The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:05 am

last week i was listening to a man on the BBC who visted some Christian monastery in the mountains of lebanon.
He met this monk who had been on almost silent retreat for 4o years and was most impressed by his beatific look and speech while chanting from the bible
But of course this monk- while having states of mind and sila that might look better than the Belly sandwich addict- has not even an instant of satipatthana in his entire life, and no foreseeable way that he ever will.

The Dhamma is profound and not easily seen.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:21 am

robertk wrote:
The Dhamma is profound and not easily seen.
But the good thing is that the Dhamma is directly accessible, open to investigation here and now, and I think the Buddha was not such a poor teacher that he would not show us an efficacious way to realize what he realized.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:16 am

Yes of course he did. But as the texts show it takes a long time to understand and realise the Dhamma, aeons even.
Dhamma practice is not some technique that one learns and repeats and rinses, it's not related to posture, and it is not about how much one wants to succeed.
It is about understanding what is what and what is not what.

I think we live immersed in lobha (craving) like a fish in water. Just giving up sensual pleasure is like a fish who stops swimming, like he is striking against his life, but he is still in the water.
So the way out is by seeing not doing.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:49 am

robertk wrote:But as the texts show it takes a long time to understand and realise the Dhamma, aeons even.


Or seven years, by some accounts. Seven months even!

Dhamma practice is not some technique that one learns and repeats and rinses


Hmm...

MN 95 wrote:"The cultivation, development, & pursuit of those very same qualities: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth. To this extent one finally attains the truth. I describe this as the final attainment of the truth."

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is the final attainment of the truth. To this extent one finally attains the truth. We regard this as the final attainment of the truth. But what quality is most helpful for the final attainment of the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the quality most helpful for the final attainment of the truth."

"Exertion is most helpful for the final attainment of the truth, Bharadvaja. If one didn't make an exertion, one wouldn't finally attain the truth. Because one makes an exertion, one finally attains the truth. Therefore, exertion is most helpful for the final attainment of the truth."
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:06 pm

robertk wrote:Yes of course he did. But as the texts show it takes a long time to understand and realise the Dhamma, aeons even.
Keep telling yourself that and it will most likely be eons for you, no doubt.

Dhamma practice is not some technique that one learns and repeats and rinses, it's not related to posture, and it is not about how much one wants to succeed.
This is the unfortunate Sujin business of trying to demean other forms of practice other than what she teaches, but these distortions show no real maturity or understanding of the Dhamma.

It is about understanding what is what and what is not what.
It takes work, it is hard, but it is also something that can be done by cultivating the Dhamma, by cultivating the bases of insight as the Buddha taught.

I think we live immersed in lobha (craving) like a fish in water. Just giving up sensual pleasure is like a fish who stops swimming, like he is striking against his life, but he is still in the water.
So the way out is by seeing not doing.
"seeing not doing" Again, this shows a lack of comprehension of what other teachers are advocating; it shows a lack of understanding the Dhamma itself.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:53 am

Is wanting results the way to get them?


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In the same way, any brahmans or contemplatives endowed with wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, & wrong concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are incapable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an inappropriate way of obtaining results.



"But as for any brahmans or contemplatives endowed with right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when both having made a wish and having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an appropriate way of obtaining results


And how is right view developed?

When, Bhikkhus, a Noble Disciple listens carefully to the Dhamma,
alert with keen ears,
attending to it as a matter of crucial concern, as something of vital
importance, directing
his entire mind to it, in that very moment the Five Mental Hindrances
are absent in him.
On that occasion the Seven Links to Awakening develop towards
complete fulfilment...>
Source (edited extract):

The Grouped Sayings of the Buddha. Samyutta Nikaya.
Book [V: 95-6] section 46: The Links. 38: Unhindered
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:02 am

robertk wrote:Is wanting results the way to get them?


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
In the same way, any brahmans or contemplatives endowed with wrong view, wrong resolve, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, & wrong concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish [for results]... having made no wish... both having made a wish and having made no wish... neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are incapable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an inappropriate way of obtaining results.



"But as for any brahmans or contemplatives endowed with right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration: If they follow the holy life even when having made a wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when both having made a wish and having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. If they follow the holy life even when neither having made a wish nor having made no wish, they are capable of obtaining results. Why is that? Because it is an appropriate way of obtaining results
This does not support your position.

And how is right view developed?

When, Bhikkhus, a Noble Disciple listens carefully to the Dhamma,
alert with keen ears,
attending to it as a matter of crucial concern, as something of vital
importance, directing
his entire mind to it, in that very moment the Five Mental Hindrances
are absent in him.
"Directing his entire mind to it." Doing by choosing to do. The one thing I find really interesting about your quoting texts, they rarely if ever support your contentions, your point of view.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:34 am

What is the effort that I think is valuable
:
One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort.
One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness.
Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:44 am

robertk wrote:What is the effort that I think is valuable
:
One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort.
One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness.
Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Taking this snippet and the the sutta as a whole, a lot of doing in order to cultivate the seeing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:59 am

When, Bhikkhus, a Noble Disciple listens carefully to the Dhamma,
alert with keen ears,
attending to it as a matter of crucial concern, as something of vital
importance, directing
his entire mind to it, in that very moment the Five Mental Hindrances
are absent in him.

"
Directing his entire mind to it." Doing by choosing to do. The one thing I find really interesting about your quoting texts, they rarely if ever support your contentions, your point of view.


There is no self right? One person could try so hard to listen but not be able to comprehend, or feel distracted.
The sutta uses conventional terms but what is really happening when 'directing his entire mind to it" is that kusala cittas that are focused on the sutta arise.

And they have causes and conditions.

But anyway does the sutta imply to you that it is a meditation technique that is what the Buddha meant?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:03 am

robertk wrote:
But anyway does the sutta imply to you that it is a meditation technique that is what the Buddha meant?
Still stuck on this "meditation technique" business as a way of dismissing that which you do not agree with. Still missing the forest for the trees.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:00 am

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:
But anyway does the sutta imply to you that it is a meditation technique that is what the Buddha meant?
Still stuck on this "meditation technique" business as a way of dismissing that which you do not agree with. Still missing the forest for the trees.

This thread, which I began, started with the causes for wisdom to arise and I thought I had given evidence that it is by study and consideration of the teachings that are the prime causes.
When you put "meditation technique" in quotation marks what do you mean?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:16 am

robertk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:
But anyway does the sutta imply to you that it is a meditation technique that is what the Buddha meant?
Still stuck on this "meditation technique" business as a way of dismissing that which you do not agree with. Still missing the forest for the trees.

This thread, which I began, started with the causes for wisdom to arise and I thought I had given evidence that it is by study and consideration of the teachings that are the prime causes.
"Study and consideration" are things that one actively, by choice, does.
When you put "meditation technique" in quotation marks what do you mean?
It is in quotes because it is an expression you are using in what looks to be a dismissive way.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:32 pm

It should be so that the theory agrees with the practice.
SO studying directly- even at a very basic level- the way different objects present themselves should weaken the idea of control. Can we decide what the next moment is? I don't think so. Is it seeing or hearing or feeling or dosa or metta or delusion or sound that just arose? It is all happening because of conditions that we are not even aware of and it is all happening very fast.

In the "Dispeller of Delusion"(PTS) p 137 paragraph 564 it says:

In respect of the classification of the Foundations of Mindfulness. And this also takes place in multiple consciousness in the prior stage (prior to supramundane). For it lays hold of the body with one consciousness and with others feeling etc."



The quote from the "Dispeller" indicates at one moment sati takes feelings as an object and at another rupa. That is why trying to make sati go to certain objects does not lead to detachment from the idea of self. We might also remember that sati is just a cetasika, itself conditioned by various factors, and so ephemeral.


Now for some it will be that feelings appear more frequently than other objects, for others it might be taste , for others the hindrances. This is due to accumulations from the recent and distant past.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:11 pm

robertk wrote:It should be so that the theory agrees with the practice.
SO studying directly- even at a very basic level- the way different objects present themselves should weaken the idea of control. Can we decide what the next moment is? I don't think so. Is it seeing or hearing or feeling or dosa or metta or delusion or sound that just arose? It is all happening because of conditions that we are not even aware of and it is all happening very fast.
But the nice thing is that we can can cultivate by our actions the conditions that give rise to insight, seeing, that leads to awakening. It is what the Buddha taught.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:15 pm

robertk wrote:
In the "Dispeller of Delusion"(PTS) p 137 paragraph 564 it says:

In respect of the classification of the Foundations of Mindfulness. And this also takes place in multiple consciousness in the prior stage (prior to supramundane). For it lays hold of the body with one consciousness and with others feeling etc."



The quote from the "Dispeller" indicates at one moment sati takes feelings as an object and at another rupa. That is why trying to make sati go to certain objects does not lead to detachment from the idea of self.
You have not shown that the all too brief text is saying what you are claiming of it, nor is the implied criticism of your statement an accurate reflection of mindfulness practice.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:17 pm

robertk wrote:There is no self right?

Again, this is an intellectual position. Which you are taking as foundational, and drawing out further lines of reasoning from it, and you end up in a position of near fatalism. I say "near" because actually your position is simply incoherent. You deny the efficacy of effort in some areas (like practicing meditation) while allowing for it in others (listening, reading, wisely considering the Dhamma).

It is quite clear, the Buddha did not instruct to take "there is no self" as right view.
"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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:34 pm

kirk5a wrote:
robertk wrote:There is no self right?

Again, this is an intellectual position. Which you are taking as foundational, and drawing out further lines of reasoning from it, and you end up in a position of near fatalism. I say "near" because actually your position is simply incoherent. You deny the efficacy of effort in some areas (like practicing meditation) while allowing for it in others (listening, reading, wisely considering the Dhamma).

It is quite clear, the Buddha did not instruct to take "there is no self" as right view.
Neat, concise on the mark analysis.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:58 am

kirk5a wrote:
robertk wrote:There is no self right?

I say "near" because actually your position is simply incoherent. You deny the efficacy of effort in some areas (like practicing meditation) while allowing for it in others (listening, reading, wisely considering the Dhamma).


"practicing meditation", what does it mean? do you think that someone eating a tuna sandwich could have satipatthana, or do you belive that only the person at the foot of a tree, or in a isolated room who focuses on the breath is really developing the Buddhas path.

I believe that learning what the Buddha taught is the cornestone to any development, yet One may wonder whether everyone who studies, studies rightly.

In fact very
obviously they don't. But why is that?
Mainly it is because of the very deepseated nature of self-view, it must be
truly understood that there are only elements arising and passing away with no
one controlling or doing anything. These elments don't want to study or not
study, they are mere conditioned phenomema that arise and perform their
function, and then they cease forever and a new element arises.
Kind of easy to write about and of course most Buddhists easily agree with this
( a few don't) but then because of self-view people believe that they have to do
something /change something in order to understand this. But the real 'change'
is not anything outward it is purely the arising of understanding.
And this type of understanding, as the suttas say, depends on hearing Dhamma.

Now three people may hear/read this and have totally different reactions: one
may properly understand, at some level. Another might say 'yes, but..I still
want to do something' Another might say 'it is nonsense..'
This is due to accumulations from the near and distant past.

Even the one who understands correctly at the basic level may still go wrong.
They may think mere acceptance of these facts is already enough whereas it is
only the first step in a long path of studying and learning - both in theory
and directly the difference between concept and reality- and eventually the
difference between nama and rupa.

Now while i am are sitting down can there be understanding - even direct
understanding of an element.? There can if there are conditions. I don't have
to stand up to understand, or go and sit somewhere else. And if i was sitting
somewhere else i don't need to come and sit here..
Or if i have desire arising, as we all do very often - can it be known as
desire, as an element, right there and then? Yes, it can if there are enough
conditions. But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana. One is either having
aversion, or another more subtle desire (to get rid of the big desire) or at best the way of samatha.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:01 am

kirk5a wrote:
robertk wrote:There is no self right?



It is quite clear, the Buddha did not instruct to take "there is no self" as right view.

"There is no doer of a deed, or one who reaps the result. Phenomena alone flow on, no other view than this right."
Visuddhimagga XIX19

QUOTE
"This is mere mentality-materiality, there is no being, no person"
XVIII24

QUOTE
"The mental and material (nama rupa) are really here
But here is no human being to be found, for it is void and merely fashioned like a doll"

They often talk about dhatus (elements) in the suttas. What does it mean - element? There are several definitions including this:

"Element is a term for what is soulesss."
Visuddhimagga XV 22, and

"They are only mere sortings out of suffering because no mastery is exercisable over them."
Visuddhimagga XV 20

"There is removal of false view in one who sees thus: "If formations were self it would be right to take them as self; but being not-self they are taken as self. Therefore they are not self in the sense of no power being exercisable over them; they are impermanent in the sense of non-existence after having come to be; they are painful in the sense of oppression by rise and fall"visuddhimagga xx83
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