How is nibbida different from wise attention?

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phil
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How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by phil » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:02 pm

We hear about "revulsion" towards the present khandas. (I think the Pali term is nibbida?) Certainly that translation could give us the wrong idea of what the term means. What is involved with this "revulsion" or "disenchantment" that is different from wise attention, or right understanding. Are they just different terms for the same thing?

Thanks
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

JohnK
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Re: How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by JohnK » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:14 pm

Quoting from the Nibbida section of Bhikkhu Bodhi's "Transcendental Dependent Arising."
Nibbida follows from "Knowledge and Vision" and leads to "Dispassion."
[I've added some boldface -- just parts that jumped out to me.]
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... el277.html
Disenchantment (Nibbida)

"The knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment": As the yogin contemplates the rise and fall of the five aggregates, his attention becomes riveted to the final phase of the process, their dissolution and passing away. This insight into the instability of the aggregates at the same time reveals their basic unreliability. Far from being the ground of satisfaction we unreflectively take them to be, conditioned things are seen to be fraught with peril when adhered to with craving and wrong views. The growing realization of this fundamental insecurity brings a marked transformation in the mind's orientation towards conditioned existence. Whereas previously the mind was drawn to the world by the lure of promised gratification, now, with the exposure of the underlying danger, it draws away in the direction of a disengagement. This inward turning away from the procession of formations is called nibbida. Though some times translated "disgust" or "aversion," the term suggests, not emotional repugnance, but a conscious act of detachment resulting from a profound noetic discovery. Nibbida signifies in short, the serene, dignified withdrawal from phenomena which supervenes when the illusion of their permanence, pleasure, and selfhood has been shattered by the light of correct knowledge and vision of things as they are. The commentaries explain nibbida as powerful insight (balava vipassana), an explanation consonant with the word's literal meaning of "finding out." It indicates the sequel to the discoveries unveiled by that contemplative process, the mind's appropriate response to the realizations thrust upon it by the growing experiences of insight. Buddhaghosa compares it to the revulsion a man would feel who, having grabbed bold of a snake in the belief it was a fish, would look at it closely and suddenly realize he was holding a snake.[23]

As our rendering implies, disenchantment marks the dissipation of an "enchantment" or fascination with the kaleidoscopic pleasures of conditioned existence, whether in the form of sense enjoyments, emotions, or ideas. This fascination, resting upon the distorted apprehension of things as permanent, pleasurable, and self, is maintained at a deep unverbalized level by the hope of finding self identity in the conditioned. As the enchanted mind presses forward seeking explicit confirmation of the innate sense of selfhood, everything encountered is evaluated in terms of the notions "mine," "I," and "my self," the principal appropriative and identificatory devices with which the inherent sense of personal selfhood works. These three notions, imputed to phenomena on account of ignorance, are in actuality conceptual fabrications woven by craving, conceit, and speculation, respectively. The insight into impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness cuts the ground out from underneath this threefold fabrication, reversing the mode in which phenomena can be viewed. Whereas before the development of insight the aggregates were regarded as being "mine," "I," and "self," now, when illuminated with the light of insight knowledge, they are seen in the opposite way as "not-mine," "not I," and "not self." Since the fascination with phenomenal existence is sustained by the assumption of underlying selfhood, the dispelling of this illusion through the penetration of the three marks brings about a de-identification with the aggregates and an end to their spell of enchantment. In place of the fascination and attraction a profound experience of estrangement sets in, engendered by the perception of selfessness in all conditioned being. The suttas present this sequence thus:

Material form, monks, is impermanent, suffering, and non-self. Feeling, perception, mental formations, and consciousness are impermanent, suffering, and not-self. What is impermanent, suffering and non-self, that should be seen with correct wisdom as it really is: "This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self." So seeing, the instructed noble disciple becomes disenchanted with material form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with mental formations, and disenchanted with consciousness.

— SN 22.15-17
"Why is it, Master Kaccana, that ascetics fight with ascetics?"
"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics" (AN 2: iv, 6, abridged).
Kindly eyes, not verbal daggers.

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phil
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Re: How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by phil » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:12 am

Thanks John.

Clearly very advanced stuff, of little relevance to my cittas. I think I was caught by the passage "the bhikkhu dwells with indifference to past khandas, not delighting in future khandas, developing revulsion to present khandas." (paraphrase.) It's easy to appreciate attitudes towards past and future, it's really just thinking in the right way.

Of course it's helpful to reflect on what is arising in the cittas of the awakened ones.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

JohnK
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Re: How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by JohnK » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 pm

Okay, I posted a long quote yesterday on nibbida, here's a short one from Ajahn Chah:
Disenchantment isn't disgust...it's just the heart sobering up.
Boom! To the point.
This is from the book Still Flowing Water, chapter/talk called Our Real Home.
Ajahn Chah recorded it "at the request of one of his students whose mother was on her deathbed."
I think it is a powerful piece -- well worth the read.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index ... owingWater
"Why is it, Master Kaccana, that ascetics fight with ascetics?"
"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics" (AN 2: iv, 6, abridged).
Kindly eyes, not verbal daggers.

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phil
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Re: How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by phil » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:54 am

JohnK wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 pm
Okay, I posted a long quote yesterday on nibbida, here's a short one from Ajahn Chah:
Disenchantment isn't disgust...it's just the heart sobering up.
Boom! To the point.
This is from the book Still Flowing Water, chapter/talk called Our Real Home.
Ajahn Chah recorded it "at the request of one of his students whose mother was on her deathbed."
I think it is a powerful piece -- well worth the read.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index ... owingWater

Boom! Ajahn Chah is in da house.

Yeah I find myself feeling sober a lot, somehow one is simply not lost in the beauties of a perfect day in quite the same way. Blameless happiness, yes, but not the same giddiness. Whether that would have happened as a result of growing older without the Dhamma I can't say.

Thanks for the reminder to listen more to those great Ajahn Chah talks recorded by Venerable ?, podcast at iTunes.
Last edited by phil on Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

Saengnapha
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Re: How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:29 am

phil wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:02 pm
We hear about "revulsion" towards the present khandas. (I think the Pali term is nibbida?) Certainly that translation could give us the wrong idea of what the term means. What is involved with this "revulsion" or "disenchantment" that is different from wise attention, or right understanding. Are they just different terms for the same thing?

Thanks
Wise reflection, the knowledge of the way things are, ie., being impermanent, unsatisfying, and not self, is the condition that gives rise to disenchantment/nibbida.

DooDoot
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Re: How is nibbida different from wise attention?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:19 am

phil wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:02 pm
What is involved with this "revulsion" or "disenchantment" that is different from wise attention, or right understanding. Are they just different terms for the same thing?
This question is not difficult to answer from Pali sutta theory. These three dhammas, namely: (i) wise reflection; (ii) right understanding; & (iii) nibbida (disenchantment; revulsion; disgust) are relevant to different stages of the path.

Wise reflection/wise attention is 'thinking', 'pondering' or 'considering' & occurs primarily before the arising of the path, as follows:
Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor for the arising of the Noble Eightfold Path, that is... accomplishment in careful attention.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn45.50

As I abided thus, diligent, ardent, and resolute, a thought of sensual desire arose in me. I understood thus: ‘This thought of sensual desire has arisen in me. This leads to my own affliction, to others’ affliction, and to the affliction of both; it obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna.’ When I considered: ‘This leads to my own affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to others’ affliction,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This leads to the affliction of both,’ it subsided in me; when I considered: ‘This obstructs wisdom, causes difficulties, and leads away from Nibbāna,’ it subsided in me. Whenever a thought of sensual desire arose in me, I abandoned it, removed it, did away with it.

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn19
Right understanding/right view is the methodological & wisdom foundation for the practise of the path, for example:
Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions... Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view....One makes an effort for the abandoning of wrong view & for entering into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Nibbida is a result of the path, i.e., a result of the vipassana (clear seeing) that is a result or fruit of the path, as follows:
What is impermanent, unsatisfactory, subject to change...must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.'... O monks, the well-instructed noble disciple, seeing thus, gets wearied of form, gets wearied of feeling, gets wearied of perception, gets wearied of mental formations, gets wearied of consciousness. Being wearied he becomes passion-free. In his freedom from passion, he is emancipated.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .mend.html
The follow sutta excerpt shows the place of each:
Thus associating with good persons, becoming full, fills up hearing the good Dhamma. Hearing the good Dhamma, becoming full, fills up faith. Faith, becoming full, fills up careful attention. Careful attention, becoming full, fills up mindfulness and clear comprehension. Mindfulness and clear comprehension, becoming full, fill up restraint of the sense faculties. Restraint of the sense faculties, becoming full, fills up the three kinds of good conduct. The three kinds of good conduct, becoming full, fill up the four establishments of mindfulness. The four establishments of mindfulness, becoming full, fill up the seven factors of enlightenment. The seven factors of enlightenment, becoming full, fill up true knowledge and liberation.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an10.61

where: the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is the supporting condition for disenchantment, disenchantment is the supporting condition for dispassion, dispassion is the supporting condition for emancipation...

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .bodh.html
While wise attention/wise thinking and also right view can be the cause for some nibbida (disenchantment), ultimately, the cause of nibbida (disenchantment) is the direct seeing of the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness & emptiness of conditioned phenomena. Importantly, what is left is the satisfyingness of Nibbana.

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