Luminious mind

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Re: Luminious mind

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:34 am

Greetings Sherab,

My understanding with respect to "find no footing" is it speaks of the absence of sankhata dhamma (formed dhammas) of which consciousness could take as subject. In the absence of sankhata dhamma, consciousness takes the unformed (i.e. nibbana) as object.

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sherab » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sherab,

My understanding with respect to "find no footing" is it speaks of the absence of sankhata dhamma (formed dhammas) of which consciousness could take as subject. In the absence of sankhata dhamma, consciousness takes the unformed (i.e. nibbana) as object.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thanks Retro. Responses like yours help me to understand the Theravada teachings better.
So how does the absence of sankhata dhamma (formed dhammas) come about? (Sorry if this is a rather basic question.)
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:11 am

Sherab wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sherab,

My understanding with respect to "find no footing" is it speaks of the absence of sankhata dhamma (formed dhammas) of which consciousness could take as subject. In the absence of sankhata dhamma, consciousness takes the unformed (i.e. nibbana) as object.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thanks Retro. Responses like yours help me to understand the Theravada teachings better.
So how does the absence of sankhata dhamma (formed dhammas) come about? (Sorry if this is a rather basic question.)
There is an interesting issue here. Asankhata, unconditioned, refers to not being conditioned by hatred, greed, and delusion/ignorance, which is the fundamental definition of nibbana. Absence of sankhata dhamma would mean dhammas no longer conditioned by hatred, greed, and delusion/ignorance.
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: Luminious mind

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:22 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Absence of sankhata dhamma would mean dhammas no longer conditioned by hatred, greed, and delusion/ignorance.

Indeed... and since hatred and greed are inherently tied to avijja (ignorance), we can see the sankharas arise because of ignorance... just like the Buddha's teachings on dependent origination tell us. So to answer Sherab's question... the answer is they arise due to ignorance, and cease in the absence of ignorance.

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: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Absence of sankhata dhamma would mean dhammas no longer conditioned by hatred, greed, and delusion/ignorance.

Indeed... and since hatred and greed are inherently tied to avijja (ignorance), we can see the sankharas arise because of ignorance... just like the Buddha's teachings on dependent origination tell us. So to answer Sherab's question... the answer is ignorance.

Metta,
Retro. :)

The point I am getting at is here: So how does the absence of sankhata dhamma . What is the absence of sankhata dhamma? What does that mean?
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: Luminious mind

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:36 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:The point I am getting at is here: So how does the absence of sankhata dhamma . What is the absence of sankhata dhamma? What does that mean?

Well that's what I'm getting at too. Sankhata dhammas are formed by ignorance. No ignorance, no formed dhammas. The absence of formed dhammas means consciousness takes the unformed (i.e. nibbana) as object. From the cessation of ignorance, comes the cessation of sankharas... comes the cessation of dukkha. Sabbe sankhara dukkha.

Somehow I suspect though that's not the kind of answer you're looking for?

Dhp 1 wrote:Mind precedes dhammas. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought.

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: Luminious mind

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:43 am

Sherab wrote:
Mawkish1983 wrote:Sherab, what is insight?

Ask yourself. You're the one that used the word first.
The point I was trying to make was once again missed, but the topic has moved on since this. Nevermind :)
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:The point I am getting at is here: So how does the absence of sankhata dhamma . What is the absence of sankhata dhamma? What does that mean?

Well that's what I'm getting at too. Sankhata dhammas are formed by ignorance. No ignorance, no formed dhammas. The absence of formed dhammas means consciousness takes the unformed (i.e. nibbana) as object. From the cessation of ignorance, comes the cessation of sankharas... comes the cessation of dukkha.

Somehow I suspect though that's not the kind of answer you're looking for?
We are not talking about anything so different. I am just coming at this from a more oblique angle. The dhammas that a nibbanized individual - one freed from the conditioning of greed, hatred, and ignorance - experiences are free only of the conditioning greed, hatred, and delusion. it is a small point, but I think important to keep in mind, lest we start going all metaphysical or some such thing.
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: Luminious mind

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:54 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:I am just coming at this from a more oblique angle. The dhammas that a nibbanized individual - one freed from the conditioning of greed, hatred, and ignorance - experiences are free only of the conditioning greed, hatred, and delusion. it is a small point, but I think important to keep in mind, lest we start going all metaphysical or some such thing.

Yep. Looks good to me. :thumbsup:

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: Luminious mind

Postby IanAnd » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:26 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sherab,

My understanding with respect to "find no footing" is it speaks of the absence of sankhata dhamma (formed dhammas) of which consciousness could take as subject. In the absence of sankhata dhamma, consciousness takes the unformed (i.e. nibbana) as object.

So to answer Sherab's question... the answer is they arise due to ignorance, and cease in the absence of ignorance.

Retro and tilt are on the right track here. But I think that Sherab might also appreciate the take given by Bhk. Nanananda.

On the point of "non-manifestive consciousness" this phrase is the translation for the Pali terms anidassana vinnana and which translation is used by Bhk. Nanananda in his book Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought. This has also been translated as "where consciousness is signless" (M. Walshe) and "consciousness non-manifesting" (Bh. Bodhi).

We can find this phrase used in the Kevaddha Sutta (DN 11) in the following translation and commentary by Bhk. Nanananda:

    [The Buddha says:] "Consciousness which is non-manifestive, endless, lustrous on all sides, here it is that earth and water, fire and wind, no footing find. Here again are long and short, subtle and gross, pleasant and unpleasant, name and form, all cut off without exceptions. When consciousness comes to cease, these are held in check herein."

    A monk conceives the riddle, "Wherein do these four great elements viz. earth, water, fire and air cease altogether?", and in order to get a suitable answer, develops his psychic powers and goes from heaven to heaven querying gods and Brahmas in vain. At last he approaches the Buddha, and when the riddle is put to him, he remarks that it is not properly worded and therefore reformulates it thus, before giving his solution in the verse quoted above:

    [The Buddha says:] "Where do earth and water, fire and wind, long and short, fine and coarse, pleasant and unpleasant, no footing find? Where is it that name and form are held in check with no trace left?"

    [Bhk. Nanananda comments:] "According to the Buddha's reply, earth, water, fire and air do not find footing, long, short, subtle, gross, pleasant, unpleasant and name and form are completely cut off in a consciousness which makes nothing manifest and which is infinite and lustrous all-round. It is very likely that the reference again is to the anna phala samadhi (the 'Fruit of Knowledge' concentration) of the Arahant. Though less obvious, the string of negations is in general agreement with those that occur elsewhere in like contexts. Terms like long and short, subtle and gross, pleasant and unpleasant as well as name-and-form could easily be comprehended by the standard phrase 'whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after and traversed by the mind'. The last line of the verse stresses the fact that the four great elements do not find a footing — and that name-and-form (comprehending them) can be cut off completely — in that anidassana-vinnana (the 'non-manifestive consciousness') of the Arahant, by the cessation of his normal consciousness which rests on the data of sense-experience. This is a corrective to that monk's notion that the four elements can cease altogether somewhere — a notion which had its roots in the popular conception of self-existing material elements. The Buddha's reformulation of the original question and this concluding line are meant to combat this wrong notion. . . . This consciousness of the Arahant is one that manifests nothing out of our world of concepts. It does not 'il-lustrate' (Lat. lustro, 'bright') anything though (or because) it is itself 'all-lustrous,' for darkness can never be illustrated or made manifest by light. With his penetrative insight the Arahant sees through the concepts. Now, an object of perception (arammana) for the worldling is essentially something that is brought into focus — something he is looking at. For the Arahant, however, all concepts have become transparent to such a degree in that all-encompassing vision, that their boundaries together with their umbra and penumbra have yielded to the radiance of wisdom. This, then, is the significance of the word 'anantam' (endless, infinite). Thus the paradoxically detached gaze of the contemplative sage as he looks through concepts is one which has no object (arammana) as the point of focus for the worldling to identify it with. It is a gaze that is neither conscious nor non-conscious, neither attentive nor non-attentive, neither fixed nor not fixed — a gaze that knows no horizon."[7]

    Footnote [7] "By what track can you lead that Awakened One who is trackless and whose range is endless and to whom there is not that entangling net of craving to lead anywhere?" —Dhp. 180

From the above explanation and commentary, then, anidassana vinnana, or non-manifestive consciousness, can be seen not to be nibbana but rather an ending of the mind's ability to manifest conceptualization when confronted by nama-rupa (name and form). Put in another way, it is the mind's ability to apply bare attention to the objects placed before it, namely, to not label, not make subjective judgments, to not conceive preconceived notions, nor to otherwise add alien admixtures which would render the object more than something simple and pure as it already is.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sherab » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:27 am

Thanks IanAnd. Yes, I do appreciate the take given by Bhk. Nanananda.
However, I somehow think that the Buddha was pointing to something extremely subtle.
When ignorance disappear, sankhara disappear; when sankhara disappear, vinnana disappear as so on. In other words, the whole PS chain disappear. If the whole PS chain disappear, what have we got left? That is what I think the Buddha is pointing to.
However, I don't think the Buddha is pointing to some basic thing from which all things arise. That would be Advaita Vedanta in philosophy. Having studied with Hindu masters of his time, certainly the Buddha could not be saying he agreed with that. So, what I am left with is a question mark.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:34 am

Sherab wrote:However, I somehow think that the Buddha was pointing to something extremely subtle.
When ignorance disappear, sankhara disappear; when sankhara disappear, vinnana disappear as so on. In other words, the whole PS chain disappear. If the whole PS chain disappear, what have we got left? That is what I think the Buddha is pointing to.
At what point are you talking about? The moment of awakening, or the day-to-day liofe of an awakened one? There is no thing left over at either point that is somehow what truly is. I think it needs to be kept in mind that it is a process of knowing (not ontology) that is being gotten at here.
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: Luminious mind

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:36 am

Nothing wrong with question marks. They should motivate us to practice more.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:42 am

Sherab wrote:However, I somehow think that the Buddha was pointing to something extremely subtle.
When ignorance disappear, sankhara disappear; when sankhara disappear, vinnana disappear as so on. In other words, the whole PS chain disappear. If the whole PS chain disappear, what have we got left?
What is left is the chain without the conditioning greed, hatred, and delusion. After all: when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. Yasasutta AN.
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: Luminious mind

Postby Sherab » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:47 am

Sanghamitta wrote:Nothing wrong with question marks. They should motivate us to practice more.

Agreed
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby Sherab » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:49 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Sherab wrote:However, I somehow think that the Buddha was pointing to something extremely subtle.
When ignorance disappear, sankhara disappear; when sankhara disappear, vinnana disappear as so on. In other words, the whole PS chain disappear. If the whole PS chain disappear, what have we got left?
What is left is the chain without the conditioning greed, hatred, and delusion. After all: when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. Yasasutta AN.

My problem is what drives the unconditioned chain? Unconditioned chain seems to be an oxymoron to me.
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby cooran » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Sherab wrote:However, I somehow think that the Buddha was pointing to something extremely subtle.
When ignorance disappear, sankhara disappear; when sankhara disappear, vinnana disappear as so on. In other words, the whole PS chain disappear. If the whole PS chain disappear, what have we got left?
What is left is the chain without the conditioning greed, hatred, and delusion. After all: when I [the Buddha] come to the highway, if I do not see anyone in front or behind, at that time I find it pleasant, at least for the purpose of urinating and excreting. Yasasutta AN.


Hello Tilt,

Could you explain in more detail what you mean, for those of us who have missed the point?

Here is the full sutta from which you took the quote:
AN 8.86 Yasa Sutta: Honor
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:06 am

cooran wrote:
Hello Tilt,

Could you explain in more detail what you mean, for those of us who have missed the point?


The conditioning that matters, that chain of conditioning which keeps us bound to samsara has stopped, but the conditions of life still continue. We could go the Mahayana route and essentially deify the Buddha, stating his mind utterly other than ours, which the Mahayana takes to docetic heights. That is not necessarily the picture we get in the suttas. There is no subtle truly true reality. For the Buddha, or any awakened individual, it is the same stuff we all deal with. For the Buddha and the arahants, however, that stuff is simply no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion.
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: Luminious mind

Postby Sherab » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
cooran wrote:
Hello Tilt,

Could you explain in more detail what you mean, for those of us who have missed the point?


The conditioning that matters, that chain of conditioning which keeps us bound to samsara has stopped, but the conditions of life still continue. We could go the Mahayana route and essentially deify the Buddha, stating his mind utterly other than ours, which the Mahayana takes to docetic heights. That is not necessarily the picture we get in the suttas. There is no subtle truly true reality. For the Buddha, or any awakened individual, it is the same stuff we all deal with. For the Buddha and the arahants, however, that stuff is simply no longer conditioned by greed, hatred, and delusion.


So there is a "pure" realm where undefiled conditioning drives its existence and where "pure" beings abide and there is the "impure" realm driven by defiled conditionings where we the "impure" beings abide?
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Re: Luminious mind

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:22 am

Sherab wrote:
So there is a "pure" realm where undefiled conditioning drives its existence and where "pure" beings abide and there is the "impure" realm driven by defiled conditionings where we the "impure" beings abide?

Not taught in the Pali suttas.
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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