Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby danieLion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:36 am

In this talk Andrea Fella says that (1) according to Abhidhamma the sense base of touch is always either pleasant or unpleasant and that it's never got a neutral tone to it. She also says that (2) according to Abhidhamma that the other four sense bases are all inherently neutral (of 2 adds that she isn't convinced).

Which part of the Abhidhamma did she get this from? I only have a copy of the CMA and couldn't find any parallel statements in there.

Comments are at about 33:15 to about 33:14 and from about 46:45 to about 48:25.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby James the Giant » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:55 am

Sorry, I don't know. But on a related topic, Ajahn Tiradhammo, currently at Birken Monastery in Canada, teaches being aware of Feeling Tone as the main method of formal practise.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am
Location: Perth, Australia

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby danieLion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:57 am

James the Giant wrote:Sorry, I don't know. But on a related topic, Ajahn Tiradhammo, currently at Birken Monastery in Canada, teaches being aware of Feeling Tone as the main method of formal practise.

Thanks James. I'll check it out.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby robertk » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:21 am

Yes she is right. I think This becomes obvious to awareness.
Through the bodysense the contact is very coarse, it wil inevitably be either plesant or unplesant to some degree.

For the other senses the contact is so different.Take seeing: there is never unpleasant feeling, even if we see something disgusting like a dog faeces, nor is there pleasant feeling at the moment if seeing a beautiful object.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:46 pm

robertk wrote:For the other senses the contact is so different.Take seeing: there is never unpleasant feeling, even if we see something disgusting like a dog faeces, nor is there pleasant feeling at the moment if seeing a beautiful object.


I guess what you are saying is that the pleasant/unpleasant quality is in the body sensations that arise in response to what is seen, not in the seeing itself.

The difference with the touch sense is that it's already body sensation.
"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
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1863
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby danieLion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks Robert and Goof,

If I follow correctly, these descriptions apply only to post noticing the feeling tone at a sense base. Pre noticing, the feeling tone at any base is neutral, right?

This is based on my (currently limited) understanding of the citta-sangaha-vibhāgo/cetasika taxonomy of the Abhidhammattha Sangaha where neutral vedanā is always rooted in avijjā/dosa.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:55 am

Hi Daniel,
danieLion wrote:If I follow correctly, these descriptions apply only to post noticing the feeling tone at a sense base. Pre noticing, the feeling tone at any base is neutral, right?

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. If nothing has arisen, there's just no feeling. But perhaps the contact/feeling/perception sequence found in numerous suttas, such as http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.018.than.html?
"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind).

In which case, it seems quite clear from the suttas, abhidhamma, and experience (which requires a bit of development of mindfulness and concentration), that feeling doesn't depend on perception.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10112
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby robertk » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:32 am

danieLion wrote:Thanks Robert and Goof,

If I follow correctly, these descriptions apply only to post noticing the feeling tone at a sense base. Pre noticing, the feeling tone at any base is neutral, right?

i].

Dear Daniel
Not right. The 4 senses (sight, taste, smell, hearing) all invariably arise only with neutral feeling - even though they are vipaka citta which is conditioned by either past kusala or akusala kamma. This is due to the subtleness of the contact with these types of sense contact.

The bodysense contact is unique : while it is also conditioned by akusala or kusala kamma, the moment of contact is coarse and hence it will always arise with either unpleasant feeling or pleasant feeling (of some degree)' If it is conditioned by past kusala kamma the feeling will be pleasant, if by past akusala kamma unpleasant. Sometimes of course this contact, even at bodysense door, may be very subtle and not readily distinguishable as pleasant or unpleasant (but it is one or the other).
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby robertk » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:35 am

Goofaholix wrote:
robertk wrote:For the other senses the contact is so different.Take seeing: there is never unpleasant feeling, even if we see something disgusting like a dog faeces, nor is there pleasant feeling at the moment if seeing a beautiful object.


I guess what you are saying is that the pleasant/unpleasant quality is in the body sensations that arise in response to what is seen, not in the seeing itself.

The difference with the touch sense is that it's already body sensation.

This is basically right except we don't need to add the comment about "body sensations' which you add above (see underlined).
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby danieLion » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:02 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Daniel,
danieLion wrote:If I follow correctly, these descriptions apply only to post noticing the feeling tone at a sense base. Pre noticing, the feeling tone at any base is neutral, right?

I'm not sure what you are getting at here....

I'm too perplexed to be getting at anything. :anjali: Robert (below) pretty much explained it to my satisfaction--for now.
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby danieLion » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:04 am

robertk wrote:
danieLion wrote:Thanks Robert and Goof,

If I follow correctly, these descriptions apply only to post noticing the feeling tone at a sense base. Pre noticing, the feeling tone at any base is neutral, right?

i].

Dear Daniel
Not right. The 4 senses (sight, taste, smell, hearing) all invariably arise only with neutral feeling - even though they are vipaka citta which is conditioned by either past kusala or akusala kamma. This is due to the subtleness of the contact with these types of sense contact.

The bodysense contact is unique : while it is also conditioned by akusala or kusala kamma, the moment of contact is coarse and hence it will always arise with either unpleasant feeling or pleasant feeling (of some degree)' If it is conditioned by past kusala kamma the feeling will be pleasant, if by past akusala kamma unpleasant. Sometimes of course this contact, even at bodysense door, may be very subtle and not readily distinguishable as pleasant or unpleasant (but it is one or the other).

Thanks Robert. That does clear it up for me some--for now.
:anjali:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby robertk » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:43 pm

http://www.vipassana.info/cetasikas4.html


  Nina van gorkom:    The Paramattha Manjusa, a commentary to the Visuddhimagga (XIV, note 56) explains why kaya-vinnana is accompanied by either pleasant feeling or unpleasant feeling. This is because of the 'violence of the impact's blow '; there is the direct impact of tangible object on the bodysense. Tangible objects which are experienced through the rupa which is the bodysense are the following rupas: soIidity, appearing as hardness or softness, temperature, appearing as heat or cold, and motion, appearing as  oscillation or pressure. By way of a simile the difference is explained between the impact of tangible object on the bodysense and the impact of the other sense objects on the relevant senses. When a man places cottonwool on an anvil and strikes it with an iron hammer, the hammer goes right through the cottonwool because of the violence of the impact. In the case, however, of the other panca-vinnanas, the impact is gentle, like the contact between two pieces of cottonwool. Thus, they are accompanied by indifferent feeling. The 'impact' of visible object on the eye-sense is gentle when compared with the direct physical contact of tangible object with the bodysense. We may believe that bodily feeling can be indifferent, but this is not so. The moment of body-consciousness (kaya-vinnana) is extremely short; it is only one moment of vipaka and after it has fallen away akusala cittas or kusala cittas arise. Body-consciousness Is accompanied either by pleasant bodily feeling or by painful bodily feeling. The akusala cittas or kusala cittas which arise shortly afterwards are accompanied by feelings which are different from bodily feeling. They can be accompanied by happy feeling, unhappy feeling or indifferent feeling.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Touch, the other senses and feeling tone

Postby danieLion » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:56 pm

robertk wrote:http://www.vipassana.info/cetasikas4.html


  Nina van gorkom:    The Paramattha Manjusa, a commentary to the Visuddhimagga (XIV, note 56) explains why kaya-vinnana is accompanied by either pleasant feeling or unpleasant feeling. This is because of the 'violence of the impact's blow '; there is the direct impact of tangible object on the bodysense. Tangible objects which are experienced through the rupa which is the bodysense are the following rupas: soIidity, appearing as hardness or softness, temperature, appearing as heat or cold, and motion, appearing as  oscillation or pressure. By way of a simile the difference is explained between the impact of tangible object on the bodysense and the impact of the other sense objects on the relevant senses. When a man places cottonwool on an anvil and strikes it with an iron hammer, the hammer goes right through the cottonwool because of the violence of the impact. In the case, however, of the other panca-vinnanas, the impact is gentle, like the contact between two pieces of cottonwool. Thus, they are accompanied by indifferent feeling. The 'impact' of visible object on the eye-sense is gentle when compared with the direct physical contact of tangible object with the bodysense. We may believe that bodily feeling can be indifferent, but this is not so. The moment of body-consciousness (kaya-vinnana) is extremely short; it is only one moment of vipaka and after it has fallen away akusala cittas or kusala cittas arise. Body-consciousness Is accompanied either by pleasant bodily feeling or by painful bodily feeling. The akusala cittas or kusala cittas which arise shortly afterwards are accompanied by feelings which are different from bodily feeling. They can be accompanied by happy feeling, unhappy feeling or indifferent feeling.

Wonderful. :bow: :bow: :bow:
danieLion
 
Posts: 1947
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 4:49 am


Return to Abhidhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests