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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Alex123
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Alex123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:01 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
robertk wrote:doesn't this show that cittas have a very short duration, during a brief conversation cittas that take sound as object, those that take visible object are alternating.
What about a citta that is absorbed in the breath? Isn't there some degree of stability in that situation?

Spiny
There is in-breath, out-breath, and pause in between. These three are different objects. Since citta cannot arise without an object, the citta is different in all these 3 cases. Patisambhidamagga
  • "Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing not these three ideas Does not obtain development. [171]
    Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing well these three ideas Can then obtain development.
    -pg 171"
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Alex123
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Alex123 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:21 pm

Brizzy wrote: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el231.html

I urge people to carefully read the above and compare it to your own readings of the suttas. A lot of the material contained in the essay is very convincing on a pseudo scientific/ pseudo sutta level - almost, but not quite.
It states that:
  • Impermanence (anicca) is, of course, the essential fact which must be first experienced and understood by practice. Mere book-knowledge of the Buddha-Dhamma will not be enough for the correct understanding of Anicca because the experiential aspect will be missing. It is only through experiential understanding of the nature of Anicca as an ever-changing process within you that you can understand Anicca in the way the Buddha would like you to understand it.
But aren't ALL saṅkhāras already anicca? Dhp 277. Is there saṅkhāra that is not anicca? Don't we all already experientially experience impermanence with every large and small saṅkhāra with every mental state which is impermanent? Does ignorance of impermanence makes it somehow permanent? :thinking:

  • There is no need for him to be activating the experience of Anicca all the time.
:rolleye:
How do I deactivate experience of anicca? I don't want to age or have pleasant experiences cease! This is so wrong! :jawdrop:
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Nyana
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:36 pm

robertk wrote:the Coommentary by Buddhaghosa - see below- gives the figure of hundred thousand kotis of cittas arising and ceasing in a fingersnap.
This is to help people who, reading the sutta, might imagine that one citta last a whole day or a whole night.
Yes, well here we have two extremes with regard to duration.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:40 pm

Alex123 wrote:There is in-breath, out-breath, and pause in between. These three are different objects. Since citta cannot arise without an object, the citta is different in all these 3 cases. Patisambhidamagga
  • "Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing not these three ideas Does not obtain development. [171]
    Sign, in-breath, out-breath, are not object Of a single cognizance; One knowing well these three ideas Can then obtain development.
    -pg 171"
Good work Alex. This offers a clearly demonstrable and therefore identifiable basis of designation for both the object and the cognition. All designated within the framework of conventional discourse, just like the suttas are. No need for a theory of momentariness. No need for a theory of two truths.

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:46 am

robertk wrote:
In absorption, especially jhana, the same object, for example breath is taken by succeeding cittas
Spiny: it doesn't feel like that. ;)


Yes and that is one reason why even genuine jhana can be a basis for views of eternalism


I'm not implying constancy or eternalism, just that in practice it's change we observe, and that change is occuring at different levels and at different rates.

Spiny

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by beeblebrox » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:52 pm

I think it's only eternalism if someone tries to view it in that way.

Just consider the following: there are some people who say that the Buddha taught nihilism. Does that mean that the Buddha himself was a nihilist? Of course not... it's just these people who have a nihilist view of the teachings, even when they claim themselves to not be nihilists. That kind view is very subtle... but still quite significant. It's a part of what causes the dukkha. I think it's exactly this sort of thing that the Buddha taught about the wrong views, and also about what the right view would entail.

It should be really obvious to anyone who practices anyway, that a jhana always end sometimes... or to put it more accurately, they haven't yet encountered a jhana that is permanent... or else they wouldn't be going back to the sitting, secluding themselves, etc. There's no way to not realize this, unless you're really delusional about it. It doesn't really matter what kind of explanation you give it... it's still all a sign of impermanence. It's due to dependent origination... the moments have nothing to do with it.

"Moments" don't really bother me, though... I've argued very strongly against "flux" somewhere on this forum before. (Anicca might describe flux, but that doesn't mean the anicca is a flux in itself.) That doesn't mean that my opinion is changing between these two... it's just that when I think I see someone is attaching his own views to either one of those... I'll try to say something about it. Neither of those two has anything to do with the Dhamma, and therefore aren't necessary for practice. Neither of those will give you any insight about the view-clinging, anyway.

:anjali:

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by SamKR » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:34 am

I believe myself to be a follower of suttas rather than later literatures (without criticizing them). But when I read the Buddha's words about anicca I find his anicca to be anicca of all sorts (coarse to momentariness). If understood and directly seen I don't think it can be called a "ditthi" or a mere conceptual fiction of momentariness. It is what actually is. Actually the other anicca that are coarser than momentariness are fabrications and can lead to conceptualized anicca which is still good object of contemplation.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:45 am

SamKR wrote:I believe myself to be a follower of suttas rather than later literatures (without criticizing them). But when I read the Buddha's words about anicca I find his anicca to be anicca of all sorts (coarse to momentariness). If understood and directly seen I don't think it can be called a "ditthi" or a mere conceptual fiction of momentariness. It is what actually is. Actually the other anicca that are coarser than momentariness are fabrications and can lead to conceptualized anicca which is still good object of contemplation.
Have you actually, carefully read through this whole thread?
>> 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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by SamKR » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SamKR wrote:I believe myself to be a follower of suttas rather than later literatures (without criticizing them). But when I read the Buddha's words about anicca I find his anicca to be anicca of all sorts (coarse to momentariness). If understood and directly seen I don't think it can be called a "ditthi" or a mere conceptual fiction of momentariness. It is what actually is. Actually the other anicca that are coarser than momentariness are fabrications and can lead to conceptualized anicca which is still good object of contemplation.
Have you actually, carefully read through this whole thread?
No. But I read the first post and scanned through most of the pages. I cannot actually read all 17 pages :) currently. Did I miss anything very important? :?

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by SamKR » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:58 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
chownah wrote:Concerning matter it seems that the current wisdom in particle physics is that in fact all matter is so composed.
Haven't most particles been around since shortly after the big bang?
No, according to physics. I think the momentariness that physics implies may be even more momentary than what many people who experience dissolution and momentariness believe.
Many quantum physicists (real physicists, not "quantum crackpots") even imply that physical existence is actually empty of any substance.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:20 am

SamKR wrote: Did I miss anything very important? :?
Yes. Lots of stuff. If you are going bring this thread to life again, it might help to know what it is that you are breathing life into.
>> 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: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by SamKR » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:26 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SamKR wrote: Did I miss anything very important? :?
Yes. Lots of stuff. If you are going bring this thread to life again, it might help to know what it is that you are breathing life into.
Ok. I may read it when I have time but not sure. But I thought instead of creating a new thread, adding stuff to already existing thread would be a good idea. I thought addressing only the first post is also not a bad idea.

To make this specific post on-topic :tongue: I want to stress that the statement "there is only momentariness" is a view, and the statement that "there is no momentariness" is also a view. But when someone sees directly all kinds of anicca (including momentariness), and that conforms to (or at least does not contradict) the Buddha's words in the suttas, then that seeing no longer remains a mere view -- it becomes vipassana endowed with right view.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Nyana » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:43 pm

SamKR wrote:To make this specific post on-topic :tongue: I want to stress that the statement "there is only momentariness" is a view, and the statement that "there is no momentariness" is also a view. But when someone sees directly all kinds of anicca (including momentariness), and that conforms to (or at least does not contradict) the Buddha's words in the suttas, then that seeing no longer remains a mere view -- it becomes vipassana endowed with right view.
It's for each of us to discern if what we are directly perceiving or inferring on the basis of direct perception is valid or invalid, useful or not. If one thinks the idea of momentariness is a valid representation of their own experiential cognitive processes, and this aids in the development of disenchantment and dispassion, then it's useful.

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by Polar Bear » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:16 pm

I stumbled across some talks by Venerable Analayo the other day on the Arahant and the 4 noble truths and in one of those talks he said that the conception of impermanence in the early discourses was one of flow as opposed to momentariness. I wish I knew the exact talk but here's the series if anyone is interested:

http://lecture2go.uni-hamburg.de/verans ... /-/v/14052

This comes from a story the Buddha told:
"'Just as a river flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it, so that there is not a moment, an instant, a second where it stands still, but instead it goes & rushes & flows, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a river flowing down from the mountains — limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this [truth] like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Vipassanā: What Is Dissolution, Really?

Post by SamKR » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:12 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
"'Just as a river flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it, so that there is not a moment, an instant, a second where it stands still, but instead it goes & rushes & flows, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a river flowing down from the mountains — limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this [truth] like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
This is exactly what I understand by momentariness; having no better word to describe it. It does not stand still even for a moment.
Thanks for this quote, which seems to be quoted by the Buddha himself. :)
Last edited by SamKR on Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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