The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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kirk5a
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 06, 2013 7:36 pm

mikenz66 wrote:In either case, of course, the actions are conditioned by causes and conditions, not by some self willing itself to be a certain way. To paraphrase what Ajahn Brahm says in the talk I linked to, his practice was conditioned by what Ajahn Chah instructed him to do, which was conditioned by his teacher, and so on, back to the Buddha:
Ajahn Brahm wrote:that was the great thing about a Buddha arising ... it makes enlightenment possible... just cause and effect


yes... but he did what he was instructed to do. Which is a matter of volitional activity. It doesn't just happen "on it's own."
"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 mikenz66 » Mon May 06, 2013 7:40 pm

But isn't that volition conditioned and not-self?

"Mental formations, O monks, are not-self; if mental formations were self, then mental formations would not lead to affliction and it should obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my perception be thus, may my mental formations not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since mental formations are not-self, therefore, mental formations lead to affliction and it does not obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my mental formations be thus, may my mental formations not be thus.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .mend.html


:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Mon May 06, 2013 8:07 pm

mikenz66 wrote:But isn't that volition conditioned and not-self?

"Mental formations, O monks, are not-self; if mental formations were self, then mental formations would not lead to affliction and it should obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my perception be thus, may my mental formations not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since mental formations are not-self, therefore, mental formations lead to affliction and it does not obtain regarding mental formations: 'May my mental formations be thus, may my mental formations not be thus.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .mend.html


:anjali:
Mike


What if a person is dropped into deep part of a lake. Will he attempt to swim to safety, or do nothing except thinking that "conditions will decide"?
Last edited by Alex123 on Mon May 06, 2013 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 06, 2013 8:08 pm

mikenz66 wrote:But isn't that volition conditioned and not-self?

Yes, BUT it doesn't happen "on its own." If the individual remains in a state of passivity, no volition happens, no volitional activity happens. The instructions are not carried out until the individual volitionally carries them out. That is not self-view. It is simply - volitional action in line with the instructions given.
"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 mikenz66 » Mon May 06, 2013 8:29 pm

Well, sure, there has to be doing:
... it is not proper for you to assert that, "Whatever a person experiences — pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain — all is caused by what was done in the past.
...
"And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma, although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that 'When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.' So he exerts a fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted & the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 06, 2013 8:34 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Well, sure, there has to be doing:
... it is not proper for you to assert that, "Whatever a person experiences — pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain — all is caused by what was done in the past.
...
"And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma, although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that 'When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.' So he exerts a fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted & the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


:anjali:
Mike
This passage totally undermines the Sujinist point of view on any number of levels.
    >> 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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue May 07, 2013 7:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:It is beyond anyone's control whether there's right consideration or not.

dhamma follower wrote:These conditions are them-selves also dhammas which have their own conditions to arise. Like now, can you say let’s the sense of urgency arise in me, and then it will arise? But when by conditions ( thanks to hearing the Dhamma and reflecting wisely), it does arise at a non-predicted moment, it conditions right effort to perform its own functions. At that moment, there’s kamma which leads to the beyond.


fa·tal·ism
/ˈfātlˌizəm/
Noun
1. The belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable.
2. A submissive attitude to events, resulting from such a belief.

Dhammafollower... what do you make of the following statement, in particular the bolded portion?

There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or decelerating. Just as a ball of string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain.'

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

I think there's samsara and the way out of samsara, the Eight Noblefold Path, which is taught by the Buddha. And I also think that although there is a Path, there is no walker of the Path. The factors of the Path are elements which have the cause as hearing the Dhamma taught by a Sammasambudha and right consideration of it, which is also a conditioned element.

I am aware that the arguments we present here can be easily misunderstood to be a statement of fatalism. Actually, whether thinking that one should do something, or one should not do something, both can be an expression of the idea of a self. The truth is that dependent on what is heard and how it has been understood, some people will go worshiping fire, others will go to a meditation centers, others to a cave, others read Dhamma books...However, I don't consider that those activities are in them-selves the Path. A moment of right understanding can occur any time. And when it occurs, it should understand that whatever arises, arises by conditions. But without hearing the words of the Enlightened ones, that would be impossible, that's why the appearance of a Sammasambuddha is such a great event.

I would comment on the passage you quoted should I see the whole context of it. Also, English being not my mother tongue, when the meaning is not clear, I prefer to refrain from commenting.

Brgds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue May 07, 2013 8:33 am

mikenz66 wrote:I don't find Robert's posts unpleasant, and I did have a nice afternoon tea with Robert and some of his friends in Bangkok. And I have no problem with them presenting their opinions. However, my impression of their criticisms of other teachers is like Tilt's: that they inaccurate and often evasive. Rather than pointing out something specific that someone is teaching or doing wrong, the discussion (as in this thread) tends to focus on assumptions about what "meditators" do.

For example, this is the sort of argument I have frequently heard from Robert and his friends:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 00#p228748
dhamma follower wrote:... if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?
The highlighted statement simply makes an assumption about the motivation.

I have given examples of what other teachers say, which I find to be consistent with the statements from the Buddha that anything that arises does so from causes and conditions. I was hoping that by giving such references we we might be able to discuss in detail where exactly particular teachers and Dhamma practitioners are, or are not, making serious errors. This is clearly an important question, but to answer it requires engagement with the specifics.

:anjali:
Mike


Dear Mike,

What you have said here actually points out one of the characteristics of A.S approach. And I think that is worthwhile to discuss a little bit about that. Personally, I've never heard her criticizing any teacher. And it seems that most of her students seem to do the same.

As one of the underlying ideas in her explanation of the Dhamma is that there's no person, only realities arising and falling away. Each moment is different and is conditioned by a different set of conditions. With that idea in mind, it would be inappropriate to say "this person is wrong", or "that person is right", as the same person can have moments of right understanding of certain aspects, and at other moments, wrong understanding again. So that's why there is this "assumption of what a meditator does" which actually steems from a mere attempt to see what conditions what.

With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?

Another example is her examination of what is sati, what is its characteristics, what are the conditions for its arising? What is the object of satipatthana? Then we can check for our-sevles whether trying to be aware is sati

....

So her approach is not to point out the fault of another, but to show what is the right development, what is the right understanding, then each person can examine for him or her self whether his previous understanding is right or wrong. Sometime it clicks, and sometime it doesn't. Something clicks and other things don't, by conditions.

In one of her discussions in Kaeng Krachan 2012, she asked back when someone said she liked to do meditation:

AS: You want to meditate with understanding or not with understanding?
X: With understanding of course
AS: Is technique understanding?
X: No, it's not
....
Then when asked whether she rejected meditation as a whole, she said: "when I hear the word "meditation", I would like to know what it is.

That being said, if you want to discuss certain points of difference in other teachers' teaching who also stress on causes and conditions, we can try to do it in another thread. However,I believe you would agree that we should try to emphasize only on the teaching points, and that saying such or such points does not accord to the Dhamma doesn't necessarily means that the person is disrespected, or that all what he teaches is wrong, because it would be totally untrue.

brgds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 8:46 am

dhamma follower wrote:Personally, I've never heard her criticizing any teacher. And it seems that most of her students seem to do the same.
You do not have to criticize a teacher by name. All you have to do is say that slow walking meditation is an expression of lobha and the damage is done.
    >> 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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 8:52 am

dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.
    >> 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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue May 07, 2013 11:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Personally, I've never heard her criticizing any teacher. And it seems that most of her students seem to do the same.
You do not have to criticize a teacher by name. All you have to do is say that slow walking meditation is an expression of lobha and the damage is done.


Well, the point is not to avoid to put the name in order to avoid saying who, but to see that idea/view is not a person.

May I point out that it doesn't not help to see a person behind a view. Does it bring more attachment or detachment ?

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue May 07, 2013 12:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.


No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 12:38 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Personally, I've never heard her criticizing any teacher. And it seems that most of her students seem to do the same.
You do not have to criticize a teacher by name. All you have to do is say that slow walking meditation is an expression of lobha and the damage is done.


Well, the point is not to avoid to put the name in order to avoid saying who, but to see that idea/view is not a person.

May I point out that it doesn't not help to see a person behind a view. Does it bring more attachment or detachment ?

Brgrds,

D.F
Interesting. Your response does not at all address the point I raised. What I see here is that you and robertk are simply advocating is a methodology that is deeply rooted in a highly sectarian us-vs-them mind set.
    >> 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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Tue May 07, 2013 12:57 pm

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

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

Formal practice.

dhammafollower wrote:With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?

Does she question the Buddha in that manner? Because he taught formal practice.
"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 tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 12:58 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.


No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.


You said here"When you slow down the movements in order to have sati, what is there? lobha!" Short of having iddhis, there is no way you can know this about another's mind states, nor can Sujin. Also, by saying this you and Sujin have shown really no understanding of the practice you are so blatantly mischaracterizing. It is a curious thing of having to cast your practice in a we-(Sujin people)-have-the-truth,-you-don't frame.
    >> 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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Tue May 07, 2013 1:11 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.


No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.

Sure, I'll tell you my answer. To settle and steady the mind to allow for clear seeing.
45. "Suppose there were a pool of water — sullied, turbid, and muddy. A man with good eyesight standing there on the bank would not see shells, gravel, and pebbles, or shoals of fish swimming about and resting. Why is that? Because of the sullied nature of the water. In the same way, that a monk with a sullied mind would know his own benefit, the benefit of others, the benefit of both; that he would realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction of knowledge & vision: Such a thing is impossible. Why is that? Because of the sullied nature of his mind."

46. "Suppose there were a pool of water — clear, limpid, and unsullied. A man with good eyesight standing there on the bank would see shells, gravel, & pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting. Why is that? Because of the unsullied nature of the water. In the same way, that a monk with an unsullied mind would know his own benefit, the benefit of others, the benefit of both; that he would realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction of knowledge & vision: Such a thing is possible. Why is that? Because of the unsullied nature of his mind."

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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Tue May 07, 2013 1:22 pm

There is also this:

"Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

"Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

"What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html

Seems kind of clear to me. I'd really appreciate some comments from Robert and Dhamma_follower on the entire sutta which appears to me to be the mainstream Theravada position that Khun Sujin disagrees with.
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 5:43 pm

Dan74 wrote:Seems kind of clear to me. I'd really appreciate some comments from Robert and Dhamma_follower on the entire sutta which appears to me to be the mainstream Theravada position that Khun Sujin disagrees with.
And you can add this:
    ... it is not proper for you to assert that, "Whatever a person experiences — pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain — all is caused by what was done in the past.
    ...
    "And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma, although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that 'When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.' So he exerts a fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted & the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
    >> 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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby SamKR » Tue May 07, 2013 6:22 pm

Dan74 wrote:There is also this:

"Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

"Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

"What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html

Seems kind of clear to me.


This is crystal clear.
:anjali:

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 08, 2013 4:25 am

dhamma follower wrote:
No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.


Sure, I'll tell you my answer. To settle and steady the mind to allow for clear seeing
.

Dear Kirk,

Are you refering here to samatha bhavana or vipassana bhavana?

Brgds,

D.F


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