Eating in a restaurant part 2

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Dinsdale
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:00 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:18 am
chownah wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:41 am
I do know that one can take feelings as not self an not mine and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them...I find that a rigorous pursuit of not self actually helps in being sensitive to the moral issues etc....but maybe this is not typical....I don't know.
Would you care to sketch out how one can take feelings (and thoughts etc.) as not self an not mine and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them?
If I felt guilt or remorse about some aspect of my behaviour, I would try to look at it honestly, reflect on the harm I had caused, and how to avoid doing harm in the future. Developing insight into not-self feels to me like a separate ( subsequent? ) activity, thinking for example of sila, samadhi and panna as a progression.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

binocular
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:53 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:55 am
binocular wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:18 am
Would you care to sketch out how one can take feelings (and thoughts etc.) as not self an not mine and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them?
There is a very brief sketch called "The Four Noble Truths".
There is an expanded sketch called "The Eightfold Noble Path".
There is a detailed sketch called the "Tipitaka".
Well, that's what you _think_ and what you _feel_ is right. In other words, the Path is still a fabrication, a construct. It's not possible to escape one's thoughts and feelings just like that, assuming that the Path -- even in one's current understanding, and especially in one's current understanding! -- is already beyond the aggregates.
Unless one is already enlightened, one's current understanding of the Path is still condtioned, still firmly within the aggregates. Some (or all?) of which you're eager to dismiss as notself.

You're assuming the same certainty about the Path, as, for example, Christian preachers who are sure they know the truth about God. They talk about how faulty man is and how he cannot know anything for himself; but they are nevertheless sure that they are not such men when it comes to knowing the truth about God. As if knowledge of worldly things is hard to obtain and full of perils, but knowledge of the Ultimate Truth is self-evident and isn't subject to all the defects and problems as obtaining knowledge of worldly things.

When one takes the teachings in the suttas or in the Buddhist traditions as one's guideline, one is still taking one's feelings and thoughts at it seriously (e.g. "I feel/think that what this sutta is telling me is worth doing") and identifying with them.
I do know that one can take feelings as not self an not mine and still not dismiss the moral issues etc. involved with them...I find that a rigorous pursuit of not self actually helps in being sensitive to the moral issues etc....but maybe this is not typical....I don't know.
I suspect you're indeed taking some thoughts and feelings as notself, but still identify with some others.
E.g. one can dismiss feeling like a hypocrite as merely a feeling that is notself -- but perform this dismissal on the grounds of feeling (!) that it would be justified or wise to do so.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:21 am

I have not talked about dismissing feelings. Does the buddha talk about dismissing feelings?
I don't know what all is meant by 'dismissing feelings' but it sounds alot like aversion to me....I guess....don't know for sure....I could be wrong....
chownah

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L.N.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 am

Mr Man wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:30 pm
So what should be understood as being "mine"?
Conventionally, we have to take personal responsibility. Ultimately, anything which arises in this experience is not "mine." These two understandings are not mutually exclusive.
Spiny Norman wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:49 pm
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
I was said to be off topic there so I started this one since the idea that feeling of remorse or of being a hypocrite are just feelings and so should be treated as feelings and that it is taught that feelings are not self, not mine, etc.
That could be used to justify all sorts of harmful behaviour.
Yes, it could be. However, when understood correctly, this orientation will lead to skillful behavior, not harmful behavior. I hope we do not lose sight of the two ways in which Right View is to be understood, as set forth in the material in the following link: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... an.html#s1
"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions [of becoming]; there is right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives & brahmans who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.

"And what is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.
I find, on the other hand, that those who identify moral conduct very strictly with "me," "mine," "myself" often exhibit harmful behavior toward self and others, perhaps by virtue of difficulty recognizing other valid perspectives.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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L.N.
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by L.N. » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am

chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.

For others, recognizing these feelings as not me, not mine etc. can be a training tool, or even a deep understanding, which aligns with a general orientation toward following the 8-fold path. It depends.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

binocular
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:21 am
I have not talked about dismissing feelings. Does the buddha talk about dismissing feelings?
I don't know what all is meant by 'dismissing feelings' but it sounds alot like aversion to me....I guess....don't know for sure....I could be wrong....
Then what do you mean when you say --
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
What do you mean by "it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self" when in a situation when one feels like a hypocrite, for example?

I find that viewing feelings and the other aggregates as notself amounts to dismissing them.

Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.

And then what??
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.

For others, recognizing these feelings as not me, not mine etc. can be a training tool, or even a deep understanding, which aligns with a general orientation toward following the 8-fold path. It depends.
I don't actually see a problem with feelings. I think it is rather American to have a problem with feelings.

In general, it seems that in traditional/conservative cultures, when one feels a certain way, this is seen as a situation that behooves a moral analysis of the issue at hand with the goal to change one's behavior from then on. So, for example, if one feels like a hypocrite, this is seen as a prompt to think about the drawbacks of lying or otherwise pretending, and to resolve not to lie or pretend anymore.

But, generally speaking, Americans seem to be more concerned with the management of the feelings per se, without any moral analysis. "Oh, I feel like such a hypocrite! I need to take some pills/take a bubble bath/eat a pizza to feel better."
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

chownah
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:56 am

"Just a feeling"? I've never said "just a feeling". I don't think that the buddha ever said or even implied "just a feeling".

There are many things one can learn from one's feelings and perhaps the most important thing that one can learn from ones feelings has to do with the anatta doctrine. As has been pointed out in a previous post it is more likely that one can learn about the anatta doctrine when one approaches it from many angles and not just with respect to feelings.

If smith has never heard of the anatta doctrine then smith will probably just be perplexed....if smith has studied the anatta doctrine somewhat then smith might at some time direct some discernment into the arising of feelings. This has nothing to do with the particulars of why smith has the feeling....it is another issue in addition to (but seperate from) whatever issues are inherent in the particulars of the arising of smith's feelings.
chownah

binocular
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:35 am

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:56 am
"Just a feeling"? I've never said "just a feeling". I don't think that the buddha ever said or even implied "just a feeling".
Then what?

Smith and Jones dialogue, revised:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: It's a feeling, it's not who you are.


Then what?
There are many things one can learn from one's feelings and perhaps the most important thing that one can learn from ones feelings has to do with the anatta doctrine.
I think one learns that from other people, not from one's feelings. One's feelings are just that -- feelings.
If smith has never heard of the anatta doctrine then smith will probably just be perplexed....if smith has studied the anatta doctrine somewhat then smith might at some time direct some discernment into the arising of feelings.
Hm. Intuitively, I would focus on why is Smith telling Jones about feeling like a hypocrite. A common reason may be that he is thereby expressing trust in their relationship and hoping for help or support with a problem that he's having.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Dinsdale
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:39 am

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.
And then what??
Further hyprocrisy. ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Dinsdale
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:46 am

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.
It's also the case that excessive remorse is a hindrance, though an obvious way of reducing remorse is to act skillfully and not cause harm. And of course Right Effort is relevant here.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:03 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:21 am
I have not talked about dismissing feelings. Does the buddha talk about dismissing feelings?
I don't know what all is meant by 'dismissing feelings' but it sounds alot like aversion to me....I guess....don't know for sure....I could be wrong....
Then what do you mean when you say --
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
What do you mean by "it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self" when in a situation when one feels like a hypocrite, for example?
For example:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
chownah

chownah
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:06 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 am

In general, it seems that in traditional/conservative cultures, when one feels a certain way, this is seen as a situation that behooves a moral analysis of the issue at hand with the goal to change one's behavior from then on. So, for example, if one feels like a hypocrite, this is seen as a prompt to think about the drawbacks of lying or otherwise pretending, and to resolve not to lie or pretend anymore.
Exactly. This does not conflict with what I am talking about. What you present can be a very good thing. Being reminded of anatta does not mean that one can do what you present...in fact I expect that for many people activating anatta at some level will help them in appraising the exact situation which gave rise to the feeling.
chownah

chownah
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:18 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:39 am
binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:51 am
Imagine a conversation like this:
Smith: I feel like such a hypocrite!
Jones: Oh, it's just a feeling, it's not who you are. Let it go.
And then what??
Further hyprocrisy. ;)
Well, it has not been established that smith has in fact been a hypocrite or not....only that there is a feeling which smith associates with the idea of being a hypocrite.

If one gave these two lines to a theatrical improvisation group they could probably make a couple dozen scenarios with vastly different twist and turns and outcomes. Given just these two lines anyone can make whatever they want around it....a good way to encourage disagreement.
chownah

chownah
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Re: Eating in a restaurant part 2

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:04 pm

L.N. wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 am
chownah wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:47 am
... if you feel remorse it is best to view that feeling as not mine, not self, etc.
Not sure this is always best. It may depend on the individual. For some, it may be important to feel the sting of remorse, recognize the consequences of one's wrong actions, and move in a more positive direction. For some (not all) the effort to view remorse as "not mine" might be a method of avoidance.

For others, recognizing these feelings as not me, not mine etc. can be a training tool, or even a deep understanding, which aligns with a general orientation toward following the 8-fold path. It depends.
INdeed. Any teaching can be wrongly grasped.
Also, feeling a feeling and thinking about its arising is important and we should arouse our discernment and direct it to this task.....but this is not in conflict with also directing our discernment to seeing anatta.

I think that somehow some people here think I am advising going to your average person on the street who is completely unaware of buddhism much less the anatta doctrine and advising them that their feelings are unimportant and just forget them. Has anyone here actually advised such a person that feelings are not self?.....I have done so just to see what the reaction would be....they thought I was some kind of nut case or just making up stupid stuff to start an arguement. This seems to be what some people here are thinking about and it seems like a very unlikely scenario.....certainly if someone does this it is unlikely that they will see the light. I also think it is unlikely that you would have any impact at all on the person's behavior in that they would just right you off as being some kind of a kook. Anyone who would radically change their behavior (to be accepting of hypocracy for example) just because someone made a casual comment is probably really looking for someone to help them to justify being hypocritical and they are likely to continue to be hypocritical regardless of the not self comment. REally this scenario that binocular started seems really ridiculous to me in that it lacks any sort of credibility (in my view) as presenting a scenario which can be meaningfullly discussed.
chownah
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