the place of cognition in satipatthana?

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the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:03 pm

most teachers teach "bare mindfulness" but where and when do we do the rest of insight? contemplating vanishing/arising/eternally/internally/etc.?
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:20 pm

Hi Alan,
alan... wrote:most teachers teach "bare mindfulness" but where and when do we do the rest of insight? contemplating vanishing/arising/eternally/internally/etc.?

I'm puzzled, since the Buddhist teachers I have paid attention to do teach those things. Probably not in their initial instructions, of course.

See, for example:

Ven Sujiva. Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/essentials.pdf

Retreat recordings by Patrick Kearney:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/audio.html

Various websites:
http://www.aimwell.org/
http://www.buddhanet.net/insight.htm
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

:anjali:
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:42 am

mikenz66 - do you mean that the teachers teach or not teach to "think" about what we notice

i just started to read the pdf book you linked but can you give a more specific part of the links you gave where it says that you should think

im just at the start of the book and it says :

There are certain special qualities connected with
mindfulness in insight meditation. First, it is not thinking.
We do not think, we just observe. It does not mean that during
a retreat, we do not think at all. We still think, but we are
mindful of the thinking. However, in the actual meditation
exercise, the thinking is put aside, and the mind with
concentrated awareness observes without thinking. Secondly,
when we are without thinking, the mind is kept to the present
or present occurrences. We do not go to the past or the future.
We keep the mind in the so-called present and know what is
happening to our meditation object. When we can do that,
then our mindfulness is concentrated precisely on what is
happening to our meditation object.


can you tell me where it is written about that you should think a little ? (maybe its even in the part i gave )
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:01 am

Hi PP,

The question was about developing insight. To me, that is understanding, rather than thinking. I was thinking about aspects like (P68):
THE IMPORTANCE OF NOTING INTENTION

The third thing you must not leave out—concerning mindfulness of
consciousness and mental states—is the aspect of intentions. Before
every action, an intention must arise. For example, after sitting for
some time, you might like to get up and walk. The mind will have
the intention to walk. It will tell you, “Get up and walk! You have
sat long enough.” After walking, you know it is time to sit, so the
mind will say, “Go and sit.” Because of the compulsion of the
intention to sit, you go and sit. Similarly for all other actions—the
intention to eat, the intention to drink, the intention to answer the
calls of nature, the intention to sleep, the intention to talk and so
forth—they will arise followed by the action.

Many of these intentions arise every day and they go about
unnoticed. If you can mindfully note all of the intentions that arise,
you will also be mindful of the action that follows. We start by taking
note of the major intentions connected with the four major postures—
walking, sitting, lying down and standing up. They usually occur
between each of these four major postures. If you can take note of
that then you can further extend your practice by taking note of the
intentions prior to the minor postures such as bending, stretching,
turning the head and so forth.

One way is to tell yourself, “I will not get up until I am able to
observe the intention to get up,” or “I will not sit until I am able to
watch the intention to sit.” If you can do that eventually the intention
will become very strong and you will be able to observe it. It comes
more like a strong urge, a strong desire, or a strong wish. One good
example is when there is a lot of pain and you really want to move
but you decide not to. Then the mind will tell you, “Move, move,
move! What is the use of sitting any more? Who do you think you
are? Are you trying to be a hero? You can be more mindful if you
move to another posture.” Then tell yourself, “Ah! That is the
intention to move, the intention to get up.” Take a good look at it.
Then, if necessary, move. Likewise, possibly, with the intention to
sleep when you first wake up in the morning and want just to stay
in bed.

Once you have started getting hold of intentions, you find that
the mind actually has a life of its own. You think you are controlling
the mind but the mind is controlling you more than you are
controlling it. If a person is not mindful, he acts largely on impulses.
He is not aware of his actions. That is why things like addictions
arise.
...

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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:04 am

Actually, I think IanAnd said roughly the same thing in Alan...'s other thread:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=15410&p=221612#p221603
IanAnd wrote:Yet, in order to develop progress in one's recognition and realization of the truths of the Dhamma, one needs to do contemplation. Especially the kind of contemplation espoused in the Satipatthana suttas, as those discourses detail how to go about examining and monitoring the mind and its movement. When you are able to catch the mind in an unwholesome movement and are able to preempt it and eventually eliminate it, you stand ready to diminish your own experience of dukkha! And since Gotama declared many times that it was the cessation of dukkha that was his main concern ("Formerly and also now, I make known only dukkha and the cessation of dukkha." — SN 22.86), you cannot go wrong.

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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:21 am

first thanks

So to make it clearer - as i read in a mahasi pdf book "practical vipassana exercises" he says not to think about anything and you will undertand automaticly - i think you agree on this

But is this true also when i have the small thoughts that are directed to the practice like : "hmmm all this experiences come and go very fast" i should try and note them as soon as possible and not think of them ?
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:41 am

purple planet wrote:So to make it clearer - as i read in a mahasi pdf book "practical vipassana exercises" he says not to think about anything and you will undertand automaticly

Can you show me where he says that?

As I read it the aim is to be aware of everything that arises, including thinking.

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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:44 am

The Satipatthana Sutta has this to say about thinking:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nysa.html
He knows the mind and mental objects, and the fetter that arises dependent on both; he knows how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.


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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:02 am

sorry i cant copy paste - its pages 26 to 28 - a small part of what he says :
" also notice this reflection if they occur , but he should not dwell on them"


it is said to be aware of everything just not to think about the "reflections" about reality but just to "note" them

contemplating vanishing/arising/eternally/internally/etc.?


- i understood this question as if should we contemplate/think about reality ? -and i guess the answer is no we should not it will come autiomaticly and this is what alan means (i think) by saying
"bare mindfulness"
- which means that even when this reflection rise we should just "note" them and that this reflections will come even without trying to "raise" them - am i right ?
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby alan... » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:49 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Alan,
alan... wrote:most teachers teach "bare mindfulness" but where and when do we do the rest of insight? contemplating vanishing/arising/eternally/internally/etc.?

I'm puzzled, since the Buddhist teachers I have paid attention to do teach those things. Probably not in their initial instructions, of course.

See, for example:

Ven Sujiva. Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/essentials.pdf

Retreat recordings by Patrick Kearney:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/audio.html

Various websites:
http://www.aimwell.org/
http://www.buddhanet.net/insight.htm
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

:anjali:
Mike



okay so can you just tell me please? all my readings seem to imply we should just be mindful and note and then drop everything that comes to mind but the satipatthana sutta says to contemplate arising/vanishing/etc., i read a commentary that says it's sequential, first the practitioner contemplates body as body, then once that's solid they contemplate arising/vanishing, then once they get it they can just do bare attention. but a lot of teachers teach to start off with bare attention.

basically, when are we supposed to consider things about reality and when are we supposed to just drop thoughts for non thinking mindfulness?
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby alan... » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:51 pm

mikenz66 wrote:The Satipatthana Sutta has this to say about thinking:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nysa.html
He knows the mind and mental objects, and the fetter that arises dependent on both; he knows how the arising of the non-arisen fetter comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen fetter comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned fetter comes to be.


:anjali:
Mike



right "he knows" so how does he know? by comparing the suttas to his experience right? which would be "thinking" and cognition? i'm confused and have never really been clear on this. a random person doing the same exercises with no knowledge of the suttas or dhamma whatsoever but only of mindfulness techniques wouldn't "know" any of this stuff.
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby alan... » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:51 pm

purple planet wrote:sorry i cant copy paste - its pages 26 to 28 - a small part of what he says :
" also notice this reflection if they occur , but he should not dwell on them"


it is said to be aware of everything just not to think about the "reflections" about reality but just to "note" them

contemplating vanishing/arising/eternally/internally/etc.?


- i understood this question as if should we contemplate/think about reality ? -and i guess the answer is no we should not it will come autiomaticly and this is what alan means (i think) by saying
"bare mindfulness"
- which means that even when this reflection rise we should just "note" them and that this reflections will come even without trying to "raise" them - am i right ?



how are we learning anything if we never think about reality though?
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:07 pm

a random person doing the same exercises with no knowledge of the suttas or dhamma whatsoever but only of mindfulness techniques wouldn't "know" any of this stuff.


actually this part is quite clear to me - for instance impermanence - i now am back to the start but when i was really mindful all day long - in one walking meditation i started to get all the "events" really fast like - seeing,hearing,pain,hearing,lifting,moving,hearing,pain,presure,cold ect and it was really fast - i guess that this is the begining of "seeing" impermanence when stuff "go away" after you notice them its like "seeing" they are impermanent -

so while a didnt "see" anything for sure i think i can understand this very well - or maybe if you decide to go somewhere and you move your legs without thinking of every movment you will think about how there is no you who decides to do each step - only a guess but just to give ideas

that is not a part i think is problematic - this you can understand without thinking about any sutta

hi alan saw this :

well what i'm saying is i spent years doing only mindfulness and concentration without knowing how to attempt to develop wisdom through cognition. my mind becam VERY calm and collected, but this alone brings nothing. imagine someone being taught only these two things (how to be mindful and how to calm the mind during meditation) and literally nothing else on the dhamma, i don't think it would get them very far.


that means you probobly mean something deeper then what i am thinking about -
when you say mindfulness did you note stuff ? did you label ?
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:25 pm

Hi Alan,
alan... wrote:okay so can you just tell me please? all my readings seem to imply we should just be mindful and note and then drop everything that comes to mind but the satipatthana sutta says to contemplate arising/vanishing/etc., i read a commentary that says it's sequential, first the practitioner contemplates body as body, then once that's solid they contemplate arising/vanishing, then once they get it they can just do bare attention. but a lot of teachers teach to start off with bare attention.


"Just be mindful and note and then drop everything that comes to mind" is a common, and useful, instruction when beginning this sort of practice, and it could well be useful to just follow that advice for some time (months, not hours or minutes...), making sure that you really are observing, in particular, the body and feeling tone of sensations, and not just imagining it. [I'm sure I spent months with the concept of rising and falling of the abdomen and the motion of the feet, not the actual sensations... It's simple, but not easy, and it really helps to have some in-person interaction.]

However, I don't see that the totality of the instructions from any teacher I'm familiar with as being as simplistic as "just be mindful and note then drop everything that comes to mind". I gave an extensive quotation from Bhante Sujiva above about seeing how intentions arise, and there are many discussions in that book about other aspects of satipatthana.

alan... wrote:basically, when are we supposed to consider things about reality and when are we supposed to just drop thoughts for non thinking mindfulness?

I think the communication problem I am having with you and PP is your equating of "knowing" with "thinking". Thinking is about concepts. For example "my leg is hurting". What we are trying to know is the basic sensations that are arising: "itching, heat, pain,...". You start to see that "leg" is a concept that you are concocting from those basic sensations. When you can see this a bit more clearly, you can discern, in the example from Bhante Sujiva, intention arising before each movement. This starts to give you some inkling of the cause-and-effect that the Suttas are talking about. Note that it is not "thinking about intention" it's "knowing intention". And it takes quite a lot of time to develop.

There are many other issues. However, I can't write a post that contains all the information in, for example, Bhante Sujiva's book, or in 10+ hours of retreat talks by Patrick Kearney:
http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/audio.html

:anjali:
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:53 pm

Mike i also have "intention" and "want " events here and there but it might be just my imagination

What im thinking all along this thread is that you think just like me :

I think the communication problem I am having with you and PP is your equating of "knowing" with "thinking". Thinking is about concepts.


thinking about intention" it's "knowing intention"
so you are actually saying by my understanding here that "knowing"/"seeing" is enough and there is no need to think
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:59 pm

purple planet wrote:so you are actually saying by my understanding here that "knowing"/"seeing" is enough and there is no need to think

You can't function without thinking. So you'd better not stop thinking...

But, as I understand it, the Buddha is urging us to know our experience in detail, not just to think about it.

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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:09 pm

but if i will note that thinking it will go away
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:12 pm

purple planet wrote:but if i will note that thinking it will go away

Yes, of course that's what tends to happen. So under controlled circumstances, doing meditation exercises, you can discern the arising and cessation of various phenomena.

But if you stop thinking all the time you won't function very well...

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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby purple planet » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:31 pm

Hi mike i like your answers - especailly in different more clearer threads :lol:

i try to avoid looking at the internet so this thread is a problem for me - so i will stop comenting on this post i think it just strengthens my OCD by wanting to check it so much

i think i partly understand but not in a full clear way but its good enough for now i hope i will understand better after finishing the pdf
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Re: the place of cognition in satipatthana?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:27 pm

Hi Purple,

Don't worry, understanding is an on-going process.

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