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The Causes for Wisdom


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#41 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:24 PM

 tiltbillings » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:22 am

porpoise wrote:
One could argue that's the whole point of formal sitting practice - to facilitate mindfulness and insight off the cushion. From a practical perspective I've found that maintaining mindfulness without a sitting practice is much more difficult.

Obviously experience can vary for different people, but speaking generally, I think you are quite correct.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:48 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Dan,

 

but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?


By simple logic, if ones thinks that ritualized practice is the way, one will not give up attachment to rules and rituals.
One gives up only when one realizes than it is the wrong way.

The interesting question here is what constitutes a ritual? The reality is, of course, that whatever practice we start doing one is very likely to have a variety of ideas and feelings about it that are not reflective of a mature practice in line with the Dhamma. The maturity comes with experience and insight. Doing a disciplined practice, could easily be called a ritual, but if the practice is done well, in accordance to principles of the Dhamma, then the various subtle attachment will expose themselves in light of the ongoing insights one will have as a result of the meditation and Eightfold Path practice. Why would we think it would be otherwise? Any practice one does, be it a formal, disciplined meditation practice, a Sujin style practice, or whatever is always going to be susceptible to being side tracked or failing because one might become overly rigid and locked into a particular point of view, which is why working with good teachers is of great benefit.

 

Similarly, if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?

One does not have to "believe" in a self to take seriously the Buddha's teachings that how we choose, what choose to do and to not do does, indeed, condition the tragectory of our life, of our practice. One cannot force wisdom, but one can certainly cultivate the conditions that give rise to wisdom.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:03 am

dhamma follower wrote:- samatha bhavana is the cultivation of kusala which is not dana, not sila. The ground for this bhavana is seeing the danger of attachment to sensuous objects. It is precisely panna which perform this function, panna of the degree of seeing the danger of attachment to sensuos objects, not the panna which sees realities of they are. This kind of panna knows the conditions for calmness to arise. It is then by virtue of this kind of panna that calmness which is kusala is developed, not because of wanting to have calm, or because of trying to sit hours after hours with ignorance.

The practical, experiential reality is, of course, you really won't know or have an idea of what attachments and other such problems there are in your mind/body process that will obstruct your cultivation of calmness until you actually do the practice to cultivate calmness and then actually bump into these problems and then have to deal with them in the light of awareness. If you do not do the practice, these issues may never clearly arise, and you'll never know. And much the same can be said for vipassana.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by beeblebrox » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:53 am

dhamma follower wrote:. . . if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?


Hi Dhamma Follower,

Who in this thread said that there was a self that conditions the dhammas as it wished?

If someone thought that a self was necessarily behind the idea of a formal practice, then which one of these (the person, or the practice) do you think has a view of the self in the first place?

If a person said that "he" was going to do a practice, conventionally speaking... and someone else, as an attempt to view this in the "ultimate sense," accused that person of having a self view... whose fault do you think this would be? 

I think that if there was a real understanding, then it would be already seen that there is no permanent, unchanging self that has to be inherent within this phrase, "he was going to do something," in the first place... 

This is why the conventional speech can still be seen as a truth, according to the Buddha.

 

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#42 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:31 PM

Coyote » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:05 pm

tiltbillings wrote:

Coyote wrote:I think there is a lot to be said for not doing this kind of meditation at all until one is at least established in Sila.

There is no reason to think that breath meditation and sīla cannot work well together.

 

I certainly agree that breath meditation is harder than other meditation

Harder than what other meditations?


What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared." 
Iti 26

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:42 pm

Coyote wrote:

tiltbillings wrote:

Coyote wrote:I think there is a lot to be said for not doing this kind of meditation at all until one is at least established in Sila.

There is no reason to think that breath meditation and sīla cannot work well together.

 

I certainly agree that breath meditation is harder than other meditation

Harder than what other meditations?


What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

Thank you for your clarification. I think we might differ a bit in a couple of things; however, it would seem that what you are saying with this clarification is still vastly different from what it seems that robertk is suggesting.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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#43 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:32 PM

Re: The causes for wisdom

by Dan74 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:51 pm

tiltbillings wrote:

Coyote wrote:
What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

Thank you for your clarification. I think we might differ a bit in a couple of thing; however, it would seem that what you are saying with this clarification is still vastly different from what it seems that robertk is suggesting.


I, for one, am still not clear what robertk is suggesting.

It's not controversial to suggest that attachment to ritual is a hindrance to be overcome or let gone of in due course. But if one suggests that formalised practice is harmful and should be foregone in favour of some other non-formal practice in all cases, then this view really does need defending.

It reminds me of Krishnamurti who argued that the mind is already so rigid and conditioned and full of conflicts and dualities, that to impose another structure on it like that of formalised spiritual practice is like to clean off dirt with mud. I think he overestimated people's capacity and resolve and that's why his legacy is dwindling fast.

Last edited by Dan74 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Sekha » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:56 pm

Coyote wrote:What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.


There is one sutta directly against your claim:
 

pañc imāni, bhikkhave, sikkhā·dubbalyāni. katamāni pañca? pā·ātipāto, adinn·ādāna, kāmesu·micchā·cāro, musā·vādo, surā·meraya·majja·pamāda·ṭṭhāna. imāni kho, bhikkhave, pañca sikkhā·dubbalyāni.
These five, bhikkhus, are weaknesses of the training. Which five? The destruction of life, taking what is not given, misbehavior in sensuality, false speech, and liquors, spirits and intoxicants that cause carelessness. These five, bhikkhus, are weaknesses of the training.

imesa
kho, bhikkhave, pañcanna sikkhā·dubbalyāna pahānāya cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvetabbā. katame cattāro? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāy·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassa; vedanāsu vedan·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassa; citte citt·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassa; dhammesu dhamm·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassa. imesa kho, bhikkhave, pañcanna sikkhā·dubbalyāna pahānāya ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvetabbā ti.
To abandon these five weaknesses of the training, the four satipa
ṭṭhānas should be developped. Which four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu remains focusing on the body in the body, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. He remains focusing on feelings in feelings, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. He remains focusing on the mind in the mind, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. He remains focusing on dhammas in dhammas, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. To abandon these five weaknesses of the training, the four satipaṭṭhānas should be developped.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 9-063.html

Kayanupassana includes anapanassati and dhammanupassana includes vipassana (arising and passing away of the aggregates for example)


 

Coyote wrote:What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

Well, the cause for non-success must be appropriately investigated. The fault doesn't fall on the technique. It falls on the way we take it. 

See:

 

"Suppose that there is a foolish, inexperienced, unskillful cook who has presented a king or a king's minister with various kinds of curry: mainly sour, mainly bitter, mainly peppery, mainly sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline, salty or non-salty. He does not take note of his master, thinking, 'Today my master likes this curry, or he reaches out for that curry, or he takes a lot of this curry, or he praises that curry... Today my master likes non-salty curry, or he reaches out for non-salty curry, or he takes a lot of non-salty curry, or he praises non-salty curry.' As a result, he is not rewarded with clothing or wages or gifts. Why is that? Because the foolish, inexperienced, unskillful cook does not pick up on the theme of his own master.

"In the same way, there are cases where a foolish, inexperienced, unskillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself... the mind in & of itself... As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, his mind does not become concentrated, his defilements are not abandoned. He does not take note of that fact. As a result, he is not rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, nor with mindfulness & alertness. Why is that? 
Because the foolish, inexperienced, unskillful monk does not take note of his own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to call you a fool, as the use of this word here was not my choice.

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by kirk5a » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:13 pm

Sekha wrote:Well, the cause for non-success must be appropriately investigated. The fault doesn't fall on the technique. It falls on the way we take it. 

 
Very interesting sutta. I see the key word there is the "nimitta" of his master, or of his mind. Looking at the Pali dictionary, I wonder whether that could be translated as "he does not notice thecondition of his mind" (with regard to the development of concentration and abandoning of defilements)

Tathā hi so bhikkhave, bālo avyatto akusalo bhikkhu sakassa cittassa nimitta
na uggahāti.

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

 

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#44 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:34 PM

 Spiny Norman » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:29 am

Dan74 wrote:It's not controversial to suggest that attachment to ritual is a hindrance to be overcome or let gone of in due course. But if one suggests that formalised practice is harmful and should be foregone in favour of some other non-formal practice in all cases, then this view really does need defending.


I'm also unsure of where "formal" ends and "non-formal" begins. It seems that there is always some kind of methodology involved.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Sekha » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:31 am

porpoise wrote:I'm also unsure of where "formal" ends and "non-formal" begins.

Indeed every practice is "formal" in some way. I would rather speak of stereotyped practice, the definition of which would be that there is a dichotomy between what happens at the physical or vocal levels, or even at the surface of the mind, and what really happens at the deeper levels of the mind. This comes from the fact that people tend to assimilate the kammically fruitful action with the physical or vocal action, disregarding the fact that it is only mental volition that defines the quality of the action.

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Mr Man » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:48 am

Our practice is our life. There is no on and off. Sitting meditation is or can be just another part of our life (like eating a sandwich?).

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:02 am

Mr Man wrote:Our practice is our life. There is no on and off. Sitting meditation is or can be just another part of our life (like eating a sandwich?).


 

robertk wrote:It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me chosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway.


One eats a sandwich for sustenance. If we take the Buddha's teachings and admonitions concerning the need for formal sitting practice seriously, it is of a bit more significance than choosing between one shop or another, and it is a bit more than just eating a sandwich.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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#45 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:35 PM

 robertk » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:37 am

DAN:It reminds me of Krishnamurti who argued that the mind is already so rigid and conditioned and full of conflicts and dualities, that to impose another structure on it like that of formalised spiritual practice is like to clean off dirt with mud. I think he overestimated people's capacity and resolve and that's why his legacy is dwindling fast.

Hi dan
I think mr. K thought that all that was needed was to let go of attachment to ritual and special practice.
But as this thread shows one also needs the deep explanations of the khandhas , the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them, that the Buddha gave. These teachings of the Buddha are then confirmed in every moment that satisampajanna arises; so that if one is eating a sandwich for example, there is direct understanding of taste or hardness or sound or color or seeing or desire or aversion etc.

In other words he had the right idea in that he saw the danger in silabataparamasa but didnt have the conditions to go further.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Dan74 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:15 am

robertk wrote:

DAN:It reminds me of Krishnamurti who argued that the mind is already so rigid and conditioned and full of conflicts and dualities, that to impose another structure on it like that of formalised spiritual practice is like to clean off dirt with mud. I think he overestimated people's capacity and resolve and that's why his legacy is dwindling fast.

Hi dan
I think mr. K thought that all that was needed was to let go of attachment to ritual and special practice.
But as this thread shows one also needs the deep explanations of the khandhas , the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them, that the Buddha gave. These teachings of the Buddha are then confirmed in every moment that satisampajanna arises; so that if one is eating a sandwich for example, there is direct understanding of taste or hardness or sound or color or seeing or desire or aversion etc.

In other words he had the right idea in that he saw the danger in silabataparamasa but didnt have the conditions to go further.


Hi Robert and thank you for replying.

Krishnamurti was big on inquiry, so it's not quite fair to say that he "thought that all that was needed was to let go of attachment to ritual and special practice" but we probably shouldn't get sidetracked.

In various teachings the Buddha addressed the people of different personalities, potentialities and capacities and it is not clear to me that "the deep explanations of the khandhas, the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them" is something that needs to be learned by everyone. Some may discover them for themselves in due course.

With my students too, some need more explanation, others need less. Some need more here and others more there. But above all, it is important to learn to inquire and discover. Following another person's roadmap, one has to be careful to look under one's feet and not to stumble. Even more importantly, one has to look around carefully to see where one is, otherwise the map will lead to quite a different place than intended. Perhaps even more fundamentally, it can be argued that a map can only lead so far, as mr k said "truth is a pathless land", which I understand to mean that we all have to find our own way in it, with the words of our teacher - a lamp that lights the way. 

So, I am still at a loss to see how without an intense meditation practice one can investigate the sense bases and the khandas and the causes and conditions for them. As far as I can make out, no explanation can suffice in the end and one needs to actually see the functioning, to become aware. A coarse untrained mind is not going to be able to do that. All such a mind will see are the coarse arising and passing away, but the subtle will remain obscure.

So how can we dispense with a training of the mind to perceive and let go of the defilements without meditation? Maybe one blessed by kamma of aeons of cultivation and a subtle and agile mentality can do that, but most of us can't.

Most of us also cannot summon up enough resolve to truly look into it and relinquish but through practice develop an affinity with the wholesome while seeing the shortcoming and unsatisfactoriness of the unwholesome and the vital importance of practice. The coarse pleasures are hard to give up without a mind trained in insight that is able to see them for what they truly are rather than simply try to believe the teachings. Belief is always built on a shaky ground and can crumble given enough pressure, but one who knows is secure. Without a deep training that brings about a clarity and depth of seeing, how can we hope to see past our attachments?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:44 pm

Dan74 wrote:Most of us also cannot summon up enough resolve to truly look into it and relinquish but through practice develop an affinity with the wholesome while seeing the shortcoming and unsatisfactoriness of the unwholesome and the vital importance of practice. The coarse pleasures are hard to give up without a mind trained in insight that is able to see them for what they truly are rather than simply try to believe the teachings. Belief is always built on a shaky ground and can crumble given enough pressure, but one who knows is secure. Without a deep training that brings about a clarity and depth of seeing, how can we hope to see past our attachments?

And that pretty much describes why the Buddha carefully outlined and implored us to take a path of disciplined meditative practice as part of the Eightfold Path.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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#46 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:35 PM

 dhamma follower » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:13 pm

beeblebrox wrote:

dhamma follower wrote:. . . if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?


Hi Dhamma Follower,

Who in this thread said that there was a self that conditions the dhammas as it wished?

If someone thought that a self was necessarily behind the idea of a formal practice, then which one of these (the person, or the practice) do you think has a view of the self in the first place?


Dear BBB,

The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.

If one thinks that it is the formal practice- of which the underlying emphasis is the intention to do something in particular, as opposed to just going about our daily chores naturally- that is needed for the arising of understanding, one is actually assuming (may be unknowingly) a self who can intend to make sati to arise in certain circumstances.

I think this common belief (that I used to have too) comes from lacking understanding of what sati is and the conditions for its arising. Hence, very common knowing of what's going on is mistaken for sati, and intention is mistaken to be condition for sati to arise.

Let's see what the texts say:


 

Mindfulness, sati, is one of the nineteen sobhana cetasikas which have to arise with each sobhana citta. The Atthasdlini (I, Part IV, Chapter 1, 121) states that the characteristic of mindfulness is "not floating away'. Mindfulness "does not allow the floating away of moral states", such as the four applications of mindfulness and the other factors leading to enlightenment. Another characteristic of mindfulness the Atthasalini mentions is "acquiring" or "taking up" (1 In Pali: upaganhana.), that is, acquirement of what is useful and beneficial. Mindfulness, when it arises, "searches well the courses of states, advantageous and disadvantageous: -'these states are advantageous, those disadvantageous, these states are serviceable, those not serviceable'- and then removes the disadvantageous and takes up the advantageous." 

The Atthasalini then gives another definition of mindfulness: 
... Mindfulness has "not floating away" as its characteristic, unforgetfulness as its function, guarding, or the state of facing the object, as its manifestation, firm remembrance (sanna) or application in mindfulness as regards the body, etc., as proximate cause. It should be regarded as a door-past from being firmly established in the object, and as a door-keeper from guarding the door of the senses.
…..

As we have seen, the Atthasalini states that the proximate cause of mindfulness is firm remembrance (sanna) or the four applications of mindfulness (satipatthana). There can be mindfulness of the nama or rupa which appears because of firm remembrance of all we learnt from the teachings about nama and rupa. Listening is mentioned in the scriptures as a most important condition for the attainment of enlightenment, because when we listen time and again, there can be firm remenbrance of the Dhamma. Mindfulness is different from remembrance, sanna. Sanna accompanies every citta; it recognizes the object and "marks" it, so that it can be recognized again. Mindfulness, sati, is not forgethe of what is wholesome. It arises with sobhana cittas. But when there is sati which is non-forgetfuI of dana, sila, of the object of calm or, in the case of vipassana, of the nama and rupa appearing at the present moment, there is also kusala sanna which remembers the object in the fight way, in the wholesome way.
The other proximate cause of mindfulness is the four applications of mindfulness or satipatthana (1 satipatthana means mindfulness of vipassana or the object of mindfulness of vipassana.) . All realities can be object of mindfulness in the development of insight and are thus included in the four applications of mindfulness which are rupa, feeling, citta and dhamma. For those who have accumulations to develop calm to the degree of jhana and to develop insight as well, also jhanacitta can be object of mindfulness in vipassana, in order to see it as non-self. Right understanding of realities is developed through mindfulness of any nama or rupa which appears now, be it akusala citta, maha-kusala citta, jhanacitta or any other reality. One should not try to direct mindfulness to a particular object; there is no self who can have power over any reality or who can direct sad. There is not any reality which is excluded from the four applications of mindfulness.

http://www.vipassana.info/cetasikas28.html

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D.F

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by dhamma follower » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:31 pm

Dear Tilt,

 

The interesting question here is what constitutes a ritual? The reality is, of course, that whatever practice we start doing one is very likely to have a variety of ideas and feelings about it that are not reflective of a mature practice in line with the Dhamma. The maturity comes with experience and insight. Doing a disciplined practice, could easily be called a ritual, but if the practice is done well, in accordance to principles of the Dhamma, then the various subtle attachment will expose themselves in light of the ongoing insights one will have as a result of the meditation and Eightfold Path practice. Why would we think it would be otherwise? Any practice one does, be it a formal, disciplined meditation practice, a Sujin style practice, or whatever is always going to be susceptible to being side tracked or failing because one might become overly rigid and locked into a particular point of view, which is why working with good teachers is of great benefit.


Actually, when one talks about a situation, one actually refers to an uncountable numbers of moments arising and passing away. In such a given situation (ex: a retreat), there are certainly many moments of akusala alternating with moments of kusala, many moments of ignorance alternating with some moments of understanding. Therefore, it is very likely one is unclear about what conditions what. But the Buddha was very clear about what conditions panna, and they are: listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard (yoniso manasikara). That can condition, in due course, the arising of direct understanding of realities as they are (dhammanudhamma patipada). Apart from those moments, it is not the cultivation of vipassana pana at all. And no special environment is needed for these to occur.


 

One cannot force wisdom, but one can certainly cultivate the conditions that give rise to wisdom.


The conditions that give rise to wisdom are mentioned above. I don't see anything to do with a formal practice.

Brgds,
D.F

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by dhamma follower » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:45 pm

tiltbillings wrote:The practical, experiential reality is, of course, you really won't know or have an idea of what attachments and other such problems there are in your mind/body process that will obstruct your cultivation of calmness until you actually do the practice to cultivate calmness and then actually bump into these problems and then have to deal with them in the light of awareness. If you do not do the practice, these issues may never clearly arise, and you'll never know. And much the same can be said for vipassana.


Are you implying the words of the Blessed One are not good enough? I think the problem comes rather from not reflecting enough on his words. If there's more reflecting on his words, which point to all what we experience in our daily life, it can condition a lot more understanding. However, in our deep rooted self-view and desire to get result, we try to "do" something, even to the point of putting his words aside and believing more in our own interpretation based on our deluded perception.

We say we take refuge in the Buddha, but do we really take his words to heart and examine them?

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:42 PM

 dhamma follower » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:51 pm

Dear Dan,

 

In various teachings the Buddha addressed the people of different personalities, potentialities and capacities and it is not clear to me that "the deep explanations of the khandhas, the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them" is something that needs to be learned by everyone. Some may discover them for themselves in due course.


What, in your understanding, is the difference between a Sravaka (a hearer) and a Buddha?

If someone can discover them-selves the same truth than the Buddha has taught, not based on what he has learnt and considered a great deal from a Buddha, he must be either a Sammasambuddha, or a Paccekabuddha. 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:09 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.

Who has said, implied, or suggested here that dhammas do not depend upon conditions?

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

by kirk5a » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:22 pm

Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you.

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

 

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:43 PM

 SamKR » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:38 pm

dhamma follower wrote:[...] But the Buddha was very clear about what conditions panna, and they are: listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard (yoniso manasikara). That can condition, in due course, the arising of direct understanding of realities as they are (dhammanudhamma patipada). Apart from those moments, it is not the cultivation of vipassana pana at all. And no special environment is needed for these to occur.


 

dhamma follower wrote:If one thinks that it is the formal practice- of which the underlying emphasis is the intention to do something in particular, as opposed to just going about our daily chores naturally- that is needed for the arising of understanding, one is actually assuming (may be unknowingly) a self who can intend to make sati to arise in certain circumstances.

Hello dhamma follower,

Do the conditions stated in the first quote above (ie.,listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard) arise on their own out of nowhere? Or, do their arising succeed the intention to listen and consider wisely?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Virgo » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:11 pm

SamKR wrote:Do the conditions stated in the first quote above (ie.,listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard) arise on their own out of nowhere? Or, do their arising succeed the intention to listen and consider wisely?

Hello:

The intention also only arises based on conditions. For example, one has listened to Dhamma in the past, one thinks there maybe some benefit, one likes the voice of the person speaking, one has respect for Dhamma from past experience with it, etc.

Kevin

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Dan74 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:17 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Dan,

 

In various teachings the Buddha addressed the people of different personalities, potentialities and capacities and it is not clear to me that "the deep explanations of the khandhas, the dhatus, the ayatanas and the causes and conditions for them" is something that needs to be learned by everyone. Some may discover them for themselves in due course.


What, in your understanding, is the difference between a Sravaka (a hearer) and a Buddha?

If someone can discover them-selves the same truth than the Buddha has taught, not based on what he has learnt and considered a great deal from a Buddha, he must be either a Sammasambuddha, or a Paccekabuddha. 

Brgrds,

D.F


Hi DF

Of course we are all well-served to study the teachings - this is not in dispute. The question to me is how do we apply the teachings in our lives?

Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?

_/|\_

 

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#49 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:44 PM

 retrofuturist » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:31 pm

Greetings,

 

Dan74 wrote:Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?

I feel there's something of a false dichotomy emerging here... as if "the words" (in the second option) have no connection to "the Dhamma" (in the first option). Whereas actually, they are one and the same. 

We learn the Dhamma to establish Right View, and then confirm the truth of that view by observing for ourselves that it is true through its application via the Noble Eightfold Path. This application builds confidence, joy, and is conducive to release. 

On one hand it can be said that Right View is the cause for wisdom and is indeed wisdom itself (and Robert has already provided support for this), but the fulfilment of the entire Noble Eightfold Path is the validation of that Dhamma, and it is the path that leads to release, so one's Right View becomes all the more refined over time as the path is followed. We see a couple of examples of differently evolved forms of Right View in MN 117.

However, without Right View, there is no Right Path in the first place (again, the suttas are quite clear on this point). So in relation to "the causes of wisdom", Right View is the fore-runner - not some rear-runner by-product of activity.

Metta,
Retro. 

If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding: 
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Dan74 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:52 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

 

Dan74 wrote:Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?

I feel there's something of a false dichotomy emerging here... as if "the words" (in the second option) have no connection to "the Dhamma" (in the first option). Whereas actually, they are one and the same. 

We learn the Dhamma to establish Right View, and then confirm the truth of that view by observing for ourselves that it is true through its application via the Noble Eightfold Path. This application builds confidence, joy, and is conducive to release. 

On one hand it can be said that Right View is the cause for wisdom and is indeed wisdom itself (and Robert has already provided support for this), but the fulfilment of the entire Noble Eightfold Pathis the validation of that Dhamma, and it is the path that leads to release, so one's Right View becomes all the more refined over time as the path is followed. We see a couple of examples of differently evolved forms of Right View in MN 117.

However, without Right View, there is no Right Path in the first place (again, the suttas are quite clear on this point). So in relation to "the causes of wisdom", Right View is the fore-runner - not some rear-runner by-product of activity.

Metta,
Retro. 


Hi Retro

There is no false dichotomy of course, but a simple rhetorical device to elicit any potential source of disagreement.

I am still not sure what Robert and DF are suggesting. No one has discounted the Right View as the foundation of practice. It's just not the whole thing. As far as I can make out the Noble Eightfold Path also contains Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration:

(SN 45.8)


 

And what, monks, is right mindfulness?

(i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in and of itself—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(ii) He remains focused on feelings in and of themselves—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(iii) He remains focused on the mind in and of itself—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.

(iv) He remains focused on mental qualities (dhammesu[54]) in and of themselves—ardent, aware, and mindful—putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.
This, monks, is called right mindfulness.


Bhikkhu Bodhi comments:

 

The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event. All judgments and interpretations have to be suspended, or if they occur, just registered and dropped.


Right concentration (DN 22):

 

And what is right concentration?

(i) Herein a monk aloof from sense desires, aloof from unwholesome thoughts, attains to and abides in the first meditative absorption [jhana], which is detachment-born and accompanied by applied thought, sustained thought, joy, and bliss.

(ii) By allaying applied and sustained thought he attains to, and abides in the second jhana, which is inner tranquillity, which is unification (of the mind), devoid of applied and sustained thought, and which has joy and bliss.

(iii) By detachment from joy he dwells in equanimity, mindful, and with clear comprehension and enjoys bliss in body, and attains to and abides in the third jhana, which the noble ones [ariyas] call "dwelling in equanimity, mindfulness, and bliss".

(iv) By giving up of bliss and suffering, by the disappearance already of joy and sorrow, he attains to, and abides in the fourth jhana, which is neither suffering nor bliss, and which is the purity of equanimity — mindfulness.
This is called right concentration.


So I am at a loss how these practices appear to have been dismissed as rituals or formal. If I am missing the point, perhaps you or the others can explain.

_/|\_

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by retrofuturist » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:13 am

Greetings Dan,

 

No one has discounted the Right View as the foundation of practice. It's just not the whole thing.

OK, but there is no "Right Practice" (i.e. Noble Eightfold Path) without Right View. I believe that's called "a necessary, but not sufficient" criteria.

 

Dan74 wrote:So I am at a loss how these practices appear to have been dismissed as rituals or formal. If I am missing the point, perhaps you or the others can explain.

Well, you've basically just quoted two aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path, and I've already explained the importance of the N8P in the post above... so I won't revisit those. There may be something you wish Robert or DF to say in response to those, so I'll leave them to do so if they wish.

What is needed to make those factors you mention "Right" however, is a foundation in Right View. If someone does certain exercises without Right View as the foundation, the exercise itself will not be Right, and no amount of effort or sincere dedication to that activity will make it otherwise. If someone does an exercise (whether it be selecting a sandwich, sacrificing goats, or sitting down with closed eyes) in the absence of Right View (and thereby does not understand the Dhammic causality associated with the exercise and are doing it simply out of faith that understanding will arise simply as a consequence of doing the activity) then that exercise could well be described as a ritual, to which one could become attached.

[Note: and before anyone takes umbrage at those words, please note the IF operator at the start of those sentences... if the IF condition is false, the resulting sentence does not apply]

Metta,
Retro. 

If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding: 
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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#50 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:44 PM

 SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:28 am

Virgo wrote:

SamKR wrote:Do the conditions stated in the first quote above (ie.,listening to the right dhamma and wise considering of what is heard) arise on their own out of nowhere? Or, do their arising succeed the intention to listen and consider wisely?

Hello:

The intention also only arises based on conditions. For example, one has listened to Dhamma in the past, one thinks there maybe some benefit, one likes the voice of the person speaking, one has respect for Dhamma from past experience with it, etc.

Kevin


Hello Kevin,
True, that the intention also arises based on conditions. No doubt.


 

dhamma follower wrote:If one thinks that it is the formal practice- of which the underlying emphasis is the intention to do something in particular, as opposed to just going about our daily chores naturally- that is needed for the arising of understanding, one is actually assuming may be unknowingly) a self who can intend to make sati to arise in certain circumstances.


My questions is: How is this intention to do "formal" practice necessarily different from intention to listen and consider right dhamma? How only this so called "formal" practice is based on wrong view of self? Can't the so called "formal" practice be practiced without wrong view of self? Can't there be conditions for the intention to practice formally (other than wrong view of self) just likethere are conditions for the intention to listen and consider dhamma (as Kevin stated above)?

No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.


Edit: corrected a sentence

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:45 PM

 dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:19 am

Dear Tilt,

 

tiltbillings wrote:

dhamma follower wrote:
The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.

Who has said, implied, or suggested here that dhammas do not depend upon conditions?


The stretching on "formal practice" versus "leaving sati-panna to arise in our natural daily life when there are conditions for it to arise" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Brgrds,

D.F

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:24 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Tilt,

 

tiltbillings wrote:

dhamma follower wrote:
The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.

Who has said, implied, or suggested here that dhammas do not depend upon conditions?


The stretching on "formal practice" versus "leaving sati-panna to arise in our natural daily life when there are conditions for it to arise" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Brgrds,

D.F

Please restate. The above is not at all clear to me.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:27 am

dhamma follower wrote:Let's see what the texts say:

 

Mindfulness, . . .

http://www.vipassana.info/cetasikas28.html

That is only one text, writen by Buddhaghosa with a modern gloss. There is not a thing in that text that requires that it must be interpreted as the gloss suggests.

 

One should not try to direct mindfulness to a particular object; there is no self who can have power over any reality or who can direct sad [sic].

Interesting contradiction here.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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#52 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:46 PM

 dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:35 am

Dear Dan

 

Dan74 wrote:Hi DF

Of course we are all well-served to study the teachings - this is not in dispute. The question to me is how do we apply the teachings in our lives?

Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?


Behind this question is the idea of "self" who can do something... When listening to the right Dhamma, i.e- the Dhamma on realities and anattaness, if there is understanding, it will understand that whatever appears now (seeing, hearing etc...)is only dhamma, not me. Seeing now arises because there's the visible object, eye sense, and eye consciousness, not "I" seeing someone or something. That's how the Teachings are applied in our lives. Not you, me or anyone can do anything. It is the function of panna to do the work.

At first, panna is only of the intellectual level. It is the beginning of the development of understanding. By hearing more about details of realities, and more consideration of what has been heard, which pertains to now, this intellectual understanding can grow, but only gradually, until thira sanna (firm rememberance ) is established and can condition the arising of sati which is directly aware of realities.The development of panna takes a long time, very very long time.... 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:36 am

dhamma follower wrote:

tiltbillings wrote:The practical, experiential reality is, of course, you really won't know or have an idea of what attachments and other such problems there are in your mind/body process that will obstruct your cultivation of calmness until you actually do the practice to cultivate calmness and then actually bump into these problems and then have to deal with them in the light of awareness. If you do not do the practice, these issues may never clearly arise, and you'll never know. And much the same can be said for vipassana.


Are you implying the words of the Blessed One are not good enough?

Quite the contrary.

 

I think the problem comes rather from not reflecting enough on his words.

Actually, it would seem far more likely that the problem is that my understanding simply does not agree with you understanding, and I have yet to see anything in this thread that is a compelling argument for your undestanding.

 

If there's more reflecting on his words, which point to all what we experience in our daily life, it can condition a lot more understanding. However, in our deep rooted self-view and desire to get result, we try to "do" something, even to the point of putting his words aside and believing more in our own interpretation based on our deluded perception.

And quite frankly, that argument can just as easily be applied to your point of view. The reality is that there is room for understanding these things differently. The problem comes with insisting that one's understanding is the only way and everyone else's is wrong (which is what it looks like you followers of Sujin are doing).

 

We say we take refuge in the Buddha, but do we really take his words to heart and examine them?

Are you going to tell me that I do not? Based upon what, that I do not agree with you?

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:37 am

Hi Sam, 
 

SamKR wrote:No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.

Your post neatly summarises the origin of my total incomprehension of the arguments put forward by the Khun Suhin students. I've been asking that question for five years or so and have never got an answer that I can understand. Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana..."). 

 
Mike



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:47 PM

 dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:37 am

tiltbillings wrote:Please restate. The above is not at all clear to me.


The stretching on "formal practice" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Is it clearer now?

D.F

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:42 am

No one I know claims that these things arise from "will" so I presume you are talking about some teachers I don't know about. 

 
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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:50 am

I am repeating the following because dhamma follower did not reply to it, and I would like him to do so.

===========================================

dhamma follower wrote:
As it has been said, the choice doesn't belong to anyone, it is cetana perfoming its functions, but ignorance takes it for "mine" or "his".

Understanding that it is not "me", but only elements arising by conditions is what constitutes right view, an indispensable factor of the Path, isn't it?

Best wishes,
D.F

It depends, but until you have awakening you have to work with the "me" and "mine." Also, since this is the classical section we can talk about things using conventional or ultimate language. Conventional language is less clumsy.

The Buddha did not speak falsely:

By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled;
By oneself is evil shunned, by oneself is one refined.

To polish or stain, on ourselves it depends,
For a person cannot by another be cleansed.

(Dhammapada 165)


From the commentary to the Anguttara Nikaya:

Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathā, whereas references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā. 

To one who is capable of awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathā , the teaching is not presented on the basis of paramattha-kathā, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā. There is this simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which
each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā. It is by taking into consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
 AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55

http://kr.buddhism.org/~skb/down/papers/094.pdf

sammuti-kathā is not inferior to paramattha-kathā. And since this is not an Abhidhamma section we need not be limited to trying to speak in Abhidhamma-ese.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:48 PM

 dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:54 am

Dear Sam KR

 

SamKR wrote:
My questions is: How is this intention to do "formal" practice necessarily different from intention to listen and consider right dhamma? How only this so called "formal" practice is based on wrong view of self? Can't the so called "formal" practice be practiced without wrong view of self? Can't there be conditions for the intention to practice formally (other than wrong view of self) just like there are conditions for the intention to listen and consider dhamma (as Kevin stated above)?

No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.


Edit: corrected a sentence


The difference is one is the teaching of the Buddha (that listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration condition the arising of sati-panna) and the other (that intending to have sati by formal practice) is not, it is the contrary to the Buddha's teaching on anattaness and dependent originations.

Furthermore, even listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration are also conditioned. If this is not understood, then it would also become a ritual. So it all depends on understanding, not on the doing. Without hearing the right words and wise consideration of it, however, there will not be conditions for panna to arise. Should we dispute with the Buddha about it?

You maintained that "formal" practice can be done rightly after listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration. However, AS suggests that if one thinks of "formal practice", it simply means that there's not been right understanding of what had been heard, because a self-view is still there.

Brgrds,

D.F

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:56 am

Dear Mike,

 

mikenz66 wrote:No one I know claims that these things arise from "will" so I presume you are talking about some teachers I don't know about. 

 
Mike


So why there has to be a formal practice?

Brgds,

D.F

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:59 am

Possibly some a drawn to sitting and walking due to a past conditions developed and it is appropriate for their temperament.

The practice of formal meditation is also part of the tradition, which has allowed the teaching to be passed down from the time of the Buddha.

It is something that is encouraged by the wise.

It's benefits can be experienced here and now.

 

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:48 PM

 tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:59 am

dhamma follower wrote:

tiltbillings wrote:Please restate. The above is not at all clear to me.


The stretching on "formal practice" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Is it clearer now?

D.F

"The stretching on" is a bit obscure, but I think I get your meaning here.

Let me ask you, using conventional language, one can act intentionally -- kamma --, and does not such an action give rise to dhammas? Could not these dhammas then, in turn, be the conditions for the arising of sati? Speaking conventionally, one can certainly act in such a way that the conditions for sati arise. That is not say to that one just sits on a cushion and say: "Arise sati!!!" But it is to say that one can cultivate conditions that lead to the arising of sati. Even your method claims as much, but just in a more circumbendibus way.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:02 am

dhamma follower wrote:The difference is one is the teaching of the Buddha (that listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration condition the arising of sati-panna) and the other (that intending to have sati by formal practice) is not, it is the contrary to the Buddha's teaching on anattaness and dependent originations.

This is a claim that no one here has yet demonstrated, and -- I am sorry to say -- it smacks of the worst sort of sectarianism. If there is value to the Sujin type of practice, it is not well served by this sort of we-have-it-you-don't approach.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:I am repeating the following because dhamma follower did not reply to it, and I would like him to do so.

===========================================

dhamma follower wrote:
As it has been said, the choice doesn't belong to anyone, it is cetana perfoming its functions, but ignorance takes it for "mine" or "his".

Understanding that it is not "me", but only elements arising by conditions is what constitutes right view, an indispensable factor of the Path, isn't it?

Best wishes,
D.F

It depends, but until you have awakening you have to work with the "me" and "mine." Also, since this is the classical section we can talk about things using conventional or ultimate language. Conventional language is less clumsy.

The Buddha did not speak falsely:

By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled;
By oneself is evil shunned, by oneself is one refined.

To polish or stain, on ourselves it depends,
For a person cannot by another be cleansed.

(Dhammapada 165)


See:

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=520&p=5963&hilit=conventional#p5963



From the commentary to the Anguttara Nikaya:

Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathā, whereas references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā. 

To one who is capable of awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathā , the teaching is not presented on the basis of paramattha-kathā, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā. There is this simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which
each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā. It is by taking into consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
 AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55

http://kr.buddhism.org/~skb/down/papers/094.pdf

sammuti-kathā is not inferior to paramattha-kathā. And since this is not an Abhidhamma section we need not be limited to trying to speak in Abhidhamma-ese.


Dear Tilt,

I believe it refers to the kind of being with quick understanding, those who have had accumulated such a great deal of wisdom that one short sentence in common language is enough for them to get it.

For us, not only we need more elaboration in details on realities, but also many lives time...

What, according to you, arises and passes away? Can a house, a person arise and passe away?

The stages of vipassana insights all have paramatha as objects, don't they?

Brgds,

D.F

 

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:49 PM

 SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:16 am

dhamma follower wrote:Furthermore, even listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration are also conditioned. If this is not understood, then it would also become a ritual. So it all depends on understanding, not on the doing. Without hearing the right words and wise consideration of it, however, there will not be conditions for panna to arise. Should we dispute with the Buddha about it?


In my limited understanding, the relationship between the teaching about not-self and the teaching about intentionally doing any practice is very complicated -- which the Buddha had to face. It was his great patience and skill that he managed to teach both at the same time to different people having different levels of wisdom; that's why he is a samma-sambuddha.

In my limited understanding, initial right view about no self is a tool for the final direct realization of no self. A person intentionally uses this tool (ie., initial right view about no self) while understanding the complication and acknowledging his sense of self that he is stuck with -- towards the final direct realization of no self

Last edited by SamKR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:35 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:18 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Tilt,

I believe it refers to the kind of being with quick understanding, those who have had accumulated such a great deal of wisdom that one short sentence in common language is enough for them to get it.


I don't thinks so. These verses from the Dhammapada are quite straightforward and are clearly aimed at not some sort of person with paramis to burn, but rather it is directed to anyone, and its language is clear and direct. One does not need the complexities of the Abhidhamma to understand what it being said, nor does one need the complexities of the Abhidhamma to put it into practice.

By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled;
By oneself is evil shunned, by oneself is one refined.

To polish or stain, on ourselves it depends,
For a person cannot by another be cleansed.

(Dhammapada 165)

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:24 am

mikenz66 wrote:Your post neatly summarises the origin of my total incomprehension of the arguments put forward by the Khun Suhin students. I've been asking that question for five years or so and have never got an answer that I can understand. 


Hello Mike,

If you have not got a satisfactory answer in five years, probably I will not either. 
But Khun Sujin's students say many interesting and useful things and I like that. So, I want to see by trying to seek satisfactory answer to the question; there might be something fundamental that I have not understood. 


 

Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana...").

Exactly.

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:50 PM

 Dan74 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:38 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Dan

 

Dan74 wrote:Hi DF

Of course we are all well-served to study the teachings - this is not in dispute. The question to me is how do we apply the teachings in our lives?

Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?


Behind this question is the idea of "self" who can do something... When listening to the right Dhamma, i.e- the Dhamma on realities and anattaness, if there is understanding, it will understand that whatever appears now (seeing, hearing etc...)is only dhamma, not me. Seeing now arises because there's the visible object, eye sense, and eye consciousness, not "I" seeing someone or something. That's how the Teachings are applied in our lives. Not you, me or anyone can do anything. It is the function of panna to do the work.

At first, panna is only of the intellectual level. It is the beginning of the development of understanding. By hearing more about details of realities, and more consideration of what has been heard, which pertains to now, this intellectual understanding can grow, but only gradually, until thira sanna (firm rememberance ) is established and can condition the arising of sati which is directly aware of realities.The development of panna takes a long time, very very long time.... 

Brgrd,
D.F


Hi DF,

A good friend used to say "Buddhist practice is not a self-improvement project" and at least in the long term I agree. I also addressed this point several times in my previous posts and I am at a loss why you don't engage with this. I also don't see why listening to the Dhamma is more of a selfless practice than meditation. 

Dhamma Follower, I am perplexed - are you practicing the Sixfold Noble Path? Which is fine with me - mindfulness and concentration can arise spontaneously too. But for the most of us, consciously applying effort to them, is necessary, and was taught by the Buddha, as far as I know.

_/|\_

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:42 am

Is this Sutta relivent (AN 3.61)?

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that — when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, & rebuked by wise people — even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in [a doctrine of] inaction. Which three?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html


 

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#58 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:50 PM

 robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:51 am

Mr Man wrote:Is this Sutta relivent (AN 3.61)?

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that — when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, & rebuked by wise people — even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in [a doctrine of] inaction. Which three?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html


Hi mr man
Do you think that what I was saying as the causes for wisdom - as per the topic of this thread -fits into one of these three categories:
There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — that is all caused by what was done in the past.' 

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.' 

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all without cause & without condition.

http://www.abhidhamma.org/

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Dan74 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:58 am

robertk wrote:

Mr Man wrote:Is this Sutta relivent (AN 3.61)?

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that — when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, & rebuked by wise people — even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in [a doctrine of] inaction. Which three?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html


Hi mr man
Do you think that what I was saying as the causes for wisdom - as per the topic of this thread -fits into one of these three categories:
There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — that is all caused by what was done in the past.' 

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.' 

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all without cause & without condition.


I think this one quoted by David somewhere in the middle of this thread and seemingly ignored is more pertinent:

 

David N. Snyder wrote:There are Dhamma-experts who praise only monks who are also Dhamma-experts but not
those who are meditators. And there are meditators who praise only those monks who are also
meditators but not those who are Dhamma-experts. Thereby neither of them will be pleased, and
they will not be practicing for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the
multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans. 

Anguttara Nikaya 4.46

_/|\_

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:59 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sam, 
 

SamKR wrote:No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.

Your post neatly summarises the origin of my total incomprehension of the arguments put forward by the Khun Suhin students. I've been asking that question for five years or so and have never got an answer that I can understand. Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana..."). 

 
Mike

Dear Mike
can we agree that some formal practices are wrong. So if a teacher told you that by sitting in a cold river enduring cold was part of the path you would laugh and maybe even try to help him by explaining that such a practice is purely ritual with no value and is unrelated to the 8fold path?

If another teacher told you that studying and listening to Abhidhamma was a waste of time , that it was unrelated to right view , would you not then laugh also at him and point out how direct and true and helpful those details are?

http://www.abhidhamma.org/

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:23 am

robertk wrote:can we agree that some formal practices are wrong. So if a teacher told you that by sitting in a cold river enduring cold was part of the path you would laugh and maybe even try to help him by explaining that such a practice is purely ritual with no value and is unrelated to the 8fold path?

Rather than laugh, I'd ask for an explanation of the practice. But interestingly, this is obviously an extreme practice that does not find favor that I am aware of in Theravada, 

But then you contrast it with another extreme practice? It does not look to be a balanced comparison.


 

If another teacher told you that studying and listening to Abhidhamma was a waste of time , that it was unrelated to right view , would you not then laugh also at him and point out how direct and true and helpful those details are?

My response would be that the Abhidhamma has value and efficacy for some and that there is no reason to dismiss it out of hand.

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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#59 Virgo

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:51 PM

 Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:26 am

robertk wrote:Hi mr man
Do you think that what I was saying as the causes for wisdom - as per the topic of this thread -fits into one of these three categories:
There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — that is all caused by what was done in the past.' 

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.' 

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all without cause & without condition.


Hi robertk, The sutta reference was not specific to what you have said but to the thread as a whole. It is easy to unknowingly fall into one of these three views.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
But then you contrast it with another extreme practice? It does not look to be a balanced comparison.

 

robertk wrote:If another teacher told you that studying and listening to Abhidhamma was a waste of time , that it was unrelated to right view , would you not then laugh also at him and point out how direct and true and helpful those details are?


Let me suggest a balanced example:
If another teacher tells that just by chanting and listening to Abhidhamma you will gain right view, you will be freed of your one hundred thousand sins, and you will attain final liberation, would you not laugh?

In Hinduism such "extreme" view that just by chanting and listening Puranas etc. you will get rid of your sins (usually without any necessity that you actually understand it) is supported by Hindu texts and deeply entrenched in the mind of the people, and people actually do it quite regularly. I myself have done so.

Last edited by SamKR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:53 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:41 am

robertk wrote:..can we agree that some formal practices are wrong.


I'm beginning to think that the formal v. informal argument is a red herring. Isn't the more important consideration whether our practice is based on what is described in the suttas?

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:58 am

porpoise wrote:
I'm beginning to think that the formal v. informal argument is a red herring.

I agree. The distinction need not be there.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:24 am

porpoise wrote:
I'm beginning to think that the formal v. informal argument is a red herring. Isn't the more important consideration whether our practice is based on what is described in the suttas?

In fact I gave several quotes showing that the most crucial causes for wisdom were hearing and considering the Dhamma, and when I initially implied that wisdom didn't depend on formal or informal etc it was met with some resistance:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=228688&hilit=tilt#p228688

You just got done equating sitting meditation of having no more significance in one's "spiritual" practice than choosing which sandwich shop to go to. The issue is not the ritual itself. It is our attitude towards it, our expectation of it, that is the problem with ritual, but let us look at your statement:


Robert: It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me choosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway. But if one believes that it is these very operations that somehow are key to satisampajanna to arise then one is in the realm of silabataparamasa. 


Tilt:

It is hard not to read this as a flat, straight forward dismissal of sitting practice itself. Maybe you were really tired when you wrote this and you really do not mean to dismiss meditation practice as direct away of cultivating the factors giving rise to wisdom/insight



Think of all the suttas that say seeing and color must be directly known, must be seen with wisdom. Yet I have even heard of people closing their eyes thinking this is part of 'doing vipasaana". (I realize this is a very extreme case, possibly no Dhammawheel members would think that, but it does show the confusions that exist about what 'meditation' really is in the Buddhist sense).

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:54 PM

 robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:36 am

To further help the case of the value of careful consideration of Dhamma:

The vimuttayatanam The 5 bases of deliverance:
XXV. "Five bases of deliverance; here
a.

the teacher or a respected fellow disciple teaches a monk Dhamma.
And as he receives the teaching, he gains a grasp of both the spirit
and the letter of the teaching. At this, joy arises in him, and from
this joy, delight; and by this delight his senses are calmed, he
feels happiness as a result, and with this happiness his mind is
established [he attains nibbana];

b. he has not heard it thus, but in the course of the teaching
Dhamma to others he has learnt it by heart as he has heard it, or

c. as he is chanting the Dhamma... or

d. ...when he applies his mind to the Dhamma, thinks and ponders
over it and concentrates his attention on it; or

e. When he has properly grasped some concentration sign, has well
considered it, applied his mind to it, and has well penetrated it
with wisdom. At this, joy arises in him; and from this joy, delight,
and by this delight his senses are calmed, he feels happiness as a
result, and with this happiness his mind is established

.

Only e. is really related to some special mindstate. The other 4 ways(, a, b, c, d) of attaining Nibbana are based on directly considering the Buddha's teaching.

But could such consideration be done in the Belly Sandwich shop? I would say yes,.

Could it be done while sitting? yes

while walking? yes.

while defecating? yes.

Urinating ?yes...

and all the other situations described in the satipatthana sutta...

Should one think, while enjoying a sandwich at Belly sandwich shop "Oh this is not so good, I wish I was at the root of trees doing real practice!". 

Or could there be there and then, at the very moment of ordering, or at the moment of seeing , or tasting, awareness of hardness or feeling, or mind with desire or mind with aversion....

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:48 am

Hi Sam, 
 

SamKR wrote:If you have not got a satisfactory answer in five years, probably I will not either. 
But Khun Sujin's students say many interesting and useful things and I like that. So, I want to see by trying to seek satisfactory answer to the question; there might be something fundamental that I have not understood. 


 

Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana...").

Exactly.

Yes, they say interesting things that are mostly in accord with what the teachers I respect say. Nothing surprising about saying that you can't will things to happen. That follows directly from the suttas, and noone I know claims that, or that the interpretation of the suttas, abhidhamma and commentary that they use to recommend their particular approaches are based on such a clearly incorrect idea. 

Of course, they might all be wrong, so it's worth considering other possible interpretations (such as the Khun Sujin one). 

 
Mike

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:50 am

Hi robertk, do you practice sitting meditation? If you don't maybe you would enjoy it.

 

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Re: The causes for wisdom

by dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:50 am

Dear Sam,

 

SamKR wrote:
In my limited understanding, the relationship between the teaching about not-self and the teaching about intentionally doing any practice is very complicated -- which the Buddha had to face. It was his great patience and skill that he managed to teach both at the same time to different people having different levels of wisdom; that's why he is a samma-sambuddha.

I don't think the Buddha had to face it. In the Pali texts, what is the word that is today translated as meditation?: bhavana. Bhavana means development, not sitting meditation. The Buddha taught the conditions for each kind of bhavana (samatha and vipassana) to be developed. At that time, many people had the accumulations to enter jhana. Many more people only listened to the Buddha's discourses and attained enlightenment. Now, do we really know, understand, accept and remember what are these conditions? 



 

In my limited understanding, initial right view about no self is a tool for the final direct realization of no self. A person intentionally uses this tool (ie., initial right view about no self) while understanding the complication and acknowledging his sense of self that he is stuck with -- towards the final direct realization of no self


Who uses the tool and how in terms of ultimate realities? Only one citta at a time. If the citta is not accompanied by panna -right understanding, it is not the path. The path is not occuring if right view is not there. 

Brgds,
D.F

 

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