A discussion of bodhi

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:07 am

Hi mike,

Yes, that is an interesting quotation. I entirely agree with his statements.

He goes further than the AN 3.61 teaching. Dependent arising is the first and the
second truths. Dependent cessation is the third and the fourth truths.

So dependent cessation is the noble eightfold path.

I also like the way he says that the process of becoming is suffering.

And, from the link which you provided, I see that his explanation of DO is in
accordance with the 'three lifetimes' interpretation.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:21 pm

Hi everyone,

Here is the second noble truth, from SN 56.11

"Now, this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this
craving which leads to renewed existence, ..."

Two things are mentioned here, suffering and craving. What is the relationship
between these two things?

My answer would be that the suffering and the craving are separated by a lifetime.
If the suffering is in this lifetime, then the craving which is its origin is in the
previous lifetime.

The sufferings of this life have many causes, but if one had not been reborn into
this life, then none of this suffering could have arisen. Since craving in the
previous life is the cause of rebirth into this present life, that craving is the
root cause of all the suffering in this life.

Who agrees with this? Who does not agree?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:31 pm

vinasp wrote: Who agrees with this? Who does not agree?


It's a discussion over temporal components of paticcasamuppada; but these are beside the point, a distracting tangent, the pursuit of a scholastic footnote.

The relationship between tanha, upadana, and dukkha is:

tanha --> upadana --> ...dukkha

If I think about my death, which is to say 'my end', the end of 'my things', this has as its cause neither an objective birth nor a speculative previous existence, but the subjective sense that I was born, that 'I began'. This is rooted in the subjective sense that 'I am', and this comes from clinging, which comes from craving, which ultimately comes from ignorance.

Time doesn't need to get brought up at all.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby Dmytro » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:01 pm

Hi Vincent,

vinasp wrote: My answer would be that the suffering and the craving are separated by a lifetime.
If the suffering is in this lifetime, then the craving which is its origin is in the
previous lifetime.


I agree with this. http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm

Regards, Dmytro
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:45 pm

Hi daverupa,

It seems that you do not agree with my answer. But what if, instead of saying:

"The suffering and craving are separated by a lifetime." I had said:

"The suffering and craving are separated by a 'lifetime' ?

Quote: "Time doesn't need to get brought up at all."

Except that this sense of 'I am', or sense of 'self', persists.

If one is trying to bring it to an end, one has to understand how it continues through
time. One has to understand what sustains this 'being'.

"When the nutriment of mental volition is understood, then the three cravings are
understood ..."

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:20 pm

Hi Dmytro,

Can you help me to understand how someone who follows the 'three lifetimes' model
of DO, and who reads the English translations, understands what 'suffering' refers to?

"... with existence as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging-and-death,
sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin
of this whole mass of suffering."

If 'birth' is the start of the next life, then 'aging-and-death .... despair', are
suffering in the next life.

In the last line, what does 'this whole mass of suffering' refer to?

Should it be 'that whole mass of suffering', in the future?

Or does it mean that the mass of suffering in this life originates in the same way?

Where does one 'locate' oneself, in the middle eight items, so that 'birth' is in
the future? Or in the last two items, so that craving is in the previous life?

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:54 am

vinasp wrote: If one is trying to bring it to an end... one has to understand what sustains this 'being'.


We agree in principle, probably, though there is no being which is brought to an end (that's annihilationism).

:anjali:

Yet, there is absolutely no need for

one has to understand how it continues through time
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby Dmytro » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:16 am

Hi Vincent,

vinasp wrote:If 'birth' is the start of the next life, then 'aging-and-death .... despair', are
suffering in the next life.


Yes.

In the last line, what does 'this whole mass of suffering' refer to?


To the aforesaid 'aging-and-death .... despair'.

Should it be 'that whole mass of suffering', in the future?


"This" refers to the things just said.

Or does it mean that the mass of suffering in this life originates in the same way?


Conditioned Arising shows a way how suffereing re-creates from one lifetime to another, an "autopoiesis" of suffering.

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/nnh/seminar/varela.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopoiesis

So the mass of suffering in this life originates in the same way.

Where does one 'locate' oneself, in the middle eight items, so that 'birth' is in
the future? Or in the last two items, so that craving is in the previous life?


There's no self in Conditioned Arising, except for "upadana" - "appropriation".
One can explore Conditioned Arising, taking any of the three lifes mentioned as the present life.

Regards, Dmytro
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby vinasp » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:47 pm

Hi dave,

Perhaps it would help if I explain why I have changed my interpretation of DO.
My previous understanding was based on Ven. Nanavira's work, he rejected the 'three lives'
model (as did Ven. Buddhadasa).

I tried to understand DO with all twelve links in the present, but was unable to find
a satisfactory interpretation. I now believe that I know why.

The teachings are formulated on the assumption that everyone believes in rebirth. This
is how they are meant to be understood at first. Some then move on to a higher
understanding. This is much easier to arrive at if one starts with the 'three lives' model.

Having all twelve items present together makes it impossible to understand DO correctly.

My Understanding of Dependent Origination (12 items).

Start with the middle eight items, these represent one state of mind. The first two
items, 'ignorance' and 'formations', represent a summary of the eight middle items.
So they are the previous state of mind. In the same way, the last two items. 'birth' and
'aging-and-death', are also a summary of the middle eight, and are the next state of mind.

The middle eight items can be divided into two groups of four items. The first group
of four can be understood as 'ignorance', or 'birth'. The last four, of the eight, can be
understood as 'volitional formations', or 'decay-and-death'.

You could replace the first two items with a set of eight items, and the same for the
last two items. This would give twenty-four items altogether, but this only complicates
things, it is not really needed.

So a present state of mind is fully described by a set of eight items. If you try to
use all twelve it just does not work.

The noble eightfold path is all about the permanent elimination of certain things.
DO explains what things are to be eliminated, and in what order. A correct understanding
of the path requires only eight items, trying to use more will just not work.

"When the aggregates arise, decay and die, O bhikkhus, every moment you are born, decay
and die."

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: A discussion of bodhi

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:01 pm

vinasp wrote: So a present state of mind is fully described by a set of eight items. If you try to use all twelve it just does not work.


The set of twelve could be a later matika-style organization method; in any case, the Samyutta Nikaya renders paticcasamuppada in a number of ways, and with a number of different nidanas, so sticking with the 12-item list is probably an artificial constraint.

Time still doesn't need to be parsed; the point is conditionality, not temporal relationships - paticcasamuppada is not describing the continuity of a being over time.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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