The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:36 pm

To further help the case of the value of careful consideration of Dhamma:

The vimuttayatanam The 5 bases of deliverance:
XXV. "Five bases of deliverance; here
a.
the teacher or a respected fellow disciple teaches a monk Dhamma.
And as he receives the teaching, he gains a grasp of both the spirit
and the letter of the teaching. At this, joy arises in him, and from
this joy, delight; and by this delight his senses are calmed, he
feels happiness as a result, and with this happiness his mind is
established [he attains nibbana];

b. he has not heard it thus, but in the course of the teaching
Dhamma to others he has learnt it by heart as he has heard it, or

c. as he is chanting the Dhamma... or

d. ...when he applies his mind to the Dhamma, thinks and ponders
over it and concentrates his attention on it; or

e. When he has properly grasped some concentration sign, has well
considered it, applied his mind to it, and has well penetrated it
with wisdom. At this, joy arises in him; and from this joy, delight,
and by this delight his senses are calmed, he feels happiness as a
result, and with this happiness his mind is established
.


Only e. is really related to some special mindstate. The other 4 ways(, a, b, c, d) of attaining Nibbana are based on directly considering the Buddha's teaching.

But could such consideration be done in the Belly Sandwich shop? I would say yes,.

Could it be done while sitting? yes

while walking? yes.

while defecating? yes.

Urinating ?yes...

and all the other situations described in the satipatthana sutta...

Should one think, while enjoying a sandwich at Belly sandwich shop "Oh this is not so good, I wish I was at the root of trees doing real practice!".

Or could there be there and then, at the very moment of ordering, or at the moment of seeing , or tasting, awareness of hardness or feeling, or mind with desire or mind with aversion....

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 13746
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:48 pm

Hi Sam,
SamKR wrote: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.

Yes, they say interesting things that are mostly in accord with what the teachers I respect say. Nothing surprising about saying that you can't will things to happen. That follows directly from the suttas, and noone I know claims that, or that the interpretation of the suttas, abhidhamma and commentary that they use to recommend their particular approaches are based on such a clearly incorrect idea.

Of course, they might all be wrong, so it's worth considering other possible interpretations (such as the Khun Sujin one).

:anjali:
Mike

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:50 pm

Hi robertk, do you practice sitting meditation? If you don't maybe you would enjoy it.

dhamma follower
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:50 pm

Dear Sam,

SamKR wrote:
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.

I don't think the Buddha had to face it. In the Pali texts, what is the word that is today translated as meditation?: bhavana. Bhavana means development, not sitting meditation. The Buddha taught the conditions for each kind of bhavana (samatha and vipassana) to be developed. At that time, many people had the accumulations to enter jhana. Many more people only listened to the Buddha's discourses and attained enlightenment. Now, do we really know, understand, accept and remember what are these conditions?


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


Who uses the tool and how in terms of ultimate realities? Only one citta at a time. If the citta is not accompanied by panna -right understanding, it is not the path. The path is not occuring if right view is not there.

Brgds,
D.F

dhamma follower
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:58 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
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.


Dear Tilt,

Cetana arises with all citta, as you must know. Cetana arises in both kusala and akusala cittas. Kusala kamma results in kusala vipaka. As for the arising of panna, it is not cetana that conditions it, but panna cetasika it-self -from hearing and understanding the rights words.

The conditions for the arising of panna have been discussed so far, and RobertK has provided a lot of canonical material about that, I don't see why we have to try to make up new ones? Btw, it is not my method's or anyone's. We are simply discussing what are in the texts. Don't you agree?

Brgds,
D,F

dhamma follower
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:16 pm

Dan74 wrote: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.


Dear Dan,

Whatever we are doing, meditation or listening in the Dhamma, it is still selfless, only dhammas arising and passing away by conditions. If by selfless, you meant unselfish- which in Buddhist term would be kusala, then the question should be: will panna lead to the eradication of all kinds of akusala. Then of course, the answer is yes.

You implied that I excluded sati and samadhi from the ENP. The thing is, whenever there is right understanding, sati and right samadhi is there too, along with other 18 sobhana cetasikas. We are used to think of mindfulness and concentration as something that we "do", but it is not so. Sati arises with all kusala cittas, but sati of satipatthana arises with panna (sampajana). Ekaggata (concentration) arises with all cittas, both kusala and akusala. Only when it is kusala accompanied by panna, it is considered samadhi of the ENP. So the common denominator here is panna. Viriya (effort) is not a factor of the path, it is present in most cittas too (73 out of 89 kinds of citta), it can also be either kusala or akusala depending of other accompanying cetasikas. So what is more important is panna, which makes the citta and other cetasikas automatically kusala.

Brgds,
D.F

dhamma follower
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:24 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
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)


Dear Tilt,

The above passage is saying the work to be done is from within. It doesn't mean, however, that there is a self doing the work.

As for the Abhidhamma, why don't just simply call it the teaching on dhammas which is marvelous?

Can anyone comes to realization of sotapattimagga without having realized the nature of dhammas ? And again, what arises and falls away?

D.F

dhamma follower
Posts: 346
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:35 pm

Dan74 wrote:
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


It was not ignored! I asked David to give us the Pali words in that sutta for Dhamma experts and meditators. He or anyone is always welcome to give an answer

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:21 pm

Mr Man wrote:Hi robertk, do you practice sitting meditation? If you don't maybe you would enjoy it.

You see now, while at the computer I am sitting (actually slouching, maybe I should straigten up).

If I thought oh I better stand up so understanding can grow, or lie down, or open a Dhamma book then I am not really serious, I really dont want to undertand this moment as it is, I am imagining that some future situation is better.

It shows a lack of confidence in what the path is, it would mean I don't believe that as it says in the Satipatthana sutta "
bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it."


Notice it doesnt say "when is standing he should think "Oh sitting is better". It actually says "JUST AS HIS BODY IS DISPOSED "

Or sometimes Buddhist think they should try to gte rid of lust and then have 'real' vipassana. However The Satipatthana sutta says."bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust;"""

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 4662
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:47 pm

robertk wrote: However The Satipatthana sutta says."bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust;"""


Again, I agree with you that many of the methods in Satipatthana are applicable off the cushion. But I also think that for most people sitting meditation is an important foundation, because without it the mind is often too scattered and busy to see clearly what is going on.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:59 pm

porpoise wrote:
robertk wrote: However The Satipatthana sutta says."bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust;"""


Again, I agree with you that many of the methods in Satipatthana are applicable off the cushion. But I also think that for most people sitting meditation is an important foundation, because without it the mind is often too scattered and busy to see clearly what is going on.

Dear porpoise,
Look again in the satipathhana sutta and you will see it says..
to When agitation and worry are present, he knows with understanding: 'I have agitation and worry,' or when agitation and worry are not present
,


So do we really want to understand the present moment just as it is. Or do we want to change objects to be something acceptable in polite society.i think If we want to know what is really going on we have to dirty and dive directly into the ugly underbelly of life. It's here and now for most of us.

User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:04 pm

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.


Hi Dhamma Follower,

A "formal practice" is contrary to the Buddha's teaching only if you keep on viewing it in the way that you do.

A practice, whether it's wrong or right, would be something that always arises with conditions... never from a self. The latter is an illusion... always.

There is no difference (of rightness or wrongness) in between a "formal practice" or "practicing naturally"... both are something that always arise with conditions. Both of these can be grasped either rightly or wrongly, depending on the conditions.

If someone does a "formal practice," that is due to the conditions... not due to self.

A "formal practice" isn't something that just would happen magically outside of conditions, from a "self." That would be only a misapprehension of it... according to the Buddha's teaching.

:anjali:

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:18 pm

Robert but how about trying sitting without any thought of I'm doing this "so understanding can grow" maybe you would enjoy it in it's own right (like swimming). Maybe you would see different things.

Why do you open a dhamma book? Is it any different?

Who is judging the quality of the different activities?

User avatar
Spiny Norman
Posts: 4662
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Spam, wonderful spam

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:20 pm

robertk wrote:So do we really want to understand the present moment just as it is. Or do we want to change objects to be something acceptable in polite society.i think If we want to know what is really going on we have to dirty and dive directly into the ugly underbelly of life. It's here and now for most of us.


I agree, and this reminds me of Ajahn Sumedho's teachings on "The way it is". Though I'm not sure how this relates to practice on v. off the cushion, or formal v. informal methods of practice?
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:26 pm

Mr Man wrote:Robert but how about trying sitting without any thought of I'm doing this "so understanding can grow" maybe you would enjoy it in it's own right (like swimming). Maybe you would see different things.

Why do you open a dhamma book? Is it any different?

Who is judging the quality of the different activities?

Hi mr man,
yes if sitting meditation is done in that way as something to strenghthen posture, or feel relaxed , or to take a breather from the mad pursuit of happiness, then sure it is not silabataparamasa.

For me I have my other hobbies so am not so nterested for now.

User avatar
beeblebrox
Posts: 939
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby beeblebrox » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:37 pm

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


I think the sutta might be relevant. For example, look at this:

"Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by what was done in the past,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by what was done in the past?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.'

Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, [ . . . ] a person is a holder of wrong views because of what was done in the past.'

When one falls back on what was done in the past as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my first righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.


And this:

"Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all without cause, without condition,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all without cause, without condition?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.'

[ . . . ]

When one falls back on lack of cause and lack of condition as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my third righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.


:anjali:

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:09 pm

Hi robertk
And if I were to read a dhamma book or study dhamma with the thought I will do this so "understanding can grow"?


Also if we were to do sitting meditation as a hobby without the thought I am doing this so "understanding can grow", what kind of mind would be there? The meditation could be focusing on the peaceful breath and it's characteristics or another example, recollecting on the nine qualities of the Buddha.

User avatar
robertk
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:27 pm

Mr Man wrote:Hi robertk
And if I were to read a dhamma book or study dhamma with the thought I will do this so "understanding can grow"?


a.

the thought of taking up a Dhamma book looking for wisdom to grow shows confidence in the value of the Dhamma. However it can also have a subtle desire behind it that may not be seen, and that can hinder wisdom.
This was transcribed from a discussion I had with Sujin boriharnwanaket in 1993
+++++++++++++++++
Robert: And how does the thinking - the thinking is necessary too to consider the
Dhamma, but how can we understand how the thinking conditions the deeper
understanding of the present moment?

Sujin: Hmm, I don't want to say that thinking helps or one should think that one
should think - just the understanding of realities as realities. Thinking is
just a moment that thinks, that's all. Otherwise one will look forward to
something again to help, see? One has to come back to realities are realities
and what is thinking? Thinking is real and it's a moment which thinks by
conditions. By understanding this one doesn't mind whether there's thinking or
no thinking. Instead of thinking "Oh we should have thinking first in order to
help us as condition for right understanding" - that is all only thinking again
and again, again and again. Looking for something instead of just instant
awareness of realities. Just a short moment of awareness, that is right.
Otherwise when it's long it's motivated by following with the idea of self, so
as short as it is.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

So although the learning and considering of the Dhamma is vital that doesn't mean it's a simple 1+1 equation.

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3469
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:43 pm

Dear DF,

dhamma follower wrote:The idea of a self goes hand in hand with the idea that dhammas do not depend only on conditions to arise.


Why properly done vipassana conditions self view and why doesn't daily life condition self view?

I can't seem to find a coherent answer to this from KS followers.

Also, who implies that meditation is unconditioned and doesn't require any conditions?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3469
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:45 pm

Dear RobertK,

robertk wrote:the thought of taking up a Dhamma book looking for wisdom to grow shows confidence in the value of the Dhamma. However it can also have a subtle desire behind it that may not be seen, and that can hinder wisdom.


And this desire, as I understand it, is eliminated at Arhatship. For most of us, this problem is well above and beyond our current level.

Lobha for meditation and meditation results (such as wisdom or not clinging to coarser things) is useful at some initial stages. Without this, one will not start it and get anywhere.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, and don't put the cart before the horse.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 59 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine