The causes for wisdom

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

Postby robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:04 am

in the visuddhimagga CHAPTER XVII The Soil of Understanding (conclusion):267. Another [thinks] through rules-and-vows(silabataparamasa) clinging, “
This rite and ritual
leads him who perfects it to perfect bliss in becoming in the fortunate states of
the sense sphere or in the fine-material or immaterial kinds of becoming,” and
he performs kamma to achieve that. That kamma of his is kamma-process
becoming. The aggregates generated by the kamma are rebirth-process becoming.
But the percipient, etc., kinds of becoming are included in that, too. So rules-andvows
clinging is a condition for all three, namely, the sense-desire, fine-material
and immaterial kinds of becoming with their analysis and their synthesis.


so this is how incredibly subtle silabataparamasa can be . It can at times even lead to kusala actions.

What more to say of any special practice we think is needed to make vipassana arise. So certainly an idea that by sitting (or standing or walking or talking) or focussing on this or focussing on that , that these actions are neccessary conditions for insight to arise is an aspect of wrong view and silabataparamasa.
Like now, can insight arise while typing on a computer- Yes provided there is enough right understanding. But if one then tries to make it happen, or thinks they should focus on the fingers or the feelings or whatever their object of choice is then that shows a lack of understanding of how incredibly anatta and uncontrollable is each moment.

There is not the patience (khanti) to let satisampajanna arise naturally, as it must if the conditions are there. If one tries in this way it shows one still has some doubts or even disbelieves the texts about anatta. The theory and the practice conform completely: not "oh I still have self, I will do my practice and after I become sotapanna there will be no self" . It will never happen

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:45 am

robertk wrote:
What more to say of any special practice we think is needed to make vipassana arise. So certainly an idea that by sitting (or standing or walking or talking) or focussing on this or focussing on that , that these actions are neccessary conditions for insight to arise is an aspect of wrong view and silabataparamasa.
If this is how you understand meditation practice, then I think you might have a rather deficient understanding. Of all the teachers I have had and heard, not one of them would characterize meditation in the way you just did.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

danieLion
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby danieLion » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:16 am

Still enjoying this thread. It's very educational. Thanks again to you both.:popcorn:

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Spiny Norman
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:32 am

robertk wrote:It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me chosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway. But if one believes that it is these very operations that somehow are key to satisampajanna to arise then one is in the realm of silabataparamasa.


But these are the practices described in the Satipatthana and Anapanasati Suttas. Are you advocating that we ignore these and do some other practice? And if so, what practice exactly? :shrug:
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby danieLion » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:12 am

robertk wrote:
danieLion wrote:Tilt, RobertK, et al
Which "side" shall we put Gil Fronsdal on?
Self and Not-Self
You can do it! It's only a ten minute talk.

10 minutes is time I don't have. Could you cite the important parts.

When you hear...teachings about not-self, make sure they are being offered in the context of tremendous respect for yourself and who you are--a sense of value of yourself and who you are, and a sense of the possibility of who we are.... If you do hear the teaching that there's no self, you don't need to be confused; meaning, 'Well, then, what foot am I supposed to stand on? How am I supposed to be if I’m not going to be a self?' or 'What self am I supposed to be if there's no self?' You can be a self. Please, be a self! And be a strong self, be an upright self.... Be a strong person. Value yourself. Consider yourself as an important and efficacious person. Please, by all means, it's true. And then use the mindfulness practice to learn to...shed all the extra ways which we hang on and get attached to concepts of self, all the extra ideas we add on top of that, that are not really needed.... It is not a teaching meant to diminish us or leave us empty handed in some kind of way that we feel less than, or feel like we can't show up, or we can't stand there on our own two feet, upright, independent, clear, and confident in a certain kind of way.

5:28-7:14, 8:04-8:22

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:00 pm

Dear porpoise
in the satipatthana sutta it says "Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. He, thinking, 'I breathe in long,' he understands when he is breathing in long; or thinking, 'I breathe out long,' he understands when he is breathing out long; or thinking, 'I breathe in short,' he understands when he is breathing in short; or thinking, 'I breathe out short,' he understands when he is breathing out short.
"
and
bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.
and
further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practising clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practising clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practising clear comprehension; in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, is a person practising clear comprehension; in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savoured, is a person practising clear comprehension;

and
in defecating and in urinating, is a person practising clear comprehension; in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person practising clear comprehension.
and

bhikkhus, a bhikkhu when experiencing a pleasant feeling, understands: 'I experience a pleasant feeling'; when experiencing a painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a painful feeling'; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling'
;
and
bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate;


so the sutta covers almost any situation. it simply shows that the objects for satipatthana are always arising and passing away. The only question is whether there is genuine awareness of them.
Take the taxi driver in Nepal. I told him and my friend that this waiting after we passed a cat was a silly superstition. they were offended and told me the importance of religion blah, blah blah.

Do you think if they had realized that it was merely a ritual that they would be better off? Yes they would. It doesn't mean that they would feel different: no "OMG I see ", no sudden uplift in their life. But they would be that litttle bit closer to coming out of their deep attachment to silabataparamasa: and that is valuable.

Most 'spiritual ' people can be the same. Tell them they have to sit under a freezing waterfall for 2 hours a day saying OM. and they reply,"Is that all! Book my ticket to Alaska, I will sit for 6 hours a day!"

But tell them it is harder than that: "you have to give up attachment to rules and rituals" and "you have to give up the belief in self" and that is something they can't accept. So they haggle: "well I will give up the self view after I get enlightened ( provided I can still take the credit for getting to nibbana)" :?

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:05 pm

What we would call formal practice can also have value in it's own right. I would certainly agree that what is being put forward as "vipasana" is really just an exercise in concentration and that there has now been incredible investment in this idea, and in this path, and it has now become an industry and an occupation, an identity, but that does not, in my opinion, remove the value of formal practice completely. The benifit of formal practice is here and now. To live without silabataparamasa is actually not an option.

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Dan74 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:22 pm

robertk wrote:Dear porpoise
in the satipatthana sutta it says "Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. He, thinking, 'I breathe in long,' he understands when he is breathing in long; or thinking, 'I breathe out long,' he understands when he is breathing out long; or thinking, 'I breathe in short,' he understands when he is breathing in short; or thinking, 'I breathe out short,' he understands when he is breathing out short.
"
and
bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.
and
further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practising clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practising clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practising clear comprehension; in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, is a person practising clear comprehension; in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savoured, is a person practising clear comprehension;

and
in defecating and in urinating, is a person practising clear comprehension; in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person practising clear comprehension.
and

bhikkhus, a bhikkhu when experiencing a pleasant feeling, understands: 'I experience a pleasant feeling'; when experiencing a painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a painful feeling'; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling'
;
and
bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate;


so the sutta covers almost any situation. it simply shows that the objects for satipatthana are always arising and passing away. The only question is whether there is genuine awareness of them.
Take the taxi driver in Nepal. I told him and my friend that this waiting after we passed a cat was a silly superstition. they were offended and told me the importance of religion blah, blah blah.

Do you think if they had listened to me and realized that it was merely a ritual they were so attached to that they would be better off? Yes they would. It doesn't mean that they would feel different: no "OMG I see ", no sudden uplift in their life. But they would be that litttle bit closer to coming out of their deep attachment to silabataparamasa: and that is valuable.

Most 'spiritual ' people can be the same. Tell them they have to sit under a freezing waterfall for 2 hours a day saying OM. and they reply,"Is that all! Book my ticket to Alaska, I will sit for 6 hours a day!"

But tell them it is harder than that: "you have to give up attachment to rules and rituals" and "you have to give up the belief in self" and that is something they can't accept. So they haggle: "well I will give up the self view after I get enlightened ( provided I can still take the credit for getting to nibbana)" :?



This is all well and good, but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?

The value of ritualised practice is perhaps as a container. There is the discipline, the time when all else stops and the energy is dedicated solely to practice. There is potentially an incredible amount of freedom and possibility in this format because we don't need to assume the outcome or even how the next moment is going to be. I think meditation creates a very fertile ground for insight and it is not until some serious practice maturity that everyday life can compare. Even then meditation does not become obsolete.
_/|\_

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 pm

hi Daniel
any kusala citta can never come with unpleasant feeling. Often it comes with pleasant feeling(or at worst neutral).
So any wise reflection related to anatta will at those very moments be relaxing and , I dare say, confidence building. If it is not then somewhere along the way something has got twisted and it is not a genuine wise reflection.
Secondly contemplation of anatta (speaking here about basic intellectual level ) goes together with understanding the momentariness of life: we die every second. So this is also a way of Dhammanusati, a type of samatha that is very freeing and leads to fearlessness. There is nothing in life than can really panic one anymore, after all we have died so many times already.
so in that sense I think Gil's comments about having a strong confident self are redundant.
The confidence and joy are a part and parcel of developing the perception of anatta. Even the beginning is good...

Nevertheless I know it is very hard and takes a long time for most people to get their heads around anatta. So any help, such as Gil is giving, is valuable I think.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:41 pm

robertk wrote:Dear porpoise
in the satipatthana sutta it says "Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. .......further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practising clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practising clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practising clear comprehension;


so the sutta covers almost any situation. it simply shows that the objects for satipatthana are always arising and passing away. The only question is whether there is genuine awareness of them.


I agree, and clearly the approach described in the Satipatthana Sutta is applicable both on and off the cushion. But isn't the point that in order to develop genuine awareness we need to practice being aware? Isn't that the point of the Satipatthana Sutta, seeing how things really are by observing them?

I still don't see how this approach to practice is ritualist - though I can see it's possible to become attached to a particular method.
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:44 pm

Mr Man wrote: I would certainly agree that what is being put forward as "vipasana" is really just an exercise in concentration...


Could you give some examples?
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:50 pm

tiltbillings wrote:... but we are stuck with it until there is sufficient insight, not conceptual thinking about it, but actual insight into the nature of the "self," into the conditioned co-produced nature of the khandhas.


I tend to try observe the sense of self directly - and of course it keeps changing. ;)
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:36 pm

One could grasp the teachings of anatta by the tail, as the metaphor goes, and decide they mean there is no self-doer.
"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 dhamma follower » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Dear Mr Man,

but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?


By simple logic, if ones thinks that ritualized practice is the way, one will not give up attachment to rules and rituals.
One gives up only when one realizes than it is the wrong way.

Similarly, 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?

Best wishes,

D.F

perkele
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby perkele » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:31 pm

So, in short:

Formal, "ritualized" meditation practice is useless.

People who, say, routinely sit 30 minutes every morning, practicing anapanasati in that posture, or whichever type of formal practice, should give that up. It just fosters clinging.

Anyone agree?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:03 pm

There are Dhamma-experts who praise only monks who are also Dhamma-experts but not
those who are meditators. And there are meditators who praise only those monks who are also
meditators but not those who are Dhamma-experts. Thereby neither of them will be pleased, and
they will not be practicing for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the
multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans.

Anguttara Nikaya 4.46

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:20 pm

porpoise wrote:
Mr Man wrote: I would certainly agree that what is being put forward as "vipasana" is really just an exercise in concentration...


Could you give some examples?


Hi porpoise, I don't want to take the thread of topic here and I know my view is not shared by many, but for example the sweeping technique.

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:24 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Mr Man,

but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?


By simple logic, if ones thinks that ritualized practice is the way, one will not give up attachment to rules and rituals.
One gives up only when one realizes than it is the wrong way.

Similarly, 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?

Best wishes,

D.F


Hi dhamma follower
Did you mean to address this to me?
:anjali:

Coyote
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby Coyote » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:21 pm

Robertk ect.,

Do you think it would be silabbata paramasa for a Bhikkhu to devote time to formal meditation? How about for a lay person to meditate, but not "vipassana", say - Brahmavihara meditation or recollection of the Triple Gem? How about bowing or attending puja, chanting? Where is the line between formal and non formal practice anyway?
I ask this to get a clear understanding of your opinion.

Anyway, couldn't one argue that formal sitting practice helps build concentration thus making "mindfulness" (in conventional terms) clearer?
:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:14 pm

Mr Man wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Dear Mr Man,

but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?


By simple logic, if ones thinks that ritualized practice is the way, one will not give up attachment to rules and rituals.
One gives up only when one realizes than it is the wrong way.

Similarly, 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?

Best wishes,

D.F


Hi dhamma follower
Did you mean to address this to me?
:anjali:


My appology! I meant to address Dan74 ! :toilet:

D.F


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