Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by Virgo » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,
Virgo wrote:In Visuddhimmaga it is defined as materiallity, mentallity.
In Nanamoli Bhikkhu's translation it is mentality and materiality... but is there certainty that his translation accurately reflects the pre-translated Visuddhimagga text? When he speaks thus, are the words he is translating 'nama' and 'rupa'?

Metta,
Retro. :)
I haven't read the Pali text Retro. But what he translates here as materiallity he defines as the four primary elements and the derived elements,etc. And what he translates as mentallity he lists as the different mental elements, cittas and cetasikas. He defines in them in various ways, but it always matches materiallity and mentallity in the text.

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:09 am

Greetings Kevin,

I know I wouldn't trust one single translator to accurately translate the suttas, so if I placed as heavy emphasis on the Visuddhimagga as you do, I certainly wouldn't be relying exclusively upon a single English translation, without knowing the Pali underlying it. This is especially so given the regard in which venerable Nanamoli is reported to have viewed the work - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4648" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . Furthermore, post Visuddhimagga translation, Nanamoli Bhikkhu's understanding of the Dhamma changed somewhat and when translating the Majjhima Nikaya, he translated certain terms in a different way to what he had done when translating the Visuddhimagga. Bhikkhu Bodhi didn't approve however, and took it upon himself to re-translate parts of Nanamoli Bhikkhu's original translation manuscript, back in line with the earlier precedents... hence the dual translatorship attributed to the Wisdom Books translation of the Majjhima Nikaya.

I guess how much confidence you place in Nanamoli Bhikkhu's translation is up to you to discern.

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)

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:18 am

Virgo wrote: When these things (the soil and the trunk) are said to be the way in Visuddhimagga, it is a bit curious when they are absent from methods people claim are in line with it.
Are you saying that the particulars of the practice outlined by Buddhaghosa is the only it can be or should be in put into practice in a particular order with absolutely no variation? Did the Buddha teach that? As for soil and trunk (a lovely anology), that is hardy neglected in the Mahasi Sayadaw training I have had. One of my first teachers, a direct student of Mahasi Sayadaw, knew sections of the VM by heart and used it frequently to make points. Nothing unusual in that.
>> 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: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by Virgo » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:40 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Kevin,

I know I wouldn't trust one single translator to accurately translate the suttas, so if I placed as heavy emphasis on the Visuddhimagga as you do, I certainly wouldn't be relying exclusively upon a single English translation, without knowing the Pali underlying it. This is especially so given the regard in which venerable Nanamoli is reported to have viewed the work - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4648" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; . Furthermore, post Visuddhimagga translation, Nanamoli Bhikkhu's understanding of the Dhamma changed somewhat and when translating the Majjhima Nikaya, he translated certain terms in a different way to what he had done when translating the Visuddhimagga. Bhikkhu Bodhi didn't approve however, and took it upon himself to re-translate parts of Nanamoli Bhikkhu's original translation manuscript, back in line with the earlier precedents... hence the dual translatorship attributed to the Wisdom Books translation of the Majjhima Nikaya.

I guess how much confidence you place in Nanamoli Bhikkhu's translation is up to you to discern.

Metta,
Retro. :)
We can be sure it is nama and rupa. Why? Because he doesn't just translate words here and there he translates whole paragraphs that detail the definitions with many words and terms. It would be odd if the original text said name and form (which it doesn't) if it then defined name through various cetasikas mental phenomena again and again through out the whole text such as when it takes about nama and how it is to be regarded by way of the sense bases as just the mental parts, or how 'mentallity' is all mental activity when it talks about the mental aggregate and mind objects, etc. These things are laid out with detail again and again so even if it was "name and form" which it is not, they are always defined respectively in the texts as mental things and physical things without consciousness.

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:48 am

I am at work, so I do not have the book in front of me, but there is a detailed translation glossary in the back of the book listing the Pali terms and Ven Nanamoli's chosen translation for any particular term. While it may not be perfect, it is a very carefully done translation.
>> 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: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by Virgo » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:01 am

tiltbillings wrote:I am at work, so I do not have the book in front of me, but there is a detailed translation glossary in the back of the book listing the Pali terms and Ven Nanamoli's chosen translation for any particular term. While it may not be perfect, it is a very carefully done translation.
nama—(1) mentality, (2) name

rupa—(1) materiality (aggregate), fine materiality
of fine-material BrahmA-world, matter
in general, material form, (2) visible
datum, visible object, visible matter, visible
form

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:09 am

Greetings,

Very interesting - thanks Kevin.

Personally I'd go with the 2nd definition of each term, though for 'rupa', not in a way that seems to restrict it exclusively to the visual channel. 8-) This being the Classical forum, it's not my perspective that holds sway though, however I find it heartening that Bhikkhu Nanamoli included and accepts the name-and-form rendering. He seems to be taking a bet either way.

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)

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:09 am

I don't quite see the point that Retro was trying to make.

It was clearly nama-rupa that Kevin was referring to, and whether one chooses to render that in English as name and form or materiality and mentality doesn't matter, any more than whether they choose to render dukkha as suffering, stress, or satisfactoriness.

I'm not saying that there could not be problems with the translation of some passages in the Visuddhimagga (or the Suttas), but I don't see the relevance of this line of discussion, unless it is to suggest that the translation is so unreliable that we should simply ignore it, which seems unlikely and rather off the point of this particular conversation.

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:26 am

Hi Kevin,
Virgo wrote: Does your meditaiton teacher (Mahasi style right?) tell you to explore the first purification of the five purifications of the trunk through The Four Elements, The Eighteen Elements, the Twelve Bases, The Aggregates, or in Brief with the Definition Based on the Four Primaries?
Aggregates, elements, sense bases. The sort of thing you have quoted. And there is certainly sila and concentration involved. So I still fail to see your point.

Perhaps you are assuming that what is being taught to relative beginners such as myself is supposed to be advanced insight stuff. I think much of what is taught is rather preliminary development of sila, concentration and mindfulness, and some basic stuff about the aggregates, elements, and sense bases. The Vism passages on practical application of dependent origination are much later in the stages of insight.

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:30 am

Greetings Mike,
Mike wrote:I don't quite see the point that Retro was trying to make.

It was clearly nama-rupa that Kevin was referring to, and whether one chooses to render that in English as name and form or materiality and mentality doesn't matter, any more than whether they choose to render dukkha as suffering, stress, or satisfactoriness...

I don't see the relevance of this line of discussion, unless it is to suggest that the translation is so unreliable that we should simply ignore it, which seems unlikely and rather off the point of this particular conversation.
The point around nama-rupa revolves around the focus Kevin places upon it in this post ( http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... =60#p80798" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) and subsequent posts.

If nama-rupa is mentality-materiality, then that's fine, no worries... what Kevin is proposing seems quite coherent.

However if nama-rupa is name-and-form, it's a different story altogether, because there's a much clearer pathway by which the Mahasi method regarding labelling would be shown to be in accord with the Visuddhimagga method. I'll connect the dots, as I understand them...

Name-and-form needs to be explained with reference to consciousness. In the suttas (DN 15 for example), it is stated that the two are mutually dependent regarding their role in facilitating dukkha... other suttas speak of their relationship as a vortex or a whirlpool. There is also the classic reference of the two bundles of reeds supporting each other. So, in the Dhamma there are the six-consciousnesses - eye, ear, nose, body, tongue and mind. The consciousness is the raw unprocessed sensory input only... it is what is presented to the mind. Name-and-form is that active process of perceiving the raw input as a form, and conceptualising/bracketing it... or if you will, labelling it.

The Mahasi method of labelling helps to differentiate between name and form and consciousness. The labelling constitutes the name (concept) applied to the sensory form. It is useful to samma samadhi (hence the relationship of this to the overall topic) in the sense of curtailing conceptual proliferation by stopping at the label (name). By inhibiting papanca via labelling, samadhi is strengthened and in time, the act of labelling itself is dropped because it involves comparatively more papanca than the concentrated mind would naturally possess. With the cultivation of samma samadhi and the dismantling of name-and-form, consciousness will be seen as such, without the nama-rupa overlay. Or, as the Buddha said to Bahiya...
Ud 1.10: Bahiya Sutta wrote:"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."
I hope that clears up the reasons behind my line of enquiry. I accept that it might seem rather abstract if one did not know where I was going with it.

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)

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:19 am

retrofuturist wrote:. . . However if nama-rupa is name-and-form . . . .
I have quoted this several times in various different threads:
Recall that from the perspective of the Buddha’s teachings in the Pali, the ‘All’ {SN IV 15} is composed entirely of phassa, contact between sense base and sense object. We can only directly know phenomena within this ‘world of experience’, so from the Theravadin perspective, we cannot know whether there really exists a ‘brain’ or a ‘body’ apart from moments of intellectual consciousness, of seeing (the image of a brain), and so on. The discourses of the Pali describe an individual world of experience as composed of various mental and physical factors, nama and rupa. These two are not the separate, independent worlds that Rene Descartes envisioned.

"…the Buddha spoke of the human person as a psychophysical personality (namarupa). Yet the psychic and the physical were never discussed in isolation, nor were they viewed as self-subsistent entities. For him, there was neither a ‘material-stuff’ nor a ‘mental-stuff’, because both are results of reductive analyses that go beyond experience."53

The physical and mental aspects of human experience are continually arising together, intimately dependent on one another.

53 Kalupahana 1976: 73, refers to D.15{II,62}, where the Buddha speaks of both
physicality and mentality mutually dependent forms of contact (phassa).
Physicality is described as contact with resistance (pat.ighasamphassa),
mentality as contact with concepts (adhivacanasamphassa).


STRONG ROOTS by Jake Davis, page 190-1. http://www.dharma.org/bcbs/Pages/docume ... gRoots.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
This is from a detailed, scholarly discussion of the Mahasi Sayadaw practice and of its movement to the West.

As for how nama-rupa gets translated, that has been a struggle for Western students of Buddhism over the years. I talk about “the mind/body process,” though I am not sure I would to commit to this as a formal expression or as a formal translation of nama-rupa, but it is, in a conventional sense, what we have to work with; it is all we have to work with. I do not see the mind as separate thing from the body, thus mind/body, and it is an ongoing conditioned and conditioning process that we “can only directly know phenomena within this ‘world of experience’” – that is, viññāṇa.

Your comment is reasonable (and insightful, thanks) and appropriate to the Mahasi Sayadaw teachings:
The Mahasi method of labelling helps to differentiate between name and form and consciousness. The labelling constitutes the name (concept) applied to the sensory form. It is useful to samma samadhi (hence the relationship of this to the overall topic) in the sense of curtailing conceptual proliferation by stopping at the label (name). By inhibiting papanca via labelling, samadhi is strengthened and in time, the act of labelling itself is dropped because it involves comparatively more papanca than the concentrated mind would naturally possess. With the cultivation of samma samadhi and the dismantling of name-and-form, consciousness will be seen as such, without the nama-rupa overlay.
Let me add this text, which I have referenced several times in this (or one of these threads) that is to the point:
AN IV.24
Kalaka Sutta
At Kalaka's Park
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Saketa at Kalaka's park. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "Monks, whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & priests royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That do I know. Whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & priests, their royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That I directly know. That has been realized by the Tathagata, but in the Tathagata1 it has not been established.2

"If I were to say, 'I don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be a falsehood in me. If I were to say, 'I both know and don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be just the same. If I were to say, 'I neither know nor don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be a fault in me.

"Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn't construe an [object as] seen. He doesn't construe an unseen. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn't construe a seer.

"When hearing...

"When sensing...

"When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.

Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime.

"Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.

"Having seen well in advance that arrow
where generations are fastened & hung
— 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."
>> 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: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:24 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote: I hope that clears up the reasons behind my line of enquiry. I accept that it might seem rather abstract if one did not know where I was going with it.
Thanks, those are useful comments. Perhaps if you expressed your original comment as: "It depends how you interpret the Pali term nama-rupa" it would have been clearer that you were interested in the meaning rather than which particular English words were picked by the translator.

The part of this: http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... dic3_n.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; relevant to the current discussion:
The third of the seven purifications see: visuddhi the purification of views, is defined in Vis.M XVIII as the;correct seeing of mind-and-body,; and various methods for the discernment of mind-and-body by way of insight-meditation vipassanā are given there. In this context, 'mind' nāma comprises all four mental groups, including consciousness.

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by chandrafabian » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:36 am

Dear friends,
Allow me to participate ?
Kevin's claim is not supported by Visuddhi Magga. Visuddhi Magga (English version) clearly says direct Vipassana method,
as practice by Mahasi sayadaw and Ledi Sayadaw/Goenka.
To Kevin: read Visuddhi Magga, topic: Panna niddesa start chapter with ditthi visuddhi niddesa page 679.

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by Virgo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:42 am

chandrafabian wrote:Dear friends,
Allow me to participate ?
Kevin's claim is not supported by Visuddhi Magga. Visuddhi Magga (English version) clearly says direct Vipassana method,
as practice by Mahasi sayadaw and Ledi Sayadaw/Goenka.
To Kevin: read Visuddhi Magga, topic: Panna niddesa start chapter with ditthi visuddhi niddesa page 679.
If you read the whole section on Panna you will see that soil and the first two purifcations of the trunk must come before that. Also, you have misunderstood that section, in and of itself, nevermind the fact that the rest of the soil and trunk are not present in Mahasi and Goenka method.

Be well,

Kevin

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Re: Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:15 am

Hi Kevin,

Perhaps you could comment directly on the passage in Sayadaw Mahasi's "Progress of Insight", which is based on his understanding of the Visuddhimagga.
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progres ... Analytical" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

It starts, of course, with Purification of Conduct. I think we can take that as read.

The part you seem concerned about is Analytical Knowledge of Body and Mind. Can you point out where this description is substantially different from the descriptions in Vism Chapter XVIII, part of which you kindly posted here: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... =60#p80816.
1. Analytical Knowledge of Body and Mind

Endowed with purification of mind and continuing the practice of noticing, the meditator now comes to know body-and-mind analytically as follows: "The rising (upward movement) of the abdomen is one process; the falling (downward movement) is another; sitting is another; touching is another," etc. In this way he comes to know how to distinguish each bodily process that he notices. Further he realises: "The knowing of the rising movement is one process; the knowing of the falling movement is another." In that way he comes to know each mental act of noticing. Further he realises: "The rising movement is one process; the knowing of it is another. The falling movement is one process; the knowing of it is another," and so on. In that way he comes to know how to distinguish each bodily and mental process. All that knowledge comes from simply noticing, not from reasoning; that is to say, it is knowledge by direct experience arrived at by the mere act of noticing, and not knowledge derived from ratiocination.

Thus, when seeing a visual object with the eye, the meditator knows how to distinguish each single factor involved: "The eye is one; the visual object is another; seeing is another, and knowing it is another." The same manner applies in the case of the other sense functions.

For at the time, in each act of noticing, the meditator comes to know analytically the mental processes of noticing, and those of thinking and reflecting, knowing them for himself through direct knowledge by his experience thus: "They have the nature of going towards an object, inclining towards an object, cognizing an object." On the other hand, he knows analytically the material processes going on in the whole body — which are here described as "the rising and falling movements of the abdomen," "sitting," etc., knowing them thus: "These have not the nature of going or inclining towards an object, or of cognizing an object." Such knowing is called "knowing matter (or the body) by its manifestation of non-determining." For it is said in the Mula-Tika, the "Principal Sub-commentary" to the Abhidhamma Vibhanga: "In other words, 'non-determining' (as in the passage quoted) should be understood as having no faculty of cognizing an object."

Such knowledge as this, which analyses in each act of noticing both the bodily process noticed and the mental process engaged in noticing, according to their true essential nature, is called "analytical knowledge of body and mind."

When that knowledge has come to maturity, the meditator understands thus: "At the moment of breathing in, there is just the rising movement of the abdomen and the knowing of the movement, but there is no self besides; at the moment of breathing out, there is just the falling movement of the abdomen and the knowing of the movement, but there is no self besides." Understanding it thus in these and other instances, he knows and sees for himself by noticing thus: "There is here only that pair: a material process as object, and a mental process of knowing it; and it is to that pair alone that the terms of conventional usage 'being,' 'person' or 'soul,' 'I' or 'another,' 'man' or 'woman' refer. But apart from that dual process there is no separate person or being, I or another, man or woman."
Mike

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