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Re: Right Reflection

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  • buddhatrue
    ... be ... thinking, ... development ... Hi Sarah, Actually, I see this excerpt as defining Right Reflection as wise considering of those factors which
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 2, 2003
      --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, Sarah <sarahdhhk@y...> wrote:
      > Hi Jeff & All,
      >
      > I found this extract from the commentary and sub-commentary to the
      > Satipatthana Sutta (recently posted just after your post to me) to
      be
      > relevant to the comments about reflection and consideration of the
      > details. Note that `right reflection', as I read it, is not just
      thinking,
      > but direct knowledge conditioned by wise considering and the
      development
      > of satipatthana.
      > **********
      <snip>

      Hi Sarah,

      Actually, I see this excerpt as defining Right Reflection as wise
      considering of those factors which are the conditions for the
      enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects; as such,
      it is in fact `thinking' about such and doesn't require `direct
      knowledge' of those mental objects. The only mental factor,
      or `frame of mind', required is to possess a `bent' toward this
      investigation. In other words, right reflection is only an
      enlightenment factor, it isn't enlightenment itself, and so doesn't
      require the `direct knowing' of mental objects. Additionally, it
      doesn't even require meditative practice, though I would think that
      meditative practice would strengthen it and would enrich the
      knowledge base.

      I just thought I would add this because I found your paraphrasing of
      the commentary a bit confusing/misleading. I am not sure what post
      of Jeff's and counter post you are referring to because I haven't
      been following that too closely (frankly, not able to…too
      dissected). If I have spoken out of turn, I apologize.

      Metta, James
    • Sarah
      Hi James, S: You were quite right to point out that my comments about the extract were not very clear and actually sent hastily as an after-thought to my other
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 2, 2003
        Hi James,

        S: You were quite right to point out that my comments about the extract
        were not very clear and actually sent hastily as an after-thought to my
        other post to Jeff. In the discussions with him, we seem to have half a
        dozen threads on the go in each post, one of which is the role of
        thinking/direct knowledge/ hearing and considering the details.

        Of course you haven’t spoken out of turn and you’ve done me a favour by
        encouraging me to check the texts more carefully and consider your
        comments.

        In the passage I quoted from Way 95:
        *****
        >>Commentary on the Satipatthana Sutta, "The Way of Mindfulness" trans. &
        ed. Soma Thera, Commentary, Buddhaghosa Thera, Subcommentary (tika),
        Dhammapala Thera. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/bps/misc/wayof.html

        The Contemplation of Mental Objects

        The Factors of Enlightenment

        >>2. Investigation of Mental Objects
        *****
        S: The second bojjhanga (enlightenment factor) is discussed in the
        extract. It is dhamma-vicaya (enlightenment factor of investigation of
        Dhamma).

        This is the same as pa~n~naa cetasika (right understanding), which is why
        I mentioned it is ‘direct knowledge conditioned by wise considering and
        the development of satipatthana’.

        We read about these same bhojjhangas in various suttas such as the
        Satipatthana Sutta and the Sabbaasava Sutta (MN2).

        In the Visuddhimagga, XV1,86 we read:

        “right view (sammaa di.t.thi) includes the fourth road to power consisting
        in inquiry, the understanding faculty, the understanding power, and the
        ivestigation-of-states enlightenment factor <dhamma-vicaya bojjhanga>.”
        .....
        --- buddhatrue <buddhatrue@...> wrote: >>
        > Actually, I see this excerpt as defining Right Reflection as wise
        > considering of those factors which are the conditions for the
        > enlightenment factor of the investigation of mental objects; as such,
        > it is in fact `thinking' about such and doesn't require `direct
        > knowledge' of those mental objects.....
        .....
        S: I think perhaps the terms ‘reflection’ and ‘investigation’ may be
        somewhat misleading although I agree with all your comments about the
        value of wise considering and so on as essential conditions. Here it is
        ‘associated with knowledge’ and ‘perceiving, according to actuality’. In
        fact, I believe that for panna (and the other factors) to be a bojjhanga,
        we are talking about highly developed wisdom, developed to a degree that
        it can realize the 4 noble truths.

        Perhaps it’s also relevant that this section comes at the end of the
        Satipatthana Sutta.

        *****
        S: In your ‘Conditioned Reality’ post you also brought up some interesting
        comments about the universality of conditioned reality. You wondered about
        the ‘perception of reality’ as a determining factor of reality and how
        this fits in with the Teachings. I know Rob M replied but just to add a
        couple more points while we’re talking here -

        As we know, our outlooks on life, include our belief systems, do of course
        have a profound effect. However, I think the ‘truths’ remain as truths
        regardless of any wishing or varying outlooks. In other words, regardless
        of contrary views, there remain the six worlds of realities and these
        actual phenomena are still inherently unsatisfactory, impermanent and
        not-self. Ignorance and craving continue to be causes of suffering and
        samsara will continue on whilst there are these causes. I think that by
        developing awareness and wisdom, confidence grows and there are fewer
        conditions to consider the possibilities of ‘soul’ and other contrary
        concepts which can only be ‘imagined’. I hope I haven’t missed your point.

        I’d be glad to hear any further reflections you have.

        With metta,

        Sarah
        ======


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      • buddhatrue
        ... interesting ... wondered about ... how ... add a ... course ... truths ... regardless ... these ... and ... and ... that by ... fewer ... contrary ...
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 3, 2003
          --- In dhammastudygroup@yahoogroups.com, Sarah <sarahdhhk@y...> wrote:
          > S: In your `Conditioned Reality' post you also brought up some
          interesting
          > comments about the universality of conditioned reality. You
          wondered about
          > the `perception of reality' as a determining factor of reality and
          how
          > this fits in with the Teachings. I know Rob M replied but just to
          add a
          > couple more points while we're talking here -
          >
          > As we know, our outlooks on life, include our belief systems, do of
          course
          > have a profound effect. However, I think the `truths' remain as
          truths
          > regardless of any wishing or varying outlooks. In other words,
          regardless
          > of contrary views, there remain the six worlds of realities and
          these
          > actual phenomena are still inherently unsatisfactory, impermanent
          and
          > not-self. Ignorance and craving continue to be causes of suffering
          and
          > samsara will continue on whilst there are these causes. I think
          that by
          > developing awareness and wisdom, confidence grows and there are
          fewer
          > conditions to consider the possibilities of `soul' and other
          contrary
          > concepts which can only be `imagined'. I hope I haven't missed your
          point.
          >
          > I'd be glad to hear any further reflections you have.
          >
          > With metta,
          >
          > Sarah
          > ======

          Hi Sarah,

          You are mixing truth with pure conjecture. The Buddha only taught
          the Four Noble Truths, which, of course, I believe, regardless of the
          reality. But he did not describe, in detail, all reality. I happen
          to believe that there is life on other planets in the universe;
          actually, it would be mindboggling if there wasn't. The Lord Buddha
          (and I will continue to call him that...even if LAYMAN Jeff
          disapproves;-) did not talk about or describe such life. Why? The
          Buddha actually knew and described that the universe expands and
          contracts**, over and over again, why wouldn't he describe life on
          other planets? I'm sorry Sarah, but I don't believe he described
          everything as neat and tidy as you would like to believe. We do
          create our own reality...and matter doesn't really matter.

          Metta, James
          **I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five,
          ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of
          cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of
          cosmic contraction & expansion
          http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/majjhima/mn036.html
        • Sarah
          Hi James, ... ..... Do you not understand the Four Noble Truths to be about reality? I may be missing your point. I agree that only a relatively small amount
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 9, 2003
            Hi James,

            --- buddhatrue <buddhatrue@...> wrote:

            > Hi Sarah,
            >
            > You are mixing truth with pure conjecture. The Buddha only taught
            > the Four Noble Truths, which, of course, I believe, regardless of the
            > reality. But he did not describe, in detail, all reality.
            .....
            Do you not understand the Four Noble Truths to be about reality? I may be
            missing your point. I agree that only a relatively small amount of detail
            within his omniscience(that which was necessary to be taught) was taught.
            On the otherhand, we know there was no ‘closed fist’.

            I can’t really speculate about life on other planets. We know for sure
            that the Buddha taught about the 31 planes of existence. When he refers to
            his manifold past lives and the aeons of cosmic or world contraction and
            expansion, as in your reference below, I take it to be referring to
            changes in this world over a very long time-scale, but I really don’t
            know.

            What I am very sure about, because it is stressed so often, is that what
            we need to hear was taught. This includes the truth, as I see it, that
            reality is just the momentary mental and physical phenomena appearing now.
            No self to create anything. In a sense I agree with you that ‘matter
            doesn’t really matter’. However, for the various skilful mental states to
            be developed, the truth about matter (the seen, the heard etc) as well as
            consciousness (seeing, hearing etc) and mental states needs to be known.
            Why else would it be stressed in the ‘all’?

            Your ideas are always interesting, James. Please share any other lines
            from suttas to discuss with others here too. Others may have further
            comments on these points too. Your comment about ‘neat and tidy’ is also
            making me think. I suppose you’re right and I do consider them in this way
            - like a complete jigsaw if only we could ‘see’ all the parts and how they
            fit together;-)

            With metta,

            Sarah
            ======
            <snip>
            > The
            > Buddha actually knew and described that the universe expands and
            > contracts**, over and over again, why wouldn't he describe life on
            > other planets? I'm sorry Sarah, but I don't believe he described
            > everything as neat and tidy as you would like to believe. We do
            > create our own reality...and matter doesn't really matter.
            >
            > Metta, James
            > **I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two... five,
            > ten... fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of
            > cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of
            > cosmic contraction & expansion
            > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/majjhima/mn036.html
            ===========================

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