The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Thu May 09, 2013 12:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:What were are being asked to believe by the Sujin followers, in the most bare terms, is that by thinking about a concept we have heard a remarkable level of concentration and awareness will automatically arise.


Well, it's not such an outlandish idea. There are stories of plenty of people who have heard a few words from the Buddha, practiced a little, and "in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now."

Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:09 pm

binocular wrote:There are stories of plenty of people who have heard a few words from the Buddha, practiced a little, and "in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now."

Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment.



It would be interesting to know more facts about those people. Maybe prior to meeting the Buddha they were meditating for years, 20 hours per day, seven days a week, and were ready for specific personal instruction by the best teacher - the Buddha. This could also be a context for Lin-chi talking about "nothing special", not doing anything and living a "normal" life.

It is very possible that few rather than many words are needed. But without the Buddha who could teach only what one needs, we do not know which words are most appropriate for our situation - Hence we need to study a lot to find what works the best.
Last edited by Alex123 on Thu May 09, 2013 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 12:14 pm

here is one for you Alex
http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... ggo-03.htm
Udana 5: So?avaggo

3: The Discourse about the Leper Suppabuddha



Thus I heard:
at one time the Gracious One was dwelling near Rajagaha, in Bamboo Wood, at the Squirrels' Feeding Place.

Then at that time the leper known as Suppabuddha (Wide Awake) was in Rajagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man.

Then at that time the Gracious One was sitting teaching Dhamma surrounded by a great assembly. The leper Suppabuddha saw while still far away that great crowd of people assembled together. Having seen (that), this occurred to him: “Undoubtedly in this place some comestibles and edibles will be distributed. Well now, I could go to that great crowd of people, perhaps I will get some comestibles or edibles in this place.”

Then the leper Suppabuddha went to that great crowd of people. The leper Suppabuddha saw the Gracious One sat teaching Dhamma surrounded by a great assembly. Having seen (that), this occurred to him: “Here there are no comestibles or edibles being distributed, this ascetic Gotama is teaching Dhamma to the assembly. Perhaps I also could hear the Dhamma”, and he sat down right there (and then), (thinking): “I will also listen to the Dhamma.”

Then the Gracious One, applied his mind and encompassed fully the whole of that assembly with his mind, (thinking): “Who here is able to understand the Dhamma?” The Gracious One saw the leper Suppabuddha sat in that assembly, and having seen (him), this occurred to him: “This one here is able to understand the Dhamma”, and having regard to the leper Suppabuddha he related a gradual talk, that is to say: talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on heaven, the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires, and the advantages in renunciation - (these) he explained.

When the Gracious One knew that the leper Suppabuddha was of ready mind, malleable mind, unhindered mind, uplifted mind, trusting mind, then he explained the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves: suffering, origination, cessation, path. Just as it is known that a clean cloth without a stain would take the dye well, so to the leper Suppabuddha on that very seat, the dust-free, stainless Vision-of-the-Dhamma arose: “Whatever has the nature of arising, all that has the nature of ceasing.”

Then the leper Suppabuddha having seen the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, penetrated the Dhamma, crossed over uncertainty, being without doubts, attained full confidence, having become independent of others in the Teacher's teaching, after rising from his seat went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, he sat down at one side.

While he was sitting on one side the leper Suppabuddha said this to the Gracious One: “Excellent, reverend Sir! Excellent reverend Sir! Just as, reverend Sir, one might set upright what has been overturned, or open up what has been closed, or show a path to one who is lost, or bear an oil lamp in the darkness so that those with vision can see forms, just so has the Dhamma been explained by the Gracious One in countless ways. I go, reverend Sir, to the Gracious One for refuge, and to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. Please bear it in mind, reverend Gotama, that I am a lay follower who has gone for refuge from today forward for as long as I am furnished with life.”

Then the Gracious One instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered the leper Suppabuddha with a Dhamma talk, and after greatly rejoicing and gladly receiving this word of the Gracious One, after rising from his seat, worshipping and circumambulating the Gracious One, he went away. Then not long after the leper Suppabuddha had gone a cow with a young calf having attacked him, deprived him of life.

Then many monks went to the Gracious One, and after going and worshipping the Gracious One, they sat down on one side. While sat on one side those monks said this to the Gracious One: “That leper called Suppabuddha, reverend Sir, who was instructed, roused, enthused, and cheered by the Gracious One with a Dhamma talk - he has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?”

“A wise man, monks, was Suppabuddha, who practiced Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma, and did not trouble me on account of the Dhamma. The leper Suppabuddha, monks, through the destruction of three fetters, is a stream-enterer, not subject to the fall, and is assured of arriving at Full Awakening.”

When that was said, a certain monk said this to the Gracious One: “What was the reason, reverend Sir, what was the cause, through which the leper Suppabuddha became a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man?”

“Formerly, monks, the leper Suppabuddha was a son of a wealthy merchant in this very Rajagaha. While going to his pleasure park he saw the Pacceka Buddha Tagarasikkhi entering the city for alms, and having seen (him), this occurred to him: “Who is this leper roaming around with his leper's robe?” And having spat, and circumambulated him (disrespectfully) on the left side, he went away.

As a result of that deed of his for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years, he boiled in the nether regions. And as a result of the remaining part of that deed of his he became a leper in this very Rajagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man.

(But) he came to the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, and obtained faith, obtained virtue, obtained learning, obtained liberality, obtained wisdom. After coming to the Dhamma and Discipline taught by the Realised One, and obtaining faith, obtaining virtue, obtaining learning, obtaining liberality, obtaining wisdom, at the break up of the body, after death, he arose in a fortunate destiny, in the world of Heaven, in the companionship of the Tavati?sa devas. And there he surely outshines the other devas with his beauty and repute.”

Then the Gracious One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:


“As a man with vision, while he is endeavouring, (would avoid) dangerous paths,
(So) a wise man in the world of the living, should avoid bad deeds.”
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:21 pm

robertk wrote:here is one for you Alex
http://www.buddhanet-de.net/ancient-bud ... ggo-03.htm
Udana 5: So?avaggo3: The Discourse about the Leper Suppabuddha


Another example: Bahiya. He has heard one paragraph of Dhamma and became an Arhat within seconds/minutes. We have heard that teaching, and many other teachings many times and yet - where are we? Why didn't we become awakened like those people even though we know 100x as much?

Suppabuddha, Bahiya, and other similar people were Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū, who according to commentaries do not exist today (they achieved liberation long time ago during the time of the Buddha). What works for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū does NOT work for neyyo or padaparamo. http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/individu.htm

So we cannot take the minimum which works for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū and apply it to us (neyyo or padaparamo) expecting maggaphala. It is just not relevant cases for us.
Last edited by Alex123 on Thu May 09, 2013 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Thu May 09, 2013 12:29 pm

Dear Alex
even when one is developing vipassana alone there will be calmness, it happens naturally imho. I think one will feel more relaxed in any aspect of life- and that is just for the beginner, let alone for someone who is close to attaining.
Of course life is still dukkha and sometimes even distressing, depending on kamma made in the past and how strong the accumulations of lobha and dosa are. But the overall trend must be towards more understanding of reality. And that is freeing and always with detachment..
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 12:40 pm

Dear RobertK,

robertk wrote:Dear Alex
even when one is developing vipassana alone there will be calmness, it happens naturally imho. I think one will feel more relaxed in any aspect of life- and that is just for the beginner, let alone for someone who is close to attaining.


Right. I also believe that paññā is the most important. Mere Jhāna by itself does not lead to wisdom because there were many ascetics who mastered it and immaterial attainments and still clung to Atta and wrong views. But what Buddhist teachers today teach just Jhāna without some aspect of paññā?

One can't realize that "all dhammas are anicca, etc" merely due to amount of accumulated observation. We can't observe every single dhamma in past, future, or present, in this or other universe. Something else is needed.

robertk wrote:Of course life is still dukkha and sometimes even distressing, depending on kamma made in the past and how strong the accumulations of lobha and dosa are. But the overall trend must be towards more understanding of reality. And that is freeing and always with detachment..


As for wisdom. Listening and considering is the cause for sutamayā and cintāmayā paññā. These can be enough for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū for maggaphala, but not us.

The contention is how to develop bhāvanāmayā paññā for people living today. Not for those rare extraordinary people in the Buddha's time. Even in Buddha's time not everyone who has heard his teaching became Awakened. I would not be surprised if 99% of monks had to work hard for maggaphala, and that is under the Buddha - the best teacher.

Taking extremely rare, exceptional and gifted people's results as a general rule for us, IMHO, is wrong.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Thu May 09, 2013 3:40 pm

Alex123 wrote:Another example: Bahiya. He has heard one paragraph of Dhamma and became an Arhat within seconds/minutes. We have heard that teaching, and many other teachings many times and yet - where are we? Why didn't we become awakened like those people even though we know 100x as much?

"Because what stands between us and enlightenment is our desire for enlightenment."
- Such snide retorts are an easy way to dismiss an important issue and yet sound profound ...


So we cannot take the minimum which works for Ugghaṭitaññū or vipañcitaññū and apply it to us (neyyo or padaparamo) expecting maggaphala. It is just not relevant cases for us.

Absolutely.
One reason why some of us take rebirth seriously in a more popular sense (ie. Hindu reincarnation-like) is precisely the consideration that we're probably not going to make it beyond suffering anytime soon, given the way things have been going for us so far, and that so there better be many lifetimes, or we're doomed.

But like I said earlier - Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment. Perhaps what some of us consider undue pride and cockiness, is actually appropriate.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:25 pm

binocular wrote: we're probably not going to make it beyond suffering anytime soon, given the way things have been going for us so far, and that so there better be many lifetimes, or we're doomed.


The suttas do not seem to teach "aeons of dhamma practice for Awakening". If anything, they say that Awakening can come not long after correct practice. Satipatthana sutta promises results as quick as in 7 days, in MN85 one could under Buddha's guidance achieve Arhatship in a day. Etc.

Samyutta Nikaya 38.16 wrote:“But, friend, if a bhikkhu is practising in accordance with the Dhamma, would it take him long to become an arahant?”
Not long, friend.”


Even commentarial teaching say that the lowest type that can achieve Awakening, can do it from 7 days to 60 years.

(3) A Neyya : an individual who needs

to study the sermon and the exposition, and then
to practise the provisions contained therein for 7 days to 60 years, to attain the Paths and the Fruits during this lifetime if he tries hard with guidance from the right teacher. http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/individu.htm
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
User avatar
Alex123
 
Posts: 2808
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Thu May 09, 2013 4:49 pm

Alex123 wrote:The suttas do not seem to teach "aeons of dhamma practice for Awakening". If anything, they say that Awakening can come not long after correct practice. Satipatthana sutta promises results as quick as in 7 days, in MN85 one could under Buddha's guidance achieve Arhatship in a day. Etc.

I know. I don't so much doubt the suttas, but my discernment about what may be the right thing to do, and my committment to the teachings and practice.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 5:03 pm

binocular wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What were are being asked to believe by the Sujin followers, in the most bare terms, is that by thinking about a concept we have heard a remarkable level of concentration and awareness will automatically arise.


Well, it's not such an outlandish idea. There are stories of plenty of people who have heard a few words from the Buddha, practiced a little, and "in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now."

Perhaps we wrongfully take for granted that we're not close, not ripe for such a quick path to enlightenment.
My guess you have not been reading this thread from its inception. The Sujinists here talk about their practice taking eons to come to fruition, so it does not look that they are advocating a "ripeness" -- a la Bahiya -- possibility in their hearing, thinking about, and hoping for insight.

An interesting example of the "ripeness" possibility is, indeed, the case of Bahiya, who was given very brief and very specific instructions and as a result of which he woke up. The same instructions are given to Ven. Malunkyaputta, who had to actually put them into practice before waking up. The instructions in these suttas are just that: instruction for practice. That Bahiya woke up upon hearing these instructions points to two things: the efficacy of the instructions as well as the the Buddha's ability to teach the right thing to the right person at the right time. But for us what is important is the efficacy of the instructions.

While we may have the Buddha's teachings, we do not have do not have the Buddha himself sitting directly in front of us with his abilities, saying just the right thing. But we do have the Buddha's teaching and what we do with them is to put them into practice. It is not a matter of just hearing them and then thinking about them, hoping that that will somehow cause insight to arise.

As the Buddha's teachings make clear, we can cultivate those aspects that are natural to our minds, concentration and attention, that will allow us to see what needs to be seen clearly, giving rise to insight.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19201
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Fri May 10, 2013 10:40 am

Mr Man wrote:So "momentary concentration" is the standard concentration that all beings would have which comes with being alive? And this concentration has different levels of intensity. Normally it is through sustained application that intensity is developed. robertk how would you say the intensity of concentration arises?

Dear Mr man
Thanks for the discussion.
I. I know if I look back a few decades I thought concentration as described in the texts was something to be gained/devloped by ‘concentrating” i.e unremitting focusing on some object or range of objects. That can certainly develop strong intensity of concentration, but it is not the right kind IMHO.
Anyway now I think concentration of the desirable kind is closely interwined with detachment and tranquility,.

II. So relating this to right view and especially that special insight detailed by the Buddha, it seems to me that any wise reflection at any level on anatta tends towards immediate tranquility to some degree. Think of seeing and visible object : reflecting how it is merely color that is seen, something so insignificant, tends towards detachment and a feeling of joy and peace. And one is at those moments instantly virtuos because no wish ot steal, to lie, to covet etc at the times of understanding the anattaness of elements.

III. And that is if there is only basic level reflection: think of how peaceful it is when color of seeing or sound and hearing are directly insighted.

IV. Furthemore I think this tranquility that comes from/with right understanding/knowing that is instantly associated with sila, brings concentration- the right kind- with it.

[Mod edit: Ven Nyanaponika translation of AN 10.2, NDB 1340]

For one who is virtuous and endowed with virtue, there is no need for an act of will:[6] "May non-remorse arise in me!"; it is natural,[7] monks, that non-remorse will arise in one who is virtuous.


For one who is glad (at heart), there is no need for an act of will: "May (deep inner) joy arise in me!"; it is natural for one glad (at heart) that joy arises in him.

For one who has a (deep inner) joy, there is no need for an act of will: "May my body be tranquil!";[8] it is natural for one of joyful mind that his body will be tranquil.

For one of tranquil body, there is no need for an act of will: "May I feel happiness!"; it is natural for one who is tranquil that he will feel happiness.

For one who is happy, there is no need for an act of will: "May my mind be concentrated!"; it is natural for one who is happy that his mind will be concentrated.

For one who is concentrated, there is no need for an act of will: "May I know and see reality as it is!"; it is natural for a concentrated mind to know and see reality as it is.

In that way, monks, these qualities are integrated with the other qualities;[9] and in that way these qualities bring other qualities to perfection, for going from the here to the beyond (of conditioned reality).[10]


But of course this is not easy. AS soon as we see the advantage of knowing realties, of reflecting wisely, one wants it more often or more deeply – and right at that moment one heads down the wrong way again-.
,
Maha-vagga, Book XII, Kindred Sayings about the Truths, Ch. V, par. 5,
'Now what think you, Ananda? Which is the harder, which is the harder task to compass: To shoot like that or to pierce one strand of hair, a hundred times divided, with another strand?'

'Why, lord, of course to split a hair in such a way is the harder, much the harder task.'

'Just so, Ananda, they who penetrate the meaning of: This is dukkha, this is the arising of dukkha, this is the ceasing of dukkha, this is the practice that leads to the ceasing of dukkha, pierce through something much harder to pierce.

[Mod edit: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html CDB ii 1869]


so it is a subtle matter, the way of vipassana

That is why I believe it is important that so much effort be put into right view,( both from studying the tetxs and studying the moment):
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html

One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort.
One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness.
Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Fri May 10, 2013 2:33 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Mike


Dear Mike,

That "concentration is classed as access and absorption" is taken from the chapter of Concentration development, in other words, samatha bhavana. [/quote]
I think you are mistaken. That quote is a footnote of the Commentary on chapter 1, which gives an overview of the entire process of purification. Here is the whole quote:

[Visuddhimagga, Chapter I paragraph 6]
6. In some instances this path of purification is taught by insight alone, [3] according
as it is said:
    “Formations are all impermanent:
    When he sees thus with understanding
    And turns away from what is ill,
    That is the path to purity” (Dhp 277).
[3] “The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


I also gave some other quotes from the start of:
Visuddhimagga: CHAPTER XVIII PURIFICATION OF VIEW (Diþþhi-visuddhi-niddesa

here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 07#p244480

The quotes I gave above and in that link are specifically talking about dry insight. I suggest you read them in context. The Visuddhimagga is on line here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html

:anjali:
Mike[/quote]

Dear Mike,

Actually, I was refering to the sentence "for concentration is classed as both access and absorption".Sorry for being too brief. What I wanted to say is that, since it was referring to access concentration of samatha practice, which has concept as object, whereas insight practice has characteristics as object, the meaning of "access" here shouldn't be taken as the same as in samatha, but rather it is the strength of the concentration at that level that it being refered to.

We read:

Now, concentration is of two kinds, that is to say, access concentration and
absorption concentration: the mind becomes concentrated in two ways, that is,
on the plane of access and on the plane of obtainment. Herein, the mind becomes
concentrated on the plane of access by the abandonment of the hindrances, and
on the plane of obtainment by the manifestation of the jhána factors.
33. The difference between the two kinds of concentration is this. The factors
are not strong in access. It is because they are not strong that when access has
arisen, the mind now makes the sign its object and now re-enters the lifecontinuum,13 just as when a young child is lifted up and stood on its feet, itrepeatedly falls down on the ground. But the factors are strong in absorption. It
is because they are strong that when absorption concentration has arisen, the
mind, having once interrupted the flow of the life-continuum, carries on with a
stream of profitable impulsion for a whole night and for a whole day, just as a
healthy man, after rising from his seat, could stand for a whole day


(Visudhimagga, chapter IV, 32)

You see, while access concentration in samatha makes the sign its object, in vipassana, what is called access concentration can not make the sign its object but the characteristics.

Brgds,

D.F
Last edited by dhamma follower on Sun May 12, 2013 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Fri May 10, 2013 3:02 pm

Mr Man wrote:So "momentary concentration" is the standard concentration that all beings would have which comes with being alive? And this concentration has different levels of intensity. Normally it is through sustained application that intensity is developed. robertk how would you say the intensity of concentration arises?


Dear Mr Man,

In addition to the excellent answers and quotes given by RobertK, I will give you some of my thoughts:

According to the Abhidhamma, sustained application (vicara in Pali) is present in 66 kinds of citta (out of 89 in total). That means, vicara is quite common place as well. Even now, as you are reading these lines, vicara should be there too. In samatha development, vicara is said to have the role of sustain the mind on the object so that the minds doesn't turn towards other objects. However, as far as intensity of concentration is concerned, i think the description of access and absorption I gave in my above posts better reflects the different degrees of intensity, which actually is a high and firm degree of wholesomeness.

Vicara arises with both wholesome and unwholesome cittas, so there can be high degrees of concentration without its being the right concentration praised by the Buddha. So in the end, it should be understood that it is not the will to stay on the object which is the main cause for (wholesome) access or absorption to arise, but it is the understanding which sees the disadvantage of unwholesomeness, of the danger of sense pleasure that causes vicara to not stray away from the object.

In the case of vipassana bhavana, however, there's no object which requires vicara to sustain the mind upon, like in samatha bhavana. But as there's more and more understanding of the nature of realities, the tendency to grasps at whatever appears as someone or something decreases, allowing higher and higher levels of understanding to arise, and along with it, the intensity of the accompanying concentration increases accordingly.

Once I listened to a talk by AS, where someone asked her why concentration is said to manifest as calm, she answered (I quote from memory only, no precision):

Now, there's concentration every moment, right? Why we can not see its characteristics. But when there is calmness, true calmness, its characteristics appear


This is quite in line even with what we know of samatha bhavana: at the level of jhanna, concentration mental factor (ekkagata cetasika) is discerned (as jhana factor). It is a moment of calm.

Similarly, at the moment of insight, which is a moment of a high degree of wholesomeness and understanding, it can be known that the strength of concentration at that moment is indeed very strong, like access concentration in bhavana practice.

Brgds,

D.F
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Fri May 10, 2013 3:27 pm

tiltbillings wrote:My guess you have not been reading this thread from its inception. The Sujinists here talk about their practice taking eons to come to fruition, so it does not look that they are advocating a "ripeness" -- a la Bahiya -- possibility in their hearing, thinking about, and hoping for insight.

From what I've read so far, her teachings seem to be inconsistent. There is both a strong salvationist theme (to the effect of "You need someone to tell you what to do, you need someone to save you, you can't do it yourself") but also the theme the the effect of "You're really close already anyway, it's all very easy."

Even more oddly, she even seems to teach things that make her redundant. E.g. "The Buddha taught us to listen to dhamma, not people." or "Be an island. . . depend on oneself, one’s own understanding which can eradicate one’s defilements."

I'm puzzled how come some posters here seem so troubled with her/her approach. I've noticed there are many truisms in her teachings (see the post linked to above), and I tend to find it easy not to pay much attention to people who proclaim truisms.
Last edited by binocular on Fri May 10, 2013 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Fri May 10, 2013 3:38 pm

robertk wrote:IV. Furthemore I think this tranquility that comes from/with right understanding/knowing that is instantly associated with sila, brings concentration- the right kind- with it.

[Mod edit: Ven Nyanaponika translation of AN 10.2, NDB 1340]

For one who is virtuous and endowed with virtue, there is no need for an act of will:[6] "May non-remorse arise in me!"; it is natural,[7] monks, that non-remorse will arise in one who is virtuous.
The problem is, robertk, you have not shown that the text does really supports your position.

But of course this is not easy. AS soon as we see the advantage of knowing realties, of reflecting wisely, one wants it more often or more deeply – and right at that moment one heads down the wrong way again-.
Except if one is really doing the practice, when this "wanting" rears its head, one is aware of it. It is part of dealing with life as it is, as it presents itself.
"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; MN 10
And being aware of it, it becomes an occasion for insight, given that wanting, like any other conditioned dhamma, aries and falls dependent upon conditions and is anicca, dukkha, and anatta. And this is not necessarily something one needs to think about. It is a matter of seeing the the rise and fall of the wanting.
Maha-vagga, Book XII, Kindred Sayings about the Truths, Ch. V, par. 5,
'Now what think you, Ananda? Which is the harder, which is the harder task to compass: To shoot like that or to pierce one strand of hair, a hundred times divided, with another strand?'

'Why, lord, of course to split a hair in such a way is the harder, much the harder task.'

'Just so, Ananda, they who penetrate the meaning of: This is dukkha, this is the arising of dukkha, this is the ceasing of dukkha, this is the practice that leads to the ceasing of dukkha, pierce through something much harder to pierce.

[Mod edit: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html CDB ii 1869]


so it is a subtle matter, the way of vipassana
Subtle, but not impossible, which is why the Buddha outlined a way of practice.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19201
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 10, 2013 8:39 pm

dhamma follower wrote:You see, while access concentration in samatha makes the sign its object, in vipassana, what is called access concentration can not make the sign its object but the characteristics.

Yes, I understand the difference. However, we seem to read the texts (and our experiences) differently on how developed that concentration needs to be for insight.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10124
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Fri May 10, 2013 9:00 pm

Hi Robert,
robertk wrote:[... in reply to Mr Man ... quotes deleted for brevity ... ]
I. I know if I look back a few decades I thought concentration as described in the texts was something to be gained/devloped by ‘concentrating” i.e unremitting focusing on some object or range of objects. That can certainly develop strong intensity of concentration, but it is not the right kind IMHO.
Anyway now I think concentration of the desirable kind is closely interwined with detachment and tranquility,.

II. So relating this to right view and especially that special insight detailed by the Buddha, it seems to me that any wise reflection at any level on anatta tends towards immediate tranquility to some degree. Think of seeing and visible object : reflecting how it is merely color that is seen, something so insignificant, tends towards detachment and a feeling of joy and peace. And one is at those moments instantly virtuos because no wish ot steal, to lie, to covet etc at the times of understanding the anattaness of elements.

III. And that is if there is only basic level reflection: think of how peaceful it is when color of seeing or sound and hearing are directly insighted.

IV. Furthemore I think this tranquility that comes from/with right understanding/knowing that is instantly associated with sila, brings concentration- the right kind- with it.
...
But of course this is not easy. As soon as we see the advantage of knowing realties, of reflecting wisely, one wants it more often or more deeply – and right at that moment one heads down the wrong way again-.
...
so it is a subtle matter, the way of vipassana

That is why I believe it is important that so much effort be put into right view,( both from studying the tetxs and studying the moment)

I don't see anything to disagree with here. You appear to be talking about putting effort into observing and understanding the arising of phenomena. And about how fickle the results of that can be, how easy it is to be dragged off in the wrong direction.

I'm only puzzled where you think there is a significant difference in principle between what you have written here and how I, and others, understand practice.

:anjali:
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10124
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Sat May 11, 2013 7:40 am

Hi robertk
robertk wrote: it seems to me that any wise reflection at any level on anatta tends towards immediate tranquility to some degree. Think of seeing and visible object : reflecting how it is merely color that is seen, something so insignificant, tends towards detachment and a feeling of joy and peace. And one is at those moments instantly virtuos because no wish ot steal, to lie, to covet etc at the times of understanding the anattaness of elements.

So this is how you practice (throughout the day)? This must take a fair amount of effort/vigilance.
robertk wrote:And that is if there is only basic level reflection: think of how peaceful it is when color of seeing or sound and hearing are directly insighted.

What do you mean by "directly insighted"? What would be the effort that immediately precedes the "direct insight" (is the mind being put into a particular place).
Thanks
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1190
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Sun May 12, 2013 2:10 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:You see, while access concentration in samatha makes the sign its object, in vipassana, what is called access concentration can not make the sign its object but the characteristics.

Yes, I understand the difference. However, we seem to read the texts (and our experiences) differently on how developed that concentration needs to be for insight.

:anjali:
Mike


There's another difference too: you seem to be saying that concentration must reach a certain level before insight can arise, whereas, we are saying that concentration (even strong one), can arise together with insight, which is conditioned by an accumulation of understanding of lower levels, starting from the intellectual understanding gained by wise consideration of the dhamma heard. Right understanding is the leader which carries concentration along.

It seems that one of the stumbling block for many people with this approach is that it is difficult to conceive how intellectual understanding can condition direct understanding without something in between. Therefore "formal practice" must come in to fill the gap. But we can look a little bit more in the matter: at the moment of right intellectual understanding, the panna cetasika (mental factor of wisdom) is already there. At that moment, the object of panna is still concepts, concepts about realities, but the quality of wisdom is present. When there's more and more understanding in different aspects, it can condition the moment of direct experience of realities, by way of upanissaya paccaya. This would not be possible without a clear understanding of what is the object of satipatthana and what is not, and a strong emphasis on the realities NOW. At any time there is a real understanding of what is the right object, and the studying of what appears now, all beautiful mental factors which arise with that understanding are accumulated and tend more and more towards the reality which appears instead of thinking about it. And when the conditions are sufficient, direct awareness of reality can arise.

The stronger understanding becomes, the stronger other accompanying mental factors become too, including concentration and effort. So when the level of understanding is such that it can reach the level of insight, the concentration that arises with it also is endowed with that same strenght, and comparable to the level of access concentration.

This description might lead one to think that there is in fact an exercise that one must try to do. But in reality, it is totally an empty process, causes and effects, causes and effects. If there is trying to make it, it can not happen, because then it is done by the idea of someone who can, and by the desire to get something. The entire process is ignated actually by a clear understanding that it is an empty proccess, which is conditioned by right understanding now. This is a subtle point that we have a great difficulty getting across. Anyone, even those who have followed this interpretation of the Dhamma by AS for a long time, still have times and again questions of "how to", or "trying to" at moments where there's not right understanding. Craving and wrong views belong to no one, so as long as we are not a sotapana, they are bound to happen in anyone, and can only be decreased with more and more right understanding. It is good to see them for what they are.

The good news is that panna has the faculty to penetrate, to illuminate and to know clearly. Therefore, even a little small panna which has arisen can verify the truthfulness of that, it knows its own power. But it doesn't last, it arises and falls away...

Any thoughts?

Brgds,

D.F
dhamma follower
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:48 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 12, 2013 2:35 pm

dhamma follower wrote: at the moment of right intellectual understanding, the panna cetasika (mental factor of wisdom) is already there. At that moment, the object of panna is still concepts, concepts about realities, but the quality of wisdom is present.
Much of what you are describing looks like the equation on the blackboard in this cartoon.


Image
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19201
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: maitreya31, Viscid, Yahoo [Bot] and 7 guests