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The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/20/14 8:20 PM
The Root of Dukkha

Craving is the root, what is Craving?  Wanting or wishing to have some thing or situation, and the flip-side, wanting or wishing to not have a situation as it is or wanting some thing.  

Where does Craving come from?  From  sensations , any kind of sensation.

So what happens? A sensation happens, then the "mind" registers pleasant or unpleasant.  STOP THERE, insert bare attention, or pure mindfulness, no judgement or criticsm, let the sensation slide off immediately without reacitng.

So what happens , again? A sensation happens, that's it.

As far as I can tell, this is the core practice that cuts off craving.  Then by continually cutting off craving at the point of origin, craving is abandoned, and thereby craving stops receiving nourishment.

So then, just as one would observe a campfire, and if one would not add any more wood to the campfire the campfire will eventually die out.  But this takes patience and perserverence, even when the fire is hot, one must remain unmoved, even when the fire is going out, and one is cold, one must not add fuel to the fire.

Support to make it easier to deal with craving?  The Noble Eightfold path, Cultivating the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and all the other wholesome techniques and willpower one can muster.

But, my main point is to eliminate Craving at the source of the infection, in the present moment and from moment to moment, especially during daily activities, formal meditation being the training groundwork for all other life activities.

Does this sound about right?

So far this has been my experience, for when the craving is not cultivated , it does not arise, and the mind remains still.  If craving is nourished and let to arise, well, then the whole mess of shit starts to roll....

Also, if craving is not let to arise, there is no "self" illusion present either, if there is no wanting something or not wanting something, there doesn't have to be an "I" present either.

And, by the way, (if anyone were to ask), yes "I" have work to do upon this mind, and no, my task is not done.

Any comments or questions??  Does this sound like the most direct way to the source of  Dukkha?  Did I make sense to anyone?  Is this the same path different words?

Upekkha

Bryan

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/20/14 9:55 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi Phi:
Craving is the root, what is Craving?  Wanting or wishing to have some thing or situation, and the flip-side, wanting or wishing to not have a situation as it is or wanting some thing.
Well that is one way to look at it. I would say that if you are seeing the moment to moment sensations as they are and labeling them as pleasant, neutral or unpleasant I think this would be a fine practice. I would add a little of the 3 C's too.
Psi Phi:
Also, if craving is not let to arise, there is no "self" illusion present either, if there is no wanting something or not wanting something, there doesn't have to be an "I" present either.
Hmmm....don't know about that. Could you explain why you think this?
I tend to think that seeing reality very clearly might be the key to letting go of the layers of selfing processes. Whatever meditation practice that allows you to see very clearly would probably work fine as long as you sprinkle a bit of the 3 C's as well.

So far dukkha translates best to stress in my experience. Anything that is "yours" tends to be hooked up to the defensive center of the brain like the Fight or Flight center. From wiki-"This response is recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms."
Seeing reality clearly over and over somehow allows the selfing processes to shut down and then the connction to the stress center is eliminated. This also tends to free up the overall process running in the brain to it's benifit.
There are many definitions of dukkha and beliefs surrounding them. My explanation is just one from my experiences so far and I am sure that there is much more to it.
Good luck
~D

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/21/14 7:56 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Psi Phi:
Craving is the root, what is Craving?  Wanting or wishing to have some thing or situation, and the flip-side, wanting or wishing to not have a situation as it is or wanting some thing.
Well that is one way to look at it. I would say that if you are seeing the moment to moment sensations as they are and labeling them as pleasant, neutral or unpleasant I think this would be a fine practice. I would add a little of the 3 C's too.
Psi Phi:
Also, if craving is not let to arise, there is no "self" illusion present either, if there is no wanting something or not wanting something, there doesn't have to be an "I" present either.
Hmmm....don't know about that. Could you explain why you think this?
I tend to think that seeing reality very clearly might be the key to letting go of the layers of selfing processes. Whatever meditation practice that allows you to see very clearly would probably work fine as long as you sprinkle a bit of the 3 C's as well.

So far dukkha translates best to stress in my experience. Anything that is "yours" tends to be hooked up to the defensive center of the brain like the Fight or Flight center. From wiki-"This response is recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms."
Seeing reality clearly over and over somehow allows the selfing processes to shut down and then the connction to the stress center is eliminated. This also tends to free up the overall process running in the brain to it's benifit.
There are many definitions of dukkha and beliefs surrounding them. My explanation is just one from my experiences so far and I am sure that there is much more to it.
Good luck
~D


Hmmm, okay seeing the moment to moment sensations as they are and labelling them as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.....SCREEECCHHH!!!! Too late, If the mind has gone this far, THEN Investigation of Phenomenon would be prescribed, "sprinkling" the investigation of anicca, dukkha, anatta.

But, what I am trying to point to, is the chance at the pre-emptive strike, proaction, BEFORE Craving arises, BEFORE labelling the sensations, for it seems that if one continually lets all sensations arise to the labelling stage one has missed the train.  

So to re-formulate, the phenomenon of a pleasant . unpleasant or neutral sensation occurs, then one just stays with Equanimity, not letting the mind waver and/ or react.  This also presupposes that one is training their mind in Right Effort:

First , to abandon an unwholesome state that has already arisen.

Second, to not let unwholesome state arise that has not yet arisen.

Third, to arouse a wholesome state that has not yet arisen.

Fourth, to maintain a wholesome state that has already arisen.

Then, when one has established the fourth effort and maintains the fourth effort, (wholesome state being Brahma Viharas, and Equanimity being Supreme of those)

So, to re-re-formulate, in this way one can cut off craving at the pass, so to speak, and thus dukkhawill not follow, at least from each successful mind moment that is maintained by Bare Attention.

But, that being all said, Investigated with the 3C's investigations and contemplations, or Noting phenomenon, or other methods not as yet mentioned are all excellent to pull the mind from the mud and molasses of craving and clinging.  escpecially, since many mental formations, cravings, and clinging patterns, may and do exist pre-dating themselves form time immemorial.  But, in order to work on pre-existing craving and clinging fetters, one should STOP the adding to the pre-existing craving and clinging fetters.

I do want to add that establishing Equanimity and noting all sensations and phenomenon as they arise and pass away, is very important.  From my view, it seems as if , supposing one is being an objective observer in equanimity, that when phenomenon arises and passes away, it kind of "burns" itself out on the shores of Equanimity.

Noting, the definition of noting, seems to not convey what is actually and eventually needed when observing phenomenon.  But, is there a better word in the english language?  Noting seems to preclude that one "verbalizes" each phenomenon, this is not so true, but can be a useful tool.  Can't "Noting" be , (aware of phenomenon without criticism)  or instead of noting, isn't NOTICING a better word?

I have to get to the second part of your post later, but want to add that , yes, exiting out of the craving and clinging trap, overrides the response system involved in the general adaptation syndrome, not kind of like ahacking the system, but mindfulness, (Mind Full of the Present Moment) is definitely and intentionally hacking the system.

Thank you for interacting, 

Many Blessings to all, 

Bryan

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/21/14 10:47 AM as a reply to Psi.
Bryan Psi Phi:

Hmmm, okay seeing the moment to moment sensations as they are and labelling them as pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral.....SCREEECCHHH!!!! Too late, If the mind has gone this far, THEN Investigation of Phenomenon would be prescribed, "sprinkling" the investigation of anicca, dukkha, anatta.

But, what I am trying to point to, is the chance at the pre-emptive strike, proaction, BEFORE Craving arises, BEFORE labelling the sensations, for it seems that if one continually lets all sensations arise to the labelling stage one has missed the train.  

So to re-formulate, the phenomenon of a pleasant . unpleasant or neutral sensation occurs, then one just stays with Equanimity, not letting the mind waver and/ or react.  This also presupposes that one is training their mind in Right Effort:

First , to abandon an unwholesome state that has already arisen.

Second, to not let unwholesome state arise that has not yet arisen.

Third, to arouse a wholesome state that has not yet arisen.

Fourth, to maintain a wholesome state that has already arisen.

Then, when one has established the fourth effort and maintains the fourth effort, (wholesome state being Brahma Viharas, and Equanimity being Supreme of those)

So, to re-re-formulate, in this way one can cut off craving at the pass, so to speak, and thus dukkhawill not follow, at least from each successful mind moment that is maintained by Bare Attention.

But, that being all said, Investigated with the 3C's investigations and contemplations, or Noting phenomenon, or other methods not as yet mentioned are all excellent to pull the mind from the mud and molasses of craving and clinging.  escpecially, since many mental formations, cravings, and clinging patterns, may and do exist pre-dating themselves form time immemorial.  But, in order to work on pre-existing craving and clinging fetters, one should STOP the adding to the pre-existing craving and clinging fetters.

I do want to add that establishing Equanimity and noting all sensations and phenomenon as they arise and pass away, is very important.  From my view, it seems as if , supposing one is being an objective observer in equanimity, that when phenomenon arises and passes away, it kind of "burns" itself out on the shores of Equanimity.

Noting, the definition of noting, seems to not convey what is actually and eventually needed when observing phenomenon.  But, is there a better word in the english language?  Noting seems to preclude that one "verbalizes" each phenomenon, this is not so true, but can be a useful tool.  Can't "Noting" be , (aware of phenomenon without criticism)  or instead of noting, isn't NOTICING a better word?

I have to get to the second part of your post later, but want to add that , yes, exiting out of the craving and clinging trap, overrides the response system involved in the general adaptation syndrome, not kind of like ahacking the system, but mindfulness, (Mind Full of the Present Moment) is definitely and intentionally hacking the system.

Thank you for interacting, 

Many Blessings to all, 

Bryan

I was working at looking at the skandas and hit a roadblock.
  1. form
  2. feeling
  3. perception
  4. formations
  5. consciousness

How do you see something that happens before consciousness?
I realized that by the time I "saw" something it had already passed the first four layers. I could then reverse engineer back to the feeling but this was in the consciousness and then I could then try to mess with the feeling at that point....Being in the stage 11 Nana/state 4th Jhana of EQ tends to let the feeling stage do it's own thing without clinging.
Katy Steger experienced the Skandhas after cessation/reboot and described it...-http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4415915
After this I stopped trying to work on this at a conscious level as I realized it was describing a sub/pre-conscious thing that I could only fool myself into thinking I was seeing by scripting. This is my current opinion substantiated by the book "The ego tunnel"
Good Luck,
~D

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/21/14 1:02 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
"How do you see something that happens before consciousness?"


By letting go, the mind stilled, stopping at the sensation(feeling) level.

People have this mind state all the time. When one plays darts, pool, basketball, one isn't always thinking, thinking, "okay' if i angle a little more here, and use this tangent, or this arc, adjust for wind spped, tighter grip, etc, etc,   Someone in the game , and one well practiced at their sport just "shoots", no thoughts interfering, one just naturally "shoots".

Maybe one could try an experiment in letting go, even for just one mind moment, and experiencing the mind as it is right at the sensation level.

The five skandhas[edit]The sutras describe five aggregates:
  1. "form" or "matter" (Skt., Pāli rūpa; Tib. gzugs): external and internal matter. Externally, rupa is the physical world. Internally, rupa includes the material body and the physical sense organs.
  2. "sensation" or "feeling" (Skt., Pāli vedanā; Tib. tshor-ba): sensing an object as either pleasant or unpleasant or neutral.
  3. "perception", "conception", "apperception", "cognition", or "discrimination" (Skt. samjñā, Pāli saññā, Tib. 'du-shes): registers whether an object is recognized or not (for instance, the sound of a bell or the shape of a tree).
  4. "mental formations", "impulses", "volition", or "compositional factors" (Skt. samskāra, Pāli saṅkhāra, Tib. 'du-byed): all types of mental habits, thoughts, ideas, opinions, prejudices, compulsions, and decisions triggered by an object.
  5. "consciousness" or "discernment" (Skt. vijñāna, Pāli viññāṇa, Tib. rnam-par-shes-pa): 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skandha

First untie your shoes, take them off,  set them aside.

Second,  I would suggest take a few minutes to calm the mind, take some deep breaths, whatever, or if one can get into jhana fairly easily, get into jhana.

Third, keep the mind still, no internal verbalization, if one can, just stay quiet internally.

Fourth, put on your shoes, and tie your laces.

Fifth, reflect.

Probably, you were able to tie your shoes without thinking, "you" were tying your shoes at the sensation level, nothing more was needed, the rest of the act of tying your shoes was performed by the impersonal nature of the mind and body carrying out a samskara or habit, set up and ingrained previously repeated many times in your past based on causes and conditions.

Hopefully , you were able to "tie your shoes, while tying your shoes"  same as they say, "washing dishes, while washing dishes"  "chopping wood, while chopping wood"  etc. 

So , basically, there are two mind MODES here, one that uses the thinking process ( or is USED by the thinking process monkey mind) , and two the mind mode of bare attention, kind of a "silent running" of sorts.

Better explained here in detail:

The Power of Mindfulness An Inquiry into the Scope of Bare Attention and the Principal Sources of its Strengthby Nyanaponika Thera© 1994

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel121.html


Anywho, I recognize you are fairly advanced in your practice, and hope this isn't too elementary, but sometimes just hearing things from a different viewpoint helps, it does for me, anyway.

Walk on,

Bryan

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/21/14 1:08 PM as a reply to Psi.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/sacca2/

Craving inevitably leads to more dukkha
If this sticky, uncouth craving
overcomes you in the world,
your sorrows grow like wild grass
after rain.

If, in the world, you overcome
this uncouth craving, hard to escape,
sorrows roll off you,
like water beads off
a lotus.
Dhp 335-336





RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/21/14 2:14 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi Phi aka (Bryan S):
"How do you see something that happens before consciousness?"
By letting go, the mind stilled, stopping at the sensation(feeling) level.
The vast majority of information available in the world is filtered by your sub/pre-consciousness and only information that meets certain threshholds is passed to the consciousness for you to be aware of. Stilling the mind allows clarity to this information but most of the time does not allow access to the sub/pre-consciousness. Since classic Buddhist doctrine does not go into the sub/pre-consciousness your understanding of this topic seems pretty standard and classic. I want to understand what is happening regardless of the theoretical background and look to neuroscience and psychology to help explain what is happening along with Buddhist philosophy. I'm taking the pragmatic approach and mixing it all up for better or worse.
Psi Phi aka (Bryan S):
Probably, you were able to tie your shoes without thinking, "you" were tying your shoes at the sensation level, nothing more was needed, the rest of the act of tying your shoes was performed by the impersonal nature of the mind and body carrying out a samskara or habit, set up and ingrained previously repeated many times in your past based on causes and conditions.
Calling it a habit does not explain it. Here is a fun thing to think about and apply your understanding of the various methodologies of understanding - Alien hand syndrome
Psi Phi aka (Bryan S):
So , basically, there are two mind MODES here, one that uses the thinking process ( or is USED by the thinking process monkey mind) , and two the mind mode of bare attention, kind of a "silent running" of sorts.
Are you sure there are two or is the thinking one entangled with a Sense of agency and therefore perceived as self and that makes them seem different?
~D

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/21/14 8:22 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Psi Phi aka (Bryan S):
"How do you see something that happens before consciousness?"
By letting go, the mind stilled, stopping at the sensation(feeling) level.
The vast majority of information available in the world is filtered by your sub/pre-consciousness and only information that meets certain threshholds is passed to the consciousness for you to be aware of. Stilling the mind allows clarity to this information but most of the time does not allow access to the sub/pre-consciousness. Since classic Buddhist doctrine does not go into the sub/pre-consciousness your understanding of this topic seems pretty standard and classic. I want to understand what is happening regardless of the theoretical background and look to neuroscience and psychology to help explain what is happening along with Buddhist philosophy. I'm taking the pragmatic approach and mixing it all up for better or worse.
Psi Phi aka (Bryan S):
Probably, you were able to tie your shoes without thinking, "you" were tying your shoes at the sensation level, nothing more was needed, the rest of the act of tying your shoes was performed by the impersonal nature of the mind and body carrying out a samskara or habit, set up and ingrained previously repeated many times in your past based on causes and conditions.
Calling it a habit does not explain it. Here is a fun thing to think about and apply your understanding of the various methodologies of understanding - Alien hand syndrome
Psi Phi aka (Bryan S):
So , basically, there are two mind MODES here, one that uses the thinking process ( or is USED by the thinking process monkey mind) , and two the mind mode of bare attention, kind of a "silent running" of sorts.
Are you sure there are two or is the thinking one entangled with a Sense of agency and therefore perceived as self and that makes them seem different?
~D

Well, exactly, neuroscience, psychology (study of mind), neuroscience, Buddhist philosophy, well, they are all terms and concepts, all tools to be used by a seeker of the Truth, wherever that may lead. What I was trying to share was the Experience of  the pure awareness consciousness, consciousness without the thinking added, or rather consciousness with the thinking subtracted might be a better way to phrase.  So the experience of tying the shoes was to try to connect with actual experience and leave the hypothetical behind.  The Ego Tunnel Metzinger describes sounds like some of Daniel Dennett's work, and Buddha's Anatta  , ( I have only just read reviews and excerpts), of which is true, it is all sensations, including thoughts, no-self, no homonculus, no soul inside, sorry, can't find it, can just find processes and sensations.

Your last question:

Are you sure there are two or is the thinking one entangled with a Sense of agency and therefore perceived as self and that makes them seem different?

Well, exactly the point, one mode is with the self concept/mind program running, and the other mode is with the self concept/mind program not running.  I was trying to prove, by sharing the experience, of mind with the self and mind  without the self, both of which can perform tasks.

In conclusion, the "self" insight to be gained was that there is indeed a "self", but it is an illusion,  it is just thoughts and concepts.  So in reality, humans idea of a self, is just that , an idea and a concept.  The self or Ego delusion is prime suspect numero uno to the origination of Dukkha.  Craving and the ego delusion go hand in hand, easier to drop them before they originate.

Well, "I" have some more non-thinking to do, lol

Bryan

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/22/14 4:57 AM as a reply to Psi.
Paweł K:
Root of Dukkha
'dukkha' itself is not only caused by desires that cannot or can be fulfilled but by just pointing to 'this side' where so called 'watcher' is supposed to be. One way to look at reason why is that is Dream Walker explanation (this with fight or flight stuff) and other which I am currently exploring does with what is actually needed to sustain this illusion. And what I discovered is that sensation could be easily 'followed' and illusion would not work if it wasn't for pain they generate. Without pain one could see exactly that sensation is not switching sides from 'that side' to 'this side', nor does it leave sensation field. It just go in some direction and increase pain/dukkha so it can't be followed anymore and then go back with so called 'our will' decreasing pain/dukkha.

With this model it is easy to explain why 'normal' people suffer much less because of 'self' than meditators do: because normal people just don't look at all and when it comes to mind shy off easily so its easy to make this illusion going without that much suffering. Meditator or just someone who dwell in his mind too much on the other hand try to notice too much and only increase amount of suffering that is needed to keep this illusion going so ultimately meditator have to drop it.

Desire
Its aggregate of sensation of selfing and pleasurable sensation depending on given desire. There is always those two things and imho the best way is to deal with this selfing part by seeing sensations that make it clearly and leave pleasurable stuff where it is. Most common error is trying to fight pleasurable part with aversion with is like putting small fire with rocket fuel. Without selfing part desire stop being desire and start being indicator of available options. Obviously options which can end badly will have unpleasant sensations associated with them which will make them unappealing and those desires that indicated skillful actions witch skillful results will be seen as worth taking, even without actually being desires.

Stopping sensations that havent arisen yet
when you learn eg. playing a piano and play bad note you just know you have to practice more. So if you notice that you have fallen into desire trap then you should also know you have to practice 'not falling into desire' more

Okay, I have to admit, I have much work to do. 
 It seems that while I intellectually have figured out there is no "watcher" there is still a feeling of a watcher, and that feeling is a sensation, for me it is a sensation within my skull area, behind the eyes, around the nasopharynx
But, really this is only when I "think" about it.  When there is the state of "no thinking" there is no self sensation there.  It seems it is time to "go back to the drawing board" and investigate  this "self" sensation.





From MCTB No-Self

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+No-Self

One of my teachers once wisely said, “If you are observing it, then it isn't you by definition!” Notice that the whole of reality seems to be observed. The hints don't get any better than this. Here are three more points of theory that are very useful for insight practices and one’s attempts to understand what is meant by no-self: 1.There are absolutely no sensations that can observe other sensations! (Notice that reality is made entirely of sensations.) 2.There are no special sensations that are uniquely in control of other sensations. 3.There are no sensations that are fundamentally split off from other sensations occurring at that moment. 

To begin to unravel this mystery is to begin to awaken. Simply put, reality with a sense of a separate watcher is delusion, and unconditioned reality, reality just as it is, is awakening. 


Thank you for your reply

Peace

Bryan 

RE: The Root of Dukkha
Answer
5/26/14 2:52 PM as a reply to Psi.
More Dukkha, and thoughts of Dukkha, what is it anyway?

What if one contemplated Dukkha in this way.  Looking at the Noble eightfold path as a wheel, with eight spokes going towards the center.  Now, all eight spokes must be of equal strenth and fashioned correctly for the smooth operation of the wheel, so it will not wobble and bounce along, etc.  Now, look at Dukkha as the axle hole, (which I believe is the literal translation for Dukkha), If one is not "aligning" with the Noble EightFold path, one will create friction, tension, resistence , etc. towards reality.  One is "fighting" with reality, not accepting reality as it is in the moment.  In this way Dukkha is viewed as the cause for hinderance, fetters, clinging, resisting reality as it is, stemming from the wishes to change things , clinging to impermanent formation, etc. 

Now, I also want to firmly state, that I do not believe in dogma, nor do I find it healthy for a mind to cling to dogma.  One truly must investigate everything on their own for any spiritual progress to commence.  Otherwise everything is just a belief, and a belief is just a mental formation, impermanent and ephemeral at best.  

Bryan