Consciousness

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Consciousness

Post by LauraJ on Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:34 pm

I lifted this from another website. Apologies for that Retro. But it's a great subject!

I'm puzzled by the "cessation of consciousness" part because with liberation our consciousness changes, right?

Greetings,

What is the arising of the consciousness?

What is the cessation of consciousness?

What is consciousness dependent upon?

What is the causality involved?

Metta,
Retro.

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Re: Consciousness

Post by thecap on Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:52 pm

Hey Drolma

Drolma wrote:I'm puzzled by the "cessation of consciousness" part because with liberation our consciousness changes, right?

The Buddha said consciousness comes from mental and bodily formations, and these come from ignorance, or not-knowing.

When we finally have direct knowledge here and now, our mind liberated, I suppose it could be said that consciousness simply has no more power over us. Name and form have no more power over us. Not-knowing becomes knowing. Consciousness becomes pure awareness.

So whether one calls it cessation or final change, does it really matter? 🆒
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Re: Consciousness

Post by Dharanidhar on Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:08 pm

First seek out cessations.

Then seek to practice the 'absorption of cessations'. Wink
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Re: Consciousness

Post by thecap on Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:50 pm

Dharanidhar wrote:First seek out cessations.

Then seek to practice the 'absorption of cessations'. Wink

What were you referring to?
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Re: Consciousness

Post by Dharanidhar on Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:01 pm

There is a simple meditation within which one seeks to soak up all thoughts as soon as they arise. This is sometimes incorrectly called the 'absorption of cessation'.

The advanced meaning is that tied up with dependent origination and the Madhyamaka Prasangika view - there are no cessations, as there is no acceptance of the inherent existence of arisings.
If emptiness applies to all such arisings one has consequently also absorbed all cessations.

There's much more to it, but nothing online I can point at. Wink
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Re: Consciousness

Post by Dharanidhar on Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:39 pm

Edit:

In more mundane terms, if we deal with the causes of suffering so that it no longer arises, there will be no consequent cessation either.

As we only suffer because we accept the causes as 'real', once we accept that they are empty of that 'reality', our suffering will no longer arise or cease - hence the cessations are absorbed in the process of eliminating arising.

More of a Möbius strip than a linear process with a defined start or finish. Wink
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Re: Consciousness

Post by Element on Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:39 pm

Drolma wrote:I'm puzzled by the "cessation of consciousness" part because with liberation our consciousness changes, right?
The word 'cessation' is derived from the Pali word 'nirodha'.

This was defined in the First Sermon of the Buddha and always maintains its meaning of 'the cessation of dukkha'.
"And what, friends, is the noble truth of dukkha nirodha? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release & letting go of that very craving."
Thus the cessation of consciousness is the cessation of any suffering & craving connected with consciousness. This is accurately expressed in the Upaya Sutta as follows:
"If a monk abandons craving for the element of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of craving, the support is cut off and there is no landing of consciousness. Consciousness, thus not having landed, not increasing, not concocted, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
The Venerable Ajahn Buddhadasa, who was both a Theravada monk and regarded as Thailand's foremost Buddhist scholar, has suggested the term 'quenching' more accurately fits 'nirodha'. Quenching implies the fires of defilement have extinguished and the thirst of craving (literally, tanha = thirst) has appeased. Thus, what remains is the coolness & freedom of Nibbana.
Now, we come to step fifteen, nirodhanupassi, studying and contemplating the quenching of attachment. Observe the cessation of attachment, the non-existence of attachment while breathing in and breathing out. We can observe quenching or cessation from a variety of perspectives: the quenching of attachment to "self"; the quenching of selfishness; the quenching of greed, anger, and delusion, and the quenching of all experiences of dukkha. All of them occur with the quenching of attachment. There are many forms of nirodha.

Thus we realize the voidness or non-existence of attachment through the quenching, disappearing, and ending of attachment. We experience the absence of attachment, in any of the aspects men­tioned above, while we breathe in and breathe out. Or more simply, we drink, taste, and savour the flavor of nibbana. Nirodha and nibbana are synonyms. We can use them interchangeably. Thus, to contemplate the quenching of attachment is to contemplate nibbana.

Anapanasati
Thus, we hold the term 'cessation of consciousness' is inaccurate, that the terms 'quenching' or 'cooling of consciousness' are more fitting.

Kind regards,

Element


Last edited by Element on Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Consciousness

Post by retrofuturist on Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:46 am

Greetings Dhar,
Dharanidhar wrote:The advanced meaning is that tied up with dependent origination and the Madhyamaka Prasangika view - there are no cessations, as there is no acceptance of the inherent existence of arisings.
If emptiness applies to all such arisings one has consequently also absorbed all cessations

Hmmm... that's an interesting thing to say in a Theravada sub-forum.

Metta,
Retro. Smile

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Re: Consciousness

Post by Element on Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:04 am

Part II

Consciousness functions, arises & ceases dependent upon sense organs.

Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact.

Dependent on ear & sounds, ear-consciousness arises...

Dependent on nose & aromas, nose-consciousness arises...

Dependent on tongue & flavors, tongue-consciousness arises...

Dependent on body & tactile sensations, body-consciousness arises...

Dependent on mind & ideas, mind-consciousness (mano-vinnana) arises. The meeting of the three is contact.

MN 18
Good, bhikkhus. It is good that you understand in this way the dhamma taught by me. For in many discourses I have stated that consciousness is dependently arisen, since without a condition consciousness does not come into being.

Bhikkhus, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition (paccaya) dependent upon which it arises.

When consciousness arises dependent on eye and forms, it is reckoned as eyeconsciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on ear and sounds, it is reckoned as earconsciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on nose and odours, it is reckoned as noseconsciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on tongue and flavours, it is reckoned as tongueconsciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on body and tangibles, it is reckoned as bodyconsciousness; when consciousness arises dependent on mind and phenomena (dhammas), it is reckoned as mind-consciousness.

Just as fire is reckoned by the particular condition dependent on which it burns - when fire burns dependent on logs, it is reckoned as a log fire; when fire burns dependent on sticks, it is reckoned as a stick fire; when fire burns dependent on grass, it is reckoned as a grass fire; when fire burns dependent on cowdung, it is reckoned as a cowdung fire; when fire burns dependent on chaff, it is reckoned as a chaff fire; when fire burns dependent on rubbish, it is reckoned as a rubbish fire - so too, consciousness is reckoned by the particular condition dependent on which it arises.

MN 38
If anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self,' that would not be tenable. The arising & falling away of the eye are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it would not be tenable if anyone were to say, 'The eye is the self.' So the eye is not-self.

If anyone were to say, 'Forms are the self,' that would not be tenable...Thus the eye is not-self and forms are not-self.

If anyone were to say, 'Consciousness at the eye is the self,' that would not be tenable. The arising & falling away of consciousness at the eye are discerned. And when its arising & falling away are discerned, it would follow that 'My self arises & falls away.' That's why it would not be tenable if anyone were to say, 'Consciousness at the eye is the self.' Thus the eye is not-self, forms are not-self, consciousness at the eye is not-self.

MN 148

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