nichiren-123 wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:27 pm
I read a dhammapada quote (340) earlier:
Everywhere these streams are swirling,
up-bursting creepers (craving) rooted firm.
Seeing the craving-creeper there
with wisdom cut its root!
And this raises a question for me: What does 'wisdom' mean as a buddhist concept?
What exactly are we using to cut the roots of craving?
From what I've read, we should use insight
to cut the roots of craving. This is recognition of the suffering, impermanence, and no self of anything that comes to mind.
For instance you may crave to go to bed with a particular woman, but she isn't interested in you. By observing this craving you see (i) the suffering
this unsatisfied craving causes; (ii) that such sexual satisfaction is not at all necessary to your well being, it is no
part of your best self
; (iii) it is impermanent
. One moment you crave this woman, the next you are thinking of dinner, or (best of all) you are deep in meditation and not holding on to any impermanent thing.
The last paragraph is how I try and apply wisdom, and I do often find myself suffering less, so it is (at least) a somewhat wise move on my part to do this kind of thing. The more experienced here might like to chip in and extend/correct my understanding. For instance, I am not sure my understanding of "no self" is water tight! I try to look at things like "lust for a particular unattainable women" as not part of my ultimate/best/core self (and even consider this "best self" as impermanent.) I hope this is a reasonable staging post on the way to to seeing that I have, really, no self at all.
With "with wisdom cut its root" we have a metaphor, from the Buddha himself, of his insight being like a knife. I think my insight is a much more blunt instrument. That is, I look at upsetting objects of consciousness, I try (gently) to let go, try to see, or otherwise determine, impermanence/no self/suffering, and hope the upsetting object will just melt away like dank fog. So it's more like seeking creepers with a dim torch, tearing away the very few pieces I can tear with my bare hands, and just deciding to put up with the tougher creepers, and hope they eventually just go away.
This alleviates suffering somewhat, I think, but it's a slow process, and the same old creepers keep on coming back.
So how do we get this insight that cuts like a knife? How do we get rid of these creepers once and for all? How do we cut back down to the root?