"Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:41 am

mikenz66 wrote: If you attend closely then there will be times when the experiences start to break up into discrete chunks. This is perceived, then that is perceived, and so on. No need to think about it, that's just what you "see".
I tend to agree. I use simple labelling to note experiences arising in the initial stages, but as my mind calms down properly it's more like just noticing what's going on - how stuff comes and goes.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:59 am

legolas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
legolas wrote:As a question, can you point to any sutta where the Buddha states that thoughts subside other than the 2nd jhana and above?
If it takes the second jhana for thoughts to subside, then the 2nd jhana certainly is not at all unknown to experienced vipassana practitioners in long term retreats who experience periods of quiescence and clear awareness where the thinking process comes to a rest. This is not at all uncommon.
I honestly can't comment on whether they are in 2nd jhana or not. However if one approaches the meditation with a view that thought is a hindrance and must be abandoned right at the beginning then perhaps there is more suppression(jhana) going on rather than abandoning - I don't know.
I take it that you are in agreement with me that there is no sutta where thought subsides other than when 2nd jhana and above is attained.
I guess it depends upon what you mean by "thought subsides." But as I have said before, elsewhere, while there might be a hindrance, that does not mean it has to, by absolute necessity, hinder anything. If that were the case, awakening would not be possible:

Herein, monks, when sense-desire is present, a monk knows, "There is sense-desire in me," or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, "There is no sense-desire in me." He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense-desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense-desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sense-desire comes to be. -- MN 10
This not an intellectual process; rather, it is a matter of concentrated attention as the process unfolds.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:00 am

Alex123 wrote:In Satipaṭṭhānasuttaṃ there is instruction such as:
When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.'
I take this to be consistent with the use of simple labelling or noting, and primarily related to mindfulness "off the cushion". But I know people have different ideas about this. :smile:

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:01 am

legolas wrote: I take it that you are in agreement with me that there is no sutta where thought subsides other than when 2nd jhana and above is attained.
I'm not sure what you mean by "subside". Perhaps you're talking about ceasing completely. That doesn't seem relevant to the current discussion. There are a number of suttas that talk about observing the arising and passing away of thoughts, among other things...
AN 4.41 Samadhi Sutta: Concentration
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"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.
:anjali:
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by legolas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:05 am

mikenz66 wrote:
legolas wrote: I take it that you are in agreement with me that there is no sutta where thought subsides other than when 2nd jhana and above is attained.
I'm not sure what you mean by "subside". Perhaps you're talking about ceasing completely. That doesn't seem relevant to the current discussion. There are a number of suttas that talk about observing the arising and passing away of thoughts, among other things...
AN 4.41 Samadhi Sutta: Concentration
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"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.
:anjali:
Mike

Thoughts subsiding/free from......

"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... jhana.html

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:11 am

legolas wrote: Thoughts subsiding/free from......

"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... jhana.html
Well, that's the instructions for a "pleasant abiding":
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? ...
A different type of samadhi from the section I quoted.

:anjali:
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by legolas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:24 am

mikenz66 wrote:
legolas wrote: Thoughts subsiding/free from......

"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... jhana.html
Well, that's the instructions for a "pleasant abiding":
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? ...
A different type of samadhi from the section I quoted.

:anjali:
Mike
Not if one understands that the four foundations undertaken properly are a basis for jhana and that jhana is the position from which one is able to actually "see" arise & fall as an experential understanding rather than a noting one. Mindfulness only reaches its purest form in the 4th jhana from within which, arise & fall are clearly visible.

Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:27 am

And an even better use for samadhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.
Of course, a pleasant abiding in the here and now isn't a bad thing, and it seems that such practice can be a useful support for the liberating development...

:anjali:
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:37 am

mikenz66 wrote:And an even better use for samadhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.
Of course, a pleasant abiding in the here and now isn't a bad thing, and it seems that such practice can be a useful support for the liberating development...

:anjali:
Mike
And, of course, the "vipassana jhanas" should not be dismissed.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by legolas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:09 am

mikenz66 wrote:And an even better use for samadhi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is perception, such its origination, such its passing away. Such are fabrications, such their origination, such their passing away. Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.' This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.
Of course, a pleasant abiding in the here and now isn't a bad thing, and it seems that such practice can be a useful support for the liberating development...

:anjali:
Mike
More than useful.......

"I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana... the second jhana... the third... the fourth... the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness. I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

The whole sutta is an elegant portrayal of jhana and its centrality to the path.

I have never come across the "vipassana jhanas" within the suttas so I cannot comment.
However if by "vipassana jhanas" it is meant jhana from within which mindfulness can be practiced then it is a bit of additional hyperbole - they are just the jhana's as portrayed in the suttas by the Buddha.

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by beeblebrox » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:17 pm

legolas wrote: Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.
Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization of the jhanas. I get the impression that this is the important difference many jhana people seem to miss. I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...

:anjali:

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by IanAnd » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:39 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
legolas wrote:Not if one understands that the four foundations [establishments; my preference in translation] undertaken properly are a basis for jhana and that jhana is the position from which one is able to actually "see" arise & fall as an experential understanding rather than a noting one. Mindfulness only reaches its purest form in the 4th jhana from within which, arise & fall are clearly visible.

Right concentration when explicitly stated is always jhana.
Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization of the jhanas. I get the impression that this is the important difference many jhana people seem to miss. I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...
While I understand the distinction being made, if you take what legolas wrote in context and understand it not from the perspective that you presented it in (through isolating one idea stated in one sentence), but from within the context of what was written, the term "right concentration" implies "proper utilization" of the jhanas, don't you think?

And the term "jhana" itself is referencing a special kind of concentration: i.e. "fixed" concentration, in other words that which cannot be interrupted or disturbed by outside phenomena, thus allowing the mind to maintain its point of view free from distracting influences so that appropriate attention can take place.
beeblebrox wrote:I think that the jhanas by themselves are nothing special...
From my perspective of the experience, the term "jhana" is synonymous with the Pali term used by Ajahn Chah and others, namely appana samadhi, which has been translated as "fixed concentration." In this sense, then, the fact that developing the practice of jhana helps one to hone one's ability for being able to remain in a condition of "fixed concentration" on an object necessarily makes them "something special," especially for someone who previously was not able to accomplish fixed concentration on an object without the benefit of a practice in jhana.

That said, though, I can agree with the qualifier "in themselves," in the sense that the jhanas should not be put up on a pedestal as being something inherently difficult to obtain to or foreign to our everyday experience, in themselves nothing particularly special.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by beeblebrox » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:22 pm

IanAnd wrote:While I understand the distinction being made, if you take what legolas wrote in context and understand it not from the perspective that you presented it in (through isolating one idea stated in one sentence), but from within the context of what was written, the term "right concentration" implies "proper utilization" of the jhanas, don't you think?
I agree, but this thread is confused, (to me). In some posts Legolas says that thinking is OK (as per the topic of this thread), which I agree with. In other posts, Legolas implies that they shouldn't be suppressed (which I agree with), but abandoned (which I don't agree, since it's still a form of suppression). They just shouldn't be clung to.

Then he brings up the "Right Concentration" as being jhana, with isn't wrong in itself... but why did he bring it up? He also seemed to shift to saying that the "noting" (or thinking) is not ideal... which was Tilt's position that he was arguing against in the first place... it seemed out of blue.

And then it seems to have to do with his problem of the "vipassana jhana." He also mentioned that it's a redundant phrase. To me "vipassana jhana" just means using the jhana correctly. That's basically what I was working from.

I think this thread is just confused. There is more agreement going on in here, than disagreement. It's silly.

:anjali:

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by IanAnd » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:26 pm

beeblebrox wrote: I agree, but this thread is confused, (to me). In some posts Legolas says that thinking is OK (as per the topic of this thread), which I agree with. In other posts, Legolas implies that they shouldn't be suppressed (which I agree with), but abandoned (which I don't agree, since it's still a form of suppression). They just shouldn't be clung to.
Ah, I see. I hadn't spent any time reading through the rest of the thread. Just noticed something that I thought needed clarification.
beeblebrox wrote: Then he brings up the "Right Concentration" as being jhana, with isn't wrong in itself... but why did he bring it up? He also seemed to shift to saying that the "noting" (or thinking) is not ideal... which was Tilt's position that he was arguing against in the first place... it seemed out of blue.

And then it seems to have to do with his problem of the "vipassana jhana." He also mentioned that it's a redundant phrase. To me "vipassana jhana" just means using the jhana correctly. That's basically what I was working from.

I think this thread is just confused. There is more agreement going on in here, than disagreement. It's silly.
You may very well have a valid point here. It's kind of par for the course for forums like this. Everyone has a pet point they want to make, and too many chefs spoil the broth. Perhaps your clarification of your position will help to clear the air.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:34 am

beeblebrox wrote:
legolas wrote: Not always "jhana"... always the proper utilization of the jhanas.
:anjali:
Do you mean for example the 4th tetrad of the Anapanasati Sutta?

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