anatta and cetana and conditions for right view

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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:48 pm

Here is an interesting excerpt from another site:

Dispeller of Delusion
<<233. But it is no-self(anatta) in the sense of powerlessness. Or because there is no exercise of power in these three instances, [namely] "this being
arisen, let it not reach presence; having reached presence, let it not grow old, having grown old, let it not break up"; and it is void of this quality of having
power exercised over it (vasavattana).


Please note what kind of control is rejected. One can't stop arisen thing from passing away. We can't control the aggregates in the sense of making them permanent. We can't stop aging and death.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:03 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi UhBaUhTaUh,
UhBaUnTaUh wrote:She thought management is atta. In addition, she taught cetana is management. Another, she taught cetana is anatta. (I'm not mistake typing any character in this line.)

This seems to be the key point that Khun Sujin and her students make: that any attempt at control means that one is feeding a sense of self. Therefore any attempt at development, "meditation" or some other development, is doomed to failure (according to this reasoning).

:anjali:
Mike


Dear Mike, UhBahUhTahUh, all,

I have met Achaan Sujin and listen too her teaching more regularly recently. The above doesn't seem to me a correct representation of what she teaches.
She doesn't say: don't sit, or don't practice, but asks: why sit? and what, who does the practice?
Instead of telling people what to do, she encourages people to examine thoghroughly the meaning of "practice"-bhavana, of samatha, vipassana, sati, panna....under the light of anattaness and the law of cause and effect.
If we say, everything is anatta, everything arises and pass away by conditions, then think that we can intentionally sit and walk for sati to arise, isn't it a contradiction?
Can sati arises because of our intention to have sati? If it were so, we could intend to attain Nibanna now.
What is samatha? does it mean trying to focus on an object over a period of time?
Ekaggata cetasika arises in every citta, so the key difference here is whether kusala or akusala is present. And again, can we intend kusala or akusala to arise at a particular moment?
Her explantionation is an invitation to challenge everyone's understanding about the Buddha's teaching. We can not talk about anatta while negating causes and conditions for the arising of all conditioned dhammas, and these including sati, pasadhi, panna....by presuming that intention can be the cause for desirable dhammas to arise.
And can a view that doesn't adhere to the teaching of anatta be the cause for the arising of right understanding?

Best regards,

D.F
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby cooran » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:12 am

Hello all,

A couple of previous threads regarding Khun Sujin:

Samma samadhi: Sujin Boriharnwanaket
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5167
awareness now: Sujin boriharnwanaket
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10888

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:29 am

Hi Dhamma Follower,

Thanks for the post. I may well be misunderstanding Khun Sujin's point, which for me is filtered through on-line and off-line conversations I have had with some of her followers (I had a nice afternoon tea with RobertK and others a couple of months ago). I'm afraid that the impression I come away with is mostly one of clever word play. Perhaps talking with Khun Sujin herself would be more illuminating.

:anjali:
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby SamKR » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:48 am

dhamma follower wrote:If we say, everything is anatta, everything arises and pass away by conditions, then think that we can intentionally sit and walk for sati to arise, isn't it a contradiction?
Can sati arises because of our intention to have sati?

In ultimate sense sati arises not because we intend but because of causes and conditions (intentions). However, for pragmatic purpose, until there is direct insight into not-self it is okay (perhaps unavoidable, and for many people highly beneficial) to think that we can have intention to have sati (or right actions):
Sedaka Sutta wrote: "Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."

For a beginner (who does not understand not-self), it is beneficial to think that "I should control myself from doing evil things" so that he is protected from evil deeds. Of course, when controlling himself from doing evil deeds, "he" actually did not control "himself"; there was no controller; the control happened because of some causes and conditions (one of them is the thinking that "I should control myself"). However, there was protection from the evil deeds, and that is very important for a beginner. The Buddha's teaching is a pragmatic one, and his different teachings might have been directed to different groups of people having different levels of understanding: not everyone can or want to think from the ultimate level of view from the beginning.

And can a view that doesn't adhere to the teaching of anatta be the cause for the arising of right understanding?

Yes, even if there is not any strong understanding of anatta initially, by continuous practice of the noble eight-fold path (including sitting meditation, of course) and understanding of impermanence, and suffering (which are easier to understand than anatta) one will gradually reach the level where there is direct and full understanding of anatta and illusion of so called "free will".
But if someone understands anatta from the beginning, that's good; he/she could practice the noble eight-fold path (with understanding of all three characteristics).
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:49 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Dhamma Follower,

Thanks for the post. I may well be misunderstanding Khun Sujin's point, which for me is filtered through on-line and off-line conversations I have had with some of her followers (I had a nice afternoon tea with RobertK and others a couple of months ago). I'm afraid that the impression I come away with is mostly one of clever word play. Perhaps talking with Khun Sujin herself would be more illuminating.

:anjali:
Mike


Dear Mike,

I met Achaan Sujin thanks to Robert, and still feel grateful to him for that.
Understanding Achaan words, however, takes time, as at the beginning, we are certainly inclined to filter her ideas through our own reasoning, and for sure that might continue to happen even after a long time. It has been my own on-going-experience, and the more I listen, the more I realize my previous understanding has not been complete...
In the past, I was one of those diligent "yogis" who feel committed to retreats and to "practice" in daily life and who believe to have had some valid experiences. Yet the truth of her understanding of the Buddha's words has had the upper hand, especially when examining my entire experience with meditation with some sincerity....

If you have the chance and feel inclined to, then meet her! She has great patience and skills in helping people to understand the right path. IMO, she is really a teacher of rarety, and it is a great blessing to come across her understanding of the Buddha's Dhamma.

Bets regards,
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:40 pm

SamKR wrote:In ultimate sense sati arises not because we intend but because of causes and conditions (intentions). However, for pragmatic purpose, until there is direct insight into not-self it is okay (perhaps unavoidable, and for many people highly beneficial) to think that we can have intention to have sati (or right actions):

D.F: Are you saying that wrong view is beneficial to some?

S:
Sedaka Sutta wrote: "Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."


D.F: The sutta can be understood differently by different people. Who knows the level of understanding of the people to whom this instruction was given and how they understood them. Even right now, i could give a very different explanation of this sutta that you might disagree with. But the Buddha knew people's accumulations and each instruction was given to a particular listener. And the right understanding of his words can not go against his teaching of anatta.

S:
For a beginner (who does not understand not-self), it is beneficial to think that "I should control myself from doing evil things" so that he is protected from evil deeds. Of course, when controlling himself from doing evil deeds, "he" actually did not control "himself"; there was no controller; the control happenedbecause of some causes and conditions (one of them is the thinking that "I should control myself")


D.F: Can thinking "I can control my self" condition abstaining from doing evil deeds? If it is so, we could say, thinking "I can control my self" can condition not going to the toilet for 1 week.

Can a person thinking "I can control my-self" always keep 5 precepts?
A sotapanna, someone who has thoroughly understood "uncontrolable"-anattaness, never breaks the five precept. So which one is better condition for sila?

S:
Yes, even if there is not any strong understanding of anatta initially, by continuous practice of the noble eight-fold path (including sitting meditation, of course) and understanding of impermanence, and suffering (which are easier to understand than anatta) one will gradually reach the level where there is direct and full understanding of anatta and illusion of so called "free will".


The eight-fold path is led by right view. If there 's no right view, we can not talk about the eight-fold Path at all.
I suppose you don't mean the sitting posture can condition right view to arise?
If there is no right view now, can there be right view while sitting?
What is the cause and what is the effect here?
You talked about understanding impermanence.Impermanence of what? of a sitting yogi?

I might sound a little bit mocking, but actually I used to think like you, until I realized it was only words and vague ideas and imaginations. If the reality which arises now is not yet understood as just a reality, then impermanence, dukkha, the three marks etc... are only words.

Best rgrds,

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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby SamKR » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:44 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
SamKR wrote: In ultimate sense sati arises not because we intend but because of causes and conditions (intentions). However, for pragmatic purpose, until there is direct insight into not-self it is okay (perhaps unavoidable, and for many people highly beneficial) to think that we can have intention to have sati (or right actions):

Are you saying that wrong view is beneficial to some?

No, wrong view is not beneficial to anyone. But my point is: Many people do not grasp the teaching of anatta from the very beginning, but they have to protect themselves from wrong deeds rightaway. So, for them it is better to control themselves (thinking "I will control myself from doing wrong deeds to protect myself from bad results"), than not doing any effort to control.
dhamma follower wrote:
SamKR wrote: ["Sedaka Sutta" "Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."

The sutta can be understood differently by different people. Who knows the level of understanding of the people to whom this instruction was given and how they understood them. Even right now, i could give a very different explanation of this sutta that you might disagree with. But the Buddha knew people's accumulations and each instruction was given to a particular listener. And the right understanding of his words can not go against his teaching of anatta.

Yes, I agree that the suttas can be understood differently by different people. And, I am not saying that whatever you said, or what Acharn Sujin Boriharnwanaket says is not right. I don't feel myself qualified to evaluate her teachings although I think her teachings are excellent and I believe they lead to realization. My only point is that there are different people at different levels, and that it is not necessary to understand anatta right-away; they can realize it gradually while developing in Sila, Samadhi, and Panna. Perfect right view does not happen all at once. In the beginning, there can be just an inclination towards right view. After all the Buddha said:
Uposatha Sutta wrote:Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch; in the same way this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch.

dhamma follower wrote:
SamKR wrote:For a beginner (who does not understand not-self), it is beneficial to think that "I should control myself from doing evil things" so that he is protected from evil deeds. Of course, when controlling himself from doing evil deeds, "he" actually did not control "himself"; there was no controller; the control happenedbecause of some causes and conditions (one of them is the thinking that "I should control myself")

Can thinking "I can control my self" condition abstaining from doing evil deeds? If it is so, we could say, thinking "I can control my self" can condition not going to the toilet for 1 week.
Can a person thinking "I can control my-self" always keep 5 precepts?

Sometimes such thinking (which itself is result of other conditions) helps to abstain from doing evil deeds. Sometimes due to other conditionings being stronger this becomes very difficult. That's why there 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."
dhamma follower wrote:A sotapanna, someone who has thoroughly understood "uncontrolable"-anattaness, never breaks the five precept. So which one is better condition for sila?

Definitely, sotapanna has understood anatta very well, and has more right view than non-sotapanna, and does not break the precepts. But almost all people (except very few) are not sotapanna.
dhamma follower wrote:
SamKR wrote:Yes, even if there is not any strong understanding of anatta initially, by continuous practice of the noble eight-fold path (including sitting meditation, of course) and understanding of impermanence, and suffering (which are easier to understand than anatta) one will gradually reach the level where there is direct and full understanding of anatta and illusion of so called "free will".

The eight-fold path is led by right view. If there 's no right view, we can not talk about the eight-fold Path at all.

Yes, I agree. My point is that the "right view" does not come at once, it is a gradual process.
dhamma follower wrote:I suppose you don't mean the sitting posture can condition right view to arise?
If there is no right view now, can there be right view while sitting?
What is the cause and what is the effect here?

I don't mean that just sitting posture will help to arise right view. Sitting meditation may not even be necessary, I don't know. I just emphasize that if many people find sitting meditation helps them to understand some subtle truths (step by step, in a gradual way), then that's good. In the beginning they may meditate thinking that "I am meditating". But later after they understand the three characteristics, they will reach the stage where they find "there is observation, this is consciousness,...etc, arising and passing away, these are four noble truths... "

dhamma follower wrote: You talked about understanding impermanence.Impermanence of what? of a sitting yogi?

Impermanence of all that makes the 'yogi' (whether sitting, walking or sleeping).

dhamma follower wrote: I might sound a little bit mocking, but actually I used to think like you, until I realized it was only words and vague ideas and imaginations. If the reality which arises now is not yet understood as just a reality, then impermanence, dukkha, the three marks etc... are only words.

I don't find you mocking. I have also changed my understandings many times. I agree that we should understand phenomena as it arises.
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:20 am

Dear Sam,

No, wrong view is not beneficial to anyone. But my point is: Many people do not grasp the teaching of anatta from the very beginning, but they have to protect themselves from wrong deeds rightaway. So, for them it is better to control themselves (thinking "I will control myself from doing wrong deeds to protect myself from bad results"), than not doing any effort to control.


We are often inclined to presume what is good and proper for other people (but who is the one that has that capacity? Only one, the Buddha!), and forget to examine whether our own understanding now is right or wrong. In your example above, is the thinking "I can control myself" or rather the understanding that "bad deeds lead to bed result" more likely to be the condition for the virati cetasika (abstaining from unwholesome) to arise? Then again, is there any idea of someone who exerts effort to control over the deeds implied in your example above? It is not self-view?

My only point is that there are different people at different levels, and that it is not necessary to understand anatta right-away; they can realize it gradually while developing in Sila, Samadhi, and Panna. Perfect right view does not happen all at once. In the beginning, there can be just an inclination towards right view. After all the Buddha said:
Uposatha Sutta wrote:Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch; in the same way this Dhamma & Vinaya has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual practice, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch.

Gradual here means direct experience can not happen at once, but comes from accumulated right understanding. It doesn't mean accumulation of wrong views will one day transform into right view.
Sometimes due to other conditionings being stronger this becomes very difficult. That's why there 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."


Do you understand effort as just a conditioned dhamma or as someone trying to do something?
There is wrong effort and right effort. The right effort that is mentioned in the passage above can only arise with right view.

A sotapanna, someone who has thoroughly understood "uncontrolable"-anattaness, never breaks the five precept. So which one is better condition for sila?

Definitely, sotapanna has understood anatta very well, and has more right view than non-sotapanna, and does not break the precepts. But almost all people (except very few) are not sotapanna



So, for the non-sotapana, in order to become a sotapana, it is better to keep the self-view or it is better to understand that there are only dhammas arise and fall away because of conditions?

I don't mean that just sitting posture will help to arise right view. Sitting meditation may not even be necessary, I don't know. I just emphasize that if many people find sitting meditation helps them to understand some subtle truths (step by step, in a gradual way), then that's good. In the beginning they may meditate thinking that "I am meditating". But later after they understand the three characteristics, they will reach the stage where they find "there is observation, this is consciousness,...etc, arising and passing away, these are four noble truths... "


When wrong view of self taking a situation as a whole (someone practicing meditation), it hinders the understanding of what cause resulting in what effect. Can you tell me what exactly in that meditation process will give rise to panna?
And if one keeps thinking that wrong view can lead to right view, is one understanding the Buddha's teaching correctly?

I agree that we should understand phenomena as it arises


We should? Do you think understanding phenomena can arise at our will?
It leads to the question: what are the conditions for the arising of right understanding.

Best rgds,

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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:13 am

Hi DF,

I think that the points that Khun Sujin makes are very important, and worth careful consideration. But, of course, the ideas are not unique to her and her followers. I've heard many meditation teachers discuss this idea of lack of control. Sayadaw U Tejaniya is the most explicit, but almost every teacher I have paid attention to discuss the issue. It's common to hear teachers pointing out that one cannot control one's way into jhana, for example, all one can do is set up conditions. Also, it's common to translate Anatta as "no control" in Thai, so this idea is built into the language Thai monks and lay people use...

So, to me, the basic idea of "lack of control" is not particularly controversial, and is, in fact, rather obvious when one pays careful attention to the effectiveness of one's efforts to control.

What I disagree with is the extremes that some of KS's students take this argument to, claiming that any attempt at development is doomed to failure. In my view, visiting KS or discussing Dhamma just as much an attempt at control as attempting to meditate. The KS followers I've talked to object to this argument, but I'm afraid that (despite extensive on-line and off-line discussion) I am unable to understand their explanation of the difference between choosing to meditate, and choosing to read or discuss a Dhamma book. I guess I don't have good enough accumulations...

In summary, I'm grateful to have had interesting discussions with KS followers, which has been very helpful in thinking about Dhamma, even though I don't agree with all of their conclusions.

:anjali:
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:56 am

Dear Mike,

I think that the points that Khun Sujin makes are very important, and worth careful consideration. But, of course, the ideas are not unique to her and her followers. I've heard many meditation teachers discuss this idea of lack of control. Sayadaw U Tejaniya is the most explicit, but almost every teacher I have paid attention to discuss the issue. It's common to hear teachers pointing out that one cannot control one's way into jhana, for example, all one can do is set up conditions


I have attended some retreats under SUT at his centre in Burma. It is true he is, as far as I know, the most explicit about stretching "no control" , and I reckon that he might easily agree with many of Achaan Sujin's points. However, in AS's POV, the very idea of "practice" is somewhat at odds with anattaness. If all dhammas arise because of conditions, how can one predict/expect to have more moments of sati arising during the course of a formal retreat than other moments of daily life? If one equals the intention to have sati with sati itself, isn't it wrong understanding? Putting the intention aside, what is there in a retreat which can create more conditions for sati? Can real sati arise with wrong understanding of its characteristics and conditions?

"practice"- bhavana, understood commonly today as applying certain kinds of technique is explained altogether differently by AS. She would ask questions like "Who and what does the practice?", to which the answer will lead to a serious questioning of the idea of someone applying some technique to be what bhavana really means.

We all have learnt about nama and rupa, about citta, cetasikas, but easily forget to see that they arise now at this very moment. A moment of wrong understanding can not lead to a moment of right understanding. Therefore, right understanding must be there at the first place. And it should not be vague but very precise. The thinking that "now I will observe or I will keep mindfulness" is one of the example of wrong view, because it fails to understand sati as anatta.

That's some of the many details that I think make the difference between AS and other teachers, although they all talk about anatta.

What I disagree with is the extremes that some of KS's students take this argument to, claiming that any attempt at development is doomed to failure. In my view, visiting KS or discussing Dhamma just as much an attempt at control as attempting to meditate. The KS followers I've talked to object to this argument, but I'm afraid that (despite extensive on-line and off-line discussion) I am unable to understand their explanation of the difference between choosing to meditate, and choosing to read or discuss a Dhamma book. I guess I don't have good enough accumulations...


Whether one chooses to go to a retreat or to attend Dhamma discussions with AS, it all happens by condition. The thing is not what one should do, because there's no rule, but whether there is right understanding now. Association with the wise and listening to the true Dhamma are two first conditions for panna, but it is true,if one intends to attend to the discussions with the hope for panna to arise, then it won't work. Achaan says it should be the path of detachment and understanding. Actually, she usually strechts again and again the fact that the developing of panna is a extremely long process: it took the Bodhisatta 24 Buddha's sasana since he was first predicted to become a Buddha in the future. It took Ananda 100000 kappa...With that, all idea of trying to attain something simply drops...

Best rgds,
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:58 am

Hi DF,

Thanks. Of course those are all the same arguments I've seen many times before, so I'm afraid I'm a bit jaded...

I guess it is useful to see explicitly spelled out that, according to these arguments, believing that reading Dhamma book, visiting Kuhn Sujin, or discussing the Dhamma with friends will help to develop right view is just as misguided as thinking that deliberately watching body, feelings, etc, will help to develop right view.

Some of AS's students seemed to be denying that, but I may have been misunderstanding them. It's hard to get my head around the idea that people can have the motivation to fly to Bangkok to visit AS without developing some expectation that it will be helpful to do so...

:anjali:
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:08 am

Dear Mike,
I guess it is useful to see explicitly spelled out that, according to these arguments, believing that reading Dhamma book, visiting Kuhn Sujin, or discussing the Dhamma with friends will help to develop right view is just as misguided as thinking that deliberately watching body, feelings, etc, will help to develop right view.


Again, Mike, it's not what one does that matters, it is the understanding of anattaness,now. The path is not one of doing but of understanding.

Some of AS's students seemed to be denying that, but I may have been misunderstanding them. It's hard to get my head around the idea that people can have the motivation to fly to Bangkok to visit AS without developing some expectation that it will be helpful to do so


By conditions,

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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:09 pm

Hi DF,
dhamma follower wrote:Again, Mike, it's not what one does that matters, it is the understanding of anattaness, now. The path is not one of doing but of understanding.

Of course.

But I can't see how one can avoid the problem that by taking Kuhn Sujin's advice one may be taking action (or inaction) with less understanding than if one acted on some different advice. This suggestion I read/hear that "we have to understand anatta right now" seems to me to be just as much a suggestion of "action" (or inaction) as any other "method".

Unfortunately it seems like I'm just going round the same circuit of discussion that I've been around many times in the last few years. I probably should retire from such conversations... But thank you for your efforts.

:anjali:
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:02 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Hi DF,

Thanks. Of course those are all the same arguments I've seen many times before, so I'm afraid I'm a bit jaded...

I guess it is useful to see explicitly spelled out that, according to these arguments, believing that reading Dhamma book, visiting Kuhn Sujin, or discussing the Dhamma with friends will help to develop right view is just as misguided as thinking that deliberately watching body, feelings, etc, will help to develop right view.

Some of AS's students seemed to be denying that, but I may have been misunderstanding them. It's hard to get my head around the idea that people can have the motivation to fly to Bangkok to visit AS without developing some expectation that it will be helpful to do so...

:anjali:
Mike

I think there should be some knowledge of the conditions for right view, which are of course, hearing and considering correct Dhamma.
Only a Buddha can be enlightened without hearing Dhamma, and even he must have heard it in past lives.

Hence if one has the opportunity to hear Saddhadhamma - especially if it pertains to the heart of the teaching, anatta, then that is something worthy of making effort to travel and listen. As said In the Samyutta nikaya V (Sayings on stream entry p347 The great chapter Dhammadina ) 5oo rich merchants came to see the Buddha . They asked how they should live their lives. The Buddha suggested that they train themselves thus:



"
as to those discourses uttered by the Tathagatha, deep, deep in meaning, transcendental and concerned with the void (about anatta) from time to time we will spend our days learning them. That is how you must spend your days."


Compare this with people like the Indian yogi who is revered for holding his hand up in the air for over 15 years. He believes tapas is the way to go beyond. Some people would even rather sit in a jungle than listen to Dhamma-..

It is not about action as DF said, it is only about understanding- and that has to become firm at the theoretical level.

Again as DF has stressed Right View is key:
Only if there is right view is the eightfactored path being developed: "Bhikkhus, just as the dawn is the forerunner and first indication of the rising of the sun, so is right view the forerunner and first indication of wholesome states. For one of right view, bhikkhus, right intention springs up. For one of right intention, right speech springs up. For one of right speech, right action springs up. For one of right action, right livelihood springs up. For one of right livelihood, right effort springs up. For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up. For one of right concentration, right knowledge springs up. For one of right knowledge, right deliverance springs up. Anguttara Nikaya 10:121"
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:24 pm

Effort and Concentration are easy to have, the reason being that they arise with both kusala and akusala:
here is the descrption of (viriya)Effort in the Abidhamma:
We read from the Dhammasangani (376):

Katamam tasmim samaye viriyindriyam hoti? "What at that time is the faculty of effort/energy/endeavor?" "That which is mental endeavor (viriyarhambo), riddance of lethargy, exerting harder and harder, endeavoring higher and higher, striving, painstaking zeal, utmost exertion, steadfastness, resoluteness, unfaltering endeavor, having sustained desire (chanda) to strive, not relinquishing the task, discharging the task well, effort (viriya) as the faculty of effort, power of effort, WRONG effort -- this at that time is the faculty of endeavor."

Sounded nice until that last phrase didn't it. That is what wrong effort is.

Or Concentration:
As the Dhammasangani makes clear such factors as sukkham (mental ease) and samadhi do not neccesarily mean anything auspicious- it may in fact be only purified lobha: ""What on that occasion is ease (sukkham) the mental pleasure, the mental ease which on that occasion is pleasant, easeful experience born of contact ...What on that occasion is ekaggatta. The stability, solidity, absorbed steadfastness of thought which on that occasion is absence of distraction, balance, unperturbed mental procedure, quiet, the faculty and the power of concentration, WRONG concentration .'"------------
However, because these wrong concentration states are much less distracting and concentrated than normal daily life they are naturally attractive and deceiving.

Soooo , this Dhamma takes time to understand: listening and considering are essential. That is why one might fly to Bangkok to listen and discuss. One might value careful study , and certainly , I believe, one will take seriously the Abhidhamma and see that the heart of the Dhamma is anatta .
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby robertk » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:42 pm

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/127922
Dear friends,
Last month A. Sujin was in Poland.

during a walk at noon.

Acharn: Each moment is once in a lifetime, even a moment of sadness.
It never comes back. That is all. That is the way to have less
clinging. There must be the understanding of realities as not self,
otherwise it does not work at all.

Sarah: You said to Lukas that sadness seems so great, but that it is
nothing compared to what will come. Did you mean in this life or in
other lives?

Acharn: It depends on pa~n~naa whether it can see that. Sadness now
is not the same as sadness a moment ago.

Sarah: you often talk about passing a test. There cannot be the
passing of a test with this little bit of sadness now. What will it
be when it is something serious?

Acharn: One can see that the manner of development of pa~n~naa is
little by little. Otherwise there will not be great pa~n~naa. When
sound appears, think of nothing at all, no thing, except sound. Or
nothing at all, except hardness, only that is reality.

*******

Nina.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:04 pm

dhamma follower wrote:If we say, everything is anatta, everything arises and pass away by conditions, then think that we can intentionally sit and walk for sati to arise, isn't it a contradiction?


It only seems like a contradiction if there is still a view of self.

If some people say that there is no such thing as "free will" because of anatta... then they're actually still interpreting this idea of "free will" through the view of self. It's obvious to me that there is still such a thing as "free will"... people around you still do what they want, whether you want them to or not... it just has nothing to do with self.

It seems like most of confusion in this thread probably comes from some subtle views of self (or subtle misgrasping of anatta), that hasn't been noticed... due to the lack of right concentration, or mindfulness.

The way that the Buddha taught kamma... I think that this is probably one of the important clues on how we should approach his concept of anatta correctly.
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby daverupa » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:07 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:If we say, everything is anatta, everything arises and pass away by conditions, then think that we can intentionally sit and walk for sati to arise, isn't it a contradiction?


It only seems like a contradiction if there is still a view of self.

If some people say that there is no such thing as "free will" because of anatta... then they're actually still interpreting this idea of "free will" through the view of self. It's obvious to me that there is still such a thing as "free will"... people around you still do what they want, whether you want them to or not... it just has nothing to do with self.

It seems like most of confusion in this thread probably comes from some subtle views of self (or subtle misgrasping of anatta), that hasn't been noticed... due to the lack of right concentration, or mindfulness.

The way that the Buddha taught kamma... I think that this is probably one of the important clues on how we should approach his concept of anatta correctly.


:goodpost:
    "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: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:42 pm

Thanks Robert,
robertk wrote:Soooo , this Dhamma takes time to understand: listening and considering are essential. That is why one might fly to Bangkok to listen and discuss. One might value careful study , and certainly , I believe, one will take seriously the Abhidhamma and see that the heart of the Dhamma is anatta .

So, putting aside particular technical issues, there is the method of flying to Bangkok to discuss Dhamma, which will influence one's actions in particular directions, and there are methods of listening and discussing with other teachers and students, which will influence one's actions in different directions.

As I have said, I've learned a lot from conversations with you and other KS students, and, as you know, I have attempted to take the arguments seriously. However, I am still struck by the apparent lack of logic in the claim (by some) that the approach is completely free of desires, intentions, and views.

:anjali:
Mike
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