Re: Off to mind-made abstract land of paramattha dhammas
- Hi Phil.
--- In email@example.com, "philip" <philco777@...> wrote:
> Dear group again
> Probably was clear, but to clarify:
> >> There are *no* non-momentary realities (apart from Nibbana). Therefore, belief
> > in a reality that lasts 100 years is exactly the same (equally as wrong) as
> > belief in a reality that lasts for just a little bit more than a moment.
> >Good point, never thought of that. I guess this can help us in our understanding of nimitta...Does this confirm that nimitta is a concept, or is nimitta an exception?
Here is an excerpt of a 2011 post from Nina on Abhidhamma.org that addresses your question, and in which she quotes K. Sujin on this question as well:
"When we asked Acharn Sujin whether the impression or sign (nimitta)
of a dhamma is a concept or a reality she answered: "These are only
words. If we use the word concept there is something that is
experienced by thinking. We should not just know words, but
understand the reality that appears right now. There is not merely
one moment of experiencing visible object, but many moments arising
and falling away. When right understanding arises we do not have to
use any term."
"She repeated that there is the impression of visible object right
now. She said: "It is this moment." Visible object impinges on the
eyesense and after it has fallen away, what is left is the impression
or sign, nimitta of visible object.
"It seems that visible object lasts for a while, but in reality it
arises and falls away. Acharn Sujin used the simile of a torch that
is swung around. In this way, we have the impression of a whole, of a
circle of light.
"We know that seeing arises at this moment, but we cannot pinpoint the
citta which sees, it arises and falls away very rapidly and another
moment of seeing arises. We only experience the "sign" of seeing.
The notion of nimitta can remind us that not just one moment of
seeing appears, but many moments that are arising and falling away.
Also visible object is not as solid as we would think, there are many
moments arising and falling away which leave the sign or impression
of visible object.
"Visible object that was experienced by cittas of a sense-door process
has fallen away; sense-door processes and mind-door processes of
cittas alternate very rapidly. Visible object impinges again and
again and seeing arises again and again. When their characteristics
appear we cannot count the different units of rúpa or the cittas that
see, they arise and fall away; the impression of what is seen and of
the seeing appears.
"Acharn Sujin said: "No matter whether we call it nimitta or not, it
is appearing now. Whatever appears is the sign or nimitta of the
dhamma that arises and falls away."
We cling to what appears for a very short moment, but is does not
remain. It is the same with saññå, there is not one moment of saññå
that marks and remembers, but countless moments, arising and falling
"Thus, we can speak of the nimitta of each of the five khandhas: of
rúpa, of feeling, of saññå, of sankhårakkhandha, of consciousness.
There are nimittas of all conditioned dhammas that appear at this
moment, arising and falling away extremely rapidly.
"Seeing arising at this moment sees visible object. We notice visible
object and while we notice it, we have a vivid impression of it, but
it has just fallen away. Seeing falls away but extremely shortly
after it has fallen away another moment of seeing arises that
experiences visible object. It arises again and again and in between
one notices that there is seeing, or, if there are the right
conditions a citta with sati can arise that is mindful of its
characteristic. However, mindfulness of seeing arises after seeing
has fallen away, not at the same time as seeing. > "
--- The full post is at this link: http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=365
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- Hi Jon,
> J: I think that's pretty much how the discussion went. Not sure if I used the word 'survival', but if I did I think I would now prefer to say 'means of subsistence'.p: Yes, I think "survival" was my rendering of what you had said, which was probably "means of subsistence".
> J: Just to supplement a little, I remember it being explained that for a monk, his livelihood is the going on his alms round.p: Yes, that makes sense.