Mind-made body - a question

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby halwilson » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:19 am

Luang Poo Waen was a monk for 78 years and lived to 98. There is an original English newspaper article about the event that provoked Waen's wry remark here:

http://thaiamulets.net/luang_pu_waen_1.htm

http://thaiamulets.net/luang_pu_waen_2.htm

Curiously, after visiting the ailing monk, the English author and his medical companions entered another room and saw a duplicate of Waen, which made them wonder "which one was the real Luang Bhu Waen". No doubt the highly realistic wax-made likeness of Waen seemed all the more convincing as the ailing monk they had just visited hadn't appeared to move either.

Cheers, Hal
"We had the experience, but missed the meaning" T. S. Eliot
User avatar
halwilson
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Thailand

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:40 am

Hi Hal,

halwilson wrote:No doubt the highly realistic wax-made likeness of Waen seemed all the more convincing as the ailing monk they had just visited hadn't appeared to move either.


The English monk Bodhidhamma told me that when he was practising in Burma with Mahasi Sayadaw, one day he entered a room in which a waxwork model of the sayadaw had just been installed, and proceeded to prostrate to it, believing it to be the man himself. (His point, btw, in relating the story was to convey some idea of the sayadaw's stillness and restraint, not the skillfulness of Burmese waxwork-making).

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby srivijaya » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:20 pm

Thanks for the article Hal. What a story.

And thanks to the sangha for their replies.

There's hope yet then :twothumbsup:

Dhammanando, as to the 'solidity' of the levitating monk, I shall defer to your experience. 8-)
srivijaya
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:31 pm

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Anders » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:02 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Individual,

However, it says nothing about "mind precedes all physical states".

Nor do I recall anything in the suttas that says anything to this effect either.

Metta,
Retro. :)



erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:52 pm

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Individual » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:01 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Individual,

However, it says nothing about "mind precedes all physical states".

Nor do I recall anything in the suttas that says anything to this effect either.

Metta,
Retro. :)



erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?

The chain of dependent origination is exactly that -- a chain. The particular organization, with sankhara being second, vinanna being third, and name-and-form, birth, etc., following all of this, is only an arbitrary classification (since you have to start somewhere and that's a good enough way of describing it). Retrofuturist showed me a sutta a while ago -- not sure about the name, but he could tell you -- where the Buddha described dependent origination in non-linear terms. That is, even within dependent origination, it's not a linear relationship, where ignorance is the "first cause," and it goes from one step to another, but there is a great diversity of karmic activity, with each re-arising of each chain of dependent origination.

Your question, then, is like asking, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby stuka » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:05 am

Individual wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Individual,

However, it says nothing about "mind precedes all physical states".

Nor do I recall anything in the suttas that says anything to this effect either.

Metta,
Retro. :)



erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?

The chain of dependent origination is exactly that -- a chain. The particular organization, with sankhara being second, vinanna being third, and name-and-form, birth, etc., following all of this, is only an arbitrary classification (since you have to start somewhere and that's a good enough way of describing it). Retrofuturist showed me a sutta a while ago -- not sure about the name, but he could tell you -- where the Buddha described dependent origination in non-linear terms. That is, even within dependent origination, it's not a linear relationship, where ignorance is the "first cause," and it goes from one step to another, but there is a great diversity of karmic activity, with each re-arising of each chain of dependent origination.

Your question, then, is like asking, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"



Agreed. Anders is asking the wrong question. The right question is: How does suffering arise? What are its causes and sustaining conditions? How does one remove these causes so that suffering can be quenched?

Ignorance --> The Person --> Suffering.

Paticcasamuppada, which derives from idappaccayata, is a concomitant process, rather than a sequential one.


Imasmim sati idam hoti
When there is this, that is.
Imasuppada idam upajjati With the arising of this, that arises.
Imasmim asati idam na hoti When this is not, neither is that.
Imassa nirodha idam nirujjhati With the cessation of this, that ceases.
User avatar
stuka
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:08 am

Greetings Anders,

erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?


Ignorance (of the Four Noble Truths) conditions kammic formators... but I don't see the relevance of the question.

As Stuka alludes to above, dependent origination is a model of suffering (which is the domain of the Buddha). It is not a model of transmigration, nor is it about the arising and passing away of all phenomena within the universe.

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: 14609
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Anders » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:12 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Anders,

erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?


Ignorance (of the Four Noble Truths) conditions kammic formators... but I don't see the relevance of the question.

As Stuka alludes to above, dependent origination is a model of suffering (which is the domain of the Buddha). It is not a model of transmigration, nor is it about the arising and passing away of all phenomena within the universe.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree it doesn't depict causation temporally (ie once upon a time ignorance appeared, the mountains and rivers arose and everything sucked from then on), but it nonetheless depicts the structural relationship of body and mind and shows mind-factors to be antecedent to the body.

Transmigration can be quite naturally inferred from this, since it demonstrates that that there are mindcauses that do not arise due to the body (but nonetheless exist co-dependedly on it and hence will conjoin with a new one) and thus will persist after the breakup of the body unless they cease in the present life (such as is the case for arahants). Or 'preceede physical states' if you will.

The right question is indeed, how does suffering and cease, but this ties quite naturally into transmigration, since it is the causes of perpetual transmigration (and thus, the indefinite perpetration of dhukkha) that are uprooted through this.
User avatar
Anders
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:52 pm

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby stuka » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:35 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Anders,

erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?


Ignorance (of the Four Noble Truths) conditions kammic formators... but I don't see the relevance of the question.

As Stuka alludes to above, dependent origination is a model of suffering (which is the domain of the Buddha). It is not a model of transmigration, nor is it about the arising and passing away of all phenomena within the universe.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree it doesn't depict causation temporally (ie once upon a time ignorance appeared, the mountains and rivers arose and everything sucked from then on), but it nonetheless depicts the structural relationship of body and mind and shows mind-factors to be antecedent to the body.

Transmigration can be quite naturally inferred from this, since it demonstrates that that there are mindcauses that do not arise due to the body (but nonetheless exist co-dependedly on it and hence will conjoin with a new one) and thus will persist after the breakup of the body unless they cease in the present life (such as is the case for arahants). Or 'preceede physical states' if you will.


Sounds terribly convoluted. Of course, anyone can infer all kinds of speculative views. There really is nothing that demonstrates any sort of link or cause for the sort of transmigration you speculate, or any other transmigration/reincarnation theory.


The right question is indeed, how does suffering and cease, but this ties quite naturally into transmigration, since it is the causes of perpetual transmigration (and thus, the indefinite perpetration of dhukkha) that are uprooted through this.



The Buddha taught that when one takes care of suffering in the here and now, whatever might transpire in the future naturally follows. Kinda renders any concerns over what might or might not happen when one dies irrelevant.
User avatar
stuka
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Individual » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:27 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Anders,

erm... what comes first in the chain of dependent origination?


Ignorance (of the Four Noble Truths) conditions kammic formators... but I don't see the relevance of the question.

As Stuka alludes to above, dependent origination is a model of suffering (which is the domain of the Buddha). It is not a model of transmigration, nor is it about the arising and passing away of all phenomena within the universe.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree it doesn't depict causation temporally (ie once upon a time ignorance appeared, the mountains and rivers arose and everything sucked from then on), but it nonetheless depicts the structural relationship of body and mind and shows mind-factors to be antecedent to the body.

Transmigration can be quite naturally inferred from this, since it demonstrates that that there are mindcauses that do not arise due to the body (but nonetheless exist co-dependedly on it and hence will conjoin with a new one) and thus will persist after the breakup of the body unless they cease in the present life (such as is the case for arahants). Or 'preceede physical states' if you will.

The right question is indeed, how does suffering and cease, but this ties quite naturally into transmigration, since it is the causes of perpetual transmigration (and thus, the indefinite perpetration of dhukkha) that are uprooted through this.

Now, I would agree with Anders here. It does show the structural relationship of body and mind, and reality too, not merely being a model "of suffering."

To borrow some western philosophical terms as a means of perhaps clarifying the nature of the Twelve Nidanas: Western philosophy beginning with Kant distinguishes between phenomenon (appearances, objects dependent on the senses) and noumenon (objects independent of the senses, in and of themselves, as they really are). From a Buddhist perspective, this distinction is incoherent, since there is no "noumenon," that could be described or discovered apart from that which is dependent on the senses. Abstract philosophy and papanca could be described as speculation about this noumenon, this "truth somewhere in the sky," but the Twelve Nidanas describe very real phenomenon (so it can be called Buddhist phenomenology), which accounts for all experiences, and wisdom is the correct and clear seeing of phenomenon as they actually are... And from this, one could infer transmigration if, by transmigration, you mean the rebirth of mind-and-body in such a way that mind-and-body is neither annihilated at death nor continues, but operates in accordance with the Twelve Nidanas, among which there is no self to be found.

The term "perpetual transmigration," is problematic, possibly misleading. The term "perpetual," is etymologically related to "permanent," and "transmigration," generally implies a reincarnation of a self or soul. You shouldn't even subtly suggest that there is eternal reincarnation. It always seems clearer to me to be much more specific and relate the teaching to impermanence: that the impermanent cycle of suffering (impermanent based on liberation, not impermanent on death) manifests an impermanent life, which eventually has an impermanent death, until a new impermanent life and death is formed, in accordance with the action of the previous iteration.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby stuka » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:46 pm

Individual wrote: The term "perpetual transmigration," is problematic, possibly misleading. The term "perpetual," is etymologically related to "permanent," and "transmigration," generally implies a reincarnation of a self or soul. You shouldn't even subtly suggest that there is eternal reincarnation. It always seems clearer to me to be much more specific and relate the teaching to impermanence: that the impermanent cycle of suffering (impermanent based on liberation, not impermanent on death) manifests an impermanent life, which eventually has an impermanent death, until a new impermanent life and death is formed, in accordance with the action of the previous iteration.


You would still have to account for whatever scorekeeper decides who is going to be reincarnated as a God of Refulgent Glory, and who is going to be reincarnated as an intestinal parasite.
User avatar
stuka
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Individual » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:04 pm

stuka wrote:
Individual wrote: The term "perpetual transmigration," is problematic, possibly misleading. The term "perpetual," is etymologically related to "permanent," and "transmigration," generally implies a reincarnation of a self or soul. You shouldn't even subtly suggest that there is eternal reincarnation. It always seems clearer to me to be much more specific and relate the teaching to impermanence: that the impermanent cycle of suffering (impermanent based on liberation, not impermanent on death) manifests an impermanent life, which eventually has an impermanent death, until a new impermanent life and death is formed, in accordance with the action of the previous iteration.


You would still have to account for whatever scorekeeper decides who is going to be reincarnated as a God of Refulgent Glory, and who is going to be reincarnated as an intestinal parasite.

Why do you assume that the process I described above, devoid of self or references to gods, requires a figure like Yama or the Judeo-Christian God, in order to function?

Whatever the specifics of the rebirth process -- that is, how a being previously human can become God of Refulgent Glory or an intestinal parasite -- it would happen according to kamma, not the judgment of a celestial being.

To use your own metaphor, there is a "score" but no "scorekeeper". At death, there is a score, but the score is neither lost nor kept by self.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby stuka » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:52 pm

Individual wrote:Why do you assume that the process I described above, devoid of self or references to gods, requires a figure like Yama or the Judeo-Christian God, in order to function?

Whatever the specifics of the rebirth process -- that is, how a being previously human can become God of Refulgent Glory or an intestinal parasite -- it would happen according to kamma, not the judgment of a celestial being.

To use your own metaphor, there is a "score" but no "scorekeeper". At death, there is a score, but the score is neither lost nor kept by self.


What you propose is just as much a speculative view as an assumption that there is a score-keeper, or a sky-god, or a flying spaghetti monster. Saying "there is a score but no score-keeper" fails to demonstrate any sort of mechanism that would cause this "score" to be transferred. It's simply an evolving story, being modified with specious arguments to address questions that expose its weaknesses.
User avatar
stuka
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby appicchato » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:32 am

Individual wrote:At death, there is a score, but the score is neither lost nor kept by self.


And you would know this how?...
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1558
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:26 am

appicchato wrote:
Individual wrote:At death, there is a score, but the score is neither lost nor kept by self.


And you would know this how?...


I am wondering the same!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5686
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:37 am

I just looked at the original question and a thought occurred to me in regard to the first two verses of the dhammapada which have been used here!

Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Phenomena are preceded by the heart, ruled by the heart, made of the heart. If you speak or act with a corrupted heart, then suffering follows you — as the wheel of the cart, the track of the ox that pulls it.

Phenomena are preceded by the heart, ruled by the heart, made of the heart. If you speak or act with a calm, bright heart, then happiness follows you, like a shadow that never leaves.

or
Acharya Buddharakkhita wrote:1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.


It could be said that stress (also used by Thanissaro Bhikkhu to translate Dukkha) is caused by clinging so the mind is not happy or happy depending on how mentally stressed we are , but it is shown that stress can cause skin blemishes and other not so visible conditions.
so I suppose that this is a form of mind made body
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5686
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby srivijaya » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:01 am

Manapa wrote:I am wondering the same!


... and I'm wondering what happened to this thread? :shrug:
srivijaya
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:31 pm

Re: Mind-made body - a question

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:36 am

Indeed.

:focus:
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai

Previous

Return to Discovering Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 6 guests