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

Post by robertk » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:30 am

Cormac Brown wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:Is all of this to imply that dhamma book study should be a practitioner's number one priority?
I'd say that sutta study is a priority for right view to arise. But perhaps finding a living teacher whose behaviour you find inspiring, free from defilement, arousing conviction, is number one:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Yes, fortunately it is quite possible to meet up with such* these days.
This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago in my hotel room in Saigon. I am at the back of the pic with shaved head with my son playing on floor. Nina van Gorkom (88 years old) is on the sofa next to Sujin Boriharnwanaket (now 90 years old). Discussing aspects of Dhamma.
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*except for the "free from defilement". My teachers and friends certainly don't claim to be arahat.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:51 am

Dear Perkele and venerable Dhammanando,
thanks for clarifying this point: "
robertk wrote:
Or if i have desire arising, as we all do very often - can it be known as
desire, as an element, right there and then? Yes, it can if there are enough
conditions. But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana. One is either having
aversion, or another more subtle desire (to get rid of the big desire) or at best the way of samatha.
So in the Satipatthana sutta the section in the section on The Contemplation of Consciousness
the first thing it says is:
"And how, O bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu live contemplating consciousness in consciousness?

"Here, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust;


of course it further says that also a "Bhikkhu understands the consciousness as without lust". But do we accept that we are ones with lust(lust here is meant all types of lobha) often, or are we trying to rush past knowing that, and getting to the "without lust" moments?
another point I would like to add is that going back over 30 years - as a new Buddhist- I was very concerned with knowing defilements - and not much interested in cakkhuvinnana (seeing) or sotavinnana (hearing) etc. But these are just as real and anatta and trivial (but crucial to understand) as dosa and lobha...

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:46 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:
ihrjordan wrote:Is all of this to imply that dhamma book study should be a practitioner's number one priority?
I'd say that sutta study is a priority for right view to arise. But perhaps finding a living teacher whose behaviour you find inspiring, free from defilement, arousing conviction, is number one:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
as robertk wrote:Yes, fortunately it is quite possible to meet up with such* these days.
There any number of really good, experienced teachers, both monastic and lay, who have both studied and practiced the Dhamma, who live the Dhamma, Joseph Goldstein being one of them:Image
>> 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

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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by DNS » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:50 pm

robertk wrote: This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago in my hotel room in Saigon. I am at the back of the pic with shaved head with my son playing on floor. Nina van Gorkom (88 years old) is on the sofa next to Sujin Boriharnwanaket (now 90 years old). Discussing aspects of Dhamma.
Nice photo. Glad to see those Dhamma teachers doing well into the nineties. Who are all those European-ancestry people and what are they doing in Vietnam? It looks like you and others get around the world with some interesting travels.

(I know this might be slightly off-topic, but I figured others might be interested to know too, so posting here instead of PM.)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:26 pm

Hi David
Do you like my new hairstyle? I thought you looked good in the stair-climbing race so copied you (well you and another 10,000 men).

Yes there are friends in that room who flew in from Sri lanka, Australia, USA, and Hong kong as well as Vietnamese ( and Nina from Holland and me from the Middle east). Dhammafollower on this thread is in the photo too, sitting on floor. During the day Sujin would talk to a large group of Vietnamese monks and nuns and laypeople in a hall.

It's all great fun and all of the people there are pretty seasoned travelers, especially the Europeans. But then it's so easy these days to get on plane and arrive the next day in a new country.
Ivan, a Dhamma friend who died a couple of years ago in bangkok, told me when he first came to Thailand, circa 1971, he took a boat to Indonesia and island hopped all the way to Singapore before spending days in a train to get to Thailand (must have being worth it as he lived there for the rest of his life).

Let us know if you are planning to be in the east anytime and there is a good chance of meeting in one of the Asian countries-

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:14 pm

robertK wrote: Or if i have desire arising, as we all do very often - can it be known as
desire, as an element, right there and then? Yes, it can if there are enough
conditions. But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana. One is either having
aversion, or another more subtle desire (to get rid of the big desire) or at best the way of samatha.
Hello robertK. Compare with Ven. Sariputta's advice on how to teach Dhamma to intelligent people:
Ven. Sariputta said: "Friends, in foreign lands there are wise nobles & brahmans, householders & contemplatives - for the people there are wise & discriminating - who will question a monk: 'What is your teacher's doctrine? What does he teach?' Thus asked, you should answer, 'Our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire.'" SN 22:2
Note: Not the "knowing" of desire "as an element", but the "subduing". If it does not involve subduing desire, it is not the teaching of the Buddha. If it actively denies the role of subduing desire, it is, to quote the Buddha, "no path at all." (Iti 4.11)
ihrjordan wrote:Is all of this to imply that dhamma book study should be a practitioner's number one priority?
To reconsider the answer to this question, in light of the above, perhaps the practitioner's number one priority should be the subduing of passion and desire for the five aggregates. That is, if one is to take the Buddha as one's teacher, rather than those householders and contemplatives who apparently teach otherwise. And, too, if one doesn't want to suffer as those aggregates decay and change.

Ven. Sariputta, in this discourse, is teaching to a group of monks who are about to go and take residence in "the outlying districts". Before they leave, Ven. Sariputta gives them this talk to ensure that they will "speak in line with what the Blessed One has said, will not misrepresent the Blessed One with what is unfactual". When the teaching had been given, the monks didn't add a sub-commentary to it or cling to directly opposing viewpoints, but instead "delighted in Ven. Sariputta's words." Can we do the same?
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:11 pm

Robert, glad to see that you have so many Dhamma friends. I hope the discussion taking place in the photo was fruitful. Great that your son is getting to be surrounded by such wholesome discussion, too (even if toys currently take priority to Dhamma!). As regards teachers, it seems more appropriate to follow monks (of the Vinaya-following variety) than laypeople. I seem to recall a sutta in which the Buddha quite starkly says to a lay disciple that the reason he's still a layperson is because he's full of defilements. (Incidentally, the disciple expresses confusion as to why he still has greed arising, seemingly looking for a complex and in-depth answer, and the Buddha just tells him it's because he hasn't abandoned it. If he'd just abandon it, it wouldn't arise. Interesting, no? And encouraging. I'll look for the reference.)

Insofar as judging them to be free of defilement, as the Buddha says, this can only be discerned to any extent after spending a long time in their presence, observing their behaviour. They need to keep their precepts pure, keep calm under duress, not display signs of greed/aversion/delusion. One good instruction on the matter is Canki Sutta. Here the Buddha recommends taking a monk as a teacher, one pure in conduct. He manages to win round a brahman who, prior to the discourse, has little time for monks. It also contains a teaching on the causes for "final attainment of the truth".
robertK wrote:*except for the "free from defilement". My teachers and friends certainly don't claim to be arahat.
If they're laypeople I'm glad they aren't claiming to be arahants. And hopefully monks wouldn't claim it to a layperson either, even if they were an arahant.

Ajahn Dtun of Wat Boonyawad, near Chonburi in Thailand, seems to me an admirable monk. He's an esteemed disciple of Ajahn Chah. Report has it that Ajahn Chah held him in very high regard. The monastery is a very pleasant place to practise, too.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:45 am

Cormac Brown wrote:Compare with Ven. Sariputta’s advice on how to teach Dhamma to intelligent people:
Ven. Sariputta said: “Friends, in foreign lands there are wise nobles & brahmans, householders & contemplatives - for the people there are wise & discriminating - who will question a monk: ‘What is your teacher’s doctrine? What does he teach?’ Thus asked, you should answer, ‘Our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire.’” SN 22:2
Note: Not the “knowing” of desire “as an element”, but the “subduing”. If it does not involve subduing desire, it is not the teaching of the Buddha. If it actively denies the role of subduing desire, it is, to quote the Buddha, “no path at all.” (Iti 4.11)
Your quotation from Sāriputta does not in fact contradict Robert’s point that the path is one of seeing.

Firstly, chandarāgavinaya would be more accurately translated: “the removal of desire and lust”.

Thanissaro’s decision to translate vinaya as if it were a gerund (‘subduing’), when in fact it’s a noun of state, gives the false impression that the elimination of chanda and rāga is something that one does, as opposed to being something that happens when dhammas have been correctly seen.

Secondly, if you research how rāgavinaya (along with dosavinaya and mohavinaya) are used in the Suttas, you will see that Sāriputta’s statement to the monks may be paraphrased: “Our teacher, friends, teaches Nibbāna.” For example:
  • “The removal of desire and lust [chandarāgavinaya], the abandonment of desire and lust [chandarāgappahāna] for these five aggregates affected by clinging is the cessation of suffering.”
    (MN. 28)
That it would be a mistake to conclude from Sāriputta’s words that the immediate task facing one is to make an active and deliberate effort to squelch one’s desires will be evident from any of the numerous suttas expounding the way to rāgavinaya. I’ll leave you with one example (it will have to be my last for a few days, for I’m going to be offline while our local satellite receiver undergoes repairs):
  • “And what, bhikkhus, is the escape in the case of material form? It is the removal of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust for material form. This is the escape in the case of material form.

    “That those recluses and brahmins who do not understand as it actually is the gratification as gratification, the danger as danger, and the escape as escape in the case of material form, can either themselves fully understand material form or instruct another so that he can fully understand material form—that is impossible. That those recluses and brahmins who do understand as it actually is the gratification as gratification, the danger as danger, and the escape as escape in the case of material form, can either themselves fully understand material form or instruct another so that he can fully understand material form—that is possible.”
    (MN. 13)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:08 am

1)–(2) “Bhikkhus, for a virtuous person, one whose behavior is virtuous, no volition need be exerted: ‘Let non-regret arise in me.’ It is natural that non-regret arises in a virtuous person, one whose behavior is virtuous...(8) “For one who is concentrated no volition need be exerted: ‘Let me know and see things as they really are.’ It is natural that one who is concentrated knows and sees things as they really are.
AN 10.2: Volition https://suttacentral.net/en/an10.2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Doesn't the bold statement directly contradict the notion that the manner of attaining insight is one of volition? I recall Ajahn Chah comparing concentration and wisdom with both sides of a knife; if you pick up one side you get the other. You don't have to pick up concentration first thus allowing you to pick up wisdom. The Buddha said: "One stage flows into the next stage, one stage fills up the next stage" implying without effort or volition not "The transition will be rocky! you really gotta search for inconstancy or risk remaining dull!

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:07 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:
robertK wrote: Or if i have desire arising, as we all do very often - can it be known as
desire, as an element, right there and then? Yes, it can if there are enough
conditions. But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana. One is either having
aversion, or another more subtle desire (to get rid of the big desire) or at best the way of samatha.
Hello robertK. Compare with Ven. Sariputta's advice on how to teach Dhamma to intelligent people:
Ven. Sariputta said: "Friends, in foreign lands there are wise nobles & brahmans, householders & contemplatives - for the people there are wise & discriminating - who will question a monk: 'What is your teacher's doctrine? What does he teach?' Thus asked, you should answer, 'Our teacher teaches the subduing of passion & desire.'" SN 22:2
Note: Not the "knowing" of desire "as an element", but the "subduing". If it does not involve subduing desire, it is not the teaching of the Buddha. If it actively denies the role of subduing desire, it is, to quote the Buddha, "no path at all." (Iti 4.11)
venerable Dhammanando has already explained this but I add this sutta:
Venerable Upavanna was one of the Buddha's attendants before Ananda. He asked the Buddha (Samyutta, Salayanata Vagga 70 p.1154 Bodhi)

"In what way is the Dhamma directly visible (sanditthiko Dhamma), immediate…to be personally experienced by the wise?

BUDDHA: Here, Upavana, having seen a form with the eye a bhikkhu experiences the form as well as lust for the form. He understands that lust for the forms exists internally thus: `there is in me lust for forms internally.' Since that is so Upavana the Dhamma is directly visible, immediate…"

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:15 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
as robertk wrote:Yes, fortunately it is quite possible to meet up with such* these days.
There any number of really good, experienced teachers, both monastic and lay, who have both studied and practiced the Dhamma, who live the Dhamma, Joseph Goldstein being one of them:Image
Interestingly in that photo, Sarah, sitting next to Khun Sujin on the sofa near me, knows Joseph from when she studied with Munindra in India - and Jon - sitting on chair next to me, met Munindra (Joseph's teacher) even before that. I met Joseph much later in 1984 when I did a retreat with him.
It's a small world. :anjali:

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:31 am

robertk wrote:Hi David
Do you like my new hairstyle?
Hi Rob,

Yes I do, looks cool. Some of my friends even didn't recognize you as the same Robert who came last year.

Brgrds

D.F

:focus:

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:49 am

Cormac Brown wrote: As regards teachers, it seems more appropriate to follow monks (of the Vinaya-following variety) than laypeople.
Hi Cormac,

Here is another perspective on the meaning of a bikkhu:
In the Dhammapada commentary of Buddhaghosa, a bhikkhu is defined as "the person who sees danger (in samsara or cycle of rebirth)" (Pāli: Bhayaṃ ikkhatīti: bhikkhu). He therefore seeks ordination to obtain release from it.[4] The Dhammapada states:[5]

[266-267] He is not a monk just because he lives on others' alms. Not by adopting outward form does one become a true monk. Whoever here (in the Dispensation) lives a holy life, transcending both merit and demerit, and walks with understanding in this world — he is truly called a monk.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhikkhu" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think we can safely say that our ultimate Teacher is the Buddha. There are wise monks and unwise monks, as well as wise lay people and unwise lay people. For me I am more interested in the truth of what someone says, rather than his/her status or outward appearance. Haven't we all come to believe in the Buddha rather through the truth of his words than because his name means the Enlightened One?

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:16 pm

dhamma follower wrote:I think we can safely say that our ultimate Teacher is the Buddha. There are wise monks and unwise monks, as well as wise lay people and unwise lay people. For me I am more interested in the truth of what someone says, rather than his/her status or outward appearance. Haven't we all come to believe in the Buddha rather through the truth of his words than because his name means the Enlightened One?
Hi DF,

Yes, the Buddha's words should be our guide. It's true of course that there are varying sorts of monks and laypeople. The Buddha, as quoted above, recommended learning from a monk whose behaviour was free from greed, aversion and delusion. This, as he said, can only be known after a long period of observation. If you are going to take a layperson as a teacher, the same process should be adopted. As to "the truth of what someone says" - someone might speak Dhamma but not act in accordance with it, i.e. reciting teachings but breaking precepts. I wouldn't like to take such a person as a teacher. Learning by example is equally if not more important than learning from someone's words.

As to whether one's teacher should be lay or ordained, I've found a quote which supports the notion of taking laypeople as examples, thus contradicting my belief that one's teacher needs be ordained:
"And what is meant by admirable friendship? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders' sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called admirable friendship. [AN 8.54]
I stand corrected. And also I know of at least one account in which Citta the householder teaches a monk the Dhamma. He seems to have been a highly advanced practitioner.

Nevertheless, it seems to me that a Vinaya-following monk is a more admirable example than the precept-following householder:
  • In his description of the gradual training, the Buddha consistently precedes the attainment of jhanas, powers, and arahantship with the undertaking of the Vinaya.

    I recall no instance in the suttas of a lay arahant being described.

    Most examples the Buddha gives of taking a teacher, such as one mentioned in a previous post, recommend that it be a monk


Metta

Cormac
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:45 pm

Hi Cormac,
As to "the truth of what someone says" - someone might speak Dhamma but not act in accordance with it, i.e. reciting teachings but breaking precepts, I wouldn't like to take such a person as a teacher. Learning by example is equally if not more important than learning from someone's words.
I was thinking about the truth in the sense of one of the causes for wisdom mentioned on this thread "hearing the right teaching". The Buddha said, any word of the truth is Buddhavacana.

Very naturally, one takes those one feels superior to one-self in terms of virtues and wisdom as one's teacher, or as one's wise friend in Dhamma (kalayanamitta). However, I think there's no need to think that whatever our teacher or wise friend says or does is always right. It all has to come down to one's own careful consideration...

Furthermore, other friends, whom one might not hold in so high regards can sometime say wise words and do right things too, and at those moments, they are one's true kalaynamitta. One can learn from anyone any moment, right?

Someone might seem to be very virtuous, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he/she has penetrated the Buddha's Teaching.

Without one's own studying of the Teaching which is now our Teacher because the Buddha is gone, there's no way to know whether someone's teaching is the Buddha's teaching or not, let alone knowing what level of attainment he/she has, in such cases,it would be one's own speculations and expectations only.

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:07 pm

dhamma follower wrote: Without one's own studying of the Teaching which is now our Teacher because the Buddha is gone, there's no way to know whether someone's teaching is the Buddha's teaching or not, let alone knowing what level of attainment he/she has, in such cases,it would be one's own speculations and expectations only.
As for the "Buddha's teachings," you really have no way of knowing if they are really the Buddha's teachings other than speculation and expectations. Working with a teacher, working on your one with the books, you are in same position as with one with the other. A good teacher may be a bit further along the path and may have some genuine insight, which may be worthwhile, but in either case, it is always stepping off the cliff's edge.
>> 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

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

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:26 pm

Then Ven. Assaji, arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, entered Rajagaha for alms: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. Sariputta the wanderer saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious... his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the thought occurred to him: "Surely, of those in this world who are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: 'On whose account have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or in whose Dhamma do you delight?'"[Mv 1.23 1-10]
It's interesting to note that one of the causes or conditions for the arising of the Dhamma-eye in Sariputta was Ven. Assaji's exquisite behaviour and composure. So, too, were Sariputta's keen observational skills, equipping him to spot the behaviour of an arahant. His speculation here was both necessary and useful, and led to his attaining to the first stage of Awakening: A "stepping off the cliff edge" that led to his entering the stream.

Ajahn Maha Boowa also notes that it was while witnessing Ajahn Mun's deportment while doing walking meditation that he was convinced he had found an arahant. This inspired him to become a disciple of the Venerable Ajahn.
“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote: Without one's own studying of the Teaching which is now our Teacher because the Buddha is gone, there's no way to know whether someone's teaching is the Buddha's teaching or not, let alone knowing what level of attainment he/she has, in such cases,it would be one's own speculations and expectations only.
As for the "Buddha's teachings," you really have no way of knowing if they are really the Buddha's teachings other than speculation and expectations. Working with a teacher, working on your one with the books, you are in same position as with one with the other. A good teacher may be a bit further along the path and may have some genuine insight, which may be worthwhile, but in either case, it is always stepping off the cliff's edge.
Hi Tilt,

The point was not about studying with books vs studying with one Teacher, as almost everyone has a teacher and reads books. The point was that the trust on a living teacher should not outweigh one's own studying of the Buddha's Teaching as found in the Tipitaka with careful reflection. We know very well that there are many famous and inspiring teachers, but they say different things... I don't think the Buddha encouraged speculations and expectations as part of the way. Instead, he encouraged us to consider and test out for our-self (the famous Kesaputta sutta to the people of Kalamas).

Brgrds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:15 am

Ajahn Maha Boowa also notes that it was while witnessing Ajahn Mun's deportment while doing walking meditation that he was convinced he had found an arahant. This inspired him to become a disciple of the Venerable Ajahn
Of course Mahaboowa might have been wrong in his assumption and gone the wrong way.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:25 am

Cormac Brown wrote:
Then Ven. Assaji, arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, entered Rajagaha for alms: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. Sariputta the wanderer saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious... his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the thought occurred to him: "Surely, of those in this world who are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: 'On whose account have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or in whose Dhamma do you delight?'"[Mv 1.23 1-10]
It's interesting to note that one of the causes or conditions for the arising of the Dhamma-eye in Sariputta was Ven. Assaji's exquisite behaviour and composure. So, too, were Sariputta's keen observational skills, equipping him to spot the behaviour of an arahant. His speculation here was both necessary and useful, and led to his attaining to the first stage of Awakening: A "stepping off the cliff edge" that led to his entering the stream.
Then we can also mention the example of Bahiya, who was taken to be an arahant by the ignorant people when he was NOT an arahant. Specualtions and expectations are what they are.

As about Sariputta, the main element that made him become enlightened upon hearing Assaji's short Dhamma exposition was his great accumulations from the part, not because of his speculation.

Probably we can have a discussion on in what way a Dhamma teacher can help the student, that would clarify more about who is the appropriate teacher, and whether speculations and expectations can help.

Brgrds,

D.F

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