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing well these three ideas Can then obtain development.
    -pg 171"
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Alex123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:21 pm

Brizzy wrote:http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/khin/wheel231.html

I urge people to carefully read the above and compare it to your own readings of the suttas. A lot of the material contained in the essay is very convincing on a pseudo scientific/ pseudo sutta level - almost, but not quite.


It states that:
    Impermanence (anicca) is, of course, the essential fact which must be first experienced and understood by practice. Mere book-knowledge of the Buddha-Dhamma will not be enough for the correct understanding of Anicca because the experiential aspect will be missing. It is only through experiential understanding of the nature of Anicca as an ever-changing process within you that you can understand Anicca in the way the Buddha would like you to understand it.

But aren't ALL saṅkhāras already anicca? Dhp 277. Is there saṅkhāra that is not anicca? Don't we all already experientially experience impermanence with every large and small saṅkhāra with every mental state which is impermanent? Does ignorance of impermanence makes it somehow permanent? :thinking:


    There is no need for him to be activating the experience of Anicca all the time.

:rolleye:
How do I deactivate experience of anicca? I don't want to age or have pleasant experiences cease! This is so wrong! :jawdrop:
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:36 pm

robertk wrote:the Coommentary by Buddhaghosa - see below- gives the figure of hundred thousand kotis of cittas arising and ceasing in a fingersnap.
This is to help people who, reading the sutta, might imagine that one citta last a whole day or a whole night.

Yes, well here we have two extremes with regard to duration.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Nyana » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:40 pm

Alex123 wrote:There is in-breath, out-breath, and pause in between. These three are different objects. Since citta cannot arise without an object, the citta is different in all these 3 cases. Patisambhidamagga

    "Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing not these three ideas Does not obtain development. [171]
    Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing well these three ideas Can then obtain development.
    -pg 171"

Good work Alex. This offers a clearly demonstrable and therefore identifiable basis of designation for both the object and the cognition. All designated within the framework of conventional discourse, just like the suttas are. No need for a theory of momentariness. No need for a theory of two truths.
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:46 am

robertk wrote:
In absorption, especially jhana, the same object, for example breath is taken by succeeding cittas


[u]Spiny: it doesn't feel like that. ;)


Yes and that is one reason why even genuine jhana can be a basis for views of eternalism


I'm not implying constancy or eternalism, just that in practice it's change we observe, and that change is occuring at different levels and at different rates.

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