The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:14 pm

Mr Man wrote:Hi robertk
robertk wrote:Possibly some of the students of Sujin study Abhidhamma, there might be a flavor of that in their thinking?
So their study is conditioning their view? What is the motivation or movement towards study? Is it different to the movement towards meditation? Is it being driven by different forces? Is there a higher intention?



Of course their study conditions their views, . I am sure if I read you right, do you have doubts that it does?
It is a purely impersonal process.
Take the case of DF. She was psoting here for a while,
Then one day she sent me a pm asking me something and I think if she could meet Sujin. So at a convenient time, on her way home from her yearly long stays at a Myanmar meditation center she stopped over in Thailand and met Sujin for a short discussion. I was in Vietnam or Cambodia or somewhere so didnt even meet her.

Why, out of all the people on Dhammawheel was she interested in what I happened to write: even now almost 2 years later my total posts ad up to 700.
whereas some members have 15,000: you would think she would have been more influenced by one of them..

Or Beautiful Mind, he went to meet Sujin in Hua Hin last month, and he writes - viewtopic.php?f=13&t=15755&p=227593#p227593- how he 'hogged the mike"- for the 2 hours he was there . I see he is now writing on DSG and is unconvinced by anything out of Abhidhamma and I think favours a slighly Mahayana approach (sorry if I got your position wrong BM)- which is of course fine.


Myriad conditions work together to decide what we like and dont like, think or dont think.
Some people love Abhidhamma and thrive on it. Some love it but it makes them dry and distant. Some misinterpret it. Some get attached to it. Some reject it.
But why these differences.
It is all by conditions, there is no self who is like a manager deciding this and that. It is merely wisdom arising, or ignorance, or desire, or wrong view: and these conditioned mental factors, which always arises in assocation with cetana are performing the various functions.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:09 pm

Hi robertk

robertk wrote:

Of course their study conditions their views, . I am sure if I read you right, do you have doubts that it does?
It is a purely impersonal process.

It is no more or no less impersonal than any other process. On a conventional leval we would say that they are being guided by the teacher. The teacher is conditioning the thought process of the student. You have put your faith in the teacher. Your insight and understanding has come from the teacher.

But is the motivation that drives, is it any different to what drives someone to formal meditation? Are you not coming from the same place?

robertk wrote:Take the case of DF. She was psoting here for a while,
Then one day she sent me a pm asking me something and I think if she could meet Sujin. So at a convenient time, on her way home from her yearly long stays at a Myanmar meditation center she stopped over in Thailand and met Sujin for a short discussion. I was in Vietnam or Cambodia or somewhere so didnt even meet her.

Why, out of all the people on Dhammawheel was she interested in what I happened to write: even now almost 2 years later my total posts ad up to 700.
whereas some members have 15,000: you would think she would have been more influenced by one of them..

Or Beautiful Mind, he went to meet Sujin in Hua Hin last month, and he writes - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3#p227593- how he 'hogged the mike"- for the 2 hours he was there . I see he is now writing on DSG and is unconvinced by anything out of Abhidhamma and I think favours a slighly Mahayana approach (sorry if I got your position wrong BM)- which is of course fine.

Why do you think it is? Does DF have barami? Was she ripe? Do you think that followers of other teachers do not feel the same?

robertk wrote:
Myriad conditions work together to decide what we like and dont like with regard to views.
Some people love Abhidhamma and thrive on it. Some love it but it makes them dry and distant. Some misinterpret it. Some get attached to it. Some reject it.
like anything else
robertk wrote:But why these differences.
It is all by conditions, there is no self who is like a manager deciding this and that. It is merely wisdom arising, or ignorance, or desire, or wrong view: and these conditioned mental factors, which always arises in assocation with cetana are performing the various functions.
Is that your realization?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:38 pm

dhamma follower wrote: I just don't agree that sati-sampajana is the same thing than actively paying attention to a situation. In my understanding, it is rather understanding which arises and approach a reality with sati, which is called sati- sampajana. Without the element of right understanding of reality, it is not sati of satipatthana, and we can not actively make it to arise and maintain it. Understanding of its conditions, however, is a factor that can condition it to arise.

Where, in the following, do you see the requirement, the precondition, for "right understanding of reality"? Where do you see the suggestion "we can not actively make it arise"?
"And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?

[1] "There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'
Last edited by kirk5a on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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 Alex123 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:38 pm

Hello DF,

dhamma follower wrote:i don't have a choice over my views. They are conditioned, as any other sankhara dhamma. It was different 10 years ago. It was different 10 months and 10 days ago. Never really the same. It changes as considering over dhammas occurs again and again, by conditions.


Can you at this moment, please do it, think "All things are anatta"? Of course you can do it right now. This is right view.
Or
Can you at this moment, please do it, think "Atta really exists. I wonder what it is..."? Of course you can do it right now. This is wrong view.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:14 pm

Mr Man wrote:Hi robertk

robertk wrote:

Of course their study conditions their views, . I am sure if I read you right, do you have doubts that it does?
It is a purely impersonal process.

It is no more or no less impersonal than any other process. On a conventional leval we would say that they are being guided by the teacher. The teacher is conditioning the thought process of the student. You have put your faith in the teacher. Your insight and understanding has come from the teacher.

But is the motivation that drives, is it any different to what drives someone to formal meditation? Are you not coming from the same place?

?

Dear Mr. man

I think motivation is conditioned by various factors, such as right view and wrong view?
You have mentioned how the views put forward on this thread are ""rather an odd collective belief to hold" and how there "strong groupthink among sujin follwers here" so presumably you believe the points I made are conditioned primarily by wrong view, or if you prefer conventional terms, illogical or ridiculous (or simply odd).
For me I was happily putting them forward but if you can show that they are in opposition to the Theravada Tipitika and ancient Commentaries that would be great, please do.

For your point about views being "no more personal or impersonal than anything else", I believe it is Theravada axiom that all things are anatta, impersonal, not self...
It is like the Visuddhimagga says (xvii312)


"The absence of interestedness on the part of ignorance, such as 'Formations [sankhara] must be made to occur by me, or on the part of formations, such as 'vinnana must be made to ocur by us'. One who sees this rightly abandons self view by understanding the absence of a maker."

Maybe we like to think that we have freewill and that we can choose to do good. Or why not choose to be always fearless, never nervous. Even we are in a plane crash why not just choose to be perfectly unworried?

It seems to me in fact that fearlessness gradually comes about from seeing into anatta (at whatever level) and uncontrollabilty as one is wearing away the idea of a self who suffers, "who" needs protection; it erases, so it seems, the idea of a body that is under anyones control.

But this is just my idea, please feel free to disagree.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:28 pm

robertk wrote:

Myriad conditions work together to decide what we like and dont like with regard to views.
Some people love Abhidhamma and thrive on it. Some love it but it makes them dry and distant. Some misinterpret it. Some get attached to it. Some reject it.

like anything else

yes exactly, that was my point. Next year DF may decide to be a Tibetan Nun, or I might join the moonies.
But it is not someone inside the machine making such decisions, it is a purely conditioned process. That is what I believe (for now).

I can understand it seems a odd belief, that every moment has conditions, so please help out aand show why it is in opposition to the Theravada (or if you want to give me a nudge towards the moonies , why they have it right)
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:44 pm

robertk wrote:Myriad conditions work together to decide what we like and dont like with regard to views.


"Myriad..." Is this conceptual or ultimate truth?
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:49 pm

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:[
Hi Tilt,
It seems like rather an odd colective belief to hold. There appears to be very strong groupthink amongst the Sujin followers here.

Possibly some of the students of Sujin study Abhidhamma, there might be a flavor of that in their thinking?
Well, the linked Q&A with Sujin and the linked interview you did with Nona Van G interestingly points to the source of the flavor of what we are seeing here.

I wonder have you ever met any other people that have similar ideas to a teacher? Or would you say this is a unique phenomena ?
Group-think certainly can be a characteristic of students following particular teacher, but not always.
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 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:01 pm

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Hi robertk
robertk wrote:Possibly some of the students of Sujin study Abhidhamma, there might be a flavor of that in their thinking?
So their study is conditioning their view? What is the motivation or movement towards study? Is it different to the movement towards meditation? Is it being driven by different forces? Is there a higher intention?



Of course their study conditions their views, . I am sure if I read you right, do you have doubts that it does?
It is a purely impersonal process.
So, one does not choose to study Sujin's writings or to listen to her talks. It just happens?

Take the case of DF. . . .
The problem is that stories like can be found in any religion and their subdivisions, and such stories certainly do not negate the constantly ongoing choices that are being made by individuals who, for whatever set of reasons, adhere to a particular point of view.
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 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:07 pm

Hi robertk
robertk wrote:
I think motivation is conditioned by various factors, such as right view and wrong view?

Yes and the factors are not always easy to see.
robertk wrote:You have mentioned how the views put forward on this thread are ""rather an odd collective belief to hold" and how there "strong groupthink among sujin follwers here" so presumably you believe the points I made are conditioned primarily by wrong view, or if you prefer conventional terms, illogical or ridiculous (or simply odd).

The "rather an odd collective belief to hold" was "We believe that there have been many great meditators that used jhana as a basis for insight." it sounded almost like doctrine. That there is "strong groupthink among sujin followers here" would seem fair but I don't think that the points you have made are conditioned primarily by wrong view. I don't think that way actually. The phrase from Ajahn Chah has come to mind a few times though "true but not right, right but not true" .
robertk wrote: For me I was happily putting them forward but if you can show that they are in opposition to the Theravada Tipitika and ancient Commentaries that would be great, please do.

I can't do that, I wouldn't have an interest in doing that and if I could what difference would it make?
robertk wrote:For your point about views being "no more personal or impersonal than anything else", I believe it is Theravada axiom that all things are anatta, impersonal, not self...

Yes but is that your perspective?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:26 pm

robertk wrote:

I think motivation is conditioned by various factors, such as right view and wrong view?


Yes and the factors are not always easy to see

Isn't that the truth!

]robertk wrote:
For your point about views being "no more personal or impersonal than anything else", I believe it is Theravada axiom that all things are anatta, impersonal, not self...


Yes but is that your perspective?
[/quote]
Yes absolutely, but as I think both of us have been indicating it is a view, right or wrong. If there is nothing deeper than intellectual acceptance my perspective could change .
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:43 pm

robertk wrote:For me I was happily putting them forward but if you can show that they are in opposition to the Theravada Tipitika
Showing that your wholesale dismissal of meditation is in opposition to the suttas has been done here, and as for the ancient Commentaries, your use and the example of NVG's use of the Visuddhimagga do not point to a skillful usage.

Maybe we like to think that we have freewill and that we can choose to do good. Or why not choose to be always fearless, never nervous. Even we are in a plane crash why not just choose to be perfectly unworried?

It seems to me in fact that fearlessness gradually comes about from seeing into anatta (at whatever level) and uncontrollabilty as one is wearing away the idea of a self who suffers, "who" needs protection; it erases, so it seems, the idea of a body that is under anyones control.
Sure, but the nice thing is that following the Buddha's teachings, by the choice of putting into practice what the Buddha stated that we should put into practice -- what we can put into practice -- we can, by choices of meditation, of the practice of sila and such, cultivate the conditions that allow us to see and to act with wisdom. As said above, there is a reason why I value doing meditation when I am sick or in pain.
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 dhamma follower » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings DF,

An observation which may help in understanding why your thoughts are being met with such resistance...

There appears to be a concern that by putting everything down to "conditions", which in turn have their own conditions, which have their own conditions etc... that this mode of engagement is discounting or ignoring the role of intention (cetana).

By not accounting for cetana (or perhaps insisting that cetana itself arises on account of conditions), you're discounting the notion of free will and projecting a form of fatalism. Whereas fatalism is usually depicted in terms of projecting the future from the present... what this Abhidhamma-speak and insistence on impersonal conditions is doing, is to project a form of fatalism from the past to the present.

Perhaps this is why the Buddha taught things like kamma, and not things like Abhidhamma?



Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

I don't think the Buddha taught free will. He taught that will is a conditioned dhamma.

Fatalism means no way out. But the Buddha taught the 8 Noble fold Path which leads out of samsara. However, there's no traveler of the Path, like in the Dhammapada:

"Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;

The deeds are, but no doer of the deeds is there;

Nirvana is, but not the person who enters it;

The path is, but no traveler thereon is seen."

Brgds,
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
In my understanding, it is rather understanding which arises and approach a reality with sati, which is called sati- sampajana. Without the element of right understanding of reality, it is not sati of satipatthana, and we can not actively make it to arise and maintain it. Understanding of its conditions, however, is a factor that can condition it to arise.
Intellectual understanding has an important role to play, but if one does not actually do what is necessary to actually see “reality,” as the Buddha taught, all the intellectual “right understanding” is of limited value. Hoping for something to arise because we have amassed an intellectual understanding might work to some degree, but it is not what the Buddha taught. He taught much more based upon our ability to choose, to act, to deliberately cultivate those factors that give rise to insight/vipassana.


Intellectual understanding, or rather yoniso manasikara conditions direct understanding. It 's what the Buddha taught in a sutta (I have to find it again but I don't have it now): yoniso manasikara is the food for satipatthana. Having intellectual is not as easy as one thinks, however. We are now not agreeing on our understanding of the texts, or on this forum, people disagree on so many things..., that's an example.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:38 am

Mr Man wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:So when you said "I would not be able to assert to myself that her views are right if there had not been enough consideration from my own part." So that consideration was "Yoniso manasikara" and that "Yoniso manasikara" happened because the right conditions were there? It was not an activity? Amd the "consideration" was not touched or tainted?


Naturally it is not an activity. Manasikara is a cetasika which arises with all citta, it is usually translated as attention, consideration...It is yoniso manasikara when it accompanies kusala citta, and in the case of vipassana bhavana, it is accompanied by panna. Because it is yoniso, it is free from taints, at the moment it arises. If i try deliberately, however, to "considerate", it might be ayoniso manasikara, for sure.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:39 am

dhamma follower wrote:



I don't think the Buddha taught free will. He taught that will is a conditioned dhamma.

Fatalism means no way out. But the Buddha taught the 8 Noble fold Path which leads out of samsara. However, there's no traveler of the Path, like in the Dhammapada:


Fatalism: a doctrine that events are fixed in advance so that human beings are powerless to change them; also : a belief in or attitude determined by this doctrine.

In other words, if one accepts that the choices we are going to make are already determined by prior causes and conditions and that the entire universe is already determined by prior causes and conditions to unfold in a specific way then whoever is going to become an arahant is going to become one though no will of their own. It is simply the universe rolling on.

Personally, I think the buddha would have avoided these sorts of discussions though and just told us to cultivate the path, cultivate the wholesome, cultivate the seven factors of awakening, the first one being sati. Sati is something that is to be cultivated through practice, it cannot arise without the desire and intention to do so. Scientific study of meditation has proven that intentional formal practice does actually improve the mind so regardless of what anyone says, intentional formal meditation helps and I hope that every person interested in following the Dhamma will realize that.

: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 dhamma follower » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:44 am

kirk5a wrote:

Where, in the following, do you see the requirement, the precondition, for "right understanding of reality"? Where do you see the suggestion "we can not actively make it arise"?
"And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?

[1] "There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.'
[/quote]

Hi Kirk,

We should not expect the Buddha explain every details in the same sutta. The conditions for right understanding are mentioned in other suttas as quoted by RobertK here and I might provide some later.

Btw, the satipatthana sutta includes both description of samatha bhavana and vipassana. Each kind of development has its own conditions.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:50 am

Alex123 wrote:Hello DF,

dhamma follower wrote:i don't have a choice over my views. They are conditioned, as any other sankhara dhamma. It was different 10 years ago. It was different 10 months and 10 days ago. Never really the same. It changes as considering over dhammas occurs again and again, by conditions.


Can you at this moment, please do it, think "All things are anatta"? Of course you can do it right now. This is right view.
Or
Can you at this moment, please do it, think "Atta really exists. I wonder what it is..."? Of course you can do it right now. This is wrong view.


Hi Alex,

Understanding is not repeating words. I can of course say now "All things are anatta" as you resquested without really understanding what that means. Right view is right understanding. I could now say this to a friend nearby, he might or might not understand it at all, depending on his accumulations.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:52 am

"'No intentional effort can cause wisdom to arise': That seems to be one extreme. "'Only intentional effort can cause wisdom': That seems to be a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, perhaps the Tathagata taught the Dhamma via the middle?
Last edited by SamKR on Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:55 am

Hi dhamma follower
So you are saying that there has been yoniso manasikara (consideration that is free from taints) when you have come into contact with Khun Sujin's views? There is no doubt? How are you sure?

When you meet Khun Sujin do you listen?
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