Why Meditate?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Goofaholix » Wed May 23, 2012 8:53 pm

Travis wrote:From what I gather (ie not from personal experience) Mahasi-vipassana is generally characterized as an intense and rigorous system, so I wonder if this does not feed into the "western" propensity for excessive striving (which would explain why it is an experience found in Christianity, etc), or simply create an opening for the hinderances to arise and result in unskillful states of mind? Earlier I was reading about U Tejaniya, and it seems like his popularity (as an alternative to Mahasi Sayadaw vipassana) has increased for similar reasons. Thoughts?


I think most of our meditation approaches can be intense and rigorous systems if you practise them in that way, certainly Goenka not much less so. Being a monk for example can be intense and rigorous system in itself. In the case of Mahasi I guess one factor that adds to it is that the Burmese teachers are pretty inflexible as far as variations to the system to meet the specific needs of students.

As far as the dark night is concerned any process of personal growth or change can result in this type of experience for a time I'd have thought, I don't see why we should be surprised Buddhist practise wouldn't be any different.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Thu May 24, 2012 5:02 pm

Travis wrote:Ron,
Getting back to the OP (in light of some of the things discussed since) I wonder if the cropping up of the "dark night" has anything to do with the Mahasi-vipassana approach, or more precisely a common reaction to it? This is by no means to say that there is anything inherently wrong with the approach. From what I gather (ie not from personal experience) Mahasi-vipassana is generally characterized as an intense and rigorous system, so I wonder if this does not feed into the "western" propensity for excessive striving (which would explain why it is an experience found in Christianity, etc), or simply create an opening for the hinderances to arise and result in unskillful states of mind? Earlier I was reading about U Tejaniya, and it seems like his popularity (as an alternative to Mahasi Sayadaw vipassana) has increased for similar reasons. Thoughts?

-Travis


Hi Travis, I see your point and agree in some respects -Westerners are heavy-duty strivers and that leads to all sorts of problems. And the Mahasi noting technique can play into that in some unfortunate ways. But in my experience, intense striving as hinderance blocks a person from getting as far as the dukkha nanas. Striving (along with confusion about technique) usually keeps a person stuck back in the earliest insight stages (which are pretty relaxing if one would just stop striving). People can keep some striving going into the later stages, but keep in mind that each insight stage progresses through a process of letting go of the objects of the stage, so by the time a person gets to the dukkha nanas (which don't start until the 5th stage in the Mahasi system) they have already let go of a lot, have pretty good sila, and are cooking along pretty well.

I just read about U Tejaniya and love that practice! (Thanks Newb for posting the link). I don't see it as incompatible with noting or other rigorous practices though. Attitude is critical, and this is really where a teacher fits in. Having a direct living teacher that you can talk to and discuss things with is the most critical thing because it corrects all those attitude issues very quickly. The teacher's own attitude toward practice acts as an example of skillful means. You just can't learn that through reading.

Let me also mention that the dukkha nanas are not a product of the Mahasi noting system and are not a by-product of doing the practice in an incorrect way. They are a product of solid insight practice. Meditation masters in Theravada have recognized them and written explicitly about them for literally thousands of years. You can find them described in detail in the Visuddhimagga (through the links I've already provided) or if that doesn't go back far enough for you, then check them out in the Vittumagga, where the dukkha nanas start on page 299.
http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf1/Path_of ... imagga.pdf

And in the quote by the Buddha cited above, doesn't he describe ill-will arising in him and then seeing it clearly and then letting it go? This corresponds exactly to how the insight stages progress - taste the characteristic, watch it come and go, stop identifying with it and move on (the "Three Kinds of Full Understanding").
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Thu May 24, 2012 5:08 pm

Buckwheat wrote:
Ron Crouch wrote:@Buckwheat - as I've said to others who have had only good experiences with mediation - that's awesome!

Thanks for ignoring my points and putting words in my mouth. I feel you are talking past me, but i will make one more effort.
Ron Crouch wrote:...Many people believe that if they meditate things will only get better - but it is WAY more complicated than that. Things get exponentially better, but only after you've directly experienced dukkha, anicca and anatta.

The path is complicated, full of ups and downs. However, from what I've seen, when I really dig into the experience of dukkha, anicca, and anatta, it feels good because that experience is seeing how visceral and fabricated it all was in the first place. It feels liberating, and I see nothing in the suttas to suggest otherwise. Any form of dark night would have to be associated with the opposites: ignorance of dukkha, craving satisfaction in fleeting things, and clinging to the ideas of, as George Harrison said, "I me me mine." Everybody experiences dukkha, the path is about realizing it so that you can put an end to it.



Ouch! - you're totally right. I just looked at your post and realize I only gave it a cursory glance and was in a bit of a rush when I did so. Please accept my apologies.
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Travis » Thu May 24, 2012 5:34 pm

Hi everyone, thanks for the replies.

Here is another perspective covering pretty much the same ground, some may find it helpful.
http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/vipassana-knowledge-and-the-path-to-nibbana/

In particular:
theravadin wrote:After 4., udayabbaya, comes the “valley of sorrow”, initialized by the insight knowledge of 5. bhanga which means “breaking”. The speed of noting and the clarity in seeing rise and fall makes the mind shift more and more towards the experience/observation of the destruction of all sense objects (sights, sounds, feelings…even thoughts! – {six sense in Buddha’s teachings, but if you didn’t know that this text won’t make any sense to you anyway, i guess }. Seeing this never-before seen destruction of one’s entire world, moment for moment, over hours and days, will trigger a lot of not very pleasant experiences. Many meditators will drop it here and stop their Vipassana meditation. Those who continue sometimes cannot even explain what almost made them quit. Lots of things going on “subconsciously”/better: “karma forces working”.

The meditator is starting to “throw up” Samsara.

If he continues successfully through this “valley of sorrow” he is propelled by 9. Muncitu-Kamyata, the “desire to get out” and feels an upward surge in motivation, powers, stamina to go on with his meditation. Noting gets sharper, mind clearer. Sure, after accepting the obvious fact of his world crashing millisecond after millisecond he is gradually working on noting objects which are harder and harder to recognise. stuff which is so subtle and “self”-evident that only the speed and practise of noting peels off all layers of “my” and “mine” … minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day. Consistent pressure is the motto, as this effort has to go on for quite some time to reach a critical mass…

11. Sankharupekkha – see above…this is where many people get stuck. Sometimes for years! Important is the way you note. Not much clutter in terms of lots of labels…Simply razorsharp noting to not-identify with anything whatsoever & to keep up the pressure in seeing the whole world crash & reappear. Also nice to see how the mind cycles through 9-11 repeatedly.


Image

Interesting stuff. Good discussion so far :clap:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 11:07 pm

Greetings,

robertk wrote:I add some more on the idea of vipassana - in the classical sense - having any negative feelings/experiences/emotions.
Even the weakest type of kusala , wholesome, mindstate, even those devoid of wisdom, can only ever come with pleasant or neutral feeling. And moment of vipassana are very very very high levels of kusala associated with very high degrees of wisdom: no possibility of there being anything negative.

Even for someone who has the beginnings of right view and right understanding, long before any vipassana , is more detached and relaxed and knows every moment is uncontrolable.Thus the tendency towards panic or depression is very weak even then.

I think this is worth revisiting, as I don't believe it's been addressed to date.

Here, Robert is explaining the Classical Mahavihara view, i.e. that which is presented in the Visuddhimagga.

Since there have been claims made that the meditation methods and insight knowledges being discussed here are stock-standard Visuddhimagga, I think it would be appropriate for those who are making these claims to explain how their understanding of the insight-knowledges correlates with what Robert has outlined. Y'know... this being a Theravada forum and all.

(That invitation also goes out to anyone who would sign up for that picture in the post immediately above).

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: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Thu May 24, 2012 11:18 pm

Travis - that is an awesome link!

I've seen the graph before but did not know who it was attributed to - thanks to Theravadin, who obviously put in a ton of work to chart it all out.
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Thu May 24, 2012 11:31 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

robertk wrote:I add some more on the idea of vipassana - in the classical sense - having any negative feelings/experiences/emotions.
Even the weakest type of kusala , wholesome, mindstate, even those devoid of wisdom, can only ever come with pleasant or neutral feeling. And moment of vipassana are very very very high levels of kusala associated with very high degrees of wisdom: no possibility of there being anything negative.

Even for someone who has the beginnings of right view and right understanding, long before any vipassana , is more detached and relaxed and knows every moment is uncontrolable.Thus the tendency towards panic or depression is very weak even then.

I think this is worth revisiting, as I don't believe it's been addressed to date.

Here, Robert is explaining the Classical Mahavihara view, i.e. that which is presented in the Visuddhimagga.

Since there have been claims made that the meditation methods and insight knowledges being discussed here are stock-standard Visuddhimagga, I think it would be appropriate for those who are making these claims to explain how their understanding of the insight-knowledges correlates with what Robert has outlined. Y'know... this being a Theravada forum and all.

(That invitation also goes out to anyone who would sign up for that picture in the post immediately above).

Metta,
Retro. :)


That view lines up with one tiny sliver of what is in the Visuddhimagga - The Knowledge of Equanimity to Formations. It is the the overall goal and trajectory of practice and lines up with the last part of the graph above. But the Visuddhimagga also describes each of the insights that come before equanimity and they are not always pleasant, though some are and in a very sticky way.

I am honestly a bit baffled that one could read the Visuddhimagga and think that ALL the insight knowledges are blissful and have no suffering in them. Is there a specific passage or something like that which you could point me to that would help me to see that this is what it says?
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 24, 2012 11:35 pm

Greetings Ron,

Ron Crouch wrote:I am honestly a bit baffled that one could read the Visuddhimagga and think that ALL the insight knowledges are blissful and have no suffering in them.

Having read it all myself, and having read Robert's postings in relation to it over several years, I believe he represents the Visuddhimagga well. Therefore...

Ron Crouch wrote:Is there a specific passage or something like that which you could point me to that would help me to see that this is what it says?

... I think that would be a very profitable discussion to have with Robert, and I encourage you to engage in dialogue with him on the subject. I for one am very interested to see what comes of it.

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: Why Meditate?

Postby Ben » Thu May 24, 2012 11:38 pm

Hi Retro,
I addressed it in the last page and robertk responded to my post. Unfortunately, I couldn't continue with the discussion as I have been busy with administration issues. However, I was and remain keen to discuss the issue with robertk (and anyone else) given robertk's unique contribution as a very knowledgable and long-standing Abhidhammika-practitioner.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to make a meaningful contribution as I have work issues to attend to.
kind regards,

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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Fri May 25, 2012 12:42 am

robertk wrote:Dear Ben and Ron
I think what is happening is that they are seeing something about how the body/mind changes and is uncontrollable.
But this seeing is in a distorted way- meaning with the idea that is happening to 'me'.

It can't ever seem bad when it is actual wisdom arising that experiences phenomena because the understanding of anatta:
1. concures perfectly with reality.
2. indicates no identification with any phenomena.

It's like watching a bonfire burning: just something interesting to view. And that is actually what the khandhas are, just like sticks and leaves in a bonfire, not us. If we start thinking that the bonfire is ME then we are deluded, and might/will panic.

SOOO, as Retro has been saying a post or two ago: RIGHT VIEW is prime and should lead all factors.
robert



Ben, I think you are referring to this response above.

From my reading of the VM what is being described here is the insight knowledge of equanimity, and in particular "conformity" - where moment to moment awareness lines up perfectly with the three characteristics and awareness doesn't identify with any of it. Here is a link that summarizes the characteristics of them:
http://www.vipassanadhura.com/sixteen.html#tenb
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 25, 2012 1:57 am

Ben wrote:Hi Retro,
I addressed it in the last page and robertk responded to my post.
...

And I also quoted quite a bit from the Visuddhimagga quite a few pages ago that could be read to support what Ron has said, or at least, what I think Ron meant.

I see no contradiction between:
1. When one is having actual insight there is nothing negative (only pleasant or neutral feeling).
2. In the process of getting to those insights there may be difficulties (unpleasant feeling, etc.)

This is consistent with the suttas. Some describe various outcomes as pleasant. Other talk about difficulties and how to overcome them.

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2012 2:20 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:I see no contradiction between:
1. When one is having actual insight there is nothing negative (only pleasant or neutral feeling).
2. In the process of getting to those insights there may be difficulties (unpleasant feeling, etc.)

Neither do I, but I do see a contradiction between that and the curve on the diagram above.

In other words, the "having actual insight" should not be a low point.

Since what Ron is saying (as I read it) is more aligned to the diagram than what Robert is saying, I'd be interested in their direct exchange of perspectives... the two of them have not really communicated directly in this topic (to the best of my recollection). They both take the Visuddhimagga as the basis of their views, yet their interpretations of it appear radically different... it is those differences in interpretation I wish to understand better.

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: Why Meditate?

Postby Travis » Fri May 25, 2012 2:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I see no contradiction between:
1. When one is having actual insight there is nothing negative (only pleasant or neutral feeling).
2. In the process of getting to those insights there may be difficulties (unpleasant feeling, etc.)

Neither do I, but I do see a contradiction between that and the curve on the diagram above.

In other words, the "having actual insight" should not be a low point.


Hi Retro,
The two don't seem contradictory to me. The diagram doesn't account for the relative experience of each individual Nana (1. only pleasant or neutral feeling), only the perceived progress [including 2. difficulties (unpleasant feeling, etc.)] and speed of noting.

-Travis
Last edited by Travis on Fri May 25, 2012 2:37 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri May 25, 2012 2:34 am

"'Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of joy, 'As I pursue this joy, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of joy is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of joy, 'As I pursue this joy, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of joy is to be pursued. And this sort of joy may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. 'Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'Grief is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of grief, 'As I pursue this grief, unskillful mental qualities increase, and skillful mental qualities decline,' that sort of grief is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of grief, 'As I pursue this grief, unskillful mental qualities decline, and skillful mental qualities increase,' that sort of grief is to be pursued. And this sort of grief may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. 'Grief is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.21.2x.than.html

Now, Potthapada, you might think: "Perhaps these defiling mental states might disappear and states tending to purification grow strong, and one gains and remains in the purity and perfection of wisdom here and now, and one might still be unhappy." That is not how it should be regarded. If defiling states disappear and states tending to purification grow strong, and one gains and remains in the purity and perfection of wisdom here and now, nothing but happiness and delight develops, tranquility, mindfulness and clear awareness- and that is a happy state.
DN-9 Bhikkhu Bodhi

Hi All,

I posted the two quotes above for discussion. It is interesting to regard them together. While we might cultivate a certain "grief" which will lead to the increase of skillful mental qualities. (perhaps a dark night thing? I dont know) We are to regard the culmination of that process as one which is supremely happy.

Metta

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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2012 2:38 am

Greetings Travis,

Travis wrote:The two don't seem contradictory to me. The diagram doesn't account for the relative experience of each individual Nana (1. only pleasant or neutral feeling), only the perceived [including 2. difficulties (unpleasant feeling, etc.)] and the actual progress.

Sure, and perhaps the lack of labelling of the axes is leading to different interpretations about precisely what it means. Either way, I do hope Robert responds to the following...

Ron wrote:I am honestly a bit baffled that one could read the Visuddhimagga and think that ALL the insight knowledges are blissful and have no suffering in them. Is there a specific passage or something like that which you could point me to that would help me to see that this is what it says?

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: Why Meditate?

Postby Travis » Fri May 25, 2012 2:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Travis,

Travis wrote:The two don't seem contradictory to me. The diagram doesn't account for the relative experience of each individual Nana (1. only pleasant or neutral feeling), only the perceived [including 2. difficulties (unpleasant feeling, etc.)] and the actual progress.

Sure, and perhaps the lack of labelling of the axes is leading to different interpretations about precisely what it means.

:thinking:
X=Time
Y=Perception of progress/speed of noting
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 25, 2012 2:45 am

Greetings Travis,

OK, I can see what's happened... my screen doesn't go that wide and I'm not seeing the full image.

Either way, still keen on Robert's response to Ron's statement.

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: Why Meditate?

Postby rowboat » Fri May 25, 2012 3:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Travis,

OK, I can see what's happened... my screen doesn't go that wide and I'm not seeing the full image.

Either way, still keen on Robert's response to Ron's statement.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Image

Also you should be able to resize your screen simply by adjusting the text size.
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It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:17 am

It would also be interesting to see descriptions from teachers who are using different approaches.
I gave a quote from Ajahn Chah here:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12455&start=0#p188525
Ajahn Chah wrote:My way of training people involves some suffering, because suffering is the Buddha’s path to enlightenment. He wanted us to see suffering, and to see origination, cessation, and the path. This is the way out for all the aryas, the awakened ones. If you don’t go this way, there is no way out.

And, of course Ajahn Chah's comments are straight from the suttas:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
The Buddha wrote:I discerned, as it was actually present, that 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress... These are fermentations... This is the origination of fermentations... This is the cessation of fermentations... This is the way leading to the cessation of fermentations.'

:anjali:
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Re: Why Meditate?

Postby robertk » Fri May 25, 2012 5:48 am

Dear retro
mike has already found the relevant passage from the Visuddhimagga earlier in the thread:
This is worth exploring, I think. Let's look at the relevant passage:
Visuddhimagga XXI
PDF Here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
[3. KNOWLEDGE OF APPEARANCE AS TERROR]

29. As he repeats, develops and cultivates in this way the contemplation of
dissolution, the object of which is cessation consisting in the destruction, fall
and breakup of all formations, then formations classed according to all kinds of
becoming, generation, destiny, station, or abode of beings, appear to him in the
form of a great terror, as lions, tigers, leopards, bears, hyenas, spirits, ogres, fierce
bulls, savage dogs, rut-maddened wild elephants, hideous venomous serpents,
thunderbolts, charnel grounds, battlefields, flaming coal pits, etc., appear to a
timid man who wants to live in peace. When he sees how past formations have
ceased, present ones are ceasing, and those to be generated in the future will
cease in just the same way, then what is called knowledge of appearance as
terror arises in him at that stage.

30. Here is a simile: a woman’s three sons had offended against the king, it
seems. The king ordered their heads to be cut off. She went with her sons to the
place of their execution. When they had cut off the eldest one’s head, they set
about cutting off the middle one’s head. Seeing the eldest one’s head already
cut off and the middle one’s head being cut off, she gave up hope for the youngest,
thinking, “He too will fare like them.” Now, the meditator’s seeing the cessation
of past formations is like the woman’s seeing the eldest son’s head cut off. His
seeing the cessation of those present is like her seeing the middle one’s head
being cut off. His seeing the cessation of those in the future, thinking, “Formations
to be generated in the future will cease too,” is like her giving up hope for the
youngest son, thinking, “He too will fare like them.” When he sees in this way,
knowledge of appearance as terror arises in him at that stage.
...
32. But does the knowledge of appearance as terror [itself] fear or does it not
fear? It does not fear. For it is simply the mere judgment that past formations have
ceased, present ones are ceasing, and future ones will cease. Just as a man with
eyes looking at three charcoal pits at a city gate is not himself afraid, since he
only forms the mere judgment that all who fall into them will suffer no little
pain
;—or just as when a man with eyes looks at three spikes set in a row, an
acacia spike, an iron spike, and a gold spike, he is not himself afraid, since he
only forms the mere judgment that all who fall on these spikes will suffer no
little pain;—so too the knowledge of appearance as terror does not itself fear; it
only forms the mere judgment that in the three kinds of becoming, which resemble
the three charcoal pits and the three spikes, past formations have ceased, present
ones are ceasing, and future ones will cease.

33. But it is called “appearance as terror” only because formations in all kinds
of becoming, generation, destiny, station, or abode are fearful in being bound for
destruction and so they appear only as a terror.
...

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Mike also found mahasi sayadaws unfortunate take on the passage

Mahasi Sayadaw's Summary says:
6. Awareness of Fearfulness (bhayatupatthāna-ñāna)

When that knowledge of dissolution is mature, there will gradually arise, just by seeing the dissolution of all object-and-subject-formations, awareness of fearfulness {37} and other (higher) knowledges, together with their respective aspects of fear, and so on. {38}

Having seen how the dissolution of two things — that is, any object noticed and the insight-thought engaged in noticing it — takes place moment by moment, the meditator also understands by inference that in the past, too, every conditioned thing (formation) has broken up in the same way, that just so it will break up also in the future, and that at the present it breaks up, too. And just at the time of noticing any formations that are evident, these formations will appear to him in their aspect of fearfulness. Therefore, during the very act of noticing, the meditator will also come to understand: "These formations are indeed fearful."

Such understanding of their fearfulness is called "knowledge of the awareness of fearfulness"; it has also the name "knowledge of fear." At that time, his mind itself is gripped by fear and seems helpless.{37} Bhay'upatthāna. The word bhaya has the subjective aspect of fear and the objective aspect of fearfulness, danger. Both are included in the significance of the term in this context.
{38} This refers to the knowledges described in the following (Nos. 7-11).
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