Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dhamma follower
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by dhamma follower » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:23 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:the doctrine of momentariness is not supposed to be thrown away altogether just because one has not yet directly experienced it.
The doctrine of momentariness is pseudo-impermanence. It was a poor idea when it was first thought up and it remains a poor idea to this day.
Some interpretations of it might be, or some experiences interpreted as impermanence might be, but it doesn't necessarily mean the idea of momentariness is wrong. No one has convincing proof about it yet...

Don't throw the baby out with the water...

Regards,

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daverupa
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by daverupa » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:08 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:the doctrine of momentariness is not supposed to be thrown away altogether just because one has not yet directly experienced it.
The doctrine of momentariness is pseudo-impermanence. It was a poor idea when it was first thought up and it remains a poor idea to this day.
Some interpretations of it might be, or some experiences interpreted as impermanence might be, but it doesn't necessarily mean the idea of momentariness is wrong. No one has convincing proof about it yet...

Don't throw the baby out with the water...

Regards,
Tell me, why didn't the Buddha teach it?
  • "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]

Nyana
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:18 pm

dhamma follower wrote:it doesn't necessarily mean the idea of momentariness is wrong.
The immediate present has no temporal duration. Duration is always a relationship between two different times, such as the present and the past. This is the case whether the duration is .0005 nanoseconds or 5 days. And since duration cannot exist in the immediate present, there is no reason to privilege the concept of an extremely short duration over other lengths of duration. All durations are relative.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:54 pm

daverupa wrote:
Tell me, why didn't the Buddha teach it?
For me, although the Buddha didn't teach it explicitly in the sutta, it is something that can be deducted from reflection on Dependent Origination and observation of reality, as I've tried to express in the other thread.

We should not forget that the Abhidhamma is officially considered as the teaching of the Buddha him-self

The Buddha gave different teachings to different people, depending on their need.

Regards,

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:21 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:it doesn't necessarily mean the idea of momentariness is wrong.
The immediate present has no temporal duration. Duration is always a relationship between two different times, such as the present and the past. This is the case whether the duration is .0005 nanoseconds or 5 days. And since duration cannot exist in the immediate present, there is no reason to privilege the concept of an extremely short duration over other lengths of duration. All durations are relative.
The problem lies in thinking that it should be absolute present moment. The point is not to be in absolute present moment, but to develop sati-sampajana to the degree it can penetrate the nature of dhammas.

When we have not much sati-sampajana, we can remember some details on an event. When sati-sampajana is stronger, we can remember more details about an event in the same laps of time. Do you agree with that? So the stronger sati-sampajana is, the more details it can remember. At some point, it can be so sharp that it can actually attend to the dhammas that are arising, not exactly the present moment (what is the present moment, in the end?), but so close to it that it can be called so - sati performs the function to remember and sampajana to comprehend the nature of the dhammas that have just arise. This is a very natural development of sati-sampajana.

It is this clear seeing, direct experience of dhammas that makes the difference between vipassana panna and cinta panna.

Otherwise, how do you distinguish an intellectual understanding from an understanding that liberate us from samsara?

Regards,

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daverupa
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by daverupa » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:40 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Tell me, why didn't the Buddha teach it?
For me, although the Buddha didn't teach it explicitly in the sutta, it is something that can be deducted from reflection on Dependent Origination and observation of reality, as I've tried to express in the other thread.

We should not forget that the Abhidhamma is officially considered as the teaching of the Buddha him-self

The Buddha gave different teachings to different people, depending on their need.

Regards,
Numerous deva-realms, the meditative skills to travel among them, and to be reborn among them, can be deduced also. Consistency demands that you would pursue this on the same grounds, but the Dhamma is not shamanism. Being able to deduce leaves the Buddha left on the tree strikes me as a waste of time, at best. As to the abhidhamma, "officially considered" doesn't make much hay because it's begging the question: while the Buddha gave different teachings by various similes, he never taught momentariness - in fact he was unable to find a simile for how fast the mind changed - so how do you reconcile the commentarial focus on it with the fact that the Buddha, over 45 years of teaching innumerably diverse folk, never brought it up?
dhamma follower wrote:Otherwise, how do you distinguish an intellectual understanding from an understanding that liberate us from samsara?
I wonder about this use of the phrase "intellectual understanding" because:
tiltbillings wrote:What follows is Ven Bodhi's explanation of bare attention and sati in his dialogue with B. Alan Wallace, found here: http://shamatha.org/content/corresponde ... kkhu-bodhi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

..."You were worried that I had missed out on right thought, and further on in your letter you expressed concern about the need for proper motivation; but the factor often translated as right thought, sammā saṅkappa, is what I have here translated “right motivation” (it is elsewhere translated “right intention”). I’m not sure how the Tibetan translations render the second path factor, but the Pāli term suggests the purposive, motivational element in thought, rather than the cognitive, which is covered by right view."...
Your dismissal of 'intellectual understanding' is unwarranted. Jhana is what makes it liberative.

EDIT: abhidhammic --> commentarial
Last edited by daverupa on Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • "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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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:54 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:it doesn't necessarily mean the idea of momentariness is wrong.
The immediate present has no temporal duration. Duration is always a relationship between two different times, such as the present and the past. This is the case whether the duration is .0005 nanoseconds or 5 days. And since duration cannot exist in the immediate present, there is no reason to privilege the concept of an extremely short duration over other lengths of duration. All durations are relative.
Yes, it does seem rather arbitrary. For me the important point is that time is defined by change, and IMO it's change that we actually notice in practice.

Spiny

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:19 pm

dhamma follower wrote:We should not forget that the Abhidhamma is officially considered as the teaching of the Buddha him-self
The doctrine of momentariness isn't taught in the Abhidhammapiṭaka either.
dhamma follower wrote:The Buddha gave different teachings to different people, depending on their need.
And he never taught the doctrine of momentariness.
dhamma follower wrote:The problem lies in thinking that it should be absolute present moment. The point is not to be in absolute present moment, but to develop sati-sampajana to the degree it can penetrate the nature of dhammas.
Consciousness can only occur in the present.
dhamma follower wrote:It is this clear seeing, direct experience of dhammas that makes the difference between vipassana panna and cinta panna.

Otherwise, how do you distinguish an intellectual understanding from an understanding that liberate us from samsara?
The doctrine of momentariness is merely an intellectual superimposition. A mind moment is an arbitrary concept which impedes clear seeing.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:38 am

dhamma follower wrote:Otherwise, how do you distinguish an intellectual understanding from an understanding that liberate us from samsara?
By dropping all views, theories and ideas about how to look, or even what to look for. Just observing what's happening.

Spiny

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daverupa
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by daverupa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:17 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:By dropping all views, theories and ideas about how to look, or even what to look for. Just observing what's happening.
The Dhamma does precisely the underlined bit; are you saying the Dhamma is not important, only the meditation method?
  • "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]

chownah
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by chownah » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:02 pm

By dropping all views, theories and ideas about how to look, or even what to look for. Just observing what's happening.
I think that this is good advice if it is taken within the context of the raft simile as applied to various stages along the path.....that is that views, theories and ideas are what help insight to arise and thus help us along the path and they should be maintained and developed as appropriate for progress but then abandoned when they have fulfilled their function....I guess....
chownah

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by dhamma follower » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:45 pm

daverupa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Otherwise, how do you distinguish an intellectual understanding from an understanding that liberate us from samsara?
I wonder about this use of the phrase "intellectual understanding" because:
tiltbillings wrote:...
Your dismissal of 'intellectual understanding' is unwarranted. Jhana is what makes it liberative.

EDIT: abhidhammic --> commentarial
By "intellectual understanding", I meant the understanding through reflection we all have to a certain degree. Why are we not all enlightened, while most of us presume we understand correctly?

I don't dismiss it, it is a healthy and useful step. But I don't think it is sufficient.

In your opinion above, what is discerned by jhana?

Regards,

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by dhamma follower » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:04 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:.
dhamma follower wrote:The problem lies in thinking that it should be absolute present moment. The point is not to be in absolute present moment, but to develop sati-sampajana to the degree it can penetrate the nature of dhammas.
Consciousness can only occur in the present.
You have argued in a long thread that consciousness is not sati, which I agree. Sati has the function to remember, and it is sati that allows us to catch the succession of dhammas rising and falling because it can remember the order of happening of each dhamma and thus has some idea of time.
The doctrine of momentariness is merely an intellectual superimposition. A mind moment is an arbitrary concept which impedes clear seeing
Here you go again...How does this concept impede clear seeing?

And I'd appreciate you explain how you distinguish intellectual understanding from the liberating one?

Regards,

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daverupa
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by daverupa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:27 pm

dhamma follower wrote:By "intellectual understanding", I meant the understanding through reflection we all have to a certain degree. Why are we not all enlightened, while most of us presume we understand correctly?
It's a beginning, you see, as things are gradual in the Dhamma.
dhamma follower wrote:I don't dismiss it, it is a healthy and useful step. But I don't think it is sufficient.
Of course. I can't find anyone saying it is sufficient.
dhamma follower wrote:In your opinion above, what is discerned by jhana?
I don't think that question is framed correctly; jhana doesn't discern anything.
  • "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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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:01 pm

daverupa wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:By dropping all views, theories and ideas about how to look, or even what to look for. Just observing what's happening.
The Dhamma does precisely the underlined bit; are you saying the Dhamma is not important, only the meditation method?

No, I'm saying that Dhamma gives us the conceptual framework, not the direct experience. The suttas give us examples of what to look for, but we need to be open to what actually arises.

Spiny

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