Right grasp on the content of thoughts

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
chownah
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Re: Right grasp on the content of thoughts

Post by chownah » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:34 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:51 am
The suttas emphasize guarding the senses (or guarding the gates) not allowing everything in. If this selectivity is not based on content, then what is it based on?
I'm not very familiar with how the buddha described guarding the senses ....nor am I very familiar with how the buddha describe wise attention...but I think that it is the mind which is guarded and it does its guarding by using wise attention.....wise attention directs the mind to investigate sense stimulation in a way which does not bring about thoughts which lead to sensual indulgence, grasping, or aversion.....basically I think that wise attention leads the mind to thought patterns which lead to all those good things like calm, dispassion, equanimity, etc.etc.etc. Of course developing wise attention is not done over night....I think it comes about by direct experience of how ones own thoughts arise in various ways and what entertaining those thoughts leads to (e.g. to passion or dispassion....to relinquishment or accumulating...etc.).

Basically, wise attention is sort of an avoidance mechanism....it leads the mind to not arise unwholesome thoughts....I guess....don't know for sure.....

If you think about it if it was the content of a thought which had to be studied to deteremine whether to let it in or not then it would be too late because you would have to let it in to study it.
chownah

chownah
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Right grasp on the content of thoughts

Post by chownah » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:48 am

I've been looking for a sutta which if I remember correctly is a good example of the buddha advising a monk on how to guard the senses using wise attention. I haven't been able to find it. Maybe someone else can. It goes something like: the buddha says don't be around women....the monk says what if we have to be around women?....the buddha says then don't look at them....the monk says what if we have to look at them?....the buddha says don't listen to them.....the monk says what if we have to listen to them?....the buddha say don't talk to them....the monks says what if we have to talk to them....then the buddha says then be sure that you right mindfulness is well established so that you don't let your mind wander into the sensual realm.....or somthing vaguely sort of like that.
chownah

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Bundokji
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Re: Right grasp on the content of thoughts

Post by Bundokji » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:25 am

chownah wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:48 am
I've been looking for a sutta which if I remember correctly is a good example of the buddha advising a monk on how to guard the senses using wise attention. I haven't been able to find it. Maybe someone else can. It goes something like: the buddha says don't be around women....the monk says what if we have to be around women?....the buddha says then don't look at them....the monk says what if we have to look at them?....the buddha says don't listen to them.....the monk says what if we have to listen to them?....the buddha say don't talk to them....the monks says what if we have to talk to them....then the buddha says then be sure that you right mindfulness is well established so that you don't let your mind wander into the sensual realm.....or somthing vaguely sort of like that.
chownah
Thanks chownah,

It seems to be to impeded in our language that we are able to use volition to decide how to act, and that includes how to pay attention. For example, in the sutta you are mentioning, the Buddha is giving instructions to a monk on how to act in relation to attention when dealing with sensual desire. If we imagine the conscious experience of the monk who was listening to the Buddha moving forward after he left, he would be depending on the Buddha's advice on how to act (or pay attention) when he is around women.

for the idea of volition to have any meaning, it is dependent on the monk having a choice of not following the Buddha's advice. According to the Buddha's teachings, dependent origination is suffering. In the realm of possibilities when volition is needed, there can be no certainty because as i said in a previous post, volition is a continuously negotiated through new stimuli.

The dilemma as i see it is:

1- If the monk does not follow the Buddha's advice, he will suffer because he will be vulnerable to sensuality by not being mindful of its danger
2- If the monk follows the Buddha's advice, he will suffer because he would be relying on a structure of divisive assumptions that ensures keeping him in the realm of possibilities/uncertainty.

The above two statements are conditional statements (beginning with "if"). A conditional statement offers theoretical certainty, but according to the Buddha's teachings, this theoretical certainty is suffering because its conditioned (all conditioned things are impermanent, suffering and not self).

The underlying theme in all choices seem to take a certain pattern: to be or not to be, to act or not to act, to be aware or not to be aware.

If we describe the above as a false dilemma, the question that would arise naturally is: what is it that makes it false? once we ask the question "what" we are back to the first noble truth: suffering.
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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