Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:47 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You are so cute, I just want to pinch your cheeks.


As long as it's the ones on my face and you aren't too rough, well, alright then.

Face only; I am not that kind of guy, assuming you are a guy.


Never assume, it makes an ass out of u and me.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:52 am

Most definitely, you both are cute.

Dhammanando wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The problem is with "ground of being" is that it carries baggage. I guess I can allow that he is ignorant of that.


Or perhaps "ground of being" is just Ajahn Sucitto's Cockney pronunciation of "ground up beans". In that case obviously he would be alluding to the Satipatthana Sutta's simile for the thirty-two parts of the body.


Thanks for jumping in, Venerable. Either that or he might have been referring to a well brewed cup of coffee. Ajahn Sucitto does seem to gravitate toward edible metaphors and analogies...

Image

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Ben » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:56 am

There's something wrong with the crema on that coffee. Perhaps its suds from residue dishwashing liquid.
Whether its the residue or the ground-up being, don't drink it!!
"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."

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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:14 am

christopher::: wrote:And now Venerable's thoughts, edited slightly to (hopefully) clarify, as per Tilt's request...
I was not asking you to edited Sucitto's text; rather, to give your own take on Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience. But since we are going in that direction:

And so instead of there being a proper grounding in the rise and fall of our our experience, we develop views, ideas, opinions, standpoints that are not grounded in insight that leads to a calm, quiet, expansive, equanimous, compassionate mind/body process, but that tends to become aspects of "My Self." And this means there's a certain fragmentation that occurs, my self as an experience in the way I'm using it is something that splits away from experience and thereby thinks it has the experience. "Here I am having this, I can get this, I can do this, I can make this happen" and so forth.


Re-reading through it again without the ground of dissention to me it can be summarised to say that calm is about be-ing, not about do-ing, if you slip into do-ing it will become fragmented and "the self" will be very much in the drivers seat, which is not what you want.
It is a never stopping process. Even Sucitto says so.
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: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:It is a never stopping process. Even Sucitto says so.

:stirthepot:
Yes it's true. Always use fresh grounds of being for a refreshing cup of luminous mind.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:10 am

nathan wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a never stopping process. Even Sucitto says so.

:stirthepot:
Yes it's true. Always use fresh grounds of being for a refreshing cup of luminous mind.
Yeah, yeah, luminous mind (citta). Where is that luminous mind? Rising and falling.
It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5
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: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
nathan wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a never stopping process. Even Sucitto says so.

:stirthepot:
Yes it's true. Always use fresh grounds of being for a refreshing cup of luminous mind.
Yeah, yeah, luminous mind (citta). Where is that luminous mind? Rising and falling.
It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5


You can see this rising and falling very clearly if you drop a creamer into a freshly brewed cup in a glass mug. I think the analogy holds up from coffee to body to the heap on fire. Try to read too much depth into the analogies and it gets stale quick. Fresh beans, always.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby PeterB » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
nathan wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a never stopping process. Even Sucitto says so.

:stirthepot:
Yes it's true. Always use fresh grounds of being for a refreshing cup of luminous mind.
Yeah, yeah, luminous mind (citta). Where is that luminous mind? Rising and falling.
It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grans still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5


" To take as self this body "
For a number of reasons I think this passage should have particular resonance for moderns.
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:36 am

PeterB wrote:" To take as self this body "
For a number of reasons I think this passage should have particular resonance for moderns.
No, I meant it in the take this body as a cup of roasted beans sense. The mind is like the pleasant aroma wafting up out of the cup. No place for a self anywhere. Just beans, fresh.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby PeterB » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:25 am

I wasnt responding to your analogy Nathan,
I was responding to Tiltbillings quotation from SN11 94-5.
:anjali:
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Mon May 03, 2010 12:40 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:
I was not asking you to edited Sucitto's text; rather, to give your own take on Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience. But since we are going in that direction:

And so instead of there being a proper grounding in the rise and fall of our our experience, we develop views, ideas, opinions, standpoints that are not grounded in insight that leads to a calm, quiet, expansive, equanimous, compassionate mind/body process, but that tends to become aspects of "My Self." And this means there's a certain fragmentation that occurs, my self as an experience in the way I'm using it is something that splits away from experience and thereby thinks it has the experience. "Here I am having this, I can get this, I can do this, I can make this happen" and so forth.


Re-reading through it again without the ground of dissention to me it can be summarised to say that calm is about be-ing, not about do-ing, if you slip into do-ing it will become fragmented and "the self" will be very much in the drivers seat, which is not what you want.


It is a never stopping process. Even Sucitto says so.


tiltbillings wrote:
It would be better, bhikkhus, for the uninstructed worlding to take as self this body… rather than the mind. For what reason? The body … is seen standing for one year, for two years, for three, four, five, or ten years, for twenty, thirty, forty, or fify, for a hundred years, or even longer. But that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey roaming through a forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets that go and grabs still another, so too that which is called 'mind [citta],' 'mentality [mano],' or 'consciousness [vi~n~naana]' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends closely and carefully to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this that arises…. SN II 94-5




Took a bit of time for this to sink in, but Yes! indeed, i think, that's what Sucitto is talking about. The "Monkey swinging thru the Jungle Mind" analogy is clearer than the luminous swirling coffee beans...

Self-making & the fragmentation of experience seems to be another way of understanding the process of dependent origination...

Image

Interesting!

:thumbsup:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:27 pm

Hi christopher:::,
christopher::: wrote:Took a bit of time for this to sink in, but Yes! indeed, i think, that's what Sucitto is talking about. The "Monkey swinging thru the Jungle Mind" analogy is clearer than the luminous swirling coffee beans...

Self-making & the fragmentation of experience seems to be another way of understanding the process of dependent origination...

I believe that the commentary to that Sutta states (I'd have to go back to Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation) that this simile is about the rapid pace of change in any mind, not about "clinging". An Arahant will still have a mind that changes rapidly.

Metta
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 03, 2010 11:51 pm

Greetings Mike,

I thought (from memory too) that it was about grasping one object after another, so I'd be interested to see what was said.

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: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Yodsak » Tue May 04, 2010 12:42 am

Ahh, Tiltbillings.

Plenty of PAPANCHA (my caps) going on there for ya mate.

:clap:
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 04, 2010 1:30 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:I thought (from memory too) that it was about grasping one object after another, so I'd be interested too.

Well, the sutta is here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#monkey
SN 12.61 Assutava Sutta: Uninstructed
"It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

That doesn't read to me to be about grasping. It is contrasting the rapid changes in the mind with the relatively slow changes in the body.

See also:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that is as quick to reverse itself as the mind — so much so that there is no feasible simile for how quick to reverse itself it is."

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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 04, 2010 1:56 am

Greetings Mike,

Yep, looks like you remembered it correctly. Somewhere along the way I must have gotten something else "monkey mind" related mixed in with it.

Image

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: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby christopher::: » Tue May 04, 2010 2:00 am

Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.


The monkey provides a good analogy, a metaphor for how our minds work. As such it draws our attention to a number of characteristics. Arising of emotions, clinging to thoughts and views-- all endlessly moving, changing throughout each day...

Yes, Buddha may have been trying to make one specific point there, or perhaps more than one. I wouldn't want to get into a debate about it.

The key issue Sucitto was getting at (i think) is what's going on each day, in our own heads, and how can the cultivation of tranquility, concentration and equanamity help us to untangle (and/or calm) these dependent arisings...

:juggling:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 04, 2010 9:31 am

HI christopher:::,

Of course you can take many meanings from various Suttas. If you are interested, Bhikkhu Bodhi (Pages 770-771 of his SN translation) quotes extensively from the Commentary on how the monkey grasping various objects is like the mind, which takes various objects very quickly in succession. Of course, you can recognise this as this is an Abhidhamma-oriented interpretation.

Bhikkhu Bodhi writes:
It should be noted that neither the sutta nor the commentary interprets the monkey simile here as saying that the untrained mind is as restless as a monkey; the point, rather, is that the mind is always dependent on an object.

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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby Freawaru » Tue May 04, 2010 11:10 am

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Bhikkhu Bodhi writes:
It should be noted that neither the sutta nor the commentary interprets the monkey simile here as saying that the untrained mind is as restless as a monkey; the point, rather, is that the mind is always dependent on an object.

Mike


It pains me a bit to disagree with Bhikkhu Bodhi (and the commentary) but I do think that both interpretations (restless and dependent on an object) are correct. Compare to Uddesa-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Statement

"And how is agitation caused by clinging/sustenance? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. His form changes & is unstable. Because of the change & instability of form, his consciousness alters in accordance with the change in form. With the agitations born from the alteration in accordance with the change in form and coming from the co-arising of (unskillful mental) qualities, his mind stays consumed. And because of the consumption of awareness, he feels fearful, threatened, & solicitous.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...

"He assumes perception to be the self...

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, of the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. His consciousness changes & is unstable. Because of the change & instability of consciousness, his consciousness alters in accordance with the change in consciousness. With the agitations born from the alteration in accordance with the change in consciousness and coming from the co-arising of (unskillful mental) qualities, his mind stays consumed. And because of the consumption of awareness, he feels fearful, threatened, & solicitous.

"This, friends, is how agitation is caused by clinging/sustenance.

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


The necessity is not to develop a stable consciousness but a consciousness that does not alter with the changes and instabilities of consciousness. Or to put it differently, the idea is not to stop the jumping monkey but to shift view to something that stays unaltered when the monkey jumps:

"And how is non-agitation caused by lack of clinging/ sustenance? There is the case where an instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for nobles ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma
...
His consciousness changes & is unstable, but his consciousness doesn't — because of the change & instability of consciousness — alter in accordance with the change in consciousness. His mind is not consumed with any agitations born from an alteration in accordance with the change in consciousness or coming from the co-arising of (unskillful mental) qualities. And because his awareness is not consumed, he feels neither fearful, threatened, nor solicitous.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


So what is required is a consciousness that does not alter when consciousness alters. The monkey still jumps from tree to tree. It happens. Sometimes it stays longer at one tree, sometimes it jumps fast - the trick is to develop that awareness that stays independent of all that jumping. I think this is what Ven. Sucitto means by "Ground of Being".

Ajahn Sucitto wrote: And so instead of there being a properly established Ground of Being that's bright, luminous, immaculate, suffusive we develop views, ideas, opinions, standpoints that are not shining, luminous, immaculate, suffusive but that tend to become aspects of "My Self." And this means there's a certain fragmentation that occurs, my self as an experience in the way I'm using it is something that splits away from experience and thereby thinks it has the experience. "Here I am having this, I can get this, I can do this, I can make this happen" and so forth.

We descend from what was an essential integrity and essential wholeness back into behavioral dualism. And then of course the whole thing begins to break down because for a certain amount of time we are able to "do" the calm, "do" the metta, "get" the anicca going but its becoming much more dishonest in a way. It becomes a strategy rather then a realization. One is no longer meeting the experience fully and embracing it fully."


The awareness itself, that stable kind of consciousness mentioned in the Uddesa-vibhanga Sutta refers IMO to what he means by "Ground of Being": the connection. It does not do something, it let things happen. It does not interfere, does not disturb. It has these qualities of being "bright, luminous, immaculate, suffusive" and it does not have ideas, opinions and so on because these are properties of the changing consciousness, the monkey mind.
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Re: Ajahn Sucitto: Fragmentation & Distancing from Experience

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 04, 2010 1:28 pm

Freawaru,

You might want to rethink all of that, seriously rethink all of that.
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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