The causes for wisdom

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

Postby Nyana » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:since the suttas do not require it, how about, as an interesting exercise, that you restate what you said using conventional Dhamma language.

This neatly gets to the heart of the matter.

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Paul Davy
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:52 am

Greetings Tilt,

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

Is that tautologous or are you differentiating a "meditation practice" here that is separate or distinct from satipatthana as described by Robert?

Metta,
Retro. :)
What is the final conviction that comes when radical attention is razor-edge sharp? That the object of the mind is mind-made (manomaya). (Ven. Ñāṇananda)

Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'.
(Snp 3.6)

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:56 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.
Listening to the "right Dhamma" is a choice the you make; wise consideration is a choice you make. In other words, you are acting in such a way as to condition your trajectory in relation to the Dhamma. Sitting meditation practice is no different in that it is away of conditioning one's Dhamma trajectory. This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38. Sitting meditation is not all contrary to the Buddha's teachings.

And so, Ananda, I have taught directed meditation; and I have taught undirected meditation. Whatever is to be done by a teacher with compassion for the welfare of students, that has been done by me out of compassion for you. Here are the roots of trees. Here are empty places. Get down and meditate. Don't be lazy. Don't become one who is later remorseful. This is my instruction to you.SN 47.10 PTS: S v 154 CDB ii 1638
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

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

Is that tautologous or are you differentiating a "meditation practice" here that is separate from satipatthana as described by Robert?

Metta,
Retro. :)
The point is that with a grounding in sitting/walking type practice makes the sort of thing robertk is describing easier.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:02 am

robertk wrote:
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).
Please elaborate. I have no idea of what you are talking about here.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:33 am

tiltbillings wrote:
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?


Dear Tilt,

It is not a matter of language, it is a matter of understanding. How would you describe the mind processes of those who attained enlightenment in the sutta? What lead them to the experience of Nibanna? I would be very surprised if you were to say they have realized the arising and passing away of a cow or of their own legs.

There is a big difference between 1.telling someone to constantly be aware of such and such object (like the rising and falling of the abdomen) and 2.explaining about realities now as being conditioned and saying that only what appears now can be understood, that no one is doing it but only right understanding can approach realities now, it can not be forced to arise.

Brgds,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:44 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


Dear Kirk5a,

Right or wrong concentration?

The passage quoted above does mean that both samatha and vipassana bhavana must be accompanied by panna-wisdom, and that whenever vipassana panna is there,right concentration is there too.

Again, concentration shouldn't be understood as something one is doing. Ekaggata cetasika -the mental concomitant that samadhi (concentration) refers to -arises with all cittas. We don't need to do anything for that to arise. What makes the samadhi right or wrong is other mental concomitants, whether they are wholesome (kusala-sobhana) or unwholsome (akusala) respectively. When there is wisdom ( panna cetasika) at whatever level, the citta is wholesome, and thus concentration is also wholesome. Only that kind of samadhi should be cultivated- with the help of right understanding.

Brgds,
D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:58 am

tiltbillings wrote: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.


Dear Tilt,

Not even Abhidhammic, those are notions in the suttas as well. Since you insist, let me try to replace them with English words: Volition arises with all mind-moments. Volition arises in both wholesome and unwholesome mind moments. Wholesome kamma (by wholesome volition) results in moments of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching wholesome objects. As for the arising of wisdom, wisdom is not conditioned by volition. The Buddha has said the condition for the arising of wisdom is hearing the right Dhamma and wise consideration of what is heard. Wise consideration means understanding must be there too. If the right Dhamma is uttered, but no right understanding of what is heard, there's not yet condition to wisdom to arise later on.

Ok?

D.F

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:07 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
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?


Dear Tilt,

It is not a matter of language, it is a matter of understanding. How would you describe the mind processes of those who attained enlightenment in the sutta? What lead them to the experience of Nibanna? I would be very surprised if you were to say they have realized the arising and passing away of a cow or of their own legs.
Have you ever noticed that you really do not answer questions put to you? These three sentences of yours do not address what I said, and if anything, you are coming across as saying quite directly that the suttas are inadequate to the task of discussing the Buddha's teachings. That is an interesting position to be in, and I certainly would not want to be there.

There is a big difference between 1.telling someone to constantly be aware of such and such object (like the rising and falling of the abdomen) and 2.explaining about realities now as being conditioned and saying that only what appears now can be understood, that no one is doing it but only right understanding can approach realities now, it can not be forced to arise.
Well, the problem with this statement (1.) is that you really do not really seem to understand what that practice is about. So, tell me with the seeing of the rising and falling of what dhammas, other than nibbana, one does not see anicca, dukkha, and anatta, one does not see the conditioned co-produced "nature" of dhammas?
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:11 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Dear Tilt,

Not even Abhidhammic, those are notions in the suttas as well. Since you insist, let me try to replace them with English words: Volition arises with all mind-moments. Volition arises in both wholesome and unwholesome mind moments. Wholesome kamma (by wholesome volition) results in moments of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching wholesome objects. As for the arising of wisdom, wisdom is not conditioned by volition. The Buddha has said the condition for the arising of wisdom is hearing the right Dhamma and wise consideration of what is heard. Wise consideration means understanding must be there too. If the right Dhamma is uttered, but no right understanding of what is heard, there's not yet condition to wisdom to arise later on.

Ok?
Not at all. It seems that you do not even understand the question I put to you. Oh, well.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:17 am

Image

tiltbillings wrote:
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.
Listening to the "right Dhamma" is a choice the you make; wise consideration is a choice you make. In other words, you are acting in such a way as to condition your trajectory in relation to the Dhamma. Sitting meditation practice is no different in that it is away of conditioning one's Dhamma trajectory. This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38. Sitting meditation is not all contrary to the Buddha's teachings.

And so, Ananda, I have taught directed meditation; and I have taught undirected meditation. Whatever is to be done by a teacher with compassion for the welfare of students, that has been done by me out of compassion for you. Here are the roots of trees. Here are empty places. Get down and meditate. Don't be lazy. Don't become one who is later remorseful. This is my instruction to you.SN 47.10 PTS: S v 154 CDB ii 1638
.


++++++++++++++++
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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polarbear101
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby polarbear101 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:18 am

dhamma follower wrote:Volition arises with all mind-moments. Volition arises in both wholesome and unwholesome mind moments. Wholesome kamma (by wholesome volition) results in moments of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching wholesome objects. As for the arising of wisdom, wisdom is not conditioned by volition. The Buddha has said the condition for the arising of wisdom is hearing the right Dhamma and wise consideration of what is heard. Wise consideration means understanding must be there too. If the right Dhamma is uttered, but no right understanding of what is heard, there's not yet condition to wisdom to arise later on.


This means that wisdom either arises by magic or sheer luck. I will explain. If intending to become wise and intentionally putting oneself in a position or adopting a practice in order to facilitate (help condition) the arising of wisdom is impossible then wise consideration is also impossible to gain except by sheer luck and thus awakening is impossible, except by sheer luck. Perhaps you would like to retract the statement, "wisdom is not conditioned by volition" because the will or intention or volitional movement towards the gaining of wisdom is the only thing that can get one moving in the direction of wisdom unless magic or sheer luck also works as a path to wisdom.

:soap:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:28 am

Image

polarbuddha101 wrote: . . . the will or intention or volitional movement towards the gaining of wisdom is the only thing that can get one moving in the direction of wisdom unless magic or sheer luck also works as a path to wisdom.


    Dhp 383. Exert yourself, O holy man! Cut off the stream (of craving), and discard sense desires. Knowing the destruction of all the conditioned things, become, O holy man, the knower of the Uncreated (Nibbana)!
.


++++++++++++++++
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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polarbear101
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby polarbear101 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:14 am

I'm not sure what's going on with the bears but thanks for the sutta support.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:19 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:I'm not sure what's going on with the bears but thanks for the sutta support.

:anjali:
Visual representation of and pun on the idiom: it bears repeating.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 polarbear101 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:36 am

Good one. Now that I get it it's rather amusing.

:thumbsup:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:29 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
This means that wisdom either arises by magic or sheer luck. I will explain. If intending to become wise and intentionally putting oneself in a position or adopting a practice in order to facilitate (help condition) the arising of wisdom is impossible then wise consideration is also impossible to gain except by sheer luck and thus awakening is impossible, except by sheer luck. Perhaps you would like to retract the statement, "wisdom is not conditioned by volition" because the will or intention or volitional movement towards the gaining of wisdom is the only thing that can get one moving in the direction of wisdom unless magic or sheer luck also works as a path to wisdom.



Perhaps wisdom is not somthing that we gain?

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:35 am

Mr Man wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:
This means that wisdom either arises by magic or sheer luck. I will explain. If intending to become wise and intentionally putting oneself in a position or adopting a practice in order to facilitate (help condition) the arising of wisdom is impossible then wise consideration is also impossible to gain except by sheer luck and thus awakening is impossible, except by sheer luck. Perhaps you would like to retract the statement, "wisdom is not conditioned by volition" because the will or intention or volitional movement towards the gaining of wisdom is the only thing that can get one moving in the direction of wisdom unless magic or sheer luck also works as a path to wisdom.



Perhaps wisdom is not somthing that we gain?
Probably not; however, it does sometimes become a dance when trying to talk about these things.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:47 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Volition arises with all mind-moments. Volition arises in both wholesome and unwholesome mind moments. Wholesome kamma (by wholesome volition) results in moments of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching wholesome objects. As for the arising of wisdom, wisdom is not conditioned by volition. The Buddha has said the condition for the arising of wisdom is hearing the right Dhamma and wise consideration of what is heard. Wise consideration means understanding must be there too. If the right Dhamma is uttered, but no right understanding of what is heard, there's not yet condition to wisdom to arise later on.


This means that wisdom either arises by magic or sheer luck. I will explain. If intending to become wise and intentionally putting oneself in a position or adopting a practice in order to facilitate (help condition) the arising of wisdom is impossible then wise consideration is also impossible to gain except by sheer luck and thus awakening is impossible, except by sheer luck. Perhaps you would like to retract the statement, "wisdom is not conditioned by volition" because the will or intention or volitional movement towards the gaining of wisdom is the only thing that can get one moving in the direction of wisdom unless magic or sheer luck also works as a path to wisdom.

:soap:


Greeting Polarbuddha,

Not by magic nor sheer luck. Wisdom has its conditions to arise as it has been discussed so far in this thread. We just don't know when, as only a Buddha has that kind of knowledge. The Tipitaka provides enough material to see how the path is developed, very precisely. Has it ever happened to you that when you hear (or read) something for the first time, there's no understanding. You hear again another time, and another time...and all of a sudden, it clicks! It is because the process of accumulating wisdom is an extremely long one and we don't have the wisdom necessary to see when it is being accumulated. Are we able to know at this moment, when it is the moment of seeing, and when it is the moment of hearing? It all seems to happen at once, but in reality, only one thing at a time. So how can we know whether understanding is being accumulated and when it will arise to directly understand realities as they are?

Again, volition arises with all moments, with moments of wisdom as well as moments without wisdom. It doesn't have the power to make panna to arise. Can you will panna to arise now? The Buddha never taught like that. We can decide to do this or that (doing meditation or listen to the Dhamma, for example), and certainly volition is involved in both cases. But whether there is understanding that arise from that action that volition decided to do, it doesn't depend on volition. Do you make the distinction? In the end, whether there will be volition to go meditate or to go listen to the Dhamma depends on what has been understood. Volition is also conditioned, either by ignorance or by understanding....

Brgds,
D.F

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:14 am

dhamma follower wrote: Has it ever happened to you that when you hear (or read) something for the first time, there's no understanding. You hear again another time, and another time...and all of a sudden, it clicks!
Ah, a description of meditation practice.

It is because the process of accumulating wisdom is an extremely long one and we don't have the wisdom necessary to see when it is being accumulated.
Actually, Mr Man is correct in his observation. Wisdom is probably not a matter of accumulating. The teachings are about letting go:

    He who has nothing
    -- in front, behind, in between --
    the one with nothing
    who clings to no thing:
    he's what I call
    a brahman.
    Dhp 421

    Gone to the beyond of becoming,
    you let go of in front,
    let go of behind,
    let go of between.
    With a heart everywhere let-go,
    you don't come again to birth
    & aging
    . Dhp 348

    "Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya. "When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen; in the heard merely what is heard; in the sensed merely what is sensed, in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering." Ud 10

    A lonely seat — a lonely bed
    And faring alone untiringly
    Alone subduing himself he might —
    In sylvan solitude find delight
    . — Dhp v.305

Accumulating would seem to be a "self" driven activity.

Can you will panna to arise now?
No one here, not anyone here, has suggested, implied that wisdom arise by a direct act of will.

The Buddha never taught like that. We can decide to do this or that (doing meditation or listen to the Dhamma, for example), and certainly volition is involved in both cases. But whether there is understanding that arise from that action that volition decided to do, it doesn't depend on volition. Do you make the distinction? In the end, whether there will be volition to go meditate or to go listen to the Dhamma depends on what has been understood. Volition is also conditioned, either by ignorance or by understanding....
Outside of the clumsy language here, who has said anything different? What is good in this statement is that finally you are not dismissing out of hand sitting meditation. How one choose shape the trajectory of one's Dhamma life.
.


++++++++++++++++
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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