Emblem of Consciousness?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:10 am

B. Alan Wallace compares the Theravada meditative practice of "attending to the emblem of consciousness" to the practice in Mahamudra and Dzogchen of "maintaining the mind upon non-conceptuality", which is also aimed at focusing on the nature of consciousness. - B. Alan Wallace, The bridge of quiescence: experiencing Tibetan Buddhist meditation. Carus Publishing Company, 1998, page 257.


Anybody know what this "emblem of consciousness" is? I've never heard of this term.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:21 am

Hi Mr Pink
Interesting. My wife brought home his book 'The Attention Revolution' after hearing him and some other luminaries speak at the 'Mind and its Potential' conference in Sydney this week. I'm looking forward to reading it and maybe I'll be able to answer your question. - though I suspect the book is a secular presentation of samatha for allied health and educational professionals.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16051
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:18 am

emblem is Wallace's translation of the Pali kasina, Sanskrit krtsna.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19312
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:23 am

tiltbillings wrote:emblem is Wallace's translation of the Pali kasina, Sanskrit krtsna.


Tilt is most likely right, though when I first read the statement, the terms "nimitta" and "lakkhana" also came to mind, otherwise known as "sign", "characteristic", "mark", and so forth.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
Paññāsikhara
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:27 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:emblem is Wallace's translation of the Pali kasina, Sanskrit krtsna.


Tilt is most likely right, though when I first read the statement, the terms "nimitta" and "lakkhana" also came to mind, otherwise known as "sign", "characteristic", "mark", and so forth.

Tilt is absolutely right given that he looked in the glossary in Wallace's book, THE BRIDGE OF QUIESCENCE, page 304.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19312
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Paññāsikhara wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:emblem is Wallace's translation of the Pali kasina, Sanskrit krtsna.


Tilt is most likely right, though when I first read the statement, the terms "nimitta" and "lakkhana" also came to mind, otherwise known as "sign", "characteristic", "mark", and so forth.

Tilt is absolutely right given that he looked in the glossary in Wallace's book, THE BRIDGE OF QUIESCENCE, page 304.


I thought that would be the next post! haha!
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
Paññāsikhara
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:41 am

i hate it when things that probably shouldnt be translated in english are...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:51 am

Maybe.

But there are lessons to be learnt in the European example of when the bible (and all such church teachings) were only transmitted in Latin.
The general population simply will have no idea.

A balance must be struck. But there are differences of opinion on where exactly that balance is.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.
Paññāsikhara
 
Posts: 980
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:27 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:31 am

Also, those English speakers interested in Theravada are used to certain choices of word for translations, which often date back to quite early translations. We've learned to live with those, and perhaps forget that many terms in "our" translations can be rather confusing to newcomers. The scholars who translated Tibetan texts are a different group, and tend to use different words. Perhaps "Emblem of Conciousness" is common in English-language Tibetan texts...

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10229
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:39 am

i don't recall ever coming across it in my mahayana days, but that really doesnt mean much..

i understand what you guy are saying, but there are many reasons why certain pali/Sanskrit words arent/shouldnt be translated, some because the english meaning doesn't fully convey the original others just because they come out sounding absurd, such as when names of some bodhisattvas are translated into their literal english equivalents in some sutras i've read...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:emblem is Wallace's translation of the Pali kasina, Sanskrit krtsna.

Thanks, Tilt.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am

Re: Emblem of Consciousness?

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:35 am

Hi Pink Trike,

B. Alan Wallace compares the Theravada meditative practice of "attending to the emblem of consciousness" to the practice in Mahamudra and Dzogchen of "maintaining the mind upon non-conceptuality", which is also aimed at focusing on the nature of consciousness. - B. Alan Wallace, The bridge of quiescence: experiencing Tibetan Buddhist meditation. Carus Publishing Company, 1998, page 257.


Unlike the other kasiṇas, viññāṇa-kasiṇa is never treated in any detail in Pali sources. In the Visuddhimagga Buddhaghosa doesn't deal with it at all, instead substituting the light-kasiṇa, which isn't mentioned in the Suttas. Given the extreme paucity of data about viññāṇa-kasiṇa, I don't see how it could be compared with Mahamudra or Dzogchen (or anything else) with much sense of certitude.


    Again, Udayin, I have proclaimed to my disciples the way to develop the ten kasiṇa bases. [...] One contemplates the consciousness kasiṇa above, below, and across, undivided and immeasurable. And thereby many disciples of mine abide having reached the perfection and consummation of direct knowledge.
    (MN. 77)

That's about all the Suttas have to say. Then there's an intriguing statement in the Nettipakaraṇa:

    There are ten kasiṇa bases: the earth kasiṇa, water kasiṇa, fire kasiṇa, air kasiṇa, blue-black kasiṇa, yellow kasiṇa, red kasiṇa, white kasiṇa, space kasiṇa, and consciousness kasiṇa. Herein, the eight kasiṇas from the earth and water kasiṇas down to the white kasiṇa are calm (samatha). The space kasiṇa and consciousness kasiṇa are insight (vipassanā).
    (Netti. 89)

Best wishes,
Dhammanando
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
User avatar
Dhammanando
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Wat Pa Mieng Khun Pang, Chiang Mai


Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests