Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Kusala
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Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Kusala » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:32 pm

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"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:53 am

Contrary to what Ajahn Brahm appeared to say, 'mindfulness' ('sati') was obviously not invented by Buddhism. Instead, Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati) was invented by Buddhism. Also, Ajahn Brahm's view that mind is independent of brain is obviously not something totally Buddhist since certain suttas appear to refute AB's view. AB is certainly continuing to develop the ideology of his sectarian sect, such as happiness is not in the body.
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:00 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:53 am
Contrary to what Ajahn Brahm appeared to say, 'mindfulness' ('sati') was obviously not invented by Buddhism. Instead, Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati) was invented by Buddhism. Also, Ajahn Brahm's view that mind is independent of brain is obviously not something totally Buddhist since certain suttas appear to refute AB's view. AB is certainly continuing to develop the ideology of his sectarian sect, such as happiness is not in the body.
+1 :twothumbsup:

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:48 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:00 am
+1 :twothumbsup:
The best part of the talk is at @45:28 to 45:44 :twothumbsup: Can't deny AB can be a supernormally funny guy. :namaste: @46:00 to 46:45 :rofl:

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:46 am

Ajahn Brahm's view that mind is independent of brain is obviously not something totally Buddhist since certain suttas appear to refute AB's view.
I agree. The consciousness arises depend on conditions.
I wonder anybody (other monks) are allowed to question him.
Following is the Sutta support.

In dependence on the intellect & ideas there arises intellect-consciousness. The intellect is inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Ideas are inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise. Thus this pair is both wavering & fluctuating — inconstant, changeable, of a nature to become otherwise.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Meezer77 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:25 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:53 am
Contrary to what Ajahn Brahm appeared to say, 'mindfulness' ('sati') was obviously not invented by Buddhism. Instead, Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati) was invented by Buddhism. Also, Ajahn Brahm's view that mind is independent of brain is obviously not something totally Buddhist since certain suttas appear to refute AB's view. AB is certainly continuing to develop the ideology of his sectarian sect, such as happiness is not in the body.
Yes, I've never been able to understand how the mind is separate from the brain. Is anyone able to explain this in plain English for me?

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:09 am

Yes, I've never been able to understand how the mind is separate from the brain. Is anyone able to explain this in plain English for me?
There is a state of consciousness named Infinity of consciousness.
This is an extension of the fourth Jhana.
Some people argue that people who are borne to this formless spher do not have a Rupa or body.
It seems consciousness can be sustained in its own power.
But this is subject to many disagreements.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Zom » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:37 pm

Some people argue that people who are borne to this formless spher do not have a Rupa or body.
I'd say it this way: "some people argue that those who are born there do have body/rupa". Because normally buddhists don't have such strange ideas.
Yes, I've never been able to understand how the mind is separate from the brain. Is anyone able to explain this in plain English for me?
It is strongly interconnected with the brain if we speak about beings with body. But interconnected doesn't mean that it is the same as brain or it is the same as matter. Matter is one thing, mind is another.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:03 pm

Zom wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:37 pm
Some people argue that people who are borne to this formless spher do not have a Rupa or body.
I'd say it this way: "some people argue that those who are born there do have body/rupa". Because normally buddhists don't have such strange ideas.
Yes, I've never been able to understand how the mind is separate from the brain. Is anyone able to explain this in plain English for me?
It is strongly interconnected with the brain if we speak about beings with body. But interconnected doesn't mean that it is the same as brain or it is the same as matter. Matter is one thing, mind is another.
What other?

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Meezer77 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:14 pm

Zom wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:37 pm
Some people argue that people who are borne to this formless spher do not have a Rupa or body.
I'd say it this way: "some people argue that those who are born there do have body/rupa". Because normally buddhists don't have such strange ideas.
Yes, I've never been able to understand how the mind is separate from the brain. Is anyone able to explain this in plain English for me?
It is strongly interconnected with the brain if we speak about beings with body. But interconnected doesn't mean that it is the same as brain or it is the same as matter. Matter is one thing, mind is another.

Say for instance someone has dementia and forgets they are Buddhist. How does it work then? The chemistry in brain affects your intelligence, moods, behaviours, etc. Golly I'm confused

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Zom » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:26 pm

Say for instance someone has dementia and forgets they are Buddhist. How does it work then? The chemistry in brain affects your intelligence, moods, behaviours, etc. Golly I'm confused
Yes, it affects. As I said, there is strong interconnection. If you have dementia or smth, it ruins all the system (psychophysical organism, mind+matter) and you've got a total malfunction which affects all your "components" - not only 1 component .) Imagine a knotted ball which consists of 2 threads, lets say, red and yellow. If you strongly pull only yellow one, you affect all the ball as a whole, that is, a red one is also pulled.

However, with the power of jhana you can lessen this interconnection. Certain material things won't affect your jhanic mind - like, for example, physical pain, which totally disappears even in the 1st jhana. It seems like you can release your mind to a certain extent there, free it a bit from materiality (full release though doesn't happen until you reach 1st immaterial jhana known as "sphere of infinite space").

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by JamesTheGiant » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:13 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:46 am
I wonder anybody (other monks) are allowed to question him.
Yes, all the time. At tea-time at Bodhinyana Monastery, he and all the monks have good discussions, and often some of the monks disagree with Ajahn Brahm. Even the junior monks or novices are allowed to tell him they think he is wrong, and that's their opinion. Ajahn Brahmali especially is very knowledgeable, and to listen to those two ajahns argue a point, or discuss, is quite thrilling!
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:28 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:13 pm
SarathW wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:46 am
I wonder anybody (other monks) are allowed to question him.
Yes, all the time. At tea-time at Bodhinyana Monastery, he and all the monks have good discussions, and often some of the monks disagree with Ajahn Brahm. Even the junior monks or novices are allowed to tell him they think he is wrong, and that's their opinion. Ajahn Brahmali especially is very knowledgeable, and to listen to those two ajahns argue a point, or discuss, is quite thrilling!
Thank you, James.
It is great we have these wonderful monks with us.
Have you considered going back yet?
;)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Meezer77 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:44 pm

Zom wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:26 pm
Say for instance someone has dementia and forgets they are Buddhist. How does it work then? The chemistry in brain affects your intelligence, moods, behaviours, etc. Golly I'm confused
Yes, it affects. As I said, there is strong interconnection. If you have dementia or smth, it ruins all the system (psychophysical organism, mind+matter) and you've got a total malfunction which affects all your "components" - not only 1 component .) Imagine a knotted ball which consists of 2 threads, lets say, red and yellow. If you strongly pull only yellow one, you affect all the ball as a whole, that is, a red one is also pulled.

However, with the power of jhana you can lessen this interconnection. Certain material things won't affect your jhanic mind - like, for example, physical pain, which totally disappears even in the 1st jhana. It seems like you can release your mind to a certain extent there, free it a bit from materiality (full release though doesn't happen until you reach 1st immaterial jhana known as "sphere of infinite space").

So can it be said then that if you master the Jhanas you're immune from ever getting dementia?

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by SarathW » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:11 pm

Say for instance someone has dementia and forgets they are Buddhist. How does it work then? The chemistry in brain affects your intelligence, moods, behaviours, etc. Golly I'm confused
Is this similar to a question what will happen to an Arahant while s/he is in sleep?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by zerotime » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:39 pm

Meezer77 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:25 am

Yes, I've never been able to understand how the mind is separate from the brain. Is anyone able to explain this in plain English for me?
Do you believe it is joined?. Then both are the same thing or different things?

The arising of consciousness according the Buddha teaching depends of nama-rupa, and also the arising of nama-rupa depends from consciusness.

'Name-&-form doesn't exist when consciousness doesn't exist
'Consciousness doesn't exist when name-&-form doesn't exist.
- SN 12.65

so there is not place for materialism in Dhamma teaching.

And not only in Dhamma teaching. Matter cannot be the cause of the mind or the matter would be existing by itself, an this become an absurdity when we claim there is a mind to be its product. Because then, the matter as a thinkable thing it would become impossible in its same origin.

We can read Kant or still better the unfriendly Schopenahuer, because his metaphysics was a main influence in many of the first western bhikkhus. So there is an added interest:

“Materialism seeks the primary and most simple state of matter, and then tries to develop all the others from it; ascending from mere mechanism, to chemism, to polarity, to the vegetable and to the animal kingdom. And if we suppose this to have been done, the last link in the chain would be animal sensibility - that is knowledge - which would consequently now appear as a mere modification or state of matter produced by causality. Now if we had followed materialism thus far with clear ideas, when we reached its highest point we would suddenly be seized with a fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians. As if waking from a dream, we would all at once become aware that its final result - knowledge, which it reached so laboriously, was presupposed as the indispensable condition of its very starting-point, mere matter; and when we imagined that we thought matter, we really thought only the subject that perceives matter; the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the understanding that knows it. Thus the tremendous petitio principii reveals itself unexpectedly.”

These are really old words. Materialism is a fossil from the past. It would be good if materialism could solve the Reality because this is easier and faster to adopt. However, there is not an easy arrangement for a materialist view. Materialism should be maintained avoiding the question on the nature and arising of Matter in itself or immediately loses its supports. For that reason it was rejected long time ago even in the the illustrated and atheist world with Kant and others.

Also the modern science is forced to reject an strict materialism and its simplistic view by means all that complicated jargon with subatomics particles from a seudoreality so fragmented that nobody knows where is the final basis.

After 150 years it is strange seeing this primitive belief still alive in the rationalist minds. Materialism is even more irrational than Theism.
Last edited by zerotime on Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:51 pm

zerotime wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:39 pm
The arising of consciousness according the Buddha teaching depends of nama-rupa, and also the arising of nama-rupa depends from consciusness.

'Name-&-form doesn't exist when consciousness doesn't exist
'Consciousness doesn't exist when name-&-form doesn't exist.
- SN 12.65

so there is not place for materialism in Dhamma teaching.
Nama-rupa means mentality-materiality. :roll:
The four great elements and the form derived from the four great elements: this is called rupa. SN 12.2
And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?} Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid & sustained: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property.

And what is the water property? The water property may be either internal or external. What is the internal water property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's water, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's water, watery & sustained: This is called the internal water property.

And what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten, drunk, chewed, & savored gets properly digested; or anything else internal, within oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the internal fire property.

And what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property.

MN 62
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by zerotime » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:52 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:51 pm
zerotime wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:39 pm
The arising of consciousness according the Buddha teaching depends of nama-rupa, and also the arising of nama-rupa depends from consciusness.

'Name-&-form doesn't exist when consciousness doesn't exist
'Consciousness doesn't exist when name-&-form doesn't exist.
- SN 12.65

so there is not place for materialism in Dhamma teaching.
Nama-rupa means mentality-materiality. :roll:
yes, precisely.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by Zom » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:53 pm

So can it be said then that if you master the Jhanas you're immune from ever getting dementia?
Heh, well, for example, if you have a kammic tendency to get dementia and at the same time somehow (lets suppose) you can reach jhanas then the likely outcome will be this: your ability to reach jhanas will deteriorate while dementia will increase .) At some point you will be unable to enter jhana at all. I think it will happen that way.

But this is not the question you asked before, this has nothing to do with mind/matter topic.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm Responds To "Secular Mindfulness"

Post by DooDoot » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:57 pm

zerotime wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:39 pm
Matter cannot be the cause of the mind or the matter would be existing by itself, an this become an absurdity when we claim there is a mind to be its product. Because then, the matter as a thinkable thing it would become impossible in its same origin.
When brain injury occurs, mental impairment occurs. I think this is enough prima facie evidence for reasonable people that the existence of mind is somehow related to matter (materiality); despite the fact it cannot be definitively proved, either way. I think to believe otherwise is simply a matter of 'religious faith', similar to how believing in 'god' is a matter of religious faith.
zerotime wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:39 pm
Matter cannot be the cause of the mind or the matter would be existing by itself, an this become an absurdity when we claim there is a mind to be its product. Because then, the matter as a thinkable thing it would become impossible in its same origin.
The above poorly argued theory, based a mere 'words' rather than evidence, appears unrelated to Buddhism. It appears the Buddha never spoke like this. This kind of thinking seems similar to Christians who try to argue that God created the universe. The Buddha spoke as follows:

1. This is suffering.

2. This is the arising of suffering.

3. This is the cessation of suffering.

4. This is the path to the cessation of suffering.

In his disparagement of modern science, yet claiming himself to be scientifically trained, AB appears engaged in a "mischievousness" akin to Christianity. Christians do this stuff all the time; they attempt to misuse science to prove the existence of their God.
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

Tacitus
:alien:
zerotime wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:39 pm
After 150 years it is strange seeing this primitive belief still alive in the rationalist minds. Materialism is even more irrational than Theism.
The Buddha taught about five aggregates. :roll:
And why, bhikkhus, do you call it form? ‘It is deformed,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called form. Deformed by what? Deformed by cold, deformed by heat, deformed by hunger, deformed by thirst, deformed by contact with flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and serpents. ‘It is deformed,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called form.

SN 22.79
When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up for oneself in the future; and one’s craving—which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that—increases. One’s bodily and mental troubles increase, one’s bodily and mental torments increase, one’s bodily and mental fevers increase, and one experiences bodily and mental suffering.

MN 149
Now I am frail, Ananda, old, aged, far gone in years. This is my eightieth year, and my life is spent. Even as an old cart, Ananda, is held together with much difficulty, so the body of the Tathagata is kept going only with supports.

DN 16
So it is, householder, so it is! This body of yours is afflicted, weighed down, encumbered. If anyone carrying around this body were to claim to be healthy even for a moment, what is that due to other than foolishness?

SN 22.1
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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