Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

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mikenz66
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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:56 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:45 pm
The Five Spiritual Faculties
1. Faith
2. Vigor
3. Mindfulness
4. Concentration
5. Wisdom
As a spiritual faculty, I understand saddha as an activity, not a passive belief. Something that manifests as inspiration and determination. Faith that "I can make this path work", not the passivity of "this path is correct".

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Mike

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:08 pm

faith
noun
1.
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by binocular » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:08 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:37 pm
These pressures can seem somewhat amusing when there are so many competing "One True Way"s of interpreting and applying Dhamma...
Amusing on good days, and at least confusing on the others ...
From my, admittedly limited, observations, it appears that being too convinced and complacent about the rightness of ones "On True Way" can result in long-term disappointment, when cracks appear in the path.

The question is, how much exactly is that "too".
Given the various similes about rafts and crossing floods, it seems to me that we need to carefully navigate the path that works in our circumstances.
And the other question is, what that "works" means.
Someone can, for example, take to meditation (under the banner of Buddhism) in an effort to reduce their stress at work or to improve their sex life. And some type of meditation can actually help them with that, "it works". It's just that that meditation or that "it works" may have nothing to do with the Dhamma or making an end to suffering, and it certainly doesn't prove that the Buddha existed or that he was enlightened.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by cappuccino » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:11 pm

just go all in

because if this doesn't work, nothing will

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 3:38 am

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:08 pm
faith
noun
1.
complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Definitions for saddha

Concise Pali English Dictionary
saddha
adjective
believing; faithful; devoted.

PTS Pali English Dictionary
saddha 1
adjective


believing, faithful DN.i.171; SN.i.43; SN.ii.159 sq.; AN.i.150; AN.ii.164 AN.ii.227 sq.; AN.iii.3 sq., AN.iii.34, AN.iii.182; AN.iv.38, AN.iv.145, AN.iv.314 sq.; AN.v.10 sq. AN.v.124 sq.; Snp.188, Snp.371; Dhp.8; Pv.i.10#4; Pv.iv.1#86; Dhp-a.ii.82
■ as(s)addha unbelieving Pv-a.42, Pv-a.54, Pv-a.67, Pv-a.243 passim (see a˚).
credulous Snp.853; Dhp.97.
orig. adj. of saddha 2, but felt to be adj. of saddhā; cp. BSk. śrāddha Avs.i.83, Avs.i.383

saddha 2
a funeral rite in honour of departed relatives connected with meals and gifts to the brahmins DN.i.97; AN.i.166; AN.v.269, AN.v.273; DN-a.i.267; saddhaṃ pamuñcati to give up offerings, to abandon Brahmanism Vin.i.7; DN.ii.39; Snp.1146. The word is n. according to Abhp and AN.v.269–AN.v.273; loc. ˚e, DN.i.97; Ja.ii.360; kaṃ saddhaṃ (acc. in a gāthā), seems to be f.; Com. ib. 360 has saddhā-bhattaṃ, a funeral repast (variant reading saddha-˚) Thus it seems to be confused with saddhā.

cp. Epic Sk. & Sūtra literature śrāddha, fr. śrad-dhā

https://suttacentral.net/define/saddha
Definitions for saddhā
Concise Pali English Dictionary
saddhā
feminine
faith; devotion.

Dictionary of Pali Proper Names
saddhā
An upāsikā of Sāvatthī. Thinking that to allow a monk to have intercourse with her would be the highest gift, she accosted a monk and offered herself. The offer was, however, refused. Vin.iii.39

PTS Pali English Dictionary
saddhā
feminine
faith (on term cp. Geiger, Saṃyutta translation ii.452) DN.i.63; DN.iii.164 sq. SN.i.172 = Snp.76; SN.v.196; Dhp.144; AN.i.150, AN.i.210; AN.iii.4 sq. AN.iii.352; AN.iv.23; AN.v.96; Dhs.12; Mil.34 sq.; Tikp.61, Kp.166, Kp.277, Kp.282
■ instr. saddhāya (used as adv.) in faith, by faith in (acc. or gen.) Vin.ii.289 (āyasmantānaṃ) Ja.v.176 (pabbajita); Pv-a.49 (kammaphalaṃ s.); or shortened to saddhā (-pabbajita) MN.i.123; AN.i.24; Ja.i.130. The same phrase as saddhāya pabbajita at SN.i.120 is explained as “saddahitvā” by Bdhgh (see K.S. i.321), thus taking it as ger.

-ānusārin walking according to faith MN.i.479; AN.i.74 Pp.15; Ne.112, Ne.189.
-indriya (saddh˚) the faculty i.e. the moral sense, of faith DN.iii.239, DN.iii.278; AN.ii.149; SN.v.193, SN.v.377; Dhs.12, Dhs.62, Dhs.75; Ne.19.
-cariyā living in faith Vism.101.
-deyya a gift in faith DN.i.5; Vin.i.298; Vin.iv.30; DN-a.i.81.
-vimutta emancipated through faith MN.i.478; AN.i.74, AN.i.118 sq.; Pp.15; Ne.190
-vimutti emancipation through faith Pp.15.
cp. Vedic śraddhā: see saddahati
https://suttacentral.net/define/saddh%C4%81
Thanissaro Bhikkhu's discussion in Wings to Awakening:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ml#part3-a

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by sentinel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:35 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:56 pm

The Five Spiritual Faculties
1. Faith
2. Vigor
3. Mindfulness
4. Concentration
5. Wisdom

As a spiritual faculty, I understand saddha as an activity, not a passive belief. Something that manifests as inspiration and determination. Faith that "I can make this path work", not the passivity of "this path is correct".

:heart:
Mike

Hi Mike ,

This can be sorted out as Two Fold .
First fold is faith as confidence or belief without true understanding .
Second part is faith coming from Conviction where there is clear comprehension on the illumination of dhamma .


Regards
:coffee:

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:41 am

Sure, I'm aware of that distinction, but I was discussing how saddha works as a spiritual faculty. Which is not, I think, a passive "faith". Looking at the suttas, it appears to be more active than that.

Mike

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by budo » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:45 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:41 am
Sure, I'm aware of that distinction, but I was discussing how saddha works as a spiritual faculty. Which is not, I think, a passive "faith". Looking at the suttas, it appears to be more active than that.

Mike
Yes, faith is only useful if it gets you to do something.

For example when you take a pill, you have faith in your doctor and his instructions.

When you meditate, you have faith in the Buddha and his instructions, that 1) this will lead to the goal and 2) it's not a waste of time..

Regardless, the opposite of faith is doubt, and the function of doubt is to make you NOT do something.

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by sunnat » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:20 am

. Faith, like all things, is anicca, always changing. If the practice is correct all attainments are inevitable. If the practice is correct the defilements manifest according to past actions. In otherwords, if practice is correct it will often feel like it is wrong (because the habit is to reject unpleasantness *and it's like taking a cork off a bottle of champagne: a flood of stored pressure). Correct faith at this time will sustain the practice till the defilement of this time has passed away. This doesn't mean that one has perfect faith. At times old habits overwhelm but a return to practice gets it back on track. Always changing.

*edit add

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:01 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:41 am
Sure, I'm aware of that distinction, but I was discussing how saddha works as a spiritual faculty. Which is not, I think, a passive "faith". Looking at the suttas, it appears to be more active than that.

Mike
I think you are raising a very interesting point. Could you please provide sutta quotes which enable the reader to differentiate between passive and active faith?

Also if you could link it to the ways of the world, that would help further clarify the distinction. Most people appear to be quite active in pursuing their goals or what they believe in worth pursuing, so how the Buddhist way is different?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:22 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:01 pm
mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:41 am
Sure, I'm aware of that distinction, but I was discussing how saddha works as a spiritual faculty. Which is not, I think, a passive "faith". Looking at the suttas, it appears to be more active than that.

Mike
I think you are raising a very interesting point. Could you please provide sutta quotes which enable the reader to differentiate between passive and active faith?

Also if you could link it to the ways of the world, that would help further clarify the distinction. Most people appear to be quite active in pursuing their goals or what they believe in worth pursuing, so how the Buddhist way is different?
I'm not sure I can easily do all of that. Saddha, as a spiritual faculty (indriya), is spoken of as a confidence in the Buddha's awakening: https://suttacentral.net/sn48.10/en/sujato#sc1 My comments above started with my saying that one has to figure out how to navigate the path according to one's own skills and circumstances, and the next post emphasised "faith", which is why I replied that saddha, to me, is not belief in some details. My opinion is founded on experience, discussion, and various talks readings. It is possible to read the faculties in two ways: as a progression (saddha -> energy -> mindfulness -> concentration -> wisdom), or else as a balancing (saddha<>wisdom, energy<>concentration, with mindfuless as a controller). In either way, in the context of practice, saddha is the conviction that what one is doing is worthwhile - that this sitting and walking will do something useful, for example.

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Bundokji » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:19 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:22 pm
I'm not sure I can easily do all of that. Saddha, as a spiritual faculty (indriya), is spoken of as a confidence in the Buddha's awakening: https://suttacentral.net/sn48.10/en/sujato#sc1 My comments above started with my saying that one has to figure out how to navigate the path according to one's own skills and circumstances, and the next post emphasised "faith", which is why I replied that saddha, to me, is not belief in some details. My opinion is founded on experience, discussion, and various talks readings. It is possible to read the faculties in two ways: as a progression (saddha -> energy -> mindfulness -> concentration -> wisdom), or else as a balancing (saddha<>wisdom, energy<>concentration, with mindfuless as a controller). In either way, in the context of practice, saddha is the conviction that what one is doing is worthwhile - that this sitting and walking will do something useful, for example.

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Mike
Thanks Mike :anjali:

I found your input, especially the use of the terms "active" and "passive" very interesting especially because i have been thinking about the same issue recently. I also find your presentation of faculties as progression and balancing to be very useful. :heart:

If i may use my own words, i find internal acknowledgement of uncertainty to be integral to the Buddhist notion of faith. Acknowledging uncertainty makes committing oneself to the path an active choice (rather than passive) which opens up the practitioner to many possibilities.

I particularly like the following conversation between the Blessed one and Ven. Sariputta:
Then the Venerable Sariputta went to the Blessed One, respectfully greeted him, sat down at one side, and spoke thus to him:

"This faith, Lord, I have in the Blessed One, that there has not been, there will not be, nor is there now, another recluse or brahman more exalted in Enlightenment than the Blessed One."

"Lofty indeed is this speech of yours, Sariputta, and lordly! A bold utterance, a veritable sounding of the lion's roar! But how is this, Sariputta? Those Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the past — do you have direct personal knowledge of all those Blessed Ones, as to their virtue, their meditation, [12] their wisdom, their abiding, and their emancipation?" [13]

"Not so, Lord."

"Then how is this, Sariputta? Those Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the future — do you have direct personal knowledge of all those Blessed Ones, as to their virtue, their meditation, their wisdom, their abiding, and their emancipation?"

"Not so, Lord."

"Then how is this, Sariputta? Of me, who am at present the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, do you have direct personal knowledge as to my virtue, my meditation, my wisdom, my abiding, and my emancipation?"

"Not so, Lord."

"Then it is clear, Sariputta, that you have no such direct personal knowledge of the Arahats, the Fully Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present. How then dare you set forth a speech so lofty and lordly, an utterance so bold, a veritable sounding of the lion's roar, saying: 'This faith, Lord, I have in the Blessed One, that there has not been, there will not be, nor is there now another recluse or brahman more exalted in Enlightenment than the Blessed One'?"

17. "No such direct personal knowledge, indeed, is mine, Lord, of the Arahants, the Fully Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present; and yet I have come to know the lawfulness of the Dhamma. Suppose, Lord, a king's frontier fortress was strongly fortified, with strong ramparts and turrets, and it had a single gate, and there was a gatekeeper, intelligent, experienced, and prudent, who would keep out the stranger but allow the friend to enter. As he patrols the path that leads all around the fortress, he does not perceive a hole or fissure in the ramparts even big enough to allow a cat to slip through. So he comes to the conclusion: 'Whatever grosser living things are to enter or leave this city, they will all have to do so just by this gate.' In the same way, Lord, I have come to know the lawfulness of the Dhamma.

"For, Lord, all the Blessed Ones, Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the past had abandoned the five hindrances, [14] the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; had well established their minds in the four foundations of mindfulness; [15] had duly cultivated the seven factors of enlightenment, and were fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment.

"And, Lord, all the Blessed Ones, Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the future will abandon the five hindrances, the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; will well establish their minds in the four foundations of mindfulness; will duly cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment, and will be fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment.

"And the Blessed One too, Lord, being at present the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, has abandoned the five hindrances, the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; has well established his mind in the four foundations of mindfulness; has duly cultivated the seven factors of enlightenment, and is fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment."
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:21 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:19 pm
I found your input, especially the use of the terms "active" and "passive" very interesting especially because i have been thinking about the same issue recently. I also find your presentation of faculties as progression and balancing to be very useful. :heart:

If i may use my own words, i find internal acknowledgement of uncertainty to be integral to the Buddhist notion of faith. Acknowledging uncertainty makes committing oneself to the path an active choice (rather than passive) which opens up the practitioner to many possibilities.
Thanks, I'm sorry I can't be more specific. Most of what I've read and heard about balancing faculties, and so on, is in the Visuddhimagga, and in various Dhamma talks.

Here are some sutta threads that address it somewhat:
viewtopic.php?t=16414
viewtopic.php?t=14239

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by binocular » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:24 pm

lostitude wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:03 pm
Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?
To try to get some closure to this topic:


I think I've mentioned minimalism to you before, in regard to religion/spirituality. By "minimalism" I don't mean "just the 4NT" or "just the N8P" or some other things that some would consider to be the "essence of Buddhism/Dhamma".

By minimalism I'm here refering to working on things one knows, one is sure of, those areas of one's experience where the Dhamma currently seems to apply. Chances are that this isn't going to be much, hence minimalism. This could include some elements or portions of the Four Noble Truths or the Noble Eightfold Path, or not. It could be inspired just by some small statements in a sutta or in a Dhamma talk.

This way, one will probably not be a good Buddhist, but at least one will be true to one's experience, and preserve some measure of sanity.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Understanding the truth of the dhamma? or convincing oneself of it?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:51 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:24 pm
I think I've mentioned minimalism to you before, in regard to religion/spirituality. By "minimalism" I don't mean "just the 4NT" or "just the N8P" or some other things that some would consider to be the "essence of Buddhism/Dhamma".

By minimalism I'm here refering to working on things one knows, one is sure of, those areas of one's experience where the Dhamma currently seems to apply. Chances are that this isn't going to be much, hence minimalism. This could include some elements or portions of the Four Noble Truths or the Noble Eightfold Path, or not. It could be inspired just by some small statements in a sutta or in a Dhamma talk.

This way, one will probably not be a good Buddhist, but at least one will be true to one's experience, and preserve some measure of sanity.
:goodpost:

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