The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dhamma follower
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:54 am

Dear Sam KR

SamKR wrote:
My questions is: How is this intention to do "formal" practice necessarily different from intention to listen and consider right dhamma? How only this so called "formal" practice is based on wrong view of self? Can't the so called "formal" practice be practiced without wrong view of self? Can't there be conditions for the intention to practice formally (other than wrong view of self) just like there are conditions for the intention to listen and consider dhamma (as Kevin stated above)?

No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.

Edit: corrected a sentence


The difference is one is the teaching of the Buddha (that listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration condition the arising of sati-panna) and the other (that intending to have sati by formal practice) is not, it is the contrary to the Buddha's teaching on anattaness and dependent originations.

Furthermore, even listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration are also conditioned. If this is not understood, then it would also become a ritual. So it all depends on understanding, not on the doing. Without hearing the right words and wise consideration of it, however, there will not be conditions for panna to arise. Should we dispute with the Buddha about it?

You maintained that "formal" practice can be done rightly after listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration. However, AS suggests that if one thinks of "formal practice", it simply means that there's not been right understanding of what had been heard, because a self-view is still there.

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:56 am

Dear Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:No one I know claims that these things arise from "will" so I presume you are talking about some teachers I don't know about.

:anjali:
Mike


So why there has to be a formal practice?

Brgds,

D.F

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:59 am

Possibly some a drawn to sitting and walking due to a past conditions developed and it is appropriate for their temperament.

The practice of formal meditation is also part of the tradition, which has allowed the teaching to be passed down from the time of the Buddha.

It is something that is encouraged by the wise.

It's benefits can be experienced here and now.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:59 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Please restate. The above is not at all clear to me.


The stretching on "formal practice" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will. Otherwise, why the idea of formal practice at all?

Is it clearer now?

D.F
"The stretching on" is a bit obscure, but I think I get your meaning here.

Let me ask you, using conventional language, one can act intentionally -- kamma --, and does not such an action give rise to dhammas? Could not these dhammas then, in turn, be the conditions for the arising of sati? Speaking conventionally, one can certainly act in such a way that the conditions for sati arise. That is not say to that one just sits on a cushion and say: "Arise sati!!!" But it is to say that one can cultivate conditions that lead to the arising of sati. Even your method claims as much, but just in a more circumbendibus way.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:02 am

dhamma follower wrote:The difference is one is the teaching of the Buddha (that listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration condition the arising of sati-panna) and the other (that intending to have sati by formal practice) is not, it is the contrary to the Buddha's teaching on anattaness and dependent originations.
This is a claim that no one here has yet demonstrated, and -- I am sorry to say -- it smacks of the worst sort of sectarianism. If there is value to the Sujin type of practice, it is not well served by this sort of we-have-it-you-don't approach.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:I am repeating the following because dhamma follower did not reply to it, and I would like him to do so.

===========================================

    dhamma follower wrote:
    As it has been said, the choice doesn't belong to anyone, it is cetana perfoming its functions, but ignorance takes it for "mine" or "his".

    Understanding that it is not "me", but only elements arising by conditions is what constitutes right view, an indispensable factor of the Path, isn't it?

    Best wishes,
    D.F
    It depends, but until you have awakening you have to work with the "me" and "mine." Also, since this is the classical section we can talk about things using conventional or ultimate language. Conventional language is less clumsy.

    The Buddha did not speak falsely:

      By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled;
      By oneself is evil shunned, by oneself is one refined.

      To polish or stain, on ourselves it depends,
      For a person cannot by another be cleansed.

      (Dhammapada 165)

    See:

    viewtopic.php?f=19&t=520&p=5963&hilit=conventional#p5963


    From the commentary to the Anguttara Nikaya:
    Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathā, whereas references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā.

    To one who is capable of awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathā , the teaching is not presented on the basis of paramattha-kathā, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā. There is this simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which
    each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā. It is by taking into consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
    AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55

    http://kr.buddhism.org/~skb/down/papers/094.pdf
    sammuti-kathā is not inferior to paramattha-kathā. And since this is not an Abhidhamma section we need not be limited to trying to speak in Abhidhamma-ese.


Dear Tilt,

I believe it refers to the kind of being with quick understanding, those who have had accumulated such a great deal of wisdom that one short sentence in common language is enough for them to get it.

For us, not only we need more elaboration in details on realities, but also many lives time...

What, according to you, arises and passes away? Can a house, a person arise and passe away?

The stages of vipassana insights all have paramatha as objects, don't they?

Brgds,

D.F

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SamKR
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:16 am

dhamma follower wrote:Furthermore, even listening to the right Dhamma and wise consideration are also conditioned. If this is not understood, then it would also become a ritual. So it all depends on understanding, not on the doing. Without hearing the right words and wise consideration of it, however, there will not be conditions for panna to arise. Should we dispute with the Buddha about it?


In my limited understanding, the relationship between the teaching about not-self and the teaching about intentionally doing any practice is very complicated -- which the Buddha had to face. It was his great patience and skill that he managed to teach both at the same time to different people having different levels of wisdom; that's why he is a samma-sambuddha.

In my limited understanding, initial right view about no self is a tool for the final direct realization of no self. A person intentionally uses this tool (ie., initial right view about no self) while understanding the complication and acknowledging his sense of self that he is stuck with -- towards the final direct realization of no self
Last edited by SamKR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:35 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:18 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Tilt,

I believe it refers to the kind of being with quick understanding, those who have had accumulated such a great deal of wisdom that one short sentence in common language is enough for them to get it.


I don't thinks so. These verses from the Dhammapada are quite straightforward and are clearly aimed at not some sort of person with paramis to burn, but rather it is directed to anyone, and its language is clear and direct. One does not need the complexities of the Abhidhamma to understand what it being said, nor does one need the complexities of the Abhidhamma to put it into practice.

    By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one defiled;
    By oneself is evil shunned, by oneself is one refined.

    To polish or stain, on ourselves it depends,
    For a person cannot by another be cleansed.

    (Dhammapada 165)
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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SamKR
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:24 am

mikenz66 wrote:Your post neatly summarises the origin of my total incomprehension of the arguments put forward by the Khun Suhin students. I've been asking that question for five years or so and have never got an answer that I can understand.


Hello Mike,

If you have not got a satisfactory answer in five years, probably I will not either.
But Khun Sujin's students say many interesting and useful things and I like that. So, I want to see by trying to seek satisfactory answer to the question; there might be something fundamental that I have not understood.

Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana...").
Exactly.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:38 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Dan

Dan74 wrote:Hi DF

Of course we are all well-served to study the teachings - this is not in dispute. The question to me is how do we apply the teachings in our lives?

Do we verify the Dhamma through experience by insight into its actual workings as it happens, do we train the mind so that it is clear and sharp, to see how defilement and clinging arises and cut it off at the root? Or do we rely on the words and trust our untrained confused and deluded mind to apply them properly?


Behind this question is the idea of "self" who can do something... When listening to the right Dhamma, i.e- the Dhamma on realities and anattaness, if there is understanding, it will understand that whatever appears now (seeing, hearing etc...)is only dhamma, not me. Seeing now arises because there's the visible object, eye sense, and eye consciousness, not "I" seeing someone or something. That's how the Teachings are applied in our lives. Not you, me or anyone can do anything. It is the function of panna to do the work.

At first, panna is only of the intellectual level. It is the beginning of the development of understanding. By hearing more about details of realities, and more consideration of what has been heard, which pertains to now, this intellectual understanding can grow, but only gradually, until thira sanna (firm rememberance ) is established and can condition the arising of sati which is directly aware of realities.The development of panna takes a long time, very very long time....

Brgrd,
D.F


Hi DF,

A good friend used to say "Buddhist practice is not a self-improvement project" and at least in the long term I agree. I also addressed this point several times in my previous posts and I am at a loss why you don't engage with this. I also don't see why listening to the Dhamma is more of a selfless practice than meditation.

Dhamma Follower, I am perplexed - are you practicing the Sixfold Noble Path? Which is fine with me - mindfulness and concentration can arise spontaneously too. But for the most of us, consciously applying effort to them, is necessary, and was taught by the Buddha, as far as I know.
_/|\_

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:42 am

Is this Sutta relivent (AN 3.61)?

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that — when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, & rebuked by wise people — even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in [a doctrine of] inaction. Which three?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html

:anjali:

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:51 am

Mr Man wrote:Is this Sutta relivent (AN 3.61)?

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that — when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, & rebuked by wise people — even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in [a doctrine of] inaction. Which three?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html

:anjali:

Hi mr man
Do you think that what I was saying as the causes for wisdom - as per the topic of this thread -fits into one of these three categories:
There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — that is all caused by what was done in the past.'

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.'

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all without cause & without condition.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:58 am

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Is this Sutta relivent (AN 3.61)?

"Monks, there are these three sectarian guilds that — when cross-examined, pressed for reasons, & rebuked by wise people — even though they may explain otherwise, remain stuck in [a doctrine of] inaction. Which three?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html

:anjali:

Hi mr man
Do you think that what I was saying as the causes for wisdom - as per the topic of this thread -fits into one of these three categories:
There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — that is all caused by what was done in the past.'

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.'

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all without cause & without condition.


I think this one quoted by David somewhere in the middle of this thread and seemingly ignored is more pertinent:

David N. Snyder wrote:There are Dhamma-experts who praise only monks who are also Dhamma-experts but not
those who are meditators. And there are meditators who praise only those monks who are also
meditators but not those who are Dhamma-experts. Thereby neither of them will be pleased, and
they will not be practicing for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the
multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans.

Anguttara Nikaya 4.46
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:59 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Sam,
SamKR wrote:No one would deny that hearing the Dhamma and wise-consideration is necessary. I think the "formal" practices are rightly done only after hearing the right Dhamma and having wise consideration. If not, then they will of course become blind rituals -- just as listening to the "right dhamma" is also suceptible to become a ritual.

Your post neatly summarises the origin of my total incomprehension of the arguments put forward by the Khun Suhin students. I've been asking that question for five years or so and have never got an answer that I can understand. Certainly practising (by listening or doing other activities) is alway susceptible to wrong views ("I'm a wonderful Dhamma listener/practitioner who is correctly following the Buddha Vacana...").

:anjali:
Mike

Dear Mike
can we agree that some formal practices are wrong. So if a teacher told you that by sitting in a cold river enduring cold was part of the path you would laugh and maybe even try to help him by explaining that such a practice is purely ritual with no value and is unrelated to the 8fold path?

If another teacher told you that studying and listening to Abhidhamma was a waste of time , that it was unrelated to right view , would you not then laugh also at him and point out how direct and true and helpful those details are?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:23 am

robertk wrote:can we agree that some formal practices are wrong. So if a teacher told you that by sitting in a cold river enduring cold was part of the path you would laugh and maybe even try to help him by explaining that such a practice is purely ritual with no value and is unrelated to the 8fold path?
Rather than laugh, I'd ask for an explanation of the practice. But interestingly, this is obviously an extreme practice that does not find favor that I am aware of in Theravada,

But then you contrast it with another extreme practice? It does not look to be a balanced comparison.

If another teacher told you that studying and listening to Abhidhamma was a waste of time , that it was unrelated to right view , would you not then laugh also at him and point out how direct and true and helpful those details are?
My response would be that the Abhidhamma has value and efficacy for some and that there is no reason to dismiss it out of hand.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:26 am

robertk wrote:Hi mr man
Do you think that what I was saying as the causes for wisdom - as per the topic of this thread -fits into one of these three categories:
There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — that is all caused by what was done in the past.'

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation.'

There are brahmans & contemplatives who hold this teaching, hold this view: 'Whatever a person experiences — — that is all without cause & without condition.


Hi robertk, The sutta reference was not specific to what you have said but to the thread as a whole. It is easy to unknowingly fall into one of these three views.

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SamKR
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:38 am

tiltbillings wrote:
But then you contrast it with another extreme practice? It does not look to be a balanced comparison.

robertk wrote:If another teacher told you that studying and listening to Abhidhamma was a waste of time , that it was unrelated to right view , would you not then laugh also at him and point out how direct and true and helpful those details are?


Let me suggest a balanced example:
If another teacher tells that just by chanting and listening to Abhidhamma you will gain right view, you will be freed of your one hundred thousand sins, and you will attain final liberation, would you not laugh?

In Hinduism such "extreme" view that just by chanting and listening Puranas etc. you will get rid of your sins (usually without any necessity that you actually understand it) is supported by Hindu texts and deeply entrenched in the mind of the people, and people actually do it quite regularly. I myself have done so.
Last edited by SamKR on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:53 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:41 am

robertk wrote:..can we agree that some formal practices are wrong.


I'm beginning to think that the formal v. informal argument is a red herring. Isn't the more important consideration whether our practice is based on what is described in the suttas?
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:58 am

porpoise wrote:
I'm beginning to think that the formal v. informal argument is a red herring.

I agree. The distinction need not be there.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:24 pm

porpoise wrote:
I'm beginning to think that the formal v. informal argument is a red herring. Isn't the more important consideration whether our practice is based on what is described in the suttas?

In fact I gave several quotes showing that the most crucial causes for wisdom were hearing and considering the Dhamma, and when I initially implied that wisdom didn't depend on formal or informal etc it was met with some resistance:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=228688&hilit=tilt#p228688
You just got done equating sitting meditation of having no more significance in one's "spiritual" practice than choosing which sandwich shop to go to. The issue is not the ritual itself. It is our attitude towards it, our expectation of it, that is the problem with ritual, but let us look at your statement:


Robert: It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me choosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway. But if one believes that it is these very operations that somehow are key to satisampajanna to arise then one is in the realm of silabataparamasa.


Tilt:
It is hard not to read this as a flat, straight forward dismissal of sitting practice itself. Maybe you were really tired when you wrote this and you really do not mean to dismiss meditation practice as direct away of cultivating the factors giving rise to wisdom/insight
.

Think of all the suttas that say seeing and color must be directly known, must be seen with wisdom. Yet I have even heard of people closing their eyes thinking this is part of 'doing vipasaana". (I realize this is a very extreme case, possibly no Dhammawheel members would think that, but it does show the confusions that exist about what 'meditation' really is in the Buddhist sense).


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