Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 4:45 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:Actually the Buddha is the one who taught the Abhidhamma.
Even if he did, he only taught the Pitaka texts, but clearly not the much later stuff that introduced billions of individual mind moments in an eye's blink.

If it is from the ancient Commentarial works to the texts, then so be it. It doesn't counteract what is actually in the texts, but explains it. These texts come from a time when there were many, many Arahants in the Buddhist Community.
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 4:50 pm

Virgo wrote: Surely there were Arahants around and they didn't object. It is modern-day putthujunas that reject it, IMO.
Let us be careful here not to use "putthujuna" as a way of trying to simply dismiss an argument by name-calling.

Also, there were not arahants in other Mainstream Schools of Buddhism in India?
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 4:59 pm

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:Actually the Buddha is the one who taught the Abhidhamma.
Even if he did, he only taught the Pitaka texts, but clearly not the much later stuff that introduced billions of individual mind moments in an eye's blink.

If it is from the ancient Commentarial works to the texts, then so be it. It doesn't counteract what is actually in the texts, but explains it. These texts come from a time when there were many, many Arahants in the Buddhist Community.
In other words you do not know. I have not seen any reference to primary commentarial literature that point without question to billions and billions of thought moment dhammas in an eye's blink. Who would be able to count them? And you have not answered Retro's objection above:
In something purpotedly so infintesmal, how to experientially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship.
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 8:32 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote: Surely there were Arahants around and they didn't object. It is modern-day putthujunas that reject it, IMO.
Let us be careful here not to use "putthujuna" as a way of trying to simply dismiss an argument by name-calling.


That is not what I am doing. Nowadays there are many unenlightened people, puttujunas, and many of them find fault with the Abhidhamma. In times past there were many Arahants. None of them seem to have chided the ancient Commentators or their understandings.
Also, there were not arahants in other Mainstream Schools of Buddhism in India?

Maybe there were, maybe there weren't. You don't have to know and understand every detail of dhamma to become enlightened. The farther astray people go though, the farther they come from enlightenment.

kevin
Last edited by Virgo on Thu May 06, 2010 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby Virgo » Thu May 06, 2010 8:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:If it is from the ancient Commentarial works to the texts, then so be it. It doesn't counteract what is actually in the texts, but explains it. These texts come from a time when there were many, many Arahants in the Buddhist Community.
In other words you do not know.

Don't know what?

And you have not answered Retro's objection above:
In something purpotedly so infintesmal, how to experientially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship.

He was not addressing me, Tilt.

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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 9:11 pm

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote: Surely there were Arahants around and they didn't object. It is modern-day putthujunas that reject it, IMO.
Let us be careful here not to use "putthujuna" as a way of trying to simply dismiss an argument by name-calling.


That is not what I am doing.
That is good.
Nowadays there are many unenlightened people, puttujunas, and many of them find fault with the Abhidhamma. In times past there were many Arahants. None of them seem to have chided the ancient Commentators or their understandings.
We do not know that, do we? But then did the commentators get everything right all the time?
Also, there were not arahants in other Mainstream Schools of Buddhism in India?

Maybe there were, maybe there weren't.
If there were, why did not agree with everything the Theravadins said?
You don't have to know and understand every detail of dhamma to become enlightened. The farther astray people go though, the farther they come from enlightenment.
In other words, the Abhidhamma is not necessary for awakening.
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 06, 2010 9:16 pm

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Virgo wrote:If it is from the ancient Commentarial works to the texts, then so be it. It doesn't counteract what is actually in the texts, but explains it. These texts come from a time when there were many, many Arahants in the Buddhist Community.
In other words you do not know.

Don't know what?
You do not know if the primary commentaries (before Buddhaghosa) teach individual momentariy dhammas in the billions in an eye's blink.

And you have not answered Retro's objection above:
In something purpotedly so infintesmal, how to experientially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship.

He was not addressing me, Tilt.
But it nicely raises a question about the veracity of billions of dhammas in an eye's blink which is something you seem to be advocation here, and even if he is not addressing you you with that quote, I am.
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby pt1 » Fri May 07, 2010 3:33 am

Hi tilt, Kevin, retro,

Again, my apologies for introducing the temporal references in the first place, seeing that it lead to derailing the topic somewhat. I think it would be fair to conclude that none of us really know for sure from experience what's going on there with the speed of cittas one way or another, so it really seems to go down to in whose words we put our faith - those who claim that the commentarial tradition is in full compliance with the teachings of Buddha's time, or those who claim that it is not. Therefore, I don't think that arguments hinging on faith can really provide a satisfactory logical answers beyond speculation, at least not until one gains access to some sort of direct experience in the matter.

Best wishes
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 07, 2010 3:45 am

Greetings pt1,

pt1 wrote:I don't think that arguments hinging on faith can really provide a satisfactory logical answers beyond speculation, at least not until one gains access to some sort of direct experience in the matter.

Agreed... which is why I didn't mind you "introducing the temporal references" as it gave a good opportunity to demonstrate the validity of what you've said in this sentence here and how the "temporal" explanation is not compliant with this.

It was good also to see Kevin say he feels the relationship between dhammas is structural rather than temporal - regardless of how one defines 'dhamma' (or sankhara for that matter), I think this is proper understanding.

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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 07, 2010 3:49 am

pt1 wrote:Hi tilt, Kevin, retro,

Again, my apologies for introducing the temporal references in the first place, seeing that it lead to derailing the topic somewhat. I think it would be fair to conclude that none of us really know for sure from experience what's going on there with the speed of cittas one way or another, so it really seems to go down to in whose words we put our faith - those who claim that the commentarial tradition is in full compliance with the teachings of Buddha's time, or those who claim that it is not. Therefore, I don't think that arguments hinging on faith can really provide a satisfactory logical answers beyond speculation, at least not until one gains access to some sort of direct experience in the matter.
Also, the vibration thingie? It is also something one finds in discussions of kundalini experience, which suggests that it is a physiological experience.

As for the speed that the mind changes that really would depend upon causes and conditions.

As for derailing the topic, the question about time durations raised has to do with what can be directly observed with mindfulness and concentration (as in vipassana type practice). Retro's comment: In something purportedly so infinitesimal, how to exponentially see it as dukkha (sabbe sankhara dukkha)? How to even see it, let alone see through it?! Funny though how the Buddha never mentioned any of this... I guess he didn't have to since he didn't speculate himself into corners. His Dhamma is founded on experience, not scholarship points away from the non-empirical faith to what should be ehipassiko.
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: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 07, 2010 5:37 am

Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Also, the vibration thingie? It is also something one finds in discussions of kundalini experience, which suggests that it is a physiological experience.

Sure. Isn't anything we observe like that tied in with physiology? How else do we experience motion of the feet, for example? Mahasi-style teachers (such as the ones I've done retreats with) would say that it has to do with experience of air (motion) element and it seems like a reasonably common thing.

http://buddhanet.net/vmed_4.htm
Chanmyay Sayadaw wrote:Normally we are not able to penetrate into these elements and realise them in their true nature. That's why we take these compounded elements for a personal being, an I or a you, because we can't divide. Our intellectual knowledge is not enough to penetrate into these elements, and realise them in their true nature. So we think this is a body, this is a mind, this a man, this is a woman, this is a leg, this is a nose, this a hair. If we have penetrating insight knowledge through our vipassana meditation, insight meditation, then we can penetrate into these primary elements and know them and their nature and also their appearance and disappearance, and the nature of transitoriness of these elements.

So here when you practise walking meditation you feel that you are walking on a boat which is floating on the waves of the sea, or as though you were walking on the air, or as though you are walking on a heap of cotton. You are realising the specific nature or specific characteristic of the wind element vayo-dhatu. Vayo-dhatu, the wind element has movement, motion, supporting, vibrating as its specific characteristics, or individual characteristics.

Normally we do not realise it. But when we watch the movement of the foot while we are walking very closely, attentively and precisely, then our concentration becomes deeper and deeper. Then, because of deep concentration the insight knowledge or experiential knowing becomes penetrating and sharp. So that penetrating insight realises the process of movement and its specific characteristics of movement, motion, vibrating and supporting. So we feel we are walking on the air, or we are standing on the boat, or on the waves of the sea. Because the waves of the sea are always moving.


And many people describe the experience after several days of sitting doing Goenka-style body scanning that the body feels like it's breaking up. Goenka talks about it, and that was my experience. I seem to recall Retro and Ben discussing this back on E-Sangha when Retro did a Goenka retreat several years ago. I think there was also some discussion here.

Of course, I would say that one should be very careful about assuming that what one experiences is anything special, since all kinds of odd stuff can arise in meditation and it's easy to assume that it's more than it really is...

Mike
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Re: Sabbe sankhara dukkha - how to observe this Dhamma?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 07, 2010 6:11 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Also, the vibration thingie? It is also something one finds in discussions of kundalini experience, which suggests that it is a physiological experience.

Sure. Isn't anything we observe like that tied in with physiology? How else do we experience motion of the feet, for example? Mahasi-style teachers (such as the ones I've done retreats with) would say that it has to do with experience of air (motion) element and it seems like a reasonably common thing.
I forget about that. Thanks.
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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