Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

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chownah
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by chownah »

Dinsdale, I would gladly continue our discussion but first....do you think our discussion here as it is currently directed would interfere with retrofuturists reasons for creating this topic?
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Retrofuturist, are discussions like ours diluting your work to present what you wish to present here?
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by Spiny Norman »

chownah wrote: Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:10 pm Dinsdale, I would gladly continue our discussion but first....do you think our discussion here as it is currently directed would interfere with retrofuturists reasons for creating this topic?
chownah
Retrofuturist, are discussions like ours diluting your work to present what you wish to present here?
chownah
I agree, and we don't want to derail this topic. I'll start a new thread to explore this specific question, something like "Phenomenology is not non-duality".
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by upekka »

in the first place, how do/did you (we) know the breath is 'breath'
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

I'm still reading the section on Citta, which is significantly longer than the previous chapter. As such, it may seem premature to do a review, but I expect to have limited computer access over the coming week or so, and I'm at what appears to be a sensible juncture to do a review, so here we go...

Firstly, Bhikkhu Akiñcano provides a compelling argument for why "samadhi" should be understood as "composure".

(Again, please excuse the lack of full diacritics...)
The word samadhi comes from san (meaning 'together') + a + dha or dhati (meaning 'to put; to place'). This is because samadhi means something like putting together, unifying, bringing together as one. The English word 'composure' captures this meaning rather effectively since it resembles the Pali by being constituted by the Latin prefix com- (meaning 'together') and the verb ponere (meaning 'to put; to place'), whose past participle is positus. Samadhi involves composing the mind, bringing the mind together into one place such that one discerns the mind as one thing, as a phenomenon. (p43)
There is some good commentary on the relationship between citta and dhamma, and an explanation of nimitta as meaning "characteristics", rather than the samatha-centric "countersign" meaning that has been attributed to it in the commentaries.

The bulk of this chapter is on cittanupassana, one of the four satipatthanas. In that capacity it is a thoroughly comprehensive analysis of this satipatthana, that I personally regard as superior to the traditional commentary. Bhikkhu Akiñcano's commentary is done here with exclusive recourse to the suttas and unlike previous sections of this book, the philosophers do not get a look in. It is highly recommended for anyone practicing in accordance with the satipatthana method who would like a clearer understanding of the different tones of mind which are described in the sutta, and to explore what each one actually means. Even those readers who are otherwise skeptical of the phenomenological deconstruction of the Theravada tradition will find plenty of value here.

The final parts of the section in this chapter are on "Cittasmim Nibbindati - One Turns Away From The Mind" and " Cetovimutti - Liberation Of Mind", and I will review these separately in due course, because although they're comparatively brief, I imagine they'll be quite interesting.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by sentinel »

retrofuturist wrote: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:23 am Greetings,

I'm still reading the section on Citta, which is significantly longer than the previous chapter. As such, it may seem premature to do a review, but I expect to have limited computer access over the coming week or so, and I'm at what appears to be a sensible juncture to do a review, so here we go...

Firstly, Bhikkhu Akiñcano provides a compelling argument for why "samadhi" should be understood as "composure".

(Again, please excuse the lack of full diacritics...)
The word samadhi comes from san (meaning 'together') + a + dha or dhati (meaning 'to put; to place'). This is because samadhi means something like putting together, unifying, bringing together as one. The English word 'composure' captures this meaning rather effectively since it resembles the Pali by being constituted by the Latin prefix com- (meaning 'together') and the verb ponere (meaning 'to put; to place'), whose past participle is positus. Samadhi involves composing the mind, bringing the mind together into one place such that one discerns the mind as one thing, as a phenomenon. (p43)
There is some good commentary on the relationship between citta and dhamma, and an explanation of nimitta as meaning "characteristics", rather than the samatha-centric "countersign" meaning that has been attributed to it in the commentaries.

The bulk of this chapter is on cittanupassana, one of the four satipatthanas. In that capacity it is a thoroughly comprehensive analysis of this satipatthana, that I personally regard as superior to the traditional commentary. Bhikkhu Akiñcano's commentary is done here with exclusive recourse to the suttas and unlike previous sections of this book, the philosophers do not get a look in. It is highly recommended for anyone practicing in accordance with the satipatthana method who would like a clearer understanding of the different tones of mind which are described in the sutta, and to explore what each one actually means. Even those readers who are otherwise skeptical of the phenomenological deconstruction of the Theravada tradition will find plenty of value here.

The final parts of the section in this chapter are on "Cittasmim Nibbindati - One Turns Away From The Mind" and " Cetovimutti - Liberation Of Mind", and I will review these separately in due course, because although they're comparatively brief, I imagine they'll be quite interesting.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Hi retrofuturist ,

Do you mind elaborate abit on what he says about citta ? And it's relationship with dhamma fourth tetrad .
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

It appears this chapter appears electronically as a standalone essay here.

I've given you a bit of a road-map for what's there, but this quote (taken from the link above) seems to address your question most closely.
Whether one sets up mindfulness by attending to the presence of body, feeling, mind or thoughts, this can only be done correctly by picking up the nimitta of mind, by discerning those attributes, those features, those distinguishing characteristics that make it possible to recognise that mind is there. The mind is the background that makes it possible to discern these four phenomena (body, feeling, mind and thoughts). In other words, mindfulness requires a sensitivity to both figure and ground. Despite what the tradition tells us, one is not mindful by keeping one’s awareness fixed on this or that particular object (such as the breath, the nostrils, the abdomen, or any other so-called “meditation object”). Rather, mindfulness involves the capacity to see whatever particular phenomenon that one is attending to (such as the four suggested in the satipaṭṭhāna formula) while at the same time being aware of the simultaneous presence of the background that makes this phenomenon possible—namely, mind. Setting up mindfulness is done in order to develop samādhi, to develop the mind, insofar as the mind becomes manifest in one’s experience as a phenomenon.
Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by sentinel »

Ps . This is not criticizing but merely my understanding . Please share if you think otherwise .


I think this is a mistaken notion .
This implies that there is something there in the beginning which is not .
All of this can only be there because mind is already there, given beforehand. The mind is that phenomenon because of which phenomena can be encountered and it is not to be conceived—it is to be understood.





This appear not a standard view , probably by many people of course whom follows the vsm .
How, then, does one discern this sign of mind? First, let us clear something up. The standard view of what is meant by the word nimitta, elaborated in considerable detail in many of the commentaries on the Buddha’s teaching, applies it to the various techniques of meditation that have developed over the years, such that its meaning has become highly specialised. It is usually used to refer to some sort of light or vision that arises when one keeps one’s awareness on “the meditation object.”1
Last edited by sentinel on Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by Volo »

How, then, does one discern this sign of mind? First, let us clear something up. The standard view of what is meant by the word nimitta, elaborated in considerable detail in many of the commentaries on the Buddha’s teaching, applies it to the various techniques of meditation that have developed over the years, such that its meaning has become highly specialised. It is usually used to refer to some sort of light or vision that arises when one keeps one’s awareness on “the meditation object.”
I would say this "highly specialized meaning" developed only in the minds (cittas?) of those who read exclusively English resources similar to this forum, where nimitta is used in this way. Both Vism and commentaries (which are written in Pali) use word nimitta in different ways.
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings sentinel,
Bhikkhu Akiñcano wrote:All of this can only be there because mind is already there, given beforehand. The mind is that phenomenon because of which phenomena can be encountered and it is not to be conceived—it is to be understood.
sentinel wrote: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:30 am I think this is a mistaken notion .
This implies that there is something there in the beginning which is not .
Maybe. To me, to use paticcasamuppada as a framework, it reflects that Bhikkhu Akiñcano has not traced back to the "whirlpool" of nama-rupa and vinnana. If we take "name and form" as given, then we would also take the "mind" as given, as per the following sutta extract...
SN 47.42 wrote:"From the origination of name-&-form is the origination of the mind. From the cessation of name-&-form is the cessation of the mind.
If he has not traced this far back, and is simply describing what phenomena he has observed/experienced, then he is speaking experientially of his own experience according to the phenomenological method.

I have wondered previously if he's going to explore the relationship of nama-rupa and vinnana (and thus, the arising of citta) in this book yet, but I have yet to come across it. If any members have read ahead and can answer that question, please do let us know!

:thanks:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by Idappaccayata »

Hi Paul. What are your thoughts on this book after reading it and having time to reflect? I'm thinking about ordering it.
A dying man can only rely upon his wisdom, if he developed it. Wisdom is not dependent upon any phenomenon originated upon six senses. It is developed on the basis of the discernment of the same. That’s why when one’s senses start to wither and die, the knowledge of their nature remains unaffected. When there is no wisdom, there will be despair, in the face of death.

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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by SDC »

Idappaccayata wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:40 pm Hi Paul. What are your thoughts on this book after reading it and having time to reflect? I'm thinking about ordering it.
I'll poke him for yah... :tongue:
retrofuturist wrote: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:45 am ...
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

I haven't actually finished it to be honest (it's hard to progress with books when I'm working at home and have a 2yo & a 4yo)... but what I read was good.

However, there are Path Press Publications I would prioritise over this.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by SDC »

retrofuturist wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:34 pm Greetings,

I haven't actually finished it to be honest (it's hard to progress with books when I'm working at home and have a 2yo & a 4yo)... but what I read was good.

However, there are Path Press Publications I would prioritise over this.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Paul, Meanings is finally out in paperback.
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
SDC wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:43 pm Paul, Meanings is finally out in paperback.
And that is one such text that I would prioritise over this one. Or at least, get that first, and then if you want more in that vein, get this one. I believe they're also making their books available digitally, recognizing that the postage costs from the Netherlands can be burdensome.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Re: Bhikkhu Akiñcano - "With the Right Understanding" (Phenomenological Explorations of the Pāli Suttas)

Post by SDC »

retrofuturist wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:50 pm Greetings,
SDC wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:43 pm Paul, Meanings is finally out in paperback.
And that is one such text that I would prioritise over this one.
As I've indicated elsewhere on the forum, I find With the Right Understanding to be an excellent compliment to Ven. Nanavira's Notes. Combined they really provide an important framework for that subjective attitude and approach to the suttas. The deeply personal nature of Nanavira's work can be very difficult for the reader, making it tedious to extract the attitude from his interpretation without getting deflected and distracted by the personal struggles presented in the Letters. A tremendously rewarding endeavor, but one few are willing to endure. Ven. Akincano's work, although it emphasizes that same attitude, takes for granted that the reader is thoroughly familiar with the views of his predecessor, and he proceeds with a degree of finesse and specificity that makes the whole interpretation that much more established and approachable. But indeed, it all seems to come together in the depth and brilliance of Ajahn Nyanamoli's writings and talks, which truly put the listener directly on the spot.
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