June 22, 2021 at 12:07 pm #34740
as per my understanding bhavanga constantly flows until it is disturbed by a sensory input which in turn starts the ripple effect contributing to the chain of dependent origination which in turn will
result in some sort of kamma.
So, is meditation a process in which we are allowing the bavanga to flow uninterrupted and not
causing any kamma which one perfected will lead to Nirvana?
June 22, 2021 at 1:49 pm #34741LalKeymaster
Bhavanga is not something that one experiences actively (i.e., they are not “thoughts”.)
– All citta (loosely called “thoughts”) arise in citta vithi. Each citta vithi has 17 citta, and millions of them can run through the mind in a second.
– Bavanga is the “state of the mind” in-between citta vithi. But the does not register ANYTHING while in bhavanga.
– In most bhavanga states, the mind does not “feel” anything. It is thus normally in a “neutral” bhavanga state. But right after a strong sensory event, the mind may retain that “mindset” for a while. For example, if X hears that his father just died, that “sad mindset” could be with X for many days.
– In contrast, there will be citta vithi flowing during meditation. You may be thinking about the “calm mindset” during meditation. But those are still citta vithi, with “good thoughts”. That is why they provide calmness.
You may want to read the following post:
“Bhava and Bhavaṅga – Simply Explained”
If you still have questions, please feel free to ask.
June 22, 2021 at 5:27 pm #34742
Thank you for the clarification. I happened to listen to a lecture on Abidhamma by Mr Richard Jones of the london buddhist vihara.
It is easier for me to listen than to read, so I prefer listening to talks.
He mentions how bhavanga (and he says there are many flowing at the same time) simply flows until it is interrupted by a sensory input. So my above statement was a simplistic understanding of how meditation works, but now it is obvious that it is not all that simple.
These topics are very interesting to read and hear, but hard to remember.
I am glad that the Buddha has the suttas, which are lost easier to understand and remember.
I was a novice monk in a theistic school for a good part of my youth, and followed and tried to
practice that (as taught by the school of madhva, ramanuja, chaitany ect). Also we were systematically brainwashed against Buddhism and monistic teachings by Shakara.
I happened to do a vipassana course by Mr. S N Goenka, and then got interested in Buddhism.
I was amazed at how scientific Buddhism was and the meditation has been very helpful in controlling and calming the mind ,compared to the mantra meditation I did for several decades.
June 23, 2021 at 7:49 am #34752
Sir, you mention 17 chittas and millions of them running in a second. It is so inconceivable to
During meditation and also during the day when I am aware of the breath, there is a feeling of
calm and contentment, how am I able to experience that if so much is happening in the mind.
Or is the mind of a meditator not as active as a non meditator, and following the 8 fold
noble path is an antidote for the storm of a mind in the sea of samsara?
Even when the mind is disturbed, we are only aware of a few thoughts and they all seem to subside
in a minute or so and we seem to experience a thoughtless stage during meditation or even during
June 23, 2021 at 9:06 am #34754LalKeymaster
You wrote: “During meditation and also during the day when I am aware of the breath, there is a feeling of calm and contentment, how am I able to experience that if so much is happening in the mind. Or is the mind of a meditator not as active as a non meditator..”
Our minds are agitated due to so many arammana running through the mind even in a short time. This is why “multi-tasking” is stressful.
– Most people are attracted to breath-meditation because it calms down the mind. The reason is very simple: Mind now has only one arammana, the breath!
However, that itself does not do ANYTHING to cultivate the Path. One needs to calm the mind AND THEN contemplate on Dhamma concepts (and learn) or contemplate on the anicca nature (unfruitfulness of craving worldly things) once the anicca concept is understood.
So, it is OK to calm down the mind by initially focusing on the breath for a short time. But it is foolish to keep doing that for hours! Complete waste of precious time!
June 23, 2021 at 11:38 am #34756
Sir, thankyou for the guidance. I do try as much as possible to contemplate on dhamma topics.
These days due to the pandemic it is easy to contemplate on the annica nature of the body.
The more we understand annica, the less the dukha when it comes to attachment of the body and
the fear of death.
To my understanding as far as anatha is concerned, in the preliminary level we need to work on
the gross concept of identifications ( I am a man/women, rich/poor, healthy/ unhealthy and so on.
Please let me know if there are other practical means to advance on the path.
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