robertk wrote:There is no self right?
I say "near" because actually your position is simply incoherent. You deny the efficacy of effort in some areas (like practicing meditation) while allowing for it in others (listening, reading, wisely considering the Dhamma).
"practicing meditation", what does it mean? do you think that someone eating a tuna sandwich could have satipatthana, or do you belive that only the person at the foot of a tree, or in a isolated room who focuses on the breath is really developing the Buddhas path.
I believe that learning what the Buddha taught is the cornestone to any development, yet One may wonder whether everyone who studies, studies rightly.
In fact very
obviously they don't. But why is that?
Mainly it is because of the very deepseated nature of self-view, it must be
truly understood that there are only elements arising and passing away with no
one controlling or doing anything. These elments don't want to study or not
study, they are mere conditioned phenomema that arise and perform their
function, and then they cease forever and a new element arises.
Kind of easy to write about and of course most Buddhists easily agree with this
( a few don't) but then because of self-view people believe that they have to do
something /change something in order to understand this. But the real 'change'
is not anything outward it is purely the arising of understanding.
And this type of understanding, as the suttas say, depends on hearing Dhamma.
Now three people may hear/read this and have totally different reactions: one
may properly understand, at some level. Another might say 'yes, but..I still
want to do something' Another might say 'it is nonsense..'
This is due to accumulations from the near and distant past.
Even the one who understands correctly at the basic level may still go wrong.
They may think mere acceptance of these facts is already enough whereas it is
only the first step in a long path of studying and learning - both in theory
and directly the difference between concept and reality- and eventually the
difference between nama and rupa.
Now while i am are sitting down can there be understanding - even direct
understanding of an element.? There can if there are conditions. I don't have
to stand up to understand, or go and sit somewhere else. And if i was sitting
somewhere else i don't need to come and sit here..
Or if i have desire arising, as we all do very often - can it be known as
desire, as an element, right there and then? Yes, it can if there are enough
conditions. But if one thought that 'Oh, here is desire I must remove it', then
one is no longer following the path toward vipassana. One is either having
aversion, or another more subtle desire (to get rid of the big desire) or at best the way of samatha.