Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Sylvester
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Sylvester » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:43 am

Ñāṇa wrote:I can understand why someone like yourself who seems to be attracted to extremist views would find it difficult to navigate between different interpretive frameworks. And it isn't surprising in the least that someone who is attracted by the idea of the most radically extreme comprehensionless samādhi might also find the most radically extreme notion of an unconscious noble path appealing as well.
The same could be said for you, but rather than agreeing with your ad hominem tactic, I would prefer to say that mine is not born of a difficulty in navigating between interpretive frameworks, but a refusal to compromise between what is in the suttas with the differences that come later.

You can keep evading the question as long as you like, but I would just point out again that your potshot was based on an appeal to the Dhammasangani. When asked to lay out what, if anything, was said by the Dhammasangani about Cessation of Feelings and Perception, you take cover with the non-sequitor that the Mahasi method must be measured against the post-canonical material. So, does this mean that your appeal to the Dhammasangani was nothing more than a non-sequitor in evaluating Kearney and the Mahasi method?

I think Matheesha hit the nail on the head with this -
Sleep is a state of unconsciousness. Yet we are cogincient of when we had been sleeping, after the fact. We know that we had 8 hours of sleep and that this says something about how we will function the rest of the day. We can give it a name, talk about it and even say 'I went to sleep'. Yet, all there was, was a moment of unconsciousness. The person who has never slept will wonder why and how unconsciousness takes such an important place in a mans life that he spends 8 hours or so in it. It has a lot to say about what went on before and after it.
What he says is nothing more than what is said in the Satipatthana Suttas about sleep. If sleep and arising from sleep are proper subjects for satipatthana, what could possibly be so objectionable to other states of falling unconscious?

Nyana
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:54 am

Sylvester wrote:If sleep and arising from sleep are proper subjects for satipatthana, what could possibly be so objectionable to other states of falling unconscious?
The attainment of the noble path is the same as being asleep or falling unconscious? I guess that the seven factors of awakening are now the seven factors of falling asleep....
Sylvester wrote:you take cover with the non-sequitor that the Mahasi method must be measured against the post-canonical material.
Of course the Mahāsi method and Kearney's text must be measured against the post-canonical materials and the commentarial interpretation of the canon. In his text Kearney explicitly acknowledges that his presentation is supposedly based on these post-canonical sources:
  • This complex construction of 16 nanas is not found in the Tipitaka, the early Buddhist texts. They seem to be an invention of the medieval Theravada tradition, and you can find a complete analysis of them in Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga.
All the best,

Geoff

Sylvester
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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Sylvester » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:36 am

Ñāṇa wrote:The attainment of the noble path is the same as being asleep or falling unconscious? I guess that the seven factors of awakening are now the seven factors of falling asleep....

Careful with your strawman attack on the Mahasi method.

Did Rod Bucknell's account in the other thread, or Kearney's account in this thread equate the non-conscious state with a Commentarial path and fruition mind moment?

As far as I can see, Bucknell informs us that he is instructed to pursue that state, but I think that instruction makes sense only if the unconscious state is something that can be used to lead to magga and phalla, rather than being either a Commentarial maggacitta or phallacitta itself. Anyone with a decent knowledge of the Dhammasangani and its Commentary would know this, since the "maggacitta" and "phallacitta" are cittas, as opposed to "unconsciousness" being a "citta natthi" event.

Further, Kearney writes of the "udayabbaya-nana" as being post-experience knowledge. Where in any of these accounts do either writer say that they were taught that the unconscious state was a lokuttara state?

You have simply put words into their mouth.

As for your satta "sayaṅgā", are you suggesting that the Buddha's characterisation of satipatthana into sleeping and arising from sleep has no potency in fulfilling the satta bojjhaṅgā, despite DN 20? Are you suggesting that the Buddha's characterisation of satipatthana into "nirodha" has no potency in fulfilling the satta bojjhaṅgā, despite MN 118?

If you wish to misrepresent and distort my proposition that satipatthana into unconscious states is a proper pursuit of satipatthana, into your misrepresentation that unconscious states per se are attainment of the noble path, you might care to logically expand this into a proper argument to demonstrate the equation.

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:54 am

Sylvester wrote:Did Kearney's account in this thread equate the non-conscious state with a Commentarial path and fruition mind moment?
Of course he did. He's describing his notion of the path and fruition gnosis (stage 15: maggaphalañāṇa), which is preceded by stage 14 (gotrabhuñāṇa).
Sylvester wrote:Bucknell informs us that he is instructed to pursue that state
Which is a very misinformed instruction to give to anyone who is not already at least on the non-returner path with the ability to enter and remain in the formless attainments.
Sylvester wrote:Are you suggesting that the Buddha's characterisation of satipatthana into "nirodha" has no potency in fulfilling the satta bojjhaṅgā, despite MN 118?
If you think that the contemplation of cessation (nirodhānupassī) means unconsciousness then good luck with that. If you think that any of the factors of awakening are meant to induce unconsciousness then good luck with that too.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Sylvester » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:01 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Did Kearney's account in this thread equate the non-conscious state with a Commentarial path and fruition mind moment?
Of course he did. He's describing his notion of the path and fruition gnosis (stage 15: maggaphalañāṇa), which is preceded by stage 14 (gotrabhuñāṇa).
Try as I might, I cannot find any grammatical or ungrammatical fashion of reading his statement -
The next two stages, knowledge of adaptation (anuloma-nana) and knowledge of connection (gotrabhu-nana) aremomentary in the extreme. They may just be theoretical constructs to explain the sudden manifestation of the next stage, knowledge of path and result (maggaphala-nana). In practice, what happens is that the meditator is practicing, every aspect of his meditation is subtle, clear and bright, and then suddenly there is a sense of falling-into (knowledge of insight leading to emergence) and then the lights go out. There is a momentary sense of nothingness, and then the lights come on. If the meditator checks the watch, he realises some time has passed - depending on the strength of his concentration, this could be anything from a few minutes to a few days and he has "awoken" suddenly into a situation in which the practice is continuing, but the experience is much less subtle than before. The meditator is now in the knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-nana).
to mean that the "black-out" = maggaphala-nana. If anything, I read him as asserting that before the "lights go out", there is a sense of a "something". To me, he seems to be describing his idea of maggaphala-nana as a "momentary" experience (following the khanika cittas, like any good Mahaviharasi commentaror), but that the lights going out could range from "a few minutes to a few days". How did you manage to read Kearney as having equated a momentary experience of "a sense of nothingness" with the long black out, when he went well out of his way to differentiate them as follows -
He did not "know" this while it was happening., because there was no sense of a mind to know it.
Clearly, Kearney's idea of maggaphala-nana is of an experience where something was sensed, while his "lights out" could not be sensed whatsoever.
Ñāṇa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Are you suggesting that the Buddha's characterisation of satipatthana into "nirodha" has no potency in fulfilling the satta bojjhaṅgā, despite MN 118?
If you think that the contemplation of cessation (nirodhānupassī) means unconsciousness then good luck with that. If you think that any of the factors of awakening are meant to induce unconsciousness then good luck with that too.
Thankfully, I don't, so you can put that red herring to bed. It seems that the problem is not with me, but with your insistence of attributing "unconsciousness" to Kearney's maggaphala-nana and my proposition on nirodhānupassī. As I've made amply clear in the Bhante G thread, I am not one of those who read the Pali present tense verbs like English readers are apt to so read. I'm not that silly to force the Pali present tense to allow one to "nirodhānupassī sikkhati " while one is in one of the 9 Cessations laid out in the Anupubba Nirodha Sutta, AN 9.31.

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:18 pm

Sylvester wrote:Try as I might, I cannot find any grammatical or ungrammatical fashion of reading his statement to mean that the "black-out" = maggaphala-nana.
All you are displaying is a misunderstanding of the sequential stage model of the vipassanāñāṇas as presented in the Visuddhimagga, and in Mahāsi Sayādaw's Visuddhiñāṇakathā and Kearney's text. In recent threads you have displayed similar misunderstandings of Ñāṇananda's teachings and Ñāṇavīra's teachings. I don't know if this is intentional or not, but it can't seriously be considered to accurately reflect the intended meaning of what Kearney is saying.

Kearney lists and describes each of the first 14 ñāṇas in sequential order, then, according to you, when he gets to stage 15, the maggaphalañāṇa, he mysteriously decides to not describe this stage, but to describe a completely unrelated experience instead.

Sorry, but your interpretation can't be taken seriously. If it's intentional, then it's just another attempt to muddy the waters.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by rowyourboat » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:51 pm

Hi George,

You say there is no need for a supramundane 'other'ness, but if you want to escape arising and passing away, an otherness is required, otherwise you are left with annihilation as the only alternative left, at death.

Furthermore it is correct that nibbana has been defined purely in fabricated terms (as in the cessation of..). This is due to the need to describe it to those who are seeking release from suffering. It is reasonable to do so, in a way that everyone can understand. It would be hard on his followers if they were asked to follow him unreservedly to some undefined goal. The presence of such definitions does not mean the unfabricated does not exist. The sutta above proves that- and it is seemingly said to people who define the dhamma merely in terms of the presence or absence of fabrications. THE unborn, THE unmade, THE unfabricated DOES refer to the supramundane other, unless you want to take nibbana out of the list of dhamma as a non-entity. There you will be writing your own theses on how to escape samsara.
"There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis; neither passing away nor arising: without stance, without foundation, without support [mental object]. This, just this, is the end of stress."

— Ud 8.1
Now even though I bring in another sutta to clarify my point, your answer to my previous quote on the existence of the unfabricated is not satifactory, for the reasons shown above. Now in this sutta the Buddha clearly say that there IS a dimension beyond the form and formless. It is a positive , unmistakeable statement about the EXISTENCE of such a state- that it is not merely the absence of the three poisons, not just a stress free life in the Kama Loka but a separate DIMENSION. Now if he was simply talking of this world as we know it, minus the fetters/defilements there is no need to say there is no form, formless, sun, moon etc. This sutta covers the sensual (Kama), form jhana (rupa) and formless jhana (arupa) forms/realms of EXISTENCE.. - and goes on to say there IS yet another state, and calls it nibbana. I fully understand that leaving out all this seemingly superstitious, mystical material out of the dhamma makes it more palatable to the rational thinking, practical western mind. We come up with various means to make this into something which fits into how we see the world. We are not prepared to leave something for the yet to be realised, even though we are not arahaths yet. We rather that we have figured it all out already, despite being unenlightened. To this end we are prepared to ignore or give strained interpretations of what has been clearly and well spoken.
:namaste:

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by kirk5a » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:18 pm

rowyourboat wrote: Now in this sutta the Buddha clearly say that there IS a dimension beyond the form and formless.
But he was definitely not talking about that of the asaññasatta - unconscious being. Do you agree? So he was not talking about what as clearly been identified as the "the state of non-perception (asaññi-bhava)" by Ven. Thanissaro's teacher Ajahn Fuang, Ajahn Maha Boowa, and Ajahn Lee - definitely wrong concentration. The cessation of perception and feeling is specifically described as "and yet he would be percipient" (sañña).
"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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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:28 pm

rowyourboat wrote:You say there is no need for a supramundane 'other'ness, but if you want to escape arising and passing away, an otherness is required, otherwise you are left with annihilation as the only alternative left, at death.
Not so. The uniquely Buddhist version of nihilism is just as untenable as the uniquely Buddhist versions of eternalism, one of which you are proposing here.
rowyourboat wrote:THE unborn, THE unmade, THE unfabricated DOES refer to the supramundane other ... there IS yet another state, and calls it nibbana.
Visuddhimagga, Chapter 16:
  • [Q] Is the absence of present [aggregates] as well nibbāna?

    [A] That is not so. Because their absence is an impossibility, since if they are absent their non-presence follows. [Besides, if nibbāna were absence of present aggregates too,] that would entail the fault of excluding the arising of the nibbāna element with result of past clinging left, at the path moment, which has present aggregates as its support.
rowyourboat wrote:You say there is no need for a supramundane 'other'ness
Ven. Ñāṇananda's Nibbāna Sermons also attempt to counter the notion of nibbāna as some sort of absolute otherness. While he isn't entirely successful in this attempt, he does recognize the need to return to the soteriological meaning of the term nibbāna. He states:
  • In the Dhammacakkappavattanasutta we have a very clear statement of the third noble truth. Having first said that the second noble truth is craving, the Buddha goes on to define the third noble truth in these words: Tassāyeva taṇhāya asesavirāganirodho cāgo paṭinissaggo mutti anālayo (E.g. at S V 421).

    This is to say that the third noble truth is the complete fading away, cessation, giving up, relinquishment of that very craving. That it is the release from and non-attachment to that very craving. In other words it is the destruction of this very mass of suffering which is just before us.

    In the suttas the term taṇhakkhayo, the destruction of craving, is very often used as a term for Nibbāna..... Craving is a form of thirst and that is why Nibbāna is sometimes called pipāsavinayo, the dispelling of the thirst. To think that the destruction of craving is not sufficient is like trying to give water to one who has already quenched his thirst.
rowyourboat wrote:I fully understand that leaving out all this seemingly superstitious, mystical material out of the dhamma makes it more palatable to the rational thinking, practical western mind. We come up with various means to make this into something which fits into how we see the world. We are not prepared to leave something for the yet to be realised, even though we are not arahaths yet. We rather that we have figured it all out already, despite being unenlightened. To this end we are prepared to ignore or give strained interpretations of what has been clearly and well spoken.
Sorry, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with East vs. West. The compilers of the Abhidhammapiṭaka were Indians. Ven. Buddhaghosa was an Indian. Ven. Ñāṇārāma was a Sri Lankan. I have repeatedly provided quotations from these sources to explain the principles of how the supramundane path is attained. You are certainly free to dismiss these sources, but that means dismissing well over a third of the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka, as well as the Theravāda commentarial tradition in its entirety.

All the best,

Geoff
Last edited by Nyana on Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:29 pm

kirk5a wrote: The cessation of perception and feeling is specifically described as "and yet he would be percipient" (sañña).
No it isn't.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by kirk5a » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:47 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
kirk5a wrote: The cessation of perception and feeling is specifically described as "and yet he would be percipient" (sañña).
No it isn't.

All the best,

Geoff
What is this then? It is said to be an attainment of concentration... but it is not that of the attainment of the cessation of feeling & perception?

"Friend Sariputta, could a monk have an attainment of concentration such that he would neither be percipient of earth with regard to earth, nor of water with regard to water, nor of fire... wind... the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness... the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception... this world... nor of the next world with regard to the next world, and yet he would still be percipient?"

"Yes, friend Ananda, he could..."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"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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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:59 pm

kirk5a wrote:What is this then? It is said to be an attainment of concentration... but it is not that of the attainment of the cessation of feeling & perception?
No. It can be classified as either a path attainment or fruition attainment samādhi, both of which include the presence of perception and concomitant jhāna factors.

The cessation of perception and feeling, on the other hand, isn't classifiable as mind (citta), mental factors (cetasikā), form (rūpa), or nibbāna. This is why it isn't included in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī's enumeration of dhammas, nor in the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha's enumeration of 89 and 121 types of consciousness and concomitant mental factors, which includes all types of worldly and supramundane cognition.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Freawaru » Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:39 pm

Sylvester wrote:
I think Matheesha hit the nail on the head with this -
Sleep is a state of unconsciousness. Yet we are cogincient of when we had been sleeping, after the fact. We know that we had 8 hours of sleep and that this says something about how we will function the rest of the day. We can give it a name, talk about it and even say 'I went to sleep'. Yet, all there was, was a moment of unconsciousness. The person who has never slept will wonder why and how unconsciousness takes such an important place in a mans life that he spends 8 hours or so in it. It has a lot to say about what went on before and after it.
I disagree. I, for one, are conscious during most of my sleep - or maybe "aware" would be the correct term, depending on the definitions. I KNOW that I sleep or dream WHILE it happens. Not just afterwards. In the NOW - just as during wake.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8104" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I am quite positive that it is also possible to be aware during deep sleep in this fashion. So I am very sceptical about attainments that are supposed to happen without one knowing them while they happen. It disagrees with the whole idea of vipassana.

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by kirk5a » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:31 pm

Ñāṇa wrote: No. It can be classified as either a path attainment or fruition attainment samādhi, both of which include the presence of perception and concomitant jhāna factors.

The cessation of perception and feeling, on the other hand, isn't classifiable as mind (citta), mental factors (cetasikā), form (rūpa), or nibbāna. This is why it isn't included in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī's enumeration of dhammas, nor in the Abhidhammatthasaṅgaha's enumeration of 89 and 121 types of consciousness and concomitant mental factors, which includes all types of worldly and supramundane cognition.
Ok - I guess I misinterpreted based on Ven. Thanissaro's footnote there to see AN 9.36, which does mention the attainment of the cessation of feeling & perception.

If it is either a path attainment or fruition attainment samādhi, then still, it seems important to notice that it says "and yet he would still be percipient" - (saññī). In other words, conscious, as opposed to the state of asaññī - unconscious. Right?

How do we know the attainment of the cessation of feeling & perception is available only to non-returners and arahants?
"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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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:23 pm

kirk5a wrote:If it is either a path attainment or fruition attainment samādhi, then still, it seems important to notice that it says "and yet he would still be percipient" - (saññī). In other words, conscious, as opposed to the state of asaññī - unconscious. Right?
Yes. Very important. The common thread running throughout the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka and Theravāda commentaries is that the goal, the destination, liberation is to be known and perceived. It is known and perceived by a conscious, fully aware mind accompanied by skillful affective qualities such as joy and pleasure, or equanimity.
kirk5a wrote:How do we know the attainment of the cessation of feeling & perception is available only to non-returners and arahants?
It's stated in Visuddhimagga Chapter 23:
  • Herein, (i) What is the attainment of cessation? It is the non-occurrence of consciousness (citta) and its concomitants (cetasikā) owing to their progressive cessation.

    (ii) Who attains it? (iii) Who do not attain it? No ordinary men, no stream-enterers or once-returners, and no non-returners and Arahants who are bare-insight workers attain it. But both non-returners and those with cankers destroyed (Arahants) who are obtainers of the eight attainments attain it.
The attainment of cessation (nirodhasamāpatti) is the same as the attainment of cessation of perception and feeling (saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpatti). It is only non-returners and arahants who can attain the eight attainments (the four jhānas plus the four formless attainments) who can properly engage in the cessation attainment. This chapter also differentiates between the fruition attainments of the noble paths (phalasamāpatti) and the cessation attainment (nirodhasamāpatti). It then goes on to say that the attainment of cessation is neither supramundane (lokuttara) nor not-fabricated (asaṅkhata).

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by nathan » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:27 pm

So is it safe now to speak about experiencing the four jhana, the four formless realms and nirodha samapatti without being accused of claiming to be an ariya? In my experience nirodha samapatti is not at all like unconsciousness, it is not describable in any way at all (except that it is free of the dukkha and anicca of even the sort found in the jhanas and formless realm concentrations) but it is definitely not at all like unconsciousness. Is it safe to say this openly, now that NS allegedly has nothing to do with attaining any of the paths, or is it still not acceptable to speak of because of what the Vism. says?
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:51 pm

nathan wrote:So is it safe now to speak about experiencing the four jhana, the four formless realms and nirodha samapatti without being accused of claiming to be an ariya?
No. The attainment of cessation of perception and feeling (saññāvedayitanirodhasamāpatti) is only attainable by non-returners and arahants, who are definitely ariyas. The non-ariya version is called a non-percipient attainment (asaññasamāpatti).
nathan wrote:In my experience nirodha samapatti is not at all like unconsciousness, it is not describable in any way at all (except that it is free of the dukkha and anicca of even the sort found in the jhanas and formless realm concentrations) but it is definitely not at all like unconsciousness.
Well, only you can decide how best to label and describe your experience.
nathan wrote:is it still not acceptable to speak of because of what the Vism. says?
Probably better to err on the side of caution.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Sylvester » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:28 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Try as I might, I cannot find any grammatical or ungrammatical fashion of reading his statement to mean that the "black-out" = maggaphala-nana.
All you are displaying is a misunderstanding of the sequential stage model of the vipassanāñāṇas as presented in the Visuddhimagga, and in Mahāsi Sayādaw's Visuddhiñāṇakathā and Kearney's text. In recent threads you have displayed similar misunderstandings of Ñāṇananda's teachings and Ñāṇavīra's teachings. I don't know if this is intentional or not, but it can't seriously be considered to accurately reflect the intended meaning of what Kearney is saying.

Kearney lists and describes each of the first 14 ñāṇas in sequential order, then, according to you, when he gets to stage 15, the maggaphalañāṇa, he mysteriously decides to not describe this stage, but to describe a completely unrelated experience instead.

Sorry, but your interpretation can't be taken seriously. If it's intentional, then it's just another attempt to muddy the waters.

All the best,

Geoff
No misunderstanding here Geoff. What is apparent in your reading is your very patent blind spot. Kearney did describe that maggaphalla nana, and that description was quite clearly distinguished from the black out.

I cannot help but articulate what I'm sure many in this Forum have noticed about your tactics.

For example, you accuse Ajahn Brahm of presenting non-sutta descriptions of the Jhanas, and conveniently dismiss him as being uncanonical. Off you merrily go with your Jhana according to the Pali Nikayas thread, and your contributions to the Bhante G thread.

When your Pali grammar and interpretations of the suttas are criticised (remember your hoti-honti faux pas equation to "as they occurred"? remember your subsequent anupada/as they occurred as an adjective, instead of an adverb faux pas? remember your "unestablished consciousness" which you most recently disavowed and denied ever advocating? etc etc etc), you take shelter with your interpretation of the Abhidhamma's Dhammasangani. After years of harassing the folks at DSG with your criticisms of the Abhidhamma, you decide to switch tactics and run to the Abhidhamma, when your interpretations of the Nikayas are shown to be hollow. Never mind that, you are allowed to change your mind upon reflection. But, your insistence on interpreting the locative absolute in the Dhammasangani to import concommittance only, led to all sorts of absurd results, such vipassana and dhammavicaya in jhanas without vitakka-vicara.

And now, you have come full circle, hiding behind the Commentarial interpretation of the Dhammasangani to launch a meaningless attack on Kearney. Meaningless because -

1. it seems to have been based on a simple, yet terrible misunderstanding of what Kearney wrote;
2. you are unfit to be the arbiter as to what yardstick by which the Mahasi method is to be assessed. You demonstrate your unfitness by first attacking Kearney based on your interpretation of the Dhammasangani, but then running to the Commentaries when confronted again with your ignorance of the locative absolute dimensions of the Dhs. Don't take this as an ad hominem tu quoque - the point I want to make is that there is nothing in Logic to dictate that the Mahasi school signed up for a lifetime of Commentarial-only scrutiny, just because of their claim to adhere to the Commentaries. Even the Kheminda-Soma camp in the 1966 Debates did not flash this fallacy at their Mahasi counterparts.

Geoff, the way you seem to flit so casually between suttas, and Abhidhamma and then the Commentaries, as and when it serves your need, despite the inconsistencies, seems to suggest you are either -

1. driven by a very unprincipled agenda to attack whomever you find disagreeable, by whatever means necessary; or
2. you are desperately trying to get noticed.

If it is #2, then you have my attention, but for the wrong reasons.

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:04 am

Sylvester wrote:you decide to switch tactics and run to the Abhidhamma, when your interpretations of the Nikayas are shown to be hollow.
Nice rant. Anyhoo, firstly, I generally only criticize what are extreme and completely unfounded views being bandied about in this current, quite unfortunate wild west climate of contemporary Buddhism. I have always studied the Abhidhamma and consider it a very important reference to help understand the suttas. Secondly, I never went looking for you and have never felt compelled to follow you around DW. In my opinion, your views are extreme, and this extremism is quite contrary to the dhamma, without any basis in the teachings whatsoever, and quite ridiculous.
Sylvester wrote:You demonstrate your unfitness by first attacking Kearney based on your interpretation of the Dhammasangani
What I don't want this discussion to degenerate into is yet another round of your completely irrelevant and pointless interpretations of the Abhidhamma. Take out all of the mental factors of supramundane cognition except perception and the concomitant jhāna factors and the point is the same.
Sylvester wrote:the point I want to make is that there is nothing in Logic to dictate that the Mahasi school signed up for a lifetime of Commentarial-only scrutiny, just because of their claim to adhere to the Commentaries.
When discussing the stage model of 16 vipassanā gnoses there is no other authority than the commentaries. If it isn't supported by the Visuddhimagga -- which is the authoritative source of the presentation that they're claiming to follow -- then it's just another example of wild west dhamma. In his paper Still Crazy after all these Years: Why Meditation isn’t Psychotherapy, Kearney himself says that the bar should be raised:
  • Let’s not try to fool ourselves or anyone else that we are practising the teachings of the Buddha when we follow any of these ersatz forms of Buddhism. Let’s be clear whose teachings we are putting our faith in.
As I've already said, I agree with this call to diligent inquiry. And I think that this investigation should extend to the ideas which Kearney himself attributes to the Buddha. And upon investigation, I don't see how anyone who diligently and openly scrutinizes Kearney's notion of the noble path, as quoted in the OP of this thread, can in any way shape or form place Keraney's ideas of this very important aspect of Buddhist soteriology, in the lap of the Buddha or the redactors of the Pāḷi canon. There is simply no trace of what he is telling us in the canonical Pāḷi dhamma or the Visuddhimagga, which, again, is the source of the stage model 16 vipassanā gnoses.

If Kearney was trying to describe the path and fruition stages -- which he most certainly was -- then he utterly failed. Why? Because there is no mention of any of the indicators of a supramundane path and fruition cognition in his description. Zero. None. This is a pretty glaring omission regarding the climax stage of the entire presentation written by someone who has "trained extensively in the Mahāsī approach to insight meditation." On the contrary, there is every indication in his description that he had fallen into the bhavaṅga and then mistaken this non-percipient state for nibbāna.

Kearney then uses this misguided nihilistic experience to inform his nihilistic view and then accuse teachers like Kornfield of misrepresenting Buddhism. Sorry, but this type of nihilistic extremism is just another example of wild west dhamma.

All the best,

Geoff

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Concerning Kearney's "Development of Insight"

Post by Nyana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:20 am

Sylvester wrote:After years of harassing the folks at DSG with your criticisms of the Abhidhamma
Nonsense. I only ever posted there a handful of times and haven't been there in years. As for the rest of your assertions, they're also without merit but are completely off topic.

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