The causes for wisdom

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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:
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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?
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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?
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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.
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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:
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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.
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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.
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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?
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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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.
”Even the water melting from the snow-capped peaks finds its way to the ocean."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:18 pm

dhamma follower wrote: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?


SamKR wrote: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.

The un-liberated being -- who listens and wisely considers the Buddha's Dhamma, who then acknowledges the complication, acknowledges the illusion of self, and acknowledges that he is stuck with this illusory sense of self (which is gradually becoming weaker due to his understanding and practice) until there is elimination of clinging by following the 8-fold path to the degree required.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:37 pm

robertk wrote:the thought of taking up a Dhamma book looking for wisdom to grow shows confidence in the value of the Dhamma.


Hi robertk
So there is a hierarchy of value given to different activities?

Also: In an earlier post when talking about meditation you said "For me I have my other hobbies so am not so interested for now". I wondered if you envisioned that there would be a time when you returned to a more formalized* practice.


*although it seems that your present practice is actually already rather formalized.

Thanks
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:07 am

dhamma follower wrote:The stretching on "formal practice" suggests that certain dhammas (such as sati) can arise because of one's intention or will.

Sati does arise because of one's intention or will. That's because sati just is intending, willing, to "remain focused on [x]". Sati is a faculty of the mind, namely, the ability to intentionally keep something in view.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Nyana » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:57 am

kirk5a wrote:Sati does arise because of one's intention or will. That's because sati just is intending, willing, to "remain focused on [x]". Sati is a faculty of the mind, namely, the ability to intentionally keep something in view.

It's probably more precise to say that sati arises together with volitional intention (cetanā) and other mental factors. Thus, mindfulness, volitional intention and attention (manasikāra) work in concert to focus the mind. These concomitant mental factors can occur in any of the four postures, including sitting on a cushion with one's legs crossed, etc.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:27 am

Ñāṇa wrote:It's probably more precise to say that sati arises together with volitional intention (cetanā) and other mental factors. Thus, mindfulness, volitional intention and attention (manasikāra) work in concert to focus the mind. These concomitant mental factors can occur in any of the four postures, including sitting on a cushion with one's legs crossed, etc.

I'd agree with that. The main thing for me is that the notion of sati being somehow disconnected from one's actions and intentions, and therefore one has "no control" over whether sati "arises" or not - that I think is a very distorted view of sati. Sati is something "developed."

A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?"

"No, lord."

"I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:00 am

beeblebrox wrote:
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.

:anjali:


Dear BBB,

Where did I suggest that practice is done by a self? What I was saying is that the idea of having to do formal practice is motivated by the wrong view of self.

If there's understanding of dhammas arising only by conditions, why there needs to be a formal practice? What kind of conditions does a formal practice provide for the arising of panna?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:04 am

beeblebrox 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


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:


RobK has addressed it already. If we say that there are conditions for panna to arise, none of the three views above is applied here.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:12 am

Dear DF,

dhamma follower wrote:RobK has addressed it already. If we say that there are conditions for panna to arise, none of the three views above is applied here.
D.F


And what are those conditions? Opening the book and reading it, going to the websites to read more about wisdom, going to Bangkok to hear the lectures...

Aren't these deliberate and intentional actions? Why isn't self view involved in them, while it is involved in meditation?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:18 am

Alex123 wrote: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?


It should be formulated differently: it is the underlying idea of a self who can make certain dhammas to arise at certain time that motivates a formal practice. If there's understanding that no one can predict when sati will arise but only when intellectual understanding of dhammas has been accumulated enough, one lives one's life naturally and listen to the Dhamma and consider what is heard (or read) by conditions without expectations.

I should add here that intellectual understanding doesn't mean collecting knowledge. There needs to be the understanding of dhammas as they appear now as only dhammas, not self, again and again, by conditions.

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:20 am

Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:I should add here that intellectual understanding doesn't mean collecting knowledge. There needs to be the understanding of dhammas as they appear now as only dhammas, not self, again and again, by conditions.

That should be stressed, as it's a point at rarely comes through when discussions of this nature are had.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:32 am

SamKR wrote:
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.

The un-liberated being -- who listens and wisely considers the Buddha's Dhamma, who then acknowledges the complication, acknowledges the illusion of self, and acknowledges that he is stuck with this illusory sense of self (which is gradually becoming weaker due to his understanding and practice) until there is elimination of clinging by following the 8-fold path to the degree required.[/quote]

Dear Sam,

In reality, there's no one. At a given moment, either it is akusala citta with wrong view, akusala without wrong view, kusala without panna, kusala with panna seeing the danger of sensuous object, kusala with panna understanding realities as they are. Only the last kind of citta is the one that condition the Path. In our ordinary deluded mode, we mix up dhammas into situation and are unclear about what conditions what, hence the idea of accepting a "relative wrong view" in order to have right view later on. That's not correct. Forturnately, there the teaching in details which help us to see that we are most of the time in the ocean of akusala, and that the cultivation of the Path is most intricate...

Brgds,
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