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 Apr 26, 2013 8:51 am

as i said earlier in this thread:
Firstly let us be upfront and honest and admit, especially to ourselves, that delusion and conceit are almost omnipresent. Then we can take a breath and see that this Dhamma is so profound that is probable that if we feel we are having frequent moments of sati-sampajana that we are even more deluded than we first admitted.

That degree of honestly will hopefully make us feel like our head is on fire and propel us to learn what the Buddha really taught, to look for every little bit of wrong view .....and keep at it year after year, happily
.

In the Samyutta nikaya V (Sayings on stream entry p347 The great chapter Dhammadina ) 5oo rich merchants came to see the Buddha . They explained they were given over to the joys of wives and family and captivated by the five strands of sense pleasures. They asked how they should live their lives. The Buddha suggested that they train themselves thus:


"as to those discourses uttered by the Tathagatha, deep, deep in meaning, transcendental and concerned with the void (about anatta) from time to time we will spend our days learning them. That is how you must spend your days."


i feel i do. that and also encourage others to do so.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:59 am

robertk wrote: Dust in the Wind, by Kansas, is a great song imho.
It is okay, but it does not reflect Dhamma practice. The Danda Sutta does not change the fact that, as has been pointed out repeatedly via suttas, that the Buddha advocated putting his teachings into practice, by doing, by action.
without seeing into the nature of realities as they really are then this long long samsara will never end.
that is why soooo much viriya(energy) is needed, as i stressed in this thread.
but viriya is only helful if it is associated with right view. so right effort is not a matter of taking some special posture, it depends on understanding what is here and now. then the truth that has been learned about the anattaness of each dhamma will show itself more and more clearly.
As for Right View, until one becomes an arahant, it is always a work in progress. One starts one's practice, one's journey on the Eightfold Path of action and choice of doing, from where one is. You use this dismissive language -- so right effort is not a matter of taking some special posture --, but the you miss the fundamental point, that it is in the doing, the practice of sila, of bhavana, of learning the Dhamma both in terms of doctrine and in terms of experience, by doing, that Right View is cultivated, that the conditions for insight are cultivated. There is no reason in the world to dismiss this kind of practice, as you have, as empty rules and rituals, as lobha as has Sujin. The only way there is "understanding what is here and now" is by cultivating the conditions, as clearly taught by the Buddha, by doing the practice, by the sila, by the bhavana, by treading the Eightfold Path. And interestingly enough, the Abhidhamma, while may be useful to some, is not necessary in this.
>> 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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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:32 pm

robertk wrote:as i said earlier in this thread:
Firstly let us be upfront and honest and admit, especially to ourselves, that delusion and conceit are almost omnipresent. Then we can take a breath and see that this Dhamma is so profound that is probable that if we feel we are having frequent moments of sati-sampajana that we are even more deluded than we first admitted.
This is a paradox. The result, in my opinion, binds one to ever being bound. It negates the possibility of insight here and now. The ideas that are created are regressive.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:35 am

Mr Man wrote:
robertk wrote:as i said earlier in this thread:
Firstly let us be upfront and honest and admit, especially to ourselves, that delusion and conceit are almost omnipresent. Then we can take a breath and see that this Dhamma is so profound that is probable that if we feel we are having frequent moments of sati-sampajana that we are even more deluded than we first admitted.
This is a paradox. The result, in my opinion, binds one to ever being bound. It negates the possibility of insight here and now. The ideas that are created are regressive.
Dear Mr Man,

I don't think the truth binds. It is craving and ignorance that do. Don't they?

In order to realize that unwholesome dhammas are more present than wholesome, certain understanding of what is wholesome and unwholesome is required, as well as a close examination of our mental states, which is one of the things that the Buddha recommended us to know. It is not a matter of thinking I am good or bad, but to attend the dhammas as they appear with some understanding, and honesty should tell us that unwholesomeness does abound.

Brgds,

D.F

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by dhamma follower » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote:The title of this thread is Causes for wisdom
Suttas have already been cited showing that the prime causes for wisdom are hearing and contemplation of the Dhamma. This sutta adds to the discussion by showing that listening to the Dhamma leads to the attainment of nibbana. :D
It underlines the crucial importance of right view in the path.
Yes, very choice driven behaviors, all. And, of course, listening is followed by the choice to put into practice, by doing, what the Buddha taught, as has been carefully explained and shown to be so via the suttas, and pretty much most, if not all, of the texts you yourself have quoted.
Dear Tilt and others,

The issue is not whether there's a choice in the conventional sense or not, but to understand that the choice is also conditioned, not "I", me, or mine. Do you agree that choice is conditioned?

When members here read our (Sujin's students) emphasis on the conditioned aspects of dhammas, many might think that the result of it is non-action. How can there be non-action? We all do this or that unless we are paralized, blind and deaf all at the same time.

What we have been trying to show, is that, regardless what one choose to do, it is not the doing, but the right understanding which can be said to cultivate the Path.

There have been many arguments that we have to do, to practice, to make efforts in order for understanding to arise. We, on the other hand, has shown that the cause of right understanding doesn't come from the doing, whatever is is, but from hearing the right teaching and wise consideration of it. It is the words of the Buddha him-self.

The understanding gained from hearing the teaching can go from the intellectual level to the direct level, if there is studying the dhammas as they appear again and again. However, right at the beginning, there should be the clear understanding that it is not "a self" who does the studying, but it is a dhamma which is conditioned by previous hearing and considering which, at some particular point arises and is aware. If this understanding is not firm, there will always be idea of "I" trying to be aware or to observe, and the non-self nature of the reality which is aware can not be known. We can not determine when this dhamma studying, this awareness will occur, since they depend on conditions to arise. So if we can not determine when, why there would be the idea of formal meditation? Can we decide that during that particular time there will be awareness? If we think we can, isn't it the idea of a self who can make some dhammas to arise at will?

If we don't believe that hearing the Dhamma and wise considering alone can condition direct understanding later, does that mean we don't really trust the Buddha's words and the power of his teaching ?

Wise considering is difficult, most diffcult.

Brgds,

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:25 am

Greetings,
dhamma follower wrote:There have been many arguments that we have to do, to practice, to make efforts in order for understanding to arise. We, on the other hand, has shown that the cause of right understanding doesn't come from the doing, whatever is is, but from hearing the right teaching and wise consideration of it. It is the words of the Buddha him-self.
I find it ironic then that the teachings of Sujin veer off into post-canonical Abhidhamma... but as a general principle, I agree with what is said here above.

As I was saying to a friend recently, I believe satipatthana is actually a path of non-appropriation (of dhammas as self, "I" or mine), rather than a path of cultivating insight into the three characteristics. Being about non-appropriation, it's not about "the doing" itself, but "wise consideration of it" which supports non-appropriation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:27 am

dhamma follower wrote:
What we have been trying to show, is that, regardless what one choose to do, it is not the doing, but the right understanding which can be said to cultivate the Path.

There have been many arguments that we have to do, to practice, to make efforts in order for understanding to arise. We, on the other hand, has shown that the cause of right understanding doesn't come from the doing, whatever is is, but from hearing the right teaching and wise consideration of it. It is the words of the Buddha him-self.
Right hearing and wise consideration are actions, are choices of doing, and the Buddha outlined various ways that that is accomplished, such as the practice of sila, of bhavana, of following -- putting into practice -- the Eightfold Path.
>> 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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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:34 am

dhamma follower wrote:
If we don't believe that hearing the Dhamma and wise considering alone can condition direct understanding later, does that mean we don't really trust the Buddha's words and the power of his teaching ?
The thing is what you mean by "hearing the Dhamma and wise considering" seems not necessarily what one finds in the suttas. One has to act; there is no choice in that, but we have a choice in how we act, and the Buddha taught us to act in such a way that cultivates the causes and conditions that give rise to insight: meditation, sila, the putting into practice the Eightfoild Path.
>> 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 tiltbillings » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:a path of cultivating insight into the three characteristics.
Which is, in fact, a path of letting go, which cannot be accomplished not by force of will; rather, letting go comes as a result of insight. See Ud 10.
>> 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 tiltbillings » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:00 am

dhamma follower wrote: However, right at the beginning, there should be the clear understanding that it is not "a self" who does the studying, but it is a dhamma which is conditioned by previous hearing and considering which, at some particular point arises and is aware. If this understanding is not firm, there will always be idea of "I" trying to be aware or to observe, and the non-self nature of the reality which is aware can not be known. We can not determine when this dhamma studying, this awareness will occur, since they depend on conditions to arise. So if we can not determine when, why there would be the idea of formal meditation? Can we decide that during that particular time there will be awareness? If we think we can, isn't it the idea of a self who can make some dhammas to arise at will?
And the Buddha taught a way of practice for this: sila, meditation, and following the Eightfold Path.
>> 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 retrofuturist » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:02 am

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:a path of cultivating insight into the three characteristics.
Which is, in fact, a path of letting go, which cannot be accomplished not by force of will; rather, letting go comes as a result of insight.
Which is precisely what the Sujinists have been telling you for 36 pages in spite of your protestations, hence why this topic is about the causes for wisdom (i.e. insight).

To borrow from the lexicon of the Visuddhimagga, what is the proximite cause for wisdom?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:06 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:a path of cultivating insight into the three characteristics.
Which is, in fact, a path of letting go, which cannot be accomplished not by force of will; rather, letting go comes as a result of insight.
Which is precisely what the Sujinists have been telling you for 36 pages in spite of your protestations, hence why this topic is about the causes for wisdom (i.e. insight).
But what I have been saying for 36 pages is that one can by sila, bhavana, and following the Eightfold Path cultivate the conditions for the arising of insight, which is something that Sujinists seem to be denying is at all possible, calling such activity based in lobha.
>> 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 retrofuturist » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:09 am

Greetings Tilt,

If one thinks that certain activities which are not the proximite causes for wisdom are in fact the proximite causes for wisdom, then yes, it would be activity based on lobha, because it would not be understanding the Dhammic causality the Buddha taught.

So what is (are) the proximite cause(s) of wisdom?

It is then for us to look to ourselves to see if we're cultivating wisdom or not, by giving rise to the appropriate causes for the arising of wisdom.

The point I have taken out of this conversation is that "sitting on your bum" is not taught by the Buddha as a cause for the arising of wisdom. Neither is "closing your eyes". The cause of wisdom most frequently provided in the suttas appears to be the listening to, and reflecting upon the Dhamma. Then with that wisdom, meditation (i.e. right mindfulness, right concentration) is used as a means of non-appropriation and release. The commonly propagated assumption that the wisdom itself comes from the doing of "meditation" is what I don't recall being substantiated once throughout this topic, but it is now 37 pages long and I do not have photographic memory so apologize if I've missed something pertinent that demonstrates that the Buddha taught this.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

If one thinks that certain activities which are not the proximite causes for wisdom are in fact the proximite causes for wisdom, then yes, it would be activity based on lobha, because it would not be understanding the Dhammic causality the Buddha taught.
The question is: who judges what is based and not based on lobha in terms of someone's practice? We have been told here by Sujinists that slow walking meditation is rooted in lobha, and it gets even worse in the linked Q&A around metta meditation. The reality is there is going to be a lot of "lobha" as one starts out, and that is the point. One has to start from where one is. Right View is, until one become arahanta, a work in progress, and the Buddha carefully outlined what we need to do and sort of choice we should make that help cultivate the conditions that give rise to insight.
>> 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 kirk5a » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:47 am

"The knowledge and vision of things as they really are, monks, also has a supporting condition, I say, it does not lack a supporting condition. And what is the supporting condition for the knowledge and vision of things as they really are? 'Concentration' should be the reply.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el277.html
"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

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:51 am

Greetings,

:goodpost:

A wisdom borne of faith, joy, rapture, tranquility, happiness and samadhi.... very nice indeed, like "when rain descends heavily upon some mountaintop, the water flows down along with the slope, and fills the clefts, gullies, and creeks; these being filled fill up the pools; these being filled fill up the ponds; these being filled fill up the streams; these being filled fill up the rivers; and the rivers being filled fill up the great ocean"

:meditate:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:24 am

retrofuturist wrote: It is then for us to look to ourselves to see if we're cultivating wisdom or not, by giving rise to the appropriate causes for the arising of wisdom.
Of course. And that's what we are all doing (or should be). It's an essential part of practice, and something all good teachers will encourage.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:12 am

dhamma follower wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
robertk wrote:as i said earlier in this thread:
Firstly let us be upfront and honest and admit, especially to ourselves, that delusion and conceit are almost omnipresent. Then we can take a breath and see that this Dhamma is so profound that is probable that if we feel we are having frequent moments of sati-sampajana that we are even more deluded than we first admitted.
This is a paradox. The result, in my opinion, binds one to ever being bound. It negates the possibility of insight here and now. The ideas that are created are regressive.
Dear Mr Man,

I don't think the truth binds. It is craving and ignorance that do. Don't they?

In order to realize that unwholesome dhammas are more present than wholesome, certain understanding of what is wholesome and unwholesome is required, as well as a close examination of our mental states, which is one of the things that the Buddha recommended us to know. It is not a matter of thinking I am good or bad, but to attend the dhammas as they appear with some understanding, and honesty should tell us that unwholesomeness does abound.

Brgds,

D.F
Hi dhamma follower
Obviously I am not sugesting that truth binds (what are the qualaties of truth?). And no doubt it is wise to be circumspect but to quote robertk "if we feel we are having frequent moments of sati-sampajana that we are even more deluded than we first admitted." is just another leval of judgement which has been conditiomed. It is more of the same. A viewpoint has been adopted.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:32 am

ECommentary to samyutta Nikaya (note 313 ) page 809 Bodh

i"for when learning declines the practice declines, and when the practice declines achievement declines. But when learning becomes full, persons rich in learning fill up the practice, and those filling up the practice fill up achievement. Thus when learning etc are increasing my Dispensation increases just like the full moon.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:36 am

It msy happen that from right study and development we find that what we had once thought were orr strenghts turn out to be faults:our confident nature is mostly mana(conceit). The calmness we cherish only clinging to quiet; our directness mostly aversion. Also it sometimes happens that the teachers we first thought so wise turn out to be stuck in some place or another

. In the Intro. to the Vibhanga(Abhidhamma pitaka) (Pali text society)iggelden writes

"
It is all very well to say 'I know what is right and what is wrongThe fact is very few people do know when it comes to the precison of mental behaviour essential to correct development toward release. It is this exactitude of behaviour;mental physical and the conseqeunces thereof, that the scriptures elucidate in detail
"
.Iggelden carries on "It is all very well to say 'I know what needs to be done to break the continuity of rebirth and death'. In fact very few people know of even the most elementary reasons for the continuity of process, let alone of breaking it. It is the detailed description, analysis and reasons given for this cyclic process that the scriptures spend so much care in putting before us. It is all very well to say 'What do I want to know all thesedefinitions of terms for, it only clutters the mind?'The question is, though, how many people when

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