The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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mikenz66
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 01, 2013 7:00 am

dhamma follower wrote:Not a matter of terminology, but of understanding. If there's a clear understanding that all phenomena are actually dhammas arising by conditions and after arising they fall away when the conditions for its arising cease, there will be no problem using
conventional speak.

However, if there is indeed such understanding, why there need to be the insistence on "one has to practice the Eight fold Path" vs a presentation of causality ?

And, indeed, there is no argument or contradiction from reputable teachers that whatever happens, including walking, sitting, jhana, and insight insight, arises due to causes and conditions (see the Ajahn Brahm quotes I gave above, for example: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=740#p243244). Some listen to Ajahn Brahm, and, due to that cause, do certain "practices". Some listen to Khun Sujin and, due to that cause, do certain "practices".

Some will have misunderstood the instruction of their respective teachers and make various errors, such as attaching to a concept of self or no-self. Even the Buddha reported that problem:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 41#p243302

:anjali:
Mike

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 7:05 am

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
There is no deliberate choosing to listen to and consider the Dhamma?


There is choosing, which happens because of conditions.
I chose to write this sentence. Nothing unconditioned here.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 7:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:why there need to be the insistence on "one has to practice the Eight fold Path" vs a presentation of causality ?

Possibly because that's what the Buddha actually taught?

SN 56.11: Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta wrote:"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that — producing vision, producing knowledge — leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding."

The Buddha is cool. 8-) Following the Noble Eightfold path produces knowledge (i.e. wisdom).

dhamma follower wrote:Is the Eight fold path apart from the person who practices it? Who is that person that practices?

dhamma follower wrote:What do you mean by "deliberate act?" Do you mean it is a self who does that? Don't you think cetana is also conditioned, as is consideration?

dhamma follower wrote:etc. etc.

As Dhamma Follower attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have no self arises in him as true & established. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

So are you acting as the Buddha to accuse me of attending inappropriately? In my understanding, the view criticized by the Buhhda "I have no self" rather describes someone who says "there is no self", but no real understanding of it, and therefore still assumes a person behind what is merely the five aggregates which arise because of conditions. And it is what i have seen so far in this thread in the arguments which maintain that there's someone who practices the Eight fold Path, in stead of it's being merely wholesome mental factors which arise because of hearing the Dhamma and wise considering.

Interestingly, you have agreed in some previous posts about the cause of wisdom as above, and also quoted a sutta in which the Buddha said about all how other wholesome factors (such as right effort, right concentration etc....) follow right view automatically. If you see that the moment of right understanding from hearing about the truth is accompanied by those factors (as you said before), do you need to conceive about some methodical steps performed by a person to "practice the Eightfold path", if it, or more precisely 5-6 folds already arise at the moment of right understanding?

Brgds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 01, 2013 7:16 am

dhamma follower wrote: And it is what i have seen so far in this thread in the arguments which maintain that there's someone who practices the Eight fold Path, instead of it's being merely wholesome mental factors which arise because of hearing the Dhamma and wise considering.

Not from me, and not from the teachers I have quoted.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 7:25 am

mikenz66 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Not a matter of terminology, but of understanding. If there's a clear understanding that all phenomena are actually dhammas arising by conditions and after arising they fall away when the conditions for its arising cease, there will be no problem using
conventional speak.

However, if there is indeed such understanding, why there need to be the insistence on "one has to practice the Eight fold Path" vs a presentation of causality ?

And, indeed, there is no argument or contradiction from reputable teachers that whatever happens, including walking, sitting, jhana, and insight insight, arises due to causes and conditions (see the Ajahn Brahm quotes I gave above, for example: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=740#p243244). Some listen to Ajahn Brahm, and, due to that cause, do certain "practices". Some listen to Khun Sujin and, due to that cause, do certain "practices".

Some will have misunderstood the instruction of their respective teachers and make various errors, such as attaching to a concept of self or no-self. Even the Buddha reported that problem:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 41#p243302

:anjali:
Mike


Dear Mike,

The purpose of this discussion for me (and I guess other Sujin' students as well) is not at all to say that this teaching is unique to AS. Actually, if there are more teachers who teach like her (that we think to be the right way), it would be wonderful.

I don't know about all the existing teachers, so I can not say anything about that. But if we talk about a specific teacher, who might say certain things like AS, but differ in some aspects, I think we can point out those differences to really get to the subtlety of the matter.

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 01, 2013 7:29 am

mikenz66 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote: And it is what i have seen so far in this thread in the arguments which maintain that there's someone who practices the Eight fold Path, instead of it's being merely wholesome mental factors which arise because of hearing the Dhamma and wise considering.

Not from me, and not from the teachers I have quoted.

:anjali:
Mike


No Mike, of course I didn't mean everyone, but there have been arguments like that. Anyhow, argument is not really a person, it changes too.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 7:33 am

dhamma follower wrote: And it is what i have seen so far in this thread in the arguments which maintain that there's someone who practices the Eight fold Path, in stead of it's being merely wholesome mental factors which arise because of hearing the Dhamma and wise considering.
And who has done this here? No me and not anyone else that I have seen posting in this thread. This insistence "that there's someone" is nothing more than a strawman and it is not a good basis for dialogue.


Image
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Wed May 01, 2013 7:54 am

There is a feeling of "that there's someone" and that is where we practice. I think we need to practice at the point of feeling rather than concept.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 01, 2013 7:57 am

dhamma follower wrote:I don't know about all the existing teachers, so I can not say anything about that. But if we talk about a specific teacher, who might say certain things like AS, but differ in some aspects, I think we can point out those differences to really get to the subtlety of the matter.

All teachers I know teach that everything that arises does so due to causes and conditions. I have given you specific quotes from Ajahn Brahm, and, given time, could point out similar statements from any other well-known teacher: Mahasi Sayadaw, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, etc. If you think that their teaching is faulty it is up to you to point out where they are in error, and not merely make assumptions about what they are actually teachings, as in posts such as:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=100#p228748
... if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?


:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 8:01 am

Mr Man wrote:There is a feeling of "that there's someone" and that is where we practice. I think we need to practice at the point of feeling rather than concept.
Yes. And to state the obvious, we can intellectually know that feeling "that there is someone" is really a product of the khandhas, but intellectually knowing it, even in very great depth and detail, is not at all the same as "seeing" the reality of it in terms of the "all" that we are, which is why the Buddha outlined various practices, ways of doing, that would allow us to come to those insights by directly seeing the actual nature of "that there is someone."
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 8:18 am

mikenz66 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:I don't know about all the existing teachers, so I can not say anything about that. But if we talk about a specific teacher, who might say certain things like AS, but differ in some aspects, I think we can point out those differences to really get to the subtlety of the matter.

All teachers I know teach that everything that arises does so due to causes and conditions. I have given you specific quotes from Ajahn Brahm, and, given time, could point out similar statements from any other well-known teacher: Mahasi Sayadaw, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, etc. If you think that their teaching is faulty it is up to you to point out where they are in error, and not merely make assumptions about what they are actually teachings, as in posts such as:
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=100#p228748
... if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?
The problem is that this assumption is part of what Sujin and her primary student, Nina van Gorkom, teach, and it is what the followers of Sujin repeat, and never mind the actual reality:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15952&start=300#p230290

http://www.dhammastudygroup.org/audio/2012-01-kk/2012-01-25-am-b-01.mp3
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed May 01, 2013 11:04 am

Dear Mike
I know it seems nice to think everyone is all the same but I dont know if even most of the teachers you list would say they are all in agreement. In fact you were quite critical of Thanissaro if i recall because he disagreed with some other teachers?
And even some other moderators once disagreed with Vimalaramsi way of teaching ?

I met a monk in Bangkok who stayed at a mahasi center in sri lanka for several years and which then(the whole center) converted to a Pa Auk center with a very different way of practice: he said(if i didnt misunderstand him) that both ways were fine it depended on what you wanted or where you were at. Yet Pa Auks books are banned in Burma - partly die to his well-know crticism of Mahasi method.
And then I meet mahasi people who really don't like the Dhammakaya method and say it is wrong practice. Let alone what some of the monks have said about the Acharn Boowa/mun views.


Don't get me wrong, I think its excellent to point out differences , its rather that I am not sure your belief that basically everyone is teaching the same thing is true?
For example I read on one site where vipassana was called a simple technique. This idea of the path of the Buddha being something simple, or a technique is what I don't see when I read the texts.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:12 am

Dear DF,

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Alex,
This thread has been an attempt to show that it is not the act of doing something (including conventional meditation practice) which is the cause of wisdom.


Is "learning" an action? Why can't it be done?

dhamma follower wrote:It is the right understanding gained from hearing the Dhamma and wise consideration which condition deeper and deeper levels of wisdom, including insight.
The jhanna it self isn't the cause of wisdom (vipassana wisdom), otherwise Buddha former teachers could have attained Nibanna.


Of course, Jhāna by itself does not lead to wisdom. But that is NOT what I've asked, and it is not what learned Buddhist do. I've asked if one can USE experience of Jhāna and tranquil states of vipassana ñāṇa to develop wisdom. His former teachers did NOT use Jhāna to liberate from ALL clinging, that is key difference and that is also why they were so close to Nibbāna that Buddha wanted to teach them first.
"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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:18 am

Dear RobertK,

robertk wrote:For example I read on one site where vipassana was called a simple technique. This idea of the path of the Buddha being something simple, or a technique is what I don't see when I read the texts.


It is simple, too simple. There is no secret password learned after aeons of study that will unlock Nibbāna. But this is what makes it hard. One actually has to work really hard to restraint oneself. This is why a person could hear one small sutta, run off into a forest, work really hard, and come back as an Arahant.
"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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 11:27 am

robertk wrote:
And even some other moderators once disagreed with Vimalaramsi way of teaching ?.
My complaint about Vimalaramsi is much the same complaint I have with Sujin. It is not their methods of practice, but it is their claims of having it right and that all others have pretty much wrong.
.


++++++++++++++++
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Paul Davy » Wed May 01, 2013 11:27 am

Greetings DF,

In relation to your question, it is not really answerable because you repeatedly do precisely as Tilt said - you create strawmen arguments and infer that everyone other than you believes in atman. Trying to engage in dialogue on that premise is pointless.

Let's be very clear... "No self" is an unverifiable ontological proposition and the Buddha did not teach it.

The views you express here in this topic seem single-mindedly fixated on maintaining consistency of speech with this unverifiable ontological proposition of "no self" which you appear to present as the centrepiece of the entire Dhamma, despite the fact the Buddha taught the experiential teaching that "all dhammas (experiences) are not self" rather than the ontological proposition that "there is no self". Ontological speculation seems like a thicket of views, rather than a cause that gives rise to liberative wisdom.

To be honest, I think that by grasping so tightly to this unverifiable ontological proposition that there is no self... an inappropriately derived speculative view which is entirely disconnected from the loka of the six-senses, you have bought into a form of intellectual reductionism that is very disconnected from, and often averse to the path of cultivation that the Buddha actually taught.

It is hard to get excited about this.

Metta,
Retro. :)
What is the final conviction that comes when radical attention is razor-edge sharp? That the object of the mind is mind-made (manomaya). (Ven. Ñāṇananda)

Having understood name-and-form, which is a product of prolificity,
And which is the root of all malady within and without,
He is released from bondage to the root of all maladies,
That Such-like-one is truly known as 'the one who has understood'.
(Snp 3.6)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:31 am

Retro, you are right:

"This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

"As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self... or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self... or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will stay just as it is for eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress. mn2
Last edited by Alex123 on Wed May 01, 2013 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed May 01, 2013 11:32 am

DAN74
The [u]danger of practice which is not rooted in deep mental cultivation that is usually had during long retreats, IMO, is that it is superficial and does not withstand strong blows.[/u] It is easy to feel that the practice is on track, easy to be a nice enough guy, untroubled and often moved to kindness, when life is relatively trouble-free and settled. But when you are suddenly afflicted by chronic pain, you loved ones seem to turn on you, your job is gone, your routine is upset, the clinging that hitherto was subtle and invisible becomes manifest.

Dear Dan
thanks for reading my long post. Just thought I would respond to this and also reply to some of the comments from some other members (not you)suggesting that Sujin and her students make no efforts.
Now I dont meditate at all-in the formal practice sense- nor does Nina van Gorkom or Sujin Boriharnwanket.

Sujin is now 86 years old: last year she went with many students on three overseas tripes to India , poland and Vietnam. On each of those trips everyday she was meeting for hours with Buddhists- those who accompanied her and from the 3 couuntries- to discuss details of Dhamma. I have known her well for 22 years now and honestly she seems to get stronger and stronger every year.
Nina van Gorkom, (now 85)flew out from holland last year to join the Vietnam trip and is now writing a new book on it. Last week while visiting her husbands grave (passed away last year) she slipped and broke her hip. She is in hospital but continuing to work on it and in great spirits looking forward to leaving hospital and flying out to Bangkok for a month or two in a few months.
If you wanted to refer to me though the casual obsever mights see some signs of laziness :popcorn: especially in comparison to those amazing women.

On the otherhand, to be honest I have been around Buddhist for 30 years now, I just haven't seen either in Bangkok or eleswhere much proof of your statement that it is the people who do the long retreats who have the real deal and that people like Nina or Sujin, or even me if I can be so conceited , who are superficial.
I know of serious meditators I have met who later come into strife in their lives and some even give up Buddhism altogether
But this is all hard to know. Just my superficial observations.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Alex123 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:38 am

robertk wrote:Just thought I would respond to this and also reply to some of the comments from some other members (not you)suggesting that Sujin and her students make no efforts.


There are two kinds of effort, and sometimes heavy labor is easier than deep meditation.
"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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Wed May 01, 2013 12:58 pm

Hi robertk
I think in some ways the formal meditation thing is a bit of a red herring and the non meditation and a certain way of thinking can become the "technique". As you pointed out before we needed to be circumspect. Wisdom and ignorance are shared amongst us all.


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