Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

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Nyana
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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Nyana » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:53 am

chownah wrote:Is a remembrance just a thought that arises that we ascribe to being something that happened in the past?
It's more subtle than this. Sati in this sense is the remembrance of what one is doing as they are doing it from moment to moment. Sampajañña is the full awareness of what is being experienced from moment to moment. Satisampajañña requires recognition (saññā) of what is occurring as it occurs within the context of individuated particulars (i.e. phenomena which have been previously learned and can therefore be identified). None of these mental functions require thoughts.
chownah wrote:Also, I'm still wondering about my question, If one is truly in the present moment then what else could they be aware of if not body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects? In the exact present moment what else could there be?
Yes, but the question is: Is this alone an effective way to develop and maintain skillful mental qualities? Or should the satipaṭṭhānā be interpreted to indicate a more specific training regimen? That is, one picks one of the meditation subjects as object support (i.e. kāyānupassanā), then abandons carnal joy and pleasure and develops non-carnal joy and pleasure (i.e. vedanānupassanā), and recognizes the difference between limited and afflicted states of mind vs. expansive states of mind (i.e. cittānupassanā), and engages in the appropriate categories of phenomena to (a) abandon any further occurrences of hindrances, and (b) develop insight (i.e. dhammānupassanā).

Support for this latter interpretation can be found in the Satipaṭṭhānavibhaṅga, which takes the subject of the 32 parts of the body as an example of the object support, then explicitly differentiates the distinctions between full awareness (sampajañña) and mindfulness (sati), and so on.

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by ancientbuddhism » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:27 pm

A comment I made in my earlier post got lost in the editing.

With reference to the context of sati in Ānāpānasati/Satipaṭṭhāna work, I think Analayo covered that accurately, although I don’t have the time at present to go over the relevant section to confirm why.

Although I already mentioned this here, in my opinion, sati is best understood in its context and when that context is Ānapānasati/Satipaṭṭhāna contemplative work, it is for the practitioner to stay on task with the object of contemplation, in ānāpāna to develop calm with breathing, and then to the examination of states at feeling and mind.
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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Sekha » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:14 pm

TMingyur wrote: What you actually said was this:
Dukkhanirodha wrote:IMO this paragraph makes it very clear that the practice of sati involves the observation of phenomena in the present moment, and in this context there is little room IMO for remembrance.
and "little room" certainly does not mean "absence".

But now you are speaking of "ability" without explicitly stating whether this "ability to remember" is manifesting through remembering or not.
Ok, I got your point. The way I formulated my idea was not clear enough, so I reformulate: "...and in this context there is little room IMO for an interpreation of sati as meaning remembrance."

I didn't mean to say that there is no faculty of memory at all present in the mind

TMingyur wrote: But your quotes imply "restriced" remembering ("restriced" alluding to your "little room for"): "Thus he develops his awareness to such an extent ..." and "with no identification beyond this awareness".
Again "to such an extent" and "not beyond this awareness" implying this "little room for" remembrance.
Sorry, I really don't see what you mean.
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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:21 pm

Nana,
Thanks for your reply.
Ñāṇa wrote:
chownah wrote:Is a remembrance just a thought that arises that we ascribe to being something that happened in the past?
It's more subtle than this. Sati in this sense is the remembrance of what one is doing as they are doing it from moment to moment. Sampajañña is the full awareness of what is being experienced from moment to moment. Satisampajañña requires recognition (saññā) of what is occurring as it occurs within the context of individuated particulars (i.e. phenomena which have been previously learned and can therefore be identified). None of these mental functions require thoughts.
Great....then remembrance in this sense seems to have more of a meaning of "staying on task" then it has to do with anything associated with the past....is this right?
Ñāṇa wrote:
chownah wrote:Also, I'm still wondering about my question, If one is truly in the present moment then what else could they be aware of if not body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects? In the exact present moment what else could there be?
Yes, but the question is: Is this alone an effective way to develop and maintain skillful mental qualities? Or should the satipaṭṭhānā be interpreted to indicate a more specific training regimen?
I usually think of sati as being more than just part of a "training regimen"....but maybe I'm wrong. In any event, regardless of if we are in training or not it does seem to me that it is important for people to know if body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects are really all there is to be experienced in the present moment (or if this is wrong) and it is only in the present moment that things can be expereinced (or if this is wrong).....it seems to me that some are expressing views that seem to be pointing to the possibility that there is some other moment in which things can be experienced (other than the present moment) and I have seen this view inferred in other threads as well. I think it is not too far afield to say that if one fully accepted and maintains awareness that there is only the present moment and all experience is only happening in the present moment for now and for forever and at the same time sees how it is present conditions which give rise to experience......then most of the work of following the path would be accomplished......I guess.....not sure....anyway for me the basic ideas that we should be absolutely sure that we do not stray from are that there is only experience in the present moment and the only things we can experience can be catalogued as being either body, feelings, mind, and mind-object.........on top of this base you can construct a training regimen but without that base I don't think one will progress very far.....but maybe I'm wrong...
Thanks again for your reply....it has really helped me get a better understanding of the ongoing discussion.....
chownah

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Nyana » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:30 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:Although I already mentioned this here, in my opinion, sati is best understood in its context and when that context is Ānapānasati/Satipaṭṭhāna contemplative work, it is for the practitioner to stay on task with the object of contemplation, in ānāpāna to develop calm with breathing, and then to the examination of states at feeling and mind.
Yes, I think that the function of "stay[ing] on task with the object of contemplation" offers a good indication of sati as a mental factor, and fits well with the definitions given in the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, the Vibhaṅga, the Milindapañha, and so on.

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Nyana » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:36 pm

chownah wrote:Great....then remembrance in this sense seems to have more of a meaning of "staying on task" then it has to do with anything associated with the past....is this right?
I think so.
Ñāṇa wrote:In any event, regardless of if we are in training or not
We practice until everything we encounter in life becomes integrated as an aspect of training.
Ñāṇa wrote:it does seem to me that it is important for people to know if body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects are really all there is to be experienced in the present moment (or if this is wrong) and it is only in the present moment that things can be expereinced (or if this is wrong)
I think you have it right on both counts.

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by dhamma follower » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:53 pm

What a fascinating discussion!

IMHO, there are two concepts that seem to easily confuse our understanding of sati:

1. Remembrance: we often equate remembrance to thinking. But it is not. Actually, remembrance is just a mental factor which arises and performs the function of remember, together with a citta knowing an object at that every moment. Sati is also a mental factor, if we consider that way, then it is easier to make the connection between the two.

To understand the remembering aspect of sati, just think about the moment between a state of forgetfulness to a moment of awareness. What the mind knows at that very moment? It knows it has been forgetful, and also what has been forgotten - that is remembrance -sati at work.

2. Present moment: What is the present moment? Time is created by the mind.

For practitioners, we feel that we are in the present moment when there is no thinking of past or future, or where we are aware of what is occuring in our body and mind, right?
But are we actually aware of every dhamma that arises and passes away? There are billions of them in each second. Are we sure we are aware of the moment of arising to the moment of passing away of each dhamma in its minute existence?

With practice, we know that the more we are "in the present moment", the more we feel like catching a fish in the water with only one hand, as phenomena arise and pass away extremely fast.

That means "being in the present moment"- so to speak- doesn't negate the remembering aspect of sati, because when sati remembers two or three or hundreds previous dhammas, we are still perfectly in the "present moment".

I believe that it is where sampajana becomes stronger that it see better the working of sati in details.

The first vipassana nana consists of understanding nama and rupa separately, as dhammas, no person , that means sampajana is strong enough to see sati remembering the "dhammas" that have arised.

My understanding is that, from the vipassana stages, sati goes further than remember learnt right view, to directly remember "dhammas", establishing thus a superior kind of right view.

Regards,

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:01 pm

Greetings DF,
dhamma follower wrote:1. Remembrance: we often equate remembrance to thinking. But it is not.
Interesting you say that, because the dictionary seems to suggest otherwise.

think: to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.

remember: to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory; think of again: I'll try to remember the exact date.
to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of: remember your appointment with the dentist.


Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/think" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remember" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
dhamma follower wrote:Actually, remembrance is just a mental factor which arises and performs the function of remember
Back to the dictionary again for a moment...

tautology: needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”

It might be better to talk about rememberance up front, as is, rather than abstact out cittas and assign them functions. If anything is a case of conceptual "thinking", it is that...

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by dhamma follower » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:20 am

Greetings DF,
dhamma follower wrote:1. Remembrance: we often equate remembrance to thinking. But it is not.
Interesting you say that, because the dictionary seems to suggest otherwise.

think: to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.

remember: to recall to the mind by an act or effort of memory; think of again: I'll try to remember the exact date.
to retain in the memory; keep in mind; remain aware of: remember your appointment with the dentist.


Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/think" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remember" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It is precisely the point I tried to make. I don't think a common sense dictionary can be used to explain reality as in the light of the wisdom of the Buddha.
I guess you could find a definition of the"self" in the same dictionary and it would not be the same than what the Buddha taught about the same subject.
It might be better to talk about rememberance up front, as is, rather than abstact out cittas and assign them functions. If anything is a case of conceptual "thinking", it is that...
I did,
We all know those moments where we see someone familiar yet can not tell who is the person nor where we've met him. Then "bang", it springs up and we "remember". It's happens in just one thought moment. It is not so much an activity stretching over a period of time...
may be i'd better use "one small fraction of second" in stead of "one thought moment".

Realising materiality and mentality is an advanced stage of the practice. Talking about that requires using of words and concepts. Even the Buddha had no other way. Explaining reality in details help a receptive reader to apprehend reality in a deeper way, that's why when the Buddha gave talks on the five khandas, the six-sense media etc... people could get enlightenned.

Regards,

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by ground » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:17 am

dhamma follower wrote:1. Remembrance: we often equate remembrance to thinking. But it is not.
Yes. I would equate remembrance to re-cognition. Re-cognition of a pattern in bare chaotic sense data requires remembrance. And that certainly cannot be called "thinking" because it happens sort of "spontaneously", like a flash ... but it is remembrance of a pattern learned earlier.

Kind regards

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Dmytro » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:56 am

Hi Dhamma Follower,
dhamma follower wrote:While I totally agree with all of the above, I still think that "to remember to abandon the unskillful and remain in skillful" is only one aspect of sati. Otherwise, how would you make sense of the way sati is described in sati patthana?
Unfortunately, sati itself isn't described in Satipatthana sutta, which describes only the four sati-upatthana, the ways of establishing sati.
Sati as attending to the working of the five khandas is clearly also as important.
Would you please give a reference?
Also, in vipassana stages, skillful and unskillful don't apply anymore, as there is only perception of paramatha, rise and fall, the three marks etc..., what is the role of sati then ?
Why the skillful and unskillful don't apply anymore? The ability to distinguish them is the essence of dhamma-vicaya factor of Awakening. And the fourfold Right Effort is based on abandoning the unskillful and developing the skillful.

Over and over again Buddha calls for shedding unskillful and developing the skillful. This is the essence of his teaching.

"When a disciple of the noble ones discerns what is unskillful in this way, discerns the root of what is unskillful in this way, discerns what is skillful in this way, and discerns the root of what is skillful in this way, when — having entirely abandoned passion-obsession, having abolished aversion-obsession, having uprooted the view-&-conceit obsession 'I am'; having abandoned ignorance & given rise to clear knowing — he has put an end to suffering & stress right in the here-&-now, it is to this extent that a disciple of the noble ones is a person of right view, one whose view is made straight, who is endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma, and who has arrived at this true Dhamma."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Best wishes, Dmytro

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Dmytro » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:05 am

Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:So, what you are describing as a practice is a practice that is solely and completely conceptual in its structure. In other words, one thinks oneself to awakening.
What I describe is Buddha's teaching:

"Abandon what is unskillful, monks. It is possible to abandon what is unskillful. If it were not possible to abandon what is unskillful, I would not say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.' But because it is possible to abandon what is unskillful, I say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.' If this abandoning of what is unskillful were conducive to harm and pain, I would not say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.' But because this abandoning of what is unskillful is conducive to benefit and pleasure, I say to you, 'Abandon what is unskillful.'

"Develop what is skillful, monks. It is possible to develop what is skillful. If it were not possible to develop what is skillful, I would not say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.' But because it is possible to develop what is skillful, I say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.' If this development of what is skillful were conducive to harm and pain, I would not say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.' But because this development of what is skillful is conducive to benefit and pleasure, I say to you, 'Develop what is skillful.'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Non-conceptual" vs "conceptual" discrimination reminds me of Krishnamurti, Advaita and the like.
In the Buddha's teaching the concepts are used, and there's nothing wrong with that.

"Upali, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities do not lead to utter disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, nor to Unbinding': You may categorically hold, 'This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher's instruction.'

"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to utter disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Dmytro » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:09 am

Hi Zom,
Zom wrote:So - as far as I understood - everyone agrees that "awareness in/to the present moment " is a vital part of meditation ,)
So the only disputable point is how to call this awareness - "sati" or not "sati" (or - "included into sati")? Does that really matter?
This does matter, because when "sati' is deemed the same as "sampajanna" (awareness), it is eventually lost, and only "sampajanna" remains.

Best wishes, Dmytro

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:12 am

Dmytro wrote:This does matter, because when "sati' is deemed the same as "sampajanna" (awareness), it is eventually lost, and only "sampajanna" remains.
Says who?
>> 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: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Post by Dmytro » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:33 am

Hi Dukkhanirodha,
Dukkhanirodha wrote:
Sati, in the context of satipatthana, instead of past events recollection, denotes remembrance
:thinking:
Then can you explain how sati is to be understood as remembrance in the following context?
SN 47.40 wrote:Katamā ca bhikkhave, satipaṭṭhāna-bhāvana? idha bhikkhave, bhikkhu samudaya-dhamm'ānupassī kāyasmiṃ viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ. Vaya-dhamm'ānupassī kāyasmiṃ viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ. Samudaya-vaya-dhamm'ānupassī kāyasmiṃ viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhijjhā-domanassaṃ.

And what, bhikkhus, is the bhāvana of the satipaṭṭhānas? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells observing the phenomenon of arising in kāya, ātāpī sampajāno satimā, having given up abhijjhā-domanassa towards the world. He dwells observing the phenomenon of passing away in kāya, ātāpī sampajāno satimā, having given up abhijjhā-domanassa towards the world. He dwells observing the phenomena of arising and passing away in kāya, ātāpī sampajāno satimā, having given up abhijjhā-domanassa towards the world.

http://www.suttapitaka.net/sutta/samyut ... tipatthana" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This passage describes the development of the first satipatthana, and doesn't describe the sati itself. The meaning of sati as remembrance is described in other suttas:

"And what is the faculty of remembrance? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is endowed with memory, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago."

Indriya-Vibhanga sutta, (SN V 197-8 )
to be noted that this paragraph applies without restriction to sati, because the definition of being sato (endowed with sati) and satipaṭṭhāna are identical: the proof here and there.
Indeed "sato" is indeed defined in the Mahaparinibbana sutta through four satipatthanas. That doesn't mean that the words "sati" and "satipatthana" mean the same thing.

See, for example, the forementioned passage:

[The Buddha:]
Mindfully focused on nothingness, relying on 'There isn't,' you should cross over the flood.

1074. Ākiñcaññaṃ pekkhamāno satimā (upasivāti bhagavā)
Natthīti nissāya tarassu oghaṃ.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The "observing" (anupassana) in the satipatthana definition relates to sampajanna, and not to sati, as explained in Vibhanga:

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 60#p160603" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:

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