FreeSangha - Buddhist Forum

A Mosaic of Traditions - One Virtual Sangha => The Dharma Express => Topic started by: Optimus Prime on December 15, 2009, 06:08:24 am

Title: Dependent Origination
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 15, 2009, 06:08:24 am
What is Dependent Origination?

It is actually the Buddha's detailed analysis of the 2nd and 3rd Noble Truth.

When the Buddha was opening his enlightenment, he was looking at this pattern of Dependent Origination forwards and backwards in various combinations until he understood it thoroughly.  So it's pretty important to understand it as it's one of the fundamentals of the Teaching.

As Ajahn Amaro points out, Dependent Origination describes how illusions arise out of reality (p 155, Rain on the Nile).

Dependent Origination is split into 2 parts:
1.  The first half (the 2nd Noble Truth) deals with the arising of dukkha (suffering or unsatisfactoriness) - how does suffering arise?
2.  The second half (the 3rd Noble Truth) deals with the cessation of dukkha - how does suffering cease?

The first half goes like this in Pali:

Avijjapaccaya sankhara;
sankharapaccaya viññanam;
viññanapaccaya namarupam;
namarupapaccaya salayatanam;
salayatanapaccaya phasso;
phassapaccaya vedana;
vedanapaccaya tanha;
tanhapaccaya upadanam;
upadanapaccaya bhavo;
bhavapaccaya jati;
jatipaccaya jaramaranam-soka-parideva-dukkha-
domanassupayasa sambhavanti, evametassa kevalassa
dukkhakhandhassa samudayo hoti.


What the terms mean
When you first read it, it's easy to go, "What does this all mean????"  It's good to understand what these Pali terms mean, so here is a little bit of an overview of the definitions:

Avijja (ignorance - not seeing clearly, losing mindfulness) conditions sankhara (Conditioned things or "the world of things/particles".  It also means "divided".  It also means karmic formations or habitual drives).  In other words, sankhara are dependent on avijja for its arising.  Notice this does not mean that avijja creates sankhara - it's just dependent on it - one leads to the other.  So here, losing mindfulness, we are starting to see a separation of the awareness (or the True Mind/Unconditioned Mind) drifting off into a sense of "self" and "other".
Sankhara conditions vinnanam (discriminating consciousness - you start making distinctions and discriminations - your awareness starts to operate in the discriminative mode of consciousness)
Vinnana conditions namarupam (name and form - sometimes also translated as the body & mind - the consciousness is diversifying and it's drifting off so that there's a sense of separateness of the mind and the body [note that the body has both physical and mental activity] - we are starting to perceive a "form")
Namarupam conditions salayatanam (the 6 senses - you get pulled out into the world of the 6 senses [once you've got a body, the senses come] - as Ajahn Amaro notes, the world of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch come alive and become far more real)
Salayatana conditions phasso (contact)
Phassa conditions vedana (feeling - good feelings, bad feelings or neutral feelings, things you like/hate, pleasure/pain)
Vedana conditions tanha (desire - "I really want one of those")
Tanha conditions upadanam (grasping or clinging or attachment - you want to prolong the contact with your objects of desire - so you grasp them more and cling on to them)
Upadana paccaya bhavo (bhava means becoming - this is the thrill of getting what you want)
Bhava conditions jati (birth)
Jati conditions jaramaranam (the cycle of maturing and passing away, i.e., birth conditions old age, sickness and death) and along with this comes the varying levels of sadnesses
soka-parideva-dukkha-domanassuppayasa (i.e., it ranges through sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair - so it ranges from being mildly upset to having an emotional breakdown)


Summary of Dependent Origination
Ajahn Sucitto, in his Introduction to "The Way It Is" by Ajahn Sumedho, explains it like this:

To the extent to which (paccaya) the mind has not comprehended (avijja) Truth, habitual drives manifest and condition (paccaya) awareness into a discriminative mode (viññana) that operates in terms of (paccaya) subject and object (nama-rupa) held (paccaya) to exist on either side of the six sense-doors (salayatana). These sense-doors open dependent (paccaya) on contact (phasso) that can arouse (paccaya) varying degrees of feeling (vedana). Feeling stimulates (paccaya) desire (tanha) and, according to (paccaya) the power of desire, attention lingers (upadana) and so personal aims and obsessions develop (bhava) to give (paccaya) (jati) rise to self-consciousness. That self-consciousness, mental or physical, once arisen must follow (paccaya) the cycle of maturing and passing away (jara-marana) with the resultant sense of sadness (soka) varying from sorrow (parideva) to depression (domanassa), to anguish (dukkha) and emotional breakdown (upayasa).


An easy way to understand Dependent Origination

Here's some great imagery from Ajahn Amaro to help us understand Dependent Origination easier:

We are an eye in the sky, way, way, above the earth. Awareness and the infinite blue. Everything is O.K. Then our attention is caught bysome movement in the blueness down below, the eye peers down and ponders, “I wonder what that is?” The attention starts to focus and draws close like a telescope on the surface of the sea. This is sankha¯ra, self having interest in the other. Viñña¯na is then the patterns on the water, the different shapes of the waves. We think, “That’s interesting – beautiful waves!” Then that complexifies and diversifies into different kinds of consciousness, into perceptions, thought, feeling, body, the six senses; we’ve drawn closer and closer, now hopping from wave to wave, dodging from this one to that one, having a great time. Different types of waves: sound waves, colour waves, smell waves, touch waves, thought waves – all very nice. Then suddenly there’s one we find really interesting; desire arises: “This is a great wave!” Desire turns into clinging and we think, “This one is ridable.” Suddenly, as if by magic, a surfboard appears and we are away! Clinging turns into becoming – surfing, riding the crest of a great wave is the perfect image for becoming. A couple of years ago I was down by Huntington Beach. They have a beautiful sculpture by the roadside, a big bronze of a youth, a teenage boy perched on top of his board riding high on the curl of the perfect wave.41 The heart of Southern Californian beach life seems to be the desire to become, epitomized by the riding of the crest. Bhava is the thrill of getting what we want – we are riding our wave and we’re right in the teeth of it – total thrill.  Then bhava turns into ja¯ti which means either, “I’ve run out of wave” or “This wave is taking me to the rocks” or suchlike. Suddenly the wave collapses, we are thrown through mid-air, do a few somersaults, mouthfuls of sea water, don’t know which way is up or down. Splat! We’re choking and spluttering and have been thoroughly dumped by the whole thing. So what do we do? Go looking for another wave, of course!
- p 161-162, Rain on the Nile by Ajahn Amaro


So, hopefully, this has helped you guys get a better idea of what the Buddha means when he says:

And what, monks, is the Noble Truth of the Arising of Suffering?

Dependent on ignorance arise formations; dependent on formations, consciousness;
dependent on consciousness, mind and body; dependent on mind and body, the
six senses; dependent on the six senses, contact; dependent on contact, feeling;
dependent on feeling, desire; dependent on desire, clinging; dependent on clinging,
the process of becoming; dependent on the process of becoming, birth; dependent on
birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair come to pass.
Thus does the whole mass of suffering arise.

This, monks, is called the Noble Truth of the Arising of Suffering.


And what, monks, is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering?

Through the entire cessation of ignorance, formations cease; through the cessation of
formations, consciousness; through the cessation of consciousness, mind and body;
through the cessation of mind and body, the six senses; through the cessation of the
six senses, contact; through the cessation of contact, feeling; through the cessation
of feeling, desire; through the cessation of desire, clinging; through the cessation of
clinging, the process of becoming; through the cessation of the process of becoming,
birth; through the cessation of birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain,
grief and despair all cease. Thus there is the cessation of the whole mass of suffering.

This, monks is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering.

Anguttara Nikaya 3.61
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: humanitas on December 15, 2009, 01:52:47 pm
Dearest Optimus Prime,

thank you for starting this thread.  I have a few links to add for more information and preliminary study of the concept.  I'd like to see this concept generally better understood by all us beginner practitioners.

Dependent Origination Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratītyasamutpāda)

Fundamentals of Buddhism: Dependent Origination - Buddhanet (http://www.buddhanet.net/funbud12.htm)

Dependent Origination-The Buddhist Law of Conditionality by P. A. Payutto (Translated from the Thai by Bruce Evans) (http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/coarise.htm)

Dependent Origination by Christina Feldman (http://www.dharma.org/ij/archives/1999a/christina.htm)

more on Dependent Origination (http://www.chezpaul.org.uk/buddhism/books/wheel/depend.htm)


Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on December 16, 2009, 08:36:51 am
The Three lives theory, an excerpt:


The application of pratītyasamutpāda to the process of rebirth is known as the Twelve Nidanas or the Twelve Links of Conditioned Existence. The nikayas themselves do not give a systematic explanation of the nidana series.[6] As an expository device, the commentarial tradition presented the factors as a linear sequence spanning over three lives; this does not mean that the "past", "present", and "future" factors are mutually exclusive, and in fact as many suttas show, they are not.[7] The twelve nidanas categorized in this way are:

Former Life

    * ignorance
    * volitional formations (activities which produce karma)

Current Life

    * consciousness
    * mind and body (personality or identity)
    * the six sense bases (five physical senses and the mind)
    * contact (between objects and the senses)
    * feeling (registering the contact)
    * craving (for continued contact)
    * clinging
    * becoming (similar to volitional formations)

Future Life

    * birth
    * old age and death

This twelve-factor formula is the most familiar presentation, though a number of early suttas introduce less-known variants which make it clear that the sequence of factors should not be regarded as a linear causal process in which each preceding factor gives rise to its successor through a simple reaction. The relationship among factors is always complex, involving several woven strands of conditionality.[8] For example, whenever there is ignorance, craving and clinging invariably follow, and craving and clinging themselves indicate ignorance.[7]

With respect to the destinies of human beings and animals, dependent origination has a more specific meaning, as it describes the process by which such sentient beings incarnate into any given realm and pursue their various worldly projects and activities with all concomitant suffering. Among these sufferings are aging and death. Aging and death are experienced by us because birth and youth have been experienced. Without birth there is no death. One conditions the other in a mutually dependent relationship. Our becoming in the world, the process of what we call "life", is conditioned by the attachment and clinging to ideas and projects. This attachment and clinging in turn cannot exist without craving as its condition. The Buddha understood that craving comes into being because there is sensation in the body which we experience as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. When we crave something, it is the sensation induced by contact with the desired object that we crave rather than the object itself. Sensation is caused by contact with such objects of the senses. The contact or impression made upon the senses (manifesting as sensation) is itself dependent upon the six sense organs which themselves are dependent upon the psychophysical entity that a human being is.

Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prat%C4%ABtyasamutp%C4%81da)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: TMingyur on December 16, 2009, 09:30:13 pm
Dependent origination in a nutshell:

Neither from itself nor from other
Nor from both,
Nor without a cause
Does anything anywhere, ever arise.

Nagarjuna, MMK1
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Optimus Prime on December 19, 2009, 04:40:51 pm
Here's an excellent, detailed essay on Dependent Origination by Ajahn Brahm:

http://www.bswa.org/modules/icontent/index.php?page=65
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on January 02, 2010, 09:22:13 am
Extensive discussion (sometimes tangential) regarding this topic, DO, here, which includes numerous links for the scholarly   :buddha::

http://www.thebigview.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3897
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Quiet Heart on January 08, 2010, 04:14:40 pm
 :socool:
Dependent Origination

One of my favorite topics.
I understand the point of dependent origination. I understand that what we percieve can arise from the illusions of the mind. I have no quarrel with that.
What makes me choke slightly is those who seem to claim (in my humble opinion) that because all events are dependent on other events and the minds interpretation of those events that therefore nothing really exists.
That kind of thinking makes me feel very uneasy...it is on the point of being Nihilistic.
It sticks in my craw, like the Christian insistance on "faith" as being required for the true understanding of what they claim to be true.
I like to quote what Sherlock Holmes said that...the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
From my Zen training viewpoint, and my previous Taoist viewpoint, I can't personally buy the "nothing fundamentally exists" idea that many of the dependent origination crowd seem to accept as a given.
I personally think that although the view of the world may be flawed by the "illusions" generated by my mind...when and if I ever achieve the level of understanding to overcome those "illusions", there will still be a reality left to percieve.
But, I suppose I shall see whether or not that is true, when/if it comes.

I like the thought that:

When I first came to study I saw the mountains as mountains, and the sea as sea.
After many years I saw no mountains and I saw no sea, all was emptiness.
But finally, having understood, I again saw the mountains, but only as mountains;
and I saw the sea again, but only as the sea.
 :blush:



Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: humanitas on January 08, 2010, 04:31:07 pm
I can't personally buy the "nothing fundamentally exists" idea that many of the dependent origination crowd seem to accept as a given.

AFAIK, this is a gross misunderstanding of DO.  It's not that nothing fundamentally exists at all.  It all exists just fine.  It's that everything that appears to have one singular solid form is not one object but a convergence of many many different factors and conditions.  And in that way, nothing exists as a single object-entity.  But air exists, body exists, as does everything else.  Its existence is conditional and pivotal on the components which GIVE it existence, like air is not a solid object, it's composed of conditions, like chemistry, and pressure and gravity. Air's chemistry alone has tons of conditions which exist to give it its air-status, and gravity is a whole other set of conditions, as is atmosphere, pressure, etc.  So air is not one object like the word implied (tiny three letter word)  It's actually a million things, and in that sense AIR as this singular object doesn't exist anywhere but in a concept that gathers all the conditions and shorthands it into one objectconceptnotion-AIR.  But when we say "emptiness" we don't mean absent.  We mean open, spacious, without rigid form, or rather the form is conditional thus... empty of its own object-ness rigid structure.  Emptiness is form means that emptiness is like water, it fills form, but form is still composed of emptiness, this openness subject to change and impermanence once the conditions change, which they inevitably do. Thus all is emptiness is like saying, it's all connected...  Am I making any sense?

I could be mistaken, but this is how I understood DO.  I couldn't buy the nothing fundamentally exists either, that's totally incomplete as a view of mind.

 :headbow:
Ogyen.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: TMingyur on January 08, 2010, 10:01:02 pm
What makes me choke slightly is those who seem to claim (in my humble opinion) that because all events are dependent on other events and the minds interpretation of those events that therefore nothing really exists.
That kind of thinking makes me feel very uneasy...it is on the point of being Nihilistic.
That depends on how you understand "really" and the reference that you recognize being made there.
Actually if it is understood as: "All phenomena are not really existent the way they appear" it makes perfect sense. "really existent" meaning "from their own side", "existing through the power of themselves" or "existing inherently", "their [mode of appearing] existence not being dependent on the imputation/labeling by a subject".
With these statements nothing is said about "secondary causes" of those appearances.

Kind regards
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on March 26, 2010, 02:44:46 am
Upadana paccaya bhavo (bhava means becoming - this is the thrill of getting what you want)
Bhava conditions jati (birth)

I'm not sure about bhava meaning "the thrill of getting what you want."  In MN 9.30 for example, bhava is is described as existence in different planes / realms:
"There are these three kinds of being: sense-sphere being, fine-material being and immaterial being."

There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26:
"And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on March 26, 2010, 04:48:30 am
There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26: "And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."

It is questionable that his is physical birth because after death comes suffering. So how can something dead experience suffering?

The word 'jati' means social class in India.

The word  'womb' does is not found in the Pali here.  

This quote states the birth of the various orders of beings, as follows:
Quote
([url]http://i44.tinypic.com/jjwuqh.jpg[/url])


It is the building up of the aggregates from self-obsession, as follows:
Quote
The Blessed One said: "Not knowing, not seeing the eye as it actually is present; not knowing, not seeing forms... consciousness at the eye... contact at the eye as they actually are present; not knowing, not seeing whatever arises conditioned through contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — as it actually is present, one is infatuated with the eye... forms... consciousness at the eye... contact at the eye... whatever arises conditioned by contact at the eye and is experienced as pleasure, pain, or neither-pleasure-nor-pain.

"For him — infatuated, attached, confused, not remaining focused on their drawbacks — the five clinging-aggregates head toward future accumulation. The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now this & now that — grows within him. His bodily disturbances & mental disturbances grow. His bodily torments & mental torments grow. His bodily distresses & mental distresses grow. He is sensitive both to bodily stress & mental stress.




 :dharma:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on March 26, 2010, 05:32:22 am
There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26: "And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."
It is questionable that his is physical birth because after death comes suffering. So how can something dead experience suffering?

The word 'jati' means social class in India.


I'm not sure I understand your first point.  Dukkha is desribed in the suttas as including birth, ageing and death - which supports the traditional view that the purpose of enlightenment is liberation from the cycle of birth and death, ie the suffering of samsara. 
I have given a sutta extract supporting the literal description of jati / birth, do you have a sutta extract which supports your view of jati as meaning social class?  And what relevance this has to the discussion?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on March 26, 2010, 05:45:06 am

Sankhara conditions vinnanam (discriminating consciousness - you start making distinctions and discriminations - your awareness starts to operate in the discriminative mode of consciousness)

Again, this seems to be at odds with the traditional view, which is that sankhara here refers to kammic imprints - so the consciousness of one life is conditioned by the kammic imprints of the previous one.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on March 27, 2010, 11:14:10 am
Once, a couple of years ago, I heard it said "We don't teach emptiness to beginners because the first thing they do with it is fall into nihilism."

  I thought gee that's kinda harsh, then proceeded forth forewarned, forearmed, clear minded and ready. And of course I fell straight in to nihilism. Since then, I've watched any number of people take the same fall. The more educated minds just do it in a more complicated way.

  So I think it is worth reiterating that

Emptiness is not telling us things don't exist.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 27, 2010, 10:52:17 pm
The problem (I) have found with many who attempt to teach what Buddhism means by, and what Buddha taught regarding emptiness is that their heads are empty of what Buddha taught regarding emptiness.  This does not mean that these folks no longer exist.  This simply means that the knowledge of what Buddha taught is not present in their heads.  Nor does this mean that emptiness itself does not exist.  It only means the correct understanding of what Buddha taught and what Buddhism means with regard to emptiness is not present in their list of abilities.  In other words, their ability list of what they are competent to teach is empty of the Buddhist meaning of emptiness, and empty of what Buddha taught with regard to emptiness.  It is much like what happened the other day when (I) needed a pair of needle nose pliers, which (I) left under the seat in my wife's car.  When (I) went to look for my needle nose pliers in my tool box where (I) normally keep them my tool box did not contain my needle nose pliers, because they were in my wife's car under the front seat.  Therefore, when (I) looked into my toolbox, my toolbox was empty of my needle nose pliers.

Something similar happened to me when (I) looked for my soul, or what some people call their permanent self, that self which exists for all eternity.  (I) looked for my self in the mirror and all (I) found was a reflection of the light which shone down upon me from the sun.  The mirror was empty of my self.  (I) looked in records which my various schools collected regarding my activities while (I) was studying and only incomplete information about who (I) used to be and what (I) used to do was there.  My school records were empty of my permanent self.  (I) looked in old sixteen millimeter motion picture films of my family for myself, but found only light images of me and my family which recorded what (I) used to look like years and years ago.  The motion pictures of me were empty of my self.  (I) looked at old photographs, asked friends, talked to loved ones, questioned my children, inquired of my wife, and my parents, and teachers and each one gave me but a partial, incomplete, and biased picture of who they thought (I) was and am, but none of their descriptions were the same.  Their descriptions were empty of my self.

Then (I) thought that my soul, my true self might be in my brain somewhere, because thats where all my greatest thoughts and ideas resided, but then none of these thoughts ever lasted for long, except for really traumatic or really exciting and joyful memories of past events, but even those seem to not have lasted, as (I) am beginning to forget a lot, and my wife always seems to remember them differently than (I) do.  So,  (I) found that my memories, even my best thoughts and ideas were empty of my self.

So one day after having a discussion about the reductive nature of the physical universe (I) thought that (I) would perform a thought experiment and began to disassemble my body parts from head to toe.  (I) took off my head, pulled out my eyes, cut off my nose, snipped out my tongue, plucked out my brain, yanked off arms and legs, began to pull out my organs:  lungs, spleen, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, transverse colon, large intestine, sigmoid colon, anus;  then (I) began with the nervous system and disassembled it, next the muscles were all pulled apart and spread out on the floor, and then (I) took them bones apart and put skull here, and femurs there, and spinal column over there, and ...... so it went on with each part, limb, organ, and system.  Still there was no self to be found.  Even my body was empty of any self.

So, (I) thought that surely my self must be hiding in one of all the millions of somatic, nerve, blood, lymphatic, muscle, or tissue cells.  And (I) began placing all of them, all my cells, into my kitchen blender and placed it on liquefy.  (I) had gotten the idea from watching Chevy Chase in an old
Saturday Night Live Episode.  (I) believe the skit was called Bass-O-Matic.  And (I) blended each of my cells.  Ran all the liquid through a series of finely meshed filters and still the entire batch was empty of myself.

So, then (I) thought that myself must be visible at the atomic level.  Quickly (I) got out my first year college Organic Chemistry set and began to dissolve everything that (I) had blended and liquefied into a gas chromatography / mass-spectrometry column and ran charts on every molecule in my body.  The charts were all empty of any self.  My self was no where in evidence.

So, there had to be only one solution.  (I) jumped in my car, drove to the airport and flew to Paris.  From there (I) went by rail to CERN on the French-Swiss border and asked to use their super collider to smash all my atoms into plasma and subatomic particles, because the only possibility left for where my self might be hiding was in subatomic particles, or maybe strings, or super-strings, or maybe in some energy-mass flux vibration between the infinite number of membranes in the multi-verse or somewhere in some corner of the infinite parallel universes.  And my search over infinite life-times resulted in me finding no evidence of any self anywhere.  In other words the total result set, having integrated all of my experiences, and experiments, and searches was empty of any evidence that my self ever existed, exists, or will ever exist.  The final result was that The All was empty of any self which (I) could call me, mine, or myself.

But you know what?  (I) learned a great deal going through the exercise.  The most important thing that (I) learned was that there are better things to do, better ways to experience my time, more beneficial pursuits.  So, (I) just decided to no longer cling to any delusions of self.  And now (I) am proud to report that my mind is empty of my self.  
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on March 28, 2010, 02:21:29 am
Emptiness is not telling us things don't exist.

"This being, that becomes; from the arising of this, that arises;
This not being, that does not become; from the ceasing of this, that ceases."

( the general formula for dependent arising )
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on March 28, 2010, 06:34:23 am

 And now (I) am proud to report that my mind is empty of my self.  



Would it be too unkind to point out that this statement disproves itself?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on March 28, 2010, 07:06:33 am
Emptiness is not telling us things don't exist.

"This being, that becomes; from the arising of this, that arises;
This not being, that does not become; from the ceasing of this, that ceases."

( the general formula for dependent arising )

Just so.  :jinsyx:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Caz on March 28, 2010, 11:03:04 am
Once, a couple of years ago, I heard it said "We don't teach emptiness to beginners because the first thing they do with it is fall into nihilism."

  I thought gee that's kinda harsh, then proceeded forth forewarned, forearmed, clear minded and ready. And of course I fell straight in to nihilism. Since then, I've watched any number of people take the same fall. The more educated minds just do it in a more complicated way.

  So I think it is worth reiterating that

Emptiness is not telling us things don't exist.

Correct !  :hug:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on March 28, 2010, 09:11:08 pm
It's your kamma.  Have at it.


 And now (I) am proud to report that my mind is empty of my self.  



Would it be too unkind to point out that this statement disproves itself?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on March 29, 2010, 09:59:17 am
Has this thread been split? Some posts have disappeared.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on March 31, 2010, 06:09:31 am
It might be worth mentioning that the 4 Noble Truths are themselves an example of dependent origination. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: FaDao on April 11, 2010, 07:08:19 am
All phenomena and experiences are inter-related.

The bus arrives at the bus-stop because the driver went to work after he slept on the couch last night because of an argument with his wife due to the fact that wife's mother said ten years ago "why are you marrying a bus driver?  you can do better."

But the driver married his wife, they had an argument 10 years later, he slept on the couch, went to work, drove the bus and today it arrived at the usual stop relatively "on time."

Meanwhile, a butterfly farted somewhere along the Amazon River ....

Namo Amitofo
- Fa Dao -
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: vinasp on April 11, 2010, 08:52:09 am
Hi everyone,

 Here is my understanding of dependent origination as presented in the Nikaya's.

1. The 'popular' understanding: A description of rebirth over three lives.

2. The real meaning: A description of 'what has come to be', meaning what has been mentally constructed over many years, and how this can cease to be. The formula describes the 'self' which has been constructed.

 All the 'things' included are 'sankhara's' (mental volitional constructive activities) and each of these is associated with some form of mis-understanding. So the entire formula just shows these mis-understandings and the mental actions that result from them.

 The formula shows how what has come to exist, can cease to exist. All twelve things must completely, permanently cease to exist, for full enlightenment.

 Later schools of Buddhism seem to understand the formula in some other way. This puzzles me.

 Best wishes, Vincent.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on April 11, 2010, 11:48:06 am
I have given a sutta extract supporting the literal description of jati / birth,

You have posted words rather than meaning. The meaning one accumulates & takes possession of the aggregates & sense objects.

Quote
do you have a sutta extract which supports your view of jati as meaning social class?  

From MN 98:
(http://i41.tinypic.com/9huq9c.jpg)

Birth is self-identification, self-concept. For example, if I identify myself as a "wife and mother", my self concept includes all of those aggregates (khanda) and sense bases including sense objects (ayatana) that I take to be me and belonging to me, such as my husband, my children, my house, my car, my jewellery, my job, my hobbies, etc.

When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote
"And what may be said to be subject to birth? Spouses & children are subject to birth. Men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to birth. Subject to birth are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to birth.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.026.than.html[/url]


Quote
"Monks, I will explain to you grasping and worrying, and also not grasping and not worrying... Here, monks, the uninstructed worldling, with no regard for Noble Ones, [1] unskilled and untrained in the Dhamma of the Noble Ones,... of those who are worthy [2]... regards body as the self, the self as having body, body as being in the self, or the self as being in the body. Change occurs to this man's body, and it becomes different. Because of this change and alteration in his body, his consciousness is preoccupied with bodily change. Due to this preoccupation with bodily change, worried thoughts arise and persist, laying a firm hold on his mind. Through this mental obsession he becomes fearful and distressed, and being full of desire [3] and attachment he is worried. He regards feeling as the self,... change occurs to his feeling... he is worried. [Similarly with 'perception,' 'the mental formations' and 'consciousness']. In this way, monks, grasping and worrying arise. And how, monks, do not grasping and not worrying arise?

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.007.wlsh.html[/url]


Quote
And what relevance this has to the discussion?

my point has enormous relevance to the discussion.

 :bigtears:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on April 11, 2010, 10:04:57 pm
This kind of thread drives me crazy.
                   :comp:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on April 11, 2010, 10:56:09 pm
This kind of thread drives me crazy.


                   :comp:

Do tell. Why is that? Are you having as much trouble as I am making sense of it?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on April 11, 2010, 11:13:49 pm
This kind of thread drives me crazy.


                   :comp:

Do tell. Why is that? Are you having as much trouble as I am making sense of it?
Yes.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: retrofuturist on April 12, 2010, 02:43:29 am
Greetings,

Quote from: ABC
Birth is self-identification, self-concept. For example, if I identify myself as a "wife and mother", my self concept includes all of those aggregates (khanda) and sense bases including sense objects (ayatana) that I take to be me and belonging to me, such as my husband, my children, my house, my car, my jewellery, my job, my hobbies, etc.

When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.
:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Yeshe on April 12, 2010, 03:21:51 am

When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.



Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: retrofuturist on April 12, 2010, 03:44:29 am
Greetings,


When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote from: yeshe
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

I think he has good understanding there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.

It does if there is an ignorant perception of a self.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 12, 2010, 04:09:39 am
Birth is self-identification, self-concept. For example, if I identify myself as a "wife and mother", my self concept includes all of those aggregates (khanda) and sense bases including sense objects (ayatana) that I take to be me and belonging to me, such as my husband, my children, my house, my car, my jewellery, my job, my hobbies, etc.

When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Yes, that may well be a useful way of looking at it.  Whether that's how the Buddha originally intended it is another matter.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 12, 2010, 04:14:58 am
When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

Ageing and death are quite high on my list. :)  But I agree it's useful to look at dependent arising in terms of how suffering arises in the here and now.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Yeshe on April 12, 2010, 06:37:14 am
Greetings,


When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote from: yeshe
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

I think he has good understanding there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.

It does if there is an ignorant perception of a self.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thank you for that clarification. :)

I don't ascribe to that view, but appreciate the explanation.

It may be more common and useful, but I still regard it as a very tenuous conclusion. A deluded self in samsaric suffering still has no death or sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair as a consequence of all gradual changes.  Death and the breaking up of the body may easily do so, and is a much more obvious and logical interpretation.

Hey, maybe that's why I'm in TB ! LOL :)

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on April 12, 2010, 10:16:24 am
Interestingly a Behavior Dynamics professor in 1966 used this exact same example to point out that none of us know who we are and ABC just forty-four years later.  Interestingly Buddha did the same twenty-five hundred years earlier with his Not-Self strategy of emptiness.  

The Dhamma Wheel not only continues to turn, but folks keep reinventing it.

Greetings,


When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering.

Quote from: yeshe
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?

Sabbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)

If you are talking of bodily death and rebirth it makes sense.

When I think about the things that make me suffer, conventional death and rebirth aren't particularly high on my list. What ABC refers to is much more common (and useful). When do you suffer, Yeshe? When don't you suffer? It's no co-incidence that the first two steps in dependent origination are igorance --> sankharas.

I think you have a non sequitur there.

I think he has good understanding there.

We age, that is obvious, but each change does not necessarily entail the rest of the suffering you state.

It does if there is an ignorant perception of a self.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on April 12, 2010, 12:34:16 pm
Why does it follow that change results in all those negative experiences?
Change does not need to result in all those negative experiences.

But you must bear in mind the Dependent Origination is about when experience is affected by ignorance.

If there is no ignorance, naturally, there will be no suffering when change occurs.

This is Dependent Cessation rather than Dependant Origination.

 :r4wheel:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on April 12, 2010, 12:37:26 pm
S
abbe Sankhara Anicca (all formations are impermanent)
Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha (all formations are suffering)
Sabbe Dhamma Anatta (all things are not-self)
Retro F

The dukkha in the context here is not that of sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief & despair and the whole mass of suffering.

 :spiderman:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on April 12, 2010, 12:40:55 pm
Yes, that may well be a useful way of looking at it.  Whether that's how the Buddha originally intended it is another matter.


This is what the Buddha intended.

Quote
"Whoever sees dependent co-arising sees the Dhamma; whoever sees the Dhamma sees dependent co-arising." [4] And these things — the five clinging-aggregates — are dependently co-arisen. [5] Any desire, embracing, grasping, & holding-on to these five clinging-aggregates is the origination of stress. Any subduing of desire & passion, any abandoning of desire & passion for these five clinging-aggregates is the cessation of stress.'

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.028.than.html[/url]



Quote
"Well then — knowing in what way, seeing in what way, does one without delay put an end to the effluents? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. It is by knowing & seeing in this way that one without delay puts an end to the effluents.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.081.than.html[/url]


 :eek:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: vinasp on April 13, 2010, 03:42:21 am
Hi everyone,

Here are a few thoughts in response to some posts:

 Spiny #21, quote :
"It might be worth mentioning that the 4 Noble Truths are themselves an example of dependent origination."

 V:  A good point. One can go even further, there is a version of the four noble truths in which DO with the links arising is the second truth, and DO with the links ceasing is the third truth. So perhaps DO is the full version of the second and third truths. This is why DO is so very important.

Spiny #9, quote:
"There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26:"
"And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."

 V: My Bodhi translation has: "... precipitation [in a womb] ...". The brackets indicate something inserted by the translator. If you ignore those words, then there is no reason why 'birth' here can't be taken in a figurative sense. ABC has already mentioned this in post #10.

 ABC #10, quote:
"It is questionable that this is physical birth because after death comes suffering. So how can something dead experience suffering?"

 V: I agree that the link 'birth' can be understood as not being 'physical birth'. But you say: "... after death comes suffering ...". The last link is: "ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair." The word 'pain' here is 'dukkha' (suffering) in the Pali. The concluding statement: "Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering", is not another link.

 In my opinion 'being', 'birth' and 'ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair', (in fact all twelve links) are found together in the present. So it is not even the case that 'death' comes after 'birth', let alone that suffering (which is not a link) comes after 'death'. The formula is sometimes called 'dependent co-arising' to try to make this point clear.

 ABC #10, quote:
 "The word 'jati' means social class in India."

 V: True. But that is a secondary meaning, not the primary meaning, which is birth in a literal sense. The teachings also use 'birth' in a figurative sense.

 ABC #24, quote:
 "Birth is self-identification, self-concept. For example, if I identify myself as a "wife and mother", my self concept includes all of those aggregates (khanda) and sense bases including sense objects (ayatana) that I take to be me and belonging to me, such as my husband, my children, my house, my car, my jewellery, my job, my hobbies, etc."
"When the objects of self-idenification change, my self changes. It follows my mind experiences aging & death, sorrow, lamentation pain grief despair & suffering."

 V: This is not what the Nikaya's teach. They do not use birth and death in that way, see SN 22.1:

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration."

Link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html

 When the things which we identify with, as 'my self' change, then suffering arises. They do not speak of 'birth' or 'death' in connection with these things changing. It is the initial acquisition of the view of self which is called 'birth', and the cessation of that view which is called 'death'. These things occur only once in a lifetime. See MN 38.30 for this figurative use of 'birth'.

 Best wishes, Vincent.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 13, 2010, 03:53:44 am
Yes, that may well be a useful way of looking at it.  Whether that's how the Buddha originally intended it is another matter.

This is what the Buddha intended.

That's your opinion, not a fact.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 13, 2010, 04:09:33 am
Spiny #9, quote:
"There is also a description of birth in the same sutta, MN 9.26:"
"And what is birth?....The birth of beings in the various orders of beings; their coming to birth, precipitation in a womb; generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact - this is called birth."

 V: My Bodhi translation has: "... precipitation [in a womb] ...". The brackets indicate something inserted by the translator. If you ignore those words, then there is no reason why 'birth' here can't be taken in a figurative sense. ABC has already mentioned this in post #10.

Brackets like this are usually a means for the translator to elaborate or explain the meaning of the preceding word or phrase - so in this case it's likely that [in a womb] is clarifying the meaning of "precipitation".  In other words the translator hasn't just added the bracket to give his personal opinion.
However I acknowledge that translation and interpretation are subjective.  It's also clear that often people tend to interpret in line with their preconceived ideas.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: vinasp on April 13, 2010, 09:52:28 am
Hi everyone,

Correction of previous post:

" When the things which we identify with, as 'my self' change, then suffering arises. They do not speak of 'birth' or 'death' in connection with these things changing. It is the initial acquisition of the view of self which is called 'birth', and the cessation of that view which is called 'death'. These things occur only once in a lifetime. See MN 38.30 for this figurative use of 'birth'."

Corrected version:

 When the things which we identify with, as 'my self' change, then suffering arises. They do not speak of 'birth' or 'death' in connection with these things changing.

 When the view of self is first acquired, it is the view of an existing self here and now. This leads automatically to the view 'self was born', which then leads to the view 'self will grow old and die'. These are the links 'being', 'birth' and 'old age and death etc.' in the formula. So from 'being', birth comes to be, from 'birth', old age and death etc. comes to be. The reverse is: when being ceases, birth ceases, when birth ceases, old age and death etc cease. So both 'birth' and 'old age and death' arise with 'being' or the view of self. These three things arise only once, and all three cease only once in a lifetime. See MN 38.30 for their arising, 38.40 for their ceasing.

 Best wishes, Vincent.


Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 14, 2010, 03:34:57 am
See MN 38.30 for this figurative use of 'birth'."

Vincent, I  haven't got access to this sutta just now, could you give the extract which describes this figurative use of birth?
As a general point we need to be aware that MN 38 is only one of a number of suttas describing DO.  See for example the sutta on Right View ( MN 9 I think ).

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: vinasp on April 14, 2010, 04:14:57 am
Hi Spiny,

 The following is from The Middle Length Discourses by Bhikkhu Bodhi, MN 38.30.

 28. "When he grows up and his faculties mature, the child plays at such games as toy ploughs, tipcat, somersaults, toy windmills, toy measures, toy cars, and a toy bow and arrow.
29. "When he grows up and his faculties mature [still further], the youth enjoys himself provided and endowed with the five cords of sensual pleasure, with forms cognizable by the eye ... sounds ... odours ... flavours ... tangibles ...
30. "On seeing a form with the eye, he lusts after it if it is pleasing ; he dislikes it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body unestablished ...
... whatever feeling he feels - whether pleasant or painful ... - he delights in that feeling, welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As he does so, delight arises in him. Now delight in feelings is clinging. With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

 Best wishes, Vincent.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: vinasp on April 15, 2010, 02:25:46 am
Hi Spiny,

 On the MN 38.30 passage:

"With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering."

 This is clearly the last four links of DO. Let's take 'birth' first. If one follows the 'three life' interpretation, then 'birth' refers to ones next life. So one has to understand 'birth' here as something which will come to be perhaps fifty years into the future. This is taking 'birth' in DO in a literal sense.

 The alternative understanding is that 'birth' arises right there, along with 'being' and 'ageing and death etc'. This requires finding some other meaning for the link 'birth'.

 This is really a figurative or non-literal understanding of the link 'birth' in DO. This is a different thing from the figurative use of birth which is frequently found, for example in SN 22.81:

 "That formation - what is its source, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced?"  This is just a normal figurative use of birth.

 So, how do you understand the link 'birth' in DO ?
 1. Literal meaning only.
 2. Non-literal meaning only.
 3. Both literal and non-literal meanings.

 Best wishes, Vincent.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 15, 2010, 03:44:26 am
"With his clinging as condition, being [comes to be]; with being as condition, birth; with birth as condition, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering."

 So, how do you understand the link 'birth' in DO ?
 1. Literal meaning only.
 2. Non-literal meaning only.
 3. Both literal and non-literal meanings.

 Best wishes, Vincent.

Vincent, on the extract above I understand "being" ( "becoming" ) to refer to samsara generally, the process of repeated becoming in the 3 realms, which taken literally is referring to the cycle of birth and death.  So "birth" is generic in this context, any individual birth which arises in dependence on the general process of being / becoming.  Obviously ageing and death arise in dependence on birth.

As for interpretation I incline towards both the literal and figurative meanings.   I don't see enough evidence in the suttas to abandon the literal in favour of the figurative, and I don't find psychological versions of DO all that convincing. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 15, 2010, 03:47:13 am
Namarupam conditions salayatanam (the 6 senses - you get pulled out into the world of the 6 senses [once you've got a body, the senses come] - as Ajahn Amaro notes, the world of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch come alive and become far more real)
Salayatana conditions phasso (contact)

I'm not sure I get the distinction here between sense-consciousness and contact.  For example in dependence on eye and form we get eye-consciousness, with contact being the meeting of the three - but what does "contact" actually mean here?  Is it that eye-consciousness leads to us having contact with the visual form, and if so what is "us"?
I hope you see what I'm getting at. :)

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 16, 2010, 07:14:28 am
As for interpretation I incline towards both the literal and figurative meanings.   I don't see enough evidence in the suttas to abandon the literal in favour of the figurative, and I don't find psychological versions of DO all that convincing. 

Having said that I think it can be useful to look at the section of DO which clearly was intended psychologically, ie sense bases > contact > feeling > craving > clinging.  This is really an elaboration of the second Noble Truth.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 20, 2010, 03:59:03 am
In both MN9 and MN38 it is said that mentality-materiality ( nama-rupa ) arises in dependence on consciousness.  And that with the cessation of consciousness there is the cessation of mentality-materiality ( eg MN 38.22 ).
What are the implications of this? 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: retrofuturist on April 20, 2010, 04:11:32 am
Greetings Spiny,

In both MN9 and MN38 it is said that mentality-materiality ( nama-rupa ) arises in dependence on consciousness.  And that with the cessation of consciousness there is the cessation of mentality-materiality ( eg MN 38.22 ).
What are the implications of this?


You'll only come to know that if you make a special effort for learn what nama-rupa is referring to. Mentality-materiality is better than mind-body, but still has scope for improvement

My recommendation would be to download Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons here - http://lirs.ru/do/sutra/Nibbana_Sermons,Nanananda.pdf - and search for the word "whirlpool" or "vortex"... and you'll come across several instances of him discussing the relationship between the two.

If you're as interested in Dependent Origination as you seem, it actually wouldn't hurt to start with Nibbana Sermon 1 and go the whole way through them as I've done. It depends on if you're in a rush to get to address a particular point.

If you can get your hands on a copy of the full text, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu's "Practical Dependent Origination" is also very good.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: swampflower on April 20, 2010, 05:10:55 pm
retro

Thank you for the link to Bhikkhu Nanananda's Nibbana Sermons :headbow:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on April 21, 2010, 03:19:00 am
Greetings Spiny,

In both MN9 and MN38 it is said that mentality-materiality ( nama-rupa ) arises in dependence on consciousness.  And that with the cessation of consciousness there is the cessation of mentality-materiality ( eg MN 38.22 ).
What are the implications of this?

You'll only come to know that if you make a special effort for learn what nama-rupa is referring to. Mentality-materiality is better than mind-body, but still has scope for improvement

Thanks, I'll have a look.  My understanding so far is that nama-rupa has a specialised meaning in the context of DO, and refers to kamma resultants.   This ties in with the DO meaning of "formations", which again relates to kammic imprints.
It's probably worth mentioning that in DO nama-rupa doesn't include consciousness, eg MN 9.54: "Feeling, perception, volition, contact and attention - these are called mentality".  This makes sense because in DO nama-rupa arises in dependence on consciousness.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on May 04, 2010, 04:26:06 am
Just to broaden out the discussion, I would like to ask "Why did the Buddha teach DO?"
My reading is that DO is esentially an elaboration of the second Noble Truth, analysing the cause / origination of suffering at a number of different levels, including the psychological.
Your thoughts?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on May 04, 2010, 07:48:34 pm
"If, monk, anyone teaches a doctrine of disenchantment with decay-and-death, of dispassion [leading to] its cessation, that suffices for him to be called a monk who teaches Dhamma. SN 12.16

And what are dependently co-arisen phenomena? Aging & death are dependently co-arisen phenomena: inconstant, compounded, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to passing away, subject to fading, subject to cessation. SN 12.20

"And what may be said to be subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement? Spouses & children... men & women slaves... goats & sheep... fowl & pigs... elephants, cattle, horses, & mares... gold & silver are subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. Subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement are these acquisitions, and one who is tied to them, infatuated with them, who has totally fallen for them, being subject to birth, seeks what is likewise subject to aging... illness... death... sorrow... defilement. This is ignoble search. MN 26

“On seeing a form with the eye, with the cessation of birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair cease. MN 38

a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born, will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being agitated, for what will he long? MN 140

 ;D
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ngawang Drolma on May 04, 2010, 07:51:58 pm
Awesome, ABC   :anjali:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: TashiNyima on May 26, 2010, 10:18:00 am
Dear Friends

om svasti

I apologize for re-posting this from another thread, but thought it might be helpful.

Please read this brief excerpt from the Regent Maitreya on Dependent Origination in Madhyantavibhaga III.18c-d, with Ju Mipham's Commentary:

Maitreya:
Cause, effect, and effort,
Without exaggeration and denigration.


Ju Mipham:
Dependent origination refers to the fact that all outer and inner phenomena arise in dependence upon, and in relation to, causes and conditions. The entire inner realm of sentient beings comes about through the twelve links of dependent origination, which run from ignorance through old age and death. All outer phenomena as well arise through the gathering of causes and conditions, just as a sprout arises from a seed. They are not uncaused, nor do they arise from things that are not their causes, such as time or the Almighty.

[...] In this context, exaggeration refers to taking something that is not the cause of a particular result to be its cause, as is the case when sentient beings are believed to be created by time or the Almighty. Denigration, on the other hand, entails denying a cause to be so, as when, for example, it is held that the five aggregates in one's present life did not arise from the five aggregates of a previous life, or when it is believed that karma and the afflictions are not what cause sentient beings to be born. (end of excerpt)


mangalam
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Valtiel on July 21, 2010, 06:16:59 pm
Quote
As for interpretation I incline towards both the literal and figurative meanings.   I don't see enough evidence in the suttas to abandon the literal in favour of the figurative, and I don't find psychological versions of DO all that convincing. 

Hi Spiny,

While this is fine of course, you're free to believe whatever you'd like, I do have a sincere question for anyone who denies the psychological model. Do you then view life as inherent suffering? If not, then how can one be free of suffering in this lifetime? Is suffering inherent in things, or psychological? What is suffering? Ok, that was technically a couple questions, but all of them are sincere.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Caz on July 22, 2010, 01:10:10 am
Quote
As for interpretation I incline towards both the literal and figurative meanings.   I don't see enough evidence in the suttas to abandon the literal in favour of the figurative, and I don't find psychological versions of DO all that convincing. 

Hi Spiny,

While this is fine of course, you're free to believe whatever you'd like, I do have a sincere question for anyone who denies the psychological model. Do you then view life as inherent suffering? If not, then how can one be free of suffering in this lifetime? Is suffering inherent in things, or psychological? What is suffering? Ok, that was technically a couple questions, but all of them are sincere.

One shouldnt abandon the Psychological aspect of it either, The two views of such are very helpful.  :pray:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on July 22, 2010, 01:45:12 am
Quote
As for interpretation I incline towards both the literal and figurative meanings.   I don't see enough evidence in the suttas to abandon the literal in favour of the figurative, and I don't find psychological versions of DO all that convincing. 

Hi Spiny,

While this is fine of course, you're free to believe whatever you'd like, I do have a sincere question for anyone who denies the psychological model. Do you then view life as inherent suffering? If not, then how can one be free of suffering in this lifetime? Is suffering inherent in things, or psychological? What is suffering? Ok, that was technically a couple questions, but all of them are sincere.

I don't deny the psychological model of the 12 links, I just don't find it all that convincing.  Perhaps it makes more sense to focus on that contact>feeling>craving>clinging section, which clearly is psychological, and not worry about trying to squeeze the other links into a mental model?

Suffering is traditionally both physical and mental, so I'm not sure that helps us very much with this question.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Valtiel on July 22, 2010, 06:58:59 am
Quote
Suffering is traditionally both physical and mental, so I'm not sure that helps us very much with this question.
 

Traditionally as in that's how most people see it, but it seems the Buddha taught otherwise. Physical pain can even be interpreted as sensory pleasure for some, in certain situations, so clearly physical pain is not in and of itself suffering. Suffering is mental no matter which way you cut it. And just as we do not need to become mentally entangled in sensory pleasures, the same is true of sensory displeasure. Has absolutely all sensory pain you've experienced been what you'd call suffering? Is a buddha not free of suffering until he dies? If he cannot be free of sensory pain in the here-and-now, why can he be free of sensory pleasure in the here-and-now? It's all the same to a buddha.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on July 23, 2010, 01:22:39 am
Quote
Suffering is traditionally both physical and mental, so I'm not sure that helps us very much with this question.
 

Traditionally as in that's how most people see it, but it seems the Buddha taught otherwise. Physical pain can even be interpreted as sensory pleasure for some, in certain situations, so clearly physical pain is not in and of itself suffering. Suffering is mental no matter which way you cut it. And just as we do not need to become mentally entangled in sensory pleasures, the same is true of sensory displeasure. Has absolutely all sensory pain you've experienced been what you'd call suffering? Is a buddha not free of suffering until he dies? If he cannot be free of sensory pain in the here-and-now, why can he be free of sensory pleasure in the here-and-now? It's all the same to a buddha.

I don't think a Buddha stops feeling pain, and a Buddha is clearly still subject to the effects of ageing, disease, etc.  It seems to me that what ceases for a Buddha is mental "pain".  I think I'm agreeing with you.  Though I've forgotten the relevance of this to our discussion. :)
 
Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Valtiel on July 23, 2010, 07:26:33 am
I never said a buddha stops feeling pain. I said pain is not suffering unless one interprets it as such. Pain is just sensation. The Buddha taught, and is described as having done himself, the Sallatha Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn36/sn36.006.nypo.html

Physical pain is not suffering to a buddha. It is only suffering to us when we attach to it and become entangled in it.

The relevance- you suggested that suffering is physical, which would imply that one cannot be free from suffering in this lifetime. This has everything to do with how DO is interpreted.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: humanitas on July 23, 2010, 08:23:17 pm
I think that, unlike pain, suffering is the prolonged continuum of being in pain due to ignorance.  Pain itself is a neutral phenomenon, as in not negative/positive.  Sometimes they talk of healing pain, in which case it's not the same as "healing suffering" as I don't think there is any such thing.  Therefore pain and suffering are not mutually exclusive.  I seem to recall someone famous like the Dalai Lama or Mahatma Gandhi said  "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice" or something much to that effect.

Good food for thought! 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on July 24, 2010, 02:50:41 am
Physical pain is not suffering to a buddha. It is only suffering to us when we attach to it and become entangled in it.

The relevance- you suggested that suffering is physical, which would imply that one cannot be free from suffering in this lifetime. This has everything to do with how DO is interpreted.

I'm inclined to agree on your first point ( that dukkha is mental rather than physical pain ) because the Noble Truths describe dukkha as arising in dependence on attachment etc.
I'm not sure I see the relevance to DO interpretation though.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Valtiel on July 24, 2010, 11:14:25 pm
Because the final nidana is the "arising of the entire mass of suffering." The entire purpose of DO is to illustrate how suffering arises (and thus how it can cease). People who view physical pain as inherent suffering do not see liberation as possible within this life and thus believe Samsara is the physical cycle of rebirth and that it must be escaped... thus DO is interpreted in 3 lives. People who do not view physical pain as inherent suffering (or physical aging, sickness, death) see liberation from suffering within this life as possible and interpret DO psychologically.

Quote
because the Noble Truths describe dukkha as arising in dependence on attachment etc.

So then attachment/clinging happens in this life but the suffering from that clinging only happens in the next life, and that suffering is all physical birth/aging/sickness/death (as per the Three Lives Model)?   :eek:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on July 28, 2010, 01:29:17 am
People who do not view physical pain as inherent suffering (or physical aging, sickness, death) see liberation from suffering within this life as possible and interpret DO psychologically.

I see what you  mean.  The problem is that sutta descriptions of dukkha include ageing and death.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Bodhicandra on July 28, 2010, 02:37:28 am
Is it OK if I introduce some Mahayana-based thoughts into this thread?

For me, the Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom) teachings give some clues as to how to approach the understanding of DO. The Heart Sutra, in particular, gives one plenty to ponder over /struggle with.

"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form" and so on.

I find it impossible to grapple with this intellectually, it simply points to the need for some deeper study, practice, insight, following which some understanding might emerge.

On the specific point of suffering, the teaching within the Mahayana Maha Ati tradition is that suffering, in all its forms and degrees, is entirely and simply the result of ignorance of our true natures. So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

The central point (as I understand it) of the Mahayana path is that, as understanding of one's true nature starts to grow, one becomes more and more aware of the interconnectedness of all sentient beings. In particular one begins to feel, in a very real way, the suffering of all.

It is not a detached concept from an observer, thinking something like 'I feel OK right now, but you poor lot seem to be in pain - I feel sorry for you', but an actual tenderness, soreness experienced in your heart area, which is that shared pain of suffering. From this experience of tenderness arises the Heart of Compassion, which is the motivation to start the 'career' of a Bodhisattva, one who vows never to leave samasara until the suffering of all sentient beings has been ended.

This seems like an impossible task - but Mahayana teachings, in particular (returning to the theme of this thread) ones related to DO, give one hope and inspiration that the situation is actually 'workable'.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on July 28, 2010, 10:50:53 am
Quote
Bodhicandra wrote:  "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form" and so on.

I find it impossible to grapple with this intellectually, it simply points to the need for some deeper study, practice, insight, following which some understanding might emerge.

The concept is straight forward as it relates to DO.  All things dependently arisen, and their causes are impermanent.  Attachment to "anything" impermanent will cause dukkha (suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction) simply because it is impermanent.  When attached to pleasurable things they don't last and the loss of the pleasure causes dukkhua.  That which is not pleasurable, which causes pain, suffering, stress, or dissatisfaction, causes dukkha directly.  For example if you were attached to putting concentrated nitric acid into your eye, this would cause dukkha directly.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 13, 2010, 02:42:31 am
Quote
All things dependently arisen, and their causes are impermanent.  Attachment to "anything" impermanent will cause dukkha (suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction) simply because it is impermanent.  When attached to pleasurable things they don't last and the loss of the pleasure causes dukkhua.  

Ron, I think everyone would agree about the principle of specific conditionality that underlies DO and indeed the Noble Truths.  What people disagree on is the correct interpretation of the 12 links, some favouring the "3-lives" interpretation, some favouring what has been referred to as the "psychological" interpretation.  This disagreement seems to be symptomatic of the wider disagreement about the significance of post-mortem rebirth in relation to Buddhist practice.  It's possible that both interpretations are correct, it's possible that both interpretations are wrong.  It's possible that the arguments about this are little more than a distraction to the important work of developing insight into the second Noble Truth.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 13, 2010, 02:49:59 am
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Bodhicandra on August 13, 2010, 01:30:13 pm
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny

I believe it is said that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas exhibit old age, suffering and death as a teaching aid for us; they themselves do not really suffer.

I'm not sure how widespread this view is. I believe it's part of the Tibetan Guru 'system', and I think it may be inferred / deduced from the Lotus Sutra - but I've no authority for that.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 14, 2010, 01:37:56 am
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny

I believe it is said that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas exhibit old age, suffering and death as a teaching aid for us; they themselves do not really suffer.


That's broadly how I understand it.  In which case disease, old age and death that are not themselves dukkha but rather the suffering is caused by our aversion to these events.  This interpretation seems to be supported by the second Noble Truth and DO, in that suffering arises in dependence on craving and clinging.  And one category of clinging is that to eternal existence. 
The alternative view would be that disease, old age and death are inherently dukkha, in which case a Buddha would not be free from dukkha post-enlightenment...which doesn't appear to make sense.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Caz on August 14, 2010, 01:40:49 am
So long as that ignorance remains, suffering is necessarily present, in all states and conditions, in and between all lifetimes. Buddha, awakening, is the dissolving of this ignorance.

You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?

Spiny

Suffering comes from the mind, A body may detiriotate but an enlightened mind will never degenerate from a state of bliss. Buddha's body is still subject to Samsaric effects as his phyical body was a by product of Samsaric causes.  :pray:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 14, 2010, 01:46:44 am
Suffering comes from the mind, A body may detiriotate but an enlightened mind will never degenerate from a state of bliss. Buddha's body is still subject to Samsaric effects as his phyical body was a by product of Samsaric causes.  :pray:

I'm not sure I follow this Caz.  Do you mean a Buddha's mind is "exempt" from dukkha, but his body isn't?  I'm not sure how that would work.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Caz on August 14, 2010, 02:22:46 am
Suffering comes from the mind, A body may detiriotate but an enlightened mind will never degenerate from a state of bliss. Buddha's body is still subject to Samsaric effects as his phyical body was a by product of Samsaric causes.  :pray:

I'm not sure I follow this Caz.  Do you mean a Buddha's mind is "exempt" from dukkha, but his body isn't?  I'm not sure how that would work.

Spiny

Suffering is a state of mind.  :pray:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on August 14, 2010, 04:57:13 am
My understanding is that suffering, as Caz put it, is a mental phenomena, but rebirth, aging disease, death, and rebirth are as a result of residual karmic effects, which have not yet given fruit, and will remain in effect until coming to fruition.  Once karmic effect has been fully expressed or fruited to use Buddhist terminology, then those who are unbound, extinguished, and crossed-over are no longer subject to karmic-effect.  Buddhas certainly are not.

The confusion regarding this concept is expressed is suttas such as this:
Quote
SN 44.1 PTS: S iv 374 CDB ii 1380
Khema Sutta: With Khema
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2004–2010
On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. And on that occasion the bhikkhuni Khema, wandering on tour among the Kosalans, had taken up residence between Savatthi and Saketa at Toranavatthu. Then King Pasenadi Kosala, while traveling from Saketa to Savatthi, took up a one-night residence between Savatthia and Saketa at Toranavatthu. Then he addressed a certain man, "Come, now, my good man. Find out if in Toranavatthu there's the sort of brahman or contemplative I might visit today."

"As you say, sire," the man replied to the king, but having roamed all over Toranavatthu he did not see the sort of brahman or contemplative the king might visit. But he did see the bhikkhuni Khema residing in Toranavatthu. On seeing her, he went to King Pasenadi Kosala and on arrival said to him, "Sire, in Toranavatthu there is no brahman or contemplative of the sort your majesty might visit. But there is, however, a bhikkhuni named Khema, a disciple of the Blessed One, worthy and rightly self-awakened. And of this lady, this admirable report has spread about: 'She is wise, competent, intelligent, learned, a fluent speaker, admirable in her ingenuity.' Let your majesty visit her."

Then King Pasenadi Kosala went to the bhikkhuni Khema and, on arrival, having bowed down to her, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to her, "Now then, lady, does the Tathagata exist after death?"

"That, great king, has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata exists after death.'"

"Well then, lady, does the Tathagata not exist after death?"

"Great king, that too has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata does not exist after death.'"

"Then does the Tathagata both exist and not exist after death?"

"That has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death.'"

"Well then, does the Tathagata neither exist nor not exist after death?"

"That too has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'"

"Now, lady, when asked if the Tathagata exists after death, you say, 'That has not been declared by the Blessed One: "The Tathagata exists after death."' When asked if the Tathagata does not exist after death... both exists and does not exist after death... neither exists nor does not exist after death, you say, 'That too has not been declared by the Blessed One: "The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death."' Now, what is the cause, what is the reason, why that has not been declared by the Blessed One?"

"Very well, then, great king, I will question you in return about this very same matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think great king: Do you have an accountant or actuary or mathematician who can count the grains of sand in the river Ganges as 'so many grains of sand' or 'so many hundreds of grains of sand' or 'so many thousands of grains of sand' or 'so many hundreds of thousands of grains of sand'?"

"No, lady."

"Then do you have an accountant or calculator or mathematician who can count the water in the great ocean as 'so many buckets of water' or 'so many hundreds of buckets of water' or 'so many thousands of buckets of water' or 'so many hundreds of thousands of buckets of water'?"

"No, lady. Why is that? The great ocean is deep, boundless, hard to fathom."

"Even so, great king, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, great king, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the ocean. 'The Tathagata exists after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata doesn't exist after death doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata both exists and doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor doesn't exist after death' doesn't apply." [1]

Then King Pasenadi Kosala, delighting in & approving of the bhikkhuni Khema's words, got up from his seat, bowed down to her and — keeping her to his right — departed.

Then at another time he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there [he asked the Blessed One the same questions he had asked the bhikkhuni Khema, and received precisely the same responses and analogies. Then he exclaimed:]

"Amazing, lord! Astounding! How the meaning and phrasing of the teacher and disciple agree, coincide, and do not diverge from one another with regard to the supreme teaching! Recently, lord, I went to the bhikkhuni Khema and, on arrival, asked her about this matter, and she answered me with the same words, the same phrasing, as the Blessed One. Amazing, lord! Astounding! How the meaning and phrasing of the teacher and disciple agree, coincide, and do not diverge from one another with regard to the supreme teaching!

"Now, lord, we must go. Many are our duties, many our responsibilities."

"Then do, great king, what you think it is now time to do."

So King Pasenadi Kosala, delighting in and approving of the Blessed One's words, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and — keeping him to his right — departed.


resource:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.001.than.html
 

When asked, Buddha clarifies with this:


Quote
SN 44.3 PTS: S iv 384 CDB ii 1383
Sariputta-Kotthita Sutta: Sariputta and Kotthita (1)
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2004–2010
On one occasion Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Maha Kotthita were staying near Varanasi in the Game Refuge at Isipatana. Then in the evening, Ven. Maha Kotthita emerged from his seclusion and went to Ven. Sariputta and exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sariputta, "Now then, friend Sariputta, does the Tathagata exist after death?"

"That, friend, has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata exists after death.'"

"Well then, friend Sariputta, does the Tathagata not exist after death?"

"Friend, that too has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata does not exist after death.'"

"Then does the Tathagata both exist and not exist after death?"

"That has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death.'"

"Well then, does the Tathagata neither exist nor not exist after death?"

"That too has not been declared by the Blessed One: 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death.'"

"Now, friend Sariputta, when asked if the Tathagata exists after death, you say, 'That has not been declared by the Blessed One: "The Tathagata exists after death."' When asked if the Tathagata does not exist after death... both exists and does not exist after death... neither exists nor does not exist after death, you say, 'That too has not been declared by the Blessed One: "The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death."' Now, what is the cause, what is the reason, why that has not been declared by the Blessed One?"

"'The Tathagata exists after death' is immersed in form. 'The Tathagata does not exist after death' is immersed in form. 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death' is immersed in form. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death' is immersed in form.

"'The Tathagata exists after death' is immersed in feeling...

"'The Tathagata exists after death' is immersed in perception...

"'The Tathagata exists after death' is immersed in fabrication...

"'The Tathagata exists after death' is immersed in consciousness. 'The Tathagata does not exist after death' is immersed in consciousness. 'The Tathagata both exists and does not exist after death' is immersed in consciousness. 'The Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist after death' is immersed in consciousness.

"This is the cause, this is the reason, why that has not been declared by the Blessed One."


resource:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn44/sn44.003.than.html
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Yeshe Zopa on August 14, 2010, 05:32:38 am
Once, a couple of years ago, I heard it said "We don't teach emptiness to beginners because the first thing they do with it is fall into nihilism."

  I thought gee that's kinda harsh, then proceeded forth forewarned, forearmed, clear minded and ready. And of course I fell straight in to nihilism. Since then, I've watched any number of people take the same fall. The more educated minds just do it in a more complicated way.

  So I think it is worth reiterating that

Emptiness is not telling us things don't exist.

It is as pejorative to describe any Buddhist school as 'nihilistic' as it is to call a Buddhist school 'Hinayana'. Yet some still do so as some kind of eltitist put-down.

Here are some of the views we can cling to:

Nothing exists independent of the causes and conditions which give rise to it.

To the deluded mind, nothing exists which is not tainted with self-view.

It's a jump from there to say that nothing exists outside of the mind. 

It's a leap from there to say that nothing exists outside of the mind, even mind itself.

It's a hop, skip and a jump to say that nothing exists, but I'll accept some logical basis for our inability to prove it, such as impermanence and change over time:

Whatever we think of is already in the  'past', and also that thought itself has ceased to be.  We can't touch the future or the past - can we touch the 'now'?

We may be able to show that a phenomenon existed in the past, through the consequences of its presence, and we may be able to show what may happen in the future because we see the causes and conditions, but if nobody can point to 'now' how can we be sure any phenomena exists 'now'?

Does the existence of a continuum of past and future prove that there is a single point which we may identify as 'the present'?  If not, then can we logically disprove nihilism?  It is more logical to deny the concept of 'the present', as a mundane convention, an entirely erroneous assumption.


Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 14, 2010, 06:28:00 am
Suffering is a state of mind.  :pray:

Yes, that's how I see it.  My uncertainty is why ageing, disease and death are traditionally included in descriptions of dukkha - these appear to be physical events rather than what we might "mental" suffering. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 14, 2010, 06:34:43 am
My understanding is that suffering, as Caz put it, is a mental phenomena, but rebirth, aging disease, death, and rebirth are as a result of residual karmic effects, which have not yet given fruit, and will remain in effect until coming to fruition.  

But if we agree that suffering ( dukkha ) is a mental phenomenon, then why do the traditional descriptions of dukkha include physical events like birth, ageing, disease and death?
It seems to me important to really understand what dukkha means, and what the cessation of dukkha means, because without that understanding the real significance of the the Noble Truths and DO will not be clear.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Caz on August 14, 2010, 07:40:23 am
Suffering is a state of mind.  :pray:

Yes, that's how I see it.  My uncertainty is why ageing, disease and death are traditionally included in descriptions of dukkha - these appear to be physical events rather than what we might "mental" suffering. 

Spiny

Mental and physical suffering to an untamed mind such occurences are Dukkha.  :pray:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 14, 2010, 08:46:23 am
You seem to be saying that a Buddha isn't subject to suffering.  But traditional descriptions of dukkha include sickness, ageing and death, to which a Buddha is still subject.  How do you account for this apparent inconsistency?
From the Milindapanha
Quote
4. “Does he who will not be reborn feel any painful
feeling?”
“He may feel physical pain, O king, but not mental
pain.”
“If he feels painful feelings then why doesn’t he just
die and attain the extinction of grasping, and put an end to
suffering?”
“The arahant has no fondness for or aversion to life.
He does not shake down the unripe fruit but awaits the
time of its maturity.

Quote
“Because of the untrained state of his mind. Like a
hungry ox tied up by a weak grass rope would easily break
free, so an ordinary man’s mind becomes agitated by pain,
so he feels mental pain too. However, the arahant’s mind is
well trained, so when his body is affected by pain he fixes
his mind firmly on the idea of impermanence. His mind is
not agitated and he feels no mental pain, just as the trunk of
a great tree is unmoved by the wind although its branches
may sway.”
Quote
“O king, nibbàna has no pain; what you call pain is not
nibbàna. It is true that those who seek nibbàna experience pain
and discomfort but afterwards they experience the unalloyed
bliss of nibbàna.
:namaste:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on August 14, 2010, 09:56:37 am
Spiny,  Good stuff from Greg.  He's got it right on the money according to my understanding from study.  

Keeping in mind that The Law of Kamma is a special subset of Dependent Origination, and adding only that karmic effect results from kamma (intentions) and the actions (karmic effect of forming an intention), which derived of intentions are mental factors.  Therefore the karmic effects are initiated by the formation of the mental factors of intentions, which result in intentional actions, which cause physical effects.  Physical benefit or non-benefit result from the chain of events begining with the formation of the intention.  Consequences of the formation of the intention are both mental and physical.  The physical results are obvious and observable by both the practitioner and observers.  The mental consequences can only be observed by the practitioner.  Examples would be suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction such as anxiety, worry, or regret upon observation of the physical effects, or guilt as a result of the realization of what non-beneficial results were observed by the practitioner.  Beneficial results, on the other hand, would of course result in joyful, pleasant, and enjoyable mental effects upon realizing the benefits derived of acting upon the beneficial intention.

Dukkha is guaranteed as a result, as Greg pointed out, from attachment to such beneficial results because of their dependently arisen, and inherently impermanent nature.

My understanding is that suffering, as Caz put it, is a mental phenomena, but rebirth, aging disease, death, and rebirth are as a result of residual karmic effects, which have not yet given fruit, and will remain in effect until coming to fruition.  

But if we agree that suffering ( dukkha ) is a mental phenomenon, then why do the traditional descriptions of dukkha include physical events like birth, ageing, disease and death?
It seems to me important to really understand what dukkha means, and what the cessation of dukkha means, because without that understanding the real significance of the the Noble Truths and DO will not be clear.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 15, 2010, 02:26:04 am
Because of the untrained state of his mind. Like a
hungry ox tied up by a weak grass rope would easily break
free, so an ordinary man’s mind becomes agitated by pain,
so he feels mental pain too. However, the arahant’s mind is
well trained, so when his body is affected by pain he fixes
his mind firmly on the idea of impermanence. His mind is
not agitated and he feels no mental pain, just as the trunk of
a great tree is unmoved by the wind although its branches
may sway.”
“O king, nibbàna has no pain; what you call pain is not
nibbàna. It is true that those who seek nibbàna experience pain
and discomfort but afterwards they experience the unalloyed
bliss of nibbàna. :namaste:

Thanks for the quotes, which seem to support the distinction we've been making between physical v. mental suffering / pain.  
But my question remains:  if dukkha is mental suffering, why are physical events like disease, ageing and death included in traditional descriptions of dukkha?  A Buddha is still subject to these physical events, which implies a Buddha is still subject to dukkha, which doesn't sound right.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 15, 2010, 02:28:55 am
Keeping in mind that The Law of Kamma is a special subset of Dependent Origination, and adding only that karmic effect results from kamma (intentions) and the actions (karmic effect of forming an intention), which derived of intentions are mental factors.  Therefore the karmic effects are initiated by the formation of the mental factors of intentions, which result in intentional actions, which cause physical effects.  Physical benefit or non-benefit result from the chain of events begining with the formation of the intention.  Consequences of the formation of the intention are both mental and physical.  

Ron, I don't see how this relates to the question I've posed.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 15, 2010, 03:11:04 am
Thanks for the quotes, which seem to support the distinction we've been making between physical v. mental suffering / pain.  
But my question remains:  if dukkha is mental suffering, why are physical events like disease, ageing and death included in traditional descriptions of dukkha?  A Buddha is still subject to these physical events, which implies a Buddha is still subject to dukkha, which doesn't sound right.

Spiny
Dear Spiny, you are not taking into account dependent origination and are focusing only on the four noble truths.  Dependent origination states that ignorance is the condition that gives rise to blah... all the way down to birth, sickness, old age and death.  Without ignorance one does not experience blah... up to birth, old age and death.

From the point that the Buddha reaches enlightenment he no longer generates karma, BUT he is still subject to the ripening of past karma (which may produce the effects of illness and death) AND is subject to the karma (actions) of others.  Soooo.... while his past karma ripens but since he is no longer producing karma any sickness, pain etc... he undergoes will not cause him suffering (since he has overcome ignorance) and will not be a cause for further rebirths.
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 16, 2010, 03:19:41 am
From the point that the Buddha reaches enlightenment he no longer generates karma, BUT he is still subject to the ripening of past karma (which may produce the effects of illness and death)...

But it's not "may", a human Buddha will definitely be subject to ageing and death, and probably disease.  These physical processes are included in descriptions of dukkha, which suggests a Buddha is still subject to this form of dukkha.  That's what I don't get.  It's possible that what is actually meant in descriptions of dukkha is that it's the fear of and aversion to these physical processes which is dukkha, but I don't think that's clear.

My concern is to better understand what dukkha really is and what the cessation of dukkha really means, which I see as a crucial foundation for understanding both DO and the Noble Truths. 
I am concerned here specifically with what the cessation of dukkha means for a living Buddha, not what it might mean once that Buddha dies.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on August 16, 2010, 04:33:47 am
You forget the definition of kamma.  Kamma is the result of intentional action.  Rebirth, aging, disease and death are the result of "past" kamma, else he wouldn't have been reborn.  However, in Buddha's case, according to the stories/myths, he was asked by a great Brahma to return to the human realm to teach The Dhamma.  I have read other stories/myths which stated that Bodhisatta's who only had one more rebirth live in Tushita Heaven and move to life in the human or Deva realms for their last rebirth.  I have no way of validating or verifying this until I get to that stage.  If your get there first, let me know how it works out for you.

Before his final assignment , remember, according to the stories/myths that Buddha was teaching The Dhamma in the Deva Realms and to an assembly of gods.  Then he voluntarily chose to return.  Once he attained tathagata, no more rebirths, no more aging, no more disease, no more death, no more rebirth unless he so chooses.
He became totally exempt from kamma.

Another Buddhist factoid to remember is that kamma is but a subset of dependent origination, much like all horses are quadrupeds, but not all quadrupeds are horses.  Horses are a proper subset of quadrupeds as kamma is a proper subset of dependent origination.  Another member of this set called DO is simple cause and effect such as is found in nature and in the cosmic universe.  Only sentient life is subject to kamma according to Buddhist teaching.

From the point that the Buddha reaches enlightenment he no longer generates karma, BUT he is still subject to the ripening of past karma (which may produce the effects of illness and death)...

But it's not "may", a human Buddha will definitely be subject to ageing and death, and probably disease.  These physical processes are included in descriptions of dukkha, which suggests a Buddha is still subject to this form of dukkha.  That's what I don't get.  It's possible that what is actually meant in descriptions of dukkha is that it's the fear of and aversion to these physical processes which is dukkha, but I don't think that's clear.

My concern is to better understand what dukkha really is and what the cessation of dukkha really means, which I see as a crucial foundation for understanding both DO and the Noble Truths.  
I am concerned here specifically with what the cessation of dukkha means for a living Buddha, not what it might mean once that Buddha dies.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 16, 2010, 06:11:36 am
Dear Spiny, don't pick and choose bits out of what I say in order to compound your inability to comprehend.  Of course the Buddha got sick and died, we all know that much (I hope) but his sickness (due to being fed spolit food for example) did not cause him to suffer.  It caused his followers to suffer and they started debating whether to kick Cundas ass and the Buddha told them "NO!" Why? From the Milindapanha:
Quote
“It was said by the elders who convened the First Buddhist
Council, ‘When he had eaten Cunda the smith’s food, thus
have I heard, the Buddha felt a dire sickness, a sharp pain
even unto death.’  Yet the Blessed One also said, ‘These
two offerings of food, ânanda, are of equal merit and are
much more effective than any others: that, after which the Tathàgata
attains to supreme enlightenment [ie the alms given by the cow herd girl to Buddha under the Bodhi tree];
and that, after
which the Tathàgata attains to parinibbàna’.
“If severe pains fell upon him after taking that last
meal then the latter statement must be wrong.”
“The last offering of food is of great advantage because
of the Tathàgata’s attainment of parinibbàna. It was
not because of the food that the sickness fell upon the Blessed
One but because of the extreme weakness of his body
and the proximity of his death. These two offerings of food
were of great and incomparable merit because of the attainment
of the nine successive absorptions in forward and reverse
order, which the Tathàgata gained after partaking of
that food.”
So not only did he not suffer from the sickness caused by eating spoilt food but praised the entire ordeal since it was the means by which he entered his parinibbana!!!
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 16, 2010, 06:16:38 am
More for you to mull over
Quote
57. The Mastery of the Arahants
“You say that the arahant feels only one kind of feeling;
physical feeling but not mental feeling.192 How can this be
so? The arahant keeps going by means of his body. Has he
then no power over his body? Even a bird is the ruler over
the nest in which it dwells.”
“O king, there are ten conditions inherent in the body
over which the arahant has no control: cold, heat, hunger,
thirst, excrement, urine, fatigue, old age, disease and death.
Just as all beings living on the great earth depend on it but
have no control over it, so the arahant depends on his body
but has no control over it.”
“Why, Nàgasena, does the ordinary man feel
bodily and mental feeling?”
“Because of the untrained state of his mind. Like a
hungry ox tied up by a weak grass rope would easily break
free, so an ordinary man’s mind becomes agitated by pain,
so he feels mental pain too. However, the arahant’s mind is
well trained, so when his body is affected by pain he fixes
his mind firmly on the idea of impermanence. His mind is
not agitated and he feels no mental pain, just as the trunk of
a great tree is unmoved by the wind although its branches
may sway.”

and this
Quote
“Like food, which sustains life, nibbàna drives away
old age and death; it increases the spiritual strength of
beings; it gives the beauty of virtue, it removes the distress
of the defilements, it relieves the exhaustion of all suffering.
And , of course, the thing to remember is that the four noble truths were expounded to, and apply to, UNENLIGHTENED BEINGS, samsaric beings for whom petty nonsense like birth, old age, sickness and death are sources of suffering (because of their ignorance).  If one has realised the emptiness of self and all phenomena then who gets sick?  Who ages?  Who dies?  Who suffers?
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 16, 2010, 06:38:16 am
You forget the definition of kamma.  Kamma is the result of intentional action.  Rebirth, aging, disease and death are the result of "past" kamma, else he wouldn't have been reborn.  

However we want to explain it, a Buddha is still subject to the physical processes of ageing, sickness and death, which are traditionally included in descriptions of dukkha. 
A Buddha is clearly still subject to these physical processes, so is he not therefore still subject to dukkha?  It's a straightforward question.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 16, 2010, 06:40:09 am
And , of course, the thing to remember is that the four noble truths were expounded to, and apply to, UNENLIGHTENED BEINGS, samsaric beings for whom petty nonsense like birth, old age, sickness and death are sources of suffering (because of their ignorance).  If one has realised the emptiness of self and all phenomena then who gets sick?  Who ages?  Who dies?  Who suffers?
 :namaste:

So dukkha is just a mental phenomenon arising from ignorance?

Spiny 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 16, 2010, 06:42:18 am
Dear Spiny, don't pick and choose bits out of what I say in order to compound your inability to comprehend. 

I'm just asking a straightforward question.  My interest here is in understanding dukkha, not in speculating about the various interpretations of DO.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on August 16, 2010, 07:11:51 am
According to the following definition of dukkha, aging disease, death, and rebirth are not dukkha.  Pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction are.

I now see the problem you are having with this.  My understanding was flawed as well since I believed pain not to be included in the definition.  So, it appears that rebirth, aging, disease,death, and rebirth are but functions of the samsaric realm in which we exist at the time of experiencing dukkha.  Pain is impermanent and dependently arisen as is suffering and consequences of kamma.  However, when nibanna is attained, all of this goes away with some variations, because there are apparently two different levels of nibbana.  (See nibbana thread.)



Definition of Dukkha from http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Buddhist.Dictionary/dic3_d.htm

Quote
Dukkha: 1 'pain', painful feeling, which may be bodily and mental see: vedanā

2 'Suffering', 'ill'. As the first of the Four Noble Truths see: sacca and the second of the three characteristics of existence see: ti-lakkhana the term dukkha is not limited to painful experience as under 1, but refers to the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena which, on account of their impermanence, are all liable to suffering, and this includes also pleasurable experience. Hence 'unsatisfactoriness' or 'liability to suffering' would be more adequate renderings, if not for stylistic reasons. Hence the first truth does not deny the existence of pleasurable experience, as is sometimes wrongly assumed. This is illustrated by the following texts:

;Seeking satisfaction in the world, Bhikkhus, I had pursued my way. That satisfaction in the world I found. In so far as satisfaction existed in the world, I have well perceived it by understanding. Seeking for misery in the world, Bhikkhus, I had pursued my way. That misery in the world I found. In so far as misery existed in the world, I have well perceived it by understanding. Seeking for the escape from the world, Bhikkhus, I had pursued my way. That escape from the world I found. In so far as an escape from the world existed, I have well perceived it by understanding; A. 111, 101.

;If there were no satisfaction to be found in the world, beings would not be attached to the world.  If there were no misery to be found in the world, beings would not be repelled by the world.  If there were no escape from the world, beings could not escape therefrom; A. 111, 102.

See dukkhatā For texts on the Truth of Suffering, see W. of B. and 'path'.

See The Three Basic Facts of Existence, II. Suffering WHEEL 191/193
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 16, 2010, 07:26:33 am
According to the following definition of dukkha, aging disease, death, and rebirth are not dukkha.  Pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction are.


Interesting, Ron.  I've started a new thread to look at this.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: gregkavarnos on August 16, 2010, 07:45:47 am
So dukkha is just a mental phenomenon arising from ignorance?
Dear Spiny, I think that if you actually take the time to read what I quoted it will (and has) answered your question (repeatedly).
 :namaste:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 17, 2010, 04:03:44 am
So dukkha is just a mental phenomenon arising from ignorance?
Dear Spiny, I think that if you actually take the time to read what I quoted it will (and has) answered your question (repeatedly).
 :namaste:

Yes, I think you've answered that question.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Disney Land on February 27, 2011, 11:56:16 pm
 :r4wheel:
Quote
When I first came to study I saw the mountains as mountains, and the sea as sea.
After many years I saw no mountains and I saw no sea, all was emptiness.
But finally, having understood, I again saw the mountains, but only as mountains;
and I saw the sea again, but only as the sea.
 Blush

 :namaste:
Quote
I first came to study I saw the mountains as mountains, and the sea as sea.
Forms

Quote
After many years I saw no mountains and I saw no sea, all was emptiness.
Formless

Quote
But finally, having understood, I again saw the mountains, but only as mountains;
and I saw the sea again, but only as the sea.

Emptiness and forms are equal
;D
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on August 15, 2011, 03:45:18 pm
I fully agree with
(1) Dependent Origination - The Law of Conditionality - P.A.Payutto
(2) Dependent Origination  by Christina Feldman
(3) Dependent Origination by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Buddha's teaching of Paticcasamuppada has to be understood as "birth and death of the moment; the arising and decay of one mind moment. It is a Biological process

I have authored a book based on this aspect of Buddha's teaching titled "Buddha's Principle of Relativity" Please Google search using this heading
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 16, 2011, 03:21:40 am
I fully agree with
(1) Dependent Origination - The Law of Conditionality - P.A.Payutto
(2) Dependent Origination  by Christina Feldman
(3) Dependent Origination by Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Buddha's teaching of Paticcasamuppada has to be understood as "birth and death of the moment; the arising and decay of one mind moment. It is a Biological process

I'd say it's the traditional view of DO which is describing a biological process, whereas the alternative view you've identified is describing a psychological process.  Unfortunately the way the 12 links are described in the suttas don't really support the alternative view, and it's far from clear what is being "reborn" with the moment-to-moment rebirth model.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on August 28, 2011, 02:23:58 pm

Ven Buddhaghosa’s interpretation of DO
The traditional view of DO is an interpretation in Visuddhimagga, authored by Ven Buddhaghosa (VB) about 1500 years ago. He categorically stated that he did not understand DO in the way Buddha explained it to the ancients.
Quote from Visuddhimagga (page 540)
“The truth, a being, rebirth - linking and ‘structure of conditions’ (DO) are four things very hard to see and likewise difficult to teach” unquote
He, therefore, came up with his own opinion and actually said ‘one’s own opinion is the weakest authority of all and should only be accepted if it accords with other teachings of the Buddha.

Note
Visuddhimagga was translated into English in 1956 by British born monk Bhikkhu Nanamoli. His book Path to Purification is available for free download from the internet. Please see pages – xxxvi, 540 and 602 on VB’s understanding of DO.

I have made a study of DO to explain it as a biological process using present day knowledge of Biology, Physiology. ‘Birth and death’ are the arising and passing away of one mind moment. It takes place in milliseconds. Physiologically it is an action potential. Buddha was in fact talking about  brain waves.

My book explains this. It is titled ‘Buddha’s Principle of Relativity’. Please read it in the internet.


Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on August 30, 2011, 02:20:27 am
I have made a study of DO to explain it as a biological process using present day knowledge of Biology, Physiology. ‘Birth and death’ are the arising and passing away of one mind moment. It takes place in milliseconds. Physiologically it is an action potential. Buddha was in fact talking about  brain waves.

Unfortunately this model of DO isn't supported by the way the nidanas are defined and described in the suttas, see for example MN9.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 01, 2011, 03:42:05 pm
The question as to whether DO spans a lifetime or mind moments is not defined in DN9 by Ven Sariputta.
During Buddha’s time the nidanas were ‘sutras’ to explain to disciples in a language they would understand. DO is Abhidhamma – a theory, a science and not a sutra. It was therefore extremely difficult for ordinary disciples to understand.

In the traditional view, DO is merely a statement; birth follows death, followed by birth and death and so on. This is reincarnation. Rebirth or reincarnation was well known to the ancients as a central dogma in Hindu philosophy. This is not so important an announcement for Buddha to make soon after Enlightenment, in fact, seven days after. Buddha explained to Ven Ananda that DO is not an easy theory to understand where sentient beings get muddled like a ball of thread.

There is no mention of ‘relinking consciousness’ in DO. Sankhara is followed by vinnana, not patisandi vinnana. If so, relinking is a concept in the chain that has to be clearly explained. It is not a Buddha word.  Does this infer a self? Buddha was quite confident when he said anatta – no self. 


DO and mind moments
Buddha said DO is akaliko sanditthiko
In Pali, kaliko means ‘time’ and akaliko is the opposite; i.e. no time or instantaneous and sanditthiko means immediately thereafter. DO occurs instantaneously and repeats itself as mind moments. Neuro scientists call them Action Potentials with a rising phase followed by a falling phase occurring in milliseconds. The reference is to brain waves.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 02, 2011, 02:08:41 am
The question as to whether DO spans a lifetime or mind moments is not defined in DN9 by Ven Sariputta.

I disagree, because MN9 doesn't describe mind moments.  For example birth, ageing and death are clearly described in ( literal ) physical terms, not psychologically.  Similarly descriptions of the other nidanas don't support a psychological model, so I remain unconcinced.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 03, 2011, 03:21:51 pm
I would rather go by what Buddha said in the Abhidhamma in preference to what His disciples described from the Sutras. They found it difficult to describe a biological process to the mostly illiterate disciples of their time.

Further, DO has to be understood along with other Pali words like akaliko, sanditthiko I mentioned earlier. Words like anuloma and patiloma. Anuloma is the forward process of DO whilst patiloma is the reverse process. How will one interpret patiloma in the traditional interpretation? Once a foetus is formed it becomes a baby ending in birth. Can anyone reverse this process?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 05, 2011, 08:19:16 am
I would rather go by what Buddha said in the Abhidhamma in preference to what His disciples described from the Sutras. Further, DO has to be understood along with other Pali words like akaliko, sanditthiko I mentioned earlier. Words like anuloma and patiloma. Anuloma is the forward process of DO whilst patiloma is the reverse process. How will one interpret patiloma in the traditional interpretation? Once a foetus is formed it becomes a baby ending in birth. Can anyone reverse this process?

The Abhidhamma is a way of classifying what was described in the suttas and is therefore more like a commentary.  I think it's unwise to reify it or treat it as some kind of "authority" which is superior to the Pali Cannon as a whole.

DO in reverse order is simply describing the cessation of a number of dependently related processes.

What puzzles me is the need to rewrite sutta descriptions of the nidanas in order to try and come up with a psychological version of DO - why bother?  Some of the nidanas do clearly describe the psychological process, there is plenty to work with there.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 09, 2011, 02:57:01 pm
You are now posing a new question as to what came first - Sutras or the Abhidhamma? It is possible there were discourses between the Buddha and his colleagues before His Enlightenment. You can call them Sutras. The word Enlightenment means ‘all knowing’, at least in His field of expertise. We have to give the word ‘Enlightenment’ the meaning it deserves. An Enlightened Buddha does not require discourses to come up with a theory as unique as DO.

Buddha reached Enlightenment 2600 years ago on the 17th May 2011. The Buddhist world celebrated this event as you will remember. The Enlightened Buddha announced DO within seven days of Enlightenment – 24th May 2011, to be precise. He emerged from a state of concentration, and preached to the world His principle of Dependent Origination.     
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on September 09, 2011, 07:37:27 pm
I'm reminded of the following quote by Achaan Chah from a A Still Forest Pool. 

During his first visit to England, Achaan Chah spoke to many Buddhist groups. One evening after a talk he received a question from a dignified English lady who had spent many years studying the complex cybernetics of the mind according to the eighty-nine classes of consciousness in the Buddhist abhidharma psychology texts. Would he please explain certain of the more difficult aspects of this system of psychology to her so she could continue her study?

Dharma teaches us to let go. But at first, we naturally cling to the principles of Dharma. The wise person takes these principles and uses them as tools to discover the essence of our life.

Sensing how caught up she was in intellectual concepts rather than benefiting from practice in her own heart, Achaan Chah answered her quite directly,

''You, madam, are like one who keeps hens in her yard," he told her, "and goes around picking up the chicken droppings instead of the eggs."


;)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 10, 2011, 01:51:40 am
You are now posing a new question as to what came first - Sutras or the Abhidhamma?

I have to ask again, why rewrite the nidanas in order to "force" DO into a psychological mould?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 10, 2011, 02:12:09 pm
Dear Spiny,
We are straying from trying to understand DO. Let's get back.

See how comparable "Dependent Origination" is with Biology.
In biology w e speak of Homeostasis. Homeostasis is living in a relatively constant internal environment. Now examine the what takes place when this quiet state is disrupted by an external stimulus. The sense organs picks it up. Sends an impulse to the brain. Brain uses its modulating system to send impulses to the body. We then have Feedback systems to bring the body back to normal.

Compare this with DO
Sense organs - salayatana
Brain - avijja, sankhara, vedana, vinnana - (mind)
Impulse - passo
Brain sends impulses to the body - nama rupa
Brain uses its modulating (Control) system - This is the most important part of it. Only DO explains what the mind does at this so called Control Center. It uses its past memories to produce an output. This is directly connected with vedana (feeling).
In the Feedback System we have upadana (attachment). This is how memories begin to collect in the brain to produce the vast amount of information, experience, learning etc. 

More later




Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 11, 2011, 02:23:20 am
This is the most important part of it. Only DO explains what the mind does at this so called Control Center. It uses its past memories to produce an output. This is directly connected with vedana (feeling).
In the Feedback System we have upadana (attachment). This is how memories begin to collect in the brain to produce the vast amount of information, experience, learning etc. 

For me the important bit of DO is the process of tanha and upadana arising in dependence on vedana ( while ignorance persists ).  Yes, you could describe this as a type of feedback, though I think that memories are better understood as being involved in the perception aggregate.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 11, 2011, 01:50:56 pm
Spiny,

Thanks for that.
Can you be a little more specific on what you mean by perception aggregate? Please be more precise.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 12, 2011, 01:43:17 am
Spiny,

Thanks for that.
Can you be a little more specific on what you mean by perception aggregate? Please be more precise.

From Wiki:
In the early Buddhism Theravadin texts of the Nikayas/Āgamas, saṃjñā/sañña is the third of the Five Aggregates (Skt.: skandha; Pali: khandha) which can be used to skillfully delineate phenomenological experiences during meditation.[1] Whether as one of the Five Aggregates, meditative concentration (samādhi) on the passing and rising (P. vipassana, S. vipaśyanā) of sañña can lead to mindfulness (P.sati, S. smṛti), clear comprehension (P. sampajanna, S. samprajaña) enlightenment and Arhantship (see Table).
In the Pali Canon, sañña is frequently defined as:
"It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white."[2]

The function of memory seems to be instrumental in perception, so it may be more useful to place it in the sanna khanda  than in the sankhara khanda.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 13, 2011, 02:06:50 am
I am glad you mentioned this.
Sanna is to perceive and to see in other ways, to get into another’s shoes as it were and to perceive from other points of view; learn from others with clear comprehension and understanding.
 Sanna has other interpretations depending on the context. It is also explained as concentration or focusing as in meditation.
 Sutras were used to explain in many ways. Sanna takes time, and is not akaliko. Sanna does not appear in DO as it is not immediately involved in the process. DO takes place in fractions of a second and has no time for perception. DO is akaliko, sanditthiko.

Sanna is one of the five skandas (Panchaskanda): Sankhara, vedana, vinnana, and sanna all four in a body – body being the fifth. In the Abhidhamma Buddha did not mention words like, man, woman, boy or girl - He called them Panchaskandas. This is Buddha’s definition of a human being. Shall we give this human being a name? Call him/her Avijja. Sanna here in this context is the other interpretation; concentration or focusing.

Avijja is therefore a human being with wrong views, wrong understanding and trapped in tanha, with craving he/she cannot get over; like smokers, drug addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, etc.

 Note: We are all capable of being in one or more of these categories.

In the first NT - Avijja is suffering,
The second NT - the cause of suffering is tanha (not ignorance).
We would like to know how to overcome suffering. Did not the Buddha explain how suffering can be cured? Yes He did. Can we? Yes we can.
 What is the cure? The third NT
 Buddha explained a cure for mental and physical disorder in preaching DO as the cure. He showed the way as He always does. The culprit here is Vedana.
When Avijja, is stimulated from an external/ internal source, the biological process takes place as explained in DO.
Buddha explained DO as a process, a biological process that does not take time –akaliko and DO occurs in mind moments - in fractions of a second. In this short period of time there is no time for discussions. As of now we have access to books, learning, media such as TV, radio and newspapers, discussions etc, a facility the ancients did not have.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: khedrub on September 18, 2011, 03:12:30 pm
Dependent origination has subtle differences of meanings depending on which particular school of teaching one is following.  Philosophically, one can get into an argument about such subtleties without too much trouble and thereby dig a pit for the unwary - including the proponents of particular systems of thought.

From my own experience, dependent origination simply means that reality is a social construct.  In other words, we are all encased in a reality not necessarily of our own making but one which we subscribe to without realizing as much.

Once we come to realize that all is not as it seems we inevitable become unhinged from society - for good reason - we can stand back, as it were, and simple 'observe'.

Having 'observed' society one then can 'observe' what it might mean to be an 'individual' - again a constructed reality. 

And anything 'constructed' is dependent on the edifice upon which it is constructed and therefore has no inherent reality in, and of, itself - emptiness.

Emptiness, as has been pointed out in previous posts, does not mean void. 

And I think I will stop there before any excavator appears around the corner.









Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 19, 2011, 02:15:08 pm
Quite true Khedrub. As you rightly say “Once we come to realize that all is not as it seems we become unhinched”.   Very true;  The key here is to realize. This  is  Sanna; usually by discussions, etc  to unhinge yourself . But what if you cannot? This is the problem. What if you are addicted? Buddha said addiction is the cause of suffering, not ignorance.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 23, 2011, 03:04:11 am
Sanna takes time, and is not akaliko. Sanna does not appear in DO as it is not immediately involved in the process. DO takes place in fractions of a second and has no time for perception. DO is akaliko, sanditthiko.

I'd agree that the contact, feeling, craving section of DO takes place in moments, but the suttas don't support a momentary interpretation of the rest of the nidanas.  And sanna is very much involved in DO, being inseperable from vedana while ignorance persists. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 23, 2011, 07:01:55 pm
Thanks. You agree that contact, feeling, craving section of DO takes place in moments. You also accept that there is feedback.
The process begins when a stimulus contacts the body and the sense organs detecting it. A good example is a Reflex Arc in Physiology.
When a doctor taps the tendons just below the knee a reflex is initiated and the lower leg kicks forward. Consciousness is not involved. Immediately thereafter, feedback occurs so that we remember the incident. This is one mind moment.
If the stimulus continues, as when in a conversation with others, there is feedback taking place. Each word in a sentence is a stimulus with vedana and feedback. At this stage Sanna gets involved, our memories begin to change. With the completion of a sentence and after several mind moments, we have an UNDERSTANDING; we understand what someone is saying.

DO acts in two parts. Firstly there are mind moments and feedback, and secondly with sanna very much involved, we perceive differently.

And now to continue
The culprit as mentioned earlier is vedana; feelings, sensations, emotions etc. DO is a biological process that is involuntary and automatic. You have very little control except for the one item of vedana. This is when changes can be made to occur using your past memories and sanna dialogues, to come to realize differently. Physiologists will say that our Peripheral Nervous System uses either the Sympathetic or the Parasympathetic System to decide on an outcome.

You can change Avijja to vijja this way. With vijja as a starting point the end result is wisdom.

Buddha was once asked how to prevent suffering. His answer was to prevent/control vedana from occurring.

Vedana decides whether an incident is considered as pleasurable, displeasure or indifference; our likes and dislikes. They are opposites. Realizing by means of sanna is a tool to change one way or the other.  Feeling is a judgement, an understanding. An understanding can be right understanding or wrong understanding.

DO starts with Avijja – wrong understanding, wrong views. Use sanna for necessary changes from wrong to right.
Now we have the fourth NT
There must be an understanding to have a thought. Without understanding we cannot have a thought. A thought is a prerequisite for speech and/or action.
Right Understanding, right thought, right speech and right action – the first four items of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 24, 2011, 01:55:57 am
Buddha was once asked how to prevent suffering. His answer was to prevent/control vedana from occurring.


Are you sure about this?  Vedana includes physical sensations, so I don't see how these can be prevented.  And does mental vedana actually change, or is it more that insight recognises these feelings as temporay and insubstantial, ie not to be appropriated as self?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 24, 2011, 07:02:58 pm
 

Contemplation of Feeling
The Discourse-Grouping on the Feelings
translated from the Pali, with an Introduction by
Nyanaponika Thera
© 1995–2011

The above is available from Google.

Vedana is physical as well. DO explains both mental and physical disorder.Vedana produces bodily stress. Every feeling carries with it a hormone produced by the Endocrine system. They are meant to be used. If not we have physical disorder. They can be compared to an overdose of a doctors medicine. Neither too less than what is prescribed nor too many. Avoid extremes.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 25, 2011, 07:15:08 am
Vedana is physical as well. DO explains both mental and physical disorder.Vedana produces bodily stress.

OK, and I did say vedana is both physical and mental.  But I'm still confused by your assertion that vedana can be prevented -could you explain further?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 25, 2011, 01:53:55 pm
Please download 'Contemplation of Feeling' from the Internet. That is a discourse of feeling by the Buddha himself explaining how vedana could be prevented.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 26, 2011, 01:54:18 am
Please download 'Contemplation of Feeling' from the Internet. That is a discourse of feeling by the Buddha himself explaining how vedana could be prevented.

I've had a look at this and I don't see an explanation of vedana being "prevented".  As we've established vedana includes physical sensation, which cannot be prevented.  So maybe you could explain your assertion?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 26, 2011, 01:45:37 pm
namarupapaccaya salayatanam;
salayatanapaccaya phasso;
phassapaccaya vedana;

‘namarupa phasso’ refers to the mind sending impulses to the body resulting in vedana.
If the mind can be trained not to send impulses there is no vedana. This is the reverse process.

         Extract from ‘Contemplation of Feeling’
15. Ananda — I
Once the Venerable Ananda went to see the Blessed One. Having saluted him respectfully, he sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said:
"What are the feelings, O Lord? What is the origin of feelings, what is their cessation and the way leading to their cessation? What is the gratification in feelings? What is the danger in feelings? And what is the escape from them?"
"There are, Ananda, three kinds of feelings: pleasant, painful and neutral. Through the origin of sense-impression there is origin of feelings; through the cessation of sense-impression there is cessation of feelings. It is the noble eightfold path that is the way leading to the cessation of feelings, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
"It is the happiness and gladness arising dependent on feelings that is the gratification in feelings. Feelings are impermanent, (liable to bring) pain, and are subject to change; this is the danger in feelings. The removal and the giving up of the desire and lust for feeling is the escape from feelings.
"I have further taught, Ananda, the gradual cessation of conditioned phenomena (sankhara). In him who has attained the first meditative absorption, speech has been stilled. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking has ceased. Having attained the third absorption, joy has ceased. Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation have ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of space, perception of form (matter) has ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of consciousness, the perception of the sphere of the infinity of space has ceased. Having attained the sphere of no-thingness, the perception of the sphere of infinity of consciousness has ceased. Having attained the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, the perception of the sphere of no-thingness has ceased. Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased. In a taint-free monk greed, hatred, and delusion are quietened."
16. Ananda — II
(In this discourse, the Buddha himself puts to Ananda the same questions as in Text 15, and being requested by Ananda to give the explanation himself, the Buddha answers in the same way as in Text 15.)
17-18. Many Monks
(Here, again, the same questions and answers are repeated, in the case of "many monks." The introductory parts correspond to those in Texts 15 and 16.)

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 27, 2011, 02:45:04 am
         Extract from ‘Contemplation of Feeling’
15. Ananda — I
Once the Venerable Ananda went to see the Blessed One. Having saluted him respectfully, he sat down at one side. Thus seated, he said:
"What are the feelings, O Lord? What is the origin of feelings, what is their cessation and the way leading to their cessation? What is the gratification in feelings? What is the danger in feelings? And what is the escape from them?"
"There are, Ananda, three kinds of feelings: pleasant, painful and neutral. Through the origin of sense-impression there is origin of feelings; through the cessation of sense-impression there is cessation of feelings. It is the noble eightfold path that is the way leading to the cessation of feelings, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
"It is the happiness and gladness arising dependent on feelings that is the gratification in feelings. Feelings are impermanent, (liable to bring) pain, and are subject to change; this is the danger in feelings. The removal and the giving up of the desire and lust for feeling is the escape from feelings."I have further taught, Ananda, the gradual cessation of conditioned phenomena (sankhara). In him who has attained the first meditative absorption, speech has been stilled. Having attained the second absorption, thought-conception and discursive thinking has ceased. Having attained the third absorption, joy has ceased. Having attained the fourth absorption, inhalation and exhalation have ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of space, perception of form (matter) has ceased. Having attained the sphere of the infinity of consciousness, the perception of the sphere of the infinity of space has ceased. Having attained the sphere of no-thingness, the perception of the sphere of infinity of consciousness has ceased. Having attained the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, the perception of the sphere of no-thingness has ceased. Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased. In a taint-free monk greed, hatred, and delusion are quietened."
16. Ananda — II

OK, let's have a look at a couple of key extracts:

The removal and the giving up of the desire and lust for feeling is the escape from feelings.
It's clear from this passage that the "escape" from feelings doesn't mean the end of feelings, rather it's the end of desire and lust for feelings.

Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased.
This passage refers to the fourth formless jhana, it's a temporary state only.

I'm afraid I don't agree with the odd way you are interpreting the suttas.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 27, 2011, 02:33:12 pm
I am not interpreting the Sutras. I am quoting the sutra itself on Contemplation of Feelings. This sutra is a discourse on feelings by the Buddha itself.
I cannot do better than quote the Buddha.
Contemplation of Feelings is an English translation from the Pali text with an introduction by Nyanaponika Thera.

When Ven Ananda There did not understand  Buddha's explanation He repeated it once again to him. See Ananda 11

When the monks did not understand Buddha repeated it to the monks.
To repeat - this is  Buddha's explanation of Vedana not my explanation.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on September 28, 2011, 02:38:10 am
I am not interpreting the Sutras. I am quoting the sutra itself on Contemplation of Feelings. This sutra is a discourse on feelings by the Buddha itself.

But as I've shown above this sutta clearly contradicts your idea of feelings being "prevented" or stopped.  In other suttas it is said that a noble disciple is "disjoined" from feelings, so again there is detachment from the feelings, not prevention or stopping.   
I can't recall anything in the suttas which equates nibbana with the cessation of feelings but I'd be interested to see if you can come up with anything.

And as I've previously explained, the way that the nidanas are described in the suttas clearly contradict your moment-to-moment model of DO.  Generally I would advise just reading the suttas with an open mind instead of attempting to impose your own ideas and theories.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on September 28, 2011, 02:07:48 pm
Th words used in the sutra are gradual cessation.

Quote

“I have further taught, Ananda, the gradual cessation of conditioned phenomena (sankhara)”.

 We should use the words gradual cessation instead of prevent or stop. Gradual cessation takes place by discussions, learning etc.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on October 01, 2011, 02:35:44 pm
Timeless quotes from the Buddha

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your common sense. Then live accordingly.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Optimus Prime on October 02, 2011, 03:12:52 pm
Here are some really useful tips from Ajahn Amaro on how to use Dependent Origination in your own practice:
http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/downloads/mp3/AjAmaro13DayRetreat2011%20/2011-09-04%204%20Dependent%20Origination%2020H30.mp3 (http://www.amaravati.org/abmnew/downloads/mp3/AjAmaro13DayRetreat2011%20/2011-09-04%204%20Dependent%20Origination%2020H30.mp3)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 04, 2011, 02:00:18 am
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your common sense. Then live accordingly.

I'm not sure that our reason and common sense are always very reliable.  However in moments of clarity I do have a sense of what is means to be "disjoined" from feeling, as the suttas describe it. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on October 12, 2011, 01:29:04 pm
This is precisely what DO teaches us. As you say “in moments of clarity I do have a sense of ....”
Your feelings (vedana) are hardwired, a firmly held belief and hard to get rid of - this is the crux of Buddha’s teaching. One is addicted, and there is craving. This is Tanha - the second NT.
The cure is to practice Dependent Origination – Paticcasamuppada for right understanding, right thought, right speech, and right action – fourth NT.
My book “Buddha’s Principle of Relativity” explains very clearly the cause of suffering and how to get rid of suffering. Search the internet - published by Author House US
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 14, 2011, 02:45:08 am
Your feelings (vedana) are hardwired, a firmly held belief and hard to get rid of - this is the crux of Buddha’s teaching. One is addicted, and there is craving. This is Tanha - the second NT.

So there is craving for feelings, and craving leads to suffering.  OK.
But you're saying that feelings are "hardwired", which presumably means they cannot be got rid of - is that what you mean?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 14, 2011, 04:37:20 am
hardwired... "a firmly held belief and hard to get rid of"

When we have no wrong views any more they are gone. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 14, 2011, 05:57:39 am
hardwired... "a firmly held belief and hard to get rid of"

When we have no wrong views any more they are gone. *smile*

But saying feelings are "hardwired" and a belief is contradictory.  In terms of the 5 aggregates a belief would be part of the sankhara aggregate, which is clearly distinct from vedana ( feeling ).
And as we've previously discussed vedana includes physical sensation ( like pain ), which is clearly not a belief.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on October 14, 2011, 06:04:44 am


Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased.
This passage refers to the fourth formless jhana, it's a temporary state only.


Spiny

It is not at all certain that this is a reference to the eighth jhana, and in fact is quite improbable. While this state can be visited by the jhanas, the sutta is referring to the permanent version of this state attained by renunciates.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 14, 2011, 06:06:08 am


Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased.
This passage refers to the fourth formless jhana, it's a temporary state only.


Spiny

It is not at all certain that this is a reference to the eighth jhana, and in fact is quite improbable. While this state can be visited by the jhanas, the sutta is referring to the permanent version of this state attained by renunciates.

But vedana ( feeling ) includes physical sensation like pain, and it's clear from the suttas that the Buddha continued to experience physical pain.  So it doesn't make sense to say that vedana ceases permanently.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 14, 2011, 06:16:53 am
hardwired... "a firmly held belief and hard to get rid of"

When we have no wrong views any more they are gone. *smile*

But saying feelings are "hardwired" and a belief is contradictory.  In terms of the 5 aggregates a belief would be part of the sankhara aggregate, which is clearly distinct from vedana ( feeling ).
And as we've previously discussed vedana includes physical sensation ( like pain ), which is clearly not a belief.

Spiny
No hardwired does not mean that it is not removable , but it's hard. As the wrong beliefs are hard to remove *smile*

When the chain of cause and effect is unfixed, there is nothing what give rice to any other chain. Even the chain links are here they would not give each other dependency. "We" do not dissolving immediately after attaining this knowledge but a chain is just a chain link and no more causal to all the others.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 14, 2011, 06:24:51 am
hardwired... "a firmly held belief and hard to get rid of"

When we have no wrong views any more they are gone. *smile*

But saying feelings are "hardwired" and a belief is contradictory.  In terms of the 5 aggregates a belief would be part of the sankhara aggregate, which is clearly distinct from vedana ( feeling ).
And as we've previously discussed vedana includes physical sensation ( like pain ), which is clearly not a belief.

Spiny
No hardwired does not mean that it is not removable , but it's hard. As the wrong beliefs are hard to remove *smile*

From Wikipedia:
"The term hardwired is also used in a biological context to denote behaviour that is innately determined by an organism's genetically determined neurophysiology. Such hardwired behaviour would include the well-known knee-jerk reflex. Non-hardwired behaviour is dependent upon learning during the lifetime of the individual organism. As such the term is used in a way that is directly analogous to its use in computing."
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 14, 2011, 06:36:47 am
Thanks for providing the usual use of the word, but even we look at this kind of use the meaning is the seam. Its a great word for it. *smile*
We don't need to forget, that worldly science has its limits. Its about going beyond.

Also it is importand, that we do not open the chain of depending arising at the chain link of feeling, we open it at the chain of delusion (believe). So the cause before the hammer hits the knee.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 14, 2011, 06:42:07 am
Thanks for providing the usual use of the word, but even we look at this kind of use the meaning is the seam.

No, "hardwired" means what it means, it's very specific.  If you say that feelings are hardwired it means they are part of our biological make-up and cannot be removed or altered by a change in perception, wisdom, whatever.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 14, 2011, 06:49:13 am
Thanks for providing the usual use of the word, but even we look at this kind of use the meaning is the seam.

No, "hardwired" means what it means, it's very specific.  If you say that feelings are hardwired it means they are part of our biological make-up and cannot be removed or altered by a change in perception, wisdom, whatever.

Spiny

I guess it's good to let go of other concepts, especial materialistic concepts to understanding depending origin. *smile* If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. I guess it is enough to see the contact as the only "physical" causing part in this wheel of coming to existence. Maybe its better to see even this part not as a physical part.
2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 15, 2011, 03:11:33 am
If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. 2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.

The problem is that DO is a mixture of physical and mental factors. 
However I agree that ignorance is the underlying "cause", this is clear from DO.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 15, 2011, 03:15:56 am
But vedana ( feeling ) includes physical sensation like pain, and it's clear from the suttas that the Buddha continued to experience physical pain.  So it doesn't make sense to say that vedana ceases permanently.

I remembered the parable of the 2 arrows from the suttas, where there is a distinction between unpleasant physical vedana ( pain ) and the "resulting" unpleasant mental vedana.  So it's worth investigating whether a Buddha still experiences mental vedana.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 15, 2011, 04:31:07 am
If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. 2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.

The problem is that DO is a mixture of physical and mental factors. 
However I agree that ignorance is the underlying "cause", this is clear from DO.
Spiny
Are you sure that there is a real mix and not only a mix out of wrong understanding? If we think of the consciousness/realm of arupa-loka there is still the chain of DO. I guess that is why we have to strive for this consciousness (jhana) first to get the material problem (as an defilement) solved and to gain the wisdom to understand it clearly. *smile*

Regarding "physical vedana" and "mental vedana". I dont think that is a good labeling. There is vedana that is caused by physical causes and there is vedana which is caused only mental. Vedana is vedana and actually also physical vedana is just a mind thing if we look at it. There is no such thing like feeing/vedana existing out of this chain. *smile* If so, it could be that a corps is a living being or even a stone could be such a thing.

But maybe even a stone is: There is the realm/consciousness of Unconscious beings (Only body is present; no mind) do you think this "devas"(or maybe pants) feel pain? *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 15, 2011, 07:06:23 am
If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. 2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.

The problem is that DO is a mixture of physical and mental factors. 
However I agree that ignorance is the underlying "cause", this is clear from DO.
Spiny
Are you sure that there is a real mix and not only a mix out of wrong understanding?

Birth and death seem quite "physical".

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 15, 2011, 07:08:44 am
Regarding "physical vedana" and "mental vedana". I dont think that is a good labeling. There is vedana that is caused by physical causes and there is vedana which is caused only mental. Vedana is vedana and actually also physical vedana is just a mind thing if we look at it.

OK, but how does this relate to the recent discussion about whether there is cessation of vedana for a Buddha?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 15, 2011, 07:40:11 am


Having attained the cessation of perception and feeling, perception and feeling have ceased.
This passage refers to the fourth formless jhana, it's a temporary state only.
Spiny

It is not at all certain that this is a reference to the eighth jhana, and in fact is quite improbable. While this state can be visited by the jhanas, the sutta is referring to the permanent version of this state attained by renunciates.

These extracts from the Kamabhu Sutta on the Cessation of Perception & Feeling seem to describe a process of entering and then leaving a jhanic state, rather than a permanent cessation of perception and feeling:

"Very good, venerable sir." And, delighting in and approving of Ven. Kamabhu's answer, Citta asked him a further question: "Now, how does the attainment of the cessation of perception & feeling come about?"

"The thought does not occur to a monk as he is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling that 'I am about to attain the cessation of perception & feeling' or that 'I am attaining the cessation of perception & feeling' or that 'I have attained the cessation of perception & feeling.' Instead, the way his mind has previously been developed leads him to that state."

"When a monk is attaining the cessation of perception & feeling, verbal fabrications cease first, then bodily fabrications, then mental fabrications."[1]

"Very good, venerable sir." And, delighting in and approving of Ven. Kamabhu's answer, Citta asked him a further question: "Now, how does emergence from the cessation of perception & feeling come about?"

"The thought does not occur to a monk as he is emerging from the cessation of perception & feeling that 'I am about to emerge from the cessation of perception & feeling' or that 'I am emerging from the cessation of perception & feeling' or that 'I have emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling.' Instead, the way his mind has previously been developed leads him to that state."

"Very good, venerable sir." And, delighting in and approving of Ven. Kamabhu's answer, Citta asked him a further question: "When a monk is emerging from the cessation of perception & feeling, which things arise first: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, or mental fabrications?"

"When a monk is emerging from the cessation of perception & feeling, mental fabrications arise first, then bodily fabrications, then verbal fabrications."

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 15, 2011, 08:41:03 am
If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. 2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.

The problem is that DO is a mixture of physical and mental factors. 
However I agree that ignorance is the underlying "cause", this is clear from DO.
Spiny
Are you sure that there is a real mix and not only a mix out of wrong understanding?

Birth and death seem quite "physical".

Spiny
Seems, but that is just the normal most visible form. The continually ongoing of birth and death (which is a mental process) is mostly unseen. It only manifests in this big events we are usually aware of. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 16, 2011, 06:18:59 am
If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. 2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.

The problem is that DO is a mixture of physical and mental factors. 
However I agree that ignorance is the underlying "cause", this is clear from DO.
Spiny
Are you sure that there is a real mix and not only a mix out of wrong understanding?

Birth and death seem quite "physical".

Spiny
Seems, but that is just the normal most visible form. The continually ongoing of birth and death (which is a mental process) is mostly unseen. It only manifests in this big events we are usually aware of. *smile*

In the suttas birth, ageing and death are described in physical / literal terms, not in terms of a mental process.

Returning to the other question, do you think there is complete cessation of vedana for a Buddha?

Spiny 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 16, 2011, 09:42:02 am
If we mix material stuff with mental stuff it could be that we get on the wrong track. 2 NT cause and effect, 3NT the effect can be solved by uproot the cause.


The problem is that DO is a mixture of physical and mental factors. 
However I agree that ignorance is the underlying "cause", this is clear from DO.
Spiny

Are you sure that there is a real mix and not only a mix out of wrong understanding?


Birth and death seem quite "physical".

Spiny

Seems, but that is just the normal most visible form. The continually ongoing of birth and death (which is a mental process) is mostly unseen. It only manifests in this big events we are usually aware of. *smile*


In the suttas birth, ageing and death are described in physical / literal terms, not in terms of a mental process.

Returning to the other question, do you think there is complete cessation of vedana for a Buddha?

Spiny

Yes birth, aging and death are often described in physical / literal term (sometimes as a metaphor) but also at the single elements of the process. Every consciousness moment is a rebirth of the last. Every part of your body is continually a process of  birth and death, here and now. Cells coming, cells going.

Big events are easy to see, that is maybe the reason why he mostly spoke of this "physical" terms. We are not aware that this happens every moment and that our consciousness goes all the time from heaven to hell, with every rebirth an other death. Sometimes a better rebirth sometimes a mad.

So I dont think its good to focus on the big events to get rid of the problem. To see them actually going on we need to gain good mindfulness and with it good concentration and watch them by our self to understand the process of what we call "I" like it really is.

You asked "Do you think there is complete cessation of vedana for a Buddha?":
If the cause of vedana is no more existing how could there be something like vedana? Vedana is a mental phenomena, there is contact (in our understanding), there are even the nerve impulses but there is no more "wrong programmatic" that makes a illusory "I" out of it and therefor there is no more suffering as vedana does no more "exist" or better is no more "constructed" in the old way.

When there is no cause there is no more effect, that is the third noble true.

Maybe the six sense gates are a hindrance as one could see them as something lastly physical so I like to post this:

   
Quote
Ṣaḍāyatana (Sanskrit) or Saḷāyatana (Pāli); Tibetan skye.mched (kyemche), Eng. "six sense gates"

The close relationship of bodily and mental functioning is differentiated into the six-fold bases of awareness, which contribute to the arising of all sensory experiences that make up our interpretation of reality. The six-fold bases are divided into an internal grouping (ādhyātmika) with corollary external (bāhya) supports.

"The internal grouping refers to the integration of five sensory capabilities (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body) and a sixth capability, termed non-sensuous or mental, which refers to the capability of all acts of memory, imagination, visualization, etc. These internal bases are not to be confused with the corresponding physical organs ... They are simply loci of sensitivity structured such that there arises the experience of seeing, hearing, etc."[11]

"The six external bases, which always work in conjunction with the corresponding internal base, refer to the six types of possible object awareness. These bases are the means by which the differentiated aspects, which are fleeting stabilizations in the field character of our awareness, stand out long enough to be appropriated as this-or-that specific object. The external and internal bases should be pictured as working together in pairs. In any given moment there is the two-fold working of a particular modality of awareness (eye-sensitivity and color-forms, ear-sensitivity and sounds, etc.)."

Twelve Nidānas on Wiki ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Nid%C4%81nas[/url])


To realize it and really understand it is to follow the eightfold path and gain real knowledge as our ways of logical understanding have limits.

It's in any way good to look by one self and for sure good to give not to much value on the quote of a monkey.
*smile*

 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 17, 2011, 06:07:34 am
Yes birth, aging and death are often described in physical / literal term (sometimes as a metaphor) but also at the single elements of the process. Every consciousness moment is a rebirth of the last.

So which sutta or sutra describes this moment-to-moment rebirth of consciousness?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 17, 2011, 06:15:47 am
You asked "Do you think there is complete cessation of vedana for a Buddha?":
If the cause of vedana is no more existing how could there be something like vedana? Vedana is a mental phenomena, there is contact (in our understanding), there are even the nerve impulses but there is no more "wrong programmatic" that makes a illusory "I" out of it and therefor there is no more suffering as vedana does no more "exist" or better is no more "constructed" in the old way.

I don't understand what you're saying. 
The "cause" of vedana in DO is contact, but I assume you're not saying that a Buddha no longer experiences contact? 
Or are you saying that vedana still occurs but is not appropriated as "me" or "I"?
 
Since physical vedana results from our biological structure I don't see how it could cease.  Physical vedana includes the sensations of pressure, heat and cold - are you saying a Buddha doesn't experience those things?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 17, 2011, 09:39:55 am
Yes birth, aging and death are often described in physical / literal term (sometimes as a metaphor) but also at the single elements of the process. Every consciousness moment is a rebirth of the last.


So which sutta or sutra describes this moment-to-moment rebirth of consciousness?

Spiny

I am not well versed in Suttas. Every sutta which is referring to the DO as far as I had seen. This process is a permanent process with no beginning and no end.

Let me see... from the Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html)

"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

That is what happens every moment. If we see only the big evens, we see only the very physical aspects (birth aging and death). If we have a better awareness then we see that this process happens maybe from falling asleep to dreaming and the moment of awakening as a kind of rebirth. If it grows we might see the a sharper silhouette of this process. The more and more we let go of the physicality, the more we reach higher awareness the sharper is the picture and if we have reached the right concentration we are able to see the whole thing.

I don't think it is good to go into the matter of this single parts with to much intellect, we would build up a virtual idea of this process which would be a big hindrance if we really like to experiences it, like it really is.

I think it is enough when we do that only to a level of faith (for sure out of understanding the principle) but then to but away the ideas and just focus on observing it and realize it like it really is.

*smile*

Our consciousness is changing all the time, its a constant death an rebirth. The four foundation of mindfulness are the objects where we can watch the process.

You asked "Do you think there is complete cessation of vedana for a Buddha?":
If the cause of vedana is no more existing how could there be something like vedana? Vedana is a mental phenomena, there is contact (in our understanding), there are even the nerve impulses but there is no more "wrong programmatic" that makes a illusory "I" out of it and therefor there is no more suffering as vedana does no more "exist" or better is no more "constructed" in the old way.


I don't understand what you're saying. 
The "cause" of vedana in DO is contact, but I assume you're not saying that a Buddha no longer experiences contact? 
Or are you saying that vedana still occurs but is not appropriated as "me" or "I"?
 
Since physical vedana results from our biological structure I don't see how it could cease.  Physical vedana includes the sensations of pressure, heat and cold - are you saying a Buddha doesn't experience those things?

Spiny

That is why I quoted the wiki explaining of contact. It can not be seen as a physical happening, it has also a mental side.

For sure it is the "I" identification that is contacting the the wheel and keep it alive. Let me try a sample. Supposed you come in touch with an animal you dont know you fear it. A feeling fear arises. Now you get this animal knowing, rally knowing, it does neither support you nor does it harm you. If you see the animal once more, this feeling does not arise any more its gone. Only if you are attached again, because you do not really know it at all this feeling might be arise again. This sample is a short cut but it contains all the steps of OP and the factor vedana and why vedana does not exist any more.

If we understand the mis-concept of "I" deeply vedana does not arise any more. If we understand the characteristics of all component things there is no more arising of feeling. Still there is a that what we call the physical process but no more struggle out of this duality, the physicality simply runs out.
But we need to be careful regarding this sample, because ignorance works in the same way but in the opposite direction. If we are totally unaware and our wrong "I" concept is very strong or we misinterpret neutral feelings (upekkha vedana) with the finally tranquility (Upekkha), we also have no awareness of veranda, it is equal "I" (like or dislike) or not present unconsciousness (we are not aware, like of many ongoing phenomena) . So we identify our self with the feeling and react according it. It might be like or dislike or ignore, depending on our habits and believes. One likes salty one likes sweet one is not aware of the actual taste.

Quote
Since physical vedana results from our biological structure I don't see how it could cease.  Physical vedana includes the sensations of pressure, heat and cold - are you saying a Buddha doesn't experience those things?


There is no physicality behind the phenomena vedana. Those elements we normal see as physical  are actually also mental phenomena, its just our present awareness we can say also our present existence if we see it in the present life span that that manifests something we call physical. So we call the like this in our world.

Regarding physicality (rupa) maybe its good to bring up the elements on this point:

(http://www.sangham.at/Div_uploads/Teaching%20Dhamma%20by%20pictures/pictures/01_The_six_elements.jpg)

This is an illustration of the six Elements. Four human figures paying respect to the king represent the Four Great Elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. (Or of Solidity, Cohesion, Temperature and Mobility, which are the marks of all matter.) The fifth element, Space, surrounds the others. The king is a representation of the sixth element, Vinnanadhatu, the Consciousness-element. The king (or the mind) is shown as superior to and in control of the other four (Earth, Water, Fire, Air) elements which represent corporeality. Space should be regarded as beyond, and distinct from, the mind (nama) and body (rupa) elements, althought some schools of thought regard space as an aspect of mind. According to this latter approach, only two elements are present - mind and body. However, there are also the three elements of rupadhatu, arupadhatu, and nirodhadhatu. Rupadhatu is the element that has form and is composed of corporeal matter. Arupadhatu is formless and abstract, while nirodhadhatu is the cessation of nama (mind) and rupa (body) and is experienced as voidness. The space element should be regarded as nirodhadhatu, and not as rupa or nama. (The last three dhatus or elements, of form, formlessness and cessation, are not abstract ideas but relate to certain experiences won through the practice of calming, concentrating and enriching the mind with wisdom. In the same way, the first four great elements may also be experienced trough mindfulness of the body.)

from Dhamma teaching by pictures (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6558&start=0&hilit=teaching+dhamma+by+pictures)

Sorry for my miserable talent to explain some thoughts and that for the patient. Maybe it contains some inspirations to a further step.

*smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 17, 2011, 09:50:20 am
Just came across a poem, and thought to share it:

Guhatthaka-suttaniddeso: Upon the Tip of a Needle  (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/nm/nm.2.04.olen.html)

Life, personhood, pleasure and pain
— This is all that's bound together
In a single mental event —
A moment that quickly takes place.

Even the spirits who endure
For eighty-four thousand aeons
— Even these do not live the same
For any two moments of mind.

What ceases for one who is dead,
Or for one who's still standing here,
Are all just the same aggregates
— Gone, never to connect again.

The states which are vanishing now,
And those which will vanish some day,
Have characteristics no different
Than those which have vanished before.

With no production there's no birth;
With becoming present, one lives.
When grasped with the highest meaning,
The world is dead when the mind stops.
 
There's no hoarding what has vanished,
No piling up for the future;
Those who have been born are standing
Like a seed upon a needle.

The vanishing of all these states
That have become is not welcome,
Though dissolving phenomena stand
Uncombined from primordial time.

From the unseen, [states] come and go,
Glimpsed only as they're passing by;
Like lightning flashing in the sky —
They arise and then pass away.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 18, 2011, 05:44:14 am
Quote
Since physical vedana results from our biological structure I don't see how it could cease.  Physical vedana includes the sensations of pressure, heat and cold - are you saying a Buddha doesn't experience those things?

There is no physicality behind the phenomena vedana. Those elements we normal see as physical  are actually also mental phenomena, its just our present awareness we can say also our present existence if we see it in the present life span that that manifests something we call physical. So we call the like this in our world.

I've asked a straightforward question: Does a Buddha experience physical sensations ( vedana ) like pressure, heat, cold, pain?  Can you give me a clear answer?

Of course ultimately everything can be described as mental phenomena, but there is a clear distinction in the suttas between physical and mental vedana ( feeling or sensation ).

Here for example in the Satipatthana Sutta, where physical vedana is described as being "of the flesh", and mental vedana is described as being "not of the flesh":

"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 18, 2011, 05:52:11 am
I am not well versed in Suttas.
Let me see... from the Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html[/url])

"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

That is what happens every moment.


No, not according to the suttas.  The way the nidanas are defined and described in the suttas doesn't support DO being a moment-to-moment process - see MN9 for example - birth and death are the obvious examples, being described in literal physical terms, not as a mental process.

So I ask again, can you provide a sutta or sutra extract which clearly describes DO as a moment-to-moment process?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 18, 2011, 05:58:47 am
Supposed you come in touch with an animal you dont know you fear it. A feeling fear arises. Now you get this animal knowing, rally knowing, it does neither support you nor does it harm you. If you see the animal once more, this feeling does not arise any more its gone. This sample is a short cut but it contains all the steps of OP and the factor vedana and why vedana does not exist any more.

So for this animal vedana changes from unpleasant to neutral because it hasn't attacked or eaten us.  It's important to understand that vedana is mostly neutral, tipping over periodically into pleasant or painful vedana according to the type of stimulus / contact we experience. 

And what happens when you contact another different scary animal?  Maybe one that really is going to attack you and eat you?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 18, 2011, 08:43:56 am
Quote
Since physical vedana results from our biological structure I don't see how it could cease.  Physical vedana includes the sensations of pressure, heat and cold - are you saying a Buddha doesn't experience those things?


There is no physicality behind the phenomena vedana. Those elements we normal see as physical  are actually also mental phenomena, its just our present awareness we can say also our present existence if we see it in the present life span that that manifests something we call physical. So we call the like this in our world.


I've asked a straightforward question: Does a Buddha experience physical sensations ( vedana ) like pressure, heat, cold, pain?  Can you give me a clear answer?

Of course ultimately everything can be described as mental phenomena, but there is a clear distinction in the suttas between physical and mental vedana ( feeling or sensation ).

Here for example in the Satipatthana Sutta, where physical vedana is described as being "of the flesh", and mental vedana is described as being "not of the flesh":

"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'


An untrained mind would see vedana caused by body (like the sensation of pressure, heat and so on...) as a physical thing. The same with the eye for example. There is the same process as with the body (sensual nerves like in our eye). No different process. If you see something that you believe as supporting your "I" (the) you will produce pleasant feelings if it has a "I" dislike message it will be unpleasant, if you are not aware of it it will be neutral feeling.
So if you know the animal that we had talked about before, you see the animal but it will not come to feelings. The same way is it with sound, taste, ideas and thought and so it is also with the sense base of the body.

If there is somebody who is very attached to his body he would take it as an "I" and so he would not easy understand it in the case of bodily sensations. Actually the body is a pool of attachments, that is way there is traditional so much meditation about the body to get rid of this problem.

If you see something that was earlier understood as ugly and you face it now with understanding of its nature and more important with the understanding of anatta it will not come to vedana out of this ugly picture. The same is with the body, if you there is the sensation of heat you would it would not come to any vedana, its just heat.

Regarding the sutta you had posted. It is about the method how to be mindful about feeling. Feeling a feeling and its origin. It has nothing to do regarding the question if a Buddha has the problems of vedana.

Maybe it is a labeling problem, but try to see the parallel between bodily vedana and vedana that comes from a thought or sound for example. There is no different.

The senses are working like before but there are no more ups and downs (birth and death) caused by vedana, because the root the identification is gone and there is absolute understanding about all the processes  of nama and rupa like they really are. Therefor there is no more stress and liberation, even one would cut one in peaces alive there would be no more karma caused out of the "I" idea.

So just a appreciative "ripping" *smile* but I guess it would also not have this kind of labeling any more.

I am not well versed in Suttas.
Let me see... from the Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of Dependent Co-arising ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.002.than.html[/url])

"And what is dependent co-arising? From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form. From name-&-form as a requisite condition come the six sense media. From the six sense media as a requisite condition comes contact. From contact as a requisite condition comes feeling. From feeling as a requisite condition comes craving. From craving as a requisite condition comes clinging/sustenance. From clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging & death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.

That is what happens every moment.


No, not according to the suttas.  The way the nidanas are defined and described in the suttas doesn't support DO being a moment-to-moment process - see MN9 for example - birth and death are the obvious examples, being described in literal physical terms, not as a mental process.

So I ask again, can you provide a sutta or sutra extract which clearly describes DO as a moment-to-moment process?

Spiny


How comes your idea? One life one feeling. One consciousness, one sensation, one contact? Maybe you like to see it differently. If it would be like that you just need to take care of the consciousness at the time of physical death (what actually brings you into a better realm in the next life but you would suffer also as a heavenly being out of your karma). Or let me take a simpler example. Even if you come into a better family or a better group throw a good mind state at the moment you meet them, you will also suffer from you acts in the past, even your surrounding has changed.

Like (birth) - unaware (aging) - dislike (death),  love (birth) - neutral/defuse (aging) - aversion (death), pleasure (heaven) - unaware (animal realm) - unpleasant (hell), desire (birth) - ignorance/not aware (aging) - sadness (death)

Supposed you come in touch with an animal you dont know you fear it. A feeling fear arises. Now you get this animal knowing, rally knowing, it does neither support you nor does it harm you. If you see the animal once more, this feeling does not arise any more its gone. This sample is a short cut but it contains all the steps of OP and the factor vedana and why vedana does not exist any more.


So for this animal vedana changes from unpleasant to neutral because it hasn't attacked or eaten us.  It's important to understand that vedana is mostly neutral, tipping over periodically into pleasant or painful vedana according to the type of stimulus / contact we experience. 

And what happens when you contact another different scary animal?  Maybe one that really is going to attack you and eat you?

Spiny

Yes many of our vedanas are uppekha vedanas (neutral in the sense of defuse/unaware), we need to be very carfull about neutral vedanas. Many old translations refer them as neutral or even as uphekkha (equanimity). Actually they are nothing as a aspect of ignorance.
So it might be that the unwise does neither fears or likes the animal, but not out of understanding the animal but out of being unaware of it, ignoring it. That is way it can easily happen that somebody cultivates awareness a base for neutral feelings and thinks he has non.
If you would see another animal it would be the same game. Precoanception -> feelings, introducing getting knowing understanding, letting go of it, let it go his way.

The same is with an "mad" animal. Preconception -> feeling (fear or aversion) -> wrong reaction, eaten death *smile* that is why it is better to get the "I" fixed that to get in touch with every single phenomena (and catalog them into run away or run to them) or being (they would be countless and one would experiences always different).

If we know our self if we really know the process of phenomena within our self we understand also all other phenomena and there would be no ongoing of the wheel of birth and death or OP.

*smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 19, 2011, 06:22:14 am
The same is with the body, if you there is the sensation of heat you would it would not come to any vedana, its just heat.

Heat is by definition a "physical" vedana ( a sensation ). 
However I agree that vedana is closely tied up with sanna ( perception ), so we may experience variations in heat as being pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. 
But the sensation of extreme heat or extreme cold is just unpleasant vedana, it's just painful.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 19, 2011, 06:27:17 am
Regarding the sutta you had posted. It is about the method how to be mindful about feeling. Feeling a feeling and its origin. It has nothing to do regarding the question if a Buddha has the problems of vedana.

I was demonstrating ( again ) the distinction in the suttas between physical and mental vedana, since it's important in understanding what vedana really is. 

You still haven't answered my question: does a Buddha experience physical vedana, sensations like heat, cold, pressure, pain?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 19, 2011, 06:35:43 am
Like (birth) - unaware (aging) - dislike (death),  love (birth) - neutral/defuse (aging) - aversion (death), pleasure (heaven) - unaware (animal realm) - unpleasant (hell), desire (birth) - ignorance/not aware (aging) - sadness (death)

I'm pretty sure this isn't described in any sutta, so could you say where you got if from? 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 19, 2011, 08:44:05 am
The same is with the body, if you there is the sensation of heat you would it would not come to any vedana, its just heat.

Heat is by definition a "physical" vedana ( a sensation ). 
However I agree that vedana is closely tied up with sanna ( perception ), so we may experience variations in heat as being pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. 
But the sensation of extreme heat or extreme cold is just unpleasant vedana, it's just painful.

Spiny
Vedana is Vedana, if you drink a tea with a little sugar or with much sugar it might be differently accepted or rejected but the its still the same phenomena.
"Painful" is nothing but an extremely fear against the "I", like to much sugar, or bright light, or a terrible smell which causes the remember on a fire and you might see your self burning and vedana arises.

Let me try another way. Would it be possible that there would be any vedana if there was never a physical contact before? Would there be mental vedana? Does mental vedana exist without physical contact?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 19, 2011, 09:08:13 am
Like (birth) - unaware (aging) - dislike (death),  love (birth) - neutral/defuse (aging) - aversion (death), pleasure (heaven) - unaware (animal realm) - unpleasant (hell), desire (birth) - ignorance/not aware (aging) - sadness (death)


I'm pretty sure this isn't described in any sutta, so could you say where you got if from? 
Spiny

I had tried to use the googlyana to get better explaining that I am able to make and found this is maybe helpful:

What is Death?

We now come to the Buddhist definition of death. According to the Ven. Nyanatiloka,[2] it is ordinarily called "the disappearance of the vital faculty confined to a single life-time, and therewith of the psycho-physical life-process conventionally called 'Man, Animal, Personality, Ego' etc. Strictly speaking, however, death is the continually repeated dissolution and vanishing of each momentary physical-mental combination, and thus it takes place every moment."

This definition is very important. Each moment (i.e., millions of times a second) "I" die and "I" am reborn, in other words, a new "I" takes over from the old which has vanished forever. At the end of "my" physical life there is at the same time a severing of the link between this mental process and the body, which quickly decays in consequence. But rebirth in exactly the same way is instantaneous in some sphere, whether as conception in a fresh womb or elsewhere.

Death, then, except in the case of the arahant (to which we shall briefly refer), is in the Buddhist view inseparable from rebirth. But two kinds of rebirth are distinguished: rebirth from life to life, and rebirth from moment to moment, as indicated in the above definition. Some people today maintain that the Buddha taught only the latter. This is nonsense. There are many hundreds of references to rebirth throughout the Buddhist scriptures of all schools, and they cannot be simply explained away as either "symbolic" (whatever that means) or as "concessions to popular beliefs" (it is not true, incidentally, that in the Buddha's day "everybody believed in rebirth"). Nor is there any need for such explanations, since there is plenty of convincing evidence for the reality of the process (see Appendix).


"Buddhism and Death", by M. O'C. Walshe. Access to Insight, 16 June 2011, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/walshe/wheel261.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/walshe/wheel261.html) . Retrieved on 19 October 2011.

The "I" dies every moment with the new consciousness and comes to live again. *smile*

Maybe this sutta is also useful: Maha-nidana Sutta: The Great Causes Discourse (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html)

from the translators instruction:

The following section, on Non-delineations of a Self, shows that it is possible for the mind to function without reading a "self" into experience. The remaining sections focus on ways in which this can be done by treating the sense of self as it relates to different aspects of name-and-form. The first of these sections — Assumptions of a Self — focuses on the sense of self as it relates to feeling, one of the "name" factors in name-and-form. The next section — Seven Stations of Consciousness — focuses on form, formlessness, and perception, which is another one of the "name" factors that allows a place for consciousness to land and grow on the "macro" level in the cycle of death and rebirth. The last section — Eight Emancipations — focuses on form, formlessness, and perception on the "micro" level in the practice of meditative absorption (jhana).

In each of these cases, once the sense of attachment and identification with name-and-form can be broken, the mutual dependency between consciousness and name-and-form is broken as well. This brings about total freedom from the limits of "the extent to which there are means of designation, expression, and delineation... the extent to which the sphere of discernment extends, the extent to which the cycle revolves for the manifesting (discernibility) of this world — i.e., name-and-form together with consciousness." This is the release at which the Buddha's teachings are aimed.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on October 28, 2011, 01:37:03 am
I've split off some recent posts to a new thread about perception and feeling, which is in the Therevada sub-forum.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on October 28, 2011, 03:20:24 am
Than we could miss some chain links. *smile* But for sure as soon as this happens we would be rid of the problem.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on October 28, 2011, 04:45:21 am
Quote
Hanzze:  "Buddhism and Death", by M. O'C. Walshe. Access to Insight, 16 June 2011, [url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/walshe/wheel261.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/walshe/wheel261.html[/url]) . Retrieved on 19 October 2011.


Thanks for this citation.  We recently discussed this commentary in another quasi-Buddhist forum.  It appeals to and assists those with scientific educations and careers with understanding the Buddhist concept of rebirth.  It also assists with the correction of misunderstanding found in other Buddhist traditions, which have been incorrectly transmitted due to cultural distortions when Buddhism moved into those cultures.  One which comes to mind is the idea that it is "mind" which moves into nibbana and survives into post-mortem rebirth, when this is clearly not what Buddha taught:

Paraphrasing:  "Only the effects of one's kamma (kamma vipakha)  move on after death."
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on November 04, 2011, 10:10:30 pm
Hanzze wrote on the 19th October 2011
What is death?
We now come to the Buddhist definition of death
Quote – “This definition is very important. Each moment (i.e., millions of times a second) "I" die and "I" am reborn, in other words, a new "I" takes over from the old which has vanished forever. At the end of "my" physical life there is at the same time a severing of the link between this mental process and the body, which quickly decays in consequence. But rebirth in exactly the same way is instantaneous in some sphere, whether as conception in a fresh womb or elsewhere”.

Do you believe what you mentioned here?

If you really believe that”I” die and “I”am reborn  each moment (i.e., millions of times per second) because and at the same time severing the link between this mental process and the body , then why not believe that the mind also dies millions of times per second.
You then go on to say:
Quote – “But two kinds of rebirth are distinguished: rebirth from life to life, and rebirth from moment to moment, as indicated in the above definition. Some people today maintain that the Buddha taught only the latter. This is nonsense.

Why do you say this is nonsense?

This is the absolute truth according to DO - Jati, jara and marana - arising, sustaining and decay of mind moments
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 07, 2011, 02:32:41 am
This is the absolute truth according to DO - Jati, jara and marana - arising, sustaining and decay of mind moments

I appreciate that you may personally have some difficulty believing in post-mortem rebirth ( many people do ) but the suttas simply don't support your theory of moment-to-moment rebirth.  See for example the way that death, birth and being are defined in MN9, the sutta on Right View - these clearly prove that your theory is incorrect.

Death:"And what is aging and death, what is the origin of aging and death, what is the cessation of aging and death, what is the way leading to the cessation of aging and death? The aging of beings in the various orders of beings, their old age, brokenness of teeth, grayness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of life, weakness of faculties — this is called aging. The passing of beings out of the various orders of beings, their passing away, dissolution, disappearance, dying, completion of time, dissolution of the aggregates, laying down of the body — this is called death. So this aging and this death are what is called aging and death. With the arising of birth there is the arising of aging and death. With the cessation of birth there is the cessation of aging and death.

Birth"And what is birth, what is the origin of birth, what is the cessation of birth, what is the way leading to the cessation of birth? The birth of beings into the various orders of beings, their coming to birth, precipitation [in a womb], generation, manifestation of the aggregates, obtaining the bases for contact — this is called birth. With the arising of being there is the arising of birth. With the cessation of being there is the cessation of birth.

Being"And what is being, what is the origin of being, what is the cessation of being, what is the way leading to the cessation of being? There are these three kinds of being: sense-sphere being, fine-material being and immaterial being. With the arising of clinging there is the arising of being. With the cessation of clinging there is the cessation of being.

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 07, 2011, 02:43:55 am
So when does your lifetime feeling became your lifetime craving? *smile* Or might it be that your present consciousness when born , ages and die?

Just thought on a nice story, maybe an inspiration:

Quote
"The Gates of Heaven." Nobushige, a great samurai, sought out Hakuin and asked: "Is there really a heaven and a hell?"

"Who are you?" asked Hakuin.

"I am a samurai," Nobushige replied.

"You?" Hakuin snorted. "What lord would employ you? You look like a begger!"

A furious Nobushige began to draw his sword, but then Hakuin said, "Here open the gates of hell."

Nobushige took the point, sheathed his sword, and bowed.

"Here open the gates of heaven," said Hakuin.

from Zen Master Hakuin
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 08, 2011, 07:47:43 am
So when does your lifetime feeling became your lifetime craving? *smile* Or might it be that your present consciousness when born , ages and die?

DO is best understood as a series of dependently arising processes, so for example while ignorance persists, suffering persists.

As I demonstrated with the MN9 extracts in the previous post, the moment-to-moment rebirth interpretation of DO is clearly contradicted by the way the nidanas are actually described in the suttas.  
And as far as I am aware there is nothing in the suttas which describes or even supports the moment-to-moment rebirth approach to DO.
I rest my case. :wink1:

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 08, 2011, 05:15:51 pm
I think than it will be a task of many many lifetimes. How ever, its good to start. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 12, 2011, 10:55:53 am

As I demonstrated with the MN9 extracts in the previous post, the moment-to-moment rebirth interpretation of DO is clearly contradicted by the way the nidanas are actually described in the suttas.  
And as far as I am aware there is nothing in the suttas which describes or even supports the moment-to-moment rebirth approach to DO.
I rest my case. :wink1:

CP


The following is from an online book entitled:  "A Still Forest Pool", which can be accessed here:

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm (http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Ajahn_Chah_A_Still_Forest_Pool.htm)

The One Who Knows!

The author cites several concepts taught by Buddha, which require personal verification and validation through meditation and mindfulness. By personally observing and learning the characteristics of the aggregates, a.k.a. The Five Khandas:

Quote
1 the materiality group khandha rūpa-khandha,
2 the feeling group vedanā-khandha,
3 the perception group saññā-khandha,
4 the mental-construction group sankhāra-khandha,
5 the consciousness-group viññāna-khandha
...one comes to realize:

"Whatever there is of materiality, feeling, perception, mental constructions and consciousness, whether past, present or future, one's own or external, gross or subtle, lofty or low, far or near, this one should understand according to reality and true understanding: 'This does not belong to me, this am I not, this is not my Ego.' "
source: [url]http://what-buddha-said.net/library/..._k.htm#khandha[/url] ([url]http://what-buddha-said.net/library/..._k.htm#khandha[/url])


The author then points out that as this perfected, resplendent mind recognizes these aggregates upon their arising, upon this realization such a luminous mind, clear of all confusion and taints, knows that grasping at any of these mental or physical factors will never lead to elimination of dukkha, only an increase and a perpetuation of dukkha.

The author says clearly and coherently:

Quote
The Buddha saw that whatever the mind gives rise to is just transitory, conditioned phenomena, which are really empty. When this dawned on him, he let go, gave up, and found an end to suffering. You too must understand these matters according to the truth. When you know things as they are, you will see that these elements of mind are a deception, in keeping with the Buddha's teaching that this mind has nothing, does not arise, is not born, and does not die with anyone. It is free, shining, resplendent, with nothing to occupy it. The mind becomes occupied only because it misunderstands and is deluded by these conditioned phenomena, this false sense of self.

Therefore, the Buddha had us look at our minds. What exists in the beginning? Truly, not anything. This emptiness does not arise and die with phenomena. When it contacts something good, it does not become good; when it contacts something bad, it does not become bad. The pure mind knows these objects clearly, knows that they are not substantial.

When the mind of the meditator abides like this, no doubt exists. Is there becoming? Is there birth? We need not ask anyone. Having examined the elements of mind, the Buddha let them go and became merely one who was aware of them. He just watched with equanimity. Conditions leading to birth did not exist for him. With his complete knowledge, he called them all impermanent, unsatisfactory, empty of self. Therefore, he became the one who knows with certainty. The one who knows sees according to this truth and does not become happy or sad according to changing conditions. This is true peace, free of birth, aging, sickness, and death, not dependent on causes, results, or conditions, beyond happiness and suffering, above good and evil. Nothing can be spoken about it. No conditions promote it any longer.


This raises a question: Is nibbana simply a state of luminous, perfected, resplendent, undeluded mind?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 13, 2011, 03:35:44 am
....The one who knows sees according to this truth and does not become happy or sad according to changing conditions. This is true peace, free of birth, aging, sickness, and death, not dependent on causes, results, or conditions, beyond happiness and suffering, above good and evil. Nothing can be spoken about it. No conditions promote it any longer.
[/quote]

But the "one who knows" is still subject to aging, sickness and death...so what does he mean?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 13, 2011, 04:51:43 am
....The one who knows sees according to this truth and does not become happy or sad according to changing conditions. This is true peace, free of birth, aging, sickness, and death, not dependent on causes, results, or conditions, beyond happiness and suffering, above good and evil. Nothing can be spoken about it. No conditions promote it any longer.


But the "one who knows" is still subject to aging, sickness and death...so what does he mean?

CP

Your assumption is invalid.  "Read" the line which I have highlited in Red.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 13, 2011, 08:48:03 am
....The one who knows sees according to this truth and does not become happy or sad according to changing conditions. This is true peace, free of birth, aging, sickness, and death, not dependent on causes, results, or conditions, beyond happiness and suffering, above good and evil. Nothing can be spoken about it. No conditions promote it any longer.


But the "one who knows" is still subject to aging, sickness and death...so what does he mean?

CP

Your assumption is invalid.  "Read" the line which I have highlited in Red.

No, as I've previously explained, aging, sickness and death are defined literally in suttas about dependent origination.  Ajahn Chah appears to be saying that someone who knows according to the truth is free of aging, sickness and death.  But how can that be the case while they are still alive? 
Possibly he isn't talking about actual aging, sickness and death, but the fear of them.  What do you think?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 13, 2011, 10:49:10 am
That is not from Ajahn Chah, you will find this in most discourses of the Buddha. Its also called deathlessness. *smile* Supposed there is no more "I" who or what would aging, get sick or die?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 13, 2011, 11:57:35 am
....The one who knows sees according to this truth and does not become happy or sad according to changing conditions. This is true peace, free of birth, aging, sickness, and death, not dependent on causes, results, or conditions, beyond happiness and suffering, above good and evil. Nothing can be spoken about it. No conditions promote it any longer.


But the "one who knows" is still subject to aging, sickness and death...so what does he mean?

CP

Your assumption is invalid.  "Read" the line which I have highlited in Red.

No, as I've previously explained, aging, sickness and death are defined literally in suttas about dependent origination.  Ajahn Chah appears to be saying that someone who knows according to the truth is free of aging, sickness and death.  But how can that be the case while they are still alive? 
Possibly he isn't talking about actual aging, sickness and death, but the fear of them.  What do you think?

CP

Once again, respectfully, you are not "reading" what was written:  You cannot die if you are not "born". The first word in the series I highlited for you was "birth".  Again, if you are not born, you cannot age, you cannot get disease, and logically therefore, you cannot die. :wacky:

Hope this answers your question.   :hug:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 13, 2011, 04:20:47 pm
But the "one who knows" is still subject to aging, sickness and death...so what does he mean?

Not so.  The "one who knows" is NOT subject to aging, sickness and death.  The "one who knows" is something which is "not born" and therefore, can never age, get sick or die.  It is something which is "not created" and therefore, can never be destroyed.  It is something which is does not arise and therefore, will never be subject to cessation.

Ajahn Chah appears to be saying that someone who knows according to the truth is free of aging, sickness and death.  But how can that be the case while they are still alive? 

You bring up a good concern that on face value seems to be contradictory.  How can someone have ended birth and death whilst still alive?

Remember, "All that arises will eventually cease".  BUT that which does not arise, will never cease.

When the Buddha achieved enlightenment, thing still arise and cease in his body - cells reproducing, getting old and dying.  But he found something that which does not arise nor cease - the deathless, Nirvana.  Hence, when his body died - the cessation of the body, he doesn't need to be re-born again (due to ignorance and craving) if he doesn't want to be.

In summary, the Buddha escaped old age, sickness and death by finding something which does not get old, does not get sick nor does it die - it is the deathless, the unconditioned, Nirvana.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 14, 2011, 06:40:18 am
Once again, respectfully, you are not "reading" what was written:  You cannot die if you are not "born". The first word in the series I highlited for you was "birth".  Again, if you are not born, you cannot age, you cannot get disease, and logically therefore, you cannot die. :wacky:

But the passage you quoted clearly refers to somebody who has already been born and is still alive.  How can a living person be free from aging, disease and death, which are inevitable physical processes?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 14, 2011, 06:45:32 am
The "one who knows" is NOT subject to aging, sickness and death.  The "one who knows" is something which is "not born" and therefore, can never age, get sick or die.  It is something which is "not created" and therefore, can never be destroyed.  It is something which is does not arise and therefore, will never be subject to cessation.

So what is this "something" that is unaffected by the processes of birth, aging and death?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 14, 2011, 06:51:27 am
In summary, the Buddha escaped old age, sickness and death by finding something which does not get old, does not get sick nor does it die - it is the deathless, the unconditioned, Nirvana.

But the Buddha didn't escape old age, sickness and death - that's clear from the suttas. 
And again, what is this something that does not get old, sick or die?  What do you think the deathless / unconditioned / Nirvana actually is?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 14, 2011, 10:45:54 am
Once again, respectfully, you are not "reading" what was written:  You cannot die if you are not "born". The first word in the series I highlited for you was "birth".  Again, if you are not born, you cannot age, you cannot get disease, and logically therefore, you cannot die. :wacky:

But the passage you quoted clearly refers to somebody who has already been born and is still alive.  How can a living person be free from aging, disease and death, which are inevitable physical processes?

CP

Ah!  I see your problem now:

1.  When realization, unbinding, and release occurs the individual "is no longer subject" to rebirth, aging, disease, and death.

....which you of course already knew.

The reborn body that was used as a vessel in the current life dies, and is corrupted as is any other dependently originated, impermanent form.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on November 14, 2011, 12:27:55 pm

So what is this "something" that is unaffected by the processes of birth, aging and death?

CP


There is no point in just slapping a label on it. I could simply reply that it is the perpetual cyclic renewal of consciousness or some such nonsense, but I might just as well call it the poodledharmakhayasravisshtika.

So let's look at properties. By definition, we are assuming that there is something undying that goes forward right? That eliminates a lot of possibilities right there. The body is not it, every body that has ever arisen has aged and died. Neither can it be the flow of conscious ideas and perceptions, or memories, for similar reasons. So all that is left is a certain capacity for knowing, and the continuing flow of causes and effects.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Optimus Prime on November 14, 2011, 01:41:54 pm
But the Buddha didn't escape old age, sickness and death - that's clear from the suttas. 

It may seem that the Buddha didn't escape old age, sickness and death but it is clear from the Suttas that he did.  If he didn't, then he wouldn't be enlightened.

Now all that arises will eventually cease.  So his body, having been born still got sick, still aged and still died.

Having died, a normal living being would normally be reborn into another rebirth according to their ignorance and craving.  However, this does no longer happens to the Buddha or any of the Arhats.  Hence how the Buddha escaped and is now liberated from further old age, sickness and death.  He could not stop the old age, sickness and death in his own body because that had already arisen, was already born - and hence will eventually get old, get sick and die.  So it's not that the Buddha escaped old age, sickness and death by never his body getting old, never getting sick and never dying - this is not possible for the body, which has already been born, already arisen, already created.  He escaped old age sickness and death by no longer being reborn.

As you know from Dependent Origination, with birth, comes old age, sickness and death (with birth, eventually comes sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair, i.e., suffering) - this is the pattern.  With no birth, THEN old age, sickness and death too are done away with.  Why do we get old, why do we get sick and why do we die?  Because we are born.  When you pick up one end of the stick, the other end comes with it.

What is born and dies is called conditioned things/phenomena (i.e., impermanent things).  What is not born and therefore does not die (i.e., deathless), is unconditioned.

Buddhists keep saying that everything is impermanent - this is not entirely true.  There are things that are not impermanent.  The Buddha found an escape from impermanent things by finding that which was not impermanent - the unconditioned.



So what is this "something" that is unaffected by the processes of birth, aging and death?

What's an example of this?  Empty space.  Hence why Nirvana is likened to emptiness:
- Is empty space impermanent?  Is empty space even created?  Is it born?  Does empty space arise?  No.
- Does empty space ever move?  No.
- Can empty space be destroyed?  No - if it is not even born, not even created, how can it be destroyed?

The Buddha describes Nibbana in the Nibbana Sutta:

There is, monks, an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, emancipation from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.
Source:  "Nibbana Sutta: Total Unbinding (3)" (Ud 8.3), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 8 July 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.03.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.8.03.than.html) . Retrieved on 14 November 2011.

In other words, the Buddha found an escape from impermanent things like old age, sickness and death (i.e., things that are born) by finding that which is not born (and therefore does not die).  If there wasn't the unconditioned, that which is not born - then this escape from impermanent things, conditioned things would not be possible.  But because he found the unconditioned, we know that escape from conditioned things, impermanent things like old age, sickness and death are possible.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 14, 2011, 03:29:12 pm

So what is this "something" that is unaffected by the processes of birth, aging and death?

CP


 :offtopic:  Sorry!  Tried to PM you, but you have banned PM's.

Hey, Catmoon.

Long time no see.

Check out my new black cat.

His name is Morgan.

_/\_Ron

[url]http://www.thebigview.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5387[/url] ([url]http://www.thebigview.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5387[/url])


There is no point in just slapping a label on it. I could simply reply that it is the perpetual cyclic renewal of consciousness or some such nonsense, but I might just as well call it the poodledharmakhayasravisshtika.

So let's look at properties. By definition, we are assuming that there is something undying that goes forward right? That eliminates a lot of possibilities right there. The body is not it, every body that has ever arisen has aged and died. Neither can it be the flow of conscious ideas and perceptions, or memories, for similar reasons. So all that is left is a certain capacity for knowing, and the continuing flow of causes and effects.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 20, 2011, 08:08:27 pm
Just came across this graphic, there are maybe some fine problems in it, but it might be a support to understand DO better:

(http://www.saetawwin2.org/cycle_of_conditioning.jpg)

and in addition

(http://www.saetawwin2.org/continuum.gif)

from www.saetawwin2.org (http://www.saetawwin2.org)

*smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on November 20, 2011, 10:55:55 pm
In summary, the Buddha escaped old age, sickness and death by finding something which does not get old, does not get sick nor does it die - it is the deathless, the unconditioned, Nirvana.

But the Buddha didn't escape old age, sickness and death - that's clear from the suttas. 
And again, what is this something that does not get old, sick or die?  What do you think the deathless / unconditioned / Nirvana actually is?

CP

There is nothing deathless or unconditioned. This is simply a misunderstanding caused by wrong translations.
What is meant is a "state (of being)" not being affected by the actuality of death, illnesses of the body and the actuality of everything being conditioned and therefore inconstant.

Kind regards
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 20, 2011, 11:18:13 pm
Or simply deathless *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on November 21, 2011, 02:47:07 am
Or simply deathless *smile*
This is impossible. What would perceive or conceive of "deathless" if not affected by the actuality of death? And if affected by death - like the ordinary - conceivng of deathless is actually manifestation of being affected by the actuality of death.


Kind regards
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on November 21, 2011, 02:54:46 am
"The Deathless" or "The Unconditioned" is the Theravadin's "Buddha nature" :lmfao:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 21, 2011, 04:29:15 am
Or simply deathless *smile*
This is impossible. What would perceive or conceive of "deathless" if not affected by the actuality of death? And if affected by death - like the ordinary - conceivng of deathless is actually manifestation of being affected by the actuality of death.
Kind regards
You seems to be attached to your body *smile*

"The Deathless" or "The Unconditioned" is the Theravadin's "Buddha nature" :lmfao:
Some would even give this a inherent nature of self. *smile* Beware of mana, it always brings unwholesome mind blow-outs.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 21, 2011, 04:34:13 am
What is meant is a "state (of being)" not being affected by the actuality of death, illnesses of the body and the actuality of everything being conditioned and therefore inconstant.

Somebody unaffected by the actuality of death and illness cannot be alive - by definition.

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 21, 2011, 06:40:37 am
Who defined this? Who says? *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on November 21, 2011, 07:37:22 am
Ideas and ideas ... funny :teehee:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on November 21, 2011, 09:51:11 pm
Since funny but useless ideas should at least gladden the mind ...

What is meant is a "state (of being)" not being affected by the actuality of death, illnesses of the body and the actuality of everything being conditioned and therefore inconstant.

Somebody unaffected by the actuality of death and illness cannot be alive - by definition.

CP

This may hold true for someone perceiving mere thinking as "being alive." :wink1:

Makes me think of Decartes :teehee:


Kind regards
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 22, 2011, 07:16:49 am
Who defined this? Who says? *smile*

The actuality of death means actual death.  It means you die.  So how could you not be affected by it?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 22, 2011, 07:53:02 am
What dies? What is death? Who dies? *smile* Who is affected by ones death? The dead one?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on November 23, 2011, 04:45:29 am
What dies? What is death? Who dies? *smile* Who is affected by ones death? The dead one?

What does it all mean? :teehee:

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 23, 2011, 05:04:00 am
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on November 23, 2011, 05:28:03 am
What dies? What is death? Who dies? *smile* Who is affected by ones death? The dead one?

What does it all mean? :teehee:

CP

Maybe it means Dinsdale was right and the hedgehog was evil.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 24, 2011, 07:00:38 am
Who's on first?

Who's on first? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sShMA85pv8M#)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 07:25:37 pm
I don't deny the psychological model of the 12 links, I just don't find it all that convincing.  Perhaps it makes more sense to focus on that contact>feeling>craving>clinging section, which clearly is psychological, and not worry about trying to squeeze the other links into a mental model?

Suffering is traditionally both physical and mental, so I'm not sure that helps us very much with this question.

The Nakulapita Sutta correctly explains the suffering to be liberated from is exclusively mental

The Nakulapita Sutta also explains the meaning of aging-&-death (change-&-alteration) clearly

The Nakulapita Sutta certainly helps us with this question

It is doubt & a lack of investigation that does not help us, which is why we may not find it convincing

The Nakulapita Sutta cannot be more clear

All the best

 :dharma:

Quote
Now, how is one afflicted in body & afflicted in mind?
 
There is the case where an uninstructed person assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress & despair over its change & alteration.

And how is one afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind?

There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress or despair over its change & alteration.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html[/url])
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 07:32:50 pm
Would there be any physicality without mentality? What should physicality be, can you show me any in inherent core? *smile* Form is empty, what are we talking about?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 08:04:48 pm
Would there be any physicality without mentality? What should physicality be, can you show me any in inherent core? *smile* Form is empty, what are we talking about?


there is no mind without body

there is no inherent core

form is empty of self

form is empty of permanence

ultimately, although having form for a lifetime, form is empty of substance, because it will decompose and return to the elements, eventually

 :dharma:

Quote
It would be better for the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person to hold to the body composed of the four great elements, rather than the mind, as the self. Why is that? Because this body composed of the four great elements is seen standing for a year, two years, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred years or more. But what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another. Just as a monkey, swinging through a forest wilderness, grabs a branch. Letting go of it, it grabs another branch. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. Letting go of that, it grabs another one. In the same way, what's called 'mind,' 'intellect,' or 'consciousness' by day and by night arises as one thing and ceases as another.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.061.than.html[/url])


Quote
"Monks, suppose that a large glob of foam were floating down this Ganges River, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a glob of foam? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any form that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html[/url])
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 08:08:44 pm
So what should transport the pain beside a nice concept (hiding a believe in an "I") as even form is empty? *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 08:18:57 pm
So what should transport the pain beside a nice concept (hiding a believe in an "I") as even form is empty? *smile*

pain is not a "concept"

when a human being breaks their leg and the leg swells like a balloon, the pain & swelling of the broken leg is not a "concept"

there are five aggregates

feeling aggregate = feeling

perception aggregate = short concept

formations aggregate = long concepts

 :brick:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 08:50:29 pm
So what should transport the pain beside a nice concept (hiding a believe in an "I") as even form is empty? *smile*

pain is not a "concept"

when a human being breaks their leg and the leg swells like a balloon, the pain & swelling of the broken leg is not a "concept"

there are five aggregates

feeling aggregate = feeling

perception aggregate = short concept

formations aggregate = long concepts

 :brick:
If there is no I, who feels pain? Do elements feel pain? I never saw a leg feeling pain even it was damaged and would not be called a normal leg.
There is only pain if an "I" arises if there is no "I" there is no such thing as pain. In the present moment there is no pain. Concepts lead to pain, concepts are made of ideas but not from what actually is. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ABC on November 28, 2011, 10:35:57 pm
If there is no I, who feels pain? Do elements feel pain? I never saw a leg feeling pain even it was damaged and would not be called a normal leg.
There is only pain if an "I" arises if there is no "I" there is no such thing as pain. In the present moment there is no pain. Concepts lead to pain, concepts are made of ideas but not from what actually is. *smile*

yes, the elements feel pain

correct

but your opinion is wrong about "no I"

Buddha mind is empty of "I" but still feels pain

your opinion is not Buddhism

there are 100's of suttas that show your opinion is not Buddhism

it does not matter how many times you give your opinion on this website and other websites, your opinion is not Buddhism

your insistance on the end of suffering being the end of concepts is not Buddhism

your insistance on the end of physical pain being the end of concepts is not Buddhism

it is another philosophy

all the best

 :buddha:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on November 28, 2011, 10:56:03 pm
If it is not Buddhism I have no problem with it, call it what ever you like. But I guess it would be difficult that you would find Buddha teachings making your idea more as a maybe often transmitted concept. *smile*

Indeed, there a uncountable words.

Quote
your insistance on the end of physical pain being the end of concepts is not Buddhism
I didn't told that. *smile* There could be still bodiless pain (mental suffering), that is why the realms of heaven are not worthy to grasp.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:12:22 am
Buddha mind is empty of "I" but still feels pain

But we saying a Buddha doesn't experience this pain as dukkha?

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 01, 2011, 06:24:04 am
The Nakulapita Sutta correctly explains the suffering to be liberated from is exclusively mental

The Nakulapita Sutta also explains the meaning of aging-&-death (change-&-alteration) clearly

Quote
And how is one afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind?

There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress or despair over its change & alteration.

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.001.than.html[/url])



Yes, that does make sense given that Nibbana as synonymous with the cessation of dukkha.  So a Buddha is still subject to the physical processes of aging, disease and death but does not experience them as dukkha.

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on December 02, 2011, 09:47:35 pm
Pulled this from Wiki because Wiki was the first Googled result:

"Although dukkha is often translated as "suffering", its philosophical meaning is more analogous to "disquietude" as in the condition of being disturbed."

*****

I like that. Before I read that I like "unsatisfactory" in the literal sense. But "disquietude" seems to work in this context. :twocents:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2011, 04:02:15 am
Pulled this from Wiki because Wiki was the first Googled result:

"Although dukkha is often translated as "suffering", its philosophical meaning is more analogous to "disquietude" as in the condition of being disturbed."

*****

I like that. Before I read that I like "unsatisfactory" in the literal sense. But "disquietude" seems to work in this context. :twocents:

Yes, it seems that dukkha is all about how we experience things.

CP
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 03, 2011, 06:05:21 am
Pulled this from Wiki because Wiki was the first Googled result:

"Although dukkha is often translated as "suffering", its philosophical meaning is more analogous to "disquietude" as in the condition of being disturbed."

*****

I like that. Before I read that I like "unsatisfactory" in the literal sense. But "disquietude" seems to work in this context. :twocents:


Yes, it seems that dukkha is all about how we experience things.

CP


Hmmmm.

You may have musical talents, which have not been fully expressed.  Most musicians like disquietude.

In the Buddhist context, you may well have been a one man band in a previous rebirth:

Funny cartoon Pixar one man band (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z4C21oneQ8#)

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/o/one_man_band.asp (http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/o/one_man_band.asp)

The only way to tell for certain is to listen to few comedic bands such as Weird Al Yankovic, or Flight of The Concords:

Concords:  Flight of the Conchords- Business Time (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGOohBytKTU#)

Wierd Al:  http://tickets.weirdal.com/ (http://tickets.weirdal.com/)

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on December 17, 2011, 01:18:28 pm
On December 15th 2009,  a question was asked - "What is Dependent Origination"
Today two years later we still are asking the same question - What is Dependent Origination. You are derailed
At least now why not listen to my version I explained a few months ago.

You seem to be Mahayana Buddhists.You believe  the Sutras came first.  I am a Theravada Buddhist.  I believe Abhidhamma came first. Sutras are expanations to the less literate disciples. Listen to the Abhidhamma version and I will explain.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 17, 2011, 05:22:53 pm
Don Athukorala,

it is said that the Abhidhamma was taught in the heaven realm in one nonstop three month talk, with uninterrupted awareness. That might be difficult for us.
Some even say that the Abhidhamma was not given by the Buddha but by his chief disciples.

How ever, maybe you can give us a link to you 15th Dec 2009 explaining, maybe Spiny will merge topics with similar theme. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: catmoon on December 18, 2011, 12:37:39 am
Seems to me that this was a pretty good topic up until about page 4, at which point the discussion seems to lose focus and go wandering off after one vague red herring after another.

I think what happened was that in the first 4 pages we pretty much exhausted the knowledge of everyone writing and we've been groping for new knowledge unsuccessfully ever since.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 18, 2011, 06:14:26 am
You seem to be Mahayana Buddhists.You believe  the Sutras came first.  I am a Theravada Buddhist.  I believe Abhidhamma came first. Sutras are expanations to the less literate disciples. Listen to the Abhidhamma version and I will explain.

The theory you were expounding isn't consistent with the suttas, let alone the sutras.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 18, 2011, 06:17:32 am
I was thinking about DO recently and had the image of a car gearbox...yes, I know it sounds strange. :wink1:
The nidanas were the gear cogs meshing together and turning away merrily, craving was the power source and ignorance was the clutch.  Does this idea work or have I got a screw loose?

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 18, 2011, 09:08:53 am
From by view, its a good sample. The destruction of ignorance can be seen as a broken clutch cable. The process just runs out.
*smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 19, 2011, 07:17:20 am
From by view, its a good sample. The destruction of ignorance can be seen as a broken clutch cable. The process just runs out.
*smile*

Actually, thinking it through, I suppose the cessation of ignorance ( stopping the gears turning ) would be selecting "neutral" with the gear-shift. So maybe we need to put our minds in neutral for this to happen.... :wink1:

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 19, 2011, 06:15:36 pm
Ohhh I see. Its like letting the engine run and all fully functional.  Imagine you would find another reason to go there or there and the car would startup or the gearshift would not go into the gears. *smile*

How ever the whole thing is maybe difficult to understand if we are used to drive automatic.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on December 20, 2011, 12:08:29 am
Let us start from the very beginning, - from the Tripitaka. This is our “Bible”.
The Tripitaka consists of three baskets – Vinaya (Rules for the Monks), Abhidhamma (Buddha’s advanced teachings) and Sutra (explaining of the Abhidhamma to the general public).
Abhidhamma is what Price Siddhartha, later to be the Buddha, studied for a long period of nearly seven years under Hindu masters. One cannot understand Buddha’s Abhidhamma from the Sutras. Sutras are a basic set of teachings to the illiterate public of 2600 years ago, who did not grasp the advanced teachings, but was a means of explaining His knowledge in other ways.
 As of today, we are a largely educated public, so why stick only to the Sutras? See for yourself what the Abhidhamma has to offer.

How the problem started
About 500 BC Ven Buddhaghosa arrived in Sri Lanka and authored several commentaries from the Tripitaka; one was Visuddhimagga and the other Sammohavinodani. In both of these commentaries he wrote at length on Dependent Origination. These commentaries are from the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Ven B admits that DO is difficult to teach, but decided to come up with his own interpretation.

There is only one interpretation of Dependent Origination in the Tripitaka. This is important to remember.

In Visuddhimagga Ven B categorically stated that he did not understand DO in the manner Buddha explained it. He advanced an opinion of his own. He misinterpreted the Pali words Jati, jara marana to mean birth, decay and death as in common parlance. This is probably where the complexity started.
Note:
Ven Narada Thera in his book “A manual of Abhidhamma” defines Jati as the arising of the aggregates (Panchaskandas), while Jati can also mean a ‘one of the same group’. Jati, jara marana strictly means arising, sustenance and decay of mind moments.

 The Pali word for birth is Uppada. We therefore have uppada, thiti and bhanga – arising, sustenance and decay. The Hindu equivalent is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
 Ven B was a Hindu and got the wrong notion that Buddha was explaining the process of rebirth. (This invariably associates one with the belief of a self, a soul or atman that Buddha rejected). Moreover, what was the great need for Buddha to reaffirm a view Hindus believed in for thousands of years before him? DO is considered the essence of Buddha’s teachings, differing in many ways with Hindu Philosophy.

 However, Ven B cautioned readers by saying:  quote “There is only one instance in the Visuddhimagga where he openly advances an opinion of his own and should only be accepted if it accords with other teachings”.
With this assumption, he came up with an interpretation that is not in the Tripitaka. This is how the two interpretations arose. Do not blame him; he was frank when he said he did not understand DO as the ancients did.
So why continue with this version where Ven B himself had his own doubts?
(Visuddhimagga is distributed free by the Maha Bodhi Buddhist Society and is also available online)

Ven B also authored Sammohavinodani where he mentions DO as arising in mind moments; in infinitely short intervals of time.  Here he said he did not understand DO and had nothing much to say about it.
(For more details read “Dependent Origination – the Buddhist law of Conditionality by P.A Payutto. This book was mentioned as early on 15th December 2009 by Humanitas in this series).

We are now a 100 % educated public, unlike during the days of Buddha 2600 years ago. We do not require the Sutras to understand Buddha’s Abhidhamma. We Buddhists have a huge responsibility to study and explain what Ven Buddhaghosa could not do. That is to explain
What is Dependent Origination?

Finally
 Study DO as I did. Dependent Origination is a biological process, a process Buddha very well understood and explained in His own way.
I have given some of my findings commencing 15th August 2011 (on page 7).
I am willing to expand on these further if you wish to.

I have a dream.
I have a dream that one day Buddhists worldwide will accept the Abhidhamma or the Theravada tradition in preference to relying totally on the Sutras to appreciate Buddha’s Abhidhamma.

 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 20, 2011, 04:09:54 am
I have a dream that one day Buddhists worldwide will accept the Abhidhamma or the Theravada tradition in preference to relying totally on the Sutras to appreciate Buddha’s Abhidhamma.

As previously discussed the way the nidanas are actually described in the suttas simply isn't consistent with the psychological interpretation you're putting forward.  Forget the commentaries, forget the Abhidhamma ( which is itself effectively a commentary ), forget the sutras.  Just read what the suttas actually say about DO.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 20, 2011, 04:32:44 am

I am willing to expand on these further if you wish to.

I have a dream.
I have a dream that one day Buddhists worldwide will accept the Abhidhamma or the Theravada tradition in preference to relying totally on the Sutras to appreciate Buddha’s Abhidhamma.

Sounds good, if you like to put one more time effort in it, it would be a step on you way to a dream. Really understanding DO is for sure a grant to enter the stream. *smile*
Looking forward for some good quotes.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Yeshe on December 20, 2011, 09:30:46 am
Let us start from the very beginning, - from the Tripitaka. This is our “Bible”.


How the problem started
About 500 BC Ven Buddhaghosa arrived in Sri Lanka and authored several commentaries from the Tripitaka;

Interresting but assumes too much.

Hopefully some of the records of Buddhadharma are not a mish-mash of highly selective scriptures like the Bible, cobbled together on the basis of consistency rather than being representational of the diversity of gospels available. Of course, the monks who eventually wrote down the Tipitaka and their   successors would never have edited for consistency on such things as DO.

Buddhagosa must have indeed been remarkable to write commentaries before Buddha had even finished speaking.  LOL :)

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on December 20, 2011, 10:53:40 am
My interpretation of interdependent origination is like the M.C. Escher hands drawing themselves. I tried to post the picture, but my tech skills proved to be lacking.
:bigtears:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 21, 2011, 03:22:45 am
Buddhagosa must have indeed been remarkable to write commentaries before Buddha had even finished speaking.  LOL :)

Yes, as I understand it nothing was written down for 4 or 5 hundred years, which would mean the first suttas being written down roughly 1st century BC. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Yeshe on December 21, 2011, 04:27:47 am
Buddhagosa must have indeed been remarkable to write commentaries before Buddha had even finished speaking.  LOL :)

Yes, as I understand it nothing was written down for 4 or 5 hundred years, which would mean the first suttas being written down roughly 1st century BC. 

Spiny

I was just kidding - Don just mixed up his BC and AD.  LOL :)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 21, 2011, 08:09:23 am
About 500 BC Ven Buddhaghosa arrived in Sri Lanka and authored several commentaries from the Tripitaka; one was Visuddhimagga and the other Sammohavinodani. In both of these commentaries he wrote at length on Dependent Origination. In Visuddhimagga Ven B categorically stated that he did not understand DO in the manner Buddha explained it. He advanced an opinion of his own. He misinterpreted the Pali words Jati, jara marana to mean birth, decay and death as in common parlance. This is probably where the complexity started.

Buddhagosa favoured the 3-lives model of DO, which is at least consistent with how the nidanas are actualy described in the suttas.
 
You have studiously avoided the main criticism of your psychological interpretation, ie that it is contradicted by the way the nidanas are defined in the suttas ( in both MN and SN texts ).  In particular the birth and death nidanas are defined in straightforward physical terms, not in a psychological way.  Of course you may wish to pretend that the relevant suttas don't exist, but that seems a very strange approach.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 21, 2011, 09:36:19 am
About 500 BC Ven Buddhaghosa arrived in Sri Lanka and authored several commentaries from the Tripitaka; one was Visuddhimagga and the other Sammohavinodani. In both of these commentaries he wrote at length on Dependent Origination. In Visuddhimagga Ven B categorically stated that he did not understand DO in the manner Buddha explained it. He advanced an opinion of his own. He misinterpreted the Pali words Jati, jara marana to mean birth, decay and death as in common parlance. This is probably where the complexity started.


Buddhagosa favoured the 3-lives model of DO, which is at least consistent with how the nidanas are actualy described in the suttas.
 
You have studiously avoided the main criticism of your psychological interpretation, ie that it is contradicted by the way the nidanas are defined in the suttas ( in both MN and SN texts ).  In particular the birth and death nidanas are defined in straightforward physical terms, not in a psychological way.  Of course you may wish to pretend that the relevant suttas don't exist, but that seems a very strange approach.

Spiny


Nindanas:  Perhaps this will help.

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Wheels/wh147.pdf (http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Wheels/wh147.pdf)

Quote
The Exalted Buddha has said:
“Whoever sees Dependent Arising, he sees Dhamma;
Whoever sees Dhamma, he sees Dependent Arising.”
* * *
Aniccā vata saṅkhārā
uppāda-vayadhammino
Uppajjitvā nirujjhanti
tesaṃ vūpasamo sukho.
Conditions truly they are transient
With the nature to arise and cease
Having arisen, then they pass away
Their calming, cessation is happiness
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 21, 2011, 09:44:51 am
I was thinking about DO recently and had the image of a car gearbox...yes, I know it sounds strange. :wink1:
The nidanas were the gear cogs meshing together and turning away merrily, craving was the power source and ignorance was the clutch.  Does this idea work or have I got a screw loose?

Spiny


I think its more like a nut and bolt.  When the nut falls off the bolt can fall out of the joint due to vibration.  The secret is to reduce vibration, always check to see that nuts used for assembly are tight, and put Lock-Tite(r), a type of thread sealant, on the threads to make certain things will stay in place.  Alternately, you could use self-locking nuts, or locking washers.  Metric threads would be recommended for your neck of the woods.   :D

(http://www.nutsandbolts.com/includes/templates/nutsandbolts/images/logo.gif)

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on December 21, 2011, 09:25:12 pm
Oops, Sorry Blue Garuda that was my mistake. It should read – About 500 AD Ven Buddhaghosa arrived in Sri Lanka and not 500 BC; and about 1000 years after Buddha’s passing away (parinibbana).
Spiny
To read what sutras actually say about DO one has to study Sammohavinodani which is also a commentary by Ven Buddhaghosa from Vibhanga Sutra DN of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
P.A.Payutto on Dependent Origination (Appendix 1) mentions mind moments in some detail. Appendix 1 is available on line from the internet if one were to search for Sammohavinodani.
Some quotes from Appendix1
Quote - “In regard to the principle of cause and effect as it functions in one mind moment in everyday life, it is said, "...birth, (aging and death) for example, here refer to birth (aging and death) of arupa (immaterial) things, not to the decaying of the teeth, the greying of the hair, the wrinkling of the skin, dying, the action of leaving existence."[Vibh.A.208 (approx.)]
One final point deserves a mention: In the Vibhanga of the Tipitaka, the section which describes the lifetime-to-lifetime interpretation occupies only five pages of material. The section which describes the principle of Dependent Origination in one mind moment contains seventy-two pages”. - Unquote

English translation of Sammohavinodani is ‘Dispeller of Delusion’ by British born monk Nanamoli Bhikkhu. It comes in two volumes and available from Wisdom Publishers. 

As regards our complex problem of mind moments vs. the traditional lifetime to lifetime interpretation I would like to pose two questions.
Optimus Prime on 15th December 2009 began this forum with the question ‘What is Dependent Origination’ thus:
(1)   Avijja conditions sankhara, sankhara conditions vinnana etc, etc.
And then in this sequence of causal relationships, we now have, as he puts it,
Jati conditions jaramaranam (the cycle of maturing and passing away, i.e., birth conditions old age, sickness and death) and along with this comes the varying levels of sadnesses
soka-parideva-dukkha-domanassuppayasa (i.e., it ranges through sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair - so it ranges from being mildly upset to having an emotional breakdown)

If we are to accept the traditional interpretation on a lifetime to lifetime and on a basis of conditionality, Jati conditions jaramaranam – (birth, decay and death). Shouldn’t it be that sorrow, lamentation, grief etc comes somewhere in between Jati and marana  and not after  death?  Or is it that Buddha made a mistake. Of course not

Sorrow, lamentation, grief etc obviously occurs during a person’s lifetime, not after death. With the traditional view sorrow, lamentation grief etc appears to be for his/her relatives and friends left behind, and not for the person who died.

Should we now ask the question death of what - The physical or the mental death?

(2)   Optimus Prime quote “And what, monks, is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering?
Through the entire cessation of ignorance, formations cease; through the cessation of
formations, consciousness; through the cessation of consciousness, mind and body;
through the cessation of mind and body, etc”.
There is one person we know for certain who managed cessation of Suffering. That was the Buddha.
With the cessation of mind body, why did the Buddha not die at the foot of the Bodhi tree at that moment of Enlightenment?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 22, 2011, 12:08:36 am
Quote
Don A. wrote:  "There is one person we know for certain who managed cessation of Suffering. That was the Buddha.  With the cessation of mind body, why did the Buddha not die at the foot of the Bodhi tree at that moment of Enlightenment? "


No one said that enlightenment = death.  There are many Arahants who realized the dhamma mentioned in The Suttas of The Tipitaka, written long before The Tripitaka that you seem to think is the only source of study.  The Abhidhamma of The Tipitaka, as Hanzze' pointed out was not written in this early period as well.

This is Bhikkhu Bodhi's account of how it was dispensed:

Quote
The Pali Commentaries, apparently drawing upon an old oral tradition, maintain that the Buddha expounded the Abhidhamma, not in the human world to his human disciples, but to the assembly of devas or gods in the Tavatimsa heaven. According to this tradition, just prior to his seventh annual rains retreat the Blessed One ascended to the Tavatimsa heaven and there, seated on the Pandukambala stone at the foot of the Paricchattaka tree, for the three months of the rains he taught the Abhidhamma to the devas who had assembled from the ten thousand world-systems. He made the chief recipient of the teaching his mother, Mahamaya-devi, who had been reborn as a deva. The reason the Buddha taught the Abhidhamma in the deva world rather than in the human realm, it is said, is because in order to give a complete picture of the Abhidhamma it has to be expounded from the beginning to the end to the same audience in a single session. Since the full exposition of the Abhidhamma requires three months, only devas and Brahmas could receive it in unbroken continuity, for they alone are capable of remaining in one posture for such a length of time.

However, each day, to sustain his body, the Buddha would descend to the human world to go on almsround in the northern region of Uttarakuru. After collecting almsfood he went to the shore of Anotatta Lake to partake of his meal. The Elder Sariputta, the General of the Dhamma, would meet the Buddha there and receive a synopsis of the teaching given that day in the deva world: "Then to him the Teacher gave the method, saying, 'Sariputta, so much doctrine has been shown.' Thus the giving of the method was to the chief disciple, who was endowed with analytical knowledge, as though the Buddha stood on the edge of the shore and pointed out the ocean with his open hand. To the Elder also the doctrine taught by the Blessed One in hundreds and thousands of methods became very clear."[7]

Having learned the Dhamma taught him by the Blessed One, Sariputta in turn taught it to his own circle of 500 pupils, and thus the textual recension of the Abhidhamma Pitaka was established. To the Venerable Sariputta is ascribed the textual order of the Abhidhamma treatises as well as the numerical series in the Patthana. Perhaps we should see in these admissions of the Atthasalini an implicit acknowledgement that while the philosophical vision of the Abhidhamma and its basic architecture originate from the Buddha, the actual working out of the details, and perhaps even the prototypes of the texts themselves, are to be ascribed to the illustrious Chief Disciple and his entourage of students. In other early Buddhist schools, too, the Abhidhamma is closely connected with the Venerable Sariputta, who in some traditions is regarded as the literal author of Abhidhamma treatises.[8]


source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/abhiman.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/abhiman.html)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 22, 2011, 02:27:08 am
Sorrow, lamentation, grief etc obviously occurs during a person’s lifetime, not after death. With the traditional view sorrow, lamentation grief etc appears to be for his/her relatives and friends left behind, and not for the person who died.

With the cessation of mind body, why did the Buddha not die at the foot of the Bodhi tree at that moment of Enlightenment?

It's clear from the suttas that in DO birth, aging and death are synonymous with the process of dukkha.  And of course descriptions of dukkha in the suttas invariably include birth aging and death.

As to your second point: it's clear from the way the nidanas are defined in the suttas that they are describing conditionally related processes, not a simplistic linear sequence of individual events as you suggest.  Being / becoming is an obvious example.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 22, 2011, 02:30:55 am
To read what sutras actually say about DO one has to study Sammohavinodani which is also a commentary by Ven Buddhaghosa from Vibhanga Sutra DN of the Abhidhamma Pitaka.

The suttas were written 500 years before Buddhaghosa's commentary, and the suttas contradict your interpretation.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 22, 2011, 02:34:28 am
In the Vibhanga of the Tipitaka, the section which describes the lifetime-to-lifetime interpretation occupies only five pages of material. The section which describes the principle of Dependent Origination in one mind moment contains seventy-two pages”. - Unquote

It doesn't take long to explain something which is consistent and makes sense. :wink1:

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 22, 2011, 04:32:10 am
In the Vibhanga of the Tipitaka, the section which describes the lifetime-to-lifetime interpretation occupies only five pages of material. The section which describes the principle of Dependent Origination in one mind moment contains seventy-two pages”. - Unquote

It doesn't take long to explain something which is consistent and makes sense. :wink1:

Spiny

Excellent points!  Just what you would expect of a Porcupine. :anjali:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on December 23, 2011, 11:41:26 pm
Quote
Should we now ask the question death of what - The physical or the mental death?
I just picked up a small book titled "The Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination" by Thrangu Rinpoche, who is a senior teacher in the Karma Kagyu tradition. On the back cover it says that I.O. explains how our happiness and suffering in this life is a result of our actions in previous lives. So the Pali suttas aside, by the time the concept is incorporated into the modern Kagyu tradition it is explicitly referring to a system of multiple lifetimes.

Of course I haven't read the book yet. So if it turns out that the moment-to-moment interpretation is also endorsed I'll make a separate post later.

Having said that, there are plenty of things that the modern Kagyu tradition teaches that don't seem to accord with the Pali suttas (imho). So for those people that hold that ONLY the Pali suttas are credible, let the debate go on! :jinsyx:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 24, 2011, 02:38:41 am
What ever your discrimination will allows will be in the suttas or not, and what ever your believes will agree will be found among other teaches. *smile* We nourish on what we are able to digest, the rest will pushed aside or comes again up throat.

Let us know what might be the different between the old Suttas and the "modern" popular teacher and what does the food for sensible consist of.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on December 24, 2011, 09:14:17 am
Let us know what might be the different between the old Suttas and the "modern" popular teacher and what does the food for sensible consist of.
Actually almost all of my exposure to the Pali suttas has been here on the internet, and there seems little consensus about the definitive meaning of I.O. here. So I'll not be able to do a worthwhile compare and contrast because of the ongoing discussion.

I think it should be said that the later schools accept as authentic any teachings that come from an enlightened mind--not just Sakyamuni's. And, as they believe that there has been a more or less steady stream of enlightened masters each generation, then there are authentic, credible, reliable teachings from more modern sources other than the Pali suttas. (Hence my lack of exposure to the Pali.) And these more modern refinements have not had to rely on the oral tradition the way the Pali did. Things got written down.

So for someone like me, the comparison between the Pali and the modern is academic. The modern has all the weight of authority I need. It has been examined, refined, and repeatedly tested by generation after generation of realized teachers. If it worked for them, then it should work for me!
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Yeshe on December 24, 2011, 12:32:36 pm
I know little about this topic, and even less about science.

I will continue to believe in a mental continuum which is eternal until someone can prove:

 - that mind exists only within a body.

 - that there is a defined point of birth and death of a body.

 - that there is a defined point of birth and death of the mind.

 - that there is such a thing as a 'moment' in time.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: TaylorS on December 24, 2011, 01:06:22 pm
I can't personally buy the "nothing fundamentally exists" idea that many of the dependent origination crowd seem to accept as a given.

AFAIK, this is a gross misunderstanding of DO.  It's not that nothing fundamentally exists at all.  It all exists just fine.  It's that everything that appears to have one singular solid form is not one object but a convergence of many many different factors and conditions.  And in that way, nothing exists as a single object-entity.  But air exists, body exists, as does everything else.  Its existence is conditional and pivotal on the components which GIVE it existence, like air is not a solid object, it's composed of conditions, like chemistry, and pressure and gravity. Air's chemistry alone has tons of conditions which exist to give it its air-status, and gravity is a whole other set of conditions, as is atmosphere, pressure, etc.  So air is not one object like the word implied (tiny three letter word)  It's actually a million things, and in that sense AIR as this singular object doesn't exist anywhere but in a concept that gathers all the conditions and shorthands it into one objectconceptnotion-AIR.  But when we say "emptiness" we don't mean absent.  We mean open, spacious, without rigid form, or rather the form is conditional thus... empty of its own object-ness rigid structure.  Emptiness is form means that emptiness is like water, it fills form, but form is still composed of emptiness, this openness subject to change and impermanence once the conditions change, which they inevitably do. Thus all is emptiness is like saying, it's all connected...  Am I making any sense?

I could be mistaken, but this is how I understood DO.  I couldn't buy the nothing fundamentally exists either, that's totally incomplete as a view of mind.

 :headbow:
Ogyen.

This is my understanding as well, and is one of the things that first attracted me to Buddhism in the first place. The concepts we impose on things make things seem more "real" than they actually are. As a greek philosopher once said, "you never step in the same river twice, because it is not the same river, and you are not the same man". anything that exists at any particular moment is a sum of causes, it has no inherent essence (when applied to what goes on in between our ears this is the basis of the notion of Anatta).
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 24, 2011, 06:32:47 pm
I know little about this topic, and even less about science.

I will continue to believe in a mental continuum which is eternal until someone can prove:

 - that mind exists only within a body.

 - that there is a defined point of birth and death of a body.

 - that there is a defined point of birth and death of the mind.

 - that there is such a thing as a 'moment' in time.
If someone proves (actually there have been some) it would be still a believe as long as go not on to find it out by your self. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on December 25, 2011, 02:42:10 pm
Hanzze
You may have heard the saying: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
 If you take the example of a motor car; it is made up of hundreds of individual parts all put together in a particular order. For this to be greater than the sum of its parts, we must have some energy, i.e. petrol. All put together the car begins to move.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the same way, think of your computer. It is made up of a large number of parts. This is called hardware (matter). Add a battery to it, battery gives energy, (synonym – consciousness in this context) and these put together we have software (non matter). Once again - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Once again think of a musical instrument; a piano of instance
 You can examine the several parts of the piano and you will never find music. Strike a key in the piano, (this is the energy you introduce to the instrument), we have a musical note. Several such notes make music. You may be able to recognise the music. This is called an understanding springing from past memory. (Memory is Sankhara in DO)

Dependent Origination explains a very similar principle. Our body (Rupa) is the hardware and the mind (Nama) is its software. With energy (consciousness - vinnana) as a necessary component we have one mind moment (a note). Several mind moments in quick succession produces an understanding. 

In Genetics we have similar terminology.
Phenotype (matter) is any measurable characteristic possessed by an organism
Genotype - All the genes possessed by an individual constitute its genotype (non matter – mind) 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 25, 2011, 05:49:24 pm
Actually almost all of my exposure to the Pali suttas has been here on the internet, and there seems little consensus about the definitive meaning of I.O. here. So I'll not be able to do a worthwhile compare and contrast because of the ongoing discussion.

I think it should be said that the later schools accept as authentic any teachings that come from an enlightened mind--not just Sakyamuni's. And, as they believe that there has been a more or less steady stream of enlightened masters each generation, then there are authentic, credible, reliable teachings from more modern sources other than the Pali suttas. (Hence my lack of exposure to the Pali.) And these more modern refinements have not had to rely on the oral tradition the way the Pali did. Things got written down.

So for someone like me, the comparison between the Pali and the modern is academic. The modern has all the weight of authority I need. It has been examined, refined, and repeatedly tested by generation after generation of realized teachers. If it worked for them, then it should work for me!

Hi santamonicacj, I think what you say is how it happened. The later schools accepting, as authentic, teachings that came from other sources, not just what Sakyamuni taught.  Unfortunately, this is where Buddhism becomes something else, because these later teaching often contradict Sakyamuni.   Then Buddhism becomes more about what other people think, and not what the Buddha taught.  I find this very confusing. That people fabricate teachings and call them Buddhism.

How can you expect a house to stand if it has no foundation?

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 25, 2011, 06:29:30 pm
Hanzze
You may have heard the saying: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
 If you take the example of a motor car; it is made up of hundreds of individual parts all put together in a particular order. For this to be greater than the sum of its parts, we must have some energy, i.e. petrol. All put together the car begins to move.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
In the same way, think of your computer. It is made up of a large number of parts. This is called hardware (matter). Add a battery to it, battery gives energy, (synonym – consciousness in this context) and these put together we have software (non matter). Once again - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Once again think of a musical instrument; a piano of instance
 You can examine the several parts of the piano and you will never find music. Strike a key in the piano, (this is the energy you introduce to the instrument), we have a musical note. Several such notes make music. You may be able to recognise the music. This is called an understanding springing from past memory. (Memory is Sankhara in DO)

Dependent Origination explains a very similar principle. Our body (Rupa) is the hardware and the mind (Nama) is its software. With energy (consciousness - vinnana) as a necessary component we have one mind moment (a note). Several mind moments in quick succession produces an understanding. 

In Genetics we have similar terminology.
Phenotype (matter) is any measurable characteristic possessed by an organism
Genotype - All the genes possessed by an individual constitute its genotype (non matter – mind)



Hi Don, thanks for the analogies.

I was taught that human beings, like a chariot, are no more than the sum of their parts or aggregates (skandhas/khandhas).  So, to tie into your analogy of computers, I would use the example of artificial intelligence ie. we come with a small operating system when we a born, the system perceives its environment, and takes actions that maximize its chances of success. That’s it. Human beings are just self-programming organisms much like a computer virus with self-replicating code or a biological a virus, which is just a self-replicating bit of DNA. Or to use your other analogy, phenotype is the expression of the environment on an organisms genes. 


Vajira Sutta: Sister Vajira SN 5.10 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn05/sn05.010.than.html) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

”At Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Vajira the nun put on her robes and, taking her bowl & outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. When she had gone for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day's abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in her, wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her & addressed her in verse:

By whom    was this living being created?
Where       is the living being's maker?
Where       has the living being originated?
Where      does the living being cease?

Then the thought occurred to Vajira the nun: "Now who has recited this verse — a human being or a non-human one?" Then it occurred to her: "This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited this verse wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in me, wanting to make me fall away from concentration."

Then, having understood that "This is Mara the Evil One," she replied to him in verses:

What? Do you assume a 'living being,' Mara?
Do you take a position?
This is purely a pile of fabrications.
   Here no living being
   can be pinned down.

Just as when, with an assemblage of parts,
   there's the word, chariot,
even so when aggregates are present,
   there's the convention of living being.

For only stress is what comes to be;
stress, what remains & falls away.
Nothing but stress comes to be.
Nothing ceases but stress.

Then Mara the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, "Vajira the nun knows me" — vanished right there.”



Sadly, very very few people are as perceptive as "Vajira the nun. 
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on December 25, 2011, 11:37:08 pm
Hi santamonicacj, I think what you say is how it happened. The later schools accepting, as authentic, teachings that came from other sources, not just what Sakyamuni taught.
This isn't so much a problem if the other sources have attained enlightenment for themselves. It is a problem when unenlightened people simply say, "That teaching does not fit into my secular paradigm" and want to change it, as is extensively the case today.

The teachings evolved appropriately for the people and places that came into contact with them (imho).

Quote
Unfortunately, this is where Buddhism becomes something else, because these later teaching often contradict Sakyamuni.
I'd have to agree, at least if the teachings were to be compared on the level of an academic review. But then didn't Einstein 'contradict' Newton, and Bohr 'contradict' Einstein?

Even in the Pali there are many many suttas where the Buddha did not teach them, but somebody else spoke the teaching with the Buddha then approving what had been said. Also the Buddha spoke very differently to different audiences. So when Padmasambhava taught Dzogchen and the Tantras I feel confident Sakyamuni would have approved (as long as it was to the right audience).

Quote
Then Buddhism becomes more about what other people think, and not what the Buddha taught.  I find this very confusing. That people fabricate teachings and call them Buddhism.

How can you expect a house to stand if it has no foundation?
Newton is still the foundation of modern physics, and the Buddha is still the foundation of Buddhism.

I personally accept the 3 yana paradigm. The Buddha said:
Cease negative actions (=Shravakayana imo)
Cultivate positive actions (=Mahayana imo)
Tame (train) the mind (=Vajrayana imo)

However all that is for another thread.... :focus:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 26, 2011, 01:03:05 am
Hi santamonicacj, I think what you say is how it happened. The later schools accepting, as authentic, teachings that came from other sources, not just what Sakyamuni taught.
This isn't so much a problem if the other sources have attained enlightenment for themselves. It is a problem when unenlightened people simply say, "That teaching does not fit into my secular paradigm" and want to change it, as is extensively the case today.

The teachings evolved appropriately for the people and places that came into contact with them (imho).

Secular paradigm?

I should have been specific. 

I had in mind the heretical teachings of Dolpopa, for example,  but I didn't want to derail the topic.  I also think there is a distinct difference between the teachings found in the Vedas, and the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. 

Quote
So when Padmasambhava taught Dzogchen and the Tantras I feel confident Sakyamuni would have approved (as long as it was to the right audience). 

Well, there it is, the disconnect - what Padmasambhava taught, not what the Buddha Sakyamuni taught.  Personally, I think Sakyamuni would have considered Padmasambhava more like a Brahmin (unenlightened priest) and taught him accordingly.  That is, how to transcend the 31 plains of existence


As long as it was to the right audience suggests elitism, something Shakyamuni Buddha did not support.


 :focus:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: santamonicacj on December 26, 2011, 02:44:27 am
I had in mind the heretical teachings of Dolpopa, for example,  but I didn't want to derail the topic.  I also think there is a distinct difference between the teachings found in the Vedas, and the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.
I was actually quite surprised to read that the Pali suttas had references to the mind's luminous nature, which is the major point Dolpopa and the like elaborated on to come up with their views. So those ideas are not without precedent even in the Pali. I read about it in "In Praise of Dharmadhatu" by Nagarjuna, tr. by Karl Brunnholzl. The translator had a chapter titled "A Brief History of Luminous Mind" where he quotes some Pali suttas that mention it. Sure surprised me. I had thought that it was an invention by Asanga and Vasabhandu.

But basically you're right. Shentong view and Vedantic view can seem alarmingly similar--if not the same.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 26, 2011, 03:27:22 am
I had in mind the heretical teachings of Dolpopa, for example,  but I didn't want to derail the topic.  I also think there is a distinct difference between the teachings found in the Vedas, and the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

I was actually quite surprised to read that the Pali suttas had references to the mind's luminous nature, which is the major point Dolpopa and the like elaborated on to come up with their views. So those ideas are not without precedent even in the Pali. I read about it in "In Praise of Dharmadhatu" by Nagarjuna, tr. by Karl Brunnholzl. The translator had a chapter titled "A Brief History of Luminous Mind" where he quotes some Pali suttas that mention it. Sure surprised me. I had thought that it was an invention by Asanga and Vasabhandu.

But basically you're right. Shentong view and Vedantic view can seem alarmingly similar--if not the same.



Why surprised? 

There is not much that cannot be found in the Pali canon.  It’s a rich source for all Buddhist.
 
Pabhassara Sutta: Luminous. (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an01/an01.049.than.html)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 26, 2011, 09:14:43 am
Of course, for somebody how lifes a contemplative and virtuous life such suttas may be well, but I am not sure it they would bring much no-attachment among people do not lead a contemplative and virtuous live yet. *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 26, 2011, 11:11:10 pm


In Genetics we have similar terminology.
Phenotype (matter) is any measurable characteristic possessed by an organism
Genotype - All the genes possessed by an individual constitute its genotype (non matter – mind)

Just to clarify and to build on what you were trying to say, Don:

Genotype: the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits.

Phenotype: the appearance of an organism resulting from the interaction of the genotype and the environment.

The genes are the parts in this case.  The phenotype is both the physical and mental factors resulting from the expression of those genes.

The analogy of whole to parts is the difference between just piling up the genes in a heap, as compared to the resultant of the genes interacting with the dynamic (constantly changing) and adaptation to the bio-chemical environment in which they are placed.  Then combining the resultant machine with the resultant arising consciousnesses and their integration (mind/mentality) to form intentions (kamma), which in fact direct the action of the machine, its mentality and result in the formation of consequences (kamma vipakkha).

All of this is in fact "greater than the sum of its parts", the heap of genes.  This beingness, this sapient entity with its resultant consciousnesses, are dependently arisen and subject to impermanence (entropy) at every level of its existence (energy, subatomic, atomic, molecular, macromolecular, organ, bio-chemical systems, and resultant forms (phenotype).
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 27, 2011, 12:40:35 am


In Genetics we have similar terminology.
Phenotype (matter) is any measurable characteristic possessed by an organism
Genotype - All the genes possessed by an individual constitute its genotype (non matter – mind)


Just to clarify and to build on what you were trying to say, Don:

Genotype: the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits.

Phenotype: the appearance of an organism resulting from the interaction of the genotype and the environment.

The genes are the parts in this case.  The phenotype is both the physical and mental factors resulting from the expression of those genes.

The analogy of whole to parts is the difference between just piling up the genes in a heap, as compared to the resultant of the genes interacting with the dynamic (constantly changing) and adaptation to the bio-chemical environment in which they are placed.  Then combining the resultant machine with the resultant arising consciousnesses and their integration (mind/mentality) to form intentions (kamma), which in fact direct the action of the machine, its mentality and result in the formation of consequences (kamma vipakkha).

All of this is in fact "greater than the sum of its parts", the heap of genes.  This beingness, this sapient entity with its resultant consciousnesses, are dependently arisen and subject to impermanence (entropy) at every level of its existence (energy, subatomic, atomic, molecular, macromolecular, organ, bio-chemical systems, and resultant forms (phenotype).



Ron, I don’t follow where you get beings are more than sum of their genes?  Genes aren’t just piled up.
 
Each cell contains inherited genetic information, packaged in the form of genes. A gene is made of a length of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) (http://www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/biotec/whatisdna.html)  that has a message encoded in its chemical structure. Genes are the instructions that give organisms their particular characteristics - for example, your genes code for your hair colour and eye colour.  Although the chemical building blocks of DNA are the same for every living organism, the ordering or sequence of the building blocks varies with sexual reproduction. This variation is what determines an organism’s physical make-up and features. Without recombination you would be a clone.  A clone is still subject to the influence of environment.  A good example of this is found in the movie, The Boys from Brazil.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 27, 2011, 09:54:29 am


In Genetics we have similar terminology.
Phenotype (matter) is any measurable characteristic possessed by an organism
Genotype - All the genes possessed by an individual constitute its genotype (non matter – mind)


Just to clarify and to build on what you were trying to say, Don:

Genotype: the genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits.

Phenotype: the appearance of an organism resulting from the interaction of the genotype and the environment.

The genes are the parts in this case.  The phenotype is both the physical and mental factors resulting from the expression of those genes.

The analogy of whole to parts is the difference between just piling up the genes in a heap, as compared to the resultant of the genes interacting with the dynamic (constantly changing) and adaptation to the bio-chemical environment in which they are placed.  Then combining the resultant machine with the resultant arising consciousnesses and their integration (mind/mentality) to form intentions (kamma), which in fact direct the action of the machine, its mentality and result in the formation of consequences (kamma vipakkha).

All of this is in fact "greater than the sum of its parts", the heap of genes.  This beingness, this sapient entity with its resultant consciousnesses, are dependently arisen and subject to impermanence (entropy) at every level of its existence (energy, subatomic, atomic, molecular, macromolecular, organ, bio-chemical systems, and resultant forms (phenotype).



Ron, I don’t follow where you get beings are more than sum of their genes?  Genes aren’t just piled up.
 
Each cell contains inherited genetic information, packaged in the form of genes. A gene is made of a length of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) ([url]http://www.biotechnologyonline.gov.au/biotec/whatisdna.html[/url])  that has a message encoded in its chemical structure. Genes are the instructions that give organisms their particular characteristics - for example, your genes code for your hair colour and eye colour.  Although the chemical building blocks of DNA are the same for every living organism, the ordering or sequence of the building blocks varies with sexual reproduction. This variation is what determines an organism’s physical make-up and features. Without recombination you would be a clone.  A clone is still subject to the influence of environment.  A good example of this is found in the movie, The Boys from Brazil.


Hi, francis.

Sorry to be so confusing in my response.

What I meant was that genes if just placed into a pile, would be nothing more than a collection of parts.  Phenotype is the result not only of the individual genes, but their placement and arrangement within the cell.  For example, we have genes responsible for certain features of any given being, but unless the gene is properly sequenced any given expression, desired or otherwise, would not be expressed in the phenotype.  For example, both parents may have the gene for blue eyes, but unless those genes appear in the happloid (donated genes from each parent) then the offspring wouldn't necessarily have blue eyes.

So, you and I are not only the genes donated by our parents, but also the sequencing of those genes.

As you say, environment comes along later and affects us as well.  Therefore environment is another reason why we are "more than the sum of our parts", in this case, our genes.  Additionally, the information to which we are exposed during our life-times also affects who and what we are in this particular mind-moment.  If fact you and I both evolved as a result of reading each other's posts.

Hope you are experiencing a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

_/\_Ron
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 28, 2011, 12:59:32 am
Thanks Ron,

I agree, if the genes were just placed into a pile, there would be nothing more than a collection of parts.  That’s it, just like when you pull a chariot apart, you get wheels, axles, basket, yoke etc, nothing leftover.  Same as if you pull the aggregates apart.  There is only the parts, nothing more. 

Happy holidays to you and yours

With metta :)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on December 28, 2011, 02:39:49 am
And what are the parts of? *smile*
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 28, 2011, 05:36:21 am
And what are the parts of? *smile*

It depends (is dependent upon) what the designer has in mind.  Or, we could say that the whole is dependent upon the designer's intention.  For example if the parts were just a pile of various pieces of lumber, a carpenter could build many things from them.  And once assembled, the user could have many possible uses for what was assembled.  For example a chair could be used by the owner as seat at the table with friends, or he./she could use it as a elevated working platform to unscrew a lightbulb.  In this way the whole is greater than the sum of the parts of the chair.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 28, 2011, 07:25:09 am
Several mind moments in quick succession produces an understanding. 

Although the theory of mind moments isn't universally accepted even within Theravada.


Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 28, 2011, 07:50:27 am
And what are the parts of? *smile*

It depends (is dependent upon) what the designer has in mind. 

Very true.  In Systems theory, a system is defined as a collection of components connected for a purpose.  So while you can say that a chariot is just a collection of parts, the way those parts are connected is significant because that is what makes a chariot a chariot - a system with a purpose.

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 28, 2011, 08:10:42 am
Very true.  In Systems theory, a system is defined as a collection of components connected for a purpose.  So while you can say that a chariot is just a collection of parts, the way those parts are connected is significant because that is what makes a chariot a chariot - a system with a purpose.

Spiny

Yes.  And the assembly, parts arranged that way, and perhaps used in a certain way can either satisfy or frustrate.  For example, going back to the pile of lumber, the chair design suited for a child, which satisfied the original user, who happened to be a child,  when used by someone who is very large and fat may in fact disappoint as it collapses under the weight and returns to a broken heap of lumber as it is crushed.

So, created within the designer's mind and concept put to drawings, the pile of lumber is cut, shaped and formed with the builder's skills, tools and equipment,as used by the highly pleased, joyful playing child, is crushed and returned to a broken pile of lumber by a fat man looking for a place to sit down to rest.

Moral:  "All things arise, dwell for but a time, and then deteriorate!".....aided by use and abuse.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 28, 2011, 01:51:29 pm
And what are the parts of? *smile*

It depends (is dependent upon) what the designer has in mind.  Or, we could say that the whole is dependent upon the designer's intention.  For example if the parts were just a pile of various pieces of lumber, a carpenter could build many things from them.  And once assembled, the user could have many possible uses for what was assembled.  For example a chair could be used by the owner as seat at the table with friends, or he./she could use it as a elevated working platform to unscrew a lightbulb.  In this way the whole is greater than the sum of the parts of the chair.

So who do you think desigend human beings?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on December 28, 2011, 02:14:06 pm
Please refer back to the analogy of the musical instrument. A musical note is synonymous with one mind moment. If one were to listen to musical notes like; God save our ..., that is sufficient for everyone to recognise and to understand what is being played. The entire audience will stand and sing the British National Anthem. These originate from past memories (in DO Sankharas originate from past memories).

Similarly when one listens to or reads a sentence. If you do not understand the sentence, there is no understanding, no thought, no speech and no action. A Chinese person may warn you and shout at you in Mandarin that the sky is falling and run for safety, but if you do not understand Mandarin, you will not know why he is shouting at you. (Thoughts originate from understanding)

So to ‘understand’ is the key here. Several mind moments will result in an understanding. With understanding as a starting point, we have thought, speech and action.
This is DO; several mind moments in quick succession produces an understanding, followed by speech and action. If we start with right understanding, we have right thought, right speech, and right action. Wrong understanding (Avijja) results in wrong thought, wrong speech and wrong action. 3rd and 4th NT
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 28, 2011, 03:53:36 pm

So who do you think desigend human beings?

As supporter of evolutionary theory, my bet is on environmental pressures, and phenotypical expressions of human health such as:


Women (for example):

1.  Bilateral symmetry representative of reduced genetic flaws.
2.  Ample breasts for feeding children
3.  Good, solid teeth  for chewing leather goods
4.  Flexible spine for ample bending and digging in soil
5.  Shapely buttox with high gludes for foraging.
6.  Ample pelvis for child bearing.
7.  Soft flexible skin signaling ample estrogen.
8.  Stamina for food gathering.
9.  etc.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: francis on December 28, 2011, 07:06:31 pm

So who do you think desigend human beings?

As supporter of evolutionary theory, my bet is on environmental pressures, and phenotypical expressions of human health such as:


Women (for example):

1.  Bilateral symmetry representative of reduced genetic flaws.
2.  Ample breasts for feeding children
3.  Good, solid teeth  for chewing leather goods
4.  Flexible spine for ample bending and digging in soil
5.  Shapely buttox with high gludes for foraging.
6.  Ample pelvis for child bearing.
7.  Soft flexible skin signaling ample estrogen.
8.  Stamina for food gathering.
9.  etc.

So no one person designed human beings.  We evolved out of the pools of amino acids.  I think that's as good an explanation as any.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 29, 2011, 02:16:03 am
So who do you think desigend human beings?

It was God, wasn't it? :teehee:

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: t on December 29, 2011, 07:38:10 am
Quote
Quote
So who do you think desigend human beings?


It was God, wasn't it? :teehee:

Spiny

Ahem... (http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/funny-pictures-ceiling-cat-creates-man.jpg)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 30, 2011, 03:41:35 am
Quote
Quote
So who do you think desigend human beings?


It was God, wasn't it? :teehee:

Spiny

Ahem... ([url]http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/funny-pictures-ceiling-cat-creates-man.jpg[/url])


 :teehee:
I'd love to see that on the roof of the Sistine Chapel...
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: t on December 30, 2011, 04:26:25 am
Quote
I'd love to see that on the roof of the Sistine Chapel...

Where have you been all this time...
(http://reducethepanic.com/files/2011/11/LOLcats-Sistine-Chapel-Ceiling-Cat-Funny-Picture.jpg)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 31, 2011, 02:25:52 am
From this morning's readings:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on January 04, 2012, 05:45:32 am
Dependent Upon Form

(http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/401538_10150443257811389_721616388_9070400_683291713_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on January 04, 2012, 06:08:29 am
The Critical Path Vector

(http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/394025_10150437412226389_721616388_9034567_215283463_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Don Athukorala on January 11, 2012, 01:08:15 pm
Derailed again
We began with asking the question “What is Dependent Origination and have now clearly demonstrated Buddha’s most profound teaching.
We began with Avijja in our brain - Avijja (ignorance - not seeing clearly, losing mindfulness)

and now we end up with soka-parideva-dukkha-domanassuppayasa (i.e., it ranges through sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair - so it ranges from being mildly upset to having an emotional breakdown)

This is DO
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on January 13, 2012, 02:55:44 am
We began with Avijja in our brain - Avijja (ignorance - not seeing clearly, losing mindfulness)

I think avijja goes a lot deeper than merely "losing mindfulness".  It's effectively a state of delusion, which is the "default" for samsara. 

Spiny
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Hanzze on January 13, 2012, 03:42:44 am
I don't think so. It's just that mindfulness is actually deeper as we are used to think it is. Avijja  is also not something firm, it just comes and goes on and on, conditioned. *smile*

Quote
Falling Out of a Tree ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/insimpleterms.html[/url])

...It's the same with dependent co-arising. "Ignorance is the condition for fabrications. Fabrications are the condition for consciousness. Consciousness is the condition for name and form." We've studied this and memorized it, and it's true, the way the Buddha has divided things up like this for students to study. But when these things actually arise, they're too fast for you to count.

It's like falling from the top of a tree — thump! — to the ground. We don't know which branches we've passed. The moment the mind is struck by a good object, if it's something it likes, it goes straight to "good." It doesn't know the connecting steps in between. They follow in line with the texts, but they also go outside of the texts. They don't say, "Right here is ignorance. Right here is fabrication. Right here is consciousness. Right here is name and form." They don't have signs for you to read. It's like falling out of a tree. The Buddha talks about the mental moments in full detail, but I use the comparison with falling out of a tree. When you slip out of a tree — thump! — you don't measure how many feet and inches you've fallen. All you know is you've crashed to the ground and are already hurting.

Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Amulet on May 16, 2012, 04:37:44 am
Quote
Upadana paccaya bhavo (bhava means becoming - this is the thrill of getting what you want)

Becoming is an invisible process pushed into motion by our craving desire to repeat the thrill
worldly sensory thrills are transitory and fade, like the satisfaction from a coffee, or sex or a cigarette

Only when we see (insight meditation) that the striving after impermanent satisfactory sensations only leads to the 'repeat' effect and once the satisfaction fades, after a while, the craving for re-fulfillment recurs

this is what we call 'watta chakra' the turning wheel
We perpetuate the process, and it is this inclination that is present within our hearts, which is the driving energy of upadhana (addiction for a repeat experience)

This Upadhana sensation is precisely what is the cause of Bhava (becoming)

Now as to 'Becoming'
we never get to BE, only ever 'in the process of becoming'
we are all 'inbetweenies' and between leaving one state and becoming another
its all just a roiling sea of becoming and shapes trying to take on some substance and 'BE' (exist in a fixed way)
But they fall apart in the same moment these shapes rise up and try to form themself, and they fall back into the great ocean of impermanence

the closes we can ever get to really Being something is 'becoming'
We are always changing and in flux as is everything, because nothing can be held in the same state for more than a split instant (not even that because the unit of an instant vectors off into infinity too and has inbetween sub units of measurement forever.. there is no such thing as a 'single instant' so nothing ever exists even for an instant.. only is in process of becoming)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 03, 2012, 06:16:01 am
I was thinking again recently about the "psychological" interpretation of dependent origination and I'm still not convinced, partly because it isn't supported by the suttas and partly because it doesn't resonate atall with my own practice.

In the suttas the main treatment of dependent origination ( DO ) is in SN12, The Connected Discourses on Causation. 
Near the beginning, at SN12.2, is a section called "Analysis of Dependent Origination", which defines the nidanas, the 12 links of DO.  These definitions are quite unambiguous and simply don't support the psychological interpretation of DO.  Most obviously, birth, ageing and death are described straightforwardly as physical events, not psychologically as the birth and death of a self ( whatever ).  And similarly for the other nidanas.  And of course these nidana definitions are confirmed in MN9, the Sutta on Right View.

The psychological interpretation of DO relies on the idea of self-view being repeatedly reborn, but in the suttas self-view, like the taints, is consistently described as an underlying tendency, a deeply-ingrained chronic state of mind - and that's also how I've experienced it in practice. 
So for me the idea of self-view being repeatedly reborn is both crude and innacurate.  As an analogy it's like watching an apple fall from a tree and saying: "Look, gravity has been reborn again."  Completely missing the point.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on December 03, 2012, 09:38:03 pm
Quote
He knows without doubt or hesitation that whatever arises is merely dukkha[8] that what passes away is merely dukkha and such knowledge is his own, not depending on anyone else. ...
Avoiding both extremes the Tathaagata[10] teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the formations ... "

[url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.010.wlsh.html[/url] ([url]http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.010.wlsh.html[/url])


From the outset there is no-thing, no consciousness/idea/ideal/wanting/striving/religion, no dukkha, no like, no dislike, no thinking about and no conclusion "this is" or "this is not", no "I", no "mine", no "for me", no view, no interpretation of this and that ...  whatever arises is merely dukkha.  :fu:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 04, 2012, 05:51:02 am
From the outset there is no-thing, no consciousness/idea/ideal/wanting/striving/religion, no dukkha, no like, no dislike, no thinking about and no conclusion "this is" or "this is not", no "I", no "mine", no "for me", no view, no interpretation of this and that ...  whatever arises is merely dukkha.  :fu:

So there is no dukkha, but whatever arises is merely dukkha?  Are you talking about sunyata here?
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on December 04, 2012, 09:02:49 pm
Not anything at all.  What is talking?  :fu:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 05, 2012, 04:14:19 am
Not anything at all.  What is talking?  :fu:

This is too cryptic for me.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: ground on December 05, 2012, 08:11:05 pm
Not anything at all.  What is talking?  :fu:

This is too cryptic for me.
What is "for me"? It is consciousness of self. Consciousness needs to graps/affirm itself through "it is this" and "it is that".  :fu:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 10, 2012, 03:58:56 am
Not anything at all.  What is talking?  :fu:

This is too cryptic for me.
What is "for me"? It is consciousness of self. Consciousness needs to graps/affirm itself through "it is this" and "it is that".  :fu:

 :wacky:
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on December 23, 2012, 03:59:20 am
I have recently been concentrating on the transcendental aspects of DO, which allows exit from the samsaric loop, which is DO.  This path begins with "faith"  as found in The Upanisa Sutta.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html)

Quote
Mundane Order
Ignorance (avijja)
Kamma formations (sankhara)
Consciousness (viññana)
Mentality-materiality (namarupa)
Sixfold sense base (salayatana)
Contact (phassa)
Feeling (vedana)
Craving (tanha)
Clinging (upadana)
Existence (bhava)
Birth (jati)
Suffering (dukkha)

Transcendental Order

Faith (saddha)
Joy (pamojja)
Rapture (piti)
Tranquillity (passaddhi)
Happiness (sukha)
Concentration (samadhi)
Knowledge and vision of things as they are (yathabhutañanadassana)
Disenchantment (nibbida)
Dispassion (viraga)
Emancipation (vimutti)
Knowledge of destruction of the cankers (asavakkhaye ñana)
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Spiny Norman on December 23, 2012, 06:39:09 am
I have recently been concentrating on the transcendental aspects of DO, which allows exit from the samsaric loop, which is DO.  This path begins with "faith"  as found in The Upanisa Sutta.

Faith (saddha)
Joy (pamojja)
Rapture (piti)
Tranquillity (passaddhi)
Happiness (sukha)
Concentration (samadhi)
Knowledge and vision of things as they are (yathabhutañanadassana)
Disenchantment (nibbida)
Dispassion (viraga)
Emancipation (vimutti)
Knowledge of destruction of the cankers (asavakkhaye ñana)
[/quote]

Yes, it's a good teaching.  Are you well? :)
Title: Dependent Origination
Post by: Dharmakara on November 09, 2013, 06:32:07 am
Dependent origination or conditioned arising (paṭiccasamuppāda) is the Buddhist concept that (1) nothing is ‘a thing in itself’ but is dependent for its existence on other things and that (2) things come into being due to natural causation, not randomly or by the will of a supreme being. To give an example of the first of these concepts – we speak of ‘a flower’ but if, one by one, we remove the stem, the petals, the nectar, the stamens, the pistils, etc, none of which are the flower itself, we find that the ‘flower’ has gone. A flower is a convenient term for the sum total of its parts and each part is again the sum total of its parts too. This is true of cities, books, computers, rocks and people. Thus according to the Buddha, there is no permanent metaphysical self, soul or essence. Realizing this frees us from craving for life and terror of death and all the negative emotions and actions that go with them. Understanding the second of these concepts requires us to look within rather than without for the solution to the problem of individual and social conflict.

The Buddha gives at least three examples of dependent origination, one detailing the origins of the individual’s experience of suffering, another explaining the origins of suffering within the social context and a third detailing the process leading to the transcendence of suffering and the attainment of freedom. The first is: ignorance conditions mental constructs, mental constructs condition consciousness, consciousness conditions name and form, name and form condition the senses, the senses condition contact, contact conditions feeling, feeling conditions craving, craving conditions clinging, clinging conditions becoming and becoming conditions rebirth, sickness, old age and death (D.II,55).

The second is: conflict is caused by the liked, the liked is caused by desire, desire is caused by pleasant and unpleasant, pleasant and unpleasant is caused by contact, contact is caused by name and form (Sn.862-871).

The third and most important schema of dependent origination is: suffering conditions faith, faith conditions gladness, gladness conditions joy, joy conditions tranquillity, tranquillity conditions happiness, happiness conditions concentration, concentration conditions disenchantment, disenchantment conditions dispassion, dispassion conditions freedom, freedom conditions knowledge of the destruction of the defilements (S.II,30). The Buddha said: ‘Dependent origination is not just profound but it looks profound too. It is through not understanding, not penetrating it that humanity is, like a tangled ball of string, a matted bird’s nest, a grass thicket, unable to go beyond suffering, an unhappy destiny and saṃsāra’ (D.II,55).

Causality - The Central Philosophy of Buddhism, David Kalupahana, 1975.

A Guide to Buddhism A to Z
Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society
Reprinted with Permission
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Ron-the-Elder on November 09, 2013, 10:49:56 am
Nice summary of DO, DK. 

I would only add that DO and its proper subset, The Law of Kamma, are confined to samsaric realms and states of existence.  Comprehension of this fact is the primary motivator of our efforts to get our paths "right" and "harmonious", facilitating our unbinding and release, thereby attaining nibbana. :dharma:

Bikkhu Samahita wrote about this process in his translations regarding Transcendental Dependent Origination this morning:

resources:  http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/V/Dependent_Origination.htm (http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/V/Dependent_Origination.htm)

http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/V/Dependent_Causation.htm (http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/V/Dependent_Causation.htm)

And here:  http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/dependent-origination/ (http://www.freesangha.com/forums/general-buddhism-discussion/dependent-origination/)


Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Dharmakara on November 09, 2013, 02:49:27 pm
The summary was actualy composed by Bhante Dhammika from the original edition of the Guide itself --- given enough time, we might be even able to create a searchable database as an extra feature for the forum itself, including otherwise unpublished updates.
Title: Re: Dependent Origination
Post by: Solodris on December 28, 2016, 09:54:21 pm
Post removed due to being a product of a bipolar episode.

Sorry about that.
SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal