How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

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How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby ihrjordan » Wed May 21, 2014 5:34 pm

Hi, I would like to know you are supposed to go about contemplating teachings of the buddha. For instance when i read a particular sutta or a dhammapada vs. i seem to just be able to read it and understand it at face value..how does one go about finding a deeper meaning to the teachings and actually incorporating them into my practise?
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 21, 2014 6:59 pm

ihrjordan wrote:Hi, I would like to know you are supposed to go about contemplating teachings of the buddha. For instance when i read a particular sutta or a dhammapada vs. i seem to just be able to read it and understand it at face value..how does one go about finding a deeper meaning to the teachings and actually incorporating them into my practise?


Hi jordan,

By practicing them diligently for some time, one gets a taste of the deeper meaning because one experiences the results firsthand. That's my experience, YMMV.

But maybe I misunderstand your question. What specific teachings are you talking about? I put the abstract ones I don't understand aside and work with what I do understand.
Peace,
James
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Wed May 21, 2014 7:38 pm

Ditto likewise.

Can't argue with that......

:namaste:
:namaste:

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



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‘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: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby culaavuso » Wed May 21, 2014 10:22 pm

ihrjordan wrote:Hi, I would like to know you are supposed to go about contemplating teachings of the buddha. For instance when i read a particular sutta or a dhammapada vs. i seem to just be able to read it and understand it at face value..how does one go about finding a deeper meaning to the teachings and actually incorporating them into my practise?


One approach is to view practice and study of the Dhamma as having a relationship similar to theory and experiment in study of science. The theoretical side involves reading material that helps provide a conceptual structure of what might be possible and the causal relationships that can be experienced. At other times it's possible to experiment with whatever is available, observing particular circumstances and the way that effects follow from causes. Eventually these two aspects overlap and the experiment can be described in terms learned from the reading and the reading can provide ideas for how cause and effect might work that helps to inform further experiments. Sometimes reading will build a conceptual framework when it isn't immediately clear how to experiment with the experiences described, and at other times the experiences and experiments immediately available may seem unrelated to the conceptual framework formed based on reading. Experiencing events and seeing how actions and choices influence that experience supports the integration of the experience and those actions into a regular practice.
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby daverupa » Wed May 21, 2014 10:54 pm

:goodpost:

A nice & serviceable definition of Buddhist lectio divina, that.

:reading: :meditate:

---

I tend to focus on the Samyutta Nikaya, but have recently received a copy of the Anguttara. These two are likely to be the backbone of my study.

I have a well-read copy of the Majjhima Nikaya at work.
    "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: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed May 21, 2014 11:48 pm

Four Truths (simple version):

1. Life Sucks …
2. …because you take it personally.
3. Realising 1 & 2 you begin to let go.
4. The suggested path and practice for not revisiting 1 & 2

Otherwise, Ñāṇatiloka’s The Word of the Buddha is still a good Roman’s Road to Dhamma.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

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

A Handful of Leaves
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 22, 2014 12:19 am

Greetings,

Study and practice is an iterative cycle, developing and flowering.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby ihrjordan » Thu May 22, 2014 1:55 pm

Mkoll wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:Hi, I would like to know you are supposed to go about contemplating teachings of the buddha. For instance when i read a particular sutta or a dhammapada vs. i seem to just be able to read it and understand it at face value..how does one go about finding a deeper meaning to the teachings and actually incorporating them into my practise?


Hi jordan,

By practicing them diligently for some time, one gets a taste of the deeper meaning because one experiences the results firsthand. That's my experience, YMMV.

But maybe I misunderstand your question. What specific teachings are you talking about? I put the abstract ones I don't understand aside and work with what I do understand.

So basically I should just read them over and over again until i understand them and then try to put them into practise? and I wasn't talking about any teaching in particular. Basically my problem is I will read a teaching and not get very much from it as the suttas are usually repetitive in nature and sometimes pretty straight forward. I basically would like to know how I can study them and be able to really "get" them
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby robertk » Thu May 22, 2014 2:06 pm

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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby Nicro » Thu May 22, 2014 2:20 pm

This article here is an excellent resource : http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2011/12 ... your-mind/
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby daverupa » Thu May 22, 2014 2:22 pm

ihrjordan wrote:I basically would like to know how I can study them and be able to really "get" them


For example, start using them to describe & examine your general experience: instead of one's usual casual descriptions and narrative flows in the mind, try to grasp what action a sutta enjoins for the listener, specifically considering examples of what the shapes of old v. new behaviors could look like in one's own case.

Otherwise engage sila & satipatthana and observe, in order to expose new grist for the mill (as it were).
    "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: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby santa100 » Thu May 22, 2014 3:56 pm

ihrjordan wrote:So basically I should just read them over and over again until i understand them and then try to put them into practise? and I wasn't talking about any teaching in particular. Basically my problem is I will read a teaching and not get very much from it as the suttas are usually repetitive in nature and sometimes pretty straight forward. I basically would like to know how I can study them and be able to really "get" them

Try to apply what was read to real life situations. For example, on "anger", do you identify with the seven items mentioned when encountering some angry co-worker at your workplace? some tough relatives or acquaintance in your life?; on "distracted thoughts", are you able to implement the five strategies when encountering a young voluptious woman, or the temptations of wealth, fame, positions, etc..?
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby ihrjordan » Thu May 22, 2014 4:00 pm

santa100 wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:So basically I should just read them over and over again until i understand them and then try to put them into practise? and I wasn't talking about any teaching in particular. Basically my problem is I will read a teaching and not get very much from it as the suttas are usually repetitive in nature and sometimes pretty straight forward. I basically would like to know how I can study them and be able to really "get" them

Try to apply what was read to real life situations. For example, on "anger", do you identify with the seven items mentioned when encountering some angry co-worker at your workplace? some tough relatives or acquaintance in your life?; on "distracted thoughts", are you able to implement the five strategies when encountering a young voluptious woman, or the temptations of wealth, fame, positions, etc..?

Please explain what you mean by the "five strategies" and thank you great advice :D
"Ko imaṃ pathaviṃ vicessati, yamalokañca imaṃ sadevakaṃ.
ko dhammapadaṃ sudesitaṃ, kusalo pupphamiva pacessati"
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby Mkoll » Thu May 22, 2014 4:02 pm

ihrjordan wrote:
santa100 wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:So basically I should just read them over and over again until i understand them and then try to put them into practise? and I wasn't talking about any teaching in particular. Basically my problem is I will read a teaching and not get very much from it as the suttas are usually repetitive in nature and sometimes pretty straight forward. I basically would like to know how I can study them and be able to really "get" them

Try to apply what was read to real life situations. For example, on "anger", do you identify with the seven items mentioned when encountering some angry co-worker at your workplace? some tough relatives or acquaintance in your life?; on "distracted thoughts", are you able to implement the five strategies when encountering a young voluptious woman, or the temptations of wealth, fame, positions, etc..?

Please explain what you mean by the "five strategies" and thank you great advice :D

Check out the sutta he linked. There are five strategies in that sutta for overcoming unwholesome/distracting thoughts.
Peace,
James
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Re: How does one go about contemplating the dhamma?

Postby befriend » Thu May 22, 2014 5:47 pm

pick out a few short suttas to memorize like buddhas advise to rahula. whenever I know someone is going to get mad at me, I recite the advice to rahula,which says be like the earth rahula, foul things are spilled on it and it doesn't react. train your mind to be like the earth. or you can pick a paramis like metta and put it into practice as friendliness, you could write down what my dhamma activities you practice. what the mind ponders the mind inclines towards. choose a new paramis every week to work on.
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