Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

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Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:51 am

Greetings all,

I wanted to start a thread on something that is rarely discussed on Dhamma Wheel. And I want to include it here in 'General Theravada discussion' to accommododate those who may not engage on the level of meditation, but some other aspect of theory or practice that they may wish to contribute.

Do you think about the 37 requisites of enlightenment (Bodhipakkiya Dhamma) and how do you cultivate the Bodhipakkiya Dhammas in your life?

37 Bodhipakkiya Dhamma

- 4 Satipatthana (foundations of mindfulness)
- 4 Sammapadhana (right efforts)
- 4 Iddhipada (bases of success)
- 4 Indriya (controlling factors)
- 5 bala (mental powers)
- 7 Bojjhanga (enlightenment factors)
- 8 Magganga (path factors)

The bodhipakkhiya-dhammas are so called because they form part
(pakkhiya) of enlightenment or awakening (bodhi) which here refers to
the knowledge of the holy paths (magga-ñāṇa). They are dhammas
(mental phenomena) with the function of being proximate causes
(padaṭṭhāna), requisite ingredients (sambhāra) and bases, or sufficient
conditions (upanissaya), of path knowledge (magga-ñāṇa).

For those who are interested, an electronic copy of the wheel publication of Ledi Sayadaw's Bodhipakkiya Dipani is here:
http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh171.pdf

I look forward to your contributions.

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: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:04 am

Greetings,

I have nothing to contribute at this point other than to provide the following reference...

Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

... which is specifically about the 37 bodhipakkhiya.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby bodom » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:12 am

I like to keep it simple and focus on whichever factor it is that is needed in my practice at the moment. Besides, these factors are all so interrelated that when you are practicing one you are practicing them all.

:anjali:
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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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:14 am

I see it as a great summary of the Dhamma and a great road-map to Nibbana.

I have always felt that it might be cool to have a diagram of the Bodhipakkhiya; something that might even be reduced to business card size that I could refer to once in a while. Stefan made one on the paṭiccasamuppāda:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2696#p38048

Stefan or anyone else with photoshop, are you busy? :tongue:
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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:19 am

That's interesting, thanks guys!
One of the reasons I am asking is that following my recent long course, I felt the need to, not only continue to engage in developing sila, samadhi and panna, but to also develop the individual path requisites - or at least, review them in light of my practice.
Some bodhipakkhiya dhammas seem to have manifested in my life without any conscious effort - conditioned, no doubt, by daily practice. Others are a different story.
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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby phil » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:21 am

Often enough there is contemplation on the mundane path factors or indriyas. I work on awareness of behaviour, so think much more about the precepts and the 10 akuasala kamma patha. I do have faith that as sila continues to improve there will be more understanding re more of the 37. But no hurry. When I first came across the Dhamma I would see something like the seven factors of awakening and immediately want to know how to develop them. But those days are gone, for better or worse. I am not the kind of person who goes on retreats in order to strive intensely to develop factors of awakening. WIll I be someday? Always possible. For now a lot of joy and confidence about how the Dhamma has made me a better person without the need to strive for liberation...yet. Wasting the rare opportunity to practice Dhamma? Possibly. Not botching it by trying to rush things? Also possible.
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: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby Kenshou » Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:23 am

David N. Snyder wrote:I have always felt that it might be cool to have a diagram of the Bodhipakkhiya; something that might even be reduced to business card size that I could refer to once in a while.


I was thinking about this recently. Since there's a good degree of overlap between the different categories of the 37 it probably wouldn't be that difficult.
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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:47 am

Hi Ben,

Interesting topic- I haven't quite understood why the Buddha categorised them in these repetitive categories. You find him encouraging his disciples to develop them, however. I wonder if there is something in their order/arrangement which confers some special advantage if developed sequentially.

My 'drivers' in meditation has been overcoming suffering and curiosity about the Truth. I guess that lead me to practice samatha and vipassana. Other factors fell into place later. Maybe there is something in starting with what you find motivates you. The words of kalyanamittas (spiritual friends) helped me fill in missing bits, that I was not too keen on pursuing.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

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Mudita
& Upekkha
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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:25 am

Thanks Matheesha for that.
I get where you are coming from with regards to your motivation. Similar to my own. I guess for me, at the moment, its useful to look at the individual bodhipakkhiya dhammas more closely. I'm not sure about whether they need to be practiced, or developed, in sequence. We also see repetition occur with regards to the taints/asavas/kilesas, so my reading is that one requisite can have multiple functions or can can condition more than one set of requisites. But a scholar I am not and so my understanding may not be reliable on that.
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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:25 pm

Hi Ben,

It struck me that all of the distinct categories have an element of samatha and vipassana in them...and maybe complete descriptions (with varying degrees of detail) of the path of practice. I wondered whether they may have been descriptions of the path by previous Buddhas even (as Gautama Buddha seems to have preferred the Noble Eightfold Path). It may also have been an attempt by the current Buddha to assimilate meditative paths of religious teachers at the time, who's path of practice was amenable to re-interpretation. It could also be different formulations that the Buddha used to teach different people, according to their temperaments - and perhaps when they resided together, he collated them all.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby fijiNut » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:29 am

Hi Ben,

As further reference to the 37 factors, I have always found the Anapanasati Sutta to be interesting, here the Buddha mentions:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination."

This has been the mainstay of my practice, I am not sure if it is possible to develop each 37 qualities on its own, as some of them naturally co-arise through practice, for example without the four powers, one cannot refine the skill of meditation.
Moreover, the five faculties and the four right exertions are needed in the course of meditation itself to analyse the four frames of reference.
The seven factors of enlightenment gradually unfold as a result, culminating in the path.
Thannisaro Bhikkhu's book as mentioned by Retro is a good study guide, but reading his book is quite hard as I have *tried* to read his book from back to front a while ago.

Being a lazy person that I am, I am just inclined to sit and do nothing, just watch the breath, feelings, and the mind... as the breath goes in, as the breath goes out
:P

All the best, and I hope this thread stays alive for the benefit of all. It is indeed quite rare to see these 'hardcore' topics being discussed.
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Re: Bodhipakkhiya... what place in your practice?

Postby PeterB » Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:03 am

I think that RYB's point is an important one...I know that without regular input from kalyanamittas my practice tends to become interest led and patchy. The Buddha gave us the three jewels as complete set, including the third.
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