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5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map

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5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/21/13 2:46 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map End in Sight 6/21/13 8:03 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/21/13 12:28 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map fivebells . 6/21/13 12:37 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/21/13 6:59 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/22/13 10:00 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map tom moylan 6/24/13 3:45 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map tom moylan 6/21/13 1:05 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map tom moylan 6/21/13 2:20 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map PP 6/21/13 2:28 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/24/13 11:50 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/24/13 2:15 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/24/13 6:08 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/24/13 8:20 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/25/13 4:30 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/24/13 3:31 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/24/13 6:05 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/24/13 7:52 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/25/13 4:07 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/25/13 6:11 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/25/13 8:15 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/25/13 11:39 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/26/13 9:25 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/26/13 9:43 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 6/27/13 12:04 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/1/13 6:21 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 7/8/13 7:17 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 7/13/13 2:23 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/23/13 9:30 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 7/24/13 3:03 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/25/13 9:22 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 7/25/13 11:14 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/26/13 5:41 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 7/26/13 4:56 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 7/29/13 10:38 AM
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RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 8/1/13 3:41 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Daniel M. Ingram 8/3/13 2:26 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 8/8/13 6:10 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 8/8/13 8:11 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Daniel M. Ingram 8/3/13 10:16 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 8/6/13 6:47 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 8/6/13 6:49 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map . Ever . 8/7/13 8:09 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Daniel M. Ingram 8/8/13 1:45 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Nikolai . 8/8/13 4:33 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map M N 8/8/13 1:24 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 8/8/13 12:11 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Anne Cripps 11/25/13 9:09 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 11/26/13 2:31 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 11/30/13 2:21 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map triple think 11/30/13 8:43 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map ju ju 7/26/13 11:10 AM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Banned For waht? 7/26/13 2:48 PM
RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map Dream Walker 7/26/13 5:15 PM
This is a continuation of the The self subroutine elimination thread.
I realized with help from talking to people that I was recreating something similar to the 5 aggregates/Skandas so I figured I would restart the thread with more appropriate proper title.


So far this process seems to be taking place. I may be somewhat off base but the selfing processes that have shut down follow the skandas pretty good. Has anyone else seen the same kind of relationship?

1...Self entangled with form/reality.....................A&P
2......Self entangled with sensory data...............Sotapanna
3......... Self entangled with symbols/thoughts...Sakadagami
4............. Self entangled with proprioception......Anāgāmī
5..................Self entangled with awareness..…..Arahant

1) This selfing process believes that it understands reality based off of historical experience. When reality is experienced as greater than this narrow viewpoint Arising and Passing away happens. Reality is much much more than what has so far been experienced.
2) This selfing process believes that it is the sensory data (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) that is being experienced. When this process is shut down at nibbana, stream entry ( Sotapanna) is achieved.
3) This selfing process believes that it is the thoughts that occur. This creates some of the agency of the self. When this process is shut down at nibbana, Sakadagami is achieved and a large amount of stress disappears.
4) This selfing process believes it is the space that defines the body in the whole of reality. It creates the center point and duality. When this process is shut down at nibbana, Anāgāmī is achieved and the duality of self vs the rest of reality goes away. Non-dualism abides.
5) This selfing process believes it is awareness. When this process is shut down at nibbana, Arahant is achieved. Since awareness does not reside in any of physicality there seems to be a paradigm shift in the way that reality is perceived accompanied by a tremendous sense of relief and joy and a feeling of completion.

How do you understand the Skandas? Are there some interesting readings that you can recommend that will help clarify?
I'm learning a ton by going through this and want to keep going.
Thanks,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 8:03 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
How do you understand the Skandas?


As I understand them, sense-experiences which you classify as sensations are classified as consciousness (eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness) in the Pali suttas.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 12:28 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Wikipedia:

Vijnana from Wikipedia
Abhidhammic analysis

The Patthana, part of the Theravadin Abhidharma, analyzes the different states of consciousness and their functions. The Theravāda school method is to study every state of consciousness. Using this method, some states of consciousness are identified as positive, some negative and some neutral. This analysis is based on the principle of karma, the main point in understanding the different consciousness. All together according to the Abhidhamma, there are 89 kinds of consciousness, 54 are of the "sense sphere" (related to the five physical senses as well as craving for sensual pleasure), 15 of the "fine-material sphere" (related to the meditative absorptions based on material objects), 12 of the "immaterial sphere" (related to the immaterial meditative absorptions), and eight are supramundane (related to the realization of Nibbāna).[35]

More specifically, a viññāṇa is a single moment of conceptual consciousness and normal mental activity is considered to consist of a continual succession of viññāṇas.


This is interesting...I see some of the 89 as philosophical stuff and others as pragmatic...gonna have to look deeper...
I guess it comes down to where the Sub-consciousness resides where the selfing process is running....gonna have to look deeper at viññāṇa, mano vs citta and see the differences....
Thanks for making me think deeper
More input please

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 12:37 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I am quite skeptical. Connecting it back to your own phenomenology of paths/fruitions and the moments leading up to them would help a lot. Specifying what you mean by 1st, 2nd, etc. path in terms of conventional criteria (fetter, MCTB, or whichever.) and connecting your skhandas framework back to those criteria would help a lot, too. Convincingly explaining and demonstrating how this framework might help someone to decide what they need to emphasise in their current practice is what would really sell it (to me.)

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 1:05 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Howdy DW,
I love the fact that you're still working on this. I have to admit to not seeing the the complete logical closure nor the goal of your excercise...yet!

The way I comprehend the aggregates, and find this concept most useful for myself, is that of a model describing how our "reality" is constructed of "outwelling, overlapping and interpenetrating, subtly more concrete concentric shells of suchness" which can be investigated at whatever level is desired given one's abilities. (...inhale.....)

I think I mentioned my "riding the wave" of the skandas in your previous post where one, while meditating, chooses a skanda and focuses on that part of experience.

Is your point (and goal) to align achievements to the degree one is "freed" from the "illusions" inherent in the differing heaps?

Keep up the good work

tom

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 2:20 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
....hate to chime in again so soon but:

i find that the graphic "nomenclature" doesn't fit with my experience / learning exactly.

eg: your 2nd heap is "sensations". i like the word "feelings" there alone, as Analyo uses it in the sense of the "flavor" of the raw sensations which belong properly as an aspect of the 1st (nama-rupa) heap. so that would mean for me the pleasant, unpleasant, neutral would be the only listings under "Feelings".

the next two map well for me and the last two probably as well. :-)

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 2:28 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Where do emotions & mind states fit in this new frame? They were included in your previous version.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/21/13 6:59 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
Connecting it back to your own phenomenology of paths/fruitions and the moments leading up to them would help a lot.

In first path review I would cause fruitions almost every time I would go to the sauna in the gym. The heat (kenesthetic sensations) would start to increase, peak and fall away several times then bam...fruition. It was very sensation based.
Before second path I would have conversations with my wife that started with "lets talk about our relationship"...I would feel like she just cocked a gun and put it to my head...STRESS...post second path she did the same thing and...no stress about thoughts at all...the self related to thoughts no longer caused any stress...as if it were gone
Pre 3rd path I have had marshmellow man experiences that showed me my entanglement with proprioception. Link I take this to be a partial preview of 3rd path based off of descriptions such as Daniels post on what to work on to get third path Looking for help getting to 3rd path
Fourth path information comes from descriptions from Daniel on noticing absolutely everything...and a leap into speculative waters that awareness itself is different from the consciousness disembedding....My gut tells me to follow this direction.
fivebells .:
Specifying what you mean by 1st, 2nd, etc. path in terms of conventional criteria (fetter, MCTB, or whichever.) and connecting your skhandas framework back to those criteria would help a lot, too.

I am starting with MCTB paths as that is what I am familiar with. Is there a list of MCTB criteria for paths besides counting fruitions after a recognizable cycle of Nanas? This is of course a noself model of enlightenment. I am thinking about shoving the fetters in here too later if I can ( probably overly optimistic?:grinemoticon.
fivebells .:
Convincingly explaining and demonstrating how this framework might help someone to decide what they need to emphasise in their current practice is what would really sell it (to me.)

I am attempting to explain exactly what subconscious selfing process entanglements are shut down in a stage like approach.
If you had an intellectual understanding of exactly what you were attempting to do with your practice you could at the very least communicate this with more accuracy. This framework, if correct for the majority of people, might explain differences in practices with corresponding results that are communicable. With this model I could say to a complete newbie that in my current practice I am trying to shut down a subconscious process that is running that is entangled with proprioception. The process that is running is one that creates a false sense of self and creates a duality or seperateness between myself and others. Before I could only say....ummm trying to get enlightened...whatever that means..people who do it say its cool (LOL)
If we are disembedding with specific things then it would explain the differences in 3rd and 4th path focus at least according to advice...1st and 2nd seem straight forward as far as straight noting will get you to disembed from the sensations and thoughts.
tom moylan:

Is your point (and goal) to align achievements to the degree one is "freed" from the "illusions" inherent in the differing heaps?

I am specifically trying to point to exactly what specific selfing process that is entangled with what naturally occurring skandha and the results of shutting it down in a staged approach. The results are enlightenment paths 1-4.
tom moylan:

i find that the graphic "nomenclature" doesn't fit with my experience / learning exactly.
eg: your 2nd heap is "sensations". i like the word "feelings" there alone, as Analyo uses it in the sense of the "flavor" of the raw sensations which belong properly as an aspect of the 1st (nama-rupa) heap. so that would mean for me the pleasant, unpleasant, neutral would be the only listings under "Feelings".

Working on it...I think I'm gonna attack it from the consciousness angle with the skandhas feeding up into it as there is definitely an entrenched view on the skandhas even if they don't explain everything we know from a pragmatic approach. We currently know about photons, and their reflecting off form, and hitting our eye...where is this in the skandhas? I do like the feeling ideal but at the Autonomic nervous system level as if it was a cognitive thing it would be under thoughts.
Pablo . P:
Where do emotions & mind states fit in this new frame? They were included in your previous version.

I would love to throw that stuff back in but I was way to far out on a limb in any evidence to support these things so I am gonna start conservative and then put them back in later if I can get better information from sources. Emotions and self identity are important components but I'm unsure of the axis they are on or how they fit yet.
Thanks everyone for the feedback so far...
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/22/13 10:00 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Can we take this thread into the Google+ hangout? I feel like each person is starting to show some distinctions and here's where I'd love to hear a person present their skandha practice for maybe five minutes each so it can be heard, noted, taken in a bit, then maybe discussed and considered in relation to each other.

If you like this idea, maybe include your timezone, so we can find a two-hour (?) window. I am EST, but pretty flexible about schedule usually.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 3:45 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
tom moylan:

We currently know about photons, and their reflecting off form, and hitting our eye...where is this in the skandhas?
~D


That is interdependant co-arising. Each component of "seeing" is required for sight but is in itself not independantly "real". So if we are talking about eye conciousness we have the physical funtional eye, the object seen and the knowing of it. That is, as I understand it, Nama Rupa. What we build on top of that (feelings, perception etc.) are the rest of the skandas.

Our western scientific understanding separates each of the factors of co-arising into their own seperate realities and are thus, from a dogmatic buddhist viewpoint, in error. That seems silly from a scientifice viewpoint until one tries to resolve some of the quantum problems where observation itself ("the knowing of..") changes the results.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 11:50 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
With this model I could say to a complete newbie that in my current practice I am trying to shut down a subconscious process that is running that is entangled with proprioception. The process that is running is one that creates a false sense of self and creates a duality or seperateness between myself and others.


I'd like to add two things:
One, I think you probably know that a "you" cannot shut down any subconscious process: that would be like trying to turn off the sound of a train whistle by turning off a light (which I mean as a convention analogy, but is actually a poor analogy in the khanda model, because those two awarenesses (sight/sound) can actually go "off" by a single skanda's absence.). The switch ("you") is not controlling the phenomena ("subconsciousness"), but the "you" is arising from elements called, in the Theravadan model, khandas, which may be painted broadly here as "subconsciousness".

So one learns to just give that "you" something to do, like place the attention of "you"-ness on something, like minding the breath or minding an object (such as a sense base, an object, a devotion, like a mantra, a candle flame). Here the "you" finally gets calm and stable and will shut off aspects of what collectively form "you".

So one "sets it up" with ethical discipline and concentration practice and gentle, steady effort, metta for oneself over time, and perhaps re-stating an intention occasionally.

Two, I would like to say that all the aggregates that make up "me" shut down and re-ignited very cleanly and as if progressively on the morning of February 7, 2012 shortly sometime after the moon set. So "I" have a clear hindsight view of how they each present starting with form and going to consciousness. I am simply someone working on what the Therevada systems calls 2nd and 3rd stages. So I must say, knowing myself (within limits of ignorance that I know I have), having that experience, seeing each khanda and what they add in order to complete a "you" did not in my case make a post-fourth path person. For me, that was the stream-entry experience. So I'd be curious about the history of that association. E.g., is that matching of khanda experience to paths a result of Buddhaghosa's work?

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 2:15 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
With this model I could say to a complete newbie that in my current practice I am trying to shut down a subconscious process that is running that is entangled with proprioception. The process that is running is one that creates a false sense of self and creates a duality or seperateness between myself and others.


I'd like to add two things:
One, I think you probably know that a "you" cannot shut down any subconscious process: that would be like trying to turn off the sound of a train whistle by turning off a light (which I mean as a convention analogy, but is actually a poor analogy in the khanda model, because those two awarenesses (sight/sound) can actually go "off" by a single skanda's absence.). The switch ("you") is not controlling the phenomena ("subconsciousness"), but the "you" is arising from elements called, in the Theravadan model, khandas, which may be painted broadly here as "subconsciousness".

I see the Skandas as a description of how physical reality is experienced by awareness and then there is a separate subconscience selfing process that is entangled with them.
katy steger:

So one learns to just give that "you" something to do, like place the attention of "you"-ness on something, like minding the breath or minding an object (such as a sense base, an object, a devotion, like a mantra, a candle flame). Here the "you" finally gets calm and stable and will shut off aspects of what collectively form "you".

yes, exactly. How does one shut down the selfing process? by doing exercises that disembed the selfing from the experience...eg. 16 nanas or other meditative process.
katy steger:

Two, I would like to say that all the aggregates that make up "me" shut down and re-ignited very cleanly and as if progressively on the morning of February 7, 2012 shortly sometime after the moon set. So "I" have a clear hindsight view of how they each present starting with form and going to consciousness.

You are combining the skandas with the separate entangled selfing process running in the subconsciousness. Getting a reboot and clearly seeing how the skandas build up to create reality is different from the experience of permanently shutting down all the entangled selfing processes related to the skandas.
katy steger:

I am simply someone working on what the Therevada systems calls 2nd and 3rd stages. So I must say, knowing myself (within limits of ignorance that I know I have), having that experience, seeing each khanda and what they add in order to complete a "you" did not in my case make a post-fourth path person. For me, that was the stream-entry experience. So I'd be curious about the history of that association. E.g., is that matching of khanda experience to paths a result of Buddhaghosa's work?

This is something I came up with as I investigated how things have turned out for me and looking into 3rd path work and seeing differences in advice and from previews of experiences. I find that I am reinventing the wheel and it is very likely that someone else has done the work and did it better. Or maybe not exactly how I am doing it...time will tell.
Thanks for your feedback,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 3:31 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Graphic Update

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 6:08 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I see the Skandas as a description of how physical reality is experienced by awareness and then there is a separate subconscience selfing process that is entangled with them.


Okay, so here I can say that at the form level, "rupa", there is no awareness that knows that place (but form exists and has a very basic formness, and this is not nothing... so its existence and the ability to experience the existence of form is part of the human brain...so at that very basic level one could say there is awareness in form; but there's absolutely no consciousness or volution or sensation in that skandha: it's as close to gradientless machine-"knowledge" that I think I can have experienced)

What happens is that the brain experiencing form (up from a hindsight of nothingness (no form, no anything) only knows "form" when a layer of "familiarity" then comes on (recognition skhanda in the Theravadan buddhist model) and it is in that transition to familiary that there is hindsight experience of non-familiarity, no gradients within form, just form. Not even form knowing form.

In the form khanda there is just form, no awareness can root down to this skhanda or that experience will be an experience of volition (i.e., the want to know form, the self-direction to look for form, the mind retaining thoughts regarding skhanda-hunting/feelings to study skhanda, etc), consciousness (a brightness/attachment/spark within awareness/the "ego ingredient" in the skandas -- a skanda that relates to craving), feeling (any feeling whatsoever: wanting to know rupa, mere directing oneself to know rupa).

In short, there is no way for a person to directly go to the form skanda without being in the tangle of all aggregates functioning at once with particalur obfuscation occurring from the consciousness skhanda-- that one that adds a kind of specialness/ brightness/ connection/ego ingredient.

So to let the mind go very, very, very well into a gentle concentration practice is to let the mind -- particularly the volitional and consciousness skhandas-- drop themselves away. Then, among many other experiences, the brain may show a full shut down and re-ignition through the skhandas.

Rupa is, in hindsight, a totally un-anticipatible experience lacking any aspect of awareness mind, but form itself: there is just form and it is when the skanda of recognition--- something very akin to actual naming, but not naming, just the sensation of familiarity. And that skhanda of familiarity/recognition has an nearly identical feeling as when one says a name of an object, like "mountain".


This is something I came up with as I investigated how things have turned out for me and looking into 3rd path work and seeing differences in advice and from previews of experiences.
What I would say to anyone considering such a mapped correlation of skhandas and "paths" is that in my direct experience of mind shutting down and then re-igniting individual skhandas until "sense of self/me" re-emerges and inherently responds to that whole experience of shutting down/re-ignition (if only by having a memory and a "wow? what was that?") there is no specific path correlation, simply by way of my one example. That full cessation/re-ignition was stream-entry, each skhanda clearly experienced up from nothingness, not a fourth path passage.

That full shut-down and re-ignition is very, very useful on a number of fronts but I can say for myself and speculate for others that no one wants to live from the rupa skhanda --- what makes the human feel good and connected and engaged (but also clingy/clinging) is that consciousness layer, the brightness of the skhanda of consciousness***


. It is immensely gratifying when that one re-ignites. I remember the feeling of lurching at it, like a fish grabs food from the water surface -- that skhanda is the part that is warned about in the sutta regarding the Magic Show.

But, like, craving, if one is aware of what the senses are with and without craving, there's not need to deny pleasurable sensations so long as one is not under that control (umm, that's hard). And the same goes with seeing that consciousness skhanda-- it is the brightness of one's own sentience, but it is not inherent or permanent. It rides on the other skandas. Anyone who's experienced paralysis and lack of breath/sense of dying in meditation -- even without a full mind shutting down and full re-igntition of the skandhas knows that the consciousness skhanda-- none of them are permanent. In some ways the self, me, becomes very special, just the knowledge that it and others around it are impermanent and it's nice to respect and enjoy its life, create conditions for its well-being, which in our species often will support the well-being of others.



So anyway, a person drops all this directed aiming for skhanda knowledge and does focusing meditation practice (concentration) and the brain shows on its own all kinds of experiences, including dropping all the skhandas, fully ceasing and then re-igniting the mental layers/components/ the skandhas. That's my experience anyway. Meditation is fun sometimes : ]


_________
*** People have mentioned a consciousness outside of the skhanda of consiousness; about this I don/t know. What I can say for myself is that in the arupa jhana it is very clear to me even as a relatively newbie practitioner that it is the basic skhanda of consciousness that is a part of arupa jhana -- not some other consciousness, except perhaps the sense of meeting/joining other consciousnesses -- but that in arupa jhana other skhandas can be very subdued, such as volition being apparently absent sometimes.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 6:05 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Briefly, when people express interest in knowing exactly what mode of meditation is "best" and most demonstrable on metrics like fMRI or when people want to map meditative experiences causally to attainments (e.g. consciousness skhanda cessation = arahant), my experience says that meditative experiences line up differently to various "path" areas (including pre-SE) depending on the person's own conditions/composition/character/previous supporting conditions (that last phrase stems from the vedic understanding of rebirth).

It is just like how, say, a common antibiotic like doxycycline at 300mg is going to have one effect on one person (helpful) and one effect on another (say, harmful or neutral), but statistically is going to be neurologically toxic on a fairly predictable number of people. One cannot say, "Doxycycline will have this result on all people." There are some likelihoods at certain dosages, but it's hard to say how each person is going to react to a non-toxc dosage, even how their non-native bacterial load is going to react.


So similarly, there's a general consensus that one good year of practicing meditation is a good "dosage" for a fairly predictable number of practitioners starting to see things happening with their self-study of their own mind and conduct: the dosage of just showing up every day to focus the mind on the breath or a devotion or a mantra or an object for about a year.

However, what happens per person as a result of that dosage (more or less) depends on the person's own conditions.

So, to me, there is quite clearly not one miracle meditation, nor an experience that can be targeted to cause path. (The presentation of buddhist three characteristics can come in many ways.) There is self-study, showing up to the calm steady focus practice (which is made calm by practicing ethical discipline and metta in daily life), aka concentration training. Then a person's own mind is going to show what it has, what it's doing, what the person can know about themselves, one's past and current conditions, and this causes specific, tailored changes. And, of course, what intention one started/starts with relates to the outcome.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 7:52 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
So here I would say that in your sotapanna to arahant map, that there is a question of what a person has untangled not how: there are many means to like-outcomes.

The 2nd and 3rd pathers untangle craving from sensation.... through any number of experiences The fourth pathers untangled conceit from wisdom, and so on... through any kind of experiences.

So can a type of meditation or meditative experience predict the path? In my experience, no. My short metta experience may be one person's sotapanna experience. My cessation-re-ignition experience may be another's person's fourth path and my sotapanna.

For me, this is why the outcome-based behavioral fetter model --- a hindsight model --- is a useful model for understanding paths, versus any number of experiences one may have in meditation which may have different results on different persons (aka: sentient aggregations with diverse previous supporting conditions (kamma) in buddhist theory).


___________
Another way to consider my comment is to consider buddhist ontology as if it is "true": so we consider that buddhist theory says a sotapanna may take seven human rebirths. Let's say a sotapanna in a third human birth and in previous births they had some view of skhandas shutting down, but perhaps not all. So in a third coming-into-being perhaps their sotapanna path would occur through all the skhandas dropping because of "their" previous experience (kamma) of skhandas;

whereas maybe a first time sotapanna has another kind of SE experience -- like simply at the moment of their death during the desire for deliverance nana: in that last-view-of-life moment in an ardent practitioner the desire for deliverance could transform easily into a sotapanna experience, and then the urges of aggregates would come into a new form with those urges "pressing on" the aggregates underlying the new form. Knowledge of skandha in this sotapanna's second coming-into-being would might start without much in the way of previous supporting condition around skandhas.

Anyway... I need the proper spelling & grammar fetter model emoticon

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/24/13 8:20 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Updated graphic

Thanks Katy,
Your input let me see that it is in the consciousness part where the mapping actually happens not in the actual form-formations stages. I have more work to do but check it out and see if it looks closer to what you are saying.
I'm really trying to separate the experiences of the skandas from the selfing processes entangled with them. Is the flowchart making that distinction clear or does it need something?
I think I might add the fetters in somehow later as I have thought a bit how the causality at each stage might make some sense, but i still think it might be a bit ambitious.
Gotta go meditate, I'll respond later to some of your other comments.
Thanks so much for your input, I feel like I'm making some headway or at least learning and clarifying things.
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/25/13 4:07 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Your input let me see that it is in the consciousness part where the mapping actually happens not in the actual form-formations stages. I have more work to do but check it out and see if it looks closer to what you are saying.
I'm really trying to separate the experiences of the skandas from the selfing processes entangled with them. Is the flowchart making that distinction clear or does it need something?


So my basic point here is that this mapping above relates to your process specifically. For example:

DW:
Pre 3rd path I have had marshmellow man experiences that showed me my entanglement with proprioception.
This sort of experience (ballooning out or loss of body boundaries/sensation, "marshmallow man") was very common to me all my life and was a significant part of the A&P experience as well as a symptom of good concentration. So here's one other reason why I think this mapping is something that relates to your process at the moment versus being more universally applicable. (I previously gave another example of how my experience of full cessation of all skandhas and their individual re-ignition did not correlate to the arahant link as matched above, but just happened to correlate to the sotapanna release --- something everyone is taught is an accessible, "attainable" release for anyone in this life).

What I've found is that these kinds of personal map-quests come up when the practice is causing a lot of pleasant sensation, it can be so suffusive and subtle and energizing: It is a great example of how skandhas tangle actuality. Pleasant sensations are flooding, this causes an energy that is much, much more suffusive than an encouraged romantic crush, and instead of just detecting that, the mind concocts many ways to "spend" that energizing surge in pleasant sensation and the tangled mind is certainly attempting to sustain that surge-- that is its nature as a sentient creature: to always go towards pleasant sensation, away from painful sensation, and minimally, to sustain/look to continuing itself/ existence.

Several people, myself included, report personal experience as being different than/unrelated to the above mapping, so one can see that this particular drawing is the work and product of one unique person working with themselves uniquely.

So when this construction passes (as it once arose), there will still be the universally applicable work of ethical conduct, concentration training, and developing discernment.

So this skandha investigation is very clearly useful to your practice right now and that's worthwhile or at least it's going to continue to happen because it clearly has a pull and merit to you. When this sort of thing goes finally "too far" and collapses itself (the feeling of ridiculousness or laughing or seeing that there was no ultimate stability in the construction but to gratify and exhaust oneself (skandhically) that passing is as useful as all the construction.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/25/13 4:30 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
DW,

I also want to say that just because this mapping you're constructing may arise and pass and may be uniquely fitted to you "in the end" and significant for your releases, it doesn't remove any value from the process. The process remains valuable, like riding a bike teaches many, many valuable things beyond pedaling and locomotion. There's clearly a sincere personal study in this, a surge of something that is being investigated closely. So I appreciate reading what you're doing. Thanks.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/25/13 6:11 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

So anyway, a person drops all this directed aiming for skhanda knowledge and does focusing meditation practice (concentration) and the brain shows on its own all kinds of experiences, including dropping all the skhandas, fully ceasing and then re-igniting the mental layers/components/ the skandhas. That's my experience anyway. Meditation is fun sometimes

The few moments leading up to the fruition is where I was looking for the "object" that the selfing process is untangling from (sensations, thoughts, space/time, awareness) Post fruition rebooting of the skandas would not necessarily show the "object". What was your experience of the moments right before the fully ceasing and then re-igniting the mental layers/components/ the skandhas? Was there an object?
I was stuck in review for two years so had ample times to see the object as the sensation of heat arising and passing. Most of the time I didn't have the concentration to see this clearly but sometimes I did.
I really wish I could re experience 1st path and second path fruitions to check again how they present. Does anyone have this skill that they can describe how to do? Of course it I wouldn't be a great test as I already have scripted what I have experience so it would probably be redundant.
katy steger:

For me, this is why the outcome-based behavioral fetter model --- a hindsight model --- is a useful model for understanding paths, versus any number of experiences one may have in meditation which may have different results on different persons (aka: sentient aggregations with diverse previous supporting conditions (kamma) in buddhist theory).

I hope that the fetters will be somewhat explained by the map if it goes far enough...I would really like the know the causality of why the fetters disappear. What specific attribute creates each one? Where are they located? What attribute is gone that makes each fetter disappear? I have some ideas that I'd like to float but that will have to be later.
katy steger:

Several people, myself included, report personal experience as being different than/unrelated to the above mapping, so one can see that this particular drawing is the work and product of one unique person working with themselves uniquely.

katy steger:

I also want to say that just because this mapping you're constructing may arise and pass and may be uniquely fitted to you "in the end" and significant for your releases, it doesn't remove any value from the process. The process remains valuable, like riding a bike teaches many, many valuable things beyond pedaling and locomotion. There's clearly a sincere personal study in this, a surge of something that is being investigated closely. So I appreciate reading what you're doing. Thanks.

I sure hope that it is more then just my own experiences. I hope that the variances can be incorporated and further explain the model so it can be more inclusive. Even if that is not the case I can hope that others can learn thru my learning process.
Thanks for the great feedback
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/25/13 8:15 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi DW,

Post fruition rebooting of the skandas would not necessarily show the "object". What was your experience of the moments right before the fully ceasing and then re-igniting the mental layers/components/ the skandhas? Was there an object?

So my experience was using the light of full moon on river as object. The first sit of the morning was the moonlight on river ripples from high moon to until the moon set; when it set there was a basic mental stunning about my own conceit, a constant stream of mental assertions even with something like the moon and river. The second sit (in which the cessation occurred) took up a diffuse lamp light on the river ripples in the darkness after moonset.

When the re-ignition happened there was form without recognition and here there is no oneness nor separation: form has something like just the barest consciousness for itself-- but that sentence implies a separation, which there is not any awareness of except a hindsight sense that there was no form (nothing) immediately preceding form. It cannot make the slightest gradient with objects nor know plural objects or singular object, can't say color/not color. There's just form, no gradient anywhere. (Here the afferent nerve signals from the eye must be going to the brain, but brain networks that cause recognition and naming and associations and affect must not be triggered. For people who say they can cause full cessations and skandha re-ignitions regularly, I hope they offer this to research via fMRI and whatever other tools can measure what's happening here and during the rest of the skhandas' re-ignition.)

Then there was recognition which was nearly instantaneous to sensation --- technically, I think sensation happened first, but it was so neutral that it was unnoticed until familiarity came up and this gave an obvious sensation and a sense of sensation gradient, from subtle-to-less subtle.

Then after sensation and familiarity there was something like a radio happening, then the form (landscape: winter dawn white dark river pink white sky) suddenly seemed to brighten as if a dimmer switch was turned up throughout the whole form. This seemed like pure sentience, a kind of stand aside awareness. (I heard about six months later the samkya story of Parush and Prakrit and remembered this skandha triggering, thinking, yes, that's how consciousness reacts to all that is not consciousness, with a sort of bright separateness that can alight on anything small and spread very very broadly suddenly, but it still knows "loves" its own animation relative to knowledge of just form. (So consciousness skanda has both friendliness and affinity because it can approach anything without harm, and it has a natural conceit because it seems "better" than form-alone skandha which does not at all kick up sensation, whereas the consciousness skandha inspires lots of sensation and generally very, very pleasant sensation unless it moves very fast and this can cause fear). Consciousness skandha caused a lurch-for-it sensation, as if the consciousness wanted itself. No other skandha needed it, had anything to lurch or incline for but itself. The consciousness aggregate, though, that creates a polarity, like there is somehow something seperate and exceptional to "go for". And so this is where arupa jhana come from and how one can become a jhana junkie or have fun.

Anyway, lastly the "radio happening" turned out to be thoughts and those suddenly reminded me I was me. I could tell what I was thinking and there was not just a jumble of radio sounds and it was essentially, "What what what what what's this what this.." then totally coherent.

What attribute is gone that makes each fetter disappear?
So the consciousness skhanda does relate strongly to craving. If you're ever sitting on the cushion during retreat and you are dealing with food and or sexual craving, anyone can watch how the craving seems to create a force just outside the body which the body now craves. If one craves food, then the force of desire centers around the head and it's as if the mind takes the body's full energy, placed 70% of it in front of the face and then the mind perseverates on the image of consuming that deliberately displaced energy, a vibrant concept of lunch. The mind just keeps replaying and replaying the eating, no matter if the stomach is sated (this is NOT the same as starvation wasting, which definitely mutes the skandhas and causes listlessness, increasingly weak arousal). If the craving is sexual, anyone can see how areas of their body perk up and desires center around those areas and it's as if the mind has taken 95% of the body's full energy and placed it in front of the aroused areas of the body and then the mind perseverates on the image of bringing that deliberately bifurcated sense of energy up to the aroused areas again and again.

All of the above is a very sensory version of the attraction that is in the consciousness skandha, which when it is is just itself -- as sentience -- it has a clean, suffusive blissful, mobile, broad sensation, and it nevertheless creates craving because it is prefers itself over the consciousness of form. This is due to what each skandha causes. Form is so basic, has no sensation. Consciousness is sentience, so it knows its own specialness, can not appreciate existing as just form, does not want to cede itself to just-form, wants to stay in existence, wants always to be present, more and more. This is fine. The craving/clinging is the rough bit, the ignorance.

So paths can relate this way and I think this is very much where you are going with your mapping, but I just wanted to say that it seems that previous supporting conditions relate very much to what a meditative experience will cause in terms of path. One person's full cessation-re-ignition of skandhas could cause sotapanna (seems to have been my experience) and another person's full cessation-re-ignition of skandhas could cause, I guess, fourth path. It seems to depend on where one's specifically entangled based on one's own conditions. This is my limited experience of what seems to be described in the Theravadan model of skandhas.

Make any sense? Would you describe the full cessation-re-ignition you've experienced?


(what is weirder to understand is why does devotion and gratitude arise from all of this? It is not at all nihilistic. Why does this complete deflation of oneself cause a movement of consciousness into a metta-form of consciousness (despite my own current limits here). To be trite, I'm reminded of Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner who doesn't want to die, but has a poetic death --- tenderness appreciating a lively pigeon. Craving and manipulation starts to cease -- those cruelties -- and there is raw wonder at this life, less willingness to discard/objectify any sentient life, little by little less ignorance (of which I still have plenty).

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/25/13 11:39 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

Would you describe the full cessation-re-ignition you've experienced?

I have not had a detailed skanda experience post cessation. The details I had was the seconds pre-cessation. That is where I was asking you to describe. Did you experience the entry point/object right before cessation?
Description-
I would be sitting in the sauna and get to EQ then I would feel the heat arise and pass away; get more intense then peak and fade more quickly than the build up (This was slow for me, it builds for like 2 - 3 seconds then passes away quicker like 1-2 seconds). at the bottom of the pass away it would hit bottom with a *thump* into a barrier that was solid but had some give to it like packed dirt. Then consciousness would fade slowly to almost gone and then fade back and this would happen again - Heat arises and passes away again, *thump* , fadeout again, on the last one the *thump* would be a breaking through the barrier into cessation, nothing, totally gone. The experience coming back was instant, consciousness was back, moment to notice, strong in breath and the bliss wave would roll over me.
So the object pre-cessation that was presenting itself was heat. It was slow and methodical and very clear.
Sounds like between the two of us we have the whole picture emoticon
Thanks for your great description,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/26/13 9:25 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
That is where I was asking you to describe. Did you experience the entry point/object right before cessation?
That's the light on water bit-- so I remember doing that, and, physically, there was the earlier strong sinking, comfort in the body. I'm guessing that the body also did what you call "marshmallow man" emoticon into a boundarylessness expansion sensation because that generally happens to me when there's calm, focus (non-restlessness) happening and relates to jhana. But I also am not sure what the last object actually was as there's a whole area that seems to have been unconscious and I don't know when that started, that's not something I can pinpoint. Sometimes I wonder if it was true unconsciousness, in which case I think the several seconds of conscious experience before unconsciousness happens-- those preceding moments do not get imprinted as memory and this would be why I don't have any thing clearer than my basic jhana practice happening before the cessation.

So are you planning to discuss this in the Hangout tonight? This is something I'd like to listen to.

[edit: actually, I do not think I can join any call tonight, if there would be one]

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/26/13 9:43 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks for your great description,
Well, a caveat is I've had that experience exactly one time and it remains very, very clear to me. Nevertheless, it's not like a body of repeated experience. What I found is that I didn't understand the skandas before and that I immediately knew to go look up the skandhas afterwards. It was very exciting to see and understand the experience in a system. Needless to say, I started attending more dharma classes at a local monastery in the summer after that, was totally inspired for several months and magnetized to a good monastic dharma teacher's ability to teach and refer these experiences to texts.

Anyway, so again, people who are reporting that they experience full cessation and re-ignition of the skandhas regularly, who can "set this up"... that, in my one experience, would probably have clear neurological imaging and would be great to offer to the researchers who've already picked up people from this and other meditative communities. I cannot set this up, but when i read that people talk about doing this at will, I wonder why is this not being presented to/in a lab?

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
6/27/13 12:04 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Update - 4th image

I am going on vacation tomorrow so probably no new graphics for a while...but please feel free to comment...
Thanks all,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/1/13 6:21 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi D--

So far this process seems to be taking place. I may be somewhat off base but the selfing processes that have shut down follow the skandas pretty good. Has anyone else seen the same kind of relationship?

1...Self entangled with form/reality.....................A&P
2......Self entangled with sensory data...............Sotapanna
3......... Self entangled with symbols/thoughts...Sakadagami
4............. Self entangled with proprioception......Anāgāmī
5..................Self entangled with awareness..…..Arahant

1) This selfing process believes that it understands reality based off of historical experience. When reality is experienced as greater than this narrow viewpoint Arising and Passing away happens. Reality is much much more than what has so far been experienced.
2) This selfing process believes that it is the sensory data (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) that is being experienced. When this process is shut down at nibbana, stream entry ( Sotapanna) is achieved.
3) This selfing process believes that it is the thoughts that occur. This creates some of the agency of the self. When this process is shut down at nibbana, Sakadagami is achieved and a large amount of stress disappears.
4) This selfing process believes it is the space that defines the body in the whole of reality. It creates the center point and duality. When this process is shut down at nibbana, Anāgāmī is achieved and the duality of self vs the rest of reality goes away. Non-dualism abides.
5) This selfing process believes it is awareness. When this process is shut down at nibbana, Arahant is achieved. Since awareness does not reside in any of physicality there seems to be a paradigm shift in the way that reality is perceived accompanied by a tremendous sense of relief and joy and a feeling of completion.

Do you think your model asserts the experience of disentangled skhandas as correlated or causal to paths?

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/8/13 7:17 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Hi D--
Do you think your model asserts the experience of disentangled skhandas as correlated or causal to paths?

Based off of your input I see the skandas as the layers of brain that information passes thru (e.g. cerebral cortex, thalamus, mid-brain) then pass into consciousness where they can then be perceived and contemplated. Along the way before consciousness they pass thru the subconsciousness where the selfing processes entangles with the information giving rise to a sense of self. When these selfing processes get shut down due to dis-embedding techniques such as meditation, the fourth path moments can occur. I see correlations in which particular processes link to which paths.

As you can see I am really putting this together on the fly from great input such as yours. I think I am getting a more complete picture as I go but there is a lot more to put together and it relates mostly with my experiences and the wonderful information I've found here on the DhO and the Vimuttimagga.

Sorry if I'm being too geeky but I see gold at the bottom of this rabbit hole so I'm doing the deep dive.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/13/13 2:23 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Update 5th revision

Well, I think I'm closer to where I'm going with this....any feedback on the flowchart? I'm going to write up some blurbs on the process and see what happens...
Thanks,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/23/13 9:30 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi D--

any feedback on the flowchart?


In the "Subconscious column", why are these under the heading of subconscious?

And...

In the Theravadan system, I think your box called "the Four Primaries" are actually components of the skandha of form.

Where you have Form and a grey box "Senses" with the afferent results of the senses (that is: seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling) these afferent results are, I think, actually considered "Consciousnesses" not Form. For example, the nose has material form; through its Form components come also pleasant, neutral and unpleasant afferent occurrences (skandha: "Sensations") and ability to distinguish (skandha: "Perception" (of distinction)); the skandha of volition arises on the basis of pleasance/unpleasantness as well as the entire "I" aggregate; and the skandha of consciousness has awareness of the other skandhas (and can detect components of all the skandhas) and can make pervasive a cohesive experience of existing in aggregate --- the experience that "I am" smelling something. Maybe one can think of the skandha of consciousness as a strong force and the skandha of form on its own, relative to and perceived with Consciousness, as a weak force. Only the skanda of consciousness seems to have awareness of the other skandhas. When "sensation" skandha encounters what is naturally unpleasant, the material form recoils but the sensation just ends, does not perseverate on "Oh, that was a near miss." Likewise, the material form of nerves deforms or does not deform in the experience. They co-arise without perhaps detecting each other. This is why one can in meditation and in some injuries come to know lack of familiar coherence between sensation and form (e.g. phantom limbs, "ballooning" body in meditation).

In some people with less common development one can see that so-called skhandas are not linked together as commonly seen in a large body of people, such as leading that rare person to perseverate on a sensation but without being able to demonstrate distinctive perception between two sensation or two forms. One can say, "What is this?" and the person may just touch the object again as an answer. If one asks, "Are these the same?" such a person may not be able to answer such a question, even understand the question.

Sensations are actually "pleasant", "unpleasant", "neutral" while the map you're offering mention "good and bad". "Good" and "bad" belong to the skandha of volition in Theravadan buddhism. The pleasant afferent sensations give rise to craving (tanha, lit. thirst-- which is easily experienced during a long sit as thirst will come up in response to the unpleasantness of initial stages of dehydration) and it is craving that gives rise to clinging (wanting more of that which is naturally pleasant). Volition may have a basis in the past as well as a basis in novelty and a basis in afferent sensation: all may give rise to volition (the wanting to and the not wanting to). What wants?

Your diagram shows aspects of space and time, self-identity and awareness floating with origin-less arrows. Where do these come from? Otherwise why are there arrows on the left side of their boxes?

Anyway, I am wondering how much time you put into this map versus practice? Who thinks about paths --- is this the same as the condition of a person who wants to see fMRIs of meditators so that they can determine "what's the best technique?" to avoid the patience of going into the great lab of one's being and sitting quietly and practicing? Is this map restless avoidance of quiet practice?

So also, best wishes :] and I look forward to learning more from your practice. You're a family guy and I admire all of you doing this with the bustle of work and family!

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/24/13 10:01 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Here is a funny story given by Rupert Gethin on maps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qArOTj4xLTA The closest laughter is that of Ven. Bodhi who presents in part 1 of these videos some overview of the Abidhamma mapping.

A quote from it: "We could use the country as its own map."

The make-a-new-comprehensive-mapping instinct can be seen in many teachers of the 'dharma circuit' and is no actual problem, except when it takes a moment/a student from sitting, growing self-study practice, goes from being a small guide, to covering the country. Really, how hard are the basic practices of sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindfulness? They are as hard as the mind restlessly avoids them and itself.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/24/13 3:03 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Hi D--

any feedback on the flowchart?


In the "Subconscious column", why are these under the heading of subconscious?

Anything that is not conscious I put in the subconscious column. There are many things that the brain does in regards to the skandas before some of the information gets passed into consciousness. Different parts of the brain do different things for the skandas and only a small amount of the totality that is happening gets passed into consciousness where you are then aware of the information in its quantity, quality and perceived importance. That other things such as a unperceived permanent self can be attached to this information is usually overlooked. Most Buddhist thought does not believe in a subconscious let alone a selfing process, how it works, where it's insertion point is, what it is entangled with, what happens at shutdown. This is what I'm exploring.
katy steger:

And...

In the Theravadan system, I think your box called "the Four Primaries" are actually components of the skandha of form.

Aggreed, the Four Primaries are passed into form. The arrow should show it going into the form box not the skandas box. I see the four primaries as algorithms that make up the information of the form we perceive.
katy steger:

Where you have Form and a grey box "Senses" with the afferent results of the senses (that is: seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling, smelling) these afferent results are, I think, actually considered "Consciousnesses" not Form. For example, the nose has material form; through its Form components come also pleasant, neutral and unpleasant afferent occurrences (skandha: "Sensations") and ability to distinguish (skandha: "Perception" (of distinction)); the skandha of volition arises on the basis of pleasance/unpleasantness as well as the entire "I" aggregate; and the skandha of consciousness has awareness of the other skandhas (and can detect components of all the skandhas) and can make pervasive a cohesive experience of existing in aggregate --- the experience that "I am" smelling something. Maybe one can think of the skandha of consciousness as a strong force and the skandha of form on its own, relative to and perceived with Consciousness, as a weak force. Only the skanda of consciousness seems to have awareness of the other skandhas. When "sensation" skandha encounters what is naturally unpleasant, the material form recoils but the sensation just ends, does not perseverate on "Oh, that was a near miss." Likewise, the material form of nerves deforms or does not deform in the experience. They co-arise without perhaps detecting each other. This is why one can in meditation and in some injuries come to know lack of familiar coherence between sensation and form (e.g. phantom limbs, "ballooning" body in meditation).

If you are aware of the information passed from your subconscious into your conscious then there it is, your nose is there and your smelling are in consciousness. The actual information channel thru your brain and what happens to it therein is not consciously known when in the subconsciousness. Same with Sensations and Perceptions and Formations.
katy steger:

In some people with less common development one can see that so-called skhandas are not linked together as commonly seen in a large body of people, such as leading that rare person to perseverate on a sensation but without being able to demonstrate distinctive perception between two sensation or two forms. One can say, "What is this?" and the person may just touch the object again as an answer. If one asks, "Are these the same?" such a person may not be able to answer such a question, even understand the question.

hmm. interesting
katy steger:

Sensations are actually "pleasant", "unpleasant", "neutral" while the map you're offering mention "good and bad". "Good" and "bad" belong to the skandha of volition in Theravadan buddhism. The pleasant afferent sensations give rise to craving (tanha, lit. thirst-- which is easily experienced during a long sit as thirst will come up in response to the unpleasantness of initial stages of dehydration) and it is craving that gives rise to clinging (wanting more of that which is naturally pleasant). Volition may have a basis in the past as well as a basis in novelty and a basis in afferent sensation: all may give rise to volition (the wanting to and the not wanting to). What wants?

I see the semantic difference you're pointing out between pleasant and good, unpleasant and bad. Pleasant seems more appropriate for good things but unpleasant seems a little light for burning yourself or being eaten by a tiger...I did not mean to suggest Formations-Thought-Volition is involved at this state.
katy steger:

Your diagram shows aspects of space and time, self-identity and awareness floating with origin-less arrows. Where do these come from? Otherwise why are there arrows on the left side of their boxes?

Great question. Where do you think they come from? They are from the Vittimagga's derived material qualities but I am unsure of what Skanda they connect to. Any opinion?
katy steger:

Anyway, I am wondering how much time you put into this map versus practice? Who thinks about paths --- is this the same as the condition of a person who wants to see fMRIs of meditators so that they can determine "what's the best technique?" to avoid the patience of going into the great lab of one's being and sitting quietly and practicing? Is this map restless avoidance of quiet practice?

lol, it could be, that I could use this time for even more meditation. Kinda begs the question as to what are all of us doing here chatting and reading instead of practising. Or doing anything else with our free time. I find this flowchart inquiry intellectually stimulating and hope it leads to profitable ways to talk about practise, especially around the differences that occur post 3rd path. Why is it so hard to get 3rd vs 1st and second? Why is fourth even harder? Rarely is this discussed but with a model showing the differences maybe we can figure out what approaches could possibly work better for the different paths or at least understand where we are going.
katy steger:

So also, best wishes :] and I look forward to learning more from your practice. You're a family guy and I admire all of you doing this with the bustle of work and family!

Thanks so much for the feedback.
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/25/13 9:22 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi D--

Most important to consider: Have you experienced skandhas directly from their own perspective/containment, without the perspective of any sort of witness or "I" at all?


Kinda begs the question as to what are all of us doing here chatting and reading instead of practising.
Chatting about what we experience seems useful. Building a map about material of which one does not have lots of terrain knowledge is speculation. The abandoned niches being study and curiosity.

Why is it so hard to get 3rd vs 1st and second? Why is fourth even harder?


I find this flowchart inquiry intellectually stimulating and hope it leads to profitable ways to talk about practise,


The type of concentration that can study maps and create maps is the same as vitakka-vicara (first jhana). It's the same mind that can sit down for schooling and teaching and planning and thinking fairly predictably. So the mind can become good at vitakka-vicara (first jhana) via intellectual training.

And if one has limited time in a day and wants to become familiar with fourth jhana, or one wonders why fourth jhana is "harder", then vitakka-vicara aspects must be permitted to just be the tools they are: magnets on the object, supporting the mind's attentive opening up to the unexpectedness of single-pointedness in fourth jhana -- suffusive equanimity. This cannot be underestimated. If one wonders, "is this single-pointedness" then it is not. And when this singlepointedness occurs in equanimity, it is without doubt or speculation and the insight leaves something on the mind to know later. This is the unexpected surprise window coming up from a simple recursive field, that which iteration and its intellection cannot jump out of without giving into the relaxed focus of recursion. Over and over again. From that practice, skandhas can known in their own "vantage".

Aside: I would not place these things in subconscious as you've shown. Many people can look to their own childhood and remember when the mind was concentrated on an object and not being intellectual/contrived: watching clouds, eating a favorite food, hearing new sounds. Natural activities we've all known that can strongly focus the mind where there was no need to deliberately placing the mind there (on clouds, on tasting, on waking up and having no mental orientation-->entering disorientation/reorientation)


They are from the Vittimagga's derived material qualities but I am unsure of what Skanda they connect to. Any opinion?
Again, it is one thing to read something and by iteration attempt to find its goal (understanding) and it is another to do a simple, recursive practice which will open a mind with no anticipation or preconception.

I know it's easy to stay intellectually focused/to contrive focus in an iterative method. Once the mind gets good at something it wants to stay there. It gets pleasure from doing something well and it gets frustrated doing something new, clumsily. That's practice.

Yet, if one commits vitakka-vicara to their roles as essentially strong magnents for just the meditative part of one's day, the simple practice is allowed to be plain, recursive, wide with single-pointed adherence and insightful.

If you're not comfortable in the jhanas and you're not sure of the actual experience of the skandhas what is being mapped? There's a pleasure in your mapping though and it could be good to look at that and not neglect simply sitting, recursive practice.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/25/13 11:14 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Why is it so hard to get 3rd vs 1st and second? Why is fourth even harder?



I find this flowchart inquiry intellectually stimulating and hope it leads to profitable ways to talk about practise, especially around the differences that occur post 3rd path. Why is it so hard to get 3rd vs 1st and second? Why is fourth even harder?


I was talking path moments not jhanas...

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/26/13 5:41 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I was talking path moments not jhanas...
Okay.

And you are talking also about skandhas; Have you experienced these from their own vantage versus intellectual speculation or creation? For example, just form, versus knowing "that is form"?

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/26/13 11:10 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Do you really think you can understand form/sensations/perceptions and still have sexual desire? That would be ludicrous.

You are including understanding the properties of form through and through as a criterion for being sotapanna, a stage which has sexual desire totally unimpeded by wisdom. How does that work? And is the view of cankers held in SUCH low regard that including the four classical elements somehow have more use?

Being rigorous here, though I appreciate the intellectual effort.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/26/13 2:48 PM as a reply to ju ju.
Do you really think you can understand form/sensations/perceptions and still have sexual desire? That would be ludicrous.


sexual desires don't disappear. And they even don't reduce.

...it just means that you see things as what they are...

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/26/13 4:56 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
I was talking path moments not jhanas...
Okay.

And you are talking also about skandhas; Have you experienced these from their own vantage versus intellectual speculation or creation? For example, just form, versus knowing "that is form"?

I have not had a reboot experience such as yours that allowed me to experience the skandas in the subconscious. I have only ever seen them from a conscious viewpoint. Besides that one time, have you experienced them again from "just form"? Is this even what you mean by just form....consciousness not yet present?
It seems very rare that someone can experience subconscious processes without the conscious operating. Any advice on how to experience this? I speculate that setting an intention during the review cycle and then trigger a fruition might do it. I can not trigger past fruitions so I don't think I'll be able to check this out directly.
Thoughts?
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/26/13 5:15 PM as a reply to ju ju.
ju ju:
Do you really think you can understand form/sensations/perceptions and still have sexual desire? That would be ludicrous.

I am focusing on the selfing process, where it resides, how it works, where it's insertion point is, what it is entangled with, what happens at shutdown. This is what I'm exploring. I have not looked into understanding form/sensations/perceptions from the viewpoint of sexual desire...do you think it is relevent to the discussion? If so, please explain how/why and where it would interact with the flowchart or the selfing process entanglement in general....
ju ju:

You are including understanding the properties of form through and through as a criterion for being sotapanna, a stage which has sexual desire totally unimpeded by wisdom. How does that work? And is the view of cankers held in SUCH low regard that including the four classical elements somehow have more use?

I am not including understanding the properties of form through and through as a criterion for being sotapanna. You can have no idea what you actually did and get to sotapanna. I am merely proposing a model that may explain the no-self process of enlightenment in more detail for those interested. If you enjoy a different model than the no-self model then I don't think you will like any of this much.
Please explain the cankers as you see them and again please explain how/why and where it would interact with the flowchart or the selfing process entanglement in general....
ju ju:

Being rigorous here, though I appreciate the intellectual effort.

I too am being rigorous here, and appreciate your feedback
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
7/29/13 10:38 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi D--

Besides that one time, have you experienced them again from "just form"?
Oh, sure. I think this is a very conscious and common ccurence and that people experience this knowingly regardless of meditative study or tradition. Many subtle mental processes are somewhat obscured by heavy mentation, volition and sensation, but the mental function "form" is there, a part of conscious actuality and can be experienced as weird little blips in daily life (see below). However, the occurrence of khandhas within meditative stabilization probably leaves more impression, because one has a cognitive context for the experience (and this can cause problems, too, like grasping...). For me, experiencing khandhas up from nothingness/unconsciousness though was just that one occasion. Memorable, but also nearly affectless, nearly totally placid until the sense of "I am" reformed.

It seems very rare that someone can experience subconscious processes without the conscious operating.

Rupa and the rest of the khandhas are conscious, daily functions. I think when we're young something "subtle" like form alone is more apparent. Remember laying down and staring up at the sky and clouds? Being very young and not prone to so much thinking/intellectual narration? Then a mind can easily experience just form. As adults, maybe we wake up from a nap and when we first open our eyes there may just be form, without recognition nor disorientation...just form. Then there's a little disorientation, head shaking and the scene becomes recognized and one quickly gets on with one's day. In meditation, that experience is recognized --- can occur as if that's all there is, so it is not overlooked or dismissed and it's the entirety of existence in that moment. It can supply a direct understanding to the aggregated "I". (In daily life it can be a slightly more "so what?" experience if a person is not too interested in these aspects of mental phenomena.)

Is this even what you mean by just form....consciousness not yet present?
Well, form khandha is not nothing and in comparison to nothingness and coming back "online" from nothingness/"lights out", rupa aggregate is a significant existence. So rupa is not unconsciousness, it is not "lights out", and it is a significant existence and so it can be called form consciousness. Maybe just the neural receptors for form alone are active at that moment and no other neural receptors are active? It is fair to use the word consciousness here, because that layer of rupa is not unconsciousness and it like a very simple registry of existing versus not existing. So the experience of life in rupa khandha is just formness. It is not definitely not an unconscious experience, but it is also does not seem to have the brightness, quality of affinity/attraction and mobility like the khandha consciousness (viññāṇa).

I will say that the khandhas of consciousness (viññāṇa) and form (rūpa) seem comparable to the automaticity of heart muscle spontaneously depolarizing, creating electricity from nearby chemistry, seemingly out of nowhere. And between rupa and the viññāṇa, I appreciate the emptiness recognized by buddhism, Parush/prakrit/jiva of vedic traditions, and theism's divine spark***.

Any advice on how to experience this? I speculate that setting an intention during the review cycle and then trigger a fruition might do it.
I agree with you: setting intention, then just practicing simple recursive samatha, like breathing meditation or whatever you like that's recursive. Sometimes it takes me a very long time to get rid of expectation in meditation. From the time I started to intellectualize khandhas to the time I seem to have experienced them directly (and had nearly forgotten about them, at least as a conscious curiosity), at least nine months passed all because it was very, very challenging for me to let go of any and all subtle expectations that I asserted on the act of meditating. When I managed to drop all expectations, then I would get very drowsy or discouraged or massively bored. I still find it very hard to have a goal-less goal in a totally recursive, novelty-free terrain but I now have conviction in the samatha process.

I can not trigger past fruitions so I don't think I'll be able to check this out directly.
It doesn't sound like there has been a prior experience around directly experiencing the khandhas. I don't understand what you've said here maybe?

___
*** including Wakan tanka (lakota, which is maybe the origin or your avatar name?)

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/1/13 3:41 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Update 5th revision
Well, I think I'm closer to where I'm going with this....any feedback on the flowchart?
~D

Ok I need to modify the flowchart after chatting with Daniel.
Here are my newest thoughts
The selfing process is secondary to a Categorical Permanency Process. The CPP causes a sense of permanency around perceptions that then allows a sense of self to exist. It creates a lot of stress/dukkha in keeping this illusion operating.
The meditation box has to do with dis-embedding with the CPP and shutting down/modifying the process category by category.
I think that there is a sample rate of consciousness that can be modified by meditating that allows one to "see" perceptions more clearly as they happen. Vibrations, visual snow, etc. are signs of this modification as well as the stages of insite. I also have the feeling that the stages could also be defense mechanisms to keep the CPP operating. If bliss doesn't stop you (A&P) then the dark night will, or equanimity (everything is good here, don't look behind the curtain)
Going to modify the flowchart to reflect this when I get a chance.
Thanks all
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/3/13 2:26 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
It is not just their strange sense of continuity, but also the notion that sensations can observe or control other sensations.

It is a basic lack of direct perceptual clarity about those processes that allows them to see to be something they are not, not the processes themselves.

Signs of progress deeper into that territory: boundary dissolution, things being manifest where they are, sense of doer and observer lessened and then finally seen through in daily life at baseline, naturalness with which the whole thing is known to happen, centerlessness more apparent, interdependence more obvious, etc.

Further, notice how you add a slightly paranoid (Mara-deceiver, these are designed to trick you) take on the stages of insight, whereas the stages of insight are basically a general tour of various modes of reality presenting itself. No mode is inherently a problem if perceived clearly, but, I agree, any can and often do present their own special challenges to just seeing them directly, such as the tendency to create elaborate maps and tables about simple, intimate sensations.

I use to have a very small, simple, wooden box that my first wife gave me, and in it was one small piece of paper that said simply, "the six sense doors."

If our intellect is strong, we may try to use that to somehow pry open the thing. However, it is a crutch that is ill-suited to the task past beyond a minor supportive role past a certain point.

Know the simple sensations of all types that are arising and vanishing throughout the field of experience, and, if this is done well, wisdom will reveal itself. It is the direct path. "In the seeing, just the seen. In the hearing, just the heard. In the thinking, just the thought..." etc.

Daniel

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/3/13 10:16 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
The mind can't stop the heart. It can slow it somewhat, true, but not stop it. The pacemaker of the heart is intrinsic to the heart muscle itself.

If you are having strange energetics in that area or some scary sensation, then either just gently feel into it, or try approaching it from some adjacent chakra, such as below or above it, and feel into those, as energetic blockages are generally part of a more systemic package, and gently feeling into other areas can have surprisingly good effects on chakras that seem unrelated initially.

Or, just ignore that for now and do something else, like breath-centered meditation, noting, or whatever skillful practice.

Metta practice helps with fear and heart-realted issues also.

Daniel

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/6/13 6:47 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Update 6th revision

What do you think?
Too complicated to follow? Utter nonsense? any value? questions?
Thanks,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/6/13 6:49 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Simplified version

Comments?
Thanks,
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/7/13 8:09 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
hi, im new,

i like whats going on here so i decided to post as encouragement and maybe, if you have comments about my comments, it might help me better understand what the chart details.

thought about not posting these comments at all, because they dont seem very technical.. but i guess if, in some way, form is function and function is form, maybe they are somewhat technical after all.

for the simplified version, it might be good to consider ordering it a little bit differently. right now, it seems to me to imply a linearity that made it seem complicated for me to understand at first; and that linearity also kinda implies an un-cyclical nature too. maybe if the layout is in 3 rows, or more horizontal anyway, then some of the boxes could easily illustrate feedback into the others. to some, maybe that would complicate it? dunno, but i think it would be even more simple and coherent that way.

to demonstrate what i mean with a few examples, but with the current layout, you could place arrows so that all the subconscious boxes are connecting to one another. also, maybe an arrow of some kind connecting the "shifts" and the void would be cool. similarly, maybe a dotted or faded arrow between the void and the four primaries? the last, and this might just be because of my computing background.. the word "information" usually implies something already processed, whereas "data" is "raw", preprocessed material. then again, its fun considering the raw data more meaningful before the cpp gets ahold of it.

cheers

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/8/13 1:45 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Try a field of textures and qualities that might be arbitrarily designated as 6 sense doors, or perhaps 5 sense doors, or perhaps just one sense door, or just sensations which are part of space.

There is no "Void".

There are no elements.

There are no sense organs, but just qualities that imply them.

There is no information that is different from the qualities that imply sense doors, so that step is redundant.

Any processing we suppose is implied, not experienced, just inferred.

There is no awareness beyond the qualities themselves.

There is no process that can be found beyond the qualities of space themselves, so nothing is shut down.

This is still way too complicated. Keep it simple: this integrated moment is totally transient all the way through, undifferentiated, and the only thing there is.

Commitment to something that simple, that straightforward, that direct: that is as simple and workable as it gets.

Right here, just this, straight up, un-cut.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/8/13 4:33 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Try a field of textures and qualities that might be arbitrarily designated as 6 sense doors, or perhaps 5 sense doors, or perhaps just one sense door, or just sensations which are part of space.

There is no "Void".

There are no elements.

There are no sense organs, but just qualities that imply them.

There is no information that is different from the qualities that imply sense doors, so that step is redundant.



The all.

Culasunnata sutta
Release
"Further, Ananda, the monk — not attending to the perception of the dimension of nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the theme-less concentration of awareness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its theme-less concentration of awareness.

"He discerns that 'This theme-less concentration of awareness is fabricated & mentally fashioned.' And he discerns that 'Whatever is fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to cessation.' For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, 'Released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'

"He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the effluent of sensuality... the effluent of becoming... the effluent of ignorance, are not present. And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the effluent of sensuality... becoming... ignorance. And there is just this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, pure — superior & unsurpassed.

"Ananda, whatever contemplatives and brahmans who in the past entered & remained in an emptiness that was pure, superior, & unsurpassed, they all entered & remained in this very same emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed. Whatever contemplatives and brahmans who in the future will enter & remain in an emptiness that will be pure, superior, & unsurpassed, they all will enter & remain in this very same emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed. Whatever contemplatives and brahmans who at present enter & remain in an emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed, they all enter & remain in this very same emptiness that is pure, superior, & unsurpassed.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/8/13 12:11 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Try a field of textures and qualities that might be arbitrarily designated as 6 sense doors, or perhaps 5 sense doors, or perhaps just one sense door, or just sensations which are part of space.

There is no "Void".

There are no elements.

There are no sense organs, but just qualities that imply them.

There is no information that is different from the qualities that imply sense doors, so that step is redundant.

Any processing we suppose is implied, not experienced, just inferred.

There is no awareness beyond the qualities themselves.

There is no process that can be found beyond the qualities of space themselves, so nothing is shut down.

This is still way too complicated. Keep it simple: this integrated moment is totally transient all the way through, undifferentiated, and the only thing there is.

Commitment to something that simple, that straightforward, that direct: that is as simple and workable as it gets.

Right here, just this, straight up, un-cut.

HMMM,
I see what you are getting at. It sure is a map killer.
dunno if I agree with no void though

Void -> Thusness -> repeat

Sabba Sutta: The All
the Commentary includes nibbana (unbinding) within the scope of the All described here — as a dhamma, or object of the intellect — even though there are many other discourses in the Canon specifically stating that nibbana lies beyond the range of the six senses and their objects. Sn 5.6, for instance, indicates that a person who has attained nibbana has gone beyond all phenomena (sabbe dhamma), and therefore cannot be described. MN 49 discusses a "consciousness without feature" (viññanam anidassanam) that does not partake of the "Allness of the All."

The intellect of nibanna is one thing but the experience/non experience of nibanna seems to imply that there are two things going on.
From a computer analogy there is the processing happening then the clock ticks forward then processing happens again. Two steps but still one overall process
What is your direct experience of this? include void/nibanna into thusness or leave it out? I can see it both ways depending on the viewpoint.
Thanks Dan and Nikolai
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/8/13 1:24 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nick, I'm having trouble seeing your point; could you elaborate?

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/8/13 6:10 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

Further, notice how you add a slightly paranoid (Mara-deceiver, these are designed to trick you) take on the stages of insight, whereas the stages of insight are basically a general tour of various modes of reality presenting itself. No mode is inherently a problem if perceived clearly, but, I agree, any can and often do present their own special challenges to just seeing them directly, such as the tendency to create elaborate maps and tables about simple, intimate sensations.
Daniel

Wiki - Defence_mechanisms
"Defense mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind[1] to manipulate, deny or distort reality (through processes including, but not limited to, repression, identification, or rationalization),[2] to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses to maintain one's self schema(refers to the beliefs and ideas people have about themselves).[3]"
meditation = goodby illusionary self and cherished permanency rules, alas go gentle into that good night tis merely various modes of reality presenting itself. emoticon
Vaillant's categorization of defence mechanisms seems to apply to many who meditate and who have a wee bit of a problem with the modes of reality presenting themselves Wiki - Defence_mechanisms

Level I - pathological defences (i.e. psychotic denial, delusional projection)
Level II - immature defences (i.e. fantasy, projection, passive aggression, acting out)
Level III - neurotic defences (i.e. intellectualization, reaction formation, dissociation, displacement, repression)
Level IV - mature defences (i.e. humour, sublimation, suppression, altruism, anticipation)


Kübler-Ross came to mind on mapping her stages to the nanasStages
They seem to line up pretty good

Grief stages..................Nanas
Denial...........................Fearfulness
Anger............................Fearfulness
Depression....................Misery
....................................Disgust
Bargaining.....................Desire for Deliverance
....................................Re-observation
Acceptance...................Equanimity

If I may be so bold, couldn't the nanas stages be applied to other things as the grief stages have? What would we get if we actively investigated addiction? Obsessive compulsive disorder? etc? what would come up?
Just some random thoughts after seeing parallels.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
8/8/13 8:11 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
If I may be so bold, couldn't the nanas stages be applied to other things as the grief stages have? What would we get if we actively investigated addiction? Obsessive compulsive disorder? etc? what would come up?
Just some random thoughts after seeing parallels.
Absolutely. So-called 2nd and 3rd paths are all about addiction. It's called "craving" and the unethical conduct you/I/one gets into by not developing composure and wise restraint with them, the damage I/you/one does to others in unmitigated craving gratification (addiction).

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
11/25/13 9:09 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
:-) Hi DW!

I hope I've not read this thread too hastily and overlooked something already written. I've observed similar connection between the skandhas and stages of awakening.

I have a Soto Zen background and my definition of the skandhas is a bit different from the Theravada when it comes to the 3rd and 4th, but I've found it helpful in some observations I've made about sequencing.

This is a kind of general definition and may miss bits (sorry!)...

Gross skandhas
1) Form: includes own body-form and physical sensory-consciousnesses and their objects;
2) Sensations as formations: tactile straddles the line; physiological (e.g hunger), psychosomatic, clairsentient (picking up others’);
3) Thoughts and perceptions as formations.

Subtle skandhas
4) Formational-activity: 'sensational', mental, and energic activity/responses; volitional, non-volitional, impulses/reflexes; includes the reflex of 'self'-grasping (Skt: ātma-grāha; 'I'-maker (Pali/Skt: aham-kāra)) undone in liberative-insight;
5) Object-consciousness.

You may find it useful to add to your list (perhaps it's there and I've missed it) what's called 'intellectually-formed' (Skt: parikalpita) or gross illusoryself-grasping in Mahayana texts. Intellectually-formed illusoryself-grasping depends on some analytical capability not necessarily shared by all beings, and relates to a conception of a substantial self existing apart from the skandhas whereby the conception gets taken for the ‘self’ (this also applies to taking conceptions of other objects as their ‘selves’). Intellectually-formed illusoryself-grasping goes down at stream-entry (Mahayana texts say at path-stage, i.e 1st bhumi; but as this stage can whiz by, maybe someone did it in slo-mo or had a very clear head at the time to report on it later!)

Then we have what's called ‘inborn’ (Skt: sahaja) or subtle illusoryself-grasping. This is said to be common to all sentient beings, and refers to grasping of actual skandhas as an inherently-existing ‘self’. Subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of the form-skandha goes down also at stream-entry (Mahayana texts say at fruition-stage, i.e 2nd bhumi); Ajahn Chah seems to have alluded to this in Opening the Dhamma Eye, concerning Kondañña. Thus one is left with subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of the other 4 skandhas…

I found my own path proceeding pretty much as I think you describe to anagami stage: after the form-skandha, subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of sensations goes; then in respect of thoughts; then in respect of formational-activities except subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of the activity or process of subtle illusoryself-grasping. This subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of subtle illusoryself-grasping (no wonder knickers get in a twist:-) can feel very uncomfortable during this stage…it’s like "oops, there I am and I shouldn't be”…but not all the time, perhaps only when one goes looking for it (my memory is a bit blurry here, looking back to 1972/3). For me subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of object-consciousness disappeared before subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of the activity/process of subtle illusoryself-grasping, but not very long before (some hours, but I think less than 24); I think this I-maker activity is generally the last to go. In the last phase, as I was sitting in a dejected slump, it felt like a tentacle emerging from my chest in search of something grasp as ‘self’; I was too jaded to care about anything any longer, and observed its arising and passing with glum indifference before realising it wasn’t me yet I hadn’t gone. The illusorysubject-object duality naturally disappears with it.

After this stage I progressed through two more Big Cycles, like that from stream-entry to arhat (though each more subtle and with its own quality), following a similar skandhic sequence. These were a process of liberation from sufferings due to 'subtle dualistic perceiving' (Skt: sūkṣma dvaya-bhāsa/dvaya-bhārta/dvaya-pratibhāsa) arising from ‘imprints of illusoryself-grasping’ (Skt: ātma-grāha-vāsanā) that remained after the first Big Cycle: in Mahayana-speak these are stages of realising the ‘emptiness of phenomena/objects-of-perception’ (Skt: dharma-śūnyatā or dharma-nairātmya).

The ‘arhat stage’ of one Big Cycle was also the 'stream-winner stage' of the next, in that as well as dealing with the activity/ consciousness skandhas for the ending Cycle, it also dealt with the form-skandha for the new Cycle...buy 2, get a 3rd free! The next skandhic matter ran into related to sensations.

My separating the skandhas into "gross" and "subtle" is because the liberative process regarding the first 3 skandhas has a slightly different feel to the last 2; this may be more noticeable in the 2nd and 3rd Big Cycles. In these latter I did not experience anything quite like the liberative-insight of entering anagami stage as there seemed to be no similar problem with general formational-activity. I went through the 2nd Cycle with little glitch; but in the 3rd I was unknowingly stuck for a time after liberative-insight relating to the 3rd skandha...I suspect this may not be unusual, like getting stuck in late anagami stage.

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
11/26/13 2:31 AM as a reply to Anne Cripps.
Thanks Anne for the feedback. I will have to look into those terms and see what I can make of them. Very useful information.
I've not worked on mapping for a while and kinda hit a stopping point as I have no experience of 3rd path. I have read some about it and it seems to match up with what you are saying about the subtle illusoryself-grasping. Looking for help getting to 3rd path (Read Daniels post)

I should probably update the map at some point as the later points do not reflect what I have read. I need to finish An Eternal Now's book - Awakening to Reality It has some very good stuff in it
I'm thinking that the propioceptive/nondual axis and chronoception axis are outside of the NoSelf axis.

There seems to be quite a few processes functioning to create the standard illusionary reality most people experience....picking each process apart and relating them back to the skandas is difficult and limited by my vast inexperience. I still think it needs to be done and a straw man is better than nothing.

Feel free to flesh out your experience of anagami if you can. I would love a more detailed account of the subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of subtle illusoryself-grasping...if you can do it without twisting knickers ;o)
Thanks again for the input
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
11/30/13 2:21 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
This is my current understanding from my present point of view...subject to change as I gain more experience, think and read more-

The self is multiple layers of subconscious processes. These processes are developed to create permanent order of the chaos of all the physical reality data that is being perceived.

1_Perception of time............................
2______Perception of duality................
3__________Perception of self........................Arahat
3.1____________agency/centeredness/doer.....Anagami
3.2____________symbols/thoughts.................Sakadagami
3.3____________sensory data/5 senses..........Sotapanna
3.4____________rules of external reality..........A&P

These processes are developed in early infancy and run unnoticed until one looks closely to what is happening in the moment to moment of experience.
Enlightenment occurs when these entangled perception processes are permanently shut down.
Hope this is helpful
~D

RE: 5 aggregates/Skandas and the selfing process map
Answer
11/30/13 8:43 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I hope this doesn't disturb your flow,
just wanted to say thx for the work,
excellent, will pour over it at my leisure

Had a note on old Three Eyes too.
I'll just paste it here for now.
If its no mind to you.

(Still working on the 'get to sleep discipline',
that machine's a wreck half the time, anyone get it down in say, 60 sec. every time?
The outside and inside seem ready to split, so, in the moment, the working theory is,
nothing in between if they do.
Will see about resultant and report.)

Bodhi Mind - mind/body - Body Elements

[Been adjusting elements to cultivate body better to newer local external conditions, about 1 year, big improvement on addition of big Magnesium Dose - two days in the Cold Fusion is pretty cool on the outside warm on the inside, like it, big improvement, gotta go.]