cultivating wisdom?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
alan...
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cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:08 am

morality: easy, straightforward.

concentration: little more difficult but fairly straightforward, it's something to work on, to develop a skill. some variation from teacher to teacher but nonetheless one can describe simple steps to practice it and the goal relatively easily.

wisdom: um... what? i've read plenty of suttas and modern teachers teachings on how to develop this, there is a ton of variation and i'm kind of confused. getting wisdom is not like abstaining from alcohol, non violence, watching the breath or trying to enter jhana, which are all things you can simply DO, wisdom is something that you have to learn but simply reading about it does not do this, and there's a huge amount of variation on what practices lead to wisdom. help?

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mirco
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby mirco » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:34 am

Well, what you are talking about is for monastics.

Start with DANA and work your way up.

No foundation, no peace.

Regards :-)
Last edited by mirco on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -

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DAWN
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby DAWN » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:49 am

Wisdom is fruit of Right Mindfullness, and nature of Right Mindfullness is Wisdom.

Right Mindfullness is born from calm, detachement, clearity, openess...
The one who is wise can take a position out of situation, and by this ability of detachement he can see clearly, without be "impoisoned". When there is a self appropriation, there is no wisdom.

Right Mindfullness + Right Concentration = Insight

If we take some similie we can compare:
- wisdom as a resolution of camera screen, a number of pixels, more there is a resolution more there is a clearity, more there is a quality, more details can be seen.
- concentarion as a zoom of camera.

When great resolution is associated with great zoom - the one's mind is able to see deeply the whole picture.

Good advice from mirco. Wisdom can not be developped without perfect morality, without dana, without detachement, because wisdom is fruit of detachement.

Friendly :anjali:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...

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ground
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby ground » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:59 am


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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:21 am

To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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mirco
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby mirco » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:57 pm

"An important term for meditative absorption is samadhi. We often translate that as concentration, but that can suggest a certain stiffness. Perhaps unification is a better rendition, as samadhi means to bring together. Deep samadhi isn't at all stiff. It's a process of letting go of other things and coming to a unified experience." -

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Ben
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:25 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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daverupa
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby daverupa » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:31 pm

Basically:

Do satipatthana 24/7, supported by morality, and the resultant composure of the mind makes seeing cause & effect, anicca, and so forth easier - over time, of course, but in any environment. When possible, sit down and engage in the fulfillment of satipatthana (i.e. anapanasati) in order to foment jhana, making the asavas available for pruning.

panna feeds back into sila and samadhi; there's a sutta where the Buddha compares sila and panna to two hands which wash each other.

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Dan74
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:35 pm

My sense of it is that wisdom naturally manifests when the obstructions are removed. The chatter and clutter of the mind have to give way. It's a kind of a clear seeing of something without being enmeshed in it, invested in it emotionally. You see how it is, that's what I understand by wisdom. Plus you know the right course of action. This comes from a clear seeing of all involved and having the well-being of all as the driving motive for action.

I guess this aligns with what others have said already.
_/|\_

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Sam Vara
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:09 pm


alan...
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:24 pm

so it sounds like everyone is saying that these things more or less come about naturally. ie: practice morality, mindfulness and anapanasati (concentration) and wisdom will arise on it's own. however this would mean that there is nothing for the buddha to teach other than morality, mindfulness and anapanasati. however as i stated in the OP more or less, wisdom is something to be cultivated directly as far as i can tell from the suttas.

if mindfulness, concentration and morality alone brought about the right kind of wisdom then people would be reaching nibbana all over the world since long before the buddha and up to modern times spontaneously. there are many mindful, meditative and moral people throughout history and up to today that, according to this idea, should have reached nibbana on their own. however this is not the case (or argue this is the case by redefining "nibbana" or "enlightenment" and that people do and have reached it spontaneously with no knowledge of the dhamma, but from a traditional buddhist perspective this is not the case so either accept that or leave it alone, i'm talking about traditional buddhism, not other traditions or secular view points), only the buddha learned the dhamma and passed it on and only through practicing that dhamma do people reach nibbana. this means his words and teachings are necessary in a much broader scope than simply mindfulness, morality and concentration, the "wisdom" factor is clearly important and must come about in part through other means. not to mention the huge number of suttas where wisdom is discussed. if it could only come about through the above methods it would not need to be discussed like that as there would be no point to come up with methods to develop it since they wouldn't work.

for example there are numerous examples of people gaining wisdom in the suttas by hearing the dhamma. there are a few examples of people reaching nibbana simply by hearing dhamma. there are a huge number of suttas where contemplative methods are discussed, so clearly wisdom depends on more than just these practices mentioned above. there has to be some kind of cognition and learning involved and perhaps active reflection on the teachings. otherwise why do we need the thousands of suttas and all the variation? shouldn't there just be suttas dedicated to morality, concentration and mindfulness and that would be enough? as it is there are countless suttas that are supposed to impart wisdom more or less and be reflected upon or techniques to reflect on reality to develop wisdom.

i don't know where this attitude of thoughtless mindfulness and meditation bringing about perfect buddhist wisdom comes from and i don't see how it's possible. EDIT: hmmm. i worded that poorly, what i'm saying is people keep saying it all comes from mindfulness and what not as if prior knowledge or contemplation of wisdom is not required. there must be more instruction than just mindfulness, concentration and morality. END EDIT

seriously, imagine picking two groups of 100 people, none of them know anything about buddhism.

group A is taught the full dhamma and trained in all aspects for ten years and they live in a safe, comfortable buddhist temple.

group B is told literally nothing except how to meditate, the morality rules, and all mindfulness techniques but absolutely none of the teachings surrounding any of this and they live in a place with all the amenities and what not that group A has but it's just an anonymous building, not buddhist decorated or anything but just as safe, secure and comfortable. they also live there for ten years.

which group is more likely to have developed more buddhist wisdom after the ten years is over?

i'd be willing to bet group A would have produced some very wise individuals, learned in the dhamma with deep understanding of it's ways and group B would have produced some calm and thoughtful people but their revelations and wisdom would be far from what the buddha taught. group B would probably have people who develop their own philosophies on life that would vary greatly. there would be groups that get together and agree on things and individuals who stand alone, but none would spontaneously develop wisdom into the dhamma in the buddhist sense without knowing about it first.

hence, tell someone the goal, methods, and the path and it's easier to reach it, tell them only the methods and give them no direction and they probably will never get there. like giving a traveler a map, destination, and a horse, they'll get there fairly easy. give them just the horse and nothing else and they could end up anywhere!

or perhaps i'm totally full of it. i really don't know. i'm just explaining my view point more clearly. my OP is the result of having already used non-contemplative mindfulness, morality and meditation techniques for seven years with no results other than calm and clear thoughts and other improvements but no real buddhist progress. now i'm using the suttas directly and the methods within and having great progress but i'm wondering if i'm developing wisdom properly and how this is to be done.

basically, without knowledge of the wise ideas surrounding the dhamma and the wisdom one is supposed to develop, one is not likely to develop any kind of predictable wisdom.
Last edited by alan... on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:10 pm, edited 9 times in total.

alan...
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:27 pm


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Ben
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:36 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

alan...
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:48 pm


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mikenz66
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:08 pm


alan...
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:09 pm


detrop
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby detrop » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:31 pm


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Ben
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:41 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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mikenz66
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:47 pm


alan...
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:49 am



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