"Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

"Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby fijiNut » Wed May 13, 2009 10:08 am

Apart from the catchy title, I just felt like sharing a link to Sayadaw U Tenjaniya's (successor to Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw) teaching on mindfulness and being aware of mind states.

I admire his teachings because contrary to many contemporary teachers who encourage spiritual materialism - this jhana, that stage of insight, he has a natural approach in his method and teachings.

http://sayadawutejaniya.org/teachings/

Hope this helps your practice.

with metta,
fijiNut
fijiNut
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:11 am

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby zavk » Wed May 13, 2009 10:43 am

Hi fijinut,

Many thanks for this! It is a timely reminder for me.

I've read the interview in Tricycle before. I love what he said:

I would also like to add that we say the mind “wanders,” but in fact it doesn’t go anywhere. Thoughts arise, that’s all. The only problem is that we think they shouldn’t!


This to me has been one of the best advice I've heard. It has helped my practice tremendously. I'm glad you posted this. I shall explore more of his teachings.
With metta,
zavk
User avatar
zavk
 
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby Hoo » Wed May 13, 2009 12:59 pm

Thanks for posting this link. I found it most useful :)

Steve
Hoo
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:24 am
Location: Missouri, USA

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby fijiNut » Wed May 13, 2009 10:43 pm

Steve & zavk,

I'm glad you both found use for it. His meditation advice has also been very valuable for me too.
Do not think be fooled by his use of natural/everyday language and discard it as 'Dhamma-lite'. The technique he teaches falls under the category of 'cittanupassana' - mind aware of mind(ex-students describe it as Mahasi method without noting or labelling?) , and most importantly using wisdom to understand our the attitudes behind our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, views etc.
Here is a snippet of some gems of wisdom in his ebook-
RIGHT ATTITUDE (yoniso manasikāra)
Being relaxed and aware is essential but it is also very important to have the right attitude, the right frame of mind. What does having
the right attitude mean? Having the right attitude is a way of looking at things that makes you content, comfortable, and feel at ease with whatever you are experiencing. Wrong ideas, wrong information,
or ignorance of the defi lements affect your attitude.
We all have wrong attitudes; we cannot help having them. So do not try to have the right attitude, try to recognize if you have the wrong or the right attitude instead. It is important to be aware when you have right attitudes, but it is even more important to recognize and investigate your wrong attitudes. Try to understand your wrong attitudes; fi nd out how they affect your practice, and see how they make you feel. So watch yourself and keep checking to see what
state of mind you are practising with.
Right attitude allows you to accept, acknowledge, and observe
whatever is happening – whether pleasant or unpleasant – in a
relaxed and alert way. You have to accept and watch both good and bad experiences. Every experience, whether good or bad, gives you a learning opportunity to notice whether the mind accepts things the way they are, or whether it likes, dislikes, reacts, or judges.
Liking something means you desire it, disliking something
means you have an aversion to it. Desire and aversion are defilements that arise out of ignorance – ignorance or delusion is a defilement too. So do not try to create anything; trying to create something is greed. Do not reject what is happening; rejecting what is happening is aversion. Not knowing that something is happening or has stopped happening is delusion.


How often are we guilty of having a defiled mind of craving before we sit - we think to ourselves "Oh, may I get a nimitta this sitting" or "Oh, may I get this (Vipassana/)Jhana this sitting"?
Or "Oh may I get stream entry before the end of this retreat?" :toilet:
fijiNut
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:11 am

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 14, 2009 4:14 am

Greetings,

I like this, from the little PDF about Right Attitude

10. Trying to create something is greed.
Rejecting what is happening is aversion.
Not knowing if something is happening or has stopped
happening is delusion.

11. Only to the extent that the observing mind has no greed, aversion
or anxiety are you truly meditating.

:bow:

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)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14674
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby rowyourboat » Thu May 14, 2009 12:40 pm

let us take everything with a pinch of salt ..including the calm, cool words of an enlightened teacher

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmfulness arose. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmfulness has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.'

"As I noticed that it leads to my own affliction, it subsided. As I noticed that it leads to the affliction of others... to the affliction of both... it obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding, it subsided. Whenever thinking imbued with harmfulness had arisen, I simply abandoned it, destroyed it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.
:jedi:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

there are no standpoints..no fixations..
this mind is too complex too slippery to say i will become enlightened only by doing things in this one way..

in my experience those teachers that dont even hint at stream entry jhana etc are ones whos teachings and methods arent conducive to those things-they just dont have the experience to talk of such things with any degree expertise or confidence (as non cool non 'dharma' as it sounds)- no teacher is mad enough just to proclaim these things and still survive and be known internationally after many decades if there isnt even an iota of truth in such things.

with metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby fijiNut » Thu May 14, 2009 10:41 pm

Sabbasava Sutta
The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned. There are fermentations to be abandoned by seeing, those to be abandoned by restraining, those to be abandoned by using, those to be abandoned by tolerating, those to be abandoned by avoiding, those to be abandoned by destroying, and those to be abandoned by developing.
[ Descriptions of practice for seeing[1], restraining[2], using[3], tolerating[4], avoiding[5],
.....
"[6] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, does not tolerate an arisen thought of sensuality. He abandons it, destroys it, dispels it, & wipes it out of existence.

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of ill will...

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate an arisen thought of cruelty...

Reflecting appropriately, he does not tolerate arisen evil, unskillful mental qualities. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to destroy these things do not arise for him when he destroys them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by destroying....
"[7] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by developing? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, develops mindfulness as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening... persistence as a factor for Awakening... rapture as a factor for Awakening... serenity as a factor for Awakening... concentration as a factor for Awakening... equanimity as a factor for Awakening dependent on seclusion... dispassion... cessation, resulting in letting go. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to develop these qualities do not arise for him when he develops them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by developing.


there are no standpoints..no fixations..
this mind is too complex too slippery to say i will become enlightened only by doing things in this one way..

in my experience those teachers that dont even hint at stream entry jhana etc are ones whos teachings and methods arent conducive to those things-they just dont have the experience to talk of such things with any degree expertise or confidence (as non cool non 'dharma' as it sounds)- no teacher is mad enough just to proclaim these things and still survive and be known internationally after many decades if there isnt even an iota of truth in such things.

Excellent well said. Everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt until we realize the Truth for ourselves, thank you for your advice.
A truly enlightened teacher will not declare Arahatship, we can only look towards their teachings and lineage of students for clues and signs towards the Path & Fruit.
- Another jigsaw in the puzzle falls into place
fijiNut
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:11 am

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby fijiNut » Fri May 15, 2009 12:02 am

RYB & All,
Perhaps, there is nothing wrong spiritual materialism aiming in practice for Jhana and/or progressive stages of insight, but problem I have faced in my own practice is attaching towards the end result without doing the necessary work.
So I have been very guilty of hugging the sign posts on the road in the blind hope that it would get me to the destination, which the wrong way of practice.
I hope nobody commits the same mistake as I have because one wastes a lot of time there.

In regards to U Tenjaniya's book, as my own limited practice of Satipatthana had only awareness of body and vedana, it was a revelation for me to find an instruction manual for me to examine my mind and its hidden motivations and attitudes - by no means is it the only means to the end.

Much gratitude for pointing out a well rounded perspective on the issue.

with metta,
fijiNut
fijiNut
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:11 am

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby rowyourboat » Fri May 15, 2009 5:34 pm

Hi Fijinut

There are advantages and disadvantages in everything in this world- and that includes signposts of progress. What would you suggest others do to avoid the pitfall you found out about yet make best use of the signposts?

with metta
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby fijiNut » Fri May 15, 2009 11:39 pm

Do not attach to ANYTHING, the very nature of attachment in itself brings suffering, even attachment to serenity or insight.

Otherwise, one becomes a run-of-the-mill person all over again, you attain a meditation state - you're happy, you don't get it, you're stressed, worried, or doubtful, ignorant to the fact that all things arise due to its causes and conditions, not aware that in the undercurrent of all this - the defilement are working full force and indeed laughing at you.

If you have 'certain experiences' on retreat, just better leave those experiences back at the meditation center and forget about it- just see what insight follows you when you get back to lay life.
Otherwise, one would be basking in one's self proclaimed attainments and then one is really stuck.

This is what I meant by 'spiritual materialism', I'm sorry if I sound vague as my language skills and Dhamma practice is limited.
Indeed, we should aspire to the Ariyan attainments, but perhaps, with the right attitude.

Venerable U Tejaniya has an important message, even if it is 'Dhamma-lite'.

with metta
fijiNut
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:11 am

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby appicchato » Fri May 15, 2009 11:51 pm

fijiNut wrote:Do not attach to ANYTHING


Yes indeedy...



:coffee:
User avatar
appicchato
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: "Don't look down on the defilements, They will laugh at you"

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 18, 2009 9:37 pm

the point about hinting at/writing extensively about things like stream entry is that those genuinely seeking these things are pointed in the right direction- these masters are probably aware that it will put off a certain number of people -who incidentally are unlikely have enough motivation or faith to reach such states with their mistrust/lack of understanding/ego getting in the way.

while there may be some reason for the meditation teacher to proclaim such things i suppose there are few wholesome reasons for a student to do so

it might be interesting to flesh out the 'right attitude' you mention- i suspect being aware of how developments along the path can lead to conceit- being aware of the dangers- and also a healthy dose of uncertainty of attainments that the lack of a Buddha to proclaim these states, brings with it- modern masters might teach a path which ticks all if not most of the boxes for a given level of attainment but no one can be 100% sure.
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK


Return to Theravada Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests