dhammas

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
brahmabull
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Re: dhammas

Post by brahmabull » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:19 pm

The quoted Theravada view of dhamma is in complete agreement with Nagarjuna so long as you take the word "arising" to mean an arising in the sense of provisionally saying "arising" and not a "truly arising" arising, because Nagarjuna's main point was that conditional arising is no arising. Then, he used that point to say samsara and nirvana are no different. Based on that Mahayana was born (and Vajrayana and Dzogchen) (IMHO). Why this matters is that if you just get that single point of the quoted matter, then that's pretty much the sum total realization of all Buddhas in any so-called yana.

Gena1480
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Re: dhammas

Post by Gena1480 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:16 pm

Brahmabull
i have to disagree with teaching that samsara is nibbana
samsara is cycles of suffering it is 31 plains of existence
it includes the sense sphere realm
it includes the fine material realm
it includes the immaterial realm
if we look at the suttas the one is free from this world
using unestablished consciousness
he is not in the samsara
he can not be tracked
this tells us clearly the nibbana is not samsara
plus one who is free has destroyed
the taint of sense desire
the taint of being
the taint of ignorance
he will not be born in any of the realms
metta

brahmabull
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Re: dhammas

Post by brahmabull » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:41 am

Gena1480 wrote:Brahmabull
i have to disagree with teaching that samsara is nibbana
samsara is cycles of suffering it is 31 plains of existence
it includes the sense sphere realm
it includes the fine material realm
it includes the immaterial realm
if we look at the suttas the one is free from this world
using unestablished consciousness
he is not in the samsara
he can not be tracked
this tells us clearly the nibbana is not samsara
plus one who is free has destroyed
the taint of sense desire
the taint of being
the taint of ignorance
he will not be born in any of the realms
metta
As a matter of conventional perception, there are all these realms and samsara and nirvana are two. But once you begin to look direct at dhammas, there are no two dhammas, one belonging to samsara and one belonging to nirvana. Samsara is the result of not looking at dhammas due to avijja, wrong attention. Nirvana is when one looks at the dhammas and relinquishes all passions for dhammas, by realizing they are unreal. A dhamma was never real to begin with. A conditional arising is not something arisen. If I draw a circle in the sand, I didn't create a circle of sand. Thus Nagarjuna's conclusion that howsoever is nirvana, exactly to that extant is samsara as well. Conditional arising is all there is whether you are samsaric or not. Mistaking a shadow for a snake does not make a snake, realizing it was just a shadow does not make a snake go away. Samsara and any dhamma is not coming or going. Nagarjuna aptly asks us to inquire what is avijja in essence. Is an error something? It is like mistaking nothing for a shadow. When this realization is born, you totally relax, because there is nothing to accept or reject, nowhere to go and nothing to do.

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Viscid
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Re: dhammas

Post by Viscid » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:09 am

Ben wrote:That is brilliant. Thanks for sharing that Tilt.
For me, it describes the experience during insight meditation where Dhammas are perceived rising and falling in rapid succession, just like froth. Like bubbles effervescing. Waves of phenomena shimmering like auroras.
Man that sounds so cool. What's that, like, 15-20 years of dedicated meditation experience?

Maybe some day. *sigh*
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

brahmabull
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Re: dhammas

Post by brahmabull » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:02 am

Viscid wrote:
Ben wrote:That is brilliant. Thanks for sharing that Tilt.
For me, it describes the experience during insight meditation where Dhammas are perceived rising and falling in rapid succession, just like froth. Like bubbles effervescing. Waves of phenomena shimmering like auroras.
Man that sounds so cool. What's that, like, 15-20 years of dedicated meditation experience?

Maybe some day. *sigh*
If you are dedicated to the vipassana-jhana system. But this kind of concentration practice is not part of all systems. I this is not how I practice.

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Re: dhammas

Post by ground » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:18 am

tiltbillings wrote: Here is the whole passage, writtin in the dense and difficult commentarial style, that Ven Nanamoli quotes, PoP 667-8:

“‘When continuity is disrupted’ means when continuity is exposed by observing the perpetual otherness of states as they go on occurring in succession. For it is not through the connectedness of states that the characteristic of impermanence becomes apparent to one who rightly observes rise and fall, but rather the characteristic becomes more thoroughly evident through their disconnectedness, as if they were iron darts.


IMO this shows quite nicely that the thought "impermanence" strongly depends on thoughts implying "permanence" like "continuity" and/or "connectedness".
Or to state it more provocative (please do not feel offended, "it's just words"): "Impermanance" is just a thought but cannot be directly (non-conceptually) perceived. "conceptually" here implies even the subtlest kinds of "thoughts" (i.e. synthesis, actively adding to what "just is").


Kind regards

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Re: dhammas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:30 am

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: Here is the whole passage, writtin in the dense and difficult commentarial style, that Ven Nanamoli quotes, PoP 667-8:

“‘When continuity is disrupted’ means when continuity is exposed by observing the perpetual otherness of states as they go on occurring in succession. For it is not through the connectedness of states that the characteristic of impermanence becomes apparent to one who rightly observes rise and fall, but rather the characteristic becomes more thoroughly evident through their disconnectedness, as if they were iron darts.


IMO this shows quite nicely that the thought "impermanence" strongly depends on thoughts implying "permanence" like "continuity" and/or "connectedness".
Or to state it more provocative (please do not feel offended, "it's just words"): "Impermanance" is just a thought but cannot be directly (non-conceptually) perceived. "conceptually" here implies even the subtlest kinds of "thoughts" (i.e. synthesis, actively adding to what "just is").


Kind regards

the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." Ud 37 (4.1)
Thus the Buddha. So, according to you, what is perceived?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: dhammas

Post by Sylvester » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:29 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Now, I truly do not have a clue as to what you are talking about. It does not seem to, at all, be addressing what Harvey is saying.
For the Mādhyamaka the classical Theravāda version of the dhamma theory & the two truth theory cannot withstand analysis. Therefore, even if one accepts that an adherent of the classical Theravāda would consider the Mahāyāna critique of sabhāva, etc., to be largely irrelevant as Harvey suggests, for a mādhyamika this critique of the classical Theravāda version of the dhamma theory & the two truth theory would indeed be relevant.

Hi Geoff

Would it be fair to say that the Madhyamaka posits sunyata to be the Noumenon underlying Phenomena?

If so, what would perhaps be more pertinent would be to note that the Theravadins' dhamma theory rejects the possibility of a Noumenal, and that Phenomenalism is all there is (Samyutta Commentary 2.76 to the Lokayatika Sutta, SN 12.48). (I'm using "phenomenalism", not in the Husserlian/Nanaviran sense, but in the classical Platonic sense). I think the Commentary correctly identifies the "sabbam atthi" and "sabbam ekattam" views as belonging to the Vedic Noumenalism (the "oldest cosmology") which traces everything in the cosmos to "Sat" (being).

Would the Madhyamaka objection to the Theravadin dhamma theory still be relevant, given that the Sarvastivadins posited that DO is a "dharma", while the Theravadins do not make such an equation, preferring instead to characterise DO via abstract nouns, rather than nouns (dhammaṭṭhitatā, dhammaniyāmatā)? I think the fact that the Theravadin sought to insulate its vision of DO from Noumenalism would make any Madhyamaka critique of svabhava that resorts to some noumenal sunyata also irrelevant to the Theravada.

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Re: dhammas

Post by Nyana » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:58 pm

Sylvester wrote:Would it be fair to say that the Madhyamaka posits sunyata to be the Noumenon underlying Phenomena?
For all of the major Indian Mādhyamaka authors and the majority of Tibetan Mādhyamaka authors and teachers the answer would be no. Emptiness is also empty. It's an absence of self-nature (niḥsvabhāvatā), technically called a nominal ultimate (paryāyaparamārtha).* It's just a soteriological convention used to counter and eliminate superimposition/reification (samāropa). The actual ultimate is a non-nominal ultimate (aparyāyaparamārtha) which is freedom from all reference points whatsoever. That is, cognition has abandoned even the conceptions of emptiness, non-arising, and so on (i.e. all discrimination of empty vs. non-empty or non-arising vs. arising is eliminated). For a mādhyamika this is the only way to realize the complete pacification of mental proliferation (niṣprapañca), which is synonymous with nirvāṇa (i.e. the total extinguishment of passion, aggression, & delusion).

In practice, a mādhyamika meditator in meditative equipoise attends to their individual momentary mind-stream just as a Sarvāstivāda or classical Theravāda meditator does in meditative equipoise. But for the mādhyamika, vipaśyanā is employed to eliminate all superimposition with reference to their mind-stream.
Sylvester wrote:Would the Madhyamaka objection to the Theravadin dhamma theory still be relevant, given that the Sarvastivadins posited that DO is a "dharma", while the Theravadins do not make such an equation, preferring instead to characterise DO via abstract nouns, rather than nouns (dhammaṭṭhitatā, dhammaniyāmatā)? I think the fact that the Theravadin sought to insulate its vision of DO from Noumenalism would make any Madhyamaka critique of svabhava that resorts to some noumenal sunyata also irrelevant to the Theravada.
The easiest way to highlight the difference between classical Theravāda and Mādhyamaka is in terms of the two truths. As you know, the classical Theravāda considers designations such as person, house, cart, and computer to be examples of conventional truth. And for them, mind (citta), mental factors (cetasikā), form (rūpa), and nibbāna are elevated to the level of ultimate truth. But the Mādhyamaka, on the other hand, considers all of these to be conventional as well. The only ultimate truth for them is the so-called non-nominal ultimate -- "freedom from extremes."


*That's "nominal" not "noumenal"!

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Re: dhammas

Post by nathan » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:33 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:In practice, a mādhyamika meditator in meditative equipoise attends to their individual momentary mind-stream just as a Sarvāstivāda or classical Theravāda meditator does in meditative equipoise. But for the mādhyamika, vipaśyanā is employed to eliminate all superimposition with reference to their mind-stream.

The easiest way to highlight the difference between classical Theravāda and Mādhyamaka is in terms of the two truths. As you know, the classical Theravāda considers designations such as person, house, cart, and computer to be examples of conventional truth. And for them, mind (citta), mental factors (cetasikā), form (rūpa), and nibbāna are elevated to the level of ultimate truth. But the Mādhyamaka, on the other hand, considers all of these to be conventional as well. The only ultimate truth for them is the so-called non-nominal ultimate -- "freedom from extremes."

*That's "nominal" not "noumenal"!
Would not statements about the conditions upon attaining arahantship such as found in this sutta refer to a similar absence of superimpositions with reference to the 'mind-stream'?

"So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by nathan on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: dhammas

Post by ground » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:34 pm

tiltbillings wrote: Here is the whole passage, writtin in the dense and difficult commentarial style, that Ven Nanamoli quotes, PoP 667-8:

“‘When continuity is disrupted’ means when continuity is exposed by observing the perpetual otherness of states as they go on occurring in succession. For it is not through the connectedness of states that the characteristic of impermanence becomes apparent to one who rightly observes rise and fall, but rather the characteristic becomes more thoroughly evident through their disconnectedness, as if they were iron darts.
TMingyur wrote:
IMO this shows quite nicely that the thought "impermanence" strongly depends on thoughts implying "permanence" like "continuity" and/or "connectedness".
Or to state it more provocative (please do not feel offended, "it's just words"): "Impermanance" is just a thought but cannot be directly (non-conceptually) perceived. "conceptually" here implies even the subtlest kinds of "thoughts" (i.e. synthesis, actively adding to what "just is").


Kind regards

tiltbillings wrote:
the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." Ud 37 (4.1)
Thus the Buddha. So, according to you, what is perceived?


The term "perception" how it is applied in the sutta pitaka refers to "ordinary perception" which includes a synthetic aspect.
This becomes obvious here:
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."

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


Therefore "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated" actually parallels the recommendation to cultivate the perception of ugliness. The former is an antidot to perception of permanence while the latter is an antidot to perception of attractiveness.


Kind regards

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Re: dhammas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:37 pm

TMingyur wrote:. . .
Does not answer the question.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: dhammas

Post by ground » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:39 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:. . .
Does not answer the question.
I think it does. There is no object that objectively corresponds to what is perceived because it is perception itself that synthesizes its objects after having been conditioned appropriately.
Conditioning <-> Counter-conditioning .... ---> knowing


Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dhammas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:46 pm

TMingyur wrote: The term "perception" how it is applied in the sutta pitaka refers to "ordinary perception" which includes a synthetic aspect.
This becomes obvious here:
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."
Therefore "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated" actually parallels the recommendation to cultivate the perception of ugliness. The former is an antidot to perception of permanence while the latter is an antidot to perception of attractiveness.
the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' So, you are saying that conceptual thinking is the practice here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

brahmabull
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Re: dhammas

Post by brahmabull » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:47 pm

TMingyur wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote:. . .
Does not answer the question.
I think it does. There is no object that objectively corresponds to what is perceived because it is perception itself that synthesizes its objects after having been conditioned approriately.

Kind regards
You are harboring a gross misunderstanding of impermanence. Dhammas are impermanent is part of panna.

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Re: dhammas

Post by ground » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:54 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
TMingyur wrote: The term "perception" how it is applied in the sutta pitaka refers to "ordinary perception" which includes a synthetic aspect.
This becomes obvious here:
"Feeling, perception, & consciousness are conjoined, friend, not disjoined. It is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them. For what one feels, that one perceives. What one perceives, that one cognizes. Therefore these qualities are conjoined, not disjoined, and it is not possible, having separated them one from another, to delineate the difference among them."
Therefore "the perception of impermanence should be cultivated" actually parallels the recommendation to cultivate the perception of ugliness. The former is an antidot to perception of permanence while the latter is an antidot to perception of attractiveness.
the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' So, you are saying that conceptual thinking is the practice here.
It is not the "conceptual thinking" in its gross form but a subtle form of it ... like mere "re-cognizing" but not thinking "Ah ... this is that". Re-cognizing is possible only after having been conditioned through learning. Therefore re-cognizing is synthesis because something appearing "now" is never something that appeared in different time-space (in the past).

Kind regards

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Re: dhammas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:57 pm

TMingyur wrote:It is not the "conceptual thinking" in its gross form but a subtle form of it ... like mere "re-cognizing" but not thinking "Ah ... this is that". Re-cognizing is possible only after having been conditioned through learning. Therefore re-cognizing is synthesis because something appearing "now" is never something that appeared in different time-space (in the past).
So, it is still on a conceptual level, according to you. A rose by any other name . . . .
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: dhammas

Post by ground » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:01 pm

General:
Conditioning <-> Counter-conditioning .... ---> knowing

Particular 1:
Perceiving attractiveness <-> perceiving ugliness .... ---> non-conceptual knowing, i.e. liberation from both, attractiveness and ugliness

Particular 2:
Perceiving permanence <-> perceiving impermanence .... ---> non-conceptual knowing, i.e. liberation from both, permanence and impermanence


Liberation is "the middle way".


Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: dhammas

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:02 pm

TMingyur wrote:General:
Conditioning <-> Counter-conditioning .... ---> knowing

Particular 1:
Perceiving attractiveness <-> perceiving ugliness .... ---> non-conceptual knowing, i.e. liberation from both, attractiveness and ugliness

Particular2:
Perceiving permanence <-> perceiving impermanence .... ---> non-conceptual knowing, i.e. liberation from both, permanence and impermanence


Kind regards
Got it. Don't agree with it, but since this would going way off topic, I'll let it stand there.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: dhammas

Post by Nyana » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:18 pm

nathan wrote:Would not statements about the conditions upon attaining arahantship such as found in this sutta refer to a similar absence of superimpositions with reference to the 'mind-stream'?

"So it is with an arahant whose mental effluents are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?"
Yes, of course. The Pāli suttas, as well as the Pāli Paṭisambhidāmagga and the Pāli Abhidhammapiṭaka are in complete accord with Mādhyamaka (with the possible exception of a few points in the Kathāvatthu). The difference concerns the classical Theravāda interpretation of these texts.

Numerous Indian and Tibetan mādhyamikas accept that an arahant full realizes emptiness and eliminates superimposition, and that it's absurd to claim that they do not.

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