Conditioning.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Viscid
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by Viscid » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:51 pm

kirk5a wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Nibbana does not arise, caused by something. It is what is left behind (note the reification) when conditioned things cease (nirodha) or more acurately do not arise. It is an 'uncovering' of sorts- like a carpet being lifted away to reveal a large black hole in the ground.
A black hole! That's a new one. So much for the "luminous mind".

"The other extreme is thinking that nibbāna is some kind of annihilation or black hole."
~Bhikkhu Pesala
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Wor ... rkers.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I don't think anyone was equating the "luminous mind" with nibbāna, and Matheesha's 'black hole' is not the one you get sucked into never to escape from again, but rather something which is revealed by uncovering and is itself empty.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

Nyana
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by Nyana » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:24 pm

kirk5a wrote:A black hole! That's a new one. So much for the "luminous mind".
Indeed. Apparently the canonical definition of nibbāna as the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion isn't good enough.... Of course, this is nothing new. There's a long history of seeking out new and novel definitions of nibbāna in all Buddhist schools. In Metaphor and Literalism in Buddhism: The Doctrinal History of Nirvana, Soonil Hwang states:
  • [N]ew etymologies of nirvana seems to have started at the time when the extinction of the triple fires of passion, hatred and delusion was still used and accepted as the definition of nirvana, while its metaphorical structure had started to be forgotten. Without an understanding of its metaphorical structure, the original definition of nirvana could not satisfy later Buddhists, since it did not cover all aspects of their highest goal.
All the best,

Geoff

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daverupa
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by daverupa » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:29 pm

I think people forget that nibbana is itself a metaphor; metaphors for nibbana are going even further afield.
  • "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]

rowyourboat
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by rowyourboat » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:48 pm

Well I would like to hear someone explain how the sankhata (fabricated) noble eightfold path, leads to the un-fabricated nibbana. All explanations involving dhammas which are fabricated (ie one or several of the aggreggates) are simply inadequate. :tongue:

The black hole is of course an inadequate metaphor, but a more accurate one than those which involve visible/tangible/discernable objects in a 'place' supposedly beyond the aggregates.. I particularly liked Ron's event horizon+black hole metaphor.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing urging, rousing, and encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with Unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support (mental object).[1] This, just this, is the end of stress.
With metta

Matheesha

edit: adding quotes
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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kirk5a
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by kirk5a » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:26 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Well I would like to hear someone explain how the sankhata (fabricated) noble eightfold path, leads to the un-fabricated nibbana. All explanations involving dhammas which are fabricated (ie one or several of the aggreggates) are simply inadequate. :tongue:
"If a monk abandons passion for the property of form...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of feeling...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of perception...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of fabrications...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no base for consciousness. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

rowyourboat
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by rowyourboat » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:26 pm

Hi Kirk,

Thank you. Now which bit of that 'definition' of nibbana is unconditioned?

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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kirk5a
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by kirk5a » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:43 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Kirk,

Thank you. Now which bit of that 'definition' of nibbana is unconditioned?

With metta

Matheesha
"released"
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

rowyourboat
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by rowyourboat » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:34 pm

Hi Kirk,

So you do agree with me (mind the reification) that there is something in nibbana other than just the absence of lobha, dosa and moha, which are conditioned? Or are you saying that there is only the cessation of lobha, dosa and moha and that nibbana, apart from that, doesnt exist?

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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kirk5a
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Re: Conditioning.

Post by kirk5a » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:26 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Kirk,

So you do agree with me (mind the reification) that there is something in nibbana other than just the absence of lobha, dosa and moha, which are conditioned? Or are you saying that there is only the cessation of lobha, dosa and moha and that nibbana, apart from that, doesnt exist?

With metta

Matheesha
Hi Matheesha

Well I was just trying to answer your last questions with the answers I think the suttas provide. In the suttas "exists" or "doesn't exist" are both rejected. It's clear the Buddha was trying to show the way to the end of dukkha, not establish an ultimate metaphysical framework. Still, some things were said - including "'There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — uncompounded." The translation of which, I have noted, some disagree with. And including that sutta quote I provided above, which seems pretty clear to me. I'm no arahant, so my words or views on nibbana don't amount to a hill of beans, I'm sure. But here are some things I just came across from Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo which seem relevant, and compatible with the sutta quote I provided above:

on stream entry:
They have traced the path back and forth, cutting away at the grasses and weeds. One mental moment they trace things forward, and the next moment they trace them back. In other words, they focus on the phenomenon of arising and passing away, and then are able to know through the power of liberating insight that there in the midst of physical and mental phenomena exists something that isn't subject to arising and passing away.

The path to stream-entry is the act of focusing on physical and mental phenomena, back and forth. When events are traced back and forth — sometimes two times in succession, sometimes three, depending on the power of one's insight — physical and mental phenomena disband and change-of-lineage knowledge arises in the same instant, enabling one to see the quality within one that isn't subject to arising or passing away.
on arahantship:
When the qualities of virtue, concentration, and discernment are brought together in fully mature form, the mind is released from physical and mental phenomena through the power of discernment, in line with the teaching,

paññaya paribhavitam cittam
sammadeva asavehi vimuccati:

"When the mind has been matured through discernment, it gains complete release from all mental effluents." The mind is able to let go of physical and mental phenomena. Physical and mental phenomena are not the mind; the mind isn't physical and mental phenomena. The mind isn't virtue, concentration, and discernment.

sabbe dhamma anatta:

The mind doesn't identify any quality as itself, or itself as any of these qualities. It simply is — deathlessness. This is called disbanding because passion, aversion, and delusion have disbanded completely. There is no more becoming for the mind, no more birth, no more involvement with the elements, aggregates, and sense media, and — unlike ordinary run-of-the-mill people — no longer any intoxication with any of these things. As a passage in the Canon puts it:

mada-nimmadano — no longer intoxicated with the three levels of existence;

pipasa-vinayo — no longer thirsting for sensual pleasures;

alaya-samugghato — involvement with the aggregates has been withdrawn, leaving the aggregates free to follow their own natural state;

vattupacchedo — the cycle through the three levels of existence has been cut absolutely;

tanhakkhayo — craving is done with;

virago — passion is done with;

nirodho — unawareness has disbanded without leaving a trace;

nibbana — the mind is freed from its shackles and bonds.

The Deathless is reached. Birth, aging, illness, and death are eliminated. Ultimate, unchanging ease is attained. The aggregates disband without leaving a trace, in line with the synopsis of dependent origination: "Simply with the disbanding of this unawareness — with no trace of remaining passion — fashionings disband... consciousness (with regard to the six senses) disbands... physical and mental phenomena disband... the six sense media disband... sensory contacts disband... the three kinds of feeling disband... the three kinds of craving disband... the four kinds of clinging disband... becoming disbands... birth disbands... aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair all disband and no longer appear as stress."

The mind is Dhamma, free from effluents, because it has gained insight into all fashioned things. It is released from all unawareness, craving, and clinging, and has cut all ten fetters. This is the fruition of arahantship. Those who have reached this level have completed the religion. They have no more defilements or cravings; no one has anything further to teach them. Even the Buddha himself doesn't have it within his power to formulate any further instructions for them. This is why they are said to have completed the religion. If you were to describe their virtues, they would be infinite.
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/books ... _heart.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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