"Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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legolas
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:55 am

beeblebrox wrote:
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:
I am sorry, I cannot help you with your confusion. My understanding of meditation according to the suttas is a holistic one so therefore it does not seem inappropriate to bring in such things as the definition of what right concentration is. Your confusion about thinking being abandoned seems a trivial matter. Abandoning/freeing/subsiding take your pick. I thought my point was quite obvious - thinking is important as a way into jhana and establishing a right view - as one progresses thinking subsides or is abandoned, I am sorry if this is confusing. Abandoning is "letting go" not suppression.
In the suttas the preamble to attaining jhana is that the hindrances are abandoned i.e. let go. At this point the commentaries jump up and down and say that this is only temporary and that jhana only suppresses the hindrances. Now this is not what the Buddha says. He says the hindrances are abandoned(let go off) - now this may be a temporary affair(although the hindrances gradually diminish in day to day living through this practise) but the point is that they are abandoned not suppressed. Suppression is a commentarial view.
I was not the one who actually brought up the subject of noting. Whilst "noting" is a form of thought it does not appear to me to be very valuable in gaining an understanding of the dhamma, rather it is an intense concentration exercise - one more likely to result in suppression.
As per vipassana jhana. Would it be possible for you to explain to me the difference between vipassana jhana and the jhana found in the suttas? If there isnt one, then I agree it is silly that there is disagreement, but my confusion arises because calling it vipassana jhana seems to be making it different from what the Buddha was talking about.

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:59 am

legolas wrote:I was not the one who actually brought up the subject of noting. Whilst "noting" is a form of thought it does not appear to me to be very valuable in gaining an understanding of the dhamma, rather it is an intense concentration exercise - one more likely to result in suppression.
I'd say noting is basically an aid to mindfulness, and consistent with the Satipatthana Sutta. There's no judgement or suppression involved, it's just observing what's there.

Spiny
:focus:

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:03 am

legolas wrote: In the suttas the preamble to attaining jhana is that the hindrances are abandoned i.e. let go. At this point the commentaries jump up and down and say that this is only temporary and that jhana only suppresses the hindrances.
And what commentaries say this?
Now this is not what the Buddha says. He says the hindrances are abandoned(let go off) - now this may be a temporary affair(although the hindrances gradually diminish in day to day living through this practise) but the point is that they are abandoned not suppressed. Suppression is a commentarial view.
And exactly how do the jhanas "abandon" the hindrances permanantely, which is what you seem to be say that they do?
I was not the one who actually brought up the subject of noting. Whilst "noting" is a form of thought it does not appear to me to be very valuable in gaining an understanding of the dhamma, rather it is an intense concentration exercise - one more likely to result in suppression.
Not at all.
>> 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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legolas
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:56 am

tiltbillings wrote:And what commentaries say this?
And exactly how do the jhanas "abandon" the hindrances permanantely, which is what you seem to be say that they do?
Not at all.
Saratthappakasini, Samyutta Nikaya-atthakatha.

This is a complete misrepresentation -please read my post again. I never said that jhanas alone, "abandon" the hindrances permanantely.

If you believe that "noting" is not a concentration exercise, that is cool.

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

Post by beeblebrox » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:17 pm

legolas wrote: I am sorry, I cannot help you with your confusion. My understanding of meditation according to the suttas is a holistic one so therefore it does not seem inappropriate to bring in such things as the definition of what right concentration is. Your confusion about thinking being abandoned seems a trivial matter. Abandoning/freeing/subsiding take your pick. I thought my point was quite obvious - thinking is important as a way into jhana and establishing a right view - as one progresses thinking subsides or is abandoned, I am sorry if this is confusing. Abandoning is "letting go" not suppression.
That's not where the confusion is. I actually agree with everything that you say above. Look:
beeblebrox wrote: [. . .] 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.
I agreed that thinking is OK. I agreed that suppressing shouldn't be done. I disagreed with "abandoning," but only because I define that as suppression.

I said that there should be no clinging (which I also define as being able to let go), which in turn is what you defined "abandoning" as... this means that WE BOTH AGREE, on all of the relevant points.

If I follow your definition of abandoning, I have no problem with it. If you follow my definition, would you also have a problem with it, like me? I think so... because of according to what you said about the suppression.

Can we apply this to the words "vipassana jhana" and even "noting"? It's obvious some people define them differently than you do, but I'm pretty sure that if you saw what their definitions actually were, you'd pretty much agree. That's why I said this thread was confused... and I think it's pretty much due to clinging.

We should try to abandon this ignorance (of other people's definitions) right now... it's a defilement. I don't care about what other people's definitions are (must be the Zen in me)... only knowing about what actually leads to the liberation.
As per vipassana jhana. Would it be possible for you to explain to me the difference between vipassana jhana and the jhana found in the suttas? If there isnt one, then I agree it is silly that there is disagreement, but my confusion arises because calling it vipassana jhana seems to be making it different from what the Buddha was talking about.
Here are a few things to think about:

The Buddha first entered jhana when he was a kid, but he wasn't liberated. Why?

He learned different kinds of jhanas from different teachers... such as the jhana for nothingness, and the jhana for neither-perception-nor-not-perception. They weren't liberating. Why?

I think that the idea of "vipassana jhana" clarifies this point.

---

I just want to get back on the topic. Thinking isn't an hindrance in itself. Only these are hindrances: sense-desire, ill-will, sloth and boredom, restlessness and worry, and doubt.

Suppose that you're able to stick with the "same" thought, and then observe it (of course it changes), you will see that its quality changes significantly when you take away each of the hindrances listed above.

The "boring" thought stops being boring. The thought stops being "doubtful." The thought stops filling you with "worry." The thought stops being "angry." The thought stops being "great" for your mind. How can that be? It's (let's just suppose) exactly the same thought that you're observing.

It's just like how some people on here seem like they're working from the same premises (more-or-less), but they can't see this because of their own conditionings. That's just my own observation... this could be mistaken.

:anjali:
Last edited by beeblebrox on Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:17 pm

legolas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:And what commentaries say this?
And exactly how do the jhanas "abandon" the hindrances permanantely, which is what you seem to be say that they do?
Not at all.
Saratthappakasini, Samyutta Nikaya-atthakatha.
And so you have read this commentary in full.
This is a complete misrepresentation -please read my post again. I never said that jhanas alone, "abandon" the hindrances permanantely.
So, then the commentary is correct.
If you believe that "noting" is not a concentration exercise, that is cool.
Noting is an an aid for cultivating concentration and awareness, but what it does not do, when done properly, is "result in suppression."
>> 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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legolas
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Re: "Rise and Fall" How to practice it?

Post by legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:46 pm

Hi Beeblebrox,

It does seem we do agree on quite a few things.
Your initial confusion could have been cleared up by asking me how I used certain words like "abandoning".
I dont know why you thought I was being obtuse by clarifying what right concentration is or talking about "noting" or vipassana jhanas after others had brought them into the equation.
However, you are right - how we define words can have a huge effect on what we think we are reading. The only way to get round this is by a mutual respect for others views(or at least until we get our heads round what they are :smile: ).

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

Post by legolas » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi Tilt,

No I haven't read it in full.

The commentaries & some teachers today, portray jhana as suppression - this is not correct - it is abandoning (I admit it is not eradication - merely a means to approaching eradication). The Buddha never talked about jhana as a means to suppress. The austerities that the Buddha undertook seem to come closer to the idea of suppression, whilst his life before leaving home was a form of sensual indulgence. The jhanas are the middle way.

Since this is a sutta meditation forum, could you please supply sutta references to support the "noting" method?

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

Post by beeblebrox » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:06 pm

legolas wrote: I dont know why you thought I was being obtuse by clarifying what right concentration is or talking about "noting" or vipassana jhanas after others had brought them into the equation.
I didn't think that you bringing up the right concentration was obtuse, I just didn't know why you brought it up. You said that it's always jhana (as opposed to what?), but I added that it's not just any jhana. It's the correct usage of jhanas. I thought that this was important to point out. I think that IanAnd misunderstood this.

It seemed to be the same as saying that the samma-sati is always mindfulness (why point this out?), but I say that it's not just any mindfulness. It's the correct use of mindfulness.

:anjali:

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:19 pm

legolas wrote:Hi Tilt,

No I haven't read it in full.
Well, whose translation of it have you read, and please cite the source so that I can take a look for myself?
The commentaries & some teachers today, portray jhana as suppression - this is not correct - it is abandoning (I admit it is not eradication - merely a means to approaching eradication).
So what Pali words are you translating as suppression and abandoning?
The Buddha never talked about jhana as a means to suppress. The austerities that the Buddha undertook seem to come closer to the idea of suppression, whilst his life before leaving home was a form of sensual indulgence. The jhanas are the middle way.
Let us not forget, however, that the Buddha mastered the jhanas before his awakening and found them wanting, and also let us not forget that the jhanas are quite capable of a source for a wrongly assumed states of ariya.
Since this is a sutta meditation forum, could you please supply sutta references to support the "noting" method?
Because it is not in the suttas, does that mean it cannot be skillfully and profitably used? Noting, like counting or any number of of other techniques, is a tool for devolring awareness and concentratin, for helping to see in the seen just what is seen. Noting is not a doctrine.
>> 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 daverupa » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:08 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Let us not forget, however, that the Buddha mastered the jhanas before his awakening and found them wanting...
It seems as though he found only the arupajhanas wanting; rupajhana is his own development from his childhood experience, and this he found quite conducive, going so far as to name 1/8th of the Path for them.
  • "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]

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:13 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Let us not forget, however, that the Buddha mastered the jhanas before his awakening and found them wanting...
It seems as though he found only the arupajhanas wanting; rupajhana is his own development from his childhood experience, and this he found quite conducive, going so far as to name 1/8th of the Path for them.
The eighth factor is Right Samadhi. Jhanas are a tool, but what is unique to the Buddha's teachings, what is the driving engine is mindfulness. It is mindfulness with concentration that gives us access to and insight into the rise and fall as it happens.
>> 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 daverupa » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Let us not forget, however, that the Buddha mastered the jhanas before his awakening and found them wanting...
It seems as though he found only the arupajhanas wanting; rupajhana is his own development from his childhood experience, and this he found quite conducive, going so far as to name 1/8th of the Path for them.
The eighth factor is Right Samadhi. Jhanas are a tool, but what is unique to the Buddha's teachings, what is the driving engine is mindfulness. It is mindfulness with concentration that gives us access to and insight into the rise and fall as it happens.
sammasati --> sammasamadhi --> right knowledge --> right liberation

So yes, without sammasati the other links cannot occur, but without sammasamadhi, so too the remaining links cannot occur. Another way of saying this would be:

satipatthana --> rupajhana --> ...
  • "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]

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

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:12 pm

daverupa wrote: So yes, without sammasati the other links cannot occur, but without sammasamadhi, so too the remaining links cannot occur.
The question is: how much samadhi is actually necessary for the apprehension of "rise and fall"?
>> 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 reflection » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:45 pm

Hi all,

My 2 cents.

Thoughts are a form of fabrication, so to try and find out the non-self of them by thinking it out is like trying to fight fire with fire. It only makes it worse. ;) Of course contemplation is not bad, even useful at times, but insights are to be found behind the conceptual level of thoughts. So one of the things in meditation should be to quiet the mind down. Then one can start to see the "fall" of thoughts and from that experience start to see their non-self. Knowing this more clearly, the mind automatically becomes more silent. So then thoughts can be gone for even longer periods of time.

The same with the other aggregates. You can't concentrate and suddenly decide: Now I'm going to experience the falling away of form, the senses, vedana etc. This happens BECAUSE of the deepened concentration. Then afterward can you reflect on them passing away, not before. So I'm with Ajahn Chah on this one: Satipattana and anapanasati work in unison and aren't really separate things, they are the same.

It's not like one day you are the worst meditatior in the world and the next day you know everything and are totally calm. Apart from the stages of enlightenment, it is mostly a gradual path with insight and calm supporting each other.

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