Yes, the context is very important.alan... wrote:but as i keep saying these practices alone will not develop buddhist wisdom
I think Ledi Sayadaw said it best when he described vipassana meditation as "insight exercises". Meditation, in essence, is just a methodology or skillful means that cultivate the mind for wholesome dhammas to arise.
I would caution you with regards to the above statement. You can be sure that the destination (whether it be nibbana, or jhana) is very different to one's idea of it. In fact, having some idea of the destination can very easily turn into subtle craving for this or that attainment which then becomes an insurmountable barrier to it. One only need see some practitioners of "hardcore dhamma" to see how intense craving and fixation on particular attainments have warped perceptions so that some actually mistakenly believe mundane experiences as artefacts of ariyan attainment.you can't get to somewhere without a destination in mind and a map just because you are riding a horse as you can't get wisdom just by meditating, you have to know the kind of knowledge you're looking for and have an idea about the progression. otherwise you may become very wise from these practices but it would be doubtful that your wisdom would be anything like the very specific dhamma wisdom.
In my experience, the old samurai adage of "expect nothing - but be ready for anything" is a good attitude to have with regards to spiritual practice. Similarly, my teacher often says to his students "All you need do is observe, and leave the rest to Dhamma!"
But by saying the above, I am not advocating an anti-intellectualism. Its great to have theoretical knowledge of the Dhamma and the path. However vaulable it is in illuminating the path, that sort of knowledge is provisional. The Dhamma path is a path that has to be lived, experienced, practiced. Another saying from my teacher: "Pariyatti (study) and Patipatti (practice) should go hand in hand"