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."
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.
Dear Dan74, Kirk, Sam SR, all,
First of all, I want to make it clear that in this thread, we are discussing about the vipassana kind of wisdom, and therefore of vipassana bhavana.
Both RobertK and me, we have said somewhere earlier in the 48 pages of this thread that samatha bhavana is another development, which requires another set of conditions, such as a quiet environment and a stable, not too loose not too tight posture. However, the key for the development of samatha is also a clear understanding of the dhamma presently arisen as wholesome or unwholesome, and of the way to cultivate wholesomeness, as it is clearly stated in one sutta I have quoted, that I will quote again here:
"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.
"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 There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought &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
So, even for samatha bhavana, although postures and environment are the aiding conditions, the key is understanding too, both of the diffence between wholesome and unwholesome states as to cultivate the wholesome ones, and of how the objects can arouse wholesome states of mind to the degree of jhana as described above. All those conditions make up samatha practice. It doesn't happen by mere wishing or wanting, or just sitting.
However, with vipassana bhavana, it is difference. The only obstacle for it is wrong view, not unwholesome mind states (see satipatthana sutta), nor a noisy or disturbing environment. So right view, or right understanding which is conditioned by hearing the Dhamma and wise considering of what has been heard is essentiel. the right view here, of vipassana type has to do with the characteristics of realities, both individual and general. So to clearly understand that dhammas arise by conditions is of most importance, in order to understand any reality which arises as anatta. Without realizing that dhammas are just dhammas, not a person, is indispensible before any higher insight can occur about the Tilakkhana, as we have learnt about the 16 stages of insight: only after one stage can the next stage unfolds.
So if there is clear understanding of what are the conditions for each kind of development, there can be more reflection on what one has been taking to be "practice".
We don't deny practice, we just don't take it to really mean someone doing something, because wanting or wishing can not do proper practice. Practice has has its own conditions that we can all explore further for our selves.
Another thing is: while many people consider the sutta to be prescriptive, AS and followers consider them to be rather descriptive. If you try to read them under that light, I think you will have a very different conclusions. Above all, the Buddha's teaching should be about the Truth, so there should be a conformity in the Tipitaka. So what is the understanding which can make the whole Tipitaka in conformity with each other?