The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:06 pm

robertk:This is because it is a purely mental phenomena, and unlike samatha development, where sound is a thorn, vipassana can be aware of sound or of unpleasant feeling or pleasant taste. It can even arise "in the midst or a raging fury" or "in the middle or a footall scrimmage"> THis is because "mental and physical activities are no bar to mindfulness"

I wonder if you agree with the full context of this quote in Ven G's book, which is that mindfulness can be deliberately cultivated, and it is a matter of discipline choice that leads to the cultivation of mindfulness. Also, that passage refers to a well cultivated mindfulness. Like passages you have quoted above, this also seems to be out of context in the way you are using it here.


well lets look at what well cultivated mindfulness is?
do you mean it is something that happens while in a meditation retreat? if so is it a 10 day retreat, or a one month , or three year? say he is in a football scimmage after the retreat, is there a time limit, after the retreat ends, when he no longer has the ability to have mindfulness in the football scrimmage or while in a raging fury
or does it apply to someone who meditates an hour a day? or twice a day?

when this person is in the middle of a football scrimmage what sort of processes arise that give this "discipline choice" that you mention?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:57 pm

robertk wrote:robertk:This is because it is a purely mental phenomena, and unlike samatha development, where sound is a thorn, vipassana can be aware of sound or of unpleasant feeling or pleasant taste. It can even arise "in the midst or a raging fury" or "in the middle or a footall scrimmage"> THis is because "mental and physical activities are no bar to mindfulness"

I wonder if you agree with the full context of this quote in Ven G's book, which is that mindfulness can be deliberately cultivated, and it is a matter of discipline choice that leads to the cultivation of mindfulness. Also, that passage refers to a well cultivated mindfulness. Like passages you have quoted above, this also seems to be out of context in the way you are using it here.


well lets look at what well cultivated mindfulness is?
do you mean it is something that happens while in a meditation retreat? if so is it a 10 day retreat, or a one month , or three year? say he is in a football scimmage after the retreat, is there a time limit, after the retreat ends, when he no longer has the ability to have mindfulness in the football scrimmage or while in a raging fury
or does it apply to someone who meditates an hour a day? or twice a day?

when this person is in the middle of a football scrimmage what sort of processes arise that give this "discipline choice" that you mention?
The fact of the matter is that mindfulness can be deliberately cultivated by a formal meditation practice, which is one of the major points of Bhante G's book, but that is something that KS and her acolytes have denied as having any real value, rejecting any attempt at sitting meditation being lobha or some other negative mental state, and you own comments support the KS point of view. You have taken the Bhante G quote out of its context.
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.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:00 pm

pulga wrote:I still don't have the time to engage in much "heavy lifting", but I noticed that two of the sutta quotes offered in support of a mundane interpretation of yoniso manasikara come from the Kalyanamittavagga of the Anguttaranikaya. A kalyanamitta is explicitly defined as an ariyan in the Suttas, later the monks felt the need to introduce the notion of a "kalyana puthujjana" (Patisambidhamagga and the Commentaries) to compensate for the dearth of ariyans in their midst.
And you do not have the time to even quote the two suttas you just mentioned. At this point, I'll stay with the highly educated and experienced bhikkhus who have done the work for which you have no time.
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.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:44 pm

robertk wrote:or does it apply to someone who meditates an hour a day? or twice a day?


From a practical point of view I've found that the more sitting meditation I can do, the more mindful I am able to be.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:11 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Several things: the response to dhamma follower concerning having to be awakened to be awakened was an attempt at trying to clarify something she said several times, but -- alas -- she never clarified the point, even after asking her to do so several times.



Dear Tilt,

I thought I was being clear in my answer...Well, probably there are some different ground ideas which give rise to misunderstanding between us on this regard. For example, when i talked about wisdom/understanding, i was referring to the panna cetasika, which is not necessarily ariyan, but just the mental factor which understands correctly. This mental factor can be of intellectual level, i.e having concepts as object, or of the level of direct understanding or insight i.e having paramatha dhammas as object. Thus, when speaking about understanding as being the forerunner factor which cultivates the Path, I didn't mean one had to be awakened to be awakened. What was meant is that without hearing the Buddha's words, there's no way for vipassana to be developed. The wisdom contained in his words conditions the right understanding- first, at an intellectual level- in the hearer. The understanding thus gained can be a condition for further understanding, which at some point, can condition direct understanding.

We usually think that intellectual understanding is one thing, and direct understanding is another, which is totally right. However, we are not inclined to believe that it is the intellectual understanding which conditions direct understanding. This thread is an attempt (at least to me) to demonstrate that it is precisely this intellectual understanding gained from hearing the right dhamma which is the cause of direct understanding.

When we talk about an activity, such as doing meditation, attending dhamma discussions, we actually talk about countless moments of many different kinds of mental states, then not all kinds of mental states occurring during those moments can be said to be the cause of wisdom. By way of paccaya, moments of unwholesomeness can not condition moment of wholesomeness. Only wholesomeness can condition other moments of wholesomeness, and only understanding can condition further understanding.

Another thing: I - or Robertk- have never asserted that understanding can not be developed, or should not be. Of course it should be. But since dhammas don't arise at someone's will, we need to understand what conditions what. Even something we often talk about like "sati"- how much we understand its characteristics? how much we understand the conditions for its arising? Without really understanding what is sati, can we cultivate it? If you agree that everything is merely impersonal processes, then it should follows that understanding is not developed by a self- but by its precise conditions. This understanding is crucial.

When we talk about "deliberate development", I'm afraid that we are making cetana- will- the forerunner of the Path. Of course, language sometime can be an issue. We can not avoid using conventional speak. But does one really understand that it is only conventional, or does one take its meaning literally, that is something I think important to find out.

I don't know if this post is any clearer than my previous ones...But actually I don't find repetition a bad thing anymore, sometime i have to listen to something many many times without knowing what it is about, until one moment it clicks...

Best regards,
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:41 pm

It may have been exceedingly exceptional but the Buddha awakened. He had no one to show him the way.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:14 am

Prasadachitta wrote:It may have been exceedingly exceptional but the Buddha awakened. He had no one to show him the way.


Greeting Prasadachitta,

Indeed, it is exceedingly exceptional, that's why he is called samma sambuddha - the one who has become enlightened without a teacher. You might know that it is by virtue of his exceptional paramis which have been developed for a really looooooooong time, 4 aons and 100.000 kappa at the shortest...However, his understanding has also been developed throughout those time thanks to listening to other Buddhas' teachings. He has met 24 Buddhas since he was predicted to become one, until his own enlightenment. If you are interested in the subject, the book "the perfections leading to enlightenment" by Nina Van Gorkom- Sujin is a very good one. There, we read that in his previous lives,the Boddhisatta who is to become our Buddha Gotama already reached very high level of understanding, along with all other paramis.

Apart from Buddhas, all others are hearers. A Boddhisatta also is a hearer for many lifetimes.

Who are we compared to the qualities he was endowed with?

Brgrds,
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:24 am

Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:Who are we compared to the qualities he was endowed with?

Similarly, who are we to make up the qualities and history he was endowed with? Much of what you state about his history and path to enlightenment was not actually said by the Buddha himself and is just hagiography created by others to make the Buddha sound more impressive to those who are impressed by such grandeur.

It would be rather unfortunate if we did not look directly at the Buddha's own teachings, as they were presented, but insisted on filtering them through posthumous hagiography and scholastic frameworks instead.

SN 20.7: Ani Sutta wrote:Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained. [1]

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Note
1. Ironically, the Commentary notes that the drum originally could be heard for twelve leagues, but in its final condition couldn't be heard even from behind a curtain.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pulga » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:05 am

tiltbillings wrote: At this point, I'll stay with the highly educated and experienced bhikkhus who have done the work for which you have no time.


I've got a question regarding Ven. Bodhi's introduction to the Sotapattisamyutta in his translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. On pages 1517 and 1518 he refers to the tetrad of the sotapattiyangani as "qualities that must be actualized to attain stream-entry" -- which I'm in full agreement with. But later on page 1520 he writes: "These qualities lead not only to stream-entry but to all the fruits of the path."(my emphasis) -- thus implying that the puthujjana possesses these qualities prior to having actualized them. Does Ven. Bodhi mean to say that the sotapattiyangani are within the domain of the puthujjana? Is it appropriate to attribute the sotapattiyangani to the puthujjana prior to stream-entry?

Any clarification would be welcome.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:27 am

pulga wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: At this point, I'll stay with the highly educated and experienced bhikkhus who have done the work for which you have no time.


I've got a question regarding Ven. Bodhi's introduction to the Sotapattisamyutta in his translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. On pages 1517 and 1518 he refers to the tetrad of the sotapattiyangani as "qualities that must be actualized to attain stream-entry" -- which I'm in full agreement with. But later on page 1520 he writes: "These qualities lead not only to stream-entry but to all the fruits of the path."(my emphasis) -- thus implying that the puthujjana possesses these qualities prior to having actualized them. Does Ven. Bodhi mean to say that the sotapattiyangani are within the domain of the puthujjana? Is it appropriate to attribute the sotapattiyangani to the puthujjana prior to stream-entry?

Any clarification would be welcome.
Why don't you put that question him directly. Apparently he is accessible to such enquiries.
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 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:Who are we compared to the qualities he was endowed with?

Similarly, who are we to make up the qualities and history he was endowed with? Much of what you state about his history and path to enlightenment was not actually said by the Buddha himself and is just hagiography created by others to make the Buddha sound more impressive to those who are impressed by such grandeur.

It would be rather unfortunate if we did not look directly at the Buddha's own teachings, as they were presented, but insisted on filtering them through posthumous hagiography and scholastic frameworks instead.

Metta,
Retro. :)


:goodpost:
"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 pulga » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:04 am

tiltbillings wrote:Why don't you put that question him directly. Apparently he is accessible to such enquiries.


I think he's burdened enough by his admirers. In any case, I'm pretty confident that Ven. Nanavira got it right: in other words, I'm a lost cause.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:So, you would not agree with robertk's highly dismissive and bitingly negative assessment of meditation practice: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=80#p228511" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ?
...
What I find unfortunate in this is that KS does not really seem to understand what actual meditation is about as a process of growth in understanding, and the negative attitude she which has toward "sitting in the dark" is reflected in her students, and that has been reflected in this thread.


From what I understand regarding KS and her students:

(a) A distinction is made between wholesome and unwholesome intention, so the wish/decision to do anything, including to develop mindfulness, wisdom, etc, can be either wholesome or unwholesome.

(b) It is recognised that intentional development (wholesome) of wisdom and other wholesome factors is possible, however, this is thought to happen at the stage when faculties are highly developed, when it’s basically natural to “sit at the roots of trees and meditate” directing one’s mind to samatha or vipassana, without the danger of it turning (largely) unwholesome.

(c) All of K.S. students I came into contact with (except Kevin) consider their mindfulness, wisdom and other faculties to be quite underdeveloped. So, they are of the opinion that if they were to attempt intentional development, it would be largely unwholesome since underdeveloped faculties do not allow the distinction between wholesome and unwholesome states to be made, and thus, one’s likely to be developing largely unwholesome states, including wrong view, since unwholesome states predominate for someone with underdeveloped faculties.

(d) That thought to be the case, they give each other (and occasionally to others – by habit, or by assumption that we’re all pretty much the same) the advice appropriate to those with underdeveloped faculties. As in, if you can’t tell the difference between wholesome and unwholesome states, then you really have no idea what is it that you’re intentionally trying to develop at the moment, so better consider the teachings some more until that distinction between wholesome and unwholesome is more clear.

In regards to all above, perhaps the main issue worth considering is how under/developed are my faculties? If they’re developed, then K.S. advice specifically on meditation simply doesn’t apply to me. But how to determine this? What would be the very basis of development of wisdom? From what I gather, it seems the very basis is the ability to know an instance with mindfulness as different from an instance without it (so, basically, the faculty of wisdom is developed at least to the extent of knowing what the actual experience of mindfulness is). From this, distinction between wholesome and unwholesome states can be known (because I think in Theravada it is taught that sati only arises with wholesome mental states), and thus, distinction between un/wholesome intention, wish, etc, can be known, and thus, intentional development is now possible.

This of course is something each person would have to determine on one’s own. I still find it difficult - in the past 2 decades there were many occasions when I thought – well, this would have to be mindfulness, I know now what is the experience of mindfulness, but then, that conclusion wouldn’t be confirmed in the long run. So, I’m still considering this one. However, since my faculty of wisdom hasn’t really developed even to such a basic stage, it stands to reason that I can’t really arouse wholesome states intentionally. I mean, I can arouse states, and it’s inadvertently done all the time, but likelihood is that they are mostly unwholesome and I can’t really tell which is which in order to cultivate one kind and not cultivate another (arouse more of one and not arouse more of the other).

So there’s a whole number of issues that need considering then, e.g. how do faculties actually get from underdeveloped to developed stage, is it a passive path, can something be done, how do you make sure whatever you’re doing isn’t unwholesome again, what is an actual moment of bhavana, what conditions it, how does wisdom actually develop, what of the grey area when faculties are sort of in between, can I learn from my own mistakes, etc?

I find most of K.S. talks are directed to those sorts of questions, and I can go into that next unless something above needs clarifying first?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:56 pm

Dear Retro,

I don't think your comment below is fair. While you might not like the details about the Boddhisatta' lives, which nonetheless are recorded in the Buddhavamsa as well as the commentary to the Vinaya - Cariyapitaka, the main point made in the post was about our being hearers only, and that we have to rely on his words to develop understanding, and that we actually have a very low level of wisdom. If you wish, you might directly address those points.
Since i was talking about those specific points and was not discussing themajor content of the Buddha 's teaching in that post, your comment about looking directly at his teaching doesn't seem to apply.
If you think that the arguments i've presented so far about the cause of wisdom run counter what the Buddha said, I would be happy to discuss about that with you.

Brgds,
D.F

:jawdrop: v
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:Who are we compared to the qualities he was endowed with?

Similarly, who are we to make up the qualities and history he was endowed with? Much of what you state about his history and path to enlightenment was not actually said by the Buddha himself and is just hagiography created by others to make the Buddha sound more impressive to those who are impressed by such grandeur.

It would be rather unfortunate if we did not look directly at the Buddha's own teachings, as they were presented, but insisted on filtering them through posthumous hagiography and scholastic frameworks instead.

SN 20.7: Ani Sutta wrote:Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, there once was a time when the Dasarahas had a large drum called 'Summoner.' Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasarahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner's original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained. [1]

"In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples — are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

"In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — will come about.

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Note
1. Ironically, the Commentary notes that the drum originally could be heard for twelve leagues, but in its final condition couldn't be heard even from behind a curtain.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Sylvester » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:27 am

Here's a ringing endorsement of using craving and a fetter to cross over -

"'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.' The thought occurs to him, 'I hope that I, too, will — through the ending of the fermentations — enter & remain in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for myself in the here & now.' Then, at a later time, he abandons craving, having relied on craving. 'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"'This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.' The thought occurs to him, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now. Then why not me?' Then, at a later time, he abandons conceit, having relied on conceit. 'This body comes into being through conceit. And yet it is by relying on conceit that conceit is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

AN 4.159


Coupled with MN 44's assurance that such types of longing do not come with the usual anusaya in tow, why the qualm about craving, desire and intention to practise?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:42 am

Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:the main point made in the post was about our being hearers only, and that we have to rely on his words to develop understanding, and that we actually have a very low level of wisdom. If you wish, you might directly address those points.

I thought that's precisely what I addressed. i.e. relying on the Buddha's words as opposed to the words of others with less wisdom (such as the non-sammasambuddhas who write commentaries, hagiographies and Abhidhamma guides)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:56 am

pt1 wrote:(c) All of K.S. students I came into contact with (except Kevin) consider their mindfulness, wisdom and other faculties to be quite underdeveloped. So, they are of the opinion that if they were to attempt intentional development, it would be largely unwholesome since underdeveloped faculties do not allow the distinction between wholesome and unwholesome states to be made, and thus, one’s likely to be developing largely unwholesome states, including wrong view, since unwholesome states predominate for someone with underdeveloped faculties.

pt1 wrote:In regards to all above, perhaps the main issue worth considering is how under/developed are my faculties?

dhamma follower wrote:and that we actually have a very low level of wisdom.

Is the underdeveloped/low level idea encouraged? What are we measuring against?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:14 am

Sylvester wrote:Here's a ringing endorsement of using craving and a fetter to cross over -

"'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? There is the case, sister, where a monk hears, 'The monk named such-and-such, they say, through the ending of the fermentations, has entered & remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for himself in the here & now.' The thought occurs to him, 'I hope that I, too, will — through the ending of the fermentations — enter & remain in the fermentation-free awareness-release & discernment-release, having known & realized them for myself in the here & now.' Then, at a later time, he abandons craving, having relied on craving. 'This body comes into being through craving. And yet it is by relying on craving that craving is to be abandoned.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

There are different interpretations of the sutta. One that appeals to me at this point is that the actual abandoning of craving happens by understanding craving (tilakkhana etc) when it arises in the here and now - in that way the craving is used/relied upon.

Sylvester wrote:Coupled with MN 44's assurance that such types of longing do not come with the usual anusaya in tow, why the qualm about craving, desire and intention to practise?

Anusaya is one of those things I can't quite wrap my mind around. Could you please give a bit more detail about what you mean here in reference to MN 44? Thanks.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:21 am

Mr Man wrote:
pt1 wrote:In regards to all above, perhaps the main issue worth considering is how under/developed are my faculties?

dhamma follower wrote:and that we actually have a very low level of wisdom.

Is the underdeveloped/low level idea encouraged? What are we measuring against?


My take on it was:
pt1 wrote:From what I gather, it seems the very basis is the ability to know an instance with mindfulness as different from an instance without it (so, basically, the faculty of wisdom is developed at least to the extent of knowing what the actual experience of mindfulness is).

Without wisdom developed at least to such basic level, I find it hard to tell whether I'm developing wholesome or unwholesome qualities at any given moment, and hence I've no clue really whether what I'm doing is right or wrong, regardless of what I happen to believe.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:45 pm

pt1 wrote:Without wisdom developed at least to such basic level, I find it hard to tell whether I'm developing wholesome or unwholesome qualities at any given moment, and hence I've no clue really whether what I'm doing is right or wrong, regardless of what I happen to believe.

Well then good grief, get on with figuring that out. What are you waiting for? You seem to be lacking urgency.
"There is the case where a monk, as day departs and night returns, reflects: 'Many are the [possible] causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm... piercing wind forces [in the body] might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.' Then the monk should investigate: 'Are there any evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die in the night?' If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. But if, on reflecting, he realizes that there are no evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then for that very reason he should dwell in joy & rapture, training himself day & night in skillful qualities.

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