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Meditation is important but not the main practice


#62

MN 36 describes the process of The Buddha’s own enlightenment it happened after he reached the 4th jhana then concentrated on achieving the 1st and 2nd higher knowledge which then caused him to concentrate on the 3rd higher knowledge ( āsavakkhaya) which caused arahantship…but still the actual achievement of arahantship is distinctly different from the achievement of the jhanas.

In modern times Vipassana meditation may be popular (seems to have been popularized in the 18th Century by the Buddhist monk Medawi) but is actually hardly mentioned in the Pali canons (seems to come from MN 10).

The practice of developing iddhi is mentioned as much more important:

“Monks, all the monks in the past … future … present who realize the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and who live having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements, do so by developing and cultivating the four bases of iddhi power.” (SN 51.7)

What is meant by the word ‘meditation’?

But talk is cheap. Different people can interpret the exact same words differently and many times words just cause confusion and meaningless speculations rather than leading towards the achievement of arahantship or the six higher knowledges.

What’s the use of mere words without experiences?

Also being able to talk well doesn’t mean that someone has achieved the three higher knowledges:

“Thus, bhikkhus, do I declare that it is through the Dhamma that one becomes a brahmin possessing the threefold knowledge; (I do not say this) of another merely because he can talk persuasively and recite.” (Iti 99)


#63

Yes of course. But it’s dependent on jhāna. Were you disagreeing with the quote you gave of mine? Here’s something from AN 10.103:

Right samādhi gives rise to right knowledge.
sammāsamādhissa sammāñāṇaṃ pahoti

Some people might think jhāna is merely one eighth of the path, being just one step of the Eightfold Path. But the other seven steps are even known as the 'Seven requisites of concentration’, in Janavasabha Sutta and elsewhere.

The Mahācattārīsaka Sutta illustrates how the first eight are to be practiced (the path of the disciple), whereas the last two are the fruits gained when training is complete, when one has attained the final stage of awakening, that of the ‘arahant’:

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? In one of right view, right intention comes into being; in one of right intention, right speech comes into being; in one of right speech, right action comes into being; in one of right action, right livelihood comes into being; in one of right livelihood, right effort comes into being; in one of right effort, right mindfulness comes into being; in one of right mindfulness, right concentration comes into being; in one of right concentration, right knowledge comes into being; in one of right knowledge, right liberation comes into being. Thus, bhikkhus, the path of the disciple in higher training possesses eight factors, the arahant possesses ten factors.”

I am not convinced that the ‘three knowledges’ doctrine is to be paid too much attention. Partly because the very idea of concentrating on the knowledge that the āsavas have ended, requires the āsavas to have already ended. So how are you not already an arahant?

And remember that they seem to have been made to deliberately reference Brahmanism. So it does not seem that this set of three was coming from a phenomemological point of view - that there were actually 3 distinct experiences that were accurately expressed in labguage like that, and just happened to coincide with their competitive ambition with Brahmanism. Rather, it seem that this threefold category was slapped onto the reality of the situation, perhaps rather awkwardly, to fulfil the main priority of sticking it to the Brahmins.

As Gombrich notes:

Literally te-vijja means ‘having three knowledges’. For brahmins in those days, the only thing that counted as true knowledge was the Veda, and indeed that word literally means ‘knowledge’. The three knowledges, for the brahmins, were the Rg, Sāma and Yajur Vedas, and to know all three by heart (necessarily by heart, since there was no writing) entitled a man (it was always a man) to be known as ‘having three knowledges’. To this day many brahmins bear surnames such as Trivedi, which has in effect become a heritable title. The Buddha had, however, redefined the three salvific knowledges as knowledge of one’s former births, knowledge of the rebirths of others, and knowledge that one’s corruptions had been eliminated." There is nothing inherently triple about these accomplishments; that he formulated them as ‘three knowledges’ was surely no accident.

Now I’m not saying that there are not wisdom elements that are essential to take after accomplishing the 4 jhānas. Just saying that that wisdom aspect is entirely dependent on jhāna, according to the EBT’s.

I’m also curious about the non-jhāna paths invented by the Mahayana, such as Mahamudra and Dzogchen, and whether they lead to the same goal as the Buddha’s path did. This is of course not at all easy to answer, and would need study of arahants from both traditions - neurological and psychological profiling of those two categories would be fascinating. Though it seems not so easy to find reasonable sample groups for such a study!

Do you have more info on this, and, do you mean to say that his lineage continues today? It was my impression that no vipassana lineage dates back before Ledi Sayadaw, and that he was self taught, and other lineages started after him. I was not aware of any of the modern lineages being in existence at Ledi’s time. But happy to hear more info if that’s not right.


#64

Another Sutta that may be of relevance here is SN 55.54, which talks about how a lay “noble disciple of the Buddha” (presumably a stream winner) can become released at death. Jhana per se isn’t mentioned, but cosmology is — the disciple goes through the 6 kamma loka heavens, then the Brahma abode, then turns his attention to the cessation of self-identity. That only the Brahma abode is mentioned w/o going higher (like the luminous devas, etc.) makes me suspect that the degree of Samadhi required for this practice may not be terribly high, like perhaps only 1st Jhana.

Also AN 3.94 says a stream winner can become an Anagami by maintaining the 1st Jhana at death. No mention of higher Jhanas here. It’s worth pointing out that Anagamis are sometimes referred to as “accomplished in Samadhi,” so it’s noteworthy that 1st Jhana alone may be all it takes for that.

Here and here are Dharmawheel discussions on what degree of Samadhi is required for Dzogchen. It sounds like perhaps only a lite 1st Jhana is necessary, which doesn’t seem inconsistent with the suttas I quoted above.


#65

Oh no. Don’t go down this rabbit hole of dhyāna in Mahāyāna!


#66

The last defilement and fetter would simply be the ignorance of any remaining defilements. That would be the last part of the noble search–to end that ignorance. And that search would end when nothing was found anywhere.


#67

This is a very important point. The asavas (greed, hatred and delusion) are ended thru our emotional transformation done by skillful use of the the 1st seven components of the 8FP. The equanimity and perfected sati of the 4th Jhana will allow to come to the realisation that the asavas had previously been destroyed. Technically we could say that arahatship was obtained at the time of the destruction of the last bit of asavas (usually the sense of I associated with the 5 khandhas) and the realisation moment was getting the fruit of arahatship.


#68

The three higher knowledges or six higher knowledges doctrine is a central concept in early Buddhism.

You don’t need to have all asavas ended to concentrate on ending asavas. Why do you think so? I guess what you’re saying is that you need a certain health or certain amount of good enough kamma to achieve arahantship?

My personal progress seems similar to the progress of Gautama and other arahants:

  • First experienced bliss of higher states (jhanas?)
  • Monitor bodily feelings detecting negative unconscious impulses (asavas?) experience higher states of happiness pretty quickly by concentrating on destroying these negative unconscious impulses
  • Now focusing on improving my concentration ability realizing that this strategy only works partially well that it’s difficult to eliminate every negative unconscious impulse

I think that I haven’t achieved arahantship because my iddhi or concentration ability isn’t developed enough. I can only hold a thought or feeling uninterrupted for like a few minutes or so. I also don’t live as a monk just as a normal person with a normal job.

For me personally when I try to concentrate on ending asavas or negative unconscious impulses or painful feelings it starts working temporarily then I either just fall asleep all of a sudden or some thought or feeling interrupts my mind and I lose my concentration.

Now I see how important developing iddhi or concentration is just like The Buddha says.

This all happened to me unintentionally without trying to follow Buddhist practices. When I read the Buddhist suttas it matched into my experience so I thought it was true and real.

The pattern of achieving arahantship seems pretty similar for the majority of arahants: first experience higher blissful states (jhanas), then develop iddhi enough to achieve āsavakkhaya or the extinction of asavas (the other five higher knowledges also easily attained then).

Many modern day schools seem to teach against or shun developing iddhi even though it’s essential for achieving arahantship (as stated in SN 51.7 and elsewhere).

If I do achieve arahantship this would make me a pacceka-buddha since I have no teacher. I don’t know if I would want to teach just look at this world. I would probably just build machines or come up with methods for the worldly lay people to gain happiness since the majority of people won’t be interested and remain unknown. I thought of building a “Healing Machine” a machine that you sit or sleep in that would fully heal the individual of any negative health condition…even things like old age would be cured it should also allow people to live for thousands of years.

While experimenting I figured out all types of things like how kamma really works seems like there’s a type of energy that behaves electron-like that alters us into a different timeline at each moment…when you do “good” deeds it produces positive energy which accumulate onto your vibration which eventually at some time or another causes pleasant experiences and when you do “bad” deeds it produces negative energy which accumulate onto your vibration which eventually at some time or another causes painful experiences.

But through the practice of certain mind-exercises you can greatly reduce the negative energy inside of you which is like the same reducing the effects of negative kamma.

If a paccekabuddha or arahant arises now in modern times they should be able to without much effort scientifically prove many things and shock the world. After arising from a higher state the thought arose in my mind that “conclusions drawn from repeatable experiments making the least possible amount of assumptions will be impossible to deny” then I also thought “if something is true then why wouldn’t it already be scientifically proven?” and the answer came “if a hypothesis is empirically untestable it will be impossible to prove regardless of it’s true or false”.

The OP is partially right that without certain practices meditation will be difficult for the lay people. So doing good deeds and avoiding evil deeds is always good since meditation is impractical for many. Negative kamma makes it harder to achieve arahantship and good kamma makes it easier to achieve arahantship.

Brahmin in the Buddhist context simply means ‘holy person’.

Well I just looked it up on Wikipedia but in modern times Vipassana seems to be popular I think this is because of the disappearance of arahants who have the three higher knowledges existing in the world.

It was stated in DN 14 and elsewhere that there were 1,250 arahants in the world during the time-period that The Buddha was alive and then predicted that the pure dhamma would only last 500 years…that might have meant the disappearance of arahants.

When the world is empty of arahants words and teachings don’t really matter much…the dhamma is lost.


#69

loosely imho;

Most people focus on meditation but what do they actually do?

  1. developing tranquility basically relaxing and attaining some sort of calm or higher consciousness
  2. observing feelings and thoughts as they as they arise, persist and cease and some smart people also contemplate impermanence while doing this as well.
  3. developing perceptions; Metta, Asubha, Buddhanusatti, Dhammanusatti, Sanghanusatti etc

#1 on the list known as “Concentration development leading to pleasant abiding”
#2 on the list is known as “Concentration development leading to development of mindfulness and alertness (sati sampajjanna)”

As for these two, these are both Concentration developments and one who trains thus attends to the theme of concentration. Samadhi Sutta: Concentration

If the monk intent on heightened mind were to attend solely to the theme of concentration, it is possible that his mind would tend to laziness. Nimitta Sutta (AN 3.103)

Therefore it is important to balance, furthermore;

A monk intent on heightened mind should attend periodically to three [themes:]

  1. he should attend periodically to the [theme] of concentration

  2. he should attend periodically to the [theme] of uplifted energy

  3. he should attend periodically to the [theme] of equanimity

  1. If the monk intent on heightened mind were to attend solely to the [theme] of [concentration], it is possible that his mind would tend to laziness.

  2. If he were to attend solely to the [theme] of uplifted energy, it is possible that his mind would tend to restlessness.

  3. If he were to attend solely to the [theme] of [equanimity], it is possible that his mind would not be rightly concentrated for the ending of the [fermentations].

There is more to it because the various perception develop faculties differently and should be developed at the right time, here are some excerpts;

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of impermanence and abiding much in it, gain, honour and fame keeps away, it shrinks and rolls away. The mind stretches out and gets established in equanimity or loathing

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of lacking a self in unpleasantness and abiding much in it, whatever distinctions arise as superior, inferior or equal in the sixfold conscious body and all external signs, are appeased and well released.

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of loathing and abiding much in it, the sexual thought keeps away, it shrinks and rolls away.

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of loathing food and abiding much in it, the craving for tastes keep away, it shrinks and rolls away. The mind stretches out and gets established in equanimity or loathing.

Bhikkhus, to the bhikkhu practicing the perception of non-attachment to all the world and abiding much in it, the manifold beauty of the world, keeps away, it shrinks and rolls away. The mind stretches out and gets established in equanimity or loathing.

Now it might seem like it is a lot to practice but there is really no difference between formal meditation and daily life, one is expected to practice all the time and one should be mindful of thoughts, feelings and perceptions as well, when they arise, persist and subside.

Furthermore one should constantly pounder the themes of inconstancy and non-self and dukkha of formations.

Consider this;

“And what, Ānanda, is the perception of abandoning? Here, a bhikkhu does not tolerate an arisen sensual thought; he abandons it, dispels it, terminates it, and obliterates it. He does not tolerate an arisen thought of ill will … an arisen thought of harming … bad unwholesome states whenever they arise; he abandons them, dispels them, terminates them, and obliterates them. This is called the perception of abandoning. Girimananda Sutta: To Girimananda

The way i practice is that i use the perceptions preventively or as a counter in formal sitting but also as a tool to remove unwholesome thoughts in general as one of the methods given in the Vitakkasanthana Sutta: The Removal of Distracting Thoughts.

Therefore my practice is based on development of perceptions, factors of enlightenment and spiritual faculties in general rather than having a method.

If one looks at the training like this it is much easier to pick appropriate themes to train to suit one’s state of mind and if one wants one can develop concentration by calming the breath fabrication.

Eitherway one stays mindful of what is going on and cultivates the factors of enlightenment;

"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors.
"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.
Aroused/Active/Agitated Mind

"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors.
"When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.

"At such times, monks, as the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor[1] of tranquillity, the enlightenment-factor of concentration, the enlightenment-factor of equanimity. What is the reason? A sluggish mind is hard to arouse by these factors.
"But, monks, when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factor of investigation-of-states, the enlightenment-factor of energy, the enlightenment-factor of rapture.[2] What is the reason? A sluggish mind is easy to arouse by these factors.
Aroused/Active/Agitated Mind

"Monks, when the mind is agitated,[3] that is the wrong time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of investigation-of-states, of energy, of rapture. Why? An agitated mind is hard to calm through these factors.
"When the mind is agitated, that is the right time to cultivate the enlightenment-factors of tranquillity, concentration, equanimity. Why? Because an agitated mind is easy to calm[4] through these factors.

“As for mindfulness, I tell you, that serves every purpose.” Aggi Sutta: Fire

So one can choose what is appropriate and if one is steady in that it should work out quite well and a lot better than focusing on a subset of practices because it just opens up for falling off and it is hard to get established in such training and protecting the practice.

Obviously ideally there should be no opening for transgression but the training should be restrained by Vinaya kind of behavior for householder and monk alike and more is better in this case. If one thinks one need not keep some precepts because one is a Householder well, that is where the Mara will break you and there is nothing more to say about it.

Particularly interesting is the Theme of Uplifted energy, which i do not see talked about much but is actually crucial to Holy Life and needs to be mastered. It consists of basically reflecting, contemplating, arousing oneself, motivating oneself and stirring up some heroic persistence basically by thinking along the proper lines not limited to drawbacks of laziness and benefits of wakefulness.

I personally think this is the only way one can do this;

"This is Nanda’s devotion to wakefulness: There is the case where Nanda during the day, sitting & pacing back & forth, cleanses his mind of any qualities that would hold the mind in check. During the first watch of the night,[1] sitting & pacing back & forth, he cleanses his mind of any qualities that would hold the mind in check. During the second watch of the night,[2] reclining on his right side, he takes up the lion’s posture, one foot placed on top of the other, mindful, alert, with his mind set on getting up.[3] During the last watch of the night,[4] sitting & pacing back & forth, he cleanses his mind of any qualities that would hold the mind in check.

I also think that if done correctly one will be quite happy in such training because there is a cause for many jhana factors in one who trains thus.

Another thing is having a support group of some sort and association with people dedicated to the training because these as i understand it become one’s external support in times of need and are also used for motivational, inspirational and otherwise supportive purposes.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, “This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”

"Don’t say that, Ananda. Don’t say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path. Upaddha Sutta: Half (of the Holy Life)

I think if one has all of these bases covered one can surely be expected to progress quickly barred holding pernicious views.


#70

:heart: :pray:


#71

Here an interesting discussion takes a step into description of personal practice. In the Discuss and Discover threads we try to avoid describing our personal progress in meditation and especially claiming any higher attainments. Here’s a relevant extract from the forum guidelines:

We are interested in discussing early Buddhist texts, their meaning and historical context, how these teachings evolve and relate to later traditions, and how they may be applied in the present day. If you’re interested in more general Buddhist discussion, there are plenty of other great forums out there. … Whether you are a monastic or layperson, please do not make personal claims of path attainments, meditative attainments or supernatural powers on this forum.

This is a public forum that can be read by anyone without signing up, and experience shows that this policy works best.

The Personal Message system is available for more private conversation in pairs or groups of any size; please do use this if you want to discuss personal aspects of your practice with other people. The PM system is available for us all if we want to take up a personal aspect of what someone else has written about.


#72

Indeed - a very good description :+1::ok_hand:!!


#73

another interesting Sutta is SN22.88 which affirms the general semtiment;

“Formerly, venerable sir, when I was ill I kept on tranquillizing the bodily formations, but now I do not obtain concentration. As I do not obtain concentration, it occurs to me: ‘Let me not fall away!’”

“Those ascetics and brahmins, Assaji, who regard concentration as the essence and identify concentration with asceticism, failing to obtain concentration, might think, ‘Let us not fall away!’ SN 22.88: Assaji (English) - Khandha Saṃyutta - SuttaCentral

What is more important is cultivation of the perceptions and penetration of the theme, the themes are connected so by penetrating one one infer the others ie ‘what is impermanent is that stressful or not stressful? is what is stressful self or not self?’.

There are various Sutta which can be cited to support this;

[continue from 22.88] ;

“Those ascetics and brahmins, Assaji, who regard concentration as the essence and identify
concentration with asceticism, failing to obtain concentration, might think, ‘Let us not fall away!’

“What do you think, Assaji, is form permanent or impermanent?”—“Impermanent, venerable sir.”… —“Therefore … Seeing thus … He understands: ‘… there is no more for this state of being.’

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’ If he feels a painful feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’ If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent’; he understands: ‘It is not held to’; he understands: ‘It is not delighted in.’

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached; if he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached.

“When he feels a feeling terminating with the body, he understands: ‘I feel a feeling terminating with the body.’ When he feels a feeling terminating with life, he understands: ‘I feel a feeling terminating with life.’ He understands: ‘With the breakup of the body, following the exhaustion of life, all that is felt, not being delighted in, will become cool right here.’

Another sutta which explains the breaking of the fetters in these terms without mentioning the Four Jhanas;

At Savatthi. There the Blessed One exclaimed this exclamation: “‘It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me’: a monk set on this would break the [five] lower fetters.”

When this was said, a certain monk said to the Blessed One, “In what way would a monk set on this — ‘It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me’ — break the [five] lower fetters?”

"There is the case, monk, where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"He does not discern, as it actually is, inconstant form as ‘inconstant form.’ He does not discern, as it actually is, inconstant feeling as ‘inconstant feeling’ … inconstant perception as ‘inconstant perception’ … inconstant fabrications as ‘inconstant fabrications’ … inconstant consciousness as ‘inconstant consciousness.’ Udana Sutta: Exclamation

Even among views of outsiders the view associated with the theme is the best, as i understand it the view is that it may be thus whereas a Conviction-Follower has conviction in that it is so;

[8] "The supreme view-point external [to the Dhamma] is this: ‘I should not be; it should not occur to me; I will not be; it will not occur to me.’ Of one with this view it may be expected that ‘[the perception of] unloathsomeness of becoming will not occur to him, and [the perception of] loathsomeness of the cessation of becoming will not occur to him.’ And there are beings who have this view. Yet even in the beings who have this view there is still aberration, there is change. Seeing this, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with that. Being disenchanted with that, he becomes dispassionate toward what is supreme, and even more so toward what is inferior. Kosala Sutta: The Kosalan

Another verse pointing out the supposedly essential;

If one were to have mindfulness always established, continually immersed in the body, (thinking,) “It should not be, it should not be mine; it will not be, it will not be mine” — there, in that step-by-step dwelling, one in no long time would cross over attachment. Kaccāyana Sutta: Kaccāyana

And a last one is self explanatory;

Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One: “There is the case, lord, where a monk, having practiced in this way — ‘It should not be, it should not occur to me;[2] it will not be, it will not occur to me.[3] What is, what has come to be, that I abandon’ — obtains equanimity. Now, would this monk be totally unbound, or not?”

"A certain such monk might, Ananda, and another might not.’

“What is the cause, what is the reason, whereby one might and another might not?”

“There is the case, Ananda, where a monk, having practiced in this way — (thinking) ‘It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon’ — obtains equanimity. He relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it. As he relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it, his consciousness is dependent on it, is sustained by it (clings to it). With clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is not totally unbound.”

“Being sustained, where is that monk sustained?”

“The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.”

“Then, indeed, being sustained, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance.”

“Being sustained, Ananda, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance; for this — the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — is the supreme sustenance. There is [however] the case where a monk, having practiced in this way — ‘It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon’ — obtains equanimity. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound.”


#74

What do you think this short cryptic sentence means? :bodhileaf:


#75

I think it can be explained as an expression of one’s resolve conditioned by understanding and disenchantment conditioned by understanding.

I think that as a training it can be explained loosely in the context of one’s Appropriate attention;

"He attends appropriately, This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts &; practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing.

Seeing the quality of stress one understands and resolves; ‘It should not be, it should not occur to me’

Contrary to one of wrong view and inappropriate attention;

"This is how he attends inappropriately: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self … or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self … or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self … or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, &death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

To such person it may occur ‘This Is pleasant, this is mine, this should occur to me’ because he is not disenchanted with formations, not disenchanted with suffering and is bent on future existence and welcomes it.


#76

It should not be,
it should not occur to me;
it will not be,
it will not occur to me.
Kaccāyana Sutta: Kaccāyana

What do you think about the Bahiya sutta in connection to the above…?

what is cognized, therefore, Bāhiya, you will not be with that; and since, Bāhiya, you will not be with that, therefore, Bāhiya, you will not be in that; and since, Bāhiya, you will not be in that, therefore, Bāhiya, you will not be here or hereafter or in between the two. Ud 1.10: The Discourse about Bāhiya (English) - Udāna - SuttaCentral

I tend to agree it is a view arrived at by yonisomanasikara or wise contemplation.


#77

I think there is a direct correlation in that from what is pointed out to Bahiya it can be inferred that these formations are not self and there is no self to be found amongst them nor do they taken together constitute a self.

Further it can be inferred that what is not one’s own is not under one’s control is to that extent unreliable.

Further it can be inferred that what is unreliable is also subject to change and is impermanent.

Therefore it can be inferred from that short exhortation that formations are not one’s own,
unreliable and are to that extent stressful and undesirable.

Finally in regards to those formations and by that line of reasoning one would think
“It should not be, it should not be mine; it will not be, it will not be mine”
or
‘It should not be, it should not occur to me’


#78

Thanks for the Nimitta Sutta reference. In SC the numbering is AN3.102. I have downloaded it for study.
:pray:


#79

If the monk intent on heightened mind were to attend solely to the theme of concentration, it is possible that his mind would tend to laziness. If he were to attend solely to the theme of uplifted energy, it is possible that his mind would tend to restlessness.

What is heightened mind or adhicitta?

If he were to attend solely to the theme of equanimity, it is possible that his mind would not be rightly concentrated for the ending of the fermentations.

What is Right Unification (samma samadhi) and how is it different from heightened mind?


#80

I read this as jhāna which is pointing at tranquility versus jhāna intent on vipassana. Happy to hear other interpretations though.


#81

As i understand it;

Heightened mind refers to any unification of mind, ie The Four Pleasant Abidings which are also
Samma Samadhi but for unification to become a Factor of the Path, noble, transcendent, for the arising of Noble Right Concentration - unification must at that time be accompanied by 7 other Path Factors so that at that time the path is Eightfold.

The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports &requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.Maha-cattarisaka Sutta: The Great Forty

Noble Right Concentration is also explained in terms of five factors and five developments: Four developments of the Jhana and the fifth being development by discernment;

"And furthermore, the monk has his theme of reflection well in hand, well attended to, well-considered, well-tuned by means of discernment.

"Just as if one person were to reflect on another, or a standing person were to reflect on a sitting person, or a sitting person were to reflect on a person lying down; even so, monks, the monk has his theme of reflection well in hand, well attended to, well-pondered, well-tuned by means of discernment. This is the fifth development of the five-factored noble right concentration. Samadhanga Sutta: The Factors of Concentration

As i understand it The Four Pleasant Abidings are Samma Samadhi because they are heightened states of mind, are unifications of mind and are developments of [Noble Right] Concentration. They are not however in and of themselves effacement of defilement;

  1. "It may be, Cunda, that some monk, detached from sense-objects, detached from unsalutary ideas, enters into the first absorption that is born of detachment, accompanied by thought-conception and discursive thinking, and filled with rapture and joy, and he then might think: ‘I am abiding in effacement.’ But in the Noble One’s discipline it is not these [attainments] that are called ‘effacement’; in the Noble One’s discipline they are called 'abidings in ease here and now.'Sallekha Sutta: The Discourse on Effacement

Therefore unification of mind needs to be accompanied by 7 other Path Factors for it to be a Path Factor and the arising of the Path and the Destruction of Taints by seeing with discernment.