Re: [dsg] Re: Bagels, Forest & Happy Walks
- Hi AL,
Heres my delayed post on this topic.
Awareness & Spotlights
You asked for an example of how awareness can arise. Lets say weve just
read the exerpt Larry posted about seeing consciousness which cognizes
visible object with eye-sense as a necessary condition. If wise
considering and awareness have been accumulated, such further reading or
reflecting can be a condition for awareness to arise and be aware right
now of seeing or visible object or any other dhamma appearing. This is not
by yearning or shining a spotlight on these or any other realities. If
there is no detachment or patience with regard to what is conditioned, but
instead theres wishing or focussing on another object, then awareness is
Reflections & Cool :0)
By reflections on cittas, cetasikas and rupas, I dont mean just thinking
and trying to see or know them. I mean really beginning to understand what
is being experienced now, conditioned by having heard, read and considered
about these dhammas. We wish to develop awareness, but it begins to
develop when theres no wishing and so the cool quality is in the giving
up of the wishing and not expecting any special results or non-results :0)
Seeing the truths expounded in the texts....
Yes, if there isnt any appreciation or click factor in what we hear or
read from the texts, right understanding cannot develop.
Mentality-Materiality aka nama-rupa
Just as you say, the clear knowledge of nama and rupa is the first stage
of insight knowledge. It is cultivated by clearly understanding and being
aware of namas and rupas over and over again when they appear, clearly
understanding them as dhammas, not self. You mentioned you are interested
in studying the Vism in this regard. Pls join in any of the present Vism
extracts Nina and Larry are posting. We think that we see objects, but
there is merely seeing consciousness which sees visible object. At the
moment of seeing, there is no other world....no hearing, no
thinking....just seeing. Awareness can be aware of any reality now,
depending on understanding.
A feel for Posture
We all know that postures seem real, but its only a kind of thinking. No
reality is known at the moments when postures seem real, but the thinking
can be known. No need to try to do anything special, AL. Youll find
awareness develops very naturally when this tangle of concepts and
realities is sorted out.
Nimitta and signs
In the development of vipassana, the characteristic of the present reality
is the nimitta or sign. There is no question of needing any special
breath nimitta or using concentration even for other bodily movements.
Again, this is thinking, prompted by ideas of self and controlling
dhammas, rather than the development of detachment.
You mentioned that you are waiting before beginning my solid practise.
Theres no need for waiting and awareness arises when its time regardless
of any ideas about waiting. Whilst thinking about waiting or focussing or
concentrating, awareness can be aware of the thinking and view at these
times. I dont think practise (patipatti) is ever solid or fluid;-) It
just refers to moments of satipatthana which accumulate and develop
naturally. The most important thing is to understand any wrong views
arising, otherwise they keep taking us off-track.
Momentary concentration is always arising as I said and as well get to in
ch6, Cetasikas. It wont be the walking meditation as such that
culminates in insight, but rather any moments of satipatthana arising and
developing whilst walking, whilst eating, whilst washing, whilst writing
and so on. The activity is a concept. The cittas and mental states arising
during the javana process after seeing, hearing and so on, are what will
make the difference.
You asked about switching between knowing feelings and other namas and
rupas. Its not a matter of switching so much as just understanding
momentarily what is appearing, or what is the object of awareness at
anytime without preference. Nowhere in the Satipatthana Sutta or elsewhere
is there any suggestion of practising them (the four foundations)
concurrently. Again and again we read there is one citta at a time only,
taking one object.
Elements, Nama and Rupa
AL: > One thing I'm not clear on and still having some difficulty with:
> when the wind hits my skin, and I contemplate on the Earth element inthat contact, isn't that softness experienced through the body sense, so
it's nama too, not rupa?
S: The softness experienced through the body sense is rupa. The
experiencing of it is nama. The subsequent contemplating about it is nama.
What is contemplated, i.e the thought is a concept, not a reality.
AL:>Or is the contact phassa, therefore nama?
S: Yes. Its one of the universal cetasikas accompanying all cittas
including these ones, helping the cittas and other cetasikas to touch
AL: > And then feeling is also nama, even though it feels like it's
being experienced outside of mind?
S: There is the feeling (nama) accompanying the body consciousness citta
which experienced the softness and there are further feelings accompanying
the other cittas in both the sense door and mind door processes (also
namas). So, like phassa, vedana (feeling) accompanies each citta to
taste the object, whether it be softness or a subsequent concept of
Awareness and LSD trips
Awareness or satipatthana has to be accompanied by understanding which
knows directly the reality being experienced. The awareness you describe
as associated with a trip is not accompanied by understanding and doesnt
have realities as objects.
Like in a dream or trance when the conceptual world seems so very real,
but actually its ones imagination and the fantasy world, the awareness of
ones surroundings, the being in tune with nature and so on is not arising
as the result of developed wholesome states, but as a result of ignorance
and attachment. Hence the end of trip blues. Satipatthana and all
wholesome states are light and calm and dont bring any blues. Dont
confuse them or crave the latter;-) Theres only one way....
Cetasikas and Practise
AL: > OK. Hope I can read cetasikas and gain some understanding on it to
apply to practise.
S: Looks like its going very well.
p.s Give my best regards to Anders too..... I always enjoyed and
appreciated my discussions with him - another very bright and sincere
p.p.s. General Post # 35725
S: You mentioned that you were going to take less drugs N.Y. state
mandates.... Al, I sympathise, but please coordinate with the minders
rather than taking the question of prescriptions into your own hands with
side-effects and withdrawal problems etc.....I think the trust and honesty
would be more in line with the Dhp verse below, but we can discuss it
further if you like. Also, no need to make any fixed rules about keeping
absolutely quiet in real life. That concerns me rather. I once had a
student who refused to talk at all in school. Its very unnatural and
causes great concern to those around.
A: >Dhammapada says, "Better to do nothing than to
do what is wrong, for whatever you do, you do to yourself"
>Now some borderline worries/concerns , all in line with Dhammapadasayings:
>- The person who lives carelessly jumps from lifetime to lifetime likea monkey in a mango tree. - I've been living carelessly but it's never
too late to stop it, right? This is why I want to do good. So my
next life is good.
- The Kashta reed dies when it bears fruit.
So the fool, Scorning the teachings of the awakened, Spurning those
who follow the law, Perishes when his folly flowers.
>Similarly with a verse I'm paraphrasing "All feel the touch of death,but while fools lies slain by their folly, the sage is forever
>Well I have felt the touch of death while being caught up in mischiefand folly. I want reassurance that I can still follow the way and do
good work to bring me good results in the next life.
S: These are all wise reflections and developing understanding is the
highest good of all. As far as I can see, youre on a very fast learning
curve and doing fine, AL;-). Im very impressed by your honest reflections
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- Dear Al,
op 15-09-2004 21:25 schreef Andrew Levin op andrewlevin@...:
> but I don't think you're correct....N: Some chapters, but what about one sentence and then ask questions about
> I have read some chapters from Abhidharma in Daily Life
it. Some chapters I think are too much now. I call that a lot. You still
seem to want to read too much at a time, and then you get needlessly
AL:My salvation may come from one practise guide I have, if I can manage to
carry it out.
N: Better to very gadually develop your own understanding instead of
following a practise guide. Can we be sure the guide is the right one?
AL: Well the Tathagata has arisen in the world, I have just yet to
understand his dharma.
N: Hey, that is true for all of us!!!
You expressed that very beautifully, we can frame it and hang it up as a
<Well the Tathagata has arisen in the world, I have just yet to understand
Very nice. In fact, I printed it out for myself as a reminder.
AL: As it is, frankly, my mind-stream will be sinking down into the lower
> realms if nothing changes.N: If you tell yourself this all the time it will work out in a negative
way. Do not think of what will come, nor of the past, only the present
counts. Let us understand just that.
May we all have more understanding of the present moment!