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Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening - Dhamma Wheel

Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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zavk
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby zavk » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:36 am

Hi all

I'd like to ask for your help. I'm guessing that you'd have come across various advice about not bringing expectations to one's practice or harbouring stubborn preconceived notions about Awakening. I know I've encountered such advice in books, essays, and talks but never made a point to note them down because they tend to be offhand remarks or asides which aren't the main focus of the discussion at hand. But at the moment, I'd like survey some of these advice in a piece of writing I'm working on. So could you kindly please point me to anything that comes to mind? It doesn't only have to be the suttas...it could be from books, talks, or snippets of sayings (including page numbers if possible), etc, by monastics or lay teachers, anything that expresses the general sentiment of letting go of expectations and of not clinging to preconceptions about the practice or goal would be helpful. Oh, and I'm happy to canvas views from all lineages and traditions.

Many thanks! :anjali:
With metta,
zavk

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Dan74
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Re: Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby Dan74 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:15 pm

_/|\_

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bodom
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Re: Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby bodom » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:48 pm

Traditionally the Eightfold Path is taught with eight steps such as Right Understanding, Right Speech, Right Concentration, and so forth. But the true Eightfold Path is within us-two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, a tongue, and a body. These eight doors are our entire Path and the mind is the one that walks on the Path. Know these doors, examine them, and all the dharmas will be revealed.

The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

Why not give it a try? Do you dare?

- Ajahn Chah
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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tiltbillings
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Re: Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:15 pm

If I stood still, I sank; If I struggled, I was carried away.
Thus by neither standing still nor struggling, I crossed the flood.
SN 1 1

santa100
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Re: Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby santa100 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:17 pm

SN 1.1 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html ) is a great reference for it emphasizes the middle path approach. "Expectations" should be used with care so not to be equated to "standing still". Remember that common stock phrase being used in many suttas: "...realizing for himself with direct knowledge here and now attain and abide in that supreme goal of the holy life for the sake of which sons of family rightly go forth from the household life into the homeless life. He directly knew: “Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, done what had to be done, there is no more for this state of being"

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zavk
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby zavk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:02 pm

Thanks for your suggestions! :smile:

Dan: Yeah, of course, I should look into Trungpa's Spiritual Materialism. Have read excerpts but not the book. Can you further recall any other pithy sayings, by Linji or others (sigh, I wish my Chinese wasn't so pathetic so that I could read the writings of Ch'an), that express the same sentiment about relinquishing expectation about practice or preconceived notions about Awakening?

Tilt and santa100: SN1.1 is very helpful indeed. In fact, that particular stanza quoted by Tilt would be very suitable for what I'm working on, as it will be read by readers who are may not be familiar with Buddism. So succinct poetic verses, illustrative writings, or conversational expressions (like Ajahn Chah's advice) rather than detailed, jargonistic explanations may be more effective in putting the point across.

Bodom: That passage is wonderful, I'm pretty sure I've come across it. Is it in one of the collected books of Ajahn Chah's talks?


Thanks again. Please continue to post if anything else comes to mind--it's nice to collect these advice in a thread for everyone to consider anyway!

:anjali:
With metta,
zavk

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daverupa
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Re: Advice against expectations about practice or Awakening

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:12 pm



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