Nāma-rūpa

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Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:43 am

Greetings,

In the suttas, nāma-rūpa is classified as follows....

SN 12.2: Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta
http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/s ... sn12-2.htm

And what is name-&-form? Feeling, perception, intention, contact, & attention: This is called name. The four great elements, and the form dependent on the four great elements: This is called form. This name & this form are called name-&-form.


Is there an equivalent Abhidhamma classification for these different aspects of nāma and rūpa? Often I read about things being classified as nāma and rūpa by Abhidhamma-oriented folk, and I'm wondering if this next level down gets any attention too, because I'd be particularly interested to see what is said in relation to those 5 aspects of nāma.

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:06 am

Name and form are bad translations in this case Retrofuturist. Mentality and materiality are much better ones. Nama concerns all mental phenomena and rupa concerns physical phenomena.

The five examples of nama listed by the Buddha in the sutta are examples of nama (mentallity). They are not an exhaustive list. Likewise with the materiality mentioned.

In the Abhidhamma, the teaching was given in paramattha terms, not in conventional ones, as it was in the suttas. Therefore, these explanations are fleshed out in Abhidhamma and not in Sutta. Nevertheless, the Buddha taught Abhidhamma without being too scarce with details and without providing too many.

The nama listed in that sutta are all cetasikas, mental factors which arise accompanying individual moments of consciousness.

Kevin
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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:11 am

Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:The five examples of nama listed by the Buddha in the sutta are examples of nama (mentallity). They are not an exhaustive list.


Is there an exhaustive Nāma list in Abhidhamma? (I already know about the list of derived materiality).

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Virgo,

Virgo wrote:The five examples of nama listed by the Buddha in the sutta are examples of nama (mentallity). They are not an exhaustive list.


Is there an exhaustive list in Abhidhamma?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hi Retro, the nama you mentioned are all cetasikas. There are 52 cetasikas. Each cetasika arises accompanying a citta, or moment of consciousness.

Consciousness arises at a base every time. It arises either in dependence upon the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind base, one at a time. With each citta, or moment of consciousness, cetasikas, or mental factors arise. Citta is like the King in knowing the object, such as sound through the ear door, or smell through the nose door, etc. Cetasikas are mental factors that accompany the citta that knows or apprehends the object. There are always at least the minimum seven "universal" cetasikas that arise with each moment of citta, as citta has an object.

Kevin
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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:20 am

Greetings Kevin,

These ones?

http://www.palikanon.com/english/intro- ... dix_ii.htm

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Kevin,

These ones?

http://www.palikanon.com/english/intro- ... dix_ii.htm

Metta,
Retro. :)

Indeed. :)

There is a good, short work on cetasikas here: http://www.dhammastudy.com/cetasikas.html

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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:12 am

Greetings Virgo,

Is the practical application of Abhidhamma then to classify mental experience in relation to the 52 cetasikas, as they occur?

Quoting from the link you gave, Nina van Gorkom writes...

A detailed study of the many types of cetasikas will help the reader to know his own defilements and to develop good qualities and eventually, to eradicate all defilements.


I'm a little confused about how classifying of defilements itself leads to the development of good qualities. Is it the clear knowledge of what is wholesome and unwholesome which is inherently good, or is it something else which tends to the development of good qualities? Is classification by way of the 52 cetasikas said to be any more beneficial or essential in that sense than classification via the 5 aspects of nāma referred to in the sutta above? Or for that matter, classification via mula (roots) e.g.

AN 3.69: Mula Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Monks, there are these three roots of what is unskillful. Which three? Greed is a root of what is unskillful, aversion is a root of what is unskillful, delusion is a root of what is unskillful. (and so on.....)


I guess what I'm trying to drill down to is, what does the act of cetasika classification actually "do"? In other words, how does it lead to positive outcomes... is it classification alone that is required in and of itself, or is anything else required in order to lead to these positive outcomes?

Virgo wrote:In the Abhidhamma, the teaching was given in paramattha terms, not in conventional ones, as it was in the suttas. Therefore, these explanations are fleshed out in Abhidhamma and not in Sutta.

Hmmm... I'd be a little careful of classifying suttas as "conventional" only, particularly when the nāma list I provided corresponds directly to some of the cetasikas. Elsewhere Cooran has provided reference to suttas which form the nucleus of the codified Abhidhamma.

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:32 am

retrofuturist wrote:
In the Abhidhamma, the teaching was given in paramattha terms, not in conventional ones, as it was in the suttas. Therefore, these explanations are fleshed out in Abhidhamma and not in Sutta.

Hmmm... I'd be a little careful of classifying suttas as "conventional" only, particularly when the nāma list I provided corresponds to 5 of the 52 cetasikas. Elsewhere Cooran has provided reference to suttas which form the nucleus of the codified Abhidhamma.
According to the traditional Theravadin teaching, the paramattha terms are not more true or better than the "conventional." Each can lead to awakening.

From the commentary of to the Anguttara Nikaya:
Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathā, whereas
references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric
individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of
mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathā. One who is capable of understanding
and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out
in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on
sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting
the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the
Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā. To one who is capable of
awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathā , the teaching is not presented on the basis of
paramattha-kathā, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through
paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā. There is this
simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their
meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which
each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the
suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā. It is by taking into
consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the
Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way
of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to
Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55

http://kr.buddhism.org/~skb/down/papers/094.pdf
sammuti-kathā is not inferior to paramattha-kathā.
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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:39 am

Hi Retro

I would suggest that perhaps Nina Van Gorkom is alluding to is the contemplation of awakening factors (satipatthana), in particular, the awakening factor of dhammavicaya: investigation of dhammas.
Such investigation-of-dhammas seems to combine two aspects" on the one hand an inquiry into the nature of experience (by taking "dhammas" to stand for "phenomena"), and on the other a correlation of this experience with the teachings of the Buddha (the "Dhamma"). This two-fold character also undelies the word "investigation" (vicaya), derived from the verb vicinati, whose range of meaning includes both "investigating" and "discriminating". Thus "investigation of dhammas" can be understood as an investigation of subjective experience based on the discrimination gained through familiarity with the Dhamma. Such discrimination refers particularly to the ability to distinguish between what is wholesome or skilful for progress on the path, and what is unwholesome orunskilful.
-- Ven. Analayo, Satipatthana: the direct path to realization

kind regards

Ben
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- Heraclitus


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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:59 am

Greetings Ben,

Yes, that's along the lines of what I'm trying to work out. That's why I mentioned the mula (roots), because that seems an easier classification method, with 6 roots (3 wholesome, 3 unwholesome)compared to the 52 cetasikas.

Is the point just to differentiate wholesome from unwholesome as it is in the case of mula, or is it also to dissolve the illusion of self? I assume there is some good reason why it's more elaborate... as you can probably see, my question is at least as much about the "why" as it is about the "what".

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:37 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ben,

Yes, that's along the lines of what I'm trying to work out. That's why I mentioned the mula (roots), because that seems an easier classification method, with 6 roots (3 wholesome, 3 unwholesome)compared to the 52 cetasikas.

Is the point just to differentiate wholesome from unwholesome as it is in the case of mula, or is it also to dissolve the illusion of self? I assume there is some good reason why it's more elaborate... as you can probably see, my question is at least as much about the "why" as it is about the "what".

Metta,
Retro.
"Why" and "how" are the big questions.
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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:41 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:"Why" and "how" are the big questions.


Yes. I'd be very interested in any classical explanations for either. Abhidhamma has lots of "what", but I'm still a bit confused about the "why" (what is the benefit?) and the "how" (how is it applied?).

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:44 am

Hi Retro

I think possibly both.

§30 Purification of View
Purification of view is the discernment of mind and matter with respect to their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes.

Guide to §30
Purification of view s so called because it helps to purify one of the wrong view of a permanent self. This purification is arrived at in the coure of meditation by discerning the personality as a compound of mental and material factors which occur interdependently, without any controlling self within or behind them. This stage is also called the analytical knowledge of mind-and-matter. (namarupavavatthananana) because the mental and material phenomena are distinguished by way of their characteristics, etc.

-- Ch IX, compendium of meditation subjects, A Comprehensive Manual of the Abhidhamma by Bhikkhu Bodhi

kind regards

Ben
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- Heraclitus


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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:"Why" and "how" are the big questions.


Yes. I'd be very interested in any classical explanations for either. Abhidhamma has lots of "what", but I'm still a bit confused about the "why" (what is the benefit?) and the "how" (how is it applied?).

Metta,
Retro. :)


I'm certainly no expert on the Abhidhamma and I think your question requires the attention of one who has a deep familiarity with the Abhidhamma in its context of the Tipitaka and the early commentarial literature.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:49 am

Greetings Ben,

Interesting quote from Bhikkhu Bodhi, thanks.

It seems similar in function then (to me at least) to sutta teachings on the five aggregates, six sense bases and such, which cover this territory too.

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: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:51 am

Yes Retro
I think you are right with that observation.
Sorry I can't be of any further assistance in this interesting line of enquiry.
metta

Ben
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- Heraclitus


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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi Retro.

The classifications are for those of duller wit such as ourselves. For example, someone with highly developed panna will understand while meditating when there is kusala leading to calm and where there is lobha. Most of the time, people who meditate these days have lots of lobha during meditation, thus you hear so many stories of the mind not settling down. Lobha and dosa don't aid samatha, yet quite often, because of accumulated lobha, tanha, and self-view, we take lobha as an aid in meditation. In reality, it works against samatha. This is just one example.

Another example is when we think there is a "self" inside actions. If we understand the functions of moha, ditthi and other cetasikas, we can understand that though it appears that a decision is made by an individual that it is simply the funtion of conditioned nama, no doer around. Since we are of duller wit and our self-view is so deeply rooted, we tend to think there is a decision making doer inside actions, even though the Buddha taught abhidhamma and constantly said in the suttas things like, "form is not-self, perception, intention, is not-self", "these things should be understood as not mine, not my own", etc.

When we understand deeper aspects of Abhidhamma such as conditionality such as brought out in the seventh book of Abhidhamma, the Book of Conditioned Relations, we can understand better what actions lead to untanglement from the fetters, and which actions lead to entanglement. Things are so subtle and each citta influences the next. Subtle reaffirmation of self-view conditions it in the citta again and again even when we think we are walking the path.

It is all about refining ones view. Right View is what is needed. This helps us refine our Right View.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby meindzai » Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:16 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ben,

Yes, that's along the lines of what I'm trying to work out. That's why I mentioned the mula (roots), because that seems an easier classification method, with 6 roots (3 wholesome, 3 unwholesome)compared to the 52 cetasikas.

Is the point just to differentiate wholesome from unwholesome as it is in the case of mula, or is it also to dissolve the illusion of self? I assume there is some good reason why it's more elaborate... as you can probably see, my question is at least as much about the "why" as it is about the "what".

Metta,
Retro. :)


Really interesting line of inquiry. One of the ongoing debates with Nina's crew is whether one can actually practice mindfulness (the first factor of awakening) or not. The argument, as you know, being that one cannot practice it since it involves a wrong view of self "I am practicing mindfulness." Leaving aside those endless debates, we can turn to the second factor "investigation of dhammas" or "analysis of qualities." Which for some reason doesn't involve micca-ditthi to put it into practice? Indeed, why?

-M
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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby Virgo » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:38 pm

meindzai wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ben,

Yes, that's along the lines of what I'm trying to work out. That's why I mentioned the mula (roots), because that seems an easier classification method, with 6 roots (3 wholesome, 3 unwholesome)compared to the 52 cetasikas.

Is the point just to differentiate wholesome from unwholesome as it is in the case of mula, or is it also to dissolve the illusion of self? I assume there is some good reason why it's more elaborate... as you can probably see, my question is at least as much about the "why" as it is about the "what".

Metta,
Retro. :)


Really interesting line of inquiry. One of the ongoing debates with Nina's crew is whether one can actually practice mindfulness (the first factor of awakening) or not. The argument, as you know, being that one cannot practice it since it involves a wrong view of self "I am practicing mindfulness." Leaving aside those endless debates, we can turn to the second factor "investigation of dhammas" or "analysis of qualities." Which for some reason doesn't involve micca-ditthi to put it into practice? Indeed, why?

-M

Miendzai,

I'm not sure what you mean by "practicing mindfulness". Mindfulness, as it is understood in Abhidhamma terms, it the cetasika of sati. It arises based on conditions, way too fast for us to bring it into being. There are conditions for it's arising, however. For example, if dhamma is heard and attention is payed to it wisely (two factors for the development of wisdom) then that may condition panna to arise which always arises with the cetasika sati. Thus, those are some conditions for sati to arise.

Likewise, if one meditates on a subject of samatha, there may be more conditions for sati to arise during and after the meditation. Nevertheless, it is an anatta dhamma that arises and falls away and should be understood as such.

In a day, sati arises naturally sometimes. It arises and we don't have to bring it into being. Even if we don't know it, sati can arise. In this regard it is like any other paramattha dhamma which arises based on conditions. Visible object, for example, is another paramattha dhamma that just arises without us willing it to. Can one choose which visible object will arise next, or stop the next visible object from arising? One cannot. These dhammas arise based on conditions only. There is no self in them. None of these dhammas are me or mine. They are anatta. When this is understood, it is Right View and the development of wisdom. It can lead to wisdom on the experiential level that penetrates the characteristic of dhammas during satipatthana.

Kevin
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Re: Nāma-rūpa

Postby meindzai » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:32 pm

Kevin - first of all you are a very patient person with folks such as me (and Retro :tongue: ) and I enjoy our discussions. You absolutely get points for khanti parami.

Virgo wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by "practicing mindfulness". Mindfulness, as it is understood in Abhidhamma terms, it the cetasika of sati. It arises based on conditions, way too fast for us to bring it into being.



Well, sati also means memory. For me it's remembering, or "keeping something in mind." Such as when the Buddha exhorts us to be mindful of the body:

"Therefore, monks, this is how you must train yourselves: 'We shall practice mindfulness as to body, develop it, make it our vehicle, our dwelling-place, our resort, we will build it up and undertake it thoroughly.' This, monks, is how you must train yourselves."
- Chappana Sutta

or

"Practice mindfulness of the body and continually develop dispassion (towards it). Avoid the sign of the beautiful connected with passion; by meditating on the foul 3 cultivate a mind that is concentrated and collected."
- Rahula Sutta

or

The cankers cease for those mindful and clearly comprehending ones who always earnestly practice mindfulness of the body, who do not resort to what should not be done, and steadfastly pursue what should be done.
- Dhp XXI

or the breath:

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore."
- Anapanasati Sutta

The bolded statement clearly imples that we can do something with mindfulness - it can be aroused, developed, and practiced.

There are conditions for it's arising, however. For example, if dhamma is heard and attention is payed to it wisely (two factors for the development of wisdom) then that may condition panna to arise which always arises with the cetasika sati. Thus, those are some conditions for sati to arise.

Likewise, if one meditates on a subject of samatha, there may be more conditions for sati to arise during and after the meditation. Nevertheless, it is an anatta dhamma that arises and falls away and should be understood as such.

In a day, sati arises naturally sometimes. It arises and we don't have to bring it into being. Even if we don't know it, sati can arise. In this regard it is like any other paramattha dhamma which arises based on conditions. Visible object, for example, is another paramattha dhamma that just arises without us willing it to. Can one choose which visible object will arise next, or stop the next visible object from arising? One cannot. These dhammas arise based on conditions only. There is no self in them. None of these dhammas are me or mine. They are anatta. When this is understood, it is Right View and the development of wisdom. It can lead to wisdom on the experiential level that penetrates the characteristic of dhammas during satipatthana.

Kevin


Kind of amused that, out of your reverence for anatta, you tend to phrase things in passive voice, ie. "dhamma is heard and attention is payed to it wisely." Because you're trying to avoid saying "If we listen to dhamma and pay it wise attention." I get the sentiment, but to me there is still an element of intention present. We still have to listen, and we still have to pay wise attention. Until we are at least stream entrants, and even up until Arahantship, it is impossible to do anything - whether it's listen to dhamma or practice meditation, without some element of self view present.

-M
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