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Sri Lanka Revisited, Ch 7, no 1.

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  • Nina van Gorkom
    Dear friends, Chapter 7 Hindrances to the Development of Paññå Association with the good friend in Dhamma, listening, considering what one has heard,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 27, 2012
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      Dear friends,

      Chapter 7

      Hindrances to the Development of Pa���

      Association with the good friend in Dhamma, listening, considering
      what one has heard, testing its meaning and the right practice are
      the conditions for enlightenment. We have listened to the Dhamma and
      considered it and now we are wondering how mindfulness of n�ma and
      r�pa can begin. We find that it hardly begins. Are there factors
      which hinder the development of right understanding?

      Bhante Dhammadharo pointed out that, although we believe that we
      listened and considered what we heard, we did not listen enough and
      we did not truly test the meaning of what we heard. Perhaps we were
      only passive listeners. We read in the �Gradual Sayings� (Book of the
      Threes, Ch III, � 30, Topsy-turvey) about three ways of listening to
      the Dhamma. The Buddha said that there is the �topsy-turvy-brained�,
      the �scatter-brained� and �the man of comprehensive brain�. As to the
      �topsy-turvy-brained� who visits the monks and listens to the Dhamma,
      we read:

      �... But as he sits there he pays no heed to that talk in its
      beginning, pays no heed to its middle, pays no heed to its ending.
      Also when he has risen from his seat he pays no heed thereto... Just
      as when a pot is turned upside down, the water poured thereon runs
      off and does not stay in the pot, even so in this case a certain
      person frequents the monastery ... but pays no heed to that talk...
      Also when he rises from his seat he pays no heed thereto... This one
      is called �the topsy-turvy-brained�.

      And of what sort, monks, is the scatter-brained ?

      In this case a certain person frequents the monastery... As he sits
      he pays heed to that talk in its beginning, its middle and its end,
      but when he has risen up from his seat he pays no heed thereto...
      Just as when in a man�s lap divers kinds of food are piled together,
      such as sesamum, rice, sweetmeats and jujube fruits. When he rises
      from his seat he scatters all abroad through absent-mindedness, --
      even so, monks, in this case a certain person frequents the
      monastery... As he sits he pays heed to that talk... but when he has
      risen up from his seat he pays no heed thereto. This one is called
      �the scatter-brained�.�

      We then read about the man of comprehensive mind who listens and pays
      heed to that talk in its beginning, middle and end, and who also when
      he gets up bears it in mind. We read:

      �... Just as when a pot is set upright the water poured therein
      accumulates and does not run away, even so in this case a certain
      person frequents the monastery... and pays heed to that talk... Also
      when he rises from his seat he bears it in mind, in its beginning,
      its middle and its ending. This one, monks, is called �the man of
      comprehensive mind�.�

      We think perhaps that we do not belong to the two first categories,
      but are we sure? We may be forgetful of what we heard and we may not
      apply it. Then we are like the �scatter-brained".

      *****

      Nina.

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