Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only on the present?

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Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only on the present?

Postby starter » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:23 am

Greetings!

After encountering similar teachings from various teachers about not to dwell on the past or the future but only on the present, I was wondering if this is the Buddha's teaching. After pondering about the Buddha's following teaching, I've realized that it is not the Buddha' teaching only to dwell on the present.

MN 61:

"Whenever you want to perform a bodily act, you should reflect on it: 'This bodily act I want to perform — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful bodily act, with painful consequences, painful results?' If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then any bodily act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction... it would be a skillful bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then any bodily act of that sort is fit for you to do.

...

"Having performed a bodily act, you should reflect on it... If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful bodily act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it... you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction... it was a skillful bodily action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.

...[similarly for verbal and mental acts]...

"Therefore, Rahula, you should train yourself: 'I will purify my bodily acts through repeated reflection. I will purify my verbal acts through repeated reflection. I will purify my mental acts through repeated reflection.' That is how you should train yourself."

MN111:

"Again, bhikkhus, by completely surmounting the base of neither perception nor non-perception, Sariputta entered upon and abided in the cessation of perception and feeling. And his taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.

"He emerged mindful from that attainment. Having done so, he recalled the sates that had passed, ceased, and changed, thus: ‘So indeed, these states, not having been, come into being; having been, they vanish.’ Regarding those states, he abided un-attracted, un-repelled, independent, detached, free, dissociated, with a mind rid of barriers. He understood: ‘There is no escape beyond this,’ and with the cultivation of that attainment, he confirmed that there is not’.

Although MN 10 did teach present moment awareness, but that's for cultivating full awareness/clear comprehension and four establishing of mindfulness, which is included only in the aggregate of Samadhi. For the aggregate of Sila and Panna, the Buddha had actually taught us to contemplate the past and/or future.

Thanks and metta!
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby dagon » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:11 am

Hi starter -Interesting question

You use the term dwell; that word is not in the translations of what Buddha taught that you have provided. My understanding of the text is that we should reflect (but not become engrossed in) past actions. Recognize those that were skillful, acknowledge those that were not to assist us to be more appropriate in actions and intentions that we are undertaking in this moment.

Furthermore we should consider the effect of any intentions and actions on ourselves and others in the future.
When we are taught that we should live in this moment is that not the same as saying that we cannot step in to the stream that was there before because it has already flowed past, and we cannot step in to the stream of the future because it has not yet materialized.

Metta
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby dagon » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:11 am

Hi Starter

i was wondering if you had considered the text below and the implications for "dwelling only in the present"
§ 52. "There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — does not discern what ideas are fit for attention or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas unfit for attention...

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self ... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self ... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self ... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

"The well-instructed noble disciple — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — discerns what ideas are fit for attention and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention...

"He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by seeing."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

metta
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:21 pm

This is a good question and it is worthwhile to explore exactly what is meant by "dwelling on the present" etc. Here are some relevant quotes (maybe there are better translations available?)

Bhaddekaratta Sutta wrote:Let one not trace back the past
Or yearn for the future-yet-to-come.
That which is past is left behind
Unattained is the “yet-to-come.”
But that which is present he discerns —
With insight as and when it comes.


Arañña Sutta wrote:Standing to one side, a devata addressed the Blessed One with a verse:

Living in the wilderness, staying peaceful, remaining chaste, eating just one meal a day: why are their faces so bright & serene?

[The Buddha:]
They don't sorrow over the past, don't long for the future. They survive on the present. That's why their faces are bright & serene. From longing for the future, from sorrowing over the past, fools wither away like a green reed cut down.


Perhaps this trumps all other teachings on the topic:

Dhammapada verse 348 wrote:Let go of the past, let go of the future,
let go of the present, and cross over to the farther shore of existence.
With mind wholly liberated,
you shall come no more to birth and death.
_/|\_
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:45 pm

I'm not saying it isn't possible to live focusing primarily on the present, but as a businessman running a small violin shop out of my house, I can't imagine it would be a very good business strategy, possibly not very good for a medical student, either.

One of the things we have to be careful of when reading Buddhist scriptures, Is that not all of these teachings were intended for all Buddhists, lay and ordained, some of them were intended just for monks, some of them just for a group of monks, not all of them, and some of them just for householders, also some just for beginners on the path, some only for the advanced.

So it takes some common sense to realize that not all these teachings are to be interpreted literally for lay followers, going to University, holding most jobs, running a business takes planning ahead, and yet on the other hand, at any point in ones education, job, or business, It makes very good sense to focus on the present task at hand, but with out thinking back to the past, you may not remember how to perform the present task at hand. So use some common sense, and your best judgement, believe it or not that's part of what mindfullness is IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby starter » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:35 pm

Hello lyndon taylor, Dan74, dagon, and other friends,

Thanks for your very helpful input. As I understand, "live only in the present" (e.g. not to plan for the future) was taught by some teachers for practicing "objective observation", "present-moment awareness", and etc. Now I realize that it boils down to a matter of appropriate or inappropriate attention/reflection/consideration. If it's yoniso manasikara, one can dwell in the past as well as in the future, as taught in MN 61 and MN 111 and commented by Paul "we should reflect (but not become engrossed in) past actions". If it's not yoniso manasikara (e.g. "sorrow over the past" or "long for the future", one can't even dwell so in the present. By the way, I tend to think the translation in the Bhaddekaratta Sutta "Let one not trace back the past" should probably be "Let one not become engrossed in the past (with sorrow or delight)".

I tend to think that for the starters the cultivation of yoniso manasikara and right thinking (including reflect over the past and future actions) is more important than practicing "objective observation", "present-moment awareness", and etc., which can be cultivated later in the path after the perfection of sila.

I also tend too think that one can plan for the future (without yearning or grasping), although things often turn out to be different from what we have planned. IMHO, let go of the past/future/present means let of the craving and attachment to the past/future/present. It doesn't seem to me that the buddha taught us not to do planning for the future. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Metta to all!

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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby dagon » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:27 pm

Hi Starter

Buddha’s instruction to Rahula is that he should reflect BEFORE he took action. My understanding is that is planning. It would be stupid to think that Buddha would only be thinking about actions that were to happen at that time. Think about what the cannon teaches us about karma and intention – developing intentions is in the present, so the planning in in the present. Where planning holds clear danger is if we are planning to act outside of the precepts that we have undertaken or outside the eight fold path. The other area where I think we would be breaching the teaching would be if we were speculating on karma outcomes of past actions/intentions. My mind does not have the knowledge of what unspent karma I have from previous lives – this would be speculation. Alternatively I would have to presume that there was no karma from the past which it equal to saying that I am not accountable for my actions. The words wrong view spring to mind.

Buddha also instructed him to reflect on actions he had taken and if they were wholesome or not. Clearly reflecting back in the context of the Dhamma is a good thing, and as well progress we may need to return to the reflections again. The danger with looking back is twofold: looking back with attachment or aversion, or looking back trying to speculate on the karma.

Having said all of that I have not studied or meditated as much as I should have – I welcome any correction where I have misunderstood or am in ignorance of the Dhamma.
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby SarathW » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:12 am

The way I understand, Buddha said that the person who understands Dependent Origination will not dwell on the past or future.
The reason, he knows that the present is the result of past action and if he minds the present action the future will look after itself. :)
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby dhammapal » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:11 am

Majjhima Nikaya 62 wrote:Then the Blessed One, looking back at Rahula, addressed him: "Rahula, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; 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.'"
"Just form, O Blessed One? Just form, O One Well-gone?"
"Form, Rahula, & feeling & perception & fabrications & consciousness."
From: Maha-Rahulovada Sutta translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

With metta / dhammapal.
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:53 am

SarathW wrote:The way I understand, Buddha said that the person who understands Dependent Origination will not dwell on the past or future.
The reason, he knows that the present is the result of past action and if he minds the present action the future will look after itself. :)


How do you know the instructions to remain in the present were not intended for during meditation, not everyday life, this is one of the biggest mistakes I see people making with scriptures that are hard to understand, many were instructions for behaviour WHILE MEDITATING not all of the time, for instance it is completely impossible to exist without input from the 5 aggregates, but it may well be possible to meditate with no input from the 5 aggregates, and very wise it might be to do so. CONTEXT, who was the Buddha talking to, what situations were the teachings applying to, were they only for monks, just for lay people, or for everyone? This is where meditation helps us to come to understand the scripture, If a passage makes no sense to you, don't assume there's something wrong with you, you may just not understand the context of the passage.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby daverupa » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:10 am

lyndon taylor wrote:
SarathW wrote:The way I understand, Buddha said that the person who understands Dependent Origination will not dwell on the past or future.
The reason, he knows that the present is the result of past action and if he minds the present action the future will look after itself. :)


How do you know the instructions to remain in the present were not intended for during meditation, not everyday life, this is one of the biggest mistakes... context...


"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."

context

(The exposition is, in brief, "neither revive the past nor build hope upon the future & be one vanquished in regard to presently arisen states, one invincible in regard to presently arisen states", but in a footnote the "single excellent night" reference is explained as possibly invented by the Buddha to describe a night of meditation.)

:reading:

It seems that nights of meditation lead to living day and night in that way.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby chownah » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:17 am

starter,
For me there is a big difference between dwelling IN the present (or past or future) and dwelling ON the present (or past or future). Seems like you mean to talk about dwelling ON but you are saying dwelling IN.
Can you clarify?
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby starter » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:32 pm

Hi Chownah and other friends,

Thanks for all your input. The words "dwell in" might be used inaccurately. What I meant to ask is if we should follow some teachers' teaching to practice "present moment awareness" (constantly let go of the thoughts of the past and future and not to plan for the future) in our daily life as beginners. With the friends' help, I've figured out that it's a matter of appropriate or inappropriate attention/reflection/consideration. If it's yoniso manasikara, one can reflect over the past as well as the future, but should not become engrossed in the past or future with sorrow or delight. But during the stage of Samadhi training, after the perfection of Sila, one can surely practice "present moment awareness" to build up concentration.

Metta to all!

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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:02 pm

For instance you can't walk across town to a destination without planning for the future, being in the moment is important to meditation as well as being mindful 24/7, there's just no way effectively to do it all the time.IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:46 pm

Hi Starter
starter wrote:
Although MN 10 did teach present moment awareness, but that's for cultivating full awareness/clear comprehension and four establishing of mindfulness, which is included only in the aggregate of Samadhi. For the aggregate of Sila and Panna, the Buddha had actually taught us to contemplate the past and/or future.

The Buddha never taught us to dwell in the past or proliferate on the future but to think about what we have done/are about to do so as to learn from/fine tune our behaviour.
maybe the Bhaddekaratta Sutta (MN131) would be helpful for you to reflect upon.
You shouldn't chase after the past
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
is left behind.
The future
is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
you clearly see right there,
right there.
Not taken in,
unshaken,
that's how you develop the heart.
Ardently doing
what should be done today,
for — who knows? — tomorrow
death.
There is no bargaining
with Mortality & his mighty horde.

Whoever lives thus ardently,
relentlessly
both day & night,
has truly had an auspicious day:
so says the Peaceful Sage.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:27 am

That's a good quote, but "placeing expections on the future" is quite different from simple planning for the future. And planning for the future does not HAVE to mean dwelling on the future.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby Mindstar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:38 pm



From MN133:

“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.”
Wherever he goes, there he is unafraid.. Wherever he sleeps, there he is unalarmed!
The nights and days does neither touch nor burn him. He sees nothing in this world
that is to be kept or lost.. Therefore his mind dwells in goodwill and gentle kindness
towards all beings until he falls asleep.
SN I 110
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby starter » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:57 pm

The Buddha answered Jatukaṇṇī’s Questions:

“Having heard of a hero who has no desire for pleasure, I came to ask
that desireless one who is beyond the flood, please speak of the state of
peace, as it really is, Gracious One, please tell me this. The Gracious
One moves about having vanquished sense desires, as the splendid sun
vanquishes the earth with its splendour. To me of little wisdom, One of
Great Wisdom, explain the Teaching so that I may know the complete
giving up of birth and old age here.”

“Remove the greed for sense pleasures, having seen there is safety in
renunciation; let there be nothing found in you that has been taken up
or is still to be put down. You should erase that (greed) which is past, and
have nothing (no greed) for the future, if you take up nothing (no greed) in the present you will live peacefully. For one altogether without greed for mind and body, O brahmin, no pollutants are found whereby he can come under
Death’s control.” [The Way to the Beyond 11: Jatukaṇṇī’s Questions http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/E ... Beyond.pdf]

Metta to all!
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only in the present?

Postby Kumara » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:01 am

I've been interested in this too. I believe most of the confusion started with unsatisfactory translations of the opening line of the Bhaddekaratta verse. Here alone we find 3 versions;
  • Let one not trace back the past
  • Let not a person revive the past
  • You shouldn't chase after the past
Let me dissect and explain the Pali:
Atītaṁ nānvāgameyya.
- atītaṁ = past
- nānvāgameyya = na anu + āgameti + eyya
- - na = not
- - anu = (prefix) along, repeatedly, continually
- - āgameti = wait, stay, wait for, welcome, expect
- - eyya = (optative conjugation) would

So the sutta, in referring to the spiritual practitioner who is attentive of the present, says that he “would not dwell on the past”.

What does it mean by “dwell on the past”? The Bhaddekaratta suttas explain that it means getting carried away with the delight of thoughts about the past. There’s a fine—but important—line between that and remembering past events without being lost in it.

What dhammapal posted (posting.php?mode=reply&f=13&t=18131#pr256138) is very relevant: "past, future, or present... is to be seen as it actually is". When we see the past as it is, we see that it's just a memory, a mental activity. Same goes for the future and present. You can't get lost in it that way. You wouldn't even want to.

In suttas, we find occasions, before and after his awakening, where the Buddha recollected the past about himself and others. In fact, he recalled his countless past lives. We wouldn’t take that to mean that the Buddha was dwelling on the past, and that he wasn’t practising what he preached, would we?
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Re: Did the Buddha teach us to dwell only on the present?

Postby starter » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Merry Christmas!

I've to admit that I was a bit confused about whether one should intend/plan for the future (dwell on the future) after reading the following sutta.

SAṂYUTTA NIKAYA 12
CONNECTED DISCOURSES ON CAUSATION
40. Volition (3)

At Savatth. “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is inclination. When there is inclination, there is coming and going. When there is coming and going, there is passing away and being reborn. When there is passing away and being reborn, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“If, bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no inclination. When there is no inclination, there is no coming and going. When there is no coming and going, there is no passing away and being reborn. When there is no passing away and being reborn, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

I suppose this teaching is describing the state of living arahants who have already fulfilled the training, and explain why they won't have more continued existence. I think that the trainers should intend and plan, to have right resolve/thinking and right effort/mindfulness to perfect the sila aggregate, to suppress the five hindrances and establish samadhi, and then to attain wisdom/insight (true knowledge of 4NT). The same applies to desire, as taught in the following sutta by Ven. Ananda:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

SN 51.15 Brahmana Sutta

".... Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."

"If that's so, Master Ananda, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire."

"In that case, brahman, let me question you on this matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: Didn't you first have desire, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular desire allayed?" ...

"Didn't you first have the intent, thinking, 'I'll go to the park,' and then when you reached the park, wasn't that particular intent allayed?"

"Yes, sir." ...

"So it is with an arahant whose assavas are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis. Whatever desire he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular desire is allayed. Whatever persistence he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular persistence is allayed. Whatever intent he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular intent is allayed. Whatever discrimination he first had for the attainment of arahantship, on attaining arahantship that particular discrimination is allayed. So what do you think, brahman? Is this an endless path, or one with an end?"

Your input would be appreciated. Metta to all!
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