mikenz66 wrote:Could you elaborate on this. I don't see the distinction myself, since as far as I can see, paying attention and seeing rising and falling in terms of aggregates, sense bases, etc, seeems to result in disenchantment with essentially everything.
By all means it's correct practice as depicted in the sutta and it supports disenchantment, but it is only a subset of the total end-to-end practice that is taught in each of the four satipatthanas found in the Satipatthana Sutta. It is only the one sentence coloured in red below
. (It's interesting to note that the ti-lakkhana are not mentioned in the satipatthana practice... I'll leave you to determine whether that omission is of any significance or not. A new topic perhaps? - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=12219
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To use vedana as an example...
"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.' When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'
"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'
"In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves.
... I would regard these four differently coloured sections as progressively more advanced means of "remain[ing] focused on feelings in & of themselves". In that regards, they are a progressive advancement of four steps, parallel to the Buddha's sixteen steps on anapanasati. Here they constitute:
1. The initial awareness of x
2. The deconstruction of x into constituent components (i.e. analysis of the parts)
3. The removal of the support underpinning the constituent components
4. The conscious non-appropriation of x
It's interesting to observe the parallels between this sequence and the Four Noble Truths themselves.
The following from Soma Thera, indicates why the practice should be followed through to the end of the section, and not left at Step 2, the "analysis of the parts"
Soma wrote:Analysis of the parts lays bare the constituent components. Analysis of the relations gives a sense of the totality. All the differences that make for uniqueness are seen as due to subtle distinctions of relations. And the uniqueness of the personality, individuality, and entirety of a living being depends on the countless number of ever changing relations, their infinite variety, subtle nuances, and endless possibilities in each separate life-flux. The analytic nature of the Way leads one finally to the vision of the sentient being as a uniquely related totality that transcends the parts and has a character all its own. The sense of totality to which the logic of analysis leads is realized as true in the intensity of the absorptive or unifying activity of concentrative thought.
Observations of arising-ceasing dhamma (again, I'll refer you back to your earlier topic on the subject if you wish to investigate further) contribute to analysis of the relations. Again, Soma Thera...
Soma wrote:Only that which is relative is analysable; only that which is conditioned and dependent on something else. The absolute, the unconditioned, and the independent are not analysable. Is there anything absolute in the sentient being, or is everything in the sentient being relative? The answer has to be found out, by the aspirant, after being convinced by valid thought and experience, in order to reach the first glimpse of the goal. By training to think along the lines indicated in the Way he will be able to conclude with certainty what the nature of sentient individuality really is. On the immovable basis of such correct knowledge rests the final realization of supra mundane perfection.
Satipatthana Commentary wrote:As the contemplation on origination-and-dissolution-things, too, is split up as regards the scope of the object, it is not possible to objectify both origination and dissolution at the same time.
Thus, attempts to do so demonstrate that "the scope of the object" is an arbitrary designation because dependending on the frame of reference, something could similarly be discerned as arising or
ceasing. Consider by way of simile, "Is the day ceasing or the night arising?"... how is such a question answered correctly?
By focusing solely on arising and dissolution of a given
object never challenges "the scope of the object", and the designation underlying it. The "object" is erroneously taken as "given". In the case of the night and day simile, whether the object experience anicca was earlier formed (sankhata) and discerned (nama-rupa) as "night" or "day". All formed objects are entirely relative - that is the vision the full practice leads to, and how the final step of non-appropriation is facilitated.
mikenz66 wrote:That's good, I guess, whatever non-diffusion is...
Soma wrote:This is the only satisfying way for the seeker of truth when the diffuseness [papañca] of the external world with its thin layer of culture, comfort and allurement, ceases to be interesting and is found to lack true value. The seeker knows to a certainty that what he wants is to be found in the realm of the spirit. There alone he feels he would reach the vision of oneness [ekatta] of the enduring [dhuva] by transcending the diversity [nanatta] of change [aniccata]. And what he wants is inward integrity, intactness, inviolability, based on the unshakable deliverance of the mind from the sway of all conditioned phenomena. To this the Way of Mindfulness leads by showing him how to penetrate into the singleness of nature [ekasabhava] of the Supreme Void [Agga Suñña], Nibbana, which is permeated with the one taste [ekarasa] of liberation [vimutti].
Source of quoted commentary: The Way of Mindfulness: The Satipatthana Sutta and Its Commentary
by Soma Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html
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In conclusion, if all this seems alien with respect to the advice one receives from one's meditation teacher, please do not jump to the non-sequitur conclusion that it is mere thinking or philosophy. That particular red herring adds nothing of value...
... but by all means explain why
you think that is in error, if you do.
mikenz66 wrote:As I've said many times, in all that reading, discussing, and so on, I've found nothing that has changed the way I practice. I just continue to pay attention to the rise and fall of phenomena...
Again, it all depends on what you do with it.
If you happily admit to doing nothing with it though, I wonder why you persist with "all that reading, discussing, and so on".
(It's a serious question... I'm not having a poke, merely thinking of Einstein's comment regarding insanity - i.e. doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.)