Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

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beeblebrox
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by beeblebrox » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:53 am

What Robert K. said seems to match my experience that when an unpleasant feeling arises (and then persists for a while) then that would mean the mindfulness had either lapsed, or wasn't correct, i.e., samma-sati. Of course my own experiences aren't that deep, so keep that in mind.

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Digity
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by Digity » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:55 am

My biggest issue with mindfulness is boredom. It's often boring to be mindful when I'm washing my teeth or doing the dishes. Does it ever become enjoyable to do all these things mindfully?

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robertk
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:37 am

Digity wrote:My biggest issue with mindfulness is boredom. It's often boring to be mindful when I'm washing my teeth or doing the dishes. Does it ever become enjoyable to do all these things mindfully?
Good question and the reason I started this topic. Mindfulness by definition can never be boring or have even the slightest taste of unpleasantness . But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:41 am

robertk wrote:But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.
So, you are saying that -- oh, let us say -- Burmese vipassana practice is "a wrong path?"
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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robertk
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.
So, you are saying that -- oh, let us say -- Burmese vipassana practice is "a wrong path?"
I am mystified as to how you could possibly read that onto what I just wrote.
Did you understand that a member thought his mindfulness of brushing his teeth could feel unpleasant. This is an impossibility. According to Abhidhamma.
How does it in anyway bring the Mahasi system into play?

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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by Digity » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:11 am

robertk wrote:
Digity wrote:My biggest issue with mindfulness is boredom. It's often boring to be mindful when I'm washing my teeth or doing the dishes. Does it ever become enjoyable to do all these things mindfully?
Good question and the reason I started this topic. Mindfulness by definition can never be boring or have even the slightest taste of unpleasantness . But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.
That's the first time I've heard mindfulness defined in such a way. My understanding is that mindfulness is keeping something in mind. I've never heard anything about that experience having to be pleasant and if it isn't it's not mindfulness. Not offense, but I think your definition may be wrong. Although, I'd like to hear other people's opinions.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Can you point out where it says it must be pleasant or its not mindfulness?
Last edited by Digity on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ben
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by Ben » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:14 am

Digity wrote:
robertk wrote:
Digity wrote:My biggest issue with mindfulness is boredom. It's often boring to be mindful when I'm washing my teeth or doing the dishes. Does it ever become enjoyable to do all these things mindfully?
Good question and the reason I started this topic. Mindfulness by definition can never be boring or have even the slightest taste of unpleasantness . But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.
That's the first time I've heard mindfulness defined in such a way. My understanding is that mindfulness is keeping something in mind. I've never heard anything about that experience having to be pleasant and if it isn't it's not mindfulness. Not offense, but I think your definition may be wrong. Although, I'd like to hear other people's opinions.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Can you point out where it says it must be pleasant or its not mindfulness?
This is the Abhidhamma forum. Robert's definition is consistent with the Abhidhamma.
“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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Digity
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by Digity » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:16 am

If your definition is based on the Abhidhamma can you show me where? I'm not too familiar with it. I just read the Buddha's basic teachings. Anyway, what your saying about mindfulness seems off to me. I think the flavour of mindfulness changes as it develops. I don't think it necessarily starts off as pleasant, but I can see if one develops concentration and the mind quiets down then it could be more and more pleasant, but obviously that's not going to happen for someone who is just starting off...and then they're suppose to thing they're on the wrong path? Seems odd.

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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:17 am

robertk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.
So, you are saying that -- oh, let us say -- Burmese vipassana practice is "a wrong path?"
I am mystified as to how you could possibly read that onto what I just wrote.
Did you understand that a member thought his mindfulness of brushing his teeth could feel unpleasant. This is an impossibility. According to Abhidhamma.
How does it in anyway bring the Mahasi system into play?
Just asking. It is good to see that you do not see that Burmese style practice is wrong practice.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by kirk5a » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:25 am

Ben wrote: This is the Abhidhamma forum. Robert's definition is consistent with the Abhidhamma.
This appears to me to be in the Classical Theravada forum. As such, aren't non-Abhidhamma answers to the topic fair game?
"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: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:47 am

Cittasanto wrote:I have certainly experianced unpleasant feelings when being mindful, or bringing mindfulness to a memory that comes up. how is this explained in the Abhidhamma?
Reading some of the responses again, I am now wondering if I had not misunderstood the OP statement that "According to Abhidhamma it is impossible for any mindstates associated with sati to have unpleasant feeling. It can only come with either pleasant or neutral feeling."
Is this association of sati with particular feelings not part of the object being looked at and actually part of the experience of sati itself?
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pilgrim
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by pilgrim » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:53 am

Mindfulness is a tool the mind applies to be aware. It is neither pleasant nor unpleasant. What is described as pleasant or unpleasant are feelings (vedana). Obviously, one can be mindful of both pleasant and unpleasant feelings. I thought this much would have been obvious.

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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:55 am

Greetings,
kirk5a wrote:
Ben wrote: This is the Abhidhamma forum. Robert's definition is consistent with the Abhidhamma.
This appears to me to be in the Classical Theravada forum. As such, aren't non-Abhidhamma answers to the topic fair game?
Yes, so long as there is an attempt to conform to the Mahavihara position on Dhamma matters, as expounded by the ancient commentators.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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robertk
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by robertk » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:16 am

.
]Just asking. It is good to see that you do not see that Burmese style practice is wrong practice.
Let us be clear I never made any evaluation of the burmese method on this thread. Now if your posts are designed to somehow designate criticism of the burmese techniques improper you might be better asking the administration to put something to this effect in dhamma wheel terms of use.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Can Mindfulness be unpleasant?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:19 am

robertk wrote:
robertk wrote: am mystified as to how you could possibly read that onto what I just wrote.
Did you understand that a member thought his mindfulness of brushing his teeth could feel unpleasant. This is an impossibility. According to Abhidhamma.
How does it in anyway bring the Mahasi system into play?
Just asking. It is good to see that you do not see that Burmese style practice is wrong practice.
Let us be clear I never made any evaluation of the burmese method on this thread. Now if your posts are designed to somehow designate criticism of the burmese techniques improper you might be better asking the administration to put something to this effect in dhamma wheel terms of use.
Criticism of the Burmese vipassana methods is fair topic. As for what you have said above, I was curious as to whether or not it would apply to the Burmese methods, even if you have not overtly stated anything about them one way or another.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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