The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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kirk5a
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:55 pm

mikenz66 wrote:And here's another example, from Ajahn Amaro:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 00#p218121

:anjali:
Mike

Ajahn Amaro wrote:So there's a lot of doing.
"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: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:55 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Ajahn Amaro wrote:So there's a lot of doing.

Of course. There is a lot of doing in the suttas, but not by a self...

:anjali:
Mike

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:34 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Dan74 wrote:On the other hand, it is not controversial that formal practice is somewhat artificial at the outset. There is craving present, spiritual materialism of some sort, if you will, and conceit about progress is bound to creep in at some stage. This has been recognized for 2500 years I think and there are antidotes for this. That's why having regular contact with a good teacher can be so valuable.

See this post for a link to Ajahn Brahm sounding like Khun Sujin, banging on about cause and effect, lack of control, and the importance of hearing the Dhamma:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=17013&p=243109#p243109

:anjali:
Mike


Thanks, Mike! Sounds to me like a very commonsense teaching really. We set up the conditions for practice. It's kamma really, that's all.
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:19 am

Dan74 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
Dan74 wrote:On the other hand, it is not controversial that formal practice is somewhat artificial at the outset. There is craving present, spiritual materialism of some sort, if you will, and conceit about progress is bound to creep in at some stage. This has been recognized for 2500 years I think and there are antidotes for this. That's why having regular contact with a good teacher can be so valuable.

See this post for a link to Ajahn Brahm sounding like Khun Sujin, banging on about cause and effect, lack of control, and the importance of hearing the Dhamma:
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=17013&p=243109#p243109

:anjali:
Mike


Thanks, Mike! Sounds to me like a very commonsense teaching really. We set up the conditions for practice. It's kamma really, that's all.

    This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
    SN I, 38.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:Anyway, my point was that there is nothing special (in Buddhist circles) about pointing out that all actions are dependent on causes and conditions and that you can't will yourself into satipatthana, jhana, or awakening.

If that is really accurate, then how would one follow the Buddha's instruction to "remain focused on the body in the body" or "practice jhana" ?
"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: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:02 am

Greetings,

This topic reminds me of an applied enactment of MN 2.

Sabbasava Sutta wrote:"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 arises in him as true & established...

... and there is so much mental contortion required in order to substantiate and adhere to this inappropriately arisen view of "no self".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:16 am

I am not sure if I am catching retro's drift correctly, but in a relative sense most of us have a notion of self and application of effort. When unwholesome thoughts of tendencies are perceived and are not indulged contrary to the habit, there is usually an application of effort. When we are in a wholesome state, with sharp and spacious awareness, it takes some effort to attend than we do not slip into the habits. And usually we fail.

On the other hand, since in reality there are just causes and conditions, effort is part of these and no self is actually applying one self at all. But that is not what an unenlightened worlding experiences and is more likely to understand the above as license to just float along. This too is part of causes and conditions and that's why no self, no effort is a pretty dangerous teaching that is more likely than not to lead to the continuation of unwholesome habits rather than their uprooting...
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:26 am

kirk5a wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Anyway, my point was that there is nothing special (in Buddhist circles) about pointing out that all actions are dependent on causes and conditions and that you can't will yourself into satipatthana, jhana, or awakening.

If that is really accurate, then how would one follow the Buddha's instruction to "remain focused on the body in the body" or "practice jhana" ?

Well, that's the puzzle, isn't it? Clearly, from the Anatta-lakkhana sutta, one can't just will one's form, feeling, etc to be such and such. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

Nevertheless, to quote from one the suttas the Ajahn Brahm discusses in the link I gave (most are not on Access to Insight, unfortunately):
"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

And a sutta related to one that he discussed:
"For a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue, there is no need for an act of will, 'May freedom from remorse arise in me.' It is in the nature of things that freedom from remorse arises in a person endowed with virtue, consummate in virtue.
... joy ... rapture ... serenity ... pleasure ... concentration ... know and see ... disenchantment ... dispassion ... release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So right view conditions ... effort conditions mindfulness conditions jhana, and so on.

Of course, Ajahn Brahm's conclusion appears, at least on the surface, a little different from the Khun Sujin position.
To quote from the talk I liked to:
"You can't develop them, just look at the Anatta-lakkana sutta...This is the great myth, that we can make ourselves enlightened... we do need another ... that was the great thing about a Buddha arising ... it makes enlightenment possible... just cause and effect ..."
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=17013&p=243109#p243109

I.e. the instructions from the Buddha, and/or Ajahn Brahm (or some other teacher) are what conditions "your" mindfulness, jhana, release...

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

This topic reminds me of an applied enactment of MN 2.

Sabbasava Sutta wrote:"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 arises in him as true & established...

... and there is so much mental contortion required in order to substantiate and adhere to this inappropriately arisen view of "no self".

Metta,
Retro. :)
This seems a bit cryptic. It might help if you were to draw out what you mean in more detail.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:37 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:This seems a bit cryptic. It might help if you were to draw out what you mean in more detail.

The "more detail" is that if people weren't so obsessed with trying to prove (either to themselves or others) the validity of this inappropriately derived view that "I have no self", both this topic and their own thought processes might be greatly simplified.

"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 disciple of the noble ones — 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."

It's relevant to this topic, because "I have no self" is listed in MN 2 as an inappropriate view, and inappropriately held views feed the asava of ignorance. In other words, they directly oppose the causes for wisdom, which are the subject of this topic.

"And what are the ideas unfit for attention that he does not attend to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them...the unarisen fermentation of ignorance arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance increases. These are the ideas unfit for attention that he does not attend to."

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:39 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:This seems a bit cryptic. It might help if you were to draw out what you mean in more detail.

The "more detail" is that if people weren't so obsessed with trying to prove (either to themselves or others) the validity of this inappropriately derived view that "I have no self", both this topic and their own thought processes might be greatly simplified.
For example?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:49 am

Greeting Tilt,

I'd rather not go into specific detail as I don't wish to be drawn into a sparring match between opposing factions.

I'll leave it for each individual to take an honest and sincere look at their own thought processes and see if/when the inappropriately derived view that "I have no self" arises.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greeting Tilt,

I'd rather not go into specific detail as I don't wish to be drawn into a sparring match between opposing factions.

I'll leave it for each individual to take an honest and sincere look at their own thought processes and see if/when the inappropriately derived view that "I have no self" arises.

Metta,
Retro. :)
And so it remains cryptic and not very helpful, but I am certainly glad I do not fit into the camp of ' inappropriately derived view that "I have no self".'
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:58 am

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greeting Tilt,

I'd rather not go into specific detail as I don't wish to be drawn into a sparring match between opposing factions.

I'll leave it for each individual to take an honest and sincere look at their own thought processes and see if/when the inappropriately derived view that "I have no self" arises.

Metta,
Retro. :)
And so it remains cryptic and not very helpful, but I am certainly glad I do not fit into the camp of ' inappropriately derived view that "I have no self".'


Haha! Three mentions of "I" in the same sentence (not to mention the s-word)- tsk tsk!
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:It's relevant to this topic, because "I have no self" is listed in MN 2 as an inappropriate view, and inappropriately held views feed the asava of ignorance. In other words, they directly oppose the causes for wisdom, which are the subject of this topic.

:goodpost:
As Ven. Thanissaro's comments on that sutta:
3. Although the concept "not-self" is a useful way of disentangling oneself from the attachments & clingings which lead to suffering, the view that there is no self is simply one of many metaphysical or ontological views which bind one to suffering.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tself.html
"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: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:18 am

Dan74 wrote:
Haha! Three mentions of "I" in the same sentence (not to mention the s-word)- tsk tsk!
I do not know what to say; I am feeling quite abashed. I shall need to limit my self as to my "I" usage. Self restraint is always good, I feel. I shall strive to do better, I am sure of it.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:19 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greeting Tilt,

I'd rather not go into specific detail as I don't wish to be drawn into a sparring match between opposing factions.

I'll leave it for each individual to take an honest and sincere look at their own thought processes and see if/when the inappropriately derived view that "I have no self" arises.
And so it remains cryptic and not very helpful'

Not very helpful in fuelling conflict and debate, no... it wasn't intended to be.

It was me sharing my perspective - and you and others are welcome to take it or leave it as you see fit.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
Haha! Three mentions of "I" in the same sentence (not to mention the s-word)- tsk tsk!
I do not know what to say; I am feeling quite abashed. I shall need to limit my self as to my "I" usage. Self restraint is always good, I feel. I shall strive to do better, I am sure of it.



Yes, you are very naughty...

As for self views and such, I am not sure I read this discussion as people "trying to prove (either to themselves or others) the validity of this inappropriately derived view that "I have no self"". Could this be the core reason Robert and other followers of Khun Sujin reject formal practice because of the view that it is artificial and proceeds from the self-view and therefore reinforces it?

Isn't it ironic that for more or less the same reasons the Soto Zen school emphasized to just sit, sit and sit more?
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:25 am

Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Could this be the core reason Robert and other followers of Khun Sujin reject formal practice because of the view that it is artificial and proceeds from the self-view and therefore reinforces it?

Their view, as I understand it, is that if a practice proceeds from the basis of self-view or wrong view, then it is wrong practice.... thus why Robert keeps saying there is inherently no difference between a range of activities (e.g. selecting a sandwich, sitting on your bum) - these are just differing configurations of rupa.... the underlying citta behind that outward form of rupa is the key thing. The Buddha too in the suttas says that Right View is the forerunner.

Accordingly, to use your example of Soto... if there is Wrong View, no amount of sitting will change that until Wrong View becomes Right View... and is sitting the cause of wisdom (right view)? That is what this topic is trying to address...

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Could this be the core reason Robert and other followers of Khun Sujin reject formal practice because of the view that it is artificial and proceeds from the self-view and therefore reinforces it?

Their view, as I understand it, is that if a practice proceeds from the basis of self-view or wrong view, then it is wrong practice.... thus why Robert keeps saying there is inherently no difference between a range of activities (e.g. selecting a sandwich, sitting on your bum) - these are just differing configurations of rupa.... the underlying citta behind that outward form of rupa is the key thing.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thanks for the great summary, Retro.

So if John walks into to a retreat, hoping to learn to settle his mind from racing all over the place, is this on the basis of self-view?
And if on day 5 John sees the phenomena arising and falling, notices his mind reaching out to perceive and experience and in that moment glimpses quiescence and thereafter becomes a dedicated Buddhist practitioner, was it the same as a week spent at the sandwich shop reading the paper?

I apologise for asking the obvious, but surely the initial motivation is not static and is affected by the experience? So I may sit on my bum because I fancy myself being all enlightened and special but after a few days at the retreat of dealing with all the discomfort and the garbage my mind spews out, this thought may wane in importance and I may actually start to pay attention to what's going on and learn a thing or two? And even have some insight? Is this not a distinct possibility?

I mean is it controversial to say that some activities are more likely to lead to some results and others are more likely to lead to others? So when I sit quietly I am more likely to settle and notice things about me that I had not noticed earlier while immersed in the hurly-burly. And when I practice concentration based upon the right view, I am much more likely to notice some important things once the mind settles and becomes sufficiently focused.
_/|\_


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