The causes for wisdom

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:10 pm

robertk wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I think early on Robert made a disparaging remark about focusing on the here and now

Just to address this point: not sure what I said but maybe my point was that simply focussing on some object may not be as 'here and now' as we think.
According the ancient Commentaries in the time it takes for a flash of lightening billions of moments of mind have risen and completly fallen away: in essence when we try to catch a moment it has long gone.
This has implications for the way we see 'practice'.
My lifestyle is such that I months every year in diffrent countries, often living out of hotels. Much of the time I am alone but honestly I dont see the time alones being more special- Dhammawise- than the time i am with my wife or friends.
The elements, dhatus, realities are continually arising and passing away: and from my perspective whether they are ones with dosa(aversion) , lobha, (greed) or metta or whatever aren't more special than any other moment. They simply arise and pass away.
Sure, sitting in economy class for 10 hour stretches can condition more moments of impatience, but sometimes it conditions moments of patience that replace those moments. Anyway whatever state "MY" mind is in is of not much more concern than the current weather. That doesn't mean there is no awareness of mindstates: it means I know/feel/trust that there is no MIND as such, there are only elements that arise and pass away: I have as much wish to try to stop them or change them or bring them on than I would to change the weather. They are not me or mine.

Sometimes I read something by meditators that brings on a sense of compassion and wish to help. In fact it was this that started the topic and a related topic when I read about someone disturbed by what he thought having mindfulness meant(see first post). Satisampajanna is always accepting and never the least bit onerous or tiring. On this path the older one gets the younger you feel!

Yesterday I was struck again by a wish to help but really didnt have the words: anyway someone had been on a retreat and left early and now felt upset
With 1 more day to go. Once on the road I realized my mistake, and now I feel completely depressed and angry at myself for not finishing the course (a common theme in my life is getting distracted by fun, to a point where it's out of balance). I don't know what to turn to, s

I wanted to say to him that there is no 'mind' , that there are ony elements, that the fact that they are not behaving as you want them to is their nature, they are uncontrollable. I didn't because I think without a basis in the teachings of the Buddha he might not want to hear this.

But anyone who can understand this will see that their life has become deeply content and that they feel confident to face and accept anything in life, no matter how unwelcome it might be. This is because the moment is always exactly as it should be , as it was conditioned to be. And that means when lobha, even lust, or dosa, even anger, arise that they do not need to be shunned. They can be understood right at that moment, whether talking to our wife, eating a tuna sandwich, sitting in economy, or sitting in lotus position in the jungle.

So the way of vipassana is not the same as the way of samatha, it is seeing things as they are. And that means here and now, even right now as I drink my morning coffee in Costa Coffee shop with Justin Bieber playing in the background.


Hi Robert,

Thank you for sharing a little about your practice.

I am neither equipped nor qualified to make any judgments from what you've shared though I do admire your good humour and equanimity in the face of the auditory onslaught by Justin Bieber!

All I can say is that to be truly equanimous in the face of the most difficult situations and slice at them with vipassana requires a great deal of practice from most people. Now you may have arrived at this point through study and contemplation of the teachings. Others may have done some serious cushion work on the basis of study where spaciousness and clarity are cultivated which can then be applied in the most demanding of life situations.

I know that many practitioners arrive at a place where practice seems to proceed effortlessly and they arrive at it from different directions. This place is usually impermanent and more often than not people backslide.

The danger of practice which is not rooted in deep mental cultivation that is usually had during long retreats, IMO, is that it is superficial and does not withstand strong blows. It is easy to feel that the practice is on track, easy to be a nice enough guy, untroubled and often moved to kindness, when life is relatively trouble-free and settled. But when you are suddenly afflicted by chronic pain, you loved ones seem to turn on you, your job is gone, your routine is upset, the clinging that hitherto was subtle and invisible becomes manifest.

Retro said that " if there is Wrong View, no amount of sitting will change that until Wrong View becomes Right View" and one can similarly substitute "study" instead of "sitting", though I would not agree, but say "it depends". Sitting can reveal wrong view and study can expose it, while sitting can perpetuate it as study can. In relation to Soto I sat with two teachers from the same lineage whose insight into the Dhamma was light years apart. Now they both drank from the same well, but the results were very different.

The Linchi quote is a great one. There is also an exchange related to some of the things you share that briefly goes as follows:

A monks asked a master: "What to do when the six thieves are laying siege to the house?"
The master replied: "They are members of one's own family!"

Such recognition as well as the Linchi's admonition are wonderful reminders that practice is not something special, including sitting practice. I sit on the cushion where there is not an effort to gain, nor fear of losing. There is a meeting of what is, a gesture of respect to Shakyamuni who sat under the Bodhi tree all those centuries ago, a recognition that I am not an arahat able to meet every situation with equanimity and wisdom and to investigate the clinging that blocks this. I don't see it as an artificial practice, an unnecessary practice, but the most useful thing I've ever done. Because it isn't special, it isn't anything realy. It's like taking the road home, kinda familiar and yet we stray at every opportunity!

I've done a fair bit of study especially for a Zennie, but to tell you the truth it has not brought me much beyond the few words of instruction I got from my teacher early on. From my perspective there is not much that is needed for the Right View in order to be able to practice and even less that can be understood before some investigation into the workings of the mind. Like you say - "not me, not mine." Whatever arises - don't attach to it, it comes and it goes, attend closely. What I find in study is inspiration to redouble my efforts and practice harder. This is valuable. The rest mostly satisfies intellectual curiosity and allays anxiety about some issue or point of uncertainly.

It is an incredible thing how different people are and I marvel that your group is able to find so much sustenance in the study and contemplation of the teachings without the need to meditate. I hope that your insights are genuine and deep and you will spread wisdom and compassion around you wherever you go.
_/|\_

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daverupa
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:16 pm

tiltbillings wrote:dismissal of doing practice is problematic.


I agree. It seems to ignore how the five faculties are described; the monk in question isn't being flagged as ariya, are they?

SN 48.10 wrote:And what is the faculty of persistence? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. He generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:19 pm

robertk wrote:But anyone who can understand this will see that their life has become deeply content and that they feel confident to face and accept anything in life, no matter how unwelcome it might be. This is because the moment is always exactly as it should be , as it was conditioned to be. And that means when lobha, even lust, or dosa, even anger, arise that they do not need to be shunned. They can be understood right at that moment, whether talking to our wife, eating a tuna sandwich, sitting in economy, or sitting in lotus position in the jungle.

If these things were truly understood, then one would also understand how there is the non-arising of unskillful qualities which have not yet arisen, the abandonment of unskillful qualities which have arisen, the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen, and the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen.
"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 5:52 pm

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:dismissal of doing practice is problematic.


I agree. It seems to ignore how the five faculties are described; the monk in question isn't being flagged as ariya, are they?

SN 48.10 wrote:And what is the faculty of persistence? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. He generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent...

See: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:24 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:dismissal of doing practice is problematic.


I agree. It seems to ignore how the five faculties are described; the monk in question isn't being flagged as ariya, are they?

See: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


So then, they are?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:03 pm

daverupa wrote:


So then, they are?
Seems not.
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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daverupa
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:So then, they are?
Seems not.


Well, the sutta seems to be discussing how stream-entrants are either heedful or heedless; those who are apart from the factors of stream-entry are outsiders, not heedless disciples:

"Nandiya, the person in whom the factors of stream entry are altogether & in every way lacking I call an outsider, one who stands in the faction of the run-of-the-mill. But as to how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedlessly and heedfully, listen well and pay attention, I will speak"


Without making stream-entry an unobtainable ideal, it seems we can yet say that stream-entry is a requisite foundation for right effort.

Nevertheless, isn't stream-entry the result of a doing, an effort (or efforts)? Or is it simply a combination of genetic-kamma (or whatever idea is being employed to make appropriate attention manifest sans choice) and a Dhamma-voice?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 am

daverupa wrote:
Nevertheless, isn't stream-entry the result of a doing, an effort (or efforts)? Or is it simply a combination of genetic-kamma (or whatever idea is being employed to make appropriate attention manifest sans choice) and a Dhamma-voice?
In rereading the texts in question, I think you are correct, and as for the question of doing, there have been enough examples in this thread to support the contention that sotapanna is the result of doing. Interestingly, most of the texts robertk has quoted support that position.
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 2:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
If we don't believe that hearing the Dhamma and wise considering alone can condition direct understanding later, does that mean we don't really trust the Buddha's words and the power of his teaching ?
The thing is what you mean by "hearing the Dhamma and wise considering" seems not necessarily what one finds in the suttas. One has to act; there is no choice in that, but we have a choice in how we act, and the Buddha taught us to act in such a way that cultivates the causes and conditions that give rise to insight: meditation, sila, the putting into practice the Eightfoild Path.


Dear Tilt,

By "hearing the Dhamma", I meant "hearing the Dhamma", and by "wise consideration", I meant "wise consideration" - yoniso manasikara, a mental factor.

On the other hand, you seem to be reading that into "acting", and to be repeating that it is "I" acting.

And you change the conditions for wisdom taught by the Buddha into "doing meditation" , like above.

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 2:39 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote: However, right at the beginning, there should be the clear understanding that it is not "a self" who does the studying, but it is a dhamma which is conditioned by previous hearing and considering which, at some particular point arises and is aware. If this understanding is not firm, there will always be idea of "I" trying to be aware or to observe, and the non-self nature of the reality which is aware can not be known. We can not determine when this dhamma studying, this awareness will occur, since they depend on conditions to arise. So if we can not determine when, why there would be the idea of formal meditation? Can we decide that during that particular time there will be awareness? If we think we can, isn't it the idea of a self who can make some dhammas to arise at will?
And the Buddha taught a way of practice for this: sila, meditation, and following the Eightfold Path.


Your taking the Eight Noblefold Path as "someone doing something" is only one way to interpret it. There are other ways to interpret that, such as it refers to the dhammas (cetasikas, precisely) which arise by conditions.

Which one accords better to the teaching of anattaness?

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 2:44 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
If we don't believe that hearing the Dhamma and wise considering alone can condition direct understanding later, does that mean we don't really trust the Buddha's words and the power of his teaching ?
The thing is what you mean by "hearing the Dhamma and wise considering" seems not necessarily what one finds in the suttas. One has to act; there is no choice in that, but we have a choice in how we act, and the Buddha taught us to act in such a way that cultivates the causes and conditions that give rise to insight: meditation, sila, the putting into practice the Eightfoild Path.


Dear Tilt,

By "hearing the Dhamma", I meant "hearing the Dhamma", and by "wise consideration", I meant "wise consideration" - yoniso manasikara, a mental factor.

On the other hand, you seem to be reading that into "acting", and to be repeating that it is "I" acting.

And you change the conditions for wisdom taught by the Buddha into "doing meditation" , like above.
The sad thing, in reading this, is that what you are saying I am saying is not what I am saying. Basically, you are presenting the Sujin straw-man as what I am saying, which is something you have repeatedly done above. In other words, you really do not listen to, or understand, what is being said to you. You simply repeat the Sujin talking points against other points of view. It makes for a poor basis for dialogue.
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 2:49 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote: However, right at the beginning, there should be the clear understanding that it is not "a self" who does the studying, but it is a dhamma which is conditioned by previous hearing and considering which, at some particular point arises and is aware. If this understanding is not firm, there will always be idea of "I" trying to be aware or to observe, and the non-self nature of the reality which is aware can not be known. We can not determine when this dhamma studying, this awareness will occur, since they depend on conditions to arise. So if we can not determine when, why there would be the idea of formal meditation? Can we decide that during that particular time there will be awareness? If we think we can, isn't it the idea of a self who can make some dhammas to arise at will?
And the Buddha taught a way of practice for this: sila, meditation, and following the Eightfold Path.


Your taking the Eight Noblefold Path as "someone doing something" is only one way to interpret it. There are other ways to interpret that, such as it refers to the dhammas (cetasikas, precisely) which arise by conditions.

Which one accords better to the teaching of anattaness?
This is what is so sad about the Sujin method. It is an us vs them approach. We Sujinists use impersonal terminology, so we have a better understanding of anatta, which is, of course, nonsense.
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 4:55 am

Alex123 wrote:Dear Dhamma Follower,

dhamma follower wrote:The issue is not whether there's a choice in the conventional sense or not, but to understand that the choice is also conditioned, not "I", me, or mine. Do you agree that choice is conditioned?


Is it possible that conventional meditation practice (including Jhāna) can bring one to a situation of insight where anatta will be seen, after which one's wisdom will be developed much more?


Dear Alex,

This thread has been an attempt to show that it is not the act of doing something (including conventional meditation practice) which is the cause of wisdom.

It is the right understanding gained from hearing the Dhamma and wise consideration which condition deeper and deeper levels of wisdom, including insight.

The jhanna it self isn't the cause of wisdom (vipassana wisdom), otherwise Buddha former teachers could have attained Nibanna.

Brgds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 4:59 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Dear Dhamma Follower,

dhamma follower wrote:The issue is not whether there's a choice in the conventional sense or not, but to understand that the choice is also conditioned, not "I", me, or mine. Do you agree that choice is conditioned?


Is it possible that conventional meditation practice (including Jhāna) can bring one to a situation of insight where anatta will be seen, after which one's wisdom will be developed much more?


Dear Alex,

This thread has been an attempt to show that it is not the act of doing something (including conventional meditation practice) which is the cause of wisdom.

It is the right understanding gained from hearing the Dhamma and wise consideration which condition deeper and deeper levels of wisdom, including insight.
Listening is a deliberate act -- a deliberate doing -- as is consideration, wise or otherwise.
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 6:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Your taking the Eight Noblefold Path as "someone doing something" is only one way to interpret it. There are other ways to interpret that, such as it refers to the dhammas (cetasikas, precisely) which arise by conditions.

Which one accords better to the teaching of anattaness?
This is what is so sad about the Sujin method. It is an us vs them approach. We Sujinists use impersonal terminology, so we have a better understanding of anatta, which is, of course, nonsense.


Dear Tilt,

Not a matter of terminology, but of understanding. If there's a clear understanding that all phenomena are actually dhammas arising by conditions and after arising they fall away when the conditions for its arising cease, there will be no problem using
conventional speak.

However, if there is indeed such understanding, why there need to be the insistence on "one has to practice the Eight fold Path" vs a presentation of causality ?

Is the Eight fold path apart from the person who practices it? Who is that person that practices?

In other words, what is your understanding of the Buddha's teaching of non-self?

Brgrds,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 6:21 am

tiltbillings wrote:Listening is a deliberate act -- a deliberate doing -- as is consideration, wise or otherwise.


What do you mean by "deliberate act?" Do you mean it is a self who does that? Don't you think cetana is also conditioned, as is consideration?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » Wed May 01, 2013 6:25 am

Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:why there need to be the insistence on "one has to practice the Eight fold Path" vs a presentation of causality ?

Possibly because that's what the Buddha actually taught?

SN 56.11: Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta wrote:"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding."

The Buddha is cool. 8-) Following the Noble Eightfold path produces knowledge (i.e. wisdom).

dhamma follower wrote:Is the Eight fold path apart from the person who practices it? Who is that person that practices?

dhamma follower wrote:What do you mean by "deliberate act?" Do you mean it is a self who does that? Don't you think cetana is also conditioned, as is consideration?

dhamma follower wrote:etc. etc.

As Dhamma Follower attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in her. The view I have no self arises in her as true & established. 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. She is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

Metta,
Retro. :)
“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

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"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago and a racist today." (Thomas Sowell)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 6:35 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Your taking the Eight Noblefold Path as "someone doing something" is only one way to interpret it. There are other ways to interpret that, such as it refers to the dhammas (cetasikas, precisely) which arise by conditions.

Which one accords better to the teaching of anattaness?
This is what is so sad about the Sujin method. It is an us vs them approach. We Sujinists use impersonal terminology, so we have a better understanding of anatta, which is, of course, nonsense.


Dear Tilt,

Not a matter of terminology, but of understanding. If there's a clear understanding that all phenomena are actually dhammas arising by conditions and after arising they fall away when the conditions for its arising cease, there will be no problem using
conventional speak.
You, however, have just said that your way of interpreting things is better. We have been around this bush repeatedly. That I opt to use conventional speech, as do the suttas, does not mean I have a lack of understanding. That you use Sujinists abhidhamma speech, which the Buddha did not teach, does not mean that you have a better understanding.

However, if there is indeed such understanding, why there need to be the insistence on "one has to practice the Eight fold Path" vs a presentation of causality ?
That insistence is coming from you and the Sujinists, not me. I have no problem with someone who wants to use such inelegant speech in trying to explain the Dhamma, but I do have a problem when those folks insist that their speech is better, truer than the speech that is consistent with the suttas.

Is the Eight fold path apart from the person who practices it? Who is that person that practices?

In other words, what is your understanding of the Buddha's teaching of non-self?
You do not know the answer to these questions?
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 6:39 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Listening is a deliberate act -- a deliberate doing -- as is consideration, wise or otherwise.


What do you mean by "deliberate act?" Do you mean it is a self who does that?
There is no deliberate choosing to listen to and consider the Dhamma?

Don't you think cetana is also conditioned, as is consideration?
And why would you think that I do not? We have had, more than once, this discussion before, but you keep going back to this straw-man.
.


++++++++++++++++
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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 6:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:
There is no deliberate choosing to listen to and consider the Dhamma?


There is choosing, which happens because of conditions.


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