Training to get rid of the you?

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Training to get rid of the you?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:17 am

The quote below from the Bahiya Sutta below has become quite fashionable, but is it describing a specific practice? How exactly does one train to get rid of the you?

"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:34 am

Its describing the practice of bare awareness. A Discourse on the Mālukyaputta Sutta explains it in greater detail, and how bare awareness prevents the arising of defilements, e.g.
“Looking at a visible object, a meditator just sees it and just feels that he sees it, without conceptualising it. With this, suffering ceases. One who practises in this way is said to be near to nibbāna.”

If we are not mindful on seeing an object, all kinds of thoughts connected with the object seen will arise, leading to perceptions such as “It is I who see it,” or “It is my property,” that I see, “I dislike that person,” etc.
“A multitude of passions such as covetousness and rage, springing from form, torments one who takes a firm hold of it, with the result that his mind becomes burdened with vexation. Therefore, nibbāna remains remote from one who would rather carry the burden of suffering than practise meditation.”
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby Dmytro » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:51 pm

Hi Porpoise,

porpoise wrote:The quote below from the Bahiya Sutta below has become quite fashionable, but is it describing a specific practice? How exactly does one train to get rid of the you?

"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."


It's getting rid of the "you there".

There's a lot of detailed teachings on non-appropriation:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=16422
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:15 am

for what it's worth out of context...
his instruction to Bæhiya bears a close relation to the Kælakæræma Sutta, A 4.24, (at §6.8) and is well worth contemplating in connection with that teaching. In addition this discourse to Bæhiya, particularly in its references to non-locality, is comparable to Ud 8.1 (at §9.2), while it also has resonances with the brief comment made by Ajahn Mahæ Boowa, included at §9.1. This abandonment of subject/object dualities is largely contingent upon the correct apprehension of the perceptual process, and thus the breaking down of the apparent inside/outside dichotomy of the observer and the observed.
Where do earth, water, fire and air no footing find?
Where are long and short, small and great, fair and foul – Where are “name and form” wholly destroyed?’
“And the answer is:
“Where consciousness is signless, boundless, all-luminous, That’s where earth, water, fire and air find no footing, There both long and short, small and great, fair and foul – There ‘name and form’ are wholly destroyed.
With the cessation of consciousness this is all destroyed.”
or
‘Consciousness which is non-manifestative, endless, lustrous on all sides,
Here it is that earth and water, fire and wind, no footing find.
Here again are long and short, subtle and gross, pleasant and unpleasant
Name and form, all cut off without exceptions.
When consciousness comes to cease, these are held in check herein’(nanananda trans).
...there are two semantic points which are important to understand, in order to appreciate these verses better. Firstly ‘name’ and ‘form’: these are næma-rþpa in the Pali – they are two very common terms and, along with the way they have been translated here, they were used by the Buddha equally to refer to mentality and materiality respectively.
There is no one correct version of what næma-rþpa means and often the most accurate interpretation involves the broad spread of meanings – therefore one will find numerous translations that use mind-and-body, materiality-mentality, name-and-form: all are correct in their own way.


Bæhiya (see §3.6), in Prof. Rhys Davids’ translation of the Døgha Nikæya, he quotes Neumann’s rendering of næma and rþpa as ‘subject and object.’ This is a helpful perspective since, for some, the ‘cessation of consciousness’ or ‘the destruction of mind and body’ might seem like depressing or nihilistic phrases, whereas ‘the dissolution of subject/object dualities’ and the freedom ensuing from that, sounds considerably more appealing. In this light it’s also worthy of note that the tangible qualities of the mind where no footing can be found for everyday dualisms include ‘radiance’ and ‘limitlessness’ – hardly uninviting qualities either.
The second point is the use of the word ‘nirodha.’ In the above-quoted sutta the verb variously translated as ‘destroyed,’ ‘cut off’ and ‘held in check’ is uparujjhati, which is virtually identical in meaning to nirujjhati, the verb derived from ‘nirodha.’ Customarily it is translated as ‘cessation’ as in dukkha-nirodha, ‘the cessation of suffering.’ In the above translations it, and its derivations, have been variously rendered ‘destroyed,’ ‘come to cease’ but also ‘held in check.’ The Pali root of the word is -rud, which not only implies to end, stop or quench, but also to hold in check, as an impulsive and restless horse is reined in. Thus there is a breadth of meaning in these key terms, of the last two lines of the verses which end both §§8.2 & 8.3, that is easy to miss in the English. Perhaps the best way of paraphrasing them is to say that when the dualistic, discriminative process is checked then the ‘thing-ness,’ the solid externality of the world and the ‘me-ness’ of the mind are seen as essentially insubstantial. There is no footing for the apparent independent existence of mental or material objects or an independent subject.


all from the island
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:17 am

continued:
As we cross the border into the realm of the Unconditioned (if such a metaphor is valid), there needs to be a relinquishing of such habitual concepts as self and time and place. The apprehension of Ultimate Truth (paramattha sacca) necessarily involves a radical letting go of all these familiar structures.
Here, as a present-day example and to illustrate the centrality of such reliquishment, is the insight which arose for Ajahn Mahæ Boowa in the period of intense practice immediately following Ajahn Mun’s final passing away. It was this thought, which he describes as having arisen on its own (and more that it was heard rather than thought) which led to Ajahn Mahæ Boowa’s full enlightenment shortly thereafter.
9.1) “If there is a point or a center of the knower anywhere, that is the essence of a level of being.”
~ Ajahn Mahæ Boowa, ‘Straight from the Heart,’ p 171
Secondly, we can take up the Buddha’s own words on the nature of Nibbæna or asa3khata-dhamma, the Unconditioned Reality.
9.2) “There is that sphere where there is no earth, no water, no fire nor wind; no sphere of infinity of space, of infinity of consciousness, of nothingness or even of neither-perception-nor- non-perception; there, there is neither this world nor the other world, neither moon nor sun; this sphere I call neither a coming nor a going nor a staying still, neither a dying nor a reappear- ance; it has no basis, no evolution and no support: this, just this, is the end of dukkha.”
~Ud8.1
9.3) “There is the Unborn, Uncreated, Unconditioned and
156
Unformed. If there were not, there would be no escape discerned from that which is born, created, conditioned and formed. But, since there is this Unborn, Uncreated, Unconditioned and Unformed, escape is therefore discerned from that which is born, created, conditioned and formed.”
~ Ud 8.3, Iti 43
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby convivium » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:20 am

continued:
6.8) At one time the Blessed One was staying at Sæketa, in Kælaka’s monastery. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus” – “Venerable sir,” they replied. The Blessed One said this:
“Bhikkhus, in this world with its gods, Mæras and Brahmæs, among its population of recluses and brahmins, gods and humans – whatsoever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after and pondered over by the mind – all that do I know... whatsoever is seen... pondered over by the mind – all that have I fully understood; all that is known to the Tathægata, but the Tathægata has not taken his stand upon it.

“If I were to say: ‘Whatsoever in the world... all that I do not know’ – that would be a falsehood in me. If I were to say: ‘I both know it and know it not’ – that would be a falsehood in me. If I were to say: ‘I neither know it nor know it not’ – it would be a fault in me.
“Thus, bhikkhus, the Tathægata does not conceive of a visible thing as apart from sight; he does not conceive of an unseen; he does not conceive of a ‘thing-to-be-seen’; he does not conceive about a seer. He does not conceive of an audible... a thing to be sensed ... a cognizable thing as apart from cognition; he does not conceive of an uncognized; he does not conceive of a ‘thing- worth-cognizing’; he does not conceive about one who cognizes. “Thus, bhikkhus, the Tathægata being Suchlike (tædi) in regard to all phenomena seen, heard, sensed and cognized, is Thus. Moreover, there is none other greater or more excellent than one who is Thus, I declare.
Whatever’s seen, heard, sensed or clung to, is known as truth by other folk;
Amidst those who’re entrenched in views, one Thus holds none as true or false.
The barb which hooks, impales the world, has been discerned well in advance:
‘I know, I see, this is the truth,’
Tathægatas do not cling thus.”
~ A 4.24
The terms ‘thing-worth-seeing, -hearing, -cognizing etc.’ are pointing to the habit we have of imputing inherent value or substance to perceptions, thoughts and emotions. Without such imputation they do not possess any such solidity or worth.
Tradition has it that five hundred of those listening attained arahantship and there were five earthquakes during the course of the exposition. This short teaching also became of great significance in the centuries after the Buddha’s time – it was used by the Elder Mahærakkhita, under the auspices of King Asoka’s missionary endeavours, to instruct the Yonakas (Greeks) in their home country.
All the various passages quoted so far in this chapter describe the nature of Atammayatæ and its related qualities but perhaps the questions remain: how is this best
to be realized? And how can this depth of insight be developed? A text that points directly to this issue, and one of the most useful meditation teachings in the entire Pali Canon, is to be found in the Madhupi1⁄4ðika Sutta; there, Ven. Mahæ-Kaccæna says:
6.9) “Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is sense-contact. With sense- contact as condition there is feeling. What one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one thinks about. What one thinks about, that one mentally proliferates. With such concept- ual proliferation (papañca) as the source, the heart is beset by mental perceptions and notions characterized by the prolific tendency with respect to past, future and present forms cognizable through the eye. [So too with ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.]”
The solution to this cascade of trouble is that:
“[I]f nothing is found there to delight in, welcome, and hold to, this is the end of the underlying tendencies to lust, aversion, views, doubt, conceit, desire for being and ignorance [the seven anusaya]. This is the end of resorting to weapons, quarrels, brawls, disputes, recrimination, malice and false speech; here these harmful, unwholesome states cease without remainder.” ~ M 18.16-19, (abridged)
This is to say that if, with mindfulness and wisdom, the tendency to ‘go out’ into perceptions, thoughts and emotions is restrained, and one just allows seeing to be seeing, hearing to be hearing etc., the whole papañca-drama does not get launched in the first place. The heart then rests at ease, open and clear; all perceptions conventionally labelled as ‘myself’ or ‘the world’ are seen as transparent, if convenient, fictions.
When there is insufficient mindfulness and wisdom, the mind ‘goes out’ and attaches to its perceptions and moods, the result of which is the experience of ‘me being pressured by life.’ Both an apparently solid self and a solid world have been unconsciously created, and the friction between the two is the dukkha that we find ourselves running from so regularly and ineffectively. Trying to find a ‘me’ without a world that burdens it is like trying to run away from our own shadow;

no matter how hard we run, the effort is bound to fail as the one form generates the other.
The aim of all these teachings on Atammayatæ is to show us that the dualities of subject and object (‘me and the world’), do not have to be brought into being at all. And when the heart is restrained from ‘going out,’ and awakens to its fundamental nature, a bright and joyful peace is what remains. This is the peace of Nibbæna...
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby SarathW » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:46 am

Ven Pesala
I have two questions for you.

a) is Malukayaputta Sutta from Sutta Piaka
b) In the link you forwarded I found topics such as The stream of Eye Consiousness etc. Is that from Abhidamma Pitaka?


------------------------
PS A question relating to the forum: I can not activate “View Your post" tab. Can someone help me to sort out this problem?
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:07 am

SarathW wrote:Ven Pesala
I have two questions for you.

a) is Malukayaputta Sutta from Sutta Piaka
b) In the link you forwarded I found topics such as The stream of Eye Consiousness etc. Is that from Abhidamma Pitaka?


viewtopic.php?f=25&t=8361
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: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:50 am

Thanks all, it looks like I have some reading to do! :)
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:04 pm

I find it fruitful to observe how, exactly, there is not merely what is sensed, in the sensed, as an approach towards seeing the alternative.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby SDC » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:29 pm

Just look at everything that happens as an interpretation. No matter what it is just say, "This is an interpretation." Thoughts, observations....everything.

Edited for clarification.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:38 pm

I'm still reflecting on this, but my take so far is that the OP quote is pointing to a state of non-proliferation and non-identification - but that this is a result of practice rather than a description of practice.

What prompted my question is some recent experience of working with the 6-fold base, paying close attention both on and off the cushion - somewhat similar to the bare attention approach mentioned above by Bikkhu Pesala.
One sutta I read recently talks about becoming "skilled" with the 6-fold base, ie seeing it's operation clearly and how the 3 characteristics apply - and of course this approach is described more generally for the 5 aggregates, 6 elements, etc.
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby Cassandra » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:23 pm

“Looking at a visible object, a meditator just sees it and just feels that he sees it, without conceptualising it. With this, suffering ceases. One who practises in this way is said to be near to nibbāna.”


Isn't nibbana supposed to be arising with wisdom and direct experience rather than bare awareness? The way I see it, bare awareness can be full of ignorance and confusion rather than clear comprehension.
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Re: Training to get rid of the you?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:37 pm

Cassandra wrote:
“Looking at a visible object, a meditator just sees it and just feels that he sees it, without conceptualising it. With this, suffering ceases. One who practises in this way is said to be near to nibbāna.”


Isn't nibbana supposed to be arising with wisdom and direct experience rather than bare awareness? The way I see it, bare awareness can be full of ignorance and confusion rather than clear comprehension.
Direct experience of what? If "bare awareness" is full of ignorance and confusion, it is not bare awareness.
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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