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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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:44 am

rightviewftw wrote:
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
But how do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?

Note that we're in a practice sub-forum, so I'm interested in a practical discussion. I'm familiar with what the suttas say.
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 10:51 am

auto wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:19 pm
what is that conceit, it prolly is the same "I am" tanha mana
Is the sense of an observer in satipatthana the same as mana? I don't think it is, but I could be wrong.
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 10:51 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:44 am
rightviewftw wrote:
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
But how do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?

Note that we're in a practice sub-forum, so I'm interested in a practical discussion. I'm familiar with what the suttas say.
Consider the famous "cognito, ergo sum" , "I think, therefore I am"
Do you see the flaw in Decartes logic there?
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."

Dinsdale
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Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:55 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:51 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:44 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:41 am

But how do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?

Note that we're in a practice sub-forum, so I'm interested in a practical discussion. I'm familiar with what the suttas say.
Consider the famous "cognito, ergo sum" , "I think, therefore I am"
Do you see the flaw in Decartes logic there?
I'm going to redirect you to the question I asked:
"How do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?"
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 10:59 am

auto wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:29 pm
I am walking,
By all means remove the "I am", and just say "walking" - but who or what is aware of "walking"? Who or what is aware of seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, etc?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

SarathW
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:00 am

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

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 depends on the level of the practitioner.
For a beginner, it is the self-view.
For learner and an Arahant it has a different meaning.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

rightviewftw
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:07 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:55 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:51 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:44 am


But how do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?

Note that we're in a practice sub-forum, so I'm interested in a practical discussion. I'm familiar with what the suttas say.
Consider the famous "cognito, ergo sum" , "I think, therefore I am"
Do you see the flaw in Decartes logic there?
I'm going to redirect you to the question I asked:
"How do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?"
i think it would be better if you play along rather than me attempting to explain how one practically does it because as soon as you realize the flaw in decartes logic you will no longer have the question of how to practically. I can explain the flaw therein if you want but i think explaining the practical execution of it is not the optimal way to explain it.
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 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:21 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:36 am
On the contrary, I think the discussion here is very much related to the question of self and non-self.
The awareness of body posture is pre-school meditation; not even kindergarten of ABCs.
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:36 am
Do you have any constructive comment to make?
I did. :smile: You seem to be attempting to apply calculus to basic arithmetic; applying civil engineering to origami.

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budo
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by budo » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:35 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:55 am

"How do you notice thoughts without an observer to notice? Practically speaking?"
There is an observer, it is the sense bases and perception doing the observing. Just like a camera lens can pick up light, so can the human eye pick up light. Just like a CPU can differentiate between 0's and 1's, so can the consciousness differentiate between this or that.

This whole process is void of a self though.

If you're trying to find an "eternal" observer or awareness or "original" mind or absolute or whatever word you want to use, you'll never find one because it doesn't exist. Even people who go on DMT trips into other dimensions can't say so with certainty, because for all they know it's their mind producing these hallucinations.

And besides asking for a practice on how to achieve something that's not Buddhist on a Buddhist forum is probably not going to net you anything valuable.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:41 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
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".
No, that's a metaphysical position derived from a simple set of instructions. When doing metaphysics, do metaphysics. But when watching your breathing, just watch your breathing.

Dinsdale
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:40 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:21 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:36 am
On the contrary, I think the discussion here is very much related to the question of self and non-self.
The awareness of body posture is pre-school meditation; not even kindergarten of ABCs.
Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:36 am
Do you have any constructive comment to make?
I did. :smile: You seem to be attempting to apply calculus to basic arithmetic; applying civil engineering to origami.
The OP quote was just an example of satipatthana, something which all the other posters here seem to have realised. :shrug:

You seem more interested in point-scoring than in genuine discussion. As usual.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 3:43 pm

budo wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:35 pm
If you're trying to find an "eternal" observer or awareness or "original" mind or absolute or whatever word you want to use, you'll never find one because it doesn't exist.
That's an assumption, though actually it wasn't one I made in the OP.
budo wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:35 pm
And besides asking for a practice on how to achieve something that's not Buddhist on a Buddhist forum is probably not going to net you anything valuable.
:shrug: I asked a straightforward question arising from satipatthana practice. To be honest I'm not very impressed with some of the responses here.
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 3:45 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:41 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
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".
No, that's a metaphysical position derived from a simple set of instructions. When doing metaphysics, do metaphysics. But when watching your breathing, just watch your breathing.
It's actually a very practical question. To say "just watch your breath" is fine, but watching implies a watcher, so....?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

auto
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by auto » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:48 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:59 am
auto wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:29 pm
I am walking,
By all means remove the "I am", and just say "walking" - but who or what is aware of "walking"? Who or what is aware of seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, etc?
who is aware of walking you ask? That is enquiry with mentality. Concentration practice what leads to being alert and mindful.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.
maybe,
that 'who' is unmade, it is unarisen.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned.
what you try to do is locate the who or self who is aware, that is how you develop concentration by holding the fermentations in check.

how one attends inappropriately
"This is how he attends inappropriately:
'Was I in the past?
Was I not in the past?
What was I in the past?
How was I in the past?
Having been what, what was I in the past?
Shall I be in the future?
Shall I not be in the future?
What shall I be in the future?
How shall I be in the future?
Having been what, what shall I be in the future?'

Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present:
'Am I?
Am I not?
What am I?
How am I?
Where has this being come from?
Where is it bound?'
"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him:
The view I have a self arises in him as true & established,
or the view I have no self…
or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self...
or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self...
or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established,

or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity.

This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.
you need be able to pinpoint it down as truth and reality. Otherwise there are these positions or views because you can't pin down Tathagata as truth and reality.

Dinsdale
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Re: Who or what is being mindful?

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:51 pm

auto wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:48 pm
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.
OK, so feelings perceptions and thoughts are known. But that implies a knower, a subject-object duality if you like.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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