Who or what is being mindful?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Dinsdale
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Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:52 am

Who or what does the "I" and "he" refer to in the Satipatthana Sutta?

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

And who or what is referred to by Ajahn Chah's "one who knows"?

There is the impression of an observer, but what exactly is that?
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budo
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by budo » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:13 am

Consciousness (viññāṇa ) + Fabrications (Saṅkhāra )

Consciousness discriminates, and fabrications intend (Cetanā )

Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is the production of future renewed existence. When there is the production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering
- Cetana Sutta 12.38

rightviewftw
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by rightviewftw » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:14 am

in the world it is the one who is experiencing it.
world is that by which one perceives and conceives of the world; nose, tongue, eye, ear, intellect, body

in other words there are the formations by which the world is conceived and perceived, in regards to the world that is conceived and perceived there comes to be the notion of beings in the world, in regards to the notion of beings in the world there comes to be the notion of "I am"

Basically the notion of one doing stuff is just that, is an idea which arises and does not point to existence of any entity apart from the arisen perception. The idea is itself a perception of an idea due to contact at a particular sense base.

So you have two perspectives on reality, the conception and perception of the world [six classes of perception or aggregates] and the narrative of the perceived and conceived world. Thus ultimately it is no one but in the world it is the one who experiences it.

does it make sense to you?
Last edited by rightviewftw on Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:06 pm, edited 4 times in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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DooDoot
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by DooDoot » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:41 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:52 am
Who or what does the "I" and "he" refer to in the Satipatthana Sutta?
This is very basic beginner's meditation; unrelated to the realisation of non-self.

auto
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by auto » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:29 pm

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .wlsh.html
[The other monks hear that the Ven. Khemaka has said:] "In these five groups of clinging I perceive no self, nor any thing pertaining to a self." [They therefore wrongly conclude that he is an Arahant. Finally, though sick, he comes in person to explain. They ask:] "As for this 'I am' you mention, friend Khemaka, what is it? Do you say this 'I am' is the body or not the body,... feelings,... perceptions,... mental formations,... consciousness or not consciousness?"
"No, friends, I do not say this 'I am' is the body,... consciousness, nor that it is other than the body,... consciousness. Yet with regard to the five groups of clinging,[1] 'I am' comes to me,[2] but I do not consider it (by way of wrong views) as 'This I am.' It is just like the scent of a blue, red or white lotus.[3] If someone were to say, 'The scent belongs to the petals, or the color, or the fibers,'[4] would he be describing it correctly?"
"Surely not, friend."
"Then how would he describe it correctly?"
"As the scent of the flower, would be the correct explanation."
'i am' is not considered wrong view instead it is conceit, a craving.
Subcommentary says: "By way of clinging and conceit (ta.nha-maana)," that is, not by wrong views (di.t.thi). At this stage, wrong views would have been eliminated, but the other factors would still be residually present. Attention is drawn to this significant passage by the Ven. Dr W. Rahula in his excellent little book What the Buddha Taught (Bedford 1956, p. 65)
"In just the same way, friends, though an Ariyan disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters... [as above]... this unextirpated lurking tendency to think: 'I am' is brought to an end."

Now when this teaching was thus expounded, the hearts of some sixty elders[10] were completely freed from the cankers as too was that of Venerable Khemaka.[11]
i think,

I am walking, the 'i am' is not a view who is walking it refers to 'i am walking'. So if you come aware then becoming aware that you are aware is craving originated.

auto
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by auto » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:19 pm

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"When a monk's fermentations that should be abandoned by seeing have been abandoned by seeing, his fermentations that should be abandoned by restraining have been abandoned by restraining, his fermentations that should be abandoned by using have been abandoned by using, his fermentations that should be abandoned by tolerating have been abandoned by tolerating, his fermentations that should be abandoned by avoiding have been abandoned by avoiding, his fermentations that should be abandoned by dispelling have been abandoned by dispelling, his fermentations that should be abandoned by developing have been abandoned by developing, then he is called a monk who dwells restrained with the restraint of all the fermentations.
He has severed craving, thrown off the fetters, and — through the right penetration of conceit — has made an end of suffering & stress."
what is that conceit, it prolly is the same "I am" tanha mana

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Sam Vara
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:40 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:52 am
Who or what does the "I" and "he" refer to in the Satipatthana Sutta?

"Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
The short and simple answer is the correct one here: "The monk", or the person who is doing this particular practice at the time. It is, I think, a "how to" instruction in everyday language rather than a metaphysical statement about selfhood or whatever.
And who or what is referred to by Ajahn Chah's "one who knows"?

There is the impression of an observer, but what exactly is that?
It's difficult to say as people interpreted this "poo roo" concept in different ways, and there is more written about it than but here we might be in danger of straying into metaphysical assertions. Some want to say that by stripping this subjective element of all content, the Ajahn was veering towards an "eternal citta" outside of space and time, and therefore by implication common to all sentience. But to be fair, the people who actually knew him have often said that he didn't mean this. There is this from Paul Breiter:
"Student: Are 'the one who knows' and 'original mind' the same?
Ajahn Chah: No no. the one who knows is something that can change. It is our awareness…Everyone has this.
S: So not everyone has original mind?
AC: The original mind is in every person. Everyone has the one who knows. But the one who knows is something you can never reach conclusion with. Original mind exists in everyone, but not everyone can see it.
S: Is the one who knows a self?
AC: It isn't - it's only an awareness arising.
Questioning like this only leads to endless conclusion. You won't come to clear knowledge just from hearing another's words. Thinking that if you have the right questions about all the fine details you can find out the truth is not how it wrks. It is really something to be realized for yourself. But take the words and investigate what they point to."

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budo
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by budo » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:48 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:40 pm
..
"Student: Are 'the one who knows' and 'original mind' the same?
Ajahn Chah: No no. the one who knows is something that can change. It is our awareness…Everyone has this.
S: So not everyone has original mind?
AC: The original mind is in every person. Everyone has the one who knows. But the one who knows is something you can never reach conclusion with. Original mind exists in everyone, but not everyone can see it.
S: Is the one who knows a self?
AC: It isn't - it's only an awareness arising.
Questioning like this only leads to endless conclusion. You won't come to clear knowledge just from hearing another's words. Thinking that if you have the right questions about all the fine details you can find out the truth is not how it wrks. It is really something to be realized for yourself. But take the words and investigate what they point to."

This is no different than Advaita Vedanta, which is exactly what Nisargadatta Maharaj teaches in the book "I am that". This is not what the Buddha taught or what the Buddha arises for. This is what the Upanishads teach.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:12 pm

budo wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:48 pm
This is no different than Advaita Vedanta, which is exactly what Nisargadatta Maharaj teaches in the book "I am that". This is not what the Buddha taught or what the Buddha arises for. This is what the Upanishads teach.
Yes, it might well be, depending on our interpretations of both. But I'm not even certain that Ajan Chah actually said this, and what it actually means. As the man himself (apparently) said: "Not sure"!

santa100
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by santa100 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:49 pm

Dinsdale wrote:Who or what does the "I" and "he" refer to in the Satipatthana Sutta?
Notice the Buddhist rejection of the 'I' is not a rejection of its use in the conventional sense: 'I am speaking', 'I am walking', etc. What is rejected is the absolute 'I', the 'I' that stands for a substantial, permanent, and changeless reality. So it's a straightforward meaning in the Satipatthana Sutta regarding the "I". But if one still finds it doesn't quite suit his taste, simply noticing "there is the walking", "there is the standing", "there is the sitting" would also be perfectly legit.

Dinsdale
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:22 am

santa100 wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:49 pm
Dinsdale wrote:Who or what does the "I" and "he" refer to in the Satipatthana Sutta?
Notice the Buddhist rejection of the 'I' is not a rejection of its use in the conventional sense: 'I am speaking', 'I am walking', etc. What is rejected is the absolute 'I', the 'I' that stands for a substantial, permanent, and changeless reality. So it's a straightforward meaning in the Satipatthana Sutta regarding the "I". But if one still finds it doesn't quite suit his taste, simply noticing "there is the walking", "there is the standing", "there is the sitting" would also be perfectly legit.
Good point, though I do normally just use single words like "walking" and "seeing" - but there is still the sense of an observer.

Is there a way to practice satipatthana without the sense of an observer? I haven't found it.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinsdale
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:28 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:40 pm
The short and simple answer is the correct one here: "The monk", or the person who is doing this particular practice at the time. It is, I think, a "how to" instruction in everyday language rather than a metaphysical statement about selfhood or whatever.
Sure, but the "how to" seems to require an observer, an awareness that is detached from the various activities and arisings. Also you could extend the OP question to ask "who or what is practising Right Effort, Right Intention, and so on".
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:40 pm
It's difficult to say as people interpreted this "poo roo" concept in different ways, and there is more written about it than but here we might be in danger of straying into metaphysical assertions. Some want to say that by stripping this subjective element of all content, the Ajahn was veering towards an "eternal citta" outside of space and time, and therefore by implication common to all sentience. But to be fair, the people who actually knew him have often said that he didn't mean this. There is this from Paul Breiter:
I wasn't intending to attach a particular explanation to "the one who knows", but practically speaking I've found this does correspond to my own experience of practising satipatthana.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Dinsdale
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:32 am

budo wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:48 pm
This is no different than Advaita Vedanta, which is exactly what Nisargadatta Maharaj teaches in the book "I am that". This is not what the Buddha taught or what the Buddha arises for. This is what the Upanishads teach.
Interesting point, but I wonder if the experience is somewhat similar. It might be more to do with assumptions about the experience.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Dinsdale
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:36 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:41 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:52 am
Who or what does the "I" and "he" refer to in the Satipatthana Sutta?
This is very basic beginner's meditation; unrelated to the realisation of non-self.
On the contrary, I think the discussion here is very much related to the question of self and non-self.

Do you have any constructive comment to make? :shrug:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

rightviewftw
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:41 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:22 am
"I ask the kinsman of the Sun, the great seer,
about seclusion & the state of peace.
Seeing in what way is a monk unbound,
clinging to nothing in the world?"
"He should put an entire stop
to the root of objectification-classifications:
'I am the thinker.'[1]
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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