Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

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Aemilius
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Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Aemilius » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:30 pm

This passage of the phenomena of origination and dissolution in the body is taken from the Satipatthana sutta, (translation of Thanissaro bhikkhu). What this passage really means is all the processes included in metabolism of the body, like the catabolic and anabolic processes, etc... Thus it seems that a vast area of biological knowledge is being refered to, of which hardly anything remains in the existing Tripitaka. What is implied is the exact mechanism how the body is composed of the four elements, and how it dissolves back into the elements.

The basic idea of the body being made of elements and dissolving back into them is found in the Sutras and the Abhidharma, atleast in a rudimentary form. I am quite sure that this teaching has been more comprehensive originally. Maybe the ideas of the metabolism have been preserved in the teachings of ancient indian medicine and in the teachings concerning the human anatomy.

Metabolism is a really vast subject. Some ancient ideas about metabolism are included in the Ayurveda. Apparently there has been an oral tradition of medical knowledge among the bhikshus, bhikshunis, and the laity. There are rules about medicines in the Vinaya, for example. Some charms or paritta and even the formula of dependent origination had a medical use and function. The medical knowledge was included in the practical Dharma, and it was practiced in the Sangha, by the Sangha.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)


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Aemilius
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Aemilius » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:38 am

That is mostly from a later period of Dharma. Early ideas of Buddhist medical knowledge are found in Buddhism and Medicine; An Anthology of Premodern Sources, editor C. Pierce Salguero https://www.academia.edu/34898514/Buddh ... rn_Sources
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Astus
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:47 am

Aemilius wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:30 pm
This passage of the phenomena of origination and dissolution in the body is taken from the Satipatthana sutta, (translation of Thanissaro bhikkhu). What this passage really means is all the processes included in metabolism of the body, like the catabolic and anabolic processes, etc...
What passage? Both MN 10 and DN 22 has simply:

"And further… just as a dexterous butcher or his apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk reflects on this very body—however it stands, however it is disposed—in terms of properties: ‘In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.’
In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself."


As e.g. MN 28 and MN 140 explain, those four elements are basic qualities as hardness, liquidity, heat, and movement. Where is the metabolism part?
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Aemilius
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Aemilius » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:42 pm

"Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, etc..."

Metabolism is implicit, is what I am saying. It hasn't been made clear and explicit in the passage above or in the passage about the four elements. How else could the body depend on the elements, be composed of the elements, or dissolve into the elements, than through metabolism?
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:27 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:42 pm
Metabolism is implicit, is what I am saying. It hasn't been made clear and explicit in the passage above or in the passage about the four elements. How else could the body depend on the elements, be composed of the elements, or dissolve into the elements, than through metabolism?
It's an instruction on analysing the bodily elements, all the parts of the body conceived in terms of the four main qualities of solidity, liquidity, heat, and movement. Since it is a practice in observation, and metabolism happens on a cellular level, it could not be observed. Instead, those four elements mean readily perceptible qualities.

"Contemplation of the body’s earthy and watery qualities can be undertaken by observing the physical sensations of the solid and liquid parts of the body. Awareness of its fiery quality can be developed through noting variations in bodily temperature, and to some extent also by turning awareness to the processes of digestion and ageing. Air, representing the quality of motion, can be covered by directing awareness to the different movements that take place within the organism, such as the circulation of the blood or the cycle of the breaths.140The same elementary qualities can be combined in a single contemplation, by being aware of these four qualities as characteristics of each part or particle of the body."
(Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization by Bhikkhu Analayo, p 164)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Aemilius
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Aemilius » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:01 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:27 pm
Aemilius wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:42 pm
Metabolism is implicit, is what I am saying. It hasn't been made clear and explicit in the passage above or in the passage about the four elements. How else could the body depend on the elements, be composed of the elements, or dissolve into the elements, than through metabolism?
It's an instruction on analysing the bodily elements, all the parts of the body conceived in terms of the four main qualities of solidity, liquidity, heat, and movement. Since it is a practice in observation, and metabolism happens on a cellular level, it could not be observed. Instead, those four elements mean readily perceptible qualities.

"Contemplation of the body’s earthy and watery qualities can be undertaken by observing the physical sensations of the solid and liquid parts of the body. Awareness of its fiery quality can be developed through noting variations in bodily temperature, and to some extent also by turning awareness to the processes of digestion and ageing. Air, representing the quality of motion, can be covered by directing awareness to the different movements that take place within the organism, such as the circulation of the blood or the cycle of the breaths.140The same elementary qualities can be combined in a single contemplation, by being aware of these four qualities as characteristics of each part or particle of the body."
(Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization by Bhikkhu Analayo, p 164)
This is a clear case of esoteric teachings in the Tipitaka. Therefore the actual explanation is not that you will find at all, or not very easily. What more can I say? You can believe what you want to believe. Closest to the actual explanation comes a sutta where it is said that the outer elements are equal to those within our body. The explanation of the meditation on the elements in the Vishuddhimagga is amazingly close to the true one.

You can observe the growth of the body and emaciation of the body. You can observe the warmth of the body, and the coldness of the body (or corpse). The metabolism is observable without microscope. You can observe the discharge of feces, urination, perspiration etc.., the intake of food, drink and air. All are effects of metabolism.

There is also the Anathapindika sutta, where it is said that the meditation of the elements is esoteric, i.e. secret. It was given to Anathapindika on his deathbed.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:01 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:01 pm
This is a clear case of esoteric teachings in the Tipitaka.
There are no esoteric teachings in the Tipitaka.

"I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back."
(DN 16)

"Three things shine in the open, not under cover. What three? The moon shines in the open, not under cover. The sun shines in the open, not under cover. The teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One shine in the open, not under cover."
(AN 3.131)
There is also the Anathapindika sutta, where it is said that the meditation of the elements is esoteric, i.e. secret. It was given to Anathapindika on his deathbed.
There is no meditation on the elements listed there, unless you count the instruction not to cling to them. There is no statement on some secret method either. What was said: “This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth.”
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:19 pm

All teaching is open but doesn’t mean everyone will accept or believe, so it becomes esoteric in that sense.
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:17 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:01 pm
There are no esoteric teachings in the Tipitaka.
Mmmeh...

Anathapindika: "...never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this."

Sariputrta: "This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth."

A: "In that case, Ven. Sariputta, please let this sort of talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clad in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [this] Dhamma. There will be those who will understand it."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:37 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:17 pm
Mmmeh...
It does not mean there were hidden teachings.

See note 1306 on page 1358 of The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha by Bhikkhu Bodhi: "This statement does not imply that there is any inherent exclusiveness or arbitrary discrimination in the Buddha’s way of presenting his teaching. But as those who remain in lay life must look after their families, possessions, and occupations, such talk leading to complete detachment would not have been appropriate for them."

And Piya Tan also states (p 2): "This episode may sound as if there were a strict two-tiered teaching scheme, the higher level for the renunciants only and the simpler level for the laity. No such division ever existed in the Buddha’s teaching"
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:42 pm

I prefaced it with "mmmmeh"

I love Bikkhu Bodhi, but, we can all quibble about the how things really ought to be. In practice, there's the way things are.

Are there strict rules like samaya in Vajrayana? No. Is everything laid out as openly as the Buddha's open palm suggests? I have not seen it in practice. And this little episode related in the Tipitaka matches practice.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:54 pm

Just as a follow up... everyone has different experiences. The "in practice" I described above is in popular Buddhist traditions where you have a wide range of practitioners. You may not see it as regularly in smaller, self selected communities in the West.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:00 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:42 pm
I have not seen it in practice.
While teachings given to large crowds may not usually touch on more difficult issues, nor get into technical details, all levels of the teachings are openly (and generally freely) available in Theravada and East Asian Mahayana temples.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:09 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:00 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:42 pm
I have not seen it in practice.
While teachings given to large crowds may not usually touch on more difficult issues, nor get into technical details, all levels of the teachings are openly (and generally freely) available in Theravada and East Asian Mahayana temples.
The depth of teaching is not always understood by us but realized people. Like Ksitigarbha Sutra, what the heck is it about other than his vows to guide sentient beings? Yet it becomes clear to me when I was told we will need to make personal great vows like he did. But what is the significance of making vows? Well it helps us to create a karmic connection with ancient bodhisattvas and Buddhas, so that we will encounter them on our path to help us! But will you accept that teaching as true or significant? So this is the reason why these are not spoken to anyone.
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:24 pm

The question is why do we need guidance? Is the text not enough! Personal experience it’s a difficult path because I get caught up with skandhas. Like mindfulness if we have a slight act of paying attention, that’s the action (one of the 5 aggregates), yet we need to start with such practice to keep ourselves together. People might not even notice that they are doing that because it can be very subtle.

Please don’t be confused as I am! I don’t want to commit any bad crap towards you. Peace and love! Haha.
Clear!

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:37 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:00 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:42 pm
I have not seen it in practice.
While teachings given to large crowds may not usually touch on more difficult issues, nor get into technical details, all levels of the teachings are openly (and generally freely) available in Theravada and East Asian Mahayana temples.
No offense intended, but... have you actually seen monks/priests tend to people dealing with real life problems? Have you seen counselors dealing with people in grief, or laying on their death beds completely incapacitated with fear of death? Not everyone will respond well to the 4NT. Sometimes people just need to be consoled.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by LastLegend » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:02 pm

Cutting off someone’s Bodhi seed or creating a dead end in their mind is a heinous act. I hope to not do that! So think in good faith even if I am not. Astus!
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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Astus » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:04 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:37 pm
Not everyone will respond well to the 4NT. Sometimes people just need to be consoled.
And that's all well and good. It does not turn the four noble truths into an esoteric teaching.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Re: Origination and dissolution phenomena in the body

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:41 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:04 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:37 pm
Not everyone will respond well to the 4NT. Sometimes people just need to be consoled.
And that's all well and good. It does not turn the four noble truths into an esoteric teaching.
I never said it was an esoteric teaching in principle... in practice, there are teachings withheld from some. It was apparently true in the Buddha's time, and its true now.

This is turning stupid.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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