About nibbana

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

Post by Sunrise »

Kenshou wrote:There is a meditative accomplishment beyond neither-perception-nor-non-perception, which is sañña-vedayita-nirodha/the cessation of perception and feeling.

In which apparently, consciousness stops occurring and everything stops for a little while. I believe that this does, supposedly, bring a person to the level of anagami at least. But the formless jhana of nothingness doesn't do that.
Great. This is somewhat close to what I wanted to know. It sounds like AB is talking about a state where "consciousness stops occurring". I need to take a look at the book again because if I remember right he is referring to it as a formless jhana. :shrug: Anyway not sure how this can probably make a being enlightened :shrug:
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mikenz66
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Re: About nibbana

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Sunrise, could you give us a page reference or a short quote, since I can't find what you are referring to in Ajahn Brahm's book...

Mike
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Zom
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Re: About nibbana

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Anyway not sure how this can probably make a being enlightened
It can make you enlightened, because when you come out of nirodha samapatti, you reflect, that "evertyhing ended there", and because of that you see directly that there is no "me" at all. If everything disappears and nothing is left, then this is the direct realization of anatta. That is why nirodha-samapatti is so useful. By the way, I think that nirodha samapatti and "dwelling in nibbana" (like Buddha did sometimes for 7 days) these are the same things. Visuddhimagga and some suttas also point on that.
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Nyana »

Zom wrote:I think that nirodha samapatti and "dwelling in nibbana" (like Buddha did sometimes for 7 days) these are the same things. Visuddhimagga and some suttas also point on that.
Hi Zom,

Even in the Visuddhimagga the cessation attainment (nirodhasamāpatti), a.k.a. the cessation of apperception and feeling (saññāvedayitanirodha), while nominally mentioned as similar to nibbāna in a couple of passages, nevertheless is not the same as nibbāna. Visuddhimagga 23.52:
  • As to the question: Is the attainment of cessation formed or unformed, etc.? It is not classifiable as formed or unformed, mundane or supramundane. Why? Because it has no individual essence. But since it comes to be attained by one who attains it, it is therefore permissible to say that it is produced, not unproduced.
It also can't be designated as the same as nibbāna because, as the Visuddhimagga points out, the cessation attainment requires mastery of the four formless attainments before it can be entered. Since there are arahants who haven't developed the formless attainments, they are incapable of attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling. Nevertheless, they are fully liberated through discernment.

All the best,

Geoff
Sunrise
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Sunrise »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sunrise, could you give us a page reference or a short quote, since I can't find what you are referring to in Ajahn Brahm's book...

Mike
Hey Mike. I don't have the book with me right now as I gave it to a friend. But it is there when he is describing Nibbana after describing in detail all the formless jhanas one after the other. I looked at the table of contents in the PDF and if I am not mistaken it should be in chapter "Onward to Full Enlightenment". It comes right after the description of the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception"
Sunrise
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Sunrise »

Ñāṇa wrote:
Even in the Visuddhimagga the cessation attainment (nirodhasamāpatti), a.k.a. the cessation of apperception and feeling (saññāvedayitanirodha), while nominally mentioned as similar to nibbāna in a couple of passages, nevertheless is not the same as nibbāna. Visuddhimagga 23.52:
  • As to the question: Is the attainment of cessation formed or unformed, etc.? It is not classifiable as formed or unformed, mundane or supramundane. Why? Because it has no individual essence. But since it comes to be attained by one who attains it, it is therefore permissible to say that it is produced, not unproduced.
It also can't be designated as the same as nibbāna because, as the Visuddhimagga points out, the cessation attainment requires mastery of the four formless attainments before it can be entered. Since there are arahants who haven't developed the formless attainments, they are incapable of attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling. Nevertheless, they are fully liberated through discernment.

All the best,

Geoff
This is good stuff. Thanks again.

One more thing, is it possible that dwelling in this state after mastering the four formless attainments does help in Nibbana or experiencing/direct insight of not-self although not a necessary pre-requisite? Or is it not relevant to Nibbana at all ?
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Zom
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Re: About nibbana

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Since there are arahants who haven't developed the formless attainments, they are incapable of attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling. Nevertheless, they are fully liberated through discernment.
I think that nirodha-samapatti is the same as nibbana after arhat's death, or in life, but when you "touch it with the body" entering nirodha. And those arahats with 4 jhanas - I think they can see nibbana directly in "emptiness" or "signless" concentration (that is - they have it as an object of mind), but they don't "dwell in it", because in this last case there is no consciousness (in particular - perception) to observe, to look at, to cognize. Suttas support these both variants of "experiencing nibbana".
Nyana
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Nyana »

Sunrise wrote:One more thing, is it possible that dwelling in this state after mastering the four formless attainments does help in Nibbana or experiencing/direct insight of not-self although not a necessary pre-requisite?
It can't hurt. (Pun intended.) :juggling:
Zom wrote:And those arahats with 4 jhanas - I think they can see nibbana directly in "emptiness" or "signless" concentration (that is - they have it as an object of mind), but they don't "dwell in it", because in this last case there is no consciousness (in particular - perception) to observe, to look at, to cognize. Suttas support these both variants of "experiencing nibbana".
The Nikāya-s and the Abhidhammapiṭaka are both in agreement that there can be no gnosis (ñāṇa) without simultaneous concomitant perception (saññā).

All the best,

Geoff
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IanAnd
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Re: About nibbana

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Zom wrote:
Anyway not sure how this can probably make a being enlightened
It can make you enlightened, because when you come out of nirodha samapatti, you reflect, that "everything ended there", and because of that you see directly that there is no "me" at all. If everything disappears and nothing is left, then this is the direct realization of anatta. That is why nirodha-samapatti is so useful.
I agree. That was almost my exact experience. By "almost" I mean that I was already cognizant that there is "no me" before entering the state. So that wasn't new. 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, which though not quite being equivalent to the awareness of nibbana in the present moment, nevertheless on reflection confirmed that this is possible.

It also helps one to be able to define nibbana beyond such mere meditative experiences. Whenever the mind is able to pay attention to phenomena without the distraction of papanca (proliferation of thought) or other pre-conditioned biases in order to see the phenomenon as it actually is, and in complete dispassion, then this, too, is a viable demonstration of the effectiveness of nibbanic experience.

This discussion has helped clarify, in my mind at least, what difference is meant by the designations cetovimutti (freedom by the mind) and pannavimutti (freedom by wisdom). The latter is a direct experience, its realization being directly communicated within the affective mind having a direct effect on the destruction of passion, while the former seems more of a conceptual realization based upon the direct comprehension of the destruction of ignorance about the way things are, as is explained by Ven. Analayo in his book Satipattana (pg. 89).
Zom wrote:By the way, I think that nirodha samapatti and "dwelling in nibbana" (like Buddha did sometimes for 7 days) these are the same things. Visuddhimagga and some suttas also point on that.
There's a bit of speculation here regarding what the Buddha might or might not have done for 7 days (if it's even true that that occurred, since we really do not know). I'd have to agree with Nana's (Geoff) explanation on this: "...nevertheless is not the same as nibbāna. . . .Since there are arahants who haven't developed the formless attainments, [and] are incapable of attaining the cessation of apperception and feeling. [They] nevertheless,...are fully liberated through discernment."
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: About nibbana

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Zom wrote:you reflect, that "evertyhing ended there", and because of that you see directly that there is no "me" at all.
anatta is linked to not existing at all?
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Sunrise
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Re: About nibbana

Post by Sunrise »

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?
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?
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Zom
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Re: About nibbana

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The Nikāya-s and the Abhidhammapiṭaka are both in agreement that there can be no gnosis (ñāṇa) without simultaneous concomitant perception (saññā).
Yes, because to have knowledge, you need perception and consciousness. So, you get them after quitting from nirodha-samapatti. But inside you have none.
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.

He hears a Tathagata or a Tathagata's disciple teaching the Dhamma for the elimination of all view-positions, determinations, biases, inclinations, & obsessions; for the stilling of all fabrications; for the relinquishing of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. The thought occurs to him, 'So it might be that I will be annihilated! So it might be that I will perish! So it might be that I will not exist!' He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. It's thus that there is agitation over what is internally not present." (MN 22)
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mikenz66
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Re: About nibbana

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Sunrise wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sunrise, could you give us a page reference or a short quote, since I can't find what you are referring to in Ajahn Brahm's book...

Mike
Hey Mike. I don't have the book with me right now as I gave it to a friend. But it is there when he is describing Nibbana after describing in detail all the formless jhanas one after the other. I looked at the table of contents in the PDF and if I am not mistaken it should be in chapter "Onward to Full Enlightenment". It comes right after the description of the jhana "neither perception nor non-perception"
OK, I"ll take a look at it tonight. That narrows it down a bit... :reading:

Mike
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beeblebrox
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Re: About nibbana

Post by beeblebrox »

Zom wrote:It can make you enlightened, because when you come out of nirodha samapatti, you reflect, that "evertyhing ended there", and because of that you see directly that there is no "me" at all. If everything disappears and nothing is left, then this is the direct realization of anatta. That is why nirodha-samapatti is so useful.
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?

The right understanding of anatta does not come from seeing the self disappear. This is annihilationism. It comes from seeing right through it.
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Re: About nibbana

Post by tiltbillings »

beeblebrox wrote:It comes from seeing right through what's been there all along.
It comes from seeing the conditioned/conditioning rise and fall of all that we experience, which is all that we are: Who sees paticcasamuppada sees Dhamma, who sees Dhamma sees paticcasamuppda. - MN 1 190-1.
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