The causes for wisdom

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

Postby Paul Davy » Mon May 06, 2013 10:19 am

Greetings Robert,

robertk wrote:But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.

What you say here, especially the part I bolded, accords with my understanding of the Satipatthana Sutta.

Metta,
Retro. :)
What is the final conviction that comes when radical attention is razor-edge sharp? That the object of the mind is mind-made (manomaya). (Ven. Ñāṇananda)

Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'.
(Snp 3.6)

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 06, 2013 10:40 am

robertk wrote:
TILT: I know full well that vipassana is not a technique, but I also know full that the causes and conditions for vipassana, insight, can be, as the Buddha taught, cultivated, and the differences between your position and that of those who see meditation practice of value has been drawn out by me and others at great length. But again, despite that significant difference between your mode of practice and the mode of practice that involves directly putting the teachings into practice, I would not say that what you are advocating does not work. Again, the problem is your dismissal of other ways of understanding and putting the Dhamma into practice

I think the fact that we agree that vipassana or satipatthana is not a technique is indicative that we are not so far way .
Insight arises from the cultivated causes and conditions which are best rooted in the various awareness/concentration meditation techniques that are grounded in the Buddha's teachings, such as the Satipatthana Sutta. As for satipatthana, as in the Satipatthana Sutta, not being a technique, that is not quite correct. The sutta is a nifty outline of a variety practices that can be actualized by various techniques that have been variously worked out over the ages by Buddhist meditators. The practices help cultivate the causes and conditions giving rise to insight, and these insight may arise during one's meditation or during one's daily life, given that one has cultivated the awareness and focus of mind in the context of the practices outlined in the sutta/suttas.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:48 am

robertk wrote: But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.
And this simply very poorly understands what the vipassana meditation practice is about.
.


++++++++++++++++
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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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Mon May 06, 2013 11:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote: But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.
And this simply very poorly understands what the vipassana meditation practice is about.


Hi Tilt
What is "vipassana meditation practice"?

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 06, 2013 11:31 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote: But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.
And this simply very poorly understands what the vipassana meditation practice is about.


Hi Tilt
What is "vipassana meditation practice"?
Damdifino. In the context of this unfortunate thread, probably the Burmese practice that have gotten the unfortunate applelation of vipassana meditation, but one could include in a more general way the sort of thing Ajahn Chah or Buddhadasa or any number of others taught/teach, and that could include jhana practice as long as insight was a goal. That answer your question?
.


++++++++++++++++
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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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 06, 2013 11:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:
robertk wrote:But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.

What you say here, especially the part I bolded, accords with my understanding of the Satipatthana Sutta.

Being able to face any object at any time is, of course, the goal that we all aspire to. There should be no disagreement on that. What conditions are required to be able to do that is the question. As has been pointed out many times, in this thread, and elsewhere, it's clearly not a simple matter of deciding to be ready to face any object...

:anjali:
Mike

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daverupa
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon May 06, 2013 11:43 am

mikenz66 wrote:it's clearly not a simple matter of deciding to be ready to face any object...


:strawman: ?

No one made this claim, that I saw. One can't decide to be ready, but one decides to train for readiness.
    "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 May 06, 2013 11:48 am

daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:it's clearly not a simple matter of deciding to be ready to face any object...


:strawman: ?

No one made this claim, that I saw. One can't decide to be ready, but one decides to train for readiness.
"Deciding to be ready" is, indeed, the strawman that robertk, dhamma follower and pt1 would lay at the feet of those who opted to meditate.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 mikenz66 » Mon May 06, 2013 12:04 pm

daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:it's clearly not a simple matter of deciding to be ready to face any object...


:strawman: ?

No one made this claim, that I saw. One can't decide to be ready, but one decides to train for readiness.

That one cannot simply decide to be mindful, or decide to be ready to face any object seems to me to be a key point of the arguments presented in this thread.

At Tilt says, my post was a reference to the frequent statements on this thread and elsewhere, by a variety of teachers, that one cannot just will mindfulness and so on. That would be to have wrong view, and go against the teachings on anatta. Phenomena such as mindfulness arise due to causes and conditions.

[Statement of this by Ajahn Brahm: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=740#p243244]

Exactly how those conditions arise is the key question and the area of disagreement, it seems.

:anjali:
Mike

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kirk5a
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 06, 2013 1:14 pm

There is such a thing as "deciding" and it is a condition. The notion that absolutely no dhammas can be conditioned as wished is silly. Every time one wishes to say something here on Dhammawheel, one has to move the fingers in a specific manner on the keyboard, in order to express what one wishes to say.
"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 kirk5a » Mon May 06, 2013 1:22 pm

robertk wrote:But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.

For the development of vipassana, concentration has to be developed. So how, in your view, is concentration developed?
"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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon May 06, 2013 1:41 pm

kirk5a wrote:
robertk wrote:But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.

For the development of vipassana, concentration has to be developed. So how, in your view, is concentration developed?

i think i quoted this sutta eariler in this thread.
Anguttara Nikaya 10:121
Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.
For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.


right view always comes together with right concentration and right mindfulness. it is true that moments of patipati , practice, those brief moments when dhammas are known directly, come with higher degrees of (right) concentration.

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daverupa
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon May 06, 2013 1:48 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Exactly how those conditions arise is the key question and the area of disagreement, it seems.


AN 10.71 wrote:"If a monk would wish, 'May I attain — whenever I want, without strain, without difficulty — the four jhanas that are heightened mental states, pleasant abidings in the here-&-now,' then he should be one who brings the precepts to perfection, who is committed to inner tranquillity of awareness, who does not neglect jhana, who is endowed with insight, and who frequents empty dwellings.


AN 4.94 wrote:"As for the individual who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, his duty is to make an effort in establishing ('tuning') those very same skillful qualities to a higher degree for the ending of the (mental) fermentations.
    "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 May 06, 2013 1:55 pm

robertk wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
robertk wrote:But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.

For the development of vipassana, concentration has to be developed. So how, in your view, is concentration developed?

i think i quoted this sutta eariler in this thread.
Anguttara Nikaya 10:121
Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.
For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.


right view always comes together with right concentration and right mindfulness. it is true that moments of patipati , practice, those brief moments when dhammas are known directly, come with higher degrees of (right) concentration.

And these "brief moments" you're talking about, in your view are they conditioned in any respect, in any way along the line, by volition?
"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 robertk » Mon May 06, 2013 2:25 pm

volition , cetana, comes with practically all moments. Sometimes strong, sometimes weak and barely noticeble.
Conventionally we decide to be buddhists, decide to follow this teacher or that teacher.
But at the level of elements there are merely certain types of citta, accompanied by cetana, and with wisdom or without, that perform their functions of being interested in this or that (manipulated by the strings of either wisdom or greed or ignorance).

One story from the Commentaries tells of a queen who was extremely beautiful. She had heard that the Buddha spoke about foulness of the body so she resisted meeting him. Her King, who was a sotapanna finally told his men to bring her to the Buddha's talk. But still she insisted on staying at the edge of the crowd. The Buddha conjured an image of a beautiful woman who slowly aged and then died. The queen had no wish to see this or to listen to the talk but seeing and hearing wosdom grew and she became enlightened where she stood.

Overall I think it is because of not really seeing the way that we place emphasis on choosing this way or that way. If wisdom grows then I think volition is seen as merely an element, often associated with lobha, and it is other elements that play the main role in this path.
And also elements are so ephemeral..

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 06, 2013 2:40 pm

robertk wrote:volition , cetana, comes with practically all moments. Sometimes strong, sometimes weak and barely noticeble.
Conventionally we decide to be buddhists, decide to follow this teacher or that teacher.
But at the level of elements there are merely certain types of citta, accompanied by cetana, and with wisdom or without, that perform their functions of being interested in this or that (manipulated by the strings of either wisdom or greed or ignorance).
...
Overall I think it is because of not really seeing the way that we place emphasis on choosing this way or that way. If wisdom grows then I think volition is seen as merely an element, often associated with lobha, and it is other elements that play the main role in this path.
And also elements are so ephemeral..

Your assertion is "often" not "always." So you can't really say for sure whether the choices of others are associated with lobha or wisdom.
"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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon May 06, 2013 2:47 pm

That is true. :anjali:
My own volitions are almost always with lobha. It covers everything, so this path is not so obvious. But if we mix wrong view with lobha then it gets harder: hence the reason for this thread- to look at the causes for wisdom/rightview.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Nyana » Mon May 06, 2013 2:56 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Despite what some people think, Nanavira Thera was not being malicious when he said the following in the preface to Notes On Dhamma... he was being incisively accurate on the state of play.

Nanavira Thera wrote:These books of the Pali Canon correctly represent the Buddha's Teaching, and can be regarded as trustworthy throughout. (Vinayapitaka:) Suttavibhanga, Mahāvagga, Cūlavagga; (Suttapitaka:) Dīghanikāya, Majjhimanikāya, Samyuttanikāya, Anguttaranikāya, Suttanipāta, Dhammapada, Udāna, Itivuttaka, Theratherīgāthā. (The Jātaka verses may be authentic, but they do not come within the scope of these Notes.) No other Pali books whatsoever should be taken as authoritative; and ignorance of them (and particularly of the traditional Commentaries) may be counted a positive advantage, as leaving less to be unlearned.


I don't think Ñāṇavīra was necessarily being malicious, but I don't think that he was being "incisively accurate" either. It seems to me that Ñāṇavīra's view as quoted in the above passage is an extremist position.

Extreme #1: All Pāli commentaries are useless and have no positive value.

Extreme #2: All Pāli commentaries are perfect and essential.

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kirk5a
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 06, 2013 3:06 pm

robertk wrote:That is true. :anjali:
My own volitions are almost always with lobha. It covers everything, so this path is not so obvious. But if we mix wrong view with lobha then it gets harder: hence the reason for this thread- to look at the causes for wisdom/rightview.

"Wrong view" - define, please. What is it, exactly, that you are calling "wrong view"?
"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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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:31 pm

robertk wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
robertk wrote:But I still maintain that for the development of vipassana one is ready to face any object anytime and that preferencing certain postures or activities is actually counterproductive.

For the development of vipassana, concentration has to be developed. So how, in your view, is concentration developed?

i think i quoted this sutta eariler in this thread.
Anguttara Nikaya 10:121
Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states.
For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up.


right view always comes together with right concentration and right mindfulness. it is true that moments of patipati , practice, those brief moments when dhammas are known directly, come with higher degrees of (right) concentration.

This text is common, and appears to be the same as the extract from AN 1.103 that I quoted in these posts:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=740#p243244
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=17013&p=243109#p243109

It's interesting to see the different interpretations of this passage. Robert interprets it in terms of short timescales, of the whole process recurring moment to moment. Most teachers I know (such as Ajahn Brahm in the link above) talk about a much longer timescale, where the effort, mindfulness, and so on are developed over a period of time, usually involving some sort of "formal" practice. In either case, of course, the actions are conditioned by causes and conditions, not by some self willing itself to be a certain way. To paraphrase what Ajahn Brahm says in the talk I linked to, his practice was conditioned by what Ajahn Chah instructed him to do, which was conditioned by his teacher, and so on, back to the Buddha:
Ajahn Brahm wrote:that was the great thing about a Buddha arising ... it makes enlightenment possible... just cause and effect


:anjali:
Mike


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