A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby robertk » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:00 am

Ben wrote:
robertk wrote:
The commentary to the Netti pakarana has a section on the 38 vancakkha dhammas- the cheating dhammas.
For example on of them is related to renunciation: one moves to a secluded place, gives up meeting with people and feels this is because they are developing renunciation. It is just as likely to be done out of subtle aversion to the problems that come with society. On the othe rhand one stays in society and feels that one is doing this through equanimity or metta- but doesn't see the attachment to sensuality that is really motivating the behavior..

And practically every real right action in the spiritual realm has its not always obvious cheating counterpart (vangakkha). If there is no genuine awareness one might be 'cheated ' by these fakes for a lifetime.

Hi Robert,

How does one become aware and counter these vangakkha dhammas if they are so subtle as to be easily mistaken for kusala dhammas?
kind regards,

Ben


there is a parami called sacca, truthfulness that is woefully underdeveloped in most of us. So we are always quick to cling to anything that looks like progress and exaggerate it in our own mind.
basically , in my opinion , as soon As there is the merest hint or feeling of having Kusala we can be sure that attachment is blossoming and delusion is flowing.
so how to have kusala without clinging? no easy way, other than by really revering the teachings i think so that they become our teacher rather than tricky aspects of lobha which we take for insight.
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby Ben » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:24 am

Thanks Robert!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby Coyote » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:34 am

Very interesting post Robert.

If it is very hard to tell whether the motivations for our actions are kusala, then how should we approach actions such as Dana, Sila and similar things? According to the commentary you posted, they may well be associated with akusala mind states in the individual, and yet we still do them to the best of out ability, even though we have not reached the level where they happen according to our nature (stream-entry). Why could the same not be said of renunciation and other right actions? I.e that we do them to the best of out ability, even though "real" wisdom is not there yet.

Thank you for your input
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby robertk » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:08 pm

such an excellent question coyote.
i ask nina and sujin this same question many many times.
In good conventional actions , like say giving something to a monk, they would say there is sure to be at least some citta processes associated with kusala. But still there should be awareness developing or there will be almost instantly attachment after and during("how good it is,and i am") without realizing.
That doesnt mean be paralyzed, feeling that one has to be pure first, and not do any conventional good deeds. But it does mean one should be honest and open to seeing the very subtle lobha that likes to feel like a good person..
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:18 pm

Greetings,

The Buddha doesn't seem as averse to such perceptions as "nina and sujin" are...

Dhp 18 wrote:Here he is happy, hereafter he is happy; one who performs meritorious deeds is happy in both existences. Happily he exclaims: "I have done meritorious deeds." He is happier still when he is reborn in a higher world (suggati).

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby chownah » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:28 pm

peteG,
Seems like some people here are talking about how sometimes someone who finds social interaction boring will stop socializing to avoid the boredom but think that they have renounced socialization....in other words they misunderstand their motives by thinking that it is noble when in fact it is just a way to avoid boredom. Seems to me that you are describing something much more intense. Seems to me you are talking about some sort of running away from socialization to avoid it and these people are not thinking that their actions are noble, they just think that it is a relief and a safer way to be. Am I right about this? Do you see two different attitudes like I have described?...and if so can you add something to show precisely the kinds of attitudes you were talking about in hour blog posting?
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby Coyote » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:06 pm

Thanks Robert. Being honest with yourself is a good policy.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/various/wheel367.html#pali

Retro: The suttas record various motives for exercising generosity. The Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv,236) enumerates the following eight motives:

Asajja danam deti: one gives with annoyance, or as a way of offending the recipient, or with the idea of insulting him.[5]
Bhaya danam deti: fear also can motivate a person to make an offering.
Adasi me ti danam deti: one gives in return for a favor done to oneself in the past.
Dassati me ti danam deti one also may give with the hope of getting a similar favor for oneself in the future.
Sadhu danan ti danam deti: one gives because giving is considered good.
Aham pacami, ime ne pacanti, na arahami pacanto apacantanam adatun ti danam deti: "I cook, they do not cook. It is not proper for me who cooks not to give to those who do not cook." Some give urged by such altruistic motives.
Imam me danam dadato kalyano kittisaddo abbhuggacchati ti danam deti: some give alms to gain a good reputation.
Cittalankara-cittaparikkarattham danam deti: still others give alms to adorn and beautify the mind.

:)
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:56 pm

Here is the latest post to my blog: http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/2013/06 ... ivion.html It is an example of the intense feelings that may come up when entering into social situations and why I sometimes avoid them.

Pete
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby dagon » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:18 am

Thank you for this thread and its content.

As i move along the path of my development i find that i seek to spend time with Buddhist and do not seek the company of those who are on a different path. i find those on other paths not to be relevant to my life or conducive to my intended development. I do not think of this as avoidance or renunciation - but then honesty with myself may not be my strength. How am i to judge what is the truth and what is illusion?

Metta
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby Ben » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:40 am

dagon wrote:Thank you for this thread and its content.

As i move along the path of my development i find that i seek to spend time with Buddhist and do not seek the company of those who are on a different path. i find those on other paths not to be relevant to my life or conducive to my intended development. I do not think of this as avoidance or renunciation -

You may find that in time, this will change.

dagon wrote:but then honesty with myself may not be my strength. How am i to judge what is the truth and what is illusion?

This self awareness is excellent. And the answer to your question is that as you continue to investigate reality as it pertains to the psycho-physical matrix, you will become increasingly more penetratingly self-reflexive.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:01 am

I'm not sure if Craving can exactly equate to dukkha, given that craving is stated by the Buddha to be the cause of dukkha. If that is so we are left with no way out, for if what determines something is itself then is it not permanent? Retro I am aware you have read Nyanavira's work so I think it might come in handy in this situation, where he describes that a hetu/sankhara determines something else. Even Avijja isn't determined by the very same Avijja, but avijja in the immediecy is determined by avijja in the reflection upon such immediacy. So no sankhara has itself as it's sankhara in essence is what I am trying to illustrate. Even if you chose to ignore Ven Nyanavira's work on sankhara one still is left with the fact that the Four Noble Truths state that with craving as condition -> Dukkha.

Mind you I've still got a ways to go before I'm qualified to be making categorical statements in this department so please do not think that I'm talking with any degree of certainty :)

metta
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:53 pm

I’ve published a new entry to my blog – it is advice for people who need help looking other people in the eyes

http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/2013/07 ... -eyes.html

Pete
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:32 pm

Hi Pete,

Your blog is interesting, and makes some very good points. However the quotes you have there are not accurate.

See: http://www.fakebuddhaquotes.com/he-who- ... y-of-life/ for a discussion of this one:
“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”


:anjali:
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:19 pm

You mean you can't trust everything on the internet? Thanks for the info, I changed it to the proper source
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:47 pm

Greetings Pete,

This customised search engine might help you exclude some dodgy material from your future research...

Google Saffron
http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=00545 ... cbjbznmwso

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:43 pm

Here’s the latest post to my blog, it’s about communication:
http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/2013/07 ... ds-as.html
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:12 pm

Here is the latest post to my blog. This one is about the meaning of the term "connected": http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/2013/07 ... -room.html
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:16 am

Here’s the latest post to my blog: http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/2013/08 ... dness.html It discusses the application of Loving-Kindness principles. You can see past posts at: http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby peteG » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:51 pm

I've published a new post to my blog. It is titled: "Black and White Thinking the Middle Path and Relationships". It can be found here: http://mindfullasd.blogspot.com/2014/07 ... -path.html

thanks
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Re: A contemporary analysis of the dukkha of avoidance

Postby phil » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:18 pm

Hello Retro, all

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

The Buddha doesn't seem as averse to such perceptions as "nina and sujin" are...

Dhp 18 wrote:Here he is happy, hereafter he is happy; one who performs meritorious deeds is happy in both existences. Happily he exclaims: "I have done meritorious deeds." He is happier still when he is reborn in a higher world (suggati).

Metta,
Retro. :)


Do you think the Buddha is referring to. for example. people who do dana because of their fear of death. who contribute to temples because of that aversion? They are very confident that they have done a good deed and the quote you provided would make them even happier, but it is just foolishness rooted in fear, it seems to me. But the other day I heard a Dhamma discussion in which Sujin (Boriharnwanaket) was saying ( and Nina van Gorkom agreed) that there are "pre-perfections" , in other words kusala done without being accompanied by panna, and that at least that means there is at such times than not doing of bad deeds and this makes it easier to have an opportunity to hear the teaching.

I think this thread is interesting and important. there is rarely any recognition by anyone, for example, about how our so called "practices" are all about escaping from fear. Or about how Buddhism is usually just something that people who are thoroughly intoxicated through the sense doors pop on top to provide a sense of something deeper, for reassurement that there is something beyond the fear or of death and disease that is constantly lurking. We are (most of us most of the time) living like princes who have never left the pleasure palace behind but keep a corner in it for sitting and thinking pleasant thoughts about renunciation, encouraged all the more by our books full of suttas that we enjoy through highlighted paragraphs
How many moments are there when there is a real intention of renunciation rather than seeking pleasure in subtler forms of mental pleasure? That's a rhetorical question but I think it's good to reflect on what is really behind our interest in the Dhamma most of the time if we are honest.

Phil
P.S I haven't been to this forum for awhile and I see that the signature quotation I stuck on some years ago is a good example of the kind of thing that I wrote about above, how nice it is if we can believe that wisdom shines forth in what appears to be good behavior. And yet I don't think I will change it because at least when there is superficially good behavior there is not bad behavior, and and for those of us who are prone to bad behavior at least at such times there may be better conditions to hear the teaching and for panna to begin to develop very gradually.
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)
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