The causes for wisdom

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

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:
DF wrote:
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.



Dear Tilt,

There are three ways to answer a question 1. Give direct answer to it; 2. By asking a question; 3. Remaining silence.

I will have to go for number 3 if the discussion becomes useless.

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?


Tilt, I was a very diligent student of that practice for ten years. I was told to go and do things slowly, because that would increase sati. I spent many sleepless nights making all kinds of resolve as being instructed.... Despite all my personal respect for the teachers I had, since they are really great persons for their kindness, patience and other qualities, I have to say that I don't find those ideas as being supported by my reading into the texts today.

Now at least you seem to admit that only dhammas can arise and pass away, not people, or legs. So there first has to be awareness and understanding of dhammas as dhammas, before the realization of their arising and passing away can occur, right? So it is Abhidhammic or it is simply truth?

When you slow down the movements in order to have sati, what is there? lobha! Can lobha condition sati to arise? If there is no understanding of what sati is and what are the conditions for it to arise, how can there be real sati which arises to be aware of dhammas as just dhammas (and not "I" am aware of this or that)? So real arising and passing away is still too far, truly....

D.F

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:33 am

"The spiritual path is never one of achievement; it is always one of letting go. The more we let go, the more there is empty and open space for us to see reality." --Ayya Khema

"Whoever frees himself from the passions of greed, hatred, and ignorance, they call him, one who is self developed, made divine, thus-gone (tathagata), awake (buddha), one who has left fear and hatred, and one who has let go of all." Itivuttaka 57
.


++++++++++++++++
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 11:11 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
DF wrote:
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.



Dear Tilt,

There are three ways to answer a question 1. Give direct answer to it; 2. By asking a question; 3. Remaining silence.
And again you did not address the points raised. You simply ignore what is being said to you.

Tilt, I was a very diligent student of that practice for ten years. I was told to go and do things slowly, because that would increase sati. I spent many sleepless nights making all kinds of resolve as being instructed.... Despite all my personal respect for the teachers I had, since they are really great persons for their kindness, patience and other qualities, I have to say that I don't find those ideas as being supported by my reading into the texts today.
So, you are generalizing from your experience to the whole of the practice. Your experience is not my experience. Sometimes, DF, one's practice fails, for whatever reason. It happens, and you should probably ask yourself why you stayed with it for ten years if it was not doing anything of any significance for you. Vipassana practice may have not been for; you may not have had the temperament for it. It kind of sounds like you were being a bit too rigid with your sleepless nights. But the point is that you cannot meaningful say that your experience is applicable to me or anyone else. For me, my vipassana practice has transformed my life and opened up the Buddha's teachings.

Now at least you seem to admit that only dhammas can arise and pass away, not people, or legs.
Why would I not admit it? I never denied it. And what are dhammas if not a way of talking about one's flow of experience? But that can be talked about from a sutta standpoint without getting caught up in the complexities of the Abhidhamma.

So there first has to be awareness and understanding of dhammas as dhammas, before the realization of their arising and passing away can occur, right? So it is Abhidhammic or it is simply truth?
One could practice like that, but it is not necessary to view the flow of one's experience, the conditioned rise and fall of experience in the adhidhammic terms. The Abhidhamma Is a tool, but it is not the only tool that Theravada has to offer.

When you slow down the movements in order to have sati, what is there? lobha!
Says you. It sounds like you are repeating talking points of your group. Greed was not been my experience with slowing down. I found with slowing down remarkable clarity in the rise and of the flow experience, no wanting; rather, a freeing letting go.

Can lobha condition sati to arise? If there is no understanding of what sati is and what are the conditions for it to arise, how can there be real sati which arises to be aware of dhammas as just dhammas (and not "I" am aware of this or that)? So real arising and passing away is still too far, truly....
You are so intent on trying to show that what I do is wrong. I wonder what negative dhamma that is.

With your Sujin practice, you have a way of practice that may work for you, and if it does, good, and you should work hard at it, but if it turns you into an us-versus-them sort of person, which is what I am seeing here with you, then there probably is a problem, in my opinion, which you do not have to share.

You did that vipassana practice for ten years, but you seem not to really have much understanding of it as an actual 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 dhamma follower » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:04 pm

Dear Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
Sometimes, DF, one's practice fails, for whatever reason. It happens, and you should probably ask yourself why you stayed with it for ten years if it was not doing anything of any significance for you. Vipassana practice may have not been for; you may not have had the temperament for it. It kind of sounds like you were being a bit too rigid with your sleepless nights. But the point is that you cannot meaningful say that your experience is applicable to me or anyone else. For me, my vipassana practice has transformed my life and opened up the Buddha's teachings.


The problem is: i was being told that I was having valid insights. I was happy with that "vipassana practice" enough to keep having retreats for several months a year in ten years. And I do feel my life has been transformed tremendously. However, looking back, does this transformation came from those slowing movements, those sleepless nights? I don't think so. I think my life has changed because of the Buddha's wisdom that I could hear, read, and reflecting upon throughout all those years. It confirms to me that the Buddha Path is that of understanding and detachment. Only understanding can let go.

But the point was not about my own experience. I was addressing the ground ideas of the practice, not my own experience of it.


So there first has to be awareness and understanding of dhammas as dhammas, before the realization of their arising and passing away can occur, right? So it is Abhidhammic or it is simply truth?
One could practice like that, but it is not necessary to view the flow of one's experience, the conditioned rise and fall of experience in the adhidhammic terms. The Abhidhamma Is a tool, but it is not the only tool that Theravada has to offer.


An apple in English is called pomme in French, but they taste the same. Similarly, what is discussed in the Abhidhamma is also the same truth that the Buddha has become enlightened to under the Boddhi tree and taught in the Sutta. If the truth were different between the sutta and the Abhidhamma, it would be no longer truth. And the Buddha taught the Truth, didn't he?

Can lobha condition sati to arise? If there is no understanding of what sati is and what are the conditions for it to arise, how can there be real sati which arises to be aware of dhammas as just dhammas (and not "I" am aware of this or that)? So real arising and passing away is still too far, truly....
You are so intent on trying to show that what I do is wrong. I wonder what negative dhamma that is.


It was not directed at you at all. We are simply discussing dhammic points. Let's put aside your or my experiences and back to the original topic: causes for wisdom.

Brgds

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beeblebrox
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:35 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Brgds


Hi Dhamma Follower,

I'm sorry if this is off-topic, but what is Brgds?

:anjali:

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:44 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Brgds


Hi Dhamma Follower,

I'm sorry if this is off-topic, but what is Brgds?

:anjali:


Best regards.

(shortest message I've ever typed - d'oh!)
_/|\_

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beeblebrox
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:52 pm

Dan74 wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Brgds


Hi Dhamma Follower,

I'm sorry if this is off-topic, but what is Brgds?


Best regards.

(shortest message I've ever typed - d'oh!)


Hi Dan74,

Thanks. I think that having the best regard towards someone is a sign of wisdom, and it's a good thing.

:anjali:

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:50 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
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.

dear Tilt
i meant suttas like this one from the Samyutta nikaya:
Salayatanasamyutta Full Understanding Translated by by Bhikku Bodhi p1141 Connected Discourses

Bhikkhus without directly knowing and fully understanding the eye, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering. Without directly knowing and and fully understanding forns (rupayatana)..eye-consciousness (cakkhu-vinnana)..and whatver feeling arises with eye-contact as condition...one is incapable of destroying suffering..

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:06 pm

Mr Man wrote:
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

you mean my 'formalized' practice of eating at Belly rather than subway? yep, I do recommend them,Ii cant go back to the coarse taste and plastic chairs at Subway . :tongue:

as for a special meditation practice in the future? Well I have a mild interest in horse riding and target pistol which I haven't had time to explore ... , plus a considerable number of academic projects, family, overseas trips every couple of months etc, ect etc.Then there is cage fighting on TV along with premier league football - all demanding of attention. Its a typical busy householders life I live, and I don't see any urge to take up some specific practice...who knows though :smile:

the heirarachy you mention: it is more of a recognition that the teaching of the Buddha is the nutrition that grows wisdom.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:04 pm

robertk wrote:i meant suttas like this one from the Samyutta nikaya:
Salayatanasamyutta Full Understanding Translated by by Bhikku Bodhi p1141 Connected Discourses

Bhikkhus without directly knowing and fully understanding the eye, without developing dispassion towards it and abandoning it, one is incapable of destroying suffering. Without directly knowing and and fully understanding forns (rupayatana)..eye-consciousness (cakkhu-vinnana)..and whatver feeling arises with eye-contact as condition...one is incapable of destroying suffering..
And your point is?
.


++++++++++++++++
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 4:09 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Kirk5a,

Right or wrong concentration?

Right concentration, of course. Which the Buddha defines:
The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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.

So "ekaggata cetasika" is the "singleness of mind" in the quote above. But it's your view that "We don't need to do anything for that to arise" which is so highly problematic.
"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 Mr Man » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:22 pm

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
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

you mean my 'formalized' practice of eating at Belly rather than subway? yep, I do recommend them,Ii cant go back to the coarse taste and plastic chairs at Subway . :tongue:

as for a special meditation practice in the future? Well I have a mild interest in horse riding and target pistol which I haven't had time to explore ... , plus a considerable number of academic projects, family, overseas trips every couple of months etc, ect etc.Then there is cage fighting on TV along with premier league football - all demanding of attention. Its a typical busy householders life I live, and I don't see any urge to take up some specific practice...who knows though :smile:

the heirarachy you mention: it is more of a recognition that the teaching of the Buddha is the nutrition that grows wisdom.


Thanks for reply and good luck.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:30 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:
Sometimes, DF, one's practice fails, for whatever reason. It happens, and you should probably ask yourself why you stayed with it for ten years if it was not doing anything of any significance for you. Vipassana practice may have not been for; you may not have had the temperament for it. It kind of sounds like you were being a bit too rigid with your sleepless nights. But the point is that you cannot meaningful say that your experience is applicable to me or anyone else. For me, my vipassana practice has transformed my life and opened up the Buddha's teachings.


The problem is: i was being told that I was having valid insights.
And you weren't having valid insights? If you weren't why would stay with it for ten years? The problem here is not the vipassana practice.

I was happy with that "vipassana practice" enough to keep having retreats for several months a year in ten years. And I do feel my life has been transformed tremendously. However, looking back, does this transformation came from those slowing movements, those sleepless nights? I don't think so. I think my life has changed because of the Buddha's wisdom that I could hear, read, and reflecting upon throughout all those years. It confirms to me that the Buddha Path is that of understanding and detachment. Only understanding can let go.
You obviously weren't getting anything from it, and likely you are not suited for this sort of practice, which happens. Time to move on.

But the point was not about my own experience. I was addressing the ground ideas of the practice, not my own experience of it.
But you are talking about your own experience, given that you are generalizing from your failed experience to everyone else's experience by characterizing the slowing down practice as being characterized by lobha/greed. That may have been true for you, but it certainly was not true for me, and there is no reason to think that your experience was universal. And if was true for you, that is a good indicator that you were missing something rather vital about yourself in your practice.


An apple in English is called pomme in French, but they taste the same. Similarly, what is discussed in the Abhidhamma is also the same truth that the Buddha has become enlightened to under the Boddhi tree and taught in the Sutta. If the truth were different between the sutta and the Abhidhamma, it would be no longer truth. And the Buddha taught the Truth, didn't he?
One would think; however, there is a problem here. You are claiming based upon your experience and the system have subsequently adopted that Burmese vipassana practice is essentially delusional. I have no reason to believe you, and I have no reason to accept the point of view you are advocating, given its sectarian style of us-vesus-them approach that is at serious odds with what is found i the suttas and the Abhidhamma.

Can lobha condition sati to arise? If there is no understanding of what sati is and what are the conditions for it to arise, how can there be real sati which arises to be aware of dhammas as just dhammas (and not "I" am aware of this or that)? So real arising and passing away is still too far, truly....
You are so intent on trying to show that what I do is wrong. I wonder what negative dhamma that is.


It was not directed at you at all. We are simply discussing dhammic points. Let's put aside your or my experiences and back to the original topic: causes for wisdom.
On the other hand this talk about personal experience highlights the glaring difference between what you are proposing and what others see as being essential to practice. And what others see as essential to practice you are dismissing as delusional, but you are unable to actually given solid reason why that is.
.


++++++++++++++++
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 5:39 pm

A number of msg concerning the nature of "self" were moved to this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16061&p=19214#p19214
.


++++++++++++++++
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 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:28 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?


In one sense I agree. The idea of gain is still just a fabrication dependent on the idea of an agent but still, without the arising of wisdom and knowledge and vision of phenomena as they have come to be, there can be no ensuing dispassion and release. At some point it's just a matter of semantic debate but by either explanation, i.e gain vs arising, volition is a necessary condition for the experiences of clear-seeing to arise.

:namaste:
"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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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:01 am

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
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

you mean my 'formalized' practice of eating at Belly rather than subway? yep, I do recommend them,Ii cant go back to the coarse taste and plastic chairs at Subway . :tongue:

as for a special meditation practice in the future? Well I have a mild interest in horse riding and target pistol which I haven't had time to explore ... , plus a considerable number of academic projects, family, overseas trips every couple of months etc, ect etc.Then there is cage fighting on TV along with premier league football - all demanding of attention. Its a typical busy householders life I live, and I don't see any urge to take up some specific practice...who knows though :smile:

the heirarachy you mention: it is more of a recognition that the teaching of the Buddha is the nutrition that grows wisdom.


I had not come across a Westerner Buddhist who did not consider meditation an integral part of their practice before (with the exception of the Sokka Gakkai people, but few here would even consider them Buddhist).

You live and learn!
_/|\_

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:25 am

I had not come across a Westerner Buddhist who did not consider meditation an integral part of their practice before (with the exception of the Sokka Gakkai people, but few here would even consider them Buddhist).

Maybe I should be classified as "not proper western Buddhist"..Or as quasi sokka gakkai?

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:38 am

robertk wrote:
I had not come across a Westerner Buddhist who did not consider meditation an integral part of their practice before (with the exception of the Sokka Gakkai people, but few here would even consider them Buddhist).

Maybe I should be classified as "not proper western Buddhist"..Or as quasi sokka gakkai?


I am not big on classifying, Robert. I was just surprised, that's all.

Thank you for sharing about your practice here.
_/|\_

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SamKR
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am

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

And even the more subtle - and ostensibly correct - 'contemplating anicca , dukkha, anatta ' at leisure or whatever, is close to an idea of a self that can decide to have these type of contemplations.
The comment about 'observing rising and passing away" . To truly see 'rising and falling' is not dependent on anything other that deepening wisdom that can discern this. After all in in truth the elements are rising and falling trillions of times in a second.


Hello Robert,

As I understand, you say that doing "formal" meditation (or trying to have sati or samadhi) is not necessary and may not be any more helpful than any other activity or hobby since there is wrong view of self already inherently present while doing such practices.

Do you also say the same about practicing sila? In other words, is sila also not necessary to practice and may not be any more helpful than any other activity or hobby (if there is a sense of self present while observing sila)?
Is the following true in your opinion?: just like practicing to have sati does not lead to wisdom (rather wisdom leads to sati), practicing to observe sila does not help to have wisdom (rather wisdom will condition sila).

Thank you.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:39 am

In essence Sam I think wisdom will condition sila . But it is a long process, remember even the sotapanna still has wives and children : but they don't drink alcohol or steal or cheat or take other men's wives.
And they could never dream of killing a cockroach or flea say .

I read of even a monk, who is under vinaya : which is very different life from householders, who brought in pest exterminators to get rid of a flea infestation. He had been a monk for years but it shows that we could keep strict sila for years : but without sufficient wisdom, under certain circumstances, break it.

And I almost never drink for the last 25 years or more. Yet occasionally once every year or so at an office function I might sip on a glass of beer when toasts are being made. The really wise would not even do that: but not from forcing themselves or trying to be good, just by their nature.


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