Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby zavk » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
bhanga
Isn't that something you smoke in order to get a divine buzz?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhang

It appears it's usually a beverage.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:53 am

Completely off-topic and a very bad example.
zavk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
bhanga
Isn't that something you smoke in order to get a divine buzz?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhang

It appears it's usually a beverage.
Yes. You are quite correct. Another life time ago, my former significant-other's sister gave her a little baggie of locally grown wild cannabis. It sat in our kitchen for about a year or so. My former dear true (who proved to be so false) went off to some conference or other and being thoroughly bored, I decided to clean the kitchen and I found the long forgotten bag of weed, which I proceeded to throw away until I found an Indian cookbook that had a recipe for bhang. I fished out the pot, brewed up four cups of the stuff and drank one. Damn this stuff is crap, nothing is happening. I drank another, and I again came to the conclusion: damn this stuff is crap, nothing is happening. I'll try one more, and I started to feel a little buzz, at which I then drank the last cup. All this was in fairly short order. And then some fool pushed the express button to the top floor of the sixty story building in my head. I was so damned stoned so quickly I could not stand up, which I though was remarkably hilarious. I think I got unstoned sometime the next day, but I did not see god or anything. Just giggled and ate alot. Ah, the sixties.
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: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby zavk » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:02 am

Not born till the end of the next decade, but it sounds like my pre-Buddhist life (and I suspect others have experienced the same too). Well, aren't we all glad we found Buddhism? It's bhanga and not bhang for me now.


:smile:
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:07 am

zavk wrote:Not born till the end of the next decade, but it sounds like my pre-Buddhist life (and I suspect others have experienced the same too). Well, aren't we all glad we found Buddhism? It's bhanga and not bhang for me now.

bhanga. Is that a Goenka thing? I am not really famaliar with the term.
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: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby zavk » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:
zavk wrote:Not born till the end of the next decade, but it sounds like my pre-Buddhist life (and I suspect others have experienced the same too). Well, aren't we all glad we found Buddhism? It's bhanga and not bhang for me now.

bhanga. Is that a Goenka thing? I am not really famaliar with the term.



As far as I'm aware, yes. Haven't come across anyone who emphasizes it as much as he has.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el231.html

There are ten levels of knowledge in Vipassana, namely:

.....

(iii) Bhanga: knowledge of the rapidly changing nature of Rupa and Nama as a swift current or stream of energy; in particular, clear awareness of the phase of dissolution.


Also discussed here as bhanga-ñana, knowledge of dissolution: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... html#ch6.5
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:01 am

I'm not sure whether Goenka's "bhanga" is actually Insight Knowledge #5. Knowledge of Dissolution (bhanga-ñāna).

What Goenka describes seems to be common on his retreats (the body feels like it's dissolving is how I'd describe it). Scared me a bit the first time it happened.

However, in the Visuddhimagga map this comes after some other rather significant insights:
1. Analytical Knowledge of Body and Mind (nāma-rūpa-pariccheda-ñāna)
2. Knowledge by Discerning Conditionality (paccaya-pariggaha-ñāna)
3. Knowledge by Comprehension (sammasana-ñāna)
4. Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away (udayabbaya-ñāna)

So it seems odd that it's a reasonably early occurrence. But then Goenka's approach is a bit different from the Mahasi school, so maybe things happen in different orders.

Anyway, from Mahasi Sayadaw: Progress of Insight
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progres ... issolution
5. Knowledge of Dissolution

Noticing the bodily and mental processes as they arise, he sees them part by part, link by link, piece by piece, fraction by fraction: "Just now it arises, just now it dissolves." When that knowledge of arising and passing away becomes mature, keen and strong, it will arise easily and proceed uninterruptedly as if borne onward of itself; also the bodily and mental processes will be easily discernible. When keen knowledge thus carries on and formations are easily discernible, then neither the arising of each bodily and mental process, nor its middle phase called "presence," nor the continuity of bodily and mental processes called "occurrence as unbroken flux" is apparent to him; nor are the shape of the hand, the foot, the face, the body, and so on, apparent to him. But what is apparent to him is only the ceasing of bodily and mental processes, called "vanishing," or "passing away," or "dissolution."

For instance, while noticing the rising movement of the abdomen, neither its initial nor middle phase is apparent, but only the ceasing or vanishing, which is called the final phase, is apparent; and so it is also with the falling movement of the abdomen. Again, in the case of bending an arm or leg, while noticing the act of bending, neither the initial nor the middle phase of bending is apparent, nor is the form of the limb apparent, but only the final phase of ceasing and vanishing is apparent. It is similar in the other cases of stretching a limb, and so on.

And, of course, you can read about it in the Visuddhimagga.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby PeterB » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:09 am

I am not sure that things happen in a different order Mike in Mahasi or Goenka. As I recall its more a question of the instruction having a different emphasis so directing the focus that which arises. Which I guess does mean that it happens in a different order, but its not mechanistic, we initiate certain sequences by bringing our attention to them.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby Monkey Mind » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:29 pm

Thank you Peter, Mike, and Zavk. I have often wondered about whether the experience of bhanga was power of suggestion or something unique to the technique. My experience was that it happened for me first, and then Goenkaji stated in the audio recording after it happened something like "By now you might be experiencing this sensation all over your body, we call it bhanga." After the retreat I checked with others, and they all said the same thing: they had the experience before Goenkaji discussed the experience in the recording, so it did not seem likely to be power of suggestion. But in the next session with the teacher, the teacher asked each individual if they had experienced it, and almost all stated yes. I have since had many conversations with people who are loyal to that technique, some have been on many retreats, and everyone I have spoken with stated that bhanga is what has them coming back for more. But when I speak with other Buddhists about that experience, they stare at me like I am a crazy person (which of course I am...). :rolleye:
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:40 pm

Greetings Monkey Mind,

Unexpectedly detouring into the realm of science for a moment....

The Quantum Universe
http://mwolff.tripod.com/

This web site is a platform for learning, discussion, and further discovery of the fundamental structure of physical matter and the cosmos. The central theme is the recently recognized wave structure of particles and the exciting consequences of their matter waves that exist throughout the universe. It provides a new vision of the 'Standard Model' of physics and its shortcomings.


Sound and sight are known to be based on wave structures.... it therefore needn't come as much surprise that vedana is too.

It's interesting to think about in the context of suttas like...

SN 22.95: Phena Sutta (extract)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Now suppose that in the autumn — when it's raining in fat, heavy drops — a water bubble were to appear & disappear on the water, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a water bubble? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any feeling that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in feeling?


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: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:07 am

Hi MM,
Monkey Mind wrote: I have often wondered about whether the experience of bhanga was power of suggestion or something unique to the technique.

I don't have enough experience with different approaches to say be certain, but my limited experience has been that different things tend to be more likely to arise with particular techniques. The body scanning seems to induce this particular thing to arise reasonably easily. My normal technique is Mahasi and the closest thing I get using that is that I can be watching the rising and falling of the abdomen and it can start to feel like it's kind of "churning" in a circular sort of manner, rather than feeling like rising and falling. A possibly related effect is when the experience become jerky. Kind of like watching people dance under a strobe - the "flashes" of "noticing" become discontinuous. A more distant possibly related effect is the body seeming to be disappearing, which is talked about by samatha-oriented teachers, such as Ajahn Brahm.

I don't think any of these details really matter. They can be useful to your teacher diagnosing where you are, but for the student it's just something to observe without getting excited or alarmed...

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby Monkey Mind » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:14 am

Thank you, Retro and Mike. If I understand correctly, it is no more than a sign post along the path, and not the actual gravel of the path. I will go and contemplate.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:55 am

Bhanga nana arises in a type of meditation which gives rise to insight and not in a samatha (concentration) process. Each insight builds upon the previous one so it is not possible to pick and choose- and the order is not technique dependant. It is the natural process of how a mind is accelerated towards the (non)experience of nibbana. The preceding insight leads to a certain degree of letting go which allows the subsequent deeper insights to arise and let go even more.

You need to have separated out the mental and material components of experience (nama-rupa); seen how they arise as causes and effects; then understand tilakkhana (impermanance, unsatisfactoriness and not-self); and understand that these truths apply to everything in the universe before getting to bhanga nana. I suspect the Goenka 'bhanga' is not bhanga nana.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby christopher::: » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:01 am

These experiences sound somewhat like "kenshos" in Zen. Pleasant and sometimes a bit reality-challenging experiences that help the practitioner recognize they are traveling in the right direction, *BUT* can become a hindrance if we start to actively seek them out or practice with the intention of experiencing "more"....
"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: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby Freawaru » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:01 pm

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Hi MM,
Monkey Mind wrote: I have often wondered about whether the experience of bhanga was power of suggestion or something unique to the technique.

I don't have enough experience with different approaches to say be certain, but my limited experience has been that different things tend to be more likely to arise with particular techniques. The body scanning seems to induce this particular thing to arise reasonably easily. My normal technique is Mahasi and the closest thing I get using that is that I can be watching the rising and falling of the abdomen and it can start to feel like it's kind of "churning" in a circular sort of manner, rather than feeling like rising and falling. A possibly related effect is when the experience become jerky. Kind of like watching people dance under a strobe - the "flashes" of "noticing" become discontinuous. A more distant possibly related effect is the body seeming to be disappearing, which is talked about by samatha-oriented teachers, such as Ajahn Brahm.

I don't think any of these details really matter. They can be useful to your teacher diagnosing where you are, but for the student it's just something to observe without getting excited or alarmed...

Metta
Mike


It seems to me that the bhanga of Mahasi and Goenka are two very different things. But both are useful. The Goenka bhanga arises from the body-scan technique - the same effects are known in Hatha yoga and other "energy work" techniques. What one can learn here is the pliability of the tactile image of the physical body. We are not directly aware of the physical body. Instead, the sensory information is used to construe an image of our body - and this image is our perception. It is more pronounced in dream or trance states - the image of the physical body we identify with can be transformed at will. But it is so during wake, too, and with sufficient concentration we can manipulate this tactile image. Melting, falling, sinking into the floor - it is useful to see the pliability of this image so one can more easily detach from it.

It is related to those ghost-pain people experience when they have lost a limb. The missing limb can still hurt, it can even be felt. It is also related to the fact that humans can use tools. Unlike most animals we can incorporate tools (even cars, etc) into our tactile image of our body and use them as if the tool was a part of our physical body indeed.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:54 am

I think it is amateurishness to use a term before one has fully mastered what it is, in a role and status which requires absolute responsibility.

"That's the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.[1]

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

with metta

RYB

Sorry it is painful, but I got to take the sting out.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:01 am

Hi RYB,
What are you referring to in this post?

rowyourboat wrote:I think it is amateurishness to use a term before one has fully mastered what it is, in a role and status which requires absolute responsibility.

"That's the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.[1]

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

with metta

RYB

Sorry it is painful, but I got to take the sting out.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby Jack » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:25 pm

smokey wrote:I have a question. Does anyone on this forum have any insight knowledge gained with vipassana? I know that the first insight knowledge is discrimination of mind and body, has anyone gained that knowledge? Please do state and describe your insight knowledge.

With Metta - smokey

================
I am able to discriminate between body and mind. At times I get glimpses of anatta. I don't know what else to add.

I disagree with the idea that we shouldn't talk about the progress of our attainments. Otherwise people are left with the impression that nobody gains by Buddhist practice. I remember one of the first dhamma talks I heard. The monk talked about his sole objective was to reach enlightenment. Someone in the audience then asked if he was enlightened. He said no. Nobody left that talk with any indication that this monk gained anything by his years of practice and life of austerity.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby Individual » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:51 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:The Zen master Roshi Kapleau was asked if he was enlightened. He responded, "if I say no, all the beginners will leave and never come back. If I say yes, all of the advanced students will leave and never come back."

A Zen master, but the response could apply to anyone from any tradition.

It sounds like he needs better students.

Open-minded beginners would not need their teacher to proclaim false enlightenment in order to learn from him. And if the advanced students are truly advanced, they would not be surprised at what he says and would know if he was lying.

It sounds like all of his students -- beginning and advanced alike -- aren't listening to anything he says, because they're too busy judging him in terms of self (enlightened man? unenlightened man?).
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:17 pm

Hi Ben

I was referring to the use of the term Bhanga in a way not denoting but causing confusion with the commentarial bhanga nana. Hence the pseudo-gold analogy, if that is the case, could be quite dangerous.

with metta
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:21 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Ben

I was referring to the use of the term Bhanga in a way not denoting but causing confusion with the commentarial bhanga nana. Hence the pseudo-gold analogy, if that is the case, could be quite dangerous.

with metta
And for those of use who are not familiar with these term and issues, please be kind enough to explain them.
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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