Mindfulness

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Re: Mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:19 am

TMingyur wrote:
MayaRefugee wrote:Greetings,

When we say one is practicing mindfulness what is it that is being mindful?

If I want to get rid of a habit I am mindful . . . Just being mindful does not necessarily imply concepts of there someone being who is mindful and there something being the someone is being mindful of. "Thinking about doing" is not the "doing".
Here we have a very different take on "mindfulness" than is usually taught in the Burmese style vipassana traditions.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby ground » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
MayaRefugee wrote:Greetings,

When we say one is practicing mindfulness what is it that is being mindful?

If I want to get rid of a habit I am mindful . . . Just being mindful does not necessarily imply concepts of there someone being who is mindful and there something being the someone is being mindful of. "Thinking about doing" is not the "doing".
Here we have a very different take on "mindfulness" than is usually taught in the Burmese style vipassana traditions.


Interesting. Could anyone explain briefly in other words what "Burmese style vipassana" is?
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:46 am

TMingyur wrote:Interesting. Could anyone explain briefly in other words what "Burmese style vipassana" is?

Tilt probably means the Mahasi Sayadaw school, including U Pandita and others:

See, for example:
http://aimwell.org/
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pan ... structions
http://aimwell.org/Books/Other/Guidelin ... l#Practice

Metta
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:55 am

TMingyur wrote:
Interesting. Could anyone explain briefly in other words what "Burmese style vipassana" is?
What Mike said.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:31 am

i have no idea where this thread just went....

but back to the OP

When we say one is practicing mindfulness what is it that is being mindful?


first off "When we say one is practicing mindfulness" we are at that moment speaking in conventional terms so that we can understand each other.

when we are actually practicing mindfulness there is just mindfulness or at least attempting to be in a state of just mindfulness .
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby MayaRefugee » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:12 am

Is there not an entity/subject/set of conditions that is/are conscious/aware of what is going on in the mind i.e. something like a judge that does the discernment/destroying of unwholesomeness/purification?
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby Reductor » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:18 pm

MayaRefugee wrote:Is there not an entity/subject/set of conditions that is/are conscious/aware of what is going on in the mind i.e. something like a judge that does the discernment/destroying of unwholesomeness/purification?


There is, kind of.

The mind is aware of itself and all those things that enter it via the 5 senses. The mind is actually the result of a large number of conditions and is always changing because of conditions. It is not stable or permanent and is not self, but I suspect you would like to take it as self.

Even the standards that are taken as ideal by which the mind attempts to modify itself, even they are mental constructions which are not permanent. The mind changes under their influence, and they change under the influence of society at large, which is changing under the influence of time and the universe, which is also changing... and so on.

Consciousness lays at the root of the mind. It can be called impermanent because the objects it is aware of are always changing -- so rapidly it is hard to keep track of. If you sit for a little bit and try to see consciousness, you might notice that the consciousness that is evident can only be described in terms of what it is aware of. Unless you describe the object you can't really describe consciousness, except to say that it is aware; but what would it look like, be like, if it was not aware of all these vagrant objects and conditions that come with being alive?

Can you, should you, take an essentially unknown element as your 'self' when you don't really know it? As for everything else that you might call 'self': should you try to identify it as your true 'self' when its existence relies completely upon conditions that change and rest on the world at large, which you have very little input upon and control over?

Now, all this typing but I suspect you will still doubt the absence of an abiding entity. The best course of action, if you want to understand what the Buddha and all these Buddhists are getting at, is to sit quietly and take notice of the thoughts and feeling, memories and labels that flutter through your mind: look to see "Where did it come from - why did I become aware of it" and try to see "where did it go - why am I no longer aware of it" Perhaps you will quickly understand, perhaps not. But are you willing to actually look?

As and aside: weigh yourself in the morning, at noon and then at night. You'll notice that your weight is different each time. Why?

Anyway, I think I'm done.
Last edited by Reductor on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Mindfulness

Postby PeterB » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:23 pm

MayaRefugee wrote:Is there not an entity/subject/set of conditions that is/are conscious/aware of what is going on in the mind i.e. something like a judge that does the discernment/destroying of unwholesomeness/purification?

No. Or perhaps Yes.
The only way to understand is to pick a meditation method. Receive instruction in it. Preferably hands on, and pursue it to its end. You can struggle for the rest of your life to pin down five philosophical fleas one under each finger. The trouble is you get the third one pinned and the first escapes. You pin down the first again and number four wriggles free. There is no end to speculation and discursive thought. In the end Buddhism is about bums on cushions.
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby MayaRefugee » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:40 pm

thereductor,

Thanks for your informative reply, I apologise if I am irritating you which it seems I am doing - :?

I have it in my head that it's possible to refine your motivations and mental formations to the point where they reflect rightness. I'm having trouble understanding how there cannot be something that possesses/sustains this rightness for repeated application.

I imagine The Buddha to have refined and maintained an arsenal of rightness enabling him to consistantly profess the specifics of the Dhamma and also teach/give answers/suggestions repeatedly to peoples troubles - I am interested in how he did this - IMO certain cues elicited certain responses and these responses to my way of thinking must of come from an arsenal of rightness.

I wonder what this arsenal of rightness would be?

If I am trying to see something as my "self" it would be this arsenal of rightness.

I guess here I'm moving more toward the nature of insight/wisdom that has been derived from mindfulness and trying to fathom where it is stored/what posseses this insight/wisdom or what allows it to be professed.

peterb,

I don't really want to "know" or practice anything just for my own benefit, I would one-day like to be able to use this "knowing" to help others untangle themselves from distress so formulating a way to communicate what I "know" is pretty important to me at this stage.

Peace.
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:48 pm

Greetings MayaRefugee,

MayaRefugee wrote:I have it in my head that it's possible to refine your motivations and mental formations to the point where they reflect rightness. I'm having trouble understanding how there cannot be something that possesses/sustains this rightness for repeated application.

It's interesting... that's much like the prevailing views in India prior to the Buddha's enlightenment. The problem is though, according to the Buddha, that even this rightness is based on conditions, and thus impermanent. Therefore, it may be wholesome, but it's not going to lead to nibbana.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Mindfulness

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:45 am

what do you mean by rightness?
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby MayaRefugee » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:33 am

jcsuperstar wrote:what do you mean by rightness?


Some ideal free from error, total correctness of understanding, irrefutable wisdom....something along those lines.
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:38 am

good luck with that...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby MayaRefugee » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:42 am

Are you being sarcastic there? - :roll:

Do you know something I don't/should know?
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby ground » Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:21 am

MayaRefugee wrote:I have it in my head that it's possible to refine your motivations and mental formations to the point where they reflect rightness. I'm having trouble understanding how there cannot be something that possesses/sustains this rightness for repeated application.

It may be familiarization with specific thought contents that entail specific experiences, like e.g. in the case of metta meditation. We can however only observe the signs on the surface and try to conclude from these signs the basis. But our conclusion are these of ordinary minds (and we may only speculate how the workings and capacities of ordinary minds differ from those of enlightened minds).

MayaRefugee wrote:I imagine The Buddha to have refined and maintained an arsenal of rightness enabling him to consistantly profess the specifics of the Dhamma and also teach/give answers/suggestions repeatedly to peoples troubles - I am interested in how he did this - IMO certain cues elicited certain responses and these responses to my way of thinking must of come from an arsenal of rightness.

I wonder what this arsenal of rightness would be?

The "arsenal of rightness (for others)" may be concluded from what he taught and how he taught:
Application of (common) language that his listeners can understand.
Teachings that did not apply logical reasoning as contents and thus did not to stir discursive thought in his listeners althought what he taught may be interpreted to have been based on logical reasoning. The teaching content itself however focused on the crucial and practical points only and avoided speculation: Sort of "if you want to be free of dukkha then practice this and abandon that."

MayaRefugee wrote:I guess here I'm moving more toward the nature of insight/wisdom that has been derived from mindfulness and trying to fathom where it is stored/what posseses this insight/wisdom or what allows it to be professed.

It is "possessed" by consciousness/mind and its factors. By means of sports you may train specific muscles and by means of mindfulness specific faculties based on consciousness/mind and its factors.
It manifests however as insight/wisdom for oneself and as insight/wisdom for others.


Kind regards
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby Reductor » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:26 am

MayaRefugee wrote:thereductor,

Thanks for your informative reply, I apologise if I am irritating you which it seems I am doing - :?



I'm not irritated so much as I am trying to challenge you.

As to your motive of disentangling others: first you need to disentangle yourself, then it is right and proper to help another.

Now, the Buddha's 'rightness' was not a permanent thing that passed away into Nibbana with him. It was a conditioned thing that made up his being (as part of his nervous system and physical body), and all conditioned things change and pass away. When he passed away into Nibbana we mean that all that was 'him' was left behind, cold as a lump of clay (the 'rightness' included), but that there was the releasing of consciousness from the shackles of samsara. What that consciousness can be called in only 'released', as there are no descriptions that even approach it.

Why is it that he had all this 'rightness'? The answer was that he really looked at reality, with an unwavering eye. You and I need to do the same. So, for now, just suppose that Buddha was telling us that there is no lasting and true self because there really is no lasting and true self -- then look long and hard, as he directed, at those things right in the present moment. Only when you see the truth will you know for yourself, and that is just what he was instructing everyone that came across his path to do.

Even though I seem to have been hard on you in my posts, I don't want you to think that you should keep these inquiries to yourself. Don't. But also remember that hard words are not necessarily your enemy, but might be there for your benefit.

Take care.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Mindfulness

Postby MayaRefugee » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:33 am

Thanks reductor, I just got the impression I might have been out of line or not up to par, I'm only scraping the surface of Buddhism and this lead me to think maybe my questions are too basic - :shrug:

I appreciate hard words if they're well intended and not used to "take the piss" so to speak, if you're guiding me in a positive direction (which you seem to be) please keep up the hard words.

Peace.
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby Reductor » Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:11 am

MayaRefugee wrote:Thanks reductor, I just got the impression I might have been out of line or not up to par, I'm only scraping the surface of Buddhism and this lead me to think maybe my questions are too basic - :shrug:

I appreciate hard words if they're well intended and not used to "take the piss" so to speak, if you're guiding me in a positive direction (which you seem to be) please keep up the hard words.

Peace.


I tend to over do my explanations at times and get, uhm, overly elaborate in my posts. :thinking: I will try to be more considerate of the fact that some posters are only beginning to scrape the surface of Buddhism. But I will still tell you what I think, to be sure :smile:

Have a good day.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Mindfulness

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:13 pm

'This is the only way, monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destruction of suffering and grief, for reaching the right path, for the attainment of Nibbana, namely, the four foundations of mindfulness. What are the four...?

...Verily, monks, whosoever practices these four foundations of mindfulness in this manner for seven years, then one of these two fruits may be expected by him: highest knowledge (arahantship) here and now, or if some remainder of clinging is yet present, the state of non-returning.


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

Good luck!

with metta

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With Metta

Karuna
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& Upekkha
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby Myotai » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:45 am

Interesting thread. However, what I see is a Theravada perspective struggling in terms of describing what it is that experiences or maybe mnore to the point what is it that is aware.

I think the Prasangikas' have this sorted (sorry Tilt)!

Two levels of reality. Conventional and Ultimate.

Ultimately there is no self. Utterly unfinable wither within aggregates or externally from them.

However, it appears conventionally as an appearance to mind in dependence upon those very aggregates. Just like a rainbow appears in dependence upon causes and conditions. But we also know its not really there...but there it is....ad infinitum!

Also just a small point, someone mentioned that "Mind can know itself". I think that logic falls down. Mind knowing itself is like saying a knife can cut itself. Mind is not a singularity, its another appearance in dependence upon a stream of thoughts, a narrative of sorts.

Knowing is a thought, awareness is an implication of a meeting between subject and object. Awareness is not a thing either.

Just my thoughts.
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