Right way to cultivate samma sankappa?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:57 pm

Hi dave, thanks for sharing your helpful practice experience. Just would like to share the following new understanding after listening to a helpful talk (http://media.dharmaseed.org/recordings/ ... ention.mp3):

While wise intention is the forerunner of wise attention, the pausing to bring wise intention/reflection to the moment is the important switch from "choiceless" [impulsive/blinded/habitual actions driven by greed or aversion and guided by ignorance/delusion, which lead to suffering and bondage] to "choice" (thoughtful/wise actions guided by wisdom, which lead to peace and freedom). We pause to abandon or change our approach/choose the wiser way which will not lead to the obstruction of wisdom and conflicts, but to understanding and peace. The cultivation of wise intention/thinking is choosing to (re)shape/(re)condition our mind for ending suffering, until wise intention/thinking becomes our true nature, when we reach the transition from "choice" to a new dimension of "choiceless". It's import that we walk the path with direction and vision, which is guided by wise intention and implemented by wise attention/reflection/action.

Metta to all,

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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby daverupa » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:21 pm

Majjhima Nikaya 151 is relevant here on the theme of continual reflection.
    "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: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:30 pm

Hi dave, thanks for recommending the sutta.

Since my heart is not really ready yet to leap up at renunciation, I'm trying to gain deeper understanding of sensual pleasures, their drawbacks, renunciation and the reward of renunciation. In addition to what have been posted above, I'd like to add the following:
1) Things come and go, no matter how good or bad; cravings come and go, no matter you satisfy them or not. When we are grasped by greed, ask ourselves: will it lead to my long-term welfare and happiness, or only transient gratification but long-term regret and suffering (the effect of Mara's bait)? Picture ourselves still indulging in sensual pleasures in a burning house while our hair and clothes are already on fire.
2) Renunciation is not about outer form, but about inner motivation. When we cultivate renunciation, it's kind of easy to get lost in the seeking of renouncing outer forms (and actually getting attached to such forms of practice like asceticism) , instead of renouncing inner sensual desires. For instance, it's not family/relationship that we should renounce, but that our attachment to them. "Renunciation is not giving up the things of this world, but accepting that they go away".
3) While we are hooked to wanting, ask ourselves "why am I hanging on to this? What happens if I let it go?" Tell ourselves nothing outside or inside is better than the internal peace.
4) Let go our attachment to who we are, to results/obtainment of our practice, to our idea/opinion how things should be and how others should be.
5) Accept how things are. We need to change our perception of things instead of changing things. While we are in an urge to resist, defend and control, remind ourselves: "let it be, let it go, it'll turn out to be the best for your practice -- whatever/however it comes out". Leave the heart at peace and ease instead of turmoils, and give the mind space -- nothing is worth clinging to, and holding on to nothing is the source of freedom and peace.


Your input would be appreciated. Thanks and metta,

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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:02 pm

Better not to feel and think: "I want to see agreeable sights, hear agreeable sounds, smell agreeable smells, taste agreeable foods/drinks, feel agreeable bodily sensations, and feel happy/satisfied with no loss/failure/defame/despise/rejection, no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, disappointment, frustration, dissatisfaction, despair, ...".

But better to put it this way: "It is this eye/ear/nose/tongue/body that wants agreeable sights ..., it is this mind that wants satisfaction via gain/success/fame/respect/acceptance/ease/confidence ...".

Or best to see it this way: "it is the asavas/kilesas in the mind that want agreeable sights ..., and gain/success/fame/respect/acceptance/ease/confidence ..., which deluded the mind and led it to believe these can bring it satisfaction and happiness".

Metta to all!
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:52 pm

Happened to, at very right time, listen to a stimulating Dhamma talk this morning: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/44/talk/4474/

Understood the following today:

1) Renunciation is not about renouncing the world, not about giving up pleasant sights/sounds/smells/tastes/bodily sensations and mental pleasures, not about giving up valued and cherished worldly possessions including mental fantacies -- but about renouncing "self".

There's actually nothing there to give up -- what's given up is our WRONG VIEW, our delusion of "self".

2) It seems that the suttas about Right Thinking/Intention summarized in the previous posts were taught for the mundane path. Are there suttas on this topic taught for the supramundane path, for those who have understood 4NT?

3) It's probably better to combine the mundane path of "Non-sensual desire, Non-ill will, Non-harming" with the supramundane path of "Non-greed, Non-aversion, Non-delusion" when practicing the second path factor?

When focused on practicing only mundane Right View (law of karma and non-harming), my daily reflections on no wrong view would tend to be positive. However, there were actually so many wrong views/delusions almost all the time: "I" want ..., "I" like ..., "I" must ...

Metta to all!
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:10 pm

I prefer to translate Right Intention with Right Thought, which is also a commonly used translation. It makes it a bit more clear that it's not just the will to change the mind, but also actually doing it, changing the thoughts. Of course, thoughts and intention are closely linked. So both translations have their value. However, if you see it as thought, you can search a bit wider. If you do this, you'll see that this sutta can not be absent from this discussion: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el021.html

This is also a practice for noble ones. At least until non-return I would say, but because it also mentiones delusion, it could as well be for the entire path. Which is also backed up by:
He has cut down craving, removed the fetter, rightly mastered pride, and made an end of suffering.
However, practicing this is of course also for everybody else.
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby reflection » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:19 pm

starter wrote: Renunciation is not about renouncing the world, not about giving up pleasant sights/sounds/smells/tastes/bodily sensations and mental pleasures, not about giving up valued and cherished worldly possessions including mental fantacies -- but about renouncing "self".

There's actually nothing there to give up -- what's given up is our WRONG VIEW, our delusion of "self".

If you look in the suttas, you often see the Buddha advising to leave behind as much sensuality as possible. Also the Vinaya is largely geared towards this. To me it's quite clear renunciation is really about weakening attachments to the 5 senses, not so much about the self or the mind. Of course, they go together a bit, but it's mainly the 5 senses clinging that is hurt by renunciation.
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:20 pm

Hi reflection,

Many thanks for your helpful comments and recommendation of MN20. The link you provided has a very good translation of this sutta; however, I tend to think MN 20 is for letting go of unwholesome thoughts to enter Samadhi (for the middle stage), instead of cultivating right thinking/intention (for the beginning stage):

MN 20:
"Five things should be reflected on from time to time, by the bhikkhu who is intent on the higher consciousness [Samadhi].
When, indeed, bhikkhus, evil unskillful thoughts due to reflection on an adventitious object are eliminated, when they disappear, and the mind stands firm, settles down, becomes unified and concentrated just within (his subject of meditation), through his reflection on an object connected with skill, through his pondering on the disadvantages of unskillful thoughts, his endeavoring to be without attentiveness and reflection as regards those thoughts or through his restraining, subduing, and beating down of the evil mind by the good mind with clenched teeth and tongue pressing on the palate, that bhikkhu is called a master of the paths along which thoughts travel. The thought he wants to think, that, he thinks; the thought he does not want to think, that, he does not think. He has cut down craving, removed the fetter, rightly mastered pride, and made an end of suffering."

MN19 used the second method taught in MN 20 for letting go of unwholesome thoughts, but I believe MN 19 is not just intended for Samadhi but for discerning what types of desire we should let go (that's why we should divide our thoughts into two groups), detecting unwholesome thoughts as soon as they arise, and then apply the method to let go the unwholesome thoughts. The reason that the Buddha taught us only the second method in MN 19 instead of all the five methods is likely because he would like us to let go unskillful thoughts by true understanding, not by force or substitution or inattentiveness.

I'll get back to your second post later.

Metta to all !
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby reflection » Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:35 pm

Yes, the sutta is mainly about thoughts preventing samadhi. I agree this is indeed quite obvious from the sutta. But of course samadhi and right thought are intertwined. What you practice in meditation is what you take along in the rest of the day.

In my experience all 5 practices are helpful, and the order has a reason. Doing by force is only the last resort. I found it's most effective to apply whatever method you need at the time instead of picking just one. I personally think it's also very likely the Buddha practiced all 5 methods (perhaps not close to his enlightenment, but at the very least in previous lives), although I agree they are not mentioned in the two-ways-of-thinking sutta. That's because they all are quite natural in a way.
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:55 pm

Hi reflection,

I agree with you that all five methods can be used to let-go of unwholesome thoughts/sensual desires during daily life practice as well as meditation. But I consider such letting-go as the fourth step for the practice of renunciation after the third step using the 2nd method, comprehending and familiarizing the drawbacks/danger of sensual pleasures (and the reward of renunciation) thoroughly (please see my previous post if interested).

As to the diversity of sensuality, although in some suttas worldly/household mental pleasure was not included in sensuality, in four suttas (MN137, DN22, SN 27(1+2) III 232, and SN 27.8) craving for worldly/househould mental pleasure was actually included in sensuality:

“… desire & lust for … speculating on mental objects) (SN 27(1+2) III 232), “… craving for mental objects” (SN 27.8), “… the joy that arises when one regards as an acquisition the acquisition of mental objects cognizable by the mind — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly baits — or when one recalls the previous acquisition of such mental objects after they have passed, ceased, & changed" (MN 137), … “The mental faculty … The mental objects … are endearing & alluring” (DN 22).

One possibility is that the Buddha added worldly mental cravings to sensuality in later teachings. Another possibility is that he taught differently according to different levels of his audience. Anyway I'd rather include in my practice the renunciation of worldly mental cravings/attachments in addition to the five cords of sensual cravings/attachments.

Among worldly mental cravings/attachmens, the craving to satisfy/insure/secure self and to prove/affirm self is the strongest, and the attachment to the notion/sense of self is also strongest. Not only so, such carving and attachment caused by delusion (wrong view, the identification of and attachment to the 5 aggregates as self) is actually the cause of dukkha, the cause of all that we want/cling to and don’t want/object to. If we can use right view to truly practice anatta and remove this craving/attachment, then we cut sensuality at the root.

To my understanding, while the Buddha taught mainly law of karma and dukkha of sensuality for the mundane path, he actually taught how to practice Right Thinking/Intention for the supramundane path by perceiving the five aggregates as anicca/dukkha/anatta, as he taught in his second sermon that enlightened all the five stream-winners to arahants. He taught us:

"This is not me. This I am not. This is not myself" (SN22.59).

Nothing should be clung to as "I" or "mine".

I adapted this teaching into:

The craver/clinger is not "me".
It is not "I" who is craving/clinging (or The desire/attachment is not "mine").
The desired/clung to does not belong to "me" and has nothing to do with "me".

Ven. Anada also taught in Thag 21:

1224. "Your mind is enflamed because of distorted perception. Shun the aspect of beauty associated with passion. (A)

1224B. "See constructions ['all conditioned things comprised in the five aggregates'] as other, as painful, not as self, (and thus) extinguish strong passion; do not burn again and again. (B) 1226. "Contemplate the signless['ThagA explains this as the distinguished contemplation of impermanence, because it pulls away the sign of permanence, etc.'] and cast out the underlying tendency to conceit. Then by the penetration of conceit you will go about at peace."

It's probably better to combine both the mundane and supramundane approaches for practicing renunciation. Thanks and metta,

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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby reflection » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:19 pm

That's a great practice as well. If that works for you, great. Just so you know there are multiple approaches. I tend to use MN20 a lot personally.

Also, you might be interested in this topic, which shows how it's very likely that the mundana and supramundane things are later additions to the sutta.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=3881

Metta!
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:25 pm

Hi reflection and other friends,

Thanks for your helpful input. I've just found soem other relevant suttas and Dhammapada verses:

MN 9:

"When, friends, a noble disciple understands craving, the origin of craving, the cessation of craving, and the way leading to the cessation of craving, in that way he is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma.

38. "And what is craving, what is the origin of craving, what is the cessation of craving, what is the way leading to the cessation of craving? There are these six classes of craving: craving for forms, craving for sounds, craving for odors, craving for flavors, craving for tangibles, craving for mind-objects. With the arising of feeling there is the arising of craving. With the cessation of feeling there is the cessation of craving. The way leading to the cessation of craving is just this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view... right concentration.

39. "When a noble disciple has thus understood craving, the origin of craving, the cessation of craving, and the way leading to the cessation of craving... he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view... and has arrived at this true Dhamma."


SN 27.8: Tanha Sutta — Craving

At Savatthi. "Monks, any desire-passion with regard to craving for forms is a defilement of the mind. Any desire-passion with regard to craving for sounds... craving for aromas... craving for flavors... craving for tactile sensations... craving for mental objects is a defilement of the mind. When, with regard to these six bases, the defilements of awareness are abandoned, then the mind is inclined to renunciation. The mind fostered by renunciation feels malleable for the direct knowing of those qualities worth realizing."

DN 22:
"And where does this craving, when arising, arise? And where, when dwelling, does it dwell? Whatever seems endearing and agreeable in terms of the world (6 senses + 6 sense objects + 6 sense consciousness + 6 contacts + 6 types of feelings + 6 types of perceptions + 6 types of intentions + 6 types of thoughts + 6 types of evaluations): that is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when dwelling, it dwells."

Dhp XXIV
PTS: Dhp 334-359
Tanhavagga: Craving

335-336
If this sticky, uncouth craving overcomes you in the world, your sorrows grow like wild grass after rain. If, in the world, you overcome this uncouth craving, hard to escape, sorrows roll off you, like water beads off a lotus.

337
This I say to you: Good luck to all assembled here! Dig up the root of craving, like one in search of the fragrant root of the birana grass. Let not Mara crush you again and again, as a flood crushes a reed.

338
If its root remains undamaged & strong, a tree, even if cut, will grow back. So too if latent craving is not rooted out, this suffering returns again & again.

349-350
For a person forced on by his thinking, fierce in his passion, focused on beauty, craving grows all the more. He's the one who tightens the bond. But one who delights in the stilling of thinking, always mindful cultivating a focus on the foul: He's the one who will make an end, the one who will cut Mara's bond.

339
The misguided man in whom the thirty-six currents* of craving strongly rush toward pleasurable objects, is swept away by the flood of his passionate thoughts.

340. Everywhere these currents flow, and the creeper (of craving) sprouts and grows. Seeing that the creeper has sprung up, cut off its root with wisdom.
Are these 36 streams the same as what are mentioned in AN 4.199?

AN 4.199:
"And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal? There being 'I am,' there comes to be 'I am here,' there comes to be 'I am like this' ... 'I am otherwise' ... 'I am bad' ... 'I am good' ... 'I might be' ... 'I might be here' ... 'I might be like this' ... 'I might be otherwise' ... 'May I be' ... 'May I be here' ... 'May I be like this' ... 'May I be otherwise' ... 'I will be' ... 'I will be here' ... 'I will be like this' ... 'I will be otherwise.' These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal.

"And which are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external? There being 'I am because of this (or: by means of this),' there comes to be 'I am here because of this,' there comes to be 'I am like this because of this' ... 'I am otherwise because of this' ... 'I am bad because of this' ... 'I am good because of this' ... 'I might be because of this' ... 'I might be here because of this' ... 'I might be like this because of this' ... 'I might be otherwise because of this' ... 'May I be because of this' ... 'May I be here because of this' ... 'May I be like this because of this' ... 'May I be otherwise because of this' ... 'I will be because of this' ... 'I will be here because of this' ... 'I will be like this because of this' ... 'I will be otherwise because of this.' These are the 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external.

"Thus there are 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is internal and 18 craving-verbalizations dependent on what is external. These are called the 36 craving-verbalizations. Thus, with 36 craving-verbalizations of this sort in the past, 36 in the future, and 36 in the present, there are 108 craving-verbalizations."

Metta to all!
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Intention?

Postby starter » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:09 pm

Hi I found another translation for Dhammapada 349-350:

349. For a person tormented (dominated) by evil thoughts*, who is passion-dominated and given to the pursuit of pleasure (or "focused on beauty" as in another translation?), his craving steadily grows. He makes the fetter strong, indeed.

350. He who delights in subduing evil thoughts, who meditates on the impurities and is ever mindful — it is he who will make an end of craving and rend asunder Mara's fetter.

* The word "evil" is very important here -- even though "evil" might not be in the original Pali text (?), in the context of this teaching the thoughts should be evil or unwholesome thoughts, not just all thinking . The other translation without the word "evil" could be misleading in that we should still all thinking and "delights in the stilling of thinking", which is probably not really what the Buddha taught in MN 19:

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed."

I've also found an explanation of "the 36 steams" mentioned in Dhp 340 by Acharya Buddharakkhita:

The thirty-six currents of craving: the three cravings — for sensual pleasure, for continued existence (becoming), and for annihilation (non-becoming) — in relation to each of the twelve bases — the six sense organs, including mind, and their corresponding objects."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html

But I found this explanation not so convincing as to cravings for "continued existence" and "annihilation" in relation to each of the five sense organs/objects.

Your input would be appreciated. Metta to all!
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby starter » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:06 pm

As discussed in the thread "SN 45.8: Magga-vibhanga Sutta — An Analysis of the Path" (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=13252" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), the second path factor to practice, perfect and possess for the Noble 8-factored Path is Right Thoughts (thoughts of non-sensual desire, thoughts of non-ill will and thoughts of non-harming). Right Intention is probably not the accurate translation of samma sankappa and could be misleading. Renunciation is probably also not a very good translation considering its other meanings like letting-go of cravings for becoming/non-becoming, and letting-go of delusion/wrong view/"self".

By the way, I wish a website run by some Aryan disciplie(s) could be established including only strictly selected teachings:
the suttas with accurate translations and the Dhamma talks/books/essays/study aids/practice guides with no wrong/misleading contents. Your input would be appreciated.

Metta to all,

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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby starter » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:43 am

Hi would like to share with some tips for how to overcome thoughts of anger/ill will:

1) When anger/ill will arises, detect such a mind state ASAP, and acknowledge "I'm now caught in anger/ill will".

2) Have minimum contact with others, especially avoid any contact with the person(s) you are angry with. Stop and cancel that angry email/mail you want to send out. Don't run to the person or call/talk to him. Try to calm down first.

Tell yourself: "You are caught in anger because of your perception. But your perception might well be wrong and shouldn't be trusted, and actually it's not even yours. This feeling of anger isn't really yours either. Don't let it grasp and dominate the mind. It'll go away. It's actually all empty. The aversion/anger is a defilement, a bad hindrance. It hurts yourself (and others if acting upon), and obstructs wisdom. Let it go."

3) If the above method doesn't work, use the other methods in MN 20. Do something that can really transfer your attention/calm your mind (e.g. read the Metta sutta). Watch and calm down the feeling of the anger/ill will, rather than the object that caused the anger -- don't dwell on the object of anger and focus on others' faults / blame others -- this will only feed anger and make it stronger and last longer and do more harm and damage. Like a fire fighter, put down the fire ASAP instead of trying to find the one who set the fire on and put him in jail.

4) Search internally instead of externally, in order to remove our own defilements (delusion, greed and aversion) and attachments. Ask instead: "why are you so angry [aversion!]? You are angry not because he didn't do what he should have done or he did what he shouldn't have done, but rather you wanted him to behave the way you like in order to please/satisfy YOU [greed!], in order not to hurt/harm YOU [aversion!]. But who is this YOU? [delusion!] And, what are you specifically attached to? Is this really worth clinging to? Are all these worth the price of the peace of mind?".

Well, it's much easier to say than to do. But I hope whenever dukkha arises, I can remember to use Yoniso Manasikara to investigate the cause of dukkha and the way leading to the ending of dukkha, and cultivate Right Thought.

Metta to all,

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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby starter » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:58 pm

In the Chinese equivalent of MN19, which is MA102, the following points are different from the English version:

1) The three wholesome thoughts are thoughts of non-sensual desire or not-craving for sensual pleasure (instead of renunciation), thoughts of non-hatred or not-hating, and thoughts of non-harming or not-harming. But exactly what are these three types of wholesome thoughts? Are they thoughts of letting-go of sensual desires (or not-craving for sensual pleasures), thoughts of equanimity and loving kindness/good will, and thoughts of compassion and forgiveness?

2) 在遠離獨住。心無放逸。修行精勤。生無欲念。我即覺生無欲念。不自害.不害他。亦不俱害。修慧不煩勞而得涅槃。覺不自害.不
害他。亦不俱害。修慧不煩勞而得涅槃。便速修習廣布 [hence immediately cultivate (the three wholesome thoughts) more in line with that, which is not in the English translation]。復生無恚念.無害念。我即覺生無恚念.無害念。不自害.不害他。亦不俱害。修慧不煩勞而得涅槃。覺不自害.不害他.亦不俱害。修慧不煩勞而得涅槃。便速修習廣布。我生無欲念.多思念。生無恚念.無害
念.多思念。 我復作是念。多思念者。身定喜忘。則便損心。我寧可治內心。常住在內止息。一意得定。令不損心。["... And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with harmlessness arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with harmlessness has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding. If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed."]

3) 若比丘多念無欲念者。則捨欲念以多念無欲念故。若比丘多念無恚念.無害念者。則捨恚念.害念。是三善念。無欲念.無恚念.無害念也。 [Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking, that becomes the inclination of his awareness. If a monk keeps pursuing thinking imbued with non-sensual desire, (he consequently) abandons thinking imbued with sensuality, because his mind is bent by that thinking imbued with renunciation. ... ]

-- [This is the fist method taught in MN20 -- use wholesome thoughts to get rid of unwholesome thoughts], the meaning of which becomes obscured in the English translation.

4) 至無事處山林樹下空安靜處。宴坐思惟 (quietly/comfortably sit and meditate on a thought )。勿得放逸。勤加精進。無令後悔。 [MN translation: "Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret".]

The equivalent of the word "jhana" is quietly/comfortably sit and meditate on a thought in MA102; such "thinking" meditation is also mentioned in the other suttas:

[MA105: 因闲居静处。宴坐思惟。修行精勤。心无放逸故。... 于现法中自知自觉。自作证成就游。]

中阿含经云大人八念,阿那律陀在枝提瘦水渚林中,宴坐思惟,心作是念 (meditate on this thought):道从无欲,非有欲得,乃至道从智慧,非愚痴得。...

[MA 97: 爾時,尊者阿難[Ananda]閑居獨處,宴坐思惟,心作是念 (meditate on this thought): 「此緣起甚奇,極甚深、明亦甚深,然,我觀見至淺至淺。」

It seems strange to me that the Buddha would ask us to practice thoughtless jhana at the end of MN 19 to summarize this teaching, after all the teachings about how to distinguish the two types of thoughts, how to let-get unwholesome thoughts and cultivate wholesome thoughts. It makes sense now that the meditation he asked us to do is actually practicing his teaching -- right thinking. Well in the middle of MN 19 he did teach us to rest our mind in thoughtless jhana when thinking too much. But that's a different meditation.

So it seems to me the Buddha has taught two types of meditation (禪): one type with thinking like he taught in MN 19, which is kind of similar to Vipassana as I understand, and another type is without thinking for jhana, which is kind of similar to Samadhi meditation. [for more details see Two types of "Vipassana meditation" taught in MN 19 viewtopic.php?f=44&t=13437]

It appears to me that the Buddha had mostly used formal meditation practice (done mostly during sitting meditation and sometimes walking meditation ) except for the training of right speech/action/livelihood/sense restraint/full awareness & clear comprehension, which combined with daily activities.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks and metta!
Last edited by starter on Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby SayalayMaCandasobha » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:23 pm

Hello Starter,

Sādhu 3x for your thoughts on renunciation.
Here is a talk of Sayadaw U Thuzana on sammā saṅkappa to nourrish our reflections.
http://santisantisukha.over-blog.com/pages/Enseignements_de_Sayadaw_U_Thuzana_Tathgata_Meditation_Center_Juin_2011-8233217.html

May you be able to walk the Noble Eightfold Path smoothly and attain liberation in the near future.
With mettā
Sayalay Ma Candasobhā
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby starter » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:52 am

Hello Sayalay Ma Candasobhā,

Welcome to Dhammawheel! I'm happy to have you join us and many thanks for your nice post. I've downloaded the talk and will listen to it. I hope to see more of your posts!

Metta,

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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby starter » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:09 pm

Figured out that the three types of wholesome thoughts are thoughts of letting-go of sensual desires or thoughts of not-craving for sensual pleasures, thoughts of letting-go of hatread/ill will or thoughts to have no anger/hatread/ill will, and thoughts of letting-go of harming or thoughts of not to harm. All these wholesome thoughts contain not only just their opposite (e.g. loving kindness/good will, compassion and forgiveness,which is the 1st method taught in MN 20), but also the other methods taught in MN 20 and other suttas (e.g. SN22.59, Thag 21) for letting-go unwholesome thoughts.

Metta to all!
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Re: Right way to cultivate Right Thoughts (samma sankappa)?

Postby starter » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:27 pm

Found another sutta on how to cultivate right thinking/right thoughts, or more precisely, how to abandon/dispel unwholesome thoughts:

MN 66:

"Udayin, there are these four types of people to be found existing in the world. Which four? There is the case where a certain person is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments. As he is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments, memories & resolves (thoughts) associated with craving/attachments assail him. He acquiesces to them. He does not abandon them, destroy them, dispel them, or wipe them out of existence. I tell you, Udayin, that this sort of person is fettered, not unfettered. Why is that? Because I have known the diversity of faculties with regard to this type of person.

"Then there is the case where a certain person is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments. As he is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments, memories & resolves associated with craving/attachments assail him. He does not acquiesce to them. He abandons them, destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence. I tell you, Udayin, that this sort of person is fettered, not unfettered. Why is that? Because I have known the diversity of faculties with regard to this type of person.

"Then there is the case where a certain person is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments. As he is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments, then — from time to time, owing to lapses in mindfulness — he is assailed by memories & resolves associated with craving/attachments. Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but then he quickly abandons [those memories & resolves], destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence. Just as when two or three drops of water fall onto an iron pan heated all day: Slow is the falling of the drops of water, but they quickly vanish & disappear. In the same way, there is the case where a certain person is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments. As he is practicing for the abandoning & relinquishing of craving/attachments, then — from time to time, owing to lapses in mindfulness — he is assailed by memories & resolves associated with craving/attachments. Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but then he quickly abandons [those memories & resolves], destroys them, dispels them, & wipes them out of existence. I tell you, Udayin, that this sort of person is fettered, not unfettered. Why is that? Because I have known the diversity of faculties with regard to this type of person.

"Then there is the case where a certain person, realizing that craving/attachments are the root of suffering & stress, is without craving/attachments, released in the ending of craving/attachments. I tell you, Udayin, that this sort of person is unfettered, not fettered. Why is that? Because I have known the diversity of faculties with regard to this type of person."

1) The first type of people in the sutta hasn’t developed mindfulness yet.
2) The second type of people in the sutta is establishing mindfulness but five hindrances are not yet suppressed.
3) The third type of people in the sutta has established and is developing mindfulness, having hindrances usually suppressed.

We should establish and develop mindfulness in order to cultivate right thoughts. Metta to all!

PS: Please see the following thread for why Upadhi is translated as craving/attachments in this sutta.
SN 1.12 Nandati: Delight
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=19351
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