Re: Emptiness and Analytical practice
- Dear pt
Even if you are thinking of dhamma as not self, whether it is conceptual object or paramatha dhamma. It is still panna that understands the nature of dhamma. Thinking of dhamma or investigating dhamma is part of developing. It is not necessary the object be paramatha dhamma is called satipatthana because panna does not choose which object in kusala citta it wants to arise with. To me, the ability to know it as paramatha level only happens when one is at the purification of view stage when one start looking at objects in paramatha level. Basically now it is just thinking about dhamma. Do not be discouraged just because there is a perspective of considering concepts is not developing dhamma. That is not necessary true as the text in the commentary of Distraction of Thoughts shows that like thinking of no one owns a bowl or the impermanence of bowl as development of panna. I extract it below if you have time, you could read it.
Also developing understanding, it is not necessary to just putting some time to think about it. It is good to put some time do reflect and reexamine our thoughts. It can happen anywhere while doing anything. Also,my personal perspective, make a habit of thinking about dhamma could be useful. One could do it while doing the necessity of life like eating, bathing, walking etc. Sometimes, I think who is eating or who is bathing or walking, or I think metta towards all beings hoping they have enough food to eat and drink, free of suffering etc. Though there will be some doubts whether such habits were wrong rituals. From what I know, the text indicates wrong rituals that does not lead the understanding of dhamma like the cows and dog rituals. It does not say meditation that is indicated in the 40 types of mediation objects are wrong. So if you like to mediate, please go ahead.
Just remember one simple rule, any thought or practice that leads to the understanding of anatta or anicca or dukkha, just do it :-).
If I say too much about my own thinking, please excuse me. Hope it helps you during your work time.
When there is greed for inanimate things like bowls and robes it is cast out through reflection of two kinds of bringing about detachment for inanimate things, namely those on ownerlessness and temporariness, taught in the section of the enlightenment factors (bojjhanga) in the commentary to the Satipatthana Sutta. Therefore the thinking on the object (which produces greed), by way of the reflection of impermanence is the different object.
Reflection... on ownerlessness and temporariness; this bowl gradually ends up as broken pieces, having changed color, became old, developed cracks and holes or having smashed up; this robe, having faded, worn out will have to be thrown away with the end of a stick, after it is used as a rag to wipe the feet with. If these had an owner, he would prevent them from being destroyed. In this manner should the reflection on ownerlessness be done. And the reflection on temporariness should be done with the thought that these cannot last long, that these are of brief duration.
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- Hi Ken and Tony
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ken H" wrote:
> Hi Jon and Tony,
> >>Tony H: Seeing how things DO exist (i.e. as conventional appearances to the mind in dependence upon their aggregates etc...) also reveals how things don't exist (i.e. their emptiness and illusory nature as dependent related phenomena, mere appearances to the mind.
> > J: In the suttas the Buddha declares that the idea that things do exist and the idea that things don't exist are both views that are not taught by him.
> > So it is not the function of understanding to see "how things exist" or "don't exist", but rather to see the conditioned, and momentary, nature of dhammas.
> KH: Excuse me for interrupting, but I don't think that was the answer Tony needed to hear. I am sure it is perfectly valid with regard to concepts, but Tony's problem (if I may call it that) is that he thinks dhammas have no existence outside the mind. In other words, he sees them as concepts.
> The Buddha has clearly said that dhammas do exist (see Useful Posts under "Exists & does not Exist, Emptiness").
J: Right. The Buddha has clearly said that dhammas do exist -- see SN22:94 Flowers:
"And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists?
"Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling ...Perception...Volitional formations...Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists."
However, when I made my comment about the idea that things do or don't exist, I had in mind the sutta SN12:15:
"'Everything exists,' this is one extreme [view]; 'nothing exists,' this is the other extreme. Avoiding both extremes the Tathaagata teaches a doctrine of the middle: Conditioned by ignorance are the formations ... So there comes about the arising of this entire mass of suffering. But from the complete fading away and cessation of ignorance there comes the cessation of the formations, from the cessation of the formations comes the cessation of consciousness... So there comes about the complete cessation of this entire mass of suffering."
In his post Tony had talked about the importance of seeing how things do or don't exist. I read him as suggesting that nothing actually exists in any meaningful sense of that word; all is just an appearance to the mind (Tony may like to comment on that).