The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:02 am

robertk wrote:In case anyone thinks i mean that simply reading the texts is right practice I should add that pARIYATTi is hearing and considering Dhamma with wise attention. And this leads to pattipati which is the gradual approaching of understanding realties directly.

The right intellectual understanding, if firm enough, sets the foundation for the gradual confirmation of what has been learnt in 'real' life.
So right now there is seeing, color, sound, feelings...they are inescapable yet for the ignorant they are passed over without any insight While for the one who is beginning to learn directly they are a new world of treasure
Nothing at all wrong with right intellectual practice as part of one's practice, But meditation practice, with the idea that it would be a direct help to cultivate wisdom you have blatantly dismissed as at attachment to rules and rituals, which is an extremely dramatic departure from how, it would seem, most people here view such practice of Dhamma. If I am not understanding you, please clarify your stance and correct my misunderstranding.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 am

robertk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
robertk wrote: . . .
All of this and the other msgs where you are quoting commentaries at some length are supposed to support this: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 60#p228510" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ? If so, it is less than clear how so.
I am giving some quotes to show the crucial role of learning in the development of wisdom, and how the path is about such development.
Okay, but I wonder if they, in their fuller contexts, would support this statement of yours: "It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me chosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway. But if one believes that it is these very operations that somehow are key to satisampajanna to arise then one is in the realm of silabataparamasa." I don't think the suttas do.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:07 am

retrofuturist wrote: . . .
Whatever he is trying to say here is far less than clear, and it really does not address the issue of going from a deluded mind to a non-deluded mind. Obviously, I must be a thick as a block of lead.

  • Samyutta Nikaya III 144: "Bhikkhus [monks, the Buddha said, holding a fleck of dung], if even if that much of permanent, everlasting, eternal individual selfhood/metaphysical being [attabhava], not inseparable from the idea of change, could be found, then this living the holy life could not be taught by me."
What is interesting here to me is that change is possible because there is no attabhava. By our choices we can alter our conditioning, changing the course of our trajectory through life, which what the Buddha's teachings seem to me to be about. In other words, being deluded need not be an eternal prison, and that the "sense of self," with which by necessity of our ignorance we have to contend, is not a permanent block to awakening. Bit by bit we alter our conditioning by our choices, by what we do and don't do.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:42 am

Dear tilt
For practically anyone who is involved in a 'spiritual' path silabataparamasa is almost certain to appear from the very very gross down to very subtle (albeit still virulent).
An example of extreme silabataparamasa: last week I was taking a taxi to the airport in Kathmandu. We were outside the city on some jungle path (seriously) when the driver stops. After a minute I asked what the holdup was.
" did you see the cat sir"
Yes?
"We have to wait until another car comes"
Umm why?
"Very dangerous for you sir, you are going on a long trip"
WTF?
He wouldn't move so we waited 5 minutes or more until a motorbike came along...

But what is amazing is how utterly sure he was of this existential danger and its cure.
We Buddhists think such rituals are ridiculously silly, but still we are not immune to more subtle types.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:58 am

robertk wrote:Dear tilt
For practically anyone who is involved in a 'spiritual' path silabataparamasa is almost certain to appear from the very very gross down to very subtle (albeit still virulent).
You just got done equating sitting meditation of having no more significance in one's "spiritual" practice than choosing which sandwich shop to go to. The issue is not the ritual itself. It is our attitude towards it, our expectation of it, that is the problem with ritual, but let us look at your statement:
It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me chosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway. But if one believes that it is these very operations that somehow are key to satisampajanna to arise then one is in the realm of silabataparamasa.
It is hard not to read this as a flat, straight forward dismissal of sitting practice itself. Maybe you were really tired when you wrote this and you really do not mean to dismiss meditation practice as a direct way of cultivating the factors giving rise to wisdom/insight. You tell me what you mean here, if you mean something other than how this quote seems to plainly read.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:04 am

in the visuddhimagga CHAPTER XVII The Soil of Understanding (conclusion):267. Another [thinks] through rules-and-vows(silabataparamasa) clinging, “
This rite and ritual
leads him who perfects it to perfect bliss in becoming in the fortunate states of
the sense sphere or in the fine-material or immaterial kinds of becoming,” and
he performs kamma to achieve that. That kamma of his is kamma-process
becoming. The aggregates generated by the kamma are rebirth-process becoming.
But the percipient, etc., kinds of becoming are included in that, too. So rules-andvows
clinging is a condition for all three, namely, the sense-desire, fine-material
and immaterial kinds of becoming with their analysis and their synthesis.
so this is how incredibly subtle silabataparamasa can be . It can at times even lead to kusala actions.

What more to say of any special practice we think is needed to make vipassana arise. So certainly an idea that by sitting (or standing or walking or talking) or focussing on this or focussing on that , that these actions are neccessary conditions for insight to arise is an aspect of wrong view and silabataparamasa.
Like now, can insight arise while typing on a computer- Yes provided there is enough right understanding. But if one then tries to make it happen, or thinks they should focus on the fingers or the feelings or whatever their object of choice is then that shows a lack of understanding of how incredibly anatta and uncontrollable is each moment.

There is not the patience (khanti) to let satisampajanna arise naturally, as it must if the conditions are there. If one tries in this way it shows one still has some doubts or even disbelieves the texts about anatta. The theory and the practice conform completely: not "oh I still have self, I will do my practice and after I become sotapanna there will be no self" . It will never happen

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:45 am

robertk wrote:
What more to say of any special practice we think is needed to make vipassana arise. So certainly an idea that by sitting (or standing or walking or talking) or focussing on this or focussing on that , that these actions are neccessary conditions for insight to arise is an aspect of wrong view and silabataparamasa.
If this is how you understand meditation practice, then I think you might have a rather deficient understanding. Of all the teachers I have had and heard, not one of them would characterize meditation in the way you just did.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

danieLion
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by danieLion » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:16 am

Still enjoying this thread. It's very educational. Thanks again to you both.:popcorn:

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:32 am

robertk wrote:It is not that sitting and watching the breath or watching bodily sensations is going to help or hinder the path, anymore than me chosing the Belly Sandwich Shop in preference to Subway. But if one believes that it is these very operations that somehow are key to satisampajanna to arise then one is in the realm of silabataparamasa.
But these are the practices described in the Satipatthana and Anapanasati Suttas. Are you advocating that we ignore these and do some other practice? And if so, what practice exactly? :shrug:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by danieLion » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:12 am

robertk wrote:
danieLion wrote:Tilt, RobertK, et al
Which "side" shall we put Gil Fronsdal on?
Self and Not-Self
You can do it! It's only a ten minute talk.
10 minutes is time I don't have. Could you cite the important parts.
When you hear...teachings about not-self, make sure they are being offered in the context of tremendous respect for yourself and who you are--a sense of value of yourself and who you are, and a sense of the possibility of who we are.... If you do hear the teaching that there's no self, you don't need to be confused; meaning, 'Well, then, what foot am I supposed to stand on? How am I supposed to be if I’m not going to be a self?' or 'What self am I supposed to be if there's no self?' You can be a self. Please, be a self! And be a strong self, be an upright self.... Be a strong person. Value yourself. Consider yourself as an important and efficacious person. Please, by all means, it's true. And then use the mindfulness practice to learn to...shed all the extra ways which we hang on and get attached to concepts of self, all the extra ideas we add on top of that, that are not really needed.... It is not a teaching meant to diminish us or leave us empty handed in some kind of way that we feel less than, or feel like we can't show up, or we can't stand there on our own two feet, upright, independent, clear, and confident in a certain kind of way.
5:28-7:14, 8:04-8:22

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:00 pm

Dear porpoise
in the satipatthana sutta it says "Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. He, thinking, 'I breathe in long,' he understands when he is breathing in long; or thinking, 'I breathe out long,' he understands when he is breathing out long; or thinking, 'I breathe in short,' he understands when he is breathing in short; or thinking, 'I breathe out short,' he understands when he is breathing out short.
"
and
bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.
and
further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practising clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practising clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practising clear comprehension; in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, is a person practising clear comprehension; in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savoured, is a person practising clear comprehension;
and
in defecating and in urinating, is a person practising clear comprehension; in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person practising clear comprehension.
and
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu when experiencing a pleasant feeling, understands: 'I experience a pleasant feeling'; when experiencing a painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a painful feeling'; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling'
;
and
bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate;
so the sutta covers almost any situation. it simply shows that the objects for satipatthana are always arising and passing away. The only question is whether there is genuine awareness of them.
Take the taxi driver in Nepal. I told him and my friend that this waiting after we passed a cat was a silly superstition. they were offended and told me the importance of religion blah, blah blah.

Do you think if they had realized that it was merely a ritual that they would be better off? Yes they would. It doesn't mean that they would feel different: no "OMG I see ", no sudden uplift in their life. But they would be that litttle bit closer to coming out of their deep attachment to silabataparamasa: and that is valuable.

Most 'spiritual ' people can be the same. Tell them they have to sit under a freezing waterfall for 2 hours a day saying OM. and they reply,"Is that all! Book my ticket to Alaska, I will sit for 6 hours a day!"

But tell them it is harder than that: "you have to give up attachment to rules and rituals" and "you have to give up the belief in self" and that is something they can't accept. So they haggle: "well I will give up the self view after I get enlightened ( provided I can still take the credit for getting to nibbana)" :?

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:05 pm

What we would call formal practice can also have value in it's own right. I would certainly agree that what is being put forward as "vipasana" is really just an exercise in concentration and that there has now been incredible investment in this idea, and in this path, and it has now become an industry and an occupation, an identity, but that does not, in my opinion, remove the value of formal practice completely. The benifit of formal practice is here and now. To live without silabataparamasa is actually not an option.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dan74 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:22 pm

robertk wrote:Dear porpoise
in the satipatthana sutta it says "Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. He, thinking, 'I breathe in long,' he understands when he is breathing in long; or thinking, 'I breathe out long,' he understands when he is breathing out long; or thinking, 'I breathe in short,' he understands when he is breathing in short; or thinking, 'I breathe out short,' he understands when he is breathing out short.
"
and
bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.
and
further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practising clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practising clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practising clear comprehension; in wearing the shoulder-cloak, the (other two) robes (and) the bowl, is a person practising clear comprehension; in regard to what is eaten, drunk, chewed and savoured, is a person practising clear comprehension;
and
in defecating and in urinating, is a person practising clear comprehension; in walking, in standing (in a place), in sitting (in some position), in sleeping, in waking, in speaking and in keeping silence, is a person practising clear comprehension.
and
bhikkhus, a bhikkhu when experiencing a pleasant feeling, understands: 'I experience a pleasant feeling'; when experiencing a painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a painful feeling'; when experiencing a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling, he understands: 'I experience a neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling'
;
and
bhikkhus, a
bhikkhu understands the consciousness with lust, as with lust; the consciousness without lust, as without lust; the consciousness with hate, as with hate;
so the sutta covers almost any situation. it simply shows that the objects for satipatthana are always arising and passing away. The only question is whether there is genuine awareness of them.
Take the taxi driver in Nepal. I told him and my friend that this waiting after we passed a cat was a silly superstition. they were offended and told me the importance of religion blah, blah blah.

Do you think if they had listened to me and realized that it was merely a ritual they were so attached to that they would be better off? Yes they would. It doesn't mean that they would feel different: no "OMG I see ", no sudden uplift in their life. But they would be that litttle bit closer to coming out of their deep attachment to silabataparamasa: and that is valuable.

Most 'spiritual ' people can be the same. Tell them they have to sit under a freezing waterfall for 2 hours a day saying OM. and they reply,"Is that all! Book my ticket to Alaska, I will sit for 6 hours a day!"

But tell them it is harder than that: "you have to give up attachment to rules and rituals" and "you have to give up the belief in self" and that is something they can't accept. So they haggle: "well I will give up the self view after I get enlightened ( provided I can still take the credit for getting to nibbana)" :?

This is all well and good, but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?

The value of ritualised practice is perhaps as a container. There is the discipline, the time when all else stops and the energy is dedicated solely to practice. There is potentially an incredible amount of freedom and possibility in this format because we don't need to assume the outcome or even how the next moment is going to be. I think meditation creates a very fertile ground for insight and it is not until some serious practice maturity that everyday life can compare. Even then meditation does not become obsolete.
_/|\_

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 pm

hi Daniel
any kusala citta can never come with unpleasant feeling. Often it comes with pleasant feeling(or at worst neutral).
So any wise reflection related to anatta will at those very moments be relaxing and , I dare say, confidence building. If it is not then somewhere along the way something has got twisted and it is not a genuine wise reflection.
Secondly contemplation of anatta (speaking here about basic intellectual level ) goes together with understanding the momentariness of life: we die every second. So this is also a way of Dhammanusati, a type of samatha that is very freeing and leads to fearlessness. There is nothing in life than can really panic one anymore, after all we have died so many times already.
so in that sense I think Gil's comments about having a strong confident self are redundant.
The confidence and joy are a part and parcel of developing the perception of anatta. Even the beginning is good...

Nevertheless I know it is very hard and takes a long time for most people to get their heads around anatta. So any help, such as Gil is giving, is valuable I think.

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:41 pm

robertk wrote:Dear porpoise
in the satipatthana sutta it says "Mindful, he breathes in, and mindful, he breathes out. .......further, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu, in going forwards (and) in going backwards, is a person practising clear comprehension; in looking straight on (and) in looking away from the front, is a person practising clear comprehension; in bending and in stretching, is a person practising clear comprehension;
so the sutta covers almost any situation. it simply shows that the objects for satipatthana are always arising and passing away. The only question is whether there is genuine awareness of them.
I agree, and clearly the approach described in the Satipatthana Sutta is applicable both on and off the cushion. But isn't the point that in order to develop genuine awareness we need to practice being aware? Isn't that the point of the Satipatthana Sutta, seeing how things really are by observing them?

I still don't see how this approach to practice is ritualist - though I can see it's possible to become attached to a particular method.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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