what I heard
- Dear friends,
I listened to a discussion in Huahin with Khun Butsawong from Cambodia about
sense-door and mind-door. I asked a Q. about thinking. I thought that when
we are thinking we know what the mind-door is, but this is not so. A. Sujin
explained that it is still "us" thinking. How deeply rooted is the belief in
a self, we do not even notice it that there is an idea of self who thinks
when we are thinking. The devlopment of understanding is necessary in order
to know the extent of our clinging to the idea of self. The discussion was
<Now there is seeing and then thinking about what we see but the mind-door
does not appear. A sense object is experienced through a sense-door, and
after that process of cittas is over, there are bhavanga-cittas
(life-continuum) and then the rupa is experienced through the mind-door.
After that there are other mind-door processes of cittas that define the
object and remember the meaning. But we know all this only on the level of
pariyatti, theoretical understanding. It seems that seeing lasts for a while
and it is as if the mind-door process is hidden by the sense-door process.
When the first stage of insight arises, nama and rupa are very clearly
distinguished through the mind-door in mind-door processes of cittas. Then
it is as if the sense-door process is hidden by the mind-door process,
because the rupa is experienced very shortly through the sense-door and then
the characteristic of that rupa is known by pañña through the mind-door. So
long as this stage of insight does not arise the idea of self cannot be
eradicated, there is still us.
When this stage arises one knows: this is insight knowledge and there is no
doubt and no need to think about it.
At this moment we do not know the truth of what appears, there is ignorance,
avijjaa. We may not realize that there are two levels of pañña: pañña of the
level of listening and considering and pañña arising with sati that is
directly aware of realities. When there is ignorance we do not know that
there is ignorance.
A person may notice that he has a lot of tanha, desire, and he may wonder:
why am I like this, having so much akusala. However, we should not think:
when will there not be this kind of akusala, or when will kusala develop? Or
when will satipatthana arise more often?
If we think in this way it shows that we do not know ourselves in accordance
with the truth. We want to be better than we truly are. There are not enough
conditions accumulated for a great deal of sati but we keep on thinking:
when, o when will sati arise. The person who develops satipatthana is very
truthful and he knows that all kinds of akusala still arise. When there is
doubt about realities, it is like that. When there are no conditions for the
arising of sati, it is like that. If we say: there is very little sati
today, we hope to be better than we really are. We should not take an
interest in the fact whether we know a great deal or only a little.>
- Hi Swee Boon,
I had meant to get back to your comments a little sooner....We were
discussing the sutta from SN35: 153 (8) Is there a Method? [B.Bodhi
--- nidive <nidive@...> wrote:
SA:> > I'd be genuinely interested to know whether you read the following
> > sutta as stressing anything other than `momentary sati' or directSB: > We are constantly seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and
> > momentary understanding of namas and rupas when they appear.
> thinking. Taking that sutta literally, it could not be talking about.....
> "momentary sati". It is talking about sustained and continuous sati.
> An arahant has perfect sati. An arahant's sati is not "momentary". An
> arahant is mindful at all moments.
SA: To say that any sati or other mental state (even in an arahant) is not
momentary, one would have to be ignoring any suttas which stress the speed
of the mind and the shortness of wholesome states, not to mention ignoring
the commentaries and the Abhidhamma. The same issue (of lasting
consciousness) is given in the Katthavatthu.
Indeed the truth about anicca, dukkha and anatta surely is that every
conditioned citta, cetasika and rupa begins to fall away as soon as it has
arisen, is thereby inherently unsatisfactory and cannot be controlled by
I gave a couple of quotes on the speed of the mind here:
SB: > How does one train to make sati sustained and continuous? By taking
> one of the mindfulness immersed in the body practices.....
> When one takes up one of those practices taught by the Buddha, one
> trains sati to be sustained and continuous. When sati is sustained and
> continuous, whether one sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches or
> thinks, if lust is present, he knows that lust is present; if lust is
> absent, he knows that lust is absent; if hatred is present, he knows
> that hatred is present; if hatred is absent, he knows that hatred is
> absent; if delusion is present, he knows that delusion is present; if
> delusion is absent, he knows that delusion is absent.
SA: Rather than training sati to be sustained and continuous, I would
say that the development of satipatthana is training sati to repeatedly
arise and be aware of many different realities such as seeing hearing.
lust, aversion and so on. I think its important to understand that sati,
like all other mental phenomena has to arise and fall with the cittas it
accompanies and doesnt last for an instant. Otherwise, its bound to be
an idea of sati that stays or continues, rather than being directly aware
of different phenomena, one at a time. When there is seeing or hearing
consciousness, there cannot be sati at these times (not for an arahant
either), but the characteristics of these namas can be known immediately
afterwards, when sati and panna arise in the javana process.
SB: > Seeing thus, one understands with genuine wisdom.
SA: Right, wisdom understands one reality momentarily and is then gone. of
course, as wisdom develops, it will arise more frequently and penetrate
deeper and deeper, but still its nature is to fall away instantly and
never to last.
Id like to continue this discussion if we can. Btw, I liked your post on
Sariputta. As you wrote:
Even if we could accumulate as much wisdom through pondering as
Sariputta over many aeons of rebirths, the chance of meeting an arahant
who could expound the Dhamma exquisitely to each of us personally is
I also agree that No control and no self doesnt mean that nothing could
be done. The Buddha did not teach us to be sitting ducks. You then went
on to say that He did teach us to be sitting meditators though. I would
say that he taught us to be sitting, standing. walking and lying down
meditators, using meditators here in the sense of those developing bhavana
(samatha and vipassana) and without any idea of a self doing such
Ill be glad to hear your further comments, Swee Boon.
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