OBC Connect

A site for those with an interest in the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, past or present, and related subjects.
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:13 am

:-) Fortunately www.forestdhamma.org, whence I got this extract, allows one to download their books (http://www.forestdhamma.org/books/english/). This section forms the appendix of Arahattamagga Arahattaphala: The Path to Arahantship by Ajaan Mahā Boowa Ñānasampanno.

Primarily I'm inserting it as referred to in my reply to a matter raised by Stan in the Gratitude and Forced Gratitude thread of this sub-forum, In Theory and Practice; but it may be a topic of general interest, and folks may have their own observations and experiences that they would like to share....


Citta—The Mind’s Essential Knowing Nature.

The following comments about the nature of the citta have been excerpted from several discourses given by Acariya Mahā Boowa.

OF FOREMOST IMPORTANCE IS THE CITTA, the mind’s essential knowing nature. It consists of pure and simple awareness: the citta simply knows. Awareness of good and evil, and the critical judgements that result, are merely activities of the citta. At times, these activities may manifest as mindfulness; at other times, wisdom. But the true citta does not exhibit any activities or manifest any conditions at all. It only knows. Those activities that arise in the citta, such as awareness of good and evil, or happiness and suffering, or praise and blame, are all conditions of the consciousness that flows out from the citta. Since it represents activities and conditions of the citta that are, by their very nature, constantly arising and ceasing, this sort of consciousness is always unstable and unreliable.

The conscious acknowledgement of phenomena as they arise and cease is called viññāna. For instance, viññāna acknowledges and registers the sense impressions that are produced when sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations contact the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body respectively. Each such contact between an external sense sphere and its corresponding internal base gives rise to a specific consciousness that registers the moment at which each interaction takes place, and then promptly ceases at the same moment that the contact passes. Viññāna, therefore, is consciousness as a condition of the citta. Sankhāra, or thoughts and imagination, is also a condition of the citta. Once the citta has given expression to these conditions, they tend to proliferate without limit. On the other hand, when no conditions arise at all, only the citta’s inherent quality of knowing is apparent.

Still, the essential knowing of the average person’s mind is very different from the essential knowing of an Arahant. The average person’s knowing nature is contaminated from within. Arahants, being khīnāsava, are free of all contamination. Their knowing is a pure and simple awareness without any adulteration. Pure awareness, devoid of all contaminants, is supreme awareness: a truly amazing quality of knowing that bestows perfect happiness, as befits the Arahant’s state of absolute purity. This Supreme Happiness always remains constant. It never changes or varies like conditioned phenomena of the world, which are always burdened with anicca, dukkha, and anattā. Such mundane characteristics cannot possibly enter into the citta of someone who has cleansed it until it is absolutely pure.

The citta forms the very foundation of samsāra; it is the essence of being that wanders from birth to birth. It is the instigator of the cycle of existence and the prime mover in the round of repeated birth and death. Samsāra is said to be a cycle because death and rebirth recur regularly according to the immutable law of kamma. The citta is governed by kamma, so it is obliged to revolve perpetually in this cycle following kamma’s dictates. As long as the citta remains under the jurisdiction of kamma, this will always be the case. The citta of the Arahant is the sole exception, for his citta has completely transcended kamma’s domain. Since he has also transcended all conventional connections, not a single aspect of relative, conventional reality can possibly become involved with the Arahant’s citta. At the level of Arahant, the citta has absolutely no involvement with anything.

Once the citta is totally pure, it simply knows according to its own inherent nature. It is here that the citta reaches it culmination; it attains perfection at the level of absolute purity. Here the continuous migration from one birth to the next finally comes to an end. Here the perpetual journey from the higher realms of existence to the lower ones and back again, through the repetitive cycle of birth, ageing, sickness, and death, totally ceases. Why does it cease here? Because those hidden, defiling elements that normally permeate the citta and cause it to spin around have been completely eliminated. All that remains is the pure citta, which will never again experience birth and death.

Rebirth is inevitable, however, for the citta that has yet to reach that level of purity. One may be tempted to deny that rebirth follows death, or one may doggedly hold to the nihilistic viewpoint that rejects all possibility of life after death, but such convictions cannot alter the truth. One’s essential knowing nature is not governed by speculation; nor is it influenced by people’s views and opinions. Its preeminence within one’s own being, coupled with the supreme authority of kamma, completely override all speculative considerations.

As a consequence, all living beings are compelled to move from one life to the next, experiencing both gross incarnations, like the creatures of land, sea and air, and the more refined incarnations of ghosts, devas and brahmas. Although the later are so ethereal as to be invisible to the human eye, the citta has no difficulty taking birth in their realms. The appropriate kamma is all that is required. Kamma is the determining factor; it is the power that propels the citta on its ceaseless journey in samsāra.

The citta is something so extremely subtle that it is difficult to comprehend what actually constitutes the citta. It is only when the citta attains a state of meditative calm that its true nature becomes apparent. Even experienced meditators who are intent on understanding the citta are unable to know its true nature until they have attained the meditative calm of samādhi.

Even though the citta resides within the body, we are nevertheless unable to detect it. That’s how very subtle it is. Because it is dispersed throughout the physical body, we cannot tell which part or which aspect is actually the true citta. It is so subtle that only the practice of meditation can detect its presence and differentiate it from all the other aspects associated with the body. Through the practice of meditation we can separate them out, seeing that the body is one thing and the citta is another. This is one level of separation, the level of the citta that is experienced in samādhi, but its duration is limited to the time spent practicing samādhi.

At the next level, the citta can totally separate itself from the physical body, but it cannot yet disengage from the mental components of personality: vedanā, saññā, sankhāra, and viññāna. When the citta reaches this level, one can use wisdom to separate out the body and eventually become detached forever from the belief that one’s body is oneself, but one is still unable to separate the mental factors of feeling, memory, thoughts, and consciousness from the citta. By using wisdom to investigate further, these mental factors can also be detached from the citta. We then see clearly for ourselves—sanditthiko—that all five khandhas are realities separate from the citta. This is the third level of separation.

At the final level, our attention turns to the original cause of all delusion, that extremely subtle pervasion of ignorance we call avijjā. We know avijjā’s name, but we fail to realize that it is concealed there within the citta. In fact, it permeates the citta like an insidious poison. We cannot see it yet, but it’s there. At this stage, we must rely on the superior strength of our mindfulness, wisdom, and perseverance to extract the poison. Eventually, by employing the full power of mindfulness and wisdom, even avijjā can be separated from the citta.

When everything permeating the citta has finally been removed, we have reached the ultimate stage. Separation at this level is a permanent and total disengagement that requires no further effort to maintain. This is true freedom for the citta. When the body suffers illness, we know clearly that only the physical elements are affected, so we are not concerned or upset by the symptoms. Ordinarily, bodily discomfort causes mental stress. But once the citta is truly free, one remains supremely happy even amid intense physical suffering. The body and the pain are known to be phenomena separate from the citta, so the citta does not participate in the distress. Having relinquished them unequivocally, body and feelings can never again intermix with the citta. This is the citta’s absolute freedom.

BEING INTRINSICALLY BRIGHT AND CLEAR, the citta is always ready to make contact with everything of every nature. Although all conditioned phenomena without exception are governed by the three universal laws of anicca, dukkha, and anattā, the citta’s true nature is not subject to these laws. The citta is conditioned by anicca, dukkha, and anattā only because things that are subject to these laws come spinning in to become involved with the citta and so cause it to spin along with them. However, though it spins in unison with conditioned phenomena, the citta never disintegrates or falls apart. It spins following the influence of those forces which have the power to make it spin, but the true power of the citta’s own nature is that it knows and does not die. This deathlessness is a quality that lies beyond disintegration. Being beyond disintegration, it also lies beyond the range of anicca, dukkha, and anattā and the universal laws of nature. But we remain unaware of this truth because the conventional realities that involve themselves with the citta have completely surrounded it, making the citta’s nature thoroughly conform to theirs.

Birth and death have always been conditions of the citta that is infected by kilesas. But, since kilesas themselves are the cause of our ignorance, we are unaware of this truth. Birth and death are problems arising from the kilesas. Our real problem, our one fundamental problem—which is also the citta’s fundamental problem—is that we lack the power needed to be our own true self. Instead, we have always taken counterfeit things to be the essence of who we really are, so that the citta’s behavior is never in harmony with its true nature. Rather, it expresses itself through the kilesas’ cunning deceits, which cause it to feel anxious and frightened of virtually everything. It dreads living, and dreads dying. Whatever happens—slight pain, severe pain—it becomes afraid. It’s perturbed by even the smallest disturbances. As a result, the citta is forever full of worries and fears. And although fear and worry are not intrinsic to the citta, they still manage to produce apprehension there.

When the citta has been cleansed so that it is absolutely pure and free of all involvement, only then will we see a citta devoid of all fear. Then, neither fear nor courage appear, only the citta’s true nature, existing naturally alone on its own, forever independent of time and space. Only that appears—nothing else. This is the genuine citta. The term “genuine citta” refers solely to the absolute purity, or the sa-upādisesa-nibbāna, of the Arahant. Nothing else can wholeheartedly and without reservations be called the “genuine citta”. I myself would be embarrassed to use the term in any other way.

The term “original citta” means the original nature of the citta that spins endlessly through the cycle of rebirth. The Buddha indicated this when he said: “Monks, the original citta is intrinsically bright and clear, but it becomes defiled by the commingling of the kilesas that come passing through.”

In this sense, “original citta” refers to the origin of conventional reality (sammuti), not the origin of Absolute Purity (parisuddhi). When referring to the original citta, the Buddha stated: “Pabhassaramidam cittam bhikkhave.” Pabhassara means radiant, it does not mean pure. His reasoning is absolutely correct; it is impossible to argue against it. Had the Buddha equated the original citta with the pure citta, one could immediately object: “If the citta was originally pure, why then should it be born at all?” The Arahant, who has purified his citta, is one who never comes to birth again. If his citta were originally pure, why then would he need to purify it? This would be the obvious objection: What reason would there be to purify it? The radiant citta, on the other hand, can be purified because its radiance is nothing other than the essential, true nature of avijjā. Meditators will realize this truth clearly for themselves at the moment when the citta transcends this radiance to reach Absolute Freedom (vimutti). Then, the radiance will no longer appear in the citta. At this very point, one realizes the supreme truth about the citta.

ONCE THE CITTA HAS BECOME SO WELL-CLEANSED that it is always bright and clear, then when we are in a quiet place, surrounded by complete silence—as in the still of the night—even though the citta has not ‘converged’ in samādhi, the focal point of its awareness is so exceedingly delicate and refined as to be indescribable. This subtle awareness manifests as a radiance that extends forth in all directions around us. We are unconscious of sights, sounds, odors, tastes, and tactile sensations, despite the fact that the citta has not entered samādhi. Instead, it is actually experiencing its own firm foundation, the very basis of the citta that has been well-cleansed to the point where a mesmerizing, majestic quality of knowing is its most prominent feature.

Seeming to exist independent of the physical body, this kind of extremely refined awareness stands out exclusively within the citta. Due to the subtle and pronounced nature of the citta at this stage, its knowing nature completely predominates. No images or visions appear there at all. It is an awareness that stands out exclusively on its own. This is one aspect of the citta.

Another aspect is seen when this well-cleansed citta enters meditative calm, not thinking or imagining anything. Ceasing all activity, all movement, it simply rests for awhile. All thought and imagination within the citta come to a complete halt. This is called “the citta entering a state of total calm.” Then, the citta’s essential knowing nature is all that remains. Except for this very refined awareness—an awareness that seems to blanket the entire cosmos—absolutely nothing else appears. For unlike a beam of light, whose range is limited, reaching either near or far depending on the strength of the light, the flow of the citta has no limits, no “near” or “far”. For instance, the brightness of an electric light depends on its wattage. If the wattage is high, it shines a long distance; if low, a short distance. But the flow of the citta is very different. Distance is not a factor. To be precise, the citta is beyond the conditions of time and space, which allows it to blanket everything. Far is like near, for concepts of space do not apply. All that appears is a very refined awareness suffusing everything throughout the entire universe. The whole world seems to be filled by this subtle quality of knowing, as though nothing else exists, though things still exist in the world as they always have. The all-encompassing flow of the citta that has been cleansed of the things that cloud and obscure it, this is the citta’s true power.

The citta that is absolutely pure is even more difficult to describe. Since it is something that defies definition, I don’t know how I could characterize it. It cannot be expressed in the same way that conventional things in general can be, simply because it is not a conventional phenomenon. It is the sole province of those who have transcended all aspects of conventional reality, and thus realize within themselves that non-conventional nature. For this reason, words cannot describe it.

WHY DO WE SPEAK OF A “CONVENTIONAL” CITTA and an “absolutely pure” citta? Are they actually two different cittas? Not at all. It remains the same citta. When it is controlled by conventional realities, such as kilesas and āsavas, that is one condition of the citta. But when the faculty of wisdom has scrubbed it clean until this condition has totally disintegrated, the true citta, the true Dhamma, the one that can stand the test, will not disintegrate and disappear along with it. Only the conditions of anicca, dukkha and anattā, which infiltrate the citta, actually disappear.

No matter how subtle the kilesas may be, they are still conditioned by anicca, dukkha and anattā, and therefore, must be conventional phenomena. Once these things have completely disintegrated, the true citta, the one that has transcended conventional reality, becomes fully apparent. This is called the citta’s Absolute Freedom, or the citta’s Absolute Purity. All connections continuing from the citta’s previous condition have been severed forever. Now utterly pure, the citta’s essential knowing nature remains alone on its own.

We cannot say where in the body this essential knowing nature is centered. Previously, with the conventional citta, it formed a prominent point that we could clearly see and know. For example, in samādhi we knew that it was centered in the middle of the chest because the knowing quality of our awareness stood out prominently there. The calm, the brightness, and the radiance appeared to emanate conspicuously from that point. We could see this for ourselves. All meditators whose level of calm has reached the very base of samādhi realize that the center of “what knows” stands out prominently in the region of the heart. They will not argue that it is centered in the brain, as those who have no experience in the practice of samādhi are always claiming.

But when the same citta has been cleansed until it is pure, that center then disappears. One can no longer say that the citta is located above or below, or that it is situated at any specific point in the body. It is now pure awareness, a knowing quality that is so subtle and refined that it transcends all conventional designations whatsoever. Still, in saying that it is “exceedingly refined”, we are obliged to use a conventional figure of speech that cannot possibly express the truth; for, of course, the notion of extreme refinement is itself a convention. Since this refined awareness does not have a point or a center, it is impossible to specifically locate its position. There is only that essential knowing, with absolutely nothing infiltrating it. Although it still exists amid the same khandhas with which it used to intermix, it no longer shares any common characteristics with them. It is a world apart. Only then do we know clearly that the body, the khandhas, and the citta are all distinct and separate realities.
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 670
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:27 pm

Wonderful! Thanks for posting this Anne!!
Back to top Go down
Stan Giko

avatar

Posts : 354
Join date : 2011-06-08
Location : Lincolnshire. U.K.

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:38 pm

Many thanks Anne.

With no disrespect to Acarya Maha Boowa intended, I would say that these
writings show why Buddhism developed on to the Mahayana schools and others,
finding these teachings limited and even confused...sticking my neck out !

I did notice later that it is a compilation of talks/articles, which goes some way
to explain some of the contradictory statements.

It`s still the world of duality and attainment as opposed to reality being
experienced as non dual. All things being pure from the very start and not
needing purifying. If it`s accepted that reality is One and Non Dual, then it`s
the removal of ignorance only that brings liberation from all limitations.

Hui Neng without all his erudition and reliance on "cleaning mirrors" I believe
more clearly showed how to get beyond all limitations. Not that I necessarily
believe that he actually existed as a person. Might have done...it`s more a
case of Hui Neng teaching coming to the fore. Probably the real start of the
Zen schools as a major teaching. My subjective views......

Having said all that, obviously training is still essential to cultivate a clear and
calm mind before understanding/wisdom can take place.
I`m happy to debate my point if required though it might get lengthy !

It`s very late and I`m out of here.

All the best for now. Thanks again.
Back to top Go down
Kozan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 670
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 67
Location : Sonoma County CA

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:22 am

Stan Giko wrote:
Many thanks Anne.

With no disrespect to Acarya Maha Boowa intended, I would say that these
writings show why Buddhism developed on to the Mahayana schools and others,
finding these teachings limited and even confused...sticking my neck out !

I did notice later that it is a compilation of talks/articles, which goes some way
to explain some of the contradictory statements.

It`s still the world of duality and attainment as opposed to reality being
experienced as non dual. All things being pure from the very start and not
needing purifying. If it`s accepted that reality is One and Non Dual, then it`s
the removal of ignorance only that brings liberation from all limitations.

Hi Stan,

My apologies for diving in here before Anne has a chance to respond. (I feel certain that my response will not inhibit hers in any way!)

I fully agree that Acarya Maha Boowa's comments could be taken as dualistic--if they are perceived as nothing more than a description of stages. However, this is at least equally a Zen framework as well (Hui Neng not withstanding!) and not what I think he has in mind.

What I find most compelling about his description is his articulation of the nature of transcendent awareness and the way it works. You might find that it points to the essential answer to the question that you asked earlier about the missing (as I would put it) context of Buddhism, the missing Sutras (as you expressed it), the missing meta-description that tells us what this is all actually about!

I would say that nothing needs purifying, as I think Maha Boowa points out. That which he refers to as pure, is empty awareness--citta itself. It is that which is prior to existence. It is unconditional, the source of our universe, all universes, existence itself.

My understanding and experience is that liberation is simply a matter of coming into synch with awareness, the nature of reality, and the way it all works.

And then moving in accord.

(And repeating, from the beginning, as necessary ;-)!
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:05 pm

:-) Thanks, Kozan.

Here are relevant chunks from Wikipedia concerning pabhassara citta (sorry to have made anyone wait)...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminous_mind

Quote :
Luminous mind (also, "brightly shining mind," "brightly shining citta") (Pali, pabhassara citta) is a term attributed to the Buddha in the Nikayas. The mind is said to be "luminous" whether or not it is tainted by mental defilements.
Quote :
In the Anguttara Nikaya (A.I.8-10*) the Buddha states: "Luminous, monks, is the mind. And it is defiled by incoming defilements." The discourses indicate that the mind's natural radiance can be made manifest by meditation.

Ajahn Mun, the leading figure behind the modern Thai Forest Tradition, comments on this verse:

Quote :
The mind is something more radiant than anything else can be, but because counterfeits – passing defilements – come and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured by clouds. Don’t go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds. Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun. So meditators, when they know in this manner, should do away with these counterfeits by analyzing them shrewdly... When they develop the mind to the stage of the primal mind, this will mean that all counterfeits are destroyed, or rather, counterfeit things won’t be able to reach into the primal mind, because the bridge making the connection will have been destroyed. Even though the mind may then still have to come into contact with the preoccupations of the world, its contact will be like that of a bead of water rolling over a lotus leaf.
Similarly, Ajahn Thate remarks:

Quote :
The Buddha taught [‘Pabhassaramidam bhikkhave cittam, tañca kho agantukehi upakkilesehi upakkilittham.’] 'The mind is unceasingly radiant; defilements are separate entities that enter into it.' This saying shows that his teaching on the matter is in fact clear. For the world to be the world, every one of its constituent parts must be present: its existence depends on them. The only thing that stands by itself is Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha. One who considers Dhamma to be manifold or composite has not yet penetrated it thoroughly. Water is in its natural state a pure, transparent fluid, but if dyestuff is added to it, it will change colour accordingly: if red dye is added it will turn red; if black dye, black. But even though water may change its colour in accordance with substances introduced into it, it does not forsake its innate purity and colourlessness. If a wise person is able to distil all the coloured water, it will resume its natural state. The dyestuff can only cause variation in outer appearance... The heart is that which lies at the centre of things, and is also formless. It is simple awareness devoid of movement to and fro, of past and future, within and without, merit and harm. Wherever the centre of a thing lies, there lies its heart, for the word ‘heart’ means centrality.
The Buddha says that if developed, the mind is supremely "pliable" and "workable." A verse with wording parallel to that of A.I.8-10* and surrounding verses occurs at S.V.92-32. It indicates that when the mind is defiled by the five hindrances, it is neither pliable, nor workable, nor luminous, nor perfectly concentrated for the destruction of the fetters. S.V.92-93* also compares the defilements of the mind to impurities in gold ore, implying that just as gold does not manifest its intrinsic radiance when it is in its raw state mixed with impurities, so is the intrinsic radiance of the mind not apparent when it is defiled by the hindrances. A.I.253-255 also uses the simile of gold-refining to illustrate the process of meditative development. A gold-refiner washes gold ore three times to get rid of gross, moderate, and fine defilements, and then properly smelts it until it is free of dross; only then is it "pliable, workable, brightly shining, no longer brittle" and ready to be fashioned into a final object. The sutta compares this process with that of a monk as he gets rid of various mental defilements before he attains unification of mind, which is then used for spiritual attainments.

Ajahn Maha Boowa's comments on A.I.8-10* may seem to contradict those of his teacher Ajahn Mun. Ajahns Pasanno and Ajahn Amaro write that rather than contradicting his teacher, which Ajahn Maha Boowa would not do, his comments should be read as a warning of the danger of subtle forms of identification and attachment, even to radiance itself.

* Sutta references seem to be those of the Pali Text Society, and I have not tried to track all suttas referred to herein. However, A.I.8-10 is the Pabassara Sutta from the Anguttara Nikāya>Book of Ones; S.V.92-93 seems to be the Kilesa Sutta found in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Samyutta Nikāya on page 1590 and titled "Corruptions"...that ought to cheer Stan up! ;-)
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:42 am

:-) Stan, on the Gratitude and Forced Gratitude thread, I was not referring to the mind's aware nature when I wrote "Just take care not to identify yourself with your awareness of anything (including awareness)". If I can explain myself clearly (?!?!), I think you may agree that awareness/consciousness of something, in which the "something" is part of the experience, is not a true self, because it fluctuates and partly depends on the "something". Understanding this rather subtle matter can be very important in practice. Vijñāna/viññāṇa skandha is this object-consciousness/consciousness-of-object.

Also, one may find that the process of reaching for, grasping at, or mentally producing, an object seems to affirm the selfhood of the inner movement/grasping-reflex (I'd list the movement/reflex under saṃskāra/saṅkhāra), which may be disturbing, distressing, discomfitting. Consequently the person may try to fight, suppress or stop the reflex/activity, which may buy a space of peace into which 'self' does not appear, but due to residual subtle association of selfhood with inner activity, this response (activity) also can feel uncomfortable...the element of subtle illusoryself-view that is the cause of the unease has not been eliminated. This subtle illusoryself-grasping in respect of inner activity/habit-energy/motion/reflex is not a new phenomenon but may be the last bastion of subtle grasping at a person/self imputed upon the nama-skandhas. When, through insight, that last vestige of subtle illusoryself-view/grasping disappears, you don't go. The natural radiance of mind appears yet more clearly and unobstructedly.
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:41 pm

:-) Different meanings are sometimes given to the third and fourth skandhic terms, saṃjñā/saññā (plural) and saṃskāra/saṅkhāra (singular), which can give rise to confusions between versions! Basically, I (and some others) apply them respectively for mental representations/thoughts and activity; but here are the relevant explanations (? by translator Bhikkhu D.ick Sīlaratano) from the glossary of Arahattamagga Arahattaphala: The Path to Arahantship by Ajaan Mahā Boowa...

Saññā:
Quote :
Memory; recognition of physical and mental phenomena as they arise. As the third component of personality, saññā khanda is associated with the function of memory; for instance, recognition, association, and interpretation. Saññā both recognises the known and gives meaning and significance to all of one's personal perceptions. Through recollection of past experience, the function of memory gives things specific meanings and then falls for its own interpretation of them, causing one to become either sad or glad about what one perceives.
Saṅkhāra:
Quote :
As a general term, saṅkhāra refers to all forces that form or condition things in the phenomenal world of mind and matter, and to those formed or conditioned phenomena that result. As the fourth component of personality (saṅkhāra khandha) it refers to thought and imagination; that is, the thoughts that constantly form in the mind and conceptualise about ones personal perceptions. Saṅkhāra creates these ideas and hands them on to saññā, which interprets and elaborates on them, making assumptions about their significance.
Back to top Go down
Stan Giko

avatar

Posts : 354
Join date : 2011-06-08
Location : Lincolnshire. U.K.

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:37 pm

Hi Anne, Kozan.

Many apologies for not having replied to your posts yet.
I`m very pushed for time at the moment looking after my Maggi
who is temporarily disabled.
I have also been very interested in Davids posts.
I will try to reply by the end of the weekend. I don`t think a very
short reply would convey what I`d like to say to your considered
posts. Many thanks for them.
All the best for now,

Stan.
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:45 pm

:-) Don't push yourself too hard, Stan. Take care of you as well as Mags. (-:
Back to top Go down
david.



Posts : 124
Join date : 2012-07-29

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:05 am

Hello Anne.

Thank you for posting this. From one read i have been living with the chitta described for the last 26 years. There are 2 "me"'s - the "chitta", and the human "me". I tried to describe it in my Hello thread in introductions.

In am about to start another thread as I'm just realising how depressed I am about the Zen teachers I am reading about. Why? Because none of them seem to be teaching this citta place I know so well. And I mean none of them.

Hi Stan.These teachings are not limited or confused. From the citta it is clear where the limitations and confusion is. Unconditional means unconditional. Unconditioned means unconditioned!!!!!!!!!! Simples rendeer

From my experience of citta the mahayana school went up a blind alley. There is nothing essential to be done, and certainly no-one to save. All is perfect as is.

I have my own ideas as to "practice" based on how i found citta,and am seriously depressed by some of the madness and dross taught as "practice" by some of the foremost zen teachers of the last 40 years.

My experience is simpler than the author's, and he seems to complicate it and miss it a bit. For example there is no initial center for citta in the heart chakra area. Of that i can assure you. If you don't believe me, read Ramana Maharshi on the subject. How he kept patience with the on-and-on-and-on questions about where it is in the body is beyond me.

Also this thing about "levels" of chitta i will have to read again, as for me there are no levels of chitta itself. Unconditioned means unconditioned!!!

Thank you again, Anne.

David
Back to top Go down
Stan Giko

avatar

Posts : 354
Join date : 2011-06-08
Location : Lincolnshire. U.K.

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:07 am

Hi David,

I think you misunderstood me when I said that I found the teachings somewhat
limited and confused.

I was referring specifically to the teachings of the author. The way the various
excerpts were compiled made things more confusing.
I personally find his teachings to not be coming from the standpoint of non
duality. The various excerpts were statements taken from the positions of
relative truth..stages, and he also takes the position of ultimate truth , or non
duality, all in a jumbled collection of his sayings without much of a logical
progression. I also believe that he doesn`t come to what should be a logical
conclusion. It`s the usual Buddhistic thing of teaching in negatives.
It never tells you what you are. Highly unsatisfying !

So, I would agree with what you say...from the article, the author seems to
"complicate it and miss a bit." It`s a case of the missing sutras David !

Whilst we`re at it, most references say that `Citta` refers to Mind/Will.
What does it mean to you ?
Also, you say that there are two `yous`. The Citta and the human.
Do you take `turns` in being in each you or is there something else that sees
them both ?

Re the Mahayana thing, I believe there`s plenty of non dual teaching there
if you look for it. I`m a bit of a fan of Ramana too. I reckon he and Hui neng
would get on really well !

I enjoy reading your take on things.

All the best David.

Stan.
Back to top Go down
david.



Posts : 124
Join date : 2012-07-29

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:55 pm

Hello Stan.

Thank you for your kind comments.

I think i misread what you were saying totally, thank you for clarifying.

I read Citta at the start to be " the mind’s essential knowing nature. It consists of pure and simple awareness". For me this is the buddha nature, home, who I am.

The path/experience of chitta he describes kind of fits with my experience, and kind of doesnt as well. For me the Citta if it is the essential nature, or buddha nature, has to by definition be unconditioned.

The unconditioned can only be unconditioned, outside conditions. How he describes the subtle flowing of it through everything fits with my experience. However, purifying citta doesnt quite sit with me, as you cant purify the unconditioned. There is nothing to be cleansed. Love is all it "needs".. (I feel a song coming on)

My experience was that i had no real awareness of it at all over 4 years of intensity, other than fleeting feelings of connection or love or presence, occasional short kenshos, the stopping of thoughts for minutes or hours after long periods of intense physical practice/sitting, or after releasing core childhood emotions and crying for sometimes 2-3 days at a time. There was blankness, a space to it, but nothing that I could really say was wonderful.

Then after years of crying I experienced my core pain (my mother deserting me at 1 month old) and in being torn open by that, I dropped out the bottom of "the earth". And woke up 3 days later floating in the "chitta", in space.

That saying "at first the mallet will strike the buddha on the foot, then it will strike him on the head" fits for me totally here.

For 26 years I have been floating in the "chitta". It is as real to me as if i was floating above the ocean floor. I breath in chitta, chitta flows through me. When I do cranial work and hold someone's head, I feel the the cerabral-spinal fluid flowing through the brain (literally) mind, and it is in some very profound way the "chitta" flowing through myself and the other person's deep subconcious mind. When I sit with another who is in deep emotional termoil, flowing into past-but-present realities, the citta flows through. In these situations it is profoundly simple to experience citta.

However my personal life has been a bit of a trainwreck. In my world of personal relationships, I have needed to be loved, wanting my partners to love me as I need, and I have put effort into being a good boddhisatva, helping helping helping, trying to get other people to see the "citta", to understand that love is listening, to open their hearts. And then recently my despairing depression (that i am only just acknowledging) when all that falls apart in failure again, along with a retreat into grabbing at "things" (like guitars and rather amusingly countless hours in the last 2 months scouring the internet for the perfect watch, which unfortunately I found).

So yes there is the "citta" me, and yes there is the "plonker" me.

As I said before, I'm hoping that the last 5 years of crying and failing will tear me open soon again, and another "me" will dissolve away into the chitta like the last one did age 23, and the one before that in a 1st world war trench did a bit as a man stuck a bayonet into me, and as the one who was a roman soldier did pretty completely sitting on a hillside ,many years after after his wife and child were killed and he just had to let go of the killing and everything he knew and walk away, never to return.

As Ramana Maharshi says, there is no purification, or evolution, just finding out who you are.

Warning Warning David going off on one alert....... here he goes.... Mr. Plonker....

The thing for me with Mahayana that has the stink of zen it, is the stupid belief that there is anyone to save. Running around like headless chickens vowing not to get enlightened til I've saved everyone is utterly stupid. A bit like vowing not to learn to swim til you've saved everyone else from drowning!!!! Deeeerrrr! Please everyone, get enlightened, find the chitta then run around trying to save everyone like i did for 26 years, then realise you've saved absolutely no-one!!! Then kind of grind to a depressed halt... afraid

10 years ago I was in Normandy, France, doing a past-life regression professional training with someone who knew what they were talking about (Rodger Woolgar bless him where-ever he is floating) . And I happened to be standing alone 1 day outside, about 5 miles from Omaha beach. And I suddenly "saw" 1000's and 1000's of dead soldiers lost and wandering around totally shell-shocked, all over the beaches and local countryside. So I did what Roger had taught us, and "saw" a huge crack in the sky open and a huge vortex of turning light descend, with people- beings - floating down through it, coming to get the dead soldiers, the perfect person for each of those dead soldiers. And I "saw" the thousands of soldiers being embraced, comforted, by the beings who came for them, and then being led, upward, and away, through the huge opening in the sky, to a place of rest. Then I "saw" the opening in the sky close, and a peace, and a release in the land around me, on the beaches, in Normandy.

All that sounds kind of cool and powerful doesnt it, like the great Mahayana Wizard of Good, like the movies only better, if it was real and not just my imagination... just think, not one or two, but thousands of lost traumatized souls rescued in just a few minutes. I was over-welmed by it.

But then I got to thinking afterwards. What had I actually done if it was true? I had just helped or facilitated the moving of thousands of beings who truly believed they were dead soldiers (even though they didn't have bodies any more CLUE) to somewhere else where they believed they were dead soldiers or whoever they now thought they were where they'd been led to.

So I was just a glorified taxi driver! "Where to sir, oh, up through the sky to inbetween life home, cetainly sir.." Not much glory in taxi driving is there really, even if my taxi's bigger than yours..

So my point is saving someone is the last thing they need if the real solution is to let go of being somebody isn't it? Acting like someone needs saving actually solidifies their sense of being someone. And gives more life to the fears that drive their sense of self.

I'm getting ramana maharshi's way a bit better these days, as well as feeling rather dismayed and depressed by the en-masse deluded antics of the zen teachers of America. Hey ho.

End of David going off on one for now...

honest...
Back to top Go down
Stan Giko

avatar

Posts : 354
Join date : 2011-06-08
Location : Lincolnshire. U.K.

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:15 pm

:-) Hi Anne !

Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. I`ve got a little more time to myself today so I will try and
get my head round answering your points. As you are so kind and gentle, I don`t mind crossing
feather dusters with you. I`ll just blurt out my views and opinions...anyone is welcome to knock them
down if they wish :-) . So......

Quote:
If your awareness vanishes, how do you know?

I knew when I 'came back'...and also knew of the experience of 'disappearance'-about-to-happen...and 'came back'. There's a bit of story behind this (which I've not time to go into fully at present), involving schlepping up schlopes and digging ditches, i.e a certain amount of strenuous activity. It all happened while 'awake' and busting to make mindfulness, including awareness-of-awareness, unbroken.

reply.
Curious statement. In your post, you referred to the disappearance as awareness and also consciousness.
I`m presuming you don`t mean consciousness in the Buddhistic sense as in contact between `sense gates
and objects` ? I take it that you didn`t have a physical illness or a mental `shutdown` due to over exertion.
In deep sleep, we also lose everyday awareness of ourselves totally and`come back`.
I`m led to believe that you dropped your sense of being Anne. the individual that acts in duality. You did
say that it happened whilst you were `awake` !


Quote:
What/who sees that?

As implied above, nothing actually saw the absence of consciousness in real time; and if anyone else had looked at my bodily form, I expect they would have seen someone walking or standing. However, I believe there is 'a continuum', because that's what make sense to me from experiences such as the above: I knew who I was when I came back and that my awareness had clocked out; also, the whole business of training and awakening: someone wakes up.

reply.
O,k, just my views here....
I would say that the `absence` was not in real time but in relative time. The time of Anne as a separate
individual in relativity, duality. From the standpoint of reality, there is no time.
When Anne`s wonderful new partner walks in with a bottle of champagne and says `guess what, we`ve
just won millions on the lottery, what shall we do with the money ?`....the next half hour will seem to go
very quickly.
When the guy in the torture chamber is pulling out Anne`s teeth, his friend is pulling out Anne`s finger
nails, and the other weird guy is walking up with the electrodes and telling Anne to strip off, We can all
agree that the next half hour will pass by exceedingly slowly !
I do agree also that there is a `continuum`. There is a continuum from when you fall into deep dreamless
sleep to the point when you wake up. Anne was not there, nor was her mind, and yet everything seemed
to re-[banned term] as per normal.
Perhaps your term for this continuum is the `Citta`......" The mind`s essential knowing nature ".
I subscribe to the view that it is Awareness/Consciousness. Simple, non dual,actionless and limitless. It`s
where `the buck stops`. Furthermore, I would say that the continuum is you. It is me.
Yes, someone" wakes up" but the that someone goes back to sleep ! Why ? because it is an experience.
All experiences without exception occur in time. They have a begining and an end. The experience
belonged to Anne the individual...Anne`s idea of who she is in the mind. Awareness, the true self was just
the observer...free of all objects....Looks like a quick brush with reality to me.


I can't do your practice and you can't do mine -- in that sense it's individual -- though we can connect. I think that 'IT' manifests awareness -- that's one of 'IT's features or qualities -- but doesn't 'IT'self cease even if awareness disappears for a while. It's a bit like trying to see the back of your head: wherever you look it's behind you, but not absent. Unlike manifested awareness, 'IT' can't be objectified -- so don't come to me for proof! ;-)

reply.
" IT "......Uh oh....unidentified terminology alert ! O.k, I`ll go along with your `IT` but I allow myself to say
that this `IT` is you. It doesn`t manifest Awareness, it is limitless awareness, which is why it never ceases.
The relative awareness of Anne is just another object to it. It is like an empty screen onto which everything
in existence is projected. Again yes, `IT` can`t be objectified...all things are objects within it. No `proof`
required Anne ;-) .



'IT' (sorry about these quotes and capitals...I'm trying to make this an obvious mere sound-and-squiggle for something else) also manifests/has energy (e.g were it not for energy, awareness could not move to this or that, and there could be no illusoryself-grasping and no training)

reply
Again, just my take on it......
`IT` does not manifest/has energy. Energy is ilumined by it. It is yet another object, no matter how subtle.
Energy is not sentient. You can experience energy but energy cannot experience you. It cannot come the
`other way`. "This and that" appear in awareness. Awareness cannot and does not move towards objects.
All objects come right up to you...Awareness, and then return to where they came from endlessly...till the
lights go out on life in relativity. Awarenes, the self, is ever free of all objects as it is limitless.
From the standpoint of Awareness, there is no illusory grasping nor training.
As Awareness is non dual and limitless, nothing can be lacking. As within it there are no limitations, there
is nothing to train for. Whilst mired in duality, I agree that it is a different story.
Whilst we see ourselves as incomple, lacking, unfinished and needy,....training must be done.

The short answer as to why I don`t care overmuch for Maha Boowa`s take is that is a view taken as standing
in duality. I say this because it`s not so much about training being seen as in stages, it`s rather because of
the view that Awareness can be purified at all.
This is because if you struggle to experience yourself or purify yourself/Awareness, you are then all the time
saying that you are not yourself. You are saying that you are impure and not free. It`s a painful conflict
because, from the start, you can never be anything but, what you are !
There is nothing to do because consciousness / Awareness is already doing what it does.
How can an action , concentration, meditation, purification by a seemingly limited entity produce a result
that is limitless ? Freedom is freedom from the Anne and Stan...the doers of action.

I believe that the only way to finish the job and get off the training escalator is through knowledge /
understanding. The other hidden part of experience. The whole point of the spiritual path seems to be
getting oneself ready to hear the truth clearly and understand the message it carries about the self.
There`s more than one way to go about it. Belief is good if it`s examined and stands up to examination.
Experience is of course also good. Kensho...the biggie experience is only as useful as the understanding
that can be assimilated from it. Every experience is for the understanding it provides but almost no one
finishes the job via a kensho.....we just bliss out, like any big sensual experience, so the mind switches off.
just when you need it.

In the end, it`s the removal of ignorance by discriminating what`s real from the unreal that leads to
liberation. It`s all very well to arrive at being `extinguished`, not self, non returning but, it`s poor psychology
to go the route of negation and purification. Unless you like endlessly spinning plates or make yourself
disappear. A large part of Buddhist training seems to be enlightenment by default. There is another way.

God, I can go on.....it`s late and Maggi hasn`t called me for a change. I`ll stop here. I`ve still got good old
Kozan to get back to........

Thanks for letting me go on. I`ve got absolutely nothing against training....it`s essential. Each to their own.
It`s good to get a bit of mind exercise....shame about the body !

My best wishes to you as ever,

Stan.

p.s Sorry about the foremating...must be the time of night or something.
Back to top Go down
Stan Giko

avatar

Posts : 354
Join date : 2011-06-08
Location : Lincolnshire. U.K.

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:56 am

Hi Moderators.

You deleted one of my words in my post to Anne.

" and yet everything seemed to re-a**emble as per normal." is the line in
question. Maybe I would have used the word `re-formulate` if I had known
that your anti cussing software is so sensitive.

I don`t want Anne to think I was using rude words to her. Any chance that
this can be changed back ? Thanks,

Stan.
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:18 pm

:-) Hi David!

I agree with your conclusion: "Running around like headless chickens vowing not to get enlightened til I've saved everyone is utterly stupid. A bit like vowing not to learn to swim til you've saved everyone else from drowning!!!!"

I thought you might be interested to know of three relevant categorisations of bodhicitta outlined in Tibetan Buddhism, and so I suppose elsewhere:

Quote :
- (gyel po ta bui sem kye) King-like Bodhichitta [hmm, I might prefer a gender-neutral term], where you want to become enlightened first and then lead others to Enlightenment.
- (dzi bu ta bui sem kye) Shepherd-like Bodhichitta, where you stay behind and shepherd all other beings to Enlightenment before realizing it yourself.
- (nyen pa ta bui sem kye) Ferryman-like Bodhichitta, where you want to achieve Enlightenment along with all other beings.

(note: Shepherd-like Bodhichitta and Ferryman-like Bodhicitta are only a kind of description of willingness to help others first; actually no one would postpone their own Enlightenment, because realizing it is the highest way of helping others.)
The above quotation is from the www.dharmaling.org glossary but is pretty typical.

I would also add that feeling obliged to leave oneself till last would be rather unkind treatment of oneself. Moreover, one might be waiting around for a long time for others even to wish to make their first efforts! The only way to prevent awakening may be not to train. A benign and knowledgeable outsider would naturally want for one the freedom from suffering arising from liberative insight. If we each thwarted one anothers' "shepherd-like" aspirations by "After you...", "No! After you...", "But I insist...", where might that get us Question Exclamation If we want to be last we will just be making some other hapless "shepherd" hang around for eternity! ;-)
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:36 pm

:-) Hi Stan!

I've brought one along for you!...
...or maybe you'd prefer something more...
Quote :
In your post, you referred to the disappearance as awareness and also consciousness. I`m presuming you don`t mean consciousness in the Buddhistic sense as in contact between `sense gates and objects`? I take it that you didn`t have a physical illness or a mental `shutdown` due to over exertion. In deep sleep, we also lose everyday awareness of ourselves totally and`come back`. I`m led to believe that you dropped your sense of being Anne, the individual that acts in duality. You did say that it happened whilst you were `awake`!
I was playing fast and loose with the words "awareness" and "consciousness", using them interchangeably for the state of being aware or of being conscious. I think that being aware/conscious generally implies "of something", even if chiefly one means being aware/conscious of being aware/conscious, however peripherally or dimly; but that an experience of awareness implies an "awareness of something" doesn't negate the awareness side of things -- that the citta manifests this awareness.

You mentioned sleep...and I recall your much earlier post elsewhere of being 'officially unconscious' yet somehow aware: http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t320-think-of-iain#5612 I know that some meditators profess to maintain subtle awareness while they sleep; but my experience of actual sleep did not seem to be thus, and was at that time (1974) a cause of concern for me -- I believed that my inability to maintain constant awareness meant that my moment-by-moment practice was not up to scratch.

What I meant in my post was loss of any consciousness/awareness, not simply of "being Anne". These were like miniature breaks in a flow, or like nano 'blackouts' but without the physical swooning -- my impression was that they were very fast, and I suspect they happen quite commonly to people but that I became aware of it (tedious pun intended :-) because I believed it very important to maintain unbroken awareness-of-mind, including awareness-of-awareness, so I was wanting to prevent them. It didn't refer to eradicating (or to temporarily suspending) some aspect of what I have termed subtle illusoryself-view (or subtly imputing a self/ person or "I" upon the skandhas) -- that business had been completed the previous year; rather, it came to my notice as the culmination of a process that, on one hand, was experienced as progressive disappearance of subtle dualistic conflict between awareness and its objects (specifically the other skandhas) -- I don't mean that awareness or its objects were having a spat but that I was experiencing a subtle conflict or inner strife in which I believed I should always be able to maintain a sense of awareness separate from, and 'watching', its objects in my moment-by-moment practice (partly I feared that I would run amok without this! afraid and I thought I was 'supposed' to do it and to be able to do it). My experience has been that sometimes indeed one can experience it thus -- much of mindfulness-practice uses and depends on this sort of ability or function -- but that at other times, no matter what effort, one may experience the impossibility of upholding any separate-seeming 'watching process' (even when this state of awareness is not identified as 'self')...and, to my understanding as described, sometimes any 'watching process' or awareness at all. Approaching this, or even the thought of it, may seem very alarming; but passing through it by (to borrow and slightly alter Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's metaphor) "stretching out your arms and legs as wide as they will go" to maintain the sense of vis-à-vis awareness (or indeed any awareness), then failing utterly (one doesn't engineer this failure: it happens!), liberates one from those particular dualistic conflicts by demonstrating the emptiness of 'self/own-nature' imputed upon the phenomena (mental-objects/skandhas) and also showing them as the mind's radiance, and that these two aspects of emptiness and radiance do not hinder or conflict with one another.

I was using the term "real time" as you use "relative time". And I do utterly agree that the continuum is me. At the time of using my 'IT'-word, I didn't know how you might respond to the term citta.

Writing this post gives me an opportunity (not specifically directed at you, Stan, but for 'doing the honourable thing', as I understand it, thread-keepingwise) to say that the main text of Maha Boowa's Arahattamagga Arahattaphala seems to relate avijjā/avidyā/ ignorance/not seeing specifically to the matter of imputing a 'self' upon the skandhas, and does not include imputing 'own-nature' upon the skandhas, which is a subtler basis for internal dualistic conflict. I think this is standard in Theravada. I can't say whether no Theravadin, having eradicated even subtle illusoryself-view, ever experiences such dualistic conflict, but some people do/have, including yours truly; in my understanding, this is where Mahayana teachings go beyond eradicating illusoryself-view and its related illusoryself-grasping and suffering. These subtle dualistic conflicts are also experienced as suffering; but if anyone were to ask, "Does resolving them end all suffering?" I would have to say something like, "Is the Pope a Buddhist?" (and may he forgive me for dragging him into this :-) This negative probably sounds very unBuddhist and also very unappealing; but any form of attachment has the implied potential of suffering, and my personal experience is that not all attachments, i.e 'what/who matters to you', are necessarily what one wants to shake off, or even can in all honesty shake off. Given the built-in booby-trap, one is advised to use insight, wisdom, discernment to know what's real, true, honest for you.

Re "re-a.ssemble", even the public statement from the OBC's honourable 2011 Conclave ran into this problem (http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t374-fti-report-summary-and-2011-conclave-statement?highlight=report#6773), being afflicted by the vexing and mystifying point 11 "We will [banned term] a resource of talks and information on various subjects relevant to monastic life and lay training. Topics addressed would include sexuality, celibacy, teaching, counseling, and healthy boundaries." (I found a way around this: see http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t563-respectable-banned-terms-and-how-to-get-away-with-them) I should add that strict cautions apply, or Lise and other moderators may be very upset with me! (-:
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:58 am

:-) I've been thinking about what I've written above, and trying to remember the period in more detail, and would like to clarify and amend/rephrase some points. (Shopping calls, so I hope I won't be making too much of a bodge in this relatively speedy post.)

The skandhas were seen as both empty of self/own-nature and as radiance...from one perspective conditioned, as we understand and appreciate this 'conventionally'; and from another, they were/are the unconditioned manifesting as form, etc.

I didn't see my form, others forms, environmental forms as my "mind's radiance", as though I'd created them mentally and was living in a solipsist universe! If one considers that, from one perspective, 'now' has no duration, what manifests is a kind of miracle.

Though just after the 1974 event, I came to a theory of Mind-beyond-mind, and Meditation-beyond-meditation, I was not then thinking of the "radiance" as that of my "Mind" or "mind" but as radiance of the unconditioned.

Now I'll go to the shops and probably fret about what I've written here. (-:
Was it accurate?.........Too much to do...
o
o
o
uhoh
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:11 am

:-) Hi Stan!

I hope things are going better for Maggi, and that you are doing OK yourself.

I wrote:
'IT' (sorry about these quotes and capitals...I'm trying to make this an obvious mere sound-and-squiggle for something else) also manifests/has energy (e.g were it not for energy, awareness could not move to this or that, and there could be no illusoryself-grasping and no training).
In using the word "energy" I have in mind a factor or aspect that would be termed in Tibetan Buddhism rlung (wind) -- specifically "very subtle wind" (one might say "energy-wind") -- and possibly prāṇa or vāyu in Sanskrit, meaning breath, spirit, wind. (Of course, our English word spirit, from Latin spiritus, also means breath; and there are similar connotations for the Hebrew ruach. The etymology of ātmā seems also to mean breath, spirit, wind. But using the word "spirit" here may obscure my meaning by associations that also include awareness.) This relates to my questions below.

You wrote:
Again, just my take on it......

`IT` does not manifest/have energy. Energy is illumined by it. It is yet another object, no matter how subtle. Energy is not sentient. You can experience energy but energy cannot experience you. It cannot come the `other way`. "This and that" appear in awareness. Awareness cannot and does not move towards objects. All objects come right up to you...Awareness, and then return to where they came from endlessly...till the lights go out on life in relativity. Awareness, the self, is ever free of all objects as it is limitless. From the standpoint of Awareness, there is no illusory grasping nor training.
It seems to me that what you understand as "you", by way of "Awareness", is what one might call passive, or receptive, openly/ spaciously or limitlessly 'bearing witness', or maybe simply 'there', but perhaps lacking the faculty of sensitivity toward wellbeing, and not having facility for action. The process of recognising that something is painful, or perhaps threatening ones sense of wellbeing, or might not be particularly good for one, implies some kind of inner response or responsiveness rather than just passive/receptive awareness. Have I understood you correctly? Do you believe that the quality of responsiveness is not "you"?...obviously it is not awareness, though it implies awareness, and one may be aware of it.

I hope my questions are intelligible? :-)

No need to rush for an answer. Take good care of yourself. (-:
Back to top Go down
Anne

avatar

Posts : 408
Join date : 2010-07-28
Location : Dorset, UK

PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:06 am

:-) Just to add on...

Awareness is certainly non-judgemental and without illwill or bias -- and is a good place to learn these. Certainly awareness doesn't produce illusoryself-grasping (gross or subtle), which is an inner activity* or reflex* due to illusoryself-view. Also in awareness there seems to be no faculty for choosing (e.g to choose to act in a kind way toward oneself or another), no faculty for active goodwill, caring, affection, gratitude, etc.

I have a dental checkup Very Happy this afternoon (oh joy!), so must leave this now. (-:

* An evincing of the subtle aspect of "energy", as I mean it
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature   

Back to top Go down
 
Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Citta -- The Mind's Essential Knowing Nature
» Largest Single Completed Contract Similar In Nature To The Contract To Be Bid
» New here and been having dreams I can't get out of my mind
» The name Mizraim many times came into my mind (Egypt)
» Yearning for Peace of Mind. A little of Inspired Writing.

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
OBC Connect :: OBC Connect :: In Theory and Practice-
Jump to: