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Re: [dsg] Sa~n~na

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  • upasaka@aol.com
    Hi, Nina (and Scott) - In a message dated 1/2/06 9:55:14 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... ==================== Would you please go a bit further into this? In a
    Message 1 of 68 , Jan 2, 2006
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      Hi, Nina (and Scott) -

      In a message dated 1/2/06 9:55:14 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      vangorko@... writes:

      > 'You' can remember what you just read here
      > before, because of saññaa that marks and remembers. You can read, recognize
      > letters, finish reading sentences because of saññaa.
      > This is possible because all experiences are as it were 'carried on' from
      > one citta to the next one.
      >
      ====================
      Would you please go a bit further into this? In a given citta, as I
      understand the particular teaching, the sa~n~na takes the object of that citta
      as its object. According to Abhidhamma, what cetasikas are involved with the
      "carrying on" of all experiences to a citta? It would seem that there have been
      infinitely many experiences in "one's" history. Exactly what cetasikas are
      involved that constitute this infinite (or at least huge) storage mechanism?

      With metta,
      Howard

      /Thus is how ye shall see all this fleeting world: A star at dawn, a bubble
      in a stream, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a
      phantom, and a dream./            (From the Diamond Sutra)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • kenhowardau
      Hi Scott, To recap my understanding of this issue: All kusala consciousness is accompanied by mental calm and either pleasant or neutral feeling. However,
      Message 68 of 68 , Jan 29, 2006
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        Hi Scott,

        To recap my understanding of this issue: All kusala consciousness is
        accompanied by mental calm and either pleasant or neutral feeling.
        However, ordinary people find it hard to know kusala from akusala
        (e.g., kindness from affection), and it doesn't help that some
        akusala consciousness is accompanied by pleasant or neutral feeling
        (that can be easily mistaken for kusala feeling and mental calm).

        People with the necessary accumulated wisdom can know the difference.
        And that gives them the opportunity to develop kusala calm without
        accidentally developing its near enemy.

        When they are really, really good at knowing the difference between
        kusala and akusala, they can know the difference between
        concentrating on an inanimate object (e.g., a kasina) with detachment
        and mental calm and concentrating on an inanimate object with
        attachment and akusala feeling.

        There are no shortcuts: if the necessary wisdom (panna cetasika) has
        not been developed then it is useless (or even harmful) to be staring
        at a kasina, or concentrating on any meditation object, hoping for,
        or imagining (being attached to the idea of), mental calm.

        -----------------------------
        S: > You state that "jhana has a concept as its object." What do you
        mean exactly? Again from Abhidhamma in Daily Life:

        ". . . jhaanacittas do not have as their object, visible object,
        sound, or any other sense door impression. Jhaanacittas arise in a
        process of cittas experiencing a meditation subject through the mind
        door."

        Which of the "mind objects" are paramattha dhammas and which are not?
        I do need some help here. Citta is a paramattha dhamma. Jhaanacitta
        is citta. Jhaanacitta is a paramattha dhamma. Is "meditation subject
        through the mind door" a paramattha dhamma? I would guess so (since
        I'd guess it would be nama) but I don't know.
        -----------------------------

        Ideally, this is the place to start Dhamma study. It is good if we
        can regularly forget about our special interests (jhana, nibbana or
        whatever) and start again from the beginning - learning the
        difference between concepts and realities (paramattha dhammas and
        pannatti).

        I'd better not ramble on too long, but to give one example; visible
        object is an absolute reality. It is a rupa, and it is the
        paramattha dhamma that is experienced by seeing-consciousness (and
        later by mind-door consciousness). On the other hand; tables, people
        and other things that we think we can see are not rupas - they are
        mere concepts. They are ultimately illusory and they are experienced
        only by the mind-door consciousness that creates them.

        Various kinds of concepts can be suitable objects for jhana, but the
        Buddha taught an entirely new and better form of mental development -
        vipassana. Vipassana is kusala consciousness, accompanied by insight,
        which takes a paramattha dhamma as its object.

        ----------------------------
        <. . .>
        S: > In AN IV.170 (Yuganaddha Sutta), four paths are outlined. One is
        "insight preceded by tranquility;" two is "tranquility preceded by
        insight;" three is tranquility in tandem with insight; and four is a
        difficult passage regarding something I don't quite understand
        involving "control over the corruptions of insight leading to the path
        being born in one." (This latter is beyond me, I'm afraid.) At any
        rate, again, jhaana needs accompaniment by insight (vipassana).
        -----------------------------

        I think this sutta is vital for all Dhamma students. The fourth path
        is the way of the sukkhavipassaka (one who is freed by vipassana
        alone). The third path is the way of the most exceptional of all
        beings - the arahant who was released both ways (by jhana and
        vipassana). Those arahants have great powers (abhinnas).

        The first and second paths, I'm not too sure of. I believe the first
        path leads to particularly intense experiences of nibbana (at the
        moment of enlightenment) with concentration at the level of the
        second jhana or higher. As for the second path, all I know is it
        gives an arahant the option of a more "pleasant abiding" than would
        have been the case had he not developed jhana.

        As you can see, I don't know the details, but I still think this
        sutta is important. It plainly verifies the many other indications
        throughout the suttas that jhana is not necessary for enlightenment.

        Ken H
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