Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

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Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:57 pm

A person on facebook said, "the injection of rationalism, logic and atheism led to a variety of Western Buddhism where people took themselves too seriously and began to believe their own ignorance as wisdom." While I don't agree with his point, I think people take the Kalama Sutta to mean to only measure the teachings by their own experiences. I remember the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi talking about this point too, but I wonder how one would check their own experiences.
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:08 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:I think people take the Kalama Sutta to mean to only measure the teachings by their own experiences. I remember the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi talking about this point too, but I wonder how one would check their own experiences.


When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.
...
When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; 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.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Own Experience is just one criterion. The other are:

1. blameless or blameworthy
2. praised or criticized by the wise
3. when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" or lead to welfare & to happiness'

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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:16 pm

Hello all,

Worth the read:

Help! The Kalama Sutta, Help! by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu)
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... a_Help.htm

Kalama Sutta - The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry translated from the Pali by Soma Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el008.html

A Look at the Kalama Sutta – Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_09.html

with metta
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby kirk5a » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:19 pm

When I see people refer to the Kalama Sutta (usually not explicity but the idea indirectly), more often than not it is to misguidedly use it in support of the very notion which is explicity denied in the sutta - the idea that the Buddha said we should decide for ourselves if something "makes sense."

"So in this case, Kalamas, 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 one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:23 pm

The key words in The Kalama Sutta for me are personal verification and validation: The Practice.

We are given two tools for this: meditation, which checks mental factors, and mindfulness, which checks how things work in the practical world in which we participate and perfect our skills over time and through experience.

The question is: Did what I do or didn't do decrease dukkha, or increase dukka?

Another tool given to us by Buddha is his advice to his son Rahula: reflection.

This tool, coupled with the wisdom of mindful experience, allows us to predict the outcome of even our most beneficial intentional actions.

resource for further study: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:09 pm

cooran wrote:Hello all,

Worth the read:

Help! The Kalama Sutta, Help! by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (translated by Santikaro Bhikkhu)
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... a_Help.htm

Kalama Sutta - The Buddha's Charter of Free Inquiry translated from the Pali by Soma Thera
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el008.html

A Look at the Kalama Sutta – Bhikkhu Bodhi
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ay_09.html

with metta
Chris


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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby zavk » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:29 am

To pick up on the points raised by TMingyur, kirk5a and Ron, as well as those raised in the articles posted by Chris.... I know I've mentioned this a few times before but I'll share it again because it really gave me a new appreciation of the Kalama Sutta and also shifted my day-to-day approach to the Dhamma more generally. Hopefully it will resonate with others too.

There's this essay on the Kalama Sutta that makes two very simple observations which I think are relevant here (oh, I must thank Tilt again for putting me in touch with this essay a while ago!). The essay can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/accesstoa ... st-studies

    1.) The author points out that what is is translated as 'things' in the line 'When you know for yourself that these THINGS....' is dhamma. The word 'dhamma', as I'm sure you know, has multiple meanings. It can refer to the Buddha's teachings, doctrines, aspects of subjective reality/experience, fundamental mindstates and attitudes, and so forth. The author notes that at the beginning of the sutta, the word vada had been used to refer to the doctrines and teachings of the various wondering holy men whom the Kalamas had encountered. Therefore, he suggests that in the Buddha's advice, it is more likely that 'dhamma' (...these THINGS) refers to fundamental mindstates and actions. In other words, what is being evaluated--what we are asked to 'check'--is NOT so much the truthfulness or falseness of doctrines or statements about kamma, rebirth, etc. Rather, we are ask to evaluate the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of our mindstates and actions. When taken onboard and followed, do the Buddha's teachings allow us to develop more wholesomeness and relinquish unwholesomeness? If they do, then, we have good reasons to continue to follow them. This leaves the truthfulness or falseness of such things as kamma and rebirth suspended. But this doesn't mean that we are left we no criterion for evaluation. Rather, the criterion for evaluation is an ethical one (wholesome/unwholesome) rather than an epistemological one (true/false).

    2.) The author further suggests that the phrase 'When you know for yourself..' could be better translated as 'When you come to FEEL for yourself...' This ties in with the previous point to suggest again the advice given in the Kalama Sutta is an ethical advice. This suggests that given how the truthfulness and falseness of such things as kamma and rebirth cannot be fully proven or verified in context of our mundane day-to-day conventional reality, a more skilful approach is to approach them in terms of wholesomeness or unwholesomeness--hence, the emphasis on how we feel about these things rather than what we know about this things.

Reading about this was an eye-opener for me. Such an interpretation can of course be challenged, but I'm happy to adopt it for now because, well, it has allowed me to develop more wholesomeness and hence, experience more contentment, ease and peace in my life. What I really like about this interpretation is that it leaves open a gap to be filled by saddha or faith. Saddha is of course one of the Five Faculties. I know some people prefer to use the words 'trust' or 'confidence', but I think 'faith' when conceptualised carefully can be very powerful.

If we are asked to FEEL whether the teachings are wholesome/unwholesome rather than to know whether they are true/false, then, this suggests that there always remains a gap of unknowingness to be filled by faith. When we take onboard such teachings as kamma and rebirth and what not, we follow them NOT because we know with certainty that they are true/false--as the Buddha himself suggests in the later part of the Kalama Sutta, these things cannot be known with certainty until one attains some degree of Awakening--but because we have felt the wholesomeness of these teachings. To this extent, we have reasons to have faith or trust or confidence in them. And to this extent, the faith we have is NOT an unthinking one but a faith that is grounded in wholesomeness, in virtue, in ethics--in the guidelines offered by sila.

In short, considerations of wholesomeness/unwholesomeness takes priority over considerations of truthfulness/falseness--well, at the level of conventional reality anyway. I have found this to be a sound advice. If I observe my own experience honestly, I can see that being fixated on proving the truthfuness/falseness of statements and propositions do not always lead to wholesomeness nor do they necessarily lead to an embodied understanding of the Dhamma. In fact, more often than not, they lead to unwholesomeness and even generate confusion about the Dhamma. So giving priority to considerations of wholesomeness--giving priority to 'the care for oneself' over 'know for oneself', to put it another way--is how I would read the advice in the Kalama Sutta.

This is how I have contemplated on the issue, but have a read of the essay and see how you feel about it.

:anjali: :smile: :group:
Last edited by zavk on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:35 am

Thanks Ed
I was actually thinking of that excellent essay but I've got it stored on an external hard-drive and not handy to me atm.
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:54 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:01 am

Hanzze wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Own Experience is just one criterion. The other are:

1. blameless or blameworthy
2. praised or criticized by the wise
3. when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" or lead to welfare & to happiness'

Kind regards


Dear TMingyur,

does no 1 and no 2 not easily lead to give up ones own responsibility? In the way: "But he had told..." aren't those No. 1,2 not only guides for the time one is not sure?
Does the wise criticize or praise?
Is no 1 not a part of "own experience" ?
Does one continue to blame?

No.
No.
Yes. (The Buddha did)
It is both, own experience and the assessment by the wise.
Blamed is the blameworthy quality as such, not the person. This is an important point that is missed if one lacks understanding.

You have to consider them all together. To single out some is not appropriate because they are listed together.

Kind regards
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:06 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby PeterB » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:54 am

zavk wrote:To pick up on the points raised by TMingyur, kirk5a and Ron, as well as those raised in the articles posted by Chris.... I know I've mentioned this a few times before but I'll share it again because it really gave me a new appreciation of the Kalama Sutta and also shifted my day-to-day approach to the Dhamma more generally. Hopefully it will resonate with others too.

There's this essay on the Kalama Sutta that makes two very simple observations which I think are relevant here (oh, I must thank Tilt again for putting me in touch with this essay a while ago!). The essay can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/accesstoa ... st-studies

    1.) The author points out that what is is translated as 'things' in the line 'When you know for yourself that these THINGS....' is dhamma. The word 'dhamma', as I'm sure you know, has multiple meanings. It can refer to the Buddha's teachings, doctrines, aspects of subjective reality/experience, fundamental mindstates and attitudes, and so forth. The author notes that at the beginning of the sutta, the word vada had been used to refer to the doctrines and teachings of the various wondering holy men whom the Kalamas had encountered. Therefore, he suggests that in the Buddha's advice, it is more likely that 'dhamma' (...these THINGS) refers to fundamental mindstates and actions. In other words, what is being evaluated--what we are asked to 'check'--is NOT so much the truthfulness or falseness of doctrines or statements about kamma, rebirth, etc. Rather, we are ask to evaluate the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of our mindstates and actions. When taken onboard and followed, do the Buddha's teachings allow us to develop more wholesomeness and relinquish unwholesomeness? If they do, then, we have good reasons to continue to follow them. This leaves the truthfulness or falseness of such things as kamma and rebirth suspended. But this doesn't mean that we are left we no criterion for evaluation. Rather, the criterion for evaluation is an ethical one (wholesome/unwholesome) rather than an epistemological one (true/false).

    2.) The author further suggests that the phrase 'When you know for yourself..' could be better translated as 'When you come to FEEL for yourself...' This ties in with the previous point to suggest again the advice given in the Kalama Sutta is an ethical advice. This suggests that given how the truthfulness and falseness of such things as kamma and rebirth cannot be fully proven or verified in context of our mundane day-to-day conventional reality, a more skilful approach is to approach them in terms of wholesomeness or unwholesomeness--hence, the emphasis on how we feel about these things rather than what we know about this things.

Reading about this was an eye-opener for me. Such an interpretation can of course be challenged, but I'm happy to adopt it for now because, well, it has allowed me to develop more wholesomeness and hence, experience more contentment, ease and peace in my life. What I really like about this interpretation is that it leaves open a gap to be filled by saddha or faith. Saddha is of course one of the Five Faculties. I know some people prefer to use the words 'trust' or 'confidence', but I think 'faith' when conceptualised carefully can be very powerful.

If we are asked to FEEL whether the teachings are wholesome/unwholesome rather than to know whether they are true/false, then, this suggests that there always remains a gap of unknowingness to be filled by faith. When we take onboard such teachings as kamma and rebirth and what not, we follow them NOT because we know with certainty that they are true/false--as the Buddha himself suggests in the later part of the Kalama Sutta, these things cannot be known with certainty until one attains some degree of Awakening--but because we have felt the wholesomeness of these teachings. To this extent, we have reasons to have faith or trust or confidence in them. And to this extent, the faith we have is NOT an unthinking one but a faith that is grounded in wholesomeness, in virtue, in ethics--in the guidelines offered by sila.

In short, considerations of wholesomeness/unwholesomeness takes priority over considerations of truthfulness/falseness--well, at the level of conventional reality anyway. I have found this to be a sound advice. If I observe my own experience honestly, I can see that being fixated on proving the truthfuness/falseness of statements and propositions do not always lead to wholesomeness nor do they necessarily lead to an embodied understanding of the Dhamma. In fact, more often than not, they lead to unwholesomeness and even generate confusion about the Dhamma. So giving priority to considerations of wholesomeness--giving priority to 'the care for oneself' over 'know for oneself', to put it another way--is how I would read the advice in the Kalama Sutta.

This is how I have contemplated on the issue, but have a read of the essay and see how you feel about it.

:anjali: :smile: :group:

Sadhu !
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:47 pm

Hanzze wrote:Dear TMingyur,
...
Only one more question as there would be a controversy. Did the Buddha really blame (we can not call it continue, if I get his story right, as before he started to taught he did not blame)?
_/\_


See, If the Buddha really did blame, then He would have said "This is blameworthy" or "I blame [this or that]" but it is very unlikely that He spoke English, right?
This is no joke. I do not know the pali word that Bhikkhu Thanissaro preferred to translate as "blameworthy" and "blameless".

But Soma Thera, too:
Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.
...
Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .soma.html



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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby ground » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:54 pm

Finally Nyanaponika Thera / Bhikhu Bodhi

But when you know for yourselves, ’These things are unwholesome, these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practised, lead to harm and suffering,’ then you should abandon them.
...
But when you know for yourselves, “These things are wholesome, these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if undertaken and practised, lead to welfare and happiness,’ then you should engage in them.
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh155-p.html



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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:03 pm

I wrote the following as a presentation for our Dhamma Study Group here in New Hampshire, which I thought might be of interest here. Apologies in advance for being long winded:


A Review of The Kalama Sutta: Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry Ron-The- Elder

Over 2500 years ago and far, far, away….During the time of The Buddha there were Brahmins, Gurus, Priests, Fakirs, monks of various orders including The Jains, and of course Buddhists. Each would visit a village, speak, their truths and in the process denigrate that which was preached by other holy men, putting forth that their teachings were the truth.
When Buddha and his retinue were passing near the village of The Kalamas, elders, leaders of The Kalamas approached Buddha asking him if he could help them resolve their confusion, since they could find no means of determining which of these holy men were in fact telling the truths which should be honored by them and introduced into their ways of living.

It was in response to this request that Buddha dispensed his Charter of Free Inquiry.
Buddha explained:
The criterion for rejection
4. "It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.
Greed, hate, and delusion
5. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does greed appear in a man for his benefit or harm?" — "For his harm, venerable sir." — "Kalamas, being given to greed, and being overwhelmed and vanquished mentally by greed, this man takes life, steals, commits adultery, and tells lies; he prompts another too, to do likewise. Will that be long for his harm and ill?" — "Yes, venerable sir."
6. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does hate appear in a man for his benefit or harm?" — "For his harm, venerable sir." — "Kalamas, being given to hate, and being overwhelmed and vanquished mentally by hate, this man takes life, steals, commits adultery, and tells lies; he prompts another too, to do likewise. Will that be long for his harm and ill?" — "Yes, venerable sir."
7. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does delusion appear in a man for his benefit or harm?" — "For his harm, venerable sir." — "Kalamas, being given to delusion, and being overwhelmed and vanquished mentally by delusion, this man takes life, steals, commits adultery, and tells lies; he prompts another too, to do likewise. Will that be long for his harm and ill?" — "Yes, venerable sir."
8. "What do you think, Kalamas? Are these things good or bad?" — "Bad, venerable sir" — "Blamable or not blamable?" — "Blamable, venerable sir." — "Censured or praised by the wise?" — "Censured, venerable sir." — "Undertaken and observed, do these things lead to harm and ill, or not? Or how does it strike you?" — "Undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill. Thus it strikes us here."
9. "Therefore, did we say, Kalamas, what was said thus, 'Come Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, "The monk is our teacher." Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill," abandon them.'
The criterion for acceptance
10. "Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them.

Absence of greed, hate, and delusion
11. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does absence of greed appear in a man for his benefit or harm?" — "For his benefit, venerable sir." — "Kalamas, being not given to greed, and being not overwhelmed and not vanquished mentally by greed, this man does not take life, does not steal, does not commit adultery, and does not tell lies; he prompts another too, to do likewise. Will that be long for his benefit and happiness?" — "Yes, venerable sir."
12. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does absence of hate appear in a man for his benefit or harm?" — "For his benefit, venerable sir." — "Kalamas, being not given to hate, and being not overwhelmed and not vanquished mentally by hate, this man does not take life, does not steal, does not commit adultery, and does not tell lies; he prompts another too, to do likewise. Will that be long for his benefit and happiness?" _ "Yes, venerable sir."
13. "What do you think, Kalamas? Does absence of delusion appear in a man for his benefit or harm?" — "For his benefit, venerable sir." — "Kalamas, being not given to delusion, and being not overwhelmed and not vanquished mentally by delusion, this man does not take life, does not steal, does not commit adultery, and does not tell lies; he prompts another too, to do likewise. Will that be long for his benefit and happiness?" _ "Yes, venerable sir."
14. "What do you think, Kalamas? Are these things good or bad?" — "Good, venerable sir." — "Blamable or not blamable?" — "Not blamable, venerable sir." — "Censured or praised by the wise?" — "Praised, venerable sir." — "Undertaken and observed, do these things lead to benefit and happiness, or not? Or how does it strike you?" — "Undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness. Thus it strikes us here."
15. "Therefore, did we say, Kalamas, what was said thus, 'Come Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, "The monk is our teacher." Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness," enter on and abide in them.'
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Question: What is the applicability of Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry to the practices of Meditation and Mindfulness?

Buddha’s method for examination, refinement and perfection of mind, results in alleviation of Ignorance the underlying causes of Dukkha (pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction), Revelation that dukkha can and has been ended in the here and now and, exposes the cause of Dukkha: Attachment and Clinging to The Khandas, a.k.a. The Aggregates, and provides Identification of the one and only proven means to end Dukkha: The Noble Eight Fold Path. All these put together are known as The Four Noble Truths.

The underlying causes of Dukkha, The Aggregates, are manifested and enabled by Ignorance->Dependent Origination->Impermanence->and Attachment to Delusions

What are these aggregates?: Physicality or Materiality, Feelings, Perceptions, Mentality, and Consciousnesses of six types.

Buddha explained that attachment to these aggregates, because of the fact that they were dependent upon causes and therefore impermanent would “always” result in dukkha. (pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction).

Buddha explained that it did not matter if what we were attached to was pleasurable, or not pleasurable, pleasing to the eye, or ugly, of great value, or not of great value…..because of their impermanence they would always result in dukkha eventually.

The greatest of these attachments is the delusion to an idea that there is a self upon which we can count, with which we can identify, or upon which we can reference and say: “This is me.” “I am this or that.” “This is mine.” “This is my own.” No matter what we point to: The physical body; our feelings; our perceptions; mental factors such as thoughts, reasoning, dreams, aspiration, or views; nor any part of consciousness: sights of the visual system, smells of our olfactory systems; pleasures or pains, warmth or cold of our sense of touch; alluring sounds detected by our ears; pleasant tastes experienced by our gustatory system; nor even our feelings, ideas, thoughts, and emotions……..none of these are who we are, and most significantly, none of these will last beyond a single, fleeting life-time.

These were and still are difficult lessons to swallow for people who have for thousands of years believed in notions of not only the current, tangible, mundane self, which they could sense and be proud of for its accomplishments, and which holy men, gurus, priests, and Brahmins of various religions taught and still teach had and have an ego which could and cannot be destroyed, a soul, which could and can go on and on from life-time to life-time in various incarnations, or off to various heavens and hells in payment or retribution for one’s life-long commissions and omissions.

So to provide facilitation of his method of free inquiry into the reality of such critical matters Buddha gave us the tools of Meditation and Mindfulness which allow us to verify and validate for ourselves.

Buddha taught us in Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta how to mindfully and skillfully observe the afore mentioned aggregates: the physicality of our body, our feelings, our perceptions, our mind itself and all of its intentions, and a means, using the mind observing the mind itself, to explore the very nature of consciousness not only in the here and now, but as it arises, dwells for but a time, passes away, and is reborn, but a mind-moment later, and upon further attainment even to see how kamma moves on from one sentient at death unto subsequent realms in accordance with merit and demerit: post mortem rebirth.

By teaching us how to meditate and be mindful using methods proven effective over uncountable years Buddha shared with us a method of the examination of reality much more useful than any scientists micro-scope, or telescope, or any physicians x-ray, MRI, or CT scanner. He made us aware that we have each been provided with our own personal means to identify and recognize hindrances to our release, or escape, our break-out from these dukkha-filled samsaric realms.

These hindrances are well known and must be studied and observed by us, for it is they which prevent us from coming to an accurate and complete understanding of our true nature. These hindrances keep us in ignorance and in a state of pain, suffering, stress, and dissatisfaction (dukkha) leading to endless rounds of birth, aging, disease, and death; samsaric realms; vast in their range and domain in the entirety of existence. These are not strangers to any of us.

They are:
Greed and Avarice,
Hatred and Anger
Restlessness, Dissatisfaction and Lack of Acceptance
Distraction and Delusion
Sloth, torpor, and laziness.

As mentioned previously, Buddha gave us the means to properly identify hindrances, and ironically advises us to make friends with them, to control them, and to eliminate them by correctly understanding their relationship with regard to The Noble Eight Fold Path, which is promised to be a proven, iron clad means by which we can end dukkha in the here and now, and as a result experience the unconditioned state permanently free of pain, suffering, stress, dissatisfaction, birth, aging, disease and death: nibbana.

THE END



What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:41 pm

What do people think of greed, hatred and delusion as determinants of what to do or not to do?

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:45 pm

rowyourboat wrote:What do people think of greed, hatred and delusion as determinants of what to do or not to do?

with metta

Matheesha


What we think is not relevant. What the results were of our intentional actions resulting from these hindrances is relevant. In Buddhas admonition to his son, Rahula, he asked the purpose of a mirror. "Reflection", was the answer given. Buddha responded, "Just so! Rahula." "And in this manner we must reflect upon the consequences of our intentional actions."...as to their probable outcomes. The hindrances of greed, hatred, and delusion, especially clinging to the concept of a delusional self, and ego is an almost certain path to the hell realms...was Buddha's warning not only to Rahula, his son, but also to all of his Bhikkhus.
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Ron-The-Elder
 
Posts: 1015
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Re: Kalama Sutta and checking experiences

Postby Ron-The-Elder » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:23 pm

Read the following this morning:
To call something a foundation of the Buddhist Teachings is only correct if firstly, it is a principle which aims at the extinction of Dukkha [2] and, secondly, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others. These are the important constituents of a foundation.

The Buddha refused to have any dealing with those things which don't lead to the extinction of Dukkha. Take the question of whether or not there. is rebirth. What is reborn? How is it reborn? What is its kammic inheritance [3] ? These questions are not aimed at the extinction of Dukkha. That being so they are not Buddhist teaching and they are not connected with it. They do not lie in the sphere of Buddhism. Also, the one who asks about such matters has no choice but to indis­criminately believe the answer he's given, because the one who answers is not going to be able to produce any proofs, he's just going to speak according to his memory and feeling. The listener can't see for himself and so has to blindly believe "the other's words. Little by little the matter strays from Dhamma until it's something else altogether, unconnected with the extinction of Dukkha.

source: http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... o_Tree.htm
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Ron-The-Elder
 
Posts: 1015
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Location: Concord, New Hampshire, U.S.A.


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