Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

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Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:23 pm

The buddha said that one should ask questions about the dhamma and investigate it, but can you question and investigate the dhamma too much?

I bring this up due to the outcome of the Dependent Origination thread where i felt that some people thought certain users view of it was starting to go against the dhamma.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:48 pm

I think some discussion is useful because it can help to figure out weaknesses in one's views.

Of coruse, one problem with discussion is that it can simply waste time and energy that might be better spent... :coffee:

I also think that it is important to have some idea of what the "standard" views are, so that it is clear what aspects of it being rejected by various teachers/authors/posters.

And I find the advice to Canki about preserving the truth and choosing a teacher very helpful:
MN95 Canki Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.
...
"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion: 'Are there in this venerable one any such qualities based on greed that, with his mind overcome by these qualities, he might say, "I know," while not knowing, or say, "I see," while not seeing; or that he might urge another to act in a way that was for his/her long-term harm & pain?' As he observes him, he comes to know, 'There are in this venerable one no such qualities based on greed... His bodily behavior & verbal behavior are those of one not greedy. And the Dhamma he teaches is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, tranquil, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. This Dhamma can't easily be taught by a person who's greedy.
[Similarly for aversion and delusion...]


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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:27 pm

clw_uk wrote:The buddha said that one should ask questions about the dhamma and investigate it, but can you question and investigate the dhamma too much?

I bring this up due to the outcome of the Dependent Origination thread where i felt that some people thought certain users view of it was starting to go against the dhamma.


It is one of the Factors for enlightenment and in the Satipatthana Sutta it gives the Hinderences and Clinging just before so if one can be turned into the other in the case of the hinderences so why not the other way round!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:43 pm

Greetings Craig,
clw_uk wrote:The buddha said that one should ask questions about the dhamma and investigate it, but can you question and investigate the dhamma too much?

I don't think so. I think the only problems come when we have attachment to views... sometimes in fact thinking that our views are that which the Buddha teaches, but because of some missed subtlety, we're actually missing the mark.

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: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:06 am

clw_uk wrote:The buddha said that one should ask questions about the dhamma and investigate it, but can you question and investigate the dhamma too much?

I think some people ask questions and discuss with the aim of discovering what's true. But I do not think one can arrive at what's true through questions and discussion. I think the proper use of questions and discussion is to understand what the teaching is, what the practice is, what we're being advised to do.

Then we need to do it.

The investigation the Buddha speaks about is nothing other than this "doing it". By putting the path into practice we investigate for ourselves where the path leads.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:11 am

Greetings Peter,

Well said.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:26 pm

Peter wrote:
clw_uk wrote:The buddha said that one should ask questions about the dhamma and investigate it, but can you question and investigate the dhamma too much?

I think some people ask questions and discuss with the aim of discovering what's true. But I do not think one can arrive at what's true through questions and discussion. I think the proper use of questions and discussion is to understand what the teaching is, what the practice is, what we're being advised to do.

Then we need to do it.

The investigation the Buddha speaks about is nothing other than this "doing it". By putting the path into practice we investigate for ourselves where the path leads.


:goodpost: Thank you that kinda answers my question, thanks to everyone else as well

:namaste:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:06 pm

I'm with Peter on this /\

And I believe that discussion, feedback, and context (when conducted in a meaningful manner) can help support practice and study but of course not replace them.
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Re: Questioning and Investigating the Dhamma

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:00 pm

Greetings Drolma,

Yes, the two are mutually beneficial. Theory helps with the practice, and practice helps with the theory.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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