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Re: [dsg] Pativedha, pariyatti & patipatti

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  • Andrew Barnes
    ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 35 , Jan 2, 2012
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      > From: Nina van Gorkom <vangorko@...>

      >Dear Andy,
      >Op 28-dec-2011, om 12:01 heeft andyebarnes67 het volgende geschreven:
      >> A. Indeed. I should have said moments of awareness. I really meant
      >> the effort to remain aware.
      >>N: Even remaining aware, can we say this? Usually seeing or hearing
      >is followed by attachment, even subtle. We may not know that we like
      >to see, like to hear, like to experience all objects appearing in a
      >day. Conditioned dhammas are rolling on, and we can find out for
      >ourselves whether we can interfere by making an effort not to be
      >forgetful but to be aware. If we can find out ourselves that there is
      >nobody who can cause the arising of sati, it is very useful. We can
      >begin to understand that dhammas arise and fall away because of their
      >own conditions, that they are anattaa.
      >A: During vipassana practice, I do have increasingly longer periods where I am able to simply observe and not seek to control. Eventually though, I find I can then go into observing the observing, if that makes sense. I loose the equanimity and again identify as the observer and hence the observing becomes the object of observation. Back to the breath....
      >>N: When dosa has just fallen away there may be conditions to notice
      >it, to think about it, that is different from sati. Or, when dosa has
      >just fallen away there may be conditions for awareness of its
      >characteristic as only a reality, a dhamma, not 'my dosa'. What
      >usually happens is that there is thinking a great deal about the
      >dosa, about the circumstance or person who was so unpleasant. We
      >think in terms of 'me' or 'he'. All this is dependent on conditions.
      >It is not so that there is noticing dosa first and then mindfulness
      >of its characteristic. We never know what will happen, it all depends
      >on accumulated understanding and sati. We cannot force conditioned
      >dhammas to be in this way or that way.
      >A: This is one reason why I decided to have a 'home retreat' over the holidays rather than going to an organised one. I wanted to give myself space to try to cultivate more my awareness in everyday life. I am still very conscious that I haven't gotr out of 'I' in this, but not to worried at this time. Pleased I am training this 'I' to consciously, deliberately, make the effort to more fully apply the 8fold path to day to day life. hope is that this will prove a firm foundation to then begin to loosen the hold of ego and discover deeper awareness.
      >> A: I still have some difficulty with the awareness of the present
      >> though. I can see that awareness of the relative 'now' is possible,
      >> with effort, but I guess I'm really asking about awareness of the
      >> 'ultimate' of the 'now'. This is where I can't get my head round
      >> off this problem of linear time and all citta being at a, however
      >> small, delay. Is this not one of the unavoidable characteristics of
      >> perceived reality. That it is always at once 'now' and yet also
      >> 'then'?
      >> am I to understand that for the most part, the 'ultimate' can only
      >> be experienced through the 'relative'?
      >N: Here the Abhidhamma can help. We learn that when hardness presents
      >itself there is a whole series of cittas (moments of consciousness)
      >that perceive hardness, not just one citta.
      >First a process of cittas experience hardness through the bodydoor
      >and after that through the mind-door. Then there are other mind-door
      >processes of cittas that think about the hardness, for example with
      >dislike. Or with mindfulness of its characteristic.
      >Even now when you touch something hard, you notice hardness without
      >thinking about it. It seems one moment, but in fact there were
      >already many processes of cittas. When there is more understanding of
      >the rapidity of such processes one will not try to catch the now, or
      >think much about it. All we know is: there are characteristics of
      >dhammas appearing and we can become familiar with these without
      >having to think about them. If we try to find out about when the
      >'now' is, whether it is past or not, it is only thinking and we shall
      >not get very far.
      >When you notice hardness, this is a kind of ruupa (material
      >phenomenon) and it has fallen away, true. But then another unit of
      >hardness impinges on the bodydoor. It is of no use to find out which
      >one is impinging now, impossible to catch it. But what is important:
      >understanding it as only a kind of ruupa, not a thing, not a person.
      >In that way understanding can very, very gradually develop. This kind
      >of understanding leads to detachment from the 'self'. There will be
      >more understanding that there is no self who can make an effort, who
      >can do anything at all.
      >A: Thank-you Nina. I think I thought myself into a bit of a cul-de-sac with this one and thank-you for helping me see this. This train of thought began with my considering stars, or more accurately, star-light. As we all know, we are only ever looking at the stars how they were millions (or however many years) ago. Then I took that thought and brought it closer to home to the point where I found myself. I'm mindful of the warning of the Noble One that there are somethings that it doesn't do to consider too much as they are unimportant to our progress and distract us. I think I may have found one here.

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    • sarah
      Hi Andy, ... .... S: I remember it. I taught some Japanese students who went to St George s. I lived in Kowloon at that time (in the 8os and early 90s) ... ...
      Message 35 of 35 , Jan 17, 2012
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        Hi Andy,

        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "andyebarnes67" <andyebarnes67@...> wrote:

        > No. Had some friends that went to Island School. We (my brother and I) went to St Georges in Kowloon. Dad was with the government. St Georges was the UK services school so would be no-more.
        S: I remember it. I taught some Japanese students who went to St George's. I lived in Kowloon at that time (in the 8os and early 90s)
        > As you drive towards Stanley, already on the penninsula, on the left, just before the beach, there is/was an estate of flats overlooking a grassed courtyard. That was Lion court (might still be called that) which is where we all lived. The Govt. had 3 or four estates dotted around.
        S: I did a quick search - I think it's gone as have most old Govt buildings. We also lived for a while in a lovely Govt block on the Peak with all the original brass fittings etc - redeveloped too. Stanley is very trendy these days.
        On metta -

        > > S: Hmmm.... controversial! Can there be metta now, naturally, without an "intentional process"? When there's an intentional process, it seems like a clinging to having metta. "Beginning with ourselves"? I understand the brahma viharas refer to the care and wholesome concern for others' welfare, not for our own. We already have a lot of concern for ourselves - no need to listen to a Buddha to develop self-love!
        > I refer to - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mett%C4%81
        >.....first of the four sublime states (Brahmavihāras). This is love without clinging (upādāna).
        S: Exactly - one of the four brahma viharas, "love without clinging", such as friendliness, kindness now when there is an opportunity without thought of oneself or expectation of any kind.
        > The cultivation of loving-kindness (mettā bhāvanā) is a popular form of meditation in Buddhism. In the Theravadin Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving-kindness towards themselves,[7] then their loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all sentient beings."
        S: Lots of misunderstanding about metta, especially in regard to its development and the idea of cultivating it "towards oneself". See lots more in Useful Posts under "metta" if you have time.

        Now, if there is an attempt to have metta to ourselves, it's bound to be attachment - wanting "ME" to be happy.
        > just as we were taught at the retreat.
        > further, of interest -
        > (same source)
        > The Karaniya Metta Sutta (Sn 1.8) combines both the interpersonal and radiant aspects of canonical expressions of loving-kindness.
        > This is what should be done
        > By one who is skilled in goodness,
        > And who knows the path of peace:
        > ... Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
        > May all beings be at ease.
        > According to the Pāli commentaries, the Buddha originally gave this instruction (of loving-kindness meditation) to monks who were being harassed by the tree spirits of a forest in which the monks were trying to meditate. After doing this meditation in the forest it is said that the spirits were so affected by the power of loving-kindness that they allowed the monks to stay in the forest for the duration of the rainy season."
        S: Again, it needs careful study. It is not attachment to oneself (or even metta to oneself) that is being developed. Again, dhammas as anatta. The last stanza indicates that it is the insight into nama and rupa only that leads to enlightenment. Even metta is a nama which is anatta - beyond anyone's control.
        > "Ten verses in length, the Mettā Sutta extols both the virtuous qualities and the meditative development of mettā (Pali), traditionally translated as "loving kindness"[1] or "friendliness."[2] It is sometimes referred to as the Karaṇīyamettā Sutta after the opening word, Karaṇīyam, "(This is what) should be done."[3]"
        S: The development of metta, through understanding, bhavana only.

        > 'Session' refers to my sitting sessions. Where I am actively mindful of body and sensations. Mt awareness unattached to self is only at best momentary at other times. So I usually am referring to meditation when I am talking of vipassana.
        S: However, the Buddha uses vipassana in the context of insight into namas and rupas rather than 'sitting sessions" or any other activities.
        > >A:When I refer to 'mindfulness' I am referring to awareness of things as they really are.
        > > > > S: What exactly are these "things" now and how is "as they really are"? As you say, we need to be very precise.
        > mostly, for me, being mindful of anicca. difficult, as for all, to make good use of words to describe anything beyond causality and relativity.
        S: Again, mindfulness or sati has to begin with the awareness of present namas and rupas
        > > > 'Things' - everything. 'As they really are' - impermenant, empty, arising and passing away.
        > > ...
        > > S: What is "everything"? Please give me some examples of "everything" now which awareness is aware of "as they really are".
        > perhaps 'anything' may have been a better choice of words.
        S: I was wanting you to give some examples of dhammas which can be understood "as they really are" now, such as seeing consciousness, hearing, visible object, sound, attachment, dislike and so on. If there is no direct understanding of realities appearing now, then there cannot be any understanding of the impermanence of these dhammas, can there?
        > > I appreciate your good humour and gentle speech as we all 'quiz' you!
        > Pleasure (mostly :-) ) You'll notice my habit of not making instant replies. I save emails and re-read over a few days before replying. In, this, my more base impulses can be calmed. No really, no-one has given me cause for bad-humour or angry speech - yet. I thought I was quizzing you all?
        S: I'm like you.... I take my time...... And we all quiz each other! All fellow students sharing our reflections and understanding to date....

        Again, I appreciate all your discussions here.


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