Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:45 am

Thanks tilt and Kevin for your replies about insight, I appreciate it.

I have one question in that regard - I would think that insight goes through the following phases (not necessarily separate and linear):

1. understanding the difference between the conceptual and non-conceptual aspects of experience (dhammas and concepts in ultimate terminology)

2. Understanding the difference between wholesome and unwholesome aspects of non-conceptual experience (i.e. understnading the individual characteristics of dhammas)

3. understanding the tilakkhana characteristics and conditionality of the non-conceptual experience (dhammas).


So, I think you both confirmed points 1 and 3 (apologies if I'm misrepresenting you here). But I can't see whether you agree with point 2 about the individual characteristics?

I mean I would think that point 2 is crucial to developing the path, like knowing "this is mindfulness and this is greed, this is right concentration and this is wrong concentration, etc." I mean, then it's clear what is the path, and what is not the path, and then insight can actually progress in the right direction.

Would you agree here? Further, would you agree that individual characteristics define dhammas on par with tilakkhana, or do you think they are more (I'm trying to find the right words here) "conceptual" in nature, i.e. not really happening in experience?

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:52 am

Briefly, since I am in the middle of my Irish lesson. These question may have meaning in terms of Abhidhamma style practice, but I kind of think you are maybe over thinking this stuff. How are you going to accomplish #2 without actually mindfully paying attention to what it is you are experiencing and then looking at what you experienced?

pt1 wrote:Thanks tilt and Kevin for your replies about insight, I appreciate it.

I have one question in that regard - I would think that insight goes through the following phases (not necessarily separate and linear):

1. understanding the difference between the conceptual and non-conceptual aspects of experience (dhammas and concepts in ultimate terminology)

2. Understanding the difference between wholesome and unwholesome aspects of non-conceptual experience (i.e. understnading the individual characteristics of dhammas)

3. understanding the tilakkhana characteristics and conditionality of the non-conceptual experience (dhammas).


So, I think you both confirmed points 1 and 3 (apologies if I'm misrepresenting you here). But I can't see whether you agree with point 2 about the individual characteristics?

I mean I would think that point 2 is crucial to developing the path, like knowing "this is mindfulness and this is greed, this is right concentration and this is wrong concentration, etc." I mean, then it's clear what is the path, and what is not the path, and then insight can actually progress in the right direction.

Would you agree here? Further, would you agree that individual characteristics define dhammas on par with tilakkhana, or do you think they are more (I'm trying to find the right words here) "conceptual" in nature, i.e. not really happening in experience?

Best wishes
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:43 am

tiltbillings wrote:Briefly, since I am in the middle of my Irish lesson. These question may have meaning in terms of Abhidhamma style practice, but I kind of think you are maybe over thinking this stuff. How are you going to accomplish #2 without actually mindfully paying attention to what it is you are experiencing and then looking at what you experienced?

Thanks tilt. As far as I can tell, the three "phases" are in practical terms one and the same occurrence only of different depths at different times so to speak. So it's basically an instance of insight (wisdom, understanding, etc) arising that can happen when the conditions are there. So, it's not like the three have to happen in succession one after the other, but sometimes one depth happens, sometimes another, though usually many instances of one depth need to happen before another depth can take place at some other time. Of course, after an instance of such insight arising, there can be thinking and trying to conceptualise about what happened, but that's not insight anymore.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:59 am

pt1 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Briefly, since I am in the middle of my Irish lesson. These question may have meaning in terms of Abhidhamma style practice, but I kind of think you are maybe over thinking this stuff. How are you going to accomplish #2 without actually mindfully paying attention to what it is you are experiencing and then looking at what you experienced?

Thanks tilt. As far as I can tell, the three "phases" are in practical terms one and the same occurrence only of different depths at different times so to speak.

A couple of questions, "whence the three phases?" I am assuming you are doing an abhidhamma type meditation practice, without getting personal, if you would rather not don't feel pressured to, could you describe the practice you do. Was it taught to you by an experienced abhidhammika?
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: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:A couple of questions, "whence the three phases?"

Ah, that's just a summary of the three issues I was asking about - differentiating dhammas, individual characteristics and tilakkhana. From what I learned so far, that's how it seems a neat summary of the progress of insight can be made relating to our topic. Of course, there are much better summaries of insight progress, e.g. Mahasi Sayadaw, Vsm, Psm, etc.

tiltbillings wrote:I am assuming you are doing an abhidhamma type meditation practice, without getting personal, if you would rather not don't feel pressured to, could you describe the practice you do. Was it taught to you by an experienced abhidhammika?

Well, I only spend time with samatha really, at least as far as I understand it to be samatha. Insight kind of takes care of itself, so I don't really have an insight practice at the moment other than what happens as a consequence of reading, thinking and discussing this stuff.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi Pt.

pt1 wrote:
I mean I would think that point 2 is crucial to developing the path, like knowing "this is mindfulness and this is greed, this is right concentration and this is wrong concentration, etc." I mean, then it's clear what is the path, and what is not the path, and then insight can actually progress in the right direction.


Hi Pt. Panna on the conceptual level can understand what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. Panna on the experiential level, satipatthana, does not care and can insight wholesome and unwholesome mindstates just the same. Any dhamma wether kusala (wholesome) or akusala (unwholesome) can be an object of insight. Even dosa, for example can be the object of insight. One can even attain magga citta through natural (conditioned) satipatthana on dosa, anger. That means, one could be angry at someone and panna (wisdom) and sati (awareness) could arise together, insight the charactersitic of dosa, and one could attain nibbana (given that one already traversed the other levels of insight either slowly over time, or very quickly all in a row like Bahiya of the Bark Cloth did). It matters not wether a dhamma is wholesome or unwholesome for insight, that only matters in terms of cultivating kusala which brings good results (brings wholesome kamma vipaka). Panna that understands wholesome and unwholesomeness and sees the drawbacks in unwholesomeness is a different kind of panna than the panna that leads to insight (same cetasika, different accumulations and function). The Buddha taught dhamma that conditions both of them. He taught dhamma that conditions insight into anatta and leads to cessation because he was an Ariya and foudn the path for others. He taught dhamma that leads to understanding the wholesome and the unwholesome, and adopting what is wholesome, discarding what is unwholesome, because he also had panna on the level that very clearly sees the drawbacks of even a slight unwholesome deed. Both insight and kusala should be cultivated, by conditions.

I don't really understand this part:
pt1 wrote:Would you agree here? Further, would you agree that individual characteristics define dhammas on par with tilakkhana, or do you think they are more (I'm trying to find the right words here) "conceptual" in nature, i.e. not really happening in experience?

Best wishes


Kevin
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:57 am

Thanks Kevin.
Virgo wrote:I don't really understand this part:

I'm basically trying to ascertain whther individual characteristics of dhammas (their functions) are seen through insight or not. You both agree that tilakkhana charcteristics are seen during insight, but I'm not sure whether you agree on individual characteristics. Obviously, if these are not see during insight of whatever level, that would not make them actual characteristics of dhammas.

E.g. sometimes the Buddha says in the suttas "feeling is dukkha, peception is dukkha" etc, but sometimes he says "all formations are dukkha". So to me that kind of says that at one instance one may actually see feeling as feeling (so not just a concept about a felling), what would mean one actually knows that it's feeling by it's individual characterstic/function (e.g. it's clear it's not perception, nor concentration, but feeling) and also sees it as dukkha (general/tilakkhana characteristic). But at some other instance, no matter what formation becomes object of citta, one sees it as dukkha. So, I'm wondering whether individual characteristics of dhammas are actually seen during insight, or do they belong to the latter conceptual process of thinking about what was experienced.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:19 am

Hi Pt,

Both are known. If it is feeling for example, it is known that it is feeling; however, there is not proliferation about it at that moment because the consciousness at that moment is drenched, if you will allow me to use that term, in it's understanding of impermanence, not-self, or dukkhaness of the the dhamma at that time.

Kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:21 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Both are known.


At that very 'moment'?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:Both are known.


At that very 'moment'?

Metta,
Retro. :)

I know that the dhamma has to be known by citta with at least the seven universal cetasikas, plus sati, so the dhamma is definitely known for what it is. Panna also arising though, accompanying the citta and that is what understands the characteristic of the dhamma. I am not sure if this is a mind-door process that takes multiple moments or not. I suspect that it may be. One single rupa, for example, since it lasts longer than citta, can condition many cittas, so perhaps this mind door proces takes more than one moment. I don't know. In any event, sati will be firmly aware of the dhamma itself.
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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby pt1 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:07 am

Thanks Kevin, I might raise this about simultaneity and mind-door(s) on dsg when I find time, perhaps someone there will know.

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Re: Questions regarding rising and falling of phenomena.

Postby Virgo » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:14 am

pt1 wrote:Thanks Kevin, I might raise this about simultaneity and mind-door(s) on dsg when I find time, perhaps someone there will know.

Best wishes


Nina van Gorkom and perhaps Sarah and others will likely know, Pt.

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