"Its like this"

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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bodom
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"Its like this"

Post by bodom » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:51 pm

Dhamma teaching from Ajahn Sumedho:
At ease and relaxed but attentive, awake and aware with the attitude of the knower, the observer, just witness the feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories and sensations that come and go; just observe the breathing, the experience of the body sitting, and maybe the ‘sound of silence’ (the background to the sounds of the traffic). This attitude of being here and now in the present is what we call ‘cultivation’ (bhavana), which is reminding oneself that there is only the present. The body is present now ― it is ‘like this’; the breathing is now ― it is ‘like this’; the ‘sound of silence’ is ‘like this’. Be aware of your mental state, your mood ― right now. Is it happy, sad, confused, peaceful, anxious or worried? The quality of your mental state is not the issue here because you are not being the judge or owner of what is present but only the witness. Many experiences don’t really have a clear-cut quality to them, do they? You might feel confused, uncertain, anxious, a lack of clarity and a general feeling of unease, sadness or loneliness, but reflecting that ‘it is like this’ or ‘this is the way it is’ is using the thinking process not to define or judge but to point to ― ‘My mood at this moment is like this.’ By just thinking these words, you become aware of your mental state, while at the same time being aware of the body and the breath. So this is discerning rather than discriminating. It isn’t a judgemental process but an observing, a witnessing without judging anything as right, wrong, good or bad.

It takes determination to trust this kind of awareness, ­however, because one’s conditioning tends always to go towards being judgemental and to think in terms of, ‘I shouldn’t feel like this! I don’t know what to do! How should I meditate?’ Whatever you are feeling, however, even if you feel confused about everything, just recognize it ― ‘Confusion is like this’. Be the one that is aware, not the one that is always trying to figure things out and know everything about everything. As a human being in this position I can’t know everything about everything ― yet I can know ‘this’. Know what you can know! Recognize that knowing is ‘this’!
https://buddhismnow.com/category/ajahn-sumedho/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Thisperson
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Thisperson » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:59 pm

:twothumbsup:

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Wri
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Wri » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:59 pm

Lovely. Thank you.
Keep your mind steady and rest within the winds of experience.
May I show unconditional love to all beings.

JohnK
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by JohnK » Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:22 pm

bodom wrote:...
:namaste:
Compassionately responsive to many recent threads.
:bow:
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Mkoll
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Mkoll » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:13 pm

Thanks bodom.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Cormac Brown
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:28 am

Ajahn Sumedho wrote:The quality of your mental state is not the issue here...
Hmmm...
SN 45.8 trans. Ven. Thanissaro wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.
Ajahn Sumedho wrote:So this is discerning rather than discriminating. It isn’t a judgemental process but an observing, a witnessing without judging anything as right, wrong, good or bad.
Hmmm?
the dictionary wrote:
discern
[dih-surn, -zurn]
verb (used with object)
1.
to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend:
They discerned a sail on the horizon.
2.
to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate:
He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
verb (used without object)
3.
to distinguish or discriminate.
Origin Expand
1300-50; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin discernere to separate, equivalent to dis- dis-1+ cernere to separate
Bad Dhamma makes me sad.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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bodom
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by bodom » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:52 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:
Ajahn Sumedho wrote:The quality of your mental state is not the issue here...
Hmmm...
SN 45.8 trans. Ven. Thanissaro wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.
Ajahn Sumedho wrote:So this is discerning rather than discriminating. It isn’t a judgemental process but an observing, a witnessing without judging anything as right, wrong, good or bad.
Hmmm?
the dictionary wrote:
discern
[dih-surn, -zurn]
verb (used with object)
1.
to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend:
They discerned a sail on the horizon.
2.
to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate:
He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
verb (used without object)
3.
to distinguish or discriminate.
Origin Expand
1300-50; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin discernere to separate, equivalent to dis- dis-1+ cernere to separate
Bad Dhamma makes me sad.
This dead horse of an argument has been beaten here:

judgment-free awareness
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=18458
and many other threads here on DW.

Please feel free to take your argument too any one of those threads.

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

Cormac Brown
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:59 pm

I'll try to correct anything that I think contradicts the Buddha's teachings and that masquerades as wisdom wherever it rears its head, not where you tell me to.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Sea Turtle
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Sea Turtle » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:12 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:I'll try to correct anything that I think contradicts the Buddha's teachings and that masquerades as wisdom wherever it rears its head, not where you tell me to.
That comes across as quite arrogant.

:anjali:

Cormac Brown
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:23 pm

Sea Turtle wrote:
Cormac Brown wrote:I'll try to correct anything that I think contradicts the Buddha's teachings and that masquerades as wisdom wherever it rears its head, not where you tell me to.
That comes across as quite arrogant.

:anjali:
Thank you for your feedback.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Sea Turtle
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Sea Turtle » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:28 pm

You're welcome. :hug:

Best wishes
:anjali:

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bodom
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by bodom » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:38 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:I'll try to correct anything that I think contradicts the Buddha's teachings and that masquerades as wisdom wherever it rears its head, not where you tell me to.
Thank you for trying to save us all from the false dhamma teachings of Ajahn Sumedho.

:roll: :toilet:

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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daverupa
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by daverupa » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:42 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:I'll try to correct anything that I think contradicts the Buddha's teachings and that masquerades as wisdom wherever it rears its head, not where you tell me to.
It's no contradiction; effort is one thing, mindfulness another. This mindfulness is only observation, while it's the goal of effort to adjust action based on un/wholesomeness.

You are getting mindfulness & effort confused. (Hasty thinking is a thing that makes me sad, alas...)
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Thisperson
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by Thisperson » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:46 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:
Ajahn Sumedho wrote:The quality of your mental state is not the issue here...
Hmmm...
SN 45.8 trans. Ven. Thanissaro wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.
It's my understanding that in the above selection Ajahn Sumedho is instructing people to see the impersonal nature of what's arising in the mind and body.

If we look at the full sentence of which you quoted:
The quality of your mental state is not the issue here because you are not being the judge or owner of what is present but only the witness.
Seeing mental states for what they are, not self. Not being caught up in the story of "me" but seeing things in their impersonal nature and not getting sucked into delusion land. If one sees the defilements as "me", how in the world are they going to go beyond them? In order to start to really cut away at the defilements, one first need to be able to see them for what they are, not "me".
Ajahn Sumedho wrote:So this is discerning rather than discriminating. It isn’t a judgemental process but an observing, a witnessing without judging anything as right, wrong, good or bad.
Hmmm?
the dictionary wrote:
discern
[dih-surn, -zurn]
verb (used with object)
1.
to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend:
They discerned a sail on the horizon.
2.
to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate:
He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
verb (used without object)
3.
to distinguish or discriminate.
Origin Expand
1300-50; Middle English (< Old French) < Latin discernere to separate, equivalent to dis- dis-1+ cernere to separate
Again, I believe he's using the word discern to mean understand things the way they are (anicca, dukkha, anatta), vs using the word discriminate which might be taken in a way as "I shouldn't feel angry!" or "I shouldn't feel worried!" or whatever. Yes, we should work to overcome the defliements, but whatever has arisen in the mind is not self, it's there due to conditions, which seems to be what he's getting at (at least in my opinion), seeing things from an impersonal perspective which is the prerequisite to eliminating the remaining fetters.
Bad Dhamma makes me sad.
:)
Last edited by Thisperson on Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bodom
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Re: "Its like this"

Post by bodom » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:47 pm

daverupa wrote:
Cormac Brown wrote:I'll try to correct anything that I think contradicts the Buddha's teachings and that masquerades as wisdom wherever it rears its head, not where you tell me to.
It's no contradiction; effort is one thing, mindfulness another. This mindfulness is only observation, while it's the goal of effort to adjust action based on un/wholesomeness.

You are getting mindfulness & effort confused. (Hasty thinking is a thing that makes me sad, alas...)
This has always been my understanding as well.

From Analayos Satipatthana commentary pg 57:
A close examination of the instructions in the Satipaììhãna Sutta reveals that the meditator is never instructed to interfere actively with what happens in the mind. If a mental hindrance arises, for example, the task of satipaììhãna contemplation is to know that the
hindrance is present, to know what has led to its arising, and to know what will lead to its disappearance. A more active interven- tion is no longer the domain of satipaììhãna, but belongs rather to the province of right effort (sammã vãyãma).
:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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