Announcements Announcements

DhO Hacked and Upgrade

General

ATTENTION!: It appears that our server has been hacked through this version of Liferay, meaning it is no longer secure, and so expect instability as we deal with this and attempt to upgrade to Liferay 7, which we failed to be able to do last year the last time the team attempted it, but we have no choice at this point, so bear with us as we try again. Save any long posts in a text file before posting them. You can follow me on Twitter at @danielmingram for updates if the site is down. Apologies for any complexity this causes. We will work as fast as we can. We have backups of the database, so hopefully nothing will be lost. Thanks to all helping with this complex process.

 

 

 

Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Would love some reflections and perspectives

Toggle
Hello everyone,


I have been lurking on these forums for quite some time, although buddhist teachings are still quite new to me. Hence this post, and asking for reflections and understandings from more experienced scholars of the buddha dharma. The intention is inspiration and possible insight. 


1. I spent some time in the realization of a big and enduring Self. very cosmic, unbounded, free and blissful. Lately in my practice I have deepened "beneath" this and starting to see through it as a mind-fabrication, that although "incredible" and "amazing" isn't fundamenally satisfying and has roots of ignorance within it. It is my understanding that one of the main tenets of the Buddhas teachings is that there is no separate "Self", Soul or Atman. 

I experience (or no-experience, depending on perspective) the nature of mind as luminious, free, and "neither here, nor there". In my practice now, there is just rest as luminious mind, that is just like a clear crystal and "allows" all forms and shapes to move through it without acceptance or resistance.

I am curious to how Buddha charactereized nature of mind, if he didn't believe in an Ultimate Self or Soul. 

According to Buddhas teaching, is the nature of mind simply a result of brain/Biology?

This doesn't make sense to me, since the subjective experience is totally transcendent, without being anywhere else, and there is a deep fearlessness about the dropping of the body/biology, and a knowing of what will endure and is already present beyond time and space. And yet, I can't quite seem to reconcile how the nature of mind can be beyond the body, since that seems like ignorance to me, and based on duality. I feel I am missing some pointer or understanding. Would love to hear your reflections.


2. I believe in buddhism they mention that "consciousness" arises together with thoughts, feelings and sensations. At least this is what I read in Cualdasas book. Do you know what "consciousness" refers to in this context? 

My experience is that awareness itself is unmoving and unaffected as things arise and dissolve, and It seems that it would help my practice to look deeper at what this "consciousness" is referring to. If you describe it in terms of your own experience and in the context of meditation it would be particularly helpful. 


3. The last question/sharing, is mostly out of sheer curiosity. Some great strides have been made with practice lately. One of the things that has changed as a result of this is the subjective experience of the sense doors. Emotions feel non-existant most of the time as they stay at the level of sensations, stories, pictures ect. and don't get to turn into full-fledged emotions. More suprising to me, the taste sense has drastically changed, or put another way, I am having insight into how the taste sense has always been. 

When eating, only raw sensations are experienced, and it is seen that the "pleasure" normally gained from "delicious" foods is mostly/totally mind created. This means that there is no longer the same/any pleasure in eating, and it actually makes very little difference what is eaten, since it is all just registered as "sweet", "sour", "hard", "soft" etc, and they don't turn into full-fledge "pleasure constructions". 

Contrary to what it might sound like, this doesn't feel like a loss at all, and just feels like a natural result of deeper insight. I am curious as to if others have experienced similar things with the sense doors? 

I am beginning to question the whole "pleasure" and "displeasure" thing, as it all seem to be mostly (perhaps totally) mind-created. I don't seem to be able to distinguish between what is pleasurable and what isn't without the use of the mind.

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 1:23 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
dharmaji:
Hello everyone,


2. I believe in buddhism they mention that "consciousness" arises together with thoughts, feelings and sensations. At least this is what I read in Cualdasas book. Do you know what "consciousness" refers to in this context? 

My experience is that awareness itself is unmoving and unaffected as things arise and dissolve, and It seems that it would help my practice to look deeper at what this "consciousness" is referring to. If you describe it in terms of your own experience and in the context of meditation it would be particularly helpful. 

Consciousness also comes and goes in succession, like everything else. Like a monkey grabbing a branch, then another, then another. It is possible to witness the gap between consciousness moments, and I believe it is a prerequesite to stop clinging to the 5 aggregates and grounding the self in the subject.

Even at this point people will still view consciousness as linked events. But it is more spontaneous and uncontrollable than that. Any linking between the consciousness aggregate is the self at work.

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 1:36 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
dharmaji:
Hello everyone,


I am curious to how Buddha charactereized nature of mind, if he didn't believe in an Ultimate Self or Soul. 

According to Buddhas teaching, is the nature of mind simply a result of brain/Biology?

2. I believe in buddhism they mention that "consciousness" arises together with thoughts, feelings and sensations. At least this is what I read in Cualdasas book. Do you know what "consciousness" refers to in this context? 

When eating, only raw sensations are experienced, and it is seen that the "pleasure" normally gained from "delicious" foods is mostly/totally mind created. This means that there is no longer the same/any pleasure in eating, and it actually makes very little difference what is eaten, since it is all just registered as "sweet", "sour", "hard", "soft" etc, and they don't turn into full-fledge "pleasure constructions". 

Contrary to what it might sound like, this doesn't feel like a loss at all, and just feels like a natural result of deeper insight. I am curious as to if others have experienced similar things with the sense doors? 

I am beginning to question the whole "pleasure" and "displeasure" thing, as it all seem to be mostly (perhaps totally) mind-created. I don't seem to be able to distinguish between what is pleasurable and what isn't without the use of the mind.

Consciousness as human experience occurs through the sense organs. Mind is also a sense organ. We try to understand this process of how consciousness arises through practice and eventually we come to understand the process to such a degree that it falls apart or better still, mind relinquishes clinging. Have a read of The Six Sets of Six to gain a clearer picture. It seems like you have already gained a fair level of experiential insight into this area of things as you mention when eating, only raw sensations are experienced but look further into this as it may disappear. Gather as much experiential knowledge into this area as you can. If things begin to return to normal then you'll have a good solid basis for retrospective contemplation.

The Buddha describes the self as consisting of five components called aggregates, which, when searched for can't actually be found. We can seem to see the effects of them but not the aggregates themselves. He used this model to ask us to look very deeply into our experience. 

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 1:39 PM as a reply to Anton.
Anton:
dharmaji:
Hello everyone,


2. I believe in buddhism they mention that "consciousness" arises together with thoughts, feelings and sensations. At least this is what I read in Cualdasas book. Do you know what "consciousness" refers to in this context? 

My experience is that awareness itself is unmoving and unaffected as things arise and dissolve, and It seems that it would help my practice to look deeper at what this "consciousness" is referring to. If you describe it in terms of your own experience and in the context of meditation it would be particularly helpful. 

Consciousness also comes and goes in succession, like everything else. Like a monkey grabbing a branch, then another, then another. It is possible to witness the gap between consciousness moments, and I believe it is a prerequesite to stop clinging to the 5 aggregates and grounding the self in the subject.

Even at this point people will still view consciousness as linked events. But it is more spontaneous and uncontrollable than that. Any linking between the consciousness aggregate is the self at work.

Hi Anton,

Thanks for your reply. Could you say more about what consciousness is in this context? I have been used to consciousness in a more Hindu sense where it is referring to "pure consciousness" or "ultimate subjectivity". 

How do you experience what you call consciousness? Is it that there is attention on something? 


When I rest as awareness I would say  that there is still consciousness (how I use the word), but that there isn't consciousness of anything in particular. It is just free. When thoughts, sensations etc arise, I do notice that there is consciousness of them, that cna then "trap attention" if the opennes of awareness is lost. 

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 1:43 PM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo:
dharmaji:
Hello everyone,


I am curious to how Buddha charactereized nature of mind, if he didn't believe in an Ultimate Self or Soul. 

According to Buddhas teaching, is the nature of mind simply a result of brain/Biology?

2. I believe in buddhism they mention that "consciousness" arises together with thoughts, feelings and sensations. At least this is what I read in Cualdasas book. Do you know what "consciousness" refers to in this context? 

When eating, only raw sensations are experienced, and it is seen that the "pleasure" normally gained from "delicious" foods is mostly/totally mind created. This means that there is no longer the same/any pleasure in eating, and it actually makes very little difference what is eaten, since it is all just registered as "sweet", "sour", "hard", "soft" etc, and they don't turn into full-fledge "pleasure constructions". 

Contrary to what it might sound like, this doesn't feel like a loss at all, and just feels like a natural result of deeper insight. I am curious as to if others have experienced similar things with the sense doors? 

I am beginning to question the whole "pleasure" and "displeasure" thing, as it all seem to be mostly (perhaps totally) mind-created. I don't seem to be able to distinguish between what is pleasurable and what isn't without the use of the mind.

Consciousness as human experience occurs through the sense organs. Mind is also a sense organ. We try to understand this process of how consciousness arises through practice and eventually we come to understand the process to such a degree that it falls apart or better still, mind relinquishes clinging. Have a read of The Six Sets of Six to gain a clearer picture. It seems like you have already gained a fair level of experiential insight into this area of things as you mention when eating, only raw sensations are experienced but look further into this as it may disappear. Gather as much experiential knowledge into this area as you can. If things begin to return to normal then you'll have a good solid basis for retrospective contemplation.

The Buddha describes the self as consisting of five components called aggregates, which, when searched for can't actually be found. We can seem to see the effects of them but not the aggregates themselves. He used this model to ask us to look very deeply into our experience. 

Thanks Bardo, I will have a look at the six sets of six and enquire on...

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 2:28 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
dharmaji:

Thanks Bardo, I will have a look at the six sets of six and enquire on...

In addition, my experience of how consciousness arises is like so: the eye points towards an object and attention is placed at the eye organ. When these three aspects have aligned - eye, object and attention - then consciousness arises. The same occurs with the other senses. This is a snapshot though and in our reality this happens at such frequency that it's difficult to see it play out at this granular level. The speed at which this all happens creates a sort of vortex or a flickering from which continuity forms. From that continuity you define yourself as somebody having an experience. So, the sense organs will reveal much more about this creation of you.

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 2:43 PM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo:
dharmaji:

Thanks Bardo, I will have a look at the six sets of six and enquire on...

In addition, my experience of how consciousness arises is like so: the eye points towards an object and attention is placed at the eye organ. When these three aspects have aligned - eye, object and attention - then consciousness arises. The same occurs with the other senses. This is a snapshot though and in our reality this happens at such frequency that it's difficult to see it play out at this granular level. The speed at which this all happens creates a sort of vortex or a flickering from which continuity forms. From that continuity you define yourself as somebody having an experience. So, the sense organs will reveal much more about this creation of you.

Thanks, this gives me an experiential idea, and way to experientially differentiate conssciousness from attention. 

Is the idea that if you have direct seeing through the process of consciousness, then the whole "thing" (attention, object and subject) dissolve? 


As in, every time there is consciousness, there is also a sense of self arising within consciousness. Seeing through this process itself, is seeing through the self-creation as it arises ?


And that as the process of consciosuness is seen through, there are also no objects, or arisings anymore. They can only appear to exist through the conscsciousness-selfing illusion?

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 3:05 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
Is the idea that if you have direct seeing through the process of consciousness, then the whole "thing" (attention, object and subject) dissolve? 

I'd like to be in a position to answer that but I've only experienced moments of this happening - at the most several hours with which the self-process kicks back in with some angst from realizing its temporary cessation, so I can only speak from my current level of experience which isn't all that stable. However, the pattern seems to be that this is where I'm heading, that is: cessation of six-sense consciousness.

As in, every time there is consciousness, there is also a sense of self arising within consciousness. Seeing through this process itself, is seeing through the self-creation as it arises ?

This seems to be the case. Another way to phrase it is that there is separation, divisiveness and fragmentation from this type of consciousness - you here and those things over there. Reality beyond the six-sense consciousnesses presents itself quite differently. 

And that as the process of consciosuness is seen through, there are also no objects, or arisings anymore. They can only appear to exist through the conscsciousness-selfing illusion?

No objects? This is a fascinating area for me as there appears to be one cognitively unknowable thing that forms itself into uncountable manifold physical objects. It's all the same consciousness (self and greater) just that self is always landing on finite aspects like thoughts, beliefs and ideas.

As a disclaimer, I'm only replying from transient experiences so perhaps others can chip-in with different perspectives. 

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 8:20 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
Wow. 
When I read the initial post I was fascinated but I had . . . nothing. 
Except a joke: "I'lll have what he's (she's) having!" 
Anyway, so far ya'll have come through. You dharma overground people are pretty good. 

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 11:32 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
This stuff is really wild, and I haven't gotten to the bottom of it yet. Here are some thoughts in the meantime:

There are experiences, and then there are the stories we tell about those experiences.

"knowing" vs. "I know that I'm knowing"
"seeing" vs. "I know that I'm seeing"
"liking/disliking" vs. "I know that I like/dislike"

Being caught in the story can really feel painful, and because you're caught up in the story, you don't even know where the pain is coming from. Exiting the story and experiencing the experience itself can feel liberating.

I don't know what to make of "consciousness". It seems like a confusing word to me, unless it's put in context. I have found it useful to look for the distinction between sensory experiences and knowledge of those experiences. This stuff seems to get really subtle, and almost deliberately maddening. It's like the mind is always one step behind.

dharmaji:

And yet, I can't quite seem to reconcile how the nature of mind can be beyond the body, since that seems like ignorance to me, and based on duality. I feel I am missing some pointer or understanding. Would love to hear your reflections.


I don't know how the Buddha would explain things, but as I see it, isn't the body a construction of the mind? Sure, the story goes that the mind is a product of the brain, but isn't it the mind that's telling you that story in the first place?


dharmaji:

I am beginning to question the whole "pleasure" and "displeasure" thing, as it all seem to be mostly (perhaps totally) mind-created. I don't seem to be able to distinguish between what is pleasurable and what isn't without the use of the mind.


And yet, you still eat when you're hungry, right? 

"able to distinguish"....."use of the mind"....(same thing? different?)

RE: Would love some reflections and perspectives
Answer
1/2/20 11:35 PM as a reply to dharmaji.
Consciousness is described as a skhanda (5-aggregate model of mind). Also described in the 12 links of dependent origination.

To get clear view of consciousness you need a really fast discernment speed. The aggregates rise and fall in succession very rapidly. So a meditation technique for increasing discernment speed is necessary. Understanding well is not only experiencing consciousness arise and pass but also understanding it when it happens through the context of the 3 characteristics.