584Re: [DhammaStudyGroup] A few Questions
- Jul 1, 2000--- Dear Kashi:
> >Even when we are thinking there can be moments of
> > 1) What is the difference between "contemplation"
> > and "reflection"?
> > 2) If there are differences, is reflection
> > consumated to reveal
> > another level of insight?
> I wrote:
> There are many, many levels of understanding both at
> the theoretical and experiential level. The theory
> assists undertsanding at the practical level and
> the practical makes the the theory much clearer.
direct understanding of the characteristics of
different realities. Also when we are studying a
Dhamma book there can be many moments when there is
direct study of realities. This is an important
question because we have to learn how to study
realities directly otherwise our Dhamma study is
merely theoretical. sOEMTIMES I read books by people
who have studied Abhidhamma a great deal but I am
disapointed to see that they cannot relate it directly
to what is hapening at this moment . They think of it
as some sort of technical subject to learn and think
about rather than as a very exact description of life
that should be tested and seen for oneself.
Some people can say things like "there is no self" but
still have no understanding. Thus even when we are
reflecting or contemplating or whatever we call it we
need to develop the ability to see below the surface
and see the realities that are conditioning the
thinking. It can be done and discussions like these
help to encourage. While you are reading this what
dhammas , realities are present? There are colors
contacting the eyebase, which condition seeing, cakkhu
vinnana. These are three different dhammas that we
have to gradually separate and insight.
There is the thinking process which is composed of
many different realities. And what is the thinking
process rooted inright now? Is it all clear? In that
case it is rooted in amoha, panna, wisdom. Or is there
doubt and confusion? In that case it is rooted in
Do you like to think about all this? In that case it
could be rooted in either lobha, unwholesome desire or
panna as both can come with pleasant feeling. We must
learn to understand the characteristics of both so
that there they can be distinguished.
If there is confusion or other unwholesome defilements
present that is OK. They are real and they too must be
> >I mentioned the asava yesterday. Another way the
> > 3) "Delusion arises when consciousness
> > arises...period and always..."
> > is what someone recently said to me. My
> > understanding is that
> > delusion manifest primarily through perceptions;
> > though,
> > yes...without first having (contact -->)
> > consciousness or "kindling"
> > there wouldn't be delusion.
Buddha classified defilements is by vipallasa, the
perversions of seeing. I use the Patisambhidhimagga
VIII "Bhikkhus there are four perversions of
percep[tion,(sanna) perversions of cita, perversions
of view. What four? Bhikkhus seeing what is
1.impermanent as permenent is a perversion of sanna,
of citta of ditthi. 2.Seeing what is not self as
3.seeing the foul as beautiful is..
4.seeing the painful as pleasnat is a perversion of
The sotappana has completely eliminated forever all
pervesion of view ditthi. He has also eliminated all
perversions at the level of sanna and citta that see
anything as permanent or self. However he still has
the perversions of view at the level of sanna and
citta that see the foul as beautiful and the painful
It is sometimes thought that the experience of nibbana
is some sort of mystical event whereby someone who was
deluded is meditating and suddenly switches into an
enlightened being. However, even before becoming a
sotapanna there is a gradual diminishment of wrong
view, ditthi, which is the grossest, most dangerous
defilement. Thus someone may not be enlightened but if
they have considered and tested the teachings and
studied realities directly a lot, they will have only
rarely, if at all, the perversions at the level of
ditthi( those that see what is not self as self or
what is not permanent as permanent.) They will still
have these perversions at the level of sanna and citta
however, although these will gradually recede as
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