About nibbana

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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tiltbillings
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Re: About nibbana

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:17 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
The right understanding of anatta does not come from seeing the self disappear.
There are a number of ways to make the "self disappear" that have not a thing to do with insight.
>> 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: About nibbana

Post by IanAnd » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:41 pm

Sunrise wrote:
IanAnd wrote: What was new was the realization that the mind could shut down completely, so that there was no experience (feeling or perception) of anything at all. Upon reflection, this told me that it was possible to bring the mind to utter cessation...
How is deep sleep different to this experience?
It's not done in light of the Dhamma, for one thing. Also, it occurs during a meditative contemplation, which begins in full awareness of one's surroundings, whereas deep sleep occurs while one is unconscious. This is not to say that it might not be a similar experience. Only that context matters.
Sunrise wrote:
IanAnd wrote:... though not quite being equivalent to the awareness of nibbana in the present moment, nevertheless on reflection confirmed that this is possible.
What did you confirm on reflection pls?
Did you read the whole sentence?
"Upon reflection, this told me that it was possible to bring the mind to utter cessation, which though not quite being equivalent to the awareness of nibbana in the present moment, nevertheless on reflection confirmed that this is possible."
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Zom
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Zom » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:19 pm

This sounds like it was based on a wrong view of anatta. If there was nothing that we should view as a "self," then there would be no "self" for us to end when we do the nirodha samapatti... right? So, why would this (necessarily) give someone a more direct realization about anatta?
Because nirodha samapatti is direct realization of maximum possible cessation, that is nibbana. There is nothing "further" than this cessation. Nibbana is the end. In nibbana there can't be anything, because it is the cessation of everything. Seeing this, you see total anatta.

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, Sariputta entered & remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.[4]

"Furthermore, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, Sariputta entered & remained in the cessation of feeling & perception. Seeing with discernment, his fermentations were totally ended. He emerged mindfully from that attainment. On emerging mindfully from that attainment, he regarded the past qualities that had ceased & changed: 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is no further escape,' and pursuing it there really wasn't for him.


(MN 111 - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

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tiltbillings
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Re: About nibbana

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:31 pm

Zom wrote:
Because nirodha samapatti is direct realization of maximum possible cessation, that is nibbana. There is nothing "further" than this cessation. Nibbana is the end. In nibbana there can't be anything, because it is the cessation of everything. Seeing this, you see total anatta.
Given that nibbana is quite possible without ever experiencing nirodha samapatti, it might not be appropriate to define nibbana as nirodha samapatti.
>> 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: About nibbana

Post by beeblebrox » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:02 pm

Zom wrote:Because nirodha samapatti is direct realization of maximum possible cessation, that is nibbana. There is nothing "further" than this cessation. Nibbana is the end. In nibbana there can't be anything, because it is the cessation of everything. Seeing this, you see total anatta.
Maximum possible cessation of what?

The anatta after the nirodha samapatti would be the same as the anatta before it. A view of anatta can't become more "total," because there's no (distinct) atta to begin with. That is why annihilationism doesn't work. You're trying to chase something that just isn't there.

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Re: About nibbana

Post by 5heaps » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:38 am

Zom wrote:
anatta is linked to not existing at all?
And do you want to "leave something for yourself" in nibbana? What for? Do you really need this "something"? ;) Is there someone or something that must not cease. Is there someone, who is always there, at the very core of being? All these questions are about your "self" that, as you may suppose, annihilates in nibbana.
what youre talking about is bringing down all of cause and effect. the very thing upon which anatta itself rests on at this very moment. and its true and its possible, but we lose the fact that it is also the case that this normal anatta can do just fine without absorbing yourself in an utter cessation, though it is obvious why one would want to

i think this cessation is a metaphysical extreme and that there are subtler metaphysics found upon even further scrutiny of the four arya truths
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Zom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:09 am

Given that nibbana is quite possible without ever experiencing nirodha samapatti, it might not be appropriate to define nibbana as nirodha samapatti.
Why not, if no difference? Plus there is Pancakanga sutta where Buddha himself defines "the highest possible happiness" as nirodha samapatti. And there are also many suttas where it is said that after 8th jhana a monk goes on to nirodha-samapatti. But at least in one sutta - MN 105 - it is said that after 8th jhana a monk goes on to nibbana:

"In the same way, when a person is intent on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he has vomited up the fetter of the dimension of nothingness. This is how it can be known that 'This person, disjoined from the fetter of the dimension of nothingness, is intent on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.'
..
Just as a palm tree with its top cut off is incapable of further growth, in the same way, when a person is rightly intent on Unbinding, he has destroyed the fetter of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, has destroyed it by the root, made like a palmyra stump deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. This is how it can be known that 'This person, disjoined from the fetter of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, is intent on Unbinding.'


So we see from here, that nibbana and nirodha-samapatti are synonyms.
And about 4-jhanas-only arahants - I wrote about it here (just a bit above).
Last edited by Zom on Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: About nibbana

Post by Zom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:20 am

Maximum possible cessation of what? You're trying to chase something that just isn't there.
Maximum possible cessation of nama-rupa, bodily and mental processes.
"Feeling of self" is one's latent tendency, rooted deep in mind, that is destroyed only on arhat level. So if you cease all layers of mind, this latent tendency will be destroyed by direct knowledge and direct experience that nothing permanent hides inside the mind.

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Re: About nibbana

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:36 pm

Zom wrote:Maximum possible cessation of nama-rupa, bodily and mental processes.
"Feeling of self" is one's latent tendency, rooted deep in mind, that is destroyed only on arhat level. So if you cease all layers of mind, this latent tendency will be destroyed by direct knowledge and direct experience that nothing permanent hides inside the mind.
I still don't see how that would imply that the nirodha samapatti would lead to a more direct realization of anatta. To make this more clear, let me tell you a story about a fire:
Once upon a time there was a really hot fire. It was actually very handsome. It had beautiful, luxurious flames of orange, streaked with white and yellow. They were always nicely conditioned with the finest woods.

It had a boisterous, lively personality. It was very popular. The fire (if it still existed today) would've said that you won't be able to deny any of this. Why? Because there were always people sitting around it. They couldn't stop themselves from looking at it, to appreciate its undeniable beauty. They obviously also enjoyed its company.

Eventually, the fire started to mellow out. It's a cool fire now. It became confident, and more asserted with its own fire-ness. It didn't feel like it had to prove anything anymore. It didn't have to eat anything fancy anymore, like cedar or sandalwood... it was humble enough to eat the sticks. (It really didn't know that it was because the sticks were the only thing we had left for it, in the end.)

At the very least, it was happy because someone already took a picture of it earlier on, while it was still handsome and burning strongly. Then... the fire started to realize that it was dying out. So, it thought it would do something nice for us one last time, like leaving behind some embers for us to remember it by. It then died happy, knowing that we'll always have it in our memories. The end.
That fire was pretty deluded with self, wasn't it? Do you think that it would've been easier for us to see its anatta-ness if we took away the "self"? I think not. In both cases, the anatta-ness are still the same.

In fact, I think the anatta became really obvious when the fire had a "self." This is because we generally don't anthropomorphize the fire. It might be harder for some other cultures though, where they practice some type of animism... but the anatta-ness would remain the same. It has nothing to do with taking away what isn't there (or "is" there) in the first place.
Last edited by beeblebrox on Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: About nibbana

Post by Zom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 2:55 pm

Mmm. I didn't mean there is some self inside that must be perished to see that there is none -)
I said that we have a feeling that this self do exist. Like you know, you see a rope in darkness and you are sure that this is a snake.
Same here. So what you do? You turn on light and see - ah... no snake here at all. So same with nama-rupa. We have a feeling (not an intellectual understanding) that there is a self "in" this mind-body. This is just like a rope in darkness. So to see the truth, you either use jhana and vipassana to look through and examine carefully all this namarupa - or - you can reach nirodha, where all layers of what is namarupa disappear. In both cases this feeling of self will perish. Just two different methods with the same result to see the emptiness.

Imagine a basket filled with sand. And imagine that you have a feeling that there is some.. lets say.. iron ball inside this sand in the basket. So you can either carefully stir up all this sand and see for yourself that there is no iron ball inside, or you can start scooping out all this sand from the basket. When all sand will be taken out, you will also see that there is no iron ball inside. Two methods, result is the same.

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Re: About nibbana

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:10 pm

Zom wrote:Imagine a basket filled with sand. And imagine that you have a feeling that there is some.. lets say.. iron ball inside this sand in the basket. So you can either carefully stir up all this sand and see for yourself that there is no iron ball inside, or you can start scooping out all this sand from the basket. When all sand will be taken out, you will also see that there is no iron ball inside. Two methods, result is the same.
:thumbsup:

That's a good metaphor and I agree with it. Though I think that the result isn't necessarily guaranteed.
Like for example, the person doesn't know what the iron ball looks like. So, if he doesn't find one, it's still possible that he would convince himself that it must be the same size as the grains of sand, or even that the grains are the iron balls themselves, or at least they have the inner nature. Or he even could say that he managed to crumble it up into the sand, so it's not there anymore. That is why it's important we start with the Right View.

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Re: About nibbana

Post by Zom » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:33 pm

Yes, so that is, and perhaps that is why ancient ascetics who reached 8th jhana couldn't reach nibbana, they still had this "self view".
But that one who has more wisdom, he can let go completely and thus reach nibbana. In one sutta Buddha says that the closest to Dhamma "priests and contemplators" are those who reached themselves and teach others 8th jhana. So perhpas it is very easy for them to drop their self-view and enter nibbana - as happened with Uruvella Kassapa and his numerous students, who immidiately became arahants after hearing Fire Sermon..

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Re: About nibbana

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:29 pm

Zom wrote:
This sounds like it was based on a wrong view of anatta. If there was nothing that we should view as a "self," then there would be no "self" for us to end when we do the nirodha samapatti... right? So, why would this (necessarily) give someone a more direct realization about anatta?
Because nirodha samapatti is direct realization of maximum possible cessation, that is nibbana. There is nothing "further" than this cessation. Nibbana is the end. In nibbana there can't be anything, because it is the cessation of everything. Seeing this, you see total anatta.
Nirodha Samapatti is something a jhana master who is arahant can attain, but it is NOT nibbana, nor is it necessary for nibbana. Nibbana is not the cessation of everything.
>> 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

chandrafabian
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Re: About nibbana

Post by chandrafabian » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:58 pm

rowyourboat wrote:There's no jhana
for one with no discernment,
no
discernment
for one with no jhana.
But one with both jhana
&
discernment:
he's on the verge
of Unbinding. (ie- not yet there, almost there)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dhp-372" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Dear friends,

I don't know what is the meaning discernment by Ven. Thanissaro. If he meant discernment is insight, then how could he explain the achievement Alara Kalama (7th Jhana) and Uddaka Ramaputta (8th Jhana)? How about Samana from Brahmanism? Did they have discernment? If he meant discernment is insight, he truly bias.

I think "There's no jhana for one with no discernment" as he claims is incorrect. There are Jhana achievements without insight (pure Samatha).

Mettacittena,
fabian
Last edited by chandrafabian on Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chandrafabian
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Re: About nibbana

Post by chandrafabian » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Zom wrote:
This sounds like it was based on a wrong view of anatta. If there was nothing that we should view as a "self," then there would be no "self" for us to end when we do the nirodha samapatti... right? So, why would this (necessarily) give someone a more direct realization about anatta?
Because nirodha samapatti is direct realization of maximum possible cessation, that is nibbana. There is nothing "further" than this cessation. Nibbana is the end. In nibbana there can't be anything, because it is the cessation of everything. Seeing this, you see total anatta.
Nirodha Samapatti is something a jhana master who is arahant can attain, but it is NOT nibbana, nor is it necessary for nibbana. Nibbana is not the cessation of everything.
Dear Tilt, Nirodha Samapatti is an experience of Nibbana most closely resemblance to Anupadisesa Nibbana (Nibbana without remainder). Only Arahat or Anagami who has achieved 8th Jhana can experience Nirodha Samapatti.

:anjali:

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