I find your questions very good for reflection. I do not know whether I can
answer all, or whether I can answer them in a satisfactory way.
op 02-08-2005 01:33 schreef Egbert op hhofman@...
> There is a point in your post, as in the Kundaliyasutta, where the
> reader could be left wondering "what next?" How does the development
> of right understanding of nama and rupa happen?
N: It seems like a repetition if I say again: listen, discuss, reflect, read
suttas, let the suttas sink in. But I feel that slowy in this way
understanding of the level of listening grows. We should not underestimate
this intellectual level of understanding, it is the foundation of further
development towards direct understanding.
Kusala citta that reflects is not alone! It is accompanied by many
supporting cetasikas, mental qualities. Such as confidence in kusala,
energy, wholesome wish-to-do, cetanaa or wholesome volition, calm,
concentration and many others. They arise for a moment and then fall away,
but they are accumulated.
This means: they are accumulated conditions for the arising again of similar
wholesome qualities. That is how the learning process goes on from moment to
moment, and from life to life. This is encouraging!
H: How do we gradually
> learn? I see no reason to assume that the gradual development of sati
> and panna is bound to happen, anytime in the future, no matter how
N: As explained above. The citta and cetasikas learn. We do not think of the
future, the Buddha said: don't cling to the past, don't cling to the future,
be aware of the present moment. As Ken H said many times; there is only the
present moment that we can learn. I appreciate all his reminders, they are
good for me too.
H: Samsara has rolled on for literally billions and billions of years. I
> see no trend or assurance that sati or panna spontaneously develops.
N: Spontaneously is not the right word. We need all the help we possibly
can. We should not waste our time. There is our social life where we should
apply the Dhamma when we are with other people. There are many ways of
giving and helping. Ways to become less selfish, thinking less of 'our
We should be grateful for the understanding we acquired already from the
Dhamma, even though it is only intellectual understanding. If we had not
heard the Dhamma we would not understand anything about kusala, akusala, the
conditions that are operating in our lives, our reactions to pleasant and
A long time ago you found the notions of kusala and akusala difficult to
understand. If you read the suttas it helps to understand the benefit of
kusala and the danger of akusala.
H:... What leads to future becoming? Is it not the determination that
> becoming is desirable? ....
> If each determining moment is itself determined (as in absolutely
> conditioned) then THERE IS NO PATH TO LIBERATION.
N:Ignorance and clinging lead to becoming. There is a Path. If we try to
understand conditions, free will, determination, kamma and result, by
reasoning about them, it is not helpful. The Path is the development of
understanding, very gradually, and we can verify this. The Path is not
reasoning or logic, it is development.
H: If each determining moment is undetermined (as in absolute free will)
> then THERE IS NO LAW OF KAMMA.
> If there is a middle way, isn't that called Buddhism? :-)
N: It is beneficial, even necessary to avoid extremes, and that is the