Nibbana remains not Vinnana

And another thing…

When we’re trying to understand a subtle thing like Nibbana, we should know from the beginning that we can’t really capture it in words. Heck, I can’t even describe the taste of pesto, what hope Nibbana?

That doesn’t mean we should despair or just not even try. It means that we should have a reasonable humility. And it means that we shouldn’t muck up the few clear facts that we do have – like the fact that the Buddha spoke countless times of how all forms of vinnana are impermanent and suffering and not-self.

Another of the clear facts that we have is the basic distinction between Nibbana in this life and Nibbana after death. Consciousness still operates as long as life lasts, no more. Here I will set out the basic facts, for simplicity treating only the full Awakening of an arahant.

We can distinguish the following aspects.

1. The event of Awakening. This happens once only, when a person penetrates the truth and abandons all defilements. At that moment they have a clear vision of the four noble truths, and the impossibility of them being reborn. This is a conscious experience of utmost clarity and brilliance. Since the third noble truth is Nibbana, this event involves an awareness of Nibbana. This is primarily described as Nibbana in the sense of the ending of defilements.

2. The mind of an arahant. After Awakening, the arahant lives every day in mindfulness and peace. They are fully aware, fully conscious. Nibbana is ever-present in the sense that there is never any greed, hatred, or delusion. But the mind otherwise functions as normal – thinking, feeling, experiencing, remembering, imagining, and so on. An arahant is not continuously aware of the 4 truths, but will clearly perceive them whenever she turns her mind to them.

3. The meditative attainment of arahant-fruition. This is a profound meditative immersion accessible only to arahants. It is somewhat controversial, but has some basis in the Suttas. It is clear, however, that consciousness is still operating here: it is different from the cessation of perception and feeling.

All the above aspects pertain to the living arahant, and in all of them it is uncontroversial to say that there is consciousness – in fact all 5 aggregates.

Then there is the state of the arahant after death, sometimes called ‘parinibbana’, more technically ‘anupadisesanibbana’, ‘Nibbana without residue’. It is here that all forms of conscious experience, inclusive of the 5 aggregates, or citta, or whatever you wish to call it, stop utterly and finally. This is clear and unambiguous in the Suttas.

When passages such as the ‘anidassana vinnana’ or the ‘pabhassara citta’ are invoked to lend support for the notion that Nibbana is an eternal cosmic awareness that survives the death of an arahant, the first question we should ask is, ‘Do these phrases actually refer clearly to the state of an arahant after death?’ If they don’t, they are irrelevant to the problem. We all agree that an arahant is conscious before their death.

Arguments for the ‘eternal-consciousness Nibbana’ almost invariably tend to slip from talking about the citta or vinnana in this life to the state after death. It is a subtle sleight of hand, which pivots on the ambiguity of the term Nibbana, and is hidden by the conceptual fog that mere mention of the term evokes. Read the Wikipedia article for a good example of how this works.

Nibbana is an enigma, elusive, threatening, uncompromising. It will never be tamed, no matter how hard we try to pretend that it’s something like something. It’s not. It’s nothing like anything.

24 thoughts on “Nibbana remains not Vinnana

    • Hi Ajahn Suato,

      i have been listening to a talk by (Ayya?) Kemma on the Jhanas, she refers to it not being but leading to path and fruit, do you know what she means by this, is it Nibbana?

      regards

      Daisy

    • Well, this is a bit misleading. Jhanas are the path (“samadhi maggo, asamadhi kummaggo”) or the culmination of the path, and their ‘fruit’ is the realization of the four noble truths.

      Ayya Khema seems to be relying on the (incorrect) commentarial notion that the ‘path’ in the ultimate sense is a ‘mind-moment’ that flashes by just before realizing stream entry.

    • Hi Ajahn Sujato

      …..or maybe she doesn’t say that, does she say that? Maybe I misunderstood ..anyway thanks for setting me straight but what is the path?

      Are the Jhanas the way or a way to Nibbana/awakening?

      Regards

      Daisy

    • …sorry that last post doesn’t really make sense.

      Just to clarify:

      (1) Are Jhanas a way to Nibbana?
      (2)What is meant by the path exactly
      (3) and what is meant by the fruit?

    • Hi Daisy,

      I’ve listened to Ayya Khema for quite a few years and have also read her books and transcripts. I have found her very clear, consistent, and well-rounded in the way she presents and explains the practice. Almost all of her retreats (the ones in English that I have listened to) are structured on Suttas from the Nikayas. Though she also sometimes reads out commentarial anecdotes or details for purposes of clarification or interest, those are not always essential for us to verify in order to know what we actually have to do and where it is we’re trying to go.

      After listening to almost all of her talks available in English, her basic teaching, to me at least, seems very clear. While being the first western teacher to teach jhanas, she repeatedly said that meditation is not the WHOLE path — and she explained that by saying one cannot sit down on a pillow whenever one wants and expect to get meditative results WITHOUT taking up the entire training (sila/samadhi/panna) and making the spiritual life one’s whole aim, imbuing one’s whole life with the practice. She also reminded us that while jhanas are indispensable to gaining deep insight, the liberation of jhanas, in themselves, are not the end of suffering and rebirth — rather that those liberating experiences were necessary as they would lead one to realizing the four noble truths, and thus reach some stage of liberation.

      Ayya Khema emphasized, as Aj. Brahm does (I know you listen to Aj. Brahm, so I’m referencing him), that the Eight-fold Path is the Path. However, Ayya Khema also emphasized, as Aj. Brahm does, that without Jhanas (which is the eighth-factor of the eightfold path, samma-samadhi) the path is not complete — which is to say, even if we’re doing everything right by virtue and know the Dhamma intellectually, it is not enough to liberate us, hence the oft quoted Dhammapada verse given by Bhante Sujato.

      My notes from one of Aj. Brahm’s talks about the eight-factor, samma-samatha (repeatedly explained as the jhanas in the suttas) and it’s connection to Nibbana (I repeat, these are MY notes, liable to inaccuracies which I am wholly responsible for!): “Sabbasankhara-SAMATHA is a synonym for Nibbana. Letting go is called samatha, quieting to the point of cessation. We can understand samatha by looking at it’s practical application in the seven ways of settling business in the Sangha (sat-adhikarana-samatha, from Vinaya), the seven ways of dealing with issues, settling them, so they no longer have to be talked about anymore, so they’re gone, any type of business you have to do, once you’ve dealt with it, it’s gone. So you can get some idea what the meaning is in meditation and Dhamma. Samatha is not attaching (some people are afraid of getting “attached” to the joys of meditation) or concentrating (force or willpower), it means the complete opposite: you have some business to be done and you want to get rid of it, you want to let it go, bring it to cessation, bring it to an end, that’s the meaning of samatha. All body, all mind, all khandhas ceasing, sabbasankharaSAMATHA. Once something is resolved it disappears, the issue is gone, finished, no longer exists.”

      From A. IX. 36: ‘This, truly, is Peace, this is the Highest, namely the end of all kamma formations (sabbasankharaSAMATHO), the forsaking of every substratum of rebirth (sabbupadhipatinissaggo), the fading away of craving (tanhakkhayo), detachment/dispassion (virago), extinction/cessation (nirodho), Nibbana. And in this state he reaches the ‘cessation of passions’.

      Briefly, I would say (but please check these out with the suttas themselves, we are so lucky to have the actual texts available these days, only a click away to the Dhamma!! And perhaps other people can correct anything written here that is misleading or wrong, or provide better references.)

      1) Jhanas are “the way” to Nibbana in that they are an indispensable PART of the the Eight-Fold Path. All of the following Dhammapada verses refer to the Way or Path as Eight-Fold Path.

      Verse 273: “Of all the paths the Eightfold Path is the best; of all the truths the Four Noble Truths are the best; of all things passionlessness is the best: of men the Seeing One (the Buddha) is the best.”

      Verse 274. “This is the only path; there is none other for the purification of insight. Tread this path, and you will bewilder Mara.”

      Verse 275. “Walking upon this path you will make an end of suffering. Having discovered how to pull out the thorn of lust, I make known the path.”

      Again, these all refer to the Eight-fold Path, and Jhanas are part of this Path!

      2) Most often usage of the Path refers to the Eight-fold Path — the Sammanaphala sutta or Potthapada sutta (both of which Ayya Khema has structured entire retreats on!) goes through the complete path of training with it’s details and elaborations. As Bhante Sujato wrote, the commentarial idea of Path and Fruit (as marking distinct paths to stages of liberation) is not accurate nor defined clearly in the suttas … and probably not essential info for us in our actual practice, that is to say, it doesn’t take away anything important, nor does it add anything really useful (but I could be missing something here). From my notes on Aj. Brahm’s talks (again, MY notes, I’m responsible if it’s misleading): it can take many, many years before fruition occurs. How do you know you’re on the path? You don’t really know until you reach the goal that you were on the path. If you’ve really got faith, don’t argue with it, just go and do it! Or if you’ve got some wisdom and understanding, you do it! Eightfold path! (Three places the Buddha said we should venerate/remember: the place where you went forth, the place where you became stream-enterer, the place where the asavas are completely eradicated! THOSE are very definite and clear.)” And those are all places where great “Letting Go’s” take place, that is all — which to me sums up the whole deal quite nicely and clearly!

      3) Meant by “fruit” are the stages or ‘attainments’ of liberation where the fetters (ten fetters, samyojanas) that bind us to the round of rebirths are gradually let go of, abandoned, seen through. There’s lots of info online (see references below), or perhaps someone will offer more clarification if they have time and you’re interested. Basically each stage of liberation has it’s Path and Fruit, i.e., you can be on the path to stream-entry, or you have attained the fruit of stream-entry. For myself, knowing what the fetters are is more practical and interesting than what the Path and Fruit moments are, because those moments are supposedly what happens when we fully have abandoned the fetters! So, what stands out to me is the consistent trend of letting go and the vanishing of all sense of self (possession and possessor, doer and knower): the more we have abandoned, let go of, or seen through with wisdom, the more free. But where we have to look and what we have to really get to know is where or what we’re still assuming a self, a me or mine, happiness or permanence, etc.

      Might want to check out “Word of the Buddha” (http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/wordofbuddha.pdf) by Ven Nyanatiloka as it gives a very succinct outline of the whole path of training and answers your questions mostly using quotes from suttas. And you can go through the book with Aj. Brahm’s accompanying talks if you go to BSWA’s “Deeper Dhamma” downloads! On the whole it’s a really great book and excellent prompt for one’s Dhamma studies! And Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s The Noble Eight-Fold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering” (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html). Again, so many suttas to reference, Sammanaphala Sutta (DN.2), and Potthapada Sutta (DN.9).

      I hope this clarifies rather than adds to any misunderstanding or confusion.

      All best in the Dhamma ~

    • Hi analeya,

      I am presuming that Ajahn Sujato agrees with what you have said and wish to say thank you very much for that explanation, I will read it more thoroughly when I have a bit more time tomorrow.

      Kind Regards

      Daisy

  1. Dear Analeya,

    Thanks yo for your well-expounded posting. If you have it, could you please give me the sutta reference for the following:
    “Three places the Buddha said we should venerate/remember: the place where you went forth, the place where you became stream-enterer, the place where the asavas are completely eradicated! THOSE are very definite and clear.”

    Thanks & much metta

    • Hello Linda:

      My comment was just pulled together from notes and memories of things I heard or read about from other teachers/sources – just a copy and paste job – I do NOT know these things by heart NOR do I understand them experientially, nor do I want to expound anything, I was just sharing notes as I would have done in school, and posting was a good prompt and review for me : )

      I am sorry I do not have any references for that (I took it from my notes on a talk) except to say that at an ordination I attended in 2008 (and from another ordination that I heard about) Aj. Brahm mentioned this, and it’s also in at least one of his talks. Perhaps someone may be able to pitch in as this is my last post. I really don’t even know where to start looking. However, it seems those three mark major milestones on the path.

      1) “Going forth” into the ordained Sangha marks a major change/shift in one’s external life, enabling one to pull one’s energy inward and dedicate one’s time to meditation/contemplation.

      2) Reaching stream entry marks another major change/shift in one’s development. Ven. Thanissaro writes “the term ‘stream’ in ‘stream-entry’ refers to the point where all eight factors of the noble eightfold path come together” — importantly, right view becomes ‘irreversibly’ established through direct seeing/experience, thus one becomes part of the Ariyan Sangha, not liable to ‘fall back’.

      “To Upali the householder, as he was sitting right there, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation. Then — having seen the Dhamma, having reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more questioning — Upali the householder gained fearlessness and was independent of others with regard to the Teacher’s message. — MN 56″ (Ven. Thanissaro)

      “Part of what makes the arising of the Dhamma eye such a powerful experience is that the realization that “Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation” must follow on a glimpse of what stands in opposition to “all that is subject to origination,” i.e., a glimpse of the Unconditioned — deathlessness.” (Ven. Thanissaro)

      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/stream2.html

      3) And lastly, arahantship marks the end of the path, “done is what had to be done,” and parinibbana as the final going “OUT”, with nothing remaining.

      To Daisy: I would not presume that anyone agrees! Nor would that be necessarily helpful unless what’s said/written agrees with the Dhamma and Vinaya : ) Thanks to those, past and present, who have committed their lives to the Dhamma, and the accessibility of the teaching at this time. I was just fiddling around, copying and pasting notes, inspired by your questions! Please refer to the suttas for better clarification and you can decide for yourself.

      All best, Metta to All~

    • Hi Analaya

      I have just printed off that book you suggested. i think it looks good as an introductory read before getting into the Nikayas and Dhammapala etc.

      So basically Jhanas are part of the eight-fold path and the fruit is the four noble truths.

  2. Hello Sujato and all,
    “Ayya Khema seems to be relying on the (incorrect) commentarial notion that the ‘path’ in the ultimate sense is a ‘mind-moment’ that flashes by just before realizing stream entry.”

    If this notion is “incorrect” why it is being experienced by so many modern practitioners who describe it as a huge step in their practice which has the consequences laid down in the suttas.
    This is a sincere question because if these people are misguided it means that all the followers of Mahasi Sayadaw, Pa Auk Sayadaw and many others are totally wrong in their supposed attainments. The problem is why would they be wrong if their different path’s attainment (stream entry etc.) effects matches the sutta’s ones.

    Dear Ajahn Sujato or any other practictioner have you or have you not already had an experience such as those described here ? :

    http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2010/12/testimonies-of-equanimity-and-stream.html

    As a warning this is coming from practitioners who are following the so called insight traditions and so are using part of the commentarial terminology, in case you don’t understand one expression i would be happy to explain it. Also this is coming from western practitioners who are trying to describe the effects of practice in the most down to earth and honest possible way i hope it won’t be too shocking to read for practitioners more accustomed to traditional ways of attending these matters

    Also i have a second question but it might not the right place to ask. I am a follower of the noting practice which of course i found deeply efficient. In one of your posts i found this :
    “I remember my confusion, as in the Majjhima Nikaya I could find no mention of the noting technique, the vipassana ñāṇas, and all the other aspects of the technique I had been taught”
    as this is totally right in english when you read the Pali the noting make much more sense, i think you talked a little bit about this famous “iti” in some post but i can’t find it again. Anyway here is a very interesting post on the subject from a blog which is also interesting ( it’s not mine)

    http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/iti-and-sallakkheti/

    As i am french i am sorry if my writing seems awkward to read, i really hope you will answers these two questions as i think they are of great importance if we want to have a thorough understanding of buddhism and its Path.
    Please keep in mind that I don’t mean to cause any fires but that i am just very curious and you seemed to know very well these matters.
    Nicolas

    • Hi Nicolas,

      Thanks once more for your sincere inquiries, i really appreciate your honesty and openness. But I’m afraid i don’t have too much more to say at the moment. I think the Hamilton project is a worthy attempt to get meditators talking honestly about their experiences. And if they find their path is one of opening and growth for them, then I can only wish that they will find all the blessings that they seek.

      But I have long ago given up the game of trying to guess what different meditators are experiencing and how it should all be ‘worked out’. There are just too many complexities and subjective factors. For myself I just try to figure out what the Buddha taught, and when I follow that it seems to work out well. I do critiques of certain aspects of later Buddhism, because for me this has been an essential part of my quest to distinguish what the Buddha actually taught. There are some others in the same situation, and they seem to find this valuable, too, so that is gratifying for me.

  3. Sorry of course the second question is, do you think the noting practice has some solid ground in the suttas and is a practice leading to wisdom as the proponents of its practice claim?. Or do you think this practice has no ground at all in the suttas and is not leading to wisdom contrary to what its proponents claim?

    Thank you for reading i wish an excellent day full of metta.

    Nicolas

  4. Hello Ajahn Sujato,
    I first wanted to thank you for the quality of your posts and writings. But i still have two questions.
    You write :
    “Ayya Khema seems to be relying on the (incorrect) commentarial notion that the ‘path’ in the ultimate sense is a ‘mind-moment’ that flashes by just before realizing stream entry.”
    What i don’t understand is why if the commentarial tradition is wrong there are so many practitioners who experiments those flashes and its aftereffects (decrease of suffering etc…) ? Are they totally deluded in thinking that they reached stream entry ?
    On this link there are some testimonies of people who have reached this state, i’d like to know if as on the theory side there is disagreement between the commentarial and the suttas tradition, maybe on the experience side there might be an agreement, maybe as an advanced practitioner you have also experienced it ?

    http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com/2010/12/testimonies-of-equanimity-and-stream.html

    I have a second question but this might not be the right place to ask. I am a follower of the noting practice which of course i found deeply efficient. In one of your posts I’ve found this :
    “I remember my confusion, as in the Majjhima Nikaya I could find no mention of the noting technique, the vipassana ñāṇas, and all the other aspects of the technique I had been taught”
    as this is totally right in english, when you read the Pali the noting make much more sense, i think you talked a little bit about this famous “iti” in some post but i can’t find it again.
    Anyway here is a very interesting post on the subject from an intersting blog :

    http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/iti-and-sallakkheti/

    So having read this do you think the noting has no ground in the suttas and does not lead to panna or can you recognize in the pali suttas instruction on noting technique ?

    As i’m french excuse me for any mistakes i could have made. Understand that i don’t wish to cause any fires here but you seem to be very learned on these matters and i hope you can help me to answers these questions.

    Nicolas

    • Dear Nicolas,

      Thanks for your questions. Let me say first up that having practiced Mahasi technique I have no doubt that it can be beneficial. My own policy is that if a meditator is happily practicing a technique, then I encourage them to continue.

      The question of the relation between text and experience is a difficult one, which is not limited to any single meditation method: all approaches to practice must deal with the same thing. Because of this it is, I believe, essential that when we are inquiring that we learn to distance the text from experience, to understand the text on its own terms, and the experience on its own terms, before beibg in a rush to identify any experience with a particular doctrinal statement.

      The notion that the Buddha did not teach a one mind-moment path and so on is not a hypothesis: it is a well established historical fact. The idea of a one mind-moment path is not attested until 900 years later in the Visuddhimagga. Since i have faith that the Buddha taught the way to Awakening, I do not believe that such matters are important to the path.

      Regarding the testimony of individuals, this is always very difficult to interpret. Christians say they see Christ in meditation, Hindus say they become one with the cosmic brahman, abhidhammists say they see mind moments. In all these cases there is obviously some experience, which is genuinely felt by the meditator to be a positive, transformative one. The problem is how this is interpreted. I don’t believe in mind moments, based on the Suttas, my own experience, and on my understanding of the philosophy of time. So I think these meditators are probably seeing something, but I don’t know what it is. However, i have not studied such cases in detail, so this is purely a personal opinion, not a judgement on people’s spiritual development.

      Incidentally, modern Burmese orthodoxy states that the mind moments can only be seen by Buddhas and great disciples….

      Regarding the ‘iti’ article, this is, it is quite true, likely to be the source of the modern Mahasi noting technique. However it is an over-literal interpretation of the idiom.

      The basic meaning of iti is ‘thus'; it therefore functions to objectify, to put ‘in quote marks’, and hence comes to be used as a marker for direct speech. In meditation it has a reflective sense which does not, and indeed often cannot, be interpreted literally as ‘inner speech’. Take for example such phrases as ‘ananto ākāso’ti ākāsānañcāyatanaṃ upasampajja viharati.’ which if we translate iti with quote marks, reads: “Space is infinite” – one enters and abides in the realm of infinite space…’

      One cannot be using ‘inner speech’ in the formless attainments, which proves that this is an idiom, not to be taken literally.

      This does not mean that noting should not be done – I do it. But i do it because it works, not because i think this is what ‘iti’ means.

  5. Hello again,
    well i have another question, let me know if you are bothered by my questions and if you think they don’t belong here.

    In the traditions following the commentarial way (Mahasi, Pa Auk…) assessing one’s progress is kind of easy, the path seems to unfold exactly as it was written down and you know when you have reach stream entry and other paths. The very good point is that it makes enlightenment an achievable goal ( in no way an easy one, but still stream entry is something doable) and i think it’s highly motivating. The down side is that there is a big risk that some people will start bragging about it and try to get things they don’t deserve. I guess this is why traditionally talking about one’s attainment is highly discouraged.
    So here is my question : in traditions following strictly the Nikayas are there any clear way to assess one’s Path attainment ( understand that i am not trying to get you out of the closet and tell how you reached stream entry or else, even if it you would be very interesting for the sake of understanding the unfolding of the Path according to different practices) or are you in the dark concerning these matters ?

    Thank you again for the time you are spending explaining these points

    Nicolas

    • Dear Nicolas,

      You are quite correct, the stages of development are laid out more clearly and explicitly in the commentarial literature, and this is one of the advantages of these systems, although not an unproblematic advantage due to the dangers of overestimation, or more generally simply ‘estimation’ – worrying about where you are on the path rather than simply walking it.

      As for the Suttas, there is no clear definition of ‘entry to the path for stream entry’, but I would suggest this: all of the path factors are present, including jhana, to a sufficient degree.

      For stream entry itself, this is more definite. there is a specific moment when one has a clear vision of the 4 noble truths, like ‘a flash of lightning in the thick of the night’. One can remember the time and place of this event without confusion. From then on there is no doubt regarding the path and the essential teachings.

    • Dear Ajahn Sujato,
      Thank you for your answer, i am very sorry but i am bold enough to ask you another question.
      Listening to a lot of teachers I came to the understanding that stream entry is not that rare. We have a lot of accounts from modern practitioners of the mahasi, Pa Auk, Goenka and others commentarial traditions. But we have very few (to my knowledge) of the pure Suttanta traditions ( I am not AT ALL trying to imply that there are less success in these traditions).
      As I totally understand that this is a highly sensitive subject I still think that the potential negative effects are far outweighed by the positive ones like : yes enlightenment is possible in this very life, strive for it and get rid of suffering so that you can help others truly, this is what it looks like… instead of being kept in the dark, being fed with amazing stories of god-like beings.
      It is in this spirit that i would like to know more about this “specific moment when one has a clear vision of the 4 noble truths, like ‘a flash of lightning in the thick of the night”. Can you describe the preceding moments leading to this experience ? Were you all the time perfectly conscious or was there a kind of disconnection followed by a rebooting of consciousness accompagnied by waves of bliss ? What was this “clear vision”, an unshakable intellectual understanding of it ?, or something like experiencing phenomena in a distinct way ? Are you able to call again this moment to re-experience it ? What were the consequences of this experiences ? Easier access to the dhyanas ?, an unshakable faith in the Dhamma ? A decrease of suffering ? Was it totally matching the suttas in the description of the weakening of the klesas ?

      Maybe, the fact that the practices and the terminologies used, leading to the experience of stream entry being different they are making the description of it and the very experience of it “colored” so that when we talk about it, it looks first different but if we look closely they might be of the same nature or at least bring the same results ?
      Well why not ?
      Let’s say you want to wash clothes and it’s the first time you are doing it. If you’re washing it in the river, the clothes will end up be clean. If you’re using the washing machine the clothes will end up be clean too. The result is the same but the path leading to it and the ” washing” will be different.
      In case these matters are too personal maybe you can indicate me a text or something but i think first person account is probably the best tool to understand in what way (in terms of experiences and not only of theory) these two traditions differ or correlates.
      Please keep in mind that i am not trying to hierarchise traditions, i think the dhamma has suffered enough from these things and maybe some openness and honesty will allow a sane flourishing of Buddhism in the west, avoiding the many traps it has already encountered in the East.

      Thank you for your time reading.

      Nicolas

    • Hi Nicholas,

      Not too sure if I am on the right track here, but I recently listened to some talks by a lay teacher, Patrick Kearney, who explains the relationship between the Masasi method and other forms of meditation. As well as being very knowledgeable, he is an excellent teacher, he follows the original teachings but also understands if or how other forms of meditation work because he has been trained in different forms.

      In my opinion anyway he is very understanding and mature in his practise, a talk on Satipattana Meditation on his website from the Govina Valley Retreat 2010 is excellent at explaining the relationship between the Masasi and breath meditation..

      Metta

  6. Hey Nicolas,

    One of my Dharma Brothers pointed me toward this thread. I am a contributor to the Hamilton Project. I see you are French, I just thought I would let you know that I am going to be working in Paris from June 1st to August 1st. If you would like to meet up I think it would be fun. you also might live in a different part of France, or overseas. Understand, I have not been endorsed nor sought endorsement as a teacher. But I always enjoy meetings others on the path face to face. Drop me a line, if you wish.

    ClaytonLightfoot@gmail.com

  7. To all those who are confused with weather the attainment is a moment or not, the answer is quiet simple. There is the path, which is gradual. Then there is fruit which occurs at milestones when we walk the path. The third noble truth wont make sense if one won’t “experience” the extinction of Dhukka. Someone, in a mundane state can experience lessened states of Dhukka, but only when one experience Nibbana, will one realize the complete extinction of Dhukka. The buddha expounded “Sathya nana” “Kruthya nana” “Krutha nana”, Sathya nana is knowing the truth with absolute clarity through experience. If one does not realize nibbana, the unconditioned and unformed (asankata), how can one claim it as a noble truth. Weather one reads commentaries or not, nibbana is to be realized, and it is realized as a fruit of walking the path.

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