The causes for wisdom

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

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:35 am

Dhammanando wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Ajahn Jayasaro The cultivation of the conditions for the arising of wisdom:

Image
Do you have a more precise link? This one leads only to a Facebook group, not to any particular talk or article.
It is just a posting on FB. Right now it should be right on or close to the top of the linked page. The above thingie also shows up in the photos.
>> 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 mikenz66 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:35 am

Hi Tilt,

Do you mean this?

https://www.facebook.com/buddhistfellow ... =3&theater" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Meditation is like rubbing two sticks together to make fire.

You need a lot of patience to be successful, and you need consistency and continuity.

Perhaps you start with great enthusiasm,
but that won't last.

If, when you start to feel tired or bored or discouraged,
please understand that you can't just stop for a while,
for a few days or weeks, and then just carry on.

The two sticks will be cold and you will have to start again.

So even if you only do a little everyday, never mind.
What is important is that you don't stop.

~ Ajahn Jayasaro ~
:anjali:
Mike

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:43 am

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An interesting page from the book retro recommended by steven harrison

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:04 am

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:33 am

The above cuttings from Harrison's book look to be taken out of their broader contexts, and what they interestingly suggests, as presented here, is that one can fail at meditation, and drastically so. Failure at meditation does, indeed, happen, all too often. What I have seen frequently with such failures are subsequent attacks on meditation, either in a generalized manner or in terms of specific technique, as we have seen graphically illustrated in this thread. However, in going through Harrison book, which is not actually an anti-meditation screed, we do see why some of the failures happen, and we do see what he is offering as correctives.

Interestingly the OP of this thread is essentially a basis for a criticism of a meditation practice in general, but sadly as the thread unfolds, the criticism is not based upon a careful understanding of what is being criticized.

Certainly, meditation practice, either in a generalized sense, or specific techniques can be, should be, open to criticism, but ideally these criticism need to be done from a place of actually understanding what is being criticized.
robertk wrote:
image.jpg
An interesting page from the book retro recommended by steven harrison
>> 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

Cormac Brown
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:23 am

This from early on:
robertK wrote:But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
Compare with MN 19:
Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.


The Buddha recommends a similar approach to thoughts connected with sensual desire in other suttas, too.

Can we all take more care over the amount of authority we give your own opinions on the Dhamma? If it's not from a sutta, it's not the Dhamma. A large number of suttas are available for free online. We would do better to read them more carefully and use them to inform what we say.

Remember that one of the causes for wrong view is the voice of another. Bhikkhus aside, every single one of us has defilements, and it's most likely that our opinions are based on those, not Dhamma.
“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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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:35 am

Cormac Brown wrote:If it's not from a sutta, it's not the Dhamma.
Hi Cormac Brown
Do you have sutta support for your view?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:05 am

Cormac Brown wrote:This from early on:
robertK wrote:But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
Compare with MN 19:
Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.
The Majjhima-ṭīkā takes your quotation from the Dvedhāvitakka Sutta to be a description of what the Nettippakaraṇa calls “abandoning by suppression through the power of reflection” (paṭisaṅkhāna-balena vikkhambhana-pahāna). This is a feature of the development of calm /samatha.

Robert, on the other hand, was speaking of the development of insight /vipassanā.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:34 am

Mr Man wrote:
Cormac Brown wrote:If it's not from a sutta, it's not the Dhamma.
Hi Cormac Brown
Do you have sutta support for your view?
My apologies, perhaps I made this comment too rashly. I'm quite hot-tempered. I will try to take more care in future to express myself in a more considerate manner.

Ani Sutta states that we should listen to the words of the Tathagata first and foremost. I take the words of the Tathagata to be the Dhamma.

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

perkele
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by perkele » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:47 am

Mr Man wrote:
Cormack Brown wrote:If it's not from a sutta, it's not the Dhamma.
Hi Cormac Brown
Do you have sutta support for your view?
I suppose Cormack was relying on the Buddha's utterance in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta:
DN 16: Mahāparinibbāna Sutta - The Great Passing, The Buddha's Last Days (Walshe trans.) wrote:'Suppose a monk were to say: "Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord's own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, this is the Master's teaching", then, monks, you should neither approve nor disapprove his words. Then, without approving or disapproving, his words and ex­pressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline. If they, on such comparison and review, are found not to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is not the word of the Buddha, it has been wrongly un­derstood by this monk", and the matter is to be rejected. But where on such comparison and review they are found to con­form to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is the word of the Buddha, it has been rightly understood by this monk."
For sure, you are familiar with this.

But, yes, it seems context is important:
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.
However, I am interested in how this happens that we can "know it as an element",and what this actually means.
For sure we cannot just lustfully and greedily indulge in sensual pleasures (or let's say of the sexual variety to make it stark), without efforts at resisting and subduing and abstaining and detaching from it, and at the same time still develop insight /vipassanā into this pheonomenon? Or can we?
Dhammanando wrote:
Cormack Brown wrote:Compare with MN 19:
Whenever thinking imbued with sensuality had arisen, I simply abandoned it, dispelled it, wiped it out of existence.
The Majjhima-ṭīkā takes your quotation from the Dvedhāvitakka Sutta to be a description of what the Nettippakaraṇa calls “abandoning by suppression through the power of reflection” (paṭisaṅkhāna-balena vikkhambhana-pahāna). This is a feature of the development of calm /samatha.

Robert, on the other hand, was speaking of the development of insight /vipassanā.
But is it not true that sensual desire as a hindrance must be removed in order for insight to arise as well?

Or is it the insight (that it is anicca, dukkha, anatta) while it is still present and letting it be, that makes it diminish?

Or does it not diminish and some liberating insight into it is possibly attained somehow anyway?

(Getting enlightened while masturbating would be an example to take it to the extreme... but maybe we don't have to go there.)

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:06 pm

Dhammanando wrote:Robert, on the other hand, was speaking of the development of insight /vipassanā.
Thank you, Bhante. The statement was this:
robertK wrote:But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
Are we to say that the Buddha wasn't following "the path toward vipassana" when he was undertaking this practice? If the implication is that removing sensual desire is not part of the path toward vipassana, then that seems to deny that he was, as well as the role of the Second Noble Truth on the path.

Perhaps, however, I am mistaken as to the nature of the desire he was referring to. Perhaps he was instead referring to the desire that forms the path (1), which certainly must not be removed until it's served its purpose.


(1)http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“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 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:39 pm

perkele wrote:But is it not true that sensual desire as a hindrance must be removed in order for insight to arise as well?
Given that sensual desire (and the rest of the hindrances) are stated in the Suttas to be paññāya dubbalīkaraṇas, “weakeners of understanding”, certainly insight won’t arise at the same moment when one of them is present. But that doesn’t mean that the development of insight would consist in proactively and deliberately “doing something” to get rid of them (as it would in the development of calm). In insight development the surmounting of the hindrances is described as being effected through listening to the Dhamma, the arising of the seven sambojjhaṅgas and of the insight knowledges:
  • “The Blessed One proclaims a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing.”
    (SN. v. 342)

    “And when listened to, the Dhamma does good through hearing it because it suppresses the hindrances, thus it is good in the beginning. And when made the way of practice it does good through the way being entered upon because it brings the bliss of calm and insight, thus it is good in the middle. And when it has thus been made the way of practice and the fruit of the way is ready, it does good through the fruit of the way because it brings equipoise, thus it is good in the end.
    “So it is ‘well-proclaimed’ because of being good in the beginning, the middle and the end.”
    (Vin-a. i. 126-7)

    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion the five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion the seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.

    “And what are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion? The hindrance of sensual desire is not present on that occasion; the hindrance of ill will … the hindrance of sloth and torpor ... the hindrance of restlessness and remorse ... the hindrance of doubt is not present on that occasion. These are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion.

    “And what are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion…. The enlightenment factor of equanimity goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion. These are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion.

    “When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion these five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion these seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.”
    (Anīvaraṇa Sutta, SN. v. 95-6)
perkele wrote:Or is it the insight (that it is anicca, dukkha, anatta) while it is still present and letting it be, that makes it diminish?
The comprehension by insight of the three characteristics takes care of the hindrances of kāmacchanda, byāpāda and kukkucca. But a complete description of the suppression of the five hindrances in insight development would be:

• First insight knowledge (defining nāma and rūpa): doubt.
• Third insight knowledge (comprehension of the three characteristics): sensual desire, ill will, remorse.
• Fourth insight knowledge (rise and fall): sloth and torpor, restlessness.

Now it may be that it’s one of the three characteristics in one of the five hindrances that is the object of insight in the third insight knowledge. However, this wouldn’t be in one and the same moment when the hindrance is present. Rather, the object would be a hindrance that has just ceased.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:01 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:Are we to say that the Buddha wasn't following "the path toward vipassana" when he was undertaking this practice?
In the Dvedhāvitakka Sutta the Bodhisatta's suppressing of the three kinds of unwholesome thought through the power of reflection is described as culminating in the jhānas. Since no amount of such suppression would by itself suffice to generate insight, the practice could not really be described as a "path toward vipassanā". (Substantially similar practices can be found in non-Buddhist yogic systems in which there is no insight development at all). It was a different and post-jhāna practice (dealt with in detail in other suttas, but only very briefly in the present one) that brought about the Bodhisatta's insight, culminating in knowledge of the destruction of the āsavas.
Cormac Brown wrote:If the implication is that removing sensual desire is not part of the path toward vipassana, then that seems to deny that he was, as well as the role of the Second Noble Truth on the path.
It is, rather, to assert that deliberate suppression is not the only way in which the hindrances may become absent.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:53 pm

robertK wrote:But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
I cannot find a sutta in accordance with this view. My point is that, to contradict the above, the desire to remove desire is not a sign that "one is no longer following the path toward vipassana". In my most limited understanding, such an assertion is in direct contradiction to the Buddha's teachings. If one lacks the inclination to remove desire, there are two possibilities: Either one is not on the Noble Eightfold Path, or one has completed it. (1) Moreover, the whole purpose of vipassana is to remove desire. If there were no thoughts in the mind related to removing desire i.e. ending suffering, from where would the inclination to practice vipassana arise? Thus such a statement contradicts itself, as well as the Buddha.
Dhammanando wrote: The Majjhima-ṭīkā takes your quotation from the Dvedhāvitakka Sutta to be a description of what the Nettippakaraṇa calls “abandoning by suppression through the power of reflection” (paṭisaṅkhāna-balena vikkhambhana-pahāna). This is a feature of the development of calm /samatha.
The Buddha, however, says:
"If, while he is walking, there arises in a monk a thought of sensuality, a thought of ill-will, or a thought of harmfulness, and he does not quickly abandon, dispel, demolish, or wipe that thought out of existence, then a monk walking with such a lack of ardency & concern is called continually & continuously lethargic & low in his persistence. (The same with standing, sitting and lying down) Iti. 110)
Dhammanando wrote:...deliberate suppression is not the only way in which the hindrances may become absent.
The only alternative the Buddha mentions here is "acquiescence." Is there another of which I'm unaware? "Suppression", as used by the commentary, seems misleading. Again, going by the quote from Iti.110, either a thought is present or it isn't. Regardless, any method of dealing with sensual desire, to be in accordance with the path, involves abandoning or removing it.

The assertion was this:
robertK wrote:But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana.
We must conclude that the "path toward vipassana" as envisioned by the esteemed commenter is not the path to the end of suffering as taught by the Buddha. The duty as regards sensual desire etc. in the Second Noble Truth is abandoning/removing/stopping. It's the cause of suffering. If you don't remove the cause, how can the effect subside, i.e. the cessation of dukkha. Without realising the cessation of dukkha, how liberating insight? Further, Right Resolve involves a commitment to non-sensuality etc. Whatever means one has to use to dispel sensual or harmful thoughts is thus a part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Granted, this activity alone doesn't fulfil the path, but it is an important part. The contested statement denies its role at all.
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?
If you have desire arising, then as the Buddha says, "abandon, dispel, demolish and wipe that thought out of existence." As regards the Four Noble Truths, which certainly are a path toward insight, the duty, again, as regards desire, is "abandoning". Not "knowing", which might be understood as the duty as regards the first truth.
perkele wrote:I suppose Cormack was relying on the Buddha's utterance in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta:
DN 16: Mahāparinibbāna Sutta - The Great Passing, The Buddha's Last Days (Walshe trans.) wrote:
'Suppose a monk were to say: "Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord's own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, this is the Master's teaching", then, monks, you should neither approve nor disapprove his words. Then, without approving or disapproving, his words and ex­pressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline. If they, on such comparison and review, are found not to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is not the word of the Buddha, it has been wrongly un­derstood by this monk", and the matter is to be rejected. But where on such comparison and review they are found to con­form to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: "Assuredly this is the word of the Buddha, it has been rightly understood by this monk."
Perkele's supposition that I had the quote from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta in mind, was, unfortunately for me, unfounded. However, on its basis, as highlighted in bold, perhaps this matter should be rejected.

Any path that excludes the removal of desire isn't a Noble Eightfold Path. Thus, how could it be called a "path toward vipassana"?
Dhammanando wrote:Since no amount of such suppression would by itself suffice to generate insight, the practice could not really be described as a "path toward vipassanā".
Is there a sutta that supports the first part of this sentence? Again, I contest "suppression", it seeming to imply a failure to "demolish" the thought, as the Buddha instructs. In my limited understanding, some insight would already have to be present just to discern whether a thought is part of the path or a cause of suffering, and more still to know what to do with it. I say this due to having direct experience in acquiescing to harmful and sensual thoughts! I hope I have more insight now than then.

The sentence as a whole suggests a misunderstanding: The question wasn't whether the dispelling of desire in and of itself forms a "path toward vipassana" (though the case could well be made that it does), but rather whether, as per robertK, the inclination to remove desire is a sign that one is not "following the path toward vipassana". I hope it has been made plain that this is not the case, and that the absence of such an inclination would indicate one has either strayed from the path or completed it. And I hope it has been stated in terms not contradicting the Buddha's intentions that we all realise the end of suffering.

To repeat, I'd encourage that we take care not to stray from the suttas.
"Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire." (SN 51.15)
With desire the world is tied down.
With the subduing
of desire it's freed.
With the abandoning
of desire all bonds
are cut through. (SN 1.69)

Metta

Cormac

(1)http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

(2) http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“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 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:03 pm

Cormac Brown wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:Since no amount of such suppression would by itself suffice to generate insight, the practice could not really be described as a "path toward vipassanā".
Is there a sutta that supports the first part of this sentence?
There are several suttas (the Mahāsāropama, for example) describing how a man might go forth, achieve some measure of success in bhāvanā (of a kind that falls short of knowledge of destruction of the āsavas), but whose progress is then halted owing to satisfaction with that success. One may conclude from such suttas that the progress described, and the practices which gave rise to it, are not in and of themselves the "path toward vipassanā".

But perhaps our point of disagreement here is really over the meaning of "path toward vipassanā". I would use the term to refer only to those things that are directly the cause for the arising of insight and which cannot do otherwise than give rise to insight. It's my impression that you're using it in a broader sense than this, e.g., that if a person is described as developing insight on the basis of the fourth jhāna, then the efforts that lead to the attainment of that jhāna would also be included by you in the category "path toward vipassanā". I wouldn't classify these efforts so, for it's quite possible (and outside of the Buddha's teaching it's the norm) that the fourth jhāna will not issue in insight.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:56 pm

Venerable, does the existence of a thought such as, "Oh, here is a desire I must remove it" mean that the practitioner has fallen off the path leading to insight? Where in the suttas is there evidence for such a view?
“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 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:38 am

Cormac Brown wrote:Venerable, does the existence of a thought such as, "Oh, here is a desire I must remove it" mean that the practitioner has fallen off the path leading to insight?
He is engaged in an exercise which, if successful, will lead him to a temporary abandonment of unwholesome thoughts, but not to their permanent eradication. Later they will come back again. This is samatha-bhāvanā — the mental development of a state of calm consisting in the mind's temporary remoteness from unwholesome dhammas. If such bhāvanā is developed to an advanced level it will culminate in the attainment of jhāna. What it won't in itself lead to is the permanent abandoning of unwholesome dhammas by cutting them off.

So my answer to your question would be no, he hasn't fallen off the path to insight. He hasn't yet even arrived at the path to insight.
Cormac Brown wrote:Where in the suttas is there evidence for such a view?
Just pick any where the Buddha describes jhāna-attainers as having more work to do; the two Sāropama Suttas, for example. Then look at:

1. What the Buddha says about them if they remain satisfied with what they have already attained.
2. What it is that remains for them to do.

Look also at any suttas (the Brahmajāla, for example) that describe how yogis practising outside of the Buddha's dispensation become highly accomplished in samatha-bhāvanā but then fall into wrong views of one sort or another.

The conclusion is inescapable: the ways of practice that samatha-bhāvanā entails are not in themselves adequate for developing insight or permanently cutting off the kilesas. They effect only a temporary liberation from unwholesome thoughts. This point is really quite uncontroversial; so much so that even Ajahn Thanissaro —whose modern commentaries you seem to prefer over the ancient ones— seems to agree with it. In the annotation to his translation of the Māhāsāropama Sutta the ajahn says:
"Occasional liberation/release is the temporary release from such things as the hindrances, attained when entering right concentration, or the temporary release from some of the factors of lower states of jhāna, attained when entering higher states of jhāna. This release lasts only as long as the necessary causal factors are still in place."

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

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by ihrjordan » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:28 am

Is all of this to imply that dhamma book study should be a practitioner's number one priority?

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Cormac Brown » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:15 am

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
“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

Cormac Brown
Posts: 355
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:10 am

Re: The causes for wisdom

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

Dhammanando wrote:So my answer to your question would be no, he hasn't fallen off the path to insight. He hasn't yet even arrived at the path to insight.
Thank you for your replies, Venerable. As you said previously, perhaps there's a confusion over terms. I haven't even attained jhana yet, which seems to be a necessary step prior to gaining liberating insight (going by the frequency with which it precedes it in the descriptions of the gradual training), so I'm sure the confusion is mine. Regardless, to carry on the discussion I feel like I'd just be repeating myself, which would be tedious for all. I'd do better to "go practice jhana"!
Dhammanando wrote:I would use the term to refer only to those things that are directly the cause for the arising of insight and which cannot do otherwise than give rise to insight.
I am, however, interested in this. Would you be so kind as to explain what these things are?
“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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