the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:37 am

HI,

You are distinguishing the arahant from the body. But if we want to speak in terms of 'the arahant', (s)he is best defined as the whole body and mind process. So, 'the arahant' is partly the body itself to speak like that. (this goes for anybody, not just arahants) So if the body is suffering, 'the arahant' is suffering. It is exactly the sense of no self that they don't see themselves as a being apart from the body, or a being observing the body for that matter. Body is just as much 'the arahant' as the mind is.

So it is right there is no mental pain as a result of bodily pain, but this doesn't mean 'the arahant' is not suffering as there is an initial bodily pain which is just as much "the arahant" as any mental object. So if you were to say 'an arahant' does not suffer you have to say (s)he does not experience pain, which is not true as you acknowledge, or to say pain is not suffering, which directly goes against the definition in the suttas - and in my eyes against any logical definition of dukkha.

ow what, friends, is the noble truth of stress? Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful;

"And what is pain? Whatever is experienced as bodily pain, bodily discomfort, pain or discomfort born of bodily contact, that is called pain.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... ukkha.html

:anjali:

(last post now for real, I have more things to do with my time :D )
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:58 am

reflection wrote:HI,

You are distinguishing the arahant from the body. But if we want to speak in terms of 'the arahant', (s)he is best defined as the whole body and mind process. So, 'the arahant' is partly the body itself to speak like that. (this goes for anybody, not just arahants) So if the body is suffering, 'the arahant' is suffering.
No, the arahant/tathagata is not suffering. By definition, which has been gone through here at length, the arahant/tathagata is free of suffering, otherwise, what would be the point of the Dhamma? That an arahant/tathagata may experience physical discomfort is not in dispute, but given that the arahant/tathagata no longer relates to the physical discomfort in terms of clinging, in terms of self -- the dukkha that is driven by greed, hatred, and delusion, which for the arahant/tathagata is longer there. And that is the only dukkha that really matters in terms of the Dhamma, given that it is THAT dukkha the Dhamma is geared to eliminate.
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 great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:HI,

You are distinguishing the arahant from the body. But if we want to speak in terms of 'the arahant', (s)he is best defined as the whole body and mind process. So, 'the arahant' is partly the body itself to speak like that. (this goes for anybody, not just arahants) So if the body is suffering, 'the arahant' is suffering.
No, the arahant/tathagata is not suffering. By definition, which has been gone through here at length, the arahant/tathagata is free of suffering, otherwise, what would be the point of the Dhamma? That an arahant/tathagata may experience physical discomfort is not in dispute, but given that the arahant/tathagata no longer relates to the physical discomfort in terms of clinging, in terms of self -- the dukkha that is driven by greed, hatred, and delusion, which for the arahant/tathagata is longer there. And that is the only dukkha that really matters in terms of the Dhamma, given that it is THAT dukkha the Dhamma is geared to eliminate.


:goodpost:
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:13 pm

BlackBird wrote:Painful feelings bound up with the body and the Dukkha that we are trying to put an end to are two separate things. One couldn't argue that an arahant's body does not give off feelings that are painful. But honestly those painful feelings bound up with the body are irrelevant as they cause no anguish to the Arahant, they do not lead to craving that seeks to be seperated from the painful feeling, they do not lead to craving which seeks to distract one from the painful feeling. No, a painful feeling is experienced with utter equanimity by the arahant, exactly the same as he or she would experience a pleasant feeling or a neutral feeling - There is fundamentally no difference to the arahant. Quite unlike you and I.

The Arahant is free of dukkha.

I think the problem we* who study the dhamma, especially through suttas, have here is that dukkha in the Buddha's day generally meant one thing -- it did get used to mean physical pain, and the way the body decays through sickness and death -- but in the very specific usage he applies to his particular teachings, it means something much narrower. I like your "anguish" (better than Thanissaro's "stress") because it indicates that it's something one generates oneself.

We all know that the Buddha redefined "karma" -- it's a famous example -- but what I am seeing is that he subtly redefined just about everything. But that there is a pattern, a clue to it provided in the texts, where he quite often defines the field (the where) first, and then goes on to point more and more specifically to what he wants us to see within that field. He starts by defining something the way it is most generally defined -- but this is just the "where" not the "what" -- and then gives more detail. This is the case with the bit reflection refers to:

"Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful."


This is what he does with nutriment, also:

"There are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. From the origination of craving comes the origination of nutriment. From the cessation of craving comes the cessation of nutriment. And the way of practice leading to the cessation of nutriment is just this very noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.


In the above, he does it at least twice, once defining nutriment, and once defining craving as it relates to nutriment. When we think about "nutriments for the maintenance of beings" of course food is the first thing anyone thinks of. And of course it is required for anything else to happen. But it's not the thing to be done away with. On the other hand, the more specific things to consider are how we make contact in the world, what we want to do in the world, and the way we are thinking about the world.

The second major word that is multi-leveled above is craving. Food becomes food through craving (otherwise it's just stuff growing nearby or animal carcasses), the sort of craving for existence that is natural and normal (food is a requisite, so there is nothing wrong with that very basic desire to eat to sustain life). But the craving he is talking about us needing to really understand is more difficult to see: it's what defines the type of contact he is discussing, what drives intention, what shapes our thoughts.

This style of speaking is found consistently throughout the suttas, and my argument is that it is through mistaking that first generalized definition -- the obvious -- for the Buddha defining what we are supposed to be concerned with, that we have come to believe he teaches literal rebirth, when it seems quite clear to me that he is just using a different style of speech -- a complex, elegant, delicate structure -- that needs to be recognized to be understood.

:namaste:

* With this "we" I am not saying you and/or I, Blackbird, in particular have this problem but "we" as a community.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:HI,

You are distinguishing the arahant from the body. But if we want to speak in terms of 'the arahant', (s)he is best defined as the whole body and mind process. So, 'the arahant' is partly the body itself to speak like that. (this goes for anybody, not just arahants) So if the body is suffering, 'the arahant' is suffering.
No, the arahant/tathagata is not suffering. By definition, which has been gone through here at length, the arahant/tathagata is free of suffering, otherwise, what would be the point of the Dhamma? That an arahant/tathagata may experience physical discomfort is not in dispute, but given that the arahant/tathagata no longer relates to the physical discomfort in terms of clinging, in terms of self -- the dukkha that is driven by greed, hatred, and delusion, which for the arahant/tathagata is longer there. And that is the only dukkha that really matters in terms of the Dhamma, given that it is THAT dukkha the Dhamma is geared to eliminate.

And that gets us nicely back on topic, because the Dhamma can eliminate all suffering by ending rebirth (including dukkha of bodily pain & of impermanence, aging and death, dukkha in the aggregates/senses). And that's the final goal of the path - to end suffering by ending rebirth, by ending delusion. The goal is not to create some living experience of "no suffering". Beings who became arahant at the moment of death have just as much reached the final goal as those who stayed alive for a while, like the Buddha. That's why the suttas speak so much of ending birth, ending existence, ending consciousness. If an experience of "being free from suffering" (as a living experience) was the final goal, then this goal itself would have been temporary.

So in short, "being free from suffering" is not the final goal, but ending suffering is.

:anjali:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:49 am

reflection wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:HI,

You are distinguishing the arahant from the body. But if we want to speak in terms of 'the arahant', (s)he is best defined as the whole body and mind process. So, 'the arahant' is partly the body itself to speak like that. (this goes for anybody, not just arahants) So if the body is suffering, 'the arahant' is suffering.
No, the arahant/tathagata is not suffering. By definition, which has been gone through here at length, the arahant/tathagata is free of suffering, otherwise, what would be the point of the Dhamma? That an arahant/tathagata may experience physical discomfort is not in dispute, but given that the arahant/tathagata no longer relates to the physical discomfort in terms of clinging, in terms of self -- the dukkha that is driven by greed, hatred, and delusion, which for the arahant/tathagata is longer there. And that is the only dukkha that really matters in terms of the Dhamma, given that it is THAT dukkha the Dhamma is geared to eliminate.

And that gets us nicely back on topic, because the Dhamma can eliminate all suffering by ending rebirth (including dukkha of bodily pain & of impermanence, aging and death, dukkha in the aggregates/senses). And that's the final goal of the path - to end suffering by ending rebirth, by ending delusion. The goal is not to create some living experience of "no suffering". Beings who became arahant at the moment of death have just as much reached the final goal as those who stayed alive for a while, like the Buddha. That's why the suttas speak so much of ending birth, ending existence, ending consciousness. If an experience of "being free from suffering" (as a living experience) was the final goal, then this goal itself would have been temporary.

So in short, "being free from suffering" is not the final goal, but ending suffering is.
Your above response seems to make to no sense, nor does it actually address my points. If we follow your argument, an arahant who stubs her toe is not only going to feel physical pain, but she is likely to feel a significant mental dissatisfaction because things are no longer (for the time being) as she wants them to be, which is being free of pain in the toe. In other words, the arahant is subject the mental turmoil that arises from the constantly changing nature of the body and the mind. If that is the case, then what is the point of being a living arahant? As soon as one is an arahant, then the best thing to do, since there is no more rebirth and thusly no more "dukkha" for the arahant when the arahant is dead, is kill to one's self so as to no longer experience "dukkha."
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 great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:38 am

Yet again the shortcomings in this argument are made painfully clear ;)
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:Your above response seems to make to no sense, nor does it actually address my points. If we follow your argument, an arahant who stubs her toe is not only going to feel physical pain, but she is likely to feel a significant mental dissatisfaction because things are no longer (for the time being) as she wants them to be, which is being free of pain in the toe. In other words, the arahant is subject the mental turmoil that arises from the constantly changing nature of the body and the mind. If that is the case, then what is the point of being a living arahant? As soon as one is an arahant, then the best thing to do, since there is no more rebirth and thusly no more "dukkha" for the arahant when the arahant is dead, is kill to one's self so as to no longer experience "dukkha."

Hi tilt,

How does it not address your points? Your central question was what is the point of the dhamma - to which I gave my answer.

It probably seems to make no sense when you distinguish arahant and suffering, seeing suffering as an experience separated from some being; as a response to things by something separate from it, instead of being integral to things.

I didn't say anything about a mental response. What I say is that hurting the body is suffering, also if there is no mental response to it. The suttas define pain as suffering in context of the four noble truths, so this suffering can also end, not just the suffering of things being different than you would want. And also the suffering of birth and death can end. That's why "birth is ended" is such an integral statement: birth is the direct reason for suffering, not self view. But seeing suicide as a solution is seeing it in terms of self, as if someone is subject to suffering and somebody needs to get rid of it.

A living arahant can teach. But need there to be an intrinsic point in being a living arahant? As I said, some beings attain final nibbana at the point of death. Do you think their practice missed the point?

"Rebirth, friend, is painful; non-rebirth is pleasant. When, friend, there is rebirth, this pain is to be expected: cold and heat, hunger and thirst, excrement and urine, contact with fire, contact with punishment, contact with weapons, and anger caused by meeting and associating with relatives and friends. When, friend, there is rebirth, this pain is to be expected.

"When, friend, there is no rebirth, this pleasantness is to be expected: neither cold nor heat, neither hunger nor thirst, neither excrement nor urine, neither contact with fire, nor contact with punishment, nor contact with weapons, and no anger caused by meeting and associating with relatives and friends. When, friend, there is no rebirth, this pleasantness is to be expected."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .niza.html


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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:20 pm

reflection wrote:How does it not address your points? . . . I didn't say anything about a mental response. . . .
Which is to say, you did not at all address what I said.
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 great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:57 pm

Then may I ask you to clarify the point, so I can clarify my response.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:59 pm

reflection wrote:In my eyes it is you who is not addressing things by turning my arguments around. Implying I was intending for an arahant to experience mental anguish as a result of bodily pain. But this I never said. Quite the opposite in fact - to quote myself:
As we see in the Arrow sutta, this further creating of mental pain does not happen for arahants. But that does not mean there is no initial pain (dukkha) in the body.

So it is right there is no mental pain as a result of bodily pain,


I could rephrase it all, but I won't. If we go to posts that only contain "you didn't address what I said" while ignoring entire posts, I don't think that leaves us much room for a fruitful discussion.

I just hope that somebody else who reads this does understand my points (even if they disagree) and then sees how central the samsara of birth and death is to the Dhamma, and to suffering.

:anjali:
If there is no mental pain, then dukkha grounded greed, hatred, and delusion has ended, which is the point of the Buddha-Dhamma, then the "dukkha" grounded in change no longer carries any weight for the arahant.
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: the great rebirth debate

Postby reflection » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
reflection wrote:In my eyes it is you who is not addressing things by turning my arguments around. Implying I was intending for an arahant to experience mental anguish as a result of bodily pain. But this I never said. Quite the opposite in fact - to quote myself:
As we see in the Arrow sutta, this further creating of mental pain does not happen for arahants. But that does not mean there is no initial pain (dukkha) in the body.

So it is right there is no mental pain as a result of bodily pain,


I could rephrase it all, but I won't. If we go to posts that only contain "you didn't address what I said" while ignoring entire posts, I don't think that leaves us much room for a fruitful discussion.

I just hope that somebody else who reads this does understand my points (even if they disagree) and then sees how central the samsara of birth and death is to the Dhamma, and to suffering.

:anjali:
If there is no mental pain, then dukkha grounded greed, hatred, and delusion has ended, which is the point of the Buddha-Dhamma, then the "dukkha" grounded in change no longer carries any weight for the arahant.

In your original reply you were talking about dukkha of pain, now about dukkha of impermanence. The two are not the same, but I will now reply first to the pain-aspect in order for you to understand how in my previous replies I addressed your points:

So my reply was that I think dukkha does includes bodily pain (and the suttas also include these things within dukkha). And on top of that I think it is within the scope of the Dhamma to also end this dukkha. But that does not happen at the moment of enlightenment, but at death of an arahant. So then the point is to end all dukkha, all pain, both physical and mental.

A similar thing can be said about the dukkha of impermanence, dukkha of fabrications. Although an arahant doesn't relate to these as "mine" or "happening to me", just like (s)he doesn't with pain, in very principle the dukkha is still there. All that is impermanent is in its nature dukkha. All that is not final nibbana can said to be dukkha. A personal perspective on things adds a thousandfold times more dukkha, but doesn't take away the initial dukkha. A fire is burning whether I'm putting my hand in it or not. Here, burning has two meanings and you only see the personal aspect as "that's burning ME". But I see it that the fire itself is also burning. Similar with impermanent things and pain are dukkha whether I see them as mine or not.

I hope now my replies above are more clear and you can respond to them in context.

As spoken after the death of the Buddha:
Transient are all compounded things,
Subject to arise and vanish;
Having come into existence they pass away;
Good is the peace when they forever cease.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html

and which I've sort of started with:
The five aggregates, monks, are anicca, impermanent; whatever is impermanent, that is dukkha, unsatisfactory; whatever is dukkha, that is without attaa, self. What is without self, that is not mine, that I am not, that is not my self. Thus should it be seen by perfect wisdom (sammappa~n~naaya) as it really is. Who sees by perfect wisdom, as it really is, his mind, not grasping, is detached from taints; he is liberated.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el186.html



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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:32 pm

reflection wrote: But that does not happen at the moment of enlightenment, but at death of an arahant. So then the point is to end all dukkha, all pain, both physical and mental.
In other words, you still have not answered the objections about having, according to you, a dukkha bound arahant who has to wait until death to experience liberation. As the texts show, the arahant who is no longer bound by -- conditioned by -- greed, hatred, and delusion, there will be no dukkha generated based upon those conditioning factors. Nibbana is defined clearly as the destruction greed, hatred, and delusion, and this not something that has to wait until the death of the arahant. In other words there is no suffering by grasping after that which reinforces sense of self, there is no suffering by trying to push away anything that threatens a sense of self, and there is no longer any delusion that there is a self/agent that suffers. This neatly expressed here:

    "When, Bahiya, for you there will be only the seen in the seen, only the heard in the heard, only the sensed in the sensed, only the cognized in the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of 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 suffering." -- Udana 10

As for physical pain, the last time I checked the experience of physical pain constitutes a change and is the result of change. Grasping after what changes, wanting it not to change are an occasions for dukkha grounded in greed, hatred, and delusion. It is "you in terms of that"; it "you there"; is "you here or yonder or in between." That is the dukkha of which the arahant is free.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:43 am

In terms of "Rebirth" I found this youtube Dhamma talk where Ajahn Sumedho explains how to view rebirth, that I found insightful :)






I particularly liked where he said

"So rebirth is a mental thing, its not physical, and rebirth is something that is going on all the time, you don't have to believe in a theory of rebirth ..."


And how he relates rebirth in terms of, for example, being bored and being "reborn" into a person watching TV, then getting bored of TV :computerproblem: and getting reborn into someone who is enjoying food and how its just desire that is being "reborn".
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:58 am

Now we come to the most important matter. The Buddha said that, "I teach only one thing: dukkha and the quenching of dukkha." That is what all the teachings are about, dukkha and the quenching of dukkha. He didn't talk about other things. Whether or not there is rebirth is not the fundamental question, because once one is born here and now, there is dukkha like this and it must be quenched like this. Even if you are born again, dukkha is like this and must be quenched in the same way. Why bother talking about birth or no birth? Talk only about how dukkha arises and how dukkha is quenched.


Just this is already enough



http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... ebirth.pdf



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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:01 am

reflection wrote:
But that does not happen at the moment of enlightenment, but at death of an arahant. So then the point is to end all dukkha, all pain, both physical and mental.


Physical pain doesnt have to be Dukkha

Aversion to the feeling is the dukkha the Buddha taught the remedy for

"An untaught worldling, O monks, experiences pleasant feelings, he experiences painful feelings and he experiences neutral feelings. A well-taught noble disciple likewise experiences pleasant, painful and neutral feelings. Now what is the distinction, the diversity, the difference that exists herein between a well-taught noble disciple and an untaught worldling?

"When an untaught worldling is touched by a painful (bodily) feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. He thus experiences two kinds of feelings, a bodily and a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart and, following the first piercing, he is hit by a second dart. So that person will experience feelings caused by two darts. It is similar with an untaught worldling: when touched by a painful (bodily) feeling, he worries and grieves, he laments, beats his breast, weeps and is distraught. So he experiences two kinds of feeling: a bodily and a mental feeling.

"Having been touched by that painful feeling, he resists (and resents) it. Then in him who so resists (and resents) that painful feeling, an underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he then proceeds to enjoy sensual happiness. And why does he do so? An untaught worldling, O monks, does not know of any other escape from painful feelings except the enjoyment of sensual happiness. Then in him who enjoys sensual happiness, an underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He does not know, according to facts, the arising and ending of these feelings, nor the gratification, the danger and the escape, connected with these feelings. In him who lacks that knowledge, an underlying tendency to ignorance as to neutral feelings comes to underlie (his mind). When he experiences a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling or a neutral feeling, he feels it as one fettered by it. Such a one, O monks, is called an untaught worldling who is fettered by birth, by old age, by death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is fettered by suffering, this I declare.

"But in the case of a well-taught noble disciple, O monks, when he is touched by a painful feeling, he will not worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. It is one kind of feeling he experiences, a bodily one, but not a mental feeling. It is as if a man were pierced by a dart, but was not hit by a second dart following the first one. So this person experiences feelings caused by a single dart only. It is similar with a well-taught noble disciple: when touched by a painful feeling, he will no worry nor grieve and lament, he will not beat his breast and weep, nor will he be distraught. He experiences one single feeling, a bodily one.

"Having been touched by that painful feeling, he does not resist (and resent) it. Hence, in him no underlying tendency of resistance against that painful feeling comes to underlie (his mind). Under the impact of that painful feeling he does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness. And why not? As a well-taught noble disciple he knows of an escape from painful feelings other than by enjoying sensual happiness. Then in him who does not proceed to enjoy sensual happiness, no underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feelings comes to underlie (his mind). He knows, according to facts, the arising and ending of those feelings, and the gratification, the danger and the escape connected with these feelings. In him who knows thus, no underlying tendency to ignorance as to neutral feelings comes to underlie (his mind). When he experiences a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling or a neutral feeling, he feels it as one who is not fettered by it. Such a one, O monks, is called a well-taught noble disciple who is not fettered by birth, by old age, by death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. He is not fettered to suffering, this I declare.


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


It is possible to experience "pain" without Dukkha
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:23 am

I particularly liked where he said

"So rebirth is a mental thing, its not physical, and rebirth is something that is going on all the time, you don't have to believe in a theory of rebirth ..."


And how he relates rebirth in terms of, for example, being bored and being "reborn" into a person watching TV, then getting bored of TV :computerproblem: and getting reborn into someone who is enjoying food and how its just desire that is being "reborn".



Well that's one way of looking at it Craig, unfortunately 'rebirth is something that is going on all the time' is not what the Buddha intended. That idea does not find support in the Suttas. If the Buddha wanted you to think about rebirth as something that is a kalika process in the present then he would have just said so. The Buddha was not one to mince his words - He was categorical. If he intended rebirth to be what you think it is, he would have just said so.

Unfortunately I happen to feel that the Venerable Ajahn Sumedho is doing the Dhamma a disservice by misrepresenting the teachings. He might be trying to make it more palatable to secularists who cannot accept the idea that the Buddha taught that there is a continuation after death, and if that allows people to practice meditation and such like then his method is not without some merit.

I think a more skillful approach would be not to use the word 'rebirth' to describe what he is talking about, another word would be much better suited. But I get the feeling he is attempting to revise the definition itself, into something that is not concerned with post mortem continuation. The Buddha did not speak of such a process as 'rebirth'.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:36 am

Well that's one way of looking at it Craig, unfortunately 'rebirth is something that is going on all the time' is not what the Buddha intended. That idea does not find support in the Suttas. If the Buddha wanted you to think about rebirth as something that is a kalika process in the present then he would have just said so. The Buddha was not one to mince his words - He was categorical. If he intended rebirth to be what you think it is, he would have just said so.



Looking at it in terms of mind moment's doesn't subtract from your three lifetimes model, its just brings it down to the here and now


Besides he does talk about D.O. being in moments in the suttas, and if im not wrong its also in the Abhidhamma and commentaries ...
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:40 am

Unfortunately I happen to feel that the Venerable Ajahn Sumedho is doing the Dhamma a disservice by misrepresenting the teachings. He might be trying to make it more palatable to secularists who cannot accept the idea that the Buddha taught that there is a continuation after death, and if that allows people to practice meditation and such like then his method is not without some merit.


Hmmm this post makes me feel you did not listen to the video, did you?

And I would like to know how you know that his audience were "secularists"? ... or is that a preconceived notion?

I can personally vouch that, when he was abbot at amaravati, the majority were not "secularists" and neither were all the monks

I once asked a monk there about rebirth, and he said he believed in it and the next day he gave a Dhamma talk on the three lifetimes model :)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:42 am

Well that's one way of looking at it Craig, unfortunately 'rebirth is something that is going on all the time' is not what the Buddha intended.


So is "I am" always there, or is it being continuously created via identification?
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