Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings TheDhamma,

I think the distinction is... is it mindfulness of the Dhamma, or is it is mindfulness of mental objects?


Mental objects, but when one sees dhammas - "in the seen just the seen" - one sees Dhamma, Truth - anicca, dukkha, anatta, paticassaumpdada. But what is seeing is not doctrine or concepts, but the reality of the conditioned rise and fall of what is perceived.

The Dhamma is the framework, and the mental objects are the observable reality.

The dhamma (mental objects) are observed using the Dhamma.


Dhamma as teaching is a tool to guide the seeing towards "in the seen just the seen:, which is different from Dhamma as truth as a result of seeing clearly.
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 Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:51 am

Greetings Tilt,

Agreed.

Dhamma as teaching is a tool to guide the seeing towards "in the seen just the seen:, which is different from Dhamma as truth as a result of seeing clearly.


Good point. I wasn't thinking of Dhamma against that definition, but that is of course true. Even using the definition of Dhamma as the truth of the way things are, what I said here still applies.

If it did mean Dhamma (capital D), then all four frames of reference could justifiably be called Dhammanupassana, since they all involve using mindfulness based on the Dhamma... but they're not all called Dhammanupassana... only this one.


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 Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby Reductor » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:24 am

smokey wrote:I have been reading on how to contemplate: Five Hindrances, Six Sense Bases, Five Aggregates and Factors of enlightenment in that book. But it is not said in the book how to contemlate certain aspects of the teaching (Dhamma)?
So my question would be how does one contemplate Nibbana and how does one contemplate certain aspects of teaching (Dhamma)?


Well, I would discourage you from contemplating Nibbana as an object in itself. Just set that goal aside.

As for contemplating certain aspects of the teaching, in the sense of contemplating the teachings, I think you would have to have read widely first, then watch what is going on in your mind. When a mental object comes up you look at it and take it as a starting point into the teachings your recall. If it is one sensuality you would recall any teachings of sensuality and their drawbacks, and how those draw backs fit into the over all scheme of suffering. Here you would recall as much Dhamma as you can, and see what that Dhamma says about that mental object, and try and understand WHY it says it.

That is my only suggestion.

Back to Nibbana:

From: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
83. Another comparison

"The paths, fruitions, and nibbana are personal: You can truly see them only for yourself. Those who practice to that level will see them for themselves, will be clear about them for themselves, will totally end all their doubts about the Buddha's teaching. If you haven't reached that level, all you can do is keep on guessing. No matter how profoundly someone else may explain them to you, your knowledge about them will be guesswork. Whatever is guesswork will have to be uncertain.

"It's like the turtle and the fish. The turtle lives in two worlds: the world on land and the world in the water. As for the fish, it lives only in one world, the water. If it were to get on land, it would die.

"One day, when a turtle came down into the water, it told a group of fish about how much fun it was to be on land: The lights and colors were pretty, and there were none of the difficulties that came from being in the water.

"The fish were intrigued, and wanted to see what it was like on land, so they asked the turtle, 'Is it very deep on land?'

"The turtle answered, 'What would be deep about it? It's land.'

"The fish: 'Are there lots of waves on land?'

"The turtle: 'What would be wavy about it? It's land.'

"The fish: 'Is it murky with mud?'

"The turtle: 'What would be murky about it? It's land.'

"Notice the questions asked by the fish. They simply take their experience of water to ask the turtle, and the turtle can do nothing but say no.

"The mind of a run-of-the-mill person guessing about the paths, fruitions, and nibbana is no different from the fish."
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 Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby smokey » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:48 pm

Has anyone learned about what I asked in this thread?
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Re: Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:26 am

Greetings Smokey,

smokey wrote:Has anyone learned about what I asked in this thread?


Which specific aspect... I see you've made a few posts, with a few questions... perhaps you could summarise "where you're at"?

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby smokey » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:15 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Smokey,

smokey wrote:Has anyone learned about what I asked in this thread?


Which specific aspect... I see you've made a few posts, with a few questions... perhaps you could summarise "where you're at"?

Metta,
Retro. :)


For an example how to contemplate emptiness, Nibbana etc.? What I mean is how to contemplate certain aspects of the teaching?
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Re: Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:19 pm

http://jayarava.blogspot.com/2009/10/dh ... event.html

here is an FWBO blog sent to m by a Bhikkhu friend of mine regarding how Dhamma should be translated. the blog seams to be fairly well researched on the research done into the meaning.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:08 am

Hi Smokey,

smokey wrote:I have a question. How to practice Mindfulness of Mental Objects (Dhammanupassana)?


Since mental qualities (dhamma) are instantly manifested in the qualities of inbreath and outbreath, an excellent starting point is noticing the attitude to inbreath and outbreath.

See the instructions in Patisambhidamagga:

"(i) By avoiding consciousness which runs after the past (breaths) and is attacked by distraction, (consciousness) is concentrated in one place.

(ii) By avoiding consciousness which looks forward to the future (breaths) and is attacked by wavering, (consciousness) is fixed (there).

(iii) By exerting slack consciousness attacked by indolence, one abandons indolence.

(iv) By restraining over-exerted consciousness attacked by agitation, one abandons agitation.

(v) By being clearly comprehending about consciousness which is attracted and attacked by greed, one abandons greed.

(vi) By being clearly comprehending about consciousness which is discontented and attacked by ill will, one abandons ill will."

http://bps.lk/bp_library/bp502s/bp502_p ... c166300489

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Re: Mindfulness Of Mental Objects (dhammanupassana)

Postby Dmytro » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:25 am

Hi Smokey,

smokey wrote:For an example how to contemplate emptiness, Nibbana etc.? What I mean is how to contemplate certain aspects of the teaching?


IMHO, there's no need to overcomplicate 'dhammanupassana'. Essentially, that's contemplation of mental qualities, either skillful (kusala) or unskillful (akusala), as in discrimination of mental qualities (dhamma-vicaya):

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of qualities... once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of qualities... once it has arisen."

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

Another essential feature of 'dhammanupassana' is that one learns to track the dynamics of mental qualities, their prerequisites and causes. The Four Thruths of the Noble (ariya-sacca) and Conditioned Arising (paticca-samuppada) provide a framework for such cause-and-effect research.

http://dhamma.ru/lib/paticcas.htm

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