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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.

Wanting the subjectivity

Wanting the subjectivity that comes from objective experience. How deluded!

Include the 'not knowing'

Include the 'not knowing', that can be 'known' too.

Rises subjectively

Rises subjectively, becomes objective, ceases objectively.
When subjectivity becomes known to the Citta, it becomes objectified: which may in turn trigger off more subjective proliferation.