The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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SamKR
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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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Mr Man
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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?

Brgds,
DF

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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.

D.F

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Alex123
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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?
"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..."

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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,

D.F

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Paul Davy
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » 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. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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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,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:42 am

retrofuturist wrote: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. :)


Dear Retro,

Indeed, it is a very important point. The Buddha taught the dhammas for us to understand whatever appears now correctly as no one, no self, only element arising by conditions. Only this present dhamma can be understood: seeing now, thinking now, etc....

Achaan Sujin stresses this again and again...

Brgds,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:52 am

Greetings,

Well hopefully that answers the question of what a "daily practice" looks like then.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"Whether I were to preach in brief, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach in detail, Sāriputta, or whether I were to preach both in brief or in detail, Sāriputta, rare are those who understand." (A I 333, Sāriputtasutta)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:10 am

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.
I wonder if there is an assumption here that one must approach the Buddha's Teachings only from a standpoint of the Abhidhamma, and if that is the case, then the question is are we referring to the Abhidhamma Pitaka or the much later Abhidhammatthasangaha? Is the only way of talking about understanding limited to Abhidhamma style language, or can we get along quite well enough using sutta language?
.
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 tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:14 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Indeed, it is a very important point. The Buddha taught the dhammas for us to understand whatever appears now correctly as no one, no self, only element arising by conditions. Only this present dhamma can be understood: seeing now, thinking now, etc....

Achaan Sujin stresses this again and again...
Other than not restricting oneself to solely Abhidhamma style language, finding suttas language more than adequate, what Theravadin teacher says otherwise?
.
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 kirk5a » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:31 am

dhamma follower wrote: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?

Concentration.
372. There is no meditative concentration for him who lacks insight, and no insight for him who lacks meditative concentration.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.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 tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:34 am

kirk5a wrote:
dhamma follower wrote: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?

Concentration.
372. There is no meditative concentration for him who lacks insight, and no insight for him who lacks meditative concentration.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
Concentration. Something which can be cultivated by practice.
.
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 tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:01 am

dhamma follower wrote:
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?
Robertk has presented a lot of commentarial material, and there is nothing wrong with that, but with that material he has also presented a very particular interpretation, which is fine; however, there is nothing compelling in robertk's expositions that would demand that I forgo viewing things differently from robertk's Sujin point of view. In terms of study, investigation, and practice, I prefer the suttas to the Abhidhamma (and if I have to consider the Abhidhamma, I very much prefer the Abhidhamma Pitaka to the later works such as the Abhidhammatthasangaha). As for teachers, I would take someone such as Ven Nanananda.

That established, are we discussing what is in the texts? I have seen very little from the Sujin followers from the suttas whereas those here who are more apt to see sitting meditation as an essential part of practice tend to point to the suttas.

Since you really did not answer my question, let me repeat it:

DF wrote:
tilt wrote: 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.
Note: "Let me ask you, using conventional language." You gave an Abhidhamma-speak response. Since not every one here is comfortable with Abhidhamma-speak or thinks in those terms, since the suttas do not require it, how about, as an interesting exercise, that you restate what you said using conventional Dhamma language.
.
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 tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:37 am

dhamma follower wrote:
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.
There may be no unchanging, lasting self behind the choice to willfully act -- kamma --in such a way as to leave evil shunned, but that does not mean I cannot meaningfully say:"I am going to cease to do evil; I am going to cultivate good, and I am going to purify my mind." Again, the "I" does not refer to some sort of ATMAN, but it does point to the fact that the Buddha held that direct choices can be made in terms of our practice.

As for the Abhidhamma, why don't just simply call it the teaching on dhammas which is marvelous?
As has been pointed out, one does not need the complexities of the Abhidhamma.

Can anyone comes to realization of sotapattimagga without having realized the nature of dhammas ? And again, what arises and falls away?
Again, one does not need the complexities of the Abhidhamma to accomplish this.
.
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 tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:42 am

robertk wrote:
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;"""
And all of that becomes so much easier when grounded in a meditation practice.
.
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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