Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation
danieLion
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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:20 pm

twelph wrote:As a side note, meditation has the benefit of stilling the mind to the point where evaluating one's thinking can be directly linked to different sensations in the body. When critical thinking talks about trying to determine your own bias, using the body as a frame of reference to notice when you feel strongly about something will help you from falling into these traps.

I believe that several teachers have mentioned that in the west there is a stigmatism associated with being aware of your body. Taking this into consideration, it makes sense that critical thinking (with the current iteration being developed mostly from western philosophy) would lack this portion of the Dhamma.


Which teachers?

REBT, CBT, DBT and MBCT do the opposite of stigmatize the body. E.g., REBT and CBT teaches unconditional self acceptance, which includes body acceptance, and DBT (Marsha Linehan's mindfulness infused version of CBT) and MBCT specifically teach mindfulness of the body. And all these therapeutic modalities teach critical thinking, so they definitely do not lack this portion of the Dhamma.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:24 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:As Ben already pointed out, critical thinking can apply to the investigation of dhammas factor of awakening.
I pointed this out before Ben did.

polarbuddha101 wrote:Another good use of critical thinking with the aim of improving one's thinking comes from the Dvedhavitakka Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html). And as pointed out critical thinking should play a significant role in cultivating right effort as well as appropriate attention.
Which I initially brought up also. Did you skip my posts?

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:36 pm

kirk5a wrote:If the analysis doesn't result in stilling, it's papañca.
Right. Ellis would call papanca irrational beliefs and David D. Burns cognitive distortions.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:38 pm

Mr Man wrote:No it isn't.
No what isn't? Who and what are you specifically responding to?

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:40 pm

Mr Man wrote:Critical thinking is of the world.
Computers are "of the world" too, yet you seem to have no problem using them as a dhamma tool.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Ben wrote:Also, you might be interested in the section in Ven Analayo's seminal work "Satipatthana", on "Investigation of Dhammas" which can be interpreted as self-reflexive analysis.

It's been a few years since I read it so thanks for the reminder.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:44 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:No it isn't. critical thinking is about thought based solutions to thought created problems. Vipassana is transformative. It creates a shift. Critical thinking is of the world.
A sutta response:


"When for you there will be only the seen in the seen, only the heard in the
heard, only the sensed in the sensed, only the cognized in the cognized,
then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms
of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither
here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of suffering."


-- Ud I 10
This is not a matter of conceptual, critical thinking, and it is something that can be cultivated.

How can it be cultivated without critical thinking?

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:45 pm

porpoise wrote:A brief definition of "critical thinking" would be helpful - or at least what it means in this thread.
It has been. Watch the video or read the post here where I transcribed it. It's very good, IMHO.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:49 pm

Dan74 wrote:Many people adept at critical thinking fail miserably in inner inquiry, so I think they are quite different.
True. That's why it needs to be combined with a skillful telos, or purpose, which Buddhism, REBT, CBT, MBCT and DBT all provide.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:56 pm

danieLion wrote:
Mr Man wrote:No it isn't.
No what isn't? Who and what are you specifically responding to?


I am responding to the question, which is the OP "Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?"

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:05 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The factor of enlightenment called "Investigation of Phenomena" (Dhammavicaya), by means of which a meditator gains insight, does not speculate, it just observes things as they truly are, without any prejudice or bias.


I brought dhammavicaya up quite early in this thread.

It's not accurate to say "without any." Observing as a form of knowing comes with it's own assumptions and biases and requires critical judgment (and the way you phrase this looks to me like what Ellis and Burns call the irrational belief/cognitive distortion of All-Or-Nothing Thinking). The Path has a Goal (telos) and is fabricated by the practitioners verbal, mental, and bodily actions. The Goal dictates which biases to have and which to discard. The fabricating of The Path requires critical thinking. Critical thinking, by the definition in the video, is not merely speculative as the goal postulated there is to improve thinking. If you read Thanissaro's Skill In Questions, for instance, you'll find a case for the fact that the Buddha did just this.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:09 pm

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:No it isn't. critical thinking is about thought based solutions to thought created problems. Vipassana is transformative. It creates a shift. Critical thinking is of the world.

Would be interested to hear from robertk and also from those with a strong "classical" sutta understanding would have to say?

Dear mr man
vipassana is as you say not thinking about a subject. see below from sujin boriharnwanaket.
Here is an extract from Dhamma talk:

Acharn:seeing arising and seeing sees but acctually how come to be seeing? No
self, No body. While one is fast asleep no one there at all. No friend, no
possesion, no name, no world.
But how come sound appearing? See, it indicates anattaness, when there is right
time for hearing to hear whatever sound is there it has to arise..by conditions.
And than goes away instantly. Unknowingly from birth to death. So it's not
understanding reality at all. There is always thinking, about realities or about
subject, different subject like medicine, and architecture and history. But not
the understanding any reality at all. But one has to be born and die. For sure.
Because acctually there is no one who is born, and no one who dies. But this is
a conditioned reality.

No one can stop it. The arising and falling away of a reality.

What about at this moment of seeing. It is so real, because whatever is seen is
seen, now...We dont need to say this is nama, which sees and the ruupa is seen.
Not necessery at all. That is not the way. But the way to understand is that
when there is seeing right now, there is seeing. What does it sees? What is
seen? The thing that is seen is not the seeing. So there is beginning of
understanding, the nature of reality.

Be http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... age/129346

on the other hand without understanding correctly intellectually what the Buddha taught their couldn't be direct insight.

so if there is wise thinking about Dhamma there is at that time the factor of panna, wisdom. it is a a prequisite for deeper levels as i see it.

So is Sujin saying "reality" is not a "subject"? I really like your last two sentences.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:23 pm

danieLion wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:As Ben already pointed out, critical thinking can apply to the investigation of dhammas factor of awakening.
I pointed this out before Ben did.

polarbuddha101 wrote:Another good use of critical thinking with the aim of improving one's thinking comes from the Dvedhavitakka Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html). And as pointed out critical thinking should play a significant role in cultivating right effort as well as appropriate attention.
Which I initially brought up also. Did you skip my posts?


No. I read your posts. I guess I sort of skipped over dhamma vicaya without processing it. Also, you did point out the difference between skillful and unskillful desire but not the sutta on two kinds of thinking so that is why I brought that up. And yes, I was referring to you implicitly when I mentioned appropriate attention and right effort. I was only referring to Ben when I mentioned investigation of dhammas as a factor of awakening. Anyway, good stuff you wrote, it was interesting.
"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: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby Mr Man » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:25 pm

danieLion wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Critical thinking is of the world.
Computers are "of the world" too, yet you seem to have no problem using them as a dhamma tool.


I was not negating intelligence just assigning it a place.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:49 pm

porpoise wrote:A brief definition of "critical thinking" would be helpful - or at least what it means in this thread.

did you watch the video?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby robertk » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:56 pm

danieLion wrote:
robertk wrote:sujin:There is always thinking, about realities or about
subject, different subject like medicine, and architecture and history. But not
the understanding [of]any reality at all.

No one can stop it. The arising and falling away of a reality.

What about at this moment of seeing. It is so real, because whatever is seen is
seen, now..


So is Sujin saying "reality" is not a "subject"? .

she is using the term realities to mean paramattha dhammas, the khandhas, dhatus, like seeing, hearing, sound, vedana etc.
So even we Buddhists, even if we know Abhidhamma, tend to think about these realities rather than knowing them at the moment they arise.(and most of the time we simply think about worldly topics.)

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:05 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
danieLion wrote:
polarbuddha101 wrote:As Ben already pointed out, critical thinking can apply to the investigation of dhammas factor of awakening.
I pointed this out before Ben did.

polarbuddha101 wrote:Another good use of critical thinking with the aim of improving one's thinking comes from the Dvedhavitakka Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html). And as pointed out critical thinking should play a significant role in cultivating right effort as well as appropriate attention.
Which I initially brought up also. Did you skip my posts?


No. I read your posts. I guess I sort of skipped over dhamma vicaya without processing it. Also, you did point out the difference between skillful and unskillful desire but not the sutta on two kinds of thinking so that is why I brought that up. And yes, I was referring to you implicitly when I mentioned appropriate attention and right effort. I was only referring to Ben when I mentioned investigation of dhammas as a factor of awakening. Anyway, good stuff you wrote, it was interesting.

:anjali:

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:06 pm

Mr Man wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Critical thinking is of the world.
Computers are "of the world" too, yet you seem to have no problem using them as a dhamma tool.


I was not negating intelligence just assigning it a place.

Thanks for clarifying. :anjali:

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby danieLion » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:11 pm

robertk wrote:
danieLion wrote:
robertk wrote:sujin:There is always thinking, about realities or about
subject, different subject like medicine, and architecture and history. But not
the understanding [of]any reality at all.

No one can stop it. The arising and falling away of a reality.

What about at this moment of seeing. It is so real, because whatever is seen is
seen, now..


So is Sujin saying "reality" is not a "subject"? .

she is using the term realities to mean paramattha dhammas, the khandhas, dhatus, like seeing, hearing, sound, vedana etc.
So even we Buddhists, even if we know Abhidhamma, tend to think about these realities rather than knowing them at the moment they arise.(and most of the time we simply think about worldly topics.)

Speaking of the Abhidhamma, it, at times, strikes me as a highly sophisticated manifestion of a great early Buddhist critical thinking project. I don't see how they could've created such an elaborate scholasticism without the application of crtical thinking, but that may partially be ignorance on my part, as I have not yet completed a full course of study in the Abhidhamma. So, I'll defer to your corrections on this matter if you have any.

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Re: Is Critical Thinking Active Vipassana?

Postby robertk » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:42 pm

in the Introduction of the "Atthasåliní" (The Expositor,) it is said that the Buddha, during the fourth week after his

enlightenment, sat in the "Jewel House", (near the bodhi tree)

... "And while he contemplated the contents of the "Dhammasangani",

his body did not emit rays; and similarly with the contemplation of the

next five books. But when, coming to the "Great Book", he began to

contemplate the twenty-four universal causal relations of condition, of

presentation, and so on, his omniscience certainly found its opportunity

therein. For as the great fish Timirati-piògala finds room only in the

great ocean eighty-four thousand yojanas in depth, so his omniscience

truly finds room only in the Great Book. Rays of six colours- indigo,

golden, red, white, tawny, and dazzling- issued from the Teacher’s

body, as he was contemplating the subtle and abstruse Dhamma by his

omniscience which had found such opportunity...."


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