adventitious

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adventitious

Postby befriend » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:29 pm

i was reading the sutta the removal of distracting thoughts and was wondering when it says "when an adventitious thought that is unwholesome arises one should replace it with a skillfull one. my question is what if someone was thinking lustful thoughts earlier in the day on purpose (not adventitious) then when they sit down to meditate the lust that was thought of earlier makes lust pop up, is it still adventitious?
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Re: adventitious

Postby befriend » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:29 pm

adventitious means accidental.
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Re: adventitious

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:47 pm

The meaning here is: "happening as a result of external factors" — not by chance.

Oxford Dictionary

Its not by chance that lustful thoughts appear when they are cultivated intentionally.
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Re: adventitious

Postby befriend » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:05 pm

Hi Bhante,
it doesnt say not chance it says or chance. "happening as a result of an external factor or chance rather than design or inherent nature"

would that make it impossible to switch an unwholesome state with a wholesome one in this scenario?
apacayana,
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Re: adventitious

Postby befriend » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:12 pm

i mean what if you purposely thought lustful thoughts in the morning then at night because of that line of thinking the lustful thoughts came up.
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Re: adventitious

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:22 pm

befriend wrote:i mean what if you purposely thought lustful thoughts in the morning then at night because of that line of thinking the lustful thoughts came up.

I'm thinking that, if you purposely think lustfully at any time whatsoever, you are inviting it into your mind. When it comes in and it pees all over your furniture to the point where the smell is noteworthy even hours later (that night), I don't think there is anything accidental about that. I'd just call that kamma...
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Re: adventitious

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:29 am

befriend wrote:i mean what if you purposely thought lustful thoughts in the morning then at night because of that line of thinking the lustful thoughts came up.

Dhammapada verse 1 & 2 spring to mind here.
these thoughts came about through design through promoting such thoughts.
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Re: adventitious

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:39 am

Though it may seem that many things happen by chance, because we don't know the causes, nothing happens without a cause. That's not fatalism either, but conditionality. When past kamma bears fruit, we can react to it in different ways — making fresh wholesome or unwholesome kamma that will bear fruit in the future. If it was not possible to change our destiny by modifying our present kamma, then the Buddha would not have bothered to teach the Dhamma.

If we think lustful thoughts it is the unwholesome mental kamma of covetousness (abhijjhā), and that has consequences. Old habits die hard, so the more that we follow unskilful thoughts, the more vulnerable we are to following unskilful speech and action when conditions conspire to make it likely.

The Sutta in question gives methods how to replace unwholesome reflections with wholesome ones.

A certain monk was in the habit of contemplating bones in the cemetery. One day, while walking for alms, he met a woman on the road who had left the house, having quarrelled with her husband. On seeing the monk, she entertained wicked thoughts, and laughed. The monk looked up, but instead of seeing a beautiful woman and being overpowered by lust, all he saw was a skeleton walking along the road. He then gained Arahantship. What do you think would have happened if the monk was in the habit of entertaining lustful fantasies?
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Re: adventitious

Postby manas » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:46 am

Sadhu, Bhante, that was such an inspiring and helpful post.
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Re: adventitious

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:16 am

Enlightenment is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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The first 1 % is not too difficult.
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Re: adventitious

Postby manas » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:31 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Enlightenment is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Image

The first 1 % is not too difficult.


Then I will try harder not just to feel inspired by the Dhamma, but to more consistently put it into practice, even if this seems to grate sometimes.

Thank you for your advice Bhante.
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Re: adventitious

Postby bodom » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:43 am

The Buddha says that whatever thoughts one frequently cultivates and ponders upon will become the basis of ones mind. So, if your cultivating thoughts of lust, naturally they are going to arise later on more often than not.

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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