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mindfulness and its object in time

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  • alanpmcallister
    It has been a long time since I have posted to this group, and I do so to sort through my confusions. I am trying to grasp the temporal relationship of
    Message 1 of 15 , May 17, 2012
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      It has been a long time since I have posted to this group, and I do so to sort through my confusions.

      I am trying to grasp the temporal relationship of mindfulness to its objects. Am I correct in assuming that it depends on the object, in particular whether its object is wholesome or unwholesome? Mindfulness as a wholesome mental state can only be present with its object at the same time if the object is wholesome. In other words, if I am angry, I cannot be mindful at the same time, but I can be mindful of the passing away of anger in the previous moment. However, if my mental state is wholesome (e.g., I am being kind or generous), mindfulness can accompany (be simultaneous with) that mental state.

      Alan
    • sarah
      Dear Alan, Nice to see you again! ... .... S: Working back - 1.Sati (awareness) arises with all sobhana (beautiful) cittas, so, yes, it arises with all
      Message 2 of 15 , May 17, 2012
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        Dear Alan,

        Nice to see you again!

        --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "alanpmcallister" <drampsych@...> wrote:
        >
        > It has been a long time since I have posted to this group, and I do so to sort through my confusions.
        >
        > I am trying to grasp the temporal relationship of mindfulness to its objects. Am I correct in assuming that it depends on the object, in particular whether its object is wholesome or unwholesome? Mindfulness as a wholesome mental state can only be present with its object at the same time if the object is wholesome. In other words, if I am angry, I cannot be mindful at the same time, but I can be mindful of the passing away of anger in the previous moment. However, if my mental state is wholesome (e.g., I am being kind or generous), mindfulness can accompany (be simultaneous with) that mental state.
        ....
        S: Working back -

        1.Sati (awareness) arises with all sobhana (beautiful) cittas, so, yes, it arises with all wholesome cittas, at moments of generosity, morality or mental development, regardless of the object.

        2. Sati never arises with akusala (unwholesome) cittas, i.e when the consciousness is rooted in anger, attachment or ignorance.

        3. Any reality which has just fallen away, including anger or any other unwholesome state or wholesome state, can be the object of following wholesome cittas. In such cases, sati is aware of the characeristic of that reality that has just fallen away.

        4. Note it is sati that is aware, never you or me!

        5. So when sati arises (with a wholesome citta), the object can be any kind of reality or concept. There seems to be some mixing up or accompanying mental states and objects in what you suggest above.

        6. In other words, the "temporal relationship" is just that sati can only arise with sobhana cittas (kusala, kusala vipaka and kiriya cittas), not with akusala cittas. However, the object of sati when it arises can be any kind of citta, cetasika, rupa or concept (or nibbana).

        I'm not sure if I'll have clarified or confused.....let me know as these are good questions.

        I also forget if you're familiar with the Pali terms I've used. If not, I'll try to put into simple English or others may add more.

        Metta

        Sarah
        ====
      • alanpmcallister
        ... This is precisely where I think my confusion arises, as basic as this. I think I am getting confused around mindfulness and consciousness. If I am
        Message 3 of 15 , May 17, 2012
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          Thank you Sarah. Yes I am familiar with the pali terms. You have been sensitive to the point of confusion:

          > 5. So when sati arises (with a wholesome citta), the object can be any kind of reality or concept. There seems to be some mixing up or accompanying mental states and objects in what you suggest above.

          This is precisely where I think my confusion arises, as basic as this.

          I think I am getting confused around mindfulness and consciousness. If I am concentrating on my breathing, I can conscious of it, that is, the movement is my object of consciousness. If mindfulness arises concurrently (in the same mind moment), is its object the abdominal movement or the consciousness of it? Or could it be either, depending on the type of practice I am pursuing, anapanasati or cittanupassana?

          A quick review of this point might resolve my confusion.

          with metta,
          Alan
        • sarah abbott
          Dear Alan, ... .... S: the confusions are understandable and your questions are helpful for everyone. If I remember correctly, you are a psychologist in
          Message 4 of 15 , May 18, 2012
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            Dear Alan,

            > From: alanpmcallister <drampsych@...>

            >>S: 5. So when sati arises (with a wholesome citta), the object can be any kind of reality or concept. There seems to be some mixing up or accompanying mental states and objects in what you suggest above.
            >
            >A: This is precisely where I think my confusion arises, as basic as this. 
            >
            >I think I am getting confused around mindfulness and consciousness.  If I am concentrating on my breathing, I can conscious of it, that is, the movement is my object of consciousness.  If mindfulness arises concurrently (in the same mind moment), is its object the abdominal movement or the consciousness of it?  Or could it be either, depending on the type of practice I am pursuing, anapanasati or cittanupassana?
            >
            >A quick review of this point might resolve my confusion.
            ....
            S: the confusions are understandable and your questions are helpful for everyone. If I remember correctly, you are a psychologist in Ontario. Terms like consciousness have very different meanings in the Abhidhamma as you know. 

            At each moment there is a citta (consciousness) which experiences an object, is conscious of its object.

            Usually there is no sati (awareness) and even in the case of arahats, there is never any sati at moments of vipaka citta arising (results of kamma), such as at moments of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. 

            There are 7 cetasikas (mental factors) that arise with every single citta. One of these is ekagatta cetasika (concentration or one-pointedness). So actually there is always a concentrating on the object, but this concentrating is performed by this cetasika and other associated cetasikas, not by you or me.

            It seems there can be consciousness or awareness of a posture or of movement of breath or abdominal movement, but actually this is thinking about what has been experienced through the sense doors. For example, there is the experience of softness or motion through the body-door (a vipaka citta) and this is immediately followed by thinking through the mind-door processes and ideas of breath, movement, abdomen and so on. 

            If awareness arises, it has to be by its own conditions (not by "I" trying) and it can be aware of any reality at that moment. So it can be aware of softness, thinking, attachment or any other reality appearing now. Even confusion or doubt now can be the object of awareness.

            I think that as soon as we try to pursue a practice or be aware of a particular object, we forget about what the Buddha taught with regard to realities arising by conditions as being anatta, beyond anyone's control.

            Again, let me know how far this makes sense.

            Metta

            Sarah
            ======
          • alanpmcallister
            Sarah: Thanks for taking the time to help me sort through my confusions. ... Yes, that s me, although I am fading into retirement at present. ... okay ... I
            Message 5 of 15 , May 18, 2012
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              Sarah:

              Thanks for taking the time to help me sort through my confusions.


              >If I remember correctly, you are a psychologist in Ontario.

              Yes, that's me, although I am fading into retirement at present.

              > There are 7 cetasikas (mental factors) that arise with every single citta. One of these is ekagatta cetasika (concentration or one-pointedness). So actually there is always a concentrating on the object, but this concentrating is performed by this cetasika and other associated cetasikas, not by you or me.

              okay

              > It seems there can be consciousness or awareness of a posture or of movement of breath or abdominal movement, but actually this is thinking about what has been experienced through the sense doors. For example, there is the experience of softness or motion through the body-door (a vipaka citta) and this is immediately followed by thinking through the mind-door processes and ideas of breath, movement, abdomen and so on. 
              >
              > If awareness arises, it has to be by its own conditions (not by "I" trying) and it can be aware of any reality at that moment. So it can be aware of softness, thinking, attachment or any other reality appearing now. Even confusion or doubt now can be the object of awareness.

              I read these sentences and there still appears to me to be ambiguity. You are emphasizing the difference between something arising by conditions versus my trying to make it happen. I get that (I think), but what I am really trying to do right now is nail the temporal aspect of the relationship of awareness (mindfulness) to its object. Saying something can be the object of awareness "now" does not resolve things because it leaves open (for me) whether the awareness and its object are concurrent or not.

              Presumably unwholesome states would have to have passed away to be objects of awareness? And, if so, would the awareness be adjacent to (in the next mind moment) its object or could the awareness arise several mind moments later? And is it correct that awareness accompanies (is concurrent with) all wholesome states?

              metta,
              Alan
            • truth_aerator
              Hello Alan, ... Object in itself is not wholesome or unwholesome, it is the response to it that is wholesome or unwholesome. Whenever there is moment of
              Message 6 of 15 , May 18, 2012
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                Hello Alan,

                >I am trying to grasp the temporal relationship of mindfulness to its >objects. Am I correct in assuming that it depends on the object, in >particular whether its object is wholesome or unwholesome?
                >========================

                Object in itself is not wholesome or unwholesome, it is the response to it that is wholesome or unwholesome.

                Whenever there is moment of consciousness, at that time there is attention to something that is object of consciousness without which consciousness cannot be.


                With best wishes,

                Alex
              • Alan McAllister
                Alex: I realize that I lapsed into an incorrect mode of speaking (and thinking). Thanks for clarifying that. I will rephrase: I am trying to understand the
                Message 7 of 15 , May 18, 2012
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                  Alex:

                  I realize that I lapsed into an incorrect mode of speaking (and thinking).
                  Thanks for clarifying that.

                  I will rephrase: I am trying to understand the temporal relationship of
                  mindfulness to objects such as anger (unwholesome state) and kindness or
                  generosity (wholesome state):

                  If I am aware of anger, my mindfulness cannot arise concurrent with the
                  anger. It must occur after it. Must my awareness arise in the next moment
                  after the passing away of anger?

                  Does mindfulness always arise concurrent with a wholesome state?

                  best wishes,
                  Alan


                  >
                  > Hello Alan,
                  >
                  >
                  > >I am trying to grasp the temporal relationship of mindfulness to its
                  > >objects. Am I correct in assuming that it depends on the object, in
                  > >particular whether its object is wholesome or unwholesome?
                  > >========================
                  >
                  > Object in itself is not wholesome or unwholesome, it is the response to it
                  > that is wholesome or unwholesome.
                  >
                  > Whenever there is moment of consciousness, at that time there is attention
                  > to something that is object of consciousness without which consciousness
                  > cannot be.
                  >
                  > With best wishes,
                  >
                  > Alex
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  --
                  Dr. Alan McAllister, C.Psych.
                  91 Chemaushgon, Box 459
                  Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
                  613-332-3115

                  website: attentivemind.ca


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • truth_aerator
                  Hello Alan, ... My opinion: If by mindfulness in this context we mean don t forget not to get angry and one forgets and gets angry then this type of
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 18, 2012
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                    Hello Alan,

                    >A:I will rephrase: I am trying to understand the temporal >relationship >of mindfulness to objects such as anger (unwholesome >state) and kindness or generosity (wholesome state):
                    >================================================

                    My opinion: If by mindfulness in this context we mean "don't forget not to get angry" and one "forgets and gets angry" then this type of mindfulness cannot occur at the same time. A and Not-A cannot happen at the same place and same time.

                    If by mindfulness we mean, "observation", then it seems possible to observe anger as it arises, persist and cease.

                    IMHO.

                    With best wishes,

                    Alex
                  • Nina van Gorkom
                    Dear Alan, ... N: In a following process of cittas shortly after anger has fallen away. Cittas succeed one another so rapidly in different processes, that we
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 19, 2012
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                      Dear Alan,
                      Op 18-mei-2012, om 18:16 heeft Alan McAllister het volgende geschreven:

                      > I will rephrase: I am trying to understand the temporal
                      > relationship of
                      > mindfulness to objects such as anger (unwholesome state) and
                      > kindness or
                      > generosity (wholesome state):
                      >
                      > If I am aware of anger, my mindfulness cannot arise concurrent with
                      > the
                      > anger. It must occur after it. Must my awareness arise in the
                      > next moment
                      > after the passing away of anger?
                      ------
                      N: In a following process of cittas shortly after anger has fallen
                      away. Cittas succeed one another so rapidly in different processes,
                      that we can still speak of the present reality, though it has just
                      fallen away.
                      --------
                      >
                      > A: Does mindfulness always arise concurrent with a wholesome state?
                      -------
                      N: Sati arises with each sobhana citta, it is non-forgetful of
                      kusala. There is sati of different levels: of daana, of siila, of
                      samatha and of vipassanaa. Sati of satipa.t.thaana is sati of
                      vipassanaa. It is aware of a naama or ruupa that appears through one
                      of the six doorways. Only paramattha dhammas are objects of
                      awareness, not concepts.
                      Suppose cittas with generosity arise and fall away. Again, just as in
                      the case of anger, shortly after generosity has fallen away, it can
                      be object of mindfulness and in this way we learn that it is not "I"
                      who is generous, just a kind of naama.
                      Thus, any kind of nama or ruupa can be object of mindfulness, and we
                      do not have to think of processes, just characteristics appear.
                      Seeing can be object of mindfulness, and, thus, we learn that it is
                      not self who sees, only a kind of naama. Not my seeing, my anger, my
                      generosity.
                      Whatever reality appears, it appears because of its own conditions
                      and we cannot make it appear or select it. We cannot cause sati to be
                      mindful of such or such object. It all depends on conditions. This
                      must lead to detachment. All the teachings lead to detachment.
                      ----
                      Nina.




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • sarah
                      Dear Alan, I d like to (belatedly) continue our discussion, even though Alex & Nina have already given their comments. ... .... S: Hope it s a happy and wise
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 25, 2012
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                        Dear Alan,

                        I'd like to (belatedly) continue our discussion, even though Alex & Nina have already given their comments.

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

                        > >If I remember correctly, you are a psychologist in Ontario.
                        >
                        > Yes, that's me, although I am fading into retirement at present.
                        ....
                        S: Hope it's a happy and wise retirement..... more time for the Dhamma, perhaps? It's always an adjustment, but then there's an "adjustment" at each moment, isn't there?
                        ...
                        >.... I get that (I think), but what I am really trying to do right now is nail the temporal aspect of the relationship of awareness (mindfulness) to its object. Saying something can be the object of awareness "now" does not resolve things because it leaves open (for me) whether the awareness and its object are concurrent or not.
                        ....
                        S: Except in the case of a sense object, such as visible object or sound, being experienced by wholesome cittas with awareness in the sense-door process, i.e. the eye-door or ear-door process, the dhamma or reality has always fallen away when its characteristic *appears* or is experienced by awareness (of satipatthana).

                        For example, suppose there is thinking with metta about someone. At that moment of thinking with metta, there must be awareness (sati), because sati arises with all wholesome cittas. However, the object at this time is the other person. Immediately afterwards, however, that characteristic or quality of metta may be the object of right understanding and awareness. The metta itself has fallen away, but it is considered as "present object" as its nature is known at this moment.
                        ...
                        > Presumably unwholesome states would have to have passed away to be objects of awareness?
                        ....
                        S: There cannot be any kind/level of awareness at the same time as unwholesome states, but, as explained above, any kind of wholesome or unwholesome state must have fallen away in order to be the object of satipatthana.
                        ...
                        >And, if so, would the awareness be adjacent to (in the next mind moment) its object or could the awareness arise several mind moments later?
                        .....
                        S: The wholesome/unwholesome mind door process is followed by several bhavanga (life-continuum) cittas and, in this case, the reality, such as the metta or the dosa is then the object of the next mind door process/processes.
                        ....
                        >And is it correct that awareness accompanies (is concurrent with) all wholesome states?
                        ....

                        S: See above. Yes, but there are different kinds/levels of awareness. It is one of the 19 sobhana (beautiful) cetasikas that arise with all sobhana cittas - kusala, kusala vipaka and kiriya (of the arahat) cittas. So, talking of the bhavanga cittas above, in the human realm where birth is a result of kusala kamma in the past, all these bhavanga cittas are accompanied by sati too.

                        I mention this not to confuse, but just to indicate that you've touched on some intricate and complex areas.

                        What is important now is to know that there can be awareness of any reality appearing. It doesn't matter at all if, strictly speaking, that reality has just fallen away. It is still *present* awareness of a *present* object. Cittas arise and pass away incredibly fast.

                        I'll be glad to hear how you find these replies and what further questions/comments you have.

                        [There is also a section on this intricate topic in "useful posts" in DSG files under "Navattabba (Not so Classifiable) objects", but you may get more confused!]

                        Metta

                        Sarah
                        =====
                      • Alan McAllister
                        Sarah, Nina, and Alex: I am sorry not to have replied to your very informative and helpful posts. Unfortunately, (semi) retirement is turning into a very busy
                        Message 11 of 15 , May 25, 2012
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                          Sarah, Nina, and Alex:

                          I am sorry not to have replied to your very informative and helpful posts.
                          Unfortunately, (semi) retirement is turning into a very busy time. I
                          would like to give due consideration to what you have said, and I
                          definitely will, if I can just find the time!

                          with metta,
                          Alan

                          On Fri, May 25, 2012 at 4:42 AM, sarah <sarahprocterabbott@...>wrote:

                          > **
                          >
                          >
                          > Dear Alan,
                          >
                          > I'd like to (belatedly) continue our discussion, even though Alex & Nina
                          > have already given their comments.
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "alanpmcallister" <drampsych@...>
                          > wrote:
                          >
                          > > >If I remember correctly, you are a psychologist in Ontario.
                          > >
                          > > Yes, that's me, although I am fading into retirement at present.
                          > ....
                          > S: Hope it's a happy and wise retirement..... more time for the Dhamma,
                          > perhaps? It's always an adjustment, but then there's an "adjustment" at
                          > each moment, isn't there?
                          > ...
                          > >.... I get that (I think), but what I am really trying to do right now is
                          > nail the temporal aspect of the relationship of awareness (mindfulness) to
                          > its object. Saying something can be the object of awareness "now" does not
                          > resolve things because it leaves open (for me) whether the awareness and
                          > its object are concurrent or not.
                          > ....
                          > S: Except in the case of a sense object, such as visible object or sound,
                          > being experienced by wholesome cittas with awareness in the sense-door
                          > process, i.e. the eye-door or ear-door process, the dhamma or reality has
                          > always fallen away when its characteristic *appears* or is experienced by
                          > awareness (of satipatthana).
                          >
                          > For example, suppose there is thinking with metta about someone. At that
                          > moment of thinking with metta, there must be awareness (sati), because sati
                          > arises with all wholesome cittas. However, the object at this time is the
                          > other person. Immediately afterwards, however, that characteristic or
                          > quality of metta may be the object of right understanding and awareness.
                          > The metta itself has fallen away, but it is considered as "present object"
                          > as its nature is known at this moment.
                          > ...
                          >
                          > > Presumably unwholesome states would have to have passed away to be
                          > objects of awareness?
                          > ....
                          > S: There cannot be any kind/level of awareness at the same time as
                          > unwholesome states, but, as explained above, any kind of wholesome or
                          > unwholesome state must have fallen away in order to be the object of
                          > satipatthana.
                          > ...
                          >
                          > >And, if so, would the awareness be adjacent to (in the next mind moment)
                          > its object or could the awareness arise several mind moments later?
                          > .....
                          > S: The wholesome/unwholesome mind door process is followed by several
                          > bhavanga (life-continuum) cittas and, in this case, the reality, such as
                          > the metta or the dosa is then the object of the next mind door
                          > process/processes.
                          > ....
                          >
                          > >And is it correct that awareness accompanies (is concurrent with) all
                          > wholesome states?
                          > ....
                          >
                          > S: See above. Yes, but there are different kinds/levels of awareness. It
                          > is one of the 19 sobhana (beautiful) cetasikas that arise with all sobhana
                          > cittas - kusala, kusala vipaka and kiriya (of the arahat) cittas. So,
                          > talking of the bhavanga cittas above, in the human realm where birth is a
                          > result of kusala kamma in the past, all these bhavanga cittas are
                          > accompanied by sati too.
                          >
                          > I mention this not to confuse, but just to indicate that you've touched on
                          > some intricate and complex areas.
                          >
                          > What is important now is to know that there can be awareness of any
                          > reality appearing. It doesn't matter at all if, strictly speaking, that
                          > reality has just fallen away. It is still *present* awareness of a
                          > *present* object. Cittas arise and pass away incredibly fast.
                          >
                          > I'll be glad to hear how you find these replies and what further
                          > questions/comments you have.
                          >
                          > [There is also a section on this intricate topic in "useful posts" in DSG
                          > files under "Navattabba (Not so Classifiable) objects", but you may get
                          > more confused!]
                          >
                          > Metta
                          >
                          > Sarah
                          > =====
                          >
                          >
                          >



                          --
                          Dr. Alan McAllister, C.Psych.
                          91 Chemaushgon, Box 459
                          Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0
                          613-332-3115

                          website: attentivemind.ca


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Nina van Gorkom
                          Dear Alan, ... N: I understand, you have to adapt to a new way of life. No matter how busy, there are just conditioned naamas and ruupas, and they appear one
                          Message 12 of 15 , May 25, 2012
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                            Dear Alan,
                            Op 25-mei-2012, om 14:19 heeft Alan McAllister het volgende geschreven:

                            > Unfortunately, (semi) retirement is turning into a very busy time.
                            -------
                            N: I understand, you have to adapt to a new way of life. No matter
                            how busy, there are just conditioned naamas and ruupas, and they
                            appear one at a time thorugh one of the six doors. As Ken H would
                            say: there is always the present moment.
                            Nina.



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Robert E
                            Hi Sarah. ... This discussion suddenly made me realize that I have not understood how a dhamma that has just passed away is, or can be, considered by
                            Message 13 of 15 , May 27, 2012
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                              Hi Sarah.

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

                              > S: Except in the case of a sense object, such as visible object or sound, being experienced by wholesome cittas with awareness in the sense-door process, i.e. the eye-door or ear-door process, the dhamma or reality has always fallen away when its characteristic *appears* or is experienced by awareness (of satipatthana).
                              >
                              > For example, suppose there is thinking with metta about someone. At that moment of thinking with metta, there must be awareness (sati), because sati arises with all wholesome cittas. However, the object at this time is the other person. Immediately afterwards, however, that characteristic or quality of metta may be the object of right understanding and awareness. The metta itself has fallen away, but it is considered as "present object" as its nature is known at this moment.

                              This discussion suddenly made me realize that I have not understood how a dhamma that has just passed away is, or can be, considered by subsequent cittas and mental processes. In what way, or in what form, does the recently fallen-away dhamma appear in order to be "known" by the subsequent citta with sati or panna? Is it left behind in the form of a nimitta for that citta, does it pass on characteristics that can be understood by the subsequent citta, or how exactly does that take place?

                              Also, are there any other examples of a dhamma being known exactly at the time it is present, other than sensory object in the sense-door process? Your example of that above seemed to suggest that the sati or panna that accompanies a kusala citta experiencing a sense-door process would all experience the dhamma at the time that it actually exists, but that other experiences of dhammas that are not sensory in nature take place after the object has fallen away. Does this mean that only rupas are known at the time that they are present? Or is a current mind-door process also known by the present kusala citta that experiences it?

                              Best,
                              Rob E.

                              - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                            • sarah
                              Hi Rob E, ... ... S: it is the nimitta of the dhamma just passed away. Cittas fall away incredibly fast. It s impossible to know a citta - it is always the
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jun 7, 2012
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                                Hi Rob E,

                                --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, "Robert E" <epsteinrob@...> wrote:

                                > >S: For example, suppose there is thinking with metta about someone. At that moment of thinking with metta, there must be awareness (sati), because sati arises with all wholesome cittas. However, the object at this time is the other person. Immediately afterwards, however, that characteristic or quality of metta may be the object of right understanding and awareness. The metta itself has fallen away, but it is considered as "present object" as its nature is known at this moment.
                                ...
                                >R: This discussion suddenly made me realize that I have not understood how a dhamma that has just passed away is, or can be, considered by subsequent cittas and mental processes. In what way, or in what form, does the recently fallen-away dhamma appear in order to be "known" by the subsequent citta with sati or panna? Is it left behind in the form of a nimitta for that citta, does it pass on characteristics that can be understood by the subsequent citta, or how exactly does that take place?
                                ...
                                S: it is the nimitta of the dhamma just passed away. Cittas fall away incredibly fast. It's impossible to know "a citta" - it is always the nimitta of the citta or characteristic of citta that is known. This is why the fire-stick analogy is given.
                                ....
                                >
                                > Also, are there any other examples of a dhamma being known exactly at the time it is present, other than sensory object in the sense-door process? Your example of that above seemed to suggest that the sati or panna that accompanies a kusala citta experiencing a sense-door process would all experience the dhamma at the time that it actually exists, but that other experiences of dhammas that are not sensory in nature take place after the object has fallen away. Does this mean that only rupas are known at the time that they are present? Or is a current mind-door process also known by the present kusala citta that experiences it?
                                ....
                                S: Only in a sense-door process has the rupa not yet fallen away when the javana cittas arise. In the following mind-door processes, that rupa has fallen away, but its characteristic can be known. For all namas, the nama itself that experiences an object, must have fallen away and so its always the nimitta which appears.

                                For example, take seeing consciousness. In the sense door process, the object is visible object. In the following mind door process, awareness can be aware of seeing, but in fact the seeing consciousness has fallen away.

                                Nibbana would of course be the exception. It is the a-nimitta object which is directly experienced. It doesn't arise or fall away.

                                Really, what is important is the present understanding and awareness of the characteristics of realities which appear now. It's easy to be side-tracked by discussions about what is really present - a bit of a red herring, I think.

                                Metta

                                Sarah
                                ====
                              • Robert E
                                Hi Sarah. ... Well, some of these questions are important to me, and I m glad to know that the subsequent citta experiences the nimitta of the citta that has
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jun 7, 2012
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                                  Hi Sarah.

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

                                  > Really, what is important is the present understanding and awareness of the characteristics of realities which appear now. It's easy to be side-tracked by discussions about what is really present - a bit of a red herring, I think.

                                  Well, some of these questions are important to me, and I'm glad to know that the subsequent citta experiences the nimitta of the citta that has just fallen away. Otherwise I would continue to misunderstand what takes place, and it would remain a distraction for me. Anyway, thanks for clearing it up! I really do appreciate the information.

                                  Best,
                                  Rob E.

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