Non-clinging

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dhammacoustic
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Non-clinging

Post by dhammacoustic » Sun May 17, 2015 3:35 pm

Hi there
The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is emancipated through non-clinging.
Could we discuss the nature of this ↑

I've been meditating for long periods of time and I usually manage to calm the mind, I get insight into things. But change still gives me despair and depression. Even though the thought is present: "okay, not clinging to anything" and I try to let go of the world, it feels like as if a black vortex of pain and suffering is pulling me in, and I don't know why I still care and feel sorry for external objects. The intention is clear, but the body isn't responsive. Why is this happenning? I get this disgusting feeling in my stomach, my brain feels like it's on fire.

Any suttas to help me out?

daverupa
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by daverupa » Sun May 17, 2015 3:45 pm

What sort of mindfulness is present? Are you able to watch e.g. despair arise, able to see what was in place that supported the arising of that? A change happens, as you say, but is this only outside in external objects? Are you noticing the changes in aggregates, noting impermanence, or are you simply insisting to yourself "do not cling" as a command? Or something else?

And what's this feeling sorry for external objects... I hope you aren't thinking of people as external objects... are you experiencing empathy for inanimate things? What's going on here?

And an unresponsive body: is this an expectation or desire for things to be a certain way? How does this lack of response feel to you, and how did this feeling come to be?
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

dhammarelax
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by dhammarelax » Sun May 17, 2015 4:16 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:Hi there
The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is emancipated through non-clinging.
Could we discuss the nature of this ↑

I've been meditating for long periods of time and I usually manage to calm the mind, I get insight into things. But change still gives me despair and depression. Even though the thought is present: "okay, not clinging to anything" and I try to let go of the world, it feels like as if a black vortex of pain and suffering is pulling me in, and I don't know why I still care and feel sorry for external objects. The intention is clear, but the body isn't responsive. Why is this happenning? I get this disgusting feeling in my stomach, my brain feels like it's on fire.

Any suttas to help me out?
The core of the question is what is clinging and how to let go of it, Bhante Vimalaramsis interpretation is that clinging manifests as tension in body and mind, and to let go of it means to relax. Try this in combination with smiling, maybe it can help.

smile all time
dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Kamran
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Kamran » Sun May 17, 2015 4:18 pm

Cemetery meditations, and going for a walk in a cemetery near my home has been effective in imprinting the insight of impermanence, so that I instinctively feel that what ever happens good or bad will be gone soon anyway.

The problem with meditations that are more popular is that they lack a strong conceptual component. Thhe conceptual meditations are not emphasized enough. We are taught to note, investigate, etc., but the Buddha has already determined the insights for us. We just need to continuosly contemplate them until it becomes second nature to see all phenomenon as impermanent.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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Aloka
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Aloka » Sun May 17, 2015 4:25 pm

Hi dhammacoustic,

This is a talk from Ajahn Amaro with the title: "Dont Cling to Anything ".

( SABBE DHAMMA NALAM ABHINIVESAYA )



Kind regards,

Aloka :anjali:
Last edited by Aloka on Sun May 17, 2015 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Zom
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Zom » Sun May 17, 2015 6:19 pm

I've been meditating for long periods of time and I usually manage to calm the mind, I get insight into things. But change still gives me despair and depression. Even though the thought is present: "okay, not clinging to anything" and I try to let go of the world, it feels like as if a black vortex of pain and suffering is pulling me in, and I don't know why I still care and feel sorry for external objects. The intention is clear, but the body isn't responsive. Why is this happenning? I get this disgusting feeling in my stomach, my brain feels like it's on fire.

Any suttas to help me out?
The reason is that your non-clining is artificial. It is not deep, not real, just wishful thinking. Sorry for being that straight, but many newcomers tend to enormously overestimate their spiritual progress. For your meditation to be fruitful you need much to develop beforehand spending many years or even decades on these preliminary steps. MN 39, MN 40, MN 107, MN 125 will help 8-)

dhammarelax
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by dhammarelax » Sun May 17, 2015 6:37 pm

Zom wrote:
I've been meditating for long periods of time and I usually manage to calm the mind, I get insight into things. But change still gives me despair and depression. Even though the thought is present: "okay, not clinging to anything" and I try to let go of the world, it feels like as if a black vortex of pain and suffering is pulling me in, and I don't know why I still care and feel sorry for external objects. The intention is clear, but the body isn't responsive. Why is this happenning? I get this disgusting feeling in my stomach, my brain feels like it's on fire.

Any suttas to help me out?
The reason is that your non-clining is artificial. It is not deep, not real, just wishful thinking. Sorry for being that straight, but many newcomers tend to enormously overestimate their spiritual progress. For your meditation to be fruitful you need much to develop beforehand spending many years or even decades on these preliminary steps. MN 39, MN 40, MN 107, MN 125 will help 8-)
Some students advance quite fast, I think that the phrase "the dhamma is immediately effective" is clear, from http://talks.dhammasukha.org/mn-111-jt1-060220.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;:

"I had one student that she was ready to meditate. She'd ask other people how to meditate. She was going to Thai temples and they only spoke Thai, but she was still trying to follow what they were saying. She came to an eight day retreat and in eight days she did experience the state of nothingness, in eight days. And that goes along with what the Buddha was talking about, of this Dhamma is immediately effective."

smile all the time
dhammarelax
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Zom
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Zom » Sun May 17, 2015 7:44 pm

Ye, some 0,0000001% and mostly those people lived 2500 years ago and had Buddha himself as a personal teacher 8-)
She came to an eight day retreat and in eight days she did experience the state of nothingness, in eight days. And that goes along with what the Buddha was talking about, of this Dhamma is immediately effective."
These are just rumors and stories, again, most of which are based on wishful thinking.

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Alex123
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Alex123 » Sun May 17, 2015 7:54 pm

Kamran wrote:The problem with meditations that are more popular is that they lack a strong conceptual component. Thhe conceptual meditations are not emphasized enough. We are taught to note, investigate, etc., but the Buddha has already determined the insights for us. We just need to continuosly contemplate them until it becomes second nature to see all phenomenon as impermanent.
You are absolutely right.
Thinking imbued with non-ill will [alex: also non-sensuality and non-cruelty] has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body..."

Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with renunciation, abandoning thinking imbued with sensuality, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-ill will, abandoning thinking imbued with ill will, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with non-ill will. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with harmlessness, abandoning thinking imbued with harmfulness, his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with harmlessness. MN19.

If the path was always simply "don't think, don't comment on your experience, just observe, all thinking is from Mara", then
why do we have >10,000 of pages of Dhamma?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Sam Vara
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Sam Vara » Sun May 17, 2015 8:31 pm

Kamran wrote:Cemetery meditations, and going for a walk in a cemetery near my home has been effective in imprinting the insight of impermanence, so that I instinctively feel that what ever happens good or bad will be gone soon anyway.

The problem with meditations that are more popular is that they lack a strong conceptual component. Thhe conceptual meditations are not emphasized enough. We are taught to note, investigate, etc., but the Buddha has already determined the insights for us. We just need to continuosly contemplate them until it becomes second nature to see all phenomenon as impermanent.
:goodpost:

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Ben
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by Ben » Sun May 17, 2015 9:35 pm

Zom wrote:Ye, some 0,0000001% and mostly those people lived 2500 years ago and had Buddha himself as a personal teacher 8-)
She came to an eight day retreat and in eight days she did experience the state of nothingness, in eight days. And that goes along with what the Buddha was talking about, of this Dhamma is immediately effective."
These are just rumors and stories, again, most of which are based on wishful thinking.
I have to agree. if you want to assess the efficacy of a particular approach, look to the behaviour of the teacher and senior yogis.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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pegembara
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by pegembara » Mon May 18, 2015 3:50 am

dhammacoustic wrote:Hi there
The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is emancipated through non-clinging.
Could we discuss the nature of this ↑

I've been meditating for long periods of time and I usually manage to calm the mind, I get insight into things. But change still gives me despair and depression. Even though the thought is present: "okay, not clinging to anything" and I try to let go of the world, it feels like as if a black vortex of pain and suffering is pulling me in, and I don't know why I still care and feel sorry for external objects. The intention is clear, but the body isn't responsive. Why is this happenning? I get this disgusting feeling in my stomach, my brain feels like it's on fire.

Any suttas to help me out?
[The Buddha:]
Always mindful, Mogharaja,
regard the world as
empty,
having removed any view
in terms of self.
This way
one is above and beyond death.
One who regards the world
in this way
isn't seen by Death's King.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"
Form is like a glob of foam;
feeling, a bubble;
perception, a mirage;
fabrications, a banana tree;
consciousness, a magic trick —
this has been taught
by the Kinsman of the Sun.
However you observe them,
appropriately examine them,
they're empty, void
to whoever sees them
appropriately.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

"In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

................

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by dhammacoustic » Mon May 18, 2015 6:31 am

Friends, thanks for all the input.
daverupa wrote:What sort of mindfulness is present? Are you able to watch e.g. despair arise, able to see what was in place that supported the arising of that? A change happens, as you say, but is this only outside in external objects? Are you noticing the changes in aggregates, noting impermanence, or are you simply insisting to yourself "do not cling" as a command? Or something else?

And what's this feeling sorry for external objects... I hope you aren't thinking of people as external objects... are you experiencing empathy for inanimate things? What's going on here?

And an unresponsive body: is this an expectation or desire for things to be a certain way? How does this lack of response feel to you, and how did this feeling come to be?
Despair is often supported by a certain set of ideas and generally lack of trust/saddhā. I directly the see the changes in aggregates, I notice the breath and impermanence altogether, but I don't see where the experience is going. I try not to cling to anything and this indeed is a conscious command, but I'm also aware that I don't know anything, so I don't trust any experience, as they too are impermanent. Knowing this, the mind searches for a permament place to settle but it can't seem to find any, and I guess this is the basis of my suffering. I cannot locate voidness. I actually talked about this with a friend of mine, he said to let go of the experience as well but I don't know what that even means.

External objects - I feel empathy for almost about anything really. Again, was meditating on impermanence the other day and my dog showed up, I took a mental note of the vision of his face, and I felt so bad about it. I'm also aware how and why these feelings arise, but somehow they turn into ideas and memories, replayed like a stuck record which is out of my control, and this is why I say the body is unresponsive. I can't get rid of these ideas, and they are usually strong enough to take away the concentration. Intellectually I cannot understand why all this is going on, and that is the big bad black vortex I mentioned in the OP, which is another somewhat stationary idea.

All in all, I do observe each sensation objectively and try to remain aware, but suffering is just there, even though I'm aware of it and its roots, I have no idea on how to cut these roots.

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by dhammacoustic » Mon May 18, 2015 6:36 am

Zom wrote:The reason is that your non-clining is artificial. It is not deep, not real, just wishful thinking. Sorry for being that straight, but many newcomers tend to enormously overestimate their spiritual progress. For your meditation to be fruitful you need much to develop beforehand spending many years or even decades on these preliminary steps. MN 39, MN 40, MN 107, MN 125 will help 8-)
Zom, thanks for the suttas. And I believe you are right, too bad intention alone doesn't help much. One has to learn to overcome the tricks of mind.

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kirk5a
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Re: Non-clinging

Post by kirk5a » Mon May 18, 2015 2:33 pm

dhammacoustic wrote:Any suttas to help me out?
Perhaps AN 11.1 would be helpful. You might be trying to go directly to non-clinging without fully developing the necessary supporting conditions.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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