about conditioning

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about conditioning

Postby yogin » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:13 am

I was thinking about the conditioning process of the mind. We all may experience the same thing but give it different meaning. It is the interpretation we impose on experience. I can see how this builds a complex picture that we may call reality.

How about the experiences without interpretation? From a buddhist perspective, is the sensual experience similar to us all or how is it guided by our conditioning?
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Re: about conditioning

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:22 am

yogin wrote:I was thinking about the conditioning process of the mind. We all may experience the same thing but give it different meaning. It is the interpretation we impose on experience. I can see how this builds a complex picture that we may call reality.

How about the experiences without interpretation? From a buddhist perspective, is the sensual experience similar to us all or how is it guided by our conditioning?


Uncertainity is a problem is it not.
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Re: about conditioning

Postby yogin » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:11 am

That's it?
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Re: about conditioning

Postby Silent Forest » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:25 pm

yogin wrote:How about the experiences without interpretation?

At which point would you say that one has reached experience without interpretation?

yogin wrote:From a buddhist perspective, is the sensual experience similar to us all or how is it guided by our conditioning?

I can´t recite any Buddhist texts, but according to my experience ;-) I´d say there parts which are similar for most humans, parts which are similar to groups (cultural) and a lot which are individual (influenced by personal experiences). I also see conditioned states as a kind of attachment which one often isn’t even aware of, which makes it quite hard to let go.
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Re: about conditioning

Postby Virgo » Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:59 pm

yogin wrote:I was thinking about the conditioning process of the mind. We all may experience the same thing but give it different meaning. It is the interpretation we impose on experience. I can see how this builds a complex picture that we may call reality.

How about the experiences without interpretation? From a buddhist perspective, is the sensual experience similar to us all or how is it guided by our conditioning?

I'll do my best to answer but this part of my Buddhist understanding comes mostly by my study of the Pali Abhidhamma and not the Mahayana Abhidharma per say.

We have defilements of mind such as attachment , aversion, and delusion. Experiences repeated create accumulated tendencies in the mind-stream which pass from citta to citta, or moment of arising mind to the next moment of arising mind . Therefore, each individual gets different habitual tendencies which are accumulated through time. These pass from moment of mind to moment of mind because the mantal factor sati can perceive what has happened in the past, and also because the citta itself is like a file. According to Pali Abhidhamma, there is no break up of mind moments at death-- one is immediately reborn and the citta "flows" all along, so accumulated tendencies are passed from lifetime to lifetime.

Again, from an Abhidhamma perspective, the objects we experience such as color or sound always arise whatever specific way they arise. We, as beings, can interpret them differently because the experience of say "table" is only conceptual. There is a sense door processes that see color, for example. These are interspersed by mind door processes consisting of many cittas that equate the seen object with "table" estimating it's shape and distance and so on.

I hope this helps.

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Re: about conditioning

Postby yogin » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:55 am

virgo wrote:Again, from an Abhidhamma perspective, the objects we experience such as color or sound always arise whatever specific way they arise. We, as beings, can interpret them differently because the experience of say "table" is only conceptual. There is a sense door processes that see color, for example. These are interspersed by mind door processes consisting of many cittas that equate the seen object with "table" estimating it's shape and distance and so on.


Silent forest wrote:At which point would you say that one has reached experience without interpretation?


Good question. Is there such point?

From that abhidhamma model I understood there is a sense experience which is interpreted by the mind. Is there such thing as pure sense experience which isn't affected by our conditioning and interpretation?
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Re: about conditioning

Postby Virgo » Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:06 am

yogin wrote:From that abhidhamma model I understood there is a sense experience which is interpreted by the mind. Is there such thing as pure sense experience which isn't affected by our conditioning and interpretation?

There is such thing as experience which is not affected by our conditioning and interpretation. But it's not "experience" as we conventionally use the word.

At this point, I have to pause though. This is The Way of the Bodhisattva Forum, and while Theravada Abhidhamma explanations are extremely important and enlightening, if it is going to be Abhidhamma/Abhidharma, this forum and the people in it truly deserve explanations from the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma, which at this point, I don't have the merit or understanding to explain properly.

Nevertheless, to answer your question, from an Abhidhamma perspective, nibbana, the unconditioned state can become the object of citta and its accompanying cetasikas (mental factors), and this removes afflictions (during Path moments). However, there are causes and conditions for this happening, namely the accumulation of the 10 perfections over long time periods.

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Re: about conditioning

Postby Silent Forest » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:57 pm

I´d say, one can definitely can overcome conscious interpretation. The unconscious part (eg. the brain filters a lot of the input which it receives and kind of preprocesses the input to make it easier to handle) usually remains. Trying to get rid of these filters may work to some extent, but probably isn´t good idea in daily situations. Then of course as everything else, also perception is interdependent.

If you´re a yogini (if I interpreted your nick right) you´ll probably not have this problem, but just to mention it: Just because people have different, incomplete or sometimes even wrong perception (and even more misled interpretations) doesn´t mean that “reality” doesn´t exist.
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Re: about conditioning

Postby Quiet Heart » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:27 am

yogin wrote:I was thinking about the conditioning process of the mind. We all may experience the same thing but give it different meaning. It is the interpretation we impose on experience. I can see how this builds a complex picture that we may call reality.

How about the experiences without interpretation? From a buddhist perspective, is the sensual experience similar to us all or how is it guided by our conditioning?

---------------------------------
:smile:
I've posted replies about similar topics before, so I hope this post doesn't bore people.

Anyhow, all thinking humans... call them "sentient beings" if you wish... filter all their experiences through their mind.
The mind that does this filtering of experiences can be called...to give it a name...the "Ego Mind".
Thsi is the mind that says "I am", "I like", "I want", I hate", and such terms.
With this mind in control of our perceptions we construct of view of "reality" ...our "world view".
In Zen a teacher will use every trick and means that he/she can to force the student to think or perecieve "outside" of that Ego Mind and it's preconceptions.
Wnen and if that is achieved, even if only for a minute, the teacher must be ready to... at least methaphorically ..."grab the student by his/her shoulders and throw them into understanding".
The student must "percieve" the moment outside of the preconceptions of his/her Ego Mind... and by doing that come to realise that his/her "reality" is in fact an articial construct of his/her "world view" by that Ego Mind.
(I guess that would include the "Ego Minds" preconceptions on sensuality and sensual perceptions also, although I never thought of it that way before.)

How about the experiences without interpretation?

That is the whole point of breaking the student away from his/her Ego Mind and it's illusions/delusions... so he/she can see "reality" free of the preconceptions of that Ego Mind.
It isn't easy to do, but once achieved it is wothwhile.
Once that first stage is obtained, the student can go on to deeper understandings....but that's another story.
:smile:
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in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
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Re: about conditioning

Postby yogin » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:37 am

Virgo wrote:At this point, I have to pause though. This is The Way of the Bodhisattva Forum, and while Theravada Abhidhamma explanations are extremely important and enlightening, if it is going to be Abhidhamma/Abhidharma, this forum and the people in it truly deserve explanations from the Sarvāstivādin Abhidharma, which at this point, I don't have the merit or understanding to explain properly.


No that you mention this I do recollect hearing that there are differences in theravada and mahayana abhidhamma/abhidharma philosophies. I'm interested in both perspecives, but let's see what appropriate to discuss here.

Virgo wrote:Nevertheless, to answer your question, from an Abhidhamma perspective, nibbana, the unconditioned state can become the object of citta


I started to think of this question lately as I was reading Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche's book where he so lucidly described the process of conditioning in conventional terms. I also remember him mentioning that all the things in the universe are conditioned by karma. I guess that what puzzles me is that apart form personal conditioned interpretation is the experience same for every person.

Now that I think of it, people with impaired sense organs do experience the world differently than people with healthy ones. So even certain kind of sense experience is dependant on particular conditions.

Not sure what was my point originally. I'm interested learning about the buddhist view of the mechanics of conditioning. I guess I have to go deeper into abhidhamma/abhidharma. :rolling:
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