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 Ron Crouch » Sun May 27, 2012 10:00 pm

manas wrote: ... if one has had some time to prepare, there can be this voice inside saying, "stay calm man, it's not the end of the world! So the world isn't what you thought it was - so what? You're still here - and life still needs to be lived, whatever it's 'ultimate' nature. The floor might well be conditionally arisen, but it still needs sweeping!" :)

:anjali:



This is brilliant! This is when having good dhamma friends and a solid teacher can make a big difference - attitude is everything.
Ron Crouch
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Nyana » Sun May 27, 2012 10:26 pm

Ron Crouch wrote:I know Nibs isn't a big fan of the VM, but I still root for Buddhaghosa, so I went and took a look at this passage in context, and it looks as if Nibs is right, there is some Abhidhamma stuff popping up there.

Of course there is Abhidhamma stuff in there. The Vism. relies heavily upon the Abhidhammapiṭaka.

Ron Crouch wrote:Essentially, those writing the VM were trying to sort out three distinct theories describing how the path-consiousness could be different for different people.

Buddhaghosa is relying on the path structure found in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī and the Paṭisambhidāmagga.

Ron Crouch wrote:The idea that the path moment itself is a kind of super-jhana is one that I'm not that familiar with, but has some merits.

It's standard Theravāda exegesis.

Ron Crouch wrote:One issue may be how we are using the term "path." I'm assuming that when you are talking about "path" you are not referring to the moment when one directly apprehends Nibbana - right?

Actually, that is precisely what I'm referring to.

Ron Crouch wrote:Because that is nothing on top of nothing and there really can't be any factors of anything in Nibbana. However, I think Nib is talking about a direct apprehension of Nibbana. Which might help distinguish why there is a disagreement...

Nibbāna is probably one of the most misunderstood terms in contemporary Buddhism. The noble paths and fruitions are always cognitions arising with concomitant mental factors. Attaining a noble path entails the arising of these supramundane saṅkhāras and the non-arising (anuppāda), non-continuance (appavatta), cessation (nirodha), and extinguishment (nibbāna) of fetters, mental outflows, and underlying tendencies which are terminated by that particular path. And attaining the fruition of that path entails the full extinguishment (parinibbāna) of those same fetters, etc.

For example, when one attains the fruition of stream-entry then any saṅkhāras which would arise in the future for a worldling are completely terminated and cease forever. When one attains the fruition of a once-returner then any saṅkhāras which would arise in the future for a stream-entrant are completely terminated and cease forever. When one attains the fruition of a non-returner then any saṅkhāras which would arise in the future for a once-returner are completely terminated and cease forever. And finally, when one attains the arahant fruition then any saṅkhāras which would arise in the future for a non-returner are completely terminated and cease forever.

Why is this so? Because in each case the causes and conditions for future arising are eliminated with the fruition of each noble path. This is the whole point of conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) -- it occurs and ceases to occur due to specific conditionality (idappaccayatā). Phenomena arise according to specific conditionality:

    When this is, that is.
    From the arising of this comes the arising of that.

And phenomena cease according to specific conditionality:

    When this isn’t, that isn’t.
    From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby nibs » Sun May 27, 2012 10:36 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron Crouch wrote:I know Nibs isn't a big fan of the VM, but I still root for Buddhaghosa, so I went and took a look at this passage in context, and it looks as if Nibs is right, there is some Abhidhamma stuff popping up there.

Of course there is Abhidhamma stuff in there. The Vism. relies heavily upon the Abhidhammapiṭaka.

Ron Crouch wrote:Essentially, those writing the VM were trying to sort out three distinct theories describing how the path-consiousness could be different for different people.

Buddhaghosa is relying on the path structure found in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī and the Paṭisambhidāmagga.

Ron Crouch wrote:The idea that the path moment itself is a kind of super-jhana is one that I'm not that familiar with, but has some merits.

It's standard Theravāda exegesis.

Ron Crouch wrote:One issue may be how we are using the term "path." I'm assuming that when you are talking about "path" you are not referring to the moment when one directly apprehends Nibbana - right?

Actually, that is precisely what I'm referring to.

Ron Crouch wrote:Because that is nothing on top of nothing and there really can't be any factors of anything in Nibbana. However, I think Nib is talking about a direct apprehension of Nibbana. Which might help distinguish why there is a disagreement...

Nibbāna is probably one of the most misunderstood terms in contemporary Buddhism. The noble paths and fruitions are always cognitions arising with concomitant mental factors. Attaining a noble path entails the arising of these supramundane saṅkhāras and the non-arising (anuppāda), non-continuance (appavatta), cessation (nirodha), and extinguishment (nibbāna) of fetters, mental outflows, and underlying tendencies which are terminated by that particular path. And attaining the fruition of that path entails the full extinguishment (parinibbāna) of those same fetters, etc.
[/list]


These days, I lean towards the notion of 'nibbana' as a conscious cognised absence of 'construing', fabrications, 'objects', 'subjects', seeing in the seen, etc. I am also familiar with the infamous cessation of the senses 'blip' but my opinion has changed on that. Though such 'moments' do make the mind more pliant and malleable than pre-'moment'. I think I can see what Ñana may be pointing to. More rumination though is needed on my part to jump on board.

Nibs
nibs
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 9:37 pm

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Sun May 27, 2012 10:39 pm

Nana, you seem to be suggesting that one has cognitions in Nibbana -are you really saying that this is how it happens?
Ron Crouch
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Nyana » Sun May 27, 2012 10:57 pm

Ron Crouch wrote:Nana, you seem to be suggesting that one has cognitions in Nibbana -are you really saying that this is how it happens?

Well, there is no such thing as "in nibbāna." One has a cognition of nibbāna, i.e. a cognition of extinguishment. And cognitions always arise with concomitant mental factors (cetasikā). The Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha:

    1. The First Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    2. The Second Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    3. The Third Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    4. The Fourth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,
    5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

    These are the five types of Sotāpatti Path-consciousness.

    So are the Sakadāgāmī Path-consciousness, Anāgāmī Path-consciousness, and Arahatta Path-consciousness, making exactly twenty classes of consciousness. Similarly there are twenty classes of Fruit-consciousness. Thus there are forty types of supramundane consciousness.

This accords with the basic path sequence as outlined in the suttas as follows: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).

This developmental path sequence is found in SN 12.23 (S ii 29) Upanisa Sutta. This same developmental sequence, or significant portions of it, is also presented in Vin i 294, D i 73, D i 182, D i 207, D i 214, D i 232, D i 250, D iii 241, D iii 279, D iii 288, M i 37, M i 283, S iv 78, S iv 351-8, S v 156, S v 398, A i 243, A iii 21, A iii 285, A v 1-6, A v 312, A v 315, A v 317, A v 329, A v 333.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun May 27, 2012 11:10 pm

Greetings,

Ñāṇa wrote:This accords with the basic path sequence as outlined in the suttas as follows: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).

:goodpost:

As this is what is taught by the Buddha in the Suttas (kindly referenced in detail by Geoff in his post above) I think it shows good reason why a "dark night" event or sequence of an events ought not be retrofitted back into the Buddha's sequence as standard, nor claimed to be taught as the Buddha's teaching. There is nothing in this sequence (sometimes called 'transcendental dependent origination') that includes or accommodates (let alone necessitates) such things...

I for one would be interested to know how the Visuddhimagga path of insight-knowledges lines up with the four levels of aryan attainment noted in the suttas, and where the eradication of fetters associated with the four aryan attainments come to cease in the model of insight knowledges. Where does the Stream-winner fit into the equation, for example? Must one go all the way to the end of the insight-knowledges to attain Stream-entry? And if that is so, what is the path for the rest of the road to arahantship? etc.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun May 27, 2012 11:29 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:This accords with the basic path sequence as outlined in the suttas as follows: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).


When I feel the need to form a model of how insight arises this is where I look. Just remembering it helps me along the sequence at least to the fourth one every time.

:bow:
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Nyana » Mon May 28, 2012 12:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:I for one would be interested to know how the Visuddhimagga path of insight-knowledges lines up with the four levels of aryan attainment noted in the suttas, and where the eradication of fetters associated with the four aryan attainments come to cease in the model of insight knowledges. Where does the Stream-winner fit into the equation, for example? Must one go all the way to the end of the insight-knowledges to attain Stream-entry? And if that is so, what is the path for the rest of the road to arahantship? etc.

The Vism. developmental stages are a synthesis of MN 24 Rathavinīta Sutta, the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, and the Paṭisambhidāmagga Ñāṇakathā (along with some things from the Aṭṭhakathā and a few of Buddhagosa's own ideas). The noble paths arise within the stage of purification by knowledge and vision (ñāṇadassanavisuddhi) right after the knowledge of change of lineage (gotrabhuñāṇa). This is explained in Chapter 22 of the Vism.

retrofuturist wrote:Must one go all the way to the end of the insight-knowledges to attain Stream-entry?

Yes, pretty much.

retrofuturist wrote:And if that is so, what is the path for the rest of the road to arahantship? etc.

After the fruition of stream-entry if one wants to attain the next noble path s/he begins again with the insight knowledge of rise and fall and proceeds through to the knowledge of equanimity about fabrications, then again knowledge of change of lineage, attainment of the second noble path, etc.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 28, 2012 12:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Ñāṇa wrote:This accords with the basic path sequence as outlined in the suttas as follows: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).

:goodpost:
As this is what is taught by the Buddha in the Suttas (kindly referenced in detail by Geoff in his post above) I think it shows good reason why a "dark night" event or sequence of an events ought not be retrofitted back into the Buddha's sequence as standard, nor claimed to be taught as the Buddha's teaching. There is nothing in this sequence (sometimes called 'transcendental dependent origination') that includes or accommodates (let alone necessitates) such things...

The progress of insight sequence is seen as an interpretation and clarification of the above sequence, and other suttas.
There are more details in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11701
in particular around the area of this post:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11701#p177835

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9621
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 28, 2012 12:15 am

Greetings Geoff,

Thanks for the overview. One final question of clarification...

retrofuturist wrote:And if that is so, what is the path for the rest of the road to arahantship? etc.

Ñāṇa wrote:After the fruition of stream-entry if one wants to attain the next noble path s/he begins again with the insight knowledge of rise and fall and proceeds through to the knowledge of equanimity about fabrications, then again knowledge of change of lineage, attainment of the second noble path, etc.

What confuses me a bit here is that the nyāṇas are typically called "knowledges". If someone has to redo them from the beginning each time, to what extent can it be claimed that they actually "know" and have "knowledge" of the various insights? Surely they haven't forgotten the previously acquired "knowledge"? Why the need to demonstrate to oneself what one already has "known" to be true?

The way they're explained here sounds more like they may be better called "perceptions", "observations" or "experiences", if they really must be re-experienced and cultivated in order to proceed further.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 28, 2012 12:16 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:The progress of insight sequence is seen as an interpretation and clarification of the above sequence, and other suttas.

Yes, Geoff explained the synthesis involved in the post immediately above yours and I am satisfied with his explanation.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Nyana » Mon May 28, 2012 12:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:What confuses me a bit here is that the nyāṇas are typically called "knowledges". If someone has to redo them from the beginning each time, to what extent can it be claimed that they actually "know" and have "knowledge" of the various insights? Surely they haven't forgotten the previously acquired "knowledge"? Why the need to demonstrate to oneself what one already has "known" to be true?

The way they're explained here sounds more like they may be better called "perceptions" or "experiences", if they really must be re-experienced and cultivated in order to proceed further.

Yes, both saññā and ñāṇa are derived from the verb root - √ñā (to know). Cf. this post. The former term is more common in the suttas, e.g. aniccasaññā, anicca dukkhasaññā, dukkha anattasaññā, virāgasaññā, nirodhasaññā, paṭinissaggasaññā, etc.

IMO the Paṭisambhidāmagga Ñāṇakathā (which is the source for the insight-knowledges in the Vism.) was originally composed as a treatise explaining Theravāda doctrine and theory. Hence the use of the term "ñāṇa." It is more of a pedagogical treatise than a meditation manual. This was then later understood as a good working model for describing how to develop insight as a method, eventually giving rise to the Vism.
Nyana
 
Posts: 2229
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 28, 2012 12:42 am

Greetings Geoff,

Thanks - that's much clearer now.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Mon May 28, 2012 4:43 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Ron Crouch wrote:Nana, you seem to be suggesting that one has cognitions in Nibbana -are you really saying that this is how it happens?

Well, there is no such thing as "in nibbāna." One has a cognition of nibbāna, i.e. a cognition of extinguishment. And cognitions always arise with concomitant mental factors (cetasikā). The Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha:

    1. The First Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with initial application, sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    2. The Second Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with sustained application, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    3. The Third Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with joy, happiness, and one-pointedness,
    4. The Fourth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with happiness and one-pointedness,
    5. The Fifth Jhāna Sotāpatti Path-consciousness together with equanimity and one-pointedness.

    These are the five types of Sotāpatti Path-consciousness.

    So are the Sakadāgāmī Path-consciousness, Anāgāmī Path-consciousness, and Arahatta Path-consciousness, making exactly twenty classes of consciousness. Similarly there are twenty classes of Fruit-consciousness. Thus there are forty types of supramundane consciousness.

This accords with the basic path sequence as outlined in the suttas as follows: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).

This developmental path sequence is found in SN 12.23 (S ii 29) Upanisa Sutta. This same developmental sequence, or significant portions of it, is also presented in Vin i 294, D i 73, D i 182, D i 207, D i 214, D i 232, D i 250, D iii 241, D iii 279, D iii 288, M i 37, M i 283, S iv 78, S iv 351-8, S v 156, S v 398, A i 243, A iii 21, A iii 285, A v 1-6, A v 312, A v 315, A v 317, A v 329, A v 333.



Nana - you are wonderful! I love all the references.

We are totally on the same page now.

There was a question from retro about how the DN lines up with this. Retro, you and I have disagreed mostly, but my understanding is that the insight knowledges line up in the "gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā)". Equanimity and the events of path follow. Nana, please chime in if you don't see it this way.

Again, this is beautiful! Thanks so much Nana.
Ron Crouch
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 28, 2012 4:54 am

Greetings Ron,

Ron Crouch wrote:There was a question from retro about how the DN lines up with this. Retro, you and I have disagreed mostly, but my understanding is that the insight knowledges line up in the "gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā)". Equanimity and the events of path follow.

So the process of learning to cultivate disenchantment with regards to what one has seen (rather than respond with it with unwholesome reactions like aversion) is the "process" of the Dark Night? Is that what you're saying?

(And you might be surprised to know, I have agreed with you on many things you've said, it's just that I've not explicitly placed a tick next to everything we agree on. Where there is already concurrence there's not much to talk about, and on some of the matters where we agree, I've not taken it further out of respect for others who may not find the reasons behind my concurrence to be "pleasing to the ear".)

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14524
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Mon May 28, 2012 5:28 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:What confuses me a bit here is that the nyāṇas are typically called "knowledges". If someone has to redo them from the beginning each time, to what extent can it be claimed that they actually "know" and have "knowledge" of the various insights? Surely they haven't forgotten the previously acquired "knowledge"? Why the need to demonstrate to oneself what one already has "known" to be true?

The way they're explained here sounds more like they may be better called "perceptions" or "experiences", if they really must be re-experienced and cultivated in order to proceed further.

Yes, both saññā and ñāṇa are derived from the verb root - √ñā (to know). Cf. this post. The former term is more common in the suttas, e.g. aniccasaññā, anicca dukkhasaññā, dukkha anattasaññā, virāgasaññā, nirodhasaññā, paṭinissaggasaññā, etc.

IMO the Paṭisambhidāmagga Ñāṇakathā (which is the source for the insight-knowledges in the Vism.) was originally composed as a treatise explaining Theravāda doctrine and theory. Hence the use of the term "ñāṇa." It is more of a pedagogical treatise than a meditation manual. This was then later understood as a good working model for describing how to develop insight as a method, eventually giving rise to the Vism.



It is absolutely more experience than a cognitive process -although it greatly influences cognitions after it happens. One "experiences" impermanence and so on, then afterwards, it is easy to see the world in that way. You have an "insight knowledge", but is really felt and later becomes a way of viewing the world.

The higher paths, the repeats of the insight knowledges, in my opinion, are given short shrift in the VM and in a lot of the later commentaries. I could go into them in more detail here, but that is not really what the thread is about. Suffice it to say, they are more complex than the commentaries suggest.
Ron Crouch
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Ron Crouch » Mon May 28, 2012 5:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ron,

Ron Crouch wrote:There was a question from retro about how the DN lines up with this. Retro, you and I have disagreed mostly, but my understanding is that the insight knowledges line up in the "gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā)". Equanimity and the events of path follow.

So the process of learning to cultivate disenchantment with regards to what one has seen (rather than respond with it with unwholesome reactions like aversion) is the "process" of the Dark Night? Is that what you're saying?


Abso-freakin-lutely! The point is that the aversion does indeed come up, the terror, disgust, etc. but that you learn to cultivate dispassion toward it by letting go of the objects (difficult experiences) and experiencing liberation piece by piece, until the mind is ripe for full equanimity.

retrofuturist wrote:(And you might be surprised to know, I have agreed with you on many things you've said, it's just that I've not explicitly placed a tick next to everything we agree on. Where there is already concurrence there's not much to talk about, and on some of the matters where we agree, I've not taken it further out of respect for others who may not find the reasons behind my concurrence to be "pleasing to the ear".)

Metta,
Retro. :)


Very interesting! Mucho respect and metta retro. As I said before I go back and forth on you, but I see you are a subtle dude. That's cool.

Ron
Ron Crouch
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 4:32 pm

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon May 28, 2012 6:05 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Yes, both saññā and ñāṇa are derived from the verb root - √ñā (to know). Cf. this post. The former term is more common in the suttas, e.g. aniccasaññā, anicca dukkhasaññā, dukkha anattasaññā, virāgasaññā, nirodhasaññā, paṭinissaggasaññā, etc.

IMO the Paṭisambhidāmagga Ñāṇakathā (which is the source for the insight-knowledges in the Vism.) was originally composed as a treatise explaining Theravāda doctrine and theory. Hence the use of the term "ñāṇa." It is more of a pedagogical treatise than a meditation manual. This was then later understood as a good working model for describing how to develop insight as a method, eventually giving rise to the Vism.


That really clears a lot up. I will probably still not study these texts much but what you have said here gives me a much better context for the material when I come across it.

Thanks Nana.

Prasadachitta
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
User avatar
Prasadachitta
 
Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby danieLion » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:47 am

Hi Ron,
You're welcome. I find it valuable too.

Ron Crouch wrote:...if you don't view the VM as a legit source of dhamma we are talking past each other...


The Buddha doesn't require us to have a view on the VM.

At this point I view it as neither legit nor non-legit. I just prioritize it differently, that is I defer to the suttas, some contemporary and semi-contemporary teachers, and my experience before the VM.
metta
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Why Meditate?

Postby danieLion » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:12 am

Hi Ñāṇa,
Ñāṇa wrote:

This accords with the basic path sequence as outlined in the suttas as follows: dissatisfaction (dukkha) → faith (saddhā) → gladness (pāmojja) → joy (pīti) → tranquility (passaddhi) → pleasure (sukha) → meditative composure (samādhi) → gnosis & vision of things as they are (yathābhūtañāṇadassana) → disenchantment (nibbidā) → dispassion (virāga) → liberation (vimutti) → gnosis of elimination (khayeñāṇa).

This developmental path sequence is found in SN 12.23 (S ii 29) Upanisa Sutta. This same developmental sequence, or significant portions of it, is also presented in Vin i 294, D i 73, D i 182, D i 207, D i 214, D i 232, D i 250, D iii 241, D iii 279, D iii 288, M i 37, M i 283, S iv 78, S iv 351-8, S v 156, S v 398, A i 243, A iii 21, A iii 285, A v 1-6, A v 312, A v 315, A v 317, A v 329, A v 333.


Do you feel the gradual training (GT) is sequential in a strictly linear sense--e.g., you can't move on to saddhā without first having comprehended dukkha--or do you think it can progress more like a spiral--e.g., a little dukkha comprehending followed by a little saddhā, etc..., all the way through khayeñāṇa, then back to dukkha but with a little more comprehension of dukkha than the initial comprehending?

Also, and corollary to the above, do you believe you have to start with dukkha, or can you focus on another step and then work with the other aspects?
metta
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

PreviousNext

Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests