Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Ben
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Re: Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

Post by Ben » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:36 am

Hi all
Venerable Analayo has some interesting things to say on concept and reality with regards to satipatthana practice. I transcribed the attached extract from his book Satipatthana: the direct path to realization for a friend a few days ago, in part as the result of this discussion. Anyway, I hope you find it as useful as I did.
metta

Ben
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Analayo on concepts in satipatthana.pdf
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“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..

Slow Learner
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Re: Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

Post by Slow Learner » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:00 am

Daniel Ingrams wrote:Just so, when practicing morality, the first and most
fundamental training in spirituality, content is everything, or at least as
far as training in morality can take you. You can’t be a mass murderer
and rationalize this by thinking, “Well, they were all impermanent,
unsatisfactory and empty, so why not kill ’em?” This just won’t fly
either, and so content and spirituality get quite connected. This is good
to a point: see the chapter called Right Thought and The Aegean
Stables.
Sorry if this takes things off track but I was just reading through this thread and wondered about the connection between insight practice and dealing with the daily reactions of aversion/craving/delusion that arise. Obviously impermanence isn't a justification for immoral actions, but can insight practice be a valid approach to dealing with feelings like anger, as in watching the sensations that make up the experience of anger with the awareness that they are impermanent, not-self, and suffering, with a view to diminishing the attachment to them? Or is this a confusion of different categories?
Last edited by Slow Learner on Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mikenz66
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Re: Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:11 am

Hi Slow Learner,

It's not actually my quote, it's Daniel Ingrams :) and of course it's oversimplified to make some particular points. Clearly being aware that things are impermanence, etc, can be helpful in dealing with stuff, as you say. On the other hand, that is a conceptual awareness of impermanence.

I think that one of the key points is that thinking about impermanence is not the same as having real insight into it, though presumably the former is helpful to developing the latter...

Metta
Mike

Slow Learner
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Re: Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

Post by Slow Learner » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:39 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Slow Learner,

It's not actually my quote, it's Daniel Ingrams :) and of course it's oversimplified to make some particular points. Clearly being aware that things are impermanence, etc, can be helpful in dealing with stuff, as you say. On the other hand, that is a conceptual awareness of impermanence.

I think that one of the key points is that thinking about impermanence is not the same as having real insight into it, though presumably the former is helpful to developing the latter...

Metta
Mike

Oops, missed that attribution in the quote - sorry! It's been corrected above.

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catmoon
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Re: Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

Post by catmoon » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Slow Learner,


I think that one of the key points is that thinking about impermanence is not the same as having real insight into it, though presumably the former is helpful to developing the latter...

Metta
Mike
This seems correct to me. Thus, if you want to build intellectual understanding as a platform for understanding something, that is good. But discussion of the non-conceptual won't work, simply because it is impossible. A discussion is composed of concepts you see. To open one's mouth and speak is to conceptualize.

So having built an intellectual basis for understanding, it then becomes necessary to pursue the thing experientially.

Fruitzilla
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Re: Conceptual and Non-Conceptual

Post by Fruitzilla » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:51 am

catmoon wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Slow Learner,


I think that one of the key points is that thinking about impermanence is not the same as having real insight into it, though presumably the former is helpful to developing the latter...

Metta
Mike
This seems correct to me. Thus, if you want to build intellectual understanding as a platform for understanding something, that is good. But discussion of the non-conceptual won't work, simply because it is impossible. A discussion is composed of concepts you see. To open one's mouth and speak is to conceptualize.

So having built an intellectual basis for understanding, it then becomes necessary to pursue the thing experientially.
I've heard a buddhist teacher say there's 3 stages to understanding things like impermanence...
The first one is intellectual, the second emotional and the third experential.

My own experience seems to agree with this.

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