A thought on Paticca Samuppada and Nibbana

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    • #35637
      ravi777
      Participant

      According to the Interpretation of Waharaka Thero, we give value to various things (our children, wealth and property, our Lives, even to concept like Communism and Capitalism). This giving of value or Atta is the arising of Avijja. According to the Wheel of Paticca Samuppada, Avijja is before Tanha, and therefore gives rise to Tanha. Tanha in turn gives rise to Dukkha.

      Dukkha referred to here is Not Dukkha Vadana, which even the Buddha went through. The Dukkha which ceases to exist in Arhaths, is the Sokha, Parideva, Dukkha, etc,…….

      Therefore, when we do Not attach a value to anything, Avijja does Not arise, Tanha does Not arise and Sokha, Parideva, Dukkha, etc. do not arise, therefore leading to Nibbana.

    • #35638
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Ravi wrote: “Therefore, when we do not attach a value to anything, Avijja does Not arise,..”

      That is true. However, “not giving value to worldly things” CANNOT be done just by willpower.

      Rather, the mind WOULD NOT “give value to worldly things” once it starts comprehending the anicca, dukkha, anatta nature, i.e., that worldly things cannot be maintained to one’s expectations over long times (anicca); if one does then suffering will arise (dukkha), and thus one will be without refuge in the rebirth process (anatta).
      – Of course, that is only one way to express Tilakkhana.

      In other words, “giving up” becomes a natural, automatic process with the true understanding of Tilakkhana.
      – That is why the Sotapanna attainment will NEVER be lost. One would have understood the unfruitfulness/danger in attaching to worldly things.
      – Of course, one will initially give up only immoral deeds seeking sensory pleasures. A Sotapanna would still enjoy “harmless sensory pleasures”. Giving up most sensory pleasures happens only at the Anagami stage.

    • #35668
      ravi777
      Participant

      Thanks Lal, and Mettha to you.

    • #35681
      raj
      Participant

      Heard a talk by a Buddhist monk who described that we can experience a consciousness (which is the deathless) which is blissful, boundless and unlimited and this consciousness is not part of the five khandas and nothing to do with the 5 aggregates.
      Is that a correct understanding?
      I think he meant this for the advanced stages in meditation and cannot be expected in the preliminary stages. One has to be well established in the 8 fold noble path before one can expect to experience it.

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
    • #35688
      Lal
      Keymaster

      “. we can experience a consciousness (which is the deathless) which is blissful, boundless and unlimited and this consciousness is not part of the five khandas and nothing to do with the 5 aggregates.”

      How can one experience anything without the five khandhas?
      – Vedana is in the five khandhas.

      It is a good idea to write the comment in a word processor and finalize it before posting it at the forum. That way, one gets to think clearly about the question.

    • #35709
      raj
      Participant

      Sorry, apologize for the rushed comment. Heard the talk again about 4 times and that particular section about 10 times and realized that he is saying, we can experience a consciousness which
      is blissful, boundless and unlimited (after we have managed to slow down the influence of the other khandas) by going into deep meditation.

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
    • #35711
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Can you provide a link to the discourse and also say at what time(s) he is saying this?

    • #35712
      raj
      Participant

      Please go to you tube and search for the following:

      170311 the three dangers \\ Thanissaro Bhikku\\ Dhamma Talk

      the talk duration is 21:32 mts this particular reference starts 18:30 mts

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
    • #35714
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Please copy the link and paste it.

    • #35715
      raj
      Participant

      Sorry I am not not sure how to do it, but will try to figure it out

      I sent it from my phone to [email protected]

      • This reply was modified 2 months ago by raj.
    • #35717
      raj
      Participant

      this the link to the talk by Thannissaro Bhikku on the above subject

    • #35719
      y not
      Participant

      Simply highlight “170311 the three dangers \\ Thanissaro Bhikku\\ Dhamma Talk”,
      copy, and paste onto Google search. You will find it listed as the first video clip.

      Metta

    • #35720
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I am not sure what Thanissaro Bhikkhu is trying to say.

      If he is referring to the mindset of a living Arahant it could be misleading in the following way:
      – A living Arahant would not generate “stressful mental feelings”. These arise due to “samphassa-ja-vedana”. Since an Arahant does not generate “samphassa-ja-vedana” his mind would be devoid of “mental stresses”.
      But even an Arahant will still feel body aches and is still subject to injuries, sicknesses, etc. We know that even the Buddha had those and Ven. Moggalana died a horrible death (beaten to death).

      After the death, an Arahant is not reborn. So, there would be no dukkha vedana or sukha vedana.
      That is the ultimate bliss, to be free of ANY suffering (any type of dukkha vedana).
      – This is hard for many people to understand. They think “Nibbanic bliss” is a vedana. It is not. Nibbanic bliss is to be free of all suffering.
      Vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana, and rupa (all five aggregates) are not present in Nibbana (more correctly after the Parinibbana (death) of an Arahant).

      On the other hand, Thanissaro Bhikkhu could be referring to the mindest of someone who got into a jhana. I have not watched the whole video.
      – Of course, jhanic states are the best types of “sukha vedana” available in this world.
      – Yet, those are temporary. As long as one is in this world, suffering CANNOT be avoided.

      The bottom line is that any kind of “sukha vedana” one may experience via meditation SHOULD NOT be one’s goal. The goal is to stop ANY suffering, and that can be achieved only by stopping the rebirth process.
      – Of course, those who attain jhanas on the way, do get such “jhanic pleasures” as a bonus.

    • #35723
      raj
      Participant

      Thanks Y Not for the tip. I have duckduckgo as my search engine and it did not produce the same result. But I copied and pasted directly from Ytube.
      I am not sure if we are allowed to share email info on the forum, that way I can contact you if I run into other computer issues.
      My son used to help me but he has gone overseas.

    • #35725
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It is OK to share email information. But if you want to keep privacy, you can send me an email asking me to forward your email address to y not. If so, please make that request with your email address specified in the text. I can forward your email to y not.

    • #35730
      y not
      Participant

      raj,

      E-mails have been shared before – on one occasion that I know of at least.

      Lal’s suggestion, however, keeps privacy perfectly intact and is therefore much better as an idea. However, HOWEVER, I am no computer expert, f a r from it !!! I find ways to improvise where the standard way does not work for some reason, that is all. But, yes, I will help as far as I can,
      most certainly.

      Metta

    • #35732
      raj
      Participant

      Hi Ynot,

      I thought of the privacy issue, then felt its no big deal. I am retired now and have plenty of free time, and if I don’t like a message I can delete it and learn to practice metta. By the way I have several email accounts, worst case scenario, I can close the account.

      This email I have is just for dhamma related topics. <[email protected]>
      (but I don’t check my mail everyday, and take a few days to reply, especially if I happen to be travelling or in the Indian subcontinent).

      I also want to be able to communicate with serious vipassana students because I have lost all contact with them because I have not been able to go there since Sept 2019 due to covid restrictions. I had planned to live there as a longterm server after retirement, but covid changed everything. But it is a blessing in disguise because I would have not got the full benefit and guidance of the puredhamma site, because over there you get very limited internet access.

      I would have not understood anicca is not the same as anitya and there is no such pali word! and anatta has nothing to do with nonself! That in itself outweighs all other considerations.

      I have realized that being too loyal to any one organization and not getting exposed to other views can have adverse effect to ones progress. Believe it or not I was very closely connected to another organization for 33 years and by providence got in touch with Buddhism and we were preached to stay away from the Buddha’s teachings!
      The minute someone says don’t listen to other views, should raise a red flag!
      It is like being restricted to one diet, one season or being restricted to one small county or zipcode (as was the case last year due to covid). I feel that I have been very fortunate to be guided by benevolent spiritual guiding force all through my life. In hindsight even all my failures were a blessing in disguise!

      Metta

    • #35744
      raj
      Participant

      I have listened to many of Thannissaro Bhikku’s talks in the past few years. Some of them multiple times.
      Generally his theme is how to breath and make one feel comfortable in the meditation process, and I presume it is to be able to get into Jhana.
      I understand and agree with Lalji that our goal is get out of samsara and not to experience the pleasure of jhana.
      But I was thinking for those of us who cannot make significant progress in this lifetime, the time and the process of death would be great opportunity. I have heard that death can be a painful experience. But if we are good at and have learned the process (by Thanissaro Bhikku) to ignore the pain, we can have a clearer mind and leave the body with the intention of making further progress on the path, which will give us a birth which will be favorable to continue the 8 fold noble path.

      I have also listened several times to Bhante Vimalaramsi, in one particular talk he teaches how to get into the first Jhana. He says that the Buddha gave great emphasis to Jhana and that is because it is the path to Nibnanna.
      It is an hour and 16 minutes talk, but in the 1st 25 minutes itself he talks about all these points.
      I have given the link below, I hope others will listen and give their input.

      Bhante Vimalaramsi teaches Metta meditation. I attended a 10 day retreat in Missouri last year
      because Goenka Vipassana centres were closed due to the pandemic.
      I was not sure what it was but went anyway to break my addiction to watch tv on presidential polictics.
      I wanted to leave on the 1st day because it was very different from vipassana. I liked the peace and quite, so I stayed but did his technique partially. In my sessions I would do 90% vipassana and 10% metta. By doing that, it would not disqualify me to do the 30 day vipassana course which I had planned to do in 2021.

      With all the limitations and travel restrictions due to the pandemic, I am extremely grateful to
      be able to participate in the puredhamma forum.

    • #35746
      raj
      Participant

      Sorry, made an attempt to just paste the link, but the whole thing got copied. Still have not figured out how to just paste the link!
      I am aware of the disadvantage of doing it this way , because once you pause it, it comes up with other videos which could be enticing and distracting.
      Would be nice if it could be deleted and replaced by just the link.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by raj.
    • #35747
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It is fine, Raj. No problem!

    • #35749
      cubibobi
      Participant

      Hi Raj,

      Here’s the link to the talk (just use the “link” icon when you write a post, and it’s self-explanatory).

      What is a Jhana? Commentaries vs Suttas – Meaning?

      I listened to this talk a number of times before, read a couple of books by Bhante, and got to know David Johnson well via email.

      Bhante devised a method called the 6Rs. I have not attended a retreat with Bhante, but I see nothing here that is contrary to Buddha Dhamma.

      — You said:
      “In my sessions I would do 90% vipassana and 10% metta.”

      If you attend this retreat you may as well do it fully as instructed, just like you would do a Goenka course. After all, you can tell the Goenka centers that you practice metta, which should have no interference with the Goenka’s style of vipassana.

      Best,
      Lang

    • #35751
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thanks, Lang. I forgot to mention the following to Raj.

      Instructions for posting a comment at: “How to Post/Reply to a Forum Question

      You can find insrtructions for posting a link in #3.
      – But if you still have problems, just paste the link. That is fine.

    • #35753
      raj
      Participant

      Hi Lang,
      Thanks for the tip, I am planning on doing an online course on metta meditation in the near future.
      I am happy to hear that you have also heard the same talk from Bhante Vimalarasi several times.
      Which other monks you listen to?
      I used to listen to Bhikku Yuttadhammo a lot, but I don’t follow his meditation technique. I have heard hundreds of talks by him. Just on the Dhammapada topic, I have heard him about three to four hundred times. He has give 200+ talks on the Dhammapada, and some of them I have heard it 5 to 10 times, I enjoy repeated hearings. Some of those stories are excellent and uplifting!
      Some of the other monks I listen to are Ajhan Brahmali, Ajhan Amaro, Ajhan Cha and several others.
      I listen to whatever pops up on my sidebars. I must have heard at least 30 to 40 monks.
      Please share your realizations when you get a chance.
      I had shared my yahoo mail, I also just created a new gmail. Some people like gmail for some reason.

      < [email protected] >

      Wish you all the best,
      Raj

    • #35825
      raj
      Participant

      Sometime back I was thinking that our body has so many cells (living entities) and are all living with us, in our body (billions of them) as if we are the king and they are the subjects. Then I thought it too complicated and waste of time, I have better things to think about.
      Then a few days back I heard a talk by Thanissaro Bhikku (the Bhante is actually reading a talk given by Ajaan Lee). It is a talk about several consciousness taking shelter of our body, some help us and some give us trouble.
      I was not sure if I should bring up the subject on this thread and if it would be helpful (in the progress of the noble 8 fold path) to discuss these issues.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by raj.
    • #35829
      Lal
      Keymaster

      The cells in our body are NOT different living beings. They are part of our physical body.

      But there are small/microscopic living beings mostly in our gut, and even on the skin!
      – So, it is possible that some of those living beings can cause problems. However, most in the gut actually help us in various ways. I am sure if you find more information on that by doing a Google search. But please don’t post them here.

    • #35834
      raj
      Participant

      I was actually asking about posting the talk by Ajaan Lee. It is 35 minutes talk. I already listened to it twice, and may have to listen a few more times to get a good idea of the whole subject. He talks of 3 types of consciousness. 1) The primary entity which is us 2) Other multitude of creatures such as parasites 3) Gods and demons who may reside in us from time to time. He brings up some interesting points, like when we see or hear or taste, who is actually doing it ? Us or them ? and he goes on to describe how to get free, all the way to liberation.

    • #35835
      Lal
      Keymaster

      You can post it and we can see what this is about. If it is not beneficial, we can remove it.

    • #35836
      raj
      Participant
    • #35837
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I listened to the first part of it. That discourse does not seem to be relevant.
      – What is the relevance of the consciousness of other (parasite beings) living in our bodies to our efforts to attain Nibbana? How are such living beings different from other living beings who live around us? Just because they live in our bodies does not make any difference.

      These are distractions. I will leave it. But please do not bring these irrelevant things to the discussion here.

    • #35841
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I had a bit of time this morning, so I listened to a little bit more of the above discourse. But I could not proceed beyond about 12 minutes.

      I ran into the same issue that I mentioned above again. Around 9:55 Bhikkhu Thanissaro says “your consciousness gets MIXED UP with the consciousnesses of those parasites in your body”.

      This shows a clear lack of understanding of how consciousness arises.

      Our consciousness (and thoughts) arise in the hadaya vatthu (seat of the mind) located in our mental body (gandhabba).
      – In the same way, the consciousness of a parasite arises in its hadaya vatthu.
      – There is no way that they can “get mixed up.”
      – A parasite in our physical body is no different from millions of external microscopic/macroscopic beings our bodies come to contact with.

      Of course, various external factors can indirectly INFLUENCE our consciousness.
      – For example, if parasites in our gut cause digestion problems, that will affect our mindset, because we need to worry about that problem.
      – But that is not any different from our mental state being affected by someone saying something harsh or causes bodily harm to us.

      This is why we need to be careful. That discourse seems harmless, and even sounds a “bit deep”. But it is based on a false premise. No one with even a bit of Abhidhamma knowledge will say such a thing.
      – By the way, I had previously listened to a discourse by the same bhikkhu on Anapana meditation and that is also completely wrong. He describes that as a “16-step breath meditation”. But those 16 steps are NOT what the Buddha described in the Anapanasati Sutta.

      Please do not post any discourses by that bhikkhu in this forum. While some may have useful information, I don’t have time to listen to them to make sure.

    • #35845
      raj
      Participant

      Sir,
      I had listened to the 16 “step breath meditation” talk sometime last year, and I was planning on listening to it again. Now that you say it is completely wrong, is there a right version I can listen to? Do you have the 16 steps listed in the Puredhamma site?
      I don’t think I am going to be posting anything from anywhere from now on. It is easier to ask a
      specific question on a topic and get it answered, rather than going through all this problems.
      I wish there was a list of authentic English Dhamma talks on the Puredhamma site.
      Thankyou for giving us authentic information on your site.
      Another question came to my mind.
      When we project metta bhavana to an entity, how does it reach them. I was thinking, may be, that the activity helps the performer more that the one it is performed for. It puts the person giving metta in a proper frame of mind and benefits them to progress on the path.

    • #35848
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Hello Raj:

      The 16-step Anapanasati meditation is really for those who have attained the Sotapanna stage. I have not done a post on that yet. (See the P.S. below).

      First, one needs to understand that Anapanasati is NOT breath meditation.

      I have referred you to several posts on that earlier. Apparently, you don’t read what I suggest OR just read but don’t grasp the material. In any case, it is a good idea to read the posts in the Meditation section:
      Bhāvanā (Meditation)
      – The difference between Anapanasati and breath meditation is discussed in several posts there.

      It is a good idea to read that section from the beginning. Most people are looking for “fancy meditation techniques.” But we need to understand that Nibbana is “ragakkhaya, dosakkhaya, mohakkhaya” or getting rid of “greed, hate/anger/ignorance (of the Noble Truths).
      – So, one needs to start at a basic level and build upon that basic foundation.

      By the time you have read the posts in that section, hopefully, you will understand how Ariya Metta Bhavana works.

      Don’t worry. I understand that there is so much stuff out there and it is hard to figure out who is right.
      – I cannot say I am right. But I do point out the inconsistencies in some stuff out there.
      – It is up to each person to decide.

      My advice is to stop trying to read/listen to all that is out there. Just focus on one path for some time. If that doesn’t seem to be right then try another.

      As far as English discourses by others, I think those by “Dharmayai Obayi” seem to be good. I have listened to a couple, and some people on this forum have commented that they are good.

      P.S. Anapanasati is the SAME as Satipatthana. To put it another way, when one cultivates Anapanasati, one would automatically cultivate Satipatthana. That is stated in the Anapanasati Sutta (MN 118).
      – It is just that cultivation of Anapanasati/Satipatthana would have optimum results AFTER the Sotapanna stage.
      – You can read the posts on Satipatthana here: “Mahā Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta
      – But I would recommend going through the Meditation section BEFORE reading these posts.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Lal.
    • #35858
      TripleGemStudent
      Participant

      Hi Raj,

      You mentioned “Unfortunately I cant meditate for many hours”

      One of the pieces of advice that I wanted to share with you was to expand your view and understanding of what meditation is.

      Lal mentioned

      “In any case, it is a good idea to read the posts in the Meditation section”

      I hope you have read Lal post above carefully. One can miss out important information if you quickly just read over it without some contemplation afterwards.

      “As far as English discourses by others, I think those by “Dharmayai Obayi” seem to be good”

      Here’s the link to the playlist of the English sermons by Dharmayai Obai

      From the same Sangha, here are stories of Arahants if you’re looking for some inspirations and short lesson’s

      One of my to go learning places.

      Unfortunately there’s only 4 short video’s here in English, but so far based on my own understanding. The teaching here, I can’t find any flaws or disagree with anything.

      When I first started on Puredhamma, I was able to learn some things from this teacher. You might be interested in this as I believe this teacher teaches somewhere in the middle of what we learn here at Puredhamma and the Theravada Buddhism that’s “popularly” being taught out there.

      Lal mentioned

      “My advice is to stop trying to read/listen to all that is out there. Just focus on one path for some time. If that doesn’t seem to be right then try another.”

      This is another advice that I wanted to share with you. The links that I have posted above in my opinion can “kinda” help one focus on the path with what we’re learning here. But one would have to use their discernment to see what makes sense to them or not, as I don’t agree with everything that’s being taught or mentioned in those links that I provided you. But nevertheless, they still can be beneficial. I would highly recommend that you read the material on this site first or as much as you can. If you not feeling like reading from here at the current moment or you want to listen to something instead, then you can check out the links that I have provided. As well there are desena’s (talks) on here as well. Maybe Lal can point them out to you.

      Hope this helps

    • #35868
      raj
      Participant

      Hi TripleGemStudent,
      Thank you for all the good tips and all the links, on your above comment.
      I have realized that I don’t need to read and listen a whole bunch and overload my brain.
      It would be better to listen and read less, contemplate on it and absorb it. I was overdoing it and it was being counterproductive.
      It is like eating, one can eat fast and end up over eating and get sick with indigestion, on the other hand if one learns to eat slowly and chews properly, one eats less and the body absorbs it, and one can stay very healthy, the same goes with reading and listening too much and not contemplating properly.
      It is a bad habit from the previous path I had followed, where too much importance was given to spiritual vibrations. It is true to some extent, but one has to learn to absorb the material, parrot like listening and chanting is not going to help one achieve the goal.
      I have started to reduce it, but I am maintaining my quota of listening to suttas and trying to memorize it. I enjoy it and I can feel it is tremendously helping me at this point of life.
      I feel very fortunate to be receiving good guidance from the puredhamma forum.
      Thank you again and wish you all the best on your spiritual journey.

    • #35872
      TripleGemStudent
      Participant

      Hi Raj,

      Your question: “When we project metta bhavana to an entity, how does it reach them. I was thinking, may be, that the activity helps the performer more that the one it is performed for. It puts the person giving metta in a proper frame of mind and benefits them to progress on the path.”

      Transfer of merits

      Kaamma, debt and meditation

      Loving kindness meditation

      You can find Lal’s dasana (talks) here

    • #35875
      raj
      Participant

      Hi TripleGemStudent,

      Thank you for the links. It is going to keep me busy for the next several days or a week.
      The puredhamma site has so much information that it is sometimes difficult to hunt for a specific subject material (I find it hard, may be there a easier for people some who know how and what to look for).
      By the way, I am not complaining, I am very grateful for the site.
      I am like a starving person who has magically ended up in a great feast due to some good fortune, and has no idea where to start! I found it easier to just listen to enticing Y tube talks.
      Now I have realized that there is no need to rush, and it is better when I take it slow and easy.

      Metta

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