dhamma follower wrote:
To be fair, my contention in this thread, has been centered around the understanding of "all dhammas (except Nibann) arise because of conditions". My arguments have been: the idea of formal meditation implies that
1. One thinks that because one has decided to practice (whether concentrating on an object or trying to be aware of whatever appears), wholesomeness and/or wisdom will arise. If not, WHY does one formally meditate? Does'nt that mean that one thinks the decision of practicing (volition) can condition awareness/wholesomeness/wisdom? Does it accord to the truth that any dhamma, including awareness/wholesomeness/wisdom is conditioned ? And volition is NOT the conditions for those dhammas to arise.
2. When one think that volition can indeed conditions dhammas to arise, isn't it a form of self-identification, of I-making?
And this has been responded to repeatedly, but you seems to ignore what is said, repeating the same old Sujinist talking points, but never really engaging the objections to your strawman characterization of the other ways of practicing that differ from yours.
Volition, kamma, is how we choose to act, and how we choose to act matters in terms of Dhamma practice according to the Buddha. And as has been stated to you numerous times, while we cannot will wisdom to arise (and no one is claiming that we try to do that), by using sila, bhavana, and following the rest of the Eightfold Path we can cultivate the conditions that allows wisdom to arise. The followers of Sujin do that by actively choosing to act by listening to the Dhamma and by actively choosing to act by contemplating/reflecting on the Dhamma.
"When one think that volition can indeed conditions dhammas to arise, isn't it a form of self-identification, of I-making?
" When you act by choosing to listen to the Dhamma and when you act by choosing to contemplate/reflect on the Dhamma you listened to, are you not conditioning dhammas to arise? Is that not "self-identification, of I-making?" The criticisms you level at practices other than the Sujinist practices are equally valid for the Sujinist practices, and you certainly have not shown otherwise.
Another contention that has been stressed is that "hearing the Dhamma and wise considering" are the conditions for wisdom. They them-selves are also conditioned dhammas and should be understood as such. It is not the doing but it is precisely the correct understanding from hearing the Dhamma which conditions further understanding to grow, from intellectual level to direct level.
Yes, and that is so with the practicing of sila, bhavana, and following the rest of the Eightfold Path, which are all ways of leading to correct understanding that conditioned bases for wisdom to arise. Why would you consider it to be otherwise, other than by totally and completely misunderstanding the practice of sila, bhavana and following the Eightfoild Path?
That should be clear from the very beginning that only causes and effects are at work.
No one here has said otherwise.
If one think that apart from elements which are the causes, and element which are effects, there is another element which actively does the practice, then what is it ? If one sees that causes and effects are doing their own work, creating both samsara and the way out of samsara, one doesn't need to argue that one has to practice sila, samadhi, panna, since it is just a conventional way to describe the processes.
The problem with this is that the Buddha was quite content with using conventional speech to describe his Dhamma and how to realize. You are, it seems, still trying to drive a wedge between the so-called ultimate language and conventional speech, but that has been dealt with at length, and your position is groundless, carring no weight.
From the commentary of to the Anguttara Nikaya:
Sammuti-kathā is not inferior to paramattha-kathā.
Herein references to living beings, gods, Brahma, etc., are sammuti-kathā, whereas references to impermanence, suffering, egolessness, the aggregates of the empiric individuality, the spheres and elements of sense perception and mind-cognition, bases of mindfulness, right effort, etc., are paramattha-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of generally accepted conventions, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on sammuti-kathā. One who is capable of understanding and penetrating to the truth and hoisting the flag of Arahantship when the teaching is set out in terms of ultimate categories, to him the Buddha preaches the doctrine based on paramattha-kathā. To one who is capable of awakening to the truth through sammuti-kathā , the teaching is not presented on the basis of paramattha-kathā, and conversely, to one who is capable of awakening to the truth through paramattha-kathā, the teaching is not presented on the basis of sammuti-kathā. There is this simile on this matter: Just as a teacher of the three Vedas who is capable of explaining their meaning in different dialects might teach his pupils, adopting the particular dialect, which each pupil understands, even so the Buddha preaches the doctrine adopting, according to the suitability of the occasion, either the sammuti- or the paramattha-kathā. It is by taking into consideration the ability of each individual to understand the Four Noble Truths, that the Buddha presents his teaching, either by way of sammuti, or by way of paramattha, or by way of both. Whatever the method adopted the purpose is the same, to show the way to Immortality through the analysis of mental and physical phenomena.
AA. Vol. I, pp.54-55 http://kr.buddhism.org/~skb/down/papers/094.pdf
The last main point of my contention is that all wholesomeness, be it samatha and vipassana, are rooted in understanding. For samatha, its development is based on the understanding of what is wholesome and what it unwholesome (as they presently have arisen), of the ways to arouse wholesomeness based on samatha object. For vipassana,its development is based on the understanding of the characteristics of realities as they arise as anatta, of the distinction between materiality and mentality, and eventually of the tilakkhana.
Fortunately, wholesomeness is something that can be cultivated by the conditioning nature of the choices we make, which is the point of the practices outlined by the Buddha.
I am of the opinion that we (the majority) today have weak level of wisdom, both for samatha and vipassana.
It is your opinion, but fortunately, not the truth.
We are merely at the stage of learning to investigate the different realities as they arise, to develop more understanding of them, of whatever kind and level, by conditions. That understanding can one day, probably in a rather distant future, result in jhanna or in vipassana insight, but no one can predict when and what. Even now, whether understanding will arise while one is going to the market or one is arguing on an internet forum or while taking a shower, no one can know. All realities can be understood at any time and any place, without one's deciding to.
And this is just sad. The Buddha’s teachings are still far more efficacious than this unnecessarily gloomy picture.
Eventhough the development of understanding is an extremely long process, every little understanding now, when it arises, reduces attachment and aversion accordingly. Everyone can consider and verify for one-self.
By the practice of sila, bhavana and the rest of the Eightfold Path.
I think although what I have said in this thread can be unpleasant for many, it can be beneficial for some others, just as it has been beneficial to me to have heard that, as well as to many of my friends.
It is unpleasant, not because it is challenging, but because it is a sad version of the Buddha’s teachings that you are advocating. Fortunately, there are other more efficacious understandings to the Buddha’s Dhamma than what you are advocating here.