Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weaker ?

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Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weaker ?

Postby purple planet » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:11 pm

I have read somewhere some time ago that every time we are mindful of a defilement it becomes weaker - for example if i am mindful of me being angry - next time i will get angry i would be a little less angry -

thoughts ? true ? false ? maybe i got it a bit wrong - maybe its correct if i will construct the sentence differently ?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby cooran » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:47 pm

Hello PP,

I'm not sure if that is correct. Sayadaw U Tejaniya wrote a booklet called "Don't look down on the Defilements, they will laugh at you" which may be helpful.

Scroll down at this link:

http://sayadawutejaniya.org/teachings/

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby James the Giant » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:48 pm

If you are mindful of a defilement, but also indulge it, or act upon it, it won't become weaker, it will become stronger.
For example, I am mindful of lust, I act on that lust... it becomes stronger.
Or like Darth Vader. He is mindful of his anger and hatred and fear. He meditates upon it, as we saw in Empire Strikes Back. He cultivates it, and develops all kinds of awesome powers. And although he is mindful, his defilements only grow darker.

Mindfulness is fine, but the US army is using it to make its soldiers better killers. It can be used for all sorts of bad things.
Mindfulness needs to be used in conjunction with the rest of the 8-fold-path.

By the way, the book recommended by Cooran above, is an excellent little book. Great book.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby fivebells » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:14 pm

purple planet wrote:I have read somewhere some time ago that every time we are mindful of a defilement it becomes weaker


No, it's a pernicious but unfortunately common view. Don't fall for it, it cost me years.

There is no magic trick which will unbind you from the drivers of your defilements. Maybe there is further along the path than I am, but for me it is work which requires ingenuity and careful observation of cause and effect.
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby purple planet » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:05 am

Hi

thanks cooran i already read that book it is a nice one

I will clarify more :

1 . when i mean being mindful i mean the whole 8-fold-path - so if im viewing for instance "anger" it goes away because i didnt attach neither pushed it away

2 . maybe the weaker is not accurate but a different way to say it is more accurate : maybe its the same strength but we become mindful of "anger" for example faster and get less and less caught up in it ? or some other ways i cant think of which make the anger (for example) weaker
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby alan » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:35 am

Mindfulness isn't enough. You have to act.
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:37 am

Greetings,

alan wrote:Mindfulness isn't enough. You have to act.

Well said.

SN 45.8 wrote:"And what, monks, is right effort?

"There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

"He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

"He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

"He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby purple planet » Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:20 am

thanks for the replys

well - maybe i will ask this in a different way :

Is there some way to weaken just one specific defilement for the "long run" - with being mindful or doing something at the present moment ?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 20, 2014 4:58 am

alan wrote:Mindfulness isn't enough. You have to act.
For example?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:09 am

alan wrote:Mindfulness isn't enough. You have to act.

Sure. I don't think anyone would disagree in principle. But what the most useful "action" is is the question. Observing, of course, is an action and if it gives the appropriate result then that is entirely in line with the sutta retro quotes.

Mike
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:
alan wrote:Mindfulness isn't enough. You have to act.
For example?


Implement the antidote.

Our very good friends, the Brahma~Viharas are usually helpful.
Sit in meditation, contemplate, see the emotion and apply the 'medication' needed to heal the wound.

When the venom of Anger courses through your veins, using the Metta serum is most effective!
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby seeker242 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:15 pm

purple planet wrote:I have read somewhere some time ago that every time we are mindful of a defilement it becomes weaker - for example if i am mindful of me being angry - next time i will get angry i would be a little less angry -

thoughts ? true ? false ? maybe i got it a bit wrong - maybe its correct if i will construct the sentence differently ?


What I find is that when you become mindful of anger you are experiencing now, the anger that you are experiencing now becomes weaker. AKA "My mind has anger present, this is unskillful to allow this anger to persist, allowing it to persist serves no purpose, let it go" and it becomes weaker and dissipates. This is how I do it. If this does not work, then of course you have to use some other technique. :)

Reminds me of the practice of "noting" in Vipassana meditation. Gil Fronsdal writes:

Noting can also help maintain a non-reactive form of attention. Calmly and equanimously noting what is happening, we are less likely to get caught up in emotional reactions. The stories of Mara, the god of temptation and distraction, visiting the Buddha illustrate this. The Buddha does not chase Mara away, nor does he give in. He simply looks at him directly and says, “Mara, I see you.” With this, Mara runs away. Similarly, noting ‘fear’ can be like saying, “Fear, I see you.” Noting helps us to see mindfully while remaining free of what we see.
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby purple planet » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:23 pm

No doubt - if your mindful than anger (just an example of one defilement) goes away immediately - i just remember reading somewhere that if you are mindful of some specific defilement next time you encounter it that specific defilement is "weaker" whatever that may mean -

but i guess i might mis-understood it maybe
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:46 pm

purple planet wrote:No doubt - if your mindful than anger (just an example of one defilement) goes away immediately - i just remember reading somewhere that if you are mindful of some specific defilement next time you encounter it that specific defilement is "weaker" whatever that may mean -

but i guess i might mis-understood it maybe

I think it's exactly what seeker242 said above. If you deal with what is arising skilfully, e.g. by not having the arising of anger lead to acting it out, you are doing exactly what the Buddha suggests in the sutta that Retro quoted, i.e. employing right effort "for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen". Sometimes there is a usefulness in employing some very specific "antidote" (as suggested by NoBSB above). But right effort is often more subtle than that.

:anjali:
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby alan » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:20 am

Well maybe my mind isn't so subtle. It's been observing defilements for awhile now, to no great effect. Guess people like me need to take action in the way they act in real life before benefits accrue.
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:16 am

Hi Alan,

What sort of actions do you think are particularly useful?

In many cases getting some outcome is not just a matter of will or simplistic action. You can't just decide to go into a state of deep samadhi and just make it happen, can you? As the Buddha explained:
Anattalakkhaṇa
Consciousness is nonself. For if, bhikkhus, consciousness were self, this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and it would be possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’ But because consciousness is nonself, consciousness leads to affliction, and it is not possible to have it of consciousness: ‘Let my consciousness be thus; let my consciousness not be thus.’


Figuring out what to do to create the conditions for samadhi (for example), requires quite a bit of observation and experimentation. As Thanissoro Bhikkhu eplains here
In all of these cases, appropriate attention means seeing things in terms of their function — what they can do — while the act of appropriate attention is itself a type of doing, adopted for what it can do for the mind. And the test for appropriate attention is that it actually works in helping to put an end to suffering. ...

Other teachers explain the same process in various ways that they have presumably found works for them and their students. Sometimes I see someone pull out an introductory instruction manual, or some soundbite (e.g. Goenka's "Just observe..."), and claim that someone is not teaching the full eight-fold path. I would suggest investigating further before leaping to such conclusions.

:anjali:
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby alan » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:28 am

Developing concentration is an act of will.
Observation is not action.
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:43 am

alan wrote:Developing concentration is an act of will.
Observation is not action.

So you can will yourself into jhana?

How would you classify observation?

Mike
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:06 am

alan wrote:Observation is not action.
Of course it is.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Every time we are mindful ofa defilement it becomes weak

Postby santa100 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:30 am

purple planet wrote:I have read somewhere some time ago that every time we are mindful of a defilement it becomes weaker - for example if i am mindful of me being angry - next time i will get angry i would be a little less angry -

thoughts ? true ? false ? maybe i got it a bit wrong - maybe its correct if i will construct the sentence differently ?

You might want to check out SN 46.53 to see the important role of mindfulness and how it can be used together with the other factors of enlightenment.
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