Momentariness of mind

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries
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virahul77
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Momentariness of mind

Post by virahul77 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:44 am

My question is that on account of momentariness material element might be understood. But our mind , memory , thoughts how can be explained on account of momentariness. Since even a single thought that this is an apple many of mind moment has lapsed. So how our memory reasoning thinking can be explained on theory of momentariness since any moment last very small. Also how our mind moments interact eg visual conscious, mental counsious series , sount counsious series thought forms as they have no time for interaction. Changing rapidaly

SarathW
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:03 am

The way I understand that is why it is called Akalika.
Not subject to the time we perceive.
However, by practice, you can start to see the process.
When you hear the word glass learn to see that in letters as G-L-A-S-S
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

paul
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by paul » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:46 am

There are misinterpretations that practitioners fall into due to the lure of mental qualities over material, and momentariness is one. Because it is much more difficult to apprehend impermanence in mentality than it is in materiality, the first foundation of mindfulness deals with the body and when it says “ Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, or the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body…”, it refers to the cycle of birth and death, not momentariness. This is clearly indicated by the passages immediately following, which deal with the 32 parts of the body, the four elements which make up the body, and the cemetery meditations.

To see impermanence in the life cycle of an apple (natural materiality), it is necessary to contemplate it over a period of time as it goes from maturity to decay. What is commonly taken to be 'an apple', is really an apple at it's mature stage, and due to the influence of the unwholesome root of greed, the mind has a bias towards the 'ripe' stage; that is why as a counteractive measure, Theravada contemplations focus on dissolution.

“That becomes evident to him by means of an asoka-tree shoot. For that to begin with is pale pink; then in two or three days it becomes dense red, again in two or three days it becomes dull red, next [brown,] the colour of a tender [mango] shoot; next, the colour of a growing shoot; next, the colour of pale leaves; next, the colour of dark green leaves. After it has become the colour of dark green leaves, as it follows out the successive stages of such material continuity, it eventually becomes withered foliage, and at the end of the year it breaks loose from its stem and falls off.”—-Visuddhimagga, XX,74.

The direct experience of impermanence is critical to the practice as the other two marks of existence become apparent as a consequence, and the same is reflected in the commentarial scheme of the insight knowledges, which details key experiences to be encountered during the path to realization, where the stage of apprehending the arising and passing away of phenomena is of central importance. (adapted from “Satipatthana”, Analayo)

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Volo
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by Volo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:56 pm

When you see an apple, a number (17 to be precise) of consciousness moments arrise (so called "thought process"), each of them has a number of mental factors (they arise at the same time as corresponding consciousness), among these mental factors one is saññā, which functions as memory. Basically, each moment saññā recognizes color, shape.

But to really "see" an apple there should be many such sets of 17 thought (consciousness) moments, perceiving apple more and more clearly (or perceiving it's different parts, etc). In between there might be also many mental thought processes, which take not color as an object, but some mental object, for example understanding that it is an apple, that it is a food, etc, etc. There might also be many in between thought moments perceiving sound of a car on the street, then again you perceive apple, etc.

Srilankaputra
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by Srilankaputra » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:59 pm

Volo wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:56 pm
When you see an apple, a number (17 to be precise) of consciousness moments arrise (so called "thought process"), each of them has a number of mental factors (they arise at the same time as corresponding consciousness), among these mental factors one is saññā, which functions as memory. Basically, each moment saññā recognizes color, shape.

But to really "see" an apple there should be many such sets of 17 thought (consciousness) moments, perceiving apple more and more clearly (or perceiving it's different parts, etc). In between there might be also many mental thought processes, which take not color as an object, but some mental object, for example understanding that it is an apple, that it is a food, etc, etc. There might also be many in between thought moments perceiving sound of a car on the street, then again you perceive apple, etc.
Hi Volo and everyone,

I have no doubt Abidhamma is correct. Mainly due to faith and a little intuition. There is a popular belief that to understand Abidhamma one needs to be extremely discerning. I am definitely not.

My question is, in your opinion do you think the sutta pitaka is sufficient to make progress on the path ?

My belief is, yes. there are many suttas where the hearer becomes enlightened.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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Volo
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by Volo » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:20 pm

Srilankaputra wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:59 pm
My question is, in your opinion do you think the sutta pitaka is sufficient to make progress on the path ?
Surely one can make a significant progress without Abhidhamma. "Practical" abhidhamma (what is nāma and rūpa and how to analyse them, what is Dependent origination and how to practice it, etc) is needed after attaining jhāna. If one practiced this many times in previous lifes one wouldn't need detailed Abhidhamma explanation.

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by Manopubbangama » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:15 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:03 am
The way I understand that is why it is called Akalika.
Not subject to the time we perceive.
However, by practice, you can start to see the process.
When you hear the word glass learn to see that in letters as G-L-A-S-S
SarathW, do you think the 'film projectory' analogy is appropriate for citta?

As in a frame is like a citta.

From my recollection of conversations with learned monks, it was only the Buddha and Sariputta that could see the rise and fall of every single citta.

SarathW
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by SarathW » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:21 pm

SarathW, do you think the 'film projectory' analogy is appropriate for citta?
That is how I understand according to Abhidmma.
I wonder whether sound waves are the same.
Now they found light is a particle too.
Is it possible sound also a particle?
I think Citta arises and perishes knowingly for all Arahants.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

virahul77
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Re: Momentariness of mind

Post by virahul77 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:31 pm

My main question is that. Buddhism and other Indian system take mind as sense base(ayatana or indriya) eg skin , eye, toung, ear, nose.(this is I think inappropriate and somewhere I read mind location in heart). Means even if constituent of our eye nose tougue changing rapidly (momentary) yet due to a casual bonding of momentary atom of eye ear nose are continuously present and working seemlessly. (Like heat and light due to fire/light or Wetness due to water or strength of wall) Same applies to mind? So Our mind is working momentary or (working seemlessly but made up of momentary matters). ( Work done like a flux or work done by a flux?).If second option is considered then it's ok. But there is serious error when first is considered. (Then proponent of momentariness should be called seer heretics or mental) Say I said a word I will go to home. Now this took me even 2 second. Now even consider this act completed by 5 lacs of mind moment. Then Only Word I olny taken some thousands of moment then and so on.Work done by one moment is (I/thousands) Then what is casual connection b/w these moments.And How each next moment aware of what is done by previous moment and what I have to do. Because you simply can't urge a permanent controller/experiencer in a system of flux. Or say mind moment are super efficient and self intelligent evet this would involve a serious error explaining working of a mind. You can't say it's done by a single moment. (We all know this theory is false. But I just wanted a logicallity in this philosophy because it's held by some of best man's of ancient India who are very learnt). Sautrantika consider even more radical form of momentariness that momentary entity dose not react(they have no time except generation and destruction) And what we call result of reaction is generation of new series due to proximity of two or more series. This would not work for a mind. because lets consider we are free(sleeping our eyes etc are closed) means outer causes at mind door process is not present. Then in this time each mind series is always proximate and why there is different thought running each time. Also abhimma Buddhism is unable to answer whats our free will. Yogacari are also at great odd. We all are is state of shared dream. World is in our mind. Now they can,nt opt to second option(work done by a flux) because our ear nose eye etc are not actually exist but an aggregate series in our mind(alayvijanana). Alayvijanana too is in flux. Now explaining mind work done momentary is limit of stupidity. Because say we see by eye is actually seeing is process of connection with alayvijanana and eye consciousness while aggregate series of eye has sovereign effect on eye consciousness (that why we say he become blind due to problem in eye).

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