The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:31 am

A transcript I found
Questioner: How should one be aware? I know that sati is aware, but how?

Should there be profound consideration or a more superficial consideration of

the three general characteristics of impermanence, dukkha and anatta? Or

should there be awareness only of softness and hardness? I have understood

what you taught about the practice, I listened for two or three years. However,

I cannot practise. I learnt about nama and rupa, but what are they? How

should I be aware of them? I feel confused about awareness of dhammas at the

present moment. There must be a special method for this. A special method is

important. Should there be profound awareness or awareness which is more

superficial, awareness for a long time or for a short time? But I take everything

for self.



Sujin: This way of acting leads to confusion. You may try to regulate sati, to

have profound awareness or a more superficial awareness, to have a great deal

of it or only a little, but, as regards the development of panna there is no

special method or technique. The development of panna begins with listening to

the Dhamma, and studying the realities sati can be aware of, so that

understanding can grow. These are conditions for the arising of sati that is

directly aware of the characteristics of nama and rupa as they naturally appear.

Since the nama and rupa that appear are real, panna can come to know their

true nature.



You should not try to regulate sati and try to make it strong or to make it

decrease so that it is weak, or to make it superficial. If one acts in that way one

clings to the concept of self and does not investigate and study the

characteristics of the dhammas that appear. What are the realities that appear?

A person who is not forgetful of realities can be aware of them as they naturally

appear, he is directly aware of their characteristics. He does not try to make sati

focus on an object so that it could consider that object more deeply, over and

over again. Sati arises and falls away, and then there may be again

forgetfulness, or sati may be aware again of another object. Thus, we can see

that satipatthana is anatta. People who understand that all realities, including

satipatthana, are anatta, will not be confused. If someone clings to the concept

of self, he is inclined to regulate and direct sati, but he does not know the right

way. If one’s practice is not natural, it is complicated and creates confusion. If

awareness is natural, if it studies and considers the realities that appear, there will

be understanding, no confusion.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:32 am

Questioner: What is the difference between the practice that is natural and

the practice that is unnatural?



Sujin: At this moment you are sitting in a natural way and you may be aware

of realities which appear, such as softness or hardness, presenting themselves

through the bodysense, or visible object appearing through the eyesense. All

these dhammas appear naturally. However, someone’s practice is unnatural if

he believes, while he develops satipatthana, that he should sit cross-legged, in

the lotus position, and that he should concentrate on specific realities. There is

desire when a person selects realities that have not arisen yet as objects of

awareness. He neglects to be aware of realities that appear already, such as

seeing, hearing, visible object, sound, odour, flavour, cold, heat, softness or

hardness. Even if there is only a slight amount of wrong understanding, it

conditions clinging and this hides the truth. In that case panna cannot arise and

know the dhammas appearing at that moment.



People who develop satipatthana should know precisely the difference between

the moment of forgetfulness, when there is no sati, and the moment when

there is sati. Otherwise satipatthana cannot be developed. If one is usually

forgetful one is bound to be forgetful again. Someone may wish to select an

object in order to concentrate on it, but this is not the way to develop

satipatthana. We should have right understanding of the moment when there is

forgetfulness, no sati, that is, when we do not know the characteristics of

realities appearing in daily life, such as seeing or hearing. When there is sati, one

can consider, study and understand the dhammas appearing through the six

doors. When someone selects a particular object in order to focus on it, he will

not know that sati is non-self. When there is sati it can be aware of realities that

naturally appear. When odour appears there can be awareness of odour that

presents itself through the nose. It can be known as only a type of reality

that arises, which appears and then disappears. Or the nama which experiences

odour can be understood as only a type of reality that presents itself. After it

has experienced odour, it falls away. It is not a being, a person or self.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:59 am


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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:30 pm

Questioner: I do not know yet the characteristic of satipatthana. When I listen

intently to your lecture, I understand the subject matter, the theory. There is

also awareness while I have theoretical understanding, but I do not consider

nama and rupa at that moment. I am not sure whether that is satipatthana or

not.



Sujin: If we do not know that our life is only nama and rupa, we are bound to

take realities for self. We are full of the concept of self and this can only be

eradicated completely by satipatthana. Sati can be aware and begin to

investigate the characteristics of nama and rupa that appear. In the beginning,

when sati is aware, there cannot yet be clear understanding of the realities that

appear as nama and as rupa. The understanding may be so weak that it is

hardly noticeable. Understanding develops only gradually, it can eliminate

ignorance stage by stage; ignorance cannot be immediately eradicated. It is

just as in the case of the knifehandle someone holds each day and which wears

off only a little at a time.



We read in the Kindred Sayings (III, Middle Fifty, Ch V, § 101, Adze-handle)

that the Buddha, while he was in Savatthi, said to the monks that defilements

can be eradicated by realizing the arising and falling away of the five khandhas.

This cannot be achieved “by not knowing, by not seeing.” If someone would

just wish for the eradication of defilements and he would be neglectful of the

development of understanding, defilements cannot be eradicated. Only by

the development of understanding, defilements can gradually be eliminated.

We read:



Just as if, monks, when a carpenter or carpenter’s apprentice

looks upon his adze-handle

and sees thereon his thumb-mark and his finger-marks

he does not thereby know:

“Thus and thus much of my adze-handle has been worn away today,

thus much yesterday,

thus much at other times.”

But he knows the wearing away of it just by its wearing away.

Even so, monks, the monk who dwells attentive to self-training

has not this knowledge:

“Thus much and thus much of the asavas has been worn away today,

thus much yesterday,

and thus much at other times.”

But he knows the wearing away of them just by their wearing away.



Understanding has to be developed for an endlessly long time. Some people

dislike it that sati and panna develop only very gradually, but there is no other

way. If someone is impatient and tries to combine different ways of practice in

order to hasten the development of panna, he makes his life very complicated.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:13 pm


rohana
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby rohana » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:39 am

"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:28 am


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:42 am


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Re: The causes for wisdom

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Re: The causes for wisdom

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:26 pm


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:50 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


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kirk5a
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:54 am

"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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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:30 am


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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:52 am

13. “First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets stronger” (Vism-mhþ 790).
As the quote included the actual full reference to the tika (Vism-mhp 790) it is rather unfair to conclude that this is an inaccurate citation .

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:57 am


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby ancientbuddhism » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:35 am

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:14 pm

did you read the first page of the thread where I cite Bhikkhu Bodhi:

I repeat it below.
Bhikkhu Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words page 302:




Contemporary Buddhist literature commonly conveys two ideas about pañña that have become almost axioms in the popular understanding of Buddhism, The first is that pañña is exclusively nonconceptual and nondiscursive, a type of cognition that defies all the laws of logical thought; the second, that pañña arises spontaneously, through an act of pure intuition as sudden and instantaneous as a brilliant flash of lightning. These two ideas about pañña are closely connected. If pañña defies all the laws of thought, it cannot be approached by any type of conceptual activity but can arise only when the rational, discriminative, conceptual activity of the mind has been stultified. And this stopping of conceptualization, somewhat like the demolition of a building, must be a rapid one, an undermining of thought not previously prepared for by any gradual maturation of understanding. Thus, in the popular understanding of Buddhism, pañña defies rationality and easily slides off into "crazy wisdom," an incomprehensible, mindboggling way of relating to the world that dances at the thin edge between super-rationality and madness.

Such ideas about pañña receive no support at all from the teachings of the Nikayas, which, are consistently sane, lucid, and sober, To take the two points in reverse order: First, far from arising spontaneously, pañña in the Nikayas is emphatically conditioned, arisen from an underlying matrix of causes and conditions. And second, pañña is not bare intuition, but a careful, discriminative understanding that at certain stages involves precise conceptual operations. Pañña is directed to specific domains of understanding. These domains, known in the Pali commentaries as "the soil of wisdom" (paññabhumi), must be thoroughIy investigated and mastered through conceptual understanding before direct, nonconceptual insight can effectively accomplish its work. To master them requires analysis, discrimination, and discernment. One must be able to abstract from the overwhelming mass of facts certain basic patterns fundamental to all experience and use these patterns as templates for close contemplation of one's own experience

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:32 pm



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