Wood for the Trees

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Re: Wood for the Trees

Post by Bakmoon » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:09 pm

Lucem wrote:Yes, vipassana means "insight". In the context of the suttas, it is a factor not a meditation method. What I was asking for were suttas where the so called vipassana meditation is mentioned.

What is your opinion about the MN 39 sutta quoted by me that explains the steps of training taken by a buddhist intended on awakening ?
Are you saying that we can only refer to a meditation method by a particular term if the suttas themselves give an explicit name for it? That line of thinking leads to some very strange results. I've even once come across someone who denied that the Buddha taught the formless jhanas just because the Buddha never used the name arupa jhana. Considering how rarely the suttas lay out explicit naming schemes, we shouldn't be surprised not to find a particular method or style of practice being singled out and assigned a particular name.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Wood for the Trees

Post by dhammarelax » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:19 pm

Myotai wrote:Hi,

So, (and this might sound utterly obvious) having just got back from a short retreat in a Forest Tradition monastery and listened to the talks on Vipassana....there is very little if any difference between the Soto Zen practice of Shikantaza and that of Vipassana.

Sitting, being aware of everything that is coming up....not attaching or responding being as equanimous as possible.

Am I right.....<Tilt>?
My understanding is that Shikantaza has only a passive approach realizing mainly impermance, the Buddha teaches mainly dependant origination, the insights we get are reffered to it, namely when this ceases that ceases, a relation of conditionality that exists beetwen the links, this are the four noble truths. But the 4 NTs are not only observe, neutral observation is the action for the 1rst NT, let go is the action for the 2NT, noticing is the action for the 3rth and DEVELOPING is the action for the 4rth. Just like a chair without all the 4 legs a practise without the 4 NTs is bound to be innefective.

In general for all the importance attributed to the term is not very prominent in the Suttas I believe below are all the refferences in all the Nikayas:

SN 35
The swift pair of messengers':
this is a designation for serenity and insight

SN 41
and feeling?"
"Indeed, householder, you are asking last what should have
been asked first; but still I will answer you. For the attainment of
the cessation of perception and feeling, two things are helpful:
serenity and insight."

SN 43.2
2 (2) Serenity and Insight
"Bhikkhus, I will teach you the unconditioned and the path leading to the unconditioned. Listen to that ....
"And what, bhikkhus, is the unconditioned? The destruction of lust, the d e s ~ c t i o nof hatred, the destruction of delusion: this is called the unconditioned. "And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned?
Serenity and insight: this is called the path leading to the unconditioned.. . ."


'Then the Bodhisatta Vipassi thought: "I have found
the insight (vipassani) to enlightenment, namely:
"'By the cessation of mind-and-body consciousness ceases,
by the cessation of consciousness, mind-and-body ceases; by
the cessation of mind-and-body the six sense-bases cease; by
the cessation of the six sense-bases contact ceases; by the
cessation of contact feeling ceases; by the cessation of feeling
craving ceases; by the cessation of craving clinging ceases; by
the cessation of clingipg becoming ceases; by the cessation of
becoming birth ceases; by the cessation of birth ageing and
death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and distress cease. And
thus this whole mass of suffering ceases." And at the thought:
"Cessation, cessation", there arose in the Bodhisatta Vipassi,
with insight into things never realised before, knowledge,
vision, awareness, and light.

MN 6

"If a bhikkhu should wish: 'May I be dear and agreeable to
my companions in the holy life, respected and esteemed by
them,' let him fulfil the precepts, be devoted to internal serenity
of mind, not neglect meditation, be possessed of insight, and
dwell in empty huts"

MN 32

"Here, friend Sariputta, a bhikkhu delights in solitary meditation
and takes delight in solitary meditation; he is devoted to
internal serenity of mind, does not neglect meditation, possesses
insight, and dwells in empty huts"

MN 43
"Friend, by how many factors is right view assisted when it
has deliverance of mind for its fruit, deliverance of mind for its
fruit and benefit, when it has deliverance by wisdom for its fruit,
deliverance by wisdom for its fruit and benefit?"
"Friend, right view is assisted by five factors when it has deliverance
of mind for its fruit, deliverance of mind for its fruit and
benefit, when it has deliverance by wisdom for its fruit, deliverance
by wisdom for its fruit and benefit. Here, friend, right view
is assisted by virtue, learning, discussion, serenity, and insight.
Right view assisted by these five factors has deliverance of mind
for its fruit, deliverance of mind for its fruit and benefit; it has
deliverance by wisdom for its fruit, deliverance by wisdom for its
fruit and benefit."

To upali

He is the Noble One, developed in mind,
who has gained the goal and expounds the truth;
Endowed with mindfulness and penetrative insight,
he leans neither forwards nor back;
Free from perturbation, attained to mastery:
The Blessed One is he, and I am his disciple.

MN 73

"Venerable sir, I have attained whatever can be
attained by the knowledge of a disciple in higher training, by
the true knowledge of a disciple in higher training. Let the
Blessed One teach me the Dhamma further."
18. "In that case, Vaccha, develop further two things: serenity
and insight. When these two things are developed further, they
will lead to the penetration of many elements.
19. "To the extent that you may wish: 'May I wield the various
kinds of supernormal power

MN 111

Sariputta had insight into states one by one as they
occurred.1046 Now Sariputta's insight into states one by one as
they occurred was this::

MN 131

"Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes;
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;1212
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Invincibly, unshakeably.1213
Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?

MN 149
These two
things - serenity and insight - occur in him yoked evenly

MN 134
The great six fold base
"And what things should be developed by direct knowledge?
Serenity and insight. These are the things that should be
developed by direct knowledge.

The purification of almsfood

Are serenity and insight developed in me?' If, by reviewing, he
knows thus: 'Serenity and insight are not developed in me,' then
he should make an effort to develop them. But if, by reviewing,
he knows thus: 'Serenity and insight are developed in me,' then
he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome
Even if the flesh & blood in my body dry up, leaving just the skin, tendons, & bones, I will use all my human firmness, human persistence and human striving. There will be no relaxing my persistence until I am the first of my generation to attain full awakening in this lifetime. ed. AN 2.5

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Re: Wood for the Trees

Post by paul » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:53 am

The method of vipassana is investigation.
“Full understanding by investigating is that insight-wisdom (vipassana-panna) which has the three general characteristics (anicca, dukkha, anatta) as its objects and when arises when attributing a general characteristic to physical and mental phenomena…” —Vism. XX.

Investigation is one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment. In practice, investigation means taking the characteristic of impermanence and applying it in one's own life. Since looking at things in terms of impermanence is a different view to that one is normally accustomed to, applying it becomes a matter of investigation. Crossing over to the other shore means one must eventually put one's entire belief in impermanence, but this cannot be a sudden process, it must be gradual and the result of investigation- what happens in situations when one interacts guided by the principle of impermanence and not by that of self ?

“There are three kinds of training (sikkha) in Buddhism, namely: the training of morality (sila), in concentration (samadhi), and in wisdom (pañña). The training in morality is able to dispel only the third stage of the defilements, that of actual transgression. As there remain two stages undispelled, the defilements temporarily put away by morality can arise again and soon fill up until they reach the stage of transgression. […]

The third training, the training in wisdom—the knowledge that belongs to insight and the knowledge that pertains to the supramundane path—is able to dispel the first, latent stage of the defilements left undispelled by morality and concentration. The defilements that are entirely got rid of through wisdom, leaving nothing behind, will never rise again.”
—“The Manual of Insight”, (Vipassana Dipani), Ledi Sayadaw.

"One who earnestly aspires to the unshakable deliverance of the mind should, therefore, select a definite "working-ground" of a direct and practical import: a kammatthana[1] in its widest sense, on which the structure of his entire life should be based. Holding fast to that "working-ground," never losing sight of it for long, even this alone will be a considerable and encouraging progress in the control and development of the mind, because in that way the directive and purposive energies of mind will be strengthened considerably. One who has chosen the conquest of the five hindrances for a "working-ground" should examine which of the five are strongest in one's personal case." --The Five Mental Hindrances and their Conquest, Nyanaponika Thera.

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