No inherent sensual pleasure

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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Alex123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:35 pm

Samma wrote: It seems too much to reduce everything to dukkha.



But doesn't dukkha in its three kinds includes everything (except for Nibbāna)?
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby convivium » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:54 pm

can't we step into simple pleasures so as to experience them in a detached way? :yingyang:
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Samma » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:59 pm

I suppose the key is " even pleasant feeling is included in dukkha (2nd and maybe even third kind)."

dukkha-dukkha is ordinary suffering, unpleasantness.
viparinama-dukkha is the fact of change me thinks. What is inconstant can not stay plesent forever. What changes will not bring lasting happiness.
samkhara-dukkha -This is certainly complex, but I think this is related to clinging to the skandhas. For example, thirst as desire for sensual pleasures rather than pleasant feeling itself. So, I'm not comfortable saying that even pleasant feeling is dukkha. *shrug*

topic:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4210
Last edited by Samma on Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Zom » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:11 pm

If this is so, then why does the sutta I quoted seem to suggest pleasure is a misperception?


Buddha and arahant do experience pleasant feelings. Do you think, they still have "misperceptions"? ,)
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:23 pm

I think it should be clarified that there is a great difference between pleasure and delight. Arahants experiences pleasure but they do not delight in it. What Alex is saying is very true when it comes to delight but not necessarily with pleasure.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:51 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

Lets say you want to eat the cake, when you eat it - you experience pleasure. But when you stop eating it, the pleasure stops and eventually you back where you started from. If one tries to eat one cake after another cake, then very soon what was sources of pleasure will feel painful. If cake was trully the cause of pleasure, why does it turn into unpleasant feeling when indulged excessively?

One can feel thirsty (dukkha-vedanā) and then when one drinks the water, one feels good feeling. But if one keeps drinking glass after glass after glass, it will feel uncomfortable and can even lead to death.

Sitting and resting can feel great after a long and tiring walk (which is painful). But try to sit for many hours. It will feel uncomfortable. Here also we have a case where something when indulged excessively long becomes uncomfortable.

Maybe there are no inherent pleasures in the world, just more or less dukkha. The relief of greater dukkha feels pleasant, but only for short amount of time and only in comparison with greater dukkha.

What is your opinion?

My opinion is that vedana boils down to sanna or at least can't be disconnected from sanna in terms of experience. My opinion is that that's why the Buddha sometimes refered to vedana and perception as one thing: citta-sankhara. And I also agree with Dr. Snyder's opinion that cultivating uppekha is a good place to start if one wants to better manage (augment inner composure and behavioral control over) vedana and sanna, but that also requires yoniso manisakara and cetana--in my opinion. ;)

PS: When other people are involved, metta, karuna, anukampa and mudita should probably precede uppekha--in my opinion.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:00 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I think it should be clarified that there is a great difference between pleasure and delight. Arahants experiences pleasure but they do not delight in it. What Alex is saying is very true when it comes to delight but not necessarily with pleasure.


Hi LY,

This got me thinking about the word "delight". I don't know what the Pali word is but....

Delight has a few meanings one of which is simply to recognize the pleasure in some experience. I expect that the Buddha does this.

Another meaning is to be amused by an experience. In this case it makes sense to me that the Buddha has no interest in the amusement of pleasure. Pleasure does not occupy the Buddha. It does not keep him busy. The Buddha is "in a sense" fully amused by Nibbana. he is "amused" in the sense that it provides interesting occupation. The Buddha knows and teaches Nibbana and is entertained by nothing else.

Its a nice thought.

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"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Alex123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:16 pm

Zom wrote:
If this is so, then why does the sutta I quoted seem to suggest pleasure is a misperception?


Buddha and arahant do experience pleasant feelings. Do you think, they still have "misperceptions"? ,)



Buddha and Arahants still have 5 khandhas. They still experience pain. They just don't have negative emotions and reactions such as lobha, dosa or moha.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Alex123 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:21 pm

Prasadachitta wrote:Delight has a few meanings one of which is simply to recognize the pleasure in some experience...Another meaning is to be amused by an experience.


What if person likes to hurt oneself? Does that mean that hurting bodily feeling is really a pleasant feeling? Maybe khandhas are ultimately dukkha, but our reaction can consider them to be sukha?

"It is impossible, that one come to right view should take any determination as pleasant. It is possible that an ordinary person should take any determination as pleasant." - MN115

*determination is saṅkhāra, which I believe means everything put-together/formed as opposed to Nibbāna, which is not put-together.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:30 am

Alex123 wrote:What if person likes to hurt oneself? Does that mean that hurting bodily feeling is really a pleasant feeling? Maybe khandhas are ultimately dukkha, but our reaction can consider them to be sukha?

"It is impossible, that one come to right view should take any determination as pleasant. It is possible that an ordinary person should take any determination as pleasant." - MN115

*determination is saṅkhāra, which I believe means everything put-together/formed as opposed to Nibbāna, which is not put-together.



Hey Alex,

Im not sure what you are getting at with the "hurt oneself" comment. Im sure the meaning of pleasure can change depending on what the context is. As far as I know the Buddha exhibited preferences some of which were due to comfort versus discomfort. As you say
They (Buddha and Arahants) just don't have negative emotions and reactions such as lobha, dosa or moha.


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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Sylvester » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:09 am

Coyote wrote:But pleasure is still Dukkha.

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

"Magandiya, suppose that there was a leper covered with sores and infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterizing his body over a pit of glowing embers. His friends, companions, & relatives would take him to a doctor. The doctor would concoct medicine for him, and thanks to the medicine he would be cured of his leprosy: well & happy, free, master of himself, going wherever he liked. Then suppose two strong men, having grabbed him with their arms, were to drag him to a pit of glowing embers. What do you think? Wouldn't he twist his body this way & that?"

"Yes, master Gotama. Why is that? The fire is painful to the touch, very hot & scorching."

"Now what do you think, Magandiya? Is the fire painful to the touch, very hot & scorching, only now, or was it also that way before?"

"Both now & before is it painful to the touch, very hot & scorching, master Gotama. It's just that when the man was a leper covered with sores and infections, devoured by worms, picking the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, his faculties were impaired, which was why, even though the fire was actually painful to the touch, he had the skewed perception of 'pleasant.'"

"In the same way, Magandiya, sensual pleasures in the past were painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures in the future will be painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures at present are painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; but when beings are not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — their faculties are impaired, which is why, even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to the touch, they have the skewed perception of 'pleasant.'



I think we need to be very, very careful when relying on the above, which is given only as an excerpt in ATI.

What is said -

In the same way, Magandiya, sensual pleasures in the past were painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures in the future will be painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; sensual pleasures at present are painful to the touch, very hot & scorching; but when beings are not free from passion for sensual pleasures — devoured by sensual craving, burning with sensual fever — their faculties are impaired, which is why, even though sensual pleasures are actually painful to the touch, they have the skewed perception of 'pleasant.'


comes from the Pali -

Evameva kho māgandiya atītampi addhānaṃ kāmā dukkhasamphassā ceva mahābhitāpā ca mahāpariḷāhā ca. Anāgatampi addhānaṃ kāmā dukkhasamphassā ceva mahābhitāpā ca mahāpariḷāhā ca, etarahipi paccuppannaṃ addhānaṃ kāmā dukkhasamphassā ceva mahābhitāpā ca mahāpariḷāhā ca. Ime ca māgandiya sattā kāmesu avītarāgā kāmataṇhāhi khajjamānā kāmapariḷāhena pariḍayhamānā upahatindriyā dukkhasamphassesveva1 kāmesu sukhamiti viparītasaññaṃ paccalatthuṃ.


What Ven T (and BB in the MLDB) translate as "sensual pleasures" is the Pali term kāmā. The big issue here (as with the perennial Jhana debate of what kāmā means) is this -

does kāmā mean pleasurable objects cognisable by the 5 senses, or does it mean every kind of object cognisable by the 5 senses?

To me, the answer is clear. The kāmā refers to the latter, while the former is denoted by the term pañca kāmaguṇā. For example, the distinction is drawn here -

Taṃ kiṃ maññasi māgandiya: api nu te diṭṭho vā suto vā rājā vā rājamahāmatto vā pañcahi kāmaguṇehi samappito samaṅgībhūto paricārayamāno kāmataṇhaṃ appahāya kāmapariḷāhaṃ appaṭivinodetvā vigatapipāso ajjhattaṃ vūpasantacitto vihāsi vā, viharati vā, viharissati vāti. No hidaṃ bho gotama.

What do you think, Magandiya? Have you ever seen or heard of a king or a king’s minister enjoying himself, provided and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure who, without abandoning craving for sensual pleasures, without removing fever for sensual pleasures, was able to abide free from thirst, with a mind inwardly at peace, or who is able or who will be able to so abide?” - “No, Master Gotama


An even more stark example is given about the hypothetical, contrasting divine pleasures with human sense objects -

Seyyathāpi māgandiya gahapati vā gahapatiputto vā aḍḍho mahaddhano mahābhogo pañcahi kāmaguṇehi samappito samaṅgībhūto paricāreyya. Cakkhuviññeyyehi rūpehi iṭṭhehi kantehi manāpehi piyarūpehi kāmūpasaṃhitehi rajanīyehi. Sotaviñañeyyehi saddehi iṭṭhehi kantehi manāpehi piyarūpehi kāmūpasaṃhitehi rajanīyehi ghānaviññeyyehi gandhehi iṭṭhehi kantehi manāpehi piyarūpehi kāmūpasaṃhitehi rajanīyehi. Jivhāviññeyyehi rasehi iṭṭhehi kantehi manāpehi piyarūpehi kāmūpasaṃhitehi rajanīyehi. Kāyaviññeyyehi phoṭṭhabbehi iṭṭhehi kantehi manāpehi piyarūpehi kāmūpasaṃhitehi rajanīyehi.

So kāyena sucaritaṃ caritvā vācāya sucaritaṃ caritvā manasā sucaritaṃ caritvā kāyassa bhedā parammaraṇā sugatiṃ saggaṃ lokaṃ upapajjeyya devānaṃ tāvatiṃsānaṃ sahavyataṃ. So tattha nandane vane accharāsaṅghaparivuto dibbehi pañcahi kāmaguṇehi samappito samaṅgīto paricāreyya. So passeyya gahapatiṃ vā gahapatiputtaṃ vā pañcahi kāmaguṇehi samappitaṃ samaṅgībhūtaṃ paricārayamānaṃ. Taṃ kiṃ maññasi māgandiya, api nu so devaputto nandane vane accharāsaṅghaparivuto dibbehi pañcahi kāmaguṇehi samappito samaṅgībhūto paricārayamāno amussa gahapatissa vā gahapatiputtassa vā piheyya mānusakānaṃ vā pañcannaṃ kāmaguṇānaṃ, mānusakehi vā kāmehi āvaṭṭeyyāti.

No hidaṃ bho gotama, taṃ kissa hetu: mānusakehi bho gotama kāmehi dibbā kāmā abhikkantatarā paṇītatarā cāti.

Suppose, Magandiya, a householder or a householder’s son was rich, with great wealth and property, and being provided and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure, he might enjoy himself with forms cognizable by the eye …
with sounds cognizable by the ear … with odours cognizable by the nose … with flavours cognizable by the tongue … with tangibles cognizable by the body that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and likeable, connected with sensual desire and provocative of lust.

Having conducted himself well in body, speech, and mind, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he might reappear in a happy destination, in the heavenly world in the retinue of the gods of the Thirty-three; and there, surrounded by a group of nymphs in the Nandana Grove, he would enjoy himself, provided and endowed with the five cords of divine sensual pleasure. Suppose he saw a householder or a householder’s son enjoying himself, provided and endowed with the five cords of [human] sensual pleasure. What do you think, Magandiya? Would that young god surrounded by the group of nymphs in the Nandana Grove, enjoying himself, provided and endowed with the five cords of divine sensual pleasure, envy the householder or the householder’s son for the five cords of human sensual pleasure or would he return to human sensual pleasures?”
“No, Master Gotama. Why not? Because heavenly sensual pleasures are more excellent and sublime than human sensual pleasures.”


As will be obvious from the above, the Buddha is essentially saying that a devaputta endowed with the five cords of divine sensual pleasures (dibba pañca kāmaguṇā) would have no interest in the five cords of human sensual pleasures (mānusakā pañca kāmaguṇā), let alone human kāmā (mānusakā kāmā), ie the 5 sense object.

As such, I don't think MN 75 can be cited as authority that one misperceives a kāmaguṇa as pleasurable. What this sutta suggests is that the misperception occurs in relation to kāmā (ie the sense objects).

I'm also curious why the discussion has drifted from the "innateness" of hedonic tone to the question of affective tone. I thought the former was the OP's query?
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:57 am

Alex123 wrote:So I think it is matter of contrast. Less pain feels like pleasure compared to greater pain.


Yes, I'd agree that pleasant feeling and unpleasant feeling are relative rather than being absolute.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:01 pm

Samma wrote:“Sensing a feeling of pleasure, [the arahant] senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of pain, he senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, he senses it disjoined from it. This is called a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones disjoined from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is disjoined, I tell you, from suffering & stress” — SN 36:6


Passages like this do seem to support the idea that it's not pleasant feeling in and of itself that's the problem - rather that it's our relationship with it.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby danieLion » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:05 pm

Prasadachitta wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:I think it should be clarified that there is a great difference between pleasure and delight. Arahants experiences pleasure but they do not delight in it. What Alex is saying is very true when it comes to delight but not necessarily with pleasure.


Hi LY,

This got me thinking about the word "delight". I don't know what the Pali word is but....

Delight has a few meanings one of which is simply to recognize the pleasure in some experience. I expect that the Buddha does this.

Another meaning is to be amused by an experience. In this case it makes sense to me that the Buddha has no interest in the amusement of pleasure. Pleasure does not occupy the Buddha. It does not keep him busy. The Buddha is "in a sense" fully amused by Nibbana. he is "amused" in the sense that it provides interesting occupation. The Buddha knows and teaches Nibbana and is entertained by nothing else.

Its a nice thought.

Prasadachitta


Here we find the Buddha enjoying and delighting in things technically not nibbana and encouraging others to do the same.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Two trains of thought often occur to the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened: the thought of safety & that of seclusion.

"The Tathagata enjoys non-ill will, delights in non-ill will. To him — enjoying non-ill will, delighting in non-ill will — this thought often occurs: 'By this activity I harm no one at all, whether weak or firm.'

"The Tathagata enjoys seclusion, delights in seclusion. To him — enjoying seclusion, delighting in seclusion — this thought often occurs: 'Whatever is unskillful is abandoned.'

"Thus, monks, you too should live enjoying non-ill will, delighting in non-ill will. To you — enjoying non-ill will, delighting in non-ill will — this thought will often occur: 'By this activity we harm no one at all, whether weak or firm.'

"You too should live enjoying seclusion, delighting in seclusion. To you — enjoying seclusion, delighting in seclusion — this thought will often occur: 'What is unskillful? What is not yet abandoned? What are we abandoning?'"

To the Tathagata, awakened, who endured what is hard to endure, two thoughts occur: safety the first thought mentioned; seclusion the second declared. The dispeller of darkness, free of fermentation, the great seer who has gone beyond, reached attainment, gained mastery, crossed over the poisons; who's released in the ending of craving: that sage bears his last body, has shaken off Mara, I tell you, has gone beyond aging. As one standing on a rocky crag would see the people all around below, so the wise, with the all-around eye, having scaled the tower made of Dhamma, having crossed over sorrow, gaze on those overwhelmed with sorrow, conquered by aging & death.
Itivuttaka 31
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:14 pm

danieLion wrote:Here we find the Buddha enjoying and delighting and encouraging others to do the same.




Like I said he enjoys NIbbanna. He delights in Nibanna. He encourages others to do the same and he delights when when they do.

Metta

Prasadachitta

things technically not nibbana


Technical definitions are of marginal interest to me.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby danieLion » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:22 pm

Prasadachitta wrote:
danieLion wrote:Here we find the Buddha enjoying and delighting and encouraging others to do the same.




Like I said he enjoys NIbbanna. He delights in Nibanna. He encourages others to do the same and he delights when when they do.

Metta

Prasadachitta

things technically not nibbana


Technical definitions are of marginal interest to me.

Metta and seclusion are not marginal in the Buddha's estimation.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby BlackBird » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:38 pm

The misconception here I believe relates to an objectification of that which is experienced - Of something that is wholly subjective. Vedana only exists in so far as there is salayatana, vinnana and it is only felt as mine as long as there is avijja. These things are not in the world as such. If there were no sentient beings present in the world there would be no sense pleasure.
"And so, because this Teaching is so different from what Westerners are accustomed to, they will try to adapt the Teaching to their own framework. What they need to learn to do is not to adapt the Teaching to their own point of view but to adapt their own point of view to the Teaching. This is called saddhá, or faith, and it means giving oneself to the Teaching even if the Teaching is contrary to one’s own preconceived notions of the way things are."- Ven Bodhesako

Nanavira Thera's teachings - An existential approach to the Dhamma | Ven. Bodhesako's essay on anicca
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:40 pm

danieLion wrote:Metta and seclusion are not marginal in the Buddha's estimation.


Quite pertinent to Nibbanna.
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:49 pm

BlackBird wrote: If there were no sentient beings present in the world there would be no sense pleasure.


Hi Blackbird,

This is not really directed at you....


I wonder if it even makes sense to use the expression "world" in relation to the absence of any sentience.

Just a thought.

Prasadachitta
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Re: No inherent sensual pleasure

Postby danieLion » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:37 am

On the perceptions pertinent to vedana.

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "There are these three feelings. Which three? A feeling of pleasure, a feeling of pain, a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain. A feeling of pleasure should be seen as stressful. A feeling of pain should be seen as an arrow. A feeling of neither pleasure nor pain should be seen as inconstant. When a monk has seen a feeling of pleasure as stressful, a feeling of pain as an arrow, and a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain as inconstant, then he is called a monk who is noble, who has seen rightly, who has cut off craving, destroyed the fetters, and who — from the right breaking-through of conceit — has put an end to suffering & stress."

Whoever sees
pleasure as stress,
sees pain as an arrow,
sees peaceful neither-pleasure-nor-pain
as inconstant:
he is a monk
who's seen rightly.
From that he is there set free.
A master of direct knowing,
at peace,
he is a sage
gone beyond bonds.

Itivuttaka 47
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