Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

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lostitude
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Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by lostitude »

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone here had seen this video:


In it, Bhante Nyanamoli discusses several points that I can’t quite grasp.
First, he seems to be saying (please correct me if I’m wrong) that to achieve first jhana, one must get rid of the assumption that speech is external to thinking. I can’t wrap my head around this notion. Is there anyone who believes they stop thinking when they talk as if those were two separate things? It really puzzles me.

Then around the 26-29 min mark he briefly talks about rebirth and makes what sounds like a very interesting point, but then again I’m not sure I understood it correctly. He appears to be saying that rebirth and recollection of previous lives are possible because one’s experience is internal to oneself, it does not depend on the outside world, so when we die and live again, we are just picking up the same point of view but in an internal context that’s different from the one before. Or something like that.
He then goes on to discuss the assumption of externality as apparently deluded - but again I really don’t think I’ve understood this properly. Is he in a way advocating for the idealistic view that matter "outside" doesn’t have any objective existence?

Thanks.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by Ceisiwr »

I do struggle to make sense of this phenomenological approach by the Venerable.
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti

“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
lostitude
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by lostitude »

I enjoy his videos which are generally quite down-to-earth, but this time it seems to be tackling a whole new level of concepts I can’t even picture. I hope someone can shed some light on all this, because it all seems really interesting.
form
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by form »

lostitude wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:32 pm Hello,

I was wondering if anyone here had seen this video:


In it, Bhante Nyanamoli discusses several points that I can’t quite grasp.
First, he seems to be saying (please correct me if I’m wrong) that to achieve first jhana, one must get rid of the assumption that speech is external to thinking. I can’t wrap my head around this notion. Is there anyone who believes they stop thinking when they talk as if those were two separate things? It really puzzles me.

Then around the 26-29 min mark he briefly talks about rebirth and makes what sounds like a very interesting point, but then again I’m not sure I understood it correctly. He appears to be saying that rebirth and recollection of previous lives are possible because one’s experience is internal to oneself, it does not depend on the outside world, so when we die and live again, we are just picking up the same point of view but in an internal context that’s different from the one before. Or something like that.
He then goes on to discuss the assumption of externality as apparently deluded - but again I really don’t think I’ve understood this properly. Is he in a way advocating for the idealistic view that matter "outside" doesn’t have any objective existence?

Thanks.
He meant talking to oneself in the mind.

And, knowledge come out from within. That agrees with the sutta, on recollection in high jhanas.
The2nd
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by The2nd »

lostitude wrote: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:32 pm
In it, Bhante Nyanamoli discusses several points that I can’t quite grasp.
First, he seems to be saying (please correct me if I’m wrong) that to achieve first jhana, one must get rid of the assumption that speech is external to thinking. I can’t wrap my head around this notion. Is there anyone who believes they stop thinking when they talk as if those were two separate things? It really puzzles me.

If I remember correctly , He said that, one must remove the assumption that external speech and thinking are connected. As in, when we think, usually we assume that those thoughts "come out" of the mouth, but that is not the thoughts, it is the speech, which is determined by thoughts. The point is to remove the assumed "connection", or that which is "inbetween" (self). (The thoughts and speech overlap but do not touch, so to speak. Not knowing that overlap, there is a unity, a self)

"When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two." Bahiya sutta

Here is thinking, there is speech.

However, i must listen to the talk again. I might just be adding my own phenomenological madness here.
lostitude
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by lostitude »

The2nd wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:54 am
If I remember correctly , He said that, one must remove the assumption that external speech and thinking are connected. As in, when we think, usually we assume that those thoughts "come out" of the mouth, but that is not the thoughts, it is the speech, which is determined by thoughts. The point is to remove the assumed "connection", or that which is "inbetween" (self). (The thoughts and speech overlap but do not touch, so to speak. Not knowing that overlap, there is a unity, a self)
I’m listening to it again and I guess the crucial part starts at around 14.30 until about 17min.
I may be completely misunderstanding what he says but to me it sounds like the opposite of your explanation. He seems to be saying that speech has its own domain (which already is a concept I’m not familiar with, maybe that’s why I don’t understand the rest), and that 1st jhana is achieved when you remove the false assumption that you’re stepping out of your thoughts when you start speaking.
I’m really, really not clear on this at all.
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by Spiny Norman »

lostitude wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:29 pm
The2nd wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:54 am
If I remember correctly , He said that, one must remove the assumption that external speech and thinking are connected. As in, when we think, usually we assume that those thoughts "come out" of the mouth, but that is not the thoughts, it is the speech, which is determined by thoughts. The point is to remove the assumed "connection", or that which is "inbetween" (self). (The thoughts and speech overlap but do not touch, so to speak. Not knowing that overlap, there is a unity, a self)
I’m listening to it again and I guess the crucial part starts at around 14.30 until about 17min.
I may be completely misunderstanding what he says but to me it sounds like the opposite of your explanation. He seems to be saying that speech has its own domain (which already is a concept I’m not familiar with, maybe that’s why I don’t understand the rest), and that 1st jhana is achieved when you remove the false assumption that you’re stepping out of your thoughts when you start speaking.
I’m really, really not clear on this at all.
So speech is like vocalised thought, but a quite different activity? Different ayatanas?
Buddha save me from new-agers!
lostitude
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by lostitude »

Spiny Norman wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:53 pm
lostitude wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:29 pm
The2nd wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:54 am
If I remember correctly , He said that, one must remove the assumption that external speech and thinking are connected. As in, when we think, usually we assume that those thoughts "come out" of the mouth, but that is not the thoughts, it is the speech, which is determined by thoughts. The point is to remove the assumed "connection", or that which is "inbetween" (self). (The thoughts and speech overlap but do not touch, so to speak. Not knowing that overlap, there is a unity, a self)
I’m listening to it again and I guess the crucial part starts at around 14.30 until about 17min.
I may be completely misunderstanding what he says but to me it sounds like the opposite of your explanation. He seems to be saying that speech has its own domain (which already is a concept I’m not familiar with, maybe that’s why I don’t understand the rest), and that 1st jhana is achieved when you remove the false assumption that you’re stepping out of your thoughts when you start speaking.
I’m really, really not clear on this at all.
So speech is like vocalised thought, but a quite different activity? Different ayatanas?
I’m really at a complete loss. I know this is a long video, but with the time stamps I provided above, if anyone was willing to have a listen and in a position to understand and rephrase, it would be amazing.
Thanks.
lostitude
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by lostitude »

To simplify things, here is my summary of the notes I took while listenning:
*Unenlightened people entertain the assumption that pleasure is external to desire, which by nature is painful. They fail to see that pleasure is fully contained within painful desire. This is upadana.
*By making this assumption that pleasure is somehow external to desire, they artificially "create" a fictional entity called "pleasure" which they think is independent from desire, and which they will proceed to seek "out" and run after. This is how sensuality is created and maintained.

*If they realise that pleasure is enclosed within this disagreeable desire, they will stop viewing pleasure itself as being agreeable.

*The quest for sensuality requires desire to be present. Any action performed without desire, is an action performed without sensuality.

*When they relinquish this assumption, they achieve jhana.

*First jhana coincides with cessation of speech.
*The necessary basis for speech is thinking and pondering.

*Speech has its own domain. That’s why people imagine that there is a separation between speech and thinking.

*In the words of the Buddha, "Having thought and pondered, one breaks into speech".

*Speech, and even the possibility of speech, are fully enclosed within thinking and pondering.

That’s all I’ve noted from the beginning of the video up until around 14.30.

Thanks.
The2nd
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by The2nd »

lostitude wrote: Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:17 pm To simplify things, here is my summary of the notes I took while listenning:
*Unenlightened people entertain the assumption that pleasure is external to desire, which by nature is painful. They fail to see that pleasure is fully contained within painful desire. This is upadana.
*By making this assumption that pleasure is somehow external to desire, they artificially "create" a fictional entity called "pleasure" which they think is independent from desire, and which they will proceed to seek "out" and run after. This is how sensuality is created and maintained.

*If they realise that pleasure is enclosed within this disagreeable desire, they will stop viewing pleasure itself as being agreeable.

*The quest for sensuality requires desire to be present. Any action performed without desire, is an action performed without sensuality.

*When they relinquish this assumption, they achieve jhana.

*First jhana coincides with cessation of speech.
*The necessary basis for speech is thinking and pondering.

*Speech has its own domain. That’s why people imagine that there is a separation between speech and thinking.

*In the words of the Buddha, "Having thought and pondered, one breaks into speech".

*Speech, and even the possibility of speech, are fully enclosed within thinking and pondering.

That’s all I’ve noted from the beginning of the video up until around 14.30.

Thanks.
Thanks.

It seems that it is about the undoing of the "mis"conception of an external world ( the structural assumption) apart from what is experienced, which is namarupa, and in particular the assumption that when you speak, the speech is happening outside of mind/thought. But what one must do to undo that upadana, is to not forget the right order/perspective which is that thoughts determine speech, or that speech is determined by and within the mind and not outside of it, which is impossible.

I guess the entire practice of jhana then is to see the contents of mind, no matter how subtle (your sense of self included), as being second to the mind which is first and which you cannot step outside of, no matter what you say or do. In other words, it can lead to understanding anicca, dukkha,anatta, because mind is completely outside of my control, which is dukkha, which shows that I am determined by something thats not mine/ i am th2end and not the1first.

* I relistened only to 25min mark.
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nirodh27
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by nirodh27 »

This argument seems so profound and important, but honestly, I cannot understand what he says.

It would be interesting if someone could elucidate this argument about speech and thinking and pondering.
form
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by form »

You need to have a certain level of experience in meditation to know what he is talking about.

Such things u cannot ask or discuss with others.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by Ceisiwr »

SDC wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:57 pm
Perhaps SDC could interpret for us?
Paññaṃ nappamajjeyya, saccamanurakkheyya, cāgamanubrūheyya, santimeva so sikkheyyā’ti

“One should not neglect wisdom, should preserve truth, cultivate relinquishment and train for peace.”

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by confusedlayman »

mind voice thoughts?
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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SDC
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Re: Bh. Nyanamoli on 1st jhana, cessation of speech and rebirth

Post by SDC »

Ceisiwr wrote: Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:49 pm
SDC wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:57 pm
Perhaps SDC could interpret for us?
I've been unusually pressed for time in these last few weeks, but taking into consideration the very high development being discussed in this talk, even if I was more available to share my thoughts, I would only suggest repeated listening and contemplation. Chances are if something is not making sense, it needs more time to resonate. There are many ideas Ajahn NN presents that I cannot fully grasp, but each time I listen and think about it, the idea gathers more ground to grow. I think the suttas emphasize this often. For instance, the idea that the aggregates are not-mine and not-myself sounds very profound, but that idea needs to weigh heavily on the experience over and over and over before it gains any ground on the profoundly dominant, enduring assumption that they are mine and I am.

I think about ignorance as a frozen walkway, and the teaching as if it were rock salt - even though I am confident that the salt will melt the ice, it is going to take time for it to do its job. Yet I often find myself just like this guy:

Image

Perhaps I need a better analogy. :embarassed:
"As fruits fall from the tree, so people too, both young and old, fall when this body breaks." - Raṭṭhapāla (MN 82)
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