The causes for wisdom

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Sun May 12, 2013 4:24 pm

dhamma follower wrote:Any thoughts?

Yes. All of what you are saying ignores the plain fact that right concentration can be developed by skillful, volitional direction of one's attention. Which is why the Buddha said things like:
Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present.

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

and did not speak, as you do, of mere intellectual understanding conditioning the entire path.
Last edited by kirk5a on Sun May 12, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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 Alex123 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:35 pm

dhamma follower wrote:There's another difference too: you seem to be saying that concentration must reach a certain level before insight can arise,


There is this POV:
1) Hindrances prevent us from having deep insight.
    "These five are obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment."-AN5.51

2) Samatha calms the hindrances which gives the possibility of having deep insight if one knows how to look.
    "Now, when a monk has abandoned these five obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment, when he is strong in discernment: for him to understand what is for his own benefit, to understand what is for the benefit of others, to understand what is for the benefit of both, to realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction in knowledge & vision: that is possible."-AN5.51


Of course samatha does not cause insight, it merely sets the stage where deep insight can be developed.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 12, 2013 7:39 pm

H Dhamma Follower,
dhamma follower wrote:... When there's more and more understanding in different aspects, it can condition the moment of direct experience of realities, by way of upanissaya paccaya. This would not be possible without a clear understanding of what is the object of satipatthana and what is not, and a strong emphasis on the realities NOW. ...

So, this is just as much a "method" as anything else. And certainly seems be a "method" that your are convinced will "work". Of course, that "strong emphasis" arises from conditions, just as in any other "method".

I have no argument with your "method". It seems perfectly reasonable to me, since it's actually the same as what the rest of us think we are doing.

The disagreement, to me, is mostly over the insistence of KS students that they are "just letting conditions work", in contrast to "meditators". I think you (the students) would be much more convincing if you simply explained your approach, and discussed commonalities with other Dhamma students, rather than putting so much effort into arguing about differences. In my experience, that is never fruitful.

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 12, 2013 7:45 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I think you (the students) would be much more convincing if you simply explained your approach, and discussed commonalities with other Dhamma students, rather than putting so much effort into arguing about differences. In my experience, that is never fruitful.
But it is not just arguing about differences, but adamantly stating that those who differ from Sujin's point of view are categorically wrong, on a wrong path, deluded by self, motivated by lobha.
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.
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Mon May 13, 2013 2:40 am

kirk5a wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Any thoughts?

Yes. All of what you are saying ignores the plain fact that right concentration can be developed by skillful, volitional direction of one's attention. Which is why the Buddha said things like:
Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present.

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

and did not speak, as you do, of mere intellectual understanding conditioning the entire path.


Dear Kirk,

Aren't you ignoring the fact that thousands of lay followers at the Buddha time didn't have any formal practice before they came to listen to the Buddha and became enlightened on the spot?

And the Buddha did say understanding gained from hearing the right Dhamma leads to the direct experience :

"There is the case, monk, where a monk has heard, 'All things are unworthy of attachment.' Having heard that all things are unworthy of attachment, he directly knows every thing. Directly knowing every thing, he comprehends every thing. Comprehending every thing, he sees all themes[2] as something separate. [3]


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

(7) And what is the food for mindfulness and full awareness?
Wise attention (yoniso manasikāra),84 should be the answer.
Wise attention, too, bhikshus, is with food, I say, not without food.
(8) And what is the food for wise attention?
Faith (saddhā)
85 should be the answer.
Faith, too, bhikshus, is with food, I say, not without food.
(9) And what is the food for faith?
Listening to the true Dharma (saddhamma-s,savana)
86 should be the answer.
Listening to the true Dharma, too, bhikshus, is with food, I say, not without food.
(10) And what is the food for listening to the true Dharma?
Associating with true individuals (sappurisa,saṁseva)
87 should be the answer.


(Ahara) Avija sutta 10.61

Only set of conditions, One leading to another!

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Mon May 13, 2013 2:45 am

Alex123 wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:There's another difference too: you seem to be saying that concentration must reach a certain level before insight can arise,


There is this POV:
1) Hindrances prevent us from having deep insight.
    "These five are obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment."-AN5.51

2) Samatha calms the hindrances which gives the possibility of having deep insight if one knows how to look.
    "Now, when a monk has abandoned these five obstacles, hindrances that overwhelm awareness and weaken discernment, when he is strong in discernment: for him to understand what is for his own benefit, to understand what is for the benefit of others, to understand what is for the benefit of both, to realize a superior human state, a truly noble distinction in knowledge & vision: that is possible."-AN5.51


Of course samatha does not cause insight, it merely sets the stage where deep insight can be developed.


Dear Alex,

A sutta that you are well familiar with:

The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.

[1] "Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view?


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

What is, for you, the meaning of sukha vipassana?

brgds,
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 13, 2013 2:52 am

dhamma follower wrote:
kirk5a wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:Any thoughts?

Yes. All of what you are saying ignores the plain fact that right concentration can be developed by skillful, volitional direction of one's attention. Which is why the Buddha said things like:
Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns things as they actually are present.

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

and did not speak, as you do, of mere intellectual understanding conditioning the entire path.


Dear Kirk,

Aren't you ignoring the fact that thousands of lay followers at the Buddha time didn't have any formal practice before they came to listen to the Buddha and became enlightened on the spot?

Can you please provide the source for this event?
And the Buddha did say understanding gained from hearing the right Dhamma leads to the direct experience :

"There is the case, monk, where a monk has heard, 'All things are unworthy of attachment.' Having heard that all things are unworthy of attachment, he directly knows every thing. Directly knowing every thing, he comprehends every thing. Comprehending every thing, he sees all themes[2] as something separate. [3]


Sure. One thing leads to the next, if the path is practiced accordingly. Merely hearing that statement "all things are unworthy of attachment" does not result in the rest automatically, inevitably, by necessity, with no further effort required.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Only set of conditions, One leading to another!

You seem to have the notion that one thing leads to another automatically, by necessity. If that was the case, then having read a sutta or two, enlightenment is inevitable, and there's nothing else one would need to do.
"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 kirk5a » Mon May 13, 2013 3:12 am

dhamma follower wrote:What is, for you, the meaning of sukha vipassana?

Sukkha-vipassaka: 'one supported by bare insight', is the commentarial term for one who, without having attained any of the meditative absorptions jhāna, has realized only by the support of insight vipassanā one or several of the supra-mundane paths see: ariya-puggala In Vis.M XVIII, he is called suddha-vipassanā-yānika as distinguished from 'one who has tranquillity as vehicle' samathayānika. Though the primary meaning of sukkha as intended here is as stated above, subcommentaries e.g. D. Tīkā employ also the literal meaning of sukkha i.e. 'dry':;His insight is dry, rough, unmoistened by the moisture of tranquillity meditation.; This justifies a frequent rendering of this term by 'dry-visioned' or 'having dry insight', which, however, should not lead to misconceptions about the nature of insight meditation as being 'dry' or 'merely intellectual', while in fact the development of insight will produce rapture pīti and a sense of urgency samvega in the meditator. - App..

http://what-buddha-said.net/library/Bud ... -vipassaka
"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 mikenz66 » Mon May 13, 2013 3:13 am

Here's the sutta that Dhamma Follower quoted above: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"
There is the case, monk, where a monk has heard, 'All things are unworthy of attachment.' Having heard that all things are unworthy of attachment, he directly knows every thing. Directly knowing every thing, he comprehends every thing. Comprehending every thing, he sees all themes[2] as something separate. [3]

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby dhamma follower » Mon May 13, 2013 3:50 am

mikenz66 wrote:H Dhamma Follower,
dhamma follower wrote:... When there's more and more understanding in different aspects, it can condition the moment of direct experience of realities, by way of upanissaya paccaya. This would not be possible without a clear understanding of what is the object of satipatthana and what is not, and a strong emphasis on the realities NOW. ...

So, this is just as much a "method" as anything else. And certainly seems be a "method" that your are convinced will "work". Of course, that "strong emphasis" arises from conditions, just as in any other "method".

I have no argument with your "method". It seems perfectly reasonable to me, since it's actually the same as what the rest of us think we are doing.

The disagreement, to me, is mostly over the insistence of KS students that they are "just letting conditions work", in contrast to "meditators". I think you (the students) would be much more convincing if you simply explained your approach, and discussed commonalities with other Dhamma students, rather than putting so much effort into arguing about differences. In my experience, that is never fruitful.

:anjali:

Mike


So, this is just as much a "method" as anything else


This is the reason I wrote this:

This description might lead one to think that there is in fact an exercise that one must try to do. But in reality, it is totally an empty process, causes and effects, causes and effects. If there is trying to make it, it can not happen, because then it is done by the idea of someone who can, and by the desire to get something. The entire process is ignated actually by a clear understanding that it is an empty proccess, which is conditioned by right understanding now. This is a subtle point that we have a great difficulty getting across


And that is also the reason why have to stress again and again on the differences, at the risk of sounding antagonist.

I don't think we should a avoid talking about differences, because it's there that lies any potential for growth. All AS' students are exposed to having their questions/arguments/sharings subjected to cristism under the light of right understanding, either by her or by others. I think that's is also the way it was in many sutta among the Buddha's disciples.

Now back to that line. To some, it seems to be a method, but that is not so. As soon as there's idea of a method, it is the idea of someone who can (attend to the realities as they arise). Actually, when there's emphasis on now, it doesn't mean that one should try to attend to what appears now, because then, it is a citta accompanied by wrong understanding and wanting that tries. Realities arise and pass away so rapidly, it can not be approached by a citta which wants to approach it. Actually, when we say " we try to be aware of what appears", we actually only think of what have arisen and fallen away, there's no actual approaching to that reality with right awareness. Only by the power of right understanding, when it is conditioned to arise, which can have vitaka leading the citta directly to the object, which is an extremely feeling dhamma which now can appear clearly. But hearing again and again that what is talked about is only the dhammas which appear now, and knowing clearly the difference between what is only thinking about a fallen away dhamma, and what is a dhamma, all that can condition the moment of direct understanding. But most important of all, it's the understanding that is is not a technique that one can do, but something that happens by conditions. This is an extremly subtle point.

Sayadaw U Tejanyia that you mentioned sometimes also says that there's no method for vipassana. When people come to him for instructions he usually says: now you are sitting, do you need to make an effort to know that you are sitting? Do you need to make an effort to know there's seeing, touching, hearing, thinking?
Once someone asked him "what is the secret meaning of the schedule "1 hour sitting, 1 hour walking"?", he laughed and said: "just because it is a meditation center and we have to have a schedule so people are not at loss as how to spend their time, otherwise they would just sit and chat."

Being one of his old students and having had many conversations with him, I personally think that he would agree with most, if not all, the points raised by AS. He also says: let's wisdom do its own work. However, the very idea that there should be a method, a technique, there's a person who has to strive, be it in a meditation center or in daily life, is very deeply anchored. So I think what I have found extremly helpful in AS's way of explaining the Dhamma, is that she places the utmost importance on explaining that the Path is an impersonal process, and on what are the right causes for the right effects. She also pointed out what is not sati that is usually taken to be sati, and that is a very important step too.

There are many people, who read or listen to AS's discussions, and say that they agree with everything, but usually, when it comes to this point, they either can't agree or see it at a breakthrough. That is the reason why we pick out that point again and again, because it is the corner stone. Fruitful or not, I don't know, because it depends rather on the accumulations of each person.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby kirk5a » Mon May 13, 2013 4:08 am

When I follow up on the explanation given in the Visuddhimagga for the manner of practice for the "sukkha-vipassaka" what I find is instructions to go on solitary retreat, direct attention to the various aspects of the body, discern the elements, make effort and develop concentration.
"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 mikenz66 » Mon May 13, 2013 4:16 am

dhamma follower wrote:
So, this is just as much a "method" as anything else


This is the reason I wrote this:
dhamma follower wrote:This description might lead one to think that there is in fact an exercise that one must try to do. But in reality, it is totally an empty process, causes and effects, causes and effects. If there is trying to make it, it can not happen, because then it is done by the idea of someone who can, and by the desire to get something. The entire process is ignated actually by a clear understanding that it is an empty proccess, which is conditioned by right understanding now. This is a subtle point that we have a great difficulty getting across

And I have given you quotes from at least two other teachers (and you've added Sayadaw T yourself) who say essentially the same thing. So it's not something unique to Ajahn Sujin. How could it be, when it's the teaching of the Buddha? Of course, anyone can say that they are not operating with the "idea of someone who can". Whether they really are another matter.

:anjali:
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Mon May 13, 2013 5:40 am

tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I think you (the students) would be much more convincing if you simply explained your approach, and discussed commonalities with other Dhamma students, rather than putting so much effort into arguing about differences. In my experience, that is never fruitful.
But it is not just arguing about differences, but adamantly stating that those who differ from Sujin's point of view are categorically wrong, on a wrong path, deluded by self, motivated by lobha.


So?

No, really: let's explore this.

What exactly is wrong with one teacher and her school looking down on others and directly or indirectly claiming she is the one who has the right understandign of the Buddha's teachings?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby retrofuturist » Mon May 13, 2013 6:01 am

Greetings,

dhamma follower wrote:As soon as there's idea of a method, it is the idea of someone who can (attend to the realities as they arise).

I'm not sure whether this is an "English as a second language" issue, or whether this is actually what Sujin teaches, but that is just plain stupid.

That's like saying, "as soon there's idea of a Noble Eightfold Path, it is the idea of someone who can (follow that path)"

I'm glad the Buddha didn't suffer from puggalaphobia... :?

Metta,
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If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 13, 2013 6:10 am

binocular wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I think you (the students) would be much more convincing if you simply explained your approach, and discussed commonalities with other Dhamma students, rather than putting so much effort into arguing about differences. In my experience, that is never fruitful.
But it is not just arguing about differences, but adamantly stating that those who differ from Sujin's point of view are categorically wrong, on a wrong path, deluded by self, motivated by lobha.


So?

No, really: let's explore this.

What exactly is wrong with one teacher and her school looking down on others and directly or indirectly claiming she is the one who has the right understandign of the Buddha's teachings?
You tell me what is not wrong with it.
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 binocular » Mon May 13, 2013 10:02 am

tiltbillings wrote:You tell me what is not wrong with it.

What did you expect?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 13, 2013 10:04 am

binocular wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You tell me what is not wrong with it.

What did you expect?
That.
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 binocular » Mon May 13, 2013 10:05 am

retrofuturist wrote:puggalaphobia...

Good term!
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby binocular » Mon May 13, 2013 10:06 am

tiltbillings wrote:
binocular wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You tell me what is not wrong with it.

What did you expect?
That.


You think I'm being too peaceful about all this?

You think it's time for some Vajra wrath?
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 13, 2013 10:10 am

binocular wrote:
You think I'm being too peaceful about all this?
I do not understand the question.
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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