If a stream-winner...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Alex123
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:37 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks DF,

Ajahn Naeb is in Jack Kornfield's book on "Living Buddhist Masters", which I think has changed name as many are no longer living. You can read the section here:
http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=8InE ... eb&f=false

Khun Sujin (some followers of whom can be found on the yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastudygroup/) was one of her students.

Mike



I've read another version of Jack's Book (Living Dharma) and haven't found talk of Ajahn Naeb declaring her achievements.


It seems to me that KS teaches much differently than Ajahn Naeb.
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Virgo » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:01 am

Alex123 wrote:
It seems to me that KS teaches much differently than Ajahn Naeb.

I think the way Ajahn Sujin teaches and the way Ajahn Naeb taught are actually pretty similar except for one important difference. They both emphasis understanding on the intellectual level which eventually leads to understanding on the experiential. They both taught heavily from the Buddhist Abhidhamma. The main difference is that Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique that was very loose and was more of a contemplation to do while sitting and walking. It is a technique that is meant to lead you into understanding that there is no controller there eventually. Ajahn Sujin, however, just drops any technique whatsoever and teaches that there is no controller. Ajahn Sujin feels there is no need for any "technique" whatsoever. Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique but it is much, much looser than traditional "vipassana techniques" that ask you to focus. It was really more of an intellectual contemplation based on arising experiences that one does as one sits down and then walks.

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:07 am

I've read another version of Jack's Book (Living Dharma) and haven't found talk of Ajahn Naeb declaring her achievements.


Indeed, so far I have found that only in the small booklet "What is Buddhism" published and distribued by Boonkanjanaram center

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:48 am

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
It seems to me that KS teaches much differently than Ajahn Naeb.

I think the way Ajahn Sujin teaches and the way Ajahn Naeb taught are actually pretty similar except for one important difference. They both emphasis understanding on the intellectual level which eventually leads to understanding on the experiential. They both taught heavily from the Buddhist Abhidhamma. The main difference is that Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique that was very loose and was more of a contemplation to do while sitting and walking. It is a technique that is meant to lead you into understanding that there is no controller there eventually. Ajahn Sujin, however, just drops any technique whatsoever and teaches that there is no controller. Ajahn Sujin feels there is no need for any "technique" whatsoever. Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique but it is much, much looser than traditional "vipassana techniques" that ask you to focus. It was really more of an intellectual contemplation based on arising experiences that one does as one sits down and then walks.

Kevin F


What do you mean by intellectual contemplation ?

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:48 am

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
It seems to me that KS teaches much differently than Ajahn Naeb.

I think the way Ajahn Sujin teaches and the way Ajahn Naeb taught are actually pretty similar except for one important difference. They both emphasis understanding on the intellectual level which eventually leads to understanding on the experiential. They both taught heavily from the Buddhist Abhidhamma. The main difference is that Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique that was very loose and was more of a contemplation to do while sitting and walking. It is a technique that is meant to lead you into understanding that there is no controller there eventually. Ajahn Sujin, however, just drops any technique whatsoever and teaches that there is no controller. Ajahn Sujin feels there is no need for any "technique" whatsoever. Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique but it is much, much looser than traditional "vipassana techniques" that ask you to focus. It was really more of an intellectual contemplation based on arising experiences that one does as one sits down and then walks.

Kevin F


What do you mean by intellectual contemplation ?

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:15 pm

Virgo wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
It seems to me that KS teaches much differently than Ajahn Naeb.

I think the way Ajahn Sujin teaches and the way Ajahn Naeb taught are actually pretty similar except for one important difference. They both emphasis understanding on the intellectual level which eventually leads to understanding on the experiential. They both taught heavily from the Buddhist Abhidhamma. The main difference is that Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique that was very loose and was more of a contemplation to do while sitting and walking. It is a technique that is meant to lead you into understanding that there is no controller there eventually. Ajahn Sujin, however, just drops any technique whatsoever and teaches that there is no controller. Ajahn Sujin feels there is no need for any "technique" whatsoever. Ajahn Naeb taught a sort of technique but it is much, much looser than traditional "vipassana techniques" that ask you to focus. It was really more of an intellectual contemplation based on arising experiences that one does as one sits down and then walks.

Kevin F


That is what I've thought from what I've read of Ajahn Naeb in "Living Dharma" (and website) and of KS teaching in Survey... Though there were some Abhidhamma differences. As I understand correctly Ajahn Naeb teaches through being mindful of dukkha in postures. KS refutes the idea of postures.


But, if you do read satipatthana sutta and the Comy, it does sound like there is a technique or at least a very thorough thinking contemplation while events are happening.

Accordingly this yogi, who considers by way of causes and conditions, the states of going, standing and so forth, knows well that he is going, when he is in the state of going, that he is standing when he stands, that he is sitting when he sits, and that he is lying down when he lies down, as it is told in the passage in the discourse beginning with the words: "When he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html
And of course a lot of analytical description is found in that comy.


Best wishes,

Alex
Last edited by Alex123 on Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Alex123 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:18 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
What do you mean by intellectual contemplation ?


I can't say it for him,

But it appears to me that some teach dhamma in such a way. Study as much as possible, accumulate understanding in sankhara khandha, (dont accumulate wrong views by trying to meditate), and eventually sati and all the other factors will arise all by themselves and fulfill the practice and penetration of the teaching.
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby dhamma follower » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:18 am

Alex123 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
What do you mean by intellectual contemplation ?


I can't say it for him,

But it appears to me that some teach dhamma in such a way. Study as much as possible, accumulate understanding in sankhara khandha, (dont accumulate wrong views by trying to meditate), and eventually sati and all the other factors will arise all by themselves and fulfill the practice and penetration of the teaching.


Actually, I think this is another point where KS differs from AN. I didn't practice under AN's guidance but one of her students. It appeared to me that though intellectual understanding is considered necessary in AN's approach, its role is much more emphasized and has taken an essential place in KS's (as well as some others of her students). AN's relies more on the postures contemplation of Satipathana as "technique", combined with yoniso manasikara. So somehow it's less "intellectual". The practice goes supposedly from sutamaya to cintamaya to eventually bavhanamaya, as the goal.

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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby andrewuk » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:17 pm

Vipassana Bhavana by Ajahn Naeb

http://my.abhidhamonline.org/modules.ph ... ewlang=eng

An excellent book!
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Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby andrewuk » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:21 pm

andrewuk wrote:Vipassana Bhavana by Ajahn Naeb

http://my.abhidhamonline.org/modules.ph ... ewlang=eng

An excellent book!


1.1.1 What is Buddhism?

1.1.1.1 Introduction

The real Buddhism is not temples, or statues of the Buddha, or giving alms, or ceremonies. While these are all worthwhile, they do not answer the question. What is the real Buddhism? If we say that the real Buddhism is the practice of meditation using mindfulness and clear comprehension to realize wisdom – and thus erase all defilement, and end suffering – we are getting closer. But we still are not there.

If we say that the real Buddhism is matter (rupa) and mind (nama) – then we are getting a little more close; but even this is not entirely satisfactory. The word “nama” might still convey the notion of a mind that is compact, all of o­ne piece, doing all these different mental functions. In order to give a truer picture of the mind, nama must be expressed as mental state (cittas)ñ, each arising separately, and each different from the other: the mental state that sees is not the same as the mental state that hears, the mental state that is wandering mind is different from the mental state that observes body (rupa) in practice, etc. “We”, our entire existence, at any given time is simply the arising of o­ne of these mental states, which is quickly replace by another.

But mental state (citta) is still not enough. Mental states (cittas) are actually made up of 52 different mental properties, called cetasikas. (For example, contact, feeling, perception, etc. are cetasikas.) So now, our true definition of nama becomes citta-cetasika. We may now add rupa to our definition of Buddhist reality, and so we get citta-cetasika and rupa. But citta-cetasika-rupa is still not the whole “picture.” If we practice successfully (realize rupa and nama are not “us”) we will reach a state where a brief path-moment arises that erases defilements. This path moment has nibbana as an object, and this nibbana is also a part of Buddhist reality

Thus, our final definition of Buddhist reality now becomes mind-body and enlightenment – or to state it in Pali, the language of Buddhism: cita-cetasika-rupa, and nibbana. These four things, in Buddhism, are ultimate reality. This means they are those things in the universe that are “real” -- that is, they do not require concepts to understand. So, every living thing in the universe is made up of the first three of these – citta-cetasika and rupa. Nibbana – which is the object of the path moment that erases defilement in each of the four stages of enlightenment – is the fourth part of ultimate reality: citta-cetasika, rupa, and nibbana. (It is important to know that nibbana is just an object of the mind at a certain stage of wisdom. It actually appears as a very brief moment of peace and stillness -- and its nature is no defilements.)

ñ For a fuller explanation of all Pali terms, see glossary in back of this book.

The purpose in Buddhism of the first three (citta-cetasika-rupa) is to demonstrate that “you” are really made up of many parts (rapidly-changing mental states and rapidly-changing matter), and since none of these parts are “you”, the parts together are not “you” either. The science in Buddhism that divides body and mind into smaller and smaller parts is called Abbhid-hamma: this science helps to better see that ‘we’ are not man, not woman, not-self, etc.

Our first definition of Buddhism, then, is that this ultimate reality (citta-cetasika-rupa, & nibbana) is Buddhism – real Buddhism.

Every living thing in the world answers to this mind-matter definition (cita-cetasika-rupa). Non-living things are just matter, rupa. Even though people do not know this definition, may never have even heard of Buddhism, they are still citta-cetasika-rupa, and nibbana still exists as a state that the mind (citta-cetasika) can reach when the mind has absolute purity. Now, having read this simple explanation of the real Buddhism, you can, it is hoped, progress with a little more confidence to our teacher’s more technical discussion of this important subject, which is described in the following paragraphs.

1.1.1.2 Discussion: Buddhism can be defined in two ways:

1) The true state of the nature of the world, and

2) The teaching of the Lord Buddha.

1. The true state of the nature of the world.

The Lord Buddha said “Sabbha dhamma anatta.” This means,

Literally, all dhamma (things) are without self.” Thus, we can see that the four elements of ultimate reality in the universe – mind (citta-cetasika), matter (rupa), and enlightenment (nibbana) – all have the same single characteristic: they are without self.

These four elements are the true state of the nature of the world (sabhava dhamma) – i.e., no self, no man, no woman, no dog, etc. Sabhava, in this eassay, refers mainly to not-self, not man, not woman, etc. Not-self is the o­nly o­ne of the Three Characteristics (impermanence, suffering, not-self) that fits all four of the elements of ultimate reality. This is because nibbana is supramundane: permanent, and happy, but not-self. Citta-cetasika-rupa is mundane: impermanent, suffering and not-self.

a) Everybody has three of the above four things citta - cetasika and rupa. Or these four can be summarized as body and mind (rupa and nama). Or in more detail, they can be broken down into five parts called aggregates: Body , feeling , perception , volition , and consciousness. These three ( citta- cetasika and rupa) keep us o­n the wheel of rebirth that is a continual round of birth, old age, sickness and death. These three occur because of cause and aiding condition; they always depend o­n each other (body can’t act without mind, mind is helpless without body, for example); and they arise and immediately fall away, continuously through life. This happens every moment (split-second), and because it happens whether we are aware of it or not, it is called mundane dhamma. This true state of the nature (sabhava) does not occur because of God or Brahma or any other miraculous intervention.

The Five Aggregates, or body-mind (rupa-nama), are suffering (dukkha-sacca) (“sacca” means “truth”, thus dukkha-sacca is the truth of suffering – the First Noble Truth). The Five aggregates are the real dukkha-sacca and they are the result of cause. That cause is craving, as stated in the Second Noble Truth, the truth of the cause of suffering. The real creator of rupa and nama is defilement. Defilement is craving or, in practice, the defilements are desire, aversion, and delusion. It is o­nly from defilement that body and mind are created. This body and mind (Five Aggregates) is what we conventionally think is a man or woman, or this person or that, or this nation or that. That which creates (defilement) and that which is created (Five Aggregates) has the three characteristics -- impermanence, suffering, and not self and they are natural law. There is no exception to this for any being.

b) Nibbana however is ultimate reality (sabhava-dhamma) and is outside the Five Aggregates – that is to say, outside the “world” (The Buddha said that, for each being the “world” is really the Five Aggregates, since everying we experience comes through them. This “world” can be called the “aggregates-word” or the “rupa-nama-world”.)

Nibbana is an object of the path moment that erases defilement, and hence suffering – this occurs at the 14th of the 16 Vipassana knowledges (yanas) – and the fruition, or savoring, which follows it (15th yana). Nib-bana is called supra-mundane because it is the dhamma that extinguishes defilement and hence suffering. Nibbana is permanent and happy. But it is not a man or woman – no self.

This is real Buddhism. Prince Siddhatha discovered the wisdom that is the Four Noble Truths by himself. Nobody taught him. Hence, he is called “Phra Arahant -- Sammasambuddha” (“Enlightened by his own efforts”).

2. The teachings of the Buddha:

This is the second way Buddhism can be defined. The Lord Buddha’s teachings are beneficial in three ways, depending o­n which of these fit your particular character:

a) Beneficial for this life.

b) Beneficial for the next life.

c) Beneficial for the highest good, or nibbana, which ends suffering.

An example of a) above is the sutta-teaching about not getting angry.

The Buddha taught nonhatred. “Don’t hurt your mind”, said the Buddha. Anger o­nly hurts you, not the other person.

An example of b) above are the teachings concerning morality and the practice of concentration development, in meditation.

Regarding c) above the Buddha taught the way to reach nibbana – the kind of happiness that does not turn into suffering anymore, where happiness and suffering are mixed.

In this essay we will o­nly discuss nibbana to end suffering. The real suffering is the Five Aggregates, or body and mind (rupa and nama). When the Five Aggregates are extinguished completely, final, or complete nibbana is reached. An example of this is the Lord Buddha and the fully-enlightened o­nes (arahants) of the Buddha’s time. They will never be reborn again to experience suffering.

And what way did the Lord Buddha teach to end suffering?

He taught morality, concentration, and wisdom (clear comprehension) in the Eight-Fold Path.

Why must it be morality, concentration, and wisdom in the Eight-Fold Path?

Because these three elements when they are in the Eight-Fold Path are the Middle Way, which is necessary to reach the Four Noble Truths.

The Eight-Fold Path is called the Middle Way, and is the “one and the o­nly way” to reach the Four Noble Truths and end suffering.

The Middle Way means avoidance of the two extremes of sensual in- dulgence and self-mortification that the Buddha found among Hindu yogis in his day. These yogis thought self-mortification would destroy desire and self-indulgence would destroy hatred. The Middle Way also means avoiding like or dislike.

What is the benefit of realizing the Four Noble Truths?

The benefit is the end of suffering. This is done when the Path moment that has nibbana as its object erases all remaining defilement and ends suffering (4th Path). Nibbana is very happy because there is no rebirth.

What do you mean by very happy?

The kind of happiness that does not turn into suffering anymore, like mundane happiness. The Lored Buddha said, “Nibbana is very happy”

How does happiness come about?

Because nibbana has no Five Aggregates. The Five Aggregates are the real truth of suffering (dukkhasacca). If you don’t have the Five Aggregates, you don’t have any suffering – such as old age, sickness, death, sorrow, lamentation, etc. That’s why nibbana is happy. It’s not like the mundane world, where happiness and suffering are mixed. Nibbana is the highest good in Buddhism.

Morality , concentration , and wisdom comprise the Eight-Fold Path.

Which comes first? Should we practice morality until we are purified, and realize concentration and wisdom later?

Morality, concentration, and wisdom in the Eight-Fold Path have to go together not just o­ne at a time. It’s like a pill with three ingredients: we take them all at o­nce. Concentration-type meditation is peaceful, with rapture – especially for the o­ne who reaches absorption (very high state of concentra- tion). It is very happy. So why do we say o­nly nibbana is happy?

While concentration-type meditation is wholesome and it destroys mental defilements (hindrances), it is just temporatily peaceful, lasting o­nly as long as the hindrances are suppressed. The happiness depends o­n the level of absorption.

But that happiness is still in the wheel of suffering.

Meditation to reach absorption existed before the Lord Buddha. The Lord Buddha practiced this concentration meditation until he reached the highest absorption (the eighth) but he realized that absorption could not destroy hidden defilements. Then he found the Eight-Fold Path and realized the Four Noble Truths – and thus, enlightenment. He then said, “This is my last life”. And so, because enlightenment (nibbana) extinguishes defilement and hence suffering – and ends the round of rebirth – we say o­nly nibbana is happy.

In all the world’s philosophies, wisdom that ends suffering is found o­nly in Buddhism. How can we prove this? The Eight-Fold Path, properly followed, destroys defilements that are the cause of suffering. Defilements can o­nly be destroyed with wisdom.

When practice is perfect, wisdom develops and that wisdom (insight or vipassana wisdom) destroys defilement. o­nly Buddhism can completely destroy defilement – i.e. reach nibbana. This is proof that the practice of the Eight-fold Path develops wisdom.

The last questions have to do with the important subject of nibbana.

a) What is nibbana?

b) Where is nibbana?

c) How are you going to see nibbana? (That is, if you believe nibbana exists.)

These are good questions to ask, because all Buddhists want to end suffering. To end suffering you have to reach nibbana. We will answer these questions briefly, but when you practice successfully, you will understand better.

a) What is Nibbana?

Nibbana is the object of a brief path-moment. Nibbana is ultimate reality, or the true state of the nature of things. This path-moment that has nibbana as an object, extinguishes defilement and ends suffering. Suffering is ‘us’ (nama-rupa). If there is no ‘us (nama-rupa) there is no suffering such as old age, sickness, and death, etc, -- because there are no Five Aggregates in the state of nibbana. The Five Aggregates are the real suffering (dukkhasacca).

Each of us is composed of these five Aggregates: body, feeling, perception, volition, and consciousness. Or more simply, these Five Aggre-gates are body (Rupa) and mind (nama): (The last four of the above five are mind.) The Five Aggregates are the truth of suffering (dukkha-sacca, or 1st Noble Truth). Dukkha-sacca exists but we generally don’t see it. It is caused by defilement (craving) and that defilement creates us. That defilement that creates us stays with us a long time – unless something is done about it.

b) Where is nibbana?

Nibbana is not a place. It’s not anywhere. Nobody, not even o­ne who has superpower can tell where nibbana is. Nibbana is not in heaven; it is like the wind; you o­nly know it by its effects. Nibbana is the object of a very special path moment. It is a mind object of this path moment.

The ordinary person is saturated in defilement, but when he does vipassana practice and vipassana wisdom occurs, his mind becomes purified. This is called path moment and path fruition. These two have nibbana as an object (the 14th and 15th of the 16 vipassana know ledges = nana or ‘yanas’ in Thai).

Nibbana is not mind. It’s just the object of mind. When vipassana wisdom is very strong, the mind of the ordinary person changes to the mind of the Noble o­ne. This change is called path moment. It is followed imme-diately by path fruition. Both have nibbana as their object. When the cause of suffering is extinguished, suffering (the result) is extinguished by the particular path moment for that path. The four paths to enlightenment are stream-winner, o­nce returner, non-returner, and fully-enlightened or Perfect o­ne (the Arahant). There are ten fetters keeping us from full enlightenment:

1) Wrong view of self

2) Doubt about the Buddha’s teaching

3) Adherence to rites and rituals (These refer to any belief that any ceremony such as lighting incense or any ritual behaviour or worship can lead to nibbana.)

4) Sensual desire

5) Hatred

6) Desire for fine material existence

7) Desire for immaterial existence (Fine material existence is an existence where there is still body. Immaterial existence is where there is o­nly nama. So both of these fetters (6 and 7) refer to craving for types of heavenly existence.)

8) Pride

9) Restlessness

10) Ignorance

Thus, for the First Path, the stream-winner path-moment erases the first three fetters; for the Second Path, the o­nce-returnee path-moment weakens the next two fetters; for the Third Path, the non-returnee path-moment erases the two weakened fetters; and for the Fourth Path, the arahatta path moment erases the five remaining fetters.

c) How are you going to see nibbana?

In order to see nibbana, you must practice the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipatthana) in the right way. If practiced correctly satipatthana is the o­nly way to enlightenment. The Lord Buddha said: “Bhikkhus, this path (as laid down in the Mahasatipatthana Discourse) is the o­ne and o­nly way for the purification of beings.”

Satipatthana is the first of, and the foundation of, the Thirty-Seven Qualities Contributing to Enlightenment. And the Thirty-Seven Qualities lead to realizing the Four Noble Truths, as the Lord Buddha did. When the mind is purified of defilement, you will know by yourself – you won’t need anyone to tell you-because nibbana is the true nature (sabhava) and that is realized by yourself. In the monk’s chant, this is “Paccatan veditabbo vinnuhi” (“to be seen each man for himself”)»
Meditate, don't be negligent, lest you may later regret it!


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