Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

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Dinsdale
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:33 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:26 pm
Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:19 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:24 am
Bhante, what you are referring to is not the same thing that Spiny put forth. Jhana is certainly helpful and leads to nibbida, etc.
Spiny spoke of "suttas [in which] there is the idea of turning away from the conditioned, and towards the unconditioned." The sutta I cited is certainly an example of this. In this case it happens to be first jhāna that is the conditioned thing that one turns away from. In other suttas the phrase is used in connection with other things that one turns away from, having come to realize their coarseness in comparison to the unconditioned.
Bhante, forgive me but I think we're talking about two different things here. Some of the ideas put forth by people teaching a modern approach to Mindfulness practice are not really in line with the Buddha's teachings. If someone is not a Buddhist and practices these things, there is no foul as far as a Buddhist goes. But, if the practice of mindfulness is not taken up with a foundation of the 3 marks of existence, the necessary conditions for the fruit cannot line up. Benefits can be gained, no doubt, but not a complete disenchantment as taught by the Buddha. Jhanas by themselves also cannot be the cause for release. Introducing the unconditioned is somewhat like talking about a god, a Self, something that one can experience. How can one turn towards something that is not experienceable?, that is not conditioned? Turning away from a jhana because it is conditioned would be nibbida, disenchantment, an act of wisdom/insight. Doesn't this make sense to you?
I think there are different levels of "turning away". It could be turning towards the refined pleasure of jhana, and away from the coarse pleasure of the senses. It could be turning towards stillness, and away from movement. And so on.

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L.N.
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by L.N. » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:26 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:00 pm
I make a point of listening for YOLO references. Sometimes, they look like this: "We only have this one short time on earth, so we must make the best of it."
I have never heard anything like this during such a presentation.
binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:00 pm
Modern mindfulness can be helpful toward the end of "remembering the teaching" when, for example, it aids individuals at a particular stage in refraining from harmful conduct, and when it plants the seeds for greater self-examination rather than brute reactivity.
I'm not convinced that works.
Maybe not for you, and that's fine.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

ieee23
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by ieee23 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:38 pm

paul wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:01 pm
dispassionate toward them, enough to be liberated from them.” (SN 15:20, ii 193) —-“Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement,” Part 1. Between Tradition and Modernity, ‘The Transformations of Mindfulness’, Ven. Bikkhu Bodhi
I found the title on the Internet, but not by Bhikkhu Bodhi

If it is not a book by him, can you post a link as to where he is making this commentary?
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

Saengnapha
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:24 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:33 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:26 pm
Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:19 am


Spiny spoke of "suttas [in which] there is the idea of turning away from the conditioned, and towards the unconditioned." The sutta I cited is certainly an example of this. In this case it happens to be first jhāna that is the conditioned thing that one turns away from. In other suttas the phrase is used in connection with other things that one turns away from, having come to realize their coarseness in comparison to the unconditioned.
Bhante, forgive me but I think we're talking about two different things here. Some of the ideas put forth by people teaching a modern approach to Mindfulness practice are not really in line with the Buddha's teachings. If someone is not a Buddhist and practices these things, there is no foul as far as a Buddhist goes. But, if the practice of mindfulness is not taken up with a foundation of the 3 marks of existence, the necessary conditions for the fruit cannot line up. Benefits can be gained, no doubt, but not a complete disenchantment as taught by the Buddha. Jhanas by themselves also cannot be the cause for release. Introducing the unconditioned is somewhat like talking about a god, a Self, something that one can experience. How can one turn towards something that is not experienceable?, that is not conditioned? Turning away from a jhana because it is conditioned would be nibbida, disenchantment, an act of wisdom/insight. Doesn't this make sense to you?
I think there are different levels of "turning away". It could be turning towards the refined pleasure of jhana, and away from the coarse pleasure of the senses. It could be turning towards stillness, and away from movement. And so on.
This is not what I am talking about. Nibbida seems to be a turning away from all experience. Why? Because all experience is unsatisfying and is dukkha. Nibbida is a condition for dispassion which in turn is a condition for release.

Also:

“The jhānas and the mundane types of direct knowledge by themselves do not issue in enlightenment and liberation. As lofty and peaceful as these attainments are, they can only suppress the defilements that sustain the round of rebirths but cannot eradicate them. To uproot the defilements at the most fundamental level, and thereby yield the fruits of enlightenment and deliverance, the meditative process must be redirected along a third line of development, one which does not necessarily presuppose the former two. This is the contemplation of “things as they actually are,” which results in increasingly deeper insights into the nature of existence and culminates in the final goal, the attainment of arahantship.”

Excerpt From: Nanamoli, Bhikkhu. “The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha.”

paul
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by paul » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:47 am

ieee23 wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:38 pm
can you post a link as to where he is making this commentary?
The link is there in one of my posts.

Dinsdale
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:06 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:24 am
Nibbida seems to be a turning away from all experience. Why? Because all experience is unsatisfying and is dukkha. Nibbida is a condition for dispassion which in turn is a condition for release.
So, returning to my original question, is this turning away from all experience present in the modern mindfulness movement? I don't think it is, but I might be wrong.

paul
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by paul » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:24 am

Secularized mindfulness is based in psychology rather than Buddhism, and the aim of psychology is to make the person a functioning member of society, whereas the aim of Buddhism is to be liberated from conventional reality (samsara). So the application of secular mindfulness is a 'band aid' solution:

“In the Pali suttas, the discourses of the Buddha, the word dukkha is used in at least three senses. One, which is probably the original sense of the word dukkha and was used in conventional discourse during the Buddha’s time, is pain, particularly painful bodily feelings. The Buddha also uses the word dukkha for the emotional aspect of human existence. There are a number of synonyms that comprise this aspect of dukkha: soka, which means sorrow; aryadeva, which is lamentation; dolmenasa, which is sadness, grief, or displeasure; and upayasa, which is misery, even despair. The deepest, most comprehensive aspect of dukkha is signified by the term samkara (sankhara)-dukkha, which means the dukkha that is inherent in all conditioned phenomena simply by virtue of the fact that they are conditioned.
[…]
If we don’t accept that deeper dimension, then when dukkha gets adapted to the Western mentality, we wind up with what I would call a psychologicalization of the Buddha’s teaching. That is, dukkha becomes explained almost entirely as psychological or emotional suffering—distress, dissatisfaction, worry, anxiety, fear, concern, and so on. When it is explained in that way, one sees the aim of practice as overcoming those states of psychological uneasiness in order to live peacefully and happily in this present life. That seems to be the drift of what I would call the secularized mindfulness movement that has grown out from Buddhism. It presents a partial explanation of dukkha according to the Buddha’s teachings; if we take that to be a fully adequate explanation, then we are impoverishing the teaching and turning it into a kind of therapeutic discipline rather than a liberative one.”—-“Understanding Dukkha”, Lion’s Roar 14/11/17, Bikkhu Bodhi discussion contributor.
Last edited by paul on Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Saengnapha
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Re: Bikkhu Bodhi on the errors of modern mindfulness

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:36 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:06 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:24 am
Nibbida seems to be a turning away from all experience. Why? Because all experience is unsatisfying and is dukkha. Nibbida is a condition for dispassion which in turn is a condition for release.
So, returning to my original question, is this turning away from all experience present in the modern mindfulness movement? I don't think it is, but I might be wrong.
From the brief glimpses that I've read, no it is not.

I think Paul's quote is very apropos. However, the secular variety may very well lead into a more fuller investigation depending on the person. Haven't we all held wrong views even though we study Dhamma? It is all to be pointed out, eventually.

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