The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

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The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby starter » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:10 pm

Hi friend, what do you think about "The first noble knowledge" which leads to stream entry?

MN 48:
“… what is that noble view that leads to the beyond [unbinding] and rightfully shows the destruction of unpleasantness [suffering] to one who thinks logically. Here. Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu gone to a forest or to the root of a tree, or to an empty house reflects. Are there undispelled hindrances in me? Do they obstruct my mind, from knowing and seeing as it really is? Am I overcome by sensual lust, or is my mind hindered by them? Am I overcome by anger [ill will], or is my mind hindered by it? Am I overcome by sloth and torpor, or is my mind hindered by sloth and torpor? Am I overcome by restlessness and worry, or is my mind hindered by restlessness and worry? Is my mind overcome with doubts, about this world and the other world? Or am I with a dispute quarrelling, throwing rough words at others, is my mind hindered in this manner?

The bhikkhu knows, I haven’t undispelled hindrances on account of which my mind would not see it, as it really is.These things are thoroughly dispelled from my mind and it is ready for realising the truth. This is the first noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary …”.

I’m a bit confused here. To “realise the fruits of the entry into the stream of the Teaching”, must the hindrances be “thoroughly dispelled” forever or only at the time of striving to see the truth? I thought if the hindrances are thoroughly dispelled forever, one is already a non-returner or above.

This sutta taught me that the way for realizing the truth is through removing hindrances, not through non-subjectivity (non-conception and non-discrimination).

This sutta also taught me: before I study a sutta and do insight meditation/practice, I shall first ask myself if I have any of the above-stated hindrances in mind obstructing me from seeing the truth; if yes, then remove the hindrance(s) first and only after thoroughly dispelling the hindrance(s) from mind then shall I do the sutta study and insight meditation/practice. Is this correct understanding of the 1st noble truth?

Thanks for your input. Metta,

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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby Individual » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:07 pm

Right View is often treated as the beginning and enlightenment is treated as the end, but that's an oversimplification. You could instead turn the formula upside down and say enlightenment is the beginning and Right View is the end.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:20 pm

Hi Starter

You are correct. It is important to know which bit of the practice you are doing- ie what your current task is- if your hindrances are not removed it is important to set your mind firmly on this task. There is no point trying to jump ahead of the que. Look at this sutta:

§ 33. Mindfulness & Concentration. Having abandoned the five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment — the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings... mind... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. Just as if an elephant trainer were to plant a large post in the ground and were to bind a forest elephant to it by the neck in order to break it of its forest habits, its forest memories & resolves, its distraction, fatigue, & fever over leaving the forest, to make it delight in the town and to inculcate in it habits congenial to human beings; in the same way, these four frames of reference are bindings for the awareness of the disciple of the noble ones, to break him of his household habits, his household memories & resolves, his distraction, fatigue, & fever over leaving the household life, for the attainment of the right method and the realization of Unbinding.

Those people who think they can jump the que are merely developing enough samadhi at the beginning (unknowingly), to just get to that gateway they must pass to get to the next stage (of developing insight)- becuse there is no insight without samadhi. In the absence of a Buddha it is a good idea to develop samadhi upto the first jhana, because then this task is completed:

Develpoing the first jhana means the hidrances have been temporarily suppressed:

"There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... jhana.html

'Dry insight' is possible, but simply takes a long time because you are using a suboptimal meditation technique to develop the required samadhi.

with metta
:namaste:
RYB
With Metta

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& Upekkha
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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby starter » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:42 pm

rowyourboat wrote:... It is important to know which bit of the practice you are doing- ie what your current task is- if your hindrances are not removed it is important to set your mind firmly on this task. There is no point trying to jump ahead of the que. ...

Those people who think they can jump the que are merely developing enough samadhi at the beginning (unknowingly), to just get to that gateway they must pass to get to the next stage (of developing insight)- becuse there is no insight without samadhi. In the absence of a Buddha it is a good idea to develop samadhi upto the first jhana, because then this task is completed:

Develpoing the first jhana means the hidrances have been temporarily suppressed:

'Dry insight' is possible, but simply takes a long time because you are using a suboptimal meditation technique to develop the required samadhi.


Hi RYB,

Your very kind and helpful advice is most appreciated. I've realized that in order to realize the truth one must remove the hindrances and obsessions of the mind. I agree with you that the 1st jhana is a kind of indication of the successful suppression of the hindrances.

With Metta,

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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby Anicca » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:51 pm

starter wrote:Hope you and other friends can contribute more wisdom and means on how to uproot the hindrances ...


Here's some good reading - "The Five Mental Hindrances and Their Conquest"
Selected Texts from the Pali Canon and the Commentaries
compiled and translated by
Nyanaponika Thera

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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby starter » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:07 am

Hello Teachers/Friends,

I happened to read MN 48 again and just realized that the 1st noble knowledge is not only knowing how to realize the truth (through removing hindrances), but also the knowledge that these hindrances are now thoroughly dispelled from the mind and it is now ready for realising the truth (e.g. during the first jhana or some other tranquil moments without the interference of the hindrances).

Looking back on my practice I was amazed how I could get confused again about how to realize the truth/how to practice ... Right concentration is for the hindrance-free mind, and only the hindrance-free mind can realize the truth.

Right concentration can be developed, or in other words, hindrances/defilements can be surpressed/removed via both samatha meditation (controlling the mind) and wisdom/vipassana (teaching the mind).

I've also realized how important it is to read the Buddha's teachings again and again ...

Just to share with you about my thoughts. Any comments/advice are welcome.

Thanks and metta to all,

Starter

PS: Matheesha -- thanks for your great input to my early practice.
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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:00 pm

Hi starter,

This sounds correct. Now- how long can you focus on something without thoughts/strong emotions interfering? If this around 10-15 minutes at a go, it is likely that you are ready for vipassana. The point of vipassana is to see how the mind creates reality (to put it in a different way) - do you feel ready to try it out? Remember, there maybe tough bits heading into the deeper waters of the dhamma- you must be like a warrior going into battle- a battle which will destroy the world and 'you' along with it. Are you ready? :smile:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: The first noble knowledge – how to realize the truth

Postby starter » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:53 am

rowyourboat wrote:Hi starter,

This sounds correct. Now- how long can you focus on something without thoughts/strong emotions interfering? If this around 10-15 minutes at a go, it is likely that you are ready for vipassana. The point of vipassana is to see how the mind creates reality (to put it in a different way) - do you feel ready to try it out? Remember, there maybe tough bits heading into the deeper waters of the dhamma- you must be like a warrior going into battle- a battle which will destroy the world and 'you' along with it. Are you ready? :smile:


Hello Matheesha,

Many thanks for your suggestion. I can usually focus on reading, writing, thinking/contemplating for many hours without thoughts interfering, less so for listening, and even less so for focusing on one fixed object like breathing. I usually don't have interference of emotions for these activities (unless I've to work on something unpleasant).

For my samatha meditation on breathing, I sometimes can experience one-pointed mind for probably longer than 15 min. But sometimes can't due to distracting thoughts. I suppose it's better for me to focus on samatha now, using wisdom/vipassana as means for surpressing the hindrances/defilements (I intend to contemplate anatta and be aware of anatta constantly, during all possible time to remove defilements).

The advice from you and other teachers/friends would be most appreciated.

My appreciation and metta to all,

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