Bundles of reeds simile.

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SarathW
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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by SarathW » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:01 am

why would one turn to an analysis of paticcasamupadda as a practice?
Dependent Origination and the emptiness is the same as far as I am concern.
Reverse Dependent Origination is necessary for the understanding of cessation.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am

Greetings,
SarathW wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:01 am
Dependent Origination and the emptiness is the same as far as I am concern.
Reverse Dependent Origination is necessary for the understanding of cessation.
Dependent origination explains an ignorant mis-understanding of emptiness, and its consequences.
In cessation mode, it explains that when that ignorant misunderstanding ceases, "origination" based upon it ceases too.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:53 am
Greetings Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:40 am
Perhaps you could explain to me that if emptiness is really understood, and all dhammas are devoid of essence and necessarily devoid of self, why would one turn to an analysis of paticcasamupadda as a practice?
In terms of understanding what's going on in paticcasamuppada, you really needn't go beyond nama-rupa and vinnana to get the gist of it all.

Basically, because of ignorance, we fabricate dhammas. There is consciousness of that which is fabricated, and this dhamma is garnished with name-and-form, and consciousness grasps the name-and-form, and so on...

The remaining steps just show where this all leads, from the origins of the genesis of a perception of self, through to full blown suffering when this self-ish proliferation is not curtailed. To wit, later nidanas serve as a helpful deterrent from partaking in that conceptual proliferation... something many people do not intuitively see the drawbacks of.
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:40 am
OTOH, the statements about emptiness and lack of essence, lack of self, are much more easily accessed and seen in our lives. It is not intellectual at all and addresses the crux of ignorance and its results. It has immediate import of wisdom and insight. It also seems that this is where the split of Mahayana/Theravada occurs.
Maybe... personally I think both traditions strayed beyond what they needed to, and placed emphasis in appropriate areas, but that's just my view, and my preference for Buddhavacana over later themes.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Thanks for the reply. It's a difficult subject and one that is not universally agreed upon. It is also made more difficult through the use of archaic language to explain factual information through our native tongues and in-line with scientific realities. The whole process of name and form is tied to conditioned perception. Any analysis must be conditioned, too, as it uses the same tools, perception, memory, cognition, and all are interpretive. I truly doubt that any intellectual sharpening can result in 'seeing things the way they are'.

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:22 am

Greetings Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 am
The whole process of name and form is tied to conditioned perception. Any analysis must be conditioned, too, as it uses the same tools, perception, memory, cognition, and all are interpretive. I truly doubt that any intellectual sharpening can result in 'seeing things the way they are'.
Frankly, I think the "intellectual sharpening" which led to you being able to articulate the first two sentences that I have quoted here, demonstrates your capacity for 'seeing things the way they are'... namely, as empty sankhara. Seeing, you can learn to let go.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:01 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:22 am
Greetings Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:14 am
The whole process of name and form is tied to conditioned perception. Any analysis must be conditioned, too, as it uses the same tools, perception, memory, cognition, and all are interpretive. I truly doubt that any intellectual sharpening can result in 'seeing things the way they are'.
Frankly, I think the "intellectual sharpening" which led to you being able to articulate the first two sentences that I have quoted here, demonstrates your capacity for 'seeing things the way they are'... namely, as empty sankhara. Seeing, you can learn to let go.

Metta,
Paul. :)
I wish it were so, Paul, but this is not what the Buddha really meant by 'seeing things the way they are'. Intellectually, I can speak about certain things and use logic up to a certain point so we can have a conversation. But the change that takes place in one's body with the realization of 'seeing things the way they are' has nothing to do with this 'sharpening'. This was clearly demonstrated to me through being around my own teacher and noticing the difference in how he functioned moment to moment. That change, triggered by the 'dissolution of the idea of self', is devoid of all 'sharpening', becoming, etc. It's impossible to duplicate this through study, practice, etc., in my estimation.

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:09 am

Greetings,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:01 am
I wish it were so, Paul, but this is not what the Buddha really meant by 'seeing things the way they are'. Intellectually, I can speak about certain things and use logic up to a certain point so we can have a conversation. But the change that takes place in one's body with the realization of 'seeing things the way they are' has nothing to do with this 'sharpening'. This was clearly demonstrated to me through being around my own teacher and noticing the difference in how he functioned moment to moment. That change, triggered by the 'dissolution of the idea of self', is devoid of all 'sharpening', becoming, etc. It's impossible to duplicate this through study, practice, etc., in my estimation.
Be careful not to elevate the path beyond your reach.

Maybe we mean different things by sharpening. I mean something akin to this, as explained by Ven. Nanananda in Nibbana Sermons...
We drew attention to a thematic paragraph, occurring throughout the Satipaṭṭhānasutta, which outlines a method of using objects and concepts for satipaṭṭhāna meditation without dogmatic involvement. This leads the meditator to a particular kind of attitude, summed up by the concluding phrase: "He abides independent and does not cling to anything in the world", anissito ca viharati, na ca kiñci loke upādiyati.[150]

By way of clarification, we brought in the simile of a scaffolding for a building, that here the concepts only serve as a scaffolding for building up mindfulness and knowledge.[151] Talking about the scaffolding, we are reminded of two different attitudes, namely, the attitude of leaning on to and dwelling in the scaffolding itself, and the enlightened attitude of merely utilizing it for the purpose of erecting a building.

For further explanation of this technique, we may take up the two terms parāmasana and sammasana. It might be better to distinguish the meanings of these two terms also with the help of a simile. As for a simile, let us take up the razor, which is such a useful requisite in our meditative life. There is a certain special way in sharpening a razor. With the idea of sharpening the razor, if one grabs it tightly and rubs it on the sharpening stone, it will only become blunt. Parāmasana, grasping, grabbing, is something like that.

What then is the alternative? A more refined and softer approach is required as meant by the term sammasana. There is a proper mode of doing it. One has to hold the razor in a relaxed way, as if one is going to throw it away. One holds it lightly, ready to let go of it at any time. But, of course, with mindfulness. The wrist, also, is not rigid, but relaxed. Hand is supple at the joints and easy to swing. Then with that readiness, one sharpens the razor, sliding it smoothly on the stone. First: up, up, up, then: down, down, down, and then: up down, up down, up down. The third combined movement ensures that those parts of the blade still untouched by the stone will also get duly sharpened.

It is in the same manner that the razor of insight wisdom has to be whetted on the sharpening stone of the Satipaṭṭhānasutta. Inward, inward, inward - outward, outward, outward - inward outward, inward outward. Or else: arising, arising, arising - ceasing, ceasing, ceasing - arising ceasing, arising ceasing.

This is an illustration for the method of reflection, or sammasana, introduced by the Buddha in the Satipaṭṭhānasutta. Words and concepts have to be made use of, for attaining Nibbāna. But here the aim is only the up-building of mindfulness and knowledge. Once their purpose is served, they can be dismantled without being a bother to the mind. This is the significance of the concluding phrase "He abides independent and does not cling to anything in the world".
Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:09 am
Greetings,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:01 am
I wish it were so, Paul, but this is not what the Buddha really meant by 'seeing things the way they are'. Intellectually, I can speak about certain things and use logic up to a certain point so we can have a conversation. But the change that takes place in one's body with the realization of 'seeing things the way they are' has nothing to do with this 'sharpening'. This was clearly demonstrated to me through being around my own teacher and noticing the difference in how he functioned moment to moment. That change, triggered by the 'dissolution of the idea of self', is devoid of all 'sharpening', becoming, etc. It's impossible to duplicate this through study, practice, etc., in my estimation.
Be careful not to elevate the path beyond your reach.

Maybe we mean different things by sharpening. I mean something akin to this, as explained by Ven. Nanananda in Nibbana Sermons...
We drew attention to a thematic paragraph, occurring throughout the Satipaṭṭhānasutta, which outlines a method of using objects and concepts for satipaṭṭhāna meditation without dogmatic involvement. This leads the meditator to a particular kind of attitude, summed up by the concluding phrase: "He abides independent and does not cling to anything in the world", anissito ca viharati, na ca kiñci loke upādiyati.[150]

By way of clarification, we brought in the simile of a scaffolding for a building, that here the concepts only serve as a scaffolding for building up mindfulness and knowledge.[151] Talking about the scaffolding, we are reminded of two different attitudes, namely, the attitude of leaning on to and dwelling in the scaffolding itself, and the enlightened attitude of merely utilizing it for the purpose of erecting a building.

For further explanation of this technique, we may take up the two terms parāmasana and sammasana. It might be better to distinguish the meanings of these two terms also with the help of a simile. As for a simile, let us take up the razor, which is such a useful requisite in our meditative life. There is a certain special way in sharpening a razor. With the idea of sharpening the razor, if one grabs it tightly and rubs it on the sharpening stone, it will only become blunt. Parāmasana, grasping, grabbing, is something like that.

What then is the alternative? A more refined and softer approach is required as meant by the term sammasana. There is a proper mode of doing it. One has to hold the razor in a relaxed way, as if one is going to throw it away. One holds it lightly, ready to let go of it at any time. But, of course, with mindfulness. The wrist, also, is not rigid, but relaxed. Hand is supple at the joints and easy to swing. Then with that readiness, one sharpens the razor, sliding it smoothly on the stone. First: up, up, up, then: down, down, down, and then: up down, up down, up down. The third combined movement ensures that those parts of the blade still untouched by the stone will also get duly sharpened.

It is in the same manner that the razor of insight wisdom has to be whetted on the sharpening stone of the Satipaṭṭhānasutta. Inward, inward, inward - outward, outward, outward - inward outward, inward outward. Or else: arising, arising, arising - ceasing, ceasing, ceasing - arising ceasing, arising ceasing.

This is an illustration for the method of reflection, or sammasana, introduced by the Buddha in the Satipaṭṭhānasutta. Words and concepts have to be made use of, for attaining Nibbāna. But here the aim is only the up-building of mindfulness and knowledge. Once their purpose is served, they can be dismantled without being a bother to the mind. This is the significance of the concluding phrase "He abides independent and does not cling to anything in the world".
Metta,
Paul. :)
I like Nanananda as he is thoughtful, reflective, and often very logical. He was also a very good meditative technician. But, I'm not sure if he ever really lived the moment to moment life of cessation and release. Of course, I have never met him and can't say conclusively that he did or didn't. But, what I have witnessed in my own case, was someone who did live this moment to moment life of cessation and release, and I was told over and over again that this idea of a person trying to understand and become 'selfless' was a terrible misunderstanding from the getgo and the raft and sharpening of the intellect were movements away from this truth, not towards it. That cessation was the end of all stress and achievement in every cell of the body. That it was impossible to even think in these terms any longer and would never indulge these concepts as being anything to get involved with. There was a freedom there, a fluidity I have never encountered before. There were no fabrications to unravel, no insights to attain. All of that was what kept you from this natural state, this cessation.

You see, Paul, I just can't accept this idea of Time and a doer that works within it. That is okay for getting up for work and eating with the family and bringing order into one's life. This seems to be another matter altogether that is not relatable to our conventional ideas of life on earth. For me, you don't have to go further in Buddhism, than the 3 Marks Of Existence. If that is your experience, it matches up with what I witnessed. The rest seems like organized religion which has failed miserably to lead mankind out of its suffering.

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:53 am
Basically, because of ignorance, we fabricate dhammas. There is consciousness of that which is fabricated, and this dhamma is garnished with name-and-form, and consciousness grasps the name-and-form, and so on...
I see three obvious problems with this interpretation:

1. Most DO suttas don't describe a mutual dependence of consciousness and name+form - they actually describe name+form arising in dependence upon consciousness, which doesn't really support your idea.

2. The sankharas nidana describes volition and choice, not "fabricating dhammas" ( I'm not even sure what that means ).
This is made clear in SN12.2:
“And what, bhikkhus, are the volitional formations? There are these three kinds of volitional formations: the bodily volitional formation, the verbal volitional formation, the mental volitional formation. These are called the volitional formations."
https://suttacentral.net/sn12.2/en/bodhi

3. "Consciousness grasping name+form"? Hmm, this makes consciousness sound like a self doing the grasping, that doesn't sound right. Actually grasping comes later in the sequence, with tanha arising in dependence upon vedana.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am
In cessation mode, it explains that when that ignorant misunderstanding ceases, "origination" based upon it ceases too.
DO in cessation mode also means the cessation of physical birth, aging and death. That is problematic for some interpretations.
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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:51 am

Hi Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:56 am
I like Nanananda as he is thoughtful, reflective, and often very logical. He was also a very good meditative technician. But, I'm not sure if he ever really lived the moment to moment life of cessation and release. Of course, I have never met him and can't say conclusively that he did or didn't. But, what I have witnessed in my own case, was someone who did live this moment to moment life of cessation and release, and I was told over and over again that this idea of a person trying to understand and become 'selfless' was a terrible misunderstanding from the getgo and the raft and sharpening of the intellect were movements away from this truth, not towards it. That cessation was the end of all stress and achievement in every cell of the body. That it was impossible to even think in these terms any longer and would never indulge these concepts as being anything to get involved with. There was a freedom there, a fluidity I have never encountered before. There were no fabrications to unravel, no insights to attain. All of that was what kept you from this natural state, this cessation.
Ironically, when I read your posts, or that JK discussion book (which amounts to basically the same thing... :tongue: ) it all sounds like intellectual wordplay to me.

I wonder if, perhaps, you need to consider whether there are people other than your teacher who have real experience with these issues, and with guiding others. Ven N has some very practical advice in the Nibbana Sermons and the several books at http://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/ specifically about meditation. Personally, I just spent a weekend exploring some of his advice - the sort of thing Paul just posted, and that I've posted in the past - and I don't agree with your characterisation of these practices as mere "sharpening of the intellect".

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:56 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:39 am
retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:07 am
In cessation mode, it explains that when that ignorant misunderstanding ceases, "origination" based upon it ceases too.
DO in cessation mode also means the cessation of physical birth, aging and death. That is problematic for some interpretations.
Not for Ven Nanananda's interpretation, though. When he says "death" he means "death". The cessation of DO means that the arahant is not physically reborn. I suggest reading the end of Nibbana Sermon 18.
Nanananda wrote: This cooling off happens just before death, without igniting another
spark of life. When Màra comes to grab and seize, the arahant lets go. The
pain of death with which Màra teases his hapless victim and lures him into
another existence, becomes ineffective in the case of the arahant. As he
has already gone through the supramundane experience of deathlessness,
in the arahattaphalasamàdhi, death loses its sting when at last it comes.
The influx-free deliverance of the mind and the influx-free deliverance
through wisdom enable him to cool down all feelings in a way that baffles
Màra.

So the arahant lets go of his body, experiencing ambrosial
deathlessness. As in the case of Venerable Dabba Mallaputta, he would
sometimes cremate his own body without leaving any ashes. Outwardly
it might appear as an act of self-immolation, which indeed is painful. But
this is not so. Using his jhànic powers, he simply employs the internal fire
element to cremate the body he has already discarded.

This, then, is the Buddha's extraordinary solution to the problem of
overcoming death, a solution that completely outwits Màra.
:heart:
Mike

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:27 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:51 am
Hi Saengnapha,
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:56 am
I like Nanananda as he is thoughtful, reflective, and often very logical. He was also a very good meditative technician. But, I'm not sure if he ever really lived the moment to moment life of cessation and release. Of course, I have never met him and can't say conclusively that he did or didn't. But, what I have witnessed in my own case, was someone who did live this moment to moment life of cessation and release, and I was told over and over again that this idea of a person trying to understand and become 'selfless' was a terrible misunderstanding from the getgo and the raft and sharpening of the intellect were movements away from this truth, not towards it. That cessation was the end of all stress and achievement in every cell of the body. That it was impossible to even think in these terms any longer and would never indulge these concepts as being anything to get involved with. There was a freedom there, a fluidity I have never encountered before. There were no fabrications to unravel, no insights to attain. All of that was what kept you from this natural state, this cessation.
Ironically, when I read your posts, or that JK discussion book (which amounts to basically the same thing... :tongue: ) it all sounds like intellectual wordplay to me.

I wonder if, perhaps, you need to consider whether there are people other than your teacher who have real experience with these issues, and with guiding others. Ven N has some very practical advice in the Nibbana Sermons and the several books at http://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/ specifically about meditation. Personally, I just spent a weekend exploring some of his advice - the sort of thing Paul just posted, and that I've posted in the past - and I don't agree with your characterisation of these practices as mere "sharpening of the intellect".

:heart:
Mike
The problem of interpretation plagues all of us. In a sense, it is all wordplay if it doesn't come from your actual experience but just a repetition of another's words. If all this was just a matter of citation of another, the matter would be over, but it's not, is it. Words are the only thing we use to chat with one another. I wasn't aware that my words do not make sense. But you are not saying that. You are just saying you've heard this before. This doesn't disqualify what I'm saying.

I have a lifetime of considering the words of others who seem to have real experience with these matters. Meeting someone who walks the walk is a wholly different experience than considering someone's words. You get to see all of it in action, not in your head. This is not meant to make me superior. It is to impress on you the importance of this kind of meeting. Perhaps you are the special one who does not need this kind of meeting? I'm willing to accept this as a possibility. But I am not willing to accept that my meeting was incomplete or inconclusive on my part.

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:37 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:27 am
Meeting someone who walks the walk is a wholly different experience than considering someone's words. You get to see all of it in action, not in your head.
Exactly. I don't think anyone here disagrees with that! But what makes you think that there are not people other than your teacher who are like that/

:heart:
Mike

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by James Tan » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:44 am

Greetings ,

One thing is as Dinsdale said . How is it possible to explain dependent origination when everyone has different understanding and interpretation such as sankhara , consciousness , namarupa etc etc and express and present it ?
:reading:

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Re: Bundles of reeds simile.

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:46 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:37 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:27 am
Meeting someone who walks the walk is a wholly different experience than considering someone's words. You get to see all of it in action, not in your head.
Exactly. I don't think anyone here disagrees with that! But what makes you think that there are not people other than your teacher who are like that/

:heart:
Mike
If you've read my posts, I don't make that claim. In fact, I hope there are others for the sake of mankind, but I am on the pessimistic side when it comes to Buddhism in its current forms. This doesn't mean that there are not Arahants walking about. No real Arahant is going to come forth and proclaim themselves to be one. Plus, in talking to western monks here, not one of them has ever told me that they know one, in their opinion. I'll leave this for others to debate. I can only speak from my own experience.

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