The causes for wisdom

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

Postby robertk » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:09 pm

Its like I said above. The concepts such as mother and father are the shadow of the actual paramatttha dhammas. But when you think of your mother or father it is not your mother or father. It is a concept.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:15 pm

The namas and rupas that were arising and passing away that were designated the term Buddha were real.
But there was no Buddha in the ultimate sense , that is merely a useful term to describe these unusally sublime series of elements.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:24 pm

robertk wrote:Its like I said above. The concepts such as mother and father are the shadow of the actual paramatttha dhammas. But when you think of your mother or father it is not your mother or father. It is a concept.


What distinguishes paramattha dhammas that make up a man and paramattha dhammas that make up "one's father"?
There is big kamma difference between killing a man and killing one's father.

What distinguishes paramattha dhammas that make up a Buddjha and paramattha dhammas that make up a man? A man can be killed, according to scriptures Buddha cannot be killed.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:15 pm

Think of the countless number of mind processes, which are real, associated with the care of a child. Thus a parent is different from other people we might meet.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:38 pm

robertk wrote:Think of the countless number of mind processes, which are real, associated with the care of a child. Thus a patent is different from other people we might meet.



So, there is association between mind processes (paramattha) and child (concept)?
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:24 pm

Alex123 wrote:Why is then murder of mother or father is heinous kamma with definite result of going to hell, but murder of man or woman is simply bad kamma?


Alex123 wrote:
robertk wrote:Think of the countless number of mind processes, which are real, associated with the care of a child. Thus a patent is different from other people we might meet.



So, there is association between mind processes (paramattha) and child (concept)?


Maybe paramattha-dhammas and concepts are related like this:

paramattha-dhammas + ignorance ==> conceptual proliferation ==> Kamma (different kammas with different fruits - as conceptualized, as sankhara-ized) and Dukkha
paramattha-dhammas + no-ignorance ==> vipassana (seeing as such) ==> No Kamma, No Dukkha

So, as long as there is ignorance, sankhara, conceptualization, craving, clinging etc. there are distinctions of kamma and fruits (killing a man or a parent).
If there is no ignorance and no conceptualization one becomes incapable of generating kamma like killing even an insect, let alone a man or his parent.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:03 am

That's why even the concepts cannot be said to be unreal or real.
Similarly, "self" cannot be said to be unreal or real. All we can say is whatever phenomenon arises (and passes away) that is Dukkha, that is not self.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:26 am

Dear Tilt and Kirck5a,

I do not know why it is that you Sujin followers need to be told repeatedly that no one here is suggesting right effort is not some sort of unconditioned thing.


Because some repeatedly quote passage where the Buddha says "one should make an effort" whenever we say right effort is conditioned. If there is agreement that it is indeed a conditioned dhamma, why there need to be those quotes? To make what point?

Please elaborate


I will try, though I'm not very good at that. Meditation teachers usually talk about effortless awareness, where there seems to be no effort to be aware of the object one is paying attention to, or simply aware of whatever arises without the idea of someone who is trying to be aware. The mind is the very sharp, alert...When there is this kind of understanding - that no :one" is aware, we can say (approximately) that there's s some sort of real sati with understanding. Even though the expression says "effortless...", it doesn't mean that there's no effort there, since effort actually arises with most cittas. The effort here gets closer to how right effort is described by the Buddha:

or the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen...
for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen...
for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen...(and)
for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen.


because it arises with sati, wholesome citta. And it is felt as no effort at all.

When people talk about effort, they usually think of trying to do something. And when there is right effort, we say there's no effort at all. It suggests that our usual idea of effort is somewhat muddled with the idea of striving, someone striving. It probably is just lobha (greed) with ditthi which is conflated with effort.

I think there's a big gap between what we think things are, and the characteristics of realities that the Buddha talked about.

Another example of usual confusion is between metta and lobha. Refined lobha is usually mistaken for metta. It is very hard to know the real characteristic of metta. Similarly, it is very difficult to know the real characteristic of right effort. Equating someone doing something with arousing right effort is a very misleading approach. Right effort has its own conditions to arise, and understanding deeply the teaching is the key, as in the sutta quoted by Kirck

Energy (viriya) is the state of one who, is vigorous (vira). Its characteristic is marshalling (driving). Its finction is to consolidate conascent states (the accompanying citta and cetasikas). It is manifested as non-collapse. Because of the words "Bestirred, he strives wisely" (Gradual Saying II. I l5), its proximate cause is a sense of urgency; or its proximate cause is grounds for the initiation of energy. When rightly initiated, it should be regarded as the root of all attainments.


Brgrd,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:37 am

Alex123 wrote:
robertk wrote:Its like I said above. The concepts such as mother and father are the shadow of the actual paramatttha dhammas. But when you think of your mother or father it is not your mother or father. It is a concept.


What distinguishes paramattha dhammas that make up a man and paramattha dhammas that make up "one's father"?
There is big kamma difference between killing a man and killing one's father.

What distinguishes paramattha dhammas that make up a Buddjha and paramattha dhammas that make up a man? A man can be killed, according to scriptures Buddha cannot be killed.


Greeting Alex,

Without paramatha, there would not be any concept. The concept of father, or Buddha represents the realities which are the cittas, cetasikas and rupas. The cittas which arise in a Buddha are not of the same quality than in other beings. The kamma which kill a Buddha is not the same than killing a ordinary person, just like ignating a fire starter doesn't produce the same result than ignating a mine field. Similarly, in order to kill a father whom we own much gratitude, the degree of akusala must be much bigger than when one kills another man.... It is not the concept that makes a kamma less or more serious than another, it is
1. the degree of kusala and akusala\
2. The quality of citta of the recipient, just like sowing in a barren field doesn't yield the same result than in a fertile one.

Brgrds,
Tam

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:20 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Tilt and Kirck5a,

I do not know why it is that you Sujin followers need to be told repeatedly that no one here is suggesting right effort is not some sort of unconditioned thing.


Because some repeatedly quote passage where the Buddha says "one should make an effort" whenever we say right effort is conditioned. If there is agreement that it is indeed a conditioned dhamma, why there need to be those quotes? To make what point?
Show me an actual example of that.

I will try, though I'm not very good at that.
Reading all of this abhidhamma talk, I find it less than convincing as away of understanding and talking about the Buddha's teachings in a skillful way. This is especially so, given that the Buddha did not teach Abhidhamma, and he certainly did not teach the later abhidhamma stuff as found in the Abhidhammasangaha.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby polarbear101 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:47 am

because it arises with sati, wholesome citta. And it is felt as no effort at all.


There is such a thing as wrong sati, the idea that sati is always wholesome was not taught by the buddha, only samma sati is always wholesome, but that doesn't mean that right effort is felt as no effort at all. Sometimes it takes much effort, with crying and pain. Sometimes, you just have to go against the flow, and that takes effort, and not effortless effort.

"And who is the individual who goes against the flow? There is the case where an individual doesn't indulge in sensual passions and doesn't do evil deeds. Even though it may be with pain, even though it may be with sorrow, even though he may be crying, his face in tears, he lives the holy life that is perfect & pure. This is called the individual who goes against the flow.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html




When people talk about effort, they usually think of trying to do something. And when there is right effort, we say there's no effort at all. It suggests that our usual idea of effort is somewhat muddled with the idea of striving, someone striving. It probably is just lobha (greed) with ditthi which is conflated with effort.


Touched
by the touch
of discomforts, hunger,
he should endure cold
& inordinate heat.
He with no home,
in many ways touched by these things,
striving, should make firm his persistence.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... q=striving


"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... q=striving


"He dwells with his persistence aroused, [thinking,] 'Gladly would I let the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, but if I have not attained what can be reached through human steadfastness, human persistence, human striving, there will be no relaxing my persistence.'"

"Endowed with these eight qualities, a monk is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an incomparable field of merit for the world."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Right effort requires much desire, much persistence, it isn't always easy and one does have to strive. The Buddha has clearly said so.


I think there's a big gap between what we think things are, and the characteristics of realities that the Buddha talked about.


The problem is that all this talk about realities from you comes mostly from abhidhamma, which the Buddha clearly did not teach.

Another example of usual confusion is between metta and lobha. Refined lobha is usually mistaken for metta. It is very hard to know the real characteristic of metta.


This is rather debatable. But there isn't much point in getting into it unless you provide an example of what you mean like you were asked earlier.

Similarly, it is very difficult to know the real characteristic of right effort. Equating someone doing something with arousing right effort is a very misleading approach. Right effort has its own conditions to arise, and understanding deeply the teaching is the key, as in the sutta quoted by Kirck



Effort has desire as a condition.

There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates (lit: "weighs," "compares"). Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Contremplating dhamma is just one step, you have to exert yourself eventually.


:anjali:
"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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:23 am

SamKR wrote:That's why even the concepts cannot be said to be unreal or real.
Similarly, "self" cannot be said to be unreal or real. All we can say is whatever phenomenon arises (and passes away) that is Dukkha, that is not self.

Dear Sam
actually concepts are unreal according to the texts:
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm
The Abhidhammattha Vibhavani (Book 8) distinguishes between six kinds of concepts that are names, nama-pannatti (see Visuddhimagga VIII, note 11).

1. Vijjamana pannattis, concepts which make known what is real, for example the words rupa, nama, vedana (feeling), or sanna (perception) 10.

2. Avijjamana pannattis, concepts which make known what is not real, such as the words Thai or foreigner. These concepts do not represent absolute realities, citta and cetasika which are nama, and rupa. Thai or foreigner are not real in the absolute sense, they are conventional realities, sammutti dhammas. Could akusala citta11 (unwholesome consciousness) be Thai or foreign? Akusala citta is a paramattha dhamma (a reality), it is a dhamma which has its own characteristic, it is not Thai or foreign.

3. Vijjamanena avijjamana pannattis, concepts of the non-existent based on the existent. There is the expression "the person with the six abhinnas."12 The six abhinnas are real but person is not real. Thus this concept stands for what is real and for what is not real.

4. Avijjamanena vijjamana pannattis, concepts of the existent based on the non-existent. There is the expression "woman's voice". The sound is real, but the woman is not real.

5. Vijjamanena vijjamana pannattis, concepts of what is real based on what is real. There is the term cakkhu-vinnana (eye-consciousness). Cakkhu (eye) is a reality, namely the cakkhu-pasada-rupa (eyesense, a reality sensitive to colour or visible object), and vinnana (consciousness) is also a reality, namely the reality which experiences.

6. Avija amanena avijjamana pannattis, concepts of what is not real based on what is not real. There is the expression "the kings son". Both king and son are not real, they are sammutti dhammas, conventional realities.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:28 am

tiltbillings wrote:
pt1 wrote: . . .
Thank you for all the effort you put into writing this, but I have to say that reading it makes me glad I do not follow Sujin. I prefer a view where one can actually make an effort to practice what the Buddha taught.

No worries, it’s good to discuss the differences so we at least know who’s saying what exactly. Anyway, the whole point I joined the discussion was to post a summary on effort and development of wisdom, it's almost done now so I'll post it soon. Of course, the point of all this isn’t to convert each other to a different school but just to understand each other a bit better.
Best wishes

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:15 pm

I missed this msg: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=580#p236442 It is quite astounding and deserves a comment or two.

(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.
And, of course, that can include the “wish/decision” to follow/to listen to/to take seriously Sujin’s teachings. Why would you think that following her teachings would be any more wholesome than following Ajahn Brahm or Mahasi Sayadaw? Neither Ajahn Brahm nor Mahasi Sayadaw have taught the unwholesome notion that they have it correct and everyone else has it wrong, as it certainly appears that Sujin does, as we have seen graphically illustrated in this thread.

And also, this wholesome/unwholesome divide really misses an important point about practice, about where we start from. It does not show a mature understanding of meditation/sila/Eigthfold Path practice.

(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.
There is no justification for this statement from the Buddha’s teachings, as the story Nanda makes humorously clear. And as the Four Noble Truths makes quite clear, we can only start from where we are. In other words as we do the practice, as we cultivate our meditation/sila/the Eightfold Path we move from unwholesome to insight and wholesome qualities of mind.

(c) All of K.S. students I came into contact with 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.
And this comes directly from the teachings of Sujin, it would seem, and this is one of the saddest things I have ever seen expressed in the name of the Dhamma, and, again, it shows an immature understanding of the practice it criticizes.

(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.
And you do not see the problem you are making for yourself here? And you do not see the rejection of the Buddha’s teachings implicit in your above position?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

      >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
      -- Proverbs 26:12

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:02 am

The last post in my series trying to give a summary of what K.S. and her students teach, apologies for the length:

When it comes to effort, wisdom, development of wisdom:

(1) It’s probably clear by now that the arising of a wholesome state of mind is thought to correspond to what is meant by many instances in the suttas when the arousing of effort, concentration, mindfulness, etc, is described and encouraged. So, when the wholesome state has arisen, there’s nothing “extra” that needs to be purposefully aroused - wholesome effort is already there, sati is there, wholesome concentration is already there, etc, so this is the actualisation of what’s spoken of in the suttas when it comes to wholesome effort, concentration, sati, etc.

(2) But how does this wholesome state actually arise in the first place – is it willed into existence, does it arise on its own, etc? Here, the explanation has to do with conditions, in particular various conditional relations (paccayas), of which there are usually several at a time, but some are more prominent than others - I take it it’s decisive support condition that’s responsible for the present arising of a wholesome state, which in turn is essentially dependent on an arising of a wholesome state sometime in the past. The same applies to unwholesome states. Conventionally, we can say that these states arise “spontaneously” (albeit fully conditioned of course) , as in - no special effort is needed to bring them about - previous arising was enough to condition arising now.

(3) Ok, but this now probably seems fatalistic – present states arise due to past conditions (past states of the same kind), so is there nothing one can do conventionally speaking to change anything for the better and get out of the fatalistic circle so to speak? It is here that a Buddha’s teaching starts making all the difference. As per the sutta on voice of another and wise considering, when Dhamma is heard and then later on considered, when such consideration is wholesome, it can condition awareness of presently arising states. In other words, the Dhamma that was heard now becomes actually experienced/actualised. In yet other words, there can be awareness of what’s wholesome and what’s not, and more pertaining to leaving Samsara, what’s Path and what’s not. So, the considering and related arising of awareness is one aspect of development of wisdom (bhavana) - so not just a random (fatalistic, spontaneous, etc) arising of wisdom, but actual development and increase of it, largely thanks to predominance and decisive support conditions I take it.

(4) It’s said that even this considering happens “naturally”, so it’s not something that is undertaken as a ritual (like “I’ll consider what I heard every day from 7-9am”), but happens due to interest and inclination, so to speak (again thanks to mostly predominance and decisive support conditions). It might seem a bit passive, but when you study Dhamma, discuss it and think about it, it’s with you all day, and encouragements regarding awareness in the present certainly help, so it doesn’t seem passive to me at all. Regardless, it is recognised that a lot of considering still might be unwholesome - based on greed (for results, to know, to know better than someone else, etc), as well as possibly wrong view (if it’s taken as a ritual thing without actual understanding).

(5) There’s another aspect of development of wisdom which might perhaps seem more “active” in a sense. When a wholesome state arises, and there’s awareness of it (also wholesome state in turn) based on Dhamma heard and understood, there can then also be the appreciation/understanding of the value of the wholesome state just arisen, again based on Dhamma heard and understood. This appreciation/understanding of the value of what is wholesome, and in particular, what is the path, is again wholesome, and it essentially constitutes actual development of wisdom right there and then (I take it predominance and decisive support conditions again). So, K.S. basically says – don’t try to make kusala arise, but instead appreciate kusala when it arises. This, to me at least, is the most profound explanation that I’ve ever come across on how wisdom and kusala states actually develop in real time, which is why I’m partial to K.S. in spite of liking my meditation practice.

(6) As I understand, it’s thanks to this appreciation that wisdom can develop for a beginner to a level where eventually it is possible to arouse wholesome states “at will” so to speak. In other words, relating to practice, for a beginner, the most often occurring states are unwholesome, and therefore, thanks to decisive support and predominance conditions, whenever he tries to arouse wholesome states at will, he will be arousing unwholesome states as he doesn’t know any better - conditions don’t allow it. So, no wholesome states will be developed as a result of intentional practice /arousing of states (it’s worth noting that a case is described in Patthana where even an unwholesome state can condition a wholesome one, but I take it this condition is not nearly as strong or frequent as decisive support and predominance condition for example). If, however, a wholesome state arises “spontaneously” and one’s then aware of it and appreciates its value thanks to Dhamma heard and considered, this is direct development of kusala, largely free from the danger of akusala (such as greed and wrong view). Such increase in wholesome states will eventually lead to a point when wholesome states predominate, and then decisive support, predominance and other conditions will work together to enable what’s conventionally called “arousing wholesome states at will”.

Apologies if I made any mistakes.
Best wishes

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:46 am

robertk wrote:Dear Sam
actually concepts are unreal according to the texts:
http://www.abhidhamma.org/sujin3.htm

Ok. Thanks, Robert.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:53 am

pt1 wrote:
When it comes to effort, wisdom, development of wisdom:

(1) It’s probably clear by now that the arising of a wholesome state of mind is thought to correspond to what is meant by many instances in the suttas when the arousing of effort, concentration, mindfulness, etc, is described and encouraged. So, when the wholesome state has arisen, there’s nothing “extra” that needs to be purposefully aroused - wholesome effort is already there, sati is there, wholesome concentration is already there, etc, so this is the actualisation of what’s spoken of in the suttas when it comes to wholesome effort, concentration, sati, etc.


Actually it is not quite clear to me. If wholesome qualities should have been already there why would the Buddha suggest to make effort to abandon unskilful qualities (by right effort)?
Sorry if my question has already been answered, but I thought it's so important that I should ask it again anyways.

"And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."


So, right effort is a tool to be used intentionally with desire, endeavor, persistence to remove unwholesome qualities and maintain only wholesome qualities.
When I say intentionally I mean guarding the mind with intent, just like a watchman guards a house intentionally only to let desired people in the house.

But all these efforts with the right view that these efforts, desires, endeavors, persistence, intentions are not self.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:24 am

tiltbillings wrote:And, of course, that can include the “wish/decision” to follow/to listen to/to take seriously Sujin’s teachings.

Yes, so (ideally) it's not about this or that action but awareness of the present mental state.
tiltbillings wrote:Why would you think that following her teachings would be any more wholesome than following Ajahn Brahm or Mahasi Sayadaw?

Don't think it's about one teaching being more wholesome than another, but rather, some teachings appeal more or not, as per one's level of development, my being quite low, I find it easier to understand the way K.S. teaches precisely.
tiltbillings wrote:Neither Ajahn Brahm nor Mahasi Sayadaw have taught the unwholesome notion that they have it correct and everyone else has it wrong, as it certainly appears that Sujin does,

Not sure, my impression of K.S. is that she criticises what she thinks is wrong practice - a meditator comes to her - she calls it what she thinks is right and wrong about what that person is asking. An abhidhammika comes to her - she does the same. Her own student comes to her - she does the same. Perhaps most people that come to her are meditators, so they seem to get the most criticism. In either case, I don't get from her that thing that everyone else is wrong. From some of the students, yes, but that's to be expected from some, and that's probably what you mean by
tiltbillings wrote:as we have seen graphically illustrated in this thread.

Though, from my side of the fence, this thread seems a bit like I'm back on e-sangha constantly being told that what I'm doing is hinayana.

tiltbillings wrote:And also, this wholesome/unwholesome divide really misses an important point about practice, about where we start from. It does not show a mature understanding of meditation/sila/Eigthfold Path practice.

My impression was that the beginning of development is learning to know the difference between what's right and what's not (un/wholesome), both in terms of sila and bhavana. Could you say a bit more on where do you think we start from?

tiltbillings wrote:
pt1 wrote: (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.
There is no justification for this statement from the Buddha’s teachings, as the story Nanda makes humorously clear. And as the Four Noble Truths makes quite clear, we can only start from where we are. In other words as we do the practice, as we cultivate our meditation/sila/the Eightfold Path we move from unwholesome to insight and wholesome qualities of mind.

I quite agree with the last two sentences, but you disagree with my original statement, so that probably means we understand differently how bhavana actually occurs. Maybe my previous post on effort and bhavana has explained some things, if not, we can discuss more.

tiltbillings wrote:
pt1 wrote: (c) All of K.S. students I came into contact with 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.
And this comes directly from the teachings of Sujin, it would seem, and this is one of the saddest things I have ever seen expressed in the name of the Dhamma, and, again, it shows an immature understanding of the practice it criticizes.

I don't know, in technical terms I think she's right - conditions are what they are (natural decisive, predominance, etc) despite how I'd want it to be. But more importantly, it feels right experientially - any progress that happened in my practice seems to have occurred in spite of my meditation practice so to speak, i.e. thanks to hearing and considering.

tiltbillings wrote:
(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.
And you do not see the problem you are making for yourself here? And you do not see the rejection of the Buddha’s teachings implicit in your above position?
I guess not. Could you point out the problem as it seems to you? Also, in an earlier post, you said (if I remember right) that we can cultivate conditions for wisdom. I've been meaning to ask if you could also say a bit more about that? Thanks.

Best wishes

pt1
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby pt1 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:24 am

SamKR wrote:
pt1 wrote:When it comes to effort, wisdom, development of wisdom:

(1) It’s probably clear by now that the arising of a wholesome state of mind is thought to correspond to what is meant by many instances in the suttas when the arousing of effort, concentration, mindfulness, etc, is described and encouraged. So, when the wholesome state has arisen, there’s nothing “extra” that needs to be purposefully aroused - wholesome effort is already there, sati is there, wholesome concentration is already there, etc, so this is the actualisation of what’s spoken of in the suttas when it comes to wholesome effort, concentration, sati, etc.

Actually it is not quite clear to me.
...

"And what, monks, is right effort?
...
[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

So, right effort is a tool to be used intentionally with desire, endeavor, persistence to remove unwholesome qualities and maintain only wholesome qualities.
When I say intentionally I mean guarding the mind with intent, just like a watchman guards a house intentionally only to let desired people in the house.

But all these efforts with the right view that these efforts, desires, endeavors, persistence, intentions are not self.


Yes, I think I'd interpret it the same - intellectually that is. The problem I think is how this intellectual understanding then gets assimilated into one's practice. If I attempt to replicate the effort described in the sutta - there are only two possiblities - it will be wholesome effort, or it will be unwholesome effort, since all except arahats are capable of both. If it's wholesome effort, then in that instance there is the actualisation of what the sutta is describing. If it's unwholesome effort, then at that instance there is no actualisation of what the sutta is describing. Not sure if this makes it more clear in reference to what I was saying in the other post?

As for the first question you ask:
Sam KR wrote:If wholesome qualities should have been already there why would the Buddha suggest to make effort to abandon unskilful qualities (by right effort)?

That's not an easy one for me. I guess it goes down to the abhidhamma notion that unwholesome and wholesome states cannot arise at the same time - they can alternate extremely quickly, often appearing to arise at the same time, but actually they're just changing very quickly from one to another. So, if there's an unwholesome quality that has arisen, then, as the sutta describes, when wholesome effort and other qualities arise, the unwholesome state will be no more, and this can happen in split second thankfully.

The question that interests me in relation to causes of wisdom is - what was it that caused the wholesome effort to arise? In other words, what forms can my "intention to arouse right effort and use it as a tool to abandon unwholesome states" take? Could it be an unwholesome state and can it still condition a wholesome state with right effort? Yes, as per Patthana it can, but I take it doesn't happen often that an unwholesome state conditions a wholesome one. The other causes like - hearing the Buddha praise right effort, being aware of right effort as and when it arises, appreciating the value of right effort as and when it arises, etc, can be wholesome and can also called "intention to arouse right effort and use it as a tool to abandon unwholesome states". But of course, these too can be confused with unwholesome states as well, so no rules I guess, it just goes down to awareness.

Best wishes

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:50 am

How subtle is the right way?
Anguttara Nikaya (Tika-Nipata No. 128):

Venerable Anuruddha said to Venerable Sariputta, "Friend Sariputta, with the
divine eye that is purified, transcending human ken, I can see the thousandfold
world-system. Firm is my energy, unremitting; my mindfulness is alert and
unconfused; the body is tranquil and unperturbed; my mind is concentrated and
one-pointed. And yet my mind is not freed from cankers, not freed from
clinging." "Friend Anuruddha," said the Venerable Sariputta, "that you think
thus of your divine eye, this is conceit in you. That you think thus of your
firm energy, your alert mindfulness, your unperturbed body and your concentrated
mind, this is restlessness in you. That you think of your mind not being freed
from the cankers, this is worrying in you
."


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