Essential Right View

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Prasadachitta
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by Prasadachitta » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:19 am

Peter wrote:
AdvaitaJ wrote:for a beginner like me, the issue they raise is dangerously close to a binary solution set; either commit fully now and completely accept all the teachings or save yourself the effort and go do something else.
Just so we are clear: this is a completely false dichotomy. The issue is not what you need to do right now. The issue is what you should strive for. And also the issue is what to classify you as now. That's all. If you knowingly do not adopt right view then you aren't a Buddhist. That doesn't mean you should stop learning and practicing and reading and going to temples and retreats and all that. How could one possibly get to the point of wanting to adopt right view if they stopped learning and practicing?

There is nothing shameful or wrong or problematic about not being a Buddhist. Every person, before they are a Buddhist, is a non-Buddhist.
Hi Peter,

I think the misunderstanding comes from Christian conditioning. My thinking is that we can hang loose to our classifications without diluting what we call the Dhamma. Thats just how I feel. I could be wrong.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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zavk
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by zavk » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:40 am

AdvaitaJ wrote:...My practice these past months has significantly improved my life and the lives of those near me.
Hi AdvaitaJ,

My teacher would always say that this is the only yardstick to measure 'progress' or to determine if the path is 'working' for you. :thumbsup:
AdvaitaJ wrote: I want to continue my investigations and practice... I've spent a lot of time over the last days wrestling with the doubt these issues raise. That doubt was there before the threads were posted. For now, I've concluded to adopt resolve and continue but I remain thankful....
This, to me, is the flowering of Right View (as well as all the other 'Rights'). :toast:

Your fellow wayfarer,
zavk
With metta,
zavk

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mikenz66
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:04 am

AdvaitaJ wrote: The other thing that I think is brilliant about this tack is to remind everyone that it is a path. A person doesn't start a journey at its destination.
Actually, one way of thinking about it is that the "mundane right X" are the journey, "superior" are the destination.

Mike

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kc2dpt
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by kc2dpt » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:07 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:I think the misunderstanding comes from Christian conditioning.
I think that is likely.
My thinking is that we can hang loose to our classifications without diluting what we call the Dhamma. Thats just how I feel. I could be wrong.
My thinking is that when one says "One can be a Buddhist while actively rejecting (or actively refusing to accept) certain Buddhist teachings" this has the very real potential of misleading others into what is and is not a necessary part of the path to ending suffering. In other words, I equate "Buddhist" with "one on the path to ending suffering" as opposed to "one on a path which may or may not lead them on to the path to ending suffering". Every Buddhist was at one point not a Buddhist... but not everyone non-Buddhist will become a Buddhist. :yingyang:
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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Re: Essential Right View

Post by DarkDream » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:17 am

Ben wrote: Yes, but remember Manapa, the discourse was for a group of people who had not taken refuge in the Buddha who had asked him a question regarding how one could determine who was a worthy teacher. The advice was very specific to the audience.
Ben, I've read Bhikkhu Bodhi's argument, and did not quite understand it. I'm not sure if he is against pragmitism and reliance on one's own experience to be replaced by fate or what.
Ben wrote: You will find that the advice given to the Kalamas is not repeated anywhere else in the Suttas where the Buddha addresses one or all of the four assemblies of His sangha.
Simply not true. Here you can find in this translation (http://books.google.com/books?id=g5YfHB ... 2-PA357,M1) by Bhikkhu Bodhi himself. Here is the key passage where the Buddha is explicitly talking to monks:
"Do you speak only of what you have know, seen and understood for yourselves?" -- "Yes, venerable sir."
--DarkDream

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phil
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by phil » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:02 am

Hi all

Sorry for not having read the whole thread.

Personally, I think it is best to think of the essential [*]wrong [*] view. So the view that deeds do not bear fruit, actively holding to it, promoting it to oneself and others, is essential wrong view. Having the right view, unshakably, that deeds do bear fruit feels different to me, somehow. I know there are times I doubt it, and that certainly doesn't make me feel that I'm not a good Buddhist, it is just natural moments of doubt that will almost certainly continue to arise for me. So there will not be unshakable right view of even that level.

But that isn't to say that there will be the wrong view that acts in a belief that there are no fruits to one's deeds, that is certain there is no rebirth so acts in a morally depraved way with no fear of the consesquences.

So it seems to me that moments of not-having right view do not equal moments of having wrong view. I am more concerned about not having wrong view than I am about having right view, because having right view, unshakably, is to be an Ariyan. I don't have Ariyan aspirations, personally. (See other thread.) I don't know if that makes any sense.

Metta,

Phil
Kammalakkhano , bhikkhave, bālo, kammalakkhano pandito, apadānasobhanī paññāti
(The fool is characterized by his/her actions/the wise one is characterized by his/her actions/Wisdom shines forth in behaviour.)
(AN 3.2 Lakkhana Sutta)

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AdvaitaJ
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by AdvaitaJ » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:14 am

phil wrote:So it seems to me that moments of not-having right view do not equal moments of having wrong view.
Phil,

If you're saying what I think you're saying, I think we share equivalent views. It is obvious that I do not (yet) have Right View. However, I will state with equal conviction that I also do not possess wrong view; I simply don't know. I do not yet know from direct personal experience the insights that will reveal the reality of rebirth or the multi-lifetime nature of kamma. (I am, however, very comfortable with the concept of current life-time kamma.)

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
Li Bai

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by Prasadachitta » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:08 am

AdvaitaJ wrote:
If you're saying what I think you're saying, I think we share equivalent views. It is obvious that I do not (yet) have Right View. However, I will state with equal conviction that I also do not possess wrong view; I simply don't know. I do not yet know from direct personal experience the insights that will reveal the reality of rebirth or the multi-lifetime nature of kamma. (I am, however, very comfortable with the concept of current life-time kamma.)

Regards: AdvaitaJ
Hi Advaitaj,

It is my understanding that the suttas describe enlightened monks (those monks with super mundane insight) who do not actually have any memories of past lives. This indicates to me that enlightenment does not need direct knowledge of past lives to occur.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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pink_trike
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Re: Essential Right View

Post by pink_trike » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:24 am

zavk wrote:Hi friends,

Mike's post reminded about something I read. I remember reading about the qualification sammā. Sammā is usually translated as 'right'. But I believe it also means 'togetherness' or 'to be connected in one' or something like that (Maybe someone more learned can elaborate on this). This suggests to me that sammā is not just simply about establishing what is 'right' as opposed to 'wrong'. Sammā ditthi is not simply about right or wrong view. Rather, sammā (as 'togetherness'; 'to be connected in one) points to the need to incorporate the development of view into the noble eightfold path. And as we all know, the path includes other factors like effort, action, and speech.

It seems to me, then, that Right View isn't just about epistemology (what is right or not, what can be known or not) but also about ontology (what one is) and ethics (what one ought to do). Questions about right/wrong and knowledge are important, but the answers to these questions are to be discovered not simply in discourse but in what we do, the way we behave, how we live.

This then suggests that having Right View about kamma and rebirth is not just about establishing whether rebirth is right/wrong or knowable or not. This is not to say that it is useless to reflect on rebirth. Rather, it suggests that all the effort spent on discussing and analysing rebirth does not necessary lead one to Right View. Even if one has a nuanced argument about Right View that is supported by all the suttas, until that person starts to live with Right Action, Speech, etc, that view about rebirth is not "Right'. Nor is that person any closer to the truth of rebirth than another who doesn't talk about it.

This also suggests to me that until we gain deep insight into rebirth, we can adopt rebirth in ways that are not simply based on right/wrong, true/false. Perhaps, we can adopt rebirth as a kind of guiding narrative, a guiding metaphor, for us to live our lives and actions. If rebirth is to be realised, it realised through our actions; it is realised in the way our lives pan out. Right View is thus established in the context of our actions.

Metta,
zavk
Samma2: (indecl.) [Vedic samyac (=samyak) & sam¨.s "connected, in one".

I would suggest that rather than "right" which is a static, dualistic term - that "integral" would better describe the view that is being encouraged. Integral implies a dynamic harmony...a consistency with the Whole, the Way, or "just what is". Rather than the "right" that is the opposite of "wrong". We're talking about good medicine here, and good medicine is always conditional, specific to circumstances and pre-existing patterns. Good medicine is never "one size fits all" (except in allopathic, corporate medical systems).
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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