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Re: the present moment

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  • Sukinder
    Hi TG, ... understand where ... but that s OK. Yes, I accept the possibility of not truly understanding your position. This is not surprising, given that so
    Message 1 of 316 , Feb 1, 2008
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      Hi TG,

      > Conventional impermanence, suffering and non-self is not the same as
      > the *characteristics* re: anicca, dukkha and anatta.
      > ..................................................................
      > TG: Thanks for your long thought out comments. I think I
      understand where
      > you're coming from, I just don't agree with that type of Dhamma
      > interpretation. I don't think you understand where I'm coming from,
      but that's OK.

      Yes, I accept the possibility of not truly understanding your
      position. This is not surprising, given that so much ignorance arises
      all the time and I end up misapprehending situations and other's
      verbalizations, hence forever failing to communicate. But as you say,
      it's OK, and we try our best. We should be thankful however, that in
      our case what does sometime get through, are just these reminders to
      each other about the reality of ignorance and other akusala dhammas. ;-)

      > One big difference in our approach is that I don't know what a
      > impermanence, suffering, and no-self" would be. In don't believe
      in the
      > dichotomizing between conventional and absolute
      realities...especially in the
      > three qualities you mention.

      And this is because you consider "conditionality" to be overarching in
      importance (yes, I don't always remember that this is where you come
      from basically).
      My perception however, is that you are attracted to the particular
      "idea" but allowed it to influence and take you away from realizing
      the effect of "ignorance" arising at any given moment. You also fail
      to correlate ignorance of dhammas to that of conditionality and hence
      also the understanding of the one as being also that of the other. The
      problem can't be solved simply by having reasoned and come to a
      conclusion about `conditionality' and then seeking to "know" and apply
      it. Knowing DO is at the end of the infinitely long road of knowing
      dhammas by their characteristics and gradually coming to understand
      also their function and proximate cause.

      > I could just imagine the Buddha's mouth drop open
      > if someone in his presence started to talk about "conventional
      > suffering, or no-self." LOL
      > Now, as far as conventional speech, dealing with the narrative and
      > which amount to mere delusion, I am well aware of that. I think
      > everyone in this group is. To keep harping on this point, as if it
      was the secret
      > hidden knowledge that Nina (and others along that line) had, and
      that the
      > rest of us are just not "up to speed" with that, shows an almost
      > naivete from that quarter.

      Yes TG, yes. It is not a question of preference for one kind of vohara
      over another. This is mostly brought up to point out that the Buddha
      used it, but that unlike us, neither he nor his direct audience were
      fooled by the conventional realities being referred to. That what is
      being pointed to of which we of lower understanding are liable to
      miss, are the dhammas of the five sense doors and mind. Therefore the
      objection is not towards language use, but the constant taking for
      reality what is not real and this is expressed unrelated to the
      language use itself.

      So for example when you insist that it makes no difference whether it
      is `chairs' and `tables' or `seeing' and `feeling', both are equally
      instructive with regard to the fact of conditionality, the objection
      is to the "view" expressed.

      > Part 2 .......
      > Here's an interesting quote from Samyutta Nikaya, Vol. 1, verse 300
      > "One who desists from sensual perception,
      > Who has overcome the fetter of form,
      > Who has destroyed delight in existence--
      > He does not sink in the deep."
      > It seems to me, that Nina and those of her persuasion, not only do not
      > desist from sensual perception and form, but generate great efforts
      to indulge in
      > identifying and holding onto sensual perception and form; by
      > bolstering the paying attention to them (and developing theories
      about Dhammas)
      > ... and claiming such to be the "aim" of the Buddha's teaching.

      This is a unique characterization of what some of us are saying. ;-)

      But take the third line in the verse you quote:

      "Who has destroyed delight in existence--"

      This would include not only sensual desire, but also Jhana and other
      conditioned dhammas. I think you will have noted that much is
      expressed here about "vipassana" being the only way whereby the bricks
      of samsara are gradually removed. Would not this imply also that
      sensual desire is seen as undesirable, at least in principle?

      Knowing name and form is seeing the value of "knowing" / vipassana,
      and not the `name and form'. It is with this same understanding that
      `seeking Jhana' is objected to here. So in fact one is not only
      inclining towards "overcoming the fetter of form", but also
      discouraging "delight in existence".

      But of course all this is at the most infant stage of development,
      being still as much as anyone else "submerged" in ignorance and
      craving. But it is I believe, looking in the right direction. And
      though the development of vipassana is valued but hardly ever arises,
      and because one does not `seek' to have more being satisfied with what
      ever little intellectual understanding that may arise, this should
      prove you wrong in thinking that all this involves "great efforts to

      Besides we don't talk about distinguishing panna from tanha (with
      wrong view) for nothing. In fact coming to a conclusion about the need
      to know present moment realities involves in part, having seen that it
      is due largely to being lost in concepts that so much tanha and other
      akusala arises in a day. Moreover, the idea of "not catching
      realities" expressed by some of us quite often, should also tell you
      that tanha is noticed at a slightly deeper level than you perhaps
      allow for….?


      > It is not the aim. Mindfulness is a practice designed to turn
      > the mind away from the so called "realities" that you guys indulge in.

      Whatever the development of understanding leads to, it is not ours to
      bring in any ideas about these and try to manipulate. Our immediate
      problem is the constant arising of ignorance which brings with it all
      other forms of akusala and which continues to dictate the paths being
      I know, I know, all this sounds like projection on my part. All the
      more reason to come back to the present moment "reality"! ;-)

      > I don't downplay mindfulness,
      > mindfulness is of extreme importance; but its just one of many many
      > factors the Buddha taught to "turn the mind away" from
      conditionality. The
      > PROCESS of mindfulness is to be aware of conditions, the AIM of
      mindfulness is
      > to turn the mind away from conditions.

      Tell me, do you see Jhana as being one of those factors, if so, how?

      From my perspective, the development of mindfulness and understanding-
      satipatthana *is* the development of detachment. However, unlike Jhana
      which is detachment from sense objects, this is detachment from all
      `conditioned realities'.

      In the above in stating, "the AIM of mindfulness is to turn the mind
      away from conditions" I get the impression that you are saying that
      the development of satipatthana can take place without detachment?
      This would be misunderstanding of either. The focus should be rather
      to point out what in fact satipatthana "knows" re: realities as
      against concepts. In the process one will come to recognize better and
      better that concepts are not to be indulged in, let alone being
      instructive with regard to conditionality. But in fact that only
      through knowing realities is conditionality understood and any real
      detachment occurs.

      Therefore there is no need to talk about "aiming to be detached from
      conditions", this may be missing the point in fact. Moreover, having
      failed exactly to distinguish reality from concept, "conditionality"
      may remain just another "word".

      > Do you folks "get that"? Unlike Nina's claim, The aim of the
      Buddha's teaching is not to be "watching dhammas."

      Perhaps you should learn to characterize Nina's approach first by
      replacing "watching" with "understanding". Once this is grasped
      properly in your mind, then perhaps you will begin to see no conflict
      between "knowing dhammas" and "knowing conditionality". :-)

      > There is no such thing as realities and other states which are not
      > "realities."

      So the experience in the moment, of God, Tao, Oneness, I am That and
      so on, this is as real as seeing, sound, anger and feeling etc!? Does
      not the perception of God etc take time and involve many thought
      moments interspersed with seeing / visible object and so on, and in
      contrast "seeing" itself, this is just one particular kind of
      momentary reality?

      > Whatever arises, arises; whatever does not arise, does not arise, that
      > is all.

      And we are saying that CONCEPTS such as God, table and chair don't
      arise and you don't seem to care about this! It seems that you are
      happy just knowing that one moment there is perception of `God' and
      the next of `table' and this apparently is as instructive as
      experiencing `seeing' or other realities fall away…..

      > Arising and altering is based on conditions, that's all. Its not an
      > intrinsic nature of "Dhammas." Its just the nature of nature,
      that's all.
      > Its the nature of conditionality, that's all.

      Conditions *are* dhammas and vice versa. Nature is nature because
      dhammas are dhammas.

      > Conditionality is productive of
      > affliction in sentient systems/beings. Therefore, escaping
      > is the aim...because it entails escaping affliction.

      Time has come for the main question: :-)
      How according to you does one come to understand conditionality?

      Yeah, an even longer post this time…:-/ Sorry to burden you with it.


    • Nina van Gorkom
      Dear Alex, ... N: This is not the right approach, a question like that. We discuss Dhamma here, not attainments or non-attainments of persons. Now see
      Message 316 of 316 , May 5, 2008
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        Dear Alex,

        Op 4-mei-2008, om 22:45 heeft Alex het volgende geschreven:

        > Nina, Scott, KenH and other smart people. Are you arahants, once
        > returners? Is KS an Arahant? Some of you have been studying far more
        > than 7 years or 7 days required for Arahatship. What paths and
        > fruititions have you reached?
        N: This is not the right approach, a question like that. We discuss
        Dhamma here, not attainments or non-attainments of persons. Now see
        Howard's answer, he answered your post very well.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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