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Thread: About nibbana

  1. #1
    Do you think Nibbana is a continuous cultivation or a direct insight that happens during meditation which demolishes all defilements of the mind once and for all?

  2. #2
    I become increasingly aware how my own mind constructs stories out of contacts occurring through the six senses (e.g., I have not paid the insurance, so the house might burn down, so we will be out on the street, so I feel fear). If I understand this correctly, these stories are volitional formations. On many occasions, I have been mindful of these stories as they arise and have regarded them as just more thoughts (e.g., I have not paid the insurance, but I remember that the mind has a propensity to create stories out of such things and I will be watchful in case this happens - in this case, no story and therefore no fear). Maybe the complete cessation of volitional formations is nibbana and this happens when one's mindfulness has developed to the point where one is never unmindful. I would see this as a gradual process, but perhaps for some it can happen all at once.

    Mindfulness in the above example seems to be intervening between sense contact and feeling arising from sense contact.

  3. #3
    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowmelt
    If I understand this correctly, these stories are volitional formations.


    By "volitional formations", do you mean "sankhara"? If so, you might want to know that that particular notion was coined by Nyanatiloka in order to shoe-horn karma-belief into paticcasamuppada. See http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud...ict/dic3_s.htm

    Nyanatiloka used "kamma" instead of "volition", but this is merely a derivative based upon the Buddha's defining kamma as cetana (volition). Same eisegesis, any way you look at it.

    you are right that they are sankhara, in the sense of thinking and pondering as "speech sankhara" -- see the Culavedalls Sutta, MN 44:

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....044.than.html

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by stuka
    By "volitional formations", do you mean "sankhara"? If so, you might want to know that that particular translation was coined by Nyanatiloka in order to shoe-horn karma-belief into paticcasamuppada. See http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud...ict/dic3_s.htm
    Thanks. I will study it.

  5. #5
    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Refugee
    I think Nibbana is the highest wisdom which sees absolute Truth; and such penetration is only possible when the mind is free from ALL impurities and fully developed through meditation.

    I found this of interest: http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/....html#Describe
    The Buddha did not teach "Milindapanha". That is a later eisegesis. Nor did he teach that Nibbana is "absolute truth" or only for one who is perfect and without fetters.

  6. #6
    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    I should clarify, Snowmelt, that some sankharas are intention, as intentions are "thinking and pondering". But that does not make sankhara "kamma" or "kamma formations", as NYTL is trying to do.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by stuka
    I should clarify, Snowmelt, that some sankharas are intention, as intentions are "thinking and pondering". But that does not make sankhara "kamma" or "kamma formations", as NYTL is trying to do.
    Respectful thanks for that, Stuka.

    While I have to some degree my own, largely non-verbal understanding of what Nibbana is (e.g., Nibbana will include a feeling related to the feeling I get when my mind is most calm and the resulting happiness at a (temporary) zenith), I wanted to try to pin it down in words and concepts a little more than usual. So, I looked it up in Wikipedia and found the part regarding volitional formations seemed most to strike a chord. Following that link, I did indeed arrive at the article entitled Sankhara, where I found references to "formations" and "fabrications", which I concluded might include such things as my "stories".

  8. #8
    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    From the Culavedalla Sutta, MN 44:

    "Now, lady, what are fabrications?"

    "These three fabrications, friend Visakha: bodily fabrications, verbal fabrications, & mental fabrications."

    "But what are bodily fabrications? What are verbal fabrications? What are mental fabrications?"

    "In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."

    "But why are in-&-out breaths bodily fabrications? Why are directed thought & evaluation verbal fabrications? Why are perceptions & feelings mental fabrications?"

    "In-&-out breaths are bodily; these are things tied up with the body. That's why in-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Having first directed one's thoughts and made an evaluation, one then breaks out into speech. That's why directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental; these are things tied up with the mind. That's why perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stuka
    "In-&-out breaths are bodily fabrications. Directed thought & evaluation are verbal fabrications. Perceptions & feelings are mental fabrications."
    What about thoughts that arise and multiply due to sense contacts? Are these proliferations?

  10. #10
    Refugee has deleted his/her post in the thread.

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