Pleasure born of non-clinging

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Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:20 pm

The thread title is a deliberate mis-quoting of the typical jhana descriptions:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I thought: 'I recall once, when my father the Sakyan was working, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, then — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful mental qualities — I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to Awakening?' Then following on that memory came the realization: 'That is the path to Awakening.' I thought: 'So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?' I thought: 'I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities, ...

I've been working my way through Patrick Kearney's retreat talks that used to be here:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/Bodhi% ... _2011.html
but only the introductory talk currently remains.

In his discussion of the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html Patrick points out (not surprisingly) that the second noble truth --- the cause of dukkha --- is craving.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
"The origin of suffering, as a noble truth, is this: It is the craving that produces renewal of being accompanied by enjoyment and lust, and enjoying this and that; in other words, craving for sensual desires, craving for being, craving for non-being.


But is there pleasure that doesn't involve craving? Above I quoted the answer that that Buddha gave to Saccaka's question:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"But perhaps there has never arisen in Master Gotama the sort of pleasant feeling that, having arisen, would invade the mind and remain. Perhaps there has never arisen in Master Gotama the sort of painful feeling that, having arisen, would invade the mind and remain."

The Buddha replies that:
"rapture & pleasure born from seclusion"

had this property:
"But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain.


Now, of course, we see this discussed often with respect to jhana itself.

However, Patrick suggested that we look a bit closer in light of the second noble truth. The problem with most pleasures is that they come from craving, and when the craving is acted upon (by eating, smoking, or whatever...) the satisfaction is relatively brief, the craving returns, and the object needs to be grasped at again...

On the other hand, non-clinging pleasure, not just in jhana, but in other situations of calmly appreciating what is happening, on or off the cushion, just "is", it doesn't require effort to fulfil a desire.


Ajahn Brahm wrote:The mind recognizes this beautiful breath and delights in it. It experi-
ences a deepening of contentment. It is happy just to be watching this
beautiful breath, and it does not need to be forced.
(Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond, Page 19).


Ajahn Buddhadasa wrote:To put it most concisely, we breathe and experience piti with every breath. Breathing in and out, fully experience this feeling of contentment and simultaneously be aware of each in-breath and each out-breath. When this step is being practiced there is a very pleasant feeling of well being. This work is fun to do, it is a most enjoyable lesson. Please try your best in this step.
http://what-buddha-taught.net/Books3/Bh ... TURE%20TWO


U Pandita wrote:The third jhānic factor is pīti, rapture, a delighted interest in what is occurring. This factor may manifest physically as gooseflesh, as feelings of being dropped suddenly as if in an elevator, or as feelings of rising off the ground .The fourth jhānic factor, sukha, happiness or comfort, comes on the heels of the third. One feels very satisfied with the practice. Because both the third and the fourth jhānic factors come about as a result of seclusion from the hindrances, they are called vivekaja pīti sukha, meaning the rapture, joy and happiness born out of seclusion.
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pan ... hanas.html


Perhaps the "seclusion" or "withdrawal" term in the jhana description is over-emphasised. Even before jhanic absorption, many teachers (such as those quoted above) say that a key step is that one is quite satisified and content with just following the breath, or whatever object one is using, taking pleasure simply in what is just happening.

In fact, U Pandita's statement: " Because both the third and the fourth jhānic factors come about as a result of seclusion from the hindrances" suggests an absence, a disappearance, of clinging, etc, rather than a "withdrawal".

Though this is a very simple and commonly-expressed idea, I found this a very useful way of looking at both my meditation and "everyday life" experience.

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:59 pm

Hi Mike
suggests an absence, a disappearance, of clinging, etc, rather than a "withdrawal".

I understand withdrawal/seclusion to mean that we withdraw away from; we seclude ourselves from the hindrences in the same way we do this from society, or retreat in battle.
we aren't pushing them aside rather we are going leaving them behind.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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."
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby DAWN » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:31 pm

That is interesting, is this word of Lord Buddha: "So why am I afraid of that pleasure".
Do some one alredy felt FEAR of pleasure ?
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:10 pm

DAWN wrote:That is interesting, is this word of Lord Buddha: "So why am I afraid of that pleasure".
Do some one alredy felt FEAR of pleasure ?


Isnt it more a fear of letting go? Many i think swing from distraction to distraction like a brachiating ape letting go of one object of distraction only in anticipation of grasping another.
Joshu was asked,
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what would you say to him ?"
Joshu replied, "Throw it away!"
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby DAWN » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:28 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
DAWN wrote:That is interesting, is this word of Lord Buddha: "So why am I afraid of that pleasure".
Do some one alredy felt FEAR of pleasure ?


Isnt it more a fear of letting go? Many i think swing from distraction to distraction like a brachiating ape letting go of one object of distraction only in anticipation of grasping another.


Yes, the fear to let it go because it so powerful and seems to go out of all control... Explosion.
Do you felt it once, or many times? Because i dont felt in anymore, so i wondering if is just the first effect, like all first times, and if there is some kind of "habbit"..
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:27 pm

DAWN wrote:That is interesting, is this word of Lord Buddha: "So why am I afraid of that pleasure".
Do some one alredy felt FEAR of pleasure ?

That's not "The Buddha" speaking, that was him recalling what he was thinking when he was an ascetic (and not The Buddha). At that time he embraced the idea of becoming enlightened by rejecting all pleasure, and indulging in ascetic practices.

As the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html makes clear, neither rejection nor chasing of pleasure is the right path:
"Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth from the house-life. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and there is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble and leads to no good.

"The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana.


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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:36 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Mike
suggests an absence, a disappearance, of clinging, etc, rather than a "withdrawal".

I understand withdrawal/seclusion to mean that we withdraw away from; we seclude ourselves from the hindrences in the same way we do this from society, or retreat in battle.
we aren't pushing them aside rather we are going leaving them behind.

Yes, and it doesn't always mean that we have to "shut out" or ignore external things.
There's a sutta about that, which I can't recall right now, to the effect that seclusion is about attitude, not about being alone. Or something like that...

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby daverupa » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:50 pm

mikenz66 wrote:There's a sutta...


:thinking:

SN 21.10 wrote:The Blessed One said: "And how is living alone perfected in its details? There is the case where whatever is past is abandoned, whatever is future is relinquished, and any passion & desire with regard to states of being attained in the present is well subdued. That is how living alone is perfected in its details."
    "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: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:53 pm

Thanks Dave,

See also SN 46.3 Virtue (Bhikkhu Bodhi translation)
“Bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who are accomplished in virtue, accomplished in concentration, accomplished in wisdom, accomplished in liberation, accomplished in the knowledge and vision of liberation: even the sight of those bhikkhus is helpful, I say; even listening to them ... even approaching them ... even attending on them ... even recollecting them ... even going forth after them is helpful, I say. For what reason? Because when one has heard the Dhamma from such bhikkhus one dwells withdrawn by way of two kinds of withdrawal—withdrawal of body and withdrawal of mind.

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:19 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Hi Mike
suggests an absence, a disappearance, of clinging, etc, rather than a "withdrawal".

I understand withdrawal/seclusion to mean that we withdraw away from; we seclude ourselves from the hindrences in the same way we do this from society, or retreat in battle.
we aren't pushing them aside rather we are going leaving them behind.

Yes, and it doesn't always mean that we have to "shut out" or ignore external things.
There's a sutta about that, which I can't recall right now, to the effect that seclusion is about attitude, not about being alone. Or something like that...

:anjali:
Mike

Hi Mike,
I didn't mean to imply shutting out or ignoring things.
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."
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Dave,

See also SN 46.3 Virtue (Bhikkhu Bodhi translation)
“Bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who are accomplished in virtue, accomplished in concentration, accomplished in wisdom, accomplished in liberation, accomplished in the knowledge and vision of liberation: even the sight of those bhikkhus is helpful, I say; even listening to them ... even approaching them ... even attending on them ... even recollecting them ... even going forth after them is helpful, I say. For what reason? Because when one has heard the Dhamma from such bhikkhus one dwells withdrawn by way of two kinds of withdrawal—withdrawal of body and withdrawal of mind.

:anjali:
Mike

This is an important point - it's easy to just physically remove yourself from sensual delight, but if your mind is still obsessed with them, it's not worth much. There is a sutta somewhere in which the Buddha compares those who practice physical austerity without mental clarity to water-soaked logs that wash up on short - even if they aren't in the water, if the water still saturates them, you can't ever light a fire.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby DAWN » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:18 am

mikenz66 wrote:
DAWN wrote:That is interesting, is this word of Lord Buddha: "So why am I afraid of that pleasure".
Do some one alredy felt FEAR of pleasure ?

That's not "The Buddha" speaking, that was him recalling what he was thinking when he was an ascetic (and not The Buddha). At that time he embraced the idea of becoming enlightened by rejecting all pleasure, and indulging in ascetic practices.

As the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html makes clear, neither rejection nor chasing of pleasure is the right path:

:anjali:
Mike


It's true, he wasn't yet The Buddha. I mistake.

It's true, the pleasure is not the aim, but the background effect. When one seek for pleasure, pleasure dont arise. Why? Because pleasure arise from purity of perception, and when there is crawing, there is no purity.
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby Sylvester » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:18 am

Hi Mike.

Personally, I adopt the interpretation that the "born of seclusion" pericope is to be emphasised, at least in the context of the 1st Jhana's pītisukha. Seclusion from the hindrances would not suffice, since the standard formula always includes the more intensified seclusion from the kāmā (depending on how you are inclined to interpret the latter).

I think the transition from the equanimity obtained from well-established mindfulness into the full-blown pītisukha of jhana requires some skill in remembering that such seclusions are actually cause for great joy and happiness. If one does not believe or remember this, I'm not sure if one could actually fall into those states, even if one managed to attain both seclusions.

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby DAWN » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:39 am

Many times Buddha said that he call some one a brahmin among brihmins, and ascetic among ascetics, the one who dont secluded in forest, but in his mind. Who find the refuge, and took it.
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:56 am

Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:Personally, I adopt the interpretation that the "born of seclusion" pericope is to be emphasised, at least in the context of the 1st Jhana's pītisukha. Seclusion from the hindrances would not suffice, since the standard formula always includes the more intensified seclusion from the kāmā (depending on how you are inclined to interpret the latter).

Perhaps you could elaborate on this.
Sylvester wrote:I think the transition from the equanimity obtained from well-established mindfulness into the full-blown pītisukha of jhana requires some skill in remembering that such seclusions are actually cause for great joy and happiness. If one does not believe or remember this, I'm not sure if one could actually fall into those states, even if one managed to attain both seclusions.

I wouldn't disagree with that, but I was interested in the of a wider variety of states than jhana which might include "non-clinging pleasure", and also the relationship to the noble truths.

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby Sylvester » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:24 pm

Hi Mike

I take the view that sukha/pleasure is hedonic tone that falls within kāyika vedanā (bodily feeling). Owing to rāgānusaya (the latent tendency to lust), the normal emotional response to pleasure is passion for that pleasure: MN 44.

Yet, it seems pretty clear from those suttas dealing with satipaṭṭhāna that lust/passion is not inevitable and it is possible to establish equanimity as the emotional response/cetasika vedanā to pleasure : MN 148. So, yes, I would agree that the 1st Jhana's sukha is probably not the only pleasure to which one does not inevitably cling, since MN 148 opens its analysis to pleasure felt at each of the 6 sense faculties.

I think there's something to be said for Kearney's belief that one can tie pleasure with the 2nd Noble Truth. I would accept that pleasure is the outcome of craving. But, I would go further and say that the 3 kinds of kāyika vedanā (bodily feeling) are all the sequel to craving. Craving is the necessary condition for all types of bodily feeling, and I would say that such craving does not need to lie in the immediate past as the initiator of kamma in search of pleasure, just before the feeling is felt. It could be craving from even a past life.

Sorry for the rambling. I was not sure which point you wanted me to elaborate on.

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby pegembara » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:40 pm

Happiness is like a butterfly the more you chase it the more it will elude you but if you turn your attention to other things it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

Thoureau
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:46 pm

Hi Sylvester,
Sylvester wrote:Sorry for the rambling. I was not sure which point you wanted me to elaborate on.

Thanks. Rambling is fine. It's all interesting stuff.

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby Dmytro » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:04 pm

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:The thread title is a deliberate mis-quoting of the typical jhana descriptions:


That's an unfortunate mis-quoting. Pleasure of jhana is born of seclusion (viveka) from sensuality (kama).
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/viveka.htm

There's still a long way to non-clinging.

But is there pleasure that doesn't involve craving? Above I quoted the answer that that Buddha gave to Saccaka's question:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"But perhaps there has never arisen in Master Gotama the sort of pleasant feeling that, having arisen, would invade the mind and remain. Perhaps there has never arisen in Master Gotama the sort of painful feeling that, having arisen, would invade the mind and remain."

The Buddha replies that:
"rapture & pleasure born from seclusion"

had this property:
"But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain.


Is this a property of jhanic pleasure or a property of the Buddha?

After seclusion from sensuality, one has yet to attain the non-attachment to the jhanic pleasure:

"And how is the mind said to be internally positioned? There is the case where a monk, quite withdrawn from sensuality (kama), withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities, enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. His consciousness follows the drift of the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal, is tied to... chained... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the rapture & pleasure born of withdrawal. Or further, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. His consciousness follows the drift of the rapture & pleasure born of composure, is tied to... chained... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the rapture & pleasure born of composure. Or further, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' His consciousness follows the drift of the equanimity & pleasure, is tied to... chained... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the equanimity & pleasure. Or further, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. His consciousness follows the drift of the neither pleasure nor pain, is tied to... chained to... fettered, & joined to the attraction of the neither pleasure nor pain: The mind is said to be internally positioned.

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

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Re: Pleasure born of non-clinging

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:18 pm

Hi Dmytro,

Thanks for the useful points. I'll emphasise again that I'm trying to explore these ideas, not propose particular solutions. It appeared to me that there are stages of non-clinging (as jhana factors arise, well before jhana itself).

And I guess your observation here:
Dmytro wrote:After seclusion from sensuality, one has yet to attain the non-attachment to the jhanic pleasure...

means that non-attachment to jhanic pleasure would only be achieved by an arahant?

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