Sunday, November 28
Choice Quotes from Who Is My Self?
Again, from "Who Is My Self?" by Ven. Ayya Khema, Ch. 13, "Path and Fruition" -- emphasis added.
From p. 158,
We know how quick a mind-moment is. The knowing and the relief take two, at the most three, moments. The relief, the release, the tears can last and perhaps turn into bliss later on, if it does not happen straightaway. The knowing arises immeditately and when it does, we realize what we have practiced for. There may even be a feeling of having actually lost weight, as if the body had become much lighter. In fact it is the mind which has lightened, but the mind greatly influences the body.
From p. 162, how to take the next step:
To take the next step, there are two things we should bring to mind over and over again; right view of "self" and, particularly, the remembrance of the moment of fruition. This will not have such an impact as when if first occurred but will certainly bring back the feeling of relief and joy. Both are needed and must be brought up as often as possible.
Also from pp.162-163, on review-knowledge [what S. would call investigating whatever's coming up]:
These [honestly looking at the hindrances & fetters?] are examples of what is called "review-knowledge," especially useful after any of the jhanas. At that time, when the mind is pure and translucent, we bring up the feeling of the moment of fruition and then review our whole understanding of the fallacy of selfhood. We neeed to internalize this fallacy many times with the recognition that there is no longer any wish to cherish it.
And from p.164, what is the still point?:
A once-returner can expect to have a path moment that is similar to, but not identical with, the previous one, and that in any case defies description, followed by a similar, but not identical fruit-moment. The jittery feeling is, in most instances, no longer apparent. Utter relief arises, but usually no tears. It can be extremely blissful, though this need not happen immediately. Again the mind has touched upon a moment of nothingness, which is an actual experience. It is not that bodies, trees, houses, cars, roads, bushes, and mountains do not exist. On the relative level they do. But on an absolute level they are particles of energy that come together and fall apart. They come together in certain forms and creat phenomena. The moment of nothing is the experience fo that one moment when everything has fallen apart and has not yet arisen again.
From pp. 166-167, on why the aspiration should be to arahantship, not to non-return:
The non-returner has to review the remaining fetters and find out whether there is any wish for rebirth in hte higher realms. This could manifest as a wish for everything to be pleasant and agreeable; a wish not to be confronted by anything containing dukkha. Of course this is also a very human attitude, but for the non-returner it is more. It becomes a kind of inner drive, for the fine-material and formless realms are said to consist of nothing but sukha, happiness. The feeling can be quite strong, and has to be recognized. The subtle remainder of self has to be seen for what it is. The Buddha warned against the desire to be born in higher realms because, once there, we stay for countless eons. This is why gods imagine themselves to be eternal. In the human realm, we have the constant incentive of dukkha to spur us on, but for the non-returner, once in those Brahma realms, experiencing no dukkha, it would be very hard to take the last step. This is why the Buddha said such a desire is detrimental to our practice.