The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Tue May 07, 2013 12:04 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.


No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 12:38 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Personally, I've never heard her criticizing any teacher. And it seems that most of her students seem to do the same.
You do not have to criticize a teacher by name. All you have to do is say that slow walking meditation is an expression of lobha and the damage is done.


Well, the point is not to avoid to put the name in order to avoid saying who, but to see that idea/view is not a person.

May I point out that it doesn't not help to see a person behind a view. Does it bring more attachment or detachment ?

Brgrds,

D.F
Interesting. Your response does not at all address the point I raised. What I see here is that you and robertk are simply advocating is a methodology that is deeply rooted in a highly sectarian us-vs-them mind set.
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 May 07, 2013 12:57 pm

"There is the case where a monk — having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building — sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and setting mindfulness to the fore [lit: the front of the chest]. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Formal practice.

dhammafollower wrote:With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?

Does she question the Buddha in that manner? Because he taught formal practice.
"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 May 07, 2013 12:58 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.


No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.


You said here"When you slow down the movements in order to have sati, what is there? lobha!" Short of having iddhis, there is no way you can know this about another's mind states, nor can Sujin. Also, by saying this you and Sujin have shown really no understanding of the practice you are so blatantly mischaracterizing. It is a curious thing of having to cast your practice in a we-(Sujin people)-have-the-truth,-you-don't frame.
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 May 07, 2013 1:11 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
With that premise, A.S actually asks: WHY formal meditation? What is the ground motivation for a particular person who wants to commit to formal practice? What does such motivation imply? Is that consistent with the teaching of anattaness?
Unless she has iddhis, she has no real idea what another's motivation is, what is going in the mind/body of a person who is doing a sitting meditation practice.


No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.

Sure, I'll tell you my answer. To settle and steady the mind to allow for clear seeing.
45. "Suppose there were a pool of water — sullied, turbid, and muddy. A man with good eyesight standing there on the bank would not see shells, gravel, and pebbles, or shoals of fish swimming about and resting. Why is that? Because of the sullied nature of the water. In the same way, that a monk with a sullied mind would know his own benefit, the benefit of others, the benefit of both; that he would realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction of knowledge & vision: Such a thing is impossible. Why is that? Because of the sullied nature of his mind."

46. "Suppose there were a pool of water — clear, limpid, and unsullied. A man with good eyesight standing there on the bank would see shells, gravel, & pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting. Why is that? Because of the unsullied nature of the water. In the same way, that a monk with an unsullied mind would know his own benefit, the benefit of others, the benefit of both; that he would realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction of knowledge & vision: Such a thing is possible. Why is that? Because of the unsullied nature of his mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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 Dan74 » Tue May 07, 2013 1:22 pm

There is also this:

"Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

"Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

"What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html

Seems kind of clear to me. I'd really appreciate some comments from Robert and Dhamma_follower on the entire sutta which appears to me to be the mainstream Theravada position that Khun Sujin disagrees with.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 07, 2013 5:43 pm

Dan74 wrote:Seems kind of clear to me. I'd really appreciate some comments from Robert and Dhamma_follower on the entire sutta which appears to me to be the mainstream Theravada position that Khun Sujin disagrees with.
And you can add this:
    ... it is not proper for you to assert that, "Whatever a person experiences — pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain — all is caused by what was done in the past.
    ...
    "And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma, although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that 'When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.' So he exerts a fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted & the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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 SamKR » Tue May 07, 2013 6:22 pm

Dan74 wrote:There is also this:

"Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

"Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

"What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html

Seems kind of clear to me.


This is crystal clear.
:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 08, 2013 4:25 am

dhamma follower wrote:
No iddhi is needed. When the question is WHY, each one can give his/her own answer and examine for him/her-self.


Sure, I'll tell you my answer. To settle and steady the mind to allow for clear seeing
.

Dear Kirk,

Are you refering here to samatha bhavana or vipassana bhavana?

Brgds,

D.F
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Wed May 08, 2013 4:59 am

Dan74 wrote:There is also this:

"Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

"Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

"What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

"Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn51/sn51.015.than.html

Seems kind of clear to me. I'd really appreciate some comments from Robert and Dhamma_follower on the entire sutta which appears to me to be the mainstream Theravada position that Khun Sujin disagrees with.


Dear Dan74, Kirk, Sam SR, all,

First of all, I want to make it clear that in this thread, we are discussing about the vipassana kind of wisdom, and therefore of vipassana bhavana.

Both RobertK and me, we have said somewhere earlier in the 48 pages of this thread that samatha bhavana is another development, which requires another set of conditions, such as a quiet environment and a stable, not too loose not too tight posture. However, the key for the development of samatha is also a clear understanding of the dhamma presently arisen as wholesome or unwholesome, and of the way to cultivate wholesomeness, as it is clearly stated in one sutta I have quoted, that I will quote again here:

"It wasn't the case, brahman, that the Blessed One praised mental absorption of every sort, nor did he criticize mental absorption of every sort. And what sort of mental absorption did he not praise? There is the case where a certain person dwells with his awareness overcome by sensual passion, seized with sensual passion. He does not discern the escape, as it actually is present, from sensual passion once it has arisen. Making that sensual passion the focal point, he absorbs himself with it, besorbs, resorbs, & supersorbs himself with it.


.....

"And what sort of mental absorption did he praise? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the sort of mental absorption that the Blessed One praised.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

So, even for samatha bhavana, although postures and environment are the aiding conditions, the key is understanding too, both of the diffence between wholesome and unwholesome states as to cultivate the wholesome ones, and of how the objects can arouse wholesome states of mind to the degree of jhana as described above. All those conditions make up samatha practice. It doesn't happen by mere wishing or wanting, or just sitting.

However, with vipassana bhavana, it is difference. The only obstacle for it is wrong view, not unwholesome mind states (see satipatthana sutta), nor a noisy or disturbing environment. So right view, or right understanding which is conditioned by hearing the Dhamma and wise considering of what has been heard is essentiel. the right view here, of vipassana type has to do with the characteristics of realities, both individual and general. So to clearly understand that dhammas arise by conditions is of most importance, in order to understand any reality which arises as anatta. Without realizing that dhammas are just dhammas, not a person, is indispensible before any higher insight can occur about the Tilakkhana, as we have learnt about the 16 stages of insight: only after one stage can the next stage unfolds.

So if there is clear understanding of what are the conditions for each kind of development, there can be more reflection on what one has been taking to be "practice".

We don't deny practice, we just don't take it to really mean someone doing something, because wanting or wishing can not do proper practice. Practice has has its own conditions that we can all explore further for our selves.

Another thing is: while many people consider the sutta to be prescriptive, AS and followers consider them to be rather descriptive. If you try to read them under that light, I think you will have a very different conclusions. Above all, the Buddha's teaching should be about the Truth, so there should be a conformity in the Tipitaka. So what is the understanding which can make the whole Tipitaka in conformity with each other?

Brgrds,

D.F
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 08, 2013 5:23 am

Hi DF,

The development of insight, according to the suttas and commentaries, requires a high degree of samadhi (but not necessarily jhana):
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=17107#p244480
“The words ‘insight alone’ are meant to exclude not virtue, etc., but serenity (i.e.
jhána), which is the opposite number in the pair, serenity and insight. This is for
emphasis. But the word ‘alone’ actually excludes only that concentration with distinction
[of jhána]; for concentration is classed as both access and absorption (see IV.32). Taking this stanza as the teaching for one whose vehicle is insight does not imply that there is no concentration; for no insight comes about without momentary concentration. And again, insight should be understood as the three contemplations of impermanence,
pain, and not-self; not contemplation of impermanence alone” (Vism-mhþ 9–10).


And, as I've quoted before:
"In a person of right view, right resolve comes into being. In a person of right resolve, right speech. In a person of right speech, right action. In a person of right action, right livelihood. In a person of right livelihood, right effort. In a person of right effort, right mindfulness. In a person of right mindfulness, right concentration. In a person of right concentration, right knowledge. In a person of right knowledge, right release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


This is what Dan, and other's, are getting at. Sati and samadhi are necessary conditions for vipassana.

[Both, of course, as everyone here has stated many times, arise with right view as a condition.]

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed May 08, 2013 6:04 am

Momentary concentration, is called khanika samadhi.

and For the dry insight worker only khanika Samadhi is required. Khanki Samadhi- momentary concentration - can be either kusala or akusala. This khanika Samadhi - ekaggata cetasika- can be weak to strong. At the brief moments of vipassana nana it is strong because it is focusses so clearly, as the difference between mind door and sense door is revealed. And at the moment of penetrating Nibbana it is very strong indeed, and is even given the name 'jhana' because of its strength. it happens in a brief flash..


without khanika samadhi one couldnt read a book, or even a sentence, couldnt watch tv, or tie one laces.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 6:14 am

robertk wrote:

without khanika samadhi one couldnt read a book, or even a sentence, couldnt watch tv, or tie one laces.
And this samadhi can be cultivated, strengthened by 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 tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 7:10 am

dhamma follower wrote:

However, with vipassana bhavana, it is difference. The only obstacle for it is wrong view, not unwholesome mind states (see satipatthana sutta), nor a noisy or disturbing environment. So right view, or right understanding which is conditioned by hearing the Dhamma and wise considering of what has been heard is essentiel. the right view here, of vipassana type has to do with the characteristics of realities, both individual and general. So to clearly understand that dhammas arise by conditions is of most importance, in order to understand any reality which arises as anatta. Without realizing that dhammas are just dhammas, not a person, is indispensible before any higher insight can occur about the Tilakkhana, as we have learnt about the 16 stages of insight: only after one stage can the next stage unfolds.
A couple things that have been mentioned before, Right View does not require talking about Dhamma practice and the experience that arises from it in abhidhamma terms, using abhidhamma catergories. The Buddha clearly did not teach in the suttas such ideas as "ultimate realities," which is an abhidhamma notion that is not necessary. Right view has a role to play, but right view is also cultivated by the meditation practice and the insights that arise from it.

So if there is clear understanding of what are the conditions for each kind of development, there can be more reflection on what one has been taking to be "practice".
And even more importantly is the cultivation of concentration and awareness of the rise and fall of the mind/body process.

We don't deny practice, we just don't take it to really mean someone doing something, because wanting or wishing can not do proper practice. Practice has has its own conditions that we can all explore further for our selves.
Wanting and wishing can be positive factors in that they can lead one to cultivate one's understanding of the Dhamma. Your notion of "proper practice" is not supported by the suttas.

Another thing is: while many people consider the sutta to be prescriptive, AS and followers consider them to be rather descriptive.
But, of course, that has already been dealt with at length here, and as we have seen, as the commentary I quoted several times here shows us, Sujin is very wrong in that, but the suttas themselves are clearly both descriptive and perscriptive, as a careful reading of them shows. Again, the Abhidhamma, particularly the much later Abhidhamma, is not at all necessary for Dhamma practice.

If you try to read them under that light, I think you will have a very different conclusions. Above all, the Buddha's teaching should be about the Truth, so there should be a conformity in the Tipitaka. So what is the understanding which can make the whole Tipitaka in conformity with each other?
You have shown absolutely no conformity. Your above comment makes that quite clear.
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 mikenz66 » Wed May 08, 2013 7:21 am

Hi Robert,
robertk wrote:Momentary concentration, is called khanika samadhi.

and For the dry insight worker only khanika Samadhi is required. Khanki Samadhi- momentary concentration - can be either kusala or akusala. This khanika Samadhi - ekaggata cetasika- can be weak to strong. At the brief moments of vipassana nana it is strong because it is focusses so clearly, as the difference between mind door and sense door is revealed. And at the moment of penetrating Nibbana it is very strong indeed, and is even given the name 'jhana' because of its strength. it happens in a brief flash..

It this a text or an interpretation? Either way it talks about strong samadhi.
robertk wrote:without khanika samadhi one couldnt read a book, or even a sentence, couldnt watch tv, or tie one laces.

Obviously your opinion is different from my interpretation of the text. I think that what I quoted, the rest of the Visuddhimagga, the Suttas, and other Theravada literature, make it clear that what is required is considerably more than what is required for reading a book.

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Wed May 08, 2013 7:39 am

I'm sure this can go back and forth indefinitely. I guess we all have to be our own judge of the efficaciousness of any particular path of practice and use the points of reference + guidance to the best of our own ability. In my experience what is seen as beneficial changes over time. Is "Dhamma" static or fluid?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 7:56 am

Mr Man wrote:I'm sure this can go back and forth indefinitely. I guess we all have to be our own judge of the efficaciousness of any particular path of practice and use the points of reference + guidance to the best of our own ability. In my experience what is seen as beneficial changes over time. Is "Dhamma" static or fluid?
Fluid.
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 Mr Man » Wed May 08, 2013 10:35 am

Thanks tilt.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed May 08, 2013 11:33 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Robert,

It this a text or an interpretation? Either way it talks about strong samadhi.
robertk wrote:without khanika samadhi one couldnt read a book, or even a sentence, couldnt watch tv, or tie one laces.

Obviously your opinion is different from my interpretation of the text. I think that what I quoted, the rest of the Visuddhimagga, the Suttas, and other Theravada literature, make it clear that what is required is considerably more than what is required for reading a book.

:anjali:
Mike


Khanika has the meaning of momentary. Eggakata cetasika (concentration) arises with practically all cittas, kusala or akusala.
From Bodhi's tranlsation of the Abhidhammathasangaha

The life-span of a citta is termed, in the
Abhidhamma, a mind-moment (cittakkhana). This is a
temporal unit of such brief duration that, according
to the commentators, in the time that it takes for
lightning to flash or the eyes to blink, billions of
mind-moments can elapse. ....Within the
breadth of a mind-moment, a citta arises, performs its
momentary function, and then dissolves, conditioning
the next citta in immediate succession. Thus, through
the sequence of mind-moments, the flow of
consciousness continues uninterrupted like the waters
in a stream.” [page 156 of CMA]



“The cetasikas are mental phenomena that occur in
immediate conjunction with citta or consciousness, and
assist citta by performing more specific tasks in the
total act of cognition. The mental factors cannot
arise without citta, nor can citta arise completely
segregated from the mental factors.

[page 76 of CMA]

The four characteristics that delineate the
relationship between the citta and its concomitant
cetasikas are as follows:
(1) arising together with consciousness (ekuppaada),
(2) ceasing together with consciousness (ekanirodha),
(3) having the same object as consciousness
(ekaalambana),
(4) having the same base as consciousness
(ekavatthuka).
[page 77 of CMA]



Thus i think we agree that khanika samadhi is brief and it can arise with either kusala or akusala- it can be right or wrong concentration.
Even in wrong concentration it can be quite strong- like a safe cracker picking a lock say.

And of course the suttas are clear that one can attain while listining to Dhamma, or speaking about Dhamma, or thinking about Dhamma. On emoment can be citta with lust or anger, the next could be satipatthana with deep understanding of that moment of lust or anger.
Does samadhi strengthen at the moments there is listening and considering with right view? Yes it does, but the key point is in my opinion right view.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Wed May 08, 2013 11:49 am

Here is a link for anyone interested on Khanika samadhi to an old discussion (its brief!)
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index. ... hl=khanika
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