Pali Term: Sati

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:51 am

Hi Hanzze

I also wonder how somebody would watch his cows, while not constantly remembering them. In daydreaming the cows would get simply lost. The cowherd is simply more relexed as the cows would no more damage the fruits. Still he is watching them to get not lost.


That seems to be a possibility, but I don’t read MN 19 as suggesting that the task goes beyond preventing the cows from nibbling the harvest. The imagery in MN 19 looks to me to be pointing to just one task. That task having been completed, I don’t think the sutta suggests that there is a further task to do in preventing the loss of the cows.


Hi Dmytro

An extended description of fourth right effort in Samvarappadhana sutta involves keeping the attention on certain perceptual image (nimitta) or selective recognition (sanna):

katamañca bhikkhave anurakkhaṇappadhānaṃ? Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu uppannaṃ bhaddakaṃ samādhinimittaṃ anurakkhati aṭṭhikasaññaṃ pulavakasaññaṃ vinīlakasaññaṃ vipubbakasaññaṃ vicchiddakasaññaṃ uddhumātakasaññaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati bhikkhave anurakkhaṇappadhānaṃ.

http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-p.html


Pls forgive my clumsy and hyper-literal translation of AN 4.14 above –

And what, O monks, is the effort to guard/protect? Here, O monks, a monk guards the arisen good “sign of concentration” – the perception of bones, the perception of the worm-infested (corpse), the perception of the blue-black (corpse), the perception of the festering (corpse), the perception of the punctured (corpse), the perception of the swollen (corpse). This, O monks, is called the effort to guard/protect.


It might not be the “recognition” or “apperception” function of sañña at work here, but rather, the imagination/conceptualisation at work. Of the 6 adjectives applied to a corpse in this sutta, 3 (uddhumātakaṃ vinīlakaṃ vipubbakajātaṃ) are shared with MN 10’s discussion on cemetery contemplations. In MN 10, the optative passeyya is used to indicate a hypothetical sort of “sight”, which the meditator then applies/upasaṃharati to his own body; this suggests adhivacanasamphassa, rather than the more direct paṭighasamphassa at work.

The other connection to satipaṭṭhāna in AN 4.14, lies in its reference to samādhinimitta, which MN 44 would define as the 4 satipaṭṭhānas. As I mentioned in my earlier post, the verb upasaṃharati certainly allows for a more discursive and recollective stance, but I do not know how the more subtle pajānāti (discerns) or sampajānakārī (applies awareness) requires recollection.

That being said, my own interpretation would require that even the effort to protect in terms of “just knowing” is mediated by a sankhāra. What does not seem apparent is whether or not one needs to deliberately recall such an instruction, or whether the sankhāra works automatically. After all, SN 12.25 makes clear that not all sankhāras arise sampajana. Kamma can also be done asampajana (unconsciously). No distinction is drawn between good kamma or bad kamma in terms of their potential to be asampajana.

Which brings me to your query -

How could the Bodhisatta steadily see and discern two kind of thoughts, and apply proper efforts, if he didn't maintain the remembrance of what he was doing?


This is an absolutely legitimate point, and it appears from the suttas that the application of the 4 Right Efforts will certainly require one to constantly recall and remember to "do" something at a fairly "coarse" level. But, this still cannot explain whether recollection and "doing" still has much of a role, when the defilements have reached a fairly untroublesome level, such that one simply pajānāti/knows that they are present or absent. This is in fact brought to the fore in the Satipaṭṭhāna suttas' instructions to dhammesu dhammānupassī pañcasu nīvaraṇesu (practise dhammānupassanā with reference to the 5 Hindrances). The "bare awareness" refrain of ñāṇamattā patissatimattā is also applied to the 5 Hindrances, which suggests that one could take a very stable and neutral stance when facing the Hindrances.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:29 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:Pls forgive my clumsy and hyper-literal translation of AN 4.14 above –

And what, O monks, is the effort to guard/protect? Here, O monks, a monk guards the arisen good “sign of concentration” – the perception of bones, the perception of the worm-infested (corpse), the perception of the blue-black (corpse), the perception of the festering (corpse), the perception of the punctured (corpse), the perception of the swollen (corpse). This, O monks, is called the effort to guard/protect.


It is not clumsy, it is just that this translation uses Buddhist Hybrid English terms like 'sign' - seemingly English, but very hard to comprehend and apply in practice.
See the thread on the term 'nimitta'.

It might not be the “recognition” or “apperception” function of sañña at work here, but rather, the imagination/conceptualisation at work.


The role of 'sañña' as selective recognition is discussed in detail in the thread viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2834 . Conceptualization is quite a different thing.

Of the 6 adjectives applied to a corpse in this sutta, 3 (uddhumātakaṃ vinīlakaṃ vipubbakajātaṃ) are shared with MN 10’s discussion on cemetery contemplations. In MN 10, the optative passeyya is used to indicate a hypothetical sort of “sight”, which the meditator then applies/upasaṃharati to his own body; this suggests adhivacanasamphassa, rather than the more direct paṭighasamphassa at work.


Due to the predominance of 'mano' as a sense door, sustained attention to the certain perceptual images (nimitta) does transform physical percepction. You may not have experienced it, but this is well described, e.g. in the story of Mahatissa Thera
http://www.wisdomlib.org/buddhism/book/ ... c1956.html

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the verb upasaṃharati certainly allows for a more discursive and recollective stance, but I do not know how the more subtle pajānāti (discerns) or sampajānakārī (applies awareness) requires recollection.


Not recollection, but remembrance. E.g. while writing this, I remember to watch out for mistakes and to correct them.

That being said, my own interpretation would require that even the effort to protect in terms of “just knowing” is mediated by a sankhāra.


Well, only Nibbana is 'asankhata'.

What does not seem apparent is whether or not one needs to deliberately recall such an instruction, or whether the sankhāra works automatically.


I would say both.

This is an absolutely legitimate point, and it appears from the suttas that the application of the 4 Right Efforts will certainly require one to constantly recall and remember to "do" something at a fairly "coarse" level. But, this still cannot explain whether recollection and "doing" still has much of a role, when the defilements have reached a fairly untroublesome level, such that one simply pajānāti/knows that they are present or absent.


I am talking about remembrance, which is different from recollection.

This is in fact brought to the fore in the Satipaṭṭhāna suttas' instructions to dhammesu dhammānupassī pañcasu nīvaraṇesu (practise dhammānupassanā with reference to the 5 Hindrances). The "bare awareness" refrain of ñāṇamattā patissatimattā is also applied to the 5 Hindrances, which suggests that one could take a very stable and neutral stance when facing the Hindrances.


Well, when hindrances are absent, one certainly just remembers about avoiding them.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Hanzze » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:44 am

Sylvester wrote:Hi Hanzze

I also wonder how somebody would watch his cows, while not constantly remembering them. In daydreaming the cows would get simply lost. The cowherd is simply more relexed as the cows would no more damage the fruits. Still he is watching them to get not lost.


That seems to be a possibility, but I don’t read MN 19 as suggesting that the task goes beyond preventing the cows from nibbling the harvest. The imagery in MN 19 looks to me to be pointing to just one task. That task having been completed, I don’t think the sutta suggests that there is a further task to do in preventing the loss of the cows.


I guess therefor it is needed to have some experiances about herding cows and what it means when the harvest is gathered, still the cowheard has a importand task but much lesser stress. I don't thinks it can be transported if a similie does not fit to own experiances.
Anyway, I am sure a way will be found.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:28 am

Hi Dmytro

Hmm, I really can't see much difference between remembrance versus recollection. If I "remember" to watch out for mistakes while typing, don't I "recollect" a previously programmed determination? I'm not using "recollect" in the sense of thinking or rumination, although at grosser levels, these do intrude.

I think the suttas have a very broad range of meanings assigned to the word nimitta. The perceptual image seems, to me, to fit into the rupanimitta and obhasanimitta of MN 128 as specific meditation objects, despite Ven Soma's protests to the contrary that the Comy nimittas are innovations introduced by Ven Buddhaghosa..

On the other hand, nimitta as "signs" would simply be the perceptible or conceivable qualities of a thing. We get one of the best examples of this in the series of synonyms from DN 15 - ākāra liṅga nimitta uddesa, all of which carry the same sense of something that identifies the object. I think that would be a fair understanding of MN 44's characterisation of 4 satipaṭṭhānas as being the nimitta of samādhi.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:22 pm

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:Hmm, I really can't see much difference between remembrance versus recollection. If I "remember" to watch out for mistakes while typing, don't I "recollect" a previously programmed determination?


You don't recollect how you made the determination, you just keep the determination in mind, remember it.

As for 'nimitta' - I will reply to you in the relevant thread.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:07 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:Hmm, I really can't see much difference between remembrance versus recollection. If I "remember" to watch out for mistakes while typing, don't I "recollect" a previously programmed determination?


You don't recollect how you made the determination, you just keep the determination in mind, remember it.


Thanks Dmytro.

I think with the above, we can probably find some common ground between sati as "remembrance" or "determination", and the "bare awareness" interpretation. I think in "bare awareness", the sati to just do nothing but be aware of the subject is also based on a determination, ie it is sankhata. From my own experience, I do apply the intention to "shut up" and "stay" with the subject, something which I imagine may have been facilitated by the remembrance of the determination, since I do, on occassion, perceive the intention to do so. Yet, at subtler levels, I do not always perceive that intention, but the work is still done nevertheless. I suspect this would be those cases where the sankhāra proceeds in an 'autonomic' fashion, ie asampajana.

These 'autonomic' sankhāra are hinted at in DN 9, where the terms used are ceteti and abhisaṅkharoti to describe the impossible types of sankhāra in the jhanas. There is some uncertainty whether ceteti means cetayati (thinking) or SN 12.38's ceteti (intending). But SN 12.51 does give some clue as to what abhisaṅkharoti means in the context of the 1st and 2nd links of DO.


As for 'nimitta' - I will reply to you in the relevant thread.


Thanks, I'll look at that later, although I will have to struggle with the Pali of the Vibhanga.

PS - I just cast a quick look at the Vibhanga citation - I notice that vavatthita surfaces. Hmm, I'm not sure if I want to start on a heretical analysis of the Patisambhidāmagga in the Classical section... Anyway, I have previously discussed vavattheti in the context of MN 111 elsewhere, and think it is the normal function of saññā.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:56 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:I think with the above, we can probably find some common ground between sati as "remembrance" or "determination", and the "bare awareness" interpretation.


If "bare awareness" is an interpretation, I would appreciate Sutta passages that are interpreted in such a way. Can you give a single example where Buddha instructs to look at unskilful qualities with equanimity?

His instructions are crystal clear:

"[6] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it, destroys it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence.

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of ill will...

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of cruelty...

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate arisen evil, unskillful mental qualities. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to destroy these things do not arise for him when he destroys them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html

Another question is that such abandonment requires a certain set of skills, and people without such skills can't do it properly.

I think in "bare awareness", the sati to just do nothing but be aware of the subject is also based on a determination, ie it is sankhata.


Can you give a single passage from the suttas where 'sati' is 'aware'? IMHO, it's an oxymoron. Remembrance just remembers.

It is 'sampajanna', a partner of sati, which functions as awareness.

From my own experience, I do apply the intention to "shut up" and "stay" with the subject, something which I imagine may have been facilitated by the remembrance of the determination, since I do, on occassion, perceive the intention to do so. Yet, at subtler levels, I do not always perceive that intention, but the work is still done nevertheless. I suspect this would be those cases where the sankhāra proceeds in an 'autonomic' fashion, ie asampajana.


This agrees with my experience.

These 'autonomic' sankhāra are hinted at in DN 9, where the terms used are ceteti and abhisaṅkharoti to describe the impossible types of sankhāra in the jhanas. There is some uncertainty whether ceteti means cetayati (thinking) or SN 12.38's ceteti (intending). But SN 12.51 does give some clue as to what abhisaṅkharoti means in the context of the 1st and 2nd links of DO.


Yes, interesting.

PS - I just cast a quick look at the Vibhanga citation - I notice that vavatthita surfaces. Hmm, I'm not sure if I want to start on a heretical analysis of the Patisambhidāmagga in the Classical section... Anyway, I have previously discussed vavattheti in the context of MN 111 elsewhere, and think it is the normal function of saññā.


I think this would be OK, as long as we keep to Pali sources. I would defend the orthodoxy with Pali citations :guns:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:01 am

Dmytro wrote:Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:I think with the above, we can probably find some common ground between sati as "remembrance" or "determination", and the "bare awareness" interpretation.


If "bare awareness" is an interpretation, I would appreciate Sutta passages that are interpreted in such a way. Can you give a single example where Buddha instructs to look at unskilful qualities with equanimity?


    And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in mental objects?

    Herein, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.

    How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances?

    Herein, monks, when sense-desire is present, a monk knows, "There is sense-desire in me," or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, "There is no sense-desire in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense-desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense-desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sense-desire comes to be.
    -- MN10
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:32 am

Thanks tilt for the classic.

Dmytro wrote:If "bare awareness" is an interpretation, I would appreciate Sutta passages that are interpreted in such a way. Can you give a single example where Buddha instructs to look at unskilful qualities with equanimity?

His instructions are crystal clear:

"[6] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it, destroys it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence.

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of ill will...

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of cruelty...

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate arisen evil, unskillful mental qualities. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to destroy these things do not arise for him when he destroys them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html


Hi Dmytro

I think the answer to your query is furnished by the self-same MN 2 that you cited.

And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by developing? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening... persistence as a factor for Awakening... rapture as a factor for Awakening... serenity as a factor for Awakening... concentration as a factor for Awakening... equanimity as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to develop these qualities do not arise for him when he develops them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by developing.


This section (bhāvanā pahātabbā) "abandonment by developing" follows the one on "abandonment by "destroying"" (vinodanā pahātabbā) the āsavā which you cited. It is the last out of the series of 7 tasks to be performed when confronting the āsavā. As is typical of how the Canon employs series, it clearly is meant to show graduation in response. In modern parlance, one calibrates one's response to the āsavā, depending on what the āsava is.

As a side-note, I wonder if Ven T's translation of "nādhivāseti pajahati vinodeti byantīkaroti anabhāvaṃ gameti" as "he does not tolerate arisen evil, unskillful mental qualities. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence" might not simply be a reflection of his own character of practice, rather that the sense that should be conveyed by the text itself. MLDB has a softer touch to the text, rendering it as "does not tolerate ...; he abandons it, removes it, does away with it and annihilates it."

The point I wish to make is this - is there any room in Buddhist practice for any form of paṭighānusaya (the latent tendency to aversion) whatsoever, even if confronting really major defilements? Let's remember that MN 117's characterisation of the Noble Eightfold Path is that it is supposed to be without āsavā.

Aside from this, I follow some translators (following Gombrich) who treat the absolutive vineyya in vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ as an infinitive of purpose, meaning therefore that the outcome of satipaṭṭhāna can only be the remaining cetasika vedanā, namely equanimity.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
    And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in mental objects?

    Herein, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.

    How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances?

    Herein, monks, when sense-desire is present, a monk knows, "There is sense-desire in me," or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, "There is no sense-desire in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense-desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense-desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sense-desire comes to be.
    -- MN10


That's a good example of discernment of kinds of behaviour (dhamma-vicaya), with inroads to "four right efforts". There's no equanimity toward hindrances here.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:18 am

Sylvester wrote:
Dmytro wrote:If "bare awareness" is an interpretation, I would appreciate Sutta passages that are interpreted in such a way. Can you give a single example where Buddha instructs to look at unskilful qualities with equanimity?


I think the answer to your query is furnished by the self-same MN 2 that you cited.

And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by developing? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening... persistence as a factor for Awakening... rapture as a factor for Awakening... serenity as a factor for Awakening... concentration as a factor for Awakening... equanimity as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to develop these qualities do not arise for him when he develops them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by developing.


This section (bhāvanā pahātabbā) "abandonment by developing" follows the one on "abandonment by "destroying"" (vinodanā pahātabbā) the āsavā which you cited. It is the last out of the series of 7 tasks to be performed when confronting the āsavā. As is typical of how the Canon employs series, it clearly is meant to show graduation in response. In modern parlance, one calibrates one's response to the āsavā, depending on what the āsava is.


I don't find any connection here. Development of equanimity as the factor of Awakening is exemplified by the fourth jhana (as described in Dvedhavitakka sutta, which describes the sequence of seven Awakening factors). This hasn't anything to do with viewing 'asava' with equanimity.

As a side-note, I wonder if Ven T's translation of "nādhivāseti pajahati vinodeti byantīkaroti anabhāvaṃ gameti" as "he does not tolerate arisen evil, unskillful mental qualities. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence" might not simply be a reflection of his own character of practice, rather that the sense that should be conveyed by the text itself. MLDB has a softer touch to the text, rendering it as "does not tolerate ...; he abandons it, removes it, does away with it and annihilates it."


The meaning remains essentially the same.

The point I wish to make is this - is there any room in Buddhist practice for any form of paṭighānusaya (the latent tendency to aversion) whatsoever, even if confronting really major defilements? Let's remember that MN 117's characterisation of the Noble Eightfold Path is that it is supposed to be without āsavā.


'paṭighānusaya ' refers to attitude to pain:

" If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, beat one's breast or become distraught, then one's resistance obsession doesn't get obsessed."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

and not to attitude to defilements.

Aside from this, I follow some translators (following Gombrich) who treat the absolutive vineyya in vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ as an infinitive of purpose, meaning therefore that the outcome of satipaṭṭhāna can only be the remaining cetasika vedanā, namely equanimity.


Even if the final outcome of satipatthana is equanimity, one has to apply efforts vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:09 pm

Dmytro wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
    And how, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in mental objects?

    Herein, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances.

    How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances?

    Herein, monks, when sense-desire is present, a monk knows, "There is sense-desire in me," or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, "There is no sense-desire in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense-desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense-desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sense-desire comes to be.
    -- MN10


That's a good example of discernment of kinds of behaviour (dhamma-vicaya), with inroads to "four right efforts". There's no equanimity toward hindrances here.
Actually, in terms of actual meditative/mindfulness practice, yes there is equanimity. One can sit with considerable concentration and attention watching, without comment or deliberate reaction, something such as lust arise, persist, then cease.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:Actually, in terms of actual meditative/mindfulness practice, yes there is equanimity. One can sit with considerable concentration and attention watching, without comment or deliberate reaction, something such as lust arise, persist, then cease.


That's great. As Buddha explained, behind passion, aversion and delusion there is an attention misdirected to certain types of perceptual images (nimitta):

"[Then if they ask,] 'But what, friends, is the reason, what the cause, why unarisen passion arises, or arisen passion tends to growth & abundance?' 'The theme [nimitta] of the attractive,' it should be said. 'For one who attends inappropriately to the theme of the attractive, unarisen passion arises and arisen passion tends to growth & abundance...'

"[Then if they ask,] 'But what, friends, is the reason, what the cause, why unarisen aversion arises, or arisen aversion tends to growth & abundance?' 'The theme of irritation,' it should be said. 'For one who attends inappropriately to the theme of irritation, unarisen aversion arises and arisen aversion tends to growth & abundance...'

"[Then if they ask,] 'But what, friends, is the reason, what the cause, why unarisen delusion arises, or arisen delusion tends to growth & abundance?' 'Inappropriate attention,' it should be said. 'For one who attends inappropriately, unarisen delusion arises and arisen delusion tends to growth & abundance...'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I uderstand the process you describe as the natural redirection of attention.
In the Satipatthana instructions of Bhikkhunupassaya sutta, Buddha instructs to conduct such redirection of attention purposefully:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5656&p=88181#p88181

In my experience, this is somewhat faster and fosters the development of wisdom. Though it also requires a great deal of patience, concentration and attention.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:52 am

Hi Dymtro

You have raised certain very important points, which I hope to deal with separately. I’ll start with the issue of anusaya, as that seems to be fundamental to Ven T’s treatment of this subject.

Dmytro wrote:

The point I wish to make is this - is there any room in Buddhist practice for any form of paṭighānusaya (the latent tendency to aversion) whatsoever, even if confronting really major defilements? Let's remember that MN 117's characterisation of the Noble Eightfold Path is that it is supposed to be without āsavā.


'paṭighānusaya ' refers to attitude to pain:

" If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one does not sorrow, grieve, or lament, beat one's breast or become distraught, then one's resistance obsession doesn't get obsessed."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

and not to attitude to defilements.



I too, used to interpret the anusayā in the above manner. It is a fair interpretation, based on the English translation given by Ven T to those passages dealing with the operation of the anusayā. BUT, is it a correct translation?

Ven T seems insistent on preserving the Sanskrit philological root of anuśaya as “obsession”. None of the Pali dictionaries define anusaya according to its Sanskritic usage. Translated this way by Ven T, “anusaya” appears to be a mental kamma or reaction in response to a particular feeling. Let’s see what the related passages from MN 148 actually say in the Pali. For now, I leave anusaya and anuseti untranslated, and leave that issue till later –

Dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno socati kilamati paridevati urattāḷiṃkandati sammohaṃ āpajjati. Tassa paṭighānusayo anuseti.

When touched by a painful feeling, (if) one sorrows, grieves and laments, weeps beating one’s breast and falls into distress, then paṭighānusayo anuseti.

Dukkhāya vedanāya phuṭṭho samāno na socati, na kilamati, na paridevati, na urattāḷiṃkandati, na sammohaṃ āpajjati, tassa paṭighānusayo nānuseti.

When touched by a painful feeling, (if) one does not sorrow, grieve and lament, does not weep beating one’s breast and fall into distress, then paṭighānusayo does not anuseti.



What’s is troubling with Ven T’s translation is that he renders the present tense anuseti as a past participle, in contrast to the MLDB treatment. The sense that is conveyed by his English translation is that grief etc is the cause of paṭighānusaya. This would account for why readers on his translation would equate the anusayā as reactions/attitudes towards feelings. If he had preserved the present tense connotation, the reading may be slightly more difficult to discern, but there are other suttas to explain this relationship between pain, grief and paṭighānusaya.

Let’s look elsewhere for an exposition on anusayā and feelings. In MN 44, we have this –

Sukhāya panayye vedanāya kiṃ anusayo anuseti? Dukkhāya vedanāya kiṃ anusayo anuseti? Adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya kiṃ anusayo anusetīti?

Sukhāya kho āvuso visākha vedanāya rāgānusayo anuseti. Dukkhāya vedanāya paṭighānusayo anuseti. Adukkhamasukhāya vedanāya avijjānusayo anusetīti.


Again, Ven T renders all the present tense “anuseti” as past participles. Contra MLDB, where the section on paṭighānusaya is rendered as –

The underlying tendency to aversion underlies painful feeling.


We turn to MN 64, where the Buddha gives a clear exposition of the anusayā. In the simile of the infant, the Buddha makes clear that regardless of whether or not the kamma is performed by the infant -

Anusetvevassa anusayo
yet the [respective] anusaya lies within him.


At this point, it should be clear that when the Buddha picked up the word anusaya from the existing lexicon, he changed its connotation from “obsession” to mean something that anuseti (anu+seti = lies with) feelings.

And finally, the clearest indication that anusaya is not mental kamma in the sense of reactions, comes from SN 12.38 –

Yañca, bhikkhave, ceteti yañca pakappeti yañca anuseti, ārammaṇametaṃ hoti viññāṇassa ṭhitiyā


It is clear that anusaya is not the mental reaction to feelings, but the sankhāra that drives the mental kamma in response to feelings. In this light, it is easy to now understand the present tense anuseti as meaning the sankhāra lies dormant together with feelings. It is not kamma, but the three mūlā which you nicely referenced from AN 3.68.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:57 am

Moving on to the equanimity awakening factor.

Dmytro wrote:
Sylvester wrote:
Dmytro wrote:If "bare awareness" is an interpretation, I would appreciate Sutta passages that are interpreted in such a way. Can you give a single example where Buddha instructs to look at unskilful qualities with equanimity?


I think the answer to your query is furnished by the self-same MN 2 that you cited.

And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by developing? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening... persistence as a factor for Awakening... rapture as a factor for Awakening... serenity as a factor for Awakening... concentration as a factor for Awakening... equanimity as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to develop these qualities do not arise for him when he develops them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by developing.


This section (bhāvanā pahātabbā) "abandonment by developing" follows the one on "abandonment by "destroying"" (vinodanā pahātabbā) the āsavā which you cited. It is the last out of the series of 7 tasks to be performed when confronting the āsavā. As is typical of how the Canon employs series, it clearly is meant to show graduation in response. In modern parlance, one calibrates one's response to the āsavā, depending on what the āsava is.


I don't find any connection here. Development of equanimity as the factor of Awakening is exemplified by the fourth jhana (as described in Dvedhavitakka sutta, which describes the sequence of seven Awakening factors). This hasn't anything to do with viewing 'asava' with equanimity.



I’m not sure if equanimity is limited to the 4th Jhana, even if that jhana is the paragon of equanimity.

The problem with such a restrictive reading is twofold.

Firstly, we see for 4th Jhana –

bhikkhu sukhassa ca pahānā dukkhassa ca pahānā, pubbeva somanassadomanassānaṃ atthaṅgamā adukkhamasukhaṃ upekkhāsatipārisuddhiṃ catutthaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati,


The access to 4th Jhana requires the abandonment of pleasant and painful kāyika vedanā, just as the cetasika vedanā of somanassa and domanassāna are given up (through vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ?). What is left are neutral kāyika vedanā and equanimity as cetasika vedanā, which seems to put equanimity as a Awakening Factor of limited utility.

Secondly, we see equanimity making its appearance in less rarified states, ie when there is either pain or pleasure. Take for example, MN 152's 6 āyatana analysis for the noble disciple whose practice on feelings is supposed to lead to equanimity. Even in MN 148, it is implicit that instead of succumbing to either rāgānusaya or paṭighānusaya, the appropriate reaction should be equanimity to pleasant and painful feelings respectively.

To that extent, I think that when equanimity is established, it is not equanimity to the defilements, but equanimity with reference to the defilements, ie towards the feelings engendered at that time. I don’t know about you, but I get the sense that the discernment of the presence of the āsavā is indeed accompanied by unpleasant feelings. Equanimity seems to be the only appropriate response, given that paṭighānusaya is universally condemned in the suttas.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:11 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:I’m not sure if equanimity is limited to the 4th Jhana, even if that jhana is the paragon of equanimity.


Did I say that equanimity is limited to the 4th jhana?

Secondly, we see equanimity making its appearance in less rarified states, ie when there is either pain or pleasure. Take for example, MN 152's 6 āyatana analysis for the noble disciple whose practice on feelings is supposed to lead to equanimity. Even in MN 148, it is implicit that instead of succumbing to either rāgānusaya or paṭighānusaya, the appropriate reaction should be equanimity to pleasant and painful feelings respectively.


Equanimity is indeed always toward feelings, and not to defilements.

I don’t know about you, but I get the sense that the discernment of the presence of the āsavā is indeed accompanied by unpleasant feelings. Equanimity seems to be the only appropriate response, given that paṭighānusaya is universally condemned in the suttas.


āsavā may as well be accompanied by pleasant or neutral feelings.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:22 am

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:I too, used to interpret the anusayā in the above manner. It is a fair interpretation, based on the English translation given by Ven T to those passages dealing with the operation of the anusayā. BUT, is it a correct translation?


I quote the translations of Ven Thanissaro for the sake of convenience, and also disagree with his translation in this particular case.

It is clear that anusaya is not the mental reaction to feelings, but the sankhāra that drives the mental kamma in response to feelings. In this light, it is easy to now understand the present tense anuseti as meaning the sankhāra lies dormant together with feelings. It is not kamma, but the three mūlā which you nicely referenced from AN 3.68.


Thank you for the extended review. It would be worthwhile to start a thread on this Pali term.

Evidently you agree that 'paṭighānusaya' refers to attitude to feelings, particularly to pain.
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Sylvester » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:27 am

Dmytro wrote:
āsavā may as well be accompanied by pleasant or neutral feelings.


Thanks Dmytro.

I agree. But I was thinking of the special kind of grief mentioned in MN 44 -

Here a monk considers thus: 'When shall I enter upon and abide in that base that the noble ones now enter upon and abide in?' In one who thus generates a longing for the supreme liberations (pl), grief arises with that longing as condition.


It is obvious from the context that here, the meditator is trying to attain the jhanas, and what stands in his way are the defilements. Grief, as a cetasika vedanā flows from painful kāyika vedanā. I take the painful kāyika vedanā to arise on discernment that the defilements atthi (are present).

Anusaya as cause, condition, sankhāra for 'normal' grief is certainly confirmed by the above reading, where the special grief of meditators is caused instead by longing for the jhanas.

As long as I am careful to understand "attitude" to be a cause, condition, sankhāra that gives rise to a particular reaction towards feelings, I would be OK to accept anusaya as an "attitude".

:anjali:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby Dmytro » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:04 pm

Hi Sylvester,

Sylvester wrote:It is obvious from the context that here, the meditator is trying to attain the jhanas, and what stands in his way are the defilements. Grief, as a cetasika vedanā flows from painful kāyika vedanā. I take the painful kāyika vedanā to arise on discernment that the defilements atthi (are present).


You have raised an important issue, so I have opened a new thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=13998

:anjali:
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Re: Pali Term: Sati

Postby UhBaUnTaUh » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Unforgetting is Sāti.

Attention is Sāti.
Parking this account.

I have been moved to another account.
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