The causes for wisdom

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Dinsdale
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:15 am

Coyote wrote:Anyway, couldn't one argue that formal sitting practice helps build concentration thus making "mindfulness" (in conventional terms) clearer?
:anjali:
One could argue that's the whole point of formal sitting practice - to facilitate mindfulness and insight off the cushion. From a practical perspective I've found that maintaining mindfulness without a sitting practice is much more difficult.
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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:20 am

Coyote wrote:I think there is a lot to be said for not doing this kind of meditation at all until one is at least established in Sila.
There is no reason to think that breath meditation and sīla cannot work well together.
I certainly agree that breath meditation is harder than other meditation
Harder than what other meditations?
>> 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 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:22 am

porpoise wrote:
One could argue that's the whole point of formal sitting practice - to facilitate mindfulness and insight off the cushion. From a practical perspective I've found that maintaining mindfulness without a sitting practice is much more difficult.
Obviously experience can vary for different people, but speaking generally, I think you are quite correct.
>> 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 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:48 am

dhamma follower wrote:Dear Dan,
but a ritualized practice may actually help one give up attachment to rules and rituals and the belief in self, don't you think?
By simple logic, if ones thinks that ritualized practice is the way, one will not give up attachment to rules and rituals.
One gives up only when one realizes than it is the wrong way.
The interesting question here is what constitutes a ritual? The reality is, of course, that whatever practice we start doing one is very likely to have a variety of ideas and feelings about it that are not reflective of a mature practice in line with the Dhamma. The maturity comes with experience and insight. Doing a disciplined practice, could easily be called a ritual, but if the practice is done well, in accordance to principles of the Dhamma, then the various subtle attachment will expose themselves in light of the ongoing insights one will have as a result of the meditation and Eightfold Path practice. Why would we think it would be otherwise? Any practice one does, be it a formal, disciplined meditation practice, a Sujin style practice, or whatever is always going to be susceptible to being side tracked or failing because one might become overly rigid and locked into a particular point of view, which is why working with good teachers is of great benefit.
Similarly, if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?
One does not have to "believe" in a self to take seriously the Buddha's teachings that how we choose, what choose to do and to not do does, indeed, condition the tragectory of our life, of our practice. One cannot force wisdom, but one can certainly cultivate the conditions that give rise to wisdom.
>> 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 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:03 am

dhamma follower wrote: - samatha bhavana is the cultivation of kusala which is not dana, not sila. The ground for this bhavana is seeing the danger of attachment to sensuous objects. It is precisely panna which perform this function, panna of the degree of seeing the danger of attachment to sensuos objects, not the panna which sees realities of they are. This kind of panna knows the conditions for calmness to arise. It is then by virtue of this kind of panna that calmness which is kusala is developed, not because of wanting to have calm, or because of trying to sit hours after hours with ignorance.
The practical, experiential reality is, of course, you really won't know or have an idea of what attachments and other such problems there are in your mind/body process that will obstruct your cultivation of calmness until you actually do the practice to cultivate calmness and then actually bump into these problems and then have to deal with them in the light of awareness. If you do not do the practice, these issues may never clearly arise, and you'll never know. And much the same can be said for vipassana.
>> 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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beeblebrox
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by beeblebrox » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:53 pm

dhamma follower wrote: . . . if one believes that there is a self who can condition dhammas as wished, which is the underlying idea of "formal practice" how can there be detachment from an idea of self?
Hi Dhamma Follower,

Who in this thread said that there was a self that conditions the dhammas as it wished?

If someone thought that a self was necessarily behind the idea of a formal practice, then which one of these (the person, or the practice) do you think has a view of the self in the first place?

If a person said that "he" was going to do a practice, conventionally speaking... and someone else, as an attempt to view this in the "ultimate sense," accused that person of having a self view... whose fault do you think this would be?

I think that if there was a real understanding, then it would be already seen that there is no permanent, unchanging self that has to be inherent within this phrase, "he was going to do something," in the first place...

This is why the conventional speech can still be seen as a truth, according to the Buddha.

:anjali:

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Coyote » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:05 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Coyote wrote:I think there is a lot to be said for not doing this kind of meditation at all until one is at least established in Sila.
There is no reason to think that breath meditation and sīla cannot work well together.
I certainly agree that breath meditation is harder than other meditation
Harder than what other meditations?
What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:42 pm

Coyote wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Coyote wrote:I think there is a lot to be said for not doing this kind of meditation at all until one is at least established in Sila.
There is no reason to think that breath meditation and sīla cannot work well together.
I certainly agree that breath meditation is harder than other meditation
Harder than what other meditations?
What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

:anjali:
Thank you for your clarification. I think we might differ a bit in a couple of things; however, it would seem that what you are saying with this clarification is still vastly different from what it seems that robertk is suggesting.
>> 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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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dan74 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:51 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Coyote wrote:
What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.

:anjali:
Thank you for your clarification. I think we might differ a bit in a couple of thing; however, it would seem that what you are saying with this clarification is still vastly different from what it seems that robertk is suggesting.
I, for one, am still not clear what robertk is suggesting.

It's not controversial to suggest that attachment to ritual is a hindrance to be overcome or let gone of in due course. But if one suggests that formalised practice is harmful and should be foregone in favour of some other non-formal practice in all cases, then this view really does need defending.

It reminds me of Krishnamurti who argued that the mind is already so rigid and conditioned and full of conflicts and dualities, that to impose another structure on it like that of formalised spiritual practice is like to clean off dirt with mud. I think he overestimated people's capacity and resolve and that's why his legacy is dwindling fast.
Last edited by Dan74 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sekha
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Sekha » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:56 pm

Coyote wrote: What I meant was that it might be better for some to put off doing insight/concentration meditation until a firm commitment to sila has been established, not that you can't learn anything from it. This is what is traditionally recommended by some, isn't it? Establish Sila then work on concentration, and insight will come.
There is one sutta directly against your claim:
pañc imāni, bhikkhave, sikkhā·dubbalyāni. katamāni pañca? pāṇ·ātipāto, adinn·ādānaṃ, kāmesu·micchā·cāro, musā·vādo, surā·meraya·majja·pamāda·ṭṭhānaṃ. imāni kho, bhikkhave, pañca sikkhā·dubbalyāni.
These five, bhikkhus, are weaknesses of the training. Which five? The destruction of life, taking what is not given, misbehavior in sensuality, false speech, and liquors, spirits and intoxicants that cause carelessness. These five, bhikkhus, are weaknesses of the training.

imesaṃ kho, bhikkhave, pañcannaṃ sikkhā·dubbalyānaṃ pahānāya cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvetabbā. katame cattāro? idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāy·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassaṃ; vedanāsu vedan·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassaṃ; citte citt·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassaṃ; dhammesu dhamm·ānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā vineyya loke abhijjhā·domanassaṃ. imesaṃ kho, bhikkhave, pañcannaṃ sikkhā·dubbalyānaṃ pahānāya ime cattāro satipaṭṭhānā bhāvetabbā ti.
To abandon these five weaknesses of the training, the four satipaṭṭhānas should be developped. Which four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu remains focusing on the body in the body, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. He remains focusing on feelings in feelings, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. He remains focusing on the mind in the mind, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. He remains focusing on dhammas in dhammas, ardent, understanding thoroughly, mindful, having subdued covetousness-affliction towards the world. To abandon these five weaknesses of the training, the four satipaṭṭhānas should be developped.
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 9-063.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Kayanupassana includes anapanassati and dhammanupassana includes vipassana (arising and passing away of the aggregates for example)

Coyote wrote: What I meant by the other one was that if the goal is insight or firm concentration, as it usually is with anapanasati, then this is something very hard to accomplish, and it might be easier to become practised in metta or some other meditation subject before one takes on this goal. Obviously other people have different experiences but it is just something I have learned from trying to take things on too fast.
Well, the cause for non-success must be appropriately investigated. The fault doesn't fall on the technique. It falls on the way we take it.

See:
"Suppose that there is a foolish, inexperienced, unskillful cook who has presented a king or a king's minister with various kinds of curry: mainly sour, mainly bitter, mainly peppery, mainly sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline, salty or non-salty. He does not take note of his master, thinking, 'Today my master likes this curry, or he reaches out for that curry, or he takes a lot of this curry, or he praises that curry... Today my master likes non-salty curry, or he reaches out for non-salty curry, or he takes a lot of non-salty curry, or he praises non-salty curry.' As a result, he is not rewarded with clothing or wages or gifts. Why is that? Because the foolish, inexperienced, unskillful cook does not pick up on the theme of his own master.

"In the same way, there are cases where a foolish, inexperienced, unskillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself... the mind in & of itself... As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, his mind does not become concentrated, his defilements are not abandoned. He does not take note of that fact. As a result, he is not rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, nor with mindfulness & alertness. Why is that? Because the foolish, inexperienced, unskillful monk does not take note of his own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to call you a fool, as the use of this word here was not my choice.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by kirk5a » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:13 am

Sekha wrote: Well, the cause for non-success must be appropriately investigated. The fault doesn't fall on the technique. It falls on the way we take it.
:goodpost:
Very interesting sutta. I see the key word there is the "nimitta" of his master, or of his mind. Looking at the Pali dictionary, I wonder whether that could be translated as "he does not notice the condition of his mind" (with regard to the development of concentration and abandoning of defilements)

Tathā hi so bhikkhave, bālo avyatto akusalo bhikkhu sakassa cittassa nimittaṃ na uggaṇhāti.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dinsdale » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:29 am

Dan74 wrote:It's not controversial to suggest that attachment to ritual is a hindrance to be overcome or let gone of in due course. But if one suggests that formalised practice is harmful and should be foregone in favour of some other non-formal practice in all cases, then this view really does need defending.
I'm also unsure of where "formal" ends and "non-formal" begins. It seems that there is always some kind of methodology involved.
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Sekha
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Sekha » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:31 am

porpoise wrote: I'm also unsure of where "formal" ends and "non-formal" begins.
Indeed every practice is "formal" in some way. I would rather speak of stereotyped practice, the definition of which would be that there is a dichotomy between what happens at the physical or vocal levels, or even at the surface of the mind, and what really happens at the deeper levels of the mind. This comes from the fact that people tend to assimilate the kammically fruitful action with the physical or vocal action, disregarding the fact that it is only mental volition that defines the quality of the action.
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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:48 am

Our practice is our life. There is no on and off. Sitting meditation is or can be just another part of our life (like eating a sandwich?).

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:02 am

Mr Man wrote:Our practice is our life. There is no on and off. Sitting meditation is or can be just another part of our life (like eating a sandwich?).
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.
One eats a sandwich for sustenance. If we take the Buddha's teachings and admonitions concerning the need for formal sitting practice seriously, it is of a bit more significance than choosing between one shop or another, and it is a bit more than just eating a sandwich.
>> 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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