The causes for wisdom

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

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Thanks Robert.... makes sense to me.

robertk wrote:Because wisdom leading to vipassana is not dependent at all on posture.

And sound "sitting-neutral" too...

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thanks for picking up this key point, and for the new phrase.
You have a skillful way with words!

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:48 am

robertk wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

It would be interesting then to see if one of them would be prepared to differentiate between "right sitting practice" from "wrong sitting practice".

If "wrong sitting practice" isn't anything advocated by Theravada teachers, then the objections are moot.

Robert? Kevin? DF?... any takers?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hi retro. If I am sitting , and as I happen to be doing now, and cittas associated with wisdom arise (nana-sampayutta) then that is "right ' And if the same type of cittas arise while stamding, while walking . Because wisdom leading to vipassana is not dependent at all on posture.
It is a little different for samathha where for some objects like breath a stable lotus like posture with erect back allowing for long periods without changing posture: but even for samathha the main factor is the type of wisdom that can let go of even subtle wrong concentration. Not easy.
Sitting. I assume that you saying that you are sitting at your desk with computer, but that is not quite what we are talking about, is it? You really have not answered the question, unless you are saying that your comments about sitting meditation here viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=230761#p230741 are flatly wrong. You might want to be a little more clear?

Have you changed your mind about sitting meditation, or are you going to stand by the thing you said in the msg?
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:50 am

Dan74 wrote:[

In a sense what you term rites and rituals can serve as a bridge between meditation and "everyday life" in that it is easier to bring a spacious clarity of meditation into a well-rehearsed activity like that than to face the "darts and arrows" in the same spirit.

Of course there are many other good reasons for performing them too. But since we are on the subject of meditation...


Going back to here, I was in school otherwise I would have replied sooner. The first part I suppose I can agree with although I'm not sure I would call bowing to statues and burning incense really part of everyday life as much as working, or going to school, talking to people, etc. are.

Also, just curious. What are the other good reasons for performing rites and rituals? I also just want to reiterate, I am not utterly opposed to them, I just think they're generally superfluous and not something the Buddha advocated. When I go to a Wat, I bow to the Buddha statue, when I was at a Wat on Vesak, I burned incense and circumambulated the building. But I just do it to be respectful, not because I see any inherent value in doing so.

Edit: This post seems a bit harsh in retrospect, I do have to admit that rites and rituals can serve as a springboard towards cultivating wholesome qualities. I think of this sutta:

"If, when an observance is observed, unskillful qualities grow and skillful qualities wane, then I tell you that that sort of observance is not to be observed. But if, when an observance is observed, unskillful qualities wane and skillful qualities grow, then I tell you that that sort of observance is to be observed.

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


:namaste:
Last edited by polarbear101 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:51 am

robertk wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Thanks Robert.... makes sense to me.

robertk wrote:Because wisdom leading to vipassana is not dependent at all on posture.

And sound "sitting-neutral" too...

Metta,
Retro. :)

Thanks for picking up this key point, and for the new phrase.
You have a skillful way with words!
It is totally unclear, in light of these comments -- viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=230761#p230741 -- that you are at all neutral about sitting meditation as it generally understood here.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:52 am

I saw in some earlier posts some feeling that by stressing on wisdom there was a negation of concentration and effort.

The thing is Effort and Concentration are easy to have, the reason being that they arise with both kusala and akusala:
here is the descrption of (viriya)Effort in the Abidhamma:
We read from the Dhammasangani (376):
Katamam tasmim samaye viriyindriyam hoti? "What at that time is the faculty of effort/energy/endeavor?" "That which is mental endeavor (viriyarhambo), riddance of lethargy, exerting harder and harder, endeavoring higher and higher, striving, painstaking zeal, utmost exertion, steadfastness, resoluteness, unfaltering endeavor, having sustained desire (chanda) to strive, not relinquishing the task, discharging the task well, effort (viriya) as the faculty of effort, power of effort, WRONG effort -- this at that time is the faculty of endeavor."


Sounded nice until that last phrase didn't it. That is what wrong effort is.
.

Or Concentration:
As the Dhammasangani makes clear such factors as sukkham (mental ease) and samadhi do not neccesarily mean anything auspicious- it may in fact be only purified lobha: ""What on that occasion is ease (sukkham) the mental pleasure, the mental ease which on that occasion is pleasant, easeful experience born of contact ...What on that occasion is ekaggatta. The stability, solidity, absorbed steadfastness of thought which on that occasion is absence of distraction, balance, unperturbed mental procedure, quiet, the faculty and the power of concentration, WRONG concentration .
'"------------
However, because these wrong concentration states are much less distracting and concentrated than the normal 'distracted"daily life they are naturally attractive and thus deceiving.
Now right effort and right concentration have the same descriptions. But without wisdom factor it is impossible to know the difference.
That is why it makes sense to me to put energy into learning what the Buddha said and to understand the value of patience in regard to the path.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:57 am

robertk wrote:I saw in some earlier posts some feeling that by stressing on wisdom there was a negation of concentration and effort.

The thing is Effort and Concentration are easy to have, the reason being that they arise with both kusala and akusala:
here is the descrption of (viriya)Effort in the Abidhamma:
We read from the Dhammasangani (376):
Katamam tasmim samaye viriyindriyam hoti? "What at that time is the faculty of effort/energy/endeavor?" "That which is mental endeavor (viriyarhambo), riddance of lethargy, exerting harder and harder, endeavoring higher and higher, striving, painstaking zeal, utmost exertion, steadfastness, resoluteness, unfaltering endeavor, having sustained desire (chanda) to strive, not relinquishing the task, discharging the task well, effort (viriya) as the faculty of effort, power of effort, WRONG effort -- this at that time is the faculty of endeavor."


Sounded nice until that last phrase didn't it. That is what wrong effort is.

Or Concentration:
As the Dhammasangani makes clear such factors as sukkham (mental ease) and samadhi do not neccesarily mean anything auspicious- it may in fact be only purified lobha: ""What on that occasion is ease (sukkham) the mental pleasure, the mental ease which on that occasion is pleasant, easeful experience born of contact ...What on that occasion is ekaggatta. The stability, solidity, absorbed steadfastness of thought which on that occasion is absence of distraction, balance, unperturbed mental procedure, quiet, the faculty and the power of concentration, WRONG concentration .
'"------------
However, because these wrong concentration states are much less distracting and concentrated than the normal 'distracted"daily life they are naturally attractive and thus deceiving.

That is why it makes sense to me to put energy into learning what the Buddha said and to understand the value of patience in regard to the path.
So, you still think that these comments -- viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=230761#p230741 -- are correct? And you still think that sitting meditation is, at best, problematic?
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:06 am

robertk wrote:I saw in some earlier posts some feeling that by stressing on wisdom there was a negation of concentration and effort.

The thing is Effort and Concentration are easy to have, the reason being that they arise with both kusala and akusala:
here is the descrption of (viriya)Effort in the Abidhamma:
We read from the Dhammasangani (376):
Katamam tasmim samaye viriyindriyam hoti? "What at that time is the faculty of effort/energy/endeavor?" "That which is mental endeavor (viriyarhambo), riddance of lethargy, exerting harder and harder, endeavoring higher and higher, striving, painstaking zeal, utmost exertion, steadfastness, resoluteness, unfaltering endeavor, having sustained desire (chanda) to strive, not relinquishing the task, discharging the task well, effort (viriya) as the faculty of effort, power of effort, WRONG effort -- this at that time is the faculty of endeavor."


Sounded nice until that last phrase didn't it. That is what wrong effort is.

Or Concentration:
As the Dhammasangani makes clear such factors as sukkham (mental ease) and samadhi do not neccesarily mean anything auspicious- it may in fact be only purified lobha: ""What on that occasion is ease (sukkham) the mental pleasure, the mental ease which on that occasion is pleasant, easeful experience born of contact ...What on that occasion is ekaggatta. The stability, solidity, absorbed steadfastness of thought which on that occasion is absence of distraction, balance, unperturbed mental procedure, quiet, the faculty and the power of concentration, WRONG concentration .
'"------------
However, because these wrong concentration states are much less distracting and concentrated than the normal 'distracted"daily life they are naturally attractive and thus deceiving.

That is why it makes sense to me to put energy into learning what the Buddha said and to understand the value of patience in regard to the path.
Why don't you quote the section on right concentration?
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:11 am

Actually I was going to add that in. Now added.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:13 am

robertk wrote:Actually I was going to add that in. Now added.
Okay, and now, how about answering my questions:

So, you still think that these comments -- viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=230761#p230741 -- are correct? And you still think that sitting meditation is, at best, problematic?
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:30 am

robertk wrote:I saw in some earlier posts some feeling that by stressing on wisdom there was a negation of concentration and effort.

The thing is Effort and Concentration are easy to have, the reason being that they arise with both kusala and akusala:
here is the descrption of (viriya)Effort in the Abidhamma:
We read from the Dhammasangani (376):
Katamam tasmim samaye viriyindriyam hoti? "What at that time is the faculty of effort/energy/endeavor?" "That which is mental endeavor (viriyarhambo), riddance of lethargy, exerting harder and harder, endeavoring higher and higher, striving, painstaking zeal, utmost exertion, steadfastness, resoluteness, unfaltering endeavor, having sustained desire (chanda) to strive, not relinquishing the task, discharging the task well, effort (viriya) as the faculty of effort, power of effort, WRONG effort -- this at that time is the faculty of endeavor."


Sounded nice until that last phrase didn't it. That is what wrong effort is.
Just like the mindfulness of breathing passage from the Visuddhimagga, there is a serious context problem here. Tell us what is actually being talked about in what context with (376)? You might want to quote Dhammasangani (13).
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:06 am

It is totally unclear, in light of these comments -- viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=230761#p230741 -- that you are at all neutral about sitting meditation as it generally understood here.


Please check out the quotes from the Satipatthana sutta I supplied earlier in this thread.

in defecating and in urinating, is a person practising clear comprehension(satisampajanna); in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person practising clear comprehension.

Insight can arise while walking, while standing, while looking straight ahead, while looking to the back, while defacating and while urinating. And most certainly it can arise while sitting.

My claim is that the path is a purely mental state, not at all dependent on posture. It is, to coin Retro, 'posture neutral'.

However if one believes that insight depends on being in a certain posture, or if one thinks that some technique is what vipassana is or leads to vipassana, then this belief is, so I claim, an indication of silabataparamasa.

Note I am referring here to vipassana: some samatha is aided by seclusion and by specific posture as I mentioned above.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:15 am

Some posts suggested that silabataparamasa only applied to things like dog duty asectics and other extreme practices.
So I repost this to make it clear that silabataparamsa can ve very subtle.

In fact the visuddhimagga CHAPTER XVII The Soil of Understanding (conclusion):267. Another [thinks] through rules-and-vows(silabataparamasa) clinging, “
This rite and ritual
leads him who perfects it to perfect bliss in becoming in the fortunate states of
the sense sphere or in the fine-material or immaterial kinds of becoming,” and
he performs kamma to achieve that. That kamma of his is kamma-process
becoming. The aggregates generated by the kamma are rebirth-process becoming.
But the percipient, etc., kinds of becoming are included in that, too. So rules-andvows
clinging is a condition for all three, namely, the sense-desire, fine-material
and immaterial kinds of becoming with their analysis and their synthesis
.

The material and immaterial becomings are the results of true jhana: extra-ordinary degrees of mahakusala.

so this is how incredibly subtle silabataparamasa can be . It can at times even lead to kusala actions.




What more to say of any special practice we think is needed to make vipassana arise. So certainly an idea that by sitting (or standing or walking or talking) or focussing on this or focussing on that , that these actions are neccessary conditions for insight to arise is an aspect of wrong view and silabataparamasa.
Like now, can insight arise while typing on a computer- Yes provided there is enough right understanding. But if one then tries to make it happen, or thinks they should focus on the fingers or the feelings or whatever their object of choice is then that shows a lack of understanding of how incredibly anatta and uncontrollable is each moment.

There is not the patience (khanti) to let satisampajanna arise naturally, as it must if the conditions are there. If one tries in this way it shows one still has some doubts or even disbelieves the texts about anatta. The theory and the practice conform completely: not "oh I still have self, I will do my practice and after I become sotapanna there will be no self" . It will never happen

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:19 am

robertk wrote:
It is totally unclear, in light of these comments -- viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&p=230761#p230741 -- that you are at all neutral about sitting meditation as it generally understood here.


Please check out the quotes from the Satipatthana sutta I supplied earlier in this thread.
Insight can arise while walking, while standing, while looking straight ahead, while looking to the back, while defacating and while urinating. And most certainly it can arise while sitting.
Yes, well, no one has said any differently.

However if one believes that insight depends on being in a certain posture, or if one thinks that some technique is what vipassana is or leads to vipassana, then this belief is, so I claim, an indication of silabataparamasa.
So, then your statements in the linked msg are not quite correct. Actually, they are exaggerated and polemical, so we can dismiss what you have said to this point. I know of no teacher that teaches the distorted caricature of meditation that seems rampant among Sujin followers and that you displayed for us here. Good to see that maybe we can find a common ground.

Note I am referring here to vipassana: some samatha is aided by seclusion and by specific posture as I mentioned above.
Okay.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:24 am

Good to see that maybe we can find a common ground.

yes we seem to be getting closer. I can almost feel the love :toast:

I think that many of the meditation groups do say that insight can arise anywhere,
so it is not clear why they then seem to preference certain activities...

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:45 am

robertk wrote:What more to say of any special practice we think is needed to make vipassana arise. So certainly an idea that by sitting (or standing or walking or talking) or focussing on this or focussing on that , that these actions are neccessary conditions for insight to arise is an aspect of wrong view and silabataparamasa.
Except you are rather missing the point of the practice as a skillful means for cultivating the conditions that give rise to mindfulness/sati, allowing to one see the rise and fall of the nama/rupa experience as it is. If there is a clinging to practice as you suggest might happen, that is not necessarily a fatal problem. It is simply part of the context that gets seen, understood as being empty of self, and let go. Any practice is subject to such issues, even listing to and studying the Dhamma in hopes that one can "see" the "realities."

Like now, can insight arise while typing on a computer- Yes provided there is enough right understanding. But if one then tries to make it happen, or thinks they should focus on the fingers or the feelings or whatever their object of choice is then that shows a lack of understanding of how incredibly anatta and uncontrollable is each moment.
What is the right amount of "enough understanding?" You are, in this Sujin practice, by your own description, actively choosing to do any number of things in hope that that helps give rise to the proper conditions for insight.

There is not the patience (khanti) to let satisampajanna arise naturally, as it must if the conditions are there.
Are you, in following the Sujin methodology, being super patient just because it is the Sujin method? You cannot be impatient, you cannot want this to move a little faster and little deeper because you are doing the Sujin method? Every practice has that as a problem.

As for letting satisampajanna arise naturally, in Burmese Vipassana, for example, satisampajanna arises naturally dependent upon conditions. It is the only way it can arise.

If one tries in this way it shows one still has some doubts or even disbelieves the texts about anatta.
Not necessarily. Doubts are a natural things that everyone struggles with. It takes time, and the nice thing about doubts is that they can be watched, observed to rise and fall dependent upon conditions, having no inherent substance, and can be -- with insight -- let go.

The theory and the practice conform completely: not "oh I still have self, I will do my practice and after I become sotapanna there will be no self" . It will never happen
A confused sentence, but I am guessing it is part of the distorting caricature of meditation that plagues the Sujin people.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:46 am

robertk wrote:
Good to see that maybe we can find a common ground.

yes we seem to be getting closer. I can almost feel the love
I would not go that far.

I think that many of the meditation groups do say that insight can arise anywhere,
so it is not clear why they then seem to preference certain activities...
The preference for "formal" meditation is because it what the Buddha taught and because it works.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:53 am

robertk wrote:
Good to see that maybe we can find a common ground.

yes we seem to be getting closer. I can almost feel the love :toast:

I think that many of the meditation groups do say that insight can arise anywhere,
so it is not clear why they then seem to preference certain activities...


Dear Robert,

Being an ex of the meditation camp that you are referring to, I think the underlying idea is that insight can only arise from a clear mind, and that the activity of doing meditation or being in a secluded environment such as meditation center can help for that.

First, most people think that samadhi is the cause for panna, maybe because in the Vis., it is stated that concentration is the proximate cause of panna.

Secondly, somehow, there's confusion between the nivarana (obstacles) to samatha bhavana and that to vipassana bhavana,

But It turns out,as we can learn from the text, the only obstacle to vipassana bhavana is wrongview, and right concentration arises with any moment of right understanding, whereas wrong concentration abound if there's not enough understanding.

In my personal case, and also in that of many yogis I know, it is due to lack of proper knowledge and understanding of what is explained in the Tipitaka, not enough consideration.

Brgds,
Tam
Last edited by dhamma follower on Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:55 am

dhamma follower wrote:But It turns out,as we can learn from the text, the only obstacle to vipassana bhavana is wrongview, and right concentration arises with any moment of right understanding, whereas wrong concentration abound if there's not enough understanding.
Are wrong views conceptual?
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:The preference for "formal" meditation is because it what the Buddha taught and because it works.

Here is a quote from a popular book by Venerable Gunaratana,Mindfulness in Plain English:

One of the most difficult things to learn is that mindfulness is not dependent on any emotional or mental state.. You don't need to move at a snail's pace to be mindful. You don't even need to be calm. You can be mindful while solving problems in intensive calculus. You can be mindful in the middle of a football scrimmage. You can even be mindful in the midst of a raging fury. Mental and physical activities are no bar to mindfulness.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:06 am

robertk wrote:so it is not clear why they then seem to preference certain activities...
I think it is certainly a question that is worth exploring. Formal meditation may be part of a framework, which we use to observe - structure can be useful. It can also be an oportunity to take a step back. It can be a time were we chalenge the momentum.
Last edited by Mr Man on Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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