Eightfold path

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ShanYin
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Eightfold path

Post by ShanYin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:56 am

I want to talk to someone about my understanding of the eightfold path.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:00 am

Greetings,

Sure... how do you understand it?

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

ShanYin
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by ShanYin » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:05 am

It's alot like it is shown in the book "blueprint for happiness". I have been dealing with alot with the negative emotion of fear. What is your understanding of it?

paul
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by paul » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:41 am

To bring it into a Theravada frame, please explain specifically what the negative aspects are that you referred to, and what your view of the NEP is.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:02 pm

ShanYin wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:05 am
It's alot like it is shown in the book "blueprint for happiness". I have been dealing with alot with the negative emotion of fear. What is your understanding of it?
I am not sure which book you are talking about, there are several out there with this title.

As you have given us very little to work on, one thing to mention is, that Theravada does not try to make you 'happy' in the colloquial sense of the word and that overcoming personal fears is more or less a side effect of Practice, not its aim.
The Noble Eightfold Path tries to detach you from delusions and fetters, which are reinforced by our emotions. From this detachment, insight follows, firstly that our states of mind are impermanent. Everything else follows from there.

Coming back to fear. fear in the Theravada sense is coming from Aversion (Dvesha, one of the three character afflictions leading to Dukkha). Depending on your distinct fear, this might be rooted in self-loathing, or antagonism against something in your surroundings. To overcome Aversion, you could practice Metta bhavana and try to develop Sila (moral integrity).

I know that this sounds horribly dry and theoretical, almost to the point of being no help at all to somebody being seriously afflicted by an emotional issue. But if you would be more concrete in your specific needs, maybe a clearer advice will become possible.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

paul
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by paul » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:29 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:02 pm
firstly that our states of mind are impermanent. Everything else follows from there.

fear in the Theravada sense is coming from Aversion (Dvesha,
In Theravada as directed in the Sattipatthana sutta, the body is fundamental to meditation, for one it being much easier to recognize impermanence in materiality than in mentality.
Meditation should begin with one of the six subjects listed under the first foundation of mindfulness.
"In whomever mindfulness immersed in the body is not developed, not pursued, Mara gains entry, Mara gains a foothold.”—- MN 119

Excessive focus on mentality is therefore dangerous.

The Pali word for aversion is dosa. It is not profitable to suggest the mixing of Mahayana and Theravada components as they come from opposing contexts, the former advocating unity, while the latter always maintains the duality of samsara and nibbana.

ShanYin
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by ShanYin » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:46 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:02 pm
ShanYin wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:05 am
It's alot like it is shown in the book "blueprint for happiness". I have been dealing with alot with the negative emotion of fear. What is your understanding of it?
I am not sure which book you are talking about, there are several out there with this title.

As you have given us very little to work on, one thing to mention is, that Theravada does not try to make you 'happy' in the colloquial sense of the word and that overcoming personal fears is more or less a side effect of Practice, not its aim.
The Noble Eightfold Path tries to detach you from delusions and fetters, which are reinforced by our emotions. From this detachment, insight follows, firstly that our states of mind are impermanent. Everything else follows from there.

Coming back to fear. fear in the Theravada sense is coming from Aversion (Dvesha, one of the three character afflictions leading to Dukkha). Depending on your distinct fear, this might be rooted in self-loathing, or antagonism against something in your surroundings. To overcome Aversion, you could practice Metta bhavana and try to develop Sila (moral integrity).

I know that this sounds horribly dry and theoretical, almost to the point of being no help at all to somebody being seriously afflicted by an emotional issue. But if you would be more concrete in your specific needs, maybe a clearer advice will become possible.
Yes it does sound dry and theoritcal. I have alot of anger that I deal with. I have a hard time focusing in meditation.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by AgarikaJ » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:02 am

paul wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:29 pm
The Pali word for aversion is dosa.
It is not profitable to suggest the mixing of Mahayana and Theravada components as they come from opposing contexts, the former advocating unity, while the latter always maintains the duality of samsara and nibbana.
Arghh, of course Dosa it is! :thanks:

My error of hastiness has turned an already shaky advice into something wholly confusing.

@ShanYin, pls take on my post only with this additional remark of @paul in mind!
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

paul
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by paul » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:20 pm

ShanYin wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:46 am
quote=AgarikaJ post_id=489313 time=1539270168 user_id=15052]
I have alot of anger that I deal with. I have a hard time focusing in meditation.
Your unwillingness to engage in suitable conversation works against the overcoming of anger:

Six things are helpful in conquering ill-will:

1. Learning how to meditate on loving-kindness;
2. Devoting oneself to the meditation of loving-kindness;
3. Considering that one is the owner and heir of one's actions (kamma);
4. Frequent reflection on it (in the following way):

Thus one should consider: "Being angry with another person, what can you
do to him? Can you destroy his virtue and his other good qualities? Have
you not come to your present state by your own actions, and will also go
hence according to your own actions? Anger towards another is just as if
someone wishing to hit another person takes hold of glowing coals, or a
heated iron-rod, or of excrement. And, in the same way, if the other person
is angry with you, what can he do to you? Can he destroy your virtue and
your other good qualities? He too has come to his present state by his own
actions and will go hence according to his own actions. Like an unaccepted
gift or like a handful of dirt thrown against the wind, his anger will fall back
on his own head."

5. Noble friendship;
6. Suitable conversation.

Commentary to
Satipatthana Sutta

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rightviewftw
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:49 pm

i like the micro and macro explanation of the 8FNP whereas the macro cultivation of the factors conditions the mind to eventually leads to the arising of a mind with eight path factors resulting in cessation.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:04 pm

Greetings,
rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:49 pm
i like the micro and macro explanation of the 8FNP whereas the macro cultivation of the factors conditions the mind to eventually leads to the arising of a mind with eight path factors resulting in cessation.
Are there any suttas you can point to, which explain what you're talking about here? This being the Discovering Theravada section, a Theravada source would be good.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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rightviewftw
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:33 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:04 pm
Greetings,
rightviewftw wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:49 pm
i like the micro and macro explanation of the 8FNP whereas the macro cultivation of the factors conditions the mind to eventually leads to the arising of a mind with eight path factors resulting in cessation.
Are there any suttas you can point to, which explain what you're talking about here? This being the Discovering Theravada section, a Theravada source would be good.

Metta,
Paul. :)
The large scale take on it is quite self explanatory and there are countless Sutta dealing with this ie;
"And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the stopping of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the stopping of stress: This, monks, is called right view.

"And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

"And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech.

"And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action.

"And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right livelihood.

"And what, monks, is right effort? (i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen. (iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen. (iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.

"And what, monks, is right mindfulness? (i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (ii) He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iii) He remains focused on the mind in & of itself — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. (iv) He remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, aware, & mindful — putting away greed & distress with reference to the world. This, monks, is called right mindfulness.

"And what, monks, is right concentration? (i) There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. (ii) With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. (iii) With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' (iv) With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This, monks, is called right concentration."
Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
The what i refer to as small scale is explained in the Dhammasangani first book of the Abhidhamma describing the Good State endowed with Eight Path Factors ( i will just post the summary);
Thought engaged upon the Higher Ideal (lokuttarain cittam).
I. The First Path (pathamo maggo).*
Image
Path leads to cessation of the groups of feelings, perceptions, forms, consciousness and fabrications;
...And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of form, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

....And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of feeling...

...From the cessation of contact comes the cessation of perception. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of perception...

... And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of fabrications...

...And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of consciousness, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

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rightviewftw
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Re: Eightfold path

Post by rightviewftw » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:56 pm

Here is an excerpt from the Manual of Insight;
The moment of path knowledge
...
How one understands suffering
Path knowledge experiences nibbāna, which is the cessation of all mental and physical phenomena (such as constantly arising and disappearing in-breath and out-breath or mindfulness). Due to this experience, one fully understands without confusion that all these phenomena (i.e., the in-breath and out-breath, mindfulness, dependent material phenomena, constantly arising and disappearing mental and physical phenomena, conditioned phenomena) are suffering and not peaceful.
Note that Nibbana here means extinguishing/cessation.

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