cultivating wisdom?

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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:27 am

alan... wrote:but as i keep saying these practices alone will not develop buddhist wisdom

Yes, the context is very important.
I think Ledi Sayadaw said it best when he described vipassana meditation as "insight exercises". Meditation, in essence, is just a methodology or skillful means that cultivate the mind for wholesome dhammas to arise.

you can't get to somewhere without a destination in mind and a map just because you are riding a horse as you can't get wisdom just by meditating, you have to know the kind of knowledge you're looking for and have an idea about the progression. otherwise you may become very wise from these practices but it would be doubtful that your wisdom would be anything like the very specific dhamma wisdom.

I would caution you with regards to the above statement. You can be sure that the destination (whether it be nibbana, or jhana) is very different to one's idea of it. In fact, having some idea of the destination can very easily turn into subtle craving for this or that attainment which then becomes an insurmountable barrier to it. One only need see some practitioners of "hardcore dhamma" to see how intense craving and fixation on particular attainments have warped perceptions so that some actually mistakenly believe mundane experiences as artefacts of ariyan attainment.

In my experience, the old samurai adage of "expect nothing - but be ready for anything" is a good attitude to have with regards to spiritual practice. Similarly, my teacher often says to his students "All you need do is observe, and leave the rest to Dhamma!"

But by saying the above, I am not advocating an anti-intellectualism. Its great to have theoretical knowledge of the Dhamma and the path. However vaulable it is in illuminating the path, that sort of knowledge is provisional. The Dhamma path is a path that has to be lived, experienced, practiced. Another saying from my teacher: "Pariyatti (study) and Patipatti (practice) should go hand in hand"
with metta,

Ben
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:14 am

Ben wrote:
alan... wrote:but as i keep saying these practices alone will not develop buddhist wisdom

Yes, the context is very important.
I think Ledi Sayadaw said it best when he described vipassana meditation as "insight exercises". Meditation, in essence, is just a methodology or skillful means that cultivate the mind for wholesome dhammas to arise.

you can't get to somewhere without a destination in mind and a map just because you are riding a horse as you can't get wisdom just by meditating, you have to know the kind of knowledge you're looking for and have an idea about the progression. otherwise you may become very wise from these practices but it would be doubtful that your wisdom would be anything like the very specific dhamma wisdom.

I would caution you with regards to the above statement. You can be sure that the destination (whether it be nibbana, or jhana) is very different to one's idea of it. In fact, having some idea of the destination can very easily turn into subtle craving for this or that attainment which then becomes an insurmountable barrier to it. One only need see some practitioners of "hardcore dhamma" to see how intense craving and fixation on particular attainments have warped perceptions so that some actually mistakenly believe mundane experiences as artefacts of ariyan attainment.

In my experience, the old samurai adage of "expect nothing - but be ready for anything" is a good attitude to have with regards to spiritual practice. Similarly, my teacher often says to his students "All you need do is observe, and leave the rest to Dhamma!"

But by saying the above, I am not advocating an anti-intellectualism. Its great to have theoretical knowledge of the Dhamma and the path. However vaulable it is in illuminating the path, that sort of knowledge is provisional. The Dhamma path is a path that has to be lived, experienced, practiced. Another saying from my teacher: "Pariyatti (study) and Patipatti (practice) should go hand in hand"
with metta,

Ben



fully agree! couldn't have said it better myself! i like the samurai reference as well :smile: .
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:41 am

No worries, Alan.
At some stage, you might wish to consider attending a residential retreat.
Its an experience that I highly recommend.
with metta,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:13 am

Ben wrote:No worries, Alan.
At some stage, you might wish to consider attending a residential retreat.
Its an experience that I highly recommend.
with metta,

Ben


some day when i'm rich. as it is i'm poor poor poor so i've always got to be here working, and i live no where near any temples other than a zen temple. otherwise i would have already gone to many. heck if i didn't have so much responsibilities i would have ordained already and plan to when i'm older. in like twenty years or so. can fifty year old men become monks?
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:22 am

There are some excellent places you can go to meditate if you don't have much money.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:23 am

Ben wrote:There are some excellent places you can go to meditate if you don't have much money.



such as?
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:32 am

There are a number of sub-traditions that will offer a place for a yogi on a donation basis.
Such as the sub-tradition in which I practice. Many students attend a ten-day course and stay to serve. Some continue to 'sit and serve' for months at a time.
www.dhamma.org
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:56 am

Ben wrote:There are a number of sub-traditions that will offer a place for a yogi on a donation basis.
Such as the sub-tradition in which I practice. Many students attend a ten-day course and stay to serve. Some continue to 'sit and serve' for months at a time.
http://www.dhamma.org
kind regards,

Ben



thanks
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby whynotme » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:16 pm

Hi Alan,

Here is the Lakkhana Sutta, which has many things to learn and to follow.
http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Lakkhana_Sutta

And about wisdom:

"Monks, in whatever former life...the Tathágata approached an ascetic or Brahmin and asked, "Sir, what is the good and what is the bad? What is blameworthy, what is not? What course is to be followed, what is not? What, if I do it, will be to my lasting sorrow and harm, what to my lasting happiness?" ...On returning to this Earth he acquired this mark of a great man: his skin is so delicate and smooth that no dust can adhere to his body.

"Being endowed with this mark...as a ruler he will be very wise, and among the un-renounced there will be none equal or superior to him in wisdom...As a Buddha he will have great wisdom, extensive wisdom, joyous wisdom, swift wisdom, penetrative wisdom, discerning wisdom, and among all beings there will be none equal to him or superior to him in wisdom." This was what the Lord declared.


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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby manas » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:54 pm

Alan, I'm glad you find samadhi "fairly straightforward" cos personally I've had a very long and hard struggle with it, which is ongoing.

As for wisdom, just to keep exerting ourselves in the practice requires a degree of wisdom, imo. Otherwise why wake up early every day to sit, abstain from various things, etc? Why not just take it easy and enjoy the ordinary pleasures of life?
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby vinasp » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:00 am

Hi alan...

Is wisdom itself actually cultivated?

Perhaps wisdom is the right way of knowing, it is what is left when all the wrong ways
of knowing have been eliminated.

First stage: eliminate views.
Second stage: eliminate wrong ways of 'regarding' things.
Third stage: eliminate knowing in terms of 'I am'.

Of course, one has to see why the wrong ways of knowing are wrong.

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:27 am

manas wrote:Alan, I'm glad you find samadhi "fairly straightforward" cos personally I've had a very long and hard struggle with it, which is ongoing.

As for wisdom, just to keep exerting ourselves in the practice requires a degree of wisdom, imo. Otherwise why wake up early every day to sit, abstain from various things, etc? Why not just take it easy and enjoy the ordinary pleasures of life?


well it is a struggle, but at least you know what you're trying to do! you sit down, focus on your breath, etc. you're on a road with an idea of a destination. my problem is that with wisdom i have no idea what i'm doing some of the time. i feel like it should be easier to see direction in cultivation and all that.

i like that you say simply practice is wise. i read a quote i love one time: "practice is perfect" beautiful.
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:34 am

vinasp wrote:Hi alan...

Is wisdom itself actually cultivated?

Perhaps wisdom is the right way of knowing, it is what is left when all the wrong ways
of knowing have been eliminated.

First stage: eliminate views.
Second stage: eliminate wrong ways of 'regarding' things.
Third stage: eliminate knowing in terms of 'I am'.

Of course, one has to see why the wrong ways of knowing are wrong.

Regards, Vincent.



well here's my thoughts: the eighfold path is divided up into wisdom, morality and concentration. concentration includes mindfulness, effort and concentration, so all the people saying mindfulness is how you get wisdom is confusing me. then morality is right view, speech, and livelihood. then wisdom is right view and right thought. both of those things can be volitional activities, correcting ones views can be a thing you can think about and accomplish, and even right view is something you can attempt to cultivate. as opposed to simply being mindful and waiting for wisdom while behaving morally.

see what i'm saying?

obviously they all come together, but while they're separate, why can't we explain wisdom as easily as concentration and morality. morality is the easiest and then concentration is at least a progressive thing: sit down, pick a meditation object, meditate in this way, eventually you can go through these states of mind, and so on. there is nothing like this for wisdom as far as i can tell. does anyone know otherwise?
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:49 am

Study some of the more technical aspects of the Dhamma, such as Paṭiccasamuppāda. Read the Suttas or if you already have, study them some more, especially some of the more technical parts.

You are asking lots of good questions. I admire your adhitthana (determination; a paramita).
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:51 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Study some of the more technical aspects of the Dhamma, such as Paṭiccasamuppāda. Read the Suttas or if you already have, study them some more, especially some of the more technical parts.

You are asking lots of good questions. I admire your adhitthana (determination; a paramita).

Thanks! And thanks for the advice!
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby vinasp » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:29 am

Hi alan...

Yes, but there is also another way of understanding the path.

Right thought, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration are
the RESULT of right view. All the other path factors are the automatic consequences of
right view, which only noble disciples have. [see SN 45.1]

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Regards, Vincent.
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby alan... » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:46 am

vinasp wrote:Hi alan...

Yes, but there is also another way of understanding the path.

Right thought, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration are
the RESULT of right view. All the other path factors are the automatic consequences of
right view, which only noble disciples have. [see SN 45.1]

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Regards, Vincent.



good point.
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby ground » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:06 am

After having been told "what you are", just sit and verify through watching arising and cessation of "what you are". :sage:
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Re: cultivating wisdom?

Postby mirco » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:43 pm

12. WISDOM (paññā): Wisdom means seeing clearly the impersonal process of Dependent Origination. If every time we see the word WISDOM mentioned in any form throughout the texts, we first consider that reference is being made directly concerning ‘the process of dependent origination’, then we will find new meaning in reading the texts. The word wisdom is found in many contexts: As in "and his taints were destroyed with his seeing with wisdom", "he sees with wisdom", "he is wise". Just the word wisdom by itself anywhere should be considered first as being in this context unless it’s very obviously referring to something else.
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