anatta and cetana and conditions for right view

Discussion of Abhidhamma and related Commentaries

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

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:20 am

Dear Rob,

Thanks for providing with textual support!

I think one of the difficulty for many people to accept this approach is that they don't see how correct intellectual understanding and wise consideration lead to direct awareness of reality. That's why there is usually the reaction like: "ok, we learn about citta and citasika in theory, then what? how to apply into practice?"

Do you have any material about that at hands?

Brgds,

Tam



robertk wrote:
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 dhamma follower » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:46 am

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


I hope you will tell me precisely how?

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.


Can you tell me what cetasika this "free-will" refers too? As far as the teaching is concerned, people are doing this or that because of wholesome or unwholesome intention, which is also a conditioned dhamma. Even if people seem to do what they want, that wanting is a conditioned dhamma.

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


Kamma and anatta have no problem. There is kamma and the result of kamma, not owner of kamma nor its result. That's all.

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

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:00 am

mikenz66 wrote: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


Dear Mike,

At the Buddha time, there were people who came to listen to the Buddha, and others came to listen to other teachers...So there is certainly a difference made whether what one listens to is the right Dhamma or not. You might then argue that they all teach the Buddha dhamma, but this should be carefully examined, whether what someone teaches (their understanding of the Buddha's words) is in accordance with the truth, that is "sabe dhamma anatta" among other key messages.
And again, there is no method such as flying to BKK or discussing. These things all happen by condition and should be understood as such. Only each moment of right understanding is counted as moment of the path, it has nothing to do with s.o, where, and how.

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

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:14 am

Hi, DF,

Yes, thanks. I think we will simply have to agree to differ whether or not the KS approach is or is not a method, or, for that matter, whether it is more (or less) correct than other methods. That question clearly will not be decided by discussion amongst unawakened beings.

However, you make some useful points to keep in mind.

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

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:47 am

dhamma follower wrote:
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


I hope you will tell me precisely how?


I will try... but could you tell me where you saw the contradiction?

dhamma follower wrote:
beeblebrox wrote: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.


Can you tell me what cetasika this "free-will" refers too?


According to the title of this thread, it seems like "free will" is seen as cetana.

dhamma follower wrote:As far as the teaching is concerned, people are doing this or that because of wholesome or unwholesome intention, which is also a conditioned dhamma. Even if people seem to do what they want, that wanting is a conditioned dhamma.


If that was the way you viewed the intention, then why see the contradiction earlier on?

dhamma follower wrote:
beeblebrox wrote: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


Kamma and anatta have no problem. There is kamma and the result of kamma, not owner of kamma nor its result. That's all.


There are few different ways of approaching anatta... I don't think that all of them could be seen as right views. That was why the comment above.
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby phil » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:48 am

mikenz66 wrote: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


Hi Mike

Speaking as a keen listerner to KS, I really doubt that anyone would ever clear that they were "completely free of etc etc." Of course they wouldn't. But I think at some point it might click for some people here that the meditation industry (and that includes the noblesque ordination route) promotes practices that are by the nature of defilments in this day and age and the weakness of kusala cittas bound to be rooted in lobha with ditthi. When there is honest consideration of the cittas at work in the pursuit of insight and jhanas in "meditation" (pseudo bhavana) and the cittas inolved when listening and reflecting in an unforced way I think eventually something clicks.
Personally, I love meditation. I do it every day, it is proven to be good for the brain, and having a mum with Alzheimers, that is attractive to me. It creates pleasant mind states that make the day nice, and I do believe that it can condition certain kinds of resilience to akusala kamma patha. (I would say less harsh speech, for example, when there is a lot of meditation, there are less knee-jerk responses to stimulae. ) But oh-so-obviously rooted in the belief that there is the ability to select and control dhammas, such a lot of wrong view. And so very different from the cittas involved in listening in an unforced way. Most of the time when I listen to KS, the mind just runs on and on, and nothing sinks in. At other times, thinks click. Completely unforced, anatta. That is one reason why I personally don't get involved in internet debates/"discussions", either here or at DSG. I think they force understanding in a lobha-ditthi rooted way. I think it is best just to listen, listen, listen, and fruitful reflection (rooted in alobha) will arise, or not, no seeking control. But I may be wrong
I hope that every time I post it will be accompanied by a wish for the wellbeing of everyone in this sangha and all beings.
(so I don't have to write "metta" every time!)


Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby robertk » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:38 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Rob,

Thanks for providing with textual support!

I think one of the difficulty for many people to accept this approach is that they don't see how correct intellectual understanding and wise consideration lead to direct awareness of reality. That's why there is usually the reaction like: "ok, we learn about citta and citasika in theory, then what? how to apply into practice?"

Do you have any material about that at hands?

Brgds,

Tam



]

Dear Tam
The thing is, is that panna cetasika (wisdom) - which invariably arises with other kusala cittas- is itself the way. If understanding arises while listening to Dhamma, or while considering Dhamma , that is the path or the prelim to the path.
Most of us though want something concrete, some sign to justify all the intense efforts we put in, and so are excited by strange experiences , subtle sensations, special concentration.

The path is different, it is seeing what is real and what is concept, little by little, and seeing that the way is all non-attachment , nothing "special", just the conditioned arising of elements that are nothing to do with 'us'.
I will add more later.
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby robertk » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:01 am

Dear Tam

Ti lakkahana is the three general characteristics ie. anicca, dukkha and anatta of all realities except nibbana(which is anatta only). But all realities also have visesa lakkhana - specific characteristics - and before the general characateristics can be penetrated there must be the insight into the specific. So the first stage of insight is called namarupaparicheddanan - the delimitation of mind and matter - and this insight clearly knows that mind and matter have distinctly different characteristics.

In the Mulapariyaya Sutta (see Bodhi "Root of Existence") the Buddha explains that


'the uninstructed worldling perceives earth as earth......and he perceives the seen as the seen ..the heard as he heard...the sensed as the sensed..the cognised as the cognised..Having perceived the cognised as the cognised he conceives himself as the cognised..in the cognised...apart from the cognised..the cognised is mine..What is the reason? Because it has not being fully understood.


The uninstructed worldling knows something of the characteristics of dhammas, he knows when he craves or feels angry. He can experience all types of subtle vibrations and hardness and coldness If he trains himself by yoga etc. He can know that these are changing and many other things. But he conceives them wrongly as being me or mine etc.. The enligthened one experiences these same dhammas but with the eye of wisdom.

From the commentary and tika to this sutta: p39

"
they bear their own characteristics, thus they are dhammas: This is said for the purpose of showing that these are mere dhammas endowed with the specific natures devoid of such attributions as that of 'being' etc... These dhammas are discovered as ultimately real actualities. [..] Also they are borne, or they are discerned, known, according to their specific nature, thus they are dhammas."



Many Buddhist begin by trying to see more and more subtle sensations of breath or body or feeling , thinking that unremitting focussing on elements is the path.
Many years can be spent doing these difficult practices, but they are a diversion from the real path which is one of understanding whatever appears as anatta- and that understanding can only arise when there is firm right intellectual understanding. And correct intellectual understanding is rather rare without which no further progress will occur.
The "uninstructed worldling" (p40 of Mulapariyaya) "needs to be taught, because he possesses neither learning(agama) nor achievement. For he who possesses neither the learning running counter to the activity of conceiving because he has neglected to study, question, and discriminate the aggregates (khandhas), elements, sense bases (ayatanas) truths, law of conditionality and foundations of mindfulness etc , nor spiritual achievement because he has failed to achieve what should be achived by practice is said to be 'uninstructed'.


Between the enlightened ones and the 'uninstructed worldling' there is the "good worldling" who is learning and developing correctly:


p41 "The Buddha, the kinsman of the sun, speaks of the worldling in a twofold way. One is the worldling blinded by darkness and the other is the worldling noble and good
"


Bhikkhu Bodhi notes in his introduction to Mulapariyaya p14 That


"in the stage of full understanding of the known, the gross object is analysed into its constituent dhammas and each dhamma is delimited in its distinct characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate cause. This procedure rectifies the common sense assumption of simple substantial unites, disclosing in its place a world of composite wholes brought temporarily together through a concatenation of conditions"
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:18 am

robertk wrote:
Dear Tam
The thing is, is that panna cetasika (wisdom) - which invariably arises with other kusala cittas- is itself the way. If understanding arises while listening to Dhamma, or while considering Dhamma , that is the path or the prelim to the path.


That is it! Sadhu! Thanks Robert!

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

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:36 am

Dear BBB,

I will try... but could you tell me where you saw the contradiction?

It is obvious:
1. When someone says: "everything is anatta", he must understands that sati, which is also a conditioned dhamma can not arise at s.o's will but because of its own conditions.
2. Thinking that someone can make sati to arise by deliberetly sit and walk
(1) and (2) are clearly contradictory.

According to the title of this thread, it seems like "free will" is seen as cetana


cetana is also a conditioned dhamma. Because it is conditioned, it is not "free". So "free will" is definitely not a Buddhist concept.

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

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:52 am

Dear Robert,

The "uninstructed worldling" (p40 of Mulapariyaya) "[i]needs to be taught, because he possesses neither learning(agama) nor achievement. For he who possesses neither the learning running counter to the activity of conceiving because he has neglected to study, question, and discriminate the aggregates (khandhas), elements, sense bases (ayatanas) truths, law of conditionality and foundations of mindfulness etc , nor spiritual achievement because he has failed to achieve what should be achived by practice is said to be 'uninstructed'.


Thanks! This reminds me of Achaan's words about how it is necessary to carefully study, consider and understand the true meaning of each word coming from the enlightenment of the Blessed One. We tend to underestimate his wisdom, thinking that it is something which can be easily understood.

Is there dhamma now?

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

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:04 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Dear BBB,

beeblebrox wrote:I will try... but could you tell me where you saw the contradiction?

It is obvious:
1. When someone says: "everything is anatta", he must understands that sati, which is also a conditioned dhamma can not arise at s.o's will but because of its own conditions.
2. Thinking that someone can make sati to arise by deliberetly sit and walk
(1) and (2) are clearly contradictory.


I still don't see... does this deliberation have something to do with self?

dhamma follower wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:According to the title of this thread, it seems like "free will" is seen as cetana


cetana is also a conditioned dhamma. Because it is conditioned, it is not "free". So "free will" is definitely not a Buddhist concept.


If someone was trying to influence your cetanas in certain ways, but was unsuccessful... you don't call these being free? They're not self (i.e., self-functioning entities) because they're still conditioned... but in certain ways they're unbounded.

Those cetanas might be useful to find in a practice (and if I understand correctly, they actually arise at every moment)... because they're what makes the freedom from greed, hatred and delusion possible. (Nibbana.)

I think that the main issue here seems to be that you think "free will" has some kind of inherent meaning to it... obviously not true. This term is also conditioned. The way that it is conditioned also depends on the view... so if you have some kind of a self-view, you're going to attach that kind of meaning to it. That is not useful for practice.

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

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:14 am

Dear BBB,
I still don't see... does this deliberation have something to do with self?


It is the view which is wrong. "I shall walk and sit maintaining sati". Sait does'nt arise because one decides to have it, but because of its own conditions.

If someone was trying to influence your cetanas in certain ways, but was unsuccessful... you don't call these being free? They're not self (i.e., self-functioning entities) because they're still conditioned... but in certain ways they're unbounded.

Those cetanas might be useful to find in a practice (and if I understand correctly, they actually arise at every moment)... because they're what makes the freedom from greed, hatred and delusion possible.


This kind of view shows that how it is necessary to study the Teaching carefully first, instead of holding to our own ideas about realities. The extract from Vn Dhammanando earlier in this thread can be helpful:

Actually intention (cetanā) is one of the universal mental factors (sabbacittasādhāraṇa cetasika), and so is present in every kind of citta, including vipākacittas. But the cetanā that arises with a vipākacitta is not kamma-producing; it merely performs the function of organizing its associated mental factors.

As for having control over it, bear in mind that intention is part of the fourth aggregate, formations. Concerning which the Buddha says:

"Bhikkhus, formations are not-self. Were formations self, then these formations would not tend to affliction, and one could have it of formations: 'Let my formations be thus, let my formations be otherwise.' But since formations are not-self, so they tend to affliction, and none can have it of formations: 'Let my formations be thus, let my formations be otherwise."
(Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta


A longer explanation can be read at the first page of this thread.

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

Postby SamKR » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:58 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear BBB,

It is the view which is wrong. "I shall walk and sit maintaining sati". Sait does'nt arise because one decides to have it, but because of its own conditions.


Ok, I understand Sati doesn't arise because one decides to have it but it arises because of its own conditions. So one's decision to have sati and the actual arising of sati are not causally related. However, they can be correlated, which we can verify from experience ( I guess one of the causes of the illusion of self is this very correlation).
Of course, it's better not to feed the sense of self by thinking "I will maintain my sati", or "I will do good things" (It would be perfect if we could reach that level all at once and act without feeding any sense of self, but that's hard in real life). But if somebody thinks "I will do good deeds", and actually does good deeds, and actually gets the fruit of his good deeds, then isn't it better than not doing good deeds?
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:14 am

dhamma follower wrote:It is the view which is wrong. "I shall walk and sit maintaining sati". Sait does'nt arise because one decides to have it, but because of its own conditions.

This is not controversial, and is exactly what one hears from many teachers. The point of departure for KS (and/or her followers) appears to be in the insistence that it is not possible to have any influence on those conditions.

To me, the argument over-reaches by over-simplifying. That one cannot have direct control over the cells in one's body does not man that diet and exercise can not influence body structure and health. Similarly, that one cannot "will understanding" or "control cittas" does not, in itself, rule out the possibility of influencing mental development.

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

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:13 am

Dear Mike and Sam,

As we clearly agree that sati can not arise because one decides to have sati but because of its own conditions, it will be pertinent to ask, what are the conditions for the arising of sati. We read in the Atthasalini:

... Mindfulness has "not floating away" as its characteristic, unforgetfulness as its function, guarding, or the state of facing the object, as its manifestation, firm remembrance (sanna) or application in mindfulness as regards the body, etc., as proximate cause. It should be regarded as a door-past from being firmly established in the object, and as a door-keeper from guarding the door of the senses.


Nina Van Gorkom explains more about the above:

As we have seen, the Atthasalini states that the proximate cause of mindfulness is firm remembrance (sanna) or the four applications of mindfulness (satipatthana). There can be mindfulness of the nama or rupa which appears because of firm remembrance of all we learnt from the teachings about nama and rupa. Listening is mentioned in the scriptures as a most important condition for the attainment of enlightenment, because when we listen time and again, there can be firm remenbrance of the Dhamma. Mindfulness is different from remembrance, sanna. Sanna accompanies every citta; it recognizes the object and "marks" it, so that it can be recognized again. Mindfulness, sati, is not forgethe of what is wholesome. It arises with sobhana cittas. But when there is sati which is non-forgetfuI of dana, sila, of the object of calm or, in the case of vipassana, of the nama and rupa appearing at the present moment, there is also kusala sanna which remembers the object in the right way, in the wholesome way.
The other proximate cause of mindfulness is the four applications of mindfulness or satipatthana (1 satipatthana means mindfulness of vipassana or the object of mindfulness of vipassana.) . All realities can be object of mindfulness in the development of insight and are thus included in the four applications of mindfulness which are rupa, feeling, citta and dhamma. For those who have accumulations to develop calm to the degree of jhana and to develop insight as well, also jhanacitta can be object of mindfulness in vipassana, in order to see it as non-self. Right understanding of realities is developed through mindfulness of any nama or rupa which appears now, be it akusala citta, maha-kusala citta, jhanacitta or any other reality. One should not try to direct mindfulness to a particular object; there is no self who can have power over any reality or who can direct sati. There is not any reality which is excluded from the four applications of mindfulness.


You said:

To me, the argument over-reaches by over-simplifying. That one cannot have direct control over the cells in one's body does not man that diet and exercise can not influence body structure and health. Similarly, that one cannot "will understanding" or "control cittas" does not, in itself, rule out the possibility of influencing mental development


I think we can agree that the “influencing mental development” doesn’t come from someone’s will, but from “hearing the right dhamma, and wise considering (yoniso manasikara) again and again”, which are also conditioned dhammas. In other words, someone can choose to listen and study this or that teacher or just do sitting, it is also conditioned. It is easy to say "anatta", but it is much more difficult to really accept that "I choosing" is also a conditioned dhamma. But that very understanding can be one of the conditions to what comes next.

However, they can be correlated, which we can verify from experience ( I guess one of the causes of the illusion of self is this very correlation).


As Robert has posted above:

'the uninstructed worldling perceives earth as earth......and he perceives the seen as the seen ..the heard as he heard...the sensed as the sensed..the cognised as the cognised..Having perceived the cognised as the cognised he conceives himself as the cognised..in the cognised...apart from the cognised..the cognised is mine..What is the reason? Because it has not being fully understood.
The uninstructed worldling knows something of the characteristics of dhammas, he knows when he craves or feels angry. He can experience all types of subtle vibrations and hardness and coldness If he trains himself by yoga etc. He can know that these are changing and many other things. But he conceives them wrongly as being me or mine etc.. The enligthened one experiences these same dhammas but with the eye of wisdom.


The problem is, we very often, take what is not sati to be sati, for lack of theoretical knowledge of the real characteristics of sati. A murderer can relate very well what has happened exactly, but it is not sati. Awereness of what is going on is not necessarily sati. Sati arises only with kusala cittas, as mentioned above by Nina Van Gorkom. Sati of satipathana is something even of rarer occurrence, as it should be accompanied with clear comprehension of a reality as just a reality. Moreover, realities are just extremely short moments arising and falling away. Each moment is a citta which can be accompanied by different cetasikas. So one moment of sati can be followed by one moment of akusala or vice versa. Since they arise and fall away so fast, we have this illusion of "I am aware".

More on sati can be read here:
http://www.vipassana.info/cetasikas28.html

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

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:06 am

Hi DF,

dhamma follower wrote:I think we can agree that the “influencing mental development” doesn’t come from someone’s will, ...

Of course, it would be ludicrous to claim that one can "will development", so that is not an issue.
dhamma follower wrote:... but from “hearing the right dhamma, and wise considering (yoniso manasikara) again and again”, which are also conditioned dhammas. In other words, someone can choose to listen and study this or that teacher or just do sitting, it is also conditioned. It is easy to say "anatta", but it is much more difficult to really accept that "I choosing" is also a conditioned dhamma. But that very understanding can be one of the conditions to what comes next.
...

Thanks. It seems we agree that choosing to do certain things will condition our development. That's progress. Of course we most likely have some technical disagreements on who we should listen to in order to make sure we are “hearing the right dhamma".
dhamma follower wrote:The problem is, we very often, take what is not sati to be sati ...

No disagreement with that!

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

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:35 am

Dear Mike,

It seems we agree that choosing to do certain things will condition our development. That's progress


This is a tricky one: the development is not in the choosing, but in the moment of right understanding of what is heard or of wise considering of the present dhamma. Apart from those moments of right understanding, there's no vipassana bhavana. There can be listening or reading without right understanding at all. We should not forget that all moments of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching are all vipaka and as a non Buddha, we don't know all the kamma which cause what vipaka to arise. If we try to create the conditions for sati and panna to arise, it is likely to be done with lobha and the wrong idea of self creating a favorable situation, then it is off the path again.

When asked what is the condition for yoniso manasikara to arise, AS said:
Why do you want to know about it?
The real reason we should know about all these dhammas is to understand better and better anattaness.

Is there understanding now? she would ask.

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

Postby robertk » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:34 am

Dear Mike,
the conditions for wisdom to arise are hearing and considering Saddhamma.

On the other hand some people think that some technique is one of the conditions. There are many such techniques and they vary: the mahasi, u ba khin, sunlun, Dhammakaya and so on, but all take intense efforts, long periods of unremitting focusing and the promise of rapid progress.
Such intense concentration inevitably brings special experiences: some pleasant, some unpleasant - and in some of these techniques the instructors suggest that whatever these 'experiences', provided they have some ultra-normal characteristic, whether fear or rapture, shaking or bliss, heavy or light etc etc as being indicative of progress.

,
So to find which is right, one has to learn what wisdom really is, and what the real conditions for such wisdom are.
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Re: anatta and cetana (will, intention): Kamma negated?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:26 am

Dear Robert,

As you know, I've always found your words and posts useful. In fact, without your insightful comments I would have completely dismissed KS's approach years ago.
robertk wrote:So to find which is right, one has to learn what wisdom really is, and what the real conditions for such wisdom are.

We certainly don't disagree on that. And don't disagree that much of what people take to be progress is spurious.

Thank you for your wisdom. I hope I can continue to learn...

:anjali:
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