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hindrances?


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#1 RobertK

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 03:21 AM

Venerable Upavanna was one of the Buddha's attendants before Ananda. He asked the Buddha (Samyutta, Salayanata Vagga 70 p.1154 Bodhi)

QUOTE
"In what way is the Dhamma directly visible (sanditthiko Dhamma), immediate…to be personally experienced by the wise? Here, Upavana, having seen a form with the eye a bhikkhu experiences the form as well as lust for the form. He understands that lust for the forms exists internally thus: `there is in me lust for forms internally.' Since that is so Upavana the Dhamma is directly visible, immediate…"


The sutta repeats for the other senses. This is very profound. The way of samatha is to overcome and supress the hindrances especially craving. The way of vipassana is to understand the present moment – even if that is craving. When craving or any hindrance is known as anatta, a little bit of ignorance is overcome: the conditioned nature of craving is seen.

In the Satipatthana Sutta under Dhammanupassana the five hindrances are objects for insight. From the commentary:

QUOTE
"In this way the bhikkhu lives contemplating the mental objects, by laying hold of the five hindrances amongst the mental objects of his own mind or amongst the mental objects in another's mind or at one time amongst the mental objects of his own mind, and at another time amongst the mental objects of another's mind.[ ……]Here the mindfulness which lays hold of the hindrances is the Truth of Suffering. Thus the portal of deliverance of the bhikkhu who lays hold of the hindrances should be understood"

http://www.abhidhamm...ntaryDhamma.htm

RobertK

#2 mike

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 03:44 AM

Hi Robert,

Very interesting, thanks, and as you said profound (of course). Brings up a couple of questions interesting to me:

"In this way the bhikkhu lives contemplating
the mental objects, by laying hold of the five hindrances amongst
the mental objects of his own mind or amongst the mental objects in
another's mind or at one time amongst the mental objects of his own
mind...
"

First, does this seem to you to suggest a special selection of the hindrances as subjects for insight, or does it just mention them because of their relative importance?

"...and at another time amongst the mental objects of another's
mind
"

And second, does this refer to concept (the mental objects of another's
mind) or to the ~naa.na of knowing another's mind? The latter would be the fruit of jhaana, I think.

Of course, implicit in this is that insight can arise with akusala citta (e.g. lust) as an object (through the mind door), something that people sometimes find puzzling.

mike

#3 RobertK

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE(mike @ Dec 29 2006, 12:44 PM) View Post

Hi Robert,

Very interesting, thanks, and as you said profound (of course). Brings up a couple of questions interesting to me:

"In this way the bhikkhu lives contemplating
the mental objects, by laying hold of the five hindrances amongst
the mental objects of his own mind or amongst the mental objects in
another's mind or at one time amongst the mental objects of his own
mind...
"

First, does this seem to you to suggest a special selection of the hindrances as subjects for insight, or does it just mention them because of their relative importance?

"...and at another time amongst the mental objects of another's
mind
"

And second, does this refer to concept (the mental objects of another's
mind) or to the ~naa.na of knowing another's mind? The latter would be the fruit of jhaana, I think.

Of course, implicit in this is that insight can arise with akusala citta (e.g. lust) as an object (through the mind door), something that people sometimes find puzzling.

mike

Hi Mike,
thanks for the questions.
I think the hindrances are not more important than any other obejcts, they all need to be known. For satipatthana they are simply an object, whereas for samatha they must be suppressed..

Nina wrote about the case of knowing another's mind. I am not really sure.
best
Robert

#4 fogpotion

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 02:24 AM

Robert -

When a hinderence arises - anger or craving - in the moment - when not meditating, is reflecting on this moment simply engaging in more 'thinking' or is it a worthwhile endevor.

I find that thoughts/feelings arise almost at the same moment - is there a way to deal with this effectively other than concentration on body/breath?

#5 RobertK

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 04:57 AM

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the question ,
Most of the time when we know say anger or greed it is what I call 'thinking in the present moment' not really direct awareness.

However, if it is associated with right view that knows anger or greed is merely a conditioned element (i.e not self), then it is still helpful and a condition for direct awareness in the future.
We can turn away from the hindrances and concentate on something else, as you mention, but sooner or later they have to be known as they are, when they arise. The direct way is always to know what is here and now- whether it is 'good' or bad doesn't matter if our aim is to see conditionality.
Robert

#6 RobertK

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:40 AM

Something from Zen
In a letter, Ta Hui wrote:

QUOTE
If you consider quietude right and commotion wrong, then this is seeking the real aspect by destroying the worldly aspect, seeking nirvana, the peace of extinction, apart from birth and death. When you like the quiet and hate the hubbub, this is just the time to apply effort. Suddenly when in the midst of hubbub, you topple the scene of quietude -- that power surpasses the (meditation) seat and cushion by a million billion times.


--Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (1088-1163); Tr. Christopher Cleary

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 06:19 PM

Something from Nina:

"I would like to quote from the Lexicon explaining terms of Acharn Sujin's Survey of Paramattha Dhammas, written by Santi Phantakeong :

QUOTE
If there is the firm understanding that the hindrances are dhammas which are reality, there are conditions for the arising of satipatthana which can be aware of the characteristic of a particular hindrance according to conditions. Then the akusala that is a hindrance is the object of panna which knows the truth and in that way the clinging to the view that akusala is self can be abandoned.


"I would like to add that if there is no mindfulness, the hindrances, ignorance included, can weaken insight. But at the moment of mindfulness of whatever appears, be it wholesome, kusala, or unwholesome, akusala, insight can grow. There are many moments of ignorance and forgetfulness, but these moments are conditioned, because they arose also in the past, life after life. Can we notice them during the day? There is a difference between forgetfulness of realities and mindfulness. When there is mindfulness, there is no notion of my hand touching the table, but only one nama or rupa appearing through one of the six doors. Just hardness may appear through the bodysense. After that there are bound to be many moments of being absorbed in concepts such as table or hand. It is not easy to learn the difference between forgetfulness and ignorance of realities, and mindfulness of just one reality at a time. Very gradually we can begin to know the difference. More understanding of the fact that whatever arises, be it kusala or akusala, is conditioned, will help us to gradually let go of the concept that it is my akusala.

"I would like to quote from the "Kindred Sayings" (V, Mahavagga, Book I, Kindred Sayings on the Way, Ch VIII, the Flood) where it has been repeated with regard to all the different groups of defilements that they have to be fully comprehended. We read about the Hindrances:

QUOTE
Monks, there are these five hindrances. What five? The hindrance of sensual desire, the hindrance of malevolence, the hindrance of sloth and torpor, the hindrance of excitement and flurry, the hindrance of doubt and wavering. These are the five hindrances. It is for the full comprehension, realization, wearing down and abandoning that the ariyan eightfold Way must be cultivated.


"In this text the hindrances are classified as fivefold, and then ignorance is not among them, but in different texts they are classified in different ways. However, there is ignorance with every kind of akusala. In the same sutta ignorance is mentioned among the five higher fetters which must be abandoned by full comprehension."

With metta, Nina van Gorkom.