The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:38 pm

Hi Mike,

There is one passage which explains the opening of the dhamma eye by
reference to the breaking of the first three fetters. This, of course,
includes sakkaya-ditthi, the first fetter. Which Bhikkhu Bodhi translates
as "identity-view".

I do not have the reference at hand, and would have to consult my notes.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:44 pm

Hi Vincent,

There are many places where stream entry is defined in terms of destroying self-view, so I wouldn't be surprised by that. However, here I was trying to examine the meaning of the "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma" passages I quoted in the OP.

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:05 pm

Hi Mike,

Dhamma also means nature. Some have translated that line as:

"Whatever is of a nature to arise, all that is of a nature to cease."

Do you want to compare different translations?

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:36 pm

vinasp wrote:Dhamma also means nature. Some have translated that line as:
"Whatever is of a nature to arise, all that is of a nature to cease."
Do you want to compare different translations?

Sure. I gave a number of translations in the OP. "Nature to arise..." appears in this translation:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html

Though I thought that this use of the word nature in that case implied this meaning:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nature
    10. character, kind, or sort: two books of the same nature.
rather than:
    5. the universe, with all its phenomena.
Though the latter is, of course, one way in which dhamma can be used.

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:22 pm

Hi Mike,

I think that the difference between my interpretation and most peoples
understanding of these things, is the matter of the time scale.

For me, what the stream-enterer has understood, is that a great mass of
things which have arisen, over say the last twenty years, are capable
of ceasing. These are all the things which he is clinging to.

Now, these things cannot be experienced through the five senses, it is
even hard to see them in the mind.

If enlightenment is the cessation of all clinging, then the starting
point must be the understanding of how this is possible.

Understanding how it can be done, is seeing the path. Starting to do
it, is entering the path. Actually completing the task is completing
the path.

For me, it really has nothing to do with experience through the five
senses. And even where the mind is considered, it is not about things
arising and ceasing over some short time scale. The hundreds of things
which one is clinging to do not arise and cease all the time. They have
arisen, over twenty years. They can cease.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:14 am

Hi Vincent,

It's refreshing to have someone express a non-instantaneous view of arising and cessation. Personally, I think it's helpful to look at multiple time scales.

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:22 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:Personally, I think it's helpful to look at multiple time scales.

Time-scales are only deemed to be of relevance whilst there is the assumption that a particular dhamma exists over time.

If you remove that erroneous assumption, you remove the notion of time. Hence Einstein taught the relativity of time. Hence the Dhamma is time-less, because it disbands the reference points of that relativity.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:10 am

Hi Retro,

I don't believe Einstein has any relevance to this discussion. For one thing, relativistic transformations make no difference to continuity.
retrofuturist wrote:Time-scales are only deemed to be of relevance whilst there is the assumption that a particular dhamma exists over time.

If you remove that erroneous assumption, you remove the notion of time.

Yes, I'm aware that's the erroneous from the point of view of some interpretations...
Anyway, I'll leave it to Vincent to defend his "20 year time scale".

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:13 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Anyway, I'll leave it to Vincent to defend his "20 year time scale".

No need for him to "defend" it. If there's some referrent/dhamma by which "20 years" (i.e. that which exists for 20 years) makes sense to him, then it may be applicable for him. I think you will find though that the "20 year time scale" is predicated on self-view.

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, I'm aware that's the erroneous from the point of view of some interpretations...

Even in Classical Theravada, dhammas only exist for an infinitesimal duration... not 20 years.

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 Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:Even in Classical Theravada, dhammas only exist for an infinitesimal duration... not 20 years.

Sure. But it is possible to argue in various ways from the suttas.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

So that talks of "mind" changing rapidly, but not "body composed of the four great elements".

On the other hand, the interpretation I posted in the OP is that a stream-enterer sees all formations arising and ceasing quickly...

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:34 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:On the other hand, the interpretation I posted in the OP is that a stream-enterer sees all formations arising and ceasing quickly...

Indeed. Which is why I found it odd that the "uninstructed run-of-the-mill person" viewpoint was being valorized, in preference to the Dhamma-Eye. Best we get back to the OP then? (...which by the way, references the book called "The Island", which is, at least based on the 100 pages I have read so far, a very good book)

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 Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby vinasp » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:36 am

Hi Mike, Retro,

What about a view, how long does that last?

Suppose someone has the eternalist view, could it not last for five,
ten, twenty years, or more?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:36 am

Greetings Vincent,

vinasp wrote:What about a view, how long does that last?

That depends on how you're regarding it... which answer do you want, Dhamma-eye, or Puthujjana-eye?

See here, keeping in mind that a view is both a formation (sankara) and an object of mind-consciousness:

SN 12.61: Assutavā Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .niza.html

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 Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby pegembara » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:40 am

The sotapanna-Opening the Eye of Dhamma


The Buddha said that enlightenment of the Dhamma is just knowing Nature, the reality which is all around us, the Nature which is right here! If we don't understand this Nature we experience disappointment and joy, we get lost in moods, giving rise to sorrow and regret. Getting lost in mental objects is getting lost in Nature. When we get lost in Nature then we don't know Dhamma. The Enlightened One merely pointed out this Nature.

Having arisen, all things change and die. Things we make, such as plates, bowls and dishes, all have the same characteristic. A bowl is molded into being due to a cause, man's impulse to create, and as we use it, it gets old, breaks up and disappears. Trees, mountains and vines are the same, right up to animals and people.

When Añña Kondañña, the first disciple, heard the Buddha's teaching for the first time, the realization he had was nothing very complicated. He simply saw that whatever thing is born, that thing must change and grow old as a natural condition and eventually it must die. Añña Kondañña had never thought of this before, or if he had it wasn't thoroughly clear, so he hadn't yet let go, he still clung to the khandhas. As he sat mindfully listening to the Buddha's discourse, Buddha-nature arose in him. He received a sort of Dhamma "transmission," which was the knowledge that all conditioned things are impermanent. Any thing which is born must have aging and death as a natural result.

This feeling was different from anything he'd ever known before. He truly realized his mind, and so "Buddha" arose within him. At that time the Buddha declared that Añña Kondañña had received the Eye of Dhamma.

What is it that this Eye of Dhamma sees? This Eye sees that whatever is born has aging and death as a natural result. "Whatever is born" means everything! Whether material or immaterial, it all comes under this "whatever is born." It refers to all of Nature. Like this body for instance — it's born and then proceeds to extinction. When it's small it "dies" from smallness to youth. After a while it "dies" from youth and becomes middle-aged. Then it goes on to "die" from middle-age and reach old-age, finally reaching the end. Trees, mountains and vines all have this characteristic.

So the vision or understanding of the 'One who knows' clearly entered the mind of Añña Kondañña as he sat there. This knowledge of "whatever is born" became deeply embedded in his mind, enabling him to uproot attachment to the body. This attachment was sakkayaditthi. This means that he didn't take the body to be a self or a being, or in terms of "he" or "me." He didn't cling to it. He saw it clearly, thus uprooting sakkayaditthi.

And the vicikiccha (doubt) was destroyed. Having uprooted attachment to the body he didn't doubt his realization. Silabbata paramasa (attachment to rites) was also uprooted. His practice became firm and straight. Even if his body was in pain or fever he didn't grasp it, he didn't doubt. He didn't doubt, because he had uprooted clinging. When one uproots the view of the body being the self, grasping and doubt are finished with. If just this view of the body as the self arises within the mind then grasping and doubt begin right there.

So as the Buddha expounded the Dhamma, Añña Kondañña opened the Eye of Dhamma. This Eye is just the "One who knows clearly." It sees things differently. It sees this very nature. Seeing Nature clearly, clinging is uprooted and the 'One who knows' is born. Previously he knew but he still had clinging. You could say that he knew the Dhamma but he still hadn't seen it, or he had seen the Dhamma but still wasn't one with it.

At this time the Buddha said, "Kondañña knows." What did he know? He just knew Nature! Usually we get lost in Nature, as with this body of ours. Earth, water, fire and wind come together to make this body. It's an aspect of Nature, a material object we can see with the eye. It exists depending on food, growing and changing until finally it reaches extinction.

Ajahn Chah

Note that Kondanna's attainment did not occur during meditation but by penetrating to the truth through hearing the Buddha's discourse.
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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:00 am

Greetings,

pegembara wrote:Note that Kondanna's attainment did not occur during meditation but by penetrating to the truth through hearing the Buddha's discourse.

A salient point, and one that can be diminished somewhat if we buy into either:

1. The post-Buddha "parami" thought-world, where the only reason these Disciples grasped the teaching so quickly was that they'd been cultivating paramis for countless eons previously. They never say this - nor does the Buddha... so there is no need to read this mindset back into what was actually said. In many respects this thought-world is harmful, because it can lead us away from the motivation to attain stream-entry. As Webu Sayadaw (for example) illustrated via his Dhamma talks, it can easily become an impediment and an excuse for people not to exert the right effort if they think their goal is unattainable.

2. The assumption that stream-entry (incl. the arising of the Dhamma eye) is dependent upon factors other than or in addition to the severing of the first three fetters. For example, the assumption that it is instead dependent upon the arising of an array of "insight knowledges" as depicted in the post-Buddha "Mahavihara" thought world. Again, the Noble Ones of the suttas never say this - nor does the Buddha... so there is no need to read this mindset back into what was actually said. I'd suggest it's not as harmful as the "parami thought-world", as it doesn't deter the practitioner from effort, but it is potentially misleading or disorientating if it infers to the practitioner that Kondanna's method for attaining stream-entry is wrong or invalid.

Of course, people may opt into whatever thought-world they wish, but it may compromise the point that pegembara is making, and I believe it is an important one, worthy of highlighting if stream-entry is important to us.

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 Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:01 am

Hi Retro,

I'm not sure why you have to make it sound so complicated. As Ajah Chah says:
Ajahn Chah wrote: As he sat mindfully listening to the Buddha's discourse, Buddha-nature arose in him. He received a sort of Dhamma "transmission," which was the knowledge that all conditioned things are impermanent. Any thing which is born must have aging and death as a natural result.

This feeling was different from anything he'd ever known before. He truly realized his mind, and so "Buddha" arose within him. At that time the Buddha declared that Añña Kondañña had received the Eye of Dhamma.

The Buddha is said to have spent a week with the Five, during which, probably among other things, he delivered the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta and the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta. As Ajahn Chah says, Kondañña would be sitting there mindfully, and these was presumably experienced at developing samadhi. It seems plausible that this was the first "weeklong meditation retreat", complete with dhamma talks.

As for the "insights" described by various ancient and modern teachers, based on experience of their practitioners, that's exactly what the sutta descriptions suggest to me.

You can dismiss this all as speculation if you like, but any statement about exactly what went on during that week (or the rest of the Buddha's life for that matter) is speculative. We simply don't have the details. Therefore, I see no reason to dismiss the recorded experience of the ancient practitioners or modern practitioners, such as Ajahn Chah in trying to make sense of the Dhamma.

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:09 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:You can dismiss this all as speculation if you like, but any statement about exactly what went on during that week (or the rest of the Buddha's life for that matter) is speculative. We simply don't have the details.

You're right, it would be speculative. What we do have though is this...

SN 56.11 wrote:That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

People may speculate if they feel they must, but any speculation ought to at least remain consistent with the Buddhavacana, and from where I'm sitting, the only thing that "complicates" the situation is the speculation itself, and that the speculation has gone on to become enmeshed in Buddhism, like gum stuck in hair.

MN 113 wrote:Whatever we imagine it turns to be otherwise.

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 Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:28 am

Hi Retro,

I don't see anything in my speculation inconsistent with the Suttas.

What do you think it means?

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Re: The Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:29 am

Greetings Mike,

I don't see anything in my speculation inconsistent with the Suttas.

Sure, and the onus is on you to keep it that way.

What do you think it means?

I take it as read, and don't speculate beyond that.

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 Dhamma eye: "whatever aising-dhamma cessation-dhamma"

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:31 am

And what does it mean when you read it?

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