Tale of Three fire sticks, and Saccaka the Nigantha's son.
A comment on DW, from a while ago, brought me inspiration, in these unsettling times. In this thread, Binocular referred to Buddha's teaching to Saccaka. It motivated me to revisit MN 36. Many months ago, It was Buddha's words to Saccaka that made me look into Samma Sati and Samma Samadhi. What I had been practicing was wrong, it was not bearing fruit. After reading Saccaka, I was on a mission to find the right ways of doing things. I began with MN 117.
Binocular wrote to the person he was engaged with:
I think our ideas about what constitutes or what could constitute the Buddhadharma are so vastly different as to be incompatible.So much so that you think I have no interest in the Buddhadharma. I dare say you are very wrong on that point.
I have little interest in some interpretations of the buddhadharma, indeed
But since I am unsure of the final version of the Buddhadharma, and since the proponents of some interpretations are so loud, I expect them to convince me of their rightness. Which they resent, oddly enough.
If they're all so advanced and have it all figured out, then it shouldn't be hard for them to clarify things for me the way the Buddha did for Saccaka, with three fire sticks
Dear Binocular, I like the spirit with which you challenge friends on DW. I am not advanced, but I will try to clarify to you, and in this attempt perhaps Dharma will clarify itself to me too.
Buddhadharma using the simile found in MN 36
. Dharma is hard to follow, unless one is committed 100%.
- One is gotta really want to, like how folks try hard at Physical therapy after a bad stroke being on a ventilator, having been on a coma (the coma of ignorance)
The said simile occurred to Buddha spontaneously, never heard before.
Therefore it deserves our complete attention, can the Teacher teach Dharma using only three fire sticks?
I deduce the original fire stick represents one's consciousness, the second fire stick that is needed to rub the first one and create heat, it is a simile for right effort.
How does one light a fire using a fire stick, a bonfire to burn the defilements, set consciousness on fire until the defilements are extinguished???
Fire stick #1
is a wet sappy stick of wood immersed in water? like a mind plunged in Kamadhatu, decked in sensual paraphernalia, owner of a Hedge fund? his head filled with thoughts of screwing his clients, or on a different note, watching TV's endless presentations, feeding mind with trash? Are the hedge fund manager or TV addict suited to explore Buddha's profound Dhamma, if they decide to go to a retreat and try meditation? How do you light a fire with a wet sappy piece of wood lying in water??? These minds even when withdrawn temporarily will remain wet and sappy, I modernized the simile to bring the message home to you.
I learnt the hard way that meditation involves a change of lifestyle. One cannot do wonders in 2 weeks, maybe gain, release from home folks. Buddha dhamma is not designed for 2 week intervals, neither 6 month. But then some effort is better than no effort, perhaps?
The major hurdle is in giving up the unsavory lifestyle.
Fire stick #2
wet sappy piece of wood lying on dry land, when rubbed against a dry stick, will not light a fire. This could be the mind of a meditator sitting in a secluded spot, but his thoughts are ceaselessly assailed by passion, outwardly quiet, inwardly disquiet. That mind is incapable of executing the goal of meditation on demand, or dismantling the chain of dependent origination, which is the goal of the recluse.
Fire stick #3
dry sapless piece of wood lying on dry land (meaning mind immersed in Samma sati, Samma Samadhi) such a mind can create an instant bonfire, move into the void at a moment's notice. Sutta wrote
who lives bodily withdrawn from sensual pleasure, desire affection, infatuation, thirst and fever for sensual pleasure fully abandoned
This can only happen during Kayanupassana or when practicing the 4 buddhist jhanas.
Elsewhere Buddha had said, something to the affect, "this spiritual life is irrelevant, unless it can act like the third fire stick" since we are on the topic of fire sticks. For real results, ongoing practice and engagement in right meditation is essential.
Samma Sati brings to life awakening factors i.e. Iddipada, that lifts one, on to the void at a moment's notice, Samma Samadhi.
Dear Binocular this is the way Pulsar sees Buddhadhamma, it is
how one wakes up from the Samsaric coma of ignorance
It is very hard, but we must give it our best shot. There is no other way of finding Buddhadharma, not thru endless dispute, not through endless intellectual exploration, but through Right meditation. MN 117
Binocular also wrote then it shouldn't be hard for them to clarify things for me the way the Buddha did for Saccaka
I am not advanced by any means, I too have my broken moments, but with repeated practice it is getting better and better, less and less broken.
A text that inspired me.
she who exclusively applies herself to that which she should apply herself, her alone do I call a Saiksa a learner
The text continued,
but how can one say that the Aryan when she finds herself in a normal state and not in Samadhi, has it for her nature to apply herself? By reason of her intention: as the traveller who stops for a moment is nevertheless still called a traveller. Or because the possessions of morality, absorption (samadhi) and prajna remain attached to her even when she is in a normal state
Thank you Binocular for your comments on both threads, they woke me up to Buddhadharma. The simile of three fire sticks come alive to me, full of meaning along with Buddha's genius.
Binocular's comments can be found in the following threads. https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f ... &start=120
May the world be free of Corona fears...With love