Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the middle.

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nirodh27
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Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the middle.

Post by nirodh27 »

I've read this sutta thanks to a post of DooDoot in another thread and I'm in search of explanation/suggestion/advice.

https://suttacentral.net/an6.61/en/sujato

This is the final statement of the Buddha:

“Contact, mendicants, is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the middle. And craving is the seamstress, for craving "weaves one to rebirth in" (produces in BB translation) this or that state of existence. That’s how a mendicant directly knows what should be directly known and completely understands what should be completely understood. Knowing and understanding thus they make an end of suffering in this very life.”

Can someone explain to me this passage or point to me some explanation?

Thank you very much
coconut
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by coconut »

- Origin of contact = Sixfold sense media, the senses
- Cessation of contact = N8FP, jhanas
- The three types of cravings keeps rebirth going: sensual pleasures, becoming, non-becoming

16. "And what is the origin of suffering? It is craving, which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for being and craving for non-being. This is called the origin of suffering.
- Samma Ditthi Sutta
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by mikenz66 »

nirodh27 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:14 am Can someone explain to me this passage or point to me some explanation?
There is a long discussion here: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=5949

and there is more in Sermon 33 of Seeing Through, The Mind Stilled, by Ven Nananda:
https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
Let us now try to understand these six explanations. One can make use
of these six as meditation topics. The verse has a pragmatic value and so
also the explanations given. What is the business of this seamstress or
weaver?
...
:heart:
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DooDoot
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by DooDoot »

Now is actually my 1st examination of this verse. I would translate as follows:
Contact, mendicants, is one extreme. The arising of contact is the second extreme. The cessation of contact is the middle. And craving is the seamstress,

phasso kho, bhikkhave, eko anto, phassasamudayo dutiyo anto, phassanirodho majjhe, taṇhā sibbinī;

for craving weaves one to the production of this or that state of becoming.

taṇhā hi naṃ sibbati tassa tasseva bhavassa abhinibbattiyā.
It appears the arising (samudayo) of contact is contact subject to craving, which, when binding (seamstressing) the mind, leads to the production of becoming (self-identity). In explaining the meaning of the word 'arising', SN 22.5 says:
And what is the arising of form, feeling, perception, choices and consciousness?

Ko ca, bhikkhave, rūpassa samudayo, ko vedanāya samudayo, ko saññāya samudayo, ko saṅkhārānaṃ samudayo, ko viññāṇassa samudayo?

It’s when a mendicant approves, welcomes and keeps clinging.

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu abhinandati abhivadati ajjhosāya tiṭṭhati
The cessation/quenching/cooling (of craving) in respect to contact is the middle path.

Imo, there is no relationship between contact, its arising & its cessation, in that cessation is something "in-between". I think the following commentary posted at the link by MikeNZ66 is wrong:
* Contact is the first side, the origination of contact the second side, and the cessation of contact is in between.

viewtopic.php?p=92822#p92822
In other words, the passage appears to simply say: "oblivious contact (without wisdom) is one wrong position; contact lost in craving is another wrong position, the cessation/quenching of contact is the right position".

In other words, the seamstress is not sowing contact, its arising & its cessation together. Instead, the seamstress is sowing contact to becoming via craving. "Becoming" is defined as consciousness stuck/trapped/established in a sense object, as follows:
The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to an element. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.

AN 3.76
I think the following sutta posted at Mike'sNZ66 link supports my interpretation:
The Blessed One said:
"The bhikkhu leads the holy life, free of greed and always mindful,
When his estimations cease, he has no inhibitions
He knowing both ends is not soiled in the middle.
He is the Great Man gone beyond the streamstress. "
Thus, the seamstress does not sow the middle. It only sows the extremes or ends. :smile:
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by Bundokji »

Would it be accurate to interpret it as:

1- Phenomena has no beginning (eternal) = Contact is one end
2- Phenomena has an origin (and therefore an end/nihilism) = The origin of contact is the second end
3- Phenomena has no known beginning = The cessation of contact is the middle
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by DooDoot »

mikenz66 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:04 am There is a long discussion here: viewtopic.php?t=5949
In this discussion, Mike posted:
MikeNZ wrote:
Quote wrote:According to one interpretation that came up at this symposium, the one-end means the six internal bases and the second end means the six external bases and the middle is consciousness.

By consciousness is meant the six kinds of sense-consciousness. So according to this interpretation too, we find at consciousness becomes the middle as a result of reckoning the sense and its object as two ends. It is as if two pegs have been driven as eye and forms for the measuring that is implicit in sense-perception.
That makes perfect sense to me
Are you sure the Buddha taught one-end means the six internal bases and the second end means the six external bases and the middle is consciousness? :shrug:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by mikenz66 »

The rest of the post talks about other possible interpretations. What you take from it is up to you ... :sage:


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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

37. Not Yours

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, this body is not yours, nor does it belong to others. It is old kamma, to be seen as generated and fashioned by volition, as something to be felt. Therein, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple attends carefully and closely to dependent origination itself thus: ‘When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises. When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases. That is, with ignorance as condition, volitional formations come to be; with volitional formations as condition, consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering. But with the remainderless fading away and cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations; with the cessation of volitional formations, cessation of consciousness…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.37/en/bodhi
I think you are simply describing the cycle.
Contact, mendicants, is one end
if the person is born, he will have to have contact.
The origin of contact is the second end
if after birth or contact she likes it, if she wishes, this will be the origin.
The cessation of contact is the middle.
if she discards desire, detaches herself from desire, then that person is freed from this cycle, frees herself, so she is a great person or great man.

if that person continues with the desire, the cycle continues.
And craving is the seamstress, for craving "weaves one to rebirth in" (produces in BB translation) this or that state of existence.
:anjali:

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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by Srilankaputra »

Contact and origin of contact :
At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, for the fool, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has thereby originated. So there is this body and external name-and-form: thus this dyad. Dependent on the dyad there is contact. There are just six sense bases, contacted through which—or through a certain one among them—the fool experiences pleasure and pain.

“Bhikkhus, for the wise man, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has thereby originated. So there is this body and external name-and-form: thus this dyad. Dependent on the dyad there is contact. There are just six sense bases, contacted through which—or through a certain one among them—the wise man experiences pleasure and pain. What, bhikkhus, is the distinction here, what is the disparity, what is the difference between the wise man and the fool?”

“Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, for the fool, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has originated. For the fool that ignorance has not been abandoned and that craving has not been utterly destroyed. For what reason? Because the fool has not lived the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering. Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the fool fares on to another body. Faring on to another body, he is not freed from birth, aging, and death; not freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; not freed from suffering, I say.

“Bhikkhus, for the wise man, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, this body has originated. For the wise man that ignorance has been abandoned and that craving has been utterly destroyed. For what reason? Because the wise man has lived the holy life for the complete destruction of suffering. Therefore, with the breakup of the body, the wise man does not fare on to another body. Not faring on to another body, he is freed from birth, aging, and death; freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; freed from suffering, I say.

“This, bhikkhus, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the wise man and the fool, that is, the living of the holy life.”
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.19/en/bodhi

Cessation of contact is Nibbana.

Going beyond the two confines and knowing the middle with wisdom. He is nowhere adhered.

Tañhi, bhikkhu, musā yaṃ mosadhammaṃ, taṃ saccaṃ yaṃ amosadhammaṃ nibbānaṃ.

Tasmā evaṃ samannāgato bhikkhu iminā 
paramena saccādhiṭṭhānena samannāgato hoti.

Etañhi, bhikkhu, paramaṃ ariyasaccaṃ yadidaṃ

amosadhammaṃ nibbānaṃ
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by form »

Cessation of contact means all the six sense doors have failed to function or have malfunction?
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by coconut »

form wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:06 pm Cessation of contact means all the six sense doors have failed to function or have malfunction?
Cessation of contact is the N8FP, particularly Jhanas.
46. "And what is contact, what is the origin of contact, what is the cessation of contact, what is the way leading to the cessation of contact? There are these six classes of contact: eye-contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact. With the arising of the sixfold base there is the arising of contact. With the cessation of the sixfold base there is the cessation of contact. The way leading to the cessation of contact is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.
- Samma Ditthi sutta

When you attain Jhana you are turning away from an aggregate. "Turning away" means cutting contact. The first three jhanas are turning away from the form aggregate. The fourth jhana is turning away from the feelings aggregate, and jhanas 5-8 is turning away from the perception aggregate. Attaining Nibbana and destroying conceit happens by turning fully away from the Sankhara aggregate, specifically intention, which leads to Nirodha Samapatti and destruction of Becoming. When becoming no longer arises, one has attained Arahantship.

So attaining jhanas is how one cuts contact with the aggregates, with the goal of cutting Conceit and thus cutting Becoming resulting in Nibbana.
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by form »

Cessation means come to an end. I am not convinced contact can come to an end as long as one's sensory doors are still intact and active when one is alive.

To make it even more confusing, the Buddha has ever told Ananda that even after nibbana, there will still be consciousness.
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by coconut »

form wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:17 pm Cessation means come to an end. I am not convinced contact can come to an end as long as one's sensory doors are still intact and active when one is alive.

To make it even more confusing, the Buddha has ever told Ananda that even after nibbana, there will still be consciousness.
The sensory doors/senses are not the problem, the problem is Becoming which is fueled by Identity View, Craving, Sensual desires, and Conceit. You temporarily cease contact (via jhanas) to remove those 4 things.
“Just as if a dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice, having killed a cow, were to carve it up with a sharp carving knife so that—without damaging the substance of the inner flesh, without damaging the substance of the outer hide—he would cut, sever, & detach only the skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between. Having cut, severed, & detached the outer skin, and then covering the cow again with that very skin, if he were to say that the cow was joined to the skin just as it had been: Would he be speaking rightly?”

“No, venerable sir. Why is that? Because if the dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice, having killed a cow, were to… cut, sever, & detach only the skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between; and… having covered the cow again with that very skin, then no matter how much he might say that the cow was joined to the skin just as it had been, the cow would still be disjoined from the skin.“

“This simile, sisters, I have given to convey a message. The message is this: The substance of the inner flesh stands for the six internal media; the substance of the outer hide, for the six external media. The skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between stand for passion & delight. And the sharp knife stands for noble discernment—the noble discernment that cuts, severs, & detaches the defilements, fetters, & bonds in between.
When you attain jhanas you cut contact from the 5 aggregates (removing the skin), then you remove the 3 poisons with insight, and then you put the skin back on the cow, i.e. you restore contact with the 5 aggregates when you leave jhana, but this time there are no 3 poisons.

It doesn't matter what happens after death once the 3 poisons are gone, since craving and becoming are gone, what happens after death is irrelevant because there is no more craving and becoming anyways, hence why contemplating that is wrong view.
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by form »

coconut wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:17 pm
form wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:17 pm Cessation means come to an end. I am not convinced contact can come to an end as long as one's sensory doors are still intact and active when one is alive.

To make it even more confusing, the Buddha has ever told Ananda that even after nibbana, there will still be consciousness.
The sensory doors/senses are not the problem, the problem is Becoming which is fueled by Identity View, Craving, Sensual desires, and Conceit. You temporarily cease contact (via jhanas) to remove those 4 things.
“Just as if a dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice, having killed a cow, were to carve it up with a sharp carving knife so that—without damaging the substance of the inner flesh, without damaging the substance of the outer hide—he would cut, sever, & detach only the skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between. Having cut, severed, & detached the outer skin, and then covering the cow again with that very skin, if he were to say that the cow was joined to the skin just as it had been: Would he be speaking rightly?”

“No, venerable sir. Why is that? Because if the dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice, having killed a cow, were to… cut, sever, & detach only the skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between; and… having covered the cow again with that very skin, then no matter how much he might say that the cow was joined to the skin just as it had been, the cow would still be disjoined from the skin.“

“This simile, sisters, I have given to convey a message. The message is this: The substance of the inner flesh stands for the six internal media; the substance of the outer hide, for the six external media. The skin muscles, connective tissues, & attachments in between stand for passion & delight. And the sharp knife stands for noble discernment—the noble discernment that cuts, severs, & detaches the defilements, fetters, & bonds in between.
When you attain jhanas you cut contact from the 5 aggregates (removing the skin), then you remove the 3 poisons with insight, and then you put the skin back on the cow, i.e. you restore contact with the 5 aggregates when you leave jhana, but this time there are no 3 poisons.

It doesn't matter what happens after death once the 3 poisons are gone, since craving and becoming are gone, what happens after death is irrelevant because there is no more craving and becoming anyways, hence why contemplating that is wrong view.
The Buddha said jhanas can blindfold Mara temporarily.

Jhanas can temporarily halt DO.

Jhanas are not equal to enlightenment.
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nirodh27
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Re: Explanation needed: Contact is one end. The origin of contact is the second end. The cessation of contact is the mid

Post by nirodh27 »

coconut wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:17 pm
When you attain Jhana you are turning away from an aggregate. "Turning away" means cutting contact. The first three jhanas are turning away from the form aggregate. The fourth jhana is turning away from the feelings aggregate, and jhanas 5-8 is turning away from the perception aggregate. Attaining Nibbana and destroying conceit happens by turning fully away from the Sankhara aggregate, specifically intention, which leads to Nirodha Samapatti and destruction of Becoming. When becoming no longer arises, one has attained Arahantship.
HI Coconut,

I'm mostly convinced by your exposition, even if it seems to me that in the suttas you need "only" the fourth jhana to end suffering, without the need to avoid contact from all the 5 aggregates. The butcher's simile after all speak to cut the craving between the six external media and the internal ones, the skin is not presented as being "all the five aggregates".

I'm not sure that the fourth jhana is the cessation of contact about feelings, since it seems an experience with only neither-pleasurable-nor-painful which is a kind of feeling (and a Sankhara) nonethless. And the fourth jhana is still considered a rupa-jhana, so there's still form in there. So I would say that that you lose contact with rupa only in the fifth jhana.

Still, I think you're right, cessation of contact must be the 8fold path and the Jhanas, but I think that the butcher/skin simile speaks about the link between the six external sense media and the internal sense media. So I don't think that this:
When you attain jhanas you cut contact from the 5 aggregates (removing the skin), then you remove the 3 poisons with insight
is correct, but your knowledge is helpful and worth to be weight up. Thanks.
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