Concept & Reality 1.4—Apophatic Periphraxis

Apophatic Periphraxis: Nibbāna the Inexpressible

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  • Apophasis means talking about a subject that remains tacit, unspoken.
  • Periphraxis refers to circumlocution, indirection or euphemism.
  • An example of apophasis is the KITE essay.
  • An example of periphaxis is a woman complaining that she ‘doesn’t have anything to wear,’ when her real concern is that her wardrobe makes her look fat.

Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.4—Apophatic Periphraxis


Concept & Reality 1.3—Etymology of Papañca

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The contexts in which the term is located are, on the whole, psychological in their import. The Madhupiṇḍika Sutta (MN 18) points to the fact that papañca is essentially connected with the process of sense perception, and so also does the Kalahavivāda Sutta (Snp 4.11) when it emphatically states that papañca-saṅkhā have their origin in sense perception (saññā-nidānā hi papañca-saṅkhā). The following formula of sense perception occurring in the Madhupiṇḍika Sutta may however be regarded as the locus classicus, as it affords us a clearer insight into the problem of papañca: Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.3—Etymology of Papañca

Concept & Reality 1.2—Etiology of Papañca

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The term papañca, as it occurs in the Pali Canon, has presented considerable difficulty of interpretation. Attempts at its definition, by the commentators as well as by present-day scholars, have given rise to divergent conclusions. It is, however, generally agreed that the determination of its significance is fundamental to a proper understanding of the philosophy of early Buddhism. Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.2—Etiology of Papañca

Concept & Reality 1.1—Prologue Video

Beginning a new video series based on Bhikkhu Ñāṇananda’s classic ‘Concept and Reality in Early Buddhist Thought’. Download the book here: [3.3 MB PDF]

In this episode, we study the deep meaning of the Prologue:

From Views to Vision—A Prologue:

“The sight-seer sitting on the crag is taking in a view of the landscape around him. His eyes are on the distant hills, dimly visible through the mist. Above him, an overhanging creeper is waving in the morning breeze. His view shifts from the distant scene to the dewdrop at the tip of the creeper. All is quiet and still. Continue reading Concept & Reality 1.1—Prologue Video

TRANSMISSION: an Experiment in Online Meditation

Things have changed so much since the momentous breakthrough I experienced on 11 August. In my previous videos I shared the path leading up to this realization. I was using words and symbols to describe my experience of discovering and traversing the Path. So I have already said whatever could be said. But now I am beyond anything that can be expressed in words and symbols. So this will be a silent sharing. It’s like a radio: you tune in to the transmitter’s frequency and decode the message. There MAY be time for a few questions near the end. Let’s get together and see what happens, 19 September 2015, 18:00 Sri Lanka time. Go to the YouTube page to see the time in your location.

Nibbāna 28: Attaining Insight

So the Buddha’s teaching inspires us to develop equanimity, turning away from the world of manifestation, impermanence and suffering by regarding it as a disease, an affliction. And he advises us to turn towards amataṃ, the Deathless, Nibbāna. This is the essence of meditation. Any effort we can invest in this endeavor is beneficial for us. Even if we can’t realize Nibbāna in this life, we can easily destroy the five lower fetters: Continue reading Nibbāna 28: Attaining Insight