Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
Ryan95227
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Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by Ryan95227 »

After a few day’s rest, they came again for
another week of meditation. That cousin of mine then
reached the stage of the Knowledge of Dissolution.
Although he was noting “rising, falling, sitting,”
he did not see the abdominal shape, and his body
seemed to have disappeared. So he had to touch it
with his hand to see if it was still there, he told me.
And, whenever he looked or saw, everything seemed
to be dissolving and breaking up. The ground he
looked at was dissolving, and so were the trees. It
was all against what he had thought things to be. He
began to wonder.
He had never thought that such external, seasonproduced, gross material things like earth, trees,
logs, etc., could be incessantly breaking up. He
had thought they perished only after a considerable
length of time. They lasted for quite a long time,
he had thought. Now, as insight knowledge gained
momentum with meditation, the rising and passing
of phenomena appeared to him of their own accord
without his specially meditating on them. They
were passing away, breaking up, there before him.
It was all the reverse of his former beliefs. Perhaps
his new vision was wrong. Perhaps his eyesight was
failing.
So he asked me and I explained to him: “The
passing away and breaking up you saw in everything
were true. As your insight grew sharper and quicker,
things appeared as rising and passing away to you
without your meditation on them. These are all true.”
Later on he again told me about his own findings as
he progressed in insight. Today he is no more. He
has long been dead


How can one see things dissociate? I can't fathom how one can see a tree breaking apart. Does anyone follow this quote?
sunnat
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by sunnat »

Everything flickers on and off rapidly, including the senses. This can be experienced, perceived and so understood. Nothing is gained by puzzling over this, craving for it or disbelieving it. Like all matters on the path, it is to be experienced and through experiencing a knowing arises. Pondering this and so many things is an obstacle to experiencing, insight, and wisdom. Atapi sampajano satima. Be happy.
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WindDancer
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by WindDancer »

Yes, I have had similar experiences. In meditation, I have experienced my body disappear, and the insight of impermanence has grown stronger. I shared this in a recent discussion on impermanence:

For a while I have been experiencing tangible things in my life as if they were like dry sand slipping away through the fingers of an open hand. This started happening as a result of my Buddhist practice as aspects of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self began to reveal themselves at deeper levels. This was unsettling, and I felt some fear and disorientation. As time has passed, I have experienced growing disenchantment.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by Ceisiwr »

Ryan95227 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:50 am After a few day’s rest, they came again for
another week of meditation. That cousin of mine then
reached the stage of the Knowledge of Dissolution.
Although he was noting “rising, falling, sitting,”
he did not see the abdominal shape, and his body
seemed to have disappeared. So he had to touch it
with his hand to see if it was still there, he told me.
And, whenever he looked or saw, everything seemed
to be dissolving and breaking up. The ground he
looked at was dissolving, and so were the trees. It
was all against what he had thought things to be. He
began to wonder.
He had never thought that such external, seasonproduced, gross material things like earth, trees,
logs, etc., could be incessantly breaking up. He
had thought they perished only after a considerable
length of time. They lasted for quite a long time,
he had thought. Now, as insight knowledge gained
momentum with meditation, the rising and passing
of phenomena appeared to him of their own accord
without his specially meditating on them. They
were passing away, breaking up, there before him.
It was all the reverse of his former beliefs. Perhaps
his new vision was wrong. Perhaps his eyesight was
failing.
So he asked me and I explained to him: “The
passing away and breaking up you saw in everything
were true. As your insight grew sharper and quicker,
things appeared as rising and passing away to you
without your meditation on them. These are all true.”
Later on he again told me about his own findings as
he progressed in insight. Today he is no more. He
has long been dead


How can one see things dissociate? I can't fathom how one can see a tree breaking apart. Does anyone follow this quote?


“Trees”, “rocks”, “body” etc are constructed by nama-rupa due to the presence of ignorance, lust and aversion.

“And what [monks] is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are, [monks], called name-&-form."“

There being feeling, there is perception. There being perception there is intent. There being intent there is contact, followed by attention. A “world” of “things” is constructed, which the worldling grasps and takes as real. This is why they are impermanent, suffering and not-self. By mastering the jhanas one can calm and concentrate the mind sufficiently to see this happening. This is what is being described in your quote :smile:


“Lust is a maker of signs. Aversion is a maker of signs. Delusion is a maker of signs.” MN 43

“Signs” are percepts.

"Rooted in desire, friends, are all phenomena; originating in attention, are all phenomena”
— A. v. 106).
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

Dhātuvibhaṅga Sutta
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Aloka
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by Aloka »

Ryan95227 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:50 am After a few day’s rest, they came again for
another week of meditation. That cousin of mine then
reached the stage of the Knowledge of Dissolution.
Although he was noting “rising, falling, sitting,”
he did not see the abdominal shape, and his body
seemed to have disappeared. So he had to touch it
with his hand to see if it was still there, he told me.
And, whenever he looked or saw, everything seemed
to be dissolving and breaking up. The ground he
looked at was dissolving, and so were the trees. It
was all against what he had thought things to be. He
began to wonder.
He had never thought that such external, seasonproduced, gross material things like earth, trees,
logs, etc., could be incessantly breaking up. He
had thought they perished only after a considerable
length of time. They lasted for quite a long time,
he had thought. Now, as insight knowledge gained
momentum with meditation, the rising and passing
of phenomena appeared to him of their own accord
without his specially meditating on them. They
were passing away, breaking up, there before him.
It was all the reverse of his former beliefs. Perhaps
his new vision was wrong. Perhaps his eyesight was
failing.
So he asked me and I explained to him: “The
passing away and breaking up you saw in everything
were true. As your insight grew sharper and quicker,
things appeared as rising and passing away to you
without your meditation on them. These are all true.”
Later on he again told me about his own findings as
he progressed in insight. Today he is no more. He
has long been dead


It reads rather like the description of a psychedelic drug experience!


.
Ryan95227
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by Ryan95227 »

WindDancer wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:43 pm Yes, I have had similar experiences. In meditation, I have experienced my body disappear, and the insight of impermanence has grown stronger. I shared this in a recent discussion on impermanence:

For a while I have been experiencing tangible things in my life as if they were like dry sand slipping away through the fingers of an open hand. This started happening as a result of my Buddhist practice as aspects of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self began to reveal themselves at deeper levels. This was unsettling, and I felt some fear and disorientation. As time has passed, I have experienced growing disenchantment.
Was this through noting practice?
auto
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by auto »

Trees dissolving.. hmm then when they talk about jhana's and attainments like no-self, impermanence, they are same unreal category.

Today he is no more. He
has long been dead


There should be disclaimer of it being not factual.

When I tell that the sense of self is tangible and can be traced and its source can be found, they are like eeek you banned heretic. Terminology can be different or presentation is unclear or is off how it actually is, but it is still factual what I mean.
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by Spiny Norman »

Ryan95227 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:50 am After a few day’s rest, they came again for
another week of meditation. That cousin of mine then
reached the stage of the Knowledge of Dissolution.
Although he was noting “rising, falling, sitting,”
he did not see the abdominal shape, and his body
seemed to have disappeared. So he had to touch it
with his hand to see if it was still there, he told me.
And, whenever he looked or saw, everything seemed
to be dissolving and breaking up. The ground he
looked at was dissolving, and so were the trees. It
was all against what he had thought things to be. He
began to wonder.
He had never thought that such external, seasonproduced, gross material things like earth, trees,
logs, etc., could be incessantly breaking up. He
had thought they perished only after a considerable
length of time. They lasted for quite a long time,
he had thought. Now, as insight knowledge gained
momentum with meditation, the rising and passing
of phenomena appeared to him of their own accord
without his specially meditating on them. They
were passing away, breaking up, there before him.
It was all the reverse of his former beliefs. Perhaps
his new vision was wrong. Perhaps his eyesight was
failing.
So he asked me and I explained to him: “The
passing away and breaking up you saw in everything
were true. As your insight grew sharper and quicker,
things appeared as rising and passing away to you
without your meditation on them. These are all true.”
Later on he again told me about his own findings as
he progressed in insight. Today he is no more. He
has long been dead


How can one see things dissociate? I can't fathom how one can see a tree breaking apart. Does anyone follow this quote?
I get the sense of looking at a tree and being aware of it as a living, changing, process. But not of it literally "dissolving" or breaking up.
Maybe he was taking about what he was imagining, rather than what he was actually seeing? I dont know.
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WindDancer
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by WindDancer »

Ryan95227 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:26 pm
WindDancer wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:43 pm Yes, I have had similar experiences. In meditation, I have experienced my body disappear, and the insight of impermanence has grown stronger. I shared this in a recent discussion on impermanence:

For a while I have been experiencing tangible things in my life as if they were like dry sand slipping away through the fingers of an open hand. This started happening as a result of my Buddhist practice as aspects of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self began to reveal themselves at deeper levels. This was unsettling, and I felt some fear and disorientation. As time has passed, I have experienced growing disenchantment.
Was this through noting practice?
I easily fall prey to excessive thinking. I have found that it is better for me to use a light, quiet noting in the beginning period of sitting meditation. Then I make use of suggestions I have learned from Dhamma talks given by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. I switch from noting to a combination body scan/breathing into different areas of the body. As I become more settled, I follow Thanissaro's guidance to allow the breath and energy to flow in and out of each part of my body, breathing in and out through the skin. The breath slows, barely noticeable at the rim of the nostrils. This practice works well for me to help me drop into deeper states of concentration. It has been from using this form of practice that I have experienced my body disappear, and it is where insights of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and not-self have begun to reveal themselves at deeper levels.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

I'm moving this out of "Theravada For Beginners" because it's not a good fit with that section's purpose and structure.

:ugeek:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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mikenz66
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by mikenz66 »

sunnat wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:49 pm Everything flickers on and off rapidly, including the senses. This can be experienced, perceived and so understood. Nothing is gained by puzzling over this, craving for it or disbelieving it. Like all matters on the path, it is to be experienced and through experiencing a knowing arises. Pondering this and so many things is an obstacle to experiencing, insight, and wisdom. Atapi sampajano satima. Be happy.
Good advice and observations. I would add that this kind of experience generally requires the quiet and calm of several days of retreat. Many people report these sorts of experiences, and it's useful to know that they can happen, but I see little point in discussing details with strangers. Better to discuss it with your teachers or close friends.

Here's a similar quote from Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda:
Now, when the rapid process of destruction and breaking
up becomes more prominent, dispassion sets in. One sees this as a
trouble. One is repelled by it, not attracted. The result of this
dispassion is the weakening of craving, the regenerator – ‘taṇhā
ponobhavikā
’. As craving thins out, the fact of cessation becomes
all the more clear, because it is this very craving that has been
concealing it all the time.
...
[The next paragraph links nicely to the Second Noble Truth...]
Seeing Through - A Guide to Insight Meditation: https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
:heart:
Mike
auto
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by auto »

mikenz66 wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:04 am
sunnat wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:49 pm Everything flickers on and off rapidly, including the senses. This can be experienced, perceived and so understood. Nothing is gained by puzzling over this, craving for it or disbelieving it. Like all matters on the path, it is to be experienced and through experiencing a knowing arises. Pondering this and so many things is an obstacle to experiencing, insight, and wisdom. Atapi sampajano satima. Be happy.
Good advice and observations. I would add that this kind of experience generally requires the quiet and calm of several days of retreat. Many people report these sorts of experiences, and it's useful to know that they can happen, but I see little point in discussing details with strangers. Better to discuss it with your teachers or close friends.

Here's a similar quote from Bhikkhu K. Ñāṇananda:
Now, when the rapid process of destruction and breaking
up becomes more prominent, dispassion sets in. One sees this as a
trouble. One is repelled by it, not attracted. The result of this
dispassion is the weakening of craving, the regenerator – ‘taṇhā
ponobhavikā
’. As craving thins out, the fact of cessation becomes
all the more clear, because it is this very craving that has been
concealing it all the time.
...
[The next paragraph links nicely to the Second Noble Truth...]
Seeing Through - A Guide to Insight Meditation: https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
:heart:
Mike
,
https://suttacentral.net/mn118/en/sujato wrote: Whenever a mendicant practices breathing while observing impermanence,
Yasmiṃ samaye, bhikkhave, bhikkhu ‘aniccānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘aniccānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
or observing fading away,‘virāgānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘virāgānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
or observing cessation,‘nirodhānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘nirodhānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;
or observing letting go—‘paṭinissaggānupassī assasissāmī’ti sikkhati, ‘paṭinissaggānupassī passasissāmī’ti sikkhati;

at that time they meditate observing an aspect of principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.
dhammesu dhammānupassī, bhikkhave, tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhu viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ.

Having seen with wisdom the giving up of desire and aversion, they watch over closely with equanimity.
So yaṃ taṃ abhijjhādomanassānaṃ pahānaṃ taṃ paññāya disvā sādhukaṃ ajjhupekkhitā hoti.That’s why at that time a mendicant is meditating by observing an aspect of principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.Tasmātiha, bhikkhave, dhammesu dhammānupassī tasmiṃ samaye bhikkhu viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhādomanassaṃ. (4)
i have doubts that it is anything to do with seeing flickering or dissolving trees unless this flickering denotes anicca which still is off...
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.31/en/sujato wrote: One truly sees with right wisdom that when that fuel ceases, what has come to be is liable to cease.
Tadāhāranirodhā yaṃ bhūtaṃ taṃ nirodhadhammanti yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya passati.
Seeing this, one is practicing for disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding what is liable to cease.
Tadāhāranirodhā yaṃ bhūtaṃ taṃ nirodhadhammanti yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya disvā nirodhadhammassa nibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya paṭipanno hoti.
..since it is starting with
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.31/en/sujato wrote:“Sir, one truly sees with right wisdom that this has come to be.“Bhūtamidanti, bhante, yathābhūtaṃ sammappaññāya passati.
i assume breath is supporting condition and the things what comes to be is mind. It doesn't flicker or arise and pass away instead it has come to be.
and at 4th corner of developing mindfulness it is something what is liable to cease.. observing anicca is that it is impermanent not as arising and passing away but what is subject to dissolution which then is what might cause dispassion because why bother with things what pass away..
And the 4th is about dhamma..manoviññāṇaviññātabbā dhamma
and prolly the dispassion is actually fetter of 'desire for existence'.
--
so yeah, if not talk openly of this things on anonymous forums you won't get to know unbiased sentiment. vipassana bubble is like financial bubble, its going to let down many people when they see actual worth level.
-
ah and if it is not understandable then no need to mention it, I know.
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by auto »

https://mahasivipassana.com/downloads/p ... part_i.pdf
p- 37-38
In respect of the six sense-doors when respective objects arise and realization comes with six kinds of Viññāṇa (consciousness) , the restraint effect by way of vigilance exercised by Mindfulness through the act of noting to prevent Kilesas from arising is called " Indriyasaṃvara Sīla
not just random noting.
In conformity with the Pāḷi which runs as:
" Cakkhunā rūpaṃ disvā na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī , etc.," if a sense-object of sight is seen with the eye, the figure and particulars of a female or of a male which cause to stir up passionate desires 'Kilesa’ , should not be borne in mind. In accordance with Aṭṭhakathā which goes to say:" Diṭṭhamatteyeva saṇṭhāti ", the knowing mind should be stopped short, or rather, should not be allowed to go beyond the sightRūpa or the object seen.
very good.
Further exposition given in the ṭīkā runs:” diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ bhavissati ", and in accordance with this Pāḷi phrase, the mind should be permitted to occur for mere" seeing" of the visual object.
The mind should not be allowed to proceed beyond that point towards mental cognition of how fine and dignified the object is, and that means the characteristics of the beauty and dignity of the sight, or senility and ugliness of the sense-object, etc., should be prevented from creeping into the consciousness of the mind.
..
Aṭṭhakathā as : " Yaṃ tattha bhūtaṃ tadeva gaṇhāti ", only the corporeal matters of the person who is seen that are truly manifested, such as, hairs on the head, hairs of the body, finger nails, toe nails, teeth, skin, flesh, veins, bones and so on, should be put into the mind. Or what is apparently seen as a living being ( Bhūta-rūpa ) (primary elements) and the present corporeal matter in existence ( Upādā-rūpa ) (dependent materiality) should be brought into the mind.
Coming to the OP quote, are these corporeal items what have truly manifested will seem disappear, dissolving, breaking appart?
When the visible object of Rūpa is reflected in the door or aperture of the eye (cakkhu dvāra), the adverting consciousness (āvajjanacitta) which reflect what has been perceived, occurs and then dissolves. Thereafter, the eye-consciousness which sees the sight ( cakkhu - viññāna ), the mind that receives and is inclined towards the sense-object ( sampaṭicchana ), the mind that investigates, considers and verifies (santīrana citta) , the mind that can determine distinguishingly (vuṭṭhapana citta) , occurs in sequence once each, and then dissolves.
..above quote should be that rope and snake simile, rope is rupa and snake is adverting consciousness. What is seen appearing and dissolving is not the trees but adverting consciousness of trees.
http://dictionary.sutta.org/browse/ā/āvajjana wrote: āvajjanaPTS Pali-English dictionary The Pali Text Society's Pali-English dictionary
Āvajjana,(nt.) [fr.āvajjati,cp.BSk.āvarjana in diff.meaning] turning to,paying attention,apprehending; adverting the mind.-- See discussion of term at Cpd.85,227 (the C.derive āvajjana fr.āvaṭṭeti to turn towards,this confusion being due to close resemblance of jj and ṭṭ in writing); also Kvu trsl.221 n.4 (on Kvu 380 which has āvaṭṭanā),282 n.2 (on Kvu 491 āvaṭṭanā).-- Ps.II,5,120; J.II,243; Vbh.320; Miln.102 sq.; Vism.432; DA.I,271.(Page 111)
i suppose it is that citta what is subject to hypnosis too, it has power to make believe. Noting is what avoids making it happen, keeps you awake.

āvajjanacitta seem synonymous or related to manasikāra.
Looks like noting can be replaced with putting attention on something what doesn't cause kilesas to arise, giving same outcome but perhaps is better, faster, more efficient, more Sutta like?
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by mikenz66 »

auto wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:43 pm ... so yeah, if not talk openly of this things on anonymous forums you won't get to know unbiased sentiment. vipassana bubble is like financial bubble, its going to let down many people when they see actual worth level.
-
ah and if it is not understandable then no need to mention it, I know.
You give an excellent illustration of why discussing personal experiences on an internet forum would be pointless. Hence, my limiting myself to quotations...

Be Well.

:heart:
Mike
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Re: Quote from Mahasi Sayadaw

Post by Stephen18 »

I just don't think this is a good translation or what actually happened.
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