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Dukkha

Posted by Shivaboddha on April 16, 2011

Dukkha can refer to various unpleasant experiences in varying degrees. It can range anywhere from discomfort to suffering.
Although dukkha sounds simple enough, it is not easy for many people to realize. The Anapanasati Sutta and Maha-satipatthana Sutta indicate that a person first need to practice meditation to purify the mind of the five hindrances to wisdom and the ability to “see things as they truly are” before contemplating “dukkha”. For someone who has not seen what it’s like to be without dukkha, it is difficult to realize that life is “dukkha”.
“What ordinary folk call happiness, the enlightened ones call dukkha” – Samyutta Nikaya 35.

The Buddha discussed three kinds of dukkha or suffering:
1. Dukkha-dukkha (pain of pain) is the obvious sufferings of: pain, illness, old age, death, bereavement.
2. Viparinama-dukkha (pain of alteration) is suffering caused by change: violated expectations, the failure of happy moments to last
3. Sankhara dukkha (pain of formation) is a subtle form of suffering arising as a reaction to qualities of conditioned things, including the skandhas, the factors constituting the human mind

Dukkha is also listed among the three marks of existence: impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and not-self (anatta). Dukkha denotes the experience that all formations (sankhara) are impermanent (anicca) – thus it explains the qualities which make the mind as fluctuating and impermanent entities. It is therefore also a gateway to anatta, not-self.
Insofar as it is dynamic, ever-changing, uncontrollable and not finally satisfactory, unexamined life is itself precisely dukkha.

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Rapture

Posted by Shivaboddha on April 28, 2012

Is it possible for the earth to experience a pole shift in the near future? I would like to state that the Bible records at least one pole shift in the past and that such an event is not necessarily cataclysmic. I can also tell you from scripture that there will be at least 1 and possibly 2 pole shifts in the near future and what they will entail and when they may occur.

I believe there is a clear indication of the occurrence of a pole shift when Jesus was crucified. This event is recorded in the Gospels.
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 47Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. (Luke 23:44-47)

What happened here was that while Jesus was on the cross it became dark from noon to 3:00. There is much historical evidence to suggest that this was the result of a pole shift which caused the sun to set at noon. And then at 3:00 the sun came up again. There is also evidence that a world wide earthquake occurred at this time with heaving seas, again indicative of a pole shift. We also know from history that this was not a severe cataclysmic event. See the article entitled The Catastrophe at the Crucifixion AD 33.

As for the future and a 2012 pole shift; I believe that scripture indicates that during the end times there will be at least one and possibly two pole shifts. The first will be at an event known as the rapture, when the Lord Jesus returns to earth to rescue Christians from the persecution of the antichrist. This is clearly recorded in Revelation 6.
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:12-17)

I believe that the physical event that is being described here fits the description of what many conjecture will occur at a pole shift. And this seems to be a pretty severe one for it says that every mountain and island will be moved out of their places. A pole shift triggering a world wide earthquake of this magnitude is sure to do large scale damage. I believe that this event will also most likely occur between 2013 and 2015, for that is when the rapture will most likely take place.

It is interesting to note that a military insider said that after WWIII there will be a worldwide catastrophic geophysical event.

So we’re going to head into this war, then after that… and I can’t give you a timescale for when this is going to happen… there will be a geophysical event taking place on Earth which is going to affect everybody. When asked about the timing of the geophysical event he replied “Yes. I think they’ve got a good idea of when it’s going to happen… between now and five years.[1]

I believe that the cataclysmic geophysical event will be the pole shift at the sixth seal events which will include the rapture.

The next pole shift is likely to occur at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth at the battle of Armageddon as described in this passage.

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (Rev 16:17-21)

This event describes, among other things a horrific worldwide earthquake that levels all the mountains of the world and destroys all the islands. This event is also preceded by horrific changes in the sun. That is the bad news; the good news is that one can escape both of these events by being part of the rapture.

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10 Virtues

Posted by Shivaboddha on May 14, 2011

10 Virtues
written by Dhammacaro

This story was told by the Buddha while he was staying at Savatthi. He was teaching monks about the 10 virtues for refuge, the best protectors of human life. Thus have I heard:
“Live with a protector, monks, and not without a protector. He suffers, one who lives without a protector. And these ten are qualities creating a protector. Which ten?

1. Sila, good conduct; keeping moral habits.
Sila (precept or discipline) is the fence against the encroachment of bad things which destroy our body and mind. Sila is a plant of wholesomeness which a person should cultivate himself. Trouble easily finds a person who has no fence, namely Sila. Even if a person lives in a civilised world with all material advancements, he still has trouble. Sila is the only fence against unwholesomeness. The world produces what ruins the world, but it never produces what helps the world. So it is said that Sila is the medicine which heals the diseases of the world.

2. Bahusutta, great learning.
Buddhism gives one definition of life that “Life is Learning” and this in turn means that learning is very important for life. The direct experiences we have in life, give us ample opportunity to learn, develop wisdom, and thus live a happy life. This learning is traditionally separated into 6 aspects. Namely,
1. Self-study
2. Learning about and from others
3. Learning about society and its changes
4. Learning about time and opportunity
5. Learning virtues
6. Learning the reality of life. When we can understand these things, we will have fewer problems and have more success in life.

1. Self-study – Have we ever asked ourselves “who we really are?” We may say, “Yes, we know our names and how old we are etc.” We may think that that is all life is about. In fact it goes deeper than that. For instance if we really know ourselves, we can rule our lives in a good and beneficial way, and we can take real control of our lives. It is said that if we know ourselves and our temperaments, such as if we are easily angered, we can teach ourselves to be calm. If we have a bad mouth, we can be aware of our speech. This will cause fewer problems to us in the future.
2. Learning about and from others – this means that we are not alone in this world. We have family and live in a society so we have to learn to know other people, especially people around us, such as members of our family. If we know them and their temperaments well, whatever situation arises we will have some means by which we can solve it. Knowing such things helps us to then live together peacefully.
3. Learning about society and its changes – to learn to know the society, in which we live, is worthwhile. When we know where we are and the way it changes, we can learn to cope with any situation that arises. All the information we hold in our hands as per our society can help us to live a happy life.
4. Learning about time and opportunity – life flows along with time and opportunity. If we know time and opportunity, our life will be smooth. Sometimes we have to learn to wait for an appropriate time, and sometimes we have to find the proper time to do our work. If it is not the proper time, we should wait for a while until the right time arises. Otherwise, the situation becomes like the expression, “haste makes waste.”
5. Learning virtues (Dhamma) – to live a virtuous life is the aim of Buddhist people. There are many dhammas of the Buddha which people can learn and practice in their lives. If they are parents, there is dhamma for parents to learn and practise. If they are students, there is dhamma for them to learn and practice. Lack of virtue makes us unhappy.
6. Learning the reality of life – the reality of life is something we should know. In this world, there is polarity such as happiness and pain, gladness and sorrow, youth and old age etc. We have to learn to accept the truth of life. When we really understand the nature of life as being up and down, containing both happiness and sorrow, we learn to accept whatever life throws at us with equanimity – it is this acceptance that leads to calm and peace.

At last, if we learn something supportive to our life, we can use the knowledge to support our life. To accept the reality of life is very important. Life cannot be successful all the time, sometimes we are going to be disappointed, it is only natural. However this all depends on the causes; if we build up good causes, then we will succeed in life. When we build up bad causes, then life is going to be full of suffering. This shows that life needs such learning to accumulate the factors leading to success or happiness.

3. Kalyana mitta, good company; association with good people.
The Buddha said in Dhammapada, “Do not associate with evil friends. Do not associate with wicked people. Associate with virtuous friends”.
The Buddha also expounded a discourse on “Sampada”: the qualities which one must possess so as to gain wealth and happiness.

Kalyana-mittatato have good friends and close acquaintances:
Good friends are gained and kept through nurturing Metta (loving kindness and good will) within the relationship
Good friends are those have virtues of; Saddha (faith), Sila (morality), Caga (liberality) and Pañña (wisdom). Having friends who lack these virtues will do nothing but drain your own, while on the other hand, having friends who possess them will help yours flourish.

In Dighanikaya Patikavacca, the Buddha spoke of the good characteristics of a good friend. They are as follows;
He guards you when you are off your guard.
He guards your property when you are off your guard.
He is a refuge to you when you are in danger.
He provides a double supply of what you may ask for in time of need.
He keeps you back from evil.
He encourages you to do good.
He informs you of what you have not heard.
He shows you the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

4. Sovacassata; amenability to correction; meekness; easy admonishability which is one of the Supreme teachings of the Buddha.
The Buddha said in the Mangala Sutta, “Patience, humility, contentment and gratitude, hearing the Dhamma at the right time. This is the Supreme Blessing.” It means to accept guidance, or the act of listening to Dhamma is a good starting point on the journey to real happiness. It is true if we are easily taught, we can develop ourselves more or less. To reject the teachings or advice can be dangerous in life, as we will be under the power of ignorance. As a Buddhist monk, I am amenable to be taught and trained so that I can develop myself. In vinaya or discipline new monks must study under the teachers with respect and meekness for five years, but that does not mean that we have to believe everything that the teacher teaches us. We allow ourselves to learn first and put into practice, or consider it, if it is practicable or beneficial to life.

5. Kingkaraniyesu Dakkhata; willingness to give a helping hand; diligence and skill in managing all the affairs of one’s fellows in the community.
This is the main reason why the Buddha established the Sangha, which can give a helping hand and support each other in learning and practice. The affairs mentioned earlier mean learning, practising and advising (monastic duties). What do we learn and practise and how can we advise others? This question is asked not only in this time, but also in the Buddha’s time as in Cakkhubala sutta; One day, at a time when the rainy retreat had come to an end, Mahabala visited the Buddha and questioned him on duties within the monastic life. The Buddha explained that there were two main duties. The first is to study the teachings within the Tripitaka, as knowledge is a vital asset as, once gained, it can never be lost. Furthermore it is something which can be passed on to others so that the benefits are two fold. The second is to practice meditation for the development of one self.
When both duties are accomplished to a certain point, we can advise others; with both theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge. This is the willingness to give a helping hand; diligence and skill in managing all affairs of one’s fellows in the community, as we are doing now.

6. Dhammakamata; love of truth; and of the Doctrine, be pleasant to consult and converse with and rejoice in the advanced teaching of both the Doctrine and the Discipline.
The Dhamma is that which really is. It is the Doctrine of Reality. It is a means of Deliverance from suffering, and Deliverance itself. Whether the Buddhas arise or not, the Dhamma exists. It lies hidden from the ignorant eyes of men, till a Buddha, an Enlightened One, realizes and compassionately reveals it to the world. This Dhamma is not something apart from oneself, but is closely associated with oneself. If we have to love something in this very world, we should love the truth, Dhamma. This love can help us improve life.
A good person likes to learn, to research, to inquire, to acquire knowledge and seek the truth; he knows how to speak up and ask, and to listen; he has a friendly and relaxed manner that encourages others to approach him for consultation and conversation.
The study of dhamma and the practice of meditation are primary things to do in Buddhism as the Buddha said, “If we just listen to the Dhamma teaching but don’t practice, we’re like a ladle in a pot of soup. Everyday the ladle is in the pot, but it doesn’t know the taste of the soup because the soup seeps through. We must contemplate and meditate.”

7. Viriyarambha; energy; effort; energetic exertion; making effort; being industrious in avoiding and abandoning evil actions, and cultivating the good; a good person makes an effort and strives forward; he does not give up in despair or neglect or forsake his duties and responsibilities.
The Buddha encouraged his disciples to make an effort to learn and practise for the better, he spoke of the Four efforts in Anguttaranikaya Catukkanipata as follows;
1. The effort to prevent unwholesomeness arising in the mind.
2. The effort to abandon or overcome the unwholesomeness arisen in the mind.
3. The effort to develop wholesomeness.
4. The effort to maintain wholesomeness.

8. Santutthi; contentment.
It has been said that to be contented with what we have, is good. With this saying, I began to be contented with learning the monk’s way of life. When I first became a monk, I was equipped with four requisites; alms food, clothes, accommodation and medical care. With the four requisites, I was taught how to eat in moderation, wear this simple robe, stay in a simple place and sleep on the floor, even on the earth, and care for my health mentally and physically. All the four requisites, I must use with discipline, which is called “Consuming things with wisdom”. My life was fully regulated; I had to do things at regular times, which are called “Doing the right thing in the right time and place.”
In the monastic rule, we don’t do anything for fun. We are trained to do everything to develop our life. We have to consider our actions; reflecting on those in the past (for our development), and in the present, so that we do not let ourselves be distracted or deluded. We do this two times a day, in the morning it is called “morning reflection”, and in the evening it is called “evening reflection.” These reflections are very important because they can remind us of what we have done, and are going to do next, so that we can be aware of our own actions. With this discipline we don’t follow, or satisfy our desire, and we know the right thing to do in life.
Without consideration or reflection, we will not reach a high standard of living and quality of life. In the old days people aimed to have a high standard of living and quality of life, so they searched for that. The Buddha was one of those who could not get true happiness from a luxurious life, so he left the throne and searched for the truth of life. He had been searching for it everywhere outside himself, so he spent almost six years in vain. At the end he settled down in Buddhagaya and fully practised meditation. Then he realised that what he had been searching for was inside himself; there was nowhere to search, nowhere to go, and no self, on the dawn of Vesakha day, he became enlightened.
The important aspect of the way of life the Buddha taught to his disciples is “The middle way or moderate way” which balances everything; food to eat, clothes to wear, accommodation and medical care for mental and physical health. In the monastic rule, when we are going to eat, we should consider the food before eating; it is neither for fun nor for wasting, but for living a life. In the same way, when we consume other requisites, we have the same consideration or reflection. These are the basic rules of consumption, as follows;
1. It should have no impact on oneself, meaning that whatever we consume does not weaken us.
2. It should have no impact on others meaning that whatever we consume does not destroy society or take advantage of others.
3. It should have no impact on nature meaning that whatever we consume does not destroy nature or our surroundings.

With these monastic rules, we are, automatically, trained to be content with whatever we have; to live a simple life. Contentment helps us to be easy with life. Most of our time is dedicated to the learning of scriptures and to practising meditation. If we are not content with what we have, we will get into trouble in searching for something unnecessary to life; being worried about what we are going to eat, or do etc. etc. Contentment is very important because it can give life happiness easily, without any conditions. One thing we should not be content with is the investigation of knowledge, as the Buddha said that, with the factors of enlightenment, and keen investigation of knowledge, a person could become enlightened.

9. Sati; mindfulness; the ability to remember what one has done and spoken.
Mindfulness is the active mind, knowing, understanding what is coming in and going out. The Buddha taught mindfulness in many teachings or suttas. Maggavibhanga Sutta is one sutta in which the Buddha explained that it is the contemplation of body, feeling, mind, and dhamma, as it really is, for the realisation of body, feeling, mind, and dhamma concerning mental function, namely mental phenomena which arise, remain, and vanish and divide from hindrances which keep the human mind away from development.
We really need right understanding in this very life; and right mindfulness, also, can help us live a righteous life, and find the path leading to the end of suffering.

10. Panna; wisdom; insight.
Training in wisdom is one of the three basic teachings in Buddhism. The Pali term used is “Panna”, which we need to fully understand. “Panna” is derived from the root ‘na’ which means ‘to know’, prefixed by ‘pa’ meaning ‘correctly’. Thus, the literal English translation of the word panna is ‘to know correctly’. Commonly used equivalents are such words as ‘insight’, ‘knowledge’ or ‘wisdom’. All these convey aspects of panna, but, as with all Pali terms, no translation corresponds exactly. Here it is divided into three aspects as follows;
1. The wisdom to know about action (kamma) means the knowledge that all beings were born as a result their own actions. Every action is like a seed, and every result is the fruit of that seed. In other words, “you reap what you sow.”
2. The wisdom to realize right understanding and right thought (Vipassana). This will occur when a meditator practises insight meditation according to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. He will understand name and form clearly; that they keep changing, are impermanent and are not controllable. They are governed by the natural laws of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self.
3. The wisdom to realize the Four Noble Truths, it is called ‘supramundane wisdom’. It penetrates the truths; namely that the existence of suffering is true, it is true that suffering has a cause; it is true that there is liberation; and there is an actual path leading to the cessation of suffering.

Wisdom greatly helps mankind to overcome all obstacles in life. The Buddha said, “All beings have wisdom within, we just need to develop it and use it.” Wisdom enables us to see things as they really are, as is said, “Seeing happiness as happiness, seeing suffering as suffering, seeing wholesome acts as wholesome acts and seeing unwholesome acts as unwholesome acts.”

Natha Sutta are called both great protection and great refuges, as they support the practitioners to develop themselves, and others, widely.

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Kalachakra

Posted by Shivaboddha on April 20, 2011

Kalachakra means Time-Wheel, as “Kāla” is Sanskrit for Time and “Chakra” (or Cakra) is Wheel in Sanskrit (In Tibetan his name is dus.’khor). It is also translated as Time-Cycles. Much in this tradition revolves around the concept of time and cycles: from the cycles of the planets, to the cycles of our breath and the practice of controlling the most subtle energies within one’s body on the path to enlightenment. The Kalachakra deity represents omniscience, as everything is under the influence of time, he is time and therefore knows all. Similarly, the wheel is beginningless and endless.

Outer Kalachakra refers to the outer world which is the vessel supporting the living beings. It is compounded by the six elements of earth, water, fire, air, space and wisdom; and all objects of smell, sight, taste, touch, sound and Dharma. Another division follows the cosmic buildup of the universe; the center made up by Mt. Meru, surrounded by the four continents and the eight subcontinents. Around its’ peak circle the planets of our solar system, the moon, sun, stars and so forth. This system is dictated by time cycles of years, months and days; also described as “the procession of the external solar and lunar days.”

Inner Kalachakra consists of the body and mind of living beings, the psychophysical aggregates, the sensory and psychic capacities so forth. This includes the six types of living beings (gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hell-beings), the six energy centers (chakras) of the body, the ten vital energies, the energy channels, the eight drops that carry the instincts of the two obscurations, and so forth. Inner Kalachakra deals with the astrological relationships of the internal energies, chakras, channels and drops to mental and emotional states, physical organs, and transformation processes. The basic theory is that on the body’s subtle energies normally move in synchronicity with the cycles of the planets. This movement of planetary energies within the body is the subject of the astrology of the Internal Kalachakra.
In other words, Inner and Outer Kalachakra include all the living beings and the external world in an astrological relation to the living beings. The relation is similar to the Greek expression “as above, so below”.

Alternative (or ‘Other’) Kalachakra describes the spiritual method leading to enlightenment in the form of Kalachakra. It describes the initiation, the Generation and Completion Stage Yogas. These two Yoga stages are the methods that have the power to purify the Outer and Inner Kalachakras (living beings and the universe).

Outer and Inner Kalachakras are the bases to be purified, whereas Alternative Kalachakra refers to the yogic practices that effect this purification and produce the three purified results.

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Treating Morons

Posted by Shivaboddha on April 19, 2011

Then Kesi the horsetrainer went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him: “You, Kesi, are a trained man, a trainer of tamable horses. And how do you train a tamable horse?”

“Lord, I train a tamable horse [sometimes] with gentleness, [sometimes] with harshness, [sometimes] with both gentleness & harshness.”

“And if a tamable horse doesn’t submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, Kesi, what do you do?”

“If a tamable horse doesn’t submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild and harsh training, lord, then I kill it. Why is that? [I think:] ‘Don’t let this be a disgrace to my lineage of teachers.’ But the Blessed One, lord, is the unexcelled trainer of tamable people. How do you train a tamable person?”

“Kesi, I train a tamable person [sometimes] with gentleness, [sometimes] with harshness, [sometimes] with both gentleness & harshness.

“In using gentleness, [I teach:] ‘Such is good bodily conduct. Such is the result of good bodily conduct. Such is good verbal conduct. Such is the result of good verbal conduct. Such is good mental conduct. Such is the result of good mental conduct. Such are the devas. Such are human beings.’

“In using harshness, [I teach:] ‘Such is bodily misconduct. Such is the result of bodily misconduct. Such is verbal misconduct. Such is the result of verbal misconduct. Such is mental misconduct. Such is the result of mental misconduct. Such is hell. Such is the animal womb. Such the realm of the hungry shades.’

“In using gentleness & harshness, [I teach:] ‘Such is good bodily conduct. Such is the result of good bodily conduct. Such is bodily misconduct. Such is the result of bodily misconduct. Such is good verbal conduct. Such is the result of good verbal conduct. Such is verbal misconduct. Such is the result of verbal misconduct. Such is good mental conduct. Such is the result of good mental conduct. Such is mental misconduct. Such is the result of mental misconduct. Such are the devas. Such are human beings. Such is hell. Such is the animal womb. Such the realm of the hungry shades.'”

“And if a tamable person doesn’t submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, what do you do?”

“If a tamable person doesn’t submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then I kill him, Kesi.”

“But it’s not proper for our Blessed One to take life! And yet the Blessed One just said, ‘I kill him, Kesi.'”

“It is true, Kesi, that it’s not proper for a Tathagata to take life. But if a tamable person doesn’t submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then the Tathagata doesn’t regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. His knowledgeable fellows in the holy life don’t regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. This is what it means to be totally destroyed in the Doctrine & Discipline, when the Tathagata doesn’t regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing, and one’s knowledgeable fellows in the holy life don’t regard one as being worth speaking to or admonishing.”

From Kesi Sutta.


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37 Factors of Enlightenment

Posted by Shivaboddha on April 18, 2011

37 Factors of Enlightenment

Four Foundations of Mindfulness (satipatthana)
1. kaya  the physical body
2. vedana  initial reactions to sensory input
3. citta  mind states; moods
4. dharmas 5 specific teachings

Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana)
5. To make an arisen, unwholesome state of mind cease
6. To make an unarisen, unwholesome state of mind not arise
7. To make an unarisen, wholesome state of mind arise
8. To make an arisen, wholesome state of mind continue

Four Bases of Power (iddhipada)
9. Desire or purpose or zeal (chanda)
10. Energy or will (viriya)
11. Mind or consciousness or thoughts (citta)
12. Investigation or discrimination (vīmaṃsā)

Five Faculties (pañc’ indriyāni)
13. Faith (saddhindariiya) is faith in the Buddha’s awakening.
14. Energy (viriyindariiya) refers to exertion towards the Four Right Efforts.
15. Mindfulness (satindariiya) refers to focusing on the 21 satipatthana.
16. Concentration (samadhindariiya) refers to achieving the first jhana.
17. Wisdom (paññindariiya) refers to discerning the Four Noble Truths.

Five Strengths (bala)
18. Faith (saddhabala) – controls doubt
19. Energy/Effort/Persistence (viriyabala) – controls laziness
20. Mindfulness (satibala); – controls heedlessness
21. Concentration (samādhibala) – controls distraction
22. Wisdom/Discernment (paññabala) – controls ignorance

Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga)
23. Mindfulness (sati) i.e. to be aware and mindful in all activities and movements both physical and mental
24. Investigation (dhamma vicaya) into the nature of dhamma
25. Energy (viriya)
26. Joy or rapture (pīti)
27. Tranquility (passaddhi) of both body and mind
28. Concentration (samādhi) a calm, one-pointed state of concentration of mind
29. Equanimity (upekkha), to be able to face life in all its vicissitudes with calm of mind and tranquility without disturbance of like and dislike

Eight Fold Path (Ariya Aṭṭhangika Magga)
30. Right understanding (samma ditthi)
31. Right thinking (samma sankappa)
32. Right speech (samma vaca)
33. Right action (samma kammanta)
34. Right livelihood (samma ajiva)
35. Right effort (samma vayama)
36. Right mindfulness (samma sati)
37. Right collectedness (samma samadhi)

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Paccaya

Posted by Shivaboddha on April 10, 2011

‘condition’, is something on which something else, the so-called ‘conditioned thing’, is dependent, and without which the latter cannot be. Manifold are the ways in which one thing, or one occurrence, may be the condition for some other thing, or occurrence. In the Patthāna, the last book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka (comprising 6 large vols. in the Siamese edition), these 24 modes of conditionality are enumerated and explained, and then applied to all conceivable mental and physical phenomena and occurrences, and thus their conditioned nature is demonstrated.

The first two volumes of the Patthāna have been translated into English by the Venerable U Nārada (Mūlapatthāna Sayadaw) of Burma, under the title Conditional Relations (Published by the Pāli Text Society, London 1969, 1981). For a synopsis of this work, see Guide VII.

The 24 modes of conditionality are:

  • 1. Root condition: hetu paccaya
  • 2. Object: ārammana
  • 3. Predominance: adhipati
  • 4. Priority: anantara
  • 5. Contiguity: samanantara
  • 6. Co-nascence: sahajāta
  • 7. Mutuality: aññamañña
  • 8. Support: nissaya
  • 9. Decisive Support: upanissaya
  • 10. Pre-nascene: purejāta
  • 11. Post-nascene: pacchājāta
  • 12. Repitition: āsevana
  • 13. Karma: kamma
  • 14. Karma-result: vipāka
  • 15. Nutriment: āhāra
  • 16. Faculty: indriya
  • 17. Jhāna: jhāna
  • 18. Path: magga
  • 19. Associaton: sampayutta
  • 20. Dissociation: vippayutta
  • 21. Presence: atthi
  • 22. Absence: natthi
  • 23. Disappearance: vigata
  • 24. Non-disappearance: avigata

(1) Root-condition (hetu-paccaya) is that condition that resembles the root of a tree. Just as a tree rests on its root, and remains alive only as long as its root is not destroyed, similarly all karmically wholesome and unwholesome mental states are entirely dependent on the simultaneity and presence of their respective roots, i.e., of greed (lobha), hate (dosa), delusion (moha), or greedlessness (alobha), hatelessness (adosa), undeludedness (amoha). For the definition of these 6 roots, s. mūla.

“The roots are a condition by way of root for the (mental) phenomena associated with a root, and for the corporeal phenomena produced thereby (e.g. for bodily expression)” (Patth).

(2) Object-condition (ārammana-paccaya) is called something which, as object, forms the condition for consciousness and mental phenomena. Thus, the physical object of sight consisting in colour and light (‘light-wave’), is the necessary condition and the sine qua non for the arising of eye-consciousness (cakkhu-viññāna), etc.; sound (‘sound wave’) for ear-consciousness (sotā-viññāna), etc.; further, any object arising in the mind is the condition for mind-consciousness (mano-viññāna). The mind-object may be anything whatever, corporeal or mental, past, present or future, real or imaginary.

(3) Predominance-condition (adhipati-paccaya) is the term for 4 things, on the preponderance and predominance of which are dependent the mental phenomena associated with them, namely: concentrated intention (chanda), energy (viriya), consciousness (citta) and investigation (vīmamsā). In one and the same state of consciousness, however, only one of these 4 phenomena can be predominant at a time. “Whenever such phenomena as consciousness and mental concomitants are arising by giving preponderance to one of these 4 things, then this phenomenon is for the other phenomena a condition by way of predominance” (Patth.). Cf. iddhi-pāda.

(4-5) Proximity and contiguity (or immediacy)-condition (anantara and samanantara-paccaya) – both being identical – refer to any state of consciousness and mental phenomena associated with them, which are the conditions for the immediately following stage in the process of consciousness. For example, in the visual process, eye-consciousness is for the immediately following mind element – performing the function of receiving the visible object – a condition by way of contiguity; and so is this mind-element for the next following mind-consciousness element, performing the function of investigating the object, etc. Cf. viññāna-kicca.

(6) Co-nascence condition (sahajāta-paccaya), i.e. condition by way of simultaneous arising, is a phenomenon that for another one forms, a condition in such a way that, simultaneously with its arising, also the other thing must arise. Thus, for instance, in one and the same moment each of the 4 mental groups (feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness) is for the 3 other groups a condition by way of co-nascence or co-arising; or again each of the 4 physical elements (solid, liquid, heat, motion) is such a condition for the other 3 elements. Only at the moment of conception in the mother’s womb does corporeality (physical base of mind) serve for the 4 mental groups as a condition by way of co nascence.

(7) Condition by way of mutuality (aññāmañña-paccaya). All the just mentioned associated and co-nascent mental phenomena, as well as the 4 physical elements, are, of course, at the same time also conditioned by way of mutuality, “just like three sticks propped up one by another.” The 4 mental groups are one for another a condition by way of mutuality. So also are the 4 elements, and also mentality and corporeality at the moment of conception.

(8) Support-condition (nissaya-paccaya). This condition refers either to a pre-nascent (s. 10) or co-nascent (s. 6) phenomenon which is aiding other phenomena in the manner of a foundation or base, just as the trees have the earth as their foundation, or as the oil-painting rests on the canvas. In this way, the 5 sense-organs and the physical base of the mind are for the corresponding 6 kinds of consciousness a prenascent, i.e. previously arisen, condition by way of support. Further all co-nascent (s. 6) phenomena are mutually (s. 7) conditioned by each other by way of support.

(9) Decisive-support (or inducement) condition (upanissaya-paccaya) is threefold, namely:

  • (a) by way of object (ārammanūpanissaya-paccaya),
  • (b) by way of proximity (anantarūpanissaya),
  • (c) natural decisive support (pakatupanissaya).

These conditions act as strong inducement or cogent reason.

  • (a) Anything past, present or future, corporeal or mental, real or imaginary, may, as object of our thinking, become a decisive support, or strong inducement, to moral, immoral or karmically neutral states of mind. Evil things, by wrong thinking about them, become an inducement to immoral life; by right thinking, an inducement to moral life. But good things may be an inducement not only to similarly good things, but also to bad things, such as self-conceit, vanity, envy, etc.
  • (b;) is identical with proximity condition (No. 4).
  • (c) Faith, virtue, etc., produced in one’s own mind, or the influence of climate, food, etc., on one’s body and mind, may act as natural and decisive support-conditions. Faith may be a direct and natural inducement to charity, virtue to mental training, etc.; greed to theft, hate to murder; unsuitable food and climate to ill-health; friends to spiritual progress or deterioration.

(10) Pre-nascence-condition (purejāta-paccaya) refers to something previously arisen, which forms a base for something arising later on. For example, the 5 physical sense-organs and the physical base of mind, having already arisen at the time of birth, form the condition for the consciousness arising later, and for the mental phenomena associated therewith.

(11) Post-nascence-condition (pacchā-jāta-paccaya) refers to consciousness and the phenomena therewith associated, because they are – just as is the feeling of hunger- a necessary condition for the preservation of this already arisen body.

(12) Repetition-condition (āsevana-paccaya) refers to the karmical consciousness, in which each time the preceding impulsive moments (javana-citta, q.v.) are for all the succeeding ones a condition by way of repetition and frequency, just as in learning by heart, through constant repetition, the later recitation becomes gradually easier and easier.

(13) Karma-condition (kamma-paccaya). The pre-natal karma (i.e karma-volitions, kamma-cetanā, in a previous birth) is the generating condition (cause) of the 5 sense-organs, the fivefold sense-consciousness, and the other karma-produced mental and corporeal phenomena in a later birth. – Karmical volition is also a condition by way of karma for the co-nascent mental phenomena associated therewith, but these phenomena are in no way karma-results.

(14) Karma-result-condition (vipāka-paccaya). The karma-resultant 5 kinds of sense-consciousness are a condition by way of karma-result for the co-nascent mental and corporeal phenomena.

(15) Nutriment-condition (āhāra-paccaya). For the 4 nutriments, s. āhāra.

(16) Faculty-condition (indriya-paccaya). This condition applies to 20 faculties (indriya), leaving out No. 7 and 8 from the 22 faculties. Of these 20 faculties, the 5 physical sense-organs (1 – 5), in their capacity as faculties, form a condition only for uncorporeal phenomena (eye-consciousness etc.); physical vitality (6) and all the remaining faculties, for the co-nascent mental and corporeal phenomena.

(17) Jhāna-condition (jhāna-paccaya) is a name for the 7 so-called jhāna-factors, as these form a condition to the co-nascent mental and corporeal phenomena, to wit:

  • (1) thought-conception (vitakka),
  • (2) discursive thinking (vicāra),
  • (3) interest (pīti),
  • (4) joy (sukha),
  • (5) sadness (domanassa),
  • (6) indifference (upekkhā),
  • (7) concentration (samādhi). (For definition s. Pāli terms)

1, 2, 3, 4, 7 are found in 4 classes of greedy consciousness (s. Tab.I. 22-25); 1, 2, 5, 7 in hateful consciousness (Tab.I.30, 31); 1, 2, 6, 7 in the classes of deluded consciousness (Tab.I.32, 33).

This condition does not only apply to jhāna alone, but also to the general intensifying (‘absorbing’) impact of these 7 factors.

(18) Path-condition (magga-paccaya) refers to the 12 path-factors, as these are for the karmically wholesome and unwholesome mental phenomena associated with them, a way of escape from this or that mental constitution, namely:

  • (1) knowledge (paññā = sammāditthi, right understanding),
  • (2) (right or wrong) thought-conception (vitakka),
  • (3) right speech (sammā-vācā),
  • (4) right bodily action (sammā-kammanta),
  • (5) right livelihood (sammā-ājīva),
  • (6) (right or wrong) energy (viriya),
  • (7) (right or wrong) mindfulness (sati),
  • (8) (right or wrong) concentration (samādhi),
  • (9) wrong views (micchāditthi),
  • (10) wrong speech (micchā-vācā),
  • (11) wrong bodily action (micchā-kammanta),
  • (12) wrong livelihood (micchā-ājīva). Cf. magga.

(19) Association-condition (sampayutta-paccaya) refers to the co-nascent (s. 6) and mutually (s. 7) conditioned 4 mental groups (khandha), “as they aid each other by their being associated, by having a common physical base, a common object, and by their arising and disappearing simultaneously” (Patth. Com.).

(20) Dissociation-condition (vippayutta-paccaya) refers to such phenomena as aid other phenomena by not having the same physical base (eye, etc.) and objects. Thus corporeal phenomena are for mental phenomena, and conversely, a condition by way of dissociation, whether co-nascent or not.

(2l) Presence-condition (atthi-paccaya) refers to a phenomenon – being pre-nascent or co-nascent – which through its presence is a condition for other phenomena. This condition applies to the conditions Nos. 6, 7, 8, 10, 11.

(22) Absence-condition (natthi-paccaya) refers to consciousness, etc., which has just passed, and which thus forms the necessary condition for the immediately following stage of consciousness by giving it an opportunity to arise. Cf. No. 4.

(23) Disappearance-condition (vigata-paccaya) is identical with No. 22.

(24) Non-disappearance-condition (avigata-paccaya) is identical with No. 21.

These 24 conditions should be known thoroughly for a detailed understanding of that famous formula of the dependent origination (paticcasamuppāda). Cf. Fund. III, Guide p. 117 ff. (App.) .

See The Significance of Dependent Origination, by Nyanatiloka (WHEEL 140).

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16 Stages of Insight

Posted by Shivaboddha on September 12, 2010

This manual is intended for advanced students or vipassana teachers rather than beginners. It is not meant to substitute for the personal guidance of a meditation teacher.

There are sixteen levels of vipassana-knowledge or nana (“nana,” pronounced “yah-nuh,” is a Pali word for “knowledge.”) In each level the student realizes a more advanced insight. This knowledge is a direct vision, not a matter of thinking. The meditator who undergoes an intensive meditation retreat will usually progress through the stages more or less in order, sometimes falling back to an earlier stage, or going back and forth between several levels before passing on to the next. A student may sometimes get stuck at a certain stage, at which time the help of a competent teacher is invaluable.

The meditator does not stay at each level for an equal period of time. Some stages may last days, weeks, months or longer, others mere hours. Some of the higher stages take only a few mind-moments, or even one moment, to pass – less than one second of time. Not every student will undergo all the experiences described here, nor in the exact order presented.

As you read these pages remember that, without exception, no matter what stage has been reached or what new phenomenon has been experienced, this tenet of insight meditation applies across the board: just go on with the work of noticing mental and material phenomena as they appear, without evaluating or naming those things; then let them go. Don’t cling to any experience. Whatever happens, don’t be swayed or impressed by it, no matter how blissful or terrible. This advice is pertinent even to those who have reached the first level of enlightenment. If you honestly follow this rule and don’t let the mind talk you into making exceptions, you can be assured your practice will be correct and you will reach the end of the path as soon as possible.

The Sixteen Stages of Vipassana Knowledge

  1. Knowledge to distinguish mental and physical states (namarupa pariccheda nana).
  2. Knowledge of the cause-and-effect relationship between mental and physical states (paccaya pariggaha nana).
  3. Knowledge of mental and physical processes as impermanent, unsatisfactory and nonself (sammasana nana).
  4. Knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya nana).
  5. Knowledge of the dissolution of formations (bhanga nana).
  6. Knowledge of the fearful nature of mental and physical states (bhaya nana).
  7. Knowledge of mental and physical states as unsatisfactory (adinava nana).
  8. Knowledge of disenchantment (nibbida nana).
  9. Knowledge of the desire to abandon the worldly state (muncitukamayata nana).
  10. Knowledge which investigates the path to deliverance and instills a decision to practice further (patisankha nana).
  11. Knowledge which regards mental and physical states with equanimity (sankharupekha nana).
  12. Knowledge which conforms to the Four Noble Truths (anuloma nana).
  13. Knowledge of deliverance from the worldly condition (gotrabhu nana).
  14. Knowledge by which defilements are abandoned and are overcome by destruction (magga nana).
  15. Knowledge which realizes the fruit of the path and has nibbana as object (phala nana).
  16. Knowledge which reviews the defilements still remaining (paccavekkhana nana).

1. Namarupa pariccheda nana: knowledge that can distinguish between mental and physical states.

In this nana, or state of wisdom or knowledge, the meditator is able to distinguish nama (mental phenomena) from rupa (material phenomena). For example, he is aware that the rising and falling movements of the abdomen are rupa and that the mind which acknowledges these movements is nama. A movement of the foot is rupa and the consciousness of that movement is nama.

The meditator can distinguish between nama and rupa with regard to the five senses as follows:

  1. When seeing a form, the eyes and the color are rupa; the consciousness of the seeing is nama.
  2. When hearing a sound, the sound itself and the hearing are rupa, and consciousness of the hearing is nama.
  3. When smelling something, the smell itself and the nose are rupa, and the consciousness of the smell is nama.
  4. When tasting something, the taste and the tongue are rupa, and the consciousness of taste is nama.
  5. When touching something, whatever is cold, hot, soft or hard to the touch is rupa, and consciousness of the contact is nama.

In conclusion, in this nana the meditator realizes that the whole body is rupa and the mind (or consciousness of the sensations of the body) is nama. Only nama and rupa exist. There is no being, no individual self, no “I”, no “he” or “she,” etc. When sitting, the body and its movement are rupa and awareness of the sitting is nama. The act of standing is rupa and awareness of the standing is nama. The act of walking is rupa and the awareness of the walking is nama.

2. Knowledge of the cause-and-effect relationship between mental and physical states (paccaya pariggaha nana).

In some instances rupa is the cause and nama is the effect, as, for example, when the abdomen rises and consciousness follows. At other times nama is the cause and rupa is the effect; for example: the wish to sit is the cause and the sitting is the effect; in other words, volitional activity precedes physical action.

Some characteristics of this nana:

  1. The abdomen may rise, but fails to fall right away.
  2. The abdomen may fall deeply and remain in that position longer than normal.
  3. The rising and falling of the abdomen seems to have disappeared, but when touched by the hand, movements can still be felt.
  4. At times there are feelings of distress of varying intensity.
  5. Some meditators may be much disturbed by visions or hallucinations.
  6. The rising and falling of the abdomen and the acknowledgment of the movements occur at the same time.
  7. One may be startled by the body bending forwards or backwards.
  8. The meditator conceives that this existence, the next and all existences, derive only from the interaction of cause and effect. They consist only of nama and rupa, mental and physical processes. i. A single rise of the abdomen has two stages.

3. Knowledge of mental and physical processes as unsatisfactory and nonself (Sammasana nana).

Some characteristics of this nana:

  1. The meditator considers nama and rupa, as experienced through the five senses, as having the three characteristics anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness or suffering), and anatta (nonself).
  2. The meditator sees that one rising movement of the abdomen has three sections: originating, continuing, and vanishing. One falling movement of the abdomen has the same three sections.
  3. There are feelings of distress which disappear only slowly, after seven or eight acknowledgements.
  4. There are many nimittas (visions or mental images) which disappear slowly after several acknowledgements.
  5. The rising and falling movements of the abdomen may seem to disappear for a long or short interval.
  6. Breathing may be fast, slow, smooth, irregular or obstructed.
  7. The mind may be distracted, which shows that it is aware of the three characteristics, impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and nonself.
  8. The meditator’s hands or feet may clench or twitch.
  9. Some of the ten vipassanupakilesas (Imperfections or Defilements of Insight) may appear in this nana.

The Ten Imperfections of Insight (vipassanupakilesas):

An inexperienced meditator may be confused by any of the following experiences, mistakenly believing that he or she has reached nibbana. Though not in themselves obstacles, the meditator may be tempted to cling to these experiences, believing them to be important, rather than continuing to note the arising and passing away of mental and physical phenomena in the present moment. At such time the guidance of a teacher is invaluable.

Obhasa (illumination)

Obhasa is the first defilement of insight.

The meditator may be aware of the following manifestations of light:

  1. He may see a light similar to a firefly, a torch or a car headlamp.
  2. The room may be lit up, enabling the meditator to see his or her own body.
  3. He or she may be aware of light that seems to pass through the wall.
  4. There may be a light enabling one to see various places before one’s eyes.
  5. There may be a bright light as though a door had opened. Some meditators lift up their hands as if to shut it; others open their eyes to see what caused the light.
  6. A vision of brightly colored flowers surrounded by light may be seen.
  7. Miles and miles of sea may be seen.
  8. Rays of light seem to emit from the meditator’s heart and body.
  9. Hallucinations such as seeing an elephant may occur.

Piti (Joy or rapture)

Piti is the second defilement of insight. There are five kinds of piti.

1. Khuddaka piti (minor rapture)

This state is characterized by the following:

  1. The meditator may be aware of a white color.
  2. There may be a feeling of coolness or dizziness and the hairs of the body may stand on end.
  3. The meditator may cry or feel terrified.

2. Khanika piti (momentary rapture)

Characteristics of this piti include:

  1. Seeing flashes of light.
  2. Seeing sparks.
  3. Nervous twitching.
  4. A feeling of stiffness all over the body.
  5. A feeling as if ants were crawling on the body.
  6. A feeling of heat all over the body.
  7. Shivering.
  8. Seeing red colors.
  9. The hair on the body rising slightly.
  10. Itchiness as if ants were crawling on one’s face and body.

3. Okkantika piti (flood of joy)

In this piti:

  1. The body may shake and tremble.
  2. The face, hands and feet may twitch.
  3. There may be violent shaking as if the bed is going to turn upside down.
  4. Nausea and at times actual vomiting may occur.
  5. There may be a rhythmic feeling like waves breaking on the shore.
  6. Ripples of energy may seem to flow over the body.
  7. The body may vibrate like a stick which is fixed in a flowing stream.
  8. A light yellow color may be observed.
  9. The body may bend to and fro.

4. Ubbenka piti (uplifting joy)

In this piti:

  1. The body feels as if it is extending or moving upwards.
  2. There may be a feeling as though lice are climbing on the face and body.
  3. Diarrhea may occur.
  4. The body may bend forwards or backwards.
  5. One may feel that one’s head has been moved backwards and forwards by somebody.
  6. There may be a chewing movement with the mouth either open or closed.
  7. The body sways like a tree being blown by the wind.
  8. The body bends forwards and may fall down.
  9. There may be fidgeting movements of the body.
  10. There may be jumping movements of the body.
  11. Arms and legs may be raised or may twitch.
  12. The body may bend forwards or may recline.
  13. A silver gray color may be observed.

5. Pharana piti (pervading rapture)

In this piti:

  1. A feeling of coldness spreads through the body.
  2. Peace of mind sets in occasionally.
  3. There may be itchy feelings all over the body.
  4. There may be drowsy feelings and the meditator may not wish to open his or her eyes.
  5. The meditator has no wish to move.
  6. There may be a flushing sensation from feet to head or vice versa.
  7. The body may feel cool as if taking a bath or touching ice.
  8. The meditator may see blue or emerald green colors.
  9. An itchy feeling as though lice are crawling on the face may occur.

3. Passadhi

The third defilement of vipassana is passadhi which means “tranquility of mental factors and consciousness.” It is characterized as follows:

  1. There may be a quiet, peaceful state resembling the attainment of insight.
  2. There will be no restlessness or mental rambling.
  3. Mindful acknowledgement is easy.
  4. The meditator feels comfortably cool and does not fidget.
  5. The meditator feels satisfied with his powers of acknowledgement.
  6. There may be a feeling similar to falling asleep.
  7. There may be a feeling of lightness.
  8. Concentration is good and there is no forgetfulness.
  9. Thoughts are quite clear.
  10. A cruel, harsh or merciless person will realize that the dhamma is profound.
  11. A criminal or drunkard will be able to give up bad habits and will change into quite a different person.

4. Sukha

The fourth defilement of vipassana is sukha which means “bliss” and has the following characteristics:

  1. There may be a feeling of comfort.
  2. Due to pleasant feelings the meditator may wish to continue practicing for a long time.
  3. The meditator may wish to tell other people of the results which he has already gained.
  4. The meditator may feel immeasurably proud and happy.
  5. Some say that they have never known such happiness.
  6. Some feel deeply grateful to their teachers.
  7. Some meditators feel that their teacher is at hand to give help.

5. Saddha

The next defilement of vipassana is saddha which is defined as fervor, resolution or determination, and has the following characteristics:

  1. The practitioner may have too much faith.
  2. He or she may wish everybody to practice vipassana.
  3. He may wish to persuade those he comes in contact with to practice.
  4. He may wish to repay the meditation center for its benefaction.
  5. The meditator may wish to accelerate and deepen his practice.<
  6. He or she may wish to perform meritorious deeds, give alms and build and repair Buddhist buildings and artifacts.
  7. He may feel grateful to the person who persuaded him to practice.
  8. He may wish to give offerings to his teacher.
  9. A meditator may wish to be ordained as a Buddhist monk or nun.
  10. He may not wish to stop practicing.
  11. He might wish to go and stay in a quiet, peaceful place.
  12. The meditator may decide to practice wholeheartedly.

6. Paggaha

The next defilement of vipassana is paggaha which means exertion or strenuousness and is defined as follows:

  1. Sometimes the meditator may practice too strenuously.
  2. He may intend to practice rigorously, even unto death.
  3. The meditator overexerts himself so that attentiveness and clear comprehension are weak, causing distraction and lack of concentration

7. Upatthana, which means “mindfulness,” is the next defilement of vipassana, and it is characterized by the following:

  1. Sometimes excessive concentration upon thought causes the meditator to leave acknowledgement of the present and inclines him to think of the past or future.
  2. The meditator may be unduly concerned with happenings which took place in the past.
  3. The meditator may have vague recollections of past lives.

8. Nana

The next vipassanupakilesa is nana which means “knowledge” and is defined as follows:

  1. Theoretical knowledge may become confused with practice. The meditator misunderstands but thinks that he is right. he may become fond of ostentatiousness and like contending with his teacher.
  2. A meditator may make comments about various objects. For example when the abdomen rises he may say “arising” and when it falls he may say “ceasing.”
  3. The meditator may consider various principles which he knows or has studied.
  4. The present cannot be grasped. Usually it is “thinking” which fills up the mind. This may be referred to as “thought-based knowledge,” jinta nana.

9. Upekkha

The ninth defilement of vipassana is upekkha which has the meaning of not caring or indifference. It can be described as follows:

  1. The mind of the meditator is indifferent, neither pleased nor displeased, nor forgetful. The rising and falling of the abdomen is indistinct and at times imperceptible.
  2. The meditator is unmindful, at times thinking of nothing in particular.
  3. The rising and falling of the abdomen may be intermittently perceptible.
  4. The mind is undisturbed and peaceful.
  5. The meditator is indifferent to bodily needs.
  6. The meditator is unaffected when in contact with either good or bad objects. Mindful acknowledgement is disregarded and attention is allowed to follow exterior objects to a great extent.

10. Nikanti

The tenth vipassanupakilesa is nikanti which means “gratification” and it has the following characteristics:

  1. The meditator finds satisfaction in various objects.
  2. He is satisfied with light, joy, happiness, faith, exertion, knowledge and even-mindedness.
  3. He is satisfied with various nimittas (visions)

4. Udayabbaya nana.

The fourth nana is udayabbaya nana which means, “knowledge of contemplation on arising and falling.” In this nana:

  1. The meditator sees that the rising and falling of the abdomen consists of 2, 3, 4, 5 or six stages.
  2. The rising and falling of the abdomen may disappear intermittently.
  3. Various feelings disappear after two or three acknowledgements.
  4. Acknowledgement is clear and easy.
  5. Nimittas disappear quickly, for instance after a few acknowledgements of “seeing, seeing.”
  6. The meditator may see a clear, bright light.
  7. The beginning and the end of the rising and falling movements of the abdomen are clearly perceived.
  8. While sitting, the body may bend either forwards or backwards as though falling asleep. The extent of the movement depends on the level of concentration. The breaking of santati or continuity can be observed by the expression of the following characteristics:
  1. If the rising and falling movements of the abdomen become quick and then cease, anicca (impermanence) appears clearly but anatta (nonself) and dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) still continue.
  2. If the rising and falling movements become light and even and then cease, anatta (nonself) appears clearly. However, anicca and dukkha continue.
  3. If the rising and falling of the abdomen becomes stiff and impeded and then ceases, dukkha is clearly revealed, but anicca and anatta continue.

If the meditator has good concentration he may experience a ceasing of breath at frequent intervals. He may feel as if he is falling into an abyss or going through an air pocket on a plane, but in fact the body remains motionless.

5. Bhanga nana

This is the fifth insight knowledge. It means “Knowledge of contemplation on dissolution,” and it has the following characteristics:

  1. The ending of the rising and falling movements of the abdomen are clear.
  2. The objects of the meditator’s concentration may not be clear. The rising and falling movements of his abdomen may be vaguely perceived.
  3. The rising and falling movements may disappear. It is, however, noticed by the practitioner that rupa disappears first, followed by nama. In fact, the disappearance takes place almost simultaneously because of the swift functioning of the citta (mind).
  4. The rising and falling movements are distinct and faint.
  5. There is a feeling of tightness enabling one to see the continuity of rising and falling. The first state of consciousness ceases and a second begins, enabling the meditator to know the ceasing.
  6. Acknowledgement is insufficiently clear because its various objects appear to be far away.
  7. At times there is only the rising and falling; the feeling of self disappears.
  8. There may be a feeling of warmth all over the body.
  9. The meditator may feel as though he is covered by a net.
  10. Citta (mind or consciousness) and its object may disappear altogether.
  11. Rupa ceases first, but citta remains. However, consciousness soon disappears as well as the object of consciousness.
  12. Some meditators feel that the rising and falling of the abdomen ceases for only a short time, while others feel that the movement stops for 2-4 days until they get bored. Walking is the best remedy for this.
  13. Uppada, thiti, and bhanga, that is, the origination, persisting and vanishing stages of both nama and rupa are present, but the meditator is not interested, observing only the stage of vanishing.
  14. The internal objects of meditation, i.e., rising and falling, are not clear; external objects such as trees seem to shake.
  15. One has the impression of looking at a field of fog; everything appears vague and obscure.
  16. If the meditator looks at the sky it seems as if there is vibration in the air.
  17. Rising and falling suddenly ceases and suddenly reappears.

6. Bhaya nana.

The sixth stage of knowledge is bhaya nana or “knowledge of the appearance as terror.” The following characteristics can be observed:

  1. At first the meditator acknowledges objects, but the acknowledgements vanish together with consciousness.
  2. A feeling of fear occurs but it is unlike that generated by seeing a ghost.
  3. The disappearance of nama and rupa and the consequent becoming nothingness induce fear.
  4. The meditator may feel neuralgic pain similar to that caused by a nervous disease when he is walking or standing.
  5. Some practitioners cry when they think of their friends or relatives.
  6. Some practitioners are very much afraid of what they see even if it is only a water jug or a bed post.
  7. The meditator now realizes that nama and rupa, which were previously considered to be good, are completely insubstantial.
  8. There is no feeling of happiness, pleasure or enjoyment.
  9. Some practitioners are aware of this feeling of fear but are not controlled by it.

7. Adinava nana.

The seventh knowledge is “knowledge of the contemplation of disadvantages.” It has the following characteristics:

  1. The rising and falling movements appear vague and obscure, and the movements gradually disappear.
  2. The meditator experiences negative, irritable feelings.
  3. Nama and rupa can be acknowledged well.
  4. The meditator is aware of nothing but negativity caused by the arising, persisting and vanishing of nama and rupa. The meditator becomes aware of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and nonself.
  5. In contrast to former days, acknowledgement of what is perceived by the eyes, nose, tongue, body and mind cannot be made clearly.

8. Nibbida nana.

This is, “Knowledge of dispassion.” It has the following characteristics:

  1. The meditator views all objects as tiresome and ugly.
  2. The meditator feels something akin to laziness but the ability to acknowledge objects clearly is still present.
  3. The feeling of joy is absent; the meditator feels bored and sad as though he has been separated from what he loves.
  4. The practitioner may not have experienced boredom before but now he really knows what boredom is.
  5. Although previously the meditator may have thought that only hell was bad, at this stage he feels that only nibbana, not a heavenly state, is really good. He feels that nothing can compare with nibbana, so he deepens his resolve to search for it.
  6. The meditator may acknowledge that there is nothing pleasant about nama and rupa.
  7. The meditator may feel that everything is bad in every way and there is nothing that can be enjoyed.
  8. The meditator may not wish to speak or meet anybody. He may prefer to stay in his room.
  9. The meditator may feel hot and dry as though being scorched by the heat of the sun.
  10. The meditator may feel lonely, sad and apathetic.
  11. Some lose their attachment to formerly desired fame and fortune. They become bored realizing that all things are subject to decay. All races and beings, even the Devas and Brahmas (gods), are likewise subject to decay. They see that, where there is birth, old age, sickness and death prevail. So there is no feeling of attachment. Boredom therefore sets in, together with a strong inclination to search for nibbana.

9. Muncitukamayata nana.

The ninth nana to be considered is muncitukamayata nana which can be translated as, “the knowledge of the desire for deliverance.” This nana has the following characteristics:

  1. The meditator itches all over his body. He feels as if he has been bitten by ants or small insects, or he feels as though they are climbing on his face and body.
  2. The meditator becomes impatient and cannot make acknowledgements while standing, sitting, lying down or walking.
  3. He cannot acknowledge other minor actions.
  4. He feels uneasy, restless and bored.
  5. He wishes to get away and give up meditation.
  6. Some meditators think of returning home, because they feel that their parami (accumulated past merit) has been insufficient. As a result they start preparing their belongings to go home. In the early days this was termed, “the nana of rolling the mat.”

10. Patisankha nana.

The tenth nana is patisankha nana or “Knowledge of reflective contemplation.” This nana has the following characteristics:

  1. The meditator may experience feelings similar to being pierced by splinters throughout his body.
  2. There may be many other disturbing sensations but they disappear after two or three acknowledgements.
  3. The meditator may feel drowsy.
  4. The body may become stiff as if the meditator were entering phalasamapati (a vipassana trance) but citta is still active and the auditory channel is still functioning.
  5. The meditator feels as heavy as stone.
  6. There may be a feeling of heat throughout the body.
  7. He may feel uncomfortable.

11. Sankharupekha nana.

This is “knowledge of equanimity regarding formations.” This nana has the following characteristics:

  1. The meditator does not feel frightened or glad, only indifferent. The rising and falling of the abdomen is clearly acknowledged as merely being nama and rupa.
  2. The meditator feels neither happiness nor sadness. His presence of mind and consciousness are clear. Nama and rupa are clearly acknowledged.
  3. The meditator can remember and acknowledge without difficulty.
  4. The meditator has good concentration. His mind remains peaceful and smooth for a long time, like a car running on a well-paved road. The meditator may feel satisfied and forget the time.
  5. Samadhi (concentration) becomes firm, somewhat like pastry being kneaded by a skilled baker.
  6. Various pains and diseases such as paralysis or nervousness may be cured.
  7. It can be said that the characteristics of this nana are ease and satisfaction. The meditator may forget the time which has been spent during practice. The length of time spent sitting might even be as much as one hour instead of the half hour which was originally intended.

12. Anuloma nana or “conformity knowledge;” “Adaptation knowledge” follows.

This nana can be divided into the following stages:

  1. Wisdom derived from the preliminary nanas starting with the fourth.
  2. Wisdom derived from the higher nanas, i.e., the 37 bodhipakkiyadhamma (factors of enlightenment), qualities contributing to or constituting enlightenment; the 4 iddhipada or paths of accomplishment; the 4 sammappadhara, right or perfect efforts; the 4 satipatthana or foundations of mindfulness; the five indriya or controlling faculties; and the five bhala or powers.

Anuloma nana has the characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta.

  1. Anicca (impermanence). He who has practiced charity and kept the precepts will attain the path by anicca. The rising and falling of the abdomen will become quick but suddenly cease. The meditator is aware of cessation of movement as the abdomen rises and falls or the cessation of sensation when sitting or touching. Quick breathing is a symptom of anicca. The knowledge of this ceasing whenever it occurs is called “anuloma nana.” However, this should actually be experienced by the meditator, not just imagined.
  2. Dukkha (suffering). He who has practiced samatha (concentration) will attain the path by way of dukkha. Thus, when he acknowledges the rising and falling of the abdomen or sitting and touching, he feels stifled. When he continues to acknowledge the rising and falling of the abdomen or the sitting and touching, a cessation of sensation will take place. A characteristic of path attainment by way of dukkha is unbearability. The knowledge of the ceasing of the rising and falling of the abdomen, or the cessation of sensation when sitting or touching is anuloma nana.
  3. Anatta (nonself). He who has practiced vipassana or was interested in vipassana in former lives will attain the path by anatta. Thus the rising and falling of the abdomen becomes steady, evenly-spaced and then ceases. The rising and falling movements of the abdomen or the sitting and touching will be seen clearly. Path attainment by anatta is characterized by a smooth, light movement of the abdomen. When the movements of the abdomen continue evenly and lightly, that is anatta. Anatta means “without substance,” “meaninglessness” and “uncontrollability.”

The ability to know clearly the cessation of the rising and falling movements of the abdomen or the cessation of sensation when sitting and touching is called “anuloma nana.”

The Four Noble Truths

In the anuloma nana, the Four Noble Truths appear clearly and distinctly as follows:

  1. 1. Samudaya sacca. This truth is perceived when the abdomen begins to rise or begins to fall, and it occurs at the point that the meditator is about to enter the next nana, which is called the gotrabhu nana. Samudaya sacca is also referred to as “rupa jati” and “nama jati.” It is the point of origination of both the beginning of the rising and the beginning of the falling movements of the abdomen. Nama jati is the beginning of nama and rupa jati is the beginning of rupa. Real perception and experience of these truths is called “samudaya sacca.”
  2. 2. Dukkha sacca. This truth is perceived when the rising and falling movements of the abdomen can no longer be tolerated because the meditator is aware of their unsatisfactory nature. He perceives that everything must die out and come to an end. In Pali this truth is given the name, “charamaranam dukkha saccam.” Old age is a deterioration of nama and rupa. Death is the extinction, the breaking-up, the ending of nama and rupa. The perception of the cessation of suffering is called “dukkha sacca.”
  3. 3. Nirodha sacca. This truth is seen when the rising and falling movements fall away simultaneously. Jati is the limit of knowledge, and so the mental acknowledgement of the cessation of the movements of the abdomen also fades away at the same time. This constitutes the state of nibbana. In Pali this is referred to as “Ubhinnampi nissarnam.” The state when dukkha and the point of origination of nama-rupa (samudaya) both cease is called “Nirodha sacca.”
  4. 4. Magga sacca. (The Great Truth). In this state of knowledge or wisdom, the meditator is completely aware of the rising and falling of the abdomen. He is aware of the beginning of the rising and falling, the middle of the rising and falling, and the points when the rising and falling cease. In Pali this state is know as “nirothappachanana magga saccam.” When the ending of suffering and the cessation of the movements of the abdomen are clearly seen, this is termed “magga sacca.”

It is necessary for the practitioner to be aware of these four truths simultaneously. It should be like blowing out a candle, i.e.:

  1. It should be like the point at which the wick of the candle has been used up.
  2. It should be like the point at which the wax of the candle has been used up.
  3. It should be like an overwhelming brilliance which has obliterated the candle light.
  4. It should be like a deep darkness.

The four characteristics of the light given here are likely to appear at the same time and at the same level as the perception of the Four Noble Truths. The state of nibbana is perceived in nirodha sacca, dukkha sacca, samudaya sacca, and magga sacca at the same time.

13. Gotrabhu nana.

The next nana to be considered is gotrabhu nana or “knowledge at the moment of change of lineage.” Gotrabhu nana is the knowledge which entirely separates one from the worldly state. Nama and rupa, together with citta, which has become aware of the cessation, both become peaceful and quiet. This means that one has become enlightened, having nibbana as the object. The moment when feeling breaks off, gotrabhu nana is reached.

  1. Uppadam abhibhuyyatiti gotrabhu: knowledge which covers the arising of nama and rupa is called “gotrabhu.”
  2. Pavattam abhibhuyyatiti gotrabhu: knowledge which covers the continuance of nama and rupa is called “gotrabhu.”
  3. Bahiddhasamkhanranimittam abhibhuyyatiti gotrabhu: knowledge which covers the external nama and rupa is called “gotrabhu.”
  4. Anuppadam pakkhandatiti gotrabhu: knowledge which moves toward cessation is called “gotrabhu.”
  5. Appavattam nirodham nibbaham pakkhandhatiti gotrabhu: knowledge which approaches discontinuance, cessation and nibbana is called “gotrabhu.”
  6. Uppadam abhihuyyatva anuppadam pakkhandatiti gotrabhu: wisdom which covers the arising and then approaches the non-arising is called “gotrabhu.”

To summarize, the moment that feeling breaks off the first time is called “gotrabhu nana.” The meditator casts off nama and rupa. Awareness grasps nibbana as its object. This state is between lokiya (a worldly existence) and lokuttara (supramundane existence). It is not a state of worldly existence or a state of supramundane existence, because it is in between both states. It is like a man who enters a hall; one foot is outside and the other inside. You cannot say that he is outside or inside.

14. Magga nana.

The next nana to be considered is magga nana. It can be translated as “knowledge of the path.” In this nana, defilements have been broken off (samucchedpahara). Magga nana has the following characteristics:

  1. The destruction of some defilements and preparation for the destruction of others. It constitutes a cleansing.
  2. There is clear and complete knowledge of the path.
  3. There is a deep knowledge of dhamma which leads to nibbana.
  4. Magga nana is a deep knowledge of dhamma which is necessary to reach nibbana.
  5. It is a deep wisdom which enables the practitioner to eradicate defilements.

Characteristics of magga nana are:

  1. 1. After the breaking off of sensation, awareness of the stream of nibbana lasts for a moment. Some defilements are completely destroyed. Sense of self (ego), skeptical doubt and a misunderstanding of rules and rituals will be cut off during this nana. This nana has nibbana as its object. Nibbana can be reached. There is no doubt about what is right and wrong, about heaven and hell, about the path, the result of the path and nibbana. There is no doubt concerning life after death. This nana is supramundane.
  2. 2. Anuloma nana is the last nana in which there is anything happening. After that there is no awareness of anything. Feeling and awareness suddenly cease. It is like a person who is walking along a road and suddenly falls down a hole. The object and the mind which is trying to acknowledge the object both cease to function in the state of nibbana. This cessation is called “gotrabhu nana.” This state of wisdom encompasses the cessation of awareness and form.
  3. 3. After gotrabhu nana has lasted a moment, that is termed magga nana. Upon realizing this stage (magga nana) one experiences a feeling of surprise. One is completely happy and at ease. No state of worldly happiness can compare with this realization. The abandoning of the defilements is like a flash of lightning – and then the thunder.

15. Phala nana.

The fifteenth nana is called phala nana or “the knowledge of fruition.” This occurs in the next moment after magga nana. The mind has come to know what’s happened and has nibbana as the object. This state lasts for two or three moments. Whenever magga nana happens, phala nana follows immediately. There is no interim state. Phala nana, like magga nana, is supramundane. Magga nana is the cause and phala nana is the result. The way of entering gotrabhu nana, magga nana and phala nana is as follows:

  1. 1. The first cessation of sensation is gotrabhu nana and it has nibbana as its object. It lies between the mundane and the supramundane existences.
  2. 2. The midway cessation of sensation is magga nana and it has nibbana as its object. It is supramundane. At this point, defilements are eradicated.
  3. 3. The final cessation is called phala nana and it has nibbana as its object. It is also supramundane. The eradication of the defilements during magga nana is called “samucchedpahara” and means the complete eradication of defilements. In phala nana those defilements are prevented from reoccurring. This lack of reoccurrence is termed “Patipasamphana Pahara,” in phala nana. This process may be compared to extinguishing a fire. Imagine a piece of wood which is on fire. If you want to put the fire out you must throw water on the wood so that the flames die down, but the wood will continue smoldering. However, if the wood is doused with water again two or three times the fire will be completely extinguished. This parallels what happens when a meditator eradicates defilements during magga nana. The power of defilements still continues so it is necessary to purge it again during phala nana. Patipasamphana Pahara is like the second and third applications of water to put out the fires of defilements.

16. Paccavekkhana nana.

The sixteenth nana is called “paccavekkhana nana” or “knowledge of reviewing.” In this nana there is a knowledge and contemplation of the path, the fruit, and nibbana. There is a knowledge of those defilements which have been eradicated and those which still continue.

  1. There is a contemplation of having followed the path.
  2. There is a contemplation of the fact that a result has been obtained.
  3. There is a contemplation of the defilements which have been eradicated.
  4. There is a contemplation of the defilements which remain.
  5. There is a contemplation of the fact that nibbana, which is an exceptional state of awareness, has been known and experienced.

In addition, while the meditator is acknowledging rising and falling, he comes upon the path, the fruit and nibbana. At the moment he enters the path, the fruit and nibbana, three conditions occur: anicca, dukkha and anatta as previously mentioned. “Paccavekkhana nana” means that, when the meditator is acknowledging the rising and falling motions of the abdomen, he is aware of the total cessation of the rising and falling. After the cessation, when awareness returns, the meditator contemplates what has happened to him. After this he goes on acknowledging the rising and falling movements, but they seem much clearer than normal. Considering what has happened is called “paccavekkhana nana.”

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