Thursday, April 28, 2022

🔗📝 collection of notes on ni-j-jhāna

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Jhāna = meditation, nij-jhāna also = meditation, not "gazing". Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy agree.



dhammawheel:



other translations



jhāyati 

pa-j-jhāyati 

ni-j-jhāyati 

a-pa-j-jhāyati;


“We are meditators, we are meditators!” and with shoulders drooping, heads down and all limp, 


bodhi:

they meditate, 

premeditate, 

out-meditate, 

and mismeditate.



sujato:

And they meditate 

and concentrate 

and contemplate 

and ruminate. 




frank:

they meditate, 

overachieve in meditation, 

out-meditate, 

underachieve in meditation, 


they do jhāna, 

overachieve in doing jhāna, 

out-jhāna, 

underachieve in doing jhāna, 


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

🔗📝 collection of notes on recollection of past lives

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 4👑☸ → 6ab      4♾️🏠 



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Been there, done that: Not about past lives, but past memories that lead to nibbida 


been there, done that: evaṃ-nāmo evaṃ-gotto, evaṃ-vaṇṇo evam-āhāro...




Humorous story of living in van with best friend vipassana teacher, insightful conclusion:





Sunday, April 24, 2022

Jhāna = meditation, nij-jhāna also = meditation, not "gazing". Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy agree.

 4👑☸ → EBpedia📚 → ni-j-jhāna 



    In some contexts, such as these:



Translators have wrongly translated nij-jhāna there as 'gazing'. 
It's much more than "gazing". It's a persistent, obsessive, jhānic and meditative focus with strong intent and complex contemplation. 

Just as when a bank robber is "casing a joint", he's walking into a bank he intends to rob, studying the layout and planning out how to execute the robbery.
The robber is not just "gazing" at the bank. 
He's "meditating" (nij-jhāna)  on how to rob it. 
He's meditatively-gazing, he's jhānically observing, he's intensely focused with his gaze. That's how nij-jhāna is used in those suttas above. Those 'gazes' are not casual or innocent. They're intense, purposeful, complex, jhānic in their singular focus. 


The Buddha did not only use the word 'jhāna' to refer to the four jhānas. Jhāna means meditation, with singular focus, continuous, uninterrupted, not easy to distract. 

What makes a jhāna right or wrong, is whether the subject of meditation is a skillful Dharma or not. Having singular focus on robbing a bank, or pursuing a love interest, is also called "jhāna" by the Buddha in the suttas. 


Jhāna = meditation.
nij-jhāna also = meditation.

Here, Jane Austen correctly interprets nij-jhāna as "meditating", not "gazing". 


excerpt from  Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1342/1342-h/1342-h.htm


       “My dear Miss Eliza, why are not you dancing? Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. You cannot refuse to dance, I am sure, when so much beauty is before you.” And, taking her hand, he would have given it to Mr. Darcy, who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it, when she instantly drew back, and said with some discomposure to Sir William,

“Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”

Mr. Darcy, with grave propriety, requested to be allowed the honour of her hand, but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his attempt at persuasion.

“You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half-hour.”

“Mr. Darcy is all politeness,” said Elizabeth, smiling.

“He is, indeed—but, considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance; for who would object to such a partner?”

Elizabeth looked archly, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman, and he was thinking of her with some complacency, when thus accosted by Miss Bingley,

“I can guess the subject of your reverie.” {Miss Bingley had witnessed Mr. Darcy "gazing" with nij-jhāna at Eliza}

“I should imagine not.”

“You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner—in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noise; the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all these people! What would I give to hear your strictures on them!”

“Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating {Jane Austen correctly interprets nij-jhāna!} on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”

Miss Bingley immediately fixed her eyes on his face, and desired he would tell her what lady had the credit of inspiring such reflections. Mr. Darcy replied with great intrepidity,

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.”

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet!” repeated Miss Bingley. “I am all astonishment...


Jane Austen didn't read the suttas or translate Pāḷi

If she gets the concept of nij-jhāna and 'translates' it correctly, shouldn't we?


Sujato's "jhāna". Burying his head in the sand since 2016

 While doing a google search for a different topic, I came across this conversation I had with Sujato in 2016 on jhāna.


https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/samadhi-is-both-a-gathering-and-a-fire/3552/16


I save a PDF copy of that thread for posterity here in case the link above fails: 

https://archive.org/details/sc-forum-samadhi-is-both-a-gathering-and-a-fire

since the SC forum has a history of banning users who are (politely and within forum guidelines) critical of Sujato's interpretations. 


Around message #20, he claims AN 3.100 is a 'one off', an unusual situation.  Sujato claims the Buddha was remarkably consistent in equating samādhi and jhāna almost everywhere else. Sujato doesn't cite passages and show how those passages support Sujato's idea of "jhāna". Basically he just uses the argument by (his own) authority fallacy. Usually, he's good about providing evidence when asked, but in cases where his position is unsupportable, and the issue is important to him, he goes silent. 


When I bring up a number of other suttas, MN 78, AN 4.41, MN 111, MN 125, that contradict Sujato's "jhāna", he doesn't even try to respond, but you know he must have read them because he responds to other people who joined in the thread later.


People have different interpretations of jhāna. That's fine.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion. 

But if you're going to present yourself as an authority on the suttas, publish an entire collection of translations, you have a moral and spiritual obligation to be transparent and justify your interpretations publicly, supported by evidence.


To not even attempt to publicly address the obvious contradictions between MN 78, AN 4.41, MN 111, MN 125, and Sujato's translation and interpretation of jhāna, is a tacit admission of wrong doing. 


For the other SC forum members who silently witness these wrong doings, and are fully cognizant that they are wrong, you are complicit in these offenses, enablers of Sujato propagating corrupted teachings on jhāna. 



Forum discussion


Re: KN Snp 5.15 Here lies B. Sujato's physical body from 3rd jhāna.

Post by frank k » 

Joe.c wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 6:09 amIt can be that he doesn’t know yet. Maybe he is just not there yet. Translating lot of sutta doesn’t mean they understand the true teaching.

Understanding Samma Samadhi (jhana) means they have direct experience and direct insight. I would imagine, there is only a little people who has reached non returner or higher at the present.

But translating is still doing good deeds, but may also mislead others (maybe without proper knowing).
The same article I just posted on reddit r/Buddhism just got censored by a Sujato sympathizing moderator, and I've been threatened with a lifetime ban.
So it's not just unintentional misleading. Like all politics and life in general, people abuse power and influence as much as they can get away with, Bhikkhus included. The key is, Sujato isn't using his power ethically. He's repeatedly declined to comment (privately and publicly) on the many suttas that contradict his jhāna interpretation.

I recorded one instance here, from 2016:
http://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/20 ... -sand.html

When one translates so many suttas, sure they're not going to have time and energy to deeply ponder everything as they're going along. But when one keeps pointedly ignoring questions, years after his translation when he's had time to reconsider, where detailed audits showing the contradictions occur, that's a tacit admission of guilt.










Tuesday, April 19, 2022

AN 4.200 Sujato's metta 'love' and pema 'love' result in incoherence and contradiction, rendering the Buddha's instruction on metta and 4 jhānas unusable

Sujato also translates 'pema' as 'love, in his AN 4.200. https://suttacentral.net/an4.200/en/sujato?layout=sidebyside&reference=none&notes=asterisk&highlight=false&script=latin


This brings up another fatal flaw with Sujato's 'love'.

According to AN 4.200, when one is in the four jhānas, one has abandoned 'love' (pema), and the negative emotions that can be triggered by 'love'.

Yet, according to the Buddha, one can do four jhānas simultaneously with metta (Sujato's 'love') and the 4 brahmaviharas.

So going by Sujato's translation, you have incoherence and contradiction. One should be able to emanate 'love' in all four directions, yet AN 4.200 says when in the four jhānas, 'love' has been abandoned.

So the translation of both 'metta' and 'pema' as 'love' simply does not work. It's wrong. 


Monday, April 18, 2022

B.sujato translates 'metta' as 'love' . Weeding out some cognitive dissonance and fallacious counter arguments

 

Re: B.sujato translates 'metta' as 'love'. It's objectively and definitely wrong.

    Post by frank k »

    Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:02 am [frank's blog] reminds me of this passage from the Mahāsi Sayādaw's discourse on the Vammika Sutta. Although it is on the topic of metta, it is lacking in good-will. Translation is not an exact science, but an art.
    ...

    frank's response:

    How is it lacking in good will? There is a clear intention to bring public awareness to a wrong translation. That's good will motivated by a desire for public safety and civic responsibility to self-police each other. You could rightly criticize me for showing anger at Sujato's irresponsible and harmful translation, but that's a separate issue that has nothing to do with the merit of my argument. This is a huge problem most people have, with cognitive dissonance. They see something they don't like, for example, someone displaying anger at an injustice, and they dismiss the angry person's argument with the fallacious reasoning, "they're angry therefore I can't trust what they say." Meanwhile, they'll trust a two faced liar (I'm not accusing anyone in this thread of being a liar) who is skilled at publicly displaying an appearance of virtue, thinking, "They speak so gently, act so virtuous, their argument must be more trustworthy and correct than the angry person's argument."

    While I agree translation is an art and not an exact science, there are degrees of wrongness, and relative wrongness. Sujato is clearly and deeply embedded in the range of definitely wrong.

    He can't even use his own translation of metta as 'love' in MN 48!
    https://notesonthedhamma.blogspot.com/2 ... ta-as.html

    Because it would lead to monks who "consistently treats their spiritual companions with bodily LOVE, both in public and in private."

    If Sujato's translation was correct about metta as 'love', he should have no qualms about translating it consistently everywhere. In MN 48, he renders it as 'kindness', as he does probably in a number of other passages.

    Whereas if someone had translated metta correctly as 'friendliness', or 'benevolence', you could unilaterally plug that translation everywhere without leading to problems like above (MN 48 monks showing acts of bodily 'love' to each other in public or private).

    Again, just because translation is not an exact science doesn't mean there are no areas of "WRONG" we can clearly establish.

    The only acceptable situation for Sujato to translate metta as 'love', is in an informal, unrecorded Dharma talk to an audience that is culturally accustomed to having an ambiguous 'love' that has a spiritual context and a romantic context.

    Sujato's sutta translations, are for a global audience, for whom Christ's 'love' is only a minority of the global population. And even for a Christian religious text, they probably distinguish between agape, brotherly love, love and marriage, etc.

    Sujato's translation of metta as 'love' is objectively, definitely wrong in the context of his mission to translate the suttas for a global audience.


    Thursday, April 14, 2022

    Major update to lucid24.org, easy navigation of suttas, quicklink: the ramifications



    Back when I was first reading SN (samyutta nikaya) in print edition book form, the Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, it was really difficult. Why? Reading along something like 20-50 pages a day, I could never tell where the heck I was. Because each sutta title had a bunch of different reference numbers, some  in parenthesis, to represent different numbering systems for SN. You couldn't easily tell what level of nesting you were in, and as you went through different chapters and read redundant suttas (or just barely changed from a similar sutta in the same chapter, or even from other chapters hundreds of  pages earlier), you really got lost. 


    One of my goals in making lucid24.org was to have simple,  intuitive sutta navigation, clear reference numbers in the titles, and always knowing exactly where you are.


    If you are a power user, someone who looks up suttas frequently using the modern numbering system, then you're going to really appreciate and love the new improvements.


    Info on updates on sutta quicklink features: 🔗❔ℹ️  


    The downside


    In order to make the quicklink system easy to implement, some of the sutta collections are now single huge files (1 megabyte to 2 megabytes long sometimes). Before this update, sutta files and collections were generally many small files.

    This means if you have metered internet, slow internet, or expensive internet you have to by money by the megabyte, you don't want to be casually browsing suttas.


    I'm investigating PWA and other alternatives to make on offline version of the lucid24.org available, but this may not happen for a few years.


    I'm a one man show, and generally don't want to spend more than 2 hours a day improving the website.






    Thursday, April 7, 2022

    🔗📝collection of notes on 'nimitta'

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    4👑☸ → EBpedia📚 →   nimitta



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    A primer on how Nimittas (signs) work in samādhi and four jhānas: Lesson 1 - Jack and Jill



    Assaji's notes: 🔗Pali terms ->  nimitta



    AN 4.199 Sujato's translation of vicāra here, compared to Ṭhānissaro

     Sujato's translation of taṇhā-vicaritani as "currents of craving" isn't wrong exactly, but it loses the connection between how contact between 6 internal senses contacting 6 external objects, leading to sensations, perceptions, craving, thinking, and self identififcation. 

    There's a precise way in the EBT (early buddhism) suttas of how that selfing process happens, and it's related to the Dhamma vitakka thoughts and evaluation (vicāra) that happens in first jhāna, versus the thoughts and evaluation of non Dhamma wrong thinking that leads to selfing and suffering. 

    So while  Sujato's translation of taṇhā-vicaritani as "currents of craving" isn't wrong exactly, it obfuscates that first jhāna and satipaṭṭhāna thinking and evaluation process (vitakka and vicāra).


    AN 4.199: Taṇhāsutta—Bhikkhu Sujato (suttacentral.net)


    • Numbered Discourses 4Aṅguttara Nikāya 4
    • 20. The Great Chapter20. Mahāvagga

    199. Craving, the Weaver199. Taṇhāsutta Variant: Taṇhāsutta → taṇhājālinīsuttaṁ (bj)

    The Buddha said this:Bhagavā etadavoca:

    “Mendicants, I will teach you about craving—the weaver, the migrant, the creeping, the clinging. This world is choked by it, engulfed by it. It makes the world tangled like yarn, knotted like a ball of thread, and matted like rushes and reeds, not escaping the places of loss, the bad places, the underworld, transmigration.“taṇhaṁ vo, bhikkhave, desessāmi jāliniṁ saritaṁ visaṭaṁ visattikaṁ, yāya ayaṁ loko uddhasto pariyonaddho tantākulakajāto gulāguṇṭhikajāto muñjapabbajabhūto apāyaṁ duggatiṁ vinipātaṁ saṁsāraṁ nātivattati.Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”Taṁ suṇātha, sādhukaṁ manasi karotha, bhāsissāmī”ti.

    “Yes, sir,” they replied.“Evaṁ, bhante”ti kho te bhikkhū bhagavato paccassosuṁ.The Buddha said this:Bhagavā etadavoca:

    “And what is that craving …?“Katamā ca sā, bhikkhave, taṇhā jālinī saritā visaṭā visattikā, yāya ayaṁ loko uddhasto pariyonaddho tantākulakajāto gulāguṇṭhikajāto muñjapabbajabhūto apāyaṁ duggatiṁ vinipātaṁ saṁsāraṁ nātivattati?There are eighteen currents of craving that derive from the interior, and eighteen that derive from the exterior.Aṭṭhārasa kho panimāni, bhikkhave, taṇhā-vicaritāni ajjhattikassa upādāya, aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni bāhirassa upādāya.

    What are the eighteen currents of craving that derive from the interior?Katamāni aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni ajjhattikassa upādāya?When there is the concept ‘I am’, there are the concepts ‘I am such’, ‘I am thus’, ‘I am otherwise’; ‘I am fleeting’, ‘I am lasting’; ‘mine’, ‘such is mine’, ‘thus is mine’, ‘otherwise is mine’; ‘also mine’, ‘such is also mine’, ‘thus is also mine’, ‘otherwise is also mine’; ‘I will be’, ‘I will be such’, ‘I will be thus’, ‘I will be otherwise’.Asmīti, bhikkhave, sati itthasmīti hoti, evaṁsmīti hoti, aññathāsmīti hoti, asasmīti hoti, satasmīti hoti, santi hoti, itthaṁ santi hoti, evaṁ santi hoti, aññathā santi hoti, apihaṁ santi hoti, apihaṁ itthaṁ santi hoti, apihaṁ evaṁ santi hoti, apihaṁ aññathā santi hoti, bhavissanti hoti, itthaṁ bhavissanti hoti, evaṁ bhavissanti hoti, aññathā bhavissanti hoti. Variant: evaṁsmīti → evamasmīti (bj); evasmīti (sya-all, km, pts1ed) | apihaṁ → apiha (bj, pts1ed); api (sya-all, km) | apihaṁ → api (bj, sya-all, km, pts1ed) | apihaṁ → api (bj, sya-all, km, pts1ed) | apihaṁ → api (bj, sya-all, km, pts1ed)These are the eighteen currents of craving that derive from the interior.Imāni aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni ajjhattikassa upādāya.

    What are the eighteen currents of craving that derive from the exterior?Katamāni aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni bāhirassa upādāya?When there is the concept ‘I am because of this’, there are the concepts ‘I am such because of this’, ‘I am thus because of this’, ‘I am otherwise because of this’; ‘I am fleeting because of this’, ‘I am lasting because of this’; ‘mine because of this’, ‘such is mine because of this’, ‘thus is mine because of this’, ‘otherwise is mine because of this’; ‘also mine because of this’, ‘such is also mine because of this’, ‘thus is also mine because of this’, ‘otherwise is also mine because of this’; ‘I will be because of this’, ‘I will be such because of this’, ‘I will be thus because of this’, ‘I will be otherwise because of this’.Imināsmīti, bhikkhave, sati iminā itthasmīti hoti, iminā evaṁsmīti hoti, iminā aññathāsmīti hoti, iminā asasmīti hoti, iminā satasmīti hoti, iminā santi hoti, iminā itthaṁ santi hoti, iminā evaṁ santi hoti, iminā aññathā santi hoti, iminā apihaṁ santi hoti, iminā apihaṁ itthaṁ santi hoti, iminā apihaṁ evaṁ santi hoti, iminā apihaṁ aññathā santi hoti, iminā bhavissanti hoti, iminā itthaṁ bhavissanti hoti, iminā evaṁ bhavissanti hoti, iminā aññathā bhavissanti hoti.These are the eighteen currents of craving that derive from the exterior.Imāni aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni bāhirassa upādāya.

    So there are eighteen currents of craving that derive from the interior, and eighteen that derive from the exterior.Iti aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni ajjhattikassa upādāya, aṭṭhārasa taṇhā-vicaritāni bāhirassa upādāya.These are called the thirty-six currents of craving.Imāni vuccanti, bhikkhave, chattiṁsa taṇhā-vicaritāni.Each of these pertain to the past, future, and present,Iti evarūpāni atītāni chattiṁsa taṇhā-vicaritāni, anāgatāni chattiṁsa taṇhā-vicaritāni, paccuppannāni chattiṁsa taṇhā-vicaritāni.making one hundred and eight currents of craving.Evaṁ aṭṭhasataṁ taṇhā-vicaritaṁ honti.

    This is that craving—the weaver, the migrant, the creeping, the clinging. This world is choked by it, engulfed by it. It makes the world tangled like yarn, knotted like a ball of thread, and matted like rushes and reeds, not escaping the places of loss, the bad places, the underworld, transmigration.”Ayaṁ kho sā, bhikkhave, taṇhā jālinī saritā visaṭā visattikā, yāya ayaṁ loko uddhasto pariyonaddho tantākulakajāto guṇāguṇṭhikajāto muñjapabbajabhūto apāyaṁ duggatiṁ vinipātaṁ saṁsāraṁ nātivattatī”ti.

    Navamaṁ.




    AN 4.199 Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu‍ translation

    “Monks, I will teach you craving: the ensnarer that has flowed along, spread out, and caught hold, with which this world is smothered & enveloped like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, & bad destinations. Listen well, and I will speak.”

    “Yes, lord,” the monks responded to him.

    The Blessed One said: “And which craving is the ensnarer that has flowed along, spread out, and caught hold, with which this world is smothered & enveloped like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, & bad destinations? These 18 craving-verbalizations1 dependent on what is internal and 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external.

    “And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal? There being ‘I am,’ there comes to be ‘I am here,’ there comes to be ‘I am like this’ … ‘I am otherwise’ … ‘I am bad’ … ‘I am good’ … ‘I might be’ … ‘I might be here’ … ‘I might be like this’ … ‘I might be otherwise’ … ‘May I be’ … ‘May I be here’ … ‘May I be like this’ … ‘May I be otherwise’ … ‘I will be’ … ‘I will be here’ … ‘I will be like this’ … ‘I will be otherwise.’ These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal.

    “And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external? There being ‘I am because of this [or: by means of this],’ there comes to be ‘I am here because of this,’ there comes to be ‘I am like this because of this’ … ‘I am otherwise because of this’ … ‘I am bad because of this’ … ‘I am good because of this’ … ‘I might be because of this’ … ‘I might be here because of this’ … ‘I might be like this because of this’ … ‘I might be otherwise because of this’ … ‘May I be because of this’ … ‘May I be here because of this’ … ‘May I be like this because of this’ … ‘May I be otherwise because of this’ … ‘I will be because of this’ … ‘I will be here because of this’ … ‘I will be like this because of this’ … ‘I will be otherwise because of this.’ These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external.

    “Thus there are 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal and 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external. These are called the 36 craving-verbalizations. Thus, with 36 craving-verbalizations of this sort in the past, 36 in the future, and 36 in the present, there are 108 craving-verbalizations.

    “This, monks, is craving: the ensnarer that has flowed along, spread out, and caught hold, with which this world is smothered & enveloped like a tangled skein, a knotted ball of string, like matted rushes and reeds, and does not go beyond transmigration, beyond the planes of deprivation, woe, & bad destinations.”

    Note

    1. Taṇhā-vicaritāni, literally, things evaluated by craving. The past participle here, vicaritāni, is related to the noun, vicāra, which is classed as a verbal fabrication, i.e., a necessary precondition for speech (see MN 44). A person devoid of craving would still be able to verbalize, but would not contemplate in the above terms, which are so basic to ordinary thought patterns.

    See also: DN 15; MN 2; SN 12:20; SN 22:47; AN 6:49; Dhp 339–343; Sn 4:5; Sn 4:9–10


    Tuesday, April 5, 2022

    A primer on how Nimittas (signs) work in samādhi and four jhānas: Lesson 1 - Jack and Jill

    In EBT (early buddhism), there's a strange idiom of "following signs", "picking up on a sign", "paying attention to a sign".

    There are some reasons for this, but it occurred to me today that even in plain English we use the same idea. 


      Lesson 1 - Jack and Jill


    Jack and Jill were in high school.

    They liked each other and wanted to communicate that, but both were shy, and both lacked the life experience to get the message across. 

    This was a time in history where girls were not permitted to make the first move, so the pressure was on Jack to establish the knowledge of liking.


    Jack tried, but failed.

    Why?

    He didn't follow the right nimittas (signs).

    He didn't pay attention to the right nimittas, he followed the wrong nimittas.


    What were the right signs? 

    When Jack approached Jill to chat, she was smiling, friendly in greeting, and the body language was clearly engaged and interested in the conversation.

    That's at least 3 good nimittas right there.

    Jack dimissed the good signs as Jill just being in general a good person who was nice to everyone as far as he could see.

    So he dismissed those 3 good nimittas as inconclusive evidence.

    Bad nimitta #1 caused Jack to ignore probable good news. Instead of giving more thought and opportunity for the 3 good nimittas, Jack followed Bad nimitta #1 to quickly dismiss 3 good nimittas.


    Jack made a really unfunny joke, and Jill reflexively laughed heartily even though she didn't think it was funny.


    That was a great nimitta right there. 4 good, juicy nimittas.


    Jack ignored the good nimitta, and he followed a bad nimitta (#2) that led him to think, "Well, that joke was inherently funny and anyone would have laughed at that." (no they wouldn't)


    Despite what he perceived as a hopeless cause, Jack summoned the courage to follow a nimitta (good, bad, neutral?) that compelled him to ask Jill out on a date on Friday.


    Jill, responded, "Sorry Jack, Bob already asked me out on a date this Friday." 

    What do you think Jack did?

    Of course he followed a bad nimitta (#3) that led him to assume Jill liked Bob and didn't like him.

    If Jack had enough pañña (wisdom), he could have spontaneously generated a good nimitta to make him think to ask, "Are you and Bob boyfriend and girlfriend?"



    Jill really wanted to say, "But maybe we could go out next week?", but her shyness and conservative nature made her pause a little too long. 

    Alas,  it was too late. Jack ran away crying.


    Jack is dumb because he ignored all the good nimittas (at least 5 good ones) and unwisely focused (a-yoniso manasi-kāra) on the 3 bad signs that led him to think thoughts concluding the case was hopeless.



    Monday, April 4, 2022

    KN Ud 5.5 Ocean has one taste, Dharma has one taste - Freedom

    New entry added to collection in 

    4👑☸ → STED : HOL 🍂 : Handful Of Leaves Principle



    Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, mahāsamuddo ekaraso loṇaraso;
    The ocean has just one taste, the taste of salt.
    evamevaṁ kho, bhikkhave, ayaṁ dhammavinayo ekaraso vimuttiraso.
    In the same way, this Dharma and training has one taste, the taste of freedom.

     


    Satipaṭṭhāna: "mindfulness" is continuous, moment to moment, to be done all the time.

     

    STED Right Remembering (Eng.) (SN 45.8)

    

    "Monks, what is right remembering [of ☸Dharma]?"
    1. He meditates
    continuously seeing the body as a body [as it actually is].
    2. He meditates continuously seeing sensations as sensations [as they actually are].
    3. He meditates continuously seeing the mind as a mind [as it actually is].
    4. He meditates continuously seeing ☸Dharma as ☸Dharma [as it actually is, the only way to nirvana].

    [In all four modes of right remembering of ☸Dharma],
    * He is ardent 🏹, he has lucid discerning 👁, he remembers 🐘 [to apply relevant ☸Dharma],
    * vanquishing worldly avarice and distressed mental states.

    "This, monks, is called right remembering [of ☸Dharma]."


    The anu-passana, literally, 'continuous, repeatedly seeing', is an important point.

    I don't think I've seen anyone else translate it explicitly,  like I've done above. 

    The impression you get from reading their translations,  using "contemplating", not "repeated continuous contemplating", gives the impression that you can just 'contemplate' once in a while, or every so often when you feel like it. You don't take long breaks between 'mindfulness' sessions. It's on, all the time. Or you should be trying to do that.

    In so many suttas, the point the Buddha emphasizes again and again, is that one must be doing Right Remembering [of Dharma], doing the 4 ways of satipaṭṭhāna all the time.

    Continuously seeing.

    Repeatedly seeing the body, sensations, mind, as they truly are. 

    A big part of the fourth frame of satipaṭṭhāna is continusously seeing and validating that their understanding of The Dharma is in accordance to the Dharma (2💭🕵️ Dhamma-vicaya-sam-bojjh-aṅgaṃ ), making corrections, and continuously seeing the body, sensations, and mind in accordance with the Dharma. 

    Details matter.




    Sati-'paṭṭhāna ("mindfulness meditation"): There's no need to translate the literal 'seeing' in there as 'contemplation'

     

    Almost every translation I've ever seen for Sati-'paṭṭhāna ("mindfulness meditation"), they render "passa" metaphorically as "contemplation."

    'Passati' is literally 'seeing', like one 'sees things with the eye'.

    There's no reason to treat the reader like a dummy who needs to have the metaphor explained to them. 

    It's ok to be literal here. That metaphor of literal 'seeing with the eyes' as 'intellectual and direct understanding' or 'contemplating' something which doesn't require literally 'seeing' with the physical eye, is a timeless metaphor well understood in every religion.

    In fact it's all over the suttas. Right view, knowledge and vision, knowing and seeing, are all metaphorical in the same way as 'passati' (in Sati-'paṭṭhāna). 

    If you think the reader doesn't get the metaphor for 'seeing', then you'd need to help them out in all of those other situations as well. But since we have 'right view', 'knowing and seeing', commonly translated that way, therefore we can safely assume people already understand that metaphor.

    It's safe to have 'seeing' in Sati-'paṭṭhāna  instead of  'contemplating'. 


    STED Right Remembering (Eng.) (SN 45.8)

    

    "Monks, what is right remembering [of ☸Dharma]?"
    1. He meditates continuously
    seeing the body as a body [as it actually is].
    2. He meditates continuously seeing sensations as sensations [as they actually are].
    3. He meditates continuously seeing the mind as a mind [as it actually is].
    4. He meditates continuously seeing ☸Dharma as ☸Dharma [as it actually is, the only way to nirvana].

    [In all four modes of right remembering of ☸Dharma],
    * He is ardent 🏹, he has lucid discerning 👁, he remembers 🐘 [to apply relevant ☸Dharma],
    * vanquishing worldly avarice and distressed mental states.

    "This, monks, is called right remembering [of ☸Dharma]."


    Why am I making an issue of this?


    Because it's easier to see the direct link  between right remembering [of Dharma], aka "mindfulness", with right view.

    Keeping the translation consistently literal shows how  the repeated, continuous, persistent practice of 'seeing' in Sati-'paṭṭhāna aka 'right mindfulness', gradually becomes 'right view', the automatic true seeing of things in terms of dukkha, the noble truth of suffering.   


    For example, in the famous anatta lakkhana (not self)  and fire sermon suttas, the most common way the suttas show disciples becoming fully enlightened, 'passati/seeing' is the word they use to bridge the first part of those suttas where they're doing 'mindfulness meditation', with the second part where they become disenchanted and attain right view.


    (bookmark links to the full suttas in pāḷi and english)

    The highlighted yellow is the Sati-'paṭṭhāna ("mindfulness meditation"), where all 4 frames are done in various combinations. 



    A close up of the bridge in SN 22.59:


    (5. Consciousness)

    Yaṃ kiñci viññāṇaṃ
    any such consciousness,
    atītā-(a)n-āgata-paccuppannaṃ
    [whether] past, -not-arrived-yet, (or) -present;
    ajjhattaṃ vā bahiddhā vā
    internal or external **;
    oḷārikaṃ vā sukhumaṃ vā
    blatant or subtle **;
    hīnaṃ vā paṇītaṃ vā
    inferior or sublime;
    yaṃ dūre santike vā,
    whatever distant (or) near **:
    sabbaṃ viññāṇaṃ:
    every consciousness [is to be realized as]:
    ‘n’etaṃ mama,
    'this (is) {not} mine,
    n'eso-'ham-asmi,
    this I am {not},
    na meso attā’ti
    this (is) {not} {my} self.’
    evametaṃ yathā-bhūtaṃ
    Thus as-(it)-actually-is,
    sammap-paññāya daṭṭhabbaṃ.
    (with)-right-wisdom (one)-must-see-(it).
    (daṭṭha is imperative form of 'right view')
    Evaṃ passaṃ, bhikkhave,
    "Thus seeing, *********,
    sutavā ariya-sāvako
    (the) well-instructed noble-[one’s]-disciple:


    Rūpasmim-pi nibbindati,
    [regarding] form; (he) becomes-disenchanted (with that),
    Vedanāya-pi nibbindati,
    feelings; (he) becomes-disenchanted (with that),
    Saññāya-pi nibbindati,
    perceptions; (he) becomes-disenchanted (with that),
    Saṅkhāresu-pi nibbindati,
    fabrications; (he) becomes-disenchanted (with that),
    Viññāṇasmim-pi nibbindati.
    consciousness; (he) becomes-disenchanted (with that),
    Nibbindaṃ virajjati;
    Disenchanted, (he) becomes-dispassionate.
    virāgā vimuccati.
    (Through) dispassion, (he) is-[fully]-released.
    Vimuttasmiṃ vimuttamiti ñāṇaṃ hoti.
    (With) full release, 'Fully released.' knowledge occurs.
    ‘Khīṇā jāti,
    [He discerns that] 'Destroyed Birth,
    vusitaṃ brahma-cariyaṃ,
    fulfilled (the) holy-life,
    kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ,
    did (what) needed-to-be-done,
    nā-(a)paraṃ itthattāyā’ti
    Nothing-further (for) this-state-of-being.'"
    pajānātī”ti.
    (that) he-understands.’
    Idam-avoca bhagavā.
    That-was-said (by) the-Blessed-One.
    Attamanā pañca-vaggiyā bhikkhū
    Gratified, (the) {group-of}-five monks,
    bhagavato bhāsitaṃ abhi-nanduṃ.
    [reacted to] the-Blessed-One’s speech (by) re-joicing.
    Imasmiñca pana veyyākaraṇasmiṃ bhaññamāne
    And-while-this **** explanation was-being-given,
    Pañca-vaggiyānaṃ bhikkhūnaṃ
    (the) {group of}-five monks,
    An-upādāya
    (through) not-clinging,
    āsavehi cittāni vimucciṃsūti.
    (their) hearts were-released {from the asinine-inclinations}.
    Sattamaṃ.
    (end of sutta)



    Do you see the satipaṭṭhāna in these 2 famous suttas? It's in there!


    Even though it's not explicitly called out as Sati-'paṭṭhāna ("mindfulness meditation"), or "right mindfulness"? 

    The excerpt from SN 22.59 I quoted above, it's doing both "seeing the mind as a mind", and "seeing the Dharma as Dharma" (the 3rd and 4th frames of Sati-'paṭṭhāna, citta-anu-passana and Dhamma-anu-passana).

    The suttas were an oral tradition, to be memorized with fidelity, so the practical necessity was keeping the material short and easy to remember, rather than eloquent fluent prose with details explained. 

    That's what vitakka and vicāra (thinking and evaluation in first jhāna and satipaṭṭhāna) are for!

    You think about what you memorized (sati) and vocally recite and mentally think about in general (vitakka), and you carefully ponder that Dharma (with vicāra).

    Then you connect the dots after many repeated reflections, over a long time.








    Sunday, April 3, 2022

    B. Bodhi's translation of satipaṭṭhāna formula: "contemplating the body in the body": what does that even mean?






    https://suttacentral.net/sn47.1/en/bodhi?reference=none&highlight=false


    “Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. 

    He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. 

    He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. 

    He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.


    Is this contemplating mind in the mind, or body in the body, or the mind inside the 'body of mind'?



    Conclusion

    The four satipaṭṭhāna formula, commonly known as "mindfulness", is one of the most important, basic, core practices in early Buddhism. 

    It was meant to be memorized, frequently recited, frequently reflected upon.

    Based on reading Bodhi's English translation, I have no idea of what that practice is, how to do it, what it means, what it's really trying to achieve.

    I'm not criticizing him. I believe he did a very professional, competent translation according to his method, and the goal of what he's trying to achieve as a translator. He was trying to represent the position of orthodox Theravāda, as long as it didn't blatantly contradict the straightforward meaning based on a common sense reading of the suttas. 

    But I am pointing out that 'mindfulness' practice, as represented by LBT (late buddhist teachings) hundreds of years after the Buddha, had baggage added to it, meaning expanded, diluted, distortion and confusion. 

    In other words LBT attempts to improve and expand the range and meaning of satipaṭṭhāna ("mindfulness") resulted in the  primary meaning of satipaṭṭhāna getting lost in the shuffle. 


    In Plain English: How to practice four satipaṭṭhāna formula, AKA "mindfulness"

    Based on my research on EBT (early buddhist texts), and countless hours of practice in the field, here is a translation that makes sense.


    STED Right Remembering (Eng.) (SN 45.8)

    

    "Monks, what is right remembering [of ☸Dharma]?"
    1. He meditates continuously seeing the body as a body [as it actually is].
    2. He meditates continuously seeing sensations as sensations [as they actually are].
    3. He meditates continuously seeing the mind as a mind [as it actually is].
    4. He meditates continuously seeing ☸Dharma as ☸Dharma [as it actually is, the only way to nirvana].

    [In all four modes of right remembering of ☸Dharma],
    * He is ardent 🏹, he has lucid discerning 👁, he remembers 🐘 [to apply relevant ☸Dharma],
    * vanquishing worldly avarice and distressed mental states.

    "This, monks, is called right remembering [of ☸Dharma]."


    A great test of whether an important Dharma passage is translated and interpreted correctly:

    The passage is meant to be (verbally and/or mentally) recited and reflected upon over and over again, hundreds of times a day (the suttas in many places say we are to have 'sati' all the time).

    Is this interpretation of Dhamma a useful timely reminder?  

    Or do I feel stupid reciting it again and again because it has no practical Dharmic principles I need to apply in this very moment of life I'm experiencing now?



    (STED right remembering)

    “katamā ca, bhikkhave, sammā-sati?
    what **, *********, is right-remembering?

    (1. 🏃 kāyā-(a)nu-passī)

    kāye kāyā-(a)nu-passī viharati
    Body-as-body – continuous-seeing (he) abides-in,
    ātāpī sampajāno satimā,
    (he is) ardent 🏹, (a) lucid-discerner 👁, (a) rememberer 🐘,
    vineyya loke abhijjhā-do-manassaṃ;
    vanquishing worldly avarice-(and)-distressed-mental-states.

    (2. vedanā-(a)nu-passī)

    vedanāsu vedanā-(a)nu-passī viharati
    Experienced-sensations-(as)-experienced-sensations – continuous-seeing (he) abides-in
    ātāpī sampajāno satimā,
    (he is) ardent 🏹, (a) lucid-discerner 👁, (a) rememberer 🐘,
    vineyya loke abhijjhā-do-manassaṃ;
    vanquishing worldly avarice-(and)-distressed-mental-states.

    (3. cittā-(a)nu-passī)

    citte cittā-(a)nu-passī viharati
    Mind-as mind – continuous-seeing (he) abides-in,
    ātāpī sampajāno satimā,
    (he is) ardent 🏹, (a) lucid-discerner 👁, (a) rememberer 🐘,
    vineyya loke abhijjhā-do-manassaṃ;
    vanquishing worldly avarice-(and)-distressed-mental-states.

    (4. ☸Dhammā-(a)nu-passī)

    dhammesu dhammā-(a)nu-passī viharati
    ☸Dhamma-[teachings]-as-☸Dhamma – continuous-seeing (he) abides-in,
    ātāpī sampajāno satimā,
    (he is) ardent 🏹, (a) lucid-discerner 👁, (a) rememberer 🐘,
    vineyya loke abhijjhā-do-manassaṃ;
    vanquishing worldly avarice-(and)-distressed-mental-states.
    ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, sammā-sati.
    This is called, *********, right remembering.