The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 08, 2013 12:00 pm

robertk wrote:Khanika has the meaning of momentary. Eggakata cetasika (concentration) arises with practically all cittas, kusala or akusala.


If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind? How can you develop that which already is? You can't make water any more wet than it is.

If every second it is a new object, then how can we talk about "focusing on one object" if it is different object every second?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Wed May 08, 2013 2:26 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.


Sure, I'll tell you my answer. To settle and steady the mind to allow for clear seeing
.

Dear Kirk,

Are you refering here to samatha bhavana or vipassana bhavana?

I am referring to this:
"Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present. And what does he discern as it actually is present?

"He discerns, as it actually is present, that 'The eye is inconstant'... 'Forms are inconstant'... 'Eye-consciousness is inconstant'... 'Eye-contact is inconstant'... 'Whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is inconstant.'

"He discerns, as it actually is present, that 'The ear is inconstant'... 'The nose is inconstant'... 'The tongue is inconstant'... 'The body is inconstant"...

"He discerns, as it actually is present, that 'The intellect is inconstant'... 'Ideas are inconstant'... 'Intellect-consciousness is inconstant'... 'Intellect-contact is inconstant'... 'Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is inconstant.'

"So develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present."

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

What the Buddha meant by "concentration" is not some uncontrollable split-second phenomenon, arising who knows when. It is to be "developed."
"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: The causes for wisdom

Postby Virgo » Wed May 08, 2013 2:44 pm

Alex123 wrote:
If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind?

Because that is the development of samatha, not satipatthana. Samatha jhana is very high kusala, and the jhana=labhi can use it for satipatthana when he has mastery of jhana, but most people cannot attain mastery of jhana, it was mostly only Buddha's disciples. How many true jhana masters do you see walking around nowadays?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Wed May 08, 2013 2:56 pm

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind?

Because that is the development of samatha, not satipatthana.

What the Satipatthana sutta actually says is:
[4] "Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for Awakening. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for Awakening? There is the case where, there being mindfulness as a factor for Awakening present within, he discerns that 'Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening is present within me.' Or, there being no mindfulness as a factor for Awakening present within, he discerns that 'Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening is not present within me.' He discerns how there is the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor for Awakening. And he discerns how there is the culmination of the development of mindfulness as a factor for Awakening once it has arisen. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining factors for Awakening: analysis of qualities, persistence, rapture, serenity, concentration, & equanimity.)
"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: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 08, 2013 4:49 pm

Dear Kevin,

Virgo wrote:Because that is the development of samatha, not satipatthana.


Noble Eightfold path includes both sati and samādhi.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:00 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi DF,

The development of insight, according to the suttas and commentaries, requires a high degree of samadhi (but not necessarily jhana):
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=17107#p244480
“The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


Mike


Dear Mike,

That "concentration is classed as access and absorption" is taken from the chapter of Concentration development, in other words, samatha bhavana. So i don't think we should take it to apply to sukkha vipassana- dry insight workers. In the suttas there are so many examples of householder, having obviously no previous jhanna nor access concentration as result of samatha bhavana (at least in that life), yet upon hearing the Buddha' exposition of the Dhamma, they attained enlightenment to different degrees.

Like RobertK, I am of the opinion that what "no insight comes about without momentary concentration" refers actually to right concentration, as ekkagata (the mental factor of concentration) arises with all citta. And they can be of different degrees, up to the level of jhanna when path consciousness occurs.

"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


To me, the above actually supports the view that right concentration arises together with right view. As right view is of different degrees, from intellectual levels up to direct levels, the right concentration also is of different degrees. When the lokuttara citta arises, the 8 cetasikas arise all together at the same time, making right view, right concentration supermundane and thus right knowledge.

That being said, as it has been said many times, we do believe we are still at very low levels of understanding, so it s not to say " we just listen to the Dhamma then lokkutara citta will arise soon". It is indeed a long process. As Robert has pointed out, at the moment of insight where the mind door appears, at that moment, there's no other object appearing though only in a flash moment, it is a lone world at that moment. And the degree of concentration at that moment is very strong, and can be said to be of the degree of access concentration. So any little right understanding now, even intellectually, has right concentration accompanied which can be gradually buit up to the degree of access concentration when insight arises, and to aborption level when Nibbana is experienced.

I also noticed that very often, we mix up "understanding of the meaning of the words", and 'understanding intellectually". There can be listening many times with understanding of the meaning of the words, but there's no understanding intellectually. But if there is a moment of real understanding, even intellectually, it can be known that the quality of the mind at that moment is different, and it can become clearer and clearer. Thanks to what has been heard about the characteristics of the mental factors which arise with any wholesome citta, there can be a gradual investigation of the characteristics of the mental factors that arise at those moments (including sati, viriya, ekkagata, panna) for them to appear better and better as only elements. But only slowly and by conditions, totally.

Do you have any idea why "the four elements" are classified under samatha bhavana?

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 4:05 am

dhamma follower wrote:
"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


To me, the above actually supports the view that right concentration arises together with right view. As right view is of different degrees, from intellectual levels up to direct levels, the right concentration also is of different degrees. When the lokuttara citta arises, the 8 cetasikas arise all together at the same time, making right view, right concentration supermundane and thus right knowledge.
Except it is not saying that "right concentration arises together with right view."
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:08 am

kirk5a wrote:

I am referring to this:
"Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present. And what does he discern as it actually is present?

"He discerns, as it actually is present, that 'The eye is inconstant'... 'Forms are inconstant'... 'Eye-consciousness is inconstant'... 'Eye-contact is inconstant'... 'Whatever arises in dependence on eye-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is inconstant.'

"He discerns, as it actually is present, that 'The ear is inconstant'... 'The nose is inconstant'... 'The tongue is inconstant'... 'The body is inconstant"...

"He discerns, as it actually is present, that 'The intellect is inconstant'... 'Ideas are inconstant'... 'Intellect-consciousness is inconstant'... 'Intellect-contact is inconstant'... 'Whatever arises in dependence on intellect-contact, experienced either as pleasure, as pain, or as neither-pleasure-nor-pain, that too is inconstant.'

"So develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present."

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

What the Buddha meant by "concentration" is not some uncontrollable split-second phenomenon, arising who knows when. It is to be "developed."[/quote]

Dear Kirk,

I take that to mean jhannas. I don't have the Pali version, but the Vietnamese version of that sutta indicates that concentration here refers to jhanna.

And, then I would like to refer you again to sutta MN 108 about the kind of meditation the Buddha praises.

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:10 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


To me, the above actually supports the view that right concentration arises together with right view. As right view is of different degrees, from intellectual levels up to direct levels, the right concentration also is of different degrees. When the lokuttara citta arises, the 8 cetasikas arise all together at the same time, making right view, right concentration supermundane and thus right knowledge.
Except it is not saying that "right concentration arises together with right view."


Dear Tilt,

A simple mathematical problem:
A always go with B
B always go with C
C always go with D.
Does A always go with D?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:15 am

Dear all,

By the way, according to the Abhidhamma, there are 19 wholesome mental factors which always arise together. When the 20th, wisdom/understanding/right view arises,it arises with all those 19. Ekkagata (concentration) arises with all cittas, when it arises with wholesome citta, it is wholesome, and vice versa.

Brgrds,
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Thu May 09, 2013 4:21 am

Alex123 wrote:
robertk wrote:Khanika has the meaning of momentary. Eggakata cetasika (concentration) arises with practically all cittas, kusala or akusala.


If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind? How can you develop that which already is? You can't make water any more wet than it is.

If every second it is a new object, then how can we talk about "focusing on one object" if it is different object every second?


Dear Alex,

The Budda talked about developing right concentration, not concentration. There is of course wrong concentration as well.

There can be focusing on one object with wholesome or unwholesome mental factors. Our delusion doesn't allow us to see that ekkagata arises with every citta. It doesn't distinguish from lobha and ekkagata and sati...That's why we need to learn much how they are different.

The Buddha said that to distinguishing one mental factor from the other is more difficult to distinguish whether the water one is tasting comes from the Gange or othe rivers when one is taking water from the ocean.

Sorry now I don't have time to find quotes.

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 4:31 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Dear Tilt,

A simple mathematical problem:
A always go with B
B always go with C
C always go with D.
Does A always go with D?
Does A always go with D? Not without doing all that is necessary for all that is in between the two to arise.

    "Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

    "Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

    "Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

    "What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

    "Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
These things just do not automatically arise; there is doing involved.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 4:35 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
robertk wrote:Khanika has the meaning of momentary. Eggakata cetasika (concentration) arises with practically all cittas, kusala or akusala.


If all cittas already have concentration cetasika, then why did the Buddha talk about developing concentration? What is the difference between Jhāna and restless state of mind? How can you develop that which already is? You can't make water any more wet than it is.

If every second it is a new object, then how can we talk about "focusing on one object" if it is different object every second?


Dear Alex,

The Budda talked about developing right concentration, not concentration. There is of course wrong concentration as well.

There can be focusing on one object with wholesome or unwholesome mental factors. Our delusion doesn't allow us to see that ekkagata arises with every citta. It doesn't distinguish from lobha and ekkagata and sati...That's why we need to learn much how they are different.
And one of the central ways is by doing, by meditation, by looking at these things as they arise and fall. Just thinking about all this is of limited value.

The Buddha said that to distinguishing one mental factor from the other is more difficult to distinguish whether the water one is tasting comes from the Gange or othe rivers when one is taking water from the ocean.

Sorry now I don't have time to find quotes.
Do find the actual text. So far I have not been impressed with the skewed interpretations I have seen supporting the Sujin point of view.
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: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:16 am

dhamma follower wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi DF,

The development of insight, according to the suttas and commentaries, requires a high degree of samadhi (but not necessarily jhana):
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 07#p244480
“The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


Mike


Dear Mike,

That "concentration is classed as access and absorption" is taken from the chapter of Concentration development, in other words, samatha bhavana.

I think you are mistaken. That quote is a footnote of the Commentary on chapter 1, which gives an overview of the entire process of purification. Here is the whole quote:

[Visuddhimagga, Chapter I paragraph 6]
6. In some instances this path of purification is taught by insight alone, [3] according
as it is said:
    “Formations are all impermanent:
    When he sees thus with understanding
    And turns away from what is ill,
    That is the path to purity” (Dhp 277).
[3] “The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


I also gave some other quotes from the start of:
Visuddhimagga: CHAPTER XVIII PURIFICATION OF VIEW (Diþþhi-visuddhi-niddesa

here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 07#p244480

The quotes I gave above and in that link are specifically talking about dry insight. I suggest you read them in context. The Visuddhimagga is on line here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 5:46 am

This is what Dhammanando said about Khanika Samadhi for anyone's interest.

http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... hl=khanika



This is something that I have meant to get around to for awhile - tracking down just what khanika samadhi (momentary concentration) is in the tipitaka.




The term is actually from the commentaries.





QUOTE
Is it the ekagatta cetasika, the split second one-pointedness on each and every object that is cognized, or is it something that, as a post from the Venerable who sends the daily Dhamma message says "a few seconds of one-pointedness" that comes about as the first stage of deepening of concentration. (Before access concentration etc.) I've heard other people, including Bhikkhu Bodhi refer to it in this way, as a few seconds of concentration, but some friends who are keen students of Abhidhamma say it is simply ekagatta cetasika, accompanies each and every citta.




The commentaries speak of "threefold concentration" (tividha samādhi), comprising momentary concentration, approach concentration, and arrival concentration. The second and third of these are meditative attainments; the first is the ordinary concentration that is always present, which the Abhidhamma identifies with the ekaggatā cetasika. That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

More charitably construed, the modern usage might be seen as a shorthand for "develop the foundations of mindfulness, but without aiming for upacāra- or appanā-samādhi." I believe this is in fact what most modern vipassanā teachers mean by the expression. All the same, it's unfortunate that they have chosen this way of saying it, for it has given rise to an almost universal misapprehension of khaṇika-samādhi as being something that one has to strive to achieve.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:55 am

Thanks, Robert. That is an interesting point.

However, reading of those passages in the Visuddhimagga (and other passages) in context, leads me to the conclusion that quite a lot of concentration is required for insight.

I guess we will continue to come to different conclusions.

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 5:59 am

Thanks Mike
I did say that say that during those brief moment of vipassana nana that Samadhi is very strong indeed- and at that flash when nibbana is attained it is even considered as equivalent in strength to jhana.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tinhtan » Thu May 09, 2013 8:33 am

Hello
robertk wrote:QUOTE
... That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

imo, this is a rigid, flat reading,
as it lacks the real life of intensity, volume level.

developping or practicing or doing or bhavana,etc.. all means make them (cetasikas -> citta) growing in intensity, gaining sufficient power to accomplish better their tasks.

the seeds are there but it does not mean that they are strong enough to do their job.
and this is concerned with everything you are taking to do in real life

best wishes
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Thu May 09, 2013 8:34 am

So "momentary concentration" is the standard concentration that all beings would have which comes with being alive? And this concentration has different levels of intensity. Normally it is through sustained application that intensity is developed. robertk how would you say the intensity of concentration arises?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 10:14 am

tinhtan wrote:Hello
robertk wrote:QUOTE
... That being so, the widespread modern practice of exhorting meditators to "develop momentary concentration", if taken literally, is simply nonsensical. It would be as meaningless as telling someone to develop phassa, or develop vedanā, or develop saññā (which like ekaggatā also arise with every consciousness). It's meaningless to speak of "developing" something that one is never without.

imo, this is a rigid, flat reading,
as it lacks the real life of intensity, volume level.
You are quite correct in this. What were are being asked to believe by the Sujin followers, in the most bare terms, is that by thinking about a concept we have heard a remarkable level of concentration and awareness will automatically arise.

On the other hand, if some degree of concentration is part of every moment of concentration, it is not unreasonable to think that we can cultivate that concentration, making it stronger, more precise, and the same goes for attention, and this is the experiential basis of the meditation practices that the Buddha advocated that we do.

    Mindfulness, though so highly praised and capable of such great achievements, is not at all a 'mystical' state, beyond the ken and reach of the average person. It is, on the contrary, something quite simple and common, and very familiar to us. In its elementary manifestation, known under the term 'attention', it is one of the cardinal functions of consciousness without which there cannot be perception of any object at all. If a sense object exercises a stimulus that is sufficiently strong, attention is roused in its basic form as an initial 'taking notice' of the object, as the first 'turning towards' Because of this, consciousness breaks through the dark stream of subconsciousness ( -a function that, according to the Abhidhamma (Buddhist psychology), is performed innumerable times during each second of waking life). This function of germinal mindfulness, or initial attention, is still a rather primitive process, but it is of decisive importance, being the first emergence of consciousness from its unconscious subsoil.

    From this first phase of the perceptual process naturally only a very general and indistinct picture of the object results. If there is any further interest in the object, or if its impact on the senses is sufficiently strong, closer attention will be directed towards details. The attention, then, will dwell not only on the various characteristics of the object, but also on its relationship to the observer. This will enable the mind to compare the present perception with similar ones recollected from the past, and, in that way, a coordination of experience will be possible. This stage marks a very important step in mental development, called in psychology 'associative thinking'. It also shows us the close and constant connection between the functions of memory and attention (or mindfulness), and will thereby explain why in Pali, the language of the Buddhist scriptures, both these mental functions are expressed by the one word sati. Without memory, attention towards an object would furnish merely isolated facts, as it is the case with most of the perceptions of animals.

    It is from associative thinking that the next important step in evolutionary development is derived: generalization of experience, i.e. the capacity of abstract thinking. For the purpose of this exposition we include it in the second stage of cognition as affected by the development of attention. We have found four characteristics of this second stage: increase of detail, reference to the observer (subjectivity), associative, and abstract, thinking.

    By far the greatest part of the mental life of humanity to-day takes place on the plane of this second phase. It covers a very wide field: from any attentive observation of every-day facts, and attentive occupation with any work, up to the research work of the scientist and the subtle thoughts of the philosopher. Here, perception is certainly more detailed and comprehensive, but it is not necessarily more reliable. It is still more or less adulterated by wrong associations and other admixtures, by emotional and intellectual prejudices, wishful thinking, etc., and, primarily, by the main cause of all delusion: the conscious or unthinking assumption of a permanent substance in things, and of an Ego or soul in living beings. By all these factors the reliability of even the most common perceptions and judgements may be seriously impaired. On the level of this second stage, by far the greatest part of all those will remain who lack the guidance of the BuddhaDhamma, as well as those who do not apply that instruction to the systematic training of their own minds.

    With the next advance in the gradual development of Attention, we enter the very domain of Right Mindfulness or Right Attention (samma-sati). It is called 'right' because it keeps the mind free from falsifying influences; because it is the basis as well as part and parcel of Right Understanding; because it teaches us to do the right thing in the right way, and because it serves the right purpose pointed out by the Buddha: the Extinction of Suffering.

    The objects of perception and thought, as presented by Right Mindfulness, have gone through the sifting process of keen incorruptible analysis, and are therefore reliable material for all the other mental functions, as theoretical judgements, practical and ethical decisions, etc.; and notably these undistorted presentations of actuality will form a sound basis for the cardinal Buddhist meditation, i.e. for viewing all phenomena as impermanent, liable to suffering, and void of substance, soul or Ego.

    To be sure, the high level of mental clarity represented by Right Mindfulness, will, to an unattuned mind, be anything but 'near' and 'familiar'. At best, an untrained mind will very occasionally touch its borderland. But in treading the way pointed out by the Satipatthana method, Right Mindfulness may grow into something quite near and familiar, because, as we have shown before, it has its root in quite common and elementary functions of the mind.

    Right Mindfulness performs the same functions as the two lower stages of development, though it does so on a higher level. These functions common to them are: producing an increasingly greater clarity and intensity of consciousness, and presenting a picture of actuality that is increasingly purged of any falsifications.

    We have given here a brief outline of the evolution of mental processes as mirrored by the actual stages and qualitative differences of perception: from the unconscious to the conscious; from the first faint awareness of the object to a more distinct perception and a more detailed knowledge of it; from the perception of isolated facts to the discovery of their causal, and other, connections; from a still defective, inaccurate, or prejudiced cognition to the clear and undistorted presentation by Right Mindfulness. We have seen how in all these stages, it is an increase in the intensity and quality of attention, or mindfulness, that is mainly instrumental in enabling a transition to the next higher stage. If the human mind wants a cure for its present ills, and wishes to be set firmly on the road to further evolutionary progress, it will have to start again through the Royal Gate of Mindfulness.
    -- an extract from The Heart of Buddhist Meditation found here: http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductExtract.asp?PID=1380
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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