Mindfulness

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:20 pm

Myotai wrote: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.
And if one takes Nagarjuna seriously, and there is no reason not to, "conventional" reality is no less real than "ultimate" reality. When Nagarjuna talks about two truths, sometime referred to as the "relative" and the "absolute," it is misleading, however, to make a neo-platonistic assumption here that one is "merely relative" and the other a higher, an absolute truly true truth. Both are true. The one is the truth that things exist as the result of causes and conditions, i.e., relatively, and the other is that things do not exist in any absolute sense, i.e., they are empty of any permanent, absolute, unchanging reality.

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

If the goal is to eventually eliminate the notion of an "I" and you actually do eliminate the notion of an "I" how could you say "I" is being mindful?
The only real question here is what is being eliminated?
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 Myotai » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:31 pm

The only real question here is what is being eliminated?


Maybe just the notion of an inherently existent 'I'...?
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby Myotai » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:36 pm

Also I agree that an undue emphasis on one of the Two Truths is skewed.

Thing is though that most people will agree with convention, by impliation, things do exist.

Problem is that when we only see conventional truth its massively one sided and produces suffering.

Seeing Ultimate Truth reveals the wiring behind the board and insight into phenomena (including mind, thought and stuff :quote: )

Its not that things exist or don't exist. Its more to do with their mode of existence and how we experience that.

Things do exist, their appearance however is deceptive.

What do you think? (no pun intended!)
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby rohana » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:04 pm

Dan74 wrote:As far as I can tell awareness is the fundamental, it defies description.

Is this really contentious?

It could be contentious, if you're implying that viññāna is not dependently arisen.

In this excellent talk by Bhikkhu Anālayo he points out that it's very important to proceed to a stage where one realizes that 'that which is aware' is also arising and passing away, to prevent one from holding onto viññāna as a substantial entity.

From the talk:
      "Udayabbhaya ñāna - rise and fall. That's a key experience. Experiencing 'myself' - body and mind, without any exception as something that is impermanent. Something that arises and passes away. And this is the main working ground for vipassanā meditation. And it's not that easy because they often have it that meditators do experience body passing away and part of the mind, but there's somehow that feeling of that which knows impermanence being a cozy little stable thing. So everything's passing away, passing away... but there's this very nice thing - I'm sitting back, and that experience of knowing that change. And it's very very important to catch out that part. Because when that moves, things really are moving. Then really vipassanā starts."
      - Bhikkhu Anālayo

"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby rohana » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:36 pm

tiltbillings wrote:And if one takes Nagarjuna seriously, and there is no reason not to, "conventional" reality is no less real than "ultimate" reality. When Nagarjuna talks about two truths, sometime referred to as the "relative" and the "absolute," it is misleading, however, to make a neo-platonistic assumption here that one is "merely relative" and the other a higher, an absolute truly true truth. Both are true. The one is the truth that things exist as the result of causes and conditions, i.e., relatively, and the other is that things do not exist in any absolute sense, i.e., they are empty of any permanent, absolute, unchanging reality.

I think Ven. Ñānānanda's discussion of the Madhyāmika system can be relevant here:

    Thus the main prong of attack is levelled at the concept of the soul as the controlling agent who is capable of experiencing happiness, which necessarily has to be permanent in order to be perfect. It is true that what gives rise to this notion is the idea of permanence or substantiality, but this latter is sufficiently rendered by the term 'nicca'. The illusion of substantiality is linked with the psychological impulse for happiness (sukha), which in its turn sustains the illusion of the ego (attà). Now, the Mâdhyamika system often seems to stress this notion of substantiality underlying the illusion of an 'âtman', thereby giving an objective twist to that word. As already indicated, the word 'nicca' by itself does sufficient justice to this primary notion of substantiality which originates at the cognitive level. In 'sukha' and 'attà' we have the affective and conative reactions to the illusion of permanence. Hence selfhood is to be found at the innermost conative impulses within the mind. It is not something out there in the material objects or in concepts, for that matter. It is what we attribute to them or superimpose on them. Therefore, to believe that by merely demolishing concepts or theories one can rise above them is to stop at the fringe of the problem. In coining the two expressions, 'pudgala nairâtmya' and 'dharmanairâtmya', the Mâdhyamikas seem to have ignored the original significance of the term 'anattà’. According to the early Buddhist point of view, there can be no basis for such a distinction since the dharmas or elements, when they are regarded as being one's self or as belonging to one's self, would thereby become objects of his mind and part of his five aggregates. When it was said that one should look upon all dhammas as anattâ, it only meant that one has to regard them as not being one's own self or a part thereof. Perhaps a better way to bring out the crux of the present argument would be to pose the question whether there will be any dharma-nairâtmya left over to be realised, when one has realised the so-called pudgala-nairâtmya.

    - Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought, Bhikkhu Ñānānanda
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43
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Re: Mindfulness

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:34 pm

rohana wrote:I think Ven. Ñānānanda's discussion of the Madhyāmika system can be relevant here:

    Thus the main prong of attack . . . - Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought, Bhikkhu Ñānānanda
It is worth noting that Ven Nanananda in his book is reflecting T.V.R. Murti's absolutist take on Nagarjuna, which is hardly an accurate reflection of Nagarjuna's thought. Ven Nanananda, in later writings takes a very different point of view in regards Nagarjuna. As it stands, the comments in the otherwise excellent Concept and Reality are not an accurate reflection of Nagarjuna's thought.

Ven Nanananda wrote:Teach­ers like Nāgār­juna brought to light what was already there [in the Pāli suttas] but was hid­den from view. Unfor­tu­nately his later fol­low­ers turned it in to a vāda....

When I first read the Kārikā I too was doubt­ing Ven. Nāgārjuna’s san­ity. But the work needs to be under­stood in the con­text. He was tak­ing a jab at the Sarvāstivādins. To be hon­est, even the oth­ers deserve the rebuke, although they now try to get away by using Sarvās­tivāda as an excuse. How skilled Ven. Nāgār­juna must have been, to com­pose those verses so ele­gantly and fill­ing them with so much mean­ing, like the Dhamma­pada verses. It’s quite amazing.
Unfortunately, I do not have the link to this.
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 retrofuturist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:24 pm

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:Unfortunately, I do not have the link to this.

It's from the Heretic Sage interviews, which David is in the process of trying to get hosted on DhammaWiki.

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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