The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Alex123
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Alex123 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:27 pm

Hello MikeNZ, all,
mikenz66 wrote:Yes, there is some progress in some suttas. In others it seemed to take quite a lot of time and effort.

Furthermore, many would argue that akaliko is better translated as "in this life", rather than "immediately".
In any case, "in this life" or "immediately" is far shorter than aeons of parami gathering.

In 4.5 Nikayas there aren't any teaching that it has to take that long to become an Arhat.

It is interesting how when the Buddha speaks in the suttas about time, it always talks about how short it is. Today, teachers tend to overemphasize how many countless lives it may take.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

dhamma follower
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:24 am

Alex123 wrote:Hello MikeNZ, all,
mikenz66 wrote:I don't think anyone disagrees that the removal of defilements is what the Buddha taught. Where I see people disagreeing often seems to revolve around differences of opinion over (1) The timescale; and (2) The method.

(1) Timescale: When the Buddha says "do away with X" some interpret that as immediate. They have to do away with it right now! Others, perhaps more realistically, view the removal of certain issues as a long-term, perhaps many-lifetime project.
One of the qualities of Dhamma is: Akaliko.
Many people attained paths/fruits very quickly.
Many suttas say that if you do this, awakening can happen in a day-7years.

In the 4 main nikayas there is no teaching about gathering paramis for many lifetimes in order to become an Arhat.
Hi Alex,

Akaliko refers to the fact the the fruit (phala citta, supermundane dhamma) follows immediately the
Path moment (magga citta). This is as opposed to mundane dhammas, which can only give result at another moment with intervals between the moment of cause and the moment of result (nānā khanika kamma).
The term doesn't suggest the timescale for people to reach enlightenment.
The Six Qualities of the Dhamma

The Dhamma is:

Svakkhato Bhagavata Dhammo – well-proclaimed by the Blessed One,
Sanditthiko – self-realized,
Akaliko – followed by fruit without delay (of immediate result),
Ehipassiko – worthy of the invitation “Come and see”,
Opaneyyiko – brought to oneself,
Paccattam Veditabbo Vinnuhi – realized by the wise each for himself.
Brgrds,

D.F

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:49 pm

dhamma follower wrote:
Akaliko refers to the fact the the fruit (phala citta, supermundane dhamma) follows immediately the
Path moment (magga citta). This is as opposed to mundane dhammas, which can only give result at another moment with intervals between the moment of cause and the moment of result (nānā khanika kamma).
The term doesn't suggest the timescale for people to reach enlightenment.
This is spelled out in what sutta?
>> 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 dhamma follower » Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:
dhamma follower wrote:
Akaliko refers to the fact the the fruit (phala citta, supermundane dhamma) follows immediately the
Path moment (magga citta). This is as opposed to mundane dhammas, which can only give result at another moment with intervals between the moment of cause and the moment of result (nānā khanika kamma).
The term doesn't suggest the timescale for people to reach enlightenment.
This is spelled out in what sutta?
I don't think the sutta gives any explanation about the term. What I wrote above is from the Visudhimagga:
'It has no delay (lit takes no time — kala) in the man-
ner of giving its own fruit, thus it is "without delay
(akala)". "Without delay" is the same as "not delayed
(akalika)". What is meant is that instead of giving its fruit
after creating a delay (using up time), say, five days, seven
days, it gives its fruit immediately next to its own
occurrence (Sn. 266) 2 .

Or alternatively, what is delayed (kalika — lit. what
takes time) is what needs some distant time to be reached
before it gives its fruit. What is that? It is the mundane
law of profitable [kamma]. This, however, is undelayed (na
kalika) because its fruit comes immediately next to it, so it
is "not delayed" (akalikaf 3 .


Visudhimagga, page 234. Further can be read about the remaining qualities of the Dhamma.

Since a lot of the words used by the Buddha seem to be ordinary, and are interpreted as in their ordinary meaning, but actually what it is pointed to is much, much deeper (ex the Four Noble Truth), I think it can apply to the word akaliko as well. Because no further explanation is found in the sutta, either one relies on the ancient texts, or chooses to interpret it in one's own way.

Brgrds,

D.F

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:49 am

this a somewhat related topic (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=27232) so worth reposting


A quote from N. Nanamoli:
7. “Meditation techniques” are usually sets of fairly random motions and performances, idiosyncratic to the particular meditation teacher, that require one to follow certain prescribed steps which if performed correctly, and with some luck, will make one experience “something”. Often, in return, that same teacher would have to “interpret” back these experiences for one.

To put it bluntly: if one needs to be told by another, what the significance of one’s experience was, this means one has not understood it by oneself. It means one is still concerned with the particular aspects (i.e. the random contents) of one’s meditation experience, and one fails to see the general nature of it all. As a result, any external interpretation is regarded as an explanation, which means that phenomenology remains buried deep down under layers of pre-concieved ideas and assumptions. This holds true even more when it comes to the idea of “attainments”, which are also regarded as experiences that “happen” to one, almost against one’s will and as a result of “a very good technique” one has employed. There is a concealed irony there that escapes such people, because if one needs to be “confirmed” a sotāpanna, for example, by one’s teacher, this means one doesn’t know that one actually is a sotāpanna, which means that one can still doubt it, which in return means that one is not freed from the fetter of doubt, i.e. actually not a sotāpanna. The irony is further amplified if the teacher goes ahead and “confirms” one. If one is to actually understand what “being free from doubt” (and the other two fetters, characteristic of the sotāpanna) is, one would realize how non-applicable any external affirmation or denial is.16

How obstructive to phenomenology (i.e. mindfulness) this whole way of practising is, can be seen from the nature of understanding. One understands things when one understands them, when the knowledge in regard to the nature of an arisen thing is there, and not when one successfully goes through a set of methods and observances that relies on almost mechanical set of motions one has to perform attentively. Any bodily act and any act that pertains to the bodily domain (such as the celebrated and misguided notion of “sensations”17 which involve observing different parts and aspects of one’s body) is simply irrelevant for the discerning of the nature of an arisen phenomenon.18 It is misleading and obstructive, because it is impossible to engage in a technique without the implicit belief that a set of motions, that the chosen technique consists of, performed in a particular mechanical order, will somehow, by itself, reveal the nature of things. By holding this belief and faith in a technique, one will not be trying to understand things, and by not making attempts toward the understanding, one will definitely remain devoid of it.

One sees things correctly – as phenomena – by understanding what the phenomenon is, and there is no technique that can make this magically occur. Thus, the closest to what one should do in order to obtain understanding is: trying to understand. For as long as a person is attempting to understand and see the nature of an arisen thing, that person might actually succeed in it, for it is certain that understanding cannot occur in someone who is not trying to understand. Incidentally (or not), there is never any mention of meditation techniques in the Suttas, but ‘understanding’ and ‘discernment’, as a way to reach the final freedom from suffering, is described and referred to countless times.

When one looks at the experience mindfully, it becomes apparent that regardless of the content of the particular experience, the nature of experience is present. So, whether it is the experience of “impatiently-waiting-for-a-bus,” or the experience of tiredness after a physical exertion, or strange and novel experience of a powerful light that occurred in front of me while meditating on a seven-day technique-based meditation retreat, all I should be concerned about is that an experience is there and as such it needs to be understood.19 This means that investing effort into meditation techniques is fundamentally a waste of time if one is concerned with understanding the Dhamma, and the most one can accomplish is relaxation, a sense of peace coming from withdrawal from the habitual world of senses, or – worse – fortification of the wrong views based on a misinterpretation of the nature of the novelty experiences. Either way, the results of any technique one might engage in, will remain worldly, and will draw its power from a temporary change of one’s environment, one’s usual way of regarding things. In any case, the “benefits” and “helpfulness” of a chosen technique will simply share the nature of a phenomenon of novelty that one is experiencing. As such, it means it will run out, and one will have to either do it harder, or change the technique.

If people attend meditation retreats as a form of a temporary escape from the busy and oppressing world, by all means they should do it, as often as they can. However, rather than engaging in a practice of a technique and “sensation watching,” they would be better off using their quiet time in trying to understand the nature of things according to the way the Buddha described it, whether sitting, walking or lying down. For it is that “nature” which the Dhamma means and refers to, and anything that is not dealing with this, or anything that is obscuring that very nature (i.e. phenomena) of things, consequently is not the Dhamma, no matter how “helpful” and “useful” it might be.20 In different words, one’s experience is phenomenological (i.e. the five aggregates are all simultaneously present in their respective domains), and this means that nature of things comes first,21 before anything one does based on that nature. Doing a technique in order to practice the Dhamma (i.e. see the nature of things) is like exiting the house, so as to be in it. It’s a contradiction in terms.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:39 pm

robertk wrote:this a somewhat related topic (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=27232) so worth reposting


A quote from N. Nanamoli:
7. “Meditation techniques” are usually sets of fairly random motions and performances, idiosyncratic to the particular meditation teacher, that require one to follow certain prescribed steps which if performed correctly, and with some luck, will make one experience “something”. Often, in return, that same teacher would have to “interpret” back these experiences for one.

To put it bluntly: if one needs to be told by another, what the significance of one’s experience was, this means one has not understood it by oneself. It means one is still concerned with the particular aspects (i.e. the random contents) of one’s meditation experience, and one fails to see the general nature of it all. As a result, any external interpretation is regarded as an explanation, which means that phenomenology remains buried deep down under layers of pre-concieved ideas and assumptions. This holds true even more when it comes to the idea of “attainments”, which are also regarded as experiences that “happen” to one, almost against one’s will and as a result of “a very good technique” one has employed. There is a concealed irony there that escapes such people, because if one needs to be “confirmed” a sotāpanna, for example, by one’s teacher, this means one doesn’t know that one actually is a sotāpanna, which means that one can still doubt it, which in return means that one is not freed from the fetter of doubt, i.e. actually not a sotāpanna. The irony is further amplified if the teacher goes ahead and “confirms” one. If one is to actually understand what “being free from doubt” (and the other two fetters, characteristic of the sotāpanna) is, one would realize how non-applicable any external affirmation or denial is.16

How obstructive to phenomenology (i.e. mindfulness) this whole way of practising is, can be seen from the nature of understanding. One understands things when one understands them, when the knowledge in regard to the nature of an arisen thing is there, and not when one successfully goes through a set of methods and observances that relies on almost mechanical set of motions one has to perform attentively. Any bodily act and any act that pertains to the bodily domain (such as the celebrated and misguided notion of “sensations”17 which involve observing different parts and aspects of one’s body) is simply irrelevant for the discerning of the nature of an arisen phenomenon.18 It is misleading and obstructive, because it is impossible to engage in a technique without the implicit belief that a set of motions, that the chosen technique consists of, performed in a particular mechanical order, will somehow, by itself, reveal the nature of things. By holding this belief and faith in a technique, one will not be trying to understand things, and by not making attempts toward the understanding, one will definitely remain devoid of it.

One sees things correctly – as phenomena – by understanding what the phenomenon is, and there is no technique that can make this magically occur. Thus, the closest to what one should do in order to obtain understanding is: trying to understand. For as long as a person is attempting to understand and see the nature of an arisen thing, that person might actually succeed in it, for it is certain that understanding cannot occur in someone who is not trying to understand. Incidentally (or not), there is never any mention of meditation techniques in the Suttas, but ‘understanding’ and ‘discernment’, as a way to reach the final freedom from suffering, is described and referred to countless times.

When one looks at the experience mindfully, it becomes apparent that regardless of the content of the particular experience, the nature of experience is present. So, whether it is the experience of “impatiently-waiting-for-a-bus,” or the experience of tiredness after a physical exertion, or strange and novel experience of a powerful light that occurred in front of me while meditating on a seven-day technique-based meditation retreat, all I should be concerned about is that an experience is there and as such it needs to be understood.19 This means that investing effort into meditation techniques is fundamentally a waste of time if one is concerned with understanding the Dhamma, and the most one can accomplish is relaxation, a sense of peace coming from withdrawal from the habitual world of senses, or – worse – fortification of the wrong views based on a misinterpretation of the nature of the novelty experiences. Either way, the results of any technique one might engage in, will remain worldly, and will draw its power from a temporary change of one’s environment, one’s usual way of regarding things. In any case, the “benefits” and “helpfulness” of a chosen technique will simply share the nature of a phenomenon of novelty that one is experiencing. As such, it means it will run out, and one will have to either do it harder, or change the technique.

If people attend meditation retreats as a form of a temporary escape from the busy and oppressing world, by all means they should do it, as often as they can. However, rather than engaging in a practice of a technique and “sensation watching,” they would be better off using their quiet time in trying to understand the nature of things according to the way the Buddha described it, whether sitting, walking or lying down. For it is that “nature” which the Dhamma means and refers to, and anything that is not dealing with this, or anything that is obscuring that very nature (i.e. phenomena) of things, consequently is not the Dhamma, no matter how “helpful” and “useful” it might be.20 In different words, one’s experience is phenomenological (i.e. the five aggregates are all simultaneously present in their respective domains), and this means that nature of things comes first,21 before anything one does based on that nature. Doing a technique in order to practice the Dhamma (i.e. see the nature of things) is like exiting the house, so as to be in it. It’s a contradiction in terms.
It is, unfortunately, not at all an insightful characterization of "techniques," even N. Nanamoli, puts forth a technique based upon his reading of the texts. Why privilege his technique over the techniques of others teachers, keeping in mind that his criticism of other teachers' techniques is a straw-man characterization? Why is it that that teachers such as N. Nanamoli, Thanissaro, Vimalaramsi, and Sujin, in advocating their techniques, feel a need to disparage the teachings of other Dhamma teachers? I certainly would not say there is no value in the techniques of these three teachers in terms of Dhamma practice, but I would say that there is no value in their disparagement of other teachers.
>> 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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Aug 06, 2016 3:26 pm

dear tilt,
i guess you mean this ( or similar) from Thanissaro:
An example of spiritual bypassing is this: Suppose you have troubles in your life and you don't want to engage in the difficult business of trying to become more mature in dealing with others or negotiating the conflicting desires in your own mind. Instead, you simply go and meditate, you do prostrations, you do chanting, and you hope that those practices will magically make the problems in your life go away. This is called spiritual bypassing — an unskillful way of clinging to habits and practices. As you can imagine, it's not very healthy — and not very effective. People often come back from meditation retreats and they still have the same problems they had before.



From: Talk 5 in "Selves & Not-self" -'The Ego on the Path', by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu
and this ( both posted in other threads today and yesterday:

"
Even in Buddhist circles, you find various kinds of meditation where as they say, "Everything has all been thought out, everything has all been worked out, just follow the instructions. Don't think, don't add anything of your own." It's interesting to note that a lot of these methods also refer to the teaching on not-self as egolessness. Any sense of pride, any sense of independence is a bad thing in those meditation traditions. As one tradition would say, just be totally passive and aware, very equanimous, and just let your old sankharas burn away. And above all, don't think. Or if you are going to think, they say, learn how to think the way we think. And they have huge volumes of philosophy you have to learn, to squeeze your mind into their mold.... But that doesn't work." ~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Adult Dhamma", Meditations5,
you have a point ( about disparagement) but then maybe sometimes the criticisers also have a point ?

you wrote today on another thread that

Like the other phenomenological Buddhists, he writes in obscure-ese, with is the de rigueur for the phenomenological crowd. It makes what could be stated fairly simply sound more important. Also, N. Nanmoli's comments about "methods" shows a fairly immature understanding of the issue, despite the labored syntax


i would guess a N. nanamoli devotee wouldn't appreciate that but I wouldn't begrudge you the right to your opinion. personally I find being exposed to various ideas is useful, even ones I disagree with. Disclaimer: some ideas are so misinformed or weakly thought out that they truly are a waste of everyone's time.

even more important though is delving into the Theravada texts: they are where right view is expressed (IMHO) :anjali:

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:04 pm

robertk wrote:dear tilt,
i guess you mean this ( or similar) from Thanissaro:
...
Not that. Try Thanissaro's book on meditation which was discussed on DW at length.


From: Talk 5 in "Selves & Not-self" -'The Ego on the Path', by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu
and this ( both posted in other threads today and yesterday:

"
Even in Buddhist circles, you find various kinds of meditation where as they say, "Everything has all been thought out, everything has all been worked out, just follow the instructions. Don't think, don't add anything of your own." It's interesting to note that a lot of these methods also refer to the teaching on not-self as egolessness. Any sense of pride, any sense of independence is a bad thing in those meditation traditions. As one tradition would say, just be totally passive and aware, very equanimous, and just let your old sankharas burn away. And above all, don't think. Or if you are going to think, they say, learn how to think the way we think. And they have huge volumes of philosophy you have to learn, to squeeze your mind into their mold.... But that doesn't work." ~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu "Adult Dhamma", Meditations5,
The problem with this is that it is a strawman construct, not at all accurately reflecting the position with which he disagrees.
you have a point ( about disparagement) but then maybe sometimes the criticisers also have a point ?
The problem is with the individuals I named that in their portrayals of what they are criticizing are grossly inaccurate, showing no real understanding of what it they criticizing. One can accurately understand a differing point of view and accurately criticize it, but this not what we see with these people.
personally I find being exposed to various ideas is useful, even ones I disagree with.
even more important though is delving into the Theravada texts: they are where right view is expressed (IMHO)
I have no problem with engaging differing opinions, finding value in well done, carefully considered criticism. I find no value in the strawman approach.
Last edited by tiltbillings on Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
>> 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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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:06 pm

yes good points. The strawman is always a problem, and any criticism should be fair . sometimes we criticise without a correct understanding of an issue.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:07 am

A repost of something I wrote a while back



Ti lakkahana is the three general characteristics ie. anicca, dukkha and anatta of all realities except nibbana(which is anatta only). But all realities also have visesa lakkhana - specific characteristics - and before the general characateristics can be penetrated there must be the insight into the specific. So the first stage of insight is called namarupaparicheddanan - the delimitation of mind and matter - and this insight clearly knows that mind and matter have distinctly different characteristics.

In the Mulapariyaya Sutta (see Bodhi "Root of Existence") the Buddha explains that

Ti lakkahana is the three general characteristics ie. anicca, dukkha and anatta of all realities except nibbana(which is anatta only). But all realities also have visesa lakkhana - specific characteristics - and before the general characateristics can be penetrated there must be the insight into the specific. So the first stage of insight is called namarupaparicheddanan - the delimitation of mind and matter - and this insight clearly knows that mind and matter have distinctly different characteristics.

In the Mulapariyaya Sutta (see Bodhi "Root of Existence") the Buddha explains that


'the uninstructed worldling perceives earth as earth......and he perceives the seen as the seen ..the heard as he heard...the sensed as the sensed..the cognised as the cognised..Having perceived the cognised as the cognised he conceives himself as the cognised..in the cognised...apart from the cognised..the cognised is mine..What is the reason? Because it has not being fully understood.





"
.


The uninstructed worldling knows something of the characteristics of dhammas, he knows when he craves or feels angry. He can experience all types of subtle vibrations and hardness and coldness If he trains himself by yoga etc. He can know that these are changing and many other things. But he conceives them wrongly as being me or mine etc.. The enligthened one experiences these same dhammas but with the eye of wisdom.

From the commentary and tika to this sutta: p39

"
they bear their own characteristics, thus they are dhammas: This is said for the purpose of showing that these are mere dhammas endowed with the specific natures devoid of such attributions as that of 'being' etc... These dhammas are discovered as ultimately real actualities. [..] Also they are borne, or they are discerned, known, according to their specific nature, thus



Many years can be spent doing difficult practices, but imho they are a diversion from the real path which is one of understanding whatever appears as anatta- and that understanding can only arise when there is firm right intellectual understanding. And correct intellectual understanding is rather rare without which no further progress will occur.
The "uninstructed worldling" (p40 of Mulapariyaya) "needs to be taught, because he possesses neither learning(agama) nor achievement. For he who possesses neither the learning running counter to the activity of conceiving because he has neglected to study, question, and discriminate the aggregates (khandhas), elements, sense bases (ayatanas) truths, law of conditionality and foundations of mindfulness etc , nor spiritual achievement because he has failed to achieve what should be achived by practice is said to be 'uninstructed'.


Between the enlightened ones and the 'uninstructed worldling' there is the "good worldling" who is learning and developing correctly:


p41 "The Buddha, the kinsman of the sun, speaks of the worldling in a twofold way. One is the worldling blinded by darkness and the other is the worldling noble and good
"


Bhikkhu Bodhi notes in his introduction to Mulapariyaya p14 That


"in the stage of full understanding of the known, the gross object is analysed into its constituent dhammas and each dhamma is delimited in its distinct characteristic, function, manifestation, and proximate cause. This procedure rectifies the common sense assumption of simple substantial unites, disclosing in its place a world of composite wholes brought temporarily together through a concatenation of conditions"

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:robertk wrote:
But what is thought to be mindfulness in common parlance is often some type of tedious focussing on an approximation of the here and now. This is merely concentration, without any sati or panna, and is a wrong path.
Okay. Examples of this. Who teaches such a thing?




see this (posted on another thread today)
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/26/opini ... .html?_r=0
’m making a failed attempt at “mindful dishwashing,” the subject of a how-to article an acquaintance recently shared on Facebook. According to the practice’s thought leaders, in order to maximize our happiness, we should refuse to succumb to domestic autopilot and instead be fully “in” the present moment, engaging completely with every clump of oatmeal and decomposing particle of scrambled egg. Mindfulness is supposed to be a defense against the pressures of modern life, but it’s starting to feel suspiciously like it’s actually adding to them.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:57 pm

Specific points about satipatthana and Sujin Boriharnwanaket moved here.
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=32721&p=485800#p485800

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