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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Perception, jumping to conclusions

The Perception aggregate, in a blind compulsion, jumps to a conclusion with respect to a Self subject and a perceived object. If this is seen clearly enough, what else is there to do?

With sufficient clarity, the perception aggregate merely pidgeon holes objects so as to avoid having to continuously "reinvent the wheel."

If it can make these subjective conclusions and blind compulsions themselves, an object of perecption, so as to pidgeon hole them to memory, what other "layers of the onion" can there be left?

Assertive Denial

Assertive Denial
Assertions about space-time, that intrinsically deny the true nature of things just as they are. Proliferating assertions are a state of denial.

Proliferation energy in the heart

Proliferation energy in the heart.
Proliferation noise in the heart.
A Kilesa is active.

The Light that Comes from the Firefly in the Night

Extracted from:
Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa ~Nanasampanno
Wat Pa Baan Taad
June 22, 1979
Translated: Achaan Sudchaad

Where the Work of a Bhikkhu Comes to an End

"...The heart is deluded in the five Khandhas. It takes the creations of the five Khandhas as the objects of it's pleasure and sorrow for Culpas and Culpas, while Vi~n~naana flicks on and off, on and off. When it acknowledges the things that come into contact and those things disappear, Vi~n~naana also disappears. It is similar to a lightening flash, or the light that comes from the firefly in the night..."

Know Yourself, Know Your Parents

Self knowledge is wisdom. Parental knowledge is gratitude.

Our parents gave us everything they could, everything we had. They couldn't give enough to give us the best possible chance in life. Had they been wealthier they would have given us even more. Parents know the importance of generosity.

However, our perception of our parents is very often of the two people who always stopped us from doing what we wanted to do just when we wanted to do it. Children must be the most ungrateful people in any social community.

Any practitioner, having got to know something of himself through mindfulness and wisdom, is well rewarded by developing some understanding of his very own parents. Their final gift to us.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Assumption Drivers

All thought formations are assumption driven. Clarify this proliferation of assumptions and watch the thought formations loose their power, their drivers: watch them flow out from within the heart.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Peripheral Vision

Peripheral Vision

Looking into the heart with the main focus of attention, peripheral vision then does the rest.

It sees that everything else isn't itself and the heart isn't itself either.

The heart just keeps chugging along doing it's job steadily. It can't afford to skylark around with different identities getting into different scenarios. It has a job to do, everything else depends on it's faultless and constant performance.

Let the knowing take this for an identity and become free from the demands of all other phenomena. Let it become the raft or last stepping stone before crossing over to the further shore.

When the knowing can let go of this there is nothing else to do.

Monday, May 29, 2006

It is always there

Let the heart be a guide and refuge. Each time one rediscovers this it, is as though for the first time.

Yet, it is always there.

Only within the heart does one have the releasing knowledge that none of this is the self, "mine" or "I". Anywhere else gives rise to burdensome identification.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Motivations Loosing their Power

Just observe the motivations untill they become perceptions and thus pidgeon holed, loosing their power.

Feedback Loops

The Knowing of the unreal can be compared to a negative feedback loop. Just as this knowing reveals the causes of compounded phenomena to show that they are evanecent, so the negative feedback loop constantly cancels itself out to produce a steady state, analogous to the ground of knowing.

Whereas the Knowing of the real can be compared to a positive feedback loop. Just as the knowing of the knowing is a bright, steady, robust phenomenon; the positive feedback loop can be seen as an analogy with its successive reinforcement or amplification of a phenomenon.

This is a rather tacky analogy, but it does point out the stark differences between the Real and the Unreal that the deluded mind constantly denies, and the knowing mind can't mistake. Such is the power of either careless atachment or the pure Citta.

Delusion II

Delusion
Seeing the unreal as significant.
Seeing the real as insignificant.

Wisdom
Seeing the real as significant.
Seeing the unreal as insignificant.

That's all one needs to know.

Anticipation

When looking at cause and effect in the out-flows, include assumptions.

Present Moment Knowing

The Citta jumps to a conlusion at the moment of perception. From this a whole mass of proliferating assumptions arise. But if mindfulness is present then the assumptions also become a perception, pidgeon holed as a conclusion, thus breaking the cycle of conditionality and the Citta remains in it's mode of present moment Knowing.

The Source

Like an onion, skins peel off with each successive layer of perception, untill it reaches the centre, where it finds the source. This is not itself, but the result of the previous moment.

The World

Whatever takes the practitioner away from the parikamma.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Doubt

When ever there is doubt, the practitioner must ask, "who is it that doubts?" When this source is uncovered what is there left to doubt?

Knowing what he knows and knowing what he doesn't know: finding his way back home.

Symbolic Logic

Dhamma concepts must be clearly understood at the intellectual level before they can be intuited symbolically. Only then can they be operated on with symbolic logic: that is to say Cause and Effect, Dependent Origination, Here and Now, Conditionality, etc.

Being Dhamma, this won't include Space-Time systems unless the practitioner wishes to look at Dhukka, thus becoming mindfully careful with this sticky Kamma.

Kilesas

When the Citta is doing something that it is unaware of.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Broadband Connection

Broadband Connection
The Knowing is like a broadband connection: it is always on, here and now.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Logic of the Present Moment

The Logic of the Present Moment.

Conventional, Space-Time, logic looks for causes and finds the corresponding results.

Dhamma, or Present Moment, logic looks at the current results or conditions and then looks for what these are causing.

In the absence of this clarity the outcome is conditioned, Dukkha. In the presence of this clarity the outcome is the unconditional basis, or environment, for the development of the Path.

A very simple logic, but it is all that is needed to maintain an interest in and for a steadily consistent growth in the Dhamma.

Different Kinds of Opportunity in this Hi_Tech Jungle

Fragment from a recent letter:
"...Perhaps there are different kinds of opportunities to practice in this hi_tech jungle? My meditating friend PR shows how it is possible...''

Your meditating friend PR makes me think of some Oriental people that I have briefly known in London & Watford. Particularly nurses, who would show impressive skill & patience during incredibly long shifts. The significance of this was not appreciated until, here at Wat Pa Baan Taad, I met a Bhikkhu ordained just for the rains (LTMB never normally allows this). He is a nurse of Commodore rank in the Thai navy. He told me that they routinely worked, between actual duty & voluntary projects, something like 20hrs a day, i.e. four hours sleep was quite normal for him too.
A further observation at Wat Thai, Wimbledon, several years ago. For the whole Summer, visiting almost every Sunday morning, I was able to observe the enthusiasm of many of the children, perhaps 6 to 12yrs old, as they went to meditation lessons held especially for them by senior Bhikkhus.
So, where this is all leading to is a scenario that goes something like this:
A Thai or Chinese child starts meditating at about the age of say six (I've been told that children of this age learn it very easily). By the time they are twelve they are quite skilled at it. They then go through secondary & higher education well equipped to deal with all it's stresses. They can then enter a profession, such as the medical, & give to it a commitment worthy of the 'monastic' traditions. The final result is a highly accomplished being. But the best part of it is that they can spot another meditator a mile away: something I noticed very early on in my practice.
Not that I want to detract from the Bhikkhu life: the responsibility of the Sangha is to ensure that the Dhamma is passed on to the next generation with it's vitality & relevance intact.

Further on Kilesas

Further on Kilesas
To fully understand Kilesas, so as to defeat them, it is important to remember to include any reflections on Dhamma that are non-mindful, mindless, proliferation. That is to say, not "mapping" a reflection to actual phenomenal manifestations in the present moment, not investigating them. Anything that is propounded as some kind of a view to an imaginary audience or a rehearsal for some future hypothetical examination, etc. all this is also Kilesa. Learning to recognise them with clarity develops it's own momentum.

A skilful Kilesa to develop is to keep coming back to the Knowing in the present moment and developing that momentum.

One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

One Hundred and Eighty Degrees

Phenomena arise in the present moment and the practitioner looks for causes: Kilesas. Later, the practitioner may find it more useful to turn through a hundred and eighty degrees and look for results caused by things presently arising: Outflows.

He may then dwell on just this Knowing.

Six and Two Threes

Six and Two Threes

Intellectuals, hate types, prefer void (annihilationist) views. Faith, greed types prefer cosmic (eternalist) views.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other: both are wrong. But, non the less, both will get the practitioner to the point where the last attachment is a Kilesa Raft built around either of these favoured views: to be let go of at some suitable Kammic window of opportunity.

No Right Self View

No Right Self View

One can't say that the Knowing is identical with phenomena. For if the Knowing is phenomena, then what is it that knows this?

One can't say that the Knowing is embedded, immersed or enmeshed in phenomena: for it is clearly detached from them.

One can't say that the Knowing owns phenomena, for it can do nothing with them. Nor can one say that phenomena own the Knowing, for neither can they do anything with it.

Nor can one say that the Knowing is detached from phenomena: clearly it isn't, for how could it know them?

But, then again, what is it that knows all this?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Untouchable

The Untouchable
The Knowing is not touched by anything at all. Greed, lust, hatred, jealousy, disgust; non of this can touch the Knowing. The Knowing can know itself, but even this doesn't touch it and it knows this too. It is a bit like a camera that can't photograph itself, yet knows of it's own existence in the sense that when it malfunctions it's photos are correspondingly affected.

Similarly, when the Knowing is affected by delusion it's view of the world is correspondingly affected. But as soon as it knows this this knowing arises and is completely untouched by it: in this sense it can be said to be always fresh.

Anything coming from delusion is knowable in a detached way, it can be investigated and described, but the Knowing can only be known. The practitioner may talk about this, but as soon as he does so the knowing seems to disappear, becomes obscured, only to return to view as soon as the dissertation stops and a resumption of the knowing is effected.

All else can be said to be a mirage, it only exists while it is not scrutinised: the knowing however, holds steady, unchanging and untouchable whilst under the closest scrutiny, but nothing can be done to it, with it nor be said about it.

White Noise II

White Noise is a technique for causing a clinical, anaesthetic effect, and has been used in minor surgery and dentistry. The patient listens to a generator of all the audio frequencies of the human ear.

The analogy with Kamatana meditation is quite useful. The noisy mind producing an effect such that the sensations associated with the Heart, at the centre of the chest, are quite unobservable, just as though it were under a kind of local anaesthetic. But as attention is directed at the spot, the mind quietens, the white noise subsides and the sensations within the heart gradually become clear and the practice of mindfulness can continue.

Investigation as proliferation

Investigation as a proliferation of Delusion or Becoming.

Developing skilful Kilesas, which in the absence of mindfulness, give rise to Dukkha & attachment.

All this results from a flow of unquestioned assumptions that current phenomena are the same as, or not changed from, associated memories. This includes the possibility that these memories are inaccurate.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Forest Dhamma Masters

The Eternal Present Moment

The Eternal Present Moment
Where change is no longer conditioning. Conditioning only exists when Space-Time exists.

But what knows this?

Reflections on Magga Puja

An excerpt from a letter dated around 21/Feb/06.

I have never gone into this very deeply, but something like two thousand five hundred Arahants spontaneously came to the Buddha on the full moon of February. I can only think that this being the coldest full moon of the year, and thus the most unconducive to any kind of unnecessary activity, the Arahants wanted to demonstrate the correct attitude of a Dhamma practitioner to such reluctant negativity, for the benefit of all sentient beings, for all time to come. The Lord Buddha, in his infinite wisdom and boundless compassion, complied with a sermon uniquely befitting such an auspicious occasion. The Ovaaddha Patimokha, in only three lines, encapsulates the entire Buddha Dhamma with just these few words:

Do only Good
Avoid all Evil
Purify the Heart

This was the only recorded time that the Arahants came together in quite this way.

Reflections On Kamma

An excerpt from a letter dated around 21/Feb/06.

Firstly, I have to say that I'm no scholar, so quoting references is a rather weak point. But, as I understand it, a teaching historical Buddha has perfected the ten perfections prior to his last life so as to be capable of rediscovering the Dhamma, which would have died out by that time. It is hard enough to realise the Dhamma when it is clearly taught, but to find it anew must take a very special kind of person.

My reading is somewhat restricted due mainly to dyslexia, but have had some good luck in recommendations. First there was "The Word of the Buddha", Nyanatiloka; then "The Life of the Buddha", Nyanamoli; both in the Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Then various books by Nyanaponika all of which are in the BPS (which he founded), most notably "The Heart of Buddhist Meditation" and "The Power of Mindfulness"; but the best reference is SomaThera's translation of the Satipathana Sutta, commentaries & subcomys, (the format of which seems to have become a standard for this kind of work), I think it is called "The Way of Mindfulness" and is always reprinted in the same bright orange cover, again by BPS. Then the last BPS editor, Bhikkhu Bodhi, did some very fine works. All these, and more, can be found in the UK Wisdom web site: it is very sympathetic to the Theravada school. All these books give excellent reference details for all the passages that they quote from the Pali Cannon, which is, more or less, the extent of my knowledge. I must not forget Nyanamoli's translation of the Visudimagga, his non tech foot notes make fascinating reading, again BPS. What I like about Nyanamoli is his experimental approach: in the introduction to his "Guide" (Pali Text Society) he talks about the contextual function of language as against the more commonly held view of grammatical structure. In the reading of Pali, (or for that matter any other spiritual (or even artistic) tradition), this makes quite a lot of sense to me, though for technology and legality, the grammatical structure is probably more appropriate. Then I must not forget the many editions of the Dhamma Paada, especially Narada's several treatments. Lastly, but by no means leastly, Dr Henepola Gunaratana's "Mindfulness in Plain English" is frequently highly recommended. I have only seen exerts from this and they are most impressive.

For myself, I just take scriptural materials at face value and check them out in my own mindfulness practice. Anything of relevance I just quote off the top of my head and assume that my co-respondent will decided for himself on the validity of any point that I'm making. Mine is an essentially practical approach and as such am happy to have found the Forrest Tradition, which seems to reflect this attitude to a very high degree of skill and attainment. A good resource is our very own <http://www.luangta.com> if you have good Thai, or else:-
<http://www.forestdhammabooks.com>
Alternatively, <http://www.accesstoinsight.org/forest>
gives a good sample of first generation disciples of Ajaan Mun.

Having said all that, it may be useful, at this point, to consider some actual reflection on Kamma. Whole books are filled on this topic alone. It is most fruitful, bringing in the whole gamut of Pali Buddhism, from naive Cosmology to the eternal present moment that is mindfulness.

As you have probably gathered, this is an essentially practical approach and not too orthodox: though I like to feel that it is in fact consistent with "the party line", just a different way of looking at it. The Ajaan Mun lineage (at least, if not the whole of Forest traditions in general) put a lot of emphasis on the pure state of the Citta - the one who knows - far more so than what seems to be the case in scholastic Pali (where the emphasis is with stressing the third characteristic of 'no-self'). It seems to take the dryness out of Pali Buddhism and give it a certain spiritual nourishment: at Wat Pa Baan Taad we seem to get some keen interest from quite a few Mahayanists.

There is no contradiction here, and understanding this non-paradox is quite useful, if not pivotal, for many (interested) people: it all comes down to context.

There is no Self in the five Kundas. But something knows this! What is it that knows? The Citta never dies and was never born. There is always this knowing, it is merely a matter of realising it. Everything in Sa.msaara is in a constant state of flux: but what knows this? This knowing is the one constant element, it just doesn't realise it. Eventually it will realise that it has never been anything else.

However, it cannot know itself directly. The analogy is a camera being incapable of ever photographing itself. My own right eyeball has never directly seen my left eyeball, never mind it's own physical self. But the Citta can know itself indirectly, the most important aspect of this being that it is not anywhere to be found in the five Khandhas, nor can be said to own them in any way at all. It merely identifies with them, and in a bewildering number of ways: never for a moment suspecting that it is in fact doing this: nor that it needn't. This gives rise to the basic paranoia of annihilation: the flip side of which is the craving for sentient existence (meditators very soon developing a craving for fine material and non material existence).

We can now talk about Kamma in the context of accumulating tendencies. A problem arises in the life of a sentient being and he finds a solution that solves it very efficiently. So much so that he is tempted to use this solution the next time the problem arises. But things being as they are, nothing ever comes around again in exactly the same way, but the solution still works just as well, maybe for slightly different reasons. So the being is tempted to use this solution more often for wider variations of the problem, so much so that this solution begins to become a reflex response to this class of problem. And so a habit is born, over years becoming a compulsion until it is quite obsessive even if not as successful as it was initially. This could be a thought or attitude dealing with an unhappy state of mind. So we have a conditioning, accumulating tendency. It is so subtle that in the Forest Tradition mere thinking is understood as Kamma formations. These formations becoming Kilesas or mental functions with a will of their own, that for the practitioner become powerful hindrances to progress towards enlightenment, since this will result in their annihilation.

The approach of the Forest tradition is to simply realise that all this is just a manner of speaking, and that it is the Citta that is unknowingly doing everything (though serially, just one thing at a time (consistent with an ever changing 'now')): and that mindfulness is the practice that will bring it all down to a knowing of the nature of the (flux that is the) present moment, just as it is. If nothing else, this skilful Kamma (coming from a Citta that is still deluded) will result in skilful Kilesas in the future: which will still (be annihilated, or) have to be abandoned along with all the unskilful ones (depending on which way one looks at it).

Rebirth and past lives is just an extension of this concept. In its simplest form, rebirth is exactly the same as any two successive thought moments during a normal life. Just as a conditioned moment of consciousness passes away, so the next moment of consciousness arises conditioned by the previous one. At the time of death, at the dissolution of the body, the last moment of consciousness of that body conditions the next moment of consciousness, initiating an existence suitable (or corresponding) to it. A popular misconception is of a Citta floating around the Cosmos in search of some suitable landing strip, which is just more Space-Time assumption.

So, how long has this been going on for? Well, long enough for every single one of us to have had every conceivable kind of existence, (each one) for an incalculable number of life times. Looking at ones previous life or few doesn't even scratch the surface, though the strongest conditioning does seem to come from these in many cases.

For a comprehensive study of case histories I don't think you can beat Dr Ian Stevenson's work, and to a lesser extent the late Francis Story ("The Case for Rebirth") with whom he collaborated for a while (in Sri Lanka). I came across a smaller book entitled "The Children that Time Forgot" dealing with British cases, can't remember the two authors names, but the format was very similar.

The bottom line is that preoccupation with rebirth is very much an activity of Delusion, i.e. Space-Time. The power of the Sword of Wisdom will only ever be found in a close study of one's basic underlying assumptions. Time is a wrong interpretation (with respect to the 4NT) of changing moments of consciousness, and enables the jump to a conclusion of the existence of (movement and hence) space. These things are useful (in the world) but non the less pure convention: unspoken and unquestioned. The only reality that will liberate anyone from Dukkha is the correct assumptions (wrt 4NT) about the eternal ever-changing present moment, which (initially) requires a conscious effort, but (non the less) is known and questioned. Past lives illuminate the Dhamma (dependent origination), but non the less are a red herring to earnest practice (the practitioner must decide for himself how useful or otherwise this contemplation is, (I myself once went through a phase of Mt (Su)Maru reflection and found it enormously useful (though more wrt interconnectedness (e.g. telepathy, coincidence, divination, I_Ching etc.)))).

A Self Gratifying Process

A self gratifying process that has no Knowing.
Motivated by ignorance.
Born and dies, susceptible to Dukkha.

But what knows?

Generosity

Generosity
A respect for the Basic Human Rights of the recipient, their freedom to develop to their maximum potential.
Without this respect there is no Generosity in the transaction.
Thus the reason why Generosity is the first of the Ten Perfections in the development of the Bodhistatta path.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What is Dukkha?

What is Dukkha?
When the Citta goes three dimensional.

Just looking at this brings it back to the eternal now. Eventually, it realises it's never been anywhere else.

The Basic Paranoia

The Basic Paranoia
Due to not realising it's own true nature the Citta, in Space_Time mode, is under a constant fundamental terror of imminent annihilation.

The logical consequences of this are a reciprocal craving-for-existence, and on the back of this a further extenuation: of craving for sensory input. This expresses itself as sensual desire: on both sides of the coin - attraction and aversion.

So what then is Dukkha? When the Citta goes three-dimensional, one just needs to look at this in order to bring it back to the eternal-now. It will have an awkward, unsatisfactoryness; a solidity brought on by the Citta's attempts to sustain something that does not in fact exist of itself: just looking for the assumptions behind this attempt will expose it to a clearer view, and it's evanescent characteristics.

All of which is above and behind the usual understanding of dissatisfaction - from full blown suffering to the subtlest anguish and boredom.

Eventually, the Citta will realise that the refuge, from this proliferation of perfect logical assumption, is in fact in the paradoxical eternal-present-moment: and finally, that it's never ever been anywhere else.

Think about it

Think about it

The reciprocal of nothing is infinity.
The reciprocal of infinity is nothing.

But what knows this?

Boredom

Boredom
An assumption that what ever is currently manifesting in the Citta is fully known to it, in that it holds no further surprises. But if one knows this object so well, how-come one can't do anything with it.

And what is it that knows this?

Where does Time come from?

Where does Time come from? Sequences of memory trigger an assumption of Time. Cause driven change is the spring board for the intuitive 'jump to the conclusion' of Sequence. The knowing of this, with sufficient clarity, is all that is required for a return to mindfulness in the present moment. Just don't hang on to it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Same questions, different answers.

Same questions, different answers.

Back in the '70's, a group of Western teachers, mostly from IMS, compiled a list of ten questions that they intended to put to several pre-selected Oriental teachers of note. They fully expected to get different answers to each question, and at the end of their tour collated the data and published the results. The title of the book was something like "Living Mediation Masters" and the editor may have been Jack Kornfeld. As soon as I get the details right, I'll confirm or amend this accordingly.

The point of this piece being, that each practitioner finds his own path, and consequently comes to teach a different - his own - view of the 'Dhamma'.

It is quite traditional for individual students to then search for the teacher who's Dhamma is most in accord with their own Kammic predisposition, having first served an initial training - apprenticeship - period of five years with their local teacher.

Space and Time

Space and Time
Instead of looking at Change in a timeless - an eternal - present moment, delusion assumes Time and views the consequences of that: Space.

For Space to exist, Time is required, if the result is to have freedom of movement. Space is meaningless as a frozen snap-shot, and only Time will allow travel across a distance.

However, if the correct assumptions are made, ceaseless but conditioned change in an eternal, timeless, present moment, the consequences are quite different: the resulting experience is quite different.

It is within this environment that the Citta gets to realise its own true nature and all notions of Space, Time, Eternal, Present or Snap-shots loose any meaning. Just that knowing of things, just as they are, is all that remains.

But where does Time come from? Sequences of memory trigger an assumption of Time. Change is the spring board for the intuitive 'jump to the conclusion' of Sequence. The knowing of this, with sufficient clarity, is all that is required for a return to mindfulness in the present moment. Just don't hang on to it.

Delusion

Time is a false assumption, a wrong conclusion, jumped to as a result of sequential memory. With time as a basis, distance becomes possible, being at one point at one moment and at an other in another moment: thus space becomes possible. However, the Citta only knows a changing present moment, void of any identity, clearly comprehending.

Subjectivity = arising factors

Subjectivity = arising factors
objectivity = dissolution factors
When these two conditionally interact, we have both arising and dissolution factors.
All of which may be internal, external or both internal and external.
One just needs to be clear of which at any given moment.

Objectivity = arising factors
subjectivity = dissolution factors
When these two conditionally interact, we have both arising and dissolution factors.
All of which may be internal, external or both internal and external.
Whilst clarity is present, one just needs to know.

Maths

Maths

Freedom from delusion of false, i.e. unspoken, unquestioned assumptions. Freedom in known assumptions, clearly understanding that they are just ways of speaking, useful for establishing a context for perceptions, so as to eventually see the paradox in that context when using its own logic.

Thus, the path to the Citta realising it's own true nature: through realising both the limitations and usefulness in conventional thought: and thereby the letting go of it.

But what knows this?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kilesas getting you down?

Forget all about them and their results.
Just focus attention on your own reactions and responses.
Absolute magic every time.
But what knows this?

Where there's muck


An old expression from the English industrial North:
Where there's muck there's money.

A Buddhist equivalent:
Where there's Dukkha there's Dhamma.

We have a Self


But it doesn't know.

The Buddha once made an analogy

Sinew tissue being thrown onto flames, describing how it shrivels back from the heat. In this way the emptied mind shrivels back in recoil from the heat of sensual passion. An example of the power of the purified Citta.  Try finding it.

Why not!

But then again, why?
And what knows that?

Delusion

Time is a false assumption, a wrong conclusion, jumped to as a result of sequential memory. With time as a basis, distance becomes possible, being at one point at one moment and at an other point in another later or earlier moment: thus space becomes possible. However, the Citta only knows change, clearly comprehending the present moment, void of any essence.

Cause and Effect

When mindfulness of the Heart is going well, cause and effect can be followed quite clearly: the manifestations of mental activity being clearly seen there.

When things go wrong however, the attitude of something being wrong furthers agitation. Any attempt to correct the situation results in an accumulating deterioration; objectivity diminishes, subjectivity strengthens it's hold: Kammic legacy.

However, just noticing this causal predicament, in it's smallest detail, results in immediate relief. This fundamental Knowing is the exact correction required, the Citta is once again in it's basic mode and healing immediately resumes; objectivity returns: Kammic destiny.

Mindfulness

If Mindfulness is the Self, then what is it that knows?

Freedom from Kamma

Just know it and the way that leads to it: legacy and destiny.

Subject & Object

Look into the currently running subject and the objects take care of themselves.

Looking at Dukkha, is looking at subject. Looking at objects assumes subject, immersed in self-view, to be driven by Kilesas. Subjectivity is Dukkha.


dhammas = mindfulness

Dhamma = mindfulness = objectivity 
sankharas = mindlessness = subjectivity
Both are knowable.

See, the Kilesas can do it too: just so long as the Citta doesn't know!


It shouldn't be like this

Kruba: "It shouldn't be like this." 
Ajahn: "If it shouldn't, it wouldn't."

Intoxication

Short circuit in the perceptive process. Conclusions jumped to before a perception is fully registered. Typically, with either existing dullness or agitation as an initial object. The result is a further accumulation of this state, because of unknowingly taking feeling as the object.

In clear perception, feeling is the result of the cognitive process; whilst delusion takes feeling as the object of cognition. Hence the serial accumulation of feeling, giving it a solidity that makes it "real". This spiraling feedback loop is nothing less than the engine at the centre of - and driving - the entire Cosmos.

Science says that we are the way we are because the Universe is the way it is: and not the other way round.
Dhamma says that the Cosmos is the way it is because we are the way we are: and not the other way round.

Einstein was among the first to posit the observer as an integral part of observation. But no assumptions were made about the characteristics or causal structure of this observer: maybe now is the time to investigate, what is in essence, the resultant Kammic predicament.


The Detached Observer

Knowing that it is not the knowing.

Mind Objects

Objectifiable processes, or "Objects" for short.

Biases, Influxes & Outflows

Know these floods.
Know their arising.
Know their characteristics.
Clarity about their origin, their progression and their destination.
When clarity is developed to a sufficient degree, their true nature is known.

But what knows this?

Eternal Process

Eternal process in the present moment, conditioned by mindless thoughts.
But what is it that knows?

The Predicament

A lightly edited excerpt from a supporters e-mail.
" . . . 
" . . . I was in a reflective mood as today is Remembrance Sunday and have relatives who were in the armed forces. So would like to know about the workings of Kamma, particularly how it might affect the vipaka of their afterlife destinations. I particularly would like to know to what extent being in the armed forces and engaged in armed conflict can be mitigated by one's self-sacrifice for one's country. What of bravery and gallantry? I realise that this may be a rather general question, but ask in case you or Ajahn Dick are able and willing to provide some response. . . . "

This is quite an interesting question and has a most involved response, (hesitating to use the word "answer"). I asked Tan Ajahn Dick about this and he shared some excellent reflection to pass on: initially passed on to him by LP Panya, who would have been a direct combatant in this conflict were it not for his Tubercular foot. But first, if I may go back to the Buddha himself, to highlight the subtlety of this question.

Firstly, Ananda was rebuked when he asserted that Dependent Origination was quite straight forward, (the formulation for the Kammic predicament. (I find it quite helpful to reflect on this as a 'predicament')). The Buddha asserted quite strongly that it was indeed very deep and very profound. To my mind, this underscores Delusion, the third and fundamental Kilesa.

Secondly, we have the storey of Angulimaala, the thousand fingered necklace person. Having killed nine hundred and ninety-nine people, and being obstructed from either killing his own mother, or wounding the Buddha, was still able to attain to full Arahanship. His past Kamma still caught up with him though.

The third point is that it is an offence of the highest degree, Parajika (defeat), for a Bhikkhu to encourage another to kill. In this respect, Bhikkhus make every possible effort in pointing out the unconditional wrongness of intentional killing for whatever reason.

My heart goes out to those who not knowing the Dhamma, especially Kammic, who gallantly put their lives at risk for the safety of kith and kin. "There but for the grace of God go I". At the start of the Vietnam war, I would have been at exactly the right age, temperament and attitude to have gone in if the British had supported it. But the vagaries of international politics meant that this didn't happen. Though I did have time and complete sympathy for returning veterans who were getting a roughing from their peers.

Tan Ajahn Dick told me of LP Panya's reflection that he himself would have been a WWII pilot of either bomber or fighter command and, in this position, would have done considerable damage if it weren't for the convoluted processes of Kamma. As (previously Kammically ignorant) non combatants, we can (now) reflect on our own good fortune and through our exertions accumulate more good Kamma which can be spread to those who are predicamentaly receptive to it, that is to say, those who acted in good faith for the benefit and welfare of others.

As a last note, I like to reflect on a traditional Buddhist approach to this problem. Kapilavaddho joined up as a Fireman, (as did my own father); the Burmese Bhikkhu, whose URL you very kindly pointed me to and whose name you must remind me of, chose the Ambulance service and in due course they met: Kammic destiny if ever there was!

Finally, I'd like to think that with your considerable experience, being one of the very earliest pioneers of Post War Buddhism, it ought to be you that is telling us about these topics . . . "

Identify a problem

Describe it.  Know its nature.  Know the way to the knowing: know this knowing.

Two heads

Two heads are better than one: ten times better!  The essence of Bhikkhu life.

Dependent Origination

Just keep asking the question: Where does this come from? That's all the Buddha did.

Dreams

Having a bad dream! Kilesas giving hell! It's so nice to realise that none of this is me.

Freshness

Every thing is always fresh, always renewed, always in growth, always alive, all of the time. Just realise this. Boredom and dullness, always new, every time.

Everything is attitude and assumptions: there are two kinds, those that we know about and those that we don't. The Citta jumps to conclusions and acts on the resulting assumptions: some times it knows this but mostly it doesn't. Only need to realise this.

Anticipation

Kilesas anticipate results: the Citta just knows, a kind of confidence.

The out-flow of assumptions

The assumption, that all one needs is, to be clear about assumptions, also needs to be included.

Mindlessly the Citta states an assertion

Mindlessly the Citta states an assertion, jumps to a conclusion: proliferation and fantasy follow. Asubha works the same way but is fully conscious and intended, i.e. mindful. The bodily response is immediate in both cases: hence the 'reality' of mental perceptions. Pity it takes the Citta so long to realise this.

Patient endurance: the practice of skilful development.

Vapour Trails

Visualising the footprints or wash, in the wake of the Knowing: say "Buttho", from within the location of the physical heart.
This is just the Kilesas talking, just keep looking at those assumptions.

Careless Assumptions

That's all there is to Delusion.

I am not that

I am the Knowing and nothing can touch me.

This is just the Kilesas talking: just keep looking for those assumptions.

Nothing can be said about the Knowing

Nothing can be done with or to the Knowing. The practice is coming to realise this.

Analogy, just a manner of speaking

A useful exercise in clarifying one's view according to one's own personal Kammic predisposition: but, danger of getting too objective and hence dropped into a state of subjective proliferation.

The Middle Way is like a circus balancing act. A practitioner with right view, would feel a little like a high wire performer when balanced, secure and stable on the tight rope: surrounded by vast open space.

Memory, Hysteresis and Conditioning

Memory etc. within the aggregates dies with them.
Memory etc. within the Citta carries over to future rebirths: Kammic inheritance and destiny - Kilesas.

The Jhaanas do not need to be developed

The Jhaanas do not need to be developed in order to develop the path. Rather, the Jhaanas develop as a result of developing the path. It is for the practitioner to realise this.

The Problem of Space and Time

Memory and the assumption of sequence.
From this, space and time are logical consequences.
Within this, subjectivity and objectivity make sense and manifest as the very centre of attachment.

These assumptions are unspoken and unquestioned. This is both a cause of delusion and a key to it's eradication: through awareness of them, expressing and questioning them.

Exhortation, the gift of a brilliant teacher

Doesn't try to make it sound easy, any fool can do that!

An Engineers Dhamma

First Noble Truth: 
Identifying a problem

Second Noble Truth: 
Describing the problem

Third Noble Truth: 
Solution intuitively drops out of the description

Fourth Noble Truth: 
Clear, direct knowing of what has just happened.

Proliferation

The last attachment to subjectivity is being able to distinguish between Proliferation and the triggering Object. Lastly, distinguishing between Proliferation subjectively and objectively. After that words no longer apply: one cannot say it is the one or the other, not both nor neither: only knowable.

Dukkha is the Citta doing something

The Citta doing something that it is currently unaware of. 
What do we have when every activity of the Citta is known? 
What do we have when the Citta knows that all its activities are known?
Maybe the freedom in those states of Knowing?  Who knows? 

Tangents

Tangents
Mind goes off at a tangent?
Include the tangent!

The last stronghold of Subjectivity

The last stronghold of Subjectivity

The heart is the last stronghold of subjectivity. When the Citta sees the luminous cloud and penetrates it with the three characteristics, it is left with just that Knowing and enjoys that state for some time. Latter, when it returns to this, it is able to know that state and the Knowing of it. It is no longer located in the heart. It no longer has a physical location.

But the full freedom of the heart is still some way off. Only when Samaadhi has been fully cultivated will the Citta have the ability to rest in the Knowing at will: or alternatively stay with the Knowing of any arising perception, or phenomena, for as long as needed without any disturbance by it at all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Deluded by subjectivity

Deluded by subjectivity?
Deluded by objectivity?
Know the difference.

Don't know something?

Don't know something?
Just know that.

Luminous Clouds

Luminous Clouds. An interesting analogy.
At dusk and dawn the sky often turns a brilliant and beautiful deep orange-red. As is generally known, this is caused by water vapour in the atmosphere. But when the Sun is high this brilliant and beautiful hue vanishes and leaves behind a not quite perfectly clear sky. It is not a deep blue, and the air is heavy and saps the energy leaving the mind and body dull and drained of energy.

On other occasions, the sky may be completely clear at dusk and dawn . This is no doubt caused by the complete absence of water vapour in the atmosphere. And when, in this case, the Sun is high the result is a perfectly clear sky. It is a deep blue, and the air is light and charged with energy giving the mind and body enormous vitality.

This is a good analogy to the mind in an advanced stage of mindful clarity, where greed & hate are absent & only the dullness of delusion remains: a subtle kilesa sparkling in the energy of the focused mind.

If the practitioner develops his mindfulness according to knowing the knowable as knowable: the unknowable as unknowable. Staying with the Knowing, always asking " . . . if this (subjectivity) is the Knowing then what is it that knows . . . ": this meditator will, in the due course of time, come to a stage where the mind becomes brilliantly bright and radiant. It will have a very seductive appeal and seem quite wonderful and this state can be seen to be analogous to the red sky at dusk or dawn. But the question remains: " . . . if this is me, then who is it that knows? . . . ". Such a question will objectify and thus release this energy, giving way to a state of mind where the only thought that can harmonise with it will just be " . . . knowing . . . ". The mind in this state is quite clear and free. All other thought ceases and if forced will only jar the system: even " . . . knowing the knowing . . . " will seem inappropriate. Just " . . . knowing . . . " is all that will fit here. This state is most enjoyable and is analogous to the clear blue sky at dusk and dawn, with its sense of lightness, freedom and energy.

Self Destruction

Self Destruction.
The Ego is all set for self destruction, but just doesn't know it.

Kilesas get corralled into the Citta where they gradually become (set themselves up as) a sitting target (for Insight), as they run out of options. All this, under the action of Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension (aka Clarity or Wisdom).

Delusion is not seeing this: not understanding it in this way.

Subjectivity does not arise on its own

Subjectivity does not arise on its own: it requires objectivity to trigger it. The initialising object may well be of similar substance to the ensuing proliferation but is still an object non the less.

It may help to see the practice as consisting of two steps. The first is to objectify subjectivity, simply by Knowing it just as it is. The second is to see the resultant object as not the Knowing. I.e. what is it that knows this. Don't know? That will do.

Differences

Differences

Difference between Direct Knowing & objectivity is that objectivity triggers off fresh subjective proliferation: Direct Knowing won't, it just knows.

At the time of the last out breath

At the time of the last out breath, the aggregates die down: just the Knowing remains.

If mindfulness is present and it hasn't done so already, it may realise it's own true nature: enlightened or deluded, it cannot die: it was never born.

Contented Heart

Contented Heart

A practice session starts and the Citta begins by suppressing it's unknown activities and forces attention onto the physical heart, visualising it reciting "Buttho". These unknown activities become more persistent, so the ever innovative Citta imagines the unknown activities to recite the "Buttho". This works for a while, but the unknown activities become even stronger as they crave expression. So the Citta further imagines the unknown activities as out flows of energy from the physical heart. This results in a steady state that soon becomes tedious. So the Citta decides to 'map' some Dhamma on to this Dukkha and duly contemplates the following:-

" . . . This outflow is known . . . ". This knowing eases the Dukkha.

" . . . The arising of this outflow is known . . . ". This knowing eases the Dukkha a little further.

" . . . The ceasing of this outflow is known . . . ". This knowing further eases the Dukkha and encourages further imaginative 'mapping'.

" . . . The way leading to the future ceasing of this outflow is known . . . ". The Heart rests contented with this knowing.

Steven Hawking

Steven Hawking once said something like:
" . . . The purpose of Science is to provide the intellectual equipment or framework to enable an understanding of the basic Human Predicament . . . ".

By using analogies from science, a description of a Myth can be built up that is sufficiently sophisticated, for the modern sceptical mind, to be both plausible and satisfying.

The Citta Fly Wheel

The Citta Fly Wheel

Fragments from a letter to a disciple, 1989.

'. . . I couldn't help laughing about your meditation practice on TA's birthday. I suggest that the borrowed flat is your body. T's 30 young friends are kilesas, the badly cooked food could be dissatisfaction with what enters through the senses. Some of the others I'm not sure about but you should be able to work it out. In fact, as your Citta produced it, you are the only person who can work it out properly. One can learn from these things provided that one has not been "infected" by a learnt psychological system (e.g.. Freud). What you describe displays anxiety - and it is worth remembering that the Aramana (objects and symbols that support and set-up states of the Citta) which have been operative prior to sleeping (maybe several hours before) can cause emotional states like anxiety which continue on like a fly wheel. Then one's dreams put up symbols and situations to 'explain' and support the anxiety. In other words, in ordinary life, an external situation may give rise to an anxiety. In a dream, the anxiety gives rise to the (projected) external situation . . ."

" . . . How to cope with it? I suggest that the key to it is thinking - incessant thinking. Stop the thinking and the problems cease, the anxiety ceases and the restlessness ceases. How to stop thoughts? Use a Parikamma such as Buddho and place your attention at your heart. Not by feeling it, but by mind. Try doing the same for the heart and think of the heart saying "Buddho" and listen to it coming from the heart. If you can't hear it, pay more attention to the heart - listen hard.

Try this and see if it helps.

All for now,
Pa~n~navadho . . ."

The Citta does everything

The Citta does everything.

Fragment of a letter to a disciple, year not given but most likely after 1979.

'. . . The term Upadana Khandhas should not be called the "Grasping Khandhas". The Khandhas are so to speak "foreign matter" and they go their own way according to the laws of nature. The grasping is in the Kilesas which are infused in the Citta, using the power of the Citta and they grasp and hold tight to the Khandhas. Therefore they should truly be called the "Grasped Khandhas". The only sense in which "Grasping Khandhas" can be used correctly is that the Khandhas are the (passive) agents of the grasping Citta and so go about grasping this and that in the outer world. Like a man who makes a Robot and uses it to promote his grasping desires. To call it a grasping Robot is only a way of speaking and not really correct. The reason why most people talk about the "Grasping Khandhas" is that they have read books written or translated by people who don't understand Dhamma. To go talking without a proper understanding of the underlying principles is likely to be "Parrot talk".

I hope this helps.

Yours,
Pa~n~navadho . . .'

The Buddha didn't say

The Buddha didn't say he directly knew the Unborn, the Uncreated, the Unformed & the Unbecome. He only said that there was an escape from the Born, the Created, the Formed & the Become.

And because there was this escape from the Born, the Created, the Formed & the Become, he declared that there was this Unborn, Uncreated, Unformed & Unbecome.

Rising above it all

Rising above it all
Atention directed at the Citta, at the centre of the chest, enables it to rise above any and every manipulation or pull of the feelings and emotions.

This just has to be the most usefull point for developing concenration. When applied in combination with the _parikamma_ “BUDDHO” it is indeed very usefull for driving out the Kilesas from the heart: it goes against the grain and into the _right_ diretion every time.

White Noise in the Heart II

White Noise in the Heart II

The White Noise in the Heart bears uncanny correspondence with activity in the Head. An excellent exercise in Mindfulness is to watch sensations at the centre of the chest whilst noting cranial activity. Which causes which? Which of these views is the more useful in terms of practice, and is it always so? And of course: who or what is it that knows?

The Out Flows exist

The Out Flows exist. They arise because they are not known. They cease when they are known. Their future non arising depends on the perfection of this knowing.

Aasavas are arising factors

Aasavas are arising factors.

The Anicca characteristic of arising is inherent in all phenomena. But where do they arise from? The only place they can come from is the Citta.

However, the Citta is not knowable to the 5 khandhas or the 6 sense bases, so phenomena appear to arise from the Plenum Void. However, this view does not take the practitioner very far.

A much more productive view is to take the Citta as the source of all phenomena, with it's out-flows as the unknowing and unsuspecting drivers of such knowable objects. This will break the grip of subjectivity every time, where ever it is accompanied with sufficient clarity.

It may help some meditators if the very centre of the chest, just above the Sternum, is contemplated as the physical location of the deluded, unenlightened Citta.

Proliferation arises out of subjectivity

Proliferation arises out of subjectivity, triggered by an object. Delusion doesn't know this and sees the World from the perspective of this. The Knowing sees this as just one piece in the complete World view but does nothing more than that: and knows that too.

The Deluded Driver

The Deluded Driver.

The ignorant & deluded driver, behind absolutely every thing, finally comes to peace and rest as soon as he realises it sufficiently well.

The Arahat

The Arahat
Knows what he can know,
knows what he can't know
and knows the difference.

The Mind Only School

The Mind Only School.
Two Variants of this Chinese Thought

One says that everything is "out there" but the knowing of it is entirely in the mind.

The other says that every thing is mind made & that that there is nothing "out there" at all.

LuangPow Pa~n~navadho often said he felt that the second School had the better view for development of the Path. Though, the best view of all could well be a hybrid of the two:

The physical world is "out there" and some of the mental world too, whilst the remainder of the mental world is generated internally. But it is all mind known & mind interpreted: so that for all practical purposes the second School does in fact have the better view for Path cultivation.

Whatever it takes

Seeing subjectivity arising; seeing arising things in subjectivity.
Seeing subjectivity as "Out-flows/Aasavas", seeing "Out-flows/Aasavas" in subjectivity.
Seeing fear as subjectivity, seeing subjectivity in fear.

Seeing subjectivity as subjectivity, as subjectivity, as subjectivity, as subjectivity. Whatever it takes to objectify it!

A Rose by any other name

". . . A Rose by any other name smells just as sweet. . ."
William Shakespeare

Can't does every thing

Can't does every thing.

Whenever one finds one is unable to do something, chances are that one can: the effort is merely uncoordinated: giving rise to the 'can't' energy.

Just put your faith into it, stand back and watch.

The Kilesa Raft

The Kilesa Raft.
The Kilesas are simply the unknown, unspoken & unquestioned conditioning of the Citta, & are the resultants of past Kamma, as they ripen in the present moment.
Thus the perceived need to create skilful Kamma in the present time, over & above any good, healthy & wholesome Kamma, so as to have skilful Kilesas in a future lifetime. Thus building a Kilesa "Raft" which the the practitioner can use to "cross over" the stream of Samsara & "reach the further shore" of Realisation.
Thus, on reaching "the further shore" the raft can then be left abandoned at the waters edge or "let go of" & the practitioner thus walks on "free of all burdens".

White noise in the heart

White noise in the heart produced from a mass of conditioned (educated) brain activity (thought). When such thought dies down, the heart gets clearer signals and hence becomes more data efficient.

Thus a transition from perception to response, i.e. a thought, is much more efficient and thus more intelligent.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I am the Subject

I am the Subject. Everything else is the object. There is no subject to look for. Just look at objects; listen to objects; smell objects; taste objects; hear objects; touch objects; perceive objects: but one can't find a subject anywhere, in anything.

Include subjectivity

Include subjectivity:
see subjectivity in the Including.

Include "I can't"

Include "It won't"

Include any and every kind of fear and apprehension, from blind panic to doubt or mild concern.

Include the "knowing":
see subjectivity arise within the "knowing".

But then again, who is it that "knows"?

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

When a Practitioner looks into a mirror all he sees is a reflection of himself. When he looks into his heart all he sees is any activity of the heart that corresponds to his gazing at it. The Practitioner thus mindful, will only ever know the fading of correspondingly previous activities or concerns.

However, given that the basic nature of the Citta is in 'just knowing', any Practitioner who simply gazes at the heart, watching it's functions, will gradually notice profound changes as the Kilesas (the egotistical - neurotic activities that he is, thus far, unaware of) die down to this basic level of 'just knowing': the analogy with the mirror then breaks down completely, for in this case the 'reflection' disappears.

Though, perhaps more unexpectedly, the reaction to this is one of immediate recognition: a coming home. The Citta finally realising it's own true nature.

However, this does require that the Kilesas are entirely dormant, if only briefly in a 'Kammic window of opportunity', for (both good and bad) their response will give rise to an unexpected experience of some disquiet for the Practitioner.

Hence the need for a conventional or intellectual understanding prior to any practice.

The Night of the Buddha's Awakening

The Night of the Buddha's Awakening.

In 1st watch sees his own past lives. In 2nd watch, generalises main characteristics to every one else's past lives. In 3rd watch logically abstracts the linking core essentials: when this becomes sufficiently clear - Eureka!

This is a format for contemplation in general. A reverse variation on this is to take a 'finished' teaching and 'map' it to one's own observations & experience via a more general application.

Subjectivity

Subjectivity -> subjective feelings -> Proliferation of assumptions -> Wrong conclusion.

Proliferation of assumptions -> subjective feelings -> Subjectivity -> Wrong conclusion.

Objectivity -> objective feelings -> perception of Anicca -> Right conclusion & assumptions.

Perception of Anicca -> objective feelings -> Objectivity -> Right conclusion & assumptions.

Wrong conclusion & assumptions includes the view that the self is a detached observer.

Right conclusion & assumptions includes knowing every thing above.

Beating the System

Beating the System.
Essentially, doing everything for one's self and not depending on others. This way one gets all the credit or blame for one's successes or failures. Though it does help to know what the problems are to begin with.

Delusion mistakes the Knowable as Unknowable

Delusion mistakes the Knowable as Unknowable and the Unknowable as Knowable.

Whereas reality is seeing the Knowable as Knowable and the Unknowable as Unknowable.

So simple.

Faith in the power of the purified Citta

Faith in the power of the purified Citta.

Mindfulness & Energy

Mindfulness & Energy.
When energy is low, the practice is dull & sleepy. Attention needs to be directed towards effort/energy. Applying effort to arousing energy is essentially a mindful skill and mindfulness is duly developed through the practice of arousing energy with this skilful effort. It is, indeed, the recommended way to commence a session of formal seated practice.

Faith & concentration are an excellent way of going to sleep for the same reason: it is a further skilful means in the cultivation of mindfulness.

Investigation becomes a mindfulness practice when it becomes too intense & needs trimming: or is required to counter balance faith or confidence.

Only the Real is Knowable

Only the Real is Knowable,
the Unreal is Unknowable.

Neat, eh!

Don't Know Mind

"Don't Know Mind. That's the best one. Keep the Don't Know Mind."
Zen Master Tic Nat Han

Fearing fear

Fearing fear.
The problem with fear is fearing it. Fear on its own is just fear, arising & ceasing just like everything else.
Only when fear is feared does it escalate/proliferate: i.e.. when it is subjective. But when objectified it exhibits the Dhamma, i.e.. three characteristics, internal & external, cause & effect, etc.: and as such, a gateway to Nibbana.
There is fear & there is the knowing of fear. Thus the middle way is in being with the knowing of fear.

Ideograms - Ideawords

Ideograms - Ideawords

Thai & Chinese languages are context driven whereas European languages are structurally driven. Thus Thai words are seen as being functionally equivalent to Chinese characters.

Hence Thai is good for reflective purposes but not for legal or technical applications, whereas Western languages are good for legal and technical purposes, though not for reflective ones.

Therefore the need for much writing & rewriting by many different adepts in Western languages for a given translation of an original reflective tract in Thai.

Thus enabling the Western reader to realise the wealth of meaning in it & also to break him out of the accurate though restricted conditioning of the Western intellectual tradition: something not at all necessary for the traditionally inclined Oriental.

For a more complete discussion of this fascinating topic see Bhikkhu ~Naa.namoli's introduction to his translation for: “The Guide” (NETTI PPAKARA.NA'M according to Kaccaana Thera), Pali Text Society, 1977.

Naivety and the Kilesas

Naivety and the Kilesas.

The only valid motive for writing these notes is for developing clarity. All other motives, no matter how altruistic, are off the mark.

Naivety is essentially not believing that the Kilesas are as bad as they actually are. In this context, “Being with the Knowing” is the ultimate act of defiance.

Further more this gives rise to a strong sense of ultimate victory over the Kilesas. In short, it is only the Arahant who is completely free of naivety.

The Arahat

The Arahat
Knows what he knows and
knows what he doesn't know.
Anando

Education

Education.
An Example of Generosity or a couple of topics short of a full course?

Highlighting the nature of - and at the same time an aplication for - "skilful generosity" in every day life. An opportunity for those who are open to it.

Horoscope Kamma

Horoscope Kamma

Fragment from a letter by LuangPow Pa~n~navadho to his disciple, dated 28/Dec/79

" . . . I am sorry to hear you are all in trouble with Uranus. I am not sure where cause/effect comes in here but I am fairly certain that Uranus cannot do more than trigger the results which arise from causes that one has made by one's own volition in the past. As most people are "asleep" they make causes unthinkingly and unknowingly and not believing that what they do will come back on them. Then when the time comes, the results arise as a complete surprise - and usually unwelcome. This is the danger of this world - not knowing - for if we all knew the results of actions, who would ever do anything evil . . . "

The Kammic predicament

The Kammic predicament:
The Buddhist concept of Kamma is probably best understood in terms of the 'Human Predicament'.

Unknowingly, we are the result of our past Kamma and, unknowingly conditioned by this, we equally unknowingly create our future Kamma. In this delusion our predicament is perfect.

However, the good news is that, in order to break out, we only need to know! It's that simple.

In the meantime, however, all we need to do is refrain from evil, do good, and purify the mind. Then things can only get better: if at least in the longer term!

The Kilesa Raft

The Kilesa Raft.
The kilesas are simply the unknown, unspoken & unquestioned conditioning of the Citta, & are the resultants of past Kamma, as they ripen in the present moment.
Thus the perceived need to create skilful Kamma in the present time, over & above any good, healthy & wholesome Kamma, so as to have skilful Kilesas in a future lifetime. Thus building a Kilesa "Raft" which the the practitioner can use to "cross over" the stream of Samsara & "reach the further shore" of Realisation.
Thus, on reaching "the further shore" the raft can then be left abandoned at the waters edge or "let go of" & the practitioner thus walks on "free of all burdens".

Two Books

Two Books.
The two books, on drawing & geometry, will develop mindfulness and wisdom in any practitioner who has generosity and self honesty.

The two books, on drawing & geometry, can be seen as generosity and self honesty applied to the reader himself. And an extensively illustrated Latin primer, too.

Proofs are the the hardest of all the Geometry skills.

Others will tell one that drawing is the hardest of all the visual art skills.

The art book author says that drawing an accurate portrait is the hardest of all the drawing skills.

For some, mindfulness of the heart is the hardest of all the body mindfulness skills.

Can't recite “Buddho”

Can't recite “Buddho”?
Let the “Can't” do it!

Curiosity killed the cat

Curiosity killed the cat

“The end of wanting to look & know”.
TanAjahn Mun

Is the Heart (Knowing) the owner of the knowable? Does it need the knowable in order to know?

Formations are subjectivity

Formations are subjectivity,
Perceptions are objectivity.
So simple.

Now is the Knowing

Now is the Knowing
The Knowing is now.

Subjectivity is not the Knowing

Subjectivity is not the Knowing.

The Knowing is not Subjectivity.

When subjectivity attaches itself to the Knowing and ceases to attach to the Khandhas, then nothing in the Khandhas can ever disturb the Knowing.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dukkha is . . .

Dukkha is when subjectivity, i.e. the Proliferation of assumptions, is unable to keep pace with the objective world.

Space Energy is:-

Space Energy is:-
'White noise' energy at the centre of the heart, out-flowing from the centre of the heart.

Subjectivity = assumptions

Subjectivity = assumptions, proliferation, Sankhaara.
Objectivity = memory, perception, Sa~n~naa.

Subjectivity = UnKnowable, Citta lost in its own functions, which in turn is Knowable.

Objectivity = Knowable.

Thus Proliferation becomes Perception simply by the fact of clearly knowing the Proliferation just as it is.

Subjectivity is not the Knowing

Subjectivity is not the Knowing.

However, when subjectivity identifies with the knowing the the meditator 's work is done.

Achieved through endless practice of staying with the Knowing, until it becomes a habitual reflex. At that point it only requires a Kammic window of opportunity for the Heart to fix this so as to drop all its unspoken and unquestioned assumptions. No more jumping to conclusions ever again. Though memories and other perceptions will still continue to arise.

The Beautiful Body

The Beautiful Body.
The 32 parts of the body are not so much repulsive, as more 'not-intoxicating', the idea being to dampen passion. But with the wrong character type (hate) excessive use can lead to loathing & hatred. Also can lead to depression in a greed person.

On seeing Danger & the Escape

On seeing Danger & the Escape.
"When the Sainsbury's broiler hits the bench test rotor blades."
When positive attitudes seem too naive, try seeing danger & let adrenaline do all the work.

On seeing danger

On seeing danger: the six senses.
On seeing escape: realising the danger.
On seeing refuge: a rotting corps.

Out-flows are Anicca, Dukkha & Anatta

Out-flows are Anicca, Dukkha & Anatta.

Proliferation becomes Perception

Proliferation becomes Perception simply by the fact of clearly Knowing the Proliferation just as it is.

So the practice becomes not so much stopping Proliferation as more becoming aware of it: being with the knowing of it.

When this knowing becomes automatic the practice enters into an entirely new phase.

Receiving Dana

Receiving Dana.
Layfolk give Dana to that aspect of the Bhikkhu which is developing in the Dhamma & to support its training. The person receiving it is just "Smoke & mirrors".

In the conventional mind

In the conventional mind, without Memory, Perception is meaningless (this usually passes for Knowledge). Whereas in the clear Citta there is just direct Knowing without reference to anything else.

Similarly, Kamma formations are primarily thoughts: activities which accumulate in tendency and thus conviction. Hence conditioning.

Kilesas and Telepathy

Kilesas and Telepathy

Exert From LuangPor Punya's letter to a disciple. (FDN)This was written about halfway through the year in which I was with him. Throughout this year he constantly emphasised (to me) that only the heart existed; that was where everything happened; wouldn't accept any thoughts on telepathy at all; wouldn't accept any question on it as valid. Yet, unbeknown to me, we have this letter, written, by him to his disciple, halfway through that very same year.
What to make of this? He was clearly laying colossal emphasis on the kilesas in the heart as the prime focus of attention, irrespective of which of the six senses was triggering them off.

". . . We don't get swamped by other people's cittas because the citta is attached to the five khandhas (oneself), but there is some interference with other people. There is telepathy which is more common than most people realise.
"No, the citta is not neutral, it is infused with the kilesas. But when purified it has gone beyond Samsara.
22nd January 2004 "

(FDN)So telepathy does exist after all!!! But going "out" to it's sources is not the answer. Looking into the heart is, as usual, the answer. Look & see what is happening, develop clarity around the corresponding kilesas & stay with the Knowing. Whether it is fear (& terror) or anything else.

Kilesas, the Enemy

Kilesas, the Enemy
[Excerpt from a recorded talk with LuangPaw Pa~n~nava.d.dho: (FDN=my comments)]
(FDN) Basically, this seems to be the unknown, conditioning of the Citta, by the resultants of past Kamma, as they ripen in the present moment, of which the Citta is totally & completely unaware.
Thus the perceived need to create skilful Kamma in this lifetime, over & above any good Kamma, so as to have skilful Kilesas in a future lifetime.
Needless to say, the most skilful Kamma is Bhikkhu ordination so as to develop the Path, i.e. the Bhikkhu life. This makes the Bhikkhu a virtual field of merit for anyone else to share in, simply by choosing to support his practice.
--
(FDN)The dialogue below seems to be consistent with the results of developed mindfulness. In that, going against the K's, going towards fear, awkwardness etc., is possibly the best exercise in mindfulness that there is.
Q:
How does one begin to know if ones efforts are having an effect on reducing the Ks? Is there something, especially for beginners?

LP P:
One finds, I would say, one's own estimation of one's self-importance, I don't mean in theory, but one's feeling of it becomes greater. In the sense that - I don't mean in the bad way - of one's own worth, in oneself, quite regardless of what anyone else thinks. One's worth in oneself, one doesn't feel that one's like an old foot-rag. Inside one feels that one has something that's valuable. And that thing of value starts growing. And one finds also that there's firmness inside. There's a firmness that is capable of fighting the Ks and going against them. All these things do show externally, but the external thing is not what matters, that's just a by-product: it's the internal thing that matters all the time.

Knowing the subject & object

Knowing the subject & object.

Looking @ subjectivity & objectivity successively may (given sufficient clarity & calmness of the heart) lead back to the subjectivity of the knowing, the true emptiness of the real subjectivity. In any case, it is sure to bring up some kilesas.

Learn to die before you die

Learn to die before you die, so that you don't die when you do die.
Anando Bhikku

Eating Etiquette

Eating Etiquette
The Lord Buddha allowed Bhikkus to eat cooked food, between dawn & noon when freely donated by lay supporters.

This one principle meal is therefore a period during which the senses are particularly vulnerable to heedlessness and the Citta to its Kilesas: and hence represents a potential breach in the continuity of the practice.

Thus many rules of etiquette are applied so as to make this a ritual where mindfulness is called for throughout the duration of this daily procedure.

If it changes it isn't real

•If it changes it isn't real.
•If it doesn't change it can't be detected.
LuangPor's paraphrase of the W.W.I joke: Advice for Private Tommy Atkins.
•In peace time:
If it moves, salute it.
If it doesn't move, whitewash it.
•In war time:
If it moves, shoot it.
If it doesn't move, salute it.

Variations on this theme are quite common among English speaking people of LuangPow's generation.

Fifth precept

Fifth precept, refraining from intoxicants & substance abuse, is to protect the meditator from heedlessness leading to a breaking of the first four.

Generosity is the base

Generosity is the base on which to develop skilful moral discipline so as to develop an attitude of restraint for the benefit of others. This builds confidence, which then leads into the development of 1st Jhana, a very deep sense of joy, which in turn leads to a very deep sense of rapture, etc.

Honesty & Shamelessness

Honesty & Shamelessness.
Blatant & unexpected outbursts of shameless admittance or assertion passing for honesty, (i.e. true understanding, or investigation of the way things actually are). Trusting the power of the pure mind or a given fortuitous predicament at a given time. If the power of the pure mind is unfamiliar at a given time, then faith or confidence in it can't be expected to be particularly strong. If it is, however, then faith/confidence in it may then become too strong, to the detriment of the other remaining skilful faculties.

Dhamma is like an iPaq1940

Dhamma is like an iPaq1940.
The iPaq 1940 works perfectly ‘out of the box’.
A complete dummy can get perfect results by just keeping to the defaults & not resetting anything. On the other hand, a graduate in computer science can get it to perform to spec. in all its features. But anyone with only partial knowledge soon gets bogged down with all the available options, not knowing which is which. Pure Dukkha.

Differences Between Nimitas

Differences Between Nimitas
of Internal & External Origination.

Asking the question, ". . . If this is me, then who is it that knows? . . ." or some other similar ploy that will objectify a subjective experience when such are internally originated.
Thus if the subjectivity of the experience continues, it is most likely to be an externally originated Nimita.

External Nimitas are picked up by the conscious faculty of the mind/heart in much the same way that a radio picks up signals via an aerial. So that mental raw data impinges on the mind in much the same way that physical raw data impinges on any of the physical sense bases corresponding to the radio's aerial.

In either case the mind takes this raw data and interprets it in much the same way. Thereby constructing a model that we take to be the real world: an unspoken & unquestioned assumption; a subjective experience.

As such it is almost impossible to distinguish between internal & external Nimitas. So that ploys, which use some kind of logical reasoning to effect a change from subjectivity to objectivity, are required.

Thus the correspondence between internal & subjectivity, external & objectivity is thereby invalidated.

Dukkha - Gateway to Dhamma

Annica can be regular Samsaric change or insight into impermanence.
Dukkha is a Gateway to Dhamma.
Anatta is insight into Dhamma.

Dukkha & Sukkha

Dukkha & Sukkha

Is it Dukkha or Sukkha: both or neither?
Is it internal or external: both or neither?

Is is not known: don't know?

Just this ‘knowing’ for clarity and recollection, to establish mindfulness, i.e. awareness of ‘here & now’, i.e. self knowledge.

What ever it takes to break through subjectivity and set up objectivity.

Dukkha is Annica

Dukkha is Annica: & the knowing of this objectifies it.
Subjectivity is Annica: & the knowing of this objectifies it.
Delusion is Annica: & the knowing of this objectifies it.
Outflows are Annica: & the knowing of these objectifies them.
Annica is Annica: & the knowing of it objectifies this too.
Anattaa is Annica: & the knowing of this
keeps mindfulness on it, keeping it objectified as Path.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I think, therefore I am

“I think, therefore I am”. There is the knowing of this assumption, and there is the not knowing of this assumption. That's all there is to wisdom and delusion and the difference between them: just this knowing.

Citta essay

Citta essay.
From a letter by LuangPor Panyavaddho to a disciple, undated but probably sometime during 1979.

... In connection with the Citta, I can only explain it as I have understood it from Tan Achaan.

Firstly, one must not try to understand the Citta from the view point of the khandhas. The Citta is the fundamental and "real" one which does not die and which cannot be understood from the viewpoint of Sa.msaara because it is beyond Sa.msaara. Therefore one cannot say that it is or it isn't, nor where it is nor when. All such categories are of Sa.msaara. Nor can one say that it goes from life to life because this is a Sa.msaara viewpoint which sees the real importance as being "life": but the Citta is the real one, not this life or that life, and it has no goings or comings. Unfortunately however the Citta is permeated with Avijjaa. Finally speaking the Avijjaa is no more real than anything else in Sa.msaara, but it does effectively prevent the Citta knowing its own nature because of which it is modified and goes out searching for that which is real, true, beautiful etc. In other words it searches for is own fundamental nature in external things and due to Avijjaa in its mode of Tanhaa it grasps at a body to be an "image" of itself and it animates the body by functions of the Citta, these being Vedanaa, Sa~n~naa, Sankhaara and Vi~n~naana. But always these are unsatisfactory (Dukkha) because they are a substitute for the Citta itself, and they are Anicca, Dukkha, Anattaa, whereas the Citta is Nicca, Sukha, Attaa (Attaa as being the contrary of Anattaa - but not a "self").

With regard to the modifications of the Citta, the Citta is 'real' and Sa.mSaara is 'unreal' because it all Anicca, Dukkha & Anattaa, so from the viewpoint of the Citta these things are all phantom like and the real nature of the Citta never alters. So although the Citta is deluded by Sa.msaara it is really deluding itself because it imbues Sa.msaara with its own delusion (i.e.: we see people, animals, horses, trees without realising that they are all mere Sankhaaras and quite impersonal phenomena). The greatest delusion of the Citta is the rooted view that Self or Soul is within, or part of the five Khandhas. The Khandhas are quite unnecessary to the Citta, but because the Citta does not know its own nature it grasps them tightly being unable to comprehend what it would mean without them. If the Citta does not have the five Khandhas it fears that it will vanish and disappear into annihilation. But in fact they are a great burden and load on the Citta and due to Avijjaa are poison because it is by means of the five khandhas that we constantly make Kamma. To the Arahant, however, they can still be of use for teaching others and helping the world in various ways. Without a Citta the five khandhas cannot operate: they die.

I don't know TCH's views about three Cittas, but fundamentally there is only one. But when one talks of the modifications of the Citta they do sometimes talk of this Citta and that Citta. Then in the Abidhamma they describe 89 (I think) Cittas, such as 12 rooted in Lobha, 4 in Dosa and 4 in Moha (the figures may not be correct, I can't remember it now). But all these are modifications of the Citta and calling them different Cittas is just a way of speaking.

From the viewpoint of Sa.msaara, the Citta is mysterious. One text I know of talks of it having the characteristics of will, knowing and action. The action being non Kamma forming in the pure Citta.

The things that can pop up out of the Citta are incredible. They are all Sankhaaras so they form together like clouds then break up and disperse. The reason for their arising are rooted mainly in the past, but it probably needs a Buddha to understand their full extent.

The trees can of course throw out new shoots, until they are cut down at the roots by Pa~n~na. But it is a part of the daily practice to try and be mindful and use wisdom to avoid planting new seeds and pull up tender shoots before they grow strong.

Yrs
Pa~n~navaddho

PS. In fairness I must say that TA has not said all the above, but it is I think fairly based on his general teaching.

Delusion is merely confusion

Delusion is merely confusion between subjectivity & objectivity.

Subjectivity can never be found; it is always that which is being objective & can only ever see objects: it can never see the subject: (which was never born & never dies).

Just as a camera can never photograph itself, the Citta/subject can never know itself: it can only know objects.

Hence the common preference, among translators, for the term "Mind Objects" for the forth Sattipathana "Dhamma contemplation of Dhammas".

Character Types & Opposites

Character Types & Opposites.

In general, a meditator is the opposite of what he thinks he is: & in trying to work out what that would be for himself is a very useful exercise in mindful contemplation: a skill well worth developing.

Hate types prefer the rush of adrenaline.

Greed types prefer the release of craving or expectation driven tension that accompanies gratification in some sensory field.

Bhikku vis-à-vis Lay

In Theravadha Buddhism, Bhikkus can't live in isolation as in Mahayaana or Xianity. Bhikkus live in interdependent relationship with lay. That is to say: a Bhikkhu is not an entity in isolation. He is a Bhikkhu only in relation to lay people: and vice-versa. In isolation, each of these types function according to it's own ways, i.e. of practice.

It is only when they come together that they can learn their respective roles &/or train each other, interactively & interdependently. So much so, that for a Bhikkhu to travel alone, with/to lay folk, his personal practice must be very solid. For this interaction/interdependence is at the very centre of the Middle Way: making meditators of both Bhikkhus & lay folk.

Aasavas - Outflows - Triggers

Aasavas - Outflows - Triggers.

Four ways to trigger off Aasavas.

•1) Sense desires: Seeing a 'Self' where there is no 'Self'. E.g.. in other people; in one's own self.

•2) Views about a 'Self', conceit: I am > another,
I am < another,
I am = another.

•3) Bavana developments: Strong desire to teach latest insight. Conceit: I am >, I am<, I am =.

•4) Delusion, false assumptions or conclusions.

Dullness is a cause for jumping to false conclusions. And is a traditional characteristic of ignorance, illustrated by a pig icon in 'Wheel of Life' tankas.

Seeing a 'Self' where there is no 'Self'. E.g.. in other people; in one's own self.

Just enough for knowing & remembering.

Ajaan Dukkha is the best teacher

Ajaan Dukkha is the best teacher of all. He is always there, never letting anyone down. He will take every practitioner all the way to full realisation.

Anicca is a mass of assumption

Anicca is a mass of assumption & conclusion, assertion & denial.

Dukkha is the result of this.

Anatta is the realisation of this result.

Assumptions & Presumptions

Assumptions & Presumptions.
The very nature of delusion.
Just need to know them: just as they are.

Subjectivity associated with Dullness

Subjectivity associated with Dullness.

Delusion in general is subjectivity associated with anything & everything.

The Citta needs to see the heart

The Citta needs to see the heart objectively, so that it can realize it isn't it, but instead is the knowing of it.

The only true subjectivity is in the knowing.

Knowing the knowing leads to further knowing. Nothing else has this characteristic, ie everything else changes. Thus the idea that the pure Citta is unchanging.

In the unenlightened meditator , the base of knowing is centred on the physical Heart.

Proliferation is Anicca

Proliferation is Anicca.

Kilesas, Telepathy, etc

Kilesas, Telepathy, etc.
Exert from a letter of LuangPow Panya's to a disciple.

. . . As to your question: the five khandhas are the basis of sensation. The body is the basis of the four nama khandhas and all of them disappear when the body dies*. The senses require three things for them to function: the object, the active sense organ, and consciousness turned to the relevant sense. In other words, for seeing to take place consciousness must be turned to the eyes plus visible object. At this time none of the other senses are operative. Then consciousness dies away, but it is a very rapid process. Consciousness is the Citta performing the function of seeing, hearing, etc. The five khandhas are the playground of the citta under the influence of the Kilesas which are in the citta.

The citta can go anywhere but it cannot go to two places at the same time, but it can jump about very fast.

We don't get swamped by other people's cittas because the citta is attached to the five khandhas (oneself), but there is some interference with other people. There is telepathy which is more common than most people realise.

Getting to the heart is difficult but don't force it. You will probably find that you often go to the heart without realising it.

You should avoid criticism even when it is warranted, it is wrong for your character.

No, the citta is not neutral, it is infused with the kilesas. But when purified it has gone beyond Samsara.

I hope that this will help you to understand.

22nd January 2004

*This also includes the fifth physical 'rupa' khandha consisting of the four primary 'elements' + space + consciousness.(FDN)

Delusion is subjectivity

Delusion is subjectivity.

Subjectivity is delusion, the so called "distortion" of view due to Delusion.

Knowing can only know objects, where subjectivity is a 'special case' object. Hence, subjectivity is always Dukkha.

Delusion is just that assumption

Delusion is just that assumption, inference or conclusion, unspoken & unquestioned, rather than direct knowing.

If I'm confused, then who is it that knows

If I'm confused, then who is it that knows?

Going towards the fear

Going towards the fear must be the most effective practice for mindfulness of all: second must come the practice of going against the grain.

If we are concentrated, we are happy

If we are concentrated, we are happy.

Not talking about it

Talking about it takes the meditator away from mindfulness of the physical dimension, with resultant loss of skill in this.

Subjectivity is not the Self

The Self is not Subjectivity.
When subjectivity attaches itself to objectivity and ceases to attach to the Self, then nothing in the Khandhas can ever disturb the Self.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Terror is a jump to a conclusion

Terror is a jump to a conclusion.
Where ever there's terror, there's a self view, an assumption.
Terror is just a jump to that conclusion.