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Re: [Buddhism_101] Your interpretation of The Katuviya Sutta [was post 9090]

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  • John Pellecchia
    ... Reply: I m not sure I m reading your reply correctly. Are you saying it is dangerous to enjoy life with all one s senses or are you saying it is not
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 31, 2007
      >>Normand wrote: "Still i insist that if for a few moments a human being enjoys life with all his senses it is in some way dangerous....What is bad about admiring creation"

      Reply: I'm not sure I'm reading your reply correctly. Are you saying it is dangerous to enjoy life with all one's senses or are you saying it is not dangerous to enjoy life with all one's senses? Part of what you wrote seems to be saying one thing while the other appears to say the opposite.

      But let me clarify: nothing is wrong with enjoying nature. I guess I did not clearly express a key point when I wrote, "You can enjoy the sights, sounds, odors and tastes of the world but if one gets lost in the desire for them--well, that's where the problem arises. As I read, this is what the sutta teaches." If you truly understand The Four Noble Truths and The Eight-Fold Path (see http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/8foldpath.htm ) then you should understand "The Katuviya Sutta". I can only assume that I must have poorly expressed myself in my prior reply and am now attempting to clarify.

      Remember, in your initial post you stated "If i [sic] read you [the Katuviya Sutta] right looking at a beautiful flower, the sun, sunset, moon anything physically beautiful is putrid." Again, that is not what the sutta states. The Buddha was admonishing the monk for he "...whose delight was in what is empty, whose delight was in exterior things, his mindfulness muddled, his alertness lacking, his concentration lacking, his mind gone astray, his faculties uncontrolled." The monk had lost sight of the Dharma. This is what was putrid; not the exterior world but the monk's interior mental world.

      The Buddha explained to another monk quite emphatically when asked for clarification. "'Greed, monk, is putrefaction. Ill will is the stench of carrion. Evil, unskillful thoughts are flies. On one who lets himself putrefy and stink with the stench of carrion, there's no way that flies won't swarm and attack." The Buddha did not say, as you misinterpret, that "...looking at a beautiful flower, the sun, sunset, moon anything physically beautiful is putrid." What you write is neither stated nor implied in the sutta. It is excess desire (what the Buddha termed "delight...in exterior things") in any form, not the enjoyment of the natural beauty of things, that is the cause of dukkha.

      >>Normand wrote: "Must man always suffer and and check if he is attaching himself to something or someone,and then meditate on detaching himself."

      Reply: Now you are finally approaching the root of the problem of which I initially wrote, namely dukkha. It is not enjoying natural surroundings that is dangerous but the desire of, the want of, the continuous seeking of anything, be it nature or otherwise, that causes dukkha.

      Using your example, if I see a beautiful sunset, I enjoy it but I realize I cannot keep it. It is transitory, impermanent like a gossamer illusion that all too quickly passes. I also realize that tomorrow the sunset may be obscured by rain. If I really desire the sunset of yesterday but do not see it today, that causes suffering--dukkha (a lack of balance--not in nature but within).

      The same same holds true for any "thing" that one greatly desires. We can enjoy them but understand they are only there temporarily: flowers in bloom are beautiful but quickly wither; the moon waxes and wanes and will in time totally disappear (figuratively and ultimately literally according to science); mountains will eventually lose their majesty by weathering away, etc.

      The most beautiful woman or the most handsome man will eventually grow old. We see extreme dukkha in the man or woman who refuses to accept the fact of aging by spending thousands of dollars on cremes and hormone treatments, having hair implants, undergoing liposuction, botox injections, saline implants, and sundry cosmetic surgeries in a vane attempt to forgo aging. They experience dukkha to the extreme and physically become a mockery of a human.

      As you said "..meditate on detaching...." Yes, that is the point. Great idea; meditate on what the sutta in question stated. Read it, re-read it, and read it again; make it a part of you, ponder on what it says--not on how you interpret it. It does not mean you should not enjoy life but don't fixate on the enjoyment because when you experience a sorrow (as we all will and do) you will definitely experience dukkha.

      >>Normand wrote: "Not a Happy life."

      Reply: Once again you approach the heart of the Buddha's teaching but I fear you put the emphasis on the wrong aspect. If you want a happy life, a life of personal contentment then you have to leave behind the negative thinking of desire, the "poor me, why me" syndrome and look within. Go to a monastery? Hardly the teaching of the Buddha since He gave many teachings for householders (laity). By the way, monastic life is not the serene, easy life you may think it is. If that were the case the monasteries and seminaries of every faith and denomination would be bulging. As the saying goes, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence until you have to mow the other guy's lawn."

      >>Normand wrote: "everything is true and untrue"

      Reply: One may read but not comprehend. One may hear but not listen. Relative and absolute truth are extremes. They are as such interdependent on a conceptual level. Look at it from the middle-way view. Your truth is not necessarily the truth of another (wish our governments would learn that lesson).

      For further reading on this subject read "The Sutra on the Eight Realizations" and the commentary by Thich Nhat Hanh at http://www.buddhistinformation.com/ida_b_wells_memorial_sutra_library/sutra_on_the_eight_realizations.htm .

      I apologize for the length.

      May all be at peace.

      John


      He should not kill a living being,
      nor cause it to be killed,
      nor should he incite another to kill.
      Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world. (Sutta Nipata II,14)

      ----- Original Message ----
      normand joly <dragontribal@...> wrote in part

      Still i insist that if for a few moments a human being enjoys life with all his senses it is in some way
      dangerous.Man You are in for a dull life .What is bad about admiring creation. Must man always suffer and and check if he is attaching himself to something or someone,and then meditate on detaching himself.
      Not a Happy life.

      Dragon

      everything is true and untrue








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    • normand joly
      Dear John if you reread the original post that i commented on the person writing it ,never specified ,that the monk was temporarely looking a t outside
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 31, 2007
        Dear John if you reread the original post that i commented on the
        person writing it ,never specified ,that the monk was temporarely
        looking a t outside beauties.
        I know of attachment ,I know of Dhukka,i have read 4 versions of the
        Dhammapada and about the same of the 8 fold path. I am no yochum.
        Like Miriam often says maybe it's the language barrier . please reread
        the original post and you shall understand my reaction

        your's
        Normand Joly
        a frenchmen from Quebec
      • John Pellecchia
        Normand, As I wrote to you in a private e-mail on 12 November 2007, I ...compliment you on your English. You express yourself very well in English -- much
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 31, 2007
          Normand,

          As I wrote to you in a private e-mail on 12 November 2007, I "...compliment you on your English. You express yourself very well in English -- much better than I could ever hope to speak, much less write, in French." By the way, I'm one of the few (seulement?) people who flies le drapeau tricolore a le jour de la Fête Nationale de la France chaque 14 Juillet (see how badly I do?!). So, misunderstandings are well understood.

          No one, especially myself, would ever think of anyone as a yokum much less a Frenchman (mais un Anglais peut-être).

          No idea how the accent marks will appear when you see this. Anyway, I'm glad that cleared things up a bit. Bonne Année (not sure if that's quite right either). Happy New Year!

          May all be at peace.

          John

          He should not kill a living being,
          nor cause it to be killed,
          nor should he incite another to kill.
          Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.
          (Sutta Nipata II,14)

          ----- Original Message ----
          From: normand joly <dragontribal@...>
          To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 11:30:13 PM
          Subject: [Buddhism_101] Your interpretation of The Katuviya Sutta [was post 9090]


          Dear John if you reread the original post that i commented on the
          person writing it ,never specified ,that the monk was temporarely
          looking a t outside beauties.
          I know of attachment ,I know of Dhukka,i have read 4 versions of the
          Dhammapada and about the same of the 8 fold path. I am no yochum.
          Like Miriam often says maybe it's the language barrier . please reread
          the original post and you shall understand my reaction

          your's
          Normand Joly
          a frenchmen from Quebec




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