Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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mikenz66
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by mikenz66 »

Alex123 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Wisdom deals with them.
Right. I guess we shouldn't consider any states as "mine" or belonging to "Self".
It seems clear that an important part of awakening is to realise that all phenomena are "not me, not mine, not my self". But of course most of the Buddha's instructions, in the Satipatthana Sutta, and elsewhere, are along the lines of: "a monk does such-and-such", and I don't see how creating convoluted sentences to avoid using words like "myself" or "monk" would be helpful until one is dealing with specific teachings such as in SN 12 Phagguna Sutta.

:anjali:
Mike
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Alex123
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by Alex123 »

mikenz66 wrote:
Alex123 wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Wisdom deals with them.
Right. I guess we shouldn't consider any states as "mine" or belonging to "Self".
It seems clear that an important part of awakening is to realise that all phenomena are "not me, not mine, not my self". But of course most of the Buddha's instructions, in the Satipatthana Sutta, and elsewhere, are along the lines of: "a monk does such-and-such", and I don't see how creating convoluted sentences to avoid using words like "myself" or "monk" would be helpful until one is dealing with specific teachings such as in SN 12 Phagguna Sutta.

:anjali:
Mike
About 3/4 of instruction in Satipatthana involve "discerns". Only very few instructions seem to imply active doing: ex: 4 elements, 31 bodyparts, corpse meditation, *anapanasati. Anapanasati in some aspects might not need any intentional effort as we are all naturally breathing, and without becoming restless one can notice in/out breaths as part of automatic/semi-automatic bodily processes.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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mikenz66
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Alex,

Evidently you interpret those passages differently from me, and my teachers. I explained my reasoning here:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 20#p246253

:anjali:
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Alex123
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by Alex123 »

ground wrote:If you look at it you will see that all these ideas have just one purpose: to keep itself busy. It is just restlessness. :sage:

What I asked is of practical importance. If one follows a path incorrectly, then Awakening will not happen. If one needs to travel west but walks east, then with every step s/he is further and further away from the goal.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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ground
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by ground »

Alex123 wrote:
ground wrote:If you look at it you will see that all these ideas have just one purpose: to keep itself busy. It is just restlessness. :sage:

What I asked is of practical importance. If one follows a path incorrectly, then Awakening will not happen. If one needs to travel west but walks east, then with every step s/he is further and further away from the goal.
Ah ... so you have a real need here ... well sorry then I misunderstood your wording because it made me think of intellectual edification :sage:
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fivebells
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by fivebells »

Alex123 wrote:
kirk5a wrote: The hindrances are to be abandoned and the factors of awakening are to be developed. So practice in accord with the Bahiya sutta does not contradict that.
The Bahiya sutta does not say that one needs to develop or abandon something.
I understand the commentaries disagree on this point, but there's good reason to think that Bahiya was already a quite advanced practitioner: Great respect from the nearby lay community, conversation with a devata, traveling an impossible distance in one night, precognition, near-instant awakening (faster than Kashyapa!)

If you try the Bahiya practice and the hindrances don't get in the way, you don't need to work with them. If they do, it may be fruitful to work with them as described in the Food Sutta etc.
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reflection
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by reflection »

4) Letting go.

It's not about creating some sort of insight, not about suppressing or controlling the mind, or creating wholesome states. In the end even wholesome states have to be let go of. We will get nothing out of it, letting go of it all is the practice and the result.
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Alex123
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

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reflection wrote:4) Letting go.

It's not about creating some sort of insight, not about suppressing or controlling the mind, or creating wholesome states. In the end even wholesome states have to be let go of. We will get nothing out of it, letting go of it all is the practice and the result.
In order to let go, does one need some sort of super insight that is going to automatically make one let go? Or is it something that one trains, like a muscle?
If no to both of them, then it sounds like my point #3.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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kirk5a
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by kirk5a »

reflection wrote:4) Letting go.

It's not about creating some sort of insight, not about suppressing or controlling the mind, or creating wholesome states. In the end even wholesome states have to be let go of. We will get nothing out of it, letting go of it all is the practice and the result.
I don't think that represents the Eightfold Path very well.
"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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reflection
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by reflection »

Alex123 wrote:
reflection wrote:4) Letting go.

It's not about creating some sort of insight, not about suppressing or controlling the mind, or creating wholesome states. In the end even wholesome states have to be let go of. We will get nothing out of it, letting go of it all is the practice and the result.
In order to let go, does one need some sort of super insight that is going to automatically make one let go? Or is it something that one trains, like a muscle?
If no to both of them, then it sounds like my point #3.
From a practical point of view it doesn't matter. You can't 'want' an insight. They come through letting go as well. And seeing no-self is a result of letting go of the things you once thought were self. This can happen step by step and then suddenly, as in the ocean simile somewhere in the suttas. But from a practical point of view, the sudden step is just like the other steps. Just like the final drop is a similar drop to all the other drops, but accumulated they make the bucket overflow.
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Alex123
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by Alex123 »

reflection wrote:From a practical point of view it doesn't matter. You can't 'want' an insight.
If a person is convinced in anicca, asubha, dukkha, anatta - then what is the purpose of any new insight?

One of the thoughts that I had was: Learn the dhamma truths as reason for acting in kusala way and building a kusala "muscle", like you would train muscle of flesh in the gym. This is #2 option that I've put.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."
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reflection
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Re: Nature of Awakening, the role of practice

Post by reflection »

The purpose of insight is to lead to further letting go and finally nibbana.
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