Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 14, 2014 9:48 pm

Andrew108 wrote:We can take the negative emotion of pride as an example. We see clearly that fundamentally pride is also awareness/clarity/movement. Knowing this doesn't mean that it is O.K. to become proud or think that we can now use pride to dominate other people. That it doesn't matter if we are proud. If we hold this view then we are denying movement. Movement is natural non-fixation. Denying natural non-fixation is grasping. Grasping is..... and so on. But none of this praxis is effected by the idea that cognition is in the brain.
So which part of the brain does pride reside in? Envy? Greed? Ignorance? Etc... Find them, cut them out, and be free! :shrug:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed May 14, 2014 10:17 pm

Which part of the mind does pride reside in?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Wayfarer » Wed May 14, 2014 10:20 pm

Where does the number 7 reside?

Ridiculous question, of course. But similar to asking where the mind is located.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 14, 2014 10:37 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Which part of the mind does pride reside in?
Exactly! Finally you are starting to understand.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed May 14, 2014 11:03 pm

You haven't really understood what I have been saying so I will give you an analogy. If you listen to your heart beating then you hear the sound of the heart beat. The heart beat is happening in the heart. But if I ask you where exactly in the heart is the heartbeat you will struggle to give me a precise location. So should I now think that the heartbeat is not in the heart but is somewhere else perhaps in a mysterious thing called mind? A thing which is not a thing. That can't be located. No. I just reason that my heartbeat is a product of the functioning of my heart.
Last edited by Andrew108 on Wed May 14, 2014 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 14, 2014 11:04 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Which part of the mind does pride reside in?


Pride is a mental factor (caitta) that arises with the mind (citta), it is not located "in" the mind. Actually it is "in" the dharmadhātu.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 14, 2014 11:08 pm

Andrew108 wrote: But if I ask you where exactly in the heart is the heartbeat? Yo will struggle to give me a precise location.


Not at all:

Each beat of the heart involves five major stages. The first two stages, often considered together as the "ventricular filling" stage, involve the movement of blood from the atria into the ventricles. The next three stages involve the movement of blood from the ventricles to the pulmonary artery (in the case of the right ventricle) and the aorta (in the case of the left ventricle)...The fourth stage, "ventricular ejection," is when the ventricles are contracting and emptying, and the semilunar valves are open. During the fifth stage, "isovolumic relaxation time", pressure decreases, no blood enters the ventricles, the ventricles stop contracting and begin to relax, and the semilunar valves close due to the pressure of blood in the aorta.

The fourth and fifth stage is where that actual "beat" that you feel exists.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 14, 2014 11:11 pm

Andrew108 wrote:You haven't really understood what I have been saying so I will give you an analogy. If you listen to your heart beating then you hear the sound of the heart beat. The heart beat is happening in the heart. But if I ask you where exactly in the heart is the heartbeat you will struggle to give me a precise location. So should I now think that the heartbeat is not in the heart but is somewhere else perhaps in a mysterious thing called mind? A thing which is not a thing. That can't be located. No. I just reason that my heartbeat is a product of the functioning of my heart.
There is no heart beat, there is an experience which is felt by the body and processed and labeled by the mind. You cannot find the heart beat, nor can you locate it, because there is no heart beat.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed May 14, 2014 11:19 pm

Malcolm you haven't given a precise location you have given a general location. So now you understand the analogy? You haven't been able to say exactly where because the heartbeat 'happens' in different places within the same organ. But you can still give the heartbeat a genral location. You know it is not happening in your big toe or just in your left ventricle.
Last edited by Andrew108 on Wed May 14, 2014 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Wed May 14, 2014 11:20 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:You haven't really understood what I have been saying so I will give you an analogy. If you listen to your heart beating then you hear the sound of the heart beat. The heart beat is happening in the heart. But if I ask you where exactly in the heart is the heartbeat you will struggle to give me a precise location. So should I now think that the heartbeat is not in the heart but is somewhere else perhaps in a mysterious thing called mind? A thing which is not a thing. That can't be located. No. I just reason that my heartbeat is a product of the functioning of my heart.
There is no heart beat, there is an experience which is felt by the body and processed and labeled by the mind. You cannot find the heart beat, nor can you locate it, because there is no heart beat.


Wow.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby LastLegend » Wed May 14, 2014 11:24 pm

What does "located" mean?

Calling Oushi. :lol:
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 14, 2014 11:29 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Malcolm you haven't given a precise location you have given a general location. So now you understand the analogy? You haven't been able to say exactly where because the heartbeat 'happens' in different places within the same organ. But you can still give the heartbeat a genral location. You know it is not happening in your big toe or just in your left ventricle.


No, it happens exactly when the ventricles eject their contents and that is also where.
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http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Wayfarer » Thu May 15, 2014 12:05 am

I think this whole conversation exhibits a kind of 'category error'.

Mind is not really analogous to a heartbeat. A heartbeat is a simple physiological signal which does have a definite location.

Whilst human cognitive functions involve the brain, it is problematical to then claim that mind is solely something in the brain or produced by the brain. Among other things, this can't explain such phenomena as near-death experiences, telepathy and remote viewing, and past-life memories, amongst other things. There is ample documentary evidence for such phenomena.

I think it is more useful and realistic to acknowledge that 'mind' is something that must always escape precise definition, on the basis that such things as definitions depend on mind, rather than vice versa. The instinctively naturalistic approach is always to try and locate phenomena in time and space, but it is the mind which provides that very framework. This is not only the province of Buddhism or paranormal research; philosophers such as Edmund Husserl have made the same point. But getting that point is very much a matter of a change in perspective - like a gestalt shift or something of that nature.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby 5heaps » Thu May 15, 2014 2:00 am

Andrew108 wrote:Which ever path we follow the direct experience of the mind or cognition is the same. What is uncovered is the same. It is only when our beliefs get in the way (path beliefs) that there is a problem. We don't trust our direct experience. We think we need to adopt a belief system to chase mind out of hiding. We need a teacher of course. That is a fact. But we needn't accept everything the teacher says. What we need to accept are the methods he gives us for getting this direct experience of mind/cognition. But that is another issue entirely.


the direct perception of clarity and knowing is the direct experience of the mind part. assuming it is located in and is a part of the brain is an added belief thats not necessary

its a thought/concept with no scientific or meditative direct observation. its also doesnt make any slight sense logically. i'd be uncomfortable holding such a shaky position
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 15, 2014 10:27 am

Andrew108 wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:You haven't really understood what I have been saying so I will give you an analogy. If you listen to your heart beating then you hear the sound of the heart beat. The heart beat is happening in the heart. But if I ask you where exactly in the heart is the heartbeat you will struggle to give me a precise location. So should I now think that the heartbeat is not in the heart but is somewhere else perhaps in a mysterious thing called mind? A thing which is not a thing. That can't be located. No. I just reason that my heartbeat is a product of the functioning of my heart.
There is no heart beat, there is an experience which is felt by the body and processed and labeled by the mind. You cannot find the heart beat, nor can you locate it, because there is no heart beat.


Wow.
I'm just the messenger. Don't shoot me. Take it up with the boss. Anyway, it has been explained to you numerous times: Buddhism is not Materialism so why does my statement surprise you?

So where is the confused and surprised portion of the brain, so we can remove that bit too?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Andrew108 » Thu May 15, 2014 10:53 am

Sherab Dorje wrote: There is no heart beat, there is an experience which is felt by the body and processed and labeled by the mind. You cannot find the heart beat, nor can you locate it, because there is no heart beat.


Sherab Dorje wrote:I'm just the messenger. Don't shoot me. Take it up with the boss. Anyway, it has been explained to you numerous times: Buddhism is not Materialism so why does my statement surprise you?

So where is the confused and surprised portion of the brain, so we can remove that bit too?


You are a messenger? Like someone carrying a letter who doesn't really understand it's contents? I don't mean to sound hostile but I don't think that it's a good idea to adopt a set of beliefs that you can only really play with intellectually. It seems more worthwhile to have actual experiences.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 15, 2014 11:18 am

Andrew108 wrote:You are a messenger? Like someone carrying a letter who doesn't really understand it's contents? I don't mean to sound hostile but I don't think that it's a good idea to adopt a set of beliefs that you can only really play with intellectually. It seems more worthwhile to have actual experiences.
You are not sounding hostile but you are sounding obnoxious and rude. I do believe you have taken the metaphor a little to far. I am well aware of the contents of the message and my experience serves to verify the contents. BUT, I am not egotistical enough to believe that these are my ideas. Even the Buddha admitted that the teachings he gave were not his, but the wisdom from past Buddhas, that he rediscovered.

Take materialism, for example. It is not a new (modern) theory at all. Neither is the scientific method. Etc...
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby monktastic » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:17 am

I feel compelled to continue riffing on the analogy of the jelly bean dream. Again, the premise is that you're in a dream, in which people's heads are filled with jelly beans instead of neurons. The activity of these jelly beans correlates very closely with people's verbal reports.

I want you to really imagine being in this dream. Notice a few things:

* You are sure that you are awake.
* You use the very same capacities you are using here. You gather data, make hypotheses, draw conclusions.

So:
* There is some degree of correlation beyond which it would be irrational not to admit that conscious experience is caused by jelly beans. Being a rational person, you accept this as a truth about nature.

And this is an entirely reasonable thing to do. The most reasonable, in fact.

And yet, if you can imagine finding this conclusion somehow unsatisfactory, you will have an inkling of what I feel here and now. I may be in denial about the incontrovertible material causes of experience, just as I would be in that dream. But I'm much more interested in immersing myself in the beauty of this experience than pinning down the "cause" of it. Whether it "takes place" in jelly beans or in neurons, experience is just itself.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:45 am

Oh Hi Monktastic. I see the latent karmic seeds of this thread have lead to another birth. That is to be expected, I guess.

* You are sure that you are awake.


That never (or very rarely) comes up for me in dreams. I can hardly ever remember asking myself in a dream 'hey is this just a dream, or am I really awake?' If I did ask myself that, I can't remember what I thought. Whereas now, sitting here, I can contemplate the notion that 'I might be dreaming' and then note a number of things that mitigate against that probability, for instance the continuity of experience, the responses of others to my actions, and so on.
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Re: Mahamudra meditation problem: locating the mind

Postby monktastic » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:19 am

Interesting. I have the experience commonly. Though many times it leads to lucidity, at least as often I get false positives. In fact I had a particularly surprising and comical case of it last night -- where I became lucid, performed some magic, and then "remembered" that this was normal and hence not a dream.

In fact all of one's safeguards can be effectively stymied -- for example, by filling in memories to provide for continuity; reasoning being slightly altered to match expectations; dream characters being produced to supply external validation; etc. Note that these things also happen in waking cases of schizophrenia and other dementia.

Perhaps if one does not have extensive first-hand experience with these oddities, one cannot fathom how one could be entirely sure of something as fundamental as being awake, and yet be wrong. But surely you can admit its possibility.

So the argument is somewhat subtle. It is not simply "well you could be dreaming right now." It is intended to have you compare the experience of certainty in that situation with the certainty in this one, and see that they are fundamentally identical. If I can look for the location of the mind and arrive at certainty that it is located in the brain, and I can achieve the same degree of certainty with respect to jelly beans in another context, then what good is such certainty?

What I've gained from my practice is not that at all. But YMMV.
This undistracted state of ordinary mind
Is the meditation.
One will understand it in due course.

--Gampopa
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