Eating in a restaurant part 2

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
binocular
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:21 am
I have not talked about dismissing feelings. Does the buddha talk about dismissing feelings?
I don't know what all is meant by 'dismissing feelings' but it sounds alot like aversion to me....I guess....don't know for sure....I could be wrong....
Then what do you mean when you say --
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
What do you mean by "it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self" when in a situation when one feels like a hypocrite, for example?

I find that viewing feelings and the other aggregates as notself amounts to dismissing them.

Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.

And then what??

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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.

For others, recognizing these feelings as not me, not mine etc. can be a training tool, or even a deep understanding, which aligns with a general orientation toward following the 8-fold path. It depends.
I don't actually see a problem with feelings. I think it is rather American to have a problem with feelings.

In general, it seems that in traditional/conservative cultures, when one feels a certain way, this is seen as a situation that behooves a moral analysis of the issue at hand with the goal to change one's behavior from then on. So, for example, if one feels like a hypocrite, this is seen as a prompt to think about the drawbacks of lying or otherwise pretending, and to resolve not to lie or pretend anymore.

But, generally speaking, Americans seem to be more concerned with the management of the feelings per se, without any moral analysis. "Oh, I feel like such a hypocrite! I need to take some pills/take a bubble bath/eat a pizza to feel better."

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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:56 am

"Just a feeling"? I've never said "just a feeling". I don't think that the buddha ever said or even implied "just a feeling".

There are many things one can learn from one's feelings and perhaps the most important thing that one can learn from ones feelings has to do with the anatta doctrine. As has been pointed out in a previous post it is more likely that one can learn about the anatta doctrine when one approaches it from many angles and not just with respect to feelings.

If smith has never heard of the anatta doctrine then smith will probably just be perplexed....if smith has studied the anatta doctrine somewhat then smith might at some time direct some discernment into the arising of feelings. This has nothing to do with the particulars of why smith has the feeling....it is another issue in addition to (but seperate from) whatever issues are inherent in the particulars of the arising of smith's feelings.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:35 am

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:56 am
"Just a feeling"? I've never said "just a feeling". I don't think that the buddha ever said or even implied "just a feeling".
Then what?

Smith and Jones dialogue, revised:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: It's a feeling, it's not who you are.


Then what?
There are many things one can learn from one's feelings and perhaps the most important thing that one can learn from ones feelings has to do with the anatta doctrine.
I think one learns that from other people, not from one's feelings. One's feelings are just that -- feelings.
If smith has never heard of the anatta doctrine then smith will probably just be perplexed....if smith has studied the anatta doctrine somewhat then smith might at some time direct some discernment into the arising of feelings.
Hm. Intuitively, I would focus on why is Smith telling Jones about feeling like a hypocrite. A common reason may be that he is thereby expressing trust in their relationship and hoping for help or support with a problem that he's having.

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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Spiny Norman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:39 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.
And then what??
Further hyprocrisy. ;)
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Spiny Norman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:46 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.
It's also the case that excessive remorse is a hindrance, though an obvious way of reducing remorse is to act skillfully and not cause harm. And of course Right Effort is relevant here.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:03 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:21 am
I have not talked about dismissing feelings. Does the buddha talk about dismissing feelings?
I don't know what all is meant by 'dismissing feelings' but it sounds alot like aversion to me....I guess....don't know for sure....I could be wrong....
Then what do you mean when you say --
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
What do you mean by "it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self" when in a situation when one feels like a hypocrite, for example?
For example:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:06 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 am

In general, it seems that in traditional/conservative cultures, when one feels a certain way, this is seen as a situation that behooves a moral analysis of the issue at hand with the goal to change one's behavior from then on. So, for example, if one feels like a hypocrite, this is seen as a prompt to think about the drawbacks of lying or otherwise pretending, and to resolve not to lie or pretend anymore.
Exactly. This does not conflict with what I am talking about. What you present can be a very good thing. Being reminded of anatta does not mean that one can do what you present...in fact I expect that for many people activating anatta at some level will help them in appraising the exact situation which gave rise to the feeling.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:18 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:39 am
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.
And then what??
Further hyprocrisy. ;)
Well, it has not been established that smith has in fact been a hypocrite or not....only that there is a feeling which smith associates with the idea of being a hypocrite.

If one gave these two lines to a theatrical improvisation group they could probably make a couple dozen scenarios with vastly different twist and turns and outcomes. Given just these two lines anyone can make whatever they want around it....a good way to encourage disagreement.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:04 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.

For others, recognizing these feelings as not me, not mine etc. can be a training tool, or even a deep understanding, which aligns with a general orientation toward following the 8-fold path. It depends.
INdeed. Any teaching can be wrongly grasped.
Also, feeling a feeling and thinking about its arising is important and we should arouse our discernment and direct it to this task.....but this is not in conflict with also directing our discernment to seeing anatta.

I think that somehow some people here think I am advising going to your average person on the street who is completely unaware of buddhism much less the anatta doctrine and advising them that their feelings are unimportant and just forget them. Has anyone here actually advised such a person that feelings are not self?.....I have done so just to see what the reaction would be....they thought I was some kind of nut case or just making up stupid stuff to start an arguement. This seems to be what some people here are thinking about and it seems like a very unlikely scenario.....certainly if someone does this it is unlikely that they will see the light. I also think it is unlikely that you would have any impact at all on the person's behavior in that they would just right you off as being some kind of a kook. Anyone who would radically change their behavior (to be accepting of hypocracy for example) just because someone made a casual comment is probably really looking for someone to help them to justify being hypocritical and they are likely to continue to be hypocritical regardless of the not self comment. REally this scenario that binocular started seems really ridiculous to me in that it lacks any sort of credibility (in my view) as presenting a scenario which can be meaningfullly discussed.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Spiny Norman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:31 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:04 pm
I think that somehow some people here think I am advising going to your average person on the street who is completely unaware of buddhism much less the anatta doctrine and advising them that their feelings are unimportant and just forget them.
:strawman:
Not what I've seen on this thread.
Last edited by Spiny Norman on Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Spiny Norman » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:38 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:21 am
I don't know what all is meant by 'dismissing feelings' but it sounds alot like aversion to me....I guess....don't know for sure....I could be wrong....
chownah
It could well be aversion, for example not wanting to acknowledge a feeling of remorse when one has actually caused harm.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:50 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 am
In general, it seems that in traditional/conservative cultures, when one feels a certain way, this is seen as a situation that behooves a moral analysis of the issue at hand with the goal to change one's behavior from then on. ...
But, generally speaking, Americans seem to be more concerned with the management of the feelings per se, without any moral analysis. "Oh, I feel like such a hypocrite! I need to take some pills/take a bubble bath/eat a pizza to feel better."
That is an overgeneralization.
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.

And then what??
This depends entirely on the context. It also does not reflect what chownah has said.

The best focus for the teachings is on oneself, not using them to judge others. Chownah has set forth a valid perspective. Nobody is encouraging anybody to avoid personal responsibility.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:11 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:31 pm
chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:04 pm
I think that somehow some people here think I am advising going to your average person on the street who is completely unaware of buddhism much less the anatta doctrine and advising them that their feelings are unimportant and just forget them.
:strawman:
Not what I've seen on this thread.
I gave a statement of what I think....of how I interpret what has been going on in this thread. Now you are saying that what I think and my understanding of what has been presented in this thread is something to be dismissed.

If I go to someone who is a buddhist and well versed in the sutta presentations of anatta do you think that if I say that a feeling is not the self and is not owned by a self that they will dismiss their feelings? Would you dismiss your feelings if someone said that to you?.....binocular?....L.N.?.....sam vera?.....me?......

For buddhists who know about the sutta presentations of anatta to mention that a feeling is not self and not owned by a self is just a reminder of what the buddha taught about feelings....something he taught time after time after time......

Maybe all those suttas mentioning anatta should be removed from the pali canon because they are too dangerous? :jumping:
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by L.N. » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:07 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
....and later in the thread it was mentioned:
What would bother me about this kind of situation is feeling like a hypocrite. Personally I wouldn't want to break the first precept or do wrong livelihood ( butchery ), but by ordering or buying meat I'd be expecting somebody else to do these things on my behalf.
......to which I replied:
I think you bring up a good point about feeling like a hypocrite. To some extent the issue is an issue of what feelings arise and how one grasps those feelings. If one feels like a hypocrit this is probaby associated with aversion......one then needs to see that this feeling and this aversion are not self...not yours.....etc.
chownah
This strikes me as a compassionate reply. Nothing objectionable here. When a thought arises or a feeling arises, we have an opportunity to recognize what is true about it. The feeling itself might reflect a true situation. One might indeed have acted in a hypocritical manner in the particular instance. Recognizing this, one then has an opportunity to make a change for the better. In addition, the recognition of the feeling as not me, not mine etc. is true.

What is probably false, however, is to identify with the feeling to such an extent that one believes, "I am a hypocrite." Labeling oneself, beating oneself up, is a mental trap which can be an unwanted side-effect of identifying too strongly with otherwise helpful impulses. A foolish act should result in a desire to act less foolishly. A foolish act should not lead one to regard oneself as a fool. This also can lead to name-calling when applied to others.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Spiny Norman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:23 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:50 pm
Nobody is encouraging anybody to avoid personal responsibility.
Perhaps not, but going "straight to anatta" with a feeling of remorse could well have that effect - effectively dismissing the remorse, rather than examining why it has arisen, and if one has done harm. It's like trying to go straight to panna, without the foundation of sila.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Spiny Norman » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:25 am

chownah wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:11 am
Now you are saying that what I think and my understanding of what has been presented in this thread is something to be dismissed.
No, I'm not saying that, and I wish you would drop the :strawman: and melodrama.

You still haven't provided a coherent response to a valid question posed by Binocular posed earlier in the thread: "Would you care to sketch out how one can take feelings (and thoughts etc.) as not self and not mine, and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them?"
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:13 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:25 am
chownah wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:11 am
Now you are saying that what I think and my understanding of what has been presented in this thread is something to be dismissed.
No, I'm not saying that, and I wish you would drop the :strawman: and melodrama.
Not strawman:
(with a minor change in the first sentence)
I am not advising going to your average person on the street who is completely unaware of buddhism much less the anatta doctrine and advising them that their feelings are unimportant and just forget them. Has anyone here actually advised such a person that feelings are not self?.....I have done so just to see what the reaction would be....they thought I was some kind of nut case or just making up stupid stuff to start an arguement. This seems to be what some people here are thinking about and it seems like a very unlikely scenario.....certainly if someone does this it is unlikely that they will see the light. I also think it is unlikely that you would have any impact at all on the person's behavior in that they would just right you off as being some kind of a kook. Anyone who would radically change their behavior (to be accepting of hypocracy for example) just because someone made a casual comment is probably really looking for someone to help them to justify being hypocritical and they are likely to continue to be hypocritical regardless of the not self comment. REally this scenario that binocular started seems really ridiculous to me in that it lacks any sort of credibility (in my view) as presenting a scenario which can be meaningfullly discussed.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:25 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:25 am
chownah wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:11 am
Now you are saying that what I think and my understanding of what has been presented in this thread is something to be dismissed.
No, I'm not saying that, and I wish you would drop the :strawman: and melodrama.

You still haven't provided a coherent response to a valid question posed by Binocular posed earlier in the thread: "Would you care to sketch out how one can take feelings (and thoughts etc.) as not self and not mine, and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them?"
I did answer the question. I would care to sketch out etc.....and here it is:
There is a very brief sketch called "The Four Noble Truths".
There is an expanded sketch called "The Eightfold Noble Path".
There is a detailed sketch called the "Tipitaka".
Other than that I would not care to sketch out etc.
"Sketching out" something as involved as anatta and its implications to morality is a recipe for fueling misunderstanding. Binocular has sketched out a scenario between smith and jones which has the same problem...it is so inadequate in presenting a discreet example that it just fuels misunderstanding and division.

Does anyone here really think that it is possible to cogently "sketch out" anatta and its implications to morality?
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Mr Man » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:51 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:25 am
chownah wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:11 am
Now you are saying that what I think and my understanding of what has been presented in this thread is something to be dismissed.
No, I'm not saying that, and I wish you would drop the :strawman: and melodrama.

You still haven't provided a coherent response to a valid question posed by Binocular posed earlier in the thread: "Would you care to sketch out how one can take feelings (and thoughts etc.) as not self and not mine, and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them?"
Hi Spiny
My answer would be to use your intelligence and wisdom.

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