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Thread: Mundane and Supramundane

  1. #41
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    I'm on "idle" with this thread because I'm right in the middle of Ajaan Lee's treatment of it in his The Craft of the Heart (pretty sure it's on ATI). He contextualizes it terms of jhana (rupa and arupa).
    B@ease
    BG

  2. #42
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    Is the supramundane the same thing Ajaan Lee means in The Craft of the Heart (Thanissaro Bhikkhu Tr.) by "the transcendent"? Also, if I've read it right, Aj. Lee says rupa jhana is mundane and arupa jahna is transcendent/supramundane. (1) Did I get Aj. Lee right? & (2) did Aj. Lee (via Aj. Geoff) get it right?
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  3. #43
    Forums Member stuka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckyG View Post
    Is the supramundane the same thing Ajaan Lee means in The Craft of the Heart (Thanissaro Bhikkhu Tr.) by "the transcendent"? Also, if I've read it right, Aj. Lee says rupa jhana is mundane and arupa jahna is transcendent/supramundane. (1) Did I get Aj. Lee right? & (2) did Aj. Lee (via Aj. Geoff) get it right?
    b@eze
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    You might want to quote passages on that.

    All of the Buddha's own teachings are lokuttara: the 4NT, the 8FP, the 3 Characteristics, Anatta/Sunnata/Tathana, IDP/PS in the here and now, Anapanasati, Satipatthana, the Golden Rule, the whole shebang.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuka View Post
    You might want to quote passages on that.
    I was being lazy, sorry.

    ...The four levels of arupa jhana are nothing other than the mind dwelling on the four types of mental phenomena (nama). In other words, the mind starts out by getting caught up with a sense of pleasure and well-being that isn't focused on any object or image, but is simply an empty, spacious feeling (vedana). This is the first level of arupa jhana. On the second level, the mind is caught up with the act of consciousness (viññana). It's focused on an empty sense of awareness as its object — simply the act of consciousness happening over and over continuously, without end. This is called absorption in the sense of unbounded consciousness, i.e., being stuck on the act of consciousness. On the third level of arupa jhana, the mind is caught up with the act of mental fashioning (sankhara), which merely arises and passes away. Nothing, nothing at all appears as an image, and the mind simply thinks about this over and over again. This is called absorption in the sense of nothingness, i.e., being stuck on mental fashioning. On the fourth level of arupa jhana, the mind is caught up with the act of labeling (sañña), seeing that it can't say that there is a label for what it has just experienced or is now experiencing, and it can't say that there isn't. Thus it falls into absorption in the sense of neither perception nor non-perception....

    The way in which the four levels of rupa jhana and the four levels of arupa jhana are fashioned can be put briefly as follows: Focus on any one of the four properties making up the sense of the form of the body (earth, water, fire, and wind). This is rupa jhana. The one object you focus on can take you all the way to the fourth level, with the various levels differing only in the nature of the act of focusing. As for arupa jhana, it comes from rupa jhana. In other words, you take the sense of physical pleasure coming from rupa jhana as your starting point and then focus exclusively on that pleasure as your object. This can also take you all the way to the fourth level — absorption in the sense of neither perception nor non-perception — with the various levels differing only in their point of view. Or, to put it in plain English, you focus (1) on the body and (2) on the mind.

    Rupa jhana is like a mango; arupa jhana, like the mango's taste. A mango has a shape, but no one can see the shape of its taste, because it's something subtle and refined. This is why people who don't practice in line with the levels of concentration go astray in the way they understand things. Some people even believe that death is annihilation. This sort of view comes from the fact that they are so blind that they can't find themselves. And since they can't find themselves, they decide that death is annihilation. This is like the fool who believes that when a fire goes out, fire has been annihilated. Those who have looked into the matter, though, say that fire hasn't been annihilated, and they can even start it up again without having to use glowing embers the way ordinary people do....

    Rupa jhana, once mastered is like being a government official who works and earns a salary. Arupa jhana, once mastered, is like being a retired official receiving a pension from the government. Some people, when they've finished government service, simply curl up and live off their pensions without using their skills to provide themselves with any further benefits. This is like people who master rupa jhana and arupa jhana and then don't use their skills to gain the further benefits of the transcendent.... If you do want to gain those benefits, though, here's how it's done....
    The four levels of rupa jhana and the four levels of arupa jhana, taken together, are called the eight attainments (samapatti), all of which come down to two sorts: mundane and transcendent . In mundane jhana, the person who has attained jhana assumes that, 'This is my self ,' or 'I am that,' and holds fast to these assumptions, not giving rise to the knowledge that can let go of those things in line with their true nature. This is classed as sakkaya-ditthi, the viewpoint that leads us to self-identification, the feeling that, 'This is me,' or 'This is mine.... Thus whoever attains jhana without abandoning the three fetters (sanyojana) is practicing mundane jhana. Mundane jhana, unless you're really expert at it, is the easiest thing in the world to lose. It's always ready to deteriorate at the slightest disturbance from sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, and ideas. Sometimes you may be sitting in jhana and then, when you get up and walk away, it's gone.

    As for transcendent jhana: When you've attained rupa jhana, you go back to examine the various levels until you are expert at them and then develop insight meditation so as to see mundane jhana for what it really is. In other words, you see that the preoccupations of both rupa jhana and arupa jhana are inconstant, stressful, and not-self.... Once you have mastered these two modes of jhana, they will give rise to the various abilities, mundane or transcendent, taught by Buddhism that differ from worldly skills in that they can arise only after the attainment of jhana. Among these skills are the three skills (vijja), the eight skills, and the four forms of acumen (patisambhida-ñana).
    Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/t...aft.html#p2-18, my emphases; The Craft of the Heart, Part II, "Jhana."

    mayUb@eze
    bg

  5. #45
    I remembered that Ajahn Buddhadasa mentioned mundane and supramundane somewhere and so I checked it out - and its in "Handbook for Mankind ".


    EMANCIPATION FROM THE WORLD

    Vipassana meditation is mental training aimed at raising the mind to such a level that it is no longer subject to suffering. The mind breaks free from suffering by virtue of the clear knowledge that nothing is worth grasping at or clinging to. This knowledge deprives worldly things of their ability to lead the mind into further thoughtless liking or disliking.

    Having this knowledge, the mind transcends the worldly condition and attains the level known as the Supramundane Plane (Lokuttara-bhumi).

    In order to comprehend clearly the supramundane plane, we have to know first about its opposite, the mundane plane (Lokiyabhumi). The mundane plane comprises those levels at which the things of the world have control over the mind.


    http://www.buddhanet.net/budasa12.htm

    So I think that possibly one could establish from what has been said previously and in this quote, that morality teachings and lay observances suitable for busy householders with families etc might be classified as mundane teachings, or preliminary practices, -and the teachings such as those concerning meditation and contemplation, might be considered to be supramundane teachings.


  6. #46
    Moving on, I saw this talk "The Mundane and Supramundane" by Ajahn Brahm on the BSWA website... and thought I'd post it on the end of this old topic which is from way back in 2011.


    "Ajahn Brahm reflects upon our mundane reality and the quest to attain supramundane, transcendent experience."

    http://podcast.bswa.org/e/the-mundan...n-brahmavamso/

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