Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:Heavens to besty, you certainly had to dig around for some of that stuff (and you missed some of my better ones)
Nah. Only took a minute or two.
tiltbillings wrote:You do, however, by your own actions here make my point about this thread. In its inception onwards, not the most wholesome effort here.
You have never once, to the best of my recollection, ever acknowledged any criticism of Burmese Vipassanā as having any validity whatsoever. It's no surprise then, that you would show up yet again with guns a-blazing in this discussion.
tiltbillings wrote:I'll refer you my signature
Ven. Ṭhānissaro:
  • Some Theravadins insist that questioning the commentaries is a sign of disrespect for the tradition, but it seems to be a sign of greater disrespect for the Buddha — or the compilers of the Canon — to assume that he or they would have left out something absolutely essential to the practice.
:candle:

User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by daverupa » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:02 pm

:candle: :candle:

:meditate:
  • "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]

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2915
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by robertk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:09 pm

Dear all
tell me if you think that it is the same citta or a different one that hears, that sees, etc?

Brizzy
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Brizzy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:56 pm

On an experiential level, I have personally found that the idea of momentariness and its associated meditative culture leads to a racing of the mind and events with one trying to play catch-up and telling oneself that 'there is just this' (as per BVT/commentarial view). The rapidity of the mind and its observed sensations is what I understand as dissolution. On the other hand I have found jhana as a slowing down of the mind and events where one can actually observe mind events like 'intention' in a calm, relaxed and dispassionate way.
Ignorance is an intentional act.

chownah
Posts: 7537
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by chownah » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:05 pm

SN 35.28 PTS: S iv 19 CDB ii 1143
Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Monks, the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame...

"The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame...

"The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame...

"The body is aflame. Tactile sensations are aflame...

"The intellect is aflame. Ideas are aflame. Consciousness at the intellect is aflame. Contact at the intellect is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I say, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: With that, too, he grows disenchanted.

"He grows disenchanted with the ear...

"He grows disenchanted with the nose...

"He grows disenchanted with the tongue...

"He grows disenchanted with the body...

"He grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect, experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain: He grows disenchanted with that too. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
.....................................
It doesn't matter if one's experience contains momentariness or if one's experience does not contain momentairness. Either way it is aflame and best seen with disenchantment.

We all experience from the roots of ignorance.....the best we can do is to observe those results of ignorance and through insight find our way along the path. If one experiences momentariness then it is best to use that momentariness to point towards the path. If one experineces non-momentariness the it is best to use that non-momentariness to point toward the path.

I guess....but I don't know for sure because all my views are rooted in ignorance.....
chownah

Brizzy
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Brizzy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:20 pm

My issue is twofold....

1. Did the Buddha actually teach that "If one experiences momentariness then it is best to use that momentariness to point towards the path".

2. Is it possible to use dissolution as a valid means of progressing on the path or has one already veered off from Right View. One cannot use every experience to progress on the path.

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.

User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by DarwidHalim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:20 pm

The notion of momentariness is rejected by 1 Buddhist school.

Why? It is illogical.


It is illogical because this reality is not like a blink of television, blink, blink, and blink.
If we accept the notion of momentariness, we want or we don't want, we have to accept the empty space that separate each moment to each moment.
If we say there is no empty gap, then it is not momentary.

Momentary CAN only exist if there is an empty gap in between.

Without empty gap, the definition of momentary cannot fit in.

So, no point to adopt it. For me, I don't see the ground.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

chownah
Posts: 7537
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by chownah » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:04 pm

Brizzy wrote: One cannot use every experience to progress on the path.
I think you are mistaken....every experience is an opportunity....I guess.....
chownah

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:14 pm

robertk wrote:tell me if you think that it is the same citta or a different one that hears, that sees, etc?
Cognitions are classified in terms of sense faculty and object. MN 38 Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta:
  • Monks, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent upon which it arises. When consciousness arises dependent on the eye and forms, it is reckoned as eye-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the ear and sounds, it is reckoned as ear-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the nose and odors, it is reckoned as nose-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on tongue and flavors, it is reckoned as tongue-consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on body and tangibles, it is reckoned as body consciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on the mind and mind-objects, it is reckoned as mind-consciousness.
And there also has to be the corresponding engagement or "act-of-attention" (samannāhāra) for any of the six consciousnesses to arise. MN 28 Mahāhatthipadopama Sutta:
  • Now if internally the eye is intact but externally forms do not come into range, nor is there a corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, but there is no corresponding engagement, then there is no appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and externally forms come into range, and there is a corresponding engagement, then there is the appearing of the corresponding type of consciousness.

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20129
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:39 pm

Greetings Robert,

In response to your question, I understand it as per the teachings quoted in MN 38 Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta in the post immediately above.

I do not regard it in terms of same/different "cittas" - it's not a terminology I use, as I do not subscribe to the commentarial teaching of cittavithi. To me, the term citta is virtually synonymous with mano.

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)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20129
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:15 pm

Greetings Brizzy,
Brizzy wrote:The rapidity of the mind and its observed sensations is what I understand as dissolution.
That correlates to my experience on a Goenka retreat a few years ago.

During and afterwards, I could randomly pick any area of the body and consciousness would flash to it nearly instantaneously like a laser. If I do the same now, out of retreat conditions, it may take up to a second or two to direct (manasikara) consciousness to the chosen point in order to experience vedana in that location. The mind isn't tuned to such activity in the way it would be under retreat conditions.

In retreat, during the "sweeping" activity the vedana experience had a washing vibrancy to it and from what I remember of Goenkaji's video instruction, that experience is what is known as bhanga (dissolution). By changing location continually, the exact point of vedana trails just behind the point of manasikara, so you only see the tail-end, or dissolution, of whatever attention is (then very quickly, was) paid to.

Further to what I said earlier though, there was nothing at all fearful, miserable or disgusting about this experience. If anything, it was quite pleasant. According to the insight-knowledges model, my failure to experience fearfulness, misery and then disgust in response to this was a failure to develop through the next three insight-knowledge stages. However, not seeing experiences such fearfulness, misery or disgust portrayed as signs of spiritual progress in the suttas, I wasn't particularly perturbed by this absence.

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)

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Ben » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Brizzy,
Brizzy wrote:The rapidity of the mind and its observed sensations is what I understand as dissolution.
That correlates to my experience on a Goenka retreat a few years ago.

During and afterwards, I could randomly pick any area of the body and consciousness would flash to it nearly instantaneously like a laser. If I do the same now, out of retreat conditions, it may take up to a second or two to direct (manasikara) consciousness to the chosen point in order to experience vedana in that location. The mind isn't tuned to such activity in the way it would be under retreat conditions.

In retreat, during the "sweeping" activity the vedana experience had a washing vibrancy to it and from what I remember of Goenkaji's video instruction, that experience is what is known as bhanga (dissolution). By changing location continually, the exact point of vedana trails just behind the point of manasikara, so you only see the tail-end, or dissolution, of whatever attention is (then very quickly, was) paid to.

Further to what I said earlier though, there was nothing at all fearful, miserable or disgusting about this experience. If anything, it was quite pleasant. According to the insight-knowledges model, my failure to experience fearfulness, misery and then disgust in response to this was a failure to develop through the next three insight-knowledge stages. However, not seeing experiences such fearfulness, misery or disgust portrayed as signs of spiritual progress in the suttas, I wasn't particularly perturbed by this absence.

Metta,
Retro. :)
To me, it is entirely possible that what you experienced was not Bhanga-nana (according to the tradition). I may be wrong but from what you've told me (or remember from what you've told me). And my observation has been that a lot of people misdiagnose their experiences as Bhanga. As a lot of people also misdiagnose particular experiences as Jhana.
there was nothing at all fearful, miserable or disgusting about this experience.
You may recall the warnings SN Goenka gave during a ten-day course that there is a real danger in being seduced by the pleasantness of the experience. As with Bhanga, so too with other pleasant non-Bhanga experiences. Knowledge of terror, danger and disenchantment are actually separate meditative experiences or nanas.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20129
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:42 am

Greetings Ben,
Ben wrote:To me, it is entirely possible that what you experienced was not Bhanga-nana (according to the tradition).
Entirely possible to me too. Given the insight-knowledges framework of the Visuddhimagga is not my path, I have no inclination to desire, wish or hope that that's what it was either. If it was, it was - if it wasn't, it wasn't. It did however correlate with what Goenkaji said I should expect to be experiencing in the latter stages of the 10-day retreat when he would be mentioning the word bhanga, and from what I could overhear from other discussions between the AT and students I wasn't lagging behind anyone in terms of expected progress.
Ben wrote:You may recall the warnings SN Goenka gave during a ten-day course that there is a real danger in being seduced by the pleasantness of the experience.
Yeah, no worries about this... he was even more insistent on the maintenance of equanimity! Unlike some people who rock up to a retreat, I'm not it for a "good buzz" and wouldn't be interested in meditation at all were it not for the Dhamma and for Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi being components of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Ben wrote:Knowledge of terror, danger and disenchantment are actually separate meditative experiences or nanas.
Yes I know, they're the next ones in line, even if (to me at least) they feel very alien in the context of the Buddha's teachings on the reasons and motivations for dispassion and cessation. This is the second time I've mentioned this, so I feel I should provide something from the Dhamma to substantiate it. Here is an extract from a Q&A session between the Buddha and Sariputta, as recorded in SN 12.31 - Bhutamidam Sutta - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Excellent, Sariputta. Excellent. One sees with right discernment that 'this has come into being.' Seeing with right discernment that 'this has come into being,' one practices for disenchantment with, for dispassion toward, for the cessation of what has come into being. One sees with right discernment that 'it has come into being from this nutriment.' Seeing with right discernment that 'it has come into being from this nutriment,' one practices for disenchantment with, for dispassion toward, for the cessation of the nutriment by which it has come into being. One sees with right discernment that 'from the cessation of this nutriment, what has come into being is subject to cessation.' Seeing with right discernment that 'from the cessation of this nutriment, what has come into being is subject to cessation,' one practices for disenchantment with, for dispassion toward, for the cessation of what is subject to cessation"
I have not found similar sutta parallels for the insight-knowledges of fearfulness, misery or disgust. Rather, clear-seeing tends to be regarded in the suttas as a positive experience, such as that of realising you've been cheated in the past, and now needn't be cheated any more. No terror there! Equanimity, as per Goenkaji's own instruction however, to such an experience/insight seems a far more valid reaction/response, aligned with the Buddha's own instruction, than experiences of fearfulness, misery or disgust.

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)

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by bodom » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:08 am

retro wrote: I have not found similar suttas parallel for the insight-knowledges of fearfulness, misery or disgust.


The pali term for fearfulness, misery or disgust is adinava and is the supposed 7th insight knowledge found in the Vsm. The term adinava can be found all over the suttas.

See this selection of suttas:

adinava
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20129
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:17 am

Greetings Bodom,

I have no problems whatsoever with adinava as relating to the draw-backs of conditioned experience.

The terms I was using above, were taken straight from Mahasi Sayadaw's "The Progress of Insight" (Visuddhiñana-katha)

- Awareness of Fearfulness (bhayatupatthana-ñana)
- Knowledge of Misery (adinava-ñana)
- Knowledge of Disgust (nibbida-ñana)

In connection to adinava-ñana, Mahasi Sayadaw says...
When he has realized the fearfulness (of the formations) through the knowledge of fear, and keeps on noticing continuously, then the "knowledge of misery" will arise in him before long. When it has arisen, all formations everywhere — whether among the objects noticed, or among the states of consciousness engaged in noticing, or in any kind of life or existence that is brought to mind — will appear insipid, without a vitalizing factor, and unsatisfying. So he sees, at that time, only suffering, only unsatisfactoriness, only misery. Therefore this state is called "knowledge of misery."
Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
bodom wrote:The term adinava can be found all over the suttas.
Yes, but not used in such a grim, miserable and depressing way. In the suttas, adinava is hued with clear-seeing, dispassion and equanimity.

This whole notion of "any kind of life or existence that is brought to mind — will appear insipid, without a vitalizing factor, and unsatisfying" is so different from the seven factors of enlightenment, as taught by the Buddha...

1. Mindfulness (sati)
2. Keen investigation of the dhamma (dhammavicaya)
3. Energy (viriya)
4. Rapture or happiness (piti)
5. Calm (passaddhi)
6. Equilibrium of the detached intellect (samadhi)
7. Equanimity (upekkha)
MN 54 wrote:'The Blessed One has compared sensuality to a chain of bones, of much stress, much despair, & greater drawbacks.' Seeing this with right discernment, as it actually is, then avoiding the equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity, he develops the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, where sustenance/clinging for the baits of the world ceases without trace."
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)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 65 guests