Kamma as "wearing a groove"

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Paccayata
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Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by Paccayata » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:14 pm

I remember reading (but don't remember where) about Theravada teachers saying that when we repeatedly carry out an action that it wears a groove in the mind, making it more likely to repeat that action.

Is there a name for this in Pali and is it something that was said in a sutta, or was this some later post-canonical interpretation?

Thank you.

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SDC
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Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by SDC » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:32 pm

I recall something in the vein and would be interested in seeing the sutta as well.

The simile of the adze handle wearing in SN 22.101 is reminiscent of it, but probably not quite what you're looking for:
So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu dwells devoted to development, even though no such wish as this might arise in him: ‘Oh, that my mind might be liberated from the taints by nonclinging! ’ yet his mind is liberated from the taints by nonclinging. For what reason? It should be said: because of development. Because of developing what? Because of developing … the Noble Eightfold Path.

When, bhikkhus, a carpenter or a carpenter’s apprentice looks at the handle of his adze, he sees the impressions of his fingers and his thumb, but he does not know: ‘So much of the adze handle has been worn away today, so much yesterday, so much earlier.’ But when it has worn away, the knowledge occurs to him that it has worn away.

binocular
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Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by binocular » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:02 pm

Paccayata wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:14 pm
I remember reading (but don't remember where) about Theravada teachers saying that when we repeatedly carry out an action that it wears a groove in the mind, making it more likely to repeat that action.

Is there a name for this in Pali and is it something that was said in a sutta, or was this some later post-canonical interpretation?
I would like to see a direct sutta reference, too.

The suttas that talk about consistency and its importance could be implying the concept that doing something repeatedly makes it more likely to do it again.

Also, some passages from the Dhammapada come to mind:
121-122

Don't underestimate evil
('It won't amount to much').

A water jar fills,
even with water
falling in drops.
With evil — even if
bit
by
bit,
habitually
the fool fills himself full.

Don't underestimate merit
('It won't amount to much').

A water jar fills,
even with water
falling in drops.
With merit — even if
bit
by
bit,
habitually
the enlightened one fills himself full.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Nicolas
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Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by Nicolas » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:26 pm

There is this:
Dvedhāvitakka Sutta (MN 19) wrote: Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of sensual desire. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of ill will…upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty.

binocular
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Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by binocular » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:56 pm

:goodpost:
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Paccayata
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Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by Paccayata » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:34 pm

Thank you, friends. These are all very helpful. If i find something more specific, I will be sure to post it here.

Paccayata
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:37 pm

Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by Paccayata » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:40 pm

How's this for kamma-vipaka? :-)
Screen Shot 2019-09-10 at 1.37.11 PM.png

Excerpt from this article:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 0X15001980

justindesilva
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Re: Kamma as "wearing a groove"

Post by justindesilva » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:34 am

Nicolas wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:26 pm
There is this:
Dvedhāvitakka Sutta (MN 19) wrote: Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of sensual desire, he has abandoned the thought of renunciation to cultivate the thought of sensual desire, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of sensual desire. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of ill will…upon thoughts of cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of non-cruelty to cultivate the thought of cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of cruelty.
We can add to this AN7.11 Anusaya sutta as this sutta explains how the mind gets obsessed with loba and dvesha which grooves our kamma formations.

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