The causes for wisdom

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:01 am

robertk wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
robertk wrote:the thought of taking up a Dhamma book looking for wisdom to grow shows confidence in the value of the Dhamma.
Hi robertk
So there is a hierarchy of value given to different activities?

Also: In an earlier post when talking about meditation you said "For me I have my other hobbies so am not so interested for now". I wondered if you envisioned that there would be a time when you returned to a more formalized* practice.


*although it seems that your present practice is actually already rather formalized.

Thanks
you mean my 'formalized' practice of eating at Belly rather than subway? yep, I do recommend them,Ii cant go back to the coarse taste and plastic chairs at Subway . :tongue:

as for a special meditation practice in the future? Well I have a mild interest in horse riding and target pistol which I haven't had time to explore ... , plus a considerable number of academic projects, family, overseas trips every couple of months etc, ect etc.Then there is cage fighting on TV along with premier league football - all demanding of attention. Its a typical busy householders life I live, and I don't see any urge to take up some specific practice...who knows though :smile:

the heirarachy you mention: it is more of a recognition that the teaching of the Buddha is the nutrition that grows wisdom.
I had not come across a Westerner Buddhist who did not consider meditation an integral part of their practice before (with the exception of the Sokka Gakkai people, but few here would even consider them Buddhist).

You live and learn!
_/|\_

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:25 am

I had not come across a Westerner Buddhist who did not consider meditation an integral part of their practice before (with the exception of the Sokka Gakkai people, but few here would even consider them Buddhist).
Maybe I should be classified as "not proper western Buddhist"..Or as quasi sokka gakkai?

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:38 am

robertk wrote:
I had not come across a Westerner Buddhist who did not consider meditation an integral part of their practice before (with the exception of the Sokka Gakkai people, but few here would even consider them Buddhist).
Maybe I should be classified as "not proper western Buddhist"..Or as quasi sokka gakkai?
I am not big on classifying, Robert. I was just surprised, that's all.

Thank you for sharing about your practice here.
_/|\_

SamKR
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by SamKR » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 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.

And even the more subtle - and ostensibly correct - 'contemplating anicca , dukkha, anatta ' at leisure or whatever, is close to an idea of a self that can decide to have these type of contemplations.
The comment about 'observing rising and passing away" . To truly see 'rising and falling' is not dependent on anything other that deepening wisdom that can discern this. After all in in truth the elements are rising and falling trillions of times in a second.
Hello Robert,

As I understand, you say that doing "formal" meditation (or trying to have sati or samadhi) is not necessary and may not be any more helpful than any other activity or hobby since there is wrong view of self already inherently present while doing such practices.

Do you also say the same about practicing sila? In other words, is sila also not necessary to practice and may not be any more helpful than any other activity or hobby (if there is a sense of self present while observing sila)?
Is the following true in your opinion?: just like practicing to have sati does not lead to wisdom (rather wisdom leads to sati), practicing to observe sila does not help to have wisdom (rather wisdom will condition sila).

Thank you.

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:39 am

In essence Sam I think wisdom will condition sila . But it is a long process, remember even the sotapanna still has wives and children : but they don't drink alcohol or steal or cheat or take other men's wives.
And they could never dream of killing a cockroach or flea say .

I read of even a monk, who is under vinaya : which is very different life from householders, who brought in pest exterminators to get rid of a flea infestation. He had been a monk for years but it shows that we could keep strict sila for years : but without sufficient wisdom, under certain circumstances, break it.

And I almost never drink for the last 25 years or more. Yet occasionally once every year or so at an office function I might sip on a glass of beer when toasts are being made. The really wise would not even do that: but not from forcing themselves or trying to be good, just by their nature.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:47 am

robertk wrote:In essence Sam I think wisdom will condition sila . But it is a long process, remember even the sotapanna still has wives and children : but they don't drink alcohol or steal or cheat or take other men's wives.
And they could never dream of killing a cockroach or flea say .

I read of even a monk, who is under vinaya : which is very different life from householders, who brought in pest exterminators to get rid of a flea infestation. He had been a monk for years but it shows that we could keep strict sila but without sufficient wisdom under certain circumstances break it.
So, until we are sotapanna there is no real point in practicing sila, for that would be naught more than clinging to sīlabbata-parāmāsa? And actively trying to cultivate sila, like bhāvanā it would seem, has no more significance that choosing one sandwich shop over another as far as Dhamma practice is concerned? Your above comment suggests as much. Please clarify.
>> 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 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:03 am


Robert, sharing one's practice is always a little bit tricky, but broadly speaking how do people in your tradition/lineage practice?

I gather there is study and contemplation of the teachings in the course of everyday life and this leads to wisdom. Could you correct/elaborate on that please?
You mean we quasi sokka gakkai :tongue:

No rules in this regard. I know a close friend of Sujins who is around her almost daily who wears partly white, and keeps eight precepts, who does nothing almost except things related to study and propagation of Dhamma. Or many monks go to listen and discuss in Bangkok.
Or someone like Nina van Gordon who devotes her life to writing brilliant books on Dhamma, whose idea of taking a break is switching on the radio (when she is in Bangkok,or mp3 when in holland)and listening to a few hours of recordings about the links in patticasamupada , in Thai language!

Then there are people like me who read Dhamma books from time to time, and who enjoy Dhamma discussions occasionally. Yet who spend more time in coffee shops, at work, with family , living a very mundane life, than they do in outright Dhamma situations. And I think truth of what theBuddha taught seems to reveal itself often in any situation..

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:06 am

What I find most interesting about robertk's practice is that it seems to be essentially faith based.

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Dan74
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Dan74 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:14 am

robertk wrote:

Robert, sharing one's practice is always a little bit tricky, but broadly speaking how do people in your tradition/lineage practice?

I gather there is study and contemplation of the teachings in the course of everyday life and this leads to wisdom. Could you correct/elaborate on that please?
You mean we quasi sokka gakkai :tongue:

No rules in this regard. I know a close friend of Sujins who is around her almost daily who wears white, and keeps eight precepts, who does nothing almost except things related to study and propagation of Dhamma. Or many monks go to listen and discuss in Bangkok.
Or someone like Nina van Gordon who devotes her life to writing brilliant books on Dhamma, whose idea of taking a break is switching on the radio (when she is in Bangkok,or mp3 when in holland)and listening to a few hours of recordings about the links in patticasamupada , in Thai language!

Then there are people like me who read Dhamma books from time to time, and who enjoy Dhamma discussions occasionally. Yet who spend more time in coffee shops, at work, with family , living a very mundane life, than they do in outright Dhamma situations. And I think truth of what theBuddha taught seems to reveal itself often in any situation..
Thanks, Robert!

Personally I don't find it a good idea to have a deep divide between "Dhamma activity" and "mundane activity". But as a matter of practicality it was only after some years and a few dozen retreats that I realized that the mundane can be practice and practice is also sometimes very mundane!

As for "And I think truth of what theBuddha taught seems to reveal itself often in any situation.." I couldn't agree more.
Mr Man wrote:What I find most interesting about robertk's practice is that it seems to be essentially faith based.
My main problem with this approach to practice is that it seems to be very light.

I mean we are all experts in samsara and dedicate a great deal of energy to its propagation. The momentum of samsara, ie the mental patterns that keep it going is very strong. It seems to me that to reverse this momentum takes quite a bit of effort usually, whether we look at the Buddha or other great masters, it doesn't usually come easy.

So pouring energy into Dhamma practice is a commitment to going upstream from samsara and with informal practice like Robert describes, I don't see how this could happen. At least not without some amazing cultivation in past lifetimes.

PS. I confess that dispensing with meditation is also strange to me and I can't quite fathom how the teachings can really penetrate without mental cultivation that happens in meditation. But on the other hand, there are different Dhamma doors and I don't doubt that one can go a long way without formal meditation practice as we normally think of it.
_/|\_

gendun
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by gendun » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:55 am

Dan74.
Many Dzogchen students have a well established practice of formal meditation before they encounter Dzogchen..but many don't.
And the latter may well have no practice that corresponds to formal vipassana, samatha, or Zazen.

In a sense it is based on Grace.

Just for interest.
Gendun P. Brownlow.
Karma Kagyu student.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:03 am

gendun wrote:
In a sense it is based on Grace.
Grace: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
>> 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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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:31 am

Hi robertk
What would be the difference between "remember even the sotapanna still has wives and children : but they don't drink alcohol or steal or cheat or take other men's wives." and " did you see the cat sir"? http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 80#p228685

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:58 am

Not sure of your question. Could you explain a bit more

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Mr Man
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Mr Man » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:18 am

robertk wrote:Not sure of your question. Could you explain a bit more
Well one is a belief that you hold and one is a belief that a taxi drive holds.
They are both a product of the same function.

gendun
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by gendun » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:35 am

tiltbillings wrote:
gendun wrote:
In a sense it is based on Grace.
Grace: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
In this instance the definition needs to be widened in include the Grace that the Guru brings that moves us towards liberation.
Which in Dzogchen ( or in Mahamudra ) results in resting in Primordial Awareness.
Last edited by gendun on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gendun P. Brownlow.
Karma Kagyu student.

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