Fw: The Storm
- Hi All,
just to let you know about the trouble our friend Howard is facing after the encounter with Sandy..
with Metta Dieter
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2012 1:45 PM
Subject: Fwd: The Storm
Hi again, Dieter -
We are still without power and will likely remain so for a couple more weeks! Also, other than on the day after the storm, when the tree service we hired cut some limbs off the monster tree on our house, no further work has been done! This is VERY worrisome, as the tree did break through the roof into the attic in several spots. I fear any heavy rain that would cause a flooded attic or even a roof collapse (God forbid!). Supposedly today or tomorrow they will use a large crane to lift the tree off the house. I sure hope so! Another problem is that the temperature has been dropping to close to freezing at night, and it is VERY difficult to find gasoline (petrol) anywhere for me to buy to use in our portable generator. Dieter, should any folks on dsg or kd-list be wondering about me, please let them know. (I'm not very good at sending emails from my phone.
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note™, an AT&T LTE smartphone
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hi Pt,
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "ptaus1" <ptaus1@...> wrote:
> > S: Isn't that the point? We're used to thinking in terms of people, activities and control, but here we're learning that there are only dhammas.
> pt: Well, yes, so if we're talking about dhammas, then instead of control we should be saying ditthi, I think. That's a dhamma, whereas control can have any number of invested meanings.
S: When there is an idea that we have control in life, it is ditthi. It's a way of explaining a kind of atta-view. There are different kinds of ditthi. The Buddha elaborated and explained these using many different kinds of words. We can read or hear anything with right or wrong view.
> pt: As a new internet buddhist, I wasn't familiar with dhammas, but I was intimately familiar with control. Consequently, it seemed like an important realisation that what seems like an apparent control to me is in fact just ditthi. A dhamma. And conditioned at that. On the other hand, the expression that dhammas cannot be controlled always seemed to miss that point. But I guess it speaks differently to different people.
S: Dhammas cannot be controlled because they are conditioned and there is no one to exert any control. I think it is the ignorance and wrong view that is the problem, rather than the wording.
For example, we can read different translations of suttas inc TB's with or without any misunderstanding. We can read newspaper reports or anything with or without wrong understanding too
> > S: Are you talking here about balas (powers) in the development of satipatthana or jhana development?
> pt: Yes.
> > S: If you're talking about the development of insight, the powers of saddha, viriya, sati and samadhi can only become powers when panna is unshakeable and clearly understands seeing, visible object and all kinds of namas and rupas. There is no change in the outer appearance - daily life as usual, but clear comprehension, no question of "what would it be like?"
> pt: Thanks, hence I feel the validity of the conclusion that without powers, our "conscious attempts" to (have) insight (into) something (right now) is basically just ditthi (right now). (In other words, apparent control at this point is akusala.)
S: And with these balas, powers, there would be no "conscious attempts" to have insight or any other realities arise because there is the clear understanding of conditioned dhammas as anatta. Even for the Buddha, whatever arose was by conditions.
> > S: If you're talking about jhana attainment, can we imagine what it is like not to wish to see or to hear now?
> pt: I was more wondering about pre-jhana development of samatha. I mean, I assume powers must be developed before jhana can actually happen. Further I assume that it has to do with more than just wishing not to see, etc. I mean, if there are no powers, then this wish would be akusala, I assume.
S: Of course - any wishing for anything to arise is akusala. Even for those with highly developed samatha, non-attachment to seeing does not occur by wishing, but by the development of panna.
It always comes back to panna - whether we are talking about the development of samatha or satipatthana.
> > S: Like now, if there is wise consideration of dhammas such as seeing, visible object and attachment, there is panna and there is calm.
> pt: Ok, but for the sake of simplicity, let's say it's outside of sasana and there's no knowledge of dhammas, so how would bhavana (pre-jhana, non-sila, non-dana, non-insight) occur?
S: Like now, through the wise consideration of objects that can bring calm. For example, even without any understanding of realities, there can be wise or unwise consideration about death, about kindness to others, about colour, about breath, about generosity.
Of course, occasional moments of wise consideration with calm cannot be considered as bhavana - they are just occasional moments of kusala. In order to be bhavana, it is to be a habit, a development of such wise consideration.
Would we like to have more such wise consideration, more such calm? Is that our reason for wishing to know? In that case, it's bound to be attachment, not detachment.
> Thanks for the discussion.
S: Always a pleasure, Pt. You always raise good points and topics which help me and others too, I'm sure.