What does appamada mean to you?

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What does appamada mean to you?

Postby phil » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:29 am

Hi all

As we know, the Buddha's last words urged monks to have appamada, heedfulness. I feel that it is so important in its protective aspect. When there is heedfulness of danger, there is no possibility of transgression, I find.

What does appamada mean to you? How does it manifest in your life, in your practice?
I find these days that there is something like an appamada iconthat tells me when appamada is on the way icons on desktop (?) tell us if programs have been installed. For me, it is mindfulness of bud-dho on in and out breath. When that mindfulness is there, appamada is there, I feel. When it isn't, there is pamada, there is no protection against harmful deeds. So fully developed appamada would be very similar to constant mindfulness, I guess. Nowhere near that for me, but there is more and more of it day by day, week by week, month by month, I feel.

What's your take on this very important topic? (I tried to search for it to see if I could bring a dead thread back to life, but nothing came up.)

Metta,

Phil
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:37 am

Hi Phil,
Nice topic! For me, it is reminiscent of my sense of samvega pasada. A visceral sense of dread of samsara and urgency. Obviously, its not the same, but it is my sense of samvega pasada that I guess conditions my heedfulness.
Metta

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Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:19 pm

Hi Phil,
it means prety much the same to me.

interestingly mindfull is another word for heedfull in English, althought the meanings do have specific slants.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby phil » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:22 am

Hi all

Today I heard one of the Burmese Sayadaws say that pamada (heedlessness) means failing to abstain from transgression, and appamada (heedfulness) means succeeding in abstaining from transgression. I'd never thought of it that way, exactly. I thought there was another dhamma that was responsible for the abstaining. Appamada feels more like something that is "on" all the time, even when there is no temptation to transgression. But I guess abstaining from transgression is implicit in appamada.

I bought an i-pod Nano yesterday, haven't had portable music for a few years now. I find it's not good for appamada. We really have to be paying attention all the time to potential dangers when we are walking around town etc. And that doesn't just mean stepping out in front of buses etc. (That's dangerous too, mind you.) I wonder if I will keep listening to the music or return to my meditative way of walking, or manage to combine music and appamada somehow.
It might have to be stuff without guitar solos cause I always trip out and imagine myself playing them...

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:37 am

phil wrote: I bought an i-pod Nano yesterday, haven't had portable music for a few years now. I find it's not good for appamada.

Replace the music with Dhamma talks... :sage:

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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby phil » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:13 am

mikenz66 wrote:
phil wrote: I bought an i-pod Nano yesterday, haven't had portable music for a few years now. I find it's not good for appamada.

Replace the music with Dhamma talks... :sage:

Mike


Hi Mike

Yes, that's all I've had in my cute little 1GB i-pod shuffle for the last couple of years, with Dhammapada in Pali the really hot tracks for me recently. But there is something to be said for doing without Dhamma talks as well. I used to belong to a group in which listening to the guru's talk with members is believed to be kind of magically conducive to the arising of wisdom. I would listen for hours a day sometimes. When I stopped doing that and started meditating again (that group discourages meditation because of self involved etc, but that's another topic) I found the Dhamma was in my body more, somehow, centered in my breathing, walking etc instead of being all in the head. So I think appamada might involve not getting caught up in discoursive thinking, so Dhamma talks *might* not be helpful for appamada, since we get caught up in thinking about this and that, you know...but certainly if a situation arises just when or just after we've been listening to a Dhamma talk there will probably be more resilience, less habitual reaction...so you're probably right.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby nomad » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:35 am

I would agree that it is the same for me, Phil. However, I’m not nearly as mindful as I would like to be and it’s something with which I’m making progress. I guess I could say that ultimately, appamada is one of the many goals on my chosen path.

~nomad

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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:01 pm

Phil,

Please be careful of swinging from one extreme to the other. All study and no meditation is no good. All meditation and no study is also no good.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby Individual » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:20 pm

phil wrote:Hi all

As we know, the Buddha's last words urged monks to have appamada, heedfulness. I feel that it is so important in its protective aspect. When there is heedfulness of danger, there is no possibility of transgression, I find.

What does appamada mean to you? How does it manifest in your life, in your practice?
I find these days that there is something like an appamada iconthat tells me when appamada is on the way icons on desktop (?) tell us if programs have been installed. For me, it is mindfulness of bud-dho on in and out breath. When that mindfulness is there, appamada is there, I feel. When it isn't, there is pamada, there is no protection against harmful deeds. So fully developed appamada would be very similar to constant mindfulness, I guess. Nowhere near that for me, but there is more and more of it day by day, week by week, month by month, I feel.

What's your take on this very important topic? (I tried to search for it to see if I could bring a dead thread back to life, but nothing came up.)

Metta,

Phil

It seems to be synonymous with right action and mndfulness.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby phil » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:02 am

Peter wrote:Phil,

Please be careful of swinging from one extreme to the other. All study and no meditation is no good. All meditation and no study is also no good.


Thanks Peter. Interesting from a personal perspective that I received a similar message from a member at beliefnet when I was launching out into a lot of study of deep topics (Abhidhamma etc) and he sensed that I was getting too extreme about it. Now because of aversion to some aspects of that highly intellectual approach, I am backing off a bit - but I don't think I'm going in an extreme way this time. I still study quite a lot at home.

But as for appamada, I think it provides a kind of safe harbour within which the study can be fruitful. If we are studying deep topics while still being thrown this way and that way by gross defilements, it is a kind of defiling of the deep teachings themselves. We have to earn the right to study them by having established to a solid degree proper behaviour in body, speech and mind, the kind of behaviour that would be recognized as wholesome and beneficial even by non-Buddhists. (i.e humanitarian common sense) That's strictly my opinion, of course, no evidence of that in the texts. (Or is there? We see in a few suttas that the Buddha only taught the deep teachings "particular to the Buddha" when he sensed the listeners mind was ready to absorb it.)

Appamada keeps us safe and helps us get to establishing wholesome patterns of behaviour. That's my opinion. I also see meditation in this way, for now it is more tied in with conditioning proper behaviour for me than aiming at any deep insight.

Kind of wandered away from the meaning of your post, but thanks for the push...

Metta,

Phil
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby phil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:30 am

Hi all

Was just about to post a question about appamada, wondering why it is so rarely discussed hete or elsewhete although the Buddha put such a stress on it but I found that I'd posted a similar question/comment a few years ago. I wonder if appamada is just one of those got-it-or-you don't and not much to say about it topics...anyways I'll take the liberty of bumping the thread, thanks.
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:50 pm

I rather like Mangalo Bhikkhu's translation..." Recollection".
A word that has come to mean "remembering" but in its original meaning it meant to "re-collect". To collect again. To bring our scattered minds back to the present.
To be aware and awake in the present moment.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby phil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:48 pm

PeterB wrote:I rather like Mangalo Bhikkhu's translation..." Recollection".
A word that has come to mean "remembering" but in its original meaning it meant to "re-collect". To collect again. To bring our scattered minds back to the present.
To be aware and awake in the present moment.


Thanks, I like that translation too, but since it reminds (leads me to recollect) a definition of one of the levels of sati, it brings me to the next question. What is the diffetence between sati and appamada, and does it matter? (I think I may have asked tgat question earlier in the thread two years ago but bears asking again) Appamada is not a cetasika in Abhidhamma, maybe an aspect or degree of sati?
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(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby alfa » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:03 pm

PeterB wrote:I rather like Mangalo Bhikkhu's translation..." Recollection".
A word that has come to mean "remembering" but in its original meaning it meant to "re-collect". To collect again. To bring our scattered minds back to the present.
To be aware and awake in the present moment.


I think Gurdjieff spoke a lot on this. He called it remembering.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:24 pm

alfa wrote:I think Gurdjieff spoke a lot on this. He called it remembering.

Gurdjieff commented on appamada?

:anjali:
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby PeterB » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:52 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
alfa wrote:I think Gurdjieff spoke a lot on this. He called it remembering.

Gurdjieff commented on appamada?

:anjali:
Mike


I bet he didnt.... :lol:
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:51 pm

Hi Phil,
phil wrote:Hi all

Was just about to post a question about appamada, wondering why it is so rarely discussed hete or elsewhete although the Buddha put such a stress on it but I found that I'd posted a similar question/comment a few years ago. I wonder if appamada is just one of those got-it-or-you don't and not much to say about it topics...anyways I'll take the liberty of bumping the thread, thanks.

Yes, you either have it or you don't. In my experience appamada leads to action not discussion. And if you have it, talking about one's experience of it just seems counter productive and most people don't get it.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:10 pm

phil wrote:Today I heard one of the Burmese Sayadaws say that pamada (heedlessness) means failing to abstain from transgression, and appamada (heedfulness) means succeeding in abstaining from transgression.

In his Discourse on the Dhammadāyāda Sutta, the Mahāsī Sayādaw describes six grades of heedlessness, so I suppose we can infer six grades of heedfulness too.

Six Kinds of Heedlessness
You will now have some idea about heedlessness, which we may arrange in order of gravity as follows. 1) Heedlessness in its weakest and most subtle form may be identified with occasional wandering thoughts and forgetting to note them. 2) Less subtle is the heedlessness that makes us negligent and lets some sense-objects escape our attention. 3) Worse still is the heedlessness that leads to sensual thoughts. 4) More harmful is the heedlessness that causes us to indulge in sensual pleasure. 5) Still more dangerous is the heedlessness that creates the desire to kill, steal, lie, or do other evils. 6) The worst heedlessness is that which finds expression in doing evil in deeds or speech.

Every Buddhist should try to be free from the last two kinds of heedlessness. The fourth heedlessness should be overcome by bhikkhus and lay disciples who practise insight. Meditators should be always mindful and guard themselves against the third heedlessness — sensual thoughts. If sensual thoughts arise during the practice of mindfulness, they should be promptly noted and rejected. As for those who meditate seriously to attain the path, they should strive until they become free from the first two kinds of heedlessness.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby pegembara » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:34 am

Keeping guard at the 6 sense bases at all times and asking is there any greed or aversion present.
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Re: What does appamada mean to you?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:45 pm

Heedfulness (appamada) has a broader meaning than what is normally ascribed to it, when the suttas are consulted.

"And how does one dwell in heedfulness? When a monk dwells with restraint over the faculty of the eye, the mind is not stained with forms cognizable via the eye. When the mind is not stained, there is joy. There being joy, there is rapture. There being rapture, there is serenity. There being serenity, he dwells in ease. The mind of one at ease becomes centered. When the mind is centered, phenomena (dhammas) become manifest. When phenomena are manifest, one is classed simply as one who dwells in heedfulness.

"When a monk dwells with restraint over the ear... nose... tongue... body...

It becomes clear that the full gamut of practice from sila (morality, sense restraint) to samadhi (comcentration) and finally insight, is included in its meaning. With that kind of definitiom, it would make sense for ot to be mentioned in the Buddha's last bit of advice: 'all fabrications are impermament, develop heedfulness'.

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