The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:05 am

Thanks, sorry for being unclear - I think my problem is that with such underdeveloped faculties, intentionally applying the advice in the sutta

kirk5a wrote:... 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...


is impossible, since I can't really tell if there are any evil states in the first place. In other words, I might sit down to meditate, or if I don't like meditation, I might start reading up on Dhamma, or just try to arouse "extra desire, effort, diligence," etc, but I still won't know if there are any evil states arising at the time or not, as my mindfulness is far from "undivided". Hence, I find the suttas quoted in the very beginning of the thread by robertk very valuable in the sense that they probably apply both to more advanced students as well as to those of us still in the kindergarten so to speak (like me at least).

Best wishes
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:20 am

retrofuturist wrote: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. :)


Dear Retro,

Did you mean the idea that:

(1) The self-awakened beings are only Buddhas
and
(2) The others, who are not to become enlightened by one-self in this life, depend on the Buddha's teaching in order to attain enlightenment, and they are called hearers
and
(3) We today, not getting enlightened upon hearing a sutta, short or long, having even no clear understanding of what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, let alone what is a dhamma, are considered low in wisdom

has not been taught by the Buddha?

I'd thank you for being specific!

Brgrds,
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:41 am

Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:(3) We today, not getting enlightened upon hearing a sutta, short or long, having even no clear understanding of what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, let alone what is a dhamma, are considered low in wisdom

has not been taught by the Buddha?

No... that wasn't taught by the Buddha.

Rather, it is a defeatist and Sujinist doctrine.

Conversely, this is the Buddha's teaching... spot the difference.

Anguttara Nikaya V.332 wrote:You should recollect the Dhamma like this: "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."

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 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:48 pm

pt1 wrote:Thanks, sorry for being unclear - I think my problem is that with such underdeveloped faculties, intentionally applying the advice in the sutta

kirk5a wrote:... 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...


is impossible, since I can't really tell if there are any evil states in the first place. In other words, I might sit down to meditate, or if I don't like meditation, I might start reading up on Dhamma, or just try to arouse "extra desire, effort, diligence," etc, but I still won't know if there are any evil states arising at the time or not, as my mindfulness is far from "undivided". Hence, I find the suttas quoted in the very beginning of the thread by robertk very valuable in the sense that they probably apply both to more advanced students as well as to those of us still in the kindergarten so to speak (like me at least).

Best wishes


Hi pt1
How do you know your mindfulness is "far from undivided"? How is it possible to know "far from undivided" but not know "evil states"? Is it possible to know the doubt?
Food for thought.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:19 pm

Hello Pt,

pt1 wrote:is impossible, since I can't really tell if there are any evil states in the first place.


This is too much. Don't you know that greed, anger and delusion are bad? Coarse levels should be easy to spot, more subtle levels are described quite well in VsM under "corruption of insight".

Until one is high level Aryan, you aren't expected to have Arahant's wisdom.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:04 pm

pt1 wrote:Thanks, sorry for being unclear - I think my problem is that with such underdeveloped faculties, intentionally applying the advice in the sutta

kirk5a wrote:... 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...


is impossible, since I can't really tell if there are any evil states in the first place. In other words, I might sit down to meditate, or if I don't like meditation, I might start reading up on Dhamma, or just try to arouse "extra desire, effort, diligence," etc, but I still won't know if there are any evil states arising at the time or not, as my mindfulness is far from "undivided". Hence, I find the suttas quoted in the very beginning of the thread by robertk very valuable in the sense that they probably apply both to more advanced students as well as to those of us still in the kindergarten so to speak (like me at least).
You cannot tell. This might be what Sujin teaches, but it is not what the Buddha taught. And the suttas robertk quoted at the beginning of this thread do not support this weak vision of Dhamma practice that you and the other followers of Sujin are advocating. It is simply not what te Buddha taught.
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 mikenz66 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:20 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:(3) We today, not getting enlightened upon hearing a sutta, short or long, having even no clear understanding of what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, let alone what is a dhamma, are considered low in wisdom

has not been taught by the Buddha?

No... that wasn't taught by the Buddha.

Rather, it is a defeatist and Sujinist doctrine.

Perhaps, DF means that we don't hear suttas, tailored specifically for us, directly from the Buddha. That's an observational fact.

Furthermore, a number of suttas speak about an eventual decline in the Dhamma, which is, of course, implicit in the concept of a Sammasambuddha.

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:33 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:(3) We today, not getting enlightened upon hearing a sutta, short or long, having even no clear understanding of what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, let alone what is a dhamma, are considered low in wisdom

has not been taught by the Buddha?

No... that wasn't taught by the Buddha.

Rather, it is a defeatist and Sujinist doctrine.

Perhaps, DF means that we don't hear suttas, tailored specifically for us, directly from the Buddha. That's an observational fact.

Furthermore, a number of suttas speak about an eventual decline in the Dhamma, which is, of course, implicit in the concept of a Sammasambuddha.
The idea of "eventual decline" is an Indian thing, likely predating the Buddha and continues to date, showing no signs of declining. While we no longer have suttas tailor made for each of us, I seriously doubt that the "eventual decline" has progressed to the point that there is so little we can do, as the Sujinists seem to imply, or directly state, in terms of an actual practice of the Dhamma. As carefully outlined in the suttas, I would say that there is a great deal we can do.
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 daverupa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:44 pm

mikenz66 wrote:a number of suttas speak about an eventual decline in the Dhamma


Such decline is appropriately understood to be with causes and conditions; non-respect for the triple gem, the teaching, and samadhi in one case. Another case mentions a cause as not listening to deep discourses, another couple talk of future dangers which can be addressed, and so on.

One sutta even mentions that growth can be expected, given the proper conditions. Here, once again, we find that the Dhamma can last a long time, given the proper behaviors.

The later prophecies of decline are just that - later.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Sylvester » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:49 am

pt1 wrote: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.


Hi pt1

I suppose one could interpret it that way, but if üse is taken to refer to ünderstanding", should not the same be said for sexual intercourse, per the same sutta -

This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."



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.


I was thinking about this bit from MN 44 -

What obsession (anusaya/latent tendency) gets obsessed (anuseti/lies with) with pleasant feeling? What obsession gets obsessed with painful feeling? What obsession gets obsessed with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"

"Passion-obsession gets obsessed with pleasant feeling. Resistance-obsession gets obsessed with painful feeling. Ignorance-obsession gets obsessed with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling."

"Does passion-obsession get obsessed with all pleasant feeling? Does resistance-obsession get obsessed with all painful feeling? Does ignorance-obsession get obsessed with all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"

"No..."

"But what is to be abandoned with regard to pleasant feeling? What is to be abandoned with regard to painful feeling? What is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"

"Passion-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to pleasant feeling. Resistance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to painful feeling. Ignorance-obsession is to be abandoned with regard to neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling."

"Is passion-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all pleasant feeling? Is resistance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all painful feeling? Is ignorance-obsession to be abandoned with regard to all neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling?"

"No...

There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With that he abandons passion. No passion-obsession gets obsessed there.[4] There is the case where a monk considers, 'O when will I enter & remain in the dimension that those who are noble now enter & remain in?' And as he thus nurses this yearning for the unexcelled liberations, there arises within him sorrow based on that yearning. With that he abandons resistance. No resistance-obsession gets obsessed there.[5] There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. With that he abandons ignorance. No ignorance-obsession gets obsessed there."


The bit "with that he abandons"comes from the Pali tena pajahati". The Comy, following the Abhidhammic model of transcendent path and fruition cittas, limits the occassions of such abandonment to specific stages of awakening. The tena is interpreted as a straightforward instrumental for a particular transcendent citta", a most unusual reading for a "ta" pronoun which is always used with reference to something that was mentioned in a preceding sentence. No mention of any transcendant cittas or awakening stages in this whole passage.

However, tena can also carry a temporal locative sense, in which case, the translation would be ïn that he abandons", ie "that"would refer to either the sorrow or to the yearning. This seems to be the more natural reading of the passage.

So, the craving and conceit mentioned in AN 4.159 would likely be frustrated many, many times before the breakthrough is made. In those cases where frustration rears its ugly head, sorrow typically follows (except perhaps for Non-Returners and Arahats). MN 44 seems to be an encouragement not to worry about such sorrows.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:59 pm

Thanks for your replies.

Mr Man wrote:How do you know your mindfulness is "far from undivided"? How is it possible to know "far from undivided" but not know "evil states"? Is it possible to know the doubt?
Food for thought.

Alex123 wrote:This is too much. Don't you know that greed, anger and delusion are bad? Coarse levels should be easy to spot, more subtle levels are described quite well in VsM under "corruption of insight".

Intellectually, yes, I can think about it after the fact - that was anger, that was greed, that was doubt, etc, but I’m not aware of them as and when they are arising. I guess that’s the difference between thinking and actual insight. Though some sort of intellectual understanding is probably a start I guess.
tiltbillings wrote:You cannot tell. This might be what Sujin teaches, but it is not what the Buddha taught. And the suttas robertk quoted at the beginning of this thread do not support this weak vision of Dhamma practice that you and the other followers of Sujin are advocating. It is simply not what te Buddha taught.

I don’t know, my faculties seem pretty much the same as when I was mostly studying Mahasi Sayadaw, Nyanyananda, etc, so I don’t think my shortcomings should really be a reflection on K.S. or any other teacher of respect. And I meditate, so it’s probably nothing to do with K.S. since she advises beginners against it.

In any case, it seems there’s resistance to the idea that different people have faculties developed to different degrees? I mean, some of you guys can tell exactly when there’s mindfulness, you can tell the difference between greed and metta for example as and when they’re arising, etc. I can’t. I guess you’re right in that sense that my vision of Dhamma is weak, and that's one of the reasons I like K.S. as she tends to spell things out in a way that a beginner like me can get. As for the actual practice that K.S. and her students advocate, I don’t think it was actually outlined clearly yet so I’ll hopefully get to it in the next few days.

Best wishes
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:19 pm

Sylvester wrote:I suppose one could interpret it that way, but if üse is taken to refer to ünderstanding", should not the same be said for sexual intercourse, per the same sutta -

This body comes into being through sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is to be abandoned. With regard to sexual intercourse, the Buddha declares the cutting off of the bridge."

I see what you mean. Perhaps the "cutting off" refers to abstaining from an action such as sexual intercourse (as a vinaya rule for example), which might a bit different from "using" in terms of understanding a mental factor (such as craving). But I don't really know.


Sylvester wrote:The bit "with that he abandons"comes from the Pali tena pajahati". The Comy, following the Abhidhammic model of transcendent path and fruition cittas, limits the occassions of such abandonment to specific stages of awakening. The tena is interpreted as a straightforward instrumental for a particular transcendent citta", a most unusual reading for a "ta" pronoun which is always used with reference to something that was mentioned in a preceding sentence. No mention of any transcendant cittas or awakening stages in this whole passage.

However, tena can also carry a temporal locative sense, in which case, the translation would be ïn that he abandons", ie "that"would refer to either the sorrow or to the yearning. This seems to be the more natural reading of the passage.

So, the craving and conceit mentioned in AN 4.159 would likely be frustrated many, many times before the breakthrough is made. In those cases where frustration rears its ugly head, sorrow typically follows (except perhaps for Non-Returners and Arahats). MN 44 seems to be an encouragement not to worry about such sorrows.

Thanks for the explanation. Though pali is beyond me at this point, it is an interesting interpretation, certainly worth considering.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:01 am

pt1 wrote:but I’m not aware of them as and when they are arising. I guess that’s the difference between thinking and actual insight. Though some sort of intellectual understanding is probably a start I guess.

Hi pt1
It takes effort and vigilance. Don't sell yourself short and don't always believe the (doubting) mind.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:42 am

See, there is no self, there are only fleeting elements arising in an instant and ceasing.

So Right effort, sammavayama, of the eightfold path, of satipatthana, has to have sammaditthi as a conascent paccaya (condition) otherwise it is not effort of the eightfold path.
All dhammas are arising and passing very fast indeed, very uncontrollable.
Here is a quote from the Burmese Abhidhamma teacher Thein Nyun in his preface to the DhatuKathu (PaliTextSociety) xxvii

"Because the functions of the elements give rise to the concepts of continuity, collection and form, the ideas arise:

1)the initial effort that has to be exerted when a deed is about to be performed and

2) the care that has to be taken while the deed is being performed to its completion and this leads to the subsequent ideas

3)"I can perform" and

4) "I can feel".

Thus these four imaginary characteristic functions of being have bought about a deep-rooted belief in their existence.But the elements have not the time or span of duration to carry out such functions" (
Thein Nyun)

Factors like intention, effort and concentration can be very strong indeed, but if they are not associated with wisdom then they have nothing o do with satipatthana; yet they can be taken for sati.
Hence the need to be circumspect and put in effort to understand Dhamma correctly. The one who is in a hurry , who thinks he understands practice easily is the one who is going to mistake the wrong path for the right one.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby cooran » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:46 am

robertk wrote:See, there is no self, there are only fleeting elements arising in an instant and ceasing.

So Right effort, sammavayama, of the eightfold path, of satipatthana, has to have sammaditthi as a conascent paccaya (condition) otherwise it is not effort of the eightfold path.
All dhammas are arising and passing very fast indeed, very uncontrollable.
Here is a quote from the Burmese Abhidhamma teacher Thein Nyun in his preface to the DhatuKathu (PaliTextSociety) xxvii

"Because the functions of the elements give rise to the concepts of continuity, collection and form, the ideas arise:

1)the initial effort that has to be exerted when a deed is about to be performed and

2) the care that has to be taken while the deed is being performed to its completion and this leads to the subsequent ideas

3)"I can perform" and

4) "I can feel".

Thus these four imaginary characteristic functions of being have bought about a deep-rooted belief in their existence.But the elements have not the time or span of duration to carry out such functions" (
Thein Nyun)

Factors like intention, effort and concentration can be very strong indeed, but if they are not associated with wisdom then they have nothing o do with satipatthana; yet they can be taken for sati.
Hence the need to be circumspect and put in effort to understand Dhamma correctly. The one who is in a hurry , who thinks he understands practice easily is the one who is going to mistake the wrong path for the right one.


Well said, Rob! :twothumbsup:

with metta
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:51 am

robertk wrote:See, there is no self, there are only fleeting elements arising in an instant and ceasing.

So Right effort, sammavayama, of the eightfold path, of satipatthana, has to have sammaditthi as a conascent paccaya (condition) otherwise it is not effort of the eightfold path.
All dhammas are arising and passing very fast indeed, very uncontrollable.
Here is a quote from the Burmese Abhidhamma teacher Thein Nyun in his preface to the DhatuKathu (PaliTextSociety) xxvii

"Because the functions of the elements give rise to the concepts of continuity, collection and form, the ideas arise:

1)the initial effort that has to be exerted when a deed is about to be performed and

2) the care that has to be taken while the deed is being performed to its completion and this leads to the subsequent ideas

3)"I can perform" and

4) "I can feel".

Thus these four imaginary characteristic functions of being have bought about a deep-rooted belief in their existence.But the elements have not the time or span of duration to carry out such functions" (
Thein Nyun)

Factors like intention, effort and concentration can be very strong indeed, but if they are not associated with wisdom then they have nothing o do with satipatthana; yet they can be taken for sati.
Hence the need to be circumspect and put in effort to understand Dhamma correctly. The one who is in a hurry , who thinks he understands practice easily is the one who is going to mistake the wrong path for the right one.
There is nothing in the quote that would necessitate the "Hence" conclusion.
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 » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:54 am

cooran wrote:Well said, Rob!
I really do not think it is well said at all. There is way too much that is left out for the conclusion -- "Hence ..." to really reflect Dhamma practice as found in the suttas.
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 kirk5a » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:52 am

robertk wrote:See, there is no self, there are only fleeting elements arising in an instant and ceasing.

That's a "position" - not right view.
"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 dhamma follower » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:36 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings DF,

dhamma follower wrote:(3) We today, not getting enlightened upon hearing a sutta, short or long, having even no clear understanding of what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, let alone what is a dhamma, are considered low in wisdom

has not been taught by the Buddha?

No... that wasn't taught by the Buddha.

Rather, it is a defeatist and Sujinist doctrine.

Conversely, this is the Buddha's teaching... spot the difference.

Anguttara Nikaya V.332 wrote:You should recollect the Dhamma like this: "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."

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

To me, the quote above only say how we should recollect the Dhamma, nothing to do with our level of wisdom. Praising the incomparable value of the Dhamma is also what AS and her students is doing extensively.

On the other hand, in this sutta bellow, we read:

"Once, Ven. Ananda, Master Gotama was staying near Vesali in the Peaked Roofed Pavilion in the Great Wood. I went to him at the Peaked Roofed Pavilion in the Great Wood, and there he spoke in a variety of ways on mental absorption. Master Gotama was both endowed with mental absorption & made mental absorption his habit. In fact, he praised mental absorption of every sort."

"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.

"He dwells with his awareness overcome by ill will...

"He dwells with his awareness overcome by sloth & drowsiness...

"He dwells with his awareness overcome by restlessness & anxiety...

"He dwells with his awareness overcome by uncertainty, seized with uncertainty. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from uncertainty once it has arisen. Making that uncertainty the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it. This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One did not praise.

"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised.


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

From the aobe, we can see that:

- What the Buddha did praise was not the act of doing meditation, but the actual wholesome states found in jhanna
- When there is not enough understanding of the difference between what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, one goes on cultivating the unwholesome.

What of the two descriptions in the quote above is more representative of our reality today?

Even when people practice meditation and think that their practices don't fall into the first category, can they say with certainty their practices belong to the second category? To my experience, not having enough right information about what is wholesome and what is unwholesome make a lot of people today assume wrongly about their practice and attainment.

Brgds,

D.F
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:40 am

dhamma follower wrote:
From the aobe, we can see that:

- What the Buddha did praise was not the act of doing meditation, but the actual wholesome states found in jhanna
- When there is not enough understanding of the difference between what is wholesome and what is unwholesome, one goes on cultivating the unwholesome.

What of the two descriptions in the quote above is more representative of our reality today?

Even when people practice meditation and think that their practices don't fall into the first category, can they say with certainty their practices belong to the second category? To my experience, not having enough right information about what is wholesome and what is unwholesome make a lot of people today assume wrongly about their practice and attainment.

Brgds,

D.F


The buddha has laid out what is wholesome and what is not, and has done so thoroughly:

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

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

(and there are many more suttas that explain the wholesome and the unwholesome, the skillful and the unskillful.

And they are rather recognizable if you ask me. If you don't think you can recognize them then maybe it's because the hindrance of doubt/uncertainty is overwhelming you.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen.

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


This is the way leading to stupidity: when visiting a brahman or contemplative, not to ask: 'What is skillful?... Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?'

"But then there is the case where a woman or man when visiting a brahman or contemplative, asks: 'What is skillful, venerable sir? What is unskillful? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? What, having been done by me, will be for my long-term harm & suffering? Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?' Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is discerning wherever reborn. This is the way leading to discernment: when visiting a brahman or contemplative, to ask: 'What is skillful?... Or what, having been done by me, will be for my long-term welfare & happiness?'

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


You have to take action, otherwise you aren't really listening to the Buddha.

Does that mean mistakes won't be made along the way? No, (and I've made plenty of my own and continue to do so to lesser and lesser extents) but you have to start somewhere and learn as you go. Otherwise you just roll around in samsara aimlessly.

Anyway, I would just encourage people to actually practice and trust that if they take the suttas as their guide and put forth right effort they can not stray too far.

With Metta

: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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