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Re: Research on bad effects of formal meditation retreat

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  • sarah
    Hi Rob E, ... .... S: Correct. ... ... S: Along the right lines:) I would say it is only conceived while that mental faculty exists . ... ... S: Concept is
    Message 1 of 273 , Jun 1, 2012
      Hi Rob E,

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

      > > S: ....Concepts or thoughts are objects of thinking. Cittas (moments of consciousness) are mostly thinking cittas when they are not moments of seeing, hearing and other vipaka cittas. The thinking cittas and accompanying mental factors, especially factors such as vitakka, "think about" or conceive a concept, an idea, an image.
      >R: So just to try to simplify it, you could say that vitakka, for instance, arises, but its concept does not. Vitakka, in a sense, to could be said to invent the concept when *it* [vitakka] arises; thus the concept doesn't come from or go to anywhere, but is just entertained in the moment that the reality that entertains it is there.
      S: Correct.
      >R: So it is time-freed in that sense, that it doesn't arise, nor does it need to arise, because a real mental faculty of some kind is doing the arising for it and it only exists while that mental faculty exists. It cannot support itself, but is supported by a reality that entertains it.
      S: Along the right lines:) I would say "it is only conceived while that 'mental faculty' exists".
      >R: I've been trying to get this straight for a while - if the above is in the right direction, that will help me understand what is meant by the concept being the object of thought, but not of citta directly, and being time-freed, etc.
      S: Concept is the object of citta, the thinking citta and associated mental states such as vitakka.

      The reason it's important to understand this is that now there can be awareness and direct understanding of thinking, of reality, but not of concept. So concept can never be the object of satipatthana because it's not a reality.
      > > S: Concepts don't arise. Like now if you think about an orange, the thinking arises and passes away. If there were no realities, no dhammas such as visible object and tangible object, there'd be no concepts, no idea of an orange or anything else. Sanna (perception) has marked and remembered the names, the ideas and associations. Even now there is a marking of what is seen and thought about which accumulates at each moment.
      >R: Well that is still a bit difficult to grasp, ie, the thinking arises and passes away, but the concept that it is thinking of does not arise or pass away. The way I interpret this is that the concept is conceived in a kind of semblance of stasis - the citta that is thinking has arisen in order to think; and when it entertains the concept it is already arisen, so the concept just sort of beams into existence, rather than coming from anywhere or going anywhere, and then dissolves, as it is unreal, when the citta is no longer there to support it.
      S: Yes, except, to be precise, we can't even say the concept "beams into existence" or "dissolves", although I understand what you mean. It's just an idea. It doesn't mean the orange (in the example) dissolved, it just means that at a different moment there were no conditions to think about it.
      >R: So although the concept is dependent on the arising and falling away of cittas, the concept itself has no capability to arise or fall away and thus exists outside of the "time" that takes place for realities, which actually do have a kind of "real time" to their existence.
      > Hope that is in the right direction.
      S: Getting there for sure......:-)) I still wouldn't say it 'exists' either inside or outside of the 'time'. It never exists - it's just imagined and usually wrongly taken to exist.

      I think this is one of the most significant points to be clear on as far as the undersanding of dhammas, the 'practice', is concerned. This is why I'm picking up on all the details. I appreciate your persistence with it.


    • Robert E
      Hi Sarah. ... Thank you, that is helpful. Best, Rob E. - - - - - - - - - - - -
      Message 273 of 273 , Jun 16, 2012
        Hi Sarah.

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

        > S: No. As you suggest, pariyatti and wise reflection on dhammas precedes the panna of satipatthana which again needs to be developed before it is insight level.
        > However, without pariyatti panna, wise reflection and understanding of (concepts of) dhammas now, there cannot be the arising and development of satipatthana (the direct understanding of realities).

        Thank you, that is helpful.

        Rob E.

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