Silabbattaparamasa and Present Moment

Author
Topic
#543

• Dear Group,
A letter I wrote to a friend:
Panna (wisdom) is the base of the development
of satipatthana. We may have the idea that we have to make
the “mind”
still so that we can watch nama(mentality) and rupa (materiality):
Not realising that the mind is a concept and that namas and rupas
are arising and passing away all the time we are trying to arrange
this still ‘mind’, that the nama that ‘knows’ has disappeared before
we even had time to think of it. .
We can become intent on trying to do this or that because of
clinging to self view and its corollary, wrong practice,
silabataparamasa. Subtle wrong ideas that take us out of the present
moment
If we could see now that we do not have to make seeing happen, or
hearing or hardness, that they are conditioned in complex ways, then
we would comprehend that all dhammas are similary
conditioned and arise without any self doing anything. The
understanding of this – which develops as the different dhammas are
investigated – is very relaxing, and comes with a detachment that is
not dependent on the ‘situation’, on whether one is sitting or
standing, alone, or with others, or whether one is healthy or ill.
If it reaches sufficient level then it will be with with strong
samadhi, for brief moments; but it is a samadhi that is not the same
as trying to concentrate on an object.

Silabataparamsa is an aspect of wrong view and cannot exist if
anatta, not self, is deeply insighted. The Sammohavinodani (page227):
“The ordinary man is like a madman and without considering ‘Is this
right or not’ and aspiring by means of clinging …he performs any
of the kinds of kamma (good or bad)… Thus silabataparamasa
(clinging to rules and rituals)is a condition for all three, namely
the sense desire world, fine material and immaterial kinds of
existence with their divisions and what they include” Thus
silabataparamasa can lead to both good and bad states, it can lead
even to the highest pleasant feelings experienced in jhana but it
cannot lead out of samsara. All ways of kusala (wholesome) can
support the development of insight, but they
won’t if they are clung to or mistaken as the path. I think it
is all about understanding the here and now.
RobertK

• buddhatrue

Jun 15, 2003
— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “rjkjp1” wrote:
> Dear Group,
> A letter I wrote to a friend:
> Panna (wisdom) is the base of the development
> of satipatthana.

Hi Robert K,

I disagree. Sila (morality) is the base of the development of
satipatthana (meditation). This is also what the Buddha taught.
Panna is a consequence of satipatthana, not a prerequisite.

Metta, James

• rjkjp1

Jun 15, 2003
— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “buddhatrue” < > — In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “rjkjp1”
wrote:
> > Dear Group,
> > A letter I wrote to a friend:
> > Panna (wisdom) is the base of the development
> > of satipatthana.
> ——————————–
> Hi Robert K,
>
> I disagree. Sila (morality) is the base of the development of
> satipatthana (meditation). This is also what the Buddha taught.
> Panna is a consequence of satipatthana, not a prerequisite.
_________
Dear James,
I understand what you mean.
I think some of my posts, which stress on
anatta and uncontrollability, might seem to minimize
the importance of other aspects of the Buddha’s
teaching, such as sila and samadhi.
Nina van gorkom writes in “the commentary to the Cariyapittaka [1]:

Thus, esteeming virtue as the foundation for all achievements, as
the soil for the origination of all the Buddha-qualities, the
beginning, footing, head and chief of all the dhammas issuing in
Buddhahood” Endquote.
It is that important.

However, I know that in my early years of learning Dhamma I
misunderstood about sila. I worked
hard at it but with an idea that “I” was keeping
sila. So on this list I like to point out what I believe are some
refined aspects of sila and wisdom.

Silabata upadana clinging to sila and ritual – is a
an obstacle on the path. When we have this aspect
of wrong view it feels right because we change our life. Now we
have rules to follow and special difficult practices to try and
master. Our life has changed and we can see the difference
it makes- we are calmer and think more clearly. We
take these things as signposts that wisdom is also
growing but this may not be so.
_________
James: Panna is a consequence of satipatthana, not a prerequisite.
________
I think this is partially right. The path of the development of
satipatthana needs wisdom from the outset but as satipatthana
develops so too do panna, samadhi , saddha (confidence) and other
wholesome factors become gradually more powerful. It is a virtuos
circle. I think we shouldn’t underestimate , though, how profound
it is. Some practices may look like satipatthana but might be
something else. Here is a brief except from the satipatthana sutta
commentary:

“”The bhikkhu when experiencing a bodily or mental pleasant feeling
knows, ‘I experience a pleasant feeling.’
Certainly, while they experience a pleasant feeling, in sucking the
breast and on similar occasions, even infants lying on their backs
know that they experience pleasure. But this meditator’s knowledge
is different. Knowledge of pleasure possessed by infants lying on
their backs and other similar kinds of knowledge of pleasure do not
cast out the belief in a being, do not root out the perception of a
being, do not become a subject of meditation and do not become the
cultivation of the Arousing of Mindfulness. But the knowledge of
this bhikkhu casts out the belief in a being, uproots the perception
of a being, is a subject of meditation and is the cultivation of the
Arousing of Mindfulness. Indeed, the knowledge meant here is
concerned with experience that is wisely understood through inquiry.

Who feels? No being or person. Whose is the feeling? Not of a being
or person. Owing to what is there the feeling? Feeling can arise
with (certain) things — forms, sounds, smells and so forth — as
objects. That bhikkhu knows, therefore, that there is a mere
experiencing of feeling after the objectifying of a particular
pleasurable or painful physical basis or of one of indifference.
(There is no ego that experiences) because there is no doer or agent
[kattu] besides a bare process [dhamma]. The word “bare” indicates
that the process is impersonal.ENDQUOTE””
http://www.abhidhamm…yFeelings.htm#*

So it takes some understanding to begin satipatthana.
In the visuddhimagga (I,18 ) In the section on sila it talks about
sila as
restraint and one of the ways is restraint by
mindfulness. With regard to this factor it says “he
guards the eye faculty, enters upon restraint of the
eye faculty,” and it repeats for the other doors. And
later it says I42 “On seeing a visible object with the
eye, he apprehends neither the signs nor the
particulars through which , if he left the eye faculty
unguarded, evil an unprofitable states of
covetnousness and grief might invade him, he enters
upon the way of its restraint..”..And it goes on and
then repeats for the other doorways.
of concept then the “eyefaculty is
unguarded”
What does it mean “On seeing a visible object with the
eye, he apprehends neither the signs nor the
particulars through which , if he left the eye faculty
unguarded, evil an unprofitable states of
covetnousness and grief might invade “.?
This is our
normal life – after seeing immediately concepts are
formed up of people and things. It is avijja(ignorance) – no
sila. But when there is the satipatthana, even at the
very beginning level, there is some understanding of
the visible object as merely visible object, colours
(no being, no object). And that is sila of a high
degree.

It might seem when
we see this division and hear that sila is the
foundation that first we perfect sila, then samatha
and later panna. However, as we see, right at the
beginning of the se ction on sila we have satipatthana explained.
And satipatthana comes with panna, with sila, and with samadhi – for
those moments when there is correct insight.

RobertK

• buddhatrue

> _________
> James: Panna is a consequence of satipatthana, not a prerequisite.
> ________
> I think this is partially right. The path of the development of
> satipatthana needs wisdom from the outset

Hi Robert K,

Again, I disagree. The Buddha encouraged children and young people
to become monks and begin the practice, without any prerequisites of
them truly knowing what they were doing or why they were doing it.
Panna is not a prerequisite to satipatthana.

Metta, James

RobertK

Wisdom( panna) is not a prerequisite to mental development. The path
begins with morality (sila) and ends in wisdom(panna). It is
through panna that one understands the trilakkhana(anicca, dukkha,
anatma) and breaks the fetters of samsara to attain Nibbana.

The wisdom begins to grow through the gradual development of 18
vipassana nana in insight meditation. In meditating on the five
aggregates separating them into nama and rupa arises the nama rupa
pariccedha nana, then meditating on how nama rupa results through
cause and effect arises the paccaya pariggaha nana, contemplating the
nama rupa independently as khanda, ayatana or indriya, arises
Sammassana nana etc. until the arising of the Nibbidanu passana
nana, the development of aversion, seeing the arising and falling
away, the unsatisfactoriness of , and attachment and aversion to all
conceptual things, which would result in the arising of the eye of
wisdom and understand the trilakkhana.

You may observe that ” who ever ” sits cross-legged and meditate, has
many things happening in his “unseen mind”

With metta,
Yasa

• phamdluan2000

Jun 16, 2003
Dear Yasa,

Wisdom( panna) is not a prerequisite to mental development. The path
begins with morality (sila) and ends in wisdom(panna). It is
through panna that one understands the trilakkhana(anicca, dukkha,
anatma) and breaks the fetters of samsara to attain Nibbana.

KKT: But the Noble Eightfold Path
begins with Right View.

To have Right View, one should
have Panna as prerequisite.

What do you think?

Peace,

KKT

• christine_forsyth

Message 7 of 57 , Jun 16, 2003
Hi KKT,

I wonder if it can have something to do with the two paths – the
lokiya (mundane) and the lokuttara (supermundane)?
Nyanatiloka’s description of Magga (path) is interesting.

http://www.budsas.or…dict/dic3_m.htm

metta and peace,
Christine
—The trouble is that you think you have time —

Hi Victor,

I was going to wait for Yasa to answer, but others have jumped in so
I thought I would also. The Noble Eightfold Path isn’t sequential,
that is why it is called the Eightfold Path; otherwise it would be
the Noble Eightstep Path. Not only that but I don’t believe
that `Right View’ is the same thing as Panna. Many in this group
seem to use that word for just about anything from basic
understanding/knowledge to full blown enlightenment. Panna should
only be used to describe the highest wisdom, when the Four Noble
Truths are known intimately, cognitively, and intuitively. It
doesn’t require enlightenment, but it is a far sight more than just
knowing the basics. Right View is basically just knowing the
basics. It is just understanding the law of karmathat we are all
heirs to our deeds. On a supramundane level, it would be knowing the
law of karma intuitively, but that still isn’t panna. If you have a
different understanding, please share.

Metta, James

• yasalalaka

Message 9 of 57 , Jun 17, 2003

To: All
and Larry, who has doubts about Nibbana.

The Buddha has explained the path out of samsara to attain Nibbana,
but due to our ignorance (avijja) we are unable to see it. We may
even have a Masters Degree from a renown University, but yet we
continue to suffer in Samsara , as a result of our ignorance
(avijja),to understand the reality of lobha, dosa, moha. The Buddha
has not discriminated in his teaching by giving discourses, with its
emphasis on meditation to attain Nibbana for ” the ordinary run of
the mill” people, and Abhidhamma for an educated elite.

Panna is not necessary to understand the eightfold path, and follow
it according to its division into Sila, Samadhi, Panna. It is not
symbiotic, and has to be followed in its order, without missing one
or the other. This is not complicated to understand, with an
ordinary man’s intelligence. I agree with James, the word “panna” is
made banal, and has lost its true meaning. We may perhaps put it this
way, that”wisdom” has two meanings, one is just understanding
correctly, and the other, the penetrative understanding, where a deep
concentration is necessary. But for deep concentration, a certain
discipline and a method, is of primary importance.

It is certainly not by,” living the moment, seeing the rising and
falling away of thoughts, any time any where”, even while running to
catch the train !

Lord Buddha in his great compassion, has given us all the necessary
instructions in his discourses -the Suttas. If we leave that to,”the
beings of lesser understanding”, and take to Abhidhamma to find a
more intellectual practice of Dhamma, we will be up the wrong tree.
From their the perspective below will be different and the path that
leads to Nibbana ,will be hidden from the view. Therefore it is
better to come down from that unsafe perch, and
re-evaluate Bhavana. It is after all , not what others say about
dhamma that counts , but how you see it yourself.

In that respect, I refer you to Kalama Sutta, In which ,the people
from a village came to Buddha, and said,” Lord, different teachers
come to our village, and each one speaks of his philosophy, telling
us that his teaching is the correct teaching. We are confused and
perplexed Lord, tell us which teaching to follow”. And the Lord
Buddha said:

” Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by
logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through
pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, “This
contemplative is our teacher.” When you know for yourselves
that, “These qualities are skilful; these qualities are blameless;
these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when
adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness” — then you
should enter & remain in them.”

Thus was it said.

With metta,

Yasa.
“wisdom” has two meanings, one is just understanding
> correctly, and the other, the penetrative understanding, where a
deep
> concentration is necessary. But for deep concentration, a certain
> discipline and a method, is of primary importance.
___________
Dear Yasa,
You referred in a few posts to sitting under a tree and
concentrating on the breath. I assume this is what the ‘certain
discipline and method’ is?
________________
>
> It is certainly not by,” living the moment, seeing the rising and
> falling away of thoughts, any time any where”, even while running
to
> catch the train !
> __

I probably missed the post you are quoting here. Could you give the
reference to make discussion easier. On the point “seeing the
rising and falling of thought” : to me this sounds like thinking.
Nina wrote :http://www.abhidhamma.org/India6.html
A.Sujin said:
“If we try to analyse different moments it is not panna, it is
thinking. When there is more understanding there will be less
thinking about `me’ all the time. We should think of other people
rather than thinking of ourselves. Any time satipatthana arises, it
is so useful. It is like a drop of water falling in a big jar, even
if it is a tiny drop.”
In other words, eventually the jar will be filled with water, even
if there is a little drop at a time. Even so, a short moment of sati
is useful, because it is accumulated little by little, so that right
understanding can grow. We learn that all realities are anatta, but
we have wrong understanding of anatta. We forget that the reality
appearing at this moment is anatta.””
________________

> Lord Buddha in his great compassion, has given us all the
necessary
> instructions in his discourses -the Suttas. If we leave that
to,”the
> beings of lesser understanding”, and take to Abhidhamma to find a
> more intellectual practice of Dhamma, we will be up the wrong
tree.
> From their the perspective below will be different and the path
that
> leads to Nibbana ,will be hidden from the view. Therefore it is
> better to come down from that unsafe perch, and
> re-evaluate Bhavana.
> Yasa.
_______________
Perhaps if we look at Abhidhamma from the outside it appears an
intellectual study. I think we have to strive to see it in the
moment. Then the whole world begins to be unravel and become
Abhidhamma; sort of like ‘The Matrix’.
The venerable Sitagu sayadaw wrote about Abhidhamma and insight –
I’ve quoted this before- in a pithy way:
http://web.ukonline&#8230;.ism/dhamaj2.htm

“Vipassana is a method of wisdom that searches for truth and peace
in diverse ways by observing, inquiring into, and penetrating the
nature, the essence, the set order, the absence of being, the
selflessness and the ultimately reality of mind and matter. .. In
both instances, Vipassana and Abhidhamma are identical.

Since Vipassana meditation takes the Abhidhamma as its sole
object of contemplation, Vipassana and Abhidhamma cannot be
separated. And while it may not be said that one can practice
Vipassana only after one has mastered the Abhidhamma, Vipassana
meditation and the study of Abhidhamma remain one and the same
thing. Because mind, mental factors and matter are forever bound up
with this fathom-long body, the study and learning of this subject,
and the concentrated observation of the nature of mind, mental
factors and matter are tasks which cannot be distinguished.

Since at the very least one would have to say that there can
be no Vipassana without an understanding of mind and matter, surely
then it is not possible to separate Abhidhamma and Vipassana. It is
explained in the Abhidhamma that the root causes giving rise to the
seven elements of mind and matter are ignorance (avijja), craving
(tanha) and volitional action (kamma). It is further pointed out
that the supporting conditions for these same seven elements are
kamma, mind, climate (utu) and nutriment (ahara). Only by grasping
these abhidhammic truths will one possess the knowledge which
comprehends conditional relations (paccayapariggahanana), and
achieve the purification of mind necessary for overcoming doubt…
Therefore, since it is the case that Vipassana and Abhidhamma are
not separate but are mutually dependent, it is rightly submitted
that Vipassana yogis ought not let go of that wise method of
learning about the human condition called the Abhidhamma.”” EndQuote.

You indicated above that deep concentration is needed for insight. I
think this could be taken in a right or wrong way. It is true that
at moments of vipassana concentration is strong, but it is a
concentration that arises to focus for those moments on whatever
reality is present; it is not-self, not under mastery of anyone. I
think it is a subtle point.
RobertK
• rjkjp1

Message 11 of 57 , Jun 17, 2003
> — In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “buddhatrue”
> wrote:
> > —> > > — , “yasalalaka”
> > > wrote:
James: I don’t believe
> > that `Right View’ is the same thing as Panna. Many in this
group
> > seem to use that word for just about anything from basic
> > understanding/knowledge to full blown enlightenment. Panna
should
> > only be used to describe the highest wisdom, when the Four Noble
> > Truths are known intimately, cognitively, and intuitively. It
> > doesn’t require enlightenment, but it is a far sight more than
just
> > knowing the basics. Right View is basically just knowing the
> > basics.
>
> ________
Dear James,
I think it is not too critical whether samma-ditthi or panna is used
provided we make it reasonably clear what is meant.
Samma-ditthi (right view) is used to mean begining levels of
understanding – as you say – but also advanced ones:
From the Anguttara Nikaya
Dasakanipata(book of tens)
11. Pañhama-asekhasuttam- on one gone beyond the training [The
arahant]
ßHere, bhikkhus, the bhikkhu is endowed with perfect right view,
perfect right thoughts, perfect right speech, perfect right
activity, perfect right livelihood, perfect right endeavour, perfect
right mindfulness, perfect right concentration perfect right
knowledge and perfect right release gone beyond the training. Such a
one is gone beyond the training

013. Parisuddhavaggo The section on purity.
1. Pañhamasuttam- The first.
123. “”Bhikkhus, these ten things are pure and clean and are not
found any where else other than in the discipline of the Well Gone
One. What ten?
Right view, right thoughts, right speech, right action, right
livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness, right concentration,
right knowledge and right release. Bhikkhus, these ten things are
pure and clean and are not found any where else other than in the
discipline of the Well Gone One. “endquote

4. Catutthasuttam- The fourth.
126. Bhikkhus, these ten things train to end greed, hatred and
delusion. They are not found any where else other than in the
discipline of the Well Gone One. What ten?
Right view, right thoughts, right speech, right action, right
livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness, right concentration,
right knowledge and right release. Bhikkhus, these ten things train
to end greed, hatred and delusion are not found any where else other
than in the discipline of the Well Gone One.

9. Pubbaõgamasuttam- The first sign.
121. Bhikkhus, the first appearance, the first signs of the rising
sun is dawn. In the same manner the first appearances and the first
signs of all meritorious things is right view. To one with right
view, there are right thoughts. To one with right thoughts, there is
right speech. To one with right speech, there is right action. To
one with right actions, there is right livelihood. To one with right
livelihood, there is right endeavour. To one with right endeavour,
there is right mindfulness. To one with right mindfulness, there is
right concentration. To one with right concentration, there is right
knowledge. To one with right knowledge, there is right release”

4. Bãjasuttam Seedlings.
ßBhikkhus, of a person with right view, right thoughts, right
speech, right activities, right livelihood, right endeavour, right
mindfulness, right concentration, right knowledge and right release,
whatever be the extent of his right view, to that extent will be the
proficiency of his bodily. verbal and mental activities, intentions,
wishes, aspirations and determinations. All those things will
conduce to be agreeable, desirable and pleasant. What is the reason?
Bhikkhus, it is on account of the right view.

6. Tayodhammasuttam- Three things.
Bhikkhus, without dispelling three things, it is not possible to
dispel the view of a self, doubts and grasping virtues as the
highest aim.
What three? Unwise attention, practising in the wrong path and the
mind’s immobility Bhikkhus, without dispelling these three things,
it is not possible to dispel the view of a self, doubts and.grasping
virtues as the highest aim.” endquote
RobertK
buddhatrue

Message 12 of 57 , Jun 17, 2003
— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “rjkjp1” wrote:
> A.Sujin said:
> “If we try to analyse different moments it is not panna, it is
> thinking. When there is more understanding there will be less
> thinking about `me’ all the time. We should think of other people
> rather than thinking of ourselves. Any time satipatthana arises, it
> is so useful. It is like a drop of water falling in a big jar, even
> if it is a tiny drop.”

To anyone,

Why wait for little drops of sati to appear? Why not open the faucet
and have the full flow of sati with meditation (to extend the
metaphor)? With A. Sujin’s method, we would all remain continually
thirsty for truth.

Metta, James
• yu_zhonghao

Jun 18, 2003
Hi James and all,

Right view is expounded in various ways in the discourses. In this
message, I will try to explain how I understand right view, quoting
mostly from Maha-cattarisaka Sutta (MN 117) — The Great Forty.
This discourse has a fairly complex structure. However, it does
illustrate the relation between right view and other path factors.
Hopefully this message will bring up some beneficial discussion.

Right view is the forerunner in the noble eightfold path. It is
forerunner in at least two contexts: one’s practice/development of
the path factors and one’s progression of the path.

In terms of the practice/development of the path factors, right
view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood,
right effort, & right mindfulness are the supports and requisite
conditions for the noble right concentration. Of those seven
supports and requisite conditions, right view is the forerunner.

How is right view the forerunner?

One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view.
One discerns wrong resolve as wrong resolve, and right resolve as
right resolve.
One discerns wrong speech as wrong speech, and right speech as right
speech.
One discerns wrong action as wrong action, and right action as right
action.
One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right
livelihood as right livelihood.

This discernment is one’s right view. It is the forerunner.
Without it, right view, right resolve, right speech, right action,
and right livelihood are impossible.

Let’s examine what wrong view is and right view in more detail.

And what is wrong view?

‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There
is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this
world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn
beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly &
practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having
directly known & realized it for themselves.’ This is wrong view.

And what is right view?

Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with
fermentations [asava], siding with merit, resulting in the
acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without
fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path.
“And what is the right view that has fermentations, sides with
merit, & results in acquisitions? ‘There is what is given, what is
offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good &
bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother &
father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests &
contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim
this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for
themselves.’ This is the right view that has fermentations, sides
with merit, & results in acquisitions.
“And what is the right view that is without fermentations,
transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of
discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a
factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view in one
developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free
from fermentations, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This
is the right view that is without fermentations, transcendent, a
factor of the path.

One could say that the right view that is without fermentations is
panna. In that sense, the forerunning discernment is panna, however
elemental and basic it may be.

Right view is also forerunner in terms of one’s progression on the
noble eightfold path.


“Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the
forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In
one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right
speech, right action… In one of right action, right livelihood…
In one of right livelihood, right effort… In one of right effort,
right mindfulness… In one of right mindfulness, right
concentration… In one of right concentration, right knowledge…
In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the
learner is endowed with eight factors, and the Arahant with ten.

Note that in the progression on the noble eightfold path the eight
path factors have a sequential relation where as in one’s
practice/development of the path factors, the relation is more
complex. However, right view is the forerunner in both senses.

In the practice/development of the path factors, I see that relation
between right view and other path factors not as a sequential one.
Although it all started with right view, it is not that one has to
first develop right view to its culmination then proceed to the
development of other path factors. Nevertheless, development of
right view does influence the development other path factors.

Your comment is appreciated.

Peace,
Victor

— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “buddhatrue”
wrote:
[snip]
> Hi Victor,
>
> I was going to wait for Yasa to answer, but others have jumped in
so
> I thought I would also. The Noble Eightfold Path isn’t
sequential,
> that is why it is called the Eightfold Path; otherwise it would be
> the Noble Eightstep Path. Not only that but I don’t believe
> that `Right View’ is the same thing as Panna. Many in this group
> seem to use that word for just about anything from basic
> understanding/knowledge to full blown enlightenment. Panna should
> only be used to describe the highest wisdom, when the Four Noble
> Truths are known intimately, cognitively, and intuitively. It
> doesn’t require enlightenment, but it is a far sight more than
just
> knowing the basics. Right View is basically just knowing the
> basics. It is just understanding the law of karmathat we are all
> heirs to our deeds. On a supramundane level, it would be knowing
the
> law of karma intuitively, but that still isn’t panna. If you have
a

• buddhatrue

> Right view is expounded in various ways in the discourses. In this
> message, I will try to explain how I understand right view, quoting
> mostly from Maha-cattarisaka Sutta (MN 117) — The Great Forty.
> This discourse has a fairly complex structure. However, it does
> illustrate the relation between right view and other path factors.
> Hopefully this message will bring up some beneficial discussion.

Hi Victor,

Hmmmthis is a very strange sutta indeed. Frankly, I don’t believe
the Lord Buddha gave this sutta. It is very choppy, illogical, and
doesn’t really focus on one central idea. And that part at the end
of the sutta where the Buddha appears to get very defensive about the
sutta and how no one should oppose it without the risk of “criticism,
opposition, & reproach”. That wasn’t his style at all. I don’t
agree with this sutta.

Metta, James
• yu_zhonghao

Jun 18, 2003
Hi James,

Thank you for your reply.

How is the discourse Maha-cattarisaka Sutta choppy and illogical?
Besides the part at the end of the discourse, is there any other part
or point of the discourse that you don’t agree with?

In terms of following the noble eightfold path, I do find that Maha-
cattarisaka Sutta illustrate a structural relation of the path
factors. And this shows that following the noble eightfold path is
an integral, structured practice, with right view as the forerunner.

Another instance of description of the relation of the path factors
can be found in
Samyutta Nikaya XLV.1
Avijja Sutta
Ignorance
http://www.accesstoi…a/sn45-001.html

In the discourse, the Buddha described the progression of the rise of
the path factors. Again, right view is the forerunner.

Your comment is appreciated.

Peace,
Victor

> Hmmmthis is a very strange sutta indeed. Frankly, I don’t believe
> the Lord Buddha gave this sutta. It is very choppy, illogical, and
> doesn’t really focus on one central idea. And that part at the end
> of the sutta where the Buddha appears to get very defensive about
the
> sutta and how no one should oppose it without the risk
of “criticism,

• buddhatrue

Message 16 of 57 , Jun 19, 2003
Hi Victor,

Thank you for the reference to the second sutta. I think this second
sutta is authentic, the first one isn’t. Carefully reread this
second sutta, it doesn’t state that the path factors are sequential.
It describes them as each containing the other. I could go into a
detailed analysis of the first sutta and why I don’t believe it is
authentic, but you have failed to answer a question for me: If Right
View is required at the onset, why did the Buddha encourage the
ordination of children, who wouldn’t have Right View and would only
do what they were told to do? I also have another question for you:
Answer this question and I will answer yours. I notice that you ask
a lot of question but provide scant answers, of a personal opinion-
oriented nature. I don’t want to make the effort at personal
analysis unless you do also.

Metta, James

• nidive

Jun 19, 2003

For the very reason that Right View is required at the onset. It is
much easier to cultivate Right View in children.

Even so, it is much much easier to cultivate Wrong View in children. A
case in point: Palestinian children whose ambition is to be suicide
bombers.

I think most of us are fed on Wrong View when young.

Swee Boon

• phamdluan2000

Message 18 of 57 , Jun 19, 2003
Dear James,

— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “buddhatrue”
wrote:

If Right View is required at the onset,
why did the Buddha encourage the ordination of children,
who wouldn’t have Right View and
would only do what they were told to do?

KKT: I think there is
no other answer than that one:

One can practice the Dhamma
without the need of knowing
or even of understanding it
because the Dhamma is good
in the beginning, in the
middle and in the end,
it should produce good results, right?

The question you raised is also
interesting in that one can
<< condition >> the children
with the Dhamma, an idea
which is opposed to the maintream
idea of education that is
the children should be free
from all conditionings,
especially religious conditionings!

Peace,

KKT
Hi James,

Following the noble eightfold path is an integral practice. It is
not a step by step process in which one develops right view first,
then right resolve, then right speech, then right action, then right
livelihood, then right effort, then right mindfulness, then right
concentration.

I believe that both of us don’t see it as a step by step process as
described above.

However, following the noble eightfold path does start with right
view, with knowing the four noble truths. It has nothing to do with
whether right view is required for ordination.

There are different aspects to right view. Right view is the
knowledge regarding the fourth noble truths. It is also discerning
wrong view as wrong view, right view as right view, unwholesome as
unwholesome, wholesome as wholesome. It is possible that one has
right view in certain aspects and wrong view in others.

Following the noble eightfold path is an integral practice. Both
Maha-cattarisaka Sutta and Avijja Sutta illustrate the inter-relation
of the path factors in which right view is the forerunner. Remember
that the goal is the cessation of dukkha. Noble eightfold path is
the way to get there, and it all starts with the knowledge regarding
the four noble truths.

Peace,
Victor

• Andrew

Message 20 of 57 , Jun 19, 2003
— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, “buddhatrue”
wrote:
> If Right View is required at the onset, why did the Buddha
encourage the
> ordination of children, who wouldn’t have Right View and would only
> do what they were told to do?

Hi James
I don’t have the answer to this interesting question but I think it’s
important to identify “children don’t have Right View” as an
assumption. Long ago, somebody postulated to me that, in the west, we
have the view that children are “empty bottles” to be filled up by
their parents (and culture). If the children turn out “bad” then the
parents can be rightly blamed for not filling them up with the right
stuff. This person suggested that the Buddhist view was different ie
children are “part full bottles” with their own accumulations (yes,
that word again) etcetera. I don’t know if this metaphor adds anything
helpful, apart from questioning the idea that children can’t have
Right View.
Metta, Andrew

• rjkjp1

Jun 22, 2003
— >
A discussion with a friend
Dear RobertK,
you
have
> family and teach classes. Are there any conflicts? How long can
you
> go on like this?
_________

These are great questions.
I think when there is a (belief in) ‘self’ then conflicts are
inevitable. Then there is always ‘me’ trying to do or get something.

I used to have the idea: first get the mind nice and still and then
ponder at leisure the changing patterns. However, this is caught up
in a subtle idea that `mind’ somehow exists. There is no Mind but
there are only rapidly changing phenomena.
It is natural that mental states are involved in concepts but in
between there can be, sometimes, little flashes of insight that know
the characteristic of paramattha dhamma (any of the khandhas such as
seeing or sound or feeling, or hardness, or greed). Ronald Graham, a
well-known mathematician said “You can do mathematics anywhere. I
once had a flash of insight into a problem in the middle of a back
somersault with a triple twist on my trampoline ( in the “The man
who loved only numbers”). Of course panna (wisdom ) of vipassana is
much faster than that as it is seeing dhammas directly (not
conceptualizing about them).

Too, the thinking process has to be known, and it can’t be known if
one always turns away from it to tries to manufacture something else
that one thinks is better or purer.
If there are conflicts then this shows that one is trying to force,
and not accepting the present moment as it is. The only way out is
to insight such moments and see what is really present – Which one
will see is some dhamma conditioned by tanha (desire) for a result.
That tanha is part of dependent origination and no matter how much
it feels like wholesome effort will actually hinder insight – unless
it is seen as it is.
Also I must confess that I err on the lazy side and take things
pretty easy.

When I hear people ask A. Sujin “How do I practice?” her reply is
very careful. In some ways it can’t really be answered because such
a question shows there is already a hidden idea of self who can do
something. There are dhammas arising even while such questions are
been asked and if there is enough understanding then sati can arise
to be aware of the moment. It is always about this moment –
according to A. Sujin. But that sort of answer doesn’t satisfy tanha
(desire) which always wants results now.
RobertK

• szmicio

Message 22 of 57 , Oct 31, 2008
Dear Dhamma friends,
I think a lot about things, concepts and there is this strong belive
all is real. Can we stop it?

What about our body? Can we feel pain? Or is it another concept?

I am busy now, cant time to listen. There is thinking about daily
activities all the time. This kind of thinking takes all my attention.
How can there be right understending develop?
How can sati arise in such circumstances?

When I am busy I dont think about Dhamma. How can panja arise in such
moments?

What is a diffrence between moments of magga, and moments of pala?

Which parts of eightfold-path are cetasikas?

Best Wishes
Lukas

• Nina van Gorkom

Nov 1, 2008
Dear Lukas,
I am glad to hear from you. I am thinking of your picture in a Polish
street with these typical houses you find in that part of Europe.
Just dreaming on account of visible object. At such a moment taking
concepts for real.
Op 31-okt-2008, om 22:52 heeft szmicio het volgende geschreven:
> I think a lot about things, concepts and there is this strong belive
> all is real. Can we stop it?
——-
N: No, not at all, it is conditioned. For aeons we accumulated such
belief. It is not realistic to think that one can get rid of this
immediately. But, thanks to the Dhamma we have learnt that the world
of concepts is different from the world of ultimate realities.
Slowly, slowly we can learn the difference: we can think of concepts
and we do all the time. But, nama and rupa are realities that can be
directly experienced when they appear one at a time, without the need
to name them. We can learn the difference between realities and
concepts and then we go into the right direction.
——–
>
> L: What about our body? Can we feel pain? Or is it another concept?
——-
N: We learn that what we call body are only rupa elements that arise
and fall away. From head to toe all these rupas arise and then fall
away immediately. Pain is nama, the body itself does not feel
anything. But there are conditions for pain when hardness, heat,
motion or pressure impinge on the bodysense which is all over the body.
——–
>
> L:I am busy now, cant time to listen. There is thinking about daily
> activities all the time. This kind of thinking takes all my attention.
> How can there be right understending develop?
> How can sati arise in such circumstances?
———-
N: What circumstances of life we are in is all conditioned. Kamma
conditions seeing, hearing and the other sense impressions and the
accumulated kusala or akusala condition our reactions, our thinking.
What you learnt about the Dhamma is never lost, and understanding
that was acquired will develop. If we wish for sati and pa~n~naa now
there is clinging to my sati, my pa~n~naa. This is very human, we all
have such inclinations. But it is good to know that this does not
help. It is counter productive.
Of course your work takes all your attention, but the fact that you
posted today also indicates that you do not forget the Dhamma. It
really helps to understand that also moments of forgetfulness are
only namas that are conditioned, not my forgetfulness.
———
>
> L: When I am busy I dont think about Dhamma. How can panja arise in
> such
> moments?
——-
N: It can, but not yet when it is not firm enough. Listening more,
considering more, and then: no worry when it will arise. It is
conditioned, anatta, it cannot be made to arise.
——–
>
> L: What is a diffrence between moments of magga, and moments of pala?
——–
N: Lokuttara maggacittas are lokuttara kusala cittas experiencing
nibbaana and eradicating defilements in accordance with the stage of
enlightenment that is reached. Phalacittas are the results of the
magga-cittas, lokuttara vipaakacittas, experiencing nibbaana. They
arise immediately in the same process.
——-
>
> L:Which parts of eightfold-path are cetasikas?
——
N: all of them are cetasikas, and that means: arising because of
conditions, not self, beyond control.
——-
Nina.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

• szmicio

Message 24 of 57 , Nov 1, 2008
Dear Nina
> > L: What is a diffrence between moments of magga, and moments of
pala?
> ——–
> N: Lokuttara maggacittas are lokuttara kusala cittas experiencing
> nibbaana and eradicating defilements in accordance with the stage of
> enlightenment that is reached. Phalacittas are the results of the
> magga-cittas, lokuttara vipaakacittas, experiencing nibbaana. They
> arise immediately in the same process.
> ——-

L: So we are talking about ariya, but whats with present moment. I
used to think that magga cittas arises in our daily life, the same as
phala cittas. I like to think about magga cittas which cultivates the
magga, not me. When citta which speaks in the right way arises, isnt
it a real magga citta?
> > L:Which parts of eightfold-path are cetasikas?
> ——
> N: all of them are cetasikas, and that means: arising because of
> conditions, not self, beyond control.

L: Yeah that’s true.
But can you tell more?
When we speak in the right way, what kind of citta arises, what kind
of cetasikas?

Now I can see the real benefit of listening, reading and considering
Dhamma. That’s my only chance for bhavana. I am glad I have such good
friends in Dhamma.

Best wishes
Lukas

• Nina van Gorkom

Nov 2, 2008
Dear Lukas,
Op 1-nov-2008, om 21:14 heeft szmicio het volgende geschreven:

——-
N: You are thinking of the development of the Path, magga, but the
term maggacittas and phalacittas is reserved for lokuttara cittas
experiencing nibbaana. My Abh. in Daily Life, Ch 23 may help. THis is
the end of a long, long development, many lives.
——–
——–
N: Let me sum them up first;
Wisdom (paññā) III.

1. Right view (sammā-diṭṭhi)

2. Right thought (sammā-saṅkappa)

Morality (sīla) I.

3. Right speech (sammā-vācā)

4. Right bodily action (sammā-kammanta)

5. Right livelihood (sammā-ājīva)

Concentration (samādhi) II.

6. Right effort (sammā-vāyāma)

7. Right mindfulness (sammā-sati)

8. Right concentration (sammā-samādhi

1 and 2 are the wisdom of the eightfold Path. Right thinking
‘touches’ the nama and rupa so that pa~n~naa can investigate it. It
assists pa~n~naa in this way.
As to 3,4,5, these can only arise one at a time, when there is an
opportunity for abstinence of wrong speech, action, livelihood. Only
when the citta is lokuttara citta all three arise, eradicating the
base of these kinds of akusala, in accordance with the stage of
enlightenment that is reached. 6,7,8, arise together with right view
which is pa~n~naa and each assists pa~n~naa in their own way. If they
do not accompany right understanding of the eightfold Path they are
not Path factors. Right effort is needed, in order to persevere, even
though one sees not much progress. Not becoming downhearted and
discouraged. Not regretting one’s busiy life and wishing for other
surroundings. Not delaying the development of understanding to some
other time, at another occasion.
———
It is important to know the difference between ultimate realities and
concepts, because only ultimate realities, nama and rupa, are the
object of the cetasikas of the eightfold Path.
Also, the diference between a moment with sati and a moment without
sati has to be known.

N: When you are impatient with your brother and about to speak
harshly, sati may be non-forgetful of kusala and then you do not
speak such words, you abstain, and that is virati cetasika. But we
are bound to take such moments for my abstention from wrong speech.
Then it is not realized as a kind of naama that is conditioned. It is
kusala but not right speech of the eightfold Path.
When the citta is kusala citta there are many sobhana cetasikas
assisting it, such as saddhaa, confidence in kusala, alobha, adosa,
sati (there are many levels of it, not only of the level of
satipatthaana), hiri, ottappa and many others.

> L:Now I can see the real benefit of listening, reading and considering
> Dhamma. That’s my only chance for bhavana. I am glad I have such good
> friends in Dhamma.
——
N: This morning I listened to a Thai recording and heard Kh Sujin say
again and again: listen, consider, understand a little more, listen,
consider, understand a little more, etc. Very good. She said; little
by little there will be understanding, little by little.
We have to deeply consider anatta: there is not I or the world, as we
used to think, but there are nama and rupa.
We are seeing all the time, but we learn that seeing is the element,
the dhaatu that sees, thus not as we understood before: I see.
Personality view, sakkaya di.t.thi, there may be a slight degree but
we do not see it until pa~n~naa arises.
—–
Nina.

• szmicio

Nov 2, 2008
Dear Nina
Can we do anything to feel less concepts during the day?

• Nina van Gorkom

Message 27 of 57 , Nov 3, 2008
Dear Lukas,
Op 2-nov-2008, om 21:45 heeft szmicio het volgende geschreven:
> Can we do anything to feel less concepts during the day?
——-
N: When we think of doing anything, there is already the idea of a
self who clings to changing a situation. Thinking of concepts is
conditioned, and thus, it arises. There can be thinking of concepts
with kusala citta or with akusala citta and also that is conditioned.
When we think of another person with metta or compassion, it is
kusala citta thinking of the concept of a person.
It is not a matter of trying to change whatever arises, but to
develop more understanding of it. It is good to know the difference
between citta that has a concept as object and citta that has a
paramattha dhamma as object. We have to remember that it is citta
that thinks or experiences, not “I”.
Nina.

• szmicio

Nov 3, 2008
Dear Nina,
> > Can we do anything to feel less concepts during the day?
> ——-
> N: When we think of doing anything, there is already the idea of a
> self who clings to changing a situation. Thinking of concepts is
> conditioned, and thus, it arises. There can be thinking of concepts
> with kusala citta or with akusala citta and also that is
conditioned.
> When we think of another person with metta or compassion, it is
> kusala citta thinking of the concept of a person.
> It is not a matter of trying to change whatever arises, but to
> develop more understanding of it. It is good to know the difference
> between citta that has a concept as object and citta that has a
> paramattha dhamma as object. We have to remember that it is citta
> that thinks or experiences, not “I”.
but thinking about concepts arise all the day.

if there is no conditions to listening and considering can right
understandig be developed?

I think with akusala citta and it’s mostly really unplesant.
Best Wishes
Lukas

• Nina van Gorkom

Message 29 of 57 , Nov 3, 2008
Dear Lukas,
Op 3-nov-2008, om 19:22 heeft szmicio het volgende geschreven:
> if there is no conditions to listening and considering can right
> understandig be developed?
——-
N: It is difficult. Have more listening!! It never is enough Kh Sujin
said. She also listens. And reading is also listening.

> L: I think with akusala citta and it’s mostly really unplesant.
——-
N: O.K. but while you write now such moments are past. You think of
the Dhamma now and all that akusala thinking is gone.
You said that you would translate into Polish Be here now, by Ven.
Dhammadhara. you have very little time, but just a few lines a day
may help you. It is all about the present moment.
I do not know whether you read Sri Lanka Revisited, since I quote
remarks of Ven. Dhammadhara in this series.

Remember, the present moment, now, that is what counts. Here is a sutta:
We read in the
�Bhaddekaratta Sutta�, �A
Single Excellent Night�(Middle Length
Sayings,131, translated by the Ven. Bhikkhus Nyanamoli and Bodhi):

“Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes;
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Invincibly, unshakeably.
Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hordes away,
But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day, by night –
It is he, the Peaceful Sage has said,
Who has had a single excellent night.”
——–
Nina.

upasaka@aol.com

Nov 3, 2008
Hi, Nina (and Lukas) –

In a message dated 11/3/2008 2:45:10 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
vangorko@… writes:

Dear Lukas,
Op 3-nov-2008, om 19:22 heeft szmicio het volgende geschreven:
> if there is no conditions to listening and considering can right
> understandig be developed?
——-
N: It is difficult. Have more listening!! It never is enough Kh Sujin
said. She also listens. And reading is also listening.
========================
Lukas considered the circumstance that “there is no conditions to
listening and considering.” And you have replied “It is difficult. Have more
listening!!” Of course, your reply implies that there are conditions for listening.
It also constitutes an advocacy of exercising useful willing. (“Have more
listening!!” you advise. Yes, I agree – intentionally doing a good thing is a
good idea!)

With metta,
Howard

P. S. Listening and considering are not the only wholesome actions one can
intentionally engage in.

/Suppose there were a river, flowing down from the mountains — going far,
its current swift, carrying everything with it — and a man would open channels
leading away from it on both sides, so that the current in the middle of the
river would be dispersed, diffused, & dissipated; it wouldn’t go far, its
current wouldn’t be swift, and it wouldn’t carry everything with it. In the same
way, when a seeker has not abandoned these five obstacles, hindrances that
overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment, i.e., sensual desire, ill will,
sloth & torpor, restlessness & anxiety, and sceptical doubt, when s/he is
without strength and too weak in discernment to understand what is for one’s own
benefit, to understand what is for the benefit of others, to understand what
is for the benefit of both, then to realize a superior human state, a truly
noble distinction in knowledge & vision: that is impossible/

(From the Avarana Sutta)
http://www.atulasiriwardane.com

Nov 3, 2008
Sampajano Sati
Be aware of everyting inside and everything outside..
There can be No-mind and no concepts.
Atula

• truth_aerator

Message 32 of 57 , Jun 21, 2010
Dear Nina, Sarah, Jon, KenH, all,

In “Perfections” there was a point about not changing the present moment, being said over and over again.

I have a small issue with that. Buddha’s teaching in the suttas and even in Comy doesn’t seem to suggest that “anything goes, just be mindful when it occurs”.

For example if a person has anger at another person. He should try his best to remove anger as quick as possible. Right? Of course it goes without saying that there should be right view and as much mindfulness and understanding as possible. Of course the present circumstances and personal temperament may be such that in some cases it may be nearly impossible to fully stop the arisen anger. But should there be at least the attempt to do so?

The suttas are filled with passages like: “he doesn’t tolerate the arisen unwholesome thought but wipes it out of existence ASAP”

I understand that there is no-control, conditionality, etc. But with all of that, shouldn’t there be intention in the present to stop unwholesome acts and develop wholesome ones? In this light the mindfulness seems to have an additional role, to monitor what is occurring so that if unwholesome intention is about to arise – there can be a counteracting thought to counteract it.

Somewhere in “Perfections” there was a passage about Buddha teaching us how to be aware in the daily life without altering anything. Well, he ran away from the palace a day after his wife gave birth to Rahula, He gave up his wealth and status to be in the forest. When He Awakened, he didn’t return to Lay life, and in fact He brought many of his kinsmen and other people to monasticism where they lived in forests and caves rather than palaces.

With metta,

Alex

• Ken H

Jun 21, 2010
Hi Alex,

———–
A: > In “Perfections” there was a point about not changing the present moment, being said over and over again.

I have a small issue with that. Buddha’s teaching in the suttas and even in Comy doesn’t seem to suggest that “anything goes, just be mindful when it occurs”.

For example if a person has anger at another person. He should try his best to remove anger as quick as possible. Right?
————

Right! If there were such things as “a person” and “another person” then a person who was angry at another person should try his best to get rid if his anger.

But what if the Buddha was right and there was *no* person or other person? What then?

———————–
A: > Of course it goes without saying that
there should be right view and as much mindfulness and understanding as possible. Of course the present circumstances and personal temperament may be such that in some cases it may be nearly impossible to fully stop the arisen anger. But should there be at least the attempt to do so?

The suttas are filled with passages like: “he doesn’t tolerate the arisen unwholesome thought but wipes it out of existence ASAP”
————————

Yes, if there is such a thing as a person then it stands to reason he should strive to do good, to avoid evil and to purify the mind. Or he might have a different philosophy that tells him striving is not the way, and that doing good, avoiding evil and purifying the mind are best accomplished by doing nothing. Or his philosophy might tell him to both strive and not strive: or to neither strive nor not strive. It all depends on his philosophy what he should do.

But the question I am interested in is, what if the Buddha was right? What if there is no person? Would it still be possible to do good, avoid evil and purify the mind?

———————————–
A: > I understand that there is no-control, conditionality, etc. But with all of that, shouldn’t there be intention in the present to stop unwholesome acts and develop wholesome ones? In this light the mindfulness seems to have an additional role, to monitor what is occurring so that if unwholesome intention is about to arise – there can be a counteracting thought to counteract it.
————————————

Anyone who is prepared to accept that the Buddha may have been right, should study the Dhamma. Then they will see how there could be ‘a way with no traveller on it.’

————————————————
A: > Somewhere in “Perfections” there was a passage about Buddha teaching us how to be aware in the daily life without altering anything.
————————————————

Yes, it’s all a matter of understanding the present reality. It’s not a matter of someone doing something or not doing something etc.

————————————-
A: > Well, he ran away from the palace a day after his wife gave birth to Rahula, He gave up his wealth and status to be in the forest. When He Awakened, he didn’t return to Lay life, and in fact He brought many of his kinsmen and other people to monasticism where
they lived in forests and caves rather than palaces.
————————————–

Lots of people run away to live in caves. Bats and outlaws live in caves without getting any nearer to nibbana. So that’s obviously not the meaning the Buddha wanted us to derive. How do you think he would have wanted us to understand “living in a cave”?

Ken H

• truth_aerator

Message 34 of 57 , Jun 21, 2010
Hi KenH, all
> A: > In “Perfections” there was a point about not changing the >present moment, being said over and over again.
>I have a small issue with that. Buddha’s teaching in the suttas and >even in Comy doesn’t seem to suggest that “anything goes, just be >mindful when it occurs”.
>For example if a person has anger at another person. He should try >his best to remove anger as quick as possible. Right?
>Right! If there were such things as “a person” and “another person” >then a person who was angry at another person should try his best to >get rid if his anger.
>But what if the Buddha was right and there was *no* person or other >person? What then?

Ok, lets talk about Dosa, then. Should it he removed when it arises, or should it be allowed free reign for as long as there is mindfulness of it ?

> But the question I am interested in is, what if the Buddha was >right? What if there is no person? Would it still be possible to do >good, avoid evil and purify the mind?

Should akusala states be counteracted ASAP?
> ————————————-
> A: > Well, he ran away from the palace a day after his wife gave birth to Rahula, He gave up his wealth and status to be in the forest. When He Awakened, he didn’t return to Lay life, and in fact He brought many of his kinsmen and other people to monasticism where
> they lived in forests and caves rather than palaces.
> ————————————–
>
> Lots of people run away to live in caves.

Buddha, Ven.Sariputta, MahaKassapa, and many others Included.

>Bats and outlaws live in caves without getting any nearer to >nibbana. So that’s obviously not the meaning the Buddha wanted us to >derive. How do you think he would have wanted us to understand >”living in a cave”?

Live in a cave while developing more mindfulness, more understanding of realites and more calm . Not to mention maggaphal.

With metta,

Alex

• sukinderpal

Jun 21, 2010
Hi Alex,

S: The âanything goesâ is your own conclusion. What is written in the âPerfectionsâ comes from the understanding that the present moment is conditioned and already fallen away, hence thoughts about changing the present moment is reflection of wrong understanding. It does not imply in any way, overlooking akusala. The encouragement is to the development of Right View, which is that the present moment is conditioned, anicca, dukkha and anatta. That one would like to âdoâ something in reaction to what has already arisen and fallen away is reflection of a lack of right understanding.

Moreover, in the context of the development of the Parami, the Perfection of Patience is being encouraged with regard to any perceived akusala arisen.

============
> For example if a person has anger at another person. He should try his best to remove anger as quick as possible. Right? Of course it goes without saying that there should be right view and as much mindfulness and understanding as possible. Of course the present circumstances and personal temperament may be such that in some cases it may be nearly impossible to fully stop the arisen anger. But should there be at least the attempt to do so?

S: Seeing fault in anger is one thing. Seeing harm in akusala in general can be refection of a level of right understanding that of samatha. Right understanding about the conditioned nature of the present moment however is of utmost value, such that while one sees harm in such akusala as anger, the understanding that this has arisen by conditions and already fallen away, is the only real remedy. That states such as anger seem to last for a long time is precisely because there is not enough or no understanding about its momentary nature. That one tries to get rid of the anger and has no mind to understanding it for what it really is, is likely due to attachment conditioned by self view.

===========
> The suttas are filled with passages like: “he doesn’t tolerate the arisen unwholesome thought but wipes it out of existence ASAP”

S: Not tolerating means seeing its harm. Depending on the accumulated Right Understanding and other conditions, kusala can arise at any time, including when there is rage. What one should be careful about however, is the fact of being propelled by self view to *do* something about the already arisen and in fact continually fallen away dosa. Seeing greater harm in wrong view is perhaps what is called for at anytime and in all situations.

===========
> I understand that there is no-control, conditionality, etc. But with all of that, shouldn’t there be intention in the present to stop unwholesome acts and develop wholesome ones? In this light the mindfulness seems to have an additional role, to monitor what is occurring so that if unwholesome intention is about to arise – there can be a counteracting thought to counteract it.

S: Intention is not a problem. Thoughts about oneâs present state of mind and where this could lead to for example, is conditioned, and can act as reminder pointing to the reality of the present moment, likewise if one has the intention to not have any dosa. However, coming back to the present moment is the key, and indeed this could then turn out to be anything but the dosa. So it is not that one must aim at dealing with the dosa, but because right understanding has been developed sufficiently, anything can act as reminder to be mindful of whatever it is that appears in the moment . If on the other hand however, this has not happened, and instead one is being moved by âself viewâ to deal / get rid of the dosa, one becomes involved in stories about self and situations and nothing good can ever come out of this.

==========
> Somewhere in “Perfections” there was a passage about Buddha teaching us how to be aware in the daily life without altering anything. Well, he ran away from the palace a day after his wife gave birth to Rahula, He gave up his wealth and status to be in the forest.

S: He was awakened to the Path and taught it *after* that.

==========
> When He Awakened, he didn’t return to Lay life, and in fact He brought many of his kinsmen and other people to monasticism where they lived in forests and caves rather than palaces.

S: He was an Arahatta and would have had great praise for all his Ariyan lay disciples. Indeed without his lay disciples, how could any monasteries for the monks come into existence? 😉

Metta,

Sukinder

Ps: I see Ken H has already responded, but I wonât read that one yet, because I may end up not wanting to send mine. 😉

• Ken H

Hi Alex,

——–

A: > Ok, lets talk about Dosa, then. Should it he removed when it arises, or should it be allowed free reign for as long as there is mindfulness of it ?
————–

Neither of those two options is possible.

Dosa is a conditioned dhamma, which means it has the anicca characteristic – it falls away as soon as it has arisen. So there is no opportunity for anyone to either remove it or give it free reign.

At a moment when there is mindfulness of dosa, dosa has already performed its functions and fallen way. It is then just the object of kusala consciousness.

————————-

A: > Should akusala states be counteracted ASAP?
————————-

A person who has right understanding will understand that akusala states are counteracted by kusala states, not by people. Akusala states cannot arise at the same time as kusala states, and so all kusala states counteract akusala at least for that brief time.

Kusala states with panna (of the 8fold path) will counteract akusala permanently.

———

A: > Live in a cave while developing more mindfulness, more understanding of realites and more calm . Not to mention maggaphal.
———

What about now if we’re not living in a cave? Should the present reality be understood now, or should we wait for a more opportune time?

Can there be a more opportune time?

Ken H

• Nina van Gorkom

Jun 22, 2010
Dear Alex, Ken H, Sukin,
Op 22-jun-2010, om 4:53 heeft sukinderpal het volgende geschreven:
> Ps: I see Ken H has already responded, but I won’t read that one
> yet, because I may end up not wanting to send mine. 😉
——–
N: So, I am glad Sukin you send your response and read Ken’s afterwards.
I wonder, Alex, whether you still have problems, thinking about
effort and wondering about ‘everything goes’?
A lot of thinking what one may do in case this or this happens does
not help much, I think. While you are thinking about situations, dosa
has not arisen yet. Whatever you think, you do, you will do, all this
are mere conditioned phenomena. Remembering this will slowly
eliminate the wrong idea of: I can do this or that. We never know
ahead of time how things will turn out. It may be, and it usually is,
contrary to expectations. This does not mean that you should not take
th Buddha’s exhortations to heart. It is always good to listen, to
read, to consider, to develop all the perfections, and when there are
conditons to be aware.

Nina.

• truth_aerator

Message 38 of 57 , Jun 22, 2010
Dear Nina, KenH, Sukin

— In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, Nina van Gorkom wrote:
>
> Dear Alex, Ken H, Sukin,
> Op 22-jun-2010, om 4:53 heeft sukinderpal het volgende geschreven:
>
> > Ps: I see Ken H has already responded, but I won’t read that one
> > yet, because I may end up not wanting to send mine. 😉
> ——–
> N: So, I am glad Sukin you send your response and read Ken’s >afterwards.
> I wonder, Alex, whether you still have problems, thinking about
> effort and wondering about ‘everything goes’?

What I can come up with right now is that the idea seems to: “gather as much knowledge and understanding now so that in the future there will be less akusala and more kusala states. Don’t try to change or pick and choose the object of observation. Eventually at “maggaphala” moment the certain fetters will be cut for good and awakening achieved.”

But it doesn’t fit with all that KS has said:
“The beginner is not keen enough to be aware of all objects which appear. The beginner should begin with one doorway at a time until he is skilful enough to be able to be aware of any Object. This is the way. One should not try another way and neglect awareness of the object which appears. The beginner begins to develop right awareness of the object which appears, that is the duty of the beginner.”
– KS end of Ch4 Perfections.

Seems like a method to me.

In the suttas there are a lot of instructions to do things and very little is said that “it is being said only conventionally.”

I still find it a bit problematic that when the Buddha says about a:
“does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it, destroys it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence.”
http://www.accesstoi…n.002.than.html

It is meant that one should not “not tolerate, abandon, destroy, dispel and wipe out of existence”.

Now if there were more (or any) cases explaining the “2 truths teaching” in the suttas, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Of course I do not take the above instruction to mean that there is Atta that does. Only a process does the above functions, and even then, depending on conditions it may not always work.

Thank you all for your replies.

With metta,

Alex
Nina van Gorkom

Message 39 of 57 , Jun 23, 2010
Dear Alex,
I appreciate it so much you are reading the Perfections. I try to add
something.
BTW if you like to have a hard cover we can send it to you if you
give your postal address. Or do you prefer to just read on line?
Op 22-jun-2010, om 17:12 heeft truth_aerator het volgende geschreven:
> What I can come up with right now is that the idea seems to:
> “gather as much knowledge and understanding now so that in the
> future there will be less akusala and more kusala states. Don’t try
> to change or pick and choose the object of observation. Eventually
> at “maggaphala” moment the certain fetters will be cut for good and
> awakening achieved.”
——
N: But we do not think much of having less akusala in the future.
Just understanding whatever arises as a conditioned dhamma.
——–
>
> A: But it doesn’t fit with all that KS has said:
> “The beginner is not keen enough to be aware of all objects which
> appear. The beginner should begin with one doorway at a time until
> he is skilful enough to be able to be aware of any Object. This is
> the way. One should not try another way and neglect awareness of
> the object which appears. The beginner begins to develop right
> awareness of the object which appears, that is the duty of the
> beginner.”
> – KS end of Ch4 Perfections.
>
> Seems like a method to me.
———
N: I do not have trouble with the word method. It depends what one
means by it.
She stresses that we cannot expect to be aware of all objects in the
beginning. No expectations of understanding all, just step by step.
quote end of ch 4:
< Before we studied the Dhamma we had no understanding of the realities appearing through the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, the bodysense and the mind-door. We had a great deal of ignorance. By listening to the Dhamma we can come to know that realities appear each with their own characteristic and that we should study these. We should not merely study them in theory, or merely listen to the explanation about them without carefully considering their true nature. We should remember that at this very moment realities are appearing and that the true characteristics of those dhammas which arise and fall away should be penetrated. Hence we can be reminded that we should listen and thoroughly consider the Dhamma, so that understanding is accumulated. Understanding is a condition for being aware diligently of the characteristics of the dhammas appearing at this moment. If we know that we still have a great deal of ignorance, moha, and that this should be eradicated, we will not be neglectful, but continue to listen to the Dhamma and develop each kind of kusala.>
———-
>
> A: In the suttas there are a lot of instructions to do things and
> very little is said that “it is being said only conventionally.”
>
> I still find it a bit problematic that when the Buddha says about a:
> “does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it,
> destroys it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence.”
> http://www.accesstoi…n.002.than.html
>
> It is meant that one should not “not tolerate, abandon, destroy,
> dispel and wipe out of existence”.
——–
N: The citta and sobhana cetasikas are at work here, no problem.
———
>
> Now if there were more (or any) cases explaining the “2 truths
> teaching” in the suttas, it wouldn’t be a problem.
>
> Of course I do not take the above instruction to mean that there is
> Atta that does. Only a process does the above functions, and even
> then, depending on conditions it may not always work.
——
N: Yes, that is right. Things do not always work out the way ‘we’
want. We are not master or owner of the cittas.
Nina.

• truth_aerator

Message 40 of 57 , Jun 23, 2010
Dear Nina,
> Dear Alex,
> I appreciate it so much you are reading the Perfections.

Do the online versions of your & KS books found at
http://www.abhidhamma.org/contents.htm
Contain all the pages?

For example: the survey6.pdf has 292 pages but the hardcover book is said to contain 480 pages. Is it due to difference of formating (different page sizes) or does the hardcover book contains more?

With metta,

Alex

thomaslaw03

Message 41 of 57 , Jun 23, 2010
Dear friends,

What is the Pali term for the “present moment”? It seems this expression, at the present moment, is not presented in the texts for the practice (only the meaning implied)?

Sincerely,

Thomas Law

truth_aerator

Message 42 of 57 , Jun 23, 2010
Dear Thomas, all,

>What is the Pali term for the “present moment”? It seems this >expression, at the present moment, is not presented in the texts for >the practice (only the meaning implied)?

In many suttas one is supposed to have all-encompasing understanding of triple characteristic that is not limited to present time.

ex:
“”I am now (etarahi) being chewed up by feeling… perception… fabrications… consciousness. But in the past I was also chewed up by consciousness in the same way I am now being chewed up by present consciousness. And if I delight in future consciousness, then in the future I will be chewed up by consciousness in the same way I am now being chewed up by present consciousness.’ Having reflected in this way, he becomes indifferent to past consciousness, does not delight in future consciousness, and is practicing for the sake of disenchantment, dispassion, and cessation with regard to present consciousness.”

Thus, monks, any form [alex: and other aggregates] whatsoever that is past, future, or present (paccuppanna); internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: ‘This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.’
http://www.accesstoi…2.079.than.html

Though there are suttas that imply the present moment awarenes:
ex: satipatthana sutta

or 3rd of 4 types of development of samadhi
“”And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise (uppajjanti), known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. .”
http://www.accesstoi…4.041.than.html

The pali words can be:

etarahi = adv. now; at present.
paccuppanna = adj. existing; present.
uppajjanti = [they] having been born.

with metta,

Alex

Ken H

Message 43 of 57 , Jun 23, 2010
Hi Thomas,

I don’t know much Pali but I can add to the useful quotes already given by Alex. This one was posted here some time ago (by Sarah, I think).

“There is but one moment (kha.no) and occasion (samayo), monks, for living the Brahmacariya” (AN iv 227).

It’s got a bit of Pali in it. 🙂

Ken H

Nina van Gorkom

Message 44 of 57 , Jun 24, 2010
Dear Thomas,
Op 24-jun-2010, om 2:36 heeft thomaslaw03 het volgende geschreven:
> What is the Pali term for the “present moment”? It seems this
> expression, at the present moment, is not presented in the texts
> for the practice (only the meaning implied)?
——-
N: I think usually the word paccupanna is used.

SN:1:10(10) “Forest”,

“[The Blessed One]

They do not sorrow over the past,
Nor do they hanker for the future.
They maintain themselves with what is present:
Hence their complexion is so serene.

Through hankering for the future,
Through sorrowing over the past,
Fools dry up and wither away
Like a green reed cut down.”

Let go of the past, relinquish of the future,
stay in the present, and cross over to the
further shore of all becoming & existence!
With mind wholly liberated & released,
you shall never return to birth & death!
Dhammapada 348

The past should neither be longed for nor dwelled in
and the future neither desired, searched nor urged;
what is past, not real anymore, is dead & gone,
and the future, not real now, have yet to come!
Majjhima Nikaya III, 131
——-
N: Only the present reality can be directly experienced and
investigated. Its characteristic has to be known as it really is. We
can only think of what has fallen away or what has not appeared yet,
and by thinking dhammas will not be known as they truly are.

Nina.

Nina van Gorkom

Dear Alex,
Op 23-jun-2010, om 18:43 heeft truth_aerator het volgende geschreven:
> For example: the survey6.pdf has 292 pages but the hardcover book
> is said to contain 480 pages. Is it due to difference of formating
> (different page sizes) or does the hardcover book contains more?
——-
N: They are the same. A question of formatting.
Nina.

jonoabb

Hi Alex

(108092)
> For example if a person has anger at another person. He should try his best to remove anger as quick as possible. Right? Of course it goes without saying that there should be right view and as much mindfulness and understanding as possible. Of course the present circumstances and personal temperament may be such that in some cases it may be nearly impossible to fully stop the arisen anger. But should there be at least the attempt to do so?
> ===============

J: The Buddha encouraged the develoment of kusala at all times. However, each person has only a limited accumulations for kusala (much more limited than their accumulations for akusala). Actually there is subtle/mild akusala arising most of the day that we are not even aware of.

The development of the path is all about gaining a better understanding of the true nature of dhammas, rather than having less akusala.

Jon

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.