Seeing mind as impermanent

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
zan
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Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby zan » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:46 pm

I understand how to see things like sound as impermanent. A sound comes up, is noted and then is gone. Likewise with other phenomena. But with mind there is always the life continuum filling in the empty spots. The life continuum seems to create the illusion of a constant self that underlies things. How do we see through it?
I don't have much knowledge of the Dhamma, I'm just a beginner. Keep that in mind before you take anything I say too seriously :tongue:

santa100
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Re: Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby santa100 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:30 pm

Life-continuum citta itself is subjected to change, temporarily arrested, and resuming. More details can be found in the Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma where it says that life-continuum is just a citta among other cittas (adverting citta, receiving citta, determining citta, etc.). When an object impinges on a sense door, it's temporarily arrested. Once other cognitive cittas complete, the it resumes.

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Goofaholix
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Re: Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:39 pm

zan wrote:I understand how to see things like sound as impermanent. A sound comes up, is noted and then is gone. Likewise with other phenomena. But with mind there is always the life continuum filling in the empty spots. The life continuum seems to create the illusion of a constant self that underlies things. How do we see through it?


I think you've already hit the nail on the head by using the word continuum;

Definition of continuum:
a coherent whole characterized as a collection, sequence, or progression of values or elements varying by minute degrees.

While the change may be subtle and along a theme or thread that's anicca, so we learn to take note of that subtle inconstancy.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

pegembara
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Re: Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby pegembara » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:37 am

zan wrote:I understand how to see things like sound as impermanent. A sound comes up, is noted and then is gone. Likewise with other phenomena. But with mind there is always the life continuum filling in the empty spots. The life continuum seems to create the illusion of a constant self that underlies things. How do we see through it?


Sound is not self because you can point it out like sights, smells, taste, touch, feeling or thoughts.

Even the Unconditioned is not self (anatta).

Have you considered the fact that whatever thing that you can point to eg. consciousness, life continuum, the knower cannot be self? After all if that which you point to is self, who is doing the pointing?

Q: This word 'citta' is used in the suttas for the subjective consciousness. If there's a citta from which the asavas (biases) are removed and a citta which is liberated, how does this fit in with the idea of self or no-self? How does one avoid self-view in thinking about the citta? If there's no self, who is it that's aware and what is it that becomes enlightened?

Just like the question "Can you see your own eyes?" Nobody can see their own eyes. I can see your eyes but I can't see my eyes. I'm sitting right here, I've got two eyes and I can't see them. But you can see my eyes. But there's no need for me to see my eyes because 1 can see! It's ridiculous, isn't it? If I started saying "Why can't I see my own eyes?" you'd think "Ajahn Sumedho's really weird, isn't he!" Looking in a mirror you can see a reflection, but that's not your eyes, it's a reflection of your eyes. There's no way that I've been able to look and see my own eyes, but then it's not necessary to see your own eyes. It's not necessary to know who it is that knows-because there's knowing. And then you start creating views about who is it that knows, then you start the avijja paccaya sankhara and on through the whole thing again to despair and anguish.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books3/Ajahn ... n_Time.htm
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Bakmoon
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Re: Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby Bakmoon » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:36 pm

zan wrote:I understand how to see things like sound as impermanent. A sound comes up, is noted and then is gone. Likewise with other phenomena. But with mind there is always the life continuum filling in the empty spots. The life continuum seems to create the illusion of a constant self that underlies things. How do we see through it?


I'm going to assume that by life continuum you are referring to the Bhavanga-citta, but I think what I am going to say applies to other possible meanings as well. It is important to bear in mind that the life continuum is not an unchanging substrate that is somehow 'underneath' the various mind states. Rather, the life continuum is a particular kind of blank mind state that pops up in the gaps to fill in the space between other mind states. It is just as impermanent as all the other mind states.

It's for this reason that I personally don't like that particular translation.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:30 pm

zan wrote:I understand how to see things like sound as impermanent. A sound comes up, is noted and then is gone. Likewise with other phenomena. But with mind there is always the life continuum filling in the empty spots. The life continuum seems to create the illusion of a constant self that underlies things. How do we see through it?


There is a sense of continuity, but if you observe carefully you will notice that your state of mind is continually changing, and that everything arises in dependence on conditions.

You might find it helpful to revisit the third and fourth frame of reference in the Satipatthana Sutta, sections 3 and 4 here: https://suttacentral.net/en/mn10
I work mostly with the sense bases, including the mind, see section 4.3
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

Hyke
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Re: Seeing mind as impermanent

Postby Hyke » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:44 pm

zan wrote:How do we see through it?

By seen how the brain is inconstant, changeable, alterable. By seen how mind phenomenon (taughts, attention etc.) are always changing, inconstant, alterable. By seen how feelings dependent on mind and on what the mind thinks are also inconstant, changing all the time. The same as with eye, eye sights and feelings that arose due to them are inconstant, changeable, alterable.


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