The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

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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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.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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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.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby polarbuddha101 » 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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:47 am

robertk wrote: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 but without sufficient wisdom under certain circumstances break it.
So, until we are sotapanna there is no real point in practicing sila, for that would be naught more than clinging to sīlabbata-parāmāsa? And actively trying to cultivate sila, like bhāvanā it would seem, has no more significance that choosing one sandwich shop over another as far as Dhamma practice is concerned? Your above comment suggests as much. Please clarify.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:03 am


Robert, sharing one's practice is always a little bit tricky, but broadly speaking how do people in your tradition/lineage practice?

I gather there is study and contemplation of the teachings in the course of everyday life and this leads to wisdom. Could you correct/elaborate on that please?

You mean we quasi sokka gakkai :tongue:

No rules in this regard. I know a close friend of Sujins who is around her almost daily who wears partly white, and keeps eight precepts, who does nothing almost except things related to study and propagation of Dhamma. Or many monks go to listen and discuss in Bangkok.
Or someone like Nina van Gordon who devotes her life to writing brilliant books on Dhamma, whose idea of taking a break is switching on the radio (when she is in Bangkok,or mp3 when in holland)and listening to a few hours of recordings about the links in patticasamupada , in Thai language!

Then there are people like me who read Dhamma books from time to time, and who enjoy Dhamma discussions occasionally. Yet who spend more time in coffee shops, at work, with family , living a very mundane life, than they do in outright Dhamma situations. And I think truth of what theBuddha taught seems to reveal itself often in any situation..
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:06 am

What I find most interesting about robertk's practice is that it seems to be essentially faith based.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:14 am

robertk wrote:

Robert, sharing one's practice is always a little bit tricky, but broadly speaking how do people in your tradition/lineage practice?

I gather there is study and contemplation of the teachings in the course of everyday life and this leads to wisdom. Could you correct/elaborate on that please?

You mean we quasi sokka gakkai :tongue:

No rules in this regard. I know a close friend of Sujins who is around her almost daily who wears white, and keeps eight precepts, who does nothing almost except things related to study and propagation of Dhamma. Or many monks go to listen and discuss in Bangkok.
Or someone like Nina van Gordon who devotes her life to writing brilliant books on Dhamma, whose idea of taking a break is switching on the radio (when she is in Bangkok,or mp3 when in holland)and listening to a few hours of recordings about the links in patticasamupada , in Thai language!

Then there are people like me who read Dhamma books from time to time, and who enjoy Dhamma discussions occasionally. Yet who spend more time in coffee shops, at work, with family , living a very mundane life, than they do in outright Dhamma situations. And I think truth of what theBuddha taught seems to reveal itself often in any situation..


Thanks, Robert!

Personally I don't find it a good idea to have a deep divide between "Dhamma activity" and "mundane activity". But as a matter of practicality it was only after some years and a few dozen retreats that I realized that the mundane can be practice and practice is also sometimes very mundane!

As for "And I think truth of what theBuddha taught seems to reveal itself often in any situation.." I couldn't agree more.

Mr Man wrote:What I find most interesting about robertk's practice is that it seems to be essentially faith based.


My main problem with this approach to practice is that it seems to be very light.

I mean we are all experts in samsara and dedicate a great deal of energy to its propagation. The momentum of samsara, ie the mental patterns that keep it going is very strong. It seems to me that to reverse this momentum takes quite a bit of effort usually, whether we look at the Buddha or other great masters, it doesn't usually come easy.

So pouring energy into Dhamma practice is a commitment to going upstream from samsara and with informal practice like Robert describes, I don't see how this could happen. At least not without some amazing cultivation in past lifetimes.

PS. I confess that dispensing with meditation is also strange to me and I can't quite fathom how the teachings can really penetrate without mental cultivation that happens in meditation. But on the other hand, there are different Dhamma doors and I don't doubt that one can go a long way without formal meditation practice as we normally think of it.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby gendun » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:55 am

Dan74.
Many Dzogchen students have a well established practice of formal meditation before they encounter Dzogchen..but many don't.
And the latter may well have no practice that corresponds to formal vipassana, samatha, or Zazen.

In a sense it is based on Grace.

Just for interest.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:03 am

gendun wrote:
In a sense it is based on Grace.
Grace: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:31 am

Hi robertk
What would be the difference between "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 " did you see the cat sir"? http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=80#p228685
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:58 am

Not sure of your question. Could you explain a bit more
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:18 am

robertk wrote:Not sure of your question. Could you explain a bit more

Well one is a belief that you hold and one is a belief that a taxi drive holds.
They are both a product of the same function.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby gendun » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:35 am

tiltbillings wrote:
gendun wrote:
In a sense it is based on Grace.
Grace: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

In this instance the definition needs to be widened in include the Grace that the Guru brings that moves us towards liberation.
Which in Dzogchen ( or in Mahamudra ) results in resting in Primordial Awareness.
Last edited by gendun on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:50 am

Mr Man wrote:
robertk wrote:Not sure of your question. Could you explain a bit more

Well one is a belief that you hold and one is a belief that a taxi drive holds.
They are both a product of the same function.

Sorry! I forgot about the cat in nepal thatmy taxi driver thought was an inauspicious omen.
Ok I see your question now.
I would say his belief is conditioned by micchadithhi, wrong view.
I think my comments weren't associated with wrong view but I am open to correction?
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