The causes for wisdom

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

Post by robertk » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:32 am

Questioner: What is the difference between the practice that is natural and

the practice that is unnatural?



Sujin: At this moment you are sitting in a natural way and you may be aware

of realities which appear, such as softness or hardness, presenting themselves

through the bodysense, or visible object appearing through the eyesense. All

these dhammas appear naturally. However, someone’s practice is unnatural if

he believes, while he develops satipatthana, that he should sit cross-legged, in

the lotus position, and that he should concentrate on specific realities. There is

desire when a person selects realities that have not arisen yet as objects of

awareness. He neglects to be aware of realities that appear already, such as

seeing, hearing, visible object, sound, odour, flavour, cold, heat, softness or

hardness. Even if there is only a slight amount of wrong understanding, it

conditions clinging and this hides the truth. In that case panna cannot arise and

know the dhammas appearing at that moment.



People who develop satipatthana should know precisely the difference between

the moment of forgetfulness, when there is no sati, and the moment when

there is sati. Otherwise satipatthana cannot be developed. If one is usually

forgetful one is bound to be forgetful again. Someone may wish to select an

object in order to concentrate on it, but this is not the way to develop

satipatthana. We should have right understanding of the moment when there is

forgetfulness, no sati, that is, when we do not know the characteristics of

realities appearing in daily life, such as seeing or hearing. When there is sati, one

can consider, study and understand the dhammas appearing through the six

doors. When someone selects a particular object in order to focus on it, he will

not know that sati is non-self. When there is sati it can be aware of realities that

naturally appear. When odour appears there can be awareness of odour that

presents itself through the nose. It can be known as only a type of reality

that arises, which appears and then disappears. Or the nama which experiences

odour can be understood as only a type of reality that presents itself. After it

has experienced odour, it falls away. It is not a being, a person or self.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:59 am

robertk wrote: . . . However, someone’s practice is unnatural if he believes, while he develops satipatthana, that he should sit cross-legged, in the lotus position, and that he should concentrate on specific realities. There is desire when a person selects realities that have not arisen yet as objects of awareness. He neglects to be aware of realities that appear already, such as seeing, hearing, visible object, sound, odour, flavour, cold, heat, softness or hardness. Even if there is only a slight amount of wrong understanding, it conditions clinging and this hides the truth. In that case panna cannot arise and know the dhammas appearing at that moment. . . . .
As we have seen graphically illustrated above, Sujin really does not understand either theoretically or practically meditation practice. Sad that she feels this need to disparage meditation practice in this strawman manner.
>> 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 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:30 pm

Questioner: I do not know yet the characteristic of satipatthana. When I listen

intently to your lecture, I understand the subject matter, the theory. There is

also awareness while I have theoretical understanding, but I do not consider

nama and rupa at that moment. I am not sure whether that is satipatthana or

not.



Sujin: If we do not know that our life is only nama and rupa, we are bound to

take realities for self. We are full of the concept of self and this can only be

eradicated completely by satipatthana. Sati can be aware and begin to

investigate the characteristics of nama and rupa that appear. In the beginning,

when sati is aware, there cannot yet be clear understanding of the realities that

appear as nama and as rupa. The understanding may be so weak that it is

hardly noticeable. Understanding develops only gradually, it can eliminate

ignorance stage by stage; ignorance cannot be immediately eradicated. It is

just as in the case of the knifehandle someone holds each day and which wears

off only a little at a time.



We read in the Kindred Sayings (III, Middle Fifty, Ch V, § 101, Adze-handle)

that the Buddha, while he was in Savatthi, said to the monks that defilements

can be eradicated by realizing the arising and falling away of the five khandhas.

This cannot be achieved “by not knowing, by not seeing.” If someone would

just wish for the eradication of defilements and he would be neglectful of the

development of understanding, defilements cannot be eradicated. Only by

the development of understanding, defilements can gradually be eliminated.

We read:



Just as if, monks, when a carpenter or carpenter’s apprentice

looks upon his adze-handle

and sees thereon his thumb-mark and his finger-marks

he does not thereby know:

“Thus and thus much of my adze-handle has been worn away today,

thus much yesterday,

thus much at other times.”

But he knows the wearing away of it just by its wearing away.

Even so, monks, the monk who dwells attentive to self-training

has not this knowledge:

“Thus much and thus much of the asavas has been worn away today,

thus much yesterday,

and thus much at other times.”

But he knows the wearing away of them just by their wearing away.



Understanding has to be developed for an endlessly long time. Some people

dislike it that sati and panna develop only very gradually, but there is no other

way. If someone is impatient and tries to combine different ways of practice in

order to hasten the development of panna, he makes his life very complicated.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:13 pm

robertk wrote: . . .
Understanding has to be developed for an endlessly long time.
Not according the Buddha.


Some people dislike it that sati and panna develop only very gradually, but there is no other

way.
Gradually is a relative word, but if one follows the Buddha's teachings, we can see/experience that mindfulness and wisdom are not somethings in some hopelessly distant future.
If someone is impatient and tries to combine different ways of practice in

order to hasten the development of panna, he makes his life very complicated.
The Sujin method described here seems to be hopelessly complicated and contrary to the Buddha's very direct teachings.
>> 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

rohana
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by rohana » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:39 am

Not having read the entire thread, may be someone can summarize the answers to the following questions from Sujin-approach perspective? I'm guess some of these have already been addressed:
  • How is the Sujin position different from the position taken by the Brahmin Unnabha:
    • "Brahman, the holy life is lived under the Blessed One with the aim of abandoning desire."

      "Is there a path, is there a practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

      "Yes, there is a path, there is a practice, for the abandoning of that desire."

      "What is the path, the practice, for the abandoning of that desire?"

      "Brahman, there is the case where a monk develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on desire & the fabrications of exertion. He develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on persistence... concentration founded on intent... concentration founded on discrimination & the fabrications of exertion. This, Brahman, is the path, this is the practice for the abandoning of that desire."

      "If that's so, Master Ananda, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire."
  • When the Buddha talked about a 'gradual training' was he excluding any formal practice?
  • What about formal practice for the purpose of developing jhāna, after going to 'the foot of a tree or an empty dwelling'?
  • Similar to any idea of 'I-will-practice-meditation', how does one tackle any lōbha that can exist as 'I will follow Sujin's advice to gain awakening at some future point' or 'I will read Abhidhamma' - because even when we read a dhamma book, a subtle desire for awakening can be just as present as when we do any formal meditation. (Basically, how does even listening to a dhamma talk or reading a dhamma book not be part of a 'formal practice'?)
My understanding is that the cultivation of insight into aniccā, dukkha and anattā leads to dispassion. Once dispassion sets in, one let's go, making the breakthrough to stream entry(so the formal practice is a means to an end). However, usually the moment of release happens at an unexpected moment, outside of formal practice, since during the formal practice there can be too much clinging to the idea of the goal. So I think there's certainly a point here to be made, but it seems to me like Khun Sujin has taken this basic idea and run it into an extreme.
"Delighting in existence, O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence, they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind."
- It. p 43

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robertk
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by robertk » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:28 am

rohana wrote:Not having read the entire thread, may be someone can summarize the answers to the following questions from Sujin-approach perspective? I'm guess some of these have already been addressed:


My understanding is that the cultivation of insight into aniccā, dukkha and anattā leads to dispassion. Once dispassion sets in, one let's go, making the breakthrough to stream entry(so the formal practice is a means to an end). However, usually the moment of release happens at an unexpected moment, outside of formal practice, since during the formal practice there can be too much clinging to the idea of the goal. So I think there's certainly a point here to be made, but it seems to me like Khun Sujin has taken this basic idea and run it into an extreme.
Without right view any "cultivation of insight into anicca dukkha and anatta" is likely to be self delusion.

retro said earlier in this thread:
What is needed to make those factors you mention "Right" however, is a foundation in Right View. If someone does certain exercises without Right View as the foundation, the exercise itself will not be Right, and no amount of effort or sincere dedication to that activity will make it otherwise. If someone does an exercise (whether it be selecting a sandwich, sacrificing goats, or sitting down with closed eyes) in the absence of Right View (and thereby does not understand the Dhammic causality associated with the exercise and are doing it simply out of faith that understanding will arise simply as a consequence of doing the activity) then that exercise could well be described as a ritual, to which one could become attached.

Retro. :)

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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:42 am

robertk wrote:
rohana wrote:Not having read the entire thread, may be someone can summarize the answers to the following questions from Sujin-approach perspective? I'm guess some of these have already been addressed:


My understanding is that the cultivation of insight into aniccā, dukkha and anattā leads to dispassion. Once dispassion sets in, one let's go, making the breakthrough to stream entry(so the formal practice is a means to an end). However, usually the moment of release happens at an unexpected moment, outside of formal practice, since during the formal practice there can be too much clinging to the idea of the goal. So I think there's certainly a point here to be made, but it seems to me like Khun Sujin has taken this basic idea and run it into an extreme.
Without right view any "cultivation of insight into anicca dukkha and anatta" is likely to be self delusion.
The problem with that is that "Right View," until ariya status attained, is always a work in progress, and it is far more than having an intellectual/conceptual "right view," which if taken alone, is far more likely to lead one down the garden-path of assuming more for one's self than is warranted. Right View is more than just careful study of texts; it is what arises from with putting the Buddha's teaching into practice, actively doing: bhavana/meditation practice, sila, and the rest of the 8 Fold Path.
>> 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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:01 am

rohana wrote:
  • When the Buddha talked about a 'gradual training' was he excluding any formal practice?
  • What about formal practice for the purpose of developing jhāna, after going to 'the foot of a tree or an empty dwelling'?
  • Similar to any idea of 'I-will-practice-meditation', how does one tackle any lōbha that can exist as 'I will follow Sujin's advice to gain awakening at some future point' or 'I will read Abhidhamma' - because even when we read a dhamma book, a subtle desire for awakening can be just as present as when we do any formal meditation. (Basically, how does even listening to a dhamma talk or reading a dhamma book not be part of a 'formal practice'?)
My understanding is that the cultivation of insight into aniccā, dukkha and anattā leads to dispassion. Once dispassion sets in, one let's go, making the breakthrough to stream entry(so the formal practice is a means to an end). However, usually the moment of release happens at an unexpected moment, outside of formal practice, since during the formal practice there can be too much clinging to the idea of the goal. So I think there's certainly a point here to be made, but it seems to me like Khun Sujin has taken this basic idea and run it into an extreme.
No answer to these questions and statement.
>> 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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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by Virgo » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:As we have seen graphically illustrated above, Sujin really does not understand either theoretically or practically meditation practice. Sad that she feels this need to disparage meditation practice in this strawman manner.
Why not keep it about dhammas, not about people?

Kevin
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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:07 pm

Virgo wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:As we have seen graphically illustrated above, Sujin really does not understand either theoretically or practically meditation practice. Sad that she feels this need to disparage meditation practice in this strawman manner.
Why not keep it about dhammas, not about people?

Kevin
You tell us why Sujin, in describing her particular methodology, feels she needs to disparage meditation practice, which she clearly does not understand? This is graphically evident in the above linked Q&A with her about metta practice that you gave us above.

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 80#p229904

http://www.dhammastudygroup.org/audio/2 ... m-b-01.mp3

The disparagement of meditation practice, as we see in robertk's msgs above, comes directly from her, and this disparagement in her teachings seems to have some degree of centrality to her teachings. She is the one being quoted here as the authority on all things Dhamma. My comments about her are in terms of her teachings and the disparagement, her lack of understanding, of meditation practice, which is reflected in what her followers are saying in this thread.
>> 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 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:26 pm

in the section on the development of vipassana in Vism.xx
13. “First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets stronger” (Vism-mhþ 790).

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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by ancientbuddhism » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:50 pm

robertk wrote:in the section on the development of vipassana in Vism.xx
13. “First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets stronger” (Vism-mhþ 790).

So says Buddhaghosa.
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

A Handful of Leaves

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kirk5a
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by kirk5a » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:54 am

While comprehending materiality he should see how materiality is
generated,13 that is to say, how this materiality is generated by the four causes
beginning with kamma.

footnote 13. “First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually
comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets
stronger” (Vism-mhþ 790).
So says the commentary to the Visuddhimagga.
Page 639 of the PDF version by Bhikkhu Nanamoli.
"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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tiltbillings
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Re: The causes for wisdom

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:30 am

kirk5a wrote:
While comprehending materiality he should see how materiality is
generated,13 that is to say, how this materiality is generated by the four causes
beginning with kamma.

footnote 13. “First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually
comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets
stronger” (Vism-mhþ 790).
So says the commentary to the Visuddhimagga.
Page 639 of the PDF version by Bhikkhu Nanamoli.
Robert has a tendency not to be very accurate with his quotation and citations, but more importantly are the immediate and broader contexts. The VM is a text that does not supports the Sujinist point of view that Robert is championing here, a point that has already been established in this thread.
>> 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 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:52 am

13. “First it has to be seen by inference according to the texts. Afterwards it gradually comes to be seen by personal experience when the knowledge of development gets stronger” (Vism-mhþ 790).
As the quote included the actual full reference to the tika (Vism-mhp 790) it is rather unfair to conclude that this is an inaccurate citation .

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