informative books

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informative books

Postby befriend » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:01 pm

does anyone have any book recommendations, im looking for something not for entertainment or for beginners, more like explaining how different enlightenment factors reinforce eachother, trying to aviod typical things like non self, and love i already know that stuff too well. thanks, -metta, befriend.
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Re: informative books

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:22 am

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

Also recommended is:

Satipatthana: the direct route to realization by Venerable Analayo

The manuals of Buddhism by Ledi Sayadaw
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: informative books

Postby kiwimark » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:23 pm

The chapter on the seven factors of awakening,in thanissaro bhikkhus book (the wings to awakening) is good.
www.dhammatalks.org/ebook_index.html :smile:
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Re: informative books

Postby Cilla » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:36 pm

more like explaining how different enlightenment factors reinforce eachother,


I am curious about your question. What do you mean by this? Can you elaborate. What are the "different enlightenment factors" for example that you are thinking of.

Perhaps i should say what i think enlightenment is in the first place. Maybe we have quite a different understanding of it.

In the books i have read the writers say the word, awakening, is more reflective of the actual state of enlightenment or even a better translation. From their descriptions of it, i have taken it to mean that a) you have become a very psychologically mature person so you are no longer selfish, concerned with petty things, have great reserves of inner strength and resources so that you will not be dependent on the opinions, or advice or love of others but also so that you won't be proud, arrogant or carry about any other negative baggage that could upset people or yourself. b) BEcause you are mature, you will see things clearly. YOu won't be projecting your own distorted interpretations and views and biases onto things you see. c) You won't be one of those poeple who is always busy pointing the finger at others and forgetting to focus on your own faults. c) you will be compassionate towards all others whatever their level of personal development so you will never be disdainful of them or harsh to them. d) Furthermore, according to the buddha, being enlightened or awakened would mean that you have experienced the meditative state where you have seen that all the world is interconnected and that is the important thing, as opposed to your individual independent self. You would have a deep and profound understanding of the world as this interconnected thing. I understand that this insight in particular will underpin and strengthen your behaviour in all the preceding ways that i have mentioned because if you have seen that all of us are one and not many, then you will understand the importance of being compassionate to all much more.

I myself am still skeptical about this last thing. I mean i doubt that it is really so. But who knows one day i might experience this understanding of the world and change my view of what the self is. Without this great insight, i still feel that all of the prior ways of being ie mature and selfless and compassionate are very good ways to be and are worth aspiring to for their own sake.
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Re: informative books

Postby befriend » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:49 pm

you dont need to be skeptical that there are not many but one. when someone smiles at you it involuntarily makes you feel good, then you smile back at them, then that helps purify there mind because they were being loving so they will be more apt to smile again at someone, then the people they smile at will smile at other people, into infinity. not really a beleif. there are 7 factors of awakening like rapture, equanimity, kindness, when they are all balanced in the mind at the same time nibbana occurs naturally. im wondering how does compassion influence effort and such. may you attain stream winner in this life. metta, befriend.
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Re: informative books

Postby Cilla » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:49 am

befriend wrote:you dont need to be skeptical that there are not many but one. when someone smiles at you it involuntarily makes you feel good, then you smile back at them, then that helps purify there mind because they were being loving so they will be more apt to smile again at someone, then the people they smile at will smile at other people, into infinity. not really a beleif. there are 7 factors of awakening like rapture, equanimity, kindness, when they are all balanced in the mind at the same time nibbana occurs naturally. im wondering how does compassion influence effort and such. may you attain stream winner in this life. metta, befriend.


I see. I haven't come across this list of factors before. Where did you come upon it? In which book? Are there any other "factors of enlightenment" in the list? What are they?

As to what you say in the beginning of this post, yes i have no difficulty with that if that is indeed what is meant by our interconnectedness. But i had got the idea that it was something quite else altogether. But if it is merely this sort of thing - something which is very easy to understand without resorting to the sorts of language that you often find in books on buddhism, i wonder why they have complicated it so much by making it into a mystical experience that is reached only through meditation. Its really not difficult at all. I wonder why it is made out to be such an elusive experience to have for oneself. It is so easy. So i really wonder if that is what it is. But i would be very happy to know if it is because as i said, that gives me no trouble at all. I would not be skeptical about that. And what do you mean by "and such" Do you mean the other aspects of the eightfold path?

You are wondering about how compassion influences effort. What are compassion and effort - are you saying they are factors of enlightenment. It would be good if you could be a bit clearer. Its just that when you write a question, i know you think all the answers are just for you but the fact is we are all interested in the answers and also the questions so it is good if they are clear as can be. And yes i know its not always so easy to be clear. I'm often at fault on this myself. But back to the question. I know that right effort is one of the eightfold path. Compassion isn't as such as i am aware though i know its what we are aiming for and it is inherent in the whole thing. But i wonder why you ask how does compassion influence effort. It seems such an odd question. Is your question how does compassion influence all the aspects of the eightfold path?

Also and finally what is "stream winner" Its a very strange phrase that i've never heard before. Is a particular theravada phrase? Am i having difficulty with what you write because English is not your mother tongue?

Sorry for being so troublesome but i want to understand in case there is something excellent i could understand from your question which has otherwise bypassed my attention. I am a learner, I want to know everything. :-)
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Re: informative books

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:37 am

Hi Cilla,

I think the reference is to the Seven factors of awakening/enlightenment (Bojjhanga)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... #bojjhanga
The Seven Factors for Awakening (bojjhaṅga)
1 Mindfulness as a factor for Awakening (sati-sambojjhaṅga).
2 Analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening (dhamma-vicaya-sambojjhaṅga).
3 Persistence as a factor for Awakening (viriya-sambojjhaṅga).
4 Rapture as a factor for Awakening (pīti-sambojjhaṅga).
5 Serenity as a factor for Awakening (passaddhi-sambojjhaṅga).
6 Concentration as a factor for Awakening (samādhi-sambojjhaṅga).
7 Equanimity as a factor for Awakening (upekkhā-sambojjhaṅga).
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ml#table-1


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Re: informative books

Postby befriend » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:24 am

hi,
a stream winner is someone who has entered the first of the four stages of nibanna, they are guranteed never to be reborn lower than a human or a god, thats why a lot of theravadans make it there goal to realize stream winner because they wont have to worry about being born in a lower realm. the other questions are a little too complex to answer it might be easier if you looked them up yourself. ill explain some. compassion which is called karuna in pali is translated as having a twinge in the heart when you think of someone elses suffering. it is slightly different than love because love is giving or wishing others happiness but compassion is wishing for others suffering to be eased or eradicated. im wondering how compassion supports effort because wholesome emotions give rise to OTHER wholesome emotions. for example even if you only practice loving kindness meditation the other 3 divine attitudes will arise by themselves which are compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. hope that make sense, metta, befriend.
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Re: informative books

Postby befriend » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:30 am

sorry apparently compassion is a paramis and not an enlightenment factor.
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Re: informative books

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:38 pm

Cilla wrote:Furthermore, according to the buddha, being enlightened or awakened would mean that you have experienced the meditative state where you have seen that all the world is interconnected


I have seen this sort of statement before in a few variations, and I am wondering if you happen to know where this was stated by the Buddha? I have tried searching suttas for a description of such an attainment or meditative state but I'm not having any luck. It is very likely that I'm just not searching correctly but if you happen to know that would make things easier.

Or if anyone knows a particular Pali term I should be looking for. Thanks!
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Re: informative books

Postby Beneath the Wheel » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:50 pm

To the topic, Thanissaro Bhikkhu has written a book called "Wings to Awakening" that might be helpful to you.

One used to be able to get print copies somehow - I've forgotten what site sends them - but the entire text of the book is also available here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html
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Re: informative books

Postby Cilla » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:15 pm

beneath the wheel. I haven't read any pali texts of suttas yet so i couldn't say which one it came from.

I think the first place i came upon it was in a book written by Stephen Batchelor who was trained as a tibettan buddhist monk. His book is called Confession of a Buddhist Atheist - and i do recommend it highly.

I am sure i have read it in several other books i am reading too though i must say i can't say which ones. It seems to come up a lot but the more i learn the more i think it less of a msytical idea and more something quite tangible and down to earth afterall. But i am keeping my eyes peeled for clarification becuase it is an idea that troubles me.

It lies behind the idea of compassion and compassion is more emphasised in tibettan buddhism and zen than theravada. I am not familiar enough with theravada

Oh i also think i probably came across it in the book i have just read by Pankaj Mishra called The End of Suffering. This is another excellent book. He doesn't deal specifically with any tradition of buddhism. He's an indian author so i suspect that he possibly most influenced by theravada but i cannot be sure.
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